Death Cache

Death Cache by Tiffinie Helmer Page A

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Authors: Tiffinie Helmer
Mac said. “I very much doubt you were worried about sparing any of us. What did you want to intercept?”
    “Nothing.”
    None of them bought it. There was more that Robert wanted to keep quiet. What could be worse than what had already been revealed?
    “I don’t believe you,” Mac said. “Right now you are my number one unsub.”
    “I didn’t fucking set this up!” Robert jumped to his feet. “What’s it going to take to get you to believe me?”
    “Son, you have serious anger management issues,” Mac said. “That makes you a loose cannon. Better dial it back or we’ll never believe you.”
    Robert visibly tried to do as Mac suggested, but it was a struggle. Tern knew he had issues, but she was never more happy than now that she’d listened to that little voice inside her which had told her to kick him to the curb. Wish she’d listen to it before she’d gotten on the floatplane.
    “I had a drinking problem, all right?” Robert rubbed the back of his neck again. “After I got out of juv, I had another stint in the joint. I thought that was what was in the geocache. Instead it was full of Tern’s favorite candy bars. I thought she’d be thrilled to have me bring that back for her. That’s it.”
    “No, it isn’t,” Gage said. “Why were you in prison?”
    “What? Going to judge me on that when you just got released yourself?”
    “Why, Robert?” Mac asked.
    “Shit,” Robert muttered under his breath. “Statutory rape, okay. She told me she was twenty-one. Hell, I picked her up in a bar. How was I to know she was only sixteen? And that’s the fucking lot, okay?” He stomped to his cabin and slammed the door behind him.
    “Well,” Nadia said. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I seriously need a freaking candy bar.”

    “Tern,” Lucky said, “got a minute?”
    “Uh, sure.” Tern hated that she took a moment to glance around the campsite before she agreed to leave with Lucky. Gage and Mac were in deep discussion over one of the GPS, most likely planning the best way to get them all out of here. Nadia had turned in early, still complaining that her head hurt, and Robert sulked inside his cabin.
    “What’s up?”
    “I’m worried about you.” He reached out a hand and rubbed it up and down her arm in a comforting, non-sexual caress.
    The sincerity in his voice took her back for a moment. “I’m fine.”
    “I know this is a lot to deal with, and knowing the person you are, I’m sure you’re beating yourself up inside.”
    If he didn’t stop he’d have her in tears.
    “You’re sweet, Lucky. Thanks for thinking of me. But the one I’m worried about is Nadia.”
    “She’s stronger than she looks,” he said. “I have no doubt she’ll bounce back. But you’ll take all that has happened here and internalize it until it poisons you. Come on, mediate with me.”
    “I really don’t feel like it.”
    “Which is why you need to.” He took her hand. “Come on, let’s head down to the lake and plug into nature.”
    What the hell. It wasn’t like she had anything else to do to pass the hours until they got to hike out of this place and return home.
    “Sure.”
    “That’s my girl.”
    Hand in hand, they walked to the lake. Tern already felt better, as though Lucky was taking half her load of worries.
    “You know, you really need to give Gage another crack at ya.”
    “What?”
    “I saw how you looked after your empty cache run.” Lucky wiggled his brows suggestively. “There’s a reason you never made it to your cache.”
    “I don’t want to go there.”
    “Do me a favor and just be open to what could be between the two of you. He might have acted like a dung beetle, but the man is so twisted up with you that he probably can’t digest his food.”
    She scoffed. “Right.”
    “Seriously, babe. Give him another run. He has some explaining to do, but open your heart. He’s a good man, just not a very smart one, regardless of his degrees.” He cocked a

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