Forgotten Secrets

Forgotten Secrets by Robin Perini

Book: Forgotten Secrets by Robin Perini Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robin Perini
Tags: BluA
such tenderness, Riley’s throat thickened with emotion.
    How would it feel to be loved so much?
    “Lincoln, I’m so glad you’re home,” Helen said to Thayne, her voice muffled as she buried it against his deputy’s uniform. “I missed you.”
    Riley hurt for the pain on Thayne’s face—for him, for his family—but she was at a loss as to how to comfort or help them. Except to find the missing piece to their family. The only thing she could offer Thayne was her expertise as a profiler.
    Steeling herself against the empathy threatening to overtake her, she forced herself to look away and scan the room, past Thayne and his grandfather to the man she’d searched out a year ago for help with her own sister’s disappearance.
    A painful irony.
    “Sheriff Blackwood.” Riley walked over and stretched out her hand to shake his, careful not to jar her injured arm.
    Gaunt was the only word she could think of to describe him. His illness and his daughter’s disappearance had taken their toll.
    “Thank you for coming, Riley.” His tired but sharp eyes narrowed. “Do you have any leads?”
    “Not yet. We were hoping your mother . . .”
    “Lincoln?” Thayne’s grandmother tugged at his shirt, her voice tentative and uncertain.
    Lincoln Blackwood hurried to his wife’s side. “Helen, honey?”
    She looked at her husband with wild eyes. “Not you, old man.”
    She shoved at him, and his shoulders sagged, but he didn’t press, simply backed away, giving his wife some space.
    The room had gone completely silent. Riley had never been around someone with this disease. She didn’t know what to do, what to say.
    “What’s happening to me?” Helen bowed her face in her hands. She squinted, staring around the room. With a furrowed brow, her breathing quickened, and she clasped her hand to her chest, panic in every jerky movement.
    Thayne pulled her gently into his arms. “Gram. It’s OK, Gram. I’ve got you.”
    “Lincoln. I don’t understand what’s going on. Everything is wrong.” She gripped his shirt with trembling fists. “Please. Help me.”
    Thayne smiled down at his grandmother, his expression heartbreaking. “I know what always makes you feel better. Would you like to dance with me and make the world go away?”
    She stilled and stared into his eyes before giving an uncertain nod.
    Thayne met Riley’s gaze over his grandmother’s head. Do you understand now? his expression telegraphed.
    The message slammed into Riley. The Blackwoods needed her to find a miracle, and she’d been counting on Helen Blackwood’s statement to point the search in the right direction. Since Helen couldn’t help, Riley had to start from scratch. She needed to review every photo she’d taken since she arrived, analyze every piece of evidence that had been gathered, and try to pull out that one sliver of information that several other sets of eyes had missed. The clue that would lead them to Cheyenne.
    She’d have to ask for a vehicle and find a small space to hole up for several hours. No noise, no distractions, only quiet and the crime scene. Perhaps the sheriff had a spare—
    “Dad, play our song, would you?” Thayne asked, then gently pulled his grandmother into his arms.
    Riley’s breath caught. This man could kill with his bare hands, and yet, right now he showed more tenderness than she’d ever witnessed.
    Sheriff Blackwood flipped on the power of a stereo system. A smooth alto voice softly crooned words of need and love.
    Thayne waltzed around the room with his grandmother in his arms, his box step slow and graceful. He bent his head low to his grandmother’s ear. Straining, Riley could just make out his baritone voice humming and then singing a few verses.
    Sheriff Blackwood crossed the room to stand beside her. “Music is one of the only things that calm her when she’s confused. Especially tunes that connect to her past.”
    “Thayne looks a lot like his grandfather.”
    “Spitting image. She dotes

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