Hot Water

Hot Water by Erin Brockovich

Book: Hot Water by Erin Brockovich Read Free Book Online
Authors: Erin Brockovich
to target the old woman, that taking out the gay guy would have done the job. Masterson sure as hell would have preferred it that way—he hated the idea of his grandson having anything to do with a man like Jeremy Miller. But, the way Hutton figured, the old had already had their chance. Best to give the young a break. Which is why he’d left Jeremy alive.
    Flora, he’d thought for sure she was a goner. But the kid had saved her.
    That would teach Hutton not to be too cocky—something he tried always to guard against, but when you outsmarted everyone with every job you did, it was difficult to remain humble.
    He listened as the kid and lawyer made their way out of the house and down to the cars. At first he hadn’t been too interested in Masterson’s assignment, but now, thanks to the kid, this job was getting interesting.

THIRTEEN
    My first instinct was to get in Grandel’s SUV and hit the road, head on home. But that wouldn’t solve anything.
    I couldn’t clear Jeremy’s name; only Ty and Elizabeth could help him. I couldn’t help Gram Flora; she was in good hands with the doctors. And David had made it clear that he didn’t want me there to worry and fuss over him.
    All I could do was stay here and finish the job I’d started. The job that meant my family’s future.
    The logic was simple. That didn’t mean I had to like it. I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in solitary confinement, waiting to hear news that wouldn’t come for hours, so I decided to take a walk.
    As soon as I opened the door, the night unleashed a black-fisted punch of heat that almost forced me back inside. I realized I wouldn’t be making it very far. Not that there was anywhere to go. The motel sat by itself—the only other building in sight on the lonely road was a gas station that had gone out of business, about a quarter mile away. I hadn’t even heard a car drive past since I arrived.
    The sun had set but somehow the temperature was still rising, so the night offered no sanctuary from the heat. Instead of heading out to the road, I turned my steps toward the small café next to the motel office, hoping it was open.
    As I walked, I noticed that there was one other car parked in the guest lot—a rental. I pushed open the door to the café. There, sitting at a small lunch counter, surrounded by bags of pecans, jugs of cherry and peach cider, and a bunch of South Carolina–themed knick-knacks—most of them featuring alligators or pirates—was a short man with a simmering gaze, enjoying a bottle of beer.
    “AJ Palladino, as I live and breathe,” he called out, raising his bottle in a welcoming toast. “I had a feeling you might show up around here.”
    I was surprised to see that he was wearing the same plain white shirt and black trousers as the protestors I’d met earlier. Last time I’d seen Yancey he’d been wearing a fancy suit and pitching a TV show to Hollywood execs.
    “What are you doing here?” I asked, taking a seat beside him. “What happened to your all-girl eco-militia?”
    He heaved a sigh, but his eyes glittered with avarice. Yancey had reminded me of Charles Manson the first time we met—now more than ever, despite his newly acquired homespun demeanor. “When the show got canceled, the money left and so did they. It’s just me on this gig.”
    Yancey—it was just Yancey, no first name that I knew of—was a media activist. Groups hired him to gain them more publicity and funding. Which, come to think of it, was exactly what Grandel was paying me for. No wonder this job made me feel slimy. “You’re working with—”
    “The First Church of the Redeemer.” He stood, his voice dropping in timbre as it rose in volume. “The end days are near and that reactor is going to bring down the Lord’s wrath in a cataclysm that will destroy the world.”
    A man showed up from behind the bar—a small corridor connected the café to the office. “We’re closed,” he said, “but since he,” he nodded

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