Still Waters

Still Waters by Tami Hoag

Book: Still Waters by Tami Hoag Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tami Hoag
over on his back, not sure how to escape it. He felt it more and more lately, eating away at him, churning his insides. Sometimes he just wanted to explode with it, screaming and fighting. But he reined it in and stamped it down, as he'd always done with his feelings. It didn't pay to let people see what you felt. They turned it against you more often than not. Better to show nothing.
    Like when that fat jerk Jarvis had turned him down for a job at Still Waters, Trace thought as he stretched over to the nightstand and pulled a stolen pack of Marlboros out of the drawer. He shook one out, leaning on his side as he lit it, then falling on his back again to stare at the geyser of smoke he blew up toward the ceiling. Jarvis had laughed at him, as if he thought he were a baby, and told him to go get a paper route. The anger had boiled inside him then, like scalding steam. All he'd wanted to do was punch in that ugly bulldog face until there wasn't anything left of it but bloody mush. But he hadn't shown it. He'd kept his chin up. He'd stared down the laughing work crew that had been leaning against the side of a rusted Chevy pickup with coffee cups in their hands. He'd walked away like a man.
    Don't get mad, get even. That was what Carney said. Carney Fox was about the only person who hadn't given him a hard time since he'd come to this shithole town. Don't get mad, get even. That was his new motto. He said it aloud, testing the sound of it on his ears, then drew another deep drag on the cigarette and shot another cloud of smoke toward the fly-specked ceiling.
    He couldn't seem to keep himself from getting mad, but he was working on it. Sometimes it scared him, the way he felt, so full of fury and rage at the injustices that had all but ruined his life. But most of the time he controlled it, the way a man should. He didn't let it show, and that was the important thing. He sometimes wished with all his heart for a nice white line of coke to make it go away, but he was through with that stuff. It made a man weak, and if there was one thing he was never going to be again, it was weak.
    HALF A MILE TO THE NORTH, DANE STOOD ON HIS FRONT porch, nursing a beer and staring off toward the old Drewes place. Weariness ached through him and pain pinched his bum knee like a C clamp. Another storm was brewing off to the west, grumbling threats but not making good on them, just like the earlier one that had promised to wash away all the physical evidence at the murder scene, then rolled on toward Wisconsin without so much as dampening the dust.
    He tipped his bottle of Miller back and let the cold liquid slide down a throat that was raw from barking orders at his deputies and the press, and thought that thunder was appropriate tonight. It set the mood for evil.
    They had worked at Still Waters until after one. The regional BCA agent, Yeager, had still been there sniffing around like a lazy old bird dog, bemoaning the fact that the Still Waters resort was going to be the ruination of a prime turkey hunting spot, when Dane had left to check on Amy and Mrs. Regina Cranston, the woman who was going to cook and clean and maintain a grandmotherly presence in the house for the three weeks his daughter was visiting. Jarvis had been carted off to Davidson's Funeral Home for the night. His Lincoln had been towed to Bill Waterman's junkyard, which served as Tyler County's impound lot. The mobile lab had packed up and taken what evidence they'd found back to the central lab in St. Paul.
    Work at the scene had ended, but the real work was just beginning. Dane figured he'd grab an hour's sleep, then return to his office and start trying to find a killer with what information they had. He almost managed to laugh at the lunacy of that. Christ, what did he know about finding killers? Nothing more than what he'd read in textbooks. The worst thing that had ever happened in his tenure as sheriff had been Gordon Johnson knocking his wife around

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