Clarice’s eyes are wide as she enters the room and views the cuffs on my hands. “I don’t believe it. Lincoln arrested you?”
“I don’t think he had a choice. It’s like on that tv show you watch. All the evidence points to me.”
She flops on the chair, her mouth open, her brown eyes swirly. She looks a little unfortunately like a fish out of water.
“Clary, I need you to find out who Ry was having affairs with,” I say.
She bows her face into her palms, shakes her head with a frustrated sound, and then leans back and nods. “Okay. So we have to believe that one of them killed him and Rosie?”
“I don’t know. Rosie could have killed Ry and someone else killed her.”
“You do realize that this is all crazy?”
If it were a laughing matter and if I didn’t have my hands in metal, I might have smiled. Instead, I shrug. “Kind of aware. Yes. You are my champion, Clary.”
“Crap. You’re dead meat then.”
“Nice. You have skills, sister.”
“I’m a vet’s assistant, Annie. I know how to calm animals.”
“A more appropriate skill I couldn’t think of.”
Tears fill her eyes. “This is a capital offense.”
“So? Don’t screw it up,” I say and smile. “Get the names. I need to know the most recent. If one thought she was going to marry him or have a future.”
“Terry Detwiller last week told people that the man of her dreams was going to move her to Hollywood.”
“You think that was Ry?”
Clarice is quiet as she stares into my eyes. She frowns. “It could have been Leroy Soames she was talking about.”
“Clary, I need you to concentrate.”
Linc opens the door and stands flush with it. “Nice to see you, Clarice. Unfortunately your time is up. I certainly hope you two have not been hatching something that will get either of you into further trouble.”
Clarice bats her eye lashes at him and taps him on the chest. “Us, Sheriff? As if.”
As she leaves, she nods at me.
I lean back in the chair and look at Linc who is looking at me. “What?” I ask. “Don’t tell me someone else is dead.”
He shakes his head. “Please tell me you haven’t gotten Clarice involved in this.”
“I have not gotten Clarice involved in this,” I repeat in monotone.
He rolls his eyes. He closes the door behind him and advances toward me, his blue eyes intense. My breathing stutters as I think inappropriate thoughts. Damn this man.
“Quit looking at me like that, Annie.”
I try to look innocent. Damn, I don’t know what innocent is anymore. No, not regarding murder. Regarding virtue. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“You and me have always been combustible,” he says. “Now’s just not the time. You have a dead husband.”
“Did you do it?” I whisper.
He looks momentarily offended until he realizes that I’m not serious. “I never understood why you married him.”
“I never understood why you married Miss Georgia Peach.”
“On that we agree.”
I shake my head. “All of this is your fault.”
“Can’t wait to find out why.”
“Never mind,” I say and then shake my head. “You knew how I felt about you.”
“Your feelings depended on the phase of the moon.”
“Not with regard to you they didn’t.”
He turns then. He’s running away like he always did. He never wanted to be with me out in the open. His mother would have been offended if he had ever brought me home. For the quickest of moments, he hesitates and turns to look at me. I don’t understand the look in his eyes. It’s not sexual. It’s not loving. It’s not sympathetic. If anything, I would call it resigned and that makes me worried.
At the end of the day, I really needed him to be my hero.