CHAPTER 7

Later on that afternoon, Matt was sitting on the couch in Hoyt's office. He had just gotten done getting his cast replaced because of the blood that gotten on it earlier that morning. They had done an x-ray of the arm and found that he hadn't done any damage when he hit the steering wheel. CJ walked in and brought him a Fizzy Pop.

He looked up as she handed it to him. "Thanks." He just sat there and looked at the can. "You okay, hon?" CJ came and sat down next to him. "Yeah, I'm fine." He leaned back on the couch and opened the can. "I was just thinking about what happened. I know he killed those guys, but it was a shame – he was only nineteen. God, when I was nineteen all I thought about was girls, football, baseball, girls, pizza, girls, and getting through my classes at college." He gave CJ a weak smile and shook his head. Hoyt walked through the door and over to the pair. He handed a notebook to Matt. "Well, now we know why he did what he did." Matt opened up the notebook and he and CJ started reading. After a few minutes he looked up at Hoyt, who had turned and walked over to the window. "So he saw them attack his mom and kill her because they blamed her for Bell getting busted. But why did he go after the last guy? There were only the four men that he had already killed who stabbed her."

Hoyt shook his head. "I don't know. Maybe he thought all of them were responsible in one way or another. At least the ones who pick up hookers. Kirk Clement's ear was in the handbag that he was carrying. We just heard from the sheriff in Rock Springs, Wyoming. After I called them yesterday they went out and did a thorough search of Peter Beaudine's property. They finally found him – or what was left of him. Apparently he was Corey's first victim. They found him in the loft of the barn. They also discovered that he had taken almost $20,000 from his uncle's bank account. That's why he wasn't working. We found the rest of it in the suitcase that held the women's clothing." He continued to stare out of the window for a minute then turned toward Matt. "How's the arm?"

"It's okay; I'll get this cast off in two weeks." Houston stood up and started toward the door.

"Hey, thanks for your help by the way. We wouldn't have been able to solve it without you two." Hoyt walked over and shook their hands.

"I just wish it had turned out differently." Matt walked out of the office and started off down the hall followed by CJ.

Later that evening, Matt was sitting on the fence down by the pasture petting on the horses. CJ walked down to join him. "I wondered where you had disappeared to." She climbed up on the fence next to him. Matt looked over at her, then back up at the sunset. "He was right, you know. Hoyt? I have been thinking about retiring." CJ nodded her head. "So what have you decided?" He shrugged his shoulders and continued to watch the sunset. "Part of me wants to say to hell with it. Feels like I've paid my dues to society, so to speak."

"And the other part?" She put an arm around him.

"I still feel like I need to keep doing it to help people." He looked over at her. "If you want me to quit, I will CJ. You know I'll do anything you want. You mean that much to me."

She smiled and shook her head. "Matt, I would never ask you to do that. It's like I told Hoyt this morning. What you do is part of you, of who you are. I came into this marriage with my eyes open." She squeezed him and he put his arm around her. "All I ask is that you try to be as careful as possible. One day, we're going to have kids. And I would love to grow old with you and have a pair of matching rocking chairs on the front porch. You will retire eventually, and only you will know when the time is right." He hugged her close as they watched the sun set beyond the mountains.