After everything Jake Kane could have asked of me, I suppose wanting to know where Duncan is was one of the lesser evils. Unfortunately for me, I have no clue. I assume he's still in Mexico, but I don't know that for sure. I haven't heard from him since he left. That was the arrangement after all.
"Say I do know where to find him, and I'm not saying I do because in all honesty, I don't know where he is, what are you going to do with him? Because if it's your intentions to bring him back here where he'll face years and years of jail time, I'm not going to help you. My Dad's job isn't worth the safety of Duncan and his daughter."
"I admire your loyalties Veronica. But I want my son."
Duncan. I give up Duncan's location, Dad gets his job. But at what risk to Duncan?
"Meg's parents are child abusers. You make Duncan come back, and that baby will be in the home of monsters."
Jake sighed. "I don't want him back here. I want to go to him. I want my son. He's all I have. Him and my granddaughter."
"And what about the Mrs. You really think she won't force him back here?"
"What Celeste doesn't know won't hurt her. She and I haven't been together in a year. She'll have no idea where either of us are. Clarence here is familiar with covering someone's tracks."
"So I do this, I find Duncan and this lawsuit just disappears? Along with you?"
"I want the charges dropped now. Once I see my Dad's name cleared, then I'll start looking. You have my word, I will try to find him."
"Done." He motioned to Clarence, who then picked up the phone and called whoever. Within the next couple of hours, Dad was cleared of any charges.
"Is there anything you can give me to go by? Anything at all?"
Jake glanced at Clarence, who just nodded his head.
"She can keep a secret, Jake."
I gave Clarence a side look. Can I now? What secrets are the Kane/Weidman trouble making duo keeping from the public eye now?
"The last we heard from Duncan, he was in Australia. He contacted Clarence last, to make sure Aaron Echolls was done away with."
My jaw nearly hit the floor. "Duncan? Duncan put the hit on Aaron?"
Clarence nodded. "He did. And I was able to trace our calls to Mollymook, Australia. Unfortunately, Duncan disposed of the phone and without a trace left Mollymook. I assume he's left Australia, but I have no way of knowing that for sure."
"So he could literally, be anywhere in the world? I'm supposed to track him down out of billions?"
"If you want your life to continue on as normal as possible, yes."
My stomach was starting to hurt again. "So…you want me to do the impossible. So my dad can keep his job?"
"Not quite. We want you to do the impossible so that you and your father can keep your lives."
I feel like I've made a deal with the devil. If I find Duncan, what will that mean for me? I aided and abided a kidnapper. Only, I don't see it as kidnapping.
I see it as a rescue. Duncan saved his daughter the day he took her; no judge is going to see it that way though. The only other people who knew about the abuse in Meg's household were Meg and Lamb, both of which are dead. Her sister must know too, but she hasn't said a single word about it. Whether out of fear or indifference, I have no idea.
I have a feeling this case is going to bring a lot of dirty secrets to light. I have nothing other than a continent to go by. Literally, nothing else. I know he's using a fake name. I know he's using cash only. I don't even know what he's named his daughter. The best I can hope for at this point is that he really is still in Australia.
I glance at the clock on my desk. Nearly six. Dad should have called by now to tell me he's back in office. Turning on the TV, I wait for the phone to ring. "Now that the charges against Keith Mars, acting Sheriff have been dropped, the title of Balboa County Sheriff will rightfully pass back down to him. Vinnie Van Low has no comment to add to this rather unusual election."
I bet he has no comment. Satisfied that at least one thing went right today, I shut off the news. I was going to set up the house with all the decorations I'd bought earlier in the week to welcome Dad as the new sheriff, but I forgot I needed to check the mail first. Once I had it, I tore open a letter addressed to me from the FBI.
"Dear Ms. Mars,
Due to the allegations and controversy surrounding your recommendation, we regret to inform you of the withdrawal of the internship offered to you earlier this year."
I stopped reading. Actually, I couldn't really read anymore due to the tears I had in my eyes.
"Honey? Is everything okay?"
Startled, I looked up. Dad was home. I looked back over at the clock. It was past nine now. How long had I sat here staring at this stupid piece of paper? Wordlessly, I handed it to him.
I watched his eyes go back forth as he read the words that left me in this condition.
"They must mean the fact that my professor's in jail for manslaughter and the Dean was murdered. I guess recommendations from those two mean diddly to the FBI now."
Dad shook his head. "That's ridiculous. That has nothing to do with you!"
I shrugged, wiping at my cheeks. "To hell with the FBI. I don't care anymore. If they don't want me, I'll live." Right after I eat my weight in cake.
"Veronica I don't want you giving up on this. You worked too hard to just give up now."
"Dad, I'm not interested in someone who isn't interested in me. Simple as that. They don't want me, then I don't want to be apart of them." Dad could hear the lie in my voice but he left it alone. For now.
"So I'm assuming you heard the news? And then the re-news? And then how about the re-re-news?"
I smiled at that. "I heard it all. Right down to Vinnie's silence. Can't blame the guy. He was just so close." Then I realized none of my decorations were set up and I hadn't made Dad dinner. "Dad I am so sorry! I completely lost track of time. I didn't get anything set up for you!"
He laughed. "It's fine. Up until a week ago I was running unopposed. I didn't expect anything."
I pouted. "Still, I am sorry." He shook his head.
"Veronica, you don't know anything about the charges being dropped do you?"
Time to lie again. "Nope. Maybe Jake Kane had an attack of conscience." It was the best I could come up with.
"Veronica, what did you do?"
"Nothing Dad. Just doing a favor for someone that's all. Nothing dangerous. Nothing illegal." I hope.
"A favor that happened to get me back into the police department?"
"Favors for the right people can go a long way Dad."
He looked like he was about to say something else, but thankfully the phone rang. He answered it while giving me a look that said 'we're not finished here missy.'
"Hello? Yes, hi Stosh. She's right here."
Saved by the boyfriend!
"Hello my knight in shining armor, what can I do for you?"
"Well yes, you saved me from the evil wizard who wants me to answer his questions." Dad rolled his eyes and Piz chuckled.
"Anything I can do to help. Hey do you want to meet me for dinner?"
"Piz it's almost ten. You haven't eaten yet?"
"No. I had classes run late. I didn't realize the time though!"
"Don't worry about it. Come on over my house. I'll manage something for you. Dad still has to eat too."
"No it's alright. I'll just see you tomorrow. Tell your dad congratulations for me."
"Are you sure? It's not a problem."
"Nah, don't worry about it. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Alright. See you tomorrow." When the dial tone alerted me that Piz had hung up, I set the phone back on the hook. Something in Piz's voice had been off. He seemed…sad.
"Dad? I'm going to go to Piz's. Something's wrong with him."
He sighed. "Just come back eventually."
I saluted him. "I'll do my very best sergeant."
"Yeah yeah yeah."
On the drive over, I was busy trying to figure out what had Piz so blue. Was it our conversation earlier? It had to have been. He still thought something was still there between me and Logan. How many times do I have to tell everyone that we're over? There is no more Logan and me. Messages on my phone or not, there was nothing left between the two of us. There can't be.
I reminded myself to call the phone company about that message. Maybe they store those things after they've been deleted.
Right before I could knock on Wallace and Piz's door, my phone began to ring. It was an unknown number. Now who could be calling me during these odd hours? Ah the life of a private detective. Curious, I answered it.
"Veronica? It's Duncan."
Author's Note: The game is afoot! I know, not the most unforeseen cliff-hanger, but it's the best I could do. Having never written a mystery, I've got nothing but all of my crime drama television shows to go by.
While I have your attention, is there any character you'd like to see brought into this story? So far I have mini plots planned for Wallace, Mac, Weevil, and Parker. And of course, main plots for Veronica, her dad, Logan, Piz, etc. But are there any side character's you'd like to see? Just hit me up with a review to let me know!