CHAPTER 7

After giving statements and dealing with the investigation, it was after 3:00 am when Matt and CJ got back to the ranch. Roy was there waiting on the two of them. He had boarded up the splintered door and swept up the glass, and was sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee when the couple got back.

Roy pulled CJ into a big hug. "I was sure worried about you."

"I'm fine and so is Chris." She sat down at the table with him. Matt was taking off the gun belt and went into the den to put the gun back in the case while CJ told Roy about what had happened. "Well, it sounds like that fella was a few cards shy of a full deck. What did Matt say about it?"

"He hasn't said a whole lot. He tried his best to talk Derek out of it, but he just wouldn't listen." CJ turned and looked back toward the den. "I figured he would be back in here by now." She and Roy got up and started into the den, stopping once they spotted Matt. He was sprawled out on one of the couches asleep.

"Guess the old married man just can't take the late night hours anymore, huh?" Roy grinned over at CJ.

She walked into the den and carefully took off his boots and covered him with an afghan, then leaned over and gently kissed him on the forehead. Walking back over to Roy, she shook her head. "He really was upset about the whole deal, but after what the guy had done to all of those ladies, Matt felt like he probably wanted to die like that. He figured Derek couldn't take the thought of getting sent to prison."

"Well, the taxpayers won't have to pay for a trial, that's for sure."