Romantic Mystery Novel
by Barbara W. Klaser
van skids off a snowy mountain road. . . .
Tess returns home to bury her dead. There an old flame rekindles, promising the warmth of a winter romance, while Tess begins to suspect her family was murdered.
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Angie didn't survive her fall.
Hours later, when they'd all made their statements, Duane took off to file his reports. Tess's arm was stitched and bandaged, and everyone was satisfied that neither Tess nor Joe had suffered any further great damage. Tess drowsed in her own warm bed under the effect of a mild sedative.
Paige and Rose were spending the remainder of the night in warm beds elsewhere in this house that Tess again called home. None of them wanted to be alone tonight. The kittens were sleeping with Rose.
"She's decided she's not allergic after all." Joe got into bed beside Tess, and held her close. Her muscles had gradually warmed and relaxed over the past few hours. She still felt the effect of her fear and her struggle to hold onto life. The sedative didn't completely smooth the edges of a night like tonight. She knew she would dream, and she didn't look forward to those dreams, but she sank deliciously into the warmth of Joe's arms, glad to be safe with him.
"What about the letters?" Tess said. "Do you think we'll ever find them?"
"Oh." Joe reached over the side of the bed, and picked up a brass headed wooden cane. "You were up here getting doctored when Duane and I found this. After what you told us Angie said, about your dad falling out front that morning and leaving the cane there, I got to thinking about all the snow that had fallen since their accident. It's a wonder Angie didn't find the cane when she messed up your snow angels with the snowmobile. It was there, under the snow. Duane was kind enough to take a photo and the letters, as evidence, and leave the cane."
Joe unscrewed the brass head of the cane, to reveal a slender, hollow compartment inside. "That's where the original letters were, rolled up, safe and dry. Sheriff has them now."
"You knew that was where Dad would've put the letters?"
"I suspected so. He loved this cane, and that feature was part of the reason he loved it. He used to joke that it made him feel like a secret agent."
Tess had to digest this for a minute. "So the sheriff knows the whole story now?"
"Including your family's portion of it. There are still bits and pieces they'll have to get from Trent and Ned, if they can get them to talk."
A few minutes later Tess said, "Poor Kevin." Kevin hadn't been part of his sister's scheming, but he would suffer plenty as a result of it, including the death of his only close family.
"Poor Kevin," Joe agreed.
"Did I do that to Angie? Was I such a terrible friend that I made her feel so abandoned she became . . . what she became? That she hated enough to betray me and kill my family?"
"There are two other friends of yours in this house tonight who would agree with me when I say absolutely not," Joe told her. His breath was warm, his voice a low, velvety sensation in her ear. "But I think we'll all wonder for a long time what we could've done for her."
"There won't be any trouble for Rose over this, will there?"
"We'll take care of Rose," he said, and kissed her cheek.
She snuggled in closer to him. "Yes, we'll take care of Rose. Will you help me with something tomorrow, Joe?"
"Name your kittens?"
"Well, that too, but--" She hesitated. "It's silly."
"There's all this new snow. We need to make fresh snow angels. After all, that's where the answers were. Under the snow angels." Tess drifted off to sleep, to the sound of his low chuckle.
"Goodnight, Snow Angel." That was a woman's voice. Was it a dream? Her mother's smile, her warmth, her voice. A contentedness that washed everything in a new light. For the first time in many years, as Tess dreamed that night, she felt truly loved.
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Read the first 14 Chapters of Shadows Fall
Synopsis of Shadows Fall
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|All characters and events in the novels on this website are fictitious, they are solely products of the author's imagination. Any similarity to real persons or events is purely coincidental.||
Copyright (c) 2004 Barbara W. Klaser. All rights reserved