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Authors: Donna Welch Jones

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Killing the Secret

BOOK: Killing the Secret
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Sheriff Lexie Wolfe Novels

Killing the Secret

Somebody is murdering the women who played on a championship high school basketball team twenty years ago. Sheriff Lexie Wolfe searches for the link between the women that provoked someone to want them all dead. Lexie’s investigation intensifies when a local woman dies and the towns’ people blame her for the death. When Lexie discovers there are three secrets instead of one she fears more will die while the investigation goes in multiple directions. Her dilemma is further magnified by the fact that one of the women appears to be destined to be First Lady of the United States—provided she doesn’t die first.

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Deadly Search

Sheriff Lexie Wolfe becomes entangled in a web of deceit as she searches for her father’s murderer. At the center of the investigation is her mother, Margo, a beautiful temptress who used the love and attention of Diffee men to feed her ego before rejecting them. Her mother may be the reason Lexie’s father, Nodin, was killed. But which of Margo’s pawns did it: the judge, the lawyer, the mayor or someone else? The investigation and Lexie’s betrayal of the man she loves propels her life into a dark downward spiral. If she finds her father’s killer what price will she pay for revenge?

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Terror’s Grip

Shadows and fog filled Sheriff Lexie’s brain. No familiarity. No point of reference.
Where am I?
Spots ached inside her flesh—deep bruises that disturbed her nerves. Her left hand touched her forehead, but the dried blood wouldn’t allow the hair to be pushed to the side. Her right arm suspended above her held by a chain attached to a two-inch metal clamp around her wrist. The chain trailed through the broken cellar window. Lexie braced one hand against the wall to bring herself to standing. The movement sent pains pulsating through her body. Up and down her stiff legs marched like a wooden soldier. Her left hand fisted and punched forward as if a boxing bag, or her captor’s new face, dangled in front of her. Lexie’s scream filled the cold darkness. “I WON’T DIE WEAK!”

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Visit the author’s website:
http://www.donnawelchjones.com

 

Killing the Secret

Donna Welch Jones

Denton, Texas

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Deadly Niche Press

An imprint of AWOC.COM Publishing

P.O. Box 2819

Denton, TX 76202

© 2011, Donna Welch Jones

All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

ISBN: 978-0-937660-98-0 – Paperback

ISBN: 978-1-62016-038-1 – eBook

website: www.donnawelchjones.com

 

Dedication

To My Husband, Mark H. Jones

In Appreciation For His Love and Technical Support

 

Prologue

He decided to stop at a roadside café before he killed her, rather than after. Caffeine after eight p.m. made it difficult for him to sleep and he needed to awake early for his flight. He sure as hell didn’t want to oversleep and spend an extra night in Kansas.

As soon as he walked in the café he regretted stopping. The fleeting glances from locals made him feel like a flashing light. The nosey bastards reminded him of the people in Diffee. He was glad he’d put on the wig. It camouflaged a bit of his identity. Smells of grease, smoke, and sweat from people who obviously didn’t believe in daily showers assaulted his senses. It felt as if the odors were sticking to his clothes. Nausea roiled in his stomach. He swayed and gripped the edge of the table.

“Are you okay, handsome? I’d be willing to take you home with me for some TLC.” The blonde waitress made her offer with a crooked smile.

“I want coffee with cream,” he ordered as he turned and stared out the window. He needed to remember why he was in this disgusting place, maybe then his resolve could override the sick feeling. All seven must die. Tonight Tina will be the second.

Terri, the first, was hardly worth his time. She was dying of cancer but he knew she must die in his time frame—not God’s. Being Catholic might motivate her to confess her sins on her deathbed and he wasn’t about to give her the chance to ruin his life.

The waitress set the cup down with a bang. Brown droplets splashed on the table, barely missing his linen shirt.

“Sorry, handsome,” she cooed.

Suppressing the urge to throw the hot coffee in her face, he muttered, “Accidents happen.”

She slid her hand softly from his wrist to his elbow.

“Darcy, honey,” a man at the bar called out. “Can you quit hittin’ on the guy long enough to get me a refill?”

The murderer put a five on the table and left before the white trash returned. He had better things to do.

 

Chapter One

Sheriff Lexie Wolfe sat in the small airplane searching below for any sign of life in the Oklahoma backwoods. Most likely their signal would be smoke since it was just above freezing this cold March morning.

Tye and Clay, her deputies, sat across from her. Red, the pilot, tore out the four back seats on the old plane and put in benches so he could hire out for parachute jumping. The interior smelled of cheap liquor—a courage booster left from one of the customers Red had taken up the night before.

The first female sheriff of the small town of Diffee, Lexie had no delusions about why she was elected. Those six years as a cop in Houston and the Masters Degree in Criminology didn’t earn the badge on her chest. Sympathy, not experience, won the election. Her brother, Tye, traded his right leg for two lives and a Medal of Honor. Her father was brutally murdered and she was left to die when their farmhouse was broken into years ago. Those were her vote getters.

The fine features and blue eyes of her Caucasian mother and the skin coloring of her Cherokee father had created a stunning daughter. The illusion of beauty ended up close. Lexie traced the scar down the right side of her face. Her mother raged, cried, and bitched trying to get Lexie to have plastic surgery. Storming back, Lexie told her,” My face is my reminder that Dad’s killer is somewhere living a life he doesn’t deserve. Every day I touch my scar so my hate won’t subside.”

“That’s sick!” her mother screamed. Lexie’s fingers moved from the scar and started weaving her waist-length black hair into a single braid. She didn’t care why she was elected sheriff. All that mattered was the power and facilities she now had to help find the person who murdered her father. Drug busts usually exhilarated her, but today it seemed like a waste of time. She wanted to be in her office searching records for clues to the murderer instead of jumping out of an airplane.

The hard seat made it impossible for Lexie’s butt to find a comfortable position. Seeing her brother, who had to bend and fold himself onto the board seat, sleeping tranquilly across from her was beyond belief.

The Indians won the war of Tye’s genes. He showed no physical resemblance to his white mother. His straight black hair was pulled back tightly at the nape of his neck. His skin and eyes were earth shades. Even though he was asleep, he exuded strength and a presence.

She felt Red’s eyes on her and glanced up to intercept a quick wink. In years past, she’d have gotten angry at his orneriness. Time, however, healed the rejection she felt from him when she was sixteen. Actually, he had saved her from her own misguided horniness.

Being Tye’s best friend, it was common for Red to crash at their house after the guys went out drinking on Friday nights. One morning Tye and her Dad left early to go fishing. Mom did not generally show her face before 10 a.m.

Lexie shed her bathrobe and crawled into bed beside Red who was sound asleep. She gently smoothed back the red hair from his forehead. Rubbing his chest she caught the hairs between her fingers and made paths across his chest. Ripples of passion possessed her body. Her hand drifted down from his chest to his belly.

Lexie startled when he moved. He turned to his side and held her. His mouth pressed against hers. Their tongues met for seconds, then he suddenly turned away.

“Go away,” he snarled.

Lexie remembered the hatred she felt for months. The rejection and embarrassment were too much for her teenybopper brain. As far as she knew, he never told anyone about her foiled attempt at seduction.

 

Chapter Two

“I see smoke,” Clay pointed downward as he spoke.

“Yep,” Red replied. “I better move away from here before someone hears the plane. I’ll drop you folks in the clearing about a mile north.”

Clay checked his parachute. His short blond curly hair and big blue eyes resulted in his nickname “pretty boy.” Clay didn’t require an application to become one of Lexie’s deputies. Tye said it would have been a waste of ink. All he could enter was cute, Mayor’s DNA, twenty-three, and spoiled.

Tye started removing his prosthesis.

“Don’t you need that leg?” Clay’s eyes widened.

“Not when I hit the ground I won’t. Better to have one leg and hop for awhile.” Tye laughed as he strapped the false limb to his body. “Don’t worry! I’ll get it on fast enough to be right behind you and Lexie.”

“I’ll wait for you.” Clay made a sweeping hand motion. “Age before beauty.”

Tye responded with the middle finger of his right hand.

“Ladies first.” Tye did a semi bow towards Lexie. “Or should I say sheriff first?”

“Don’t harass me, big brother. You know I can fire you.”

“Sure, like you’d fire Batman.”

“I’m out of here,” Lexie countered, “before the weight of your ego brings this plane down.”

“I think I’ll wait here,” were Clay’s last words before Tye pushed him through the opening. Tye followed soon after.

Tye hit the ground then quickly attached his leg. Lexie helped Clay unravel his cord from a small pine that barely missed extinction from the rough landing.

The three of them tracked toward the meth house hidden in the woods. After forty minutes, they found the small frame structure.

“You guys go to the back,” Lexie directed. She slowly opened the front door. The ammonia smell engulfed her and watering eyes blurred her vision.

“Wilbur Langley!” she hollered. “I need to talk to you.” She heard footsteps coming toward her. She slipped her hand under her jacket and pulled out a gun.

“Mommy! Mommy!” a child cried out. He ran toward her then hugged a leg. His diaper bagged in the back from the weight of urine and feces and his little red butt was exposed.

“Come back here, stupid Gabriel,” the older child ordered. “She’s goin’ shoot you.”

“I’m not going to shoot anyone.” Lexie pushed the gun back into its holster.

“Why you got a gun then?” asked the big brother.

“That’s a good question.” Tye winked at Lexie.

“I got it out just in case someone wanted to shoot me,” Lexie explained in a soft voice.

“Well, my daddy would get you if he was here. He hates sheriffs.”

“What’s your name, boy?” Tye put his hand on the child’s head.

“Seth.”

“Are your Mommy and Daddy around, Seth?”

“No, but Mommy said she’d come back soon.”

“We’re going to take you back to town,” Lexie said.

“We can’t leave.” Seth’s small hands grasp his waist. His chin lifted as he looked at each of the adults. His body stiffened—ready to fight.

“Your little brother is hungry,” Tye reasoned, “and I don’t see any food here. Aren’t you supposed to take care of him?”

Seth hung his head. “Yep,” he murmured.

Lexie took a cue from her brother. “If you stay here he’s going to get sick, then your mom will be angry. You’ll need to change that dirty diaper if you don’t go with us.”

“Yuk,” Seth’s face pinched in disgust. “We’ll go.”

Tye gathered evidence from the kitchen while Clay kept watch outside. Lexie ripped the old tablecloth in half and folded it into a new diaper for Gabriel. She found some duct tape in an old toolbox. It worked to hold the diaper together.

Tye put Seth on his back and Clay carried Gabriel as they stomped back through the woods to the clearing where Red and the plane waited.

“Pane?” Gabriel uttered, his eyes and mouth wide.

“You got it boy. It’s an airplane and you’re going to fly in the sky.” Red scooped him up in the air pretending to fly him to his seat.

Gabriel’s giggles lilted up and down as if on a rollercoaster of delight.

BOOK: Killing the Secret
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