Gone for Good Page 50

I just looked at him some more.

“Yeah, okay, that’s pretty begging,” he agreed. “Let’s forget that. Possibility two”—Squares raised another finger, paused, looked up in the air—“hell, I’m lost here.”


We ate. He mulled it over some more. “Okay, let’s assume that Sheila knew exactly who you were from the beginning.”


“I still don’t get it, man. What are we left with here?”

“Styling,” I replied.

The shower stopped. I picked up a poppy-seed bagel. The seeds stuck to my hand.

“I’ve been thinking about it all night,” I said.


“And I keep coming back to New Mexico.”

“How so?”

“The FBI wanted to question Sheila about an unsolved double murder in Albuquerque.”


“Years earlier, Julie Miller was also murdered.”

“Also unsolved,” Squares said, “though they suspect your brother.”


“You see a connection between the two,” Squares said.

“There has to be.”

Squares nodded. “Okay, I see point A and I see point B. But I don’t see how you get from one to the other.”

“Neither,” I said, “do I.”

We grew silent. Katy peeked her head through the doorway. Her face had that morning-after pallor. She groaned and said, “I just upchucked again.”

“Appreciate the update,” I said.

“Where’s my clothes?”

“The bedroom closet,” I said.

She gestured an in-pain thank-you and closed the door. I looked at the right side of the couch, the spot where Sheila liked to read. How could this be happening? The old adage “Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all” came to me. I wondered about that. But more than that, I wondered what was worse—to lose the love of a lifetime or to realize that maybe she never loved you at all.

Some choice.

The phone rang. This time I did not wait for the machine. I lifted the receiver and said hello.



“It’s Yvonne Sterno,” she said. “Albuquerque’s answer to Jimmy Olsen.”

“What have you got?”

“I’ve been up all night working on this.”


“And it keeps getting weirder.”

“I’m listening.”

“Okay, I got my contact to go through the deeds and tax records. Now understand that my contact is a government employee, and I got her to go in during her off hours. You usually have a better chance of turning water into wine or having my uncle pick up a check than getting a government employee to show up—”

“Yvonne?” I interrupted.


“Assume that I’m already impressed by your resourcefulness. Tell me what you got.”

“Yeah, okay, you’re right,” she said. I heard papers being shuffled. “The murder-scene house was leased by a corporation called Cripco.”

“And they are?”

“Untraceable. It’s a shell. They don’t seem to do anything.”

I thought about that.

“Owen Enfield also had a car. A gray Honda Accord. Also leased by the fine folks at Cripco.”

“Maybe he worked for them.”

“Maybe. I’m trying to check that now.”

“Where’s the car now?”

“That’s another interesting thing,” Yvonne said. “The police found it abandoned in a mall in Lacida. That’s about two hundred miles east of here.”

“So where is Owen Enfield?”

“My guess? He’s dead. For all we know, he was one of the victims.”

“And the woman and little girl? Where are they?”

“No clue. Hell, I don’t even know who they are.”

“Did you talk to the neighbors?”

“Yes. It’s like I said before: No one knew much about them.”

“How about a physical description?”


“Ah what?”

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

Squares kept eating, but I could tell he was listening. Katy was still in my room, either dressing or making another offering to the porcelain gods.

“The descriptions were pretty vague,” Yvonne continued. “The woman was in her mid-thirties, attractive, and a brunette. That’s about as much as any of the neighbors could tell me. No one knew the little girl’s name. She was around eleven or twelve with sandy-brown hair. One neighbor described her as cute as a button, but what kid that age isn’t? Mr. Enfield was described as six feet with a gray crew cut and goatee. Forty years old, more or less.”

“Then he wasn’t one of the victims,” I said.

“How do you know?”

“I saw a photo of the crime scene.”


“When I was questioned by the FBI about my girlfriend’s whereabouts.”

“You could see the victims?”

“Not clearly, but enough to know that neither had a crew cut.”

“Hmm. Then the whole family has up and vanished.”


“There’s one other thing, Will.”

“What’s that?”

“Stonepointe is a new community. Everything is fairly self-contained.”


“Are you familiar with QuickGo, the convenience store chain?”

“Sure,” I said. “We have QuickGos out here too.”

Squares took off his sunglasses and looked a question at me. I shrugged and he moved toward me.

“Well, there’s a big QuickGo at the edge of the complex,” Yvonne said. “Almost all the residents use it.”


“One of the neighbors swore she saw Owen Enfield there at three o’clock on the day of the murders.”

“I’m not following you, Yvonne.”

“Well,” she said, “the thing is, all the QuickGos have security cameras.” She paused. “You following me now?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“I already checked,” she went on. “They keep them for a month before they tape over them.”

“So if we can get that tape,” I began, “we might be able to get a good view of Mr. Enfield.”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies