“I’m sorry the Johnson City thing fell through,” Cara said as she drove her mother’s car on Interstate Seventy-Five.
“Yeah, me too,” Caroline said. “Dad was really disappointed, but that house was not at all what the realtor advertised.”
“For real,” Cara agreed. “They should have mentioned the mold in the garage and hail damage to the siding. So what are Grandma and Grandpa going to do now?”
“Remember when Grandpa was talking about his backup plans?” Caroline asked. “He said he had a couple of other places that he’d been looking at.”
“Yes, weren’t those in Kentucky? Are they going to look at them now?” Cara asked.
“That’s what Mom said. The realtor in Florida has a potential sale of their condo, so they need to figure out where they are going to go. Mom doesn’t really care as long as she can have a garden. She said that was one of the things she hated about living in the condo. They didn’t have a yard or garden. It was too hot to be outside most of the time, so even if they’d have had a lot, she would not have wanted to work outside.”
“I couldn’t believe they bought that condo to start with,” Cara said. “They both loved their yard in Evansville.”
“Dad thought it would be nice not to have to worry about taking care of a yard. I don’t think he realized how much he enjoyed having grass. Real grass, not that God awful crab grass they have in Florida.”
“Well, Kentucky is supposed to have bluegrass,” Cara mused.
“Funny.” Caroline looked at her daughter and grinned. Cara had been preoccupied for the last several weeks, and Caroline was glad to see her loosen up. Caroline had to work every night when Cara first got home from college. Each day Caroline was home, Cara had her laptop out and was working on something very intently, but she wouldn’t tell Caroline what she was doing. Caroline didn’t like it, but Cara was twenty years old so she couldn’t very well force her to tell her what was going on. Even during the week, they’d spent in Tennessee with Caroline’s parents, Cara had been on the Internet, or on her phone.
Cara glanced at her mother, who was watching her. “What?”
“You just seem a little happier today,” Caroline observed.
“I’m excited about checking out this school. You know that I’ve been following a lot of crime shows, and real life crime on the news ever since Jenna disappeared. I’ve always thought there was more that could have been done to find her,” Cara said.
“I know,” Caroline said.
“Eastern Kentucky University has an excellent Forensic Science program,” Cara said. “I want to be able to help with crimes like that and help people find their loved ones and get closure.”
Caroline reached over and squeezed her daughter’s shoulder. “I know it’s been a really rough couple of years.”
Cara smiled sadly. “You know, as sad as this is, it would have been better if they would have found her body so all of us could move on. But, I just can’t when I think there might be a possibility that she’s out there somewhere needing help.”
“I know, baby,” Caroline said and leaned over to kiss Cara on the cheek. “Well, maybe, if you become a forensic scientist, you can look at the police files and maybe see something they didn’t.”
Caroline’s cell phone started ringing. She looked at the readout. “It’s Dad.” She answered the phone, “Hey Pops, what’s up?”
“Where are you guys?” Caroline’s father, Ralph Rone asked.
“Where are we?” Caroline asked Cara.
“We’re about thirty minutes out of Richmond, Kentucky,” Cara said.
Caroline relayed the message to her father. “Great,” he said. “Are you guys going to EKU?”
“Yes. How’d you know that?” Caroline asked.
“Cara mentioned that she was looking into their forensic science program. I think she’s still obsessed with what happened to her friend, Jenna,” Ralph said.
“She is,” Caroline agreed.
Cara gave her mother a sideways glance. “She is what?”
Caroline shook her head. “So what are you guys doing?”
“We’re in Wellington, Kentucky looking at a cabin close to Cave Run Lake. It’s about an hour and a half from Richmond. You guys want to meet us later for dinner?” Ralph asked.
“Sure, but why on earth are you looking at property out there?” Caroline asked.
“We thought that if Cara decides to go to Eastern Kentucky, we will try to find something close by to rent. That way we’ll get to spend more time with her, hopefully,” Ralph explained.
“Why didn’t you just try to find something in Richmond?” Caroline wanted to know and shrugged her shoulders when Cara gave her a questioning glance.
“Because we don’t want to live in a big town again. After living so many years in Evansville, and the Florida fiasco, we wanted to find something in the country where we can enjoy the peace and quiet. Plus this cabin is close to Cave Run Lake, and there are a few golf courses not far away. This particular cabin doesn’t have much of a yard for a garden so that we will be looking at some other properties, but mostly we wanted to live close enough to Cara that we could visit with her often,” Ralph said.
“What about me?” Caroline asked.
“We figured you would probably move to Richmond too,” Ralph laughed. “We know that you are not going to want to be almost four hours away from Cara.”
Caroline reached over and squeezed Cara’s arm. “You’re right about that. I’ve already been looking into some jobs at the hospitals in Richmond and Lexington.”
Cara smiled. She’d known that her mother would move to this area with her if she decided Eastern was a good fit. “Grandma and Grandpa looking for a place in this area too?”
Nodding Caroline laughed. “Cara’s got us all figured out.”
“Good,” Ralph said. “Then she knows we plan on her taking care of all of us in our old age.”
“Right,” Caroline snorted. “When you get old enough to need to be taken care of Cara will be…” She started to say married with kids, but that was probably not going to happen. Instead, she said, “A career woman working for the FBI. She won’t have time for us.”
Cara laughed. “You guys planning my future?”
“Well, of course,” Caroline said, laughing with her daughter.
“Call us when you get done at the college, and we’ll figure out someplace to hook up and have dinner,” Ralph said. “I have to get off here and go in to look at the inside of this cabin.”
“Okay, Dad. Love you,” Caroline said and put down her phone.
“So where are Grandpa and Grandma looking for a place?” Cara asked.
Caroline looked at the GPS on her phone to see how close to the university they were getting. “Somewhere near Cave Run Lake,” Caroline said absently. “You know Grandpa and his fishing. He has to be near water.”
Cara didn’t say anything. Cave Run Lake was one of the places Michael Matthews had visited recently. Surely, he couldn’t have known that her grandparents would be looking for property there, but that might be where he’s hiding Jenna.