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False Healer

By Genevieve Kelly

Romance / Mystery

Chapter 1

False Healer

Chapter One

A shot rang out aboard the Cape Rouge, as Nathan Wuornos stood over Duke with a gun in hand. Down on the boat's floor, Duke was prepared to pull his own gun that had been hidden until he watched as Nathan slowly lowered his and put its safety back on. The shot fired was from Nathan's as he fired a round into the crate behind the smuggler, narrowly missing his head.

Once his gun was re-holstered, Nathan held his hand out in order to help Duke up from off the floor. Duke looked into the detective's eyes for any hint of deception, but instead saw nothing except for fear and remorse; fear for what has happened to Audrey and remorse for his recent actions. Duke accepted his hand and stood, after which Nathan ran his hand through his hair, then over his face.

"I'm sorry," Nathan said quietly. "I need your help to find her. Whoever kidnapped her, planted your whistle in her apartment, knowing that I would think that you were responsible. They must know about your family's mission to kill Audrey."

"This could be any number of people, Nathan," Duke replied skeptically as they both walked out onto the deck of the boat. "Plenty of people are still angry with her for killing the Rev. Any of them could have taken her."

Nathan shook his head as he responded, "No, Audrey's getting closer to discovering the truth behind what's going on with Haven and about her past lives. They must have found out about her visiting Lucy Ripley. This is my fault."

Duke watched Nathan as he began pacing and asked, "What do you mean your fault?"

"It doesn't matter," Nathan answered. "Think, Duke. Who would want to kidnap her?"

"I don't know," Duke said until suddenly a thought came to him. "What about Agent Howard, or whoever the man is, who pretended to be Agent Howard? Maybe you're right about getting too close to the truth. Maybe he doesn't want her to find it yet?"

Nathan quickly said, "The woods where Audrey Parker lost her memories; the other Audrey Parker."

Duke looked at Nathan quizzically as he asked, "You mean where the house disappeared from? What about it?"

"What if Howard took our Audrey there to do the same to her?" Nathan continued to explain. "What if the house didn't disappear at all, but we only thought it did? It's possible that someone there has the ability to mask what they want to keep hidden."

"You mean an entire house?" Duke replied. "What on earth makes you think that's true? And even if it is, how do you know that it's definitely Howard who's taken her? You had no clue a second ago?"

Nathan looked over at Duke and answered, "I don't know that it's Howard who took her, but when I was at Audrey's apartment, I also saw the same red moss that only grows on the trees out in those woods on the other side of this lake on her porch and smears of it inside. I didn't think about it then because I am still angry with you about your big family secret of trying to kill Audrey. I wasn't thinking about anything except for killing you. Deep down, I know that you don't want to hurt her."

Duke looked directly at Nathan as he responded, "I don't. I am not my father. I'll take you across the lake. You may be right about the whole invisible house theory."

"Thank you," Nathan said.

"Can I ask you a question?" Duke asked as he started to prepare for their trip.

"I suppose," Nathan replied as he gave Duke a hand. "I have a feeling you'll do it anyway."

Duke stopped what he was doing as he looked again at Nathan and asked, "How long have you had the tattoo on your arm?"

Nathan quickly looked at both of his arms and then back at Duke as he answered, "I don't have any tattoos on my arms. Do you mean the circular maze tattoo that's on the arm of the man, who's going to kill you?"

Duke looked at Nathan's arms for himself and saw that Nathan was right. The tattoo he had seen earlier when Nathan was holding his gun on him was no longer there. It didn't make any sense to either one of them.

Duke spoke up again saying, "That's impossible. I saw it. The tattoo was there on your left arm. I wasn't imagining it."

"It appears there's another mystery we're going to have to solve after we get Audrey back," Nathan responded as they continued to get the boat ready for travel. "We'll figure it out."

Meanwhile…

Audrey awoke slowly a few hours after she had been shocked by a taser gun. As she finally regained her bearings, she looked around and saw that she was tied to a chair in the center of a cabin, somewhere in a wooded area. All she saw outside a single window was trees. She began to struggle to get out of the bindings until a familiar voice suddenly came from behind her.

"Hello again, Agent Parker," it said. "I'm sorry about the drastic measure, but I'm afraid it was necessary."

"Agent Howard?" Audrey replied as he stepped around her so that he could speak to her face. "What's going on? I trusted you. I thought you were my friend."

The man she believed to be her boss in the FBI answered, "Believe me, I am your friend, Audrey. I promise you, I am doing this in order to protect you."

Audrey looked at Howard angrily as she responded, "Protect me? Tasing me, kidnapping me, and then binding me to this chair is what you call protecting me? What do you want? Who are you really? You are not the real Agent Howard."

"No," Howard said as he slowly walked around her. "But who I am isn't important. You're figuring things out too soon. You never should have learned as much as you have; at least not yet. I have to fix things. You were only supposed to help heal this town. The chief and I had a deal."

"The chief?" Audrey replied. "You mean Chief Wuornos?"

Howard looked at Audrey as he continued, "That's right. Chief Wuornos was supposed to make sure you didn't discover the secrets of your pasts. He obviously failed and I've been told a lot of the blame belongs with his son."

Audrey firmly spoke up as she said, "You leave Nathan out of this."

"I'm afraid I can't do that," Howard answered. "Once I'm finished here with you, I will come up with a way to take care of him too. Even if that means he has to die."

"If you hurt him…" Audrey began.

Howard interrupted her, "By the time we're through here, you won't even remember who Nathan is. An old friend of mine will be here shortly to help me. Sadly, I can't promise you what he'll do won't hurt."

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