The Candy Shop

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CHAPTER 24

Rocco woke Kira at 5:00am and moved her to a small motel just a couple of miles from the precinct. He needed to get to the office and do some research, but he wanted to keep her close; and though no one knew he owned the cabin, it wouldn’t have been difficult for someone to find out that it was left to him by his great uncle. If they were up against Landon and Lucas, their resources knew no bounds, and Rocco knew he needed to assume that they had access to every bit of public and private information available. He needed to stay one step ahead of them or he feared the next time he saw Kira it would be shining his light into a dumpster.

On his way into the precinct he stopped and purchased several disposable cell phones. He needed to function now as if they were always listening. He also had to assume that they would be watching the precinct to see if he showed up. That meant he couldn’t go directly back to the motel after working or he’d lead them right to Kira.

“Where have you been?” Peters blurted the moment he saw Rocco. “I’ve been calling your cell nonstop for the past three hours!” Peters was visibly upset.

“I lost my phone,” Rocco quipped. “What’s up?”

“Body number five is what’s up!” Peters belted and it stopped Rocco dead in his tracks. “Who?” Rocco barked. “Where?”

“We don’t know who yet. Forensics is still trying to get a print, but just like all of the others, the acid has burned her fingerprints clean off.” Rocco made a beeline for his office with Peters in tow. “She’s Caucasian, brunette with blue eyes, that’s about all we know.”

That fit Kira’s description. But it couldn’t be her. She was alive and well when he left the motel and that was a little over an hour ago.

“What flower was on her? Rocco asked.

“A geranium, why?” Rocco breathed a sigh of relief. Even though common sense told him Kira was safely hidden, had the flower been a daisy, he might have lost it altogether. Rocco sank into his office chair. “Don’t you want to go check out the scene?” Peters asked.

“You handle it and let me know what you find. I’ve got some leads I need to follow up on,” Rocco explained and then dismissed Peters, who walked wearily from the office, obviously puzzled by Rocco’s odd behavior.

Jumping up and closing his office door, Rocco returned to his desk and began running searches on the computer. First, he requested phone records for Kira Sullivan’s home and cell numbers, as well as the records for all numbers associated with Landon Parker, Frank Sullivan and Lucas Coronado. He wasn’t sure about Frank’s involvement, but from what Kira had told him, he had to assume that Landon and Lucas were working together. Both men had a reason to hate Rocco; one for putting his son behind bars and the other for sleeping with his wife. The piece of the puzzle that didn’t make sense was why Kira Sullivan was dragged into it. There had to be a connection through Frank, but Rocco couldn’t fathom what it was. Money? Blackmail? Revenge? Whatever the reason, Rocco had to find it before they found Kira.

Pulling out the notes he had made from his late night conversation with Kira, he noted that she said Lucas told her that no one finds out about The Candy Shop except for those he allows to know. That implied that Lucas was the puppet master in this great charade. He was pulling all of the strings or so it would seem. Rocco had also jotted down the fact that Kira found out about The Candy Shop from Audrey, which prompted the question how did Audrey find out about The Candy Shop? Was she instructed to take Kira there? If so, by whom? Rocco leaned back in his chair, staring at his notations on the page. Audrey was the obvious starting point.

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