Val found a spot for the litter box where he hoped his dogs wouldn’t get into it, then took a shower. He’d go in the morning to retrieve Janelle, and the day after that, she’d be on her own while he was at work. As he got out of the shower, toweling his hair off and thinking it needed a trim, he was nearly knocked on his ass by three dogs scampering through the house.
“Hey, don’t chase the—” Val stopped short. Janelle’s cat was sprawled on the couch, flipping his tail side to side. His dogs were standing at the front door, staring up at it with ears cocked, tails wagging. That’s when he realized there was someone on the other side, knocking.
In a hurry, Val dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, then pulled aside a curtain that hung on the window in the door. A man standing outside gave him a nod and lifted one hand in a greeting. He looked like a salesman. He was probably around fifty and about the same height as Val, with a solid build, short salt-and-pepper hair, and piercing black eyes. He looked like the sort of man it was unwise to cross.
“There’s no soliciting. How the hell did you get back here anyway?” Val opened the door but left the screen door shut and locked.
The man took a deep breath and suddenly looked uncomfortable. Val resisted the urge to glance sideways at the baseball bat he kept against the wall near the door. “I’m not selling anything,” the man said. “Can I come in, please?”
“No.” Val started to shut the door.
The man put one hand on the frame of the screen door. “I’m Janelle’s father. They told me at the main office up front to come back here. Someone tried to call but got your voice mail.”
Val held up one finger, turned, and retrieved his phone. There was a call from the farm’s main number, no message left. “I was in the shower,” he said.
“Wyatt Harig. Is Janelle here?”
“You’re pretty tall,” Val blurted out and felt his face heat up.
Wyatt glanced down and grinned at the same time. He was nice looking when he smiled. Obviously he’d heard that more than once. “Janelle is adopted. And yes, she knows.” He put his hands in his pants pockets and sighed. “Do we have to do this through the door?”
“I… uh… don’t really….”
“I’m an investigator, and I work in antiquities. I’m not a mob hit man.”
“You do sort of look like one,” Val said.
Run for the Roses is available in eBook, paperback and through
Kindle Unllimited. French and Spanish translations and be found HERE.
Welcome to My World