Crimes Past(101)

By: Lauren Carr

“Which is why none of us looked at Joan Underwood,” Gina said.

“Did you tell Rico Sanchez that Joan killed his wife, or did he figure that out on his own?” Seth asked.

“When I started suspecting Joan of killing Brie and Trevor, I remembered how physically ill Clarissa became after the murders,” Mac said. “Like Troy, being a detective, Sanchez had suspicions. But, he was afraid to face the truth that someone had killed his wife. Once I told him that I suspected Joan of murdering Brie and Trevor, all of the clues that Clarissa had dropped for him started clicking into place. He confronted Joan about her death on his own.”

“And he ended up being right on the mark,” Archie said.

“Well, now Gina knows the truth about her mother’s death.” Seth kissed his bride on the cheek.

“Yes,” she said. “Now I can move on with my new life without wondering what had happened and why she was taken from me.”

“Is Kassandra going back to the city with you?” Mac asked.

“Oh, no, she decided to stay here a few more days,” Gina said. “She’s gotten quite used to having her own personal bodyguard.” She winked at him.

“Made a new friend from down under, huh?”

Seth laughed. “I think Kassandra had more fun after the wedding than we did.”

Gina hugged and kissed Mac once more, as well as Archie and Hope before she and Seth left to start their new life together. The sound of their vehicle’s engine faded away in time for their guests to arrive.

 “Is this where the party is? I smell food. You wouldn’t believe the junk they passed off as food at that hospital.” On crutches, Bogie led a mob around the corner of the deck. He hobbled to a table with Doc rushing ahead to pull out a chair for him to sit in.

Gnarly greeted each of their guests, which was made up of the officers of Spencer’s police force and their families. Together, they took up most of the back deck. Two servers rushed from table to table to make sure everyone had coffee and fresh drinks.

With everyone busy filling their plates with food, Archie led Gnarly into the house. Down on the dock, David and Gabriel collected their fishing equipment. Seeing people and fresh food worthy of begging, Storm galloped up.

“I’m so glad David found a family member who enjoys fishing as much as he does,” Mac said. “Hopefully, that means I don’t have to fish with him anymore.”

“David and his dad used to fish all the time,” Bogie said.

“Well, it looks like the gang’s all here,” David said when he and Gabriel joined them.

“Did you catch anything?” Tonya asked. Gabriel opened the cooler to show her five fish. She uttered a “wow,” and gave him a thumbs up. “Looks like you take after your father’s side of the family when it comes to fishing.”

“I caught three of them.” Leaning over, Gabriel told her in a low voice, “I used a secret bait that my grandmother taught me about.”

Officer Brewster handed a gift bag to David. “For you, from all of us guys.”

David regarded the wrapped box with suspicion. “What have you guys done? We invited you to breakfast, and you brought me a present.”

“We’re only fifteen years late,” Bogie said with a chuckle.

With an arched eyebrow, David ripped the wrapping off to reveal a cigar box. “I should have known!” He opened the box to reveal the cigars encased in blue wrappers.

He gave the box to Mac to pass around for everyone to enjoy after their meal. When Gabriel tried to reach into the box, Mac pulled it back with an “uhhah” sound and a shake of his head.

As their guests settled down to eat, David took Hope’s hand. “I’m glad all of you could make it today. I know this was short notice.”

“You invited all of us to a sunrise breakfast last night,” Tonya said while taking her seat next to Officer Fletcher. “That’s not short notice at all.”

“Well, I wanted you to meet Hope and Gabriel—though I’ve heard that Tonya got the word out pretty fast.”

“Email blasts are great!”

“In case you haven’t read your email,” David said, “Hope is a dear friend of mine from the past and Gabriel is our son.” He waited for the applause and shouts to quiet down before adding, “She did a great job raising him.” He gave Gabriel a playful head slap. “He’s a great kid, but he still has his moments.”