Deadly Secrets

By: Jen Talty

book three NY State Troopers


First, to my friend Laura Benedict. Without your support, this book would have never seen publication.

To Wendy S. Marcus, for your support and encouraging words.

And to Jennifer Probst. You always make me smile.

Chapter One

PATTY HARMON CHECKED the time on her cell phone as a new client left the law offices of Winston and Associates, followed by an entourage of men in very expensive suits, including her boss and his two junior associates. It was only four in the afternoon, but considering this particular client had his own driver, as she noted from her picture window, she figured whatever the man wanted, he got. She squinted, trying to see if the drivers in the two large SUVs had those wiry things attached to their ears, but she couldn’t see that far.

Winston and Associates was a small law firm dealing mostly with estates, wills, a few local businesses, and the various needs of some of the locals. Lately, however, there seemed to be a wave of new clients. Rich clients. Out-of-town clients.

“Hey, Matt,” she yelled.

“What’s up?” The other paralegal in the office stepped into his doorway, down the hall from hers. She had a view, while he hadn’t a single window, but a view of the parking lot wasn’t much to talk about, and his office was twice in size, with plush office furniture compared to her metal desk. Matt’s office also came with a large bookshelf with all the office resources at his fingertips. When Conrad had hired her, he told her the cushiness of her office was proportional to how much she proved her worth.

“Who’s the new big shot?”

Matt was in his mid to late-forties, nice-looking, with short brown hair graying at the temples, and brown eyes. He’d been with Conrad for about nine years before she came on a year ago, and he got the bigger cases. Hell, half her work came from him, not Conrad.

“Keith Holland of Holland Development. They won the bid for the Casino and are looking into putting it on the old Kendrick Paper Company site.” Matt leaned against the doorjamb, arms crossed. He always wore khaki pants and a well-pressed dress shirt. If it weren’t for the fact he was gay, and she was, well…she couldn’t really call herself involved anymore. Reese had made it clear he was never going to settle down. He’d proven that when she broke up with him two weeks ago, and he shrugged and said, “Well, it was fun while it lasted.” He then kissed her cheek and walked away. She thought he’d argue with her, asking her not to call it off, expressing his devotion to her. Begging her. Yeah, that was a nice fantasy.

But the reality was, Reese just walked away. She had noticed a hint of sadness in eyes. She knew that look. She knew he cared. But he was closed off. Unable to commit. She couldn’t change him.

Nor did she try. Her father had made that mistake, and Patty had ended up paying a huge price for it.

She bit back a sob pushing against her throat. Her life had been so planned. It was going to take some to get over Reese. She should have listened to her cousin when he’d warned her last summer. Then again, if she had listened, she wouldn’t be pregnant.

She dreaded telling Reese he was going to be a father. She could picture the conversation, and it wasn’t pretty. He’d likely accuse her of trapping him. Well, this was no trap. He could be part of his child’s life or not, but she was going to have this baby.

“I still can’t believe we’re going have a casino here in a few years,” she said, pulling herself from a train of thought that could only end with misery.

“Well, Holland plans on making this his home away from home. He’s looking for other properties to buy, a place he can bring his family and extended family for the summer. I guess he’s got a bunch of kids and cousins, all wanting to summer somewhere around here. Seems weird if you ask me”

“Which properties?” Patty asked, intrigued.

“Haven’t been told yet,” Matt said. “I had him pegged for a “summer in Saratoga” than in Lake George, but what do I know? Me and rich people, not a good match.”

She was about to ask why Holland hired Conrad when she heard the familiar sound of a rifle being cocked.