Death and Her Devotion(5)

By: Kendra Elliot

“What did you talk about?”

“What didn’t we talk about?” Josh spread his hands. “Work, girls, beer, fishing. Then we each went to our own tent after eleven. Toby went to bed first. Then Spider, and then Chase and I went last . . . I told the other officer I thought it was close to midnight.”

“How did Chase seem? Was he concerned about anything?”

“He’s always concerned. He’s making a lot of money right now, but it could all dry up in a split second. His series could be canceled. He might never get another job and find himself shooting Viagra commercials. It’s like a dark cloud always hanging over his head.”

“I imagine he feels responsible for the three of you in some way too. Without him, you’re all out of a job.”

Josh shrugged. “Tell me something I don’t know.”

“What will you do for work now? I assume Chase was the only actor you managed?” She pushed, wanting him out of his comfort zone and on edge.

“I’m out of a job,” he said softly. “I went to LA with Chase and I did the acting classes and auditions too. I can go back to it, but I didn’t have the magic that Chase did. He was special, you know? The camera loved him.”

“He was very popular,” Stevie agreed. Josh was right. Chase had the It factor—that special something that’s hard to describe but that you know when you see it. “Who were his enemies?”

Distaste crossed his face. “Chase didn’t have enemies. Everyone loved him.”

“Who’d want to hurt him?”

“I don’t know. It had to be some psycho . . . someone passing through town or some crazy nut who lives here. Surely you know the people around here that would be capable of this. Why aren’t you out searching for them?”

“Yeah, I need to go line up our usual suspects,” Stevie said evenly. She leaned forward and held his gaze. “Step one is to interview the people who were actually there when he died. Like you.”

He looked down at the table.

“Did you hear anything after you went to bed? Who else knew you were camping here?”

Josh kept his gaze down. “I didn’t hear anything, and I fell asleep right away. Chase’s agent knows we’re here. Brandon’s mom, Jenny. Probably Chase’s publicist.”

“Write down their names and numbers.” Stevie pushed a note pad across the table. Josh took out his phone and started copying contact information.

“You don’t know of anyone who had it in for him?” Stevie asked again.

“No.” Josh didn’t look up from his writing. “He’s got the usual weirdo fans who send him hate mail or whatever. We turn it over to the police. There’s never been anything that really concerned us. Well . . . that’s not quite true.”

“What happened?”

“It’s a crazy chick. She was dating an acquaintance of ours but has been obsessed with Chase. She got in a fight with her boyfriend and set his apartment on fire back in LA. He said they fought over Chase. She seemed to think she could actually be with him if this guy wasn’t in her way.” Josh grinned. “She’s nuts. She pops up here and there every now and then, taking pictures of Chase, but we can usually ditch her.”

“She set her boyfriend’s apartment on fire?” That was an angry woman.

“It was a small fire. She showed up in Hilton Head last time Chase was on vacation, but security got rid of her.”

“That’s on the other side of the country.”

“She gets around.”

Josh didn’t seem worried, but Stevie thought it was one of the nuttier stories she’d heard. Maybe this woman’s actions were typical when someone was a big star. “Add what you know about her to that list, please.”

“You’re gonna figure out who did this, right?” Josh asked, his eyes pleading with her.

She looked him over. She’d expected a big Hollywood manager to be screaming for her to call in the FBI, CIA, and NSA to figure out who’d murdered a national treasure. Instead he seemed willing to let their small-time police department handle it.

Something wasn’t right.

Toby was a wreck.

Zane had had to find a replacement box of Kleenex after Toby emptied one during the first two minutes of their interview.

“You and Chase were close?”

“He was like my brother. Sometimes I liked him better than Josh. Actually a lot of the time.” More sniffling.

“What did you do for Chase?”

“Whatever he needed. The four of us share a big house in LA. I do most of the cooking because I went to culinary school. I try to make his life easier so he can focus on his job.”