First Page: Romantic Suspense, Dead and Buried
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When Momma died, Timmy and I ran. The way I saw it, any man who'd stab a woman five times, then slit her throat and leave her lying on the floor, blood soaking into the worn carpet and running in rivulets down the ancient grout between the kitchen tiles, wouldn't hesitate to get rid of any other little inconveniences in his life.
from A Bad Day To Die by Lucy Sadler Caldwell [DRAFT]
"You have to do something about her."
"Hmm?" Ethan purely hated having his breakfast disturbed. Not that he hadn't expected it. The hum of gossip when he'd arrived, along with the fact that the level had dropped almost immediately as the occupants became aware of him, had set his instincts singing. He'd felt the weight of the diners' stares viscerally, in a way he hadn't since first moving to town nine months earlier, and had fully expected one of the clusters of gossip-mongers to appoint a delegate to approach him. The foreknowledge, however, didn't soothe his irritation, especially when he saw who they'd chosen. With a sigh he did his best to hide, he put aside the paper, swallowed the last bite of his fried egg sandwich, and focused on the seventy-three-year-old woman who'd sat herself down across the table in his favorite booth at Maxie's diner.
"That girl is nothing but trouble. None of us want her here, and it's your job to make certain she understands that." Clara Mae Wilson considered herself the arbiter of Dobbs Hollow taste and sensibility. Painfully thin with the posture of the ruler she no doubt used on her students' knuckles at Dobbs Hollow High, the woman brought out the teenage rebel still lurking inside his thirty-eight-year-old frame.
Clara had made a point of coming by the station his first week as Dobbs Hollow's Chief of Police. She'd brought him a tuna casserole. Not because she approved of him–her nephew was Chief of Detectives with the Adams County Sheriff's Department and should have been promoted before they hired some city boy–but because it was her Christian duty. As Ethan couldn't abide tuna casserole and had little patience with small town politics, his first impression of Clara hadn't been positive. And given that she had a new complaint every week, he hadn't had the chance to find out whether absence would make his heart grow fonder.