Home > Haunted House (Krewe of Hunters #35.5)(7)

Haunted House (Krewe of Hunters #35.5)(7)
Author: Heather Graham

“Or that of weird people who see things through the eyes of others,” Kylie murmured.

“Ben must be the lead detective on this case—the missing tourists. We’ll be fine. But—”

Kylie swung in her seat to watch him as they drove. “Of course, we could find out that someone did get into Brenda’s historic dream home and set her up to find a ridiculous Halloween prank. And, Jon, you’re the agent. And you’re good—incredibly good at what you do. I won’t put myself in any danger,” she promised.

He smiled and nodded and then said, “After I meet with Ben, and we calm Brenda down, I’d like to try and find Obadiah Jones. I have a feeling he might be looking for me.”

Obadiah Jones was an old friend.

A very old friend.

A dead one.

When Jon had been just a kid, Obadiah had been the first spirit to approach him—and with no-nonsense determination. Obviously, not many people would listen to a dead man.

But a child had been kidnapped.

Thanks to Obadiah insisting that Jon act—even if he was only a kid at the time—the crime had been nipped in the bud.

Also thanks to Obadiah, Jon had learned in his later years that he wanted to serve his country so he could then go into law enforcement.

“I’d like to see Obadiah, too,” Kylie said.

“We’ll search for him together,” Jon promised and managed a smile. “We’ll search for him or he’ll find us, I’m sure.”

“Yep.”

“I wonder if he can help.”

“He’s an amazing spirit,” Kylie said. “If we need help and we’re not just looking at a Halloween prank, that is.”

They had traveled no more than forty-five minutes before Jon’s phone rang. He answered it through the car system.

“Jon Dickson.”

“Jon,” Ben said.

“And Kylie. I’m here, too, Ben. And thank you,” Kylie said.

“No,” Ben said wearily, “Thank you.” He hesitated. “We definitely found our second victim. And, sadly, this wasn’t any kind of a Halloween prank.”

 

 

Chapter 3

 

At the hotel, the young desk clerk looked at Jon and Kylie as if they were a bit insane. Of course, it was five in the morning, and they’d both forgotten just how crazy Salem could be at this time of year.

“There’s nothing left? Nothing at all?” Jon asked, even though he knew the answer. Haunted Happenings drew people from all over the world, not just the country. He should have thought about it, and he should have asked Jackson to have Angela Hawkins Crow—Jackson’s wife and executive second—to work on securing a room for them.

“I’m so sorry,” the young woman told them. “We’re in the middle of Haunted Happenings. We don’t have any rooms.”

Kylie smiled. “Right. Of course. You have likely been sold out forever. But a friend of mine was going to try to check in tonight—”

“What’s the woman’s name?” the young clerk asked.

“Brenda Riley,” Jon answered.

“Oh, yes. She’s at the police station—not in a bad way. I mean, she didn’t do anything wrong. I’m sorry. I actually know Brenda. We went to high school together. She was definitely upset tonight. Arlo, from the evening shift, told me that she’d been holed up in a booth in the back of the bar for a few hours. I didn’t come on until just after she left. Arlo said that a nice officer came for her, and Brenda went with him. She wanted a room, but even if I’d been on, and even for Brenda…there’s nothing I can do. One of the managers gave away the last of our hold-back rooms yesterday. Now I’m worried about Brenda, too. Um, maybe you should try calling her?”

“She’s okay. She just had a frightening experience,” Kylie said. “And the officer who collected her is a friend. I will give her a call now. I didn’t do it along the way because I hoped she’d somehow managed to get some sleep. Anyway, thank you so much for your help.”

The girl at the desk shuddered and then spoke softly as if someone might have come into the lobby or the walls had suddenly grown ears.

“I don’t know what happened with Brenda, and I don’t know all of what happened in town, but even amid Halloween craziness, the police have been showing a marked presence on our newscasts and the streets. There was a murder. And you know we always have tourists. So many people are really interested in and saddened by everything that’s happened here. But at Halloween…well, I’m guessing maybe we have a demented tourist on the loose. Anyway, please be careful while you’re here. Not that bad things haven’t happened before, but—”

“We know,” Kylie murmured.

“Halloween might just bring out the worst of the worst.”

Kylie thanked the woman and stepped away from the desk. Jon followed her through the quiet lobby.

“I should have called Brenda back,” Kylie said. “I’d hoped maybe she was sleeping, and that Ben had come by and made sure she was tucked safely in a room and getting some rest if he didn’t take her to the police station as you suggested. Of course, she grew up here and has dozens of friends in the area. I’m sure she can stay with one of them. Since you grew up here, too, I’m hoping you know where we can try to get a room.”

“Devin still has the cottage, but it’s a bit out of the way.” He was referring to Devin Lyle, now wife of Craig Rockwell, better known as Rocky to the Krewe. Devin wasn’t an agent, she actually wrote children’s books, but she had worked with the Krewe during the case that had brought Jon and Kylie together.

“Too far away for being in the heart of the investigation here. We should stay at Brenda’s house. At Brim House,” Jon said, watching Kylie carefully.

Her eyebrows flew up.

“With the bodies?” Kylie asked him.

“Kylie, once I get there, they’ll already be taking the bodies away. Ben wants me to see what they found, but they’ve already had to break away more of the false wall. You heard him when he called. Forensics will work the house for several hours, but the electricity came on after midnight, so…”

“Jon, we don’t know—”

“Are you afraid of ghosts?” he asked her dryly, a crooked smile in place.

“Ha-ha. Okay. So, what do we do now?” Kylie asked.

She appeared to be awake and fresh, even alert. He wasn’t sure how. She’d slept in the car for a while, and then she’d driven to give Jon some time to nap. But they’d still only had a couple of hours of sleep each.

It had actually been an easy trip. They’d shared the road with a few truckers and not much other traffic, and manipulated highways that were often bumper-to-bumper with comparative ease.

“I’ll drop you at the station. There’s a breakfast place not far from it. You can spend some time with Brenda while I work the crime scene with Ben. See what she can tell you.”

“You think she knows someone who might have done something so horrible? I think the clerk must be right. Whoever abducted and killed those two tourists must be…well, I think, someone from out of town.”

Jon was quiet for a minute, prompting Kylie to speak again.

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