sit there just a couple feet from the guy who was counting on me to make sure he rested in peace. Not when I was about to break his nonbeating heart.
I pushed open my door, got out of the car, and drew in a breath of dry, dusty New Mexico air. “It’s like this,” I said, and I didn’t need to look; I felt a chil race up my arms and knew that, even though he hadn’t opened the car door to get out, Goodshot was standing right next to me. There was no easy way to let him down and no better way to get this over with than to blurt it out. “I didn’t steal your bones to bury them.” When he didn’t say a thing, I slid him a look.
“Did you hear me? I said—”
“Back at the cemetery, you told me you were bringing my bones to New Mexico.”
“Yeah, I did. And I wasn’t lying. We’re in New Mexico, right? Except…” I swal owed hard. “I’m not going to bury you here. I’m not going to bury you at al .”
He waved a hand in my direction. “You’re not talkin’ sense. Why come al the way here if you’re not
I told him. Fast, before I could change my mind. I told him about the ransom note. And about Dan.
Wel , not al about Dan. I left out the part about how before Dan’s dead wife whooshed in and took over my body, I was about to hop into bed with him. Not relevant, and besides, it was embarrassing to think I’d had sweet, geeky—and very hot—Dan stolen away by a dead woman.
I finished up with the bit about the silver watchband. I even got my suitcase out of the trunk and dug through it so I could show him the watchband and the photo of Dan, just to prove I was tel ing the truth. When I was done, I held my breath, and glanced at him. “Are you pissed?”
His expression was unreadable. “You could have told me sooner.”
“Then you would have been mad at me sooner, and I would have had to sit in the car with you al this time and feel bad.”
“Do you? Feel bad?”
“I feel…” I pushed a hand through my hair.
Humidity had always been my friend, curl-wise, and Humidity had always been my friend, curl-wise, and back in Cleveland, humidity was one thing I never had to worry about. Out here in what Goodshot cal ed the high desert, it was a different story. In northern New Mexico, the air felt as empty as the rocky, tree-less, and very brown landscape. Already, my hair hung in my eyes, and I promised myself a trip to the local drugstore for ponytail holders as soon as possible. If…
I glanced around at the scrawny plants poking through the cracks in the beat-up blacktop, a weather-battered trailer a few hundreds yards away, the wasteland that surrounded us.
If, that is, I could even find a drugstore in this back of beyond.
“I feel responsible,” I admitted, wishing Goodshot would just fly off the handle and get the yel ing over with. Then maybe we could put the entire I-told-you-the-truth-but-not-the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but behind us.
Instead, al he did was scrape a toe against the gritty ground. His cowboy boot didn’t leave a mark.
“What would kidnappers be wantin’ with my bones?”
This I didn’t know, and I told him as much. I told him, too, that I’d been over it a mil ion times in my head and that it didn’t make any more sense now than it did any of those mil ion times.
Cal me self-centered (not that anybody ever would), but if we were talking about my bones, I would have gotten a little defensive. I guess it’s only natural people think of themselves as indispensable.
And valuable. To think that our earthly remains were just part of some sicko joke was just too weird for words. The only thing I could think of…
“You cursed the city!” I reminded him, even though I shouldn’t have had to.
“What’d you expect? I just got myself blowed up.
Can’t blame a man for being mad.”
He scratched a finger along the back of his neck. “Don’t make no difference, though, does it?
What you’re tel in’ me is that I’m no better off now than I was