Between Here and the Horizon

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Book: Between Here and the Horizon by Callie Hart Read Free Book Online
Authors: Callie Hart
wall with a crash. I didn’t look inside the room. I’d seen enough through the window outside; I was going to be dealing with the nightmares for the rest of my life as it was.  
    I still couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening. Less than twenty-four hours inside the house, and the guy who employed me was dead? How did something like this happen? It categorically made no sense whatsoever. It was such a mistake to leave California. I should never have come here.  
    Both police officers went inside the study. I sat on the bottom step of the staircase and gnawed on my fingernails until they came back out again ten minutes later. “He’s been dead for some time. Body’s very cold. I’m not a forensics guy, but I’d say he’s been there at least six hours, probably.”
    Six hours? So he’d come up to my room last night and thanked me for coming out here, thanked me from the bottom of his heart for agreeing to come all the way across the other side of the country to take care of his children, and then he’d come straight down here, tied a noose around his neck and stepped off a goddamn chair? That’s what it sounded like had happened. God, Ronan had been hanging in there, cold and dead, while I’d been prancing around the kitchen in my PJs, making pancakes, fantasizing about what he might look like all ruffled from sleep, complimenting me on my excellent cooking skills. What a nightmare.  
    The mud from the lawn had dried on my feet and cracked, turned almost white. My big toenail had been bleeding at some point; I must have caught it on something when I ran outside.  
    “Did you have any suspicion that Mr. Fletcher was planning something like this?” the second cop asked. He was squat and muscular. A redhead with a smattering of freckles across his face that he probably hated.  
    “No. No idea whatsoever. Like I said, I barely knew him. He hired me to look after his children. I only arrived on the island yesterday.”
    Sympathy traveled across the guy’s face. “Quite a shock, then,” he said, which was possibly the understatement of the century. “Where are the children now?”
    “Upstairs. I didn’t want them to know anything’s going on.”
    The cop nodded. “Okay. We’ll have to call in CPS. They don’t have an office here on the island. Can you take care of them until someone can come and get them? Might not be until tomorrow now. There’s a storm on its way in.”
    “Uhhh, yeah. Yeah, sure.” Damn. How long was it going to take Child Protective Services to get here? Long enough, I assumed. Long enough that I was going to have to tell Connor and Amie that something had happened to their father.  
    Officer Hinchliff (his name was stitched onto the breast pocket of his thick, waterproof jacket) was right about the storm. Out of the window in the distance, the sea looked choppy and angry, the faint outline of the mainland six miles away a grim gray streak, hovering above the water. Lightning was striking out over the ocean, tearing across the cloud-heavy sky one second, gone the next, like the tail of a whip.  
    “You’re going to have to come down to the station and make a statement as well, Miss. We won’t be able to hand over the documents in Mr. Fletcher’s office until we’ve confirmed that this actually is a suicide.”
    “I don’t think I’ll be taking possession of his paperwork,” I said, shaking my head. “And what do you mean, confirming that this is a suicide? You can’t…you can’t think I did this.”
    Of all the ridiculous, moronic things I’d ever heard, that had to be the most astounding. Officer Hinchliffe was quick to shake his head. “No, no. I mean, it looks pretty straightforward in there, but Mr. Fletcher was a very wealthy man. And what with the letter addressed to you in there—”
    “What? What letter?”
    Officer Hinchliffe frowned at me none too subtly. “So you know nothing about it then? You’ve never seen it before?”
    “I have

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