Pistols & Pies (Sweet Bites Book 2) (Sweet Bites Mysteries)
you up around dusk.” I was going regardless of whether or not she joined me, but I’d like to have her company.
    She considered for a moment and her dark eyes started to twinkle. “You bet. I need to get out for a while, don’t you think? All this sitting is bad for my figure. A walk sounds just about perfect.”
    I grinned. “I’ll drive by and check out the area on my way back to the shop.” The fact that the location was way outside my usual drive was beside the point. A little detour wouldn’t hurt anyone.

     “Are you sure this is a good idea?” Honey asked later that evening as we crept toward the barn. “What if we get caught?”
    “Shhh.” Why was she talking about getting caught? Wouldn’t that be more likely to cause someone to catch us?
    A cow mooed as we tiptoed past an enclosure, making me jump from surprise. Honey squeaked and covered her mouth. I hushed her again, and sidled up to the barn. The cloud cover made the night completely dark, so I could barely make out the silhouette of the building against the sky. My nose wrinkled as a light breeze whipped the smell of manure across me again—there must have been a pile somewhere nearby.
    Finally we reached the corner and I started feeling my way around it. “The door has to be here somewhere,” I said as softly as I could manage.
    “I think we’re on the right side.”
    It was hard to be sure, it was so disorienting in the darkness. My drive-by earlier in the day came in handy. After we followed around the corner of the barn, I found the door and opened it in relief. The sweet smell of hay, the musty interior and the putrid stink of horse droppings assaulted me, but I held my breath and moved inside.
    “The email said it was in the tack room,” Honey reminded me.
    “Great.” Thanks to my teenage crush that resulted in several horse-riding lessons the summer I was sixteen, I knew tack was the stuff you used when you harnessed the horse, but I was unclear whether that was for hooking it to wagons or for saddling them. It had been a long time since I’d ridden, and I hadn’t actually entered the barn all those years ago.
    When the door closed behind us, I pulled out the mini-flashlight Honey had lent me and clicked the button. It didn’t work. It was even blacker in here than outside—if that was possible. “Your flashlight sucks, just so you know.” I tried the switch again, then tested to make sure it was screwed tightly together and it wasn’t just a connection problem. I held in a growl.
    “How many times do I have to tell you? Of course it sucks; it’s not a flashlight, it’s a dark sucker. The batteries must already be full of darkness.” Honey’s voice held a laugh, reminding me of our childhood joke. A moment later, there was a soft light beside me.
    I looked over and saw her holding her cell phone in front of her, using the backlight to illuminate the space. Wondering why I hadn’t thought of it myself, I pulled out my cell phone and turned it on. “You take that side, I’ll take this one.”
    The light didn’t stretch very far, but by following close to the wall, I was able to see what was around me. A horse pawed the ground and there was rustling in the straw—were those mice running around? I found a door and tested it, but it was locked. I made a mental note to come back to it if we needed to and continued on.
    “Come look at this,” Honey hissed to me from across the room. How had she gotten so far down the wall?
    Sweat beaded on my forehead and started to run down my face as I turned toward her. It was stifling in here—didn’t the man care about his horses at all? Shouldn’t there be at least a window to let in a cross breeze? “What is it?”
    Hinges squeaked and reflexively, I jumped, then looked back at the door to see if anyone was coming in. Stupid, I know, but if Mr. Roper caught us here we could be arrested. I really didn’t look good in jail-house orange, so I wanted to avoid that at all costs.

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