Chasing the Skip

Free Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson

Book: Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Janci Patterson
can call him, and he’ll verify who I am. It’s my job to bring that punk in to the police, and I’m happy to help you get your car back in the process, if you’re willing to share some information with me.”
    Caroline reached for her pocket and then closed her eyes. “My wallet was in the car. I was just coming out to get it. That means he has…”
    “Your whole life in his hands,” Dad said, his tone softening. “But that gives us more ways to find him.” Dad handed her his cell phone. “You call the cops and make your report. And when you’re done with that, you can call Cal to check up on me if you’d like. After that, I’d appreciate it if you’d share your license plate number with me, and anything else I might be able to trace to find him.”
    Caroline looked Dad up and down. “You’re really a bounty hunter?” she asked. “Like Big Mike? You don’t look much like one.”
    “That’s what I keep saying,” I said.
    Dad chuckled. “Something like that. I’ll be right here when you’re done with that call.”
    When Caroline walked off a couple of feet to make her call, he shook his head at me. “Don’t use those words with people,” he said. “Gives them all kinds of misconceptions.”
    “Okay. Sorry. I didn’t know you had to have a license.”
    “Depends on the state. I’m registered in the ones that require it. Wyoming doesn’t.”
    “Isn’t Cal going to be upset when he finds out you let Ian steal that car?”
    “Things go wrong on the job,” Dad said. “Cal knows that. He trusts me to deal with it.”
    Dad went to pick up his chain and cuff and stowed them in the trailer. When he came back to the truck he picked up his clipboard and started scribbling notes on it. He looked over his shoulder at Caroline, who stood by the gas pump, talking on his cell phone. Dad swore again.
    “Still, I can’t believe I let him get my keys,” he said. “So stupid.”
    I felt a stab of guilt for not doing something to stop Ian. I’d stood there like an idiot while he took a poor girl’s car. So much for showing Dad I could be helpful.
    Sitting in the cab, I could almost smell him in the stale air. I didn’t have to let him go. I could have intercepted him. In my mind I pictured myself stepping into his way, his body crashing into mine, stumbling, and knocking us both over onto the concrete. His breath puffed against my face as I looked up into his eyes, and then he smiled.
    I turned my head in the direction of Dad’s clipboard, snapping myself out of it.
    “Do you think you can find him again?” I asked.
    “Sure,” Dad said. “It’s not like he’s been such a genius at hiding. It’s just going to take a while longer, now that he knows who’s coming for him.”
    When Caroline came back with the cell phone, she leaned against the side of the truck. “The police say I’m not obligated to share any information with you,” she said.
    “They’re right,” Dad said. “But did they give you odds on finding your car today?”
    Caroline sighed. “Look, I live in Laramie. If I give you the information on my car, could you give me a ride home?”
    “Sure,” Dad said. “Hop in.”
    “But you should know I called my roommate and gave her your license plate number.”
    Dad smiled. “That was probably smart.”
    “I already got my car stolen today,” she said. “I don’t need to get kidnapped, too.”
    Dad opened the truck door for her, and she climbed into the back seat. As she sat down, she eyed the bolt and chain on the floor but didn’t comment.
    “So,” Dad said as he started the engine. “Tell us everything you can about the car and the wallet. Make, model, year, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, everything.”
    Caroline was quiet for a moment. “My credit card numbers, huh? How’s that going to help?”
    “This guy’s a thief, right?”
    “Apparently.” Caroline still sounded confused. I smiled back at her, trying to look comforting.
    “So he’s

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