Sweet Dreams, Irene

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Book: Sweet Dreams, Irene by Jan Burke Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jan Burke
Tags: Fiction, General, Suspense, Thrillers, Mystery & Detective
something that will have a little weight with the public. Were you around the night the photo was taken?”
    “No, Daddy took us with him on his rounds of meetings that night.”
    “Is that usual?”
    “Not really. He brings us to the really big stuff—you know, fancy dinners and all of that—but mostly I think he wants us out of the way.”
    “Do you know any of the kids in this coven?”
    “No, just Sammy. She knows about Jacob and me, but I haven’t spent much time around her. She kind of—well, she hangs out with a different crowd. But she’s been good about not telling anyone about us.”
    “Do you know who took the photo?”
    She shook her head.
    “Do you know how your father found out about this coven?”
    Again, no.
    “I’m sorry, Julie. I think it’s great that you’ve risked talking to me and that you’re trying to be of help. But I just don’t see what it is I can learn from you that will counteract what’s in that flyer. I like Jacob, too, but I can’t just make things up; I’ve got to report the facts as clearly as I can.”
    For a moment, I thought I was going to be three-for-three in teenage crying jags, but she surprised me. Her disappointment couldn’t be hidden, but she held back the tears. “Jacob really likes you,” she said. “It’s funny, he’s all excited about being on the paper at school. I think it’s the only good thing going for him right now.”
    “I suspect you’re on the list of good things going for Jacob Henderson. As far as the flyer goes, I’d suggest you try not to take all of this on your own shoulders. It’s something your fathers are going to have to fight about; it’s not anything you have any control over. Just try to hang on until next Wednesday.”
    “By then the whole county is going to believe Jacob worships the devil.”
    “By then the whole county will have forgotten about it.”
    She shook her head. “I can’t stand watching him get hurt like this. By my own father!”
    Were the tears going to fall after all? No. Determined streak in this one.
    She stood up and reached out a hand. “Thanks for meeting me.”
    “Thank you. Sorry to disappoint you.” I pulled out a business card. “Give me a call if you think of anything or hear anything that might be of importance, okay?”
    I led her out to the main lobby and watched her leave.
    Not half a minute later, Mark Baker came running past me. He stopped at the door and turned toward me.
    “SWAT teams are out down at the harbor. Couple of cops barricaded in a building with a suspect in the Gillespie murders. I think it might be Pete and Frank in there with him. Want to come along?”
    Before I could answer, a voice boomed behind me, “She’s got her own work to do, Baker. Get your ass down there!”
    I turned on John Walters. All the fear that had hold of me a split second before had turned to a blinding rage. He saw it in my face. He mirrored it in his own. Just as I was ready to start screaming at him about finding a small, dark lodging place for this job, a soft voice spoke up.
    “Why, Mr. Walters, I can’t believe you meant to say that. If it weren’t for Detective Harriman, we wouldn’t know who killed Mr. O’Connor. And I hate to think of what would have happened to Miss Kelly. You don’t mean to keep her here while he’s being shot at?”
    It was Geoff. Blessed Geoff, who will someday inherit the earth. He somehow took the wind out of our sails.
    John sighed. “Shit. Come on, Kelly. I’ll take you there myself.”
    This was startling. John didn’t go out on stories. I just stood there, feeling numb.
    “Well, for godsakes, Irene, you don’t think I’m going to let you go down there to face that alone, do you?” he said gruffly, taking my elbow and propelling me toward the door.
    I turned and shot Geoff a look of gratitude, but the anxious look on his face made me suddenly feel the impact of every word I’d heard in the last few minutes.
    I let John pull me out

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