Chapter 6

“McBain,” John said answering the phone later that evening.

“Lieutenant, Hayes Barber just left a cabin out in the woods. He went there after leaving the station. He spent hours there. We asked one of the neighbors about him and the cabin. He’s been up here more in the last two months than in the last year. The neighbor allowed one of us to set up on his property and it looks like Barber buried something in the backyard. Do you think we could get a warrant?”

“Maybe. Let me talk to Nora. I’ll get back to you in a minute.”

“John, Nora’s on her way over here right now,” Evangeline said just before the doorbell rang.

John opened the door and gestured for Nora to enter.

“Hey, Nora,” John said as he followed her into the living room.

“John. Hey, Evangeline.” The two women embraced and took a seat on the sofa.

“Nora, before you and Evangeline start the girl stuff, I need to get a warrant to check out a cabin that Hayes Barber visited earlier.”

“What’s this about?” Nora asked.

“Evangeline, this is police business. If you stay while I talk to Nora, you can’t defend this guy or help with his defense.”

“John, I understand,” Evangeline answered.

John gave Nora the evidence he had and lack there of. He told her what the officers had gotten out of the neighbor. Upon hearing all the evidence and information, Evangeline made a couple of suggestions to ensure the case was solid. Nora got on the phone and got John his search warrant. He kissed Evangeline and headed out to meet his officers so that the search could get underway.


Evangeline hoped that John found the evidence he needed to prove that Hayes was the Killing Club killer. John had been obsessed with the case and only lately had he made any effort to pull back. Evangeline had made every effort to make sure that he ate and got enough sleep. The fact that he was actually sleeping now had helped.

“Hello,” she said answering the suddenly ringing phone.

“Hey, it’s me.” John’s voice was a welcome interruption in her thoughts.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Okay, thanks for the advice earlier. I think it’ll help us.”

“No problem. When should I expect you home?” Evangeline asked.

“I don’t know. It could be in the next hour or hours from now.”

“Well, I’m waiting up for you.”

“You don’t have to do that,” John said. Evangeline knew that John was worried about her and didn’t want her overdoing it after getting shot.

“I want to. I’ll see you when you get home.”

Evangeline replaced the phone in the cradle and sighed. This case needed to be solved and she hoped that would happen tonight. She turned back to Nora, who in turned glanced away.

“Nora, none of this is your fault.”

“I knew something was wrong, but I kept telling myself that Daniel was a good man. Now, I find out that he killed Paul and tried to frame Jen, my own step-daughter.”

“You loved him. You can’t blame yourself for this.”

“I do. I should have seen what he was doing; trying to turn me and Riley against Jen. We both knew that she couldn’t have killed Paul, but Daniel kept feeding us the lie and we believed him. He could have hurt Matthew.”

Tears streamed down Nora’s face, as Evangeline looked on. Evangeline pulled Nora into a hug and comforted her while she cried. Never in her life had Evangeline experienced the pain that Nora was going through; but she knew that it must be devastating.

“Nora, he didn’t. It’s over now, Nora. Daniel’s in jail and we know the truth. He can’t hurt anybody else. You have to let this go.”

“I know. I’m just not sure if I can.”

“Just give it time. You have lots of people who love you; Matthew, me, Bo. We’re all here for you.”

“You are the best friend a girl could ask for.”

“Why, thank you, ma’am. I try.” The two laughed and Evangeline watched a real smile touch Nora’s eyes for the first time since she’d arrived.


Hours later, John trudged into the house to find Evangeline sleeping on the sofa. Since he was so late, he hadn’t expected her to actually try to stay up. He hadn’t had a chance to call her back and let her know just how late he was going to be. John hadn’t expected to get as much information from the FBI as he had.

If Barber was the killer, Evangeline was right. According to the latest from the FBI, Barber’s father, Thomas Crane, was a convicted murderer John had arrested during his first case as an agent. There had been a lot of publicity about the FBI allegedly railroading him. Apparently, he’d left a strong legacy for his only son. As he looked down at Evangeline’s beautiful face, he decided the case could wait.

Instead of waking her, he lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom. She stirred in his arms and nuzzled his neck. This was the life. He’d joked with a couple of his officers months ago about having a beautiful woman at home waiting for him. He didn’t know then how much he would enjoy it. As he placed Evangeline in the middle of the bed, she opened her eyes.

“You’re home.”

“Yeah, I’m home.”

“Did you find what you were looking for?”

“Yeah, I think so. We found a rifle that could have been used in the tire shooting. We’re waiting on ballistics. We also found nails and a coil of wire, the same gauge as that used in the Prescott murder. It was wrapped up in a bag and buried in the back yard.”

“Did the warrant cover the back yard?”

“Yes, ma’am, it did; per your suggestion.”

“Good. I wouldn’t want your evidence to get thrown out.”

“Me either.”

“So, where’s Barber right now?”

“Stokes and Carson are picking him up as we speak. Since we get to keep him for 48 hours before charging him, I came home. We’re still waiting on ballistics and there was nothing I could do there.”

“I’m glad you’re home.”

“Me too,” he said, leaning down to plant a longing kiss on her lips.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.” John watched the rush of emotions cross her face; shock, skepticism, fear, hope.

“What? Where did that come from? You don’t have to say that because…”

John cupped her cheek and placed his thumb over her lips silencing her.

“I know I don’t have to say anything, but I do love you. I’ve known for a while, but I guess I was just scared of saying anything in case something happened to you. Then yesterday something did happen to you, totally unrelated to me. When I realized I could have lost you anyway, I needed you to know how I feel about you. You are the most important person in my life and I just needed you to know that.”

She kissed his thumb and then nipped it, as he watched her eyes fill with pleasure at his confession. He didn’t know how he’d gotten so lucky, but he thanked God. A more perfect woman didn’t exist for him. How could he have ever doubted that they were meant to be together? He was an idiot; that he knew, but when it all came down to it, she loved him and he loved her.

The conversation he and Evangeline had about who they thought they’d end up with came back to him. She’d said as long as they were happy there was nothing wrong with going on. Evangeline was right. He had changed over the years and grown and while he still loved Caitlin, Evangeline filled those parts of him that he didn’t realize were missing. The picture had changed, to something he almost didn’t recognize, but it was even more beautiful than anything he could have imagined. He couldn’t wait to meet that little girl in his dream; if she was anything like her mother, he was in for an adventure.

The End