This serial story is posted one chapter per week on Fridays, in unedited (draft) form. It may contain adult situations that might not be suitable for children. Missed a few chapters? Email me to catch up. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
*Note: Sections denoted with an asterisk are new details that will eventually be added to the earlier parts of the book as well.
Don’t Look Away
Rattlesnake Falls, Book 1
“A background check. Do you run one on all the ladies who insult you during a speed-not-dating round? Or was I more suspicious than your normal bar-bimbo?” She reflexively reached up to touch the scar on her face*. Normally it would have been covered by makeup, but that night, she hadn’t felt like putting in the effort. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d been profiled because of it, though, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.
She’d considered getting it tattooed over like the others on her body, but had never been able to go through with it. Maybe it was time.
Dillon shook his head, his expression bland. “Option C. I’ll explain later, if you’re still speaking to me, but let’s focus on one problem at a time, okay?” He turned to the guard and the officer. “Is the license good enough, gentlemen, or do you need more?”
“This looks real to me.” The guard handed the license to the cop. “The woman making the accusations is upstairs, if you want to talk to her.”
The officer nodded. “I think I should.” He looked at Shelley. “Any idea why she’d accuse you of being an impostor? That’s a pretty serious accusation. If the paperwork Preston has here checks out, I bet you’d have some grounds for a suit.”
Shelley sighed. “She didn’t want me to see her daughter – she blames me for the accident. I don’t know why she’d accuse me of this particular thing though. She’s known me since I was born.” She rubbed her head, her limbs suddenly feeling boneless. “I don’t want to sue or anything like that. I just want to go home and figure out what to do next.”
The officer handed her license back. “You’re from Billings, I see. Planning on staying in town for awhile?”
She shook her head. “Not really. We were just up near Rattlesnake Falls for a…vacation.” The statement seemed ludicris now, with all that had happened.
“I own the Rattlesnake Falls Resort just outside Big Timber,” Dillon said. “I can give you my contact information so you can reach us there, if you need to.”
The officer nodded. “Why don’t you both give me contact information, and I’ll take that birth certificate copy for the case file too. If we need anything else, I’ll be in touch. And if you do decide to file charges against this woman, you give me a call.” He held out a card, and Shelley took it.
“Thank you. Right now, I just need to rest. Can we go?”
Another nod. “Just stay in the area for a few days, in case we need anything.”
Dillon held out his hand and Shelley didn’t even hesitate to take it, though she knew she probably shouldn’t after what he’d done. They walked to his truck in silence, and when he opened the door for her, she climbed up and settled into the seat, clicking the belt into place while he walked around to the other side and joined her on the bench seat.
“You okay?” The truck revved with an exuberant rumble that didn’t exactly match her mood, but she nodded anyway.
“I will be,” she said. “I’m just…I don’t know. I can’t believe Jane did what she did, or that you did what you did, or that Tabby believed her, and everything is just all screwed up right now. I don’t even know what to do right now. Or what to think, or what to say, or what to do….” She sighed and looked out the window, watching houses and trees and cars fly by in the early morning light. Surely this was all just a very bad dream that she’d wake up from soon. Wasn’t it?
She closed her eyes.
Thanks for reading! Check back next week for Chapter 25!
Like this post? Support your author:
Sleep With Me | MacKenzie Saves the World: A Comic Shop Romance | BeauTEAful Summer