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Authors: Phyllis Smallman

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BOOK: Jack Daniels and Tea
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“I need the money, Sherri.” He smiled, still oozing warmth and charm, but I hadn't a doubt in the world that he was going to kill me.

“Wait.” Charlie raised his arm. “Think about it. There's enough for both of us and you need me.” Charlie was begging and moving slowly forward with both palms raised. “If you kill her how are you going to hide the body?”

Mark frowned and came out from behind the bar as he worked on the problem. Cute, but no brains. That was my Markie.

Charlie was almost bouncing in excitement, sweat beading on the bald dome of his head. “I've got a plan. I'm having a new house built out on South Beach. They're pouring concrete tomorrow. We bury her under the pad then you take her car up to the airport and ditch it. They'll think she left town.” Every inch of him was leaning towards Mark, straining to convince him. “The cops will think Yates's death was a robbery. Just another mugging. There won't be a thing to connect us to it.”

Mark cocked his head to one side, weighing his options. He said, “I don't know,” but he was wavering.

Charlie moved closer to the bar…closer to me. “And without me, how are you going to collect on that ticket? It doesn't take a genius to see the problem.”

This was a good thing because even before Mark started on his avocation of recreational drugs he hadn't been a genius.

Charlie delivered the clincher. “There's a murder here tonight and next week a bartender collects on the ticket, what will the betting be? But not with me. I'm as clean as can be,” Charlie bragged. “No one will ever suspect anything if I collect.”

It was true. While there might be a whisper that he was having financial problems, his social position was without equal. On the city council and head of Rotary, his name was in the paper every week for something important. No one would ever suspect he was a murderer.

Charlie's confidence was back and he moved forward as if Mark was holding nothing more threatening than the nozzle for club soda. “Let's get out of here and get rid of her.”

I inched sideways, trying to put a little room between me and Charlie but his arm whipped out. Grabbing me by the hair, he yanked my face up close to the source of his bountiful perspiration.

“Let her go.” The voice that came out of the shadows startled even me.

“Hurting her will only make it worse.” Our assistant state attorney, Jordan Parrish, stepped into the room. Behind him came two guys in uniforms.

That's when Mark tried to shoot Jordan. As if I'd ever give Markie a loaded gun. He'd just been so damn eager to be involved I let him hold the revolver but if I'd known he was going to shoot Jordan I might have been tempted to load it.

As a way of encouraging Charlie to follow orders, I sank my teeth deep into his big forearm. Charlie screamed and threw me away from him. I scrambled to my feet and ducked under the lift counter. Hiding behind the bar, I listened to the noise of flying chairs and crashing tables.

When the grunting was done and the lights went up, I heard a cop reading them their rights. I resurfaced and, with shaking hands, started to mix myself a Long Island iced tea.

BOOK: Jack Daniels and Tea
8.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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