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Authors: Suzanne Rossi

Tags: #Suspense, #Contemporary

The Reunion

BOOK: The Reunion
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Praise for Suzanne Rossi

Dedication

Other books by Suzanne Rossi

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Epilogue

A word about the author...

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Thank you for purchasing this publication of The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

The Reunion

by

Suzanne Rossi

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

The Reunion

COPYRIGHT © 2013 by Susan Peek

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Cover Art by
Kim Mendoza

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com

Publishing History

First Crimson Rose Edition, 2013

Print ISBN 978-1-61217-801-1

Digital ISBN 978-1-61217-802-8

Published in the United States of America

Praise for Suzanne Rossi

“I found [
ALONG CAME QUINN
] entertaining and a quick read. It’s a fun road romance with a twist on the treasure that I think is different yet believable. And it just goes to show that sometimes you can’t see what’s right under your nose.” ~
Dear Author

“I couldn't wait to turn each page to see what would happen next. Suzanne Rossi has definitely been added to my must-read list. The terrific twist on the run of the mill mob story makes [
ALL IN THE FAMILY
] a definite keeper.”

~Theresa Joseph, The Romance Studio

“[
A TANGLED WEB
] has to be THE BEST romantic/suspenseful/mystery novel that I have read to date. The love scenes were perfectly timed with the plot, the suspense kept me turning the pages, and the mystery was superbly developed. Once I started reading it, I could not stop.”

~Happily Ever After Reviews

“[
NEARLY DEPARTED
] is the BEST ghost story I have read in a long time. The wacky cast of characters is so colorful and fun that they bring the story to life.”

~Night Owl Reviews

“I really got a good laugh out of [
HEAR NO EVIL
] and enjoyed the plot immensely which draws you in from the beginning... This author has done an incredible job penning this amazing tale.”

~The Romance Studio

Dedication

This book can have only one dedication and that's to the Carmel (Indiana) High School class of 1965.

(Yeah, I'm that old!) Our fiftieth reunion is looming

and I want to give them all something to think about—BWAHAHAHA.

~

Seriously though, high school for me was mostly not being part of the "in" crowd, but standing on the sidelines. None of the characters in
The Reunion
are taken from real life but are drawn from people I have known over the years, including myself. Strange—in 1965 I graduated without a backward glance. Now I am busy trying to reconnect with my classmates.

~

So to Cindy Hinshaw Weir, Carolyn Roth Richardson, Avie Szabo Stamm, Pam Wisler Mills,

Judy Michael Roeder, Harold Lowry, Steve Perrine, and so many more,

thanks for letting me back into your lives.

I hope you enjoy reading the story

as much as I liked writing it.

Other books by Suzanne Rossi

available from The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Along Came Quinn

All in the Family

A Tangled Web

Nearly Departed

Hear No Evil

Deadly Inheritance (coming soon)

Death Is The Pits (coming soon)

 

Prologue

May 10
th

Obituary page of the
Grandview
News-Journal,
Grandview, Indiana:

Tami Robinson McGovern

Tami McGovern, nee Robinson, age 38, died May 2
nd
at her home in Malibu, California. The former resident was a cheerleader at Grandview High School and had the distinction of being voted both Homecoming and Prom Queens two consecutive years. Ms. McGovern moved to the west coast shortly after graduation…

I stopped reading. The obit didn’t say Tami had been stabbed in the back—by me. She answered the door of the opulent beach home totally unsuspecting.

“Holy crap! Who the hell sent this?” She snatched the huge bouquet of flowers from my arms without giving me a look.

I counted on that. Who really looks at a delivery person? As usual, Tami came first. Rage fueled my determination. It welled in my chest, threatening to crush my hammering heart. My doubts vanished. I had to kill her. She deserved it.

When she turned her back to close the door, I struck, plunging the nine-inch chef’s knife between her shoulder blades. The arrogant bitch cried out, staggered forward, and fell face first into the thorny roses. I stepped into the house enjoying the gurgling noises coming from her throat and her feeble efforts to rise.

The blood flowing across her back and dribbling onto the cold marble tiles of the foyer gave me enormous satisfaction.

Leaning down, I whispered, “One down and lots to go. Roast in hell, bitch.”

I waited until the choking noises stopped and she lay still, then turned, crossed the threshold, and closed the door behind me with a soft click. No one paid any attention as I walked down the sidewalk. After all, I was only a delivery person.

It was so easy. Much easier than anticipated.

I jumped up, ran into the den, grabbed the scissors from the desk, and carefully cut out the obituary, then slipped it between the pages of a book.

****

Page 3, Sports Section of the
Grandview News-Journal,
dated June 12
th
:

Former Grandview High School Football Star Dies

Edward Mancuso, age 39, died Wednesday, June 6
th
in Harrison, Texas, the victim of an apparent hit and run. Mr. Mancuso was the former quarterback of the Grandview Wildcats. His pin-point throwing accuracy carried the team to its only state championship in…

I sipped my soft drink.
Yeah, Mr. Big-Football-Hero.
The paper didn’t say Eddie was a total loser. With all of his so-called athletic prowess, he ended up driving an old semi across the country. Mechanical problems landed him in Harrison, a grubby little town not far from Ft. Worth. Lacking funds to make repairs, he lived hand-to-mouth at a seedy motel next to a truck stop.

I killed him, too. Just like his bitch of a girlfriend, Tami Robinson. Without transportation, old Eddie had been forced to walk the mile from the cheesy bar where he ate dinner every night to his room. The road was dark and narrow. Perfect for my purpose.

Stealing the pickup was a piece of cake. Nobody locked their cars in Harrison, and some even left the keys inside. I hit pay dirt on my third try.

I gave Eddie a ten-minute head start, and then followed in the rapidly descending dusk.

It was so easy. With my headlights off, he didn’t see me hurtling down on him, and by the time he did, it was too late. I nailed him. His body flew backwards over the truck, his scream echoing in the still night air. A thrill went through me. I jammed on the brakes and watched in the rearview mirror as he hit the pavement, tumbling like a rag doll. I fist-pumped like a jazzed-up linebacker, reversed gears, and backed over him just to make sure.

Finished, I stepped from the cab and walked toward his broken, bleeding body. His eyes glazed and questioned. He didn’t recognize me, but why should he? Twenty years is a long time.

“Have a good evening, Eddie.”

I waited until the last breath gasped from his lungs, and then left.

“Number two has been sent to the hell he deserves. Time for number three to pay.”

This article joined the obituary I cut out last month.

****

Obituary in the
Grandview
News-Journal
dated July 13
th
:

Clara Sylvester, Educator, Dies

Clara Sylvester, age 83, died unexpectedly last July 11
th
at the Better Life Assisted Care and Rehabilitation Facility in Muncie, Indiana, where she had been recovering from a broken hip. Ms. Sylvester taught government and civics classes at Grandview High School for over forty years before retiring, but continued to work in the school bookstore for another ten years. She was revered by her students and fellow teachers alike. Ms. Sylvester was also Youth Coordinator for the Methodist…

Of course, the old bat died unexpectedly. I killed her. She was number three. Revered by her students? Not by me. I hated the old bitch. Meddling in other people’s lives was her stock in trade, and because of that, she needed to pay just like Tami and Eddie.

This was both the easiest and the hardest to pull off. It’s tough to breeze into a nursing home without someone asking who you’re there to see, but a pair of white slacks and a baggy white coat made me look like a nurse or an orderly. I sailed in the front door as if I knew where I was going—which I did. I’d scoped the place out earlier pretending to be a visitor. The busy receptionist gave me the room number without hesitation.

The next night, I strode with confidence toward her room. No one questioned me. I was just another employee. I snatched a pillow from a gurney in the hallway.

Clara was watching television from her bed. She looked up and frowned.

“What now? You’ve already shoved all those pills down my throat.”

“I’m here to make sure you’re comfortable.”

“I don’t need another pillow,” Clara grumbled as I approached.

“Oh, but you do.” I took the remote from Clara’s fingers, tossing it onto the covers just out of reach. When she fumbled for it, I shoved her back.
For once I’m in control, you old bitch.
I was about to exact the ultimate revenge for her actions those many years ago.

“Hey! Stop it! You have a lousy bedside manner
.

“So I’ve been told.”

The cranky old crow reached for the nurse’s call button beside her head. I pulled it away. Elation at her look of surprise gave me confidence.

“Too late for that, Clara.”

She drew in a sharp breath and opened her mouth.

With a swift move, I pressed the pillow over her face. She struggled, but the punches had no weight behind them. I pressed harder. Gradually, all movement ceased. I waited several seconds before tossing the innocuous murder weapon onto the foot of the bed.

I left the room and gloated. She paid—just like they’d all pay. I felt no guilt, merely a sense of justice finally being done.

I cut out the obit and slid it into the book with the others. My mission was more than half over. Strange, but I never expected murder to be so easy. I shrugged.
Easy is better than hard. And time is running out.

The reunion was six weeks away.

Chapter One

August 25
th

Grandview, Indiana

Welcome to the Reunion!!

Meghan Donahue read the sign over the doors to the ballroom of the Grandview Inn, her heart pounding with both anticipation and fear.

“Come on, Meghan, open the damned door. Don’t be a jerk,” she muttered to herself. She’d stalled in her room for over twenty minutes, hiding like a frightened gopher, before finally screwing up enough courage to emerge. “It’s been twenty years. You can do this.”

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