Presley heads home to celebrate Christmas with her family expecting it to be a relaxing holiday until her old boyfriend, Brian, unexpectedly shows up at her parents’ house on Christmas Eve. He is desperate for her help finding out who has been stealing from his business and Presley is happy to help. However, things turn more serious when Brian calls her Christmas morning to tell her, Tommy, the guy he thought might have been stealing from him was found dead at his shop. The more Presley investigates, the more things don’t add up. Even if Tommy was the thief who killed him and why? Secrets don’t last long in small towns.
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Review by: MJ Davidson on Dec. 10, 2011 : This book is written well. It is interesting and easy to follow. I was a bit disappointed in the ending because it seemed rushed, but it was a good short story. Thanks for sharing!
“Who’s there?” Tommy called out. The garage was pitch black with only a flashlight for light, and the batteries were going out as it barely had a faint beam. Tommy thought he heard footsteps behind him, but when he stopped the footfalls ceased. Or maybe he was imagining things. For the millionth time he was second-guessing himself. The only reason he was going along with it was he didn’t know how to get out of it. He felt so bad because he really liked Brian. His dad was right, he was a screw up.
He continued walking over to the office at the back of the garage then heard a loud banging. That I didn’t imagine, Tommy thought to himself. He spun around and shined his light in front of him and yelled again, “Who’s there?”
A man walked into his weakening light. Tommy’s jaw dropped. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m sorry, Tommy.” It was then Tommy noticed there was a gun pointed on him.
“Noooo!!!!” Tommy threw the flashlight at the man in an effort to protect himself, but it was too late.
“When are you going to get down here?” my mother asked as soon as I answered the phone.
“Hello to you too, Mother.”
“Presley, there are a lot of people I’m trying to coordinate for Christmas Eve dinner. You’re not making it easy.”
I sighed. I wasn’t making it easy? She was the one who was adamant everyone arrive no later than six, and we couldn’t eat unless everyone was present. “We plan on leaving the city about noon,” I said. “So we should be to your driveway about threeish, four at the latest depending on the traffic. What time are Jesse and Ashley coming in?”
“I’m not sure. He hasn’t returned my calls. You know your brother.”
Did I ever. What wasn’t fair was that my mother let him slide whereas she was all over me for every little thing. His luck being the baby of the family. Her comment made me wonder, though. I had also left a couple messages for him that he hadn’t returned and to ignore both of us made me wonder if something was wrong.
“Is Cooper going to stay at his dad’s or did he want to stay here?” my mother said interrupting my thoughts.
“With us here. He will visit his dad while we’re in town, but the farther he stays away from his step mom the better they all get along,” I said.
“I don’t doubt it. That woman is dreadful.”
Cooper’s mom had left a long time ago, when he was really young. His dad had eventually remarried this horrible bitch, to put it mildly, when Cooper was in high school. She was the stereotypical stepmother who wanted the child out of the way, and she didn’t try to hide it. Well except from Cooper’s dad who didn’t seem to notice the tension – or chose to ignore it. Cooper did his part to keep the peace just to make his dad happy. Unfortunately, as an adult that meant not coming around all that often. “You can say that again,” I said.
“Now because your Aunt Kate and Uncle Peter are coming, Cooper will probably have to bunk with Jesse and Ashley with you. You know I don’t believe in sharing a room when you’re not married.”
“I know, Mom.” She was old fashioned that way, but I had to admit it didn’t bother me as much as sleeping with Cooper under my parent’s roof would. I guess that meant I was old fashioned, too.
“Well call me when you leave so I know you’re on your way.”
“Will do Mom.” I got off the phone with her and wondered if I should give Jesse a call. I looked at my watch. I had time before meeting Anna. I dialed his number, and the phone just rang and rang. Finally the voicemail picked up only to announce the voicemail was full. That was unusual. Now I know mom and I weren’t the only ones he was ignoring, I thought. This knowledge, however, just made me more worried that something was actually wrong. But with him in Vegas there wasn’t much I could do but wait for him to call back. Maybe I was overreacting and he was just busy. I hoped that was it; he was my baby brother, after all.