No Place to Run(2)

By: Marion Faith Laird


“This is Vangie Rae Sutherland. Used to be Vangie Rae McCormick, remember?”

Could she ever forget her old school nemesis? “It’s nice to hear your voice again, Vangie.” The Lord would forgive her for exaggerating. She hoped.

“Goodness gracious, I haven’t seen you in forever!” Vangie sounded delighted. “I’d heard you’d moved back. You’re at the county library, you said?”

“Mmm-hmm.” Reduced to wordless sounds? Really, Lorie, you’re a grown-up. You shouldn’t let her do this to you.

“That explains why we haven’t run into each other, then. Frank and I always go to the city library in West Bluff. How do you like being back here with your family?”

The unbusinesslike tenor of the conversation gave Lorie a headache, but she answered automatically.

“It’s been fine...” Lorie caught Jen’s Momzilla I’ll get you if you don’t ’fess up right this second face. “Look, when I went into my office just now, I found a threatening note on my desk.”

“Ooh, that sounds serious.” The threat might sound serious, but Vangie sure didn’t. A clicking sound issued from the phone speaker, as if Vangie were making a note on her computer. “Are you still single?”

“What?” The sudden change of subject sent Lorie’s brain reeling. What could her marital status possibly have to do with the case? If there was a case...

“We have several good-looking deputies I’ve been trying to match up with someone, but—”

Fear morphed into irritation. “Vangie, it doesn’t matter. There’s a threatening note on my desk.”

“Well, of course it matters. If you’re not divorced or anything, I’ve got a couple of good Christian boys I could send out.”

Lorie sighed. Vangie Rae must not have outgrown her high-school matchmaking tendencies. Lord, preserve me!

“I’m not divorced. I’ve just been too busy to get married.” Not to mention getting dumped twice by guys I should have known better than to date in the first place. And— No. Lorie refused to dwell on the main reason she hadn’t had a husband or at least a fiancé when she’d left the West.

“Good.” A few clicks issued from the line. “Now, tell me what this note said.”

“Something like, ‘You won’t get away with it.’”

More clicking sounded on the other end of the line. “Can’t you see it?”

“No. I left it in the office. I’m calling from the checkout desk.”

“Oh, very good. It’ll be better if you haven’t got fingerprints all over the place.”

Yanking her attention back from the computer, Lorie switched the phone to her other ear. “We all share the office, so my prints are probably on everything except the note. At least, they shouldn’t be on it, unless the person responsible used my printer paper.”

“Now, now, don’t go looking on the gloomy side, Loretta Lee.” She still pronounced Lorie’s first name as though it were two words: Lo Retta, emphasis on the Lo. “We’ve already alerted one of our deputies.”

“Thanks, Vangie.” There was no sense in taking her frustration out on her old school frenemy. Getting on the wrong side of Vangie Rae had always had dire consequences, even before she was in law enforcement. “I never dreamed you’d grow up to work at the sheriff’s office.”

“Neither did I, but then I met Frank, and my entire career plans changed.”

Frank Sutherland. The Dainger County Sheriff. Duh. Vangie was Mrs. Lawman-in-Chief. Suddenly everything made sense. Vangie was bubbly enough to make the station a friendlier place. With her at the reception desk, crime in Dainger County had probably plummeted to an all-time low.

Until someone decided to threaten the new head librarian...

“Let’s see now. We have several single deputies, and I’ve put in a request for—”

“Vangie, I’m not angling for a date.” Lorie fought down her irritation. Especially not a deputy! “I just want to find out who sent the note and stop them from sending any more.” There. At least she sounded calm.

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