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Where Mustangs Run

Novel By: Marzy Dotes
Romance



Set one year after "Darkness before Dawn", with Fiona in Colorado helping ranchers and Chance back in L.A. will they find their way back to where they belong? View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12

Submitted:Jan 8, 2012    Reads: 19    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Fiona pulled the rover up in the parking lot next to City Hall close to where a large crowd of people had congregated around the building, some of them holding signs.

Bonnie saw them drive up and came running up to the car with Jason and Maggie just behind her.

"Mayor Parker's here with that developer, Steve Kilroy, and they're getting ready to make some sort of announcement."

Fiona got out of the car.

"Can they do that," she asked Jason.

"He can make an announcement but not speak on behalf of the city council."

"What's he going to say," Cassidy said, looking around at all the people.

"I don't know Cassidy," Fiona said, "But I doubt it's good news for us."

"Look, the temporary injunctive papers have been filed on the Flynn place and the Wyatt sale's being looked at," Jason said, "We need to get in touch with them to see if the developers used the same tactics to get them to sell that they've tried with the Flynns."

"Yeah, they'll still have the Wyatt land regardless," Fiona said, "But we can find out the tactics that were used to check for a pattern."

"Speaking of tactics, we heard about your car," Maggie said.

Fiona shrugged.

"Sheriff told us it was kids."

"Do you believe him?"

"No, I don't but we have no proof otherwise," Fiona said, "And they're just trying to scare us off of this fight."

"It's not going to work," Jason said, "And if we have to go for the next step in Denver, we'll just do it."

"I have a feeling that is what we're going to have to do, Jason."

Fiona looked and saw Cassidy talking to Carter in front of the building but both of them had turned to look at the men who passed them, setting up television cameras.

"The press is here," Fiona said, "What's going on?"

"I guess we're going to find out," Jason said as they walked back to where Cassidy and Carter were standing near the crowd.

Chance placed the icepack on his shoulder and winced.

"Your body really does betray you when it starts getting old," Mac said, walking into the living room area of the penthouse suite, "Every injury no matter how minor comes back like an old ghost."

Chance raised his good hand.

"I get the picture," he said, "But I'm not that old. It's just that this shoulder didn't like getting shot at and won't let me forget it."

Mac nodded.

"Ah that," he said, "We've all been there."

"Brody had to finish out the last stakeout by himself," Chance said, "I don't know if I trust him with the car."

"Brody's a good man underneath his character mannerisms," Mac said, "Linc said he was an excellent cop both on the street and in investigations."

"I know and I like the guy," Chance said, "He just gets impulsive at times."

Mac raised a brow.

"Maybe I do too," Chance said, "But I don't make comments out of the blue or ask questions just to get under the skin of people unless it's part of the job."

"I see," Mac said, nodding, "Brody has clearly mastered that skill. Where did he probe this time?"

"He started pushing me to take a vacation, then he narrowed it down to Colorado."

"Where Fiona 's doing her pro bono work for Jonathon's family," Mac said.

Chance nodded.

"Maybe he's right," Mac said, "Maybe you do need a vacation and the Rockies are beautiful this time of year."

"I'm sure they are, Uncle Mac but like I said, the work's piling up here."

Mac waved his hand.

"It will always pile up Matlock," he said, "It's called the price of success. You've heard the phrase."

Chance scratched his head.

"Yeah I have, someone told me the same thing last night."

"There you go," Mac said, "You could force yourself to work through this caseload and what will happen? You'll get more cases to build it back again. Or you could take a break and let the men you hired help you and the worst thing that will happen, is that it still might be here when you get back."

Chance paused.

"It's not that simple," he said.

"Life seldom is," Mac said, "Especially concerning you and Fiona ."

Chance narrowed his eyes at his uncle.

"What are you talking about," he said, "I'm talking about whether or not I can take a vacation."

"Are you?"

"Of course," Chance said, "What does that have to do with Fiona?"

"She needs your help, she asked for it and you're still sitting around here worrying about your caseload which will always be there over someone who may not be."

"She's only a couple of states away."

"She's further away than that," Mac said, "Something I think that you do know."

"She just told me she didn't need an investigator," Chance said.

"That's not what I'm talking about," Mac said, "I'm talking about needing something else."

Chance sighed.

"Did she tell you that?"

"I think she told you that," Mac said, "The question is whether or not you heard it."

Fiona and Jason stood in front of the still growing crowd in front of City Hall as Parker, KilMac and several other developers walked up to the top step which led into the building. The cameras clicked and the crowd quieted down.

"Greetings my fellow residents of Silver Lode and the surrounding area, I'm Mayor Cal Parker and this is developer Steve Kilroy and his partners. These visionary businessmen were planning on bringing economic security and even prosperity that would have put our town on the map. A brand new ski resort that would rival any other in this or any other state and would have brought glory to this town. With divine providence, they will still have that opportunity."

Kilroy smiled broadly at the audience. A chorus of boos began to sound from the back of the audience. Parker waved his hands to quiet them but they ignored him.

"Now now, this project would have lifted this town's status in Colorado and indeed the Rockies considerably but this morning, some outsiders who have been manipulating the obviously impressionable land owners from the valley filed an order for a temporary injunction against this project. It was preliminary granted by a rather misguided judge based solely on politics which means that Mr. Kilroy and his partners can't continue negotiating to purchase properties needed for this vital revenue producing project."

The boos in the crowd grew louder, threatening to drown Parker out. Several residents raised signs saying "Save our Mustangs" and "No Aspen here".

"So now the town of Silver Lode might be forced to spend its own money to assist in this fight. Our attorney will be conducting a closed session meeting with the city council tomorrow and we will issue our decision publicly once it's been made."

"Wait a minute, why is the Silver Lode City Council going to authorize paying one dime to finance a developer's fight," Bonnie said, shaking her head in disgust.

Parker stepped down and Kilroy stepped up to the microphone.

"Thank you Mayor Parker for your generous offer and thank you for allowing me to speak in this venue. We came to this town bringing our dream and our money to build something that Silver Lode would truly be proud of, a state-of-the-art ski resort which would have contributed greatly to the tax base of this depressed region."

"Depressed," Jed said, "Who is he kidding?"

"But as Mayor Parker said, some malcontents standing in the way of progress have gone to court to try to block the American dream and my partners and I are going to take the necessary steps to stop that so that you, the town's residents can have the American dream. With the revenue that comes in not just for the resort but your own local businesses, you can build an infrastructure that you can truly be proud of and put your town on the lips of the movers and shakers in this country. Thank you for your time."

The booing outnumbered the five or six people who applauded his speech. The two men moved down the steps and were swarmed by the television cameras as reporters interviewed them.

Fiona stood with Jason and Maggie.

"Media stunt," Jason said, "They know that they're going to have a tough time in court against us so they're trying their case in the court of public opinion."

"We've got our work to do too," Fiona said, "And not much time to do it before the hearing in Denver."

"I'm working on the forms," Maggie said, "They should be ready in more than enough time."

"Thanks," Fiona said, "You've been a huge help to us."

Maggie smiled.

"This is beautiful country and I love horses," she said, "I want to see it stay that way."

"So do we," FIONA said.

Cassidy came up to her.

"Reed wants to know if he can take Carter and me to the diner."

Fiona nodded.

"You have to be back at the ranch by ten," she said. "No later."

Cassidy rolled her eyes but ran back happily to Carter and his brother.

"I don't know whether to be happy she's made a friend or concerned that it's a guy."

Maggie laughed.

"You're saying that guys and girls can't be friends?"

"No…of course they can, but it can get really complicated especially at her age," Fiona said, "I think guys make great friends. I know that from experience."

"That investigator you were going to hire," Jason said, "The one from L.A."

"Yeah, the one who's trying to lift his business out from under a pile of cases," she said, "But he's been my best friend for years, since we were younger."

"And you've stayed, just friends?"

Fiona nodded.

"Best friends," she said, "There were a couple of times that we thought about getting more…involved but we decided why mess with a great friendship?"

Maggie nodded and Fiona saw her give Jason a look. Fiona recognized it because she had used it herself many times.

"I can get that logic," Maggie said, "But it's really a lot tougher when the guy's good looking."

Fiona thought about Maggie and Jason, wondering if there were anything else between them than friendship and a solid professional relationship that dated back five years.

"I won't argue with that," she said.

"So are you seeing anyone," Jason asked.

Fiona looked surprised but smiled.

"That's a little complicated," she said, "But the shorter answer is, no."

"That's good to know," Jason said, winking at her.

She started to say something in response but a couple of news reporters approached them, keeping them quite busy for a while.

Chance wandered around the art exhibit, pulling on his neck tie. His second tuxedo that week, he thought as he watched Mac explain to his girlfriend some history of the artist who had brought his collection to the museum as part of a nationwide tour. He watched Sophia nod her head, at his uncle's comments on each piece of art and how she held onto his arm as they walked across the room.

Guests filled the exhibit area and tables filled with trays of Hors d' oeuvres lined the perimeter of the room. Chance walked over to the bar in the corner to buy a scotch. While the bartender filled his glass, Chance looked around for Ginger and saw her talking to a couple of older gentlemen. She saw him watching and threw him a wave. By the time, he left the bar and walked to a statue of an archer positioned in the center of the exhibit, she had walked over to stand next to him. Ginger looked attractive in her gown, the sleeves just off of her shoulders and the scent of lilacs hit his nose.

"Look at the fine line of his arm, how seamless it is between his shoulder and his fingers holding the bow."

Chance looked but saw the miracle of a block of marble transformed into a human being in great detail and thought that was enough.

"So how do you like it," Ginger asked, waving her arm around the room.

He sipped his scotch.

"It's very nice," he said, "My uncle knows much more about this type of thing than I do."

"Oh but surely you have an appreciation for the arts," Ginger said, "Do you collect any artwork?"

"Some, but most of it I encounter through work."

"That must be fascinating."

"I've worked on cases involving paintings and sculptures, some very well known," he said, "Some thefts but a lot of smuggling."

"Ah yes," Ginger said, "I can see how art could be used for…other purposes than stimulating the senses."

"So how long have you been involved in art collections," he asked.

"Oh, since I first visited museums while growing up," she said, "I went whenever I could, wherever I could…the Louvre of course, the Prado, the best museums in Europe and several in Asia. I still get to travel as part of the job."

"That sounds challenging," he said.

"I feel so lucky to get the job a few years ago," Ginger said, "Unfortunately the circumstances were not good. My predecessor was murdered and I was hired to replace her."

"That's too bad," Chance said.

"Life goes on, as they say," Ginger said, "And I love my job."

She grabbed his arm.

"Come, I will show you one of my favorites," she said.

After Fiona finished talking to the reporters, she said goodbye to Jason and Maggie and drove back to the ranch with Jed.

"Nice turnout at the press conference," he said, "I'm sure Parker and the developers weren't happy to see their event turned into something else."

"The public is overwhelmingly against their plans," Fiona said, "You'd think that would make some kind of difference."

He shook his head.

"Money talks even in small towns like this one," Jed said, "Maybe especially in small towns."

"It shouldn't be that way."

"I know but we're going to push this all the way," Jed said, "Not that it's going to be easy."

"Then we'll fight," Fiona said.

"You were great with the reporters," he said, "But I guess you've had some practice."

She nodded.

"Yes I have," she said, "But this was actually fun."

He laughed.

"I'm not sure Parker and this Kilroy character would agree," he said.

"Probably not," Fiona said, "But they should have been smart enough to canvass the residents to see if this is actually something they wanted before investing any more money. That's called living in a democratic society."

"You know things could get pretty rough," Jed said, "I don't trust this Kilroy and his boys one bit. Call it the hunch of an ex-cop but I think we might have trouble ahead."

"There's always trouble ahead in cases like this one which involve lots of money and even more emotions," Fiona said, "I once did a murder case in a small town and ran into some serious trouble there. Even had a Moldav cocktail thrown through the window of the motel where I was staying."

"So what did you do?"

"Called Montana to hire him to help me on the case," she said, "And he dropped what he was doing and did."

"It might not be a bad idea to call him to help you out here," Jed said.

She ran her hand through her hair.

"I've done that too much," she said, "He spent months on the run helping me and when he went back to L.A., his agency was a mess. I offered to help him with the backlog but he told me he was fine."

"He probably knew you needed to focus on helping yourself recover from what happened to you," Jed said.

"I know," she said, "He's really been great about everything but I don't want it to be at his own expense. His agency means an awful lot to him, even more so than when we first started it."

"He's hired some guys to help him," he said.

"Yeah, some of Linc's friends from the LAPD," she said, "They're all very good for the agency and working hard but he still has a lot of cases to clear before he can even think about coming out here."

Chance looked at the statue in the garden.

"What is it," he asked.

Ginger laughed.

"Anything you want it to be," she said, "It's abstract art."

He nodded.

"Often we look at abstract art and see into it what we want to see," she said, "Studying its design and its form tells us a lot about ourselves.

"Like a three-dimensional Rorschach test?"

She raised her brows in surprise.

"I did take psychology courses in college," he said, "and more training in the military. It's very important in my line of work."

"I imagine," Ginger said, "So when you look at this piece what do you see?"

Chance's phone rang.

"Excuse me a minute," he said, taking out his phone. He saw that it was Brody.

"Brody, I'm out at an art function," he said, "What is it that can't wait?"

"I was sitting at home with the wife, two children tucked away for the night and…"

"I'm not sure I want to hear this," Chance said, looking at Ginger, "Especially not right now."

"Oh…well anyway, my wife turned on the news and we saw Fiona speaking on it and…"

" Fiona, why was she on the news?"

"Oh, she was giving a news conference on that case she's working on out in Colorado," Brody said, "She did very well too."

"Is that what you called me about?"

"No, I received some information on our jewel thief," Brody said, "He managed to unload his cargo to the middleman and he's in your area."

"I'm dressed up and getting a personal tour at the premiere art exhibit in the city right now."

"So," Brody said, "You'd rather be doing that than getting the goods on this guy?"

Chance sighed.

"Not really," he said, "When can you pick me up?"

"I'm just around the corner actually."

Chance put his phone away. Ginger looked at him.

"Bad news?"

"No, but something's come up at work," he said, "I've got to go."

"Now? There's still other art pieces I wanted to show you."

"I'm sorry," he took his hands in hers, "Maybe I can come back and we can finish another time."

She looked disappointed.

"Look, how about meeting me for lunch tomorrow," Chance said.

Her face brightened.

"I know a lovely place."

But he was already gone.

Fiona opened the door of the cabin and walked in, flicking the light switch and tossing her things on the couch. She walked into the kitchen to get something to drink, settling on some orange juice and then walked back to the couch to sit down and read through some legal documents.

The phone rang.

She reached over for it.

"Hello."

"Hi Fiona,"

"Hi Christina, how are things going?"

"I'm starting to feel human in the mornings," Christina said, "Which makes corporate meetings run a lot smoother."

"I'll bet," Fiona said, "Cassidy's not here right now. She's made a couple friends in her short time here and she's out having dinner with them."

"That's good," Christina said, "I was never against her having friends, I just wanted ones her own age."

"You don't have to explain it to me," Fiona said, "I'm keeping a close eye on her and so are the other folks here."

"How are you doing?"

Fiona laughed, sitting back and tucking her feet under her.

"Busy but things are going much better than I thought they would," she said, "We're working on the permanent now so we can file it in federal court in Denver some time later next week."

"That's great," Christina said, "So if it works, then that will stop the project?"

"Yes, but that's still a ways off," Fiona said, "We've got lots of work to do."

"You and those other attorneys?"

"Yes, I've been working closely with one who's a Harvard grad and a paralegal he brought with him," Fiona said, "There's other attorneys but they're in Denver."

"How's that been going?"

"It's been interesting," Fiona said, "I think one of them, Jason made a pass at me."

"That's cool," Christina said, "What's he like?"

"Very good looking and very nice," Fiona said, "But I think his paralegal, Maggie has a thing for him."

"Ouch," Christina said.

"I like him and I'm attracted to him," Fiona said, "But…"

"You're worried about Maggie's feelings."

"I think she really cares for him," Fiona said, "I don't want to see her get hurt and know I caused it."

"Okay, then why don't you help her out then," Christina said, "And see what Jason does."

Brody picked up Chance in front of the art museum and they took off towards the pawn shop. This time, Chance got out of the car in front of the boarded up pawn shop and Brody drove the car to the other side of the alley.

Chance watched the front of the shop for any activity, cloaked by darkness and sure enough within minutes, a man exited it, this time carrying a briefcase. Chance watched him walk towards the alley and followed just behind him.

The man stood in the alley and waited, until another man showed up. They had some sort of conversation. Chance reached for his gun and crept towards the dumpster.

After the exchange was made, Chance stepped from behind the dumpster and aimed his gun at the man after the other had disappeared back into the shadows. The man looked up and took off running in the opposite direction as Chance had hoped he would. Now all that was needed was for Brody to block him off on the other end of the alley. Chance looked through the darkness for Brody but couldn't see him. He took off after the man who ran away from him.

He sprinted down the alley, inching on the guy who kept looking behind him. Suddenly, Brody appeared on cue on the other side of the alley. The man stopped between them, looking from one to the other as if deciding which one were the lesser evil. Chance hoped he chose Brody. Instead, the man spun on his heels and tried to climb up one of the fire escapes on the rear side of the buildings which backed the alley. Chance put his gun away and ran up, trying to grab his legs after the man had pulled down one of the ladders and started scrambling up it. The bag fell out of his hands and onto the ground, spilling jewelry on the street. The man kicked his legs to get Chance to loosen his grip, but Chance moved his head to dodge the blows.

Brody came running up with his gun out to help Chance.

"All right, dirt bag, show's over," he said. The man turned his face around and sneered at both of them.

"You can't catch me," he said.

"It seems we've already done that," Chance said, still pulling on his legs, "Why don't you make it easier on all of us and just give up?"

The man turned around and tried to continue up the ladder. Chance and Brody together pulled him down and he landed with a thud on both of them, so that all of them were piled in the street, next to the bag of jewelry. Chance and Brody finally picked the guy up and got him on his feet.

"That belong to you," Chance said about the bag of spilled stolen goods.

"Never saw it before in my life," the man said, looking down at it.

"Yeah right," Chance said, "You hold onto him. I'll call the police to come pick up their serial jewel thief."

"I'm sure our clients will be happy to see their heirlooms again," Brody said, as he grabbed the guy.

"Yeah I'm sure you're right." Chance said, brushing himself off.

Another check for the ledger, Chance thought as he reached for his cell phone to call Linc.

After saying goodbye to Christina, Fiona continued with her paperwork, lying on the couch as she waited for Cassidy to get back. She reached for her lap top to get on the internet to visit a couple of legal sites to research case law when the phone rang again.

She reached for it.

"Hello," she said.

"Is this Fiona Jackson," a man's voice said.

"Yes, this is she," she said, looking at the Caller ID which stated 'unknown', "Who is this?"

"That's not important," the voice said, "What is important is this so listen closely. You had better drop out of this case if you know what's good for you."

"Listen, who is this?"

"If you don't drop it, you and everyone working with you will pay the price."

"Are you working for those developers," Fiona said, "Tell them..."

"You and your friends will die," the voice said, "You hear that bitch?"

Fiona listened to the dial tone and then hung up, rubbing her eyes with her hand. It wasn't like she had never received death threats and she discovered through experience that most of them didn't pan out to much action besides trying to scare her off of a case or an investigation. However, others that she had received had led to action against her or those she loved. Figuring out the appropriate category to place each threat was a skill she had yet to master.

She picked up the phone.

Linc paced between the two men, popping Rolaids in his mouth as he did so.

"So let me get this straight," he said, "So I know exactly what dragged me away from a quiet dinner with my wife in our favorite restaurant."

He pointed at Brody.

"You received a tip that he was coming back here to fence some goods tonight."

Brody nodded. Linc turned to Chance.

"And you were getting a personal tour of the new art exhibit at the museum by the director when he called you."

"Exactly," Chance said, "We couldn't let this perfect opportunity to nab this guy slip by, Linc. So we went after him and this time, we got him right in the act."

Linc looked at Chance.

"He's denied ever having even touched those jewelry," he said, "And maybe his prints will show up and make a liar out of him but we don't just need this two-bit thief. We need the network he and others like him are selling to."

"I know that Linc," Chance said, "And we've got leads on the network that's responsible for all the action on the Westside."

"Give me a list and I'll hand it to property," Linc said.

"We will do that when we check out some more leads," Chance said.

"Why did I know you were going to tell me that," Linc said, "I'm leaving now to enjoy what's left of this evening with my wife."

"I'm sorry about spoiling your anniversary dinner," Chance said.

"It's not the first time," Linc said with a sigh, "And she knows that's part of being a cop's wife but she stuck with me all these years anyway."

They watched him leave.

"He'll get over it," Brody said, "I know, I worked with him for years in the field."

"We've got to get to work on that list," Chance said, as they walked back to the car.

"I'm still working on it," Brody said, "My contact is still checking some leads out on his own."

"So what do we do until then?"

They reached the car and got inside of it.

"We talk about that vacation that you're planning on taking some time inside this century."

" Fiona, it's probably nothing," Jason said on the phone after she had contacted him.

"We don't know that," she said, "It's hard to tell if a threat is serious until the person making it takes some action or not."

He sighed.

"We've got to keep going forward," he said, "Besides if they're threatening us, we know we've got them scared."

"That might be true," she said, "And I'm not saying that we should stop what we're doing. We just need to be more careful."

"I've gotten threats before," Jason said, "Even death threats on other environmental cases. They usually don't amount to much."

"I've gotten them too," Fiona said, "And sometimes the person does act."

"We'll be careful," Jason said, "We won't travel alone. We'll keep in close contact."

"The judge might be coming out with the written order tomorrow," Fiona said.

"Well that's definitely good news," Jason said, "I hope it gives the earlier decision more teeth."

"I guess we'll have to wait and see."

Chance went to his office to do some more research after leaving Brody in his wake with his questions about Chance's vacation plans unanswered. He heated up some frozen pizza and looked through some papers on the jewelry theft case. Insurance claims submitted by several of his clients and photos of the missing jewelry. The police department had seized the bag of jewelry at the scene so Chance couldn't check to see if it contained any that belonged to his clients. His shoulder throbbed after the latest adventure and he rubbed it while looking through the files on the jewelry case.

A pang hit him as he remembered how he had left Ginger at the art museum while he ran off to meet Brody to chase after the latest suspect on one of his many investigation cases. He sighed as he was reminded once again how his career interfered with his social life and another woman was left behind in its wake. He used to commiserate about that with his former partner, Fiona who shared his problem. She usually knew what to say to get his mind off of it and reminded him that his work as an investigator was an important part of his identity and if the women in his life (and the men in hers) couldn't accept it, then they should just keep looking.

He smiled, thinking about her and he did wish he could drop his workload on Brody and his other investigators and jump on one of his jets to fly out to see her in Colorado. He missed the days when they worked side by side much more than he usually admitted to anyone including himself. But life had become so much more complicated in the past year and what happened after his party hadn't made it easier.

He turned on the television to watch the news.

Cassidy opened the door to see Fiona sitting on the couch covered with documents.

"Waiting up for me," she said, closing the door behind her.

Fiona sat up.

"That's my job," she said, "But I also had a lot of work to do before tomorrow. Did you have a good time?"

"You know I'm not stupid," Cassidy said, "I can take care of myself."

"I know that, but seeing you come in safely after a night out makes me feel better."

Cassidy thought about that.

"Okay, well I'm back," she said, "Is there any ice cream left in the freezer?"

"I think some survived from last night," Fiona said, "Help yourself."

Cassidy started to go then stopped.

"Would you like me to get you a bowl?"

Fiona smiled.

"Sure, thanks."

The phone rang. It was a busy night, she thought picking it up.

"Hello, this is Fiona."

"You're keeping late hours, even for an attorney," a voice said.

"Who is this," she said.

"You've been warned to drop this case," the voice said, "If you don't announce that you're dropping it by tomorrow morning, you will pay the price."

She heard a click then a dial tone.

Cassidy walked out with two bowls of ice cream and saw the expression on Fiona 's face.

"What's the matter," she said.

Fiona shook her head, then smiled.

"Nothing," she said, "Thanks for the ice cream. What is it?"

"Butter Pecan."

Chance glanced at the news while doing his work, then saw a familiar face on the screen.

"We believe that these tactics are being used to elicit favorable publicity towards a project which in actuality, few of the town's residence or the ranchers in the valleys even want in their midst."

Fiona stood in front of City Hall dressed in jeans and a blazer jacket, with her curly hair resting on her shoulders surrounded by a man and a woman and spoke in a microphone held by a reporter.

"So what will your next move be," the reporter asked.

"We will be reviewing our options before we make a final decision on what action we're planning to take to stop this project."

The camera zoomed in on the reporter.

"This is Cathy Streeter from KSLD news, Silver Lode."

Chance reached for the remote and turned the television off. He reached for his phone.

Fiona 's phone rang again and she looked at it, before deciding to pick it up.

"Hello, who is this?"

"It's Chance."

"Oh it's you," she said, sighing.

"Who did you think it was?"

"No one...Not that you're no one," she said, "I'm glad you called."

"I saw you on television talking about the project that you're fighting out there."

"Yeah, the other side had a press conference to generate support," she said, "It didn't work well for them."

"It looked like a huge crowd there," Chance said, "I hope they were on your side."

"Oh yeah, we've had great support here from almost everyone," she said, "Almost everyone."

"So have you had any problems," Chance asked.

She paused.

"No...no serious ones that we can't handle," she said, "How are things going on your end?"

"Busy as usual," he said, "Though Brody and I caught that jewel thief today."

"That's great," she said, "Thanks for telling me. I really miss you."

He paused.

"How would you feel if I got out from under this mess here and came out for a visit?"

"It'd be great," she said, "But I don't want your business to suffer. I've taken enough away from it."

"You haven't taken away anything from it, Fiona," Chance said, "Don't worry about it. It's doing fine."

She heard a knock on the door.

"Listen Montana, I got to go," she said, "Someone's at the door. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Bye," he said, then clicked off his phone looking at it.

Fiona looked at Cassidy and then cautiously approached the door. Cassidy looked at her, puzzled.

"What's the big deal," she said, "Open it and see who it is."

"I'm going to see who it is first," Fiona said, as she reached the door.

Cassidy shrugged and returned to her ice cream.

"Who is you," Fiona said.

"It's me, Jed," the voice said, "Something's happened."





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