Rubicon Ranch: Secrets ~ Chapter 33: Mary “Moody” Sinclair — by JJ Dare

Sunday, December 24, 2:00pm

Holy crap on a cracker. The neighborhood was crawling with police and emergency teams. Moody kept to the back of the crowd of gawkers but close enough to hear everything.

She caught the bits and pieces from the gathering of neighbors, strangers and hanger-ons. Each claim sounded more exaggerated than the last.

Seth Bryan’s wife and lover had come at each other with swords and Seth had been caught in the middle like a skewered slug. The women were dead but the man was alive and missing some important parts. A kinky ménage a trois had gone terribly wrong and the women’s necks were broken. The women had shot each other in a tiff over the sheriff, starting at twenty paces like a Wild West duel.

The stories were endless. Moody watched as two body bags were rolled out of the house. Whatever the truth, her neighborhood was rivaling the murder capital of the world. It was becoming tiresome.

Moody turned to walk back to her house. The cute guy she’d noticed the day before stepped out of nowhere to walk beside her. He wasn’t so cute now that she knew they were related.

“Why are you here, nephew?”

She heard a sharp intake of breath. Her directness startled him.

“Make it quick, boy. I’m in no mood for games today.”

The boy kept his silence. Moody sensed a threat and turned slightly to face him. In his hand, hidden from anyone’s view but hers, was a gun. Moody smiled.

She had lost her fear of death a long time ago. Morris had been instrumental in that. Death was simply a doorway through which everyone passed.

She wasn’t ready to walk through, yet. The boy looked slightly unnerved as she continued to smile at him. Before opening the door to her house, she turned to see if anyone had noticed but all attention was still on the latest scene of death.

“She told you about me.” The boy stated it as a fact. His eyes were as cold as any Sinclair but Moody could tell he was not nearly as tainted by evil as she.

This was going to be too easy.

“Down,” she said to Satan as he approached with bare teeth. Her nephew’s hand shook and the gun swung between Moody and her dog.

“She told me you’re a psychopath, nephew.”

Moody paused and bent to pet her dog. “Welcome to the family,” she said as she looked up at the confused boy.

“You owe me. Morris is my grandfather and he owes me a lot of money. Now, you owe me.”

“Where would you go if I give you enough to start fresh?”

The boy smiled. He had beautiful teeth, just like Morris.

“Out of here. Cops are looking for me everywhere. I need to go where I can start over.”

The gun dropped to his side. Conspiratorially, he leaned down, closer to Moody as she continued to pet Satan.

“You’ll understand, I got a string of unsolves from coast to coast. Dumbasses got my DNA in the database. They almost got me before I came here. I lied and said I was somebody else. Cops are dumb,” he smugly concluded.

“Why would I understand?” Moody asked with a slight frown.

“Morris left a trail of bodies. I followed him a lot and he didn’t know I was watching. He got them buried from east to west coast.”

Any thoughts of developing a relationship with this boy flew out the window. Moody wanted nothing to do with any of Morris’s past misdeeds. She was only interested in her own misdeeds now.

This boy was sloppy. DNA in a database? It was only a matter of time before he was caught. When that time came, he’d spill the beans about Morris and the spotlight would be on Moody again.

Keeping him off track, Moody asked, “Where’d you go to school?”

He gave her a puzzled look. “When my mother was there, before my father decided he wanted to be my mother too, they homeschooled me. Why?”

“Just wondering because your grasp of the English language is appalling. Say ‘got’ one more time.”

Moody smiled as she baited him. His face flushed and his eyes narrowed. She watched as his face quivered with emotion. No, he was definitely a liability. No Sinclair worth his or her salt let their face show their intentions.

Moody’s smile widened. Although her blood was cold, she’d never do anything in cold blood if she could help it. What’s life without a little fun?

Satan quivered under her hand and growled softly as the boy raised the gun.

“Too bad you came at the wrong time,” Moody said as she swung the knife she slipped from her boot. Up under the ribcage and straight into the heart.

His eyes widened slightly and he drew a sharp breath before exhaling one last time. Nerveless finger dropped the gun and it hit the floor. Moody winced as it hit, sure it would go off and leave her with a lot of explaining to do.

It did not fire. Moody smiled and turned her attention back to the slumping body.

As the light went out of her nephew’s eyes, she whispered, “And too bad you threatened the wrong Sinclair.”

There was very little blood and what little there was had been caught by the puppy pad she’d kept by the front door for Satan. Moody looked down at the body in her foyer.

Glancing at the antique mirror she’d hung by the door only last week, she decided it was time to become a redhead. It was also time to bid Rubicon Ranch goodbye.

Well, two decisions made. Now, what to do with this body? She felt miffed at the disruption of her Christmas Eve plans.

Her sex-changed brother might want his/her son back. Moody wasn’t strong enough to wrap him up like a present, but she could at least put some ribbon and a bow on him.

She jumped as someone pounded on her door. Putting a finger to her lips, she quieted Satan before he could bark.

Looking out the side curtain, she saw her neighbor Melanie. Too bad. Of all the people in the neighborhood, Melanie was the only one she would miss.

Melanie finally left. Moody turned back to the body. Whimsy aside, a bow and ribbon wouldn’t do. A large trash bag would help. Dang. Now she wished she’d lured him into the desert. Nature would have taken care of her problem.

There was another knock on her door. Moody heard voices but ignored them. After a few more knocks and silence on her part, they went away.

She didn’t like people in general. A remote area away from anyone was the best place for her to be. Maybe North Dakota or Alaska. Or maybe she’d buy her own island. She could afford it.

Back to the problem at hand. What to do, what to do. The only person who knew the boy’s true identity was her half-brother/sister. If she dumped the boy behind Victoria’s house, problem solved, maybe even two problems solved. She looked at the clock. Only a little while until sundown.

Moody glanced at the mirror again. Her skin was flushed and her normally dead eyes were twinkling. She’d never looked so pretty. It was a good day to be alive.

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