The only storage facility in Harebrook was on the edge of town. One would think there would at least be a few facilities with a town this size, but I supposed rich people didn’t put their stuff in storage. And why would they when they could use one of their hundreds of rooms for their superfluous shit?
As soon as I saw it, I didn’t have a good feeling about the place. Four rows of outdoor access units sat behind an eight-foot fence topped with razor wire. Security-wise it should have been golden, but the guard manning the gate was gone even though it was barely six in the evening, and the giant security lights mounted to each corner of the buildings were out. It was pitch black when it should have been lit up like Christmas. Very bad sign.
I swung my head to my dad as his grip tightened on the steering wheel.
“Trap?” I asked, less of a question, and more of a confirmation.
“Trap,” he concurred.
Noah piped up from the back seat, “Why do you think it’s a trap? I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just dying to know why.”
Rich chuckled, and my dad got a little upturn to his lips as he stared straight ahead, likely waiting for me to school this young whippersnapper—not that I wasn’t a whippersnapper, but he’d trained me.
“This facility might be old, but the security is up to date. They have security lights mounted damn near everywhere, a guard gate, and razor wire fencing. Meaning they’ve been robbed before and don’t want it to happen again. But none of the security lights are on, the guard is missing, and the main office lights are dimmed. Meaning that either someone got here before us and it lying in wait, or…” I trailed off, letting him come up with the rest.
Noah huffed. “Or the guard is dead, and someone took the evidence.”
“Bingo. Care to find out which door we’ll be walking through?”
“Not really,” he replied as he pulled his phone from his coat pocket. He dialed and held the device to his ear and listened. Moments went by like molasses, and he gave a start suddenly, his face going white for a second before turning to granite. His hand was on the door handle, and in the next second, he was up and out of the car.
The three of us scrambled to follow him, and I heard the faint strains of Noah’s rumble as he said, “Help is coming, Eugene. I’m calling an ambulance, okay?”
When Noah hung up, he called back for one of us to call 911 as he sprinted for the guard shack. Uncle Rich whipped his phone out first, as Dad and I hauled ass to the guard shack. By the time we got there, Noah had whipped off his puffer coat and draped it over Eugene’s legs and began using his fleece scarf to staunch the blood. Eugene was a sixty-something gray-haired man in a guard uniform. He also had a gunshot wound in his shoulder.
The gunshot itself didn’t worry me. What did concern me was the gray, shocky quality to his face and erratic breathing.
My father gently pushed me aside and squeezed into the small guard shack to help Eugene. Dad had gotten certified as an EMT after he retired from the force, so he knew way more than I did about keeping someone alive.
Uncle Rich nudged my shoulder, leading me away from the shack and out of Dad’s earshot.
“EMS is on the way, but…” he trailed off, not wanting to say whatever was on the tip of his tongue. I had a good idea of what it was.
“But you want to know if the evidence is still there,” I finished for him.
I didn’t want to admit it, but I did too. That evidence was the key to finding out who killed Vivi. Not just that, but someone had tried to kill Carson to keep it quiet, and the more I thought on it, the more I figured the shot Carson took might have been for me.
Rich bent down and fished his backup service weapon from his ankle holster, slapping the Glock in my hand as he stood.
“You got my six, Gemmy-bean?” he asked, leveling me with his patented Senior Special Agent-in-Charge stare.
Pfft. I’d been able to outshoot Uncle Rich since I was a metal-mouthed thirteen-year-old. I still had the range cards to prove it. But he and both knew the best shooter went in the back.
“You know it,” I muttered, checking the mag and chambering a round.
Rich skirted around me and slapped the green button to open the gate, earning him a squinty-eyed glare from my father before we squeezed through the opening and headed for the unit.
The clearly labeled buildings led us to the far back corner of the lot. Sticking to the shadows, it took us a few minutes to reach our goal. I was more concerned about getting my head blown off than I was anything else.
But we both realized all that careful stepping was totally unnecessary. The orange roll-top door was wide open, and nothing was inside except for some bare shelving and an empty file box.
We were too late.
There is only so much one wants to see of a hospital waiting room. For the second time today, I was sipping on stale coffee and being yelled at by a cop—only this time, it was my father doing the yelling, and I wasn’t the one covered in blood.
“You’re going home, Gemini, and I’m not going to hear another word about it.”
He was right. He wasn’t going to hear another word about it because I wasn’t going to argue with him. I wasn’t going to do what he wanted, but that was neither here nor there. I didn’t respond well to yelling—from anyone—including my father.
“Don’t give me that ‘I’m gonna do whatever I want’ look, girl,” he ranted before taking a calming breath. He needed it. His voice was barely over a whisper when he continued. “This is serious. Two people are in the hospital today because of this mess, and you know one of those bullets was meant for you. Vivi isn’t even in the ground. People are dying, Gemini. Let someone else handle this. It doesn’t need to be you.”
Guilt flooded my gut, and I swallowed hard, trying to ignore the sting behind my eyes.
“The FBI is here. The State Police. They are investigating every single thing in this town. Let them do their jobs and go home, Sport.” I met his gaze, and the full weight of the day’s event hit me like a sledgehammer. “I can’t lose another daughter. Please don’t make me.”
I knew he was right. I knew it. It didn’t mean I didn’t want to scream at him that I wouldn’t leave Vivi behind, but I’d hold in those screams because I knew I couldn’t cost him again. I couldn’t be stubborn like I had been as a teen.
“When’s my flight?” I asked, and if my throat was clogged, Dad made no mention of it.
“Eight in the morning.”
I knew he’d have already booked my flight out of here. Hell, if he could have chartered a plane, he would have gotten me out of here tonight.
“Can I even leave? Aren’t I a witness?”
Dad smiled and shook his head. “Rich knows where to find you.”
I rolled my eyes and hugged my dad. “Okay, fine. You’re right, I’m wrong. I’ll put my ass on a plane.”
My father’s whole body wilted in relief.
“I don’t want you staying in that hotel. There have to be ears there that we didn’t detect.”
I pulled back, looking at him in confusion. “Then where am I staying? Better question, where are you staying?”
“Rich and I will be at a friend’s bed and breakfast. You will be at Noah’s.”
I blinked, blinked again, and then pinched my earlobe and wiggled it. “Did I hear that right?”
Dad rolled his eyes and gave me a gentle punch in the shoulder. “No one is looking at Noah. They’re looking at the big shot FBI agent that showed up in town tonight. You’ll be safer with him.”
My eyes caught on the golden-haired man that just emerged from the swinging ER doors. Safe was not what I’d call Noah Graves.
But I’d take it.
Stay tuned! The next episode of Seek You Find Me is Coming Soon!
Thank you for reading this chapter of Seek You Find Me! New episodes will release on the last Tuesday of each month. If you enjoy this story, you should check out the Shelter Me Series.