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 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: March 1, 2020      Views: 355
Chapters:
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 BARBARA.WILKEY 
IN PRINT 


 ABOUT
BARBARA.WILKEY 
Mrs. Wilkey's first novel, Two Tattered Hearts, was published by G and J Publishers and can be found at Amazon.com. It's a novel about how Anna, an abused spouse escapes, with her son, the man-made hell she lives in and finds love. < - more...

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #8 spot on the rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #38 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 55 of the book St Louis
McKenzie and Logan examine the surveillance tape.
"St. Louis Chapter 23 part 2" by barbara.wilkey

Background
While wanting to place trust in Logan, McKenzie searches for his sister's murderer. McKenzie doesn't believe anyone would harm her, but Logan feels it's his job to protect her from the threat.


I'm happy to announce that 'Under Siege on the Rockin' A' is finally published. You can find it on Amazon.com. You probably don't recognize the title. Maybe this will refresh your memory.
Sonsee-array 'Soni' Adler inherited the Rockin' A ranch from her father. Flying her helicopter home from Laredo she discovers a mysterious injured man, Jim Burn, and brings him home for medical attention. He refuses a doctor, so Soni calls her grandfather, a Lipan Apache medicine man, Kuruk, to heal him back to health. Soni finds herself in the middle of three battles during this novel.
First, I-10 runs through the Rockin' A. Numerous drug cartels battle
over ownership of this territory. This ranch is the battleground.
The second problem: somebody attempts to forcibly take the ranch
from her. The ranch's ownership comes into play.
Finally, the mysterious Jim Burns: who is he? Who does he work for? What part does he play with all of this?
Siege of the Rockin' A weaves together an irresistible tale of romance
through history, Apache beliefs, and events taken from today's
headlines. Readers will be enthralled from the first page to the last.


It's Friday afternoon. McKenzie and Logan have known each other 10 days.

Ending of Previous Post:

"What time for the walk?" asked Bill.

"I'm deferring to the chef. Logan?"

"Breakfast will be ready in maybe fifteen minutes. Another forty-five to eat and clean up. Say about an hour. Mac, will you be ready then?"

After she nodded, Bill asked, "Which park?"

"Is it possible to leave the city?"

Bill sighed. "Mac, what's on your mind?"

"I'd like to go to the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center. It's in Kirkwood."

Bill eyed Logan. Once Logan nodded, Bill said, "I'll see what I can do." He made a phone call and then said, "It's a go." He put his phone away. "I'd better get to the restaurant." He hugged Mac. "Stay safe." He shook Logan's hand as he patted his arm.

When Bill started to say something, Logan said, "Don't worry, I got this."

TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 23 PART 2


Logan and McKenzie chose a challenging trail. As they climbed one of the steeper bluffs, McKenzie stopped. "Logan, I feel we're being followed." She glanced around. "And not by the men Bill has shadowing us."

"You're right. They picked us up about a half mile back."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"So far there hasn't been a need."

"Do you think our detail knows?"

"I hope so, but I really don't know." Logan answered his phone, spoke, and hung up. "The tape from the Irish Pub's ready. We'll pick it up before we go to the grocery store."

"What tape and what should we do?"

"Continue. The only thing happening is they're getting a good workout." He took her hand. "It'll be all right." After a pause, he continued, "I asked the pub owner if he has a surveillance camera. He did and got us the tape."

McKenzie eyes widened. "I hadn't even considered a surveillance camera. Good idea. I guess you're right. They aren't bothering us."

*****
Back at McKenzie's townhouse, she sighed. "We were followed all the way back here. What do they want? What is their purpose?"

"I don't know. Maybe they just want to intimidate you, or for some reason they want to know what you're doing? That I don't understand. I guess they want to make sure you don't learn something. But what?" He started putting groceries away. "After we finish this, we can watch the tape."

They both sat on the couch as McKenzie downloaded the CD in her computer. "It's almost finished. Ready?" She took a deep breath. "I hope we discover something new."

After they watched a few minutes, Logan pointed. "Right there pause it." He waited then added, "He put something in your drink."

"He sure did. I'm positive I've never seen him before." After a few moments, McKenzie said, "And there's the second guy. I don't know him either."

The two men sat at a table. "What are they doing? They're just sitting there."

"They're waiting for the drug to work." He pointed. "Who are they talking to?"

"I know him. I've seen him before. But where?" She thought for a moment and then clapped her hands. "He's the guy who tried to pick me up outside the coffee shop. Remember?"

"You're right. He is. You were lucky that day."

She chewed on her lower lip as her eyes met his. "I'm lucky you came to my rescue."

"I'm sure you could've taken him."

"We don't know if he had a gun, knife, or syringe."

"There's more. Keep watching."

"Here you come." McKenzie watched Logan lift her. "I was really out of it, wasn't I? I didn't even move."

"You were."

"Thank you. Sorry, I was difficult."

He pecked her cheek. "It was understandable. You didn't know me or what was going on. I'm just glad I was there." The tape ended. "Play it again. I'm sure we missed some things. I didn't catch where these two went."

"Logan, look. Who's this? He's watching pretty close." McKenzie pointed to a face looking through the large, front window.

"I don't know. But he seems pretty interested in what I'm doing. I don't remember anybody standing there when I walked out the door."

McKenzie played with the image. "I'll see if I can make it any clearer." Frustrated she said, "I can't do anything with it. If Bill comes by tonight, I'll ask if he can take it to the lab. Maybe they can clear it up."

"Can you make a copy? I don't like the idea of handing over our only copy."

"I'll save it to my computer."

"You can, but also save it to a drive or the cloud. If somebody steals your computer, we've lost it."

She got up. "I'll get a flash drive and save it to that too. I'll put that in the safe." When she returned, she said, "You're scaring me."

"Sorry. I didn't mean too. I don't know the guy, I've never met him. I've only got a glimpse of him the night Jose was shot, but my gut tells me it's Sidney Parks checking to see the outcome of kidnapping you. If I'm right, he'll do anything to get a hold of this tape."

"I don't know him myself. I might have met him years ago, but I don't remember. I've only heard his name."

Logan glanced at his watch. "It's almost five. About ready to go to your first strip joint?"

"You're teasing me again."

"Guilty."

She held up the device and the original. "Let me put them in the safe and shut down the computer."

"Good idea."

After everything was secured, McKenzie took out her phone. When Bill answered, she said, "We're ready for the gentlemen's club." She listened. "We got the security tape from the Pub. It's in a safe place. Can you take it to the lab and see if they can get a clear picture of this one man?" She hung up. "It's taken care of. As soon as they clear the car, we're ready."

Within a half an hour, they left for East St. Louis. Once there, McKenzie took a deep breath. "Let's do this."

Logan glanced around to make sure the security detail caught up before he put his hand on the small of her back. "I'm right behind you."

They walked in and then McKenzie showed her P.I. identification and asked to speak with the manager. They waited about fifteen minutes before a handsome man in his early thirties greeted them.

He gave McKenzie a once over. "If you ever decide to give up your present occupation, I'll give you a job working for me. I can guarantee you'll make at least double what you're making and probably more."

"Thank you, but I'm happy with what I'm doing. What I'd like is some information from your staff. There's a man in his mid-forties who comes in every Thursday evening about seven-twenty-five. He sits alone at one of these tables."

"You must be talking about Leon Whitmore."

"I am. I'd like to talk with anybody who can give me information about him. It seems strange he just sits there. I'd like to know his story."

"He's not breaking any laws, so I'm guessing his wife would like to know. Am I right?"

"You are. Wouldn't you like to save a marriage?"

He grinned. "For you cute thing, I'd do whatever you like. Who's the chump you're with?"

"A friend."

"Whatever." He headed toward a table. "This is Leon's favorite table. Have a seat, and I'll send some girls over."

They followed. After they sat, McKenzie asked, "Is it safe to sit here?"

Logan grinned. "Probably not the most sanitary thing you ever sat on, but it's okay. You got a job offer out of this."

She slapped his arm. "Hush."

A few minutes later, three young women walked over. A tall, slender blonde offered her hand and said, "I'm Daisy." She pointed to a brunette, "This is Delilah and the next to her is Buttercup. How can we help?"

"I'm Mac Morgan, and I'd like to know how well you know Leon Whitmore?"

"Not really well. He's a sweet man. We've tried to engage him in activities." She winked. "If you know what I mean, but he can't perform."

McKenzie wrinkled her nose. "Can't perform?" She turned and watched Delilah stare at Logan licking her lips.

"Most of the time he can't get it up. When he does, it lasts maybe twenty seconds. I think he comes here hoping one of the times he'll actually have success."

"Has anybody suggested he go to a doctor?" McKenzie's gaze followed Delilah to a pole where she began dancing and motioning for Logan to move closer.

"That's not our job. We just service the willing and able."

As Delilah returned and whispered in Logan's ear, he said, "Sorry Ma'am. I'm not interested."

McKenzie stood. "I think I've got all the information I need. Thank you." She touched Logan's hand. "Ready?"

As he nodded, Delilah said, "Big guy, please return. I'll service you for free."

Logan and McKenzie continued toward the door.

"I think Delilah has a thing for you. If I'm not mistaken, she tried to seduce you," she teased. "Did it work?"

Logan faced her. "What do you think?"

"Thank you for putting up with it. As always you were a gentleman."

He put his arm around her, pulled her close, and kissed her cheek. "About a week ago, I described what I was looking for in a wife. Did Delilah have any of those qualities?" When McKenzie answered no, Logan continued, "You're right. If you haven't noticed, I am old-fashioned type of guy."

At the car, they both paused. Logan was the first to speak, "Was the car guarded?"

"It was supposed to be. How do we know?"

Logan knelt. "I'll do my own search."

McKenzie joined him.

A few moments later, two plain clothes officers jogged over to them. "We were standing in the shade." The taller one pointed to the tree. "Nobody came near the car. It's safe."

"You sure?" asked Logan. "That tree's a few hundred feet away."

"I'm sure, but we'll help check it."

On the way home, McKenzie glanced at her phone. "It's getting late. Want to stop and get something or order delivery?"

"How about a pizza? I'll make a salad? What's your favorite?"

"Pepperoni or Italian sausage. What's yours?"

"Sausage, onions, mushrooms."

McKenzie took out her phone. "It'll take us another thirty minutes to get home. I'll have them deliver it in, what forty-five minutes?" After Logan nodded, she ordered an X-large sausage, onion, and mushroom pizza."

When McKenzie hung up, Logan teased, "An X-large? What were you thinking?"

"How hungry I am."




Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier
Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou local name for St. Louis
Simon Knight and Sheila Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician. Sheila's his wife.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league
baseball team.
Yadi What Cardinal fans call Tadier Molina - Cardinal's all-star catcher.
Edger McKenzie's black and tan rottweiler
George Whitney A former boyfriend of Megan, early suspect in her murger.
John Benson Man who murdered McKenzie's parents
Bill Abbot A D.A and McKenzie's God-Father; he was a high-
school friend of McKenzie's father. Joanie is his wife.
Jose Lopez his wife is Lucy Chicago Police Department undercover police
department.
Kate Hartford Megan Nelson's friend they taught middle school
together.
Donny Carlton A man Megan Nelson dated.
Mitch Gardner St. Louis Police Department detective who has
partnered with McKenzie's dad.
Ivan Smart A bad guy
Peter and Nancy Nelson Logan's parents
Sidney Parks works for the St. Louis Police Detective with the drug unit.
Mack and Helen Morgan McKenzie's parents - both deceased
Gus Piper McKenzie's abusive grandfather - deceased
Austin Bryant an old boyfriend - McKenzie broke up with him because he's a jerk.
Joshua Davis so far a nobody, but is a neighbor to Donny Carlton
Mark Young an acquaintance of McKenzie, a state trooper, and will become important much later in the novel

Book of the Month contest entry

Recognized

The book continues with St. Louis Chapter 24 part 1. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Thank you google imagines for a photo of sausage, onion, and mushroom pizza. Before church this morning, I made some major changes in this post. I hope I didn't mess it up. I really appreciate your help. This post is a little over 1600 words. I hope you don't mind the length. Logan and McKenzie continue their search for Megan's murder as they get closer to becoming a couple.
Thank you for your generous support.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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