Unlocking Lies (Keys to Love Series, Book Three)(4)

By: Kennedy Layne

“Everyone already at the house waiting on me?” Jace wasn’t about to get emotional. He’d been there and done that on the day of Mary Kendall’s funeral. He sighed in resignation as he tossed the blades of grass back down onto the ground. “I was hoping to come home quietly, without any kind of fanfare and such.”

“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. Noah and Reese were in the kitchen mixing a massive tossed garden salad when I left, and Brynn was leaving the Cavern when you drove past.”

“Brynn threw me under the bus, didn’t she?” Jace should have known that someone would spot him, but it wasn’t like everyone in town knew he owned a Range Rover. He could all but guarantee that was rectified by the time he’d reached Seventh Street. The word was out. “Dad said the two of you reconnected in the month that you’ve been home. You don’t waste time, do you, brother?”

“She’s the one for me, Jace.” Lance didn’t even bother to hide his goofy grin. He and Brynn had been involved back in high school. Apparently, those old embers had been rekindled with a bit of effort. “She moved in with me last week, as a matter of fact.”

“What is it with you and Noah buying houses without taking your time to look around town? I’m absolutely certain you could have chosen better.” Jace could understand Lance doing something so impulsive, but Noah? That didn’t make any sense. “Let’s face it, the choices the two of you made wasn’t the brightest, now were they?”

“Noah found the body in his wall,” Lance pointed out, sitting up a bit straighter. “I only found pictures of teenage girls who were either abducted or murdered. We must have hit the supernatural lottery with those odds.”

“Get up, you idiot,” Jace directed, pushing himself off the ground and dusting himself off. He had on a pair of his favorite jeans and one of his button-down shirts with the sleeves rolled up to his forearms. He always did have better taste in clothes than Lance. “I’m not talking about a serial killer roaming around Blyth Lake while we sit next to Mom’s grave.”

“It’s not like she doesn’t already know what’s been going on,” Lance muttered, catching up with Jace after a few steps. “Maybe she’ll give us a sign. She never did like people thinking bad of us Kendalls or screwing with our hometown’s image.”

“I lay sole blame on Noah. Can you imagine finding a body in the drywall of your house? He has the reverse Midas Touch. Everything he touches turns to shit.”

“Don’t tell Noah, but I already thanked Mom for not letting it be me.” Lance put his sunglasses back onto the bridge of his nose. “Imagine Noah’s surprise when the body turned out to be Sophia Morton, and not Emma.”

Jace figured everyone in Blyth Lake was surprised the body belonged to someone else besides Emma Irwin. The seventeen-year-old girl went missing close to twelve years ago. Her abduction was the biggest mystery this town had ever heard of or seen since. No one knew if she was alive, dead, or abducted by those famous probing aliens.

In all seriousness, that theory had been proposed by Wylie Tilmadge. Good old Wylie used to live on the outskirts of town and had been a favorite with the media back in the day. He had really been out there on the edge.

As for Sophia Morton, it was Jace’s understanding that she had been a young girl who lived in the nearby town of Heartland, Ohio. The small town was located around thirty miles to the east of Blyth Lake. The only connection between Emma and Sophia had been the fact that they’d both attended summer camp together…the same camp Lance had attended the summer before he shipped off to boot camp.

“So, let me get this straight,” Jace said, figuring he might as well be up to speed on current events before driving home and being thrust into the middle of the latest edition of an old story. “The police believe that Sophia Morton was murdered by the same person who kidnapped Emma? Weren’t those cases a year apart? I would think that the two events would be considered unrelated until proven otherwise. I mean, it’s a stretch, isn’t it?”

“You would think, but then how did Sophia’s body end up here in Blyth Lake? Not to mention I found pictures in the basement of my house that do, in fact, prove otherwise.” Lance and Jace finally reached their vehicles, but neither of them made an attempt to get behind the wheels. “Emma and Sophia’s photographs were both in that pile of victims, Jace. It wasn’t a coincidence. Someone targeted those girls.”

“And what about all the other teenagers who were photographed?” Jace wasn’t sure he wanted to know, but somehow his two younger brothers had managed to get involved in an active, honest to God homicide investigation. Now that couldn’t be a coincidence. “Have the police located any of them or their relatives?”