[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

had phoned ahead and asked Taylor to meet them. He
needed to know the latest on Tammy. Stanley would provide
the information on the state of his campaign. They entered
the office and were greeted by the volunteers. Stanley met
them on the floor and informed them that Taylor waited in
Chase's office. "Thanks for meeting me, Taylor," Chase said
as he entered.
"Not a problem. I'm glad to see you both are well." She
accepted her sister's hug. "You look pretty cheery," she
whispered under her breath to Eden.
"We'll talk later."
The sisters smiled at each other. Eden took a seat on the
sofa while Taylor had the floor.
"This is the latest photograph of Tammy," Taylor said,
handing the five-by-seven to her sister.
Eden stared down into the porcelain white face of the
woman Chase had once considered himself in love. Blonde
hair and blue eyes, she was the epitome of white America's
concept of beauty. She looked at Chase, envisioning the two
of them together. No doubt they would have made a beautiful
couple. But, damn it, Chase was hers and Tammy Johansen
would just have to get over it. She gave the photograph to
Chase and watched as he glanced down at the image.
293
Politics of Love
by Giselle Carmichael
Something resembling guilt washed over his face, then
disappeared just as suddenly. She watched as he gave the
picture to Stanley, and then listened as her sister began
speaking.
"Tammy Johansen is still out there. In what mental state
we aren't sure. A report was filed of someone lurking around
your home." She looked at her sister. "But by the time we
arrived on scene, the person was gone. Unfortunately, Hilton
PD doesn't have the manpower to sit on an empty house."
"Did a neighbor get a description? Could they tell who the
intruder was?" Eden asked, frightened.
"No they couldn't. All they saw was a shadowy figure in the
darkness. Mr. Denny's German Shepard alerted him to the
fact someone was in your yard."
"Eden, you'll be staying at my place until Tammy is
located," Chase told her in a tone that didn't invite a rebuttal.
"Good idea," Taylor agreed. "In these types of cases, it's best
to be safe. You never know what is going to set someone off."
"Do we know why she stopped taking her medication?" Chase
asked.
"The standard answer, according to her parents, is that
Tammy didn't like the way the medications made her feel. But
with any luck, we'll locate her without anyone being harmed,
including her."
"How did Mr. Nelson find out about Tammy? Is there any
chance he's helping to hide her?" Eden asked.
"Evidently, Alison knew about Tammy, and when she
signed on to the Nelson campaign, she informed him about
her. We questioned him about Tammy's whereabouts, but he
294
Politics of Love
by Giselle Carmichael
swears he doesn't know where she is. I believe him. With the
IRS hot on his trail, and now this public outing that has
turned into a lie, his reputation has taken a serious hit. He
fired Alison. Then in traditional Nelson style, he tried to blame
everything on her."
Stanley jumped into the conversation on that note. "The
polling numbers are in our favor, but Nelson is playing the
sympathy card by trying to connect us with Alison."
"What?" Chase asked, dumbfounded. "I didn't even know
Alison knew about Tammy.
"Neither did I. Obviously, the young woman did a great
deal of eavesdropping, but nonetheless, he's claiming Alison
was a plant by us to discredit him."
"He can't be serious?" Eden interjected. "To think our
parents considered him a family friend."
"Dad considered him a friend. Mom never liked the man."
Eden looked at her sister with surprise. "And how would
you know?"
"I read people, observe their body language, and listen to
what they say."
"The makings of a good cop," Chase added.
They talked for several minutes more before Taylor
announced she had to head back to the station. Eden walked
her sister out.
"So the mountains were that good?" Taylor said low and
teasing. She looked at the blushing smile on her sister's face.
"After some pretty heated words were exchanged, we got
down to making up." Eden winked at Taylor. "Oh, and then
Chase got sprayed by a skunk."
295
Politics of Love
by Giselle Carmichael
"A skunk?"
Eden doubled over laughing. She quickly told her sister
about their adventure. Chase heard the laughter and knew
what the women were discussing. He cut a quick path toward
the door.
"Are you two having a good laugh at my expense?"
Taylor looked at Chase and tried to sober. "We're laughing
with you."
"Sure you are. I thought I was being chivalrous when I
stood there and took the blast." He glared at Eden.
"You're right of course. You were gallant, and I shouldn't
be laughing."
"You're both crazy," Taylor commented. She actually
envied their love. "I'll see you both later."
Eden wrapped her arms around Chase's neck. "You were
wonderful on the trail."
"Oh shut up and kiss me."
"All right you two, we have an election to win," Stanley
said, coming up behind them.
They returned to Chase's office, where Stanley discussed
the plan of attack leading into the election. Eden was given
instructions to contact the press and alert them to Chase's
return to Hilton. She was also told to schedule a meeting with
the press, so that Chase could discuss his involvement with
Tammy in person. As for Chase, Stanley gave him a schedule
of upcoming appearances: the most important being a debate
with Nelson at the local community college on Monday.
Stanley had drafted some of the staff to assist him with
296
Politics of Love
by Giselle Carmichael
prepping Chase for the debate. Now all they needed was for
Tammy to be located and returned to her parents.
* * * *
Hilton Community College Auditorium was a hub of
activity. All of Hilton appeared to have turned out for the
mayoral debates. Both candidates waited in the wings to be
announced. A panel from local television and radio would ask
the first hour of questions, and then a select few from the
audience would be given an opportunity to ask questions the
remaining hour. The Mathews were present as well as the
Warners. Eden and Stanley sat on the front row nervously. No
matter how one practiced, you never knew how a person [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]