Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chapter Fifty

Harold hung up the phone. “Steve said he’d go over now and get Arlo and bring him over to their place. He and Cooper will have a great time. I hope that the two of them don’t totally destroy Steve and Mary’s house. He’s a really good neighbor. He said he’d walked by about noon and heard Arlo barking like crazy. He let himself in and took Arlo for a walk. Said he figured Arlo might be a little lonely.”

“The way you talk about them, I feel like I should know them. It’s so frustrating.”

“Just give it time, honey. It’s all in there.” He tapped her lightly on the forehead. “I’m going to try Pete one more time. I can’t understand why he hasn’t returned my call. It’s just not like him.”


Stone had decided that since the hospital was off-limits he’d stake out the Britt house. He didn’t actually have a plan but didn’t have any other options. The house was empty except for a dog. He could hear it barking and occasionally it would jump up a look out the front window. He got a good look at the dog when a guy – probably a neighbor – came over to take him for a walk. Stone always liked dogs better than he liked people. This one was a beauty. Pure white with a majestic way of walking.

Not long after the neighbor brought the dog back the son came back home. The kid let the dog out in the front yard and let him chase tennis balls for a while before taking him back inside. When he came back out he had his overnight bag with him.

When the kid backed out of the driveway, Stone followed him. There were too many nosey neighbors around the house to try anything so he decided to follow the son and wait for an opportunity to do something. As he drove, a plan began to form in his mind. If he couldn’t get close enough to the woman to shut her up maybe there was another way to make her keep her mouth shut. The kid drove west on I-66 for a while before taking the 29 South exit toward Gainesville. Stone was pretty sure he knew where he was heading. Probably back to school and based on his direction it was probably the University of Virginia. Stone knew the school well. He’d visited there often with the Senator’s father when Stuart Jaffe was in law school there. Stone relaxed and put a little more distance between Britt’s car and his but he always kept it in sight.

Britt parked his car in front of a two story apartment building that looked like it was built for off campus housing and let himself in to the ground floor end unit. Perfect. Now all he had to do was waiting until it got dark.



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