Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

DARK MOTIVES
7/31/2020 1:00:00 AM by: ZANNE MARIE DYER

PLEASE WELCOME

ZANNE MARIE DYER

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

EXCERPT FROM DARK MOTIVES

Chapter 2

Dunkin’ Donuts is not the best place for a serious conversation. The jabber of hyped-up customers getting their late morning coffee fix fills the air in a steady hum, while two lines of customers wait at the counter. I can only imagine the cars backed up around the building, waiting for their turn at the take-out window. All but one of the tables is full, so I scramble to grab a chair for my wife Sydney, who now has the job of securing the spot. I plant a quick kiss on the top of her head before making a beeline for the check-out counter. A coffee and sugar fix are the order of the day.

Back at the table, with my bag of donuts, a honey bran muffin, and two hot coffees, I’m ready to take on the world. Between gulps of black coffee and mouthfuls of double-chocolate donuts, I surreptitiously look around at the sugar-stuffing community around me. Double chins and ballooned bellies seem to be in their spring, but so does the lively animated chatter. Looking across the table at Sydney, I watch as she samples the stiff-looking bran muffin, probably gluten-free, then returns the baked good neatly to her plate. She looks up and gives me a disapproving eye as I lick the sticky frosting from my fingers. Somehow that bran muffin reminds me of an only child who doesn’t quite fit in with the other more robust children. How she manages to eat something healthy in a sugar palace like this is just another mystery in our relationship. I quickly assure myself that all of us wheat-eaters are happy and healthy enough. The gluten-free craze will pass. After all, for all we know, all those people are in a cult.

Sydney’s soft voice drones on about something, but an annoying thought distracts me as I look down at the two remaining donuts: Will I someday look like these folks around me, with a belly so large I can use it as a table? I compartmentalize that thought, reminding myself I’m still young, fit, and squeezing into a size thirty-four pant. Besides, my job keeps me on the go. I take a satisfied, guilt-free bite of my frosted pastry and escort it down with steaming coffee. It’s good to be alive.

I’m brought back from my thoughts when I hear Sydney, from across the table, utter one word. One name. Andria. The name slices the amiable chatter around us like a single tart bite in a sweet, soothing snack.

“Jet, did you hear me?”

I look up to see her penetrating stare. “I’m listening, honey.” Stalling for time, I pick up my phone with an apologetic smile and check for messages. The direction the conversation has taken dampens my high spirits a bit. The only Andria I know is a local, tough-minded journalist who is often looking for scoops on some of our department’s major homicide cases. She’s a sore subject for both of us.

I lay the phone down, giving a quick glance behind me, an old habit. Turning back, I look her in the eye. “Okay. You have my full attention. What were you saying?”

“If you listened instead of canvassing the place, maybe you’d know.”

“All part of my training.” I give her a wink.

Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I do a quick study of her body language. Stiff and defensive. Shoulders back. Elbows locked. Chin tucked. After ten years of marriage and two kids, it’s obvious something is wrong. I detect the first dark clouds of a gathering storm.

She takes a distracted sip of her vanilla latte, still eyeing me, and leans forward in her seat, eyebrows raised in a silent question.

I squirm under her stare.

“Well?” She lifts her open palms. “Have you been listening to me?”

“Andria,” I parrot.

“Well?”

Her steel-blue eyes penetrate mine and I realize how great she looks today. With only the slightest hint of makeup, her face is luminescent, her thick auburn hair falling in waves.

“I want to know now,” she says in slow monosyllables.

I’m hoping on some subconscious level, whatever she’d said is about to pop back into my conscious awareness.

She blows out an exasperated breath. “Well, say something.”

I tap my fingers on the table again. “Are we talking about the same Andria?”

Her lips are pursed a little now, and her eyes are getting steely, but as a trained police interrogator, I’m not overly worried. Time to change tactics, get off the defensive, and pull out my bag of tricks.

I look into her eyes, putting on my best Ryan Gosling smile, with a little George Clooney thrown in. This look always works on women. Leaning toward her, I whisper, “You know, sweetheart, your eyes look stunningly blue today, and I like the way you’re wearing your hair.”

She narrows her stare. “This is the way I always wear my hair, and you’re changing the subject.”

I gulp. “Well, it works for Clooney.”

“This is no time for acting. I’m serious.”

Suddenly, as if on cue, my police radio band chirps. I eagerly grab it from the table. Lady Luck is on my side.

Pressing the transmit button, I speak into the radio. “Go.”

A response quickly crackles over the speaker. “Jet. Call in.”

It’s my partner, Tina Serwathka.

“10-4.” I hit the disconnect button.

With another apologetic glance, I set down my coffee cup, grab my phone, and punch the speed dial. Tina picks up.

“Jet?”

“Hey, Tina, can you give me a sec? I’ve got Sydney here. Getting coffee.”

“Sure. But make it quick. We just picked one up. Homicide off Oakland and Sistrunk.”

I hang up and turn to Sydney. “I’m sorry, honey, I’ve gotta take this. Just got called in.”

“I know.” She glances off into some distant place.

ABOUT DARK MOTIVES

Jet Wholeman, is a gritty, self-reliant homicide detective, who’s facing the perfect storm. While tracking down a young girl’s killer, he encounters a vicious terrorist cell. Jet grapples not only with the reality of evil, but with feelings of powerlessness to protect his own children. Adding to this emotional tempest, his marriage is unraveling. The realization dawns on him though he is skillful at uncovering criminal motives, he is blind to the internal forces driving him to embrace a secret life. He begins to wonder who is in charge—himself or something greater?

Buy at Amazon:
Https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1951970551/ref

ABOUT ZANNE MARIE DYER

Zanne Marie Dyer resides in Daytona Beach with her husband and has three young adult children. As a former Christian Clinical counselor, she became increasingly interested in the psychology of the criminal mind. Her dream to write has resulted in the new mystery murder novel, Dark Motives. She is now working on a sequel, focusing once more on the detective Jet Wholeman and his unique style of tracking down homicidal killers.

Zanne is currently the Chaplain for Word Weavers International, and also provides Christian counseling services at her local church. Her hobbies include reading the classics, water activities, painting, and spending time with her children and their families

For more information about the author: Https://Linktr.ee/ZanneMarieDyer



 

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