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She did it.
She hit dial.
“What’s wrong?” Chase answered on the first ring.
“Why would you ask that?” she asked, holding her voice steady, remembering her mom’s voice breaking up.
“Because you should be visiting with your family right now.”
“Yeah, well … something came up.”
“They didn’t show?” he asked, sounding offended.
“No, but it doesn’t matter.”
“Sorry,” he said and then, “Shit, did your aunt tell your dad you went to see her?”
“No. I thought it was that, but … I spoke with my mom and it seems like it’s something else. I’m sure it’s no big deal.”
So why did it feel like it was?
“I was just thinking about Natasha and Liam,” she said.
“Me, too. I’ve been searching the Internet for tattoos like they had. If I find the artist who did it, I thought it might lead us to them.”
“That’s a good idea,” Della said. “Why didn’t I think of that? I should get Derek to do it, too. He’s good working with the Internet.”
“Maybe he’ll have better luck than I did,” Chase said, sounding disappointed.
Della leaned back against the tree. “You know the first time I saw the tattoo, it reminded me of … something. Like I’ve seen the emblem before.”
“But you don’t remember where?”
There was a moment of silence and she knew they were both fearing the worst.
“I did a rough sketch of the tattoo,” Chase said. “Do you want me to take a picture of it and send it to you so you can shoot it to Derek?”
“Yeah, that would be good.”
A bird landed in the tree to her right. Della looked at it. “A red-headed woodpecker just landed,” she told him, remembering him pointing one out yesterday on his porch.
He chuckled. “I’m making a birder out of you.”
“Not on your life,” she said, but she watched the bird gripping the bark of the tree and make knocking sounds with its beak. What was it that Miranda had said? Oh, yeah, watching birds lightens up your aura.
She supposed her aura could use some lightening.
“What are you doing now?” he asked.
“Talking to you. Watching birds.”
“Besides that?”
“Nothing,” she said.
“You want to go for a ride?” She heard the anticipation in his voice.
Her heart lifted. Then dropped. Burnett would be upset.
“Say yes.” He sounded lonely. He sounded like she felt.
“Yes,” she said, and then, “No.”
“Which is it?” he asked, disappointment ringing in his voice.
“Yes, I want to go, but not just for a ride. I want to go to Uck’s. See if maybe that were comes back.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes … or less.” She could hear the smile in his voice. And she could imagine it on his lips.
“Don’t speed,” she said.
“I’m not the speed demon,” he said, chuckling, and hung up.
A minute later, she got the picture of the tattoo from him. She stared at it, and again got the crazy feeling she’d seen it somewhere … somewhere other than in the visions. But where, damn it?
She shot it to Derek and asked if he’d do a search on it. Then she got up to go find Holiday to tell her she was going out with Chase.
Knowing Holiday, she would probably make her go and tell Burnett, but right now, Della didn’t care. She needed to see Chase. And she needed to do something, anything, that might help them find Natasha and Liam.
Della needed to stop thinking about problems at home that she couldn’t do diddly-squat about.
She hadn’t taken two steps when Burnett cleared the corner. Obviously, he’d come looking for her.
And the look in his eyes told her something else had happened. She recalled his phone call. She recalled thinking if it was news on Natasha and Liam, that it wouldn’t be good.
It took everything she had not to turn and run. She didn’t want to hear it.
Chapter Forty-one
“Your parents aren’t showing?” Burnett asked.
Della prayed this was what he wanted, that his look was concern for her and not …
“No, there’s something going on and they can’t make it.”
He exhaled, and that sad sound hit Della right in the gut.
“What is it?”
“They haven’t identified anyone, but they have two African-American males and one girl who appears to be Asian. We don’t have DNA from Natasha. But we’re doing a DNA test to see if one of the males is Liam Jones. I’ve called in some favors and asked for them to do the test ASAP. I’ll let you know as soon as I have something.”
Della started shaking. She wanted to scream that it wasn’t them. That they didn’t know for sure that Natasha and Liam were at a junkyard. That it couldn’t be. Tears filled her eyes, but she blinked them away.
She tilted her chin and met his eyes. “Chase is picking me up and we’re going back to Uck’s to see if the were is there.”
Burnett’s brows tightened as he frowned. He opened his mouth and she knew what he’d say. That she was wasting her time. That she shouldn’t be with Chase. But then his gaze met hers right when a tear slipped down her cheek and he just sighed. “Fine. Don’t be late.”