A Gathering of Secrets | Chapter 24 of 38 - Part: 1 of 3

Author: Linda Castillo | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 9133 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER 16

There’s something about getting your ass shot off that conjures a whole new perspective. Not only about being a cop, but about life in general. It makes you think about the things that really matter.

Four hours have passed since I was hunkered down behind the Explorer while some crazy shit did his utmost to kill me. I spent the first hour or so sitting in the backseat of Skid’s cruiser while officials from three different law enforcement agencies—the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, the State Highway Patrol, and of course BCI—took turns questioning me about what happened. No, I didn’t get a good look at the shooter. Yes, he was male. I didn’t see anyone else. I didn’t get the make or model of the truck. I didn’t get a plate number; evidently, he’d removed it beforehand. Basically, once I left my vehicle, someone opened fire and the situation went to shit. I think those were my exact words.

Tomasetti drove me to the Emergency Department of Pomerene Hospital, where my left forearm was X-rayed—no broken bones, thank God—and my “minor” gunshot wound was treated. I received a tetanus shot, four stitches, prescriptions for antibiotics and painkillers, and a dozen or so proclamations of how lucky I am.

So far, I’ve taken all of it on the chin. The cops who questioned me went to great lengths to let me feel like a cop. Like I hadn’t screwed up or been careless. They let me know in no uncertain terms that they weren’t going to let the crazy fucker get away with taking potshots at one of their own.

Law enforcement takes that sort of thing damn seriously. Every agency in this part of Ohio is on high alert and actively looking for the shooter. Even now, there’s a part of me that wants to be out there with them, pissed off, pumped up, and on the hunt. Of course, none of that’s going to happen.

It’s one A.M. now, and I’m home safe and alive with the man I love. Tomasetti is saying and doing all the right things. He made me take one of the painkillers the doc prescribed. He’s filling the silence with very un-Tomasetti-like small talk. He warmed a can of soup, got me into the shower and into bed. He gently reprimanded me for being out there in the middle of nowhere after dark. Of course, the words were tempered with the knowledge that it’s what I do for a living. He even made me laugh because we decided I could use the shooting to my advantage to help convince the town council I need another full-time officer. One of a long list of things I love about John Tomasetti is his sense of humor.

I’m lying in our bed, propped against pillows with my arm elevated, my laptop open in front of me. Tucked beneath the pretty summer quilt my sister made me for my birthday last year, I’m wearing one of Tomasetti’s old Cleveland Division of Police T-shirts. The pain in my forearm has faded to a dull ache. I wish the knot of foreboding that’s taken up residence in the pit of my stomach could be so easily banished.

Someone nearly killed me tonight—and they’re still out there. Is it about the Gingerich case? Was it a warning—some twisted effort to keep me from digging any deeper? A steady stream of names have cycled through my mind in the last hours. Mark Petersheim. Elam Schlabach. Milo Hershberger. Sam Miller. All of them had reason to want Daniel Gingerich dead. Are any of them desperate enough—cold-blooded enough—to murder a cop?

“You’re still awake.”

I look up from my laptop to see Tomasetti stride into the room. I watch as he crosses to the window and opens it. An orchestra of sound floats in on the cool night air. The frogs from the pond, crickets, and soft hoots from the family of owls that lives in the cottonwood tree at the water’s edge. They are the sounds of my youth. Sounds we hear every night as we sleep. They’re sounds that I appreciate now more than I ever have in my life.

“Any word on the shooter?” I ask.

“I talked to Rasmussen,” he says. “Every agency in the four-county area is out in force. Nothing yet.”

“Were they able to get tire tread impressions?” I ask. “Any brass?”

“They got brass.” Tossing me a frown, he slides into bed beside me. “Not sure about impressions.”

“They trace the call?”

“We got the tower. Still working on the rest.”

“This wasn’t random,” I say after a moment.

His gaze meets mine and he scowls. I can tell by his expression he doesn’t like the ramifications, but he doesn’t disagree.

“This is about the Gingerich case,” I say.

He sighs. “You got someone in mind?”

The names scroll through my brain again, but one doesn’t stand out above the others. “No, but I know it circles back to Daniel Gingerich. It’s the only thing that makes sense.”

“So tell me about Gingerich.”

“Everyone thought he was such a great guy. An innocent Amish kid. Hardworking. Charming.” Disgust rings hard in my voice. “Tomasetti, that son of a bitch was the worst kind of predator. He preyed on young girls. Amish girls, for God’s sake. Young women he knew would never tell a soul, not even their parents.”

“How many women are we talking about?”

“At least two that I know of, probably more.”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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