Book 2: Hoale Construction Mysteries
A 200 year old manor house, a questionable death, and a cache of stolen jewelry. Who will kill to keep their secrets?
The gang flips a 200 year old manor house in the beautiful, rolling hills of Brown County, Indiana. Unfortunately the house is the site of a suicide, the result of a broken romance, and is rumored to be haunted. Adam and Maddy get caught up in the story of the young couple who were torn apart by family, local events, and something sinister that still seems to be stalking the house. It might not be a ghost, but whatever it is, it has the potential to be deadly.
“Are you sure you want to stay here tonight, honey?”
Adam dropped his sleeping bag over the camping cot he’d brought with him and nodded. “We’ve got the bathroom working and I have a refrigerator with beer in it…” he pointed to a small fridge he’d plugged into the wall, “…and Walter’s bed. What more could I need.”
Maddy swatted at a mosquito and grimaced, wiping the bloody results on her jeans. “I don’t know, mosquito netting, air conditioning, a four-poster bed with foam topping…”
“Don’t be a priss, Mads. If you had any hair on your chest at all you’d stay here with me.”
She snorted. “I’ll let you lay claim to the soft curlies on your chest. I’ll console myself with my comfy bed and fifty-two inch flat screen TV.”
Adam grimaced at that. “Hurt me. I have my entertainment too.” He held up his iPad.
Maddy kissed him on the cheek and started toward the door. “I’ll see you in the morning partner. Don’t let the air bugs bite.”
Walter started out the door with Maddy. “No you don’t, Walter. You have to stay with me.” The big dog whined, dropped to his butt on the dusty floor, and stared longingly after Maddy. “Sorry, buddy. We’re a team, you and me. You go where I go…never leave a man behind…all for one, one for all…that kind of thing.” Walter dropped to his belly with a groan and stared at Adam, accusation running deep in his big, brown eyes. “Don’t look at me like that. You’re a dog. You have your bed, your favorite rawhide, and the great outdoors to poop and pee in. You won’t even miss the fifty-two inch TV.” Adam’s gaze slid to the door Maddy had just gone through. “Or the bug free comfort of your bed. Or a big, fat, juicy steak…” Adam snapped his mouth shut and pushed the thought of food away before it weakened him. He would go into the nearby town of Ashville, Indiana for dinner later. But first, he and Walter would take a walk down to the lake. That is, if Mike and Sue would let them.
The Phantom of the Opera started playing behind him and Adam sucked in a breath, trying to decide if he wanted to answer it. It was Dirk. They were currently not speaking. Well, if Adam answered the phone they would in reality be speaking. But Adam determined he wouldn’t enjoy it.
Dirk was the biggest reason Adam was hiding out at the Bilsworth flip. He didn’t admit that to himself but deep down he knew it was true. They’d been doing so well for weeks, and then Dirk had returned to California to tape his latest film, Dance of the Copper Goddess, a fantasy about a king who pushed everyone away he cared for because he thought loving only one person would limit the potential of his life.
Adam thought Dirk might have immersed himself just a little too deeply into that role. With a sigh, he rummaged around until he found his cell under the pillow he’d carelessly thrown on top of the cot. “Hello.”
Dirk’s familiar voice made Adam’s throat tighten with sudden need. He’d fought that need for weeks, trying to convince himself he didn’t need Dirk Williams to survive. Until that moment he’d actually believed he was making progress. “Hi.”
“It’s really good to hear your voice, babe. I’ve missed you.”
Adam dropped onto the cot, fighting to keep the angry tremor from his voice. “Really? I’m surprised.”
The short beat of silence told Adam Dirk hadn’t been expecting his anger. He really didn’t understand why, the last time they’d spoken they’d had a huge fight over the man Dirk had been spending way too much time with in Los Angeles.
Franklin Spence was a Hollywood producer. He was also openly gay. Dirk had been attending a lot of parties with the man and, if the news clips Adam had seen were accurate, weekends at Spence’s mountainside ranch and at a certain oceanside hideaway in the Cayman Islands.
“What does that mean? I always miss you.”
“Yeah. You told me that. Once. Is there something you need, Dirk?” As soon as the words left his mouth Adam cringed. He should never give his ex-lover an opening like that. Because Dirk would invariably come back with something that would wrench Adam’s heart right out of his chest.
“I need you, Ads.” And there it was.
“I wish I could believe that. Unfortunately I don’t. I told you I need a break from us, Dirk. I meant it. Please don’t call me again.”
“Where are you?”
“That’s not important.” Adam disconnected the call and threw his phone onto the cot, suddenly filled with nervous energy. He knew a quiet walk around the property was exactly what he didn’t need at that moment. More time to think was a bad thing. “Change in plans, Walter. Let’s go into town and see what kind of dinner we can scare up.”
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Other books in the series:
A Hoale Lot of Trouble