Welcome to Renaissance, where everyone has a secret.
Today I introduce you to Keith Masterson, Laine’s son and captain of Rennaissance High’s football team.
If you missed last week, here’s Part 1.
A relationship becomes complicated
A character lies to another on an important issue
Word Count: 596
Where is it? Not under my unmade bed, not in any of my shoes lying around unused. I pick up my clothes and shake them.
No chain. No class ring.
Wait… maybe it’s being washed with my clothes. Maybe it’s being sucked into the washing machine’s innards or to that place where socks go.
Or maybe I lost it somewhere outside. My stomach turns at the ground that covers. I’d been everywhere this week and I can’t remember when the ring wasn’t hanging around my neck.
Mom is so going to kill me.
The front door slams shut, hitting me like a thunder clap. Of course she’d show up now. The ring has to wait. There’s no way I’m going to tell her I’d lost Dad’s class ring. What do I do? Go greet her? No. That will tip her off that something’s up.
I fling myself onto my bed and grab some book next to it. It’s barely open before she appears by my door. I take one look at her tired eyes and muddy boots and my heart stutters.
“Who died?” Her frown makes me want to bite my tongue off. A hundred ways to introduce the topic and I fall into the worst one. Shit she makes me nervous when she stares.
“How did you know someone died?”
Because I’d spoken to Brad minutes ago and news traveled fast in a shithole like Renaissance. Because she’d been out working since yesterday morning, adding the tally to about 50 hours. Because she looked like hell.
I put the book aside. “Murders always hit you hardest.”
Maybe I should just dig my tongue out with a spoon.
She didn’t miss that mistake either. “How did you know it’s murder?”
“Do you know who did this?”
Shit. Just what I was worried about. Do I or don’t I finger Brad and the boys? Damn it I have to keep cool. “Mom! This is Renaissance.”
She blinks a few times. “Right.” Rubs the spot between her brows. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to go all cop on you.”
Mom never goes cop. She is cop.
“It’s ok. Will you make it to the game?”
Mom’s mouth turns down and her eyes go distant on me. What’s on her mind?
“I don’t know. I’m hoping to solve this thing fast. The last thing this town needs is another unsolved tragedy.”
A waste of space like Sean Drummond was hardly tragic, but I keep that thought very far from my face.
“Had any friends over while I was gone?”
Her eyes burn mine and my palms sweat. She isn’t asking for no reason. She’s asking for my alibi. This is my last chance. Either I finger my team or I cover for them. Whatever I decide, I have to stick with it no matter what. Not much of a choice. Captains watch out for their teams.
Can Mom notice my heart drumming in my throat?
“Yeah, I had the guys over for pizza. Hope you don’t mind.”
“When was this?”
Her face brightens a little. “What about I grill us some steaks?”
I want to throw up, but I summon a reply to her smile. “Sounds great. If you’re not too tired.”
She shakes her head and kicks off her shoes before slipping away.
When the banging of pans reaches me, I shut the door and pull my cell from my jeans. Come on man… we rattle some cages. Straighten them out. No biggie.
Oh. I remember where I lost the ring.