Tristan Edwards had been the editor for the Liberty City High’s Eagle Press. We met during freshman year after a track meet. Back then, Tristan had greasy blond hair, pimples, and wore vintage clothing. Despite his outward appearance, Tristan thought he was attractive. Time had passed. His hair was cleaner and his skin was clearer, but the clothes he chose still belonged to the wrong decade—circa 1980. One thing stayed the same. Tristan was about as enticing as a flooded toilet at a street fair. Sadly, Tristan didn’t have a clue about his lack of appeal.
“Kerrie, Kerrie King.” He approached me with a huge smile. Nowadays, Tristan reminded me of a used car salesman.
“Thanks for seeing me.”
“How could I not?” Tristan wrapped an arm around my shoulders and led me to his corner cubicle. “I heard about Ryan and your son. I’m—”
“Please don’t say it.”
He gave me a curious look as we stopped by his desk.
“I’ve had my fill of condolences.”
He nodded. “I can imagine you have.” Tristan pointed to a vacant chair. “Have a seat and tell me what I can do for you.”
I glanced over my shoulder. Lowering my voice, I said, “You did an article about a year ago on the mayor. Do you remember it?”
“Yeah. It was an investigative piece after the corruption was exposed in Arcadia City. What about it?”
Leaning in, I said, “Tristan, did you find anything you didn’t report?”
The cheesy smile evaporated. “What are you searching for?”
“Just chasing a hunch, nothing more. You either found something, or you didn’t.”
Tristan started piling papers into a stack. “My research is classified, Kerrie.”
I grasped his wrist. “Who am I going to give it to? I’ll be the only one looking at it. Promise.”
He stopped with the mundane task. Slowly, his gaze met mine, and I could see that late nights—and maybe alcohol—had taken a toll on the man. Tristan had aged. Poorly. Crow’s feet, graying temples, and dark circles had marred his appearance.
“Giving you the info could get me fired.”
Not my intent, but I still wanted whatever Tristan had found. “Tris, just meet me at Sentinel Security. Bring whatever you like.”
A stern expression settled onto his haggard face. “If you want what I have, it needs to be some place else.”
I sighed. Tristan was being ridiculous. Nobody would have thought twice about him coming to Sentinel. To appease him, however, I offered the last spot I wanted to go. “Then meet me at the cemetery. I’ll be at Ryan’s grave site.”
Tristan propped his elbows on the desk and lowered his head to his hands. “In an hour?”
“I’ll be there.” Rising to my feet, I thanked him and hurried from the busy newsroom.
I had time to kill before going to the cemetery, so I called Josh. He picked up on the first ring.
“What’s up, Kerrie?” I heard the sound of traffic.
“Are you in the car?”
“No. I just grabbed lunch.” He said something to someone in the background.
“Did I call at a bad time?” I switched the phone from my right hand to my left as I pulled out my keys.
“No. I’m with Jared.”
“Oh.” If he made Josh happy, I was okay with the guy hanging around. “Hey, go spend some time with your friend. You’ve already had lunch so…”
“Kerrie, where are you? We can meet you.”
“I want you to meet Jared. Okay?”
I guessed Jared meant more than what Josh led me to believe. “Okay. I’m close to City Center.”
“That’s good. Order me a sandwich.”
“Ham and Swiss?”
“See you soon.”
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