SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured over the next  fifteen days is “Beyond the Shining Stars”. This is part 2 of 15.

Then there was that fact Randy Mallory-Tate also happened to be the nephew of his current wife, Lauren Granville Hawkins. He’d met Lauren while on a case, where she’d been a journalist. Her father – and Randy’s grandfather – reached out to Sam shortly before he died because he feared for his life; it turned out the fears were justified as he died not long after. Lauren turned out to be an illegitimate daughter the elderly actor had with a small-time actress in the 1940s whom he ended up not marrying. Together, Sam and Lauren found the true killer and Randy’s father ended up taking her as family, with them being an uncle and aunt in Randy’s life.

“What makes this different than other people who want to contact you?”

“Most of them are just women,” he says. “They send texts and videos to me, showing their bodies off or talking sexy. It’s so stupid because of everything my parents stand for, and the charity I’m now part of. I don’t believe in exploiting women. I don’t. I don’t’ believe in exploiting anyone.”

“Still. What’s different here, Randy?”

“The person giving me trouble, it’s a guy.”

This immediately got Sam’s interest.

“Have you dealt with anything like this before?”

Randy looked away. Sam didn’t know what to make of it.

“You’ve dealt with other stalkers before now?”

Randy shook his head in the negative, but didn’t look up. That could only mean one other thing.

“Who else knows you’re gay?” Sam said, not forcing Randy to go first. He and Lauren certainly didn’t know. He didn’t know if Randy’s parents knew. Yet, from Randy’s body language, that appeared to be the conclusion.

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