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 currently is “Give Me Another LaChance,” which will run over the next eight consecutive days. This is Part Three.

he other agent interrupted.

 

“We have questioning we need to do here, Agent LaChance.”

 

“In a minute. I owe the lady some answers. She may be more cooperative if I give them.”

 

He turned to Rikah, hoping he could find some way to soften the nasty blow. What he’d felt for her was real, but the assignment was the assignment.

 

“I started working for your birth father as part of our operation. Then he assigned me to find his daughter and bring her to him. I never dreamed he’d have a daughter like you, or how close I’d get.”

 

“But, you tried to run away with me. We went to your father’s garage when our vehicle had issues.”

 

Rowan was conscientious that the other agent still listened in.

 

“All other agents in an elaborate ruse. I cobbled together my false past of what I knew of Edmond ‘s. I wanted nothing more than to get you far away from there before everything crumbled. Why are you even with him?”

 

Rikah put her hands to her face to hide her embarrassment.

 

“My mother made me. She feared him taking his revenge. She’s raising my other kids.”

 

The other agent interrupted.

 

“Wait, did she just say other kids? Am I missing something?”

 

Rowan wasn’t missing a beat. 

 

He began to realize this wasn’t going to resolve as quietly as he hoped.

 

Slowly, calmly, Rowan motioned for Rikah to sit down.

 

“Rikah, I need you to tell me. Where are your mother and your other children?”

 

He carefully made sure not to say “our”. Things were messed up enough right now. He didn’t even know if they had one or more than one.

 

“He’d promised to give her to my mother to raise.”

 

So, very likely they just had one daughter.

 

Rikah slammed her fist into the table.

 

“But he lied! Even she lied to me!”

 

Rowan tried to process that he had a daughter with Rikah while trying to keep his cool. Also, he regretted letting his other team members take charge while he distanced himself into the administrative side of things. Yet to survive, Rowan knew he would have to detach. Not to mention, for both their sakes, he’d need to keep secret some things that he and Rikah had done.

 

“We will get to the bottom of this and find the truth, Ms. LaChance. But to do this, I need you to be cooperative with the investigation and the other specialists that will work with you.”

 

He hoped this might throw off suspicion as to why he knew so much about Rikah, but then realized Rikah would have too many questions if he continued to stay. He’d lied to her about his family, even going so far to introduce her to another agent posing as his father. Yet, even those agents didn’t know how physically involved he’d been with Rikah. 

 

Rowan got up and offered his chair to the other agent who had come in with him.

 

“She’s all yours.”

 

“But, but, we need to know more.”

 

“I’ve done all I can do. If she won’t tell you now, she won’t tell you at all.”

 

Then Agent LaChance left the room.

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