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 Four.

“Seems to me you have a lot of explaining to do, LaChance.”


It wasn’t too much later before Rowan LaChance found himself in front of his superior, a no-nonense woman not much older than himself.


“You told me to do what was necessary to get to the LaChance family. The patriarch was your target.”


“You are correct in that,” Rowan’s superior pointed out. “You infiltrated and managed to become hired as part of his security detail. Then, he ordered you to go retrieve Ms. LaChance.”


“Which I did. Otherwise, my cover would have been blown.”


“Oh, I completely understand that, Rowan. But what made you reach out and become involved with the patriarch’s secret daughter, past following the patriarch’s orders? She did not even know of her origins until she met you. What we still do not understand is that she seems to be not only the patriarch’s illegitimate daughter, but his only child. Given his wealth and connections, this makes no sense. It would seem logical a man of his supposed character would have multiple unintended heirs. Perhaps our intel is wrong, or Ms. LaChance is not actually his daughter and he cannot have children, or something else entirely.”


Rowan thought for a moment. The connection and belief that Rikah was the patriarch’s child was based on timing and similar facial features, and her mother’s word.


“I have a thought, ma’am,” Rowan spoke up.


“Please proceed.”


“I was there when Rikah – Ms. LaChance – found out the details from her mother. Her mother claimed that she’d been forced to do favors for the company’s owner where she worked then hush it up by marrying her boss. Is it possible that she thought that the man she was with wasn’t really the company’s owner?” Rowan suggested. “What do we know about the family of the target? Did he want Rikah in his grasp to cover up something else?”


Now Rowan’s superior looked amused.


“It sounds as we may be of the same mind, Agent LaChance. I like your instinct. I assign getting to the bottom of this mystery to you, as what you already know may get us an answer in the most expedient manner versus finding other sources.  Learn more about the target’s family and report back to me, but tell no one – including Ms. LaChance.”


“As you order, ma’am.”


For Rikah, and his daughter he hoped to someday meet, Rowan knew he had no other alternative.

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