Chapter 17

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We buried Robert today. I'd never felt so much love and pain at the same time. We got into plenty of trouble; he and me. I realized how much I'd missed him, but he was gone. And this time, it wasn't for a drunken binge; no, this was for good. And no matter how much I'd wanted Granddad to fix it, he couldn't. Jenna stroked the back of my neck as I stared at Robert's coffin.

"He's in a better place," Jenna said. I wasn't as sure. But he believed in Jesus and all that, so she's right. A cool breeze passed my face, cupping my cheek. It was as if I had to let go. I had to let go, but I didn't want to. I tried to make up with Robert. God knows we've been at each other's throats since we were kids. The only time we came together was when we both needed money. "He's in a better place," Jenna repeated.

I swallowed hard. "You really believe that?"

Jenna pulled my head, cupping my cheeks. "Look at me."

I lifted my gaze and blew out a sharp sigh.

"It's going to be okay."

I knew, and she knew it wasn't going to be okay. I could see it in her eyes. I knew Jenna almost better than anyone. Terror shook her being.

"It's Jill, isn't it?" I said.

Jenna nodded. "She's been acting weird."

"How so?"

"I woke up last night, and she was talking to herself. I've never seen anything like it."

"In bed?"

"No, she was standing by the window, and I could hear both words and mumbles. She said something about how Robert promised her more money than she got. It was as if she knew more about the hotel robbery than she first let on, and I don't feel as sorry for her as I did."

"Jenna, she just had a child. Maybe it's postpartum depression?" I said.

"No, not likely," Jenna said. "This was definitely not depression. This was straight-up greed."

I placed my hands on my hips, staring her down.

"Fine, I'm not exactly one to talk, but it's true."

"You know, Robert did say something about Jill not being who we think..."

I heard a click behind me, and the press of a cold steel barrel against my back. "Now hold it right there, buddy."

"Jill?" I said.

"You didn't think I was going to let you live, did you?"

Jenna threw her head back, cackling to tears. "You're so naive."

"Wait, what's going on here?"

"Tell him, Jenna," Jill said.

"I don't need you. I don't even like you. We're taking the money and leaving. Starting over."

"Didn't think you had it in you," I said. A smile tugged at the corner of my mouth. "I should have known it'd end like this. Before he died, Robert told me to watch out for Jill. And now I know why."

Jenna stepped out of the line of fire, and I heard a loud ear-shattering sound. I lowered my head to my chest and saw bright red blood pool my shirt. I dropped to my knees and heard the angels sing. 

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