Kip and I left Galveston New Year’s Day and headed for Lake Livingston, which is about eighty miles north of Houston. Our friends, Molly and Cary headed for Rockport where they plan to spend the next few months away from the Indiana winter weather.
We weren’t able to get a spot at the beautiful Livingston State Park, but we found a KOA RV park right on the lake that’s really nice. When you look out our front window, it looks like we’re floating on the water. We’ve been having a good time relaxing and exploring with the dogs. We’ve also been eating like there’s no tomorrow. The weather is great, so we decided to stay until Monday.
Kip took this great close-up of me today…love it!
Below is a new chapter of the Living the dream story
“Where did you get that picture of Vanessa and me?” Alice asked. Edith Morris looked at the picture on the wall for a moment before quickly looking away.
“That can’t possibly be the two of you in the picture,” she said. “I picked that up at an estate sale years ago. The older one looks much like my daughter did at that age.”
“But Annette has really dark hair and skin,” Vanessa argued.
“I didn’t mean Annette. She looks like my other daughter. Now…You’ll find everything you need in the chest of drawers and closet. As you can see, your bathroom adjoins the bedroom. Get freshened up while I fix us a nice dinner.”
When Mrs. Morris left to go downstairs to the kitchen, the girls began to look through all the things that had been hung in the closet or carefully folded and placed in the drawers.
“It looks like they intend to keep us here for a while,” Vanessa said as she walked over to the picture. “I know this is us, Alice. I just know it. I remember those dresses.”
When Annette had driven to an area where she got cell service, she looked to see if she had received any messages. There was only one. It was from detective Stedman asking her to give him a call as soon as possible. She realized she needed to be on her game now. It had only been an hour since he’d called, which hopefully gave her time to get to her house before calling him back. It was important he didn’t become too suspicious.
Blake Stedman and Tom Black, who were FBI agents and friends of Jack Stein’s, were at Jack’s home. Kat was also there. All were trying to come up with clues that would help them find Jack’s two daughters who had disappeared the day before.
“It’s been almost two hours since I left that message for Annette.” Blake Stedman said. He was watching Jack pace back and forth. “I’m going over to her house.”
Before he got out the door his phone rang.
“Blake Stedman, here… Ms. Morris, I’ve been waiting to hear from you. Are you at home? It’s imperative that I speak with you as soon as possible…Okay, good. I’m on my way!”
“I’m going with you,” Jack said. Then he turned to me.
“If your hunch is right, Kat, then Annette very well might have something to do with the girls disappearance.”
I was not at all sure that my hunch as Jack called it would be nothing more than a wild goose chase. Annette would have needed to come up with a plan and put it into action pretty fast after the debacle at my house yesterday. This whole thing was beyond confusing.
“Jack,” Mr. Stedman said. “Tom and I will go. It sounds like our Ms. Morris is a little unstable and seeing you might keep her from talking.”
Jack nodded and the two agents left.
“Yes, Jack,” I said. “We need to figure out who the two men posing as Blake Stedman and Tom Black are. They assured me that Annette was harmless. And Jack, they were trying to convince me to stay with Truth or Consequences. They also said you had decided I should be the one who received the assignments from the directors.”
Jack sat down in a chair and put his head in his hands. “This is all my fault,” he said. “I made it well known that I have been unhappy with the way the assignments have been going. The team is falling apart. It’s been even more difficult since your mother died. Claire was losing faith in us. I wanted out. I’m sure those two guys posing as friends of mine were sending me a message through you. What did they look like, Kat? Can you remember anything more about them?”
Back at the cabin, the girls were seated at the table with a plate of food before them.
“Eat Jennifer, you are much too thin. And what is your name darling?” Mrs Morris was looking at little Alice.
“I’m Alice Stein, and that is my sister. Her name is not Jennifer, it’s Vanessa.”
Mrs. Morris grabbed the plates from the table and threw them into the sink. “Go to your room, Jennifer, and take your sniveling little friend with you. We’ll call her parents in the morning and tell them she’s not welcome here any longer.”
Vanessa and Alice stayed awake the whole long night. Several times, they were sure they heard Mrs. Morris outside of their door.