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I Do, or Dye Trying (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries,#4), page 1

 

I Do, or Dye Trying (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries,#4)
 


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I Do, or Dye Trying (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries,#4)


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Dedication

  One

  Two

  Three

  Four

  Five

  Six

  Seven

  Eight

  Nine

  Ten

  Eleven

  Twelve

  Thirteen

  Fourteen

  Fifteen

  Sixteen

  Seventeen

  Eighteen

  Nineteen

  Twenty

  Twenty-One

  Twenty-Two

  Twenty-Three

  Twenty-Four

  Twenty-Five

  Twenty-Six

  Twenty-Seven

  Twenty-Eight

  Epilogue

  Other Books by Aimee Nicole Walker

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  I Do, or Dye Trying

  (Curl Up and DYE Mysteries, #4)

  Copyright © 2017 Aimee Nicole Walker

  aimeenicolewalker@blogspot.com

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to the actual person, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Cover photograph and interior photos © Wander Aguiar – www.wanderaguiar.com

  Cover art © Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art – www.jayscoversbydesign.com

  Editing provided by Pam Ebeler of Undivided Editing – www.undividedediting.com

  Proofreading provided by Judy Zweifel of Judy’s Proofreading – www.judysproofreading.com

  Interior Design and Formatting provided by Stacey Ryan Blake of Champagne Formats – www.champagneformats.com

  All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original publisher only.

  This book contains sexually explicit material and is only intended for adult readers.

  Copyright and Trademark Acknowledgments

  The author acknowledges the copyrights and trademarked status and trademark owners of the following trademarks and copyrights mentioned in this work of fiction.

  Copyrights and Trademarks:

  Word of Warcraft – Blizzard Entertainment

  Miami Vice – Universal Television, NBC

  Friends – Warner Bros Television, NBC

  Netflix

  Coca Cola

  Ninja Coffee Bar

  20/20 – ABC

  60 Minutes – CBS

  Dateline – NBC

  Rhett and Scarlett – Gone with the Wind

  “Try” – P!nk

  Walmart

  The Twilight Zone – CBS

  Skype

  “A Tale of Two Cities” – Charles Dickens

  “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” – Barry White

  Cincinnati Reds

  Atlanta Braves

  Mary Poppins – Walt Disney Company

  “Marry Me” – Train

  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – Wizard of Oz

  “What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong

  “It Takes Two” – Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock

  “Because you Loved Me” – Celine Dion

  Coach

  “Simple Love Song” – Anuhea

  Miss Congeniality – Warner Bros

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Dedication

  One

  Two

  Three

  Four

  Five

  Six

  Seven

  Eight

  Nine

  Ten

  Eleven

  Twelve

  Thirteen

  Fourteen

  Fifteen

  Sixteen

  Seventeen

  Eighteen

  Nineteen

  Twenty

  Twenty-One

  Twenty-Two

  Twenty-Three

  Twenty-Four

  Twenty-Five

  Twenty-Six

  Twenty-Seven

  Twenty-Eight

  Epilogue

  Other Books by Aimee Nicole Walker

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  To my Dye Hards,

  You brighten my world every single day, and I cherish the friendships we’ve made. Thank you for being a part of my life!

  JOSH AND I HAD the most amazing week in the Bahamas to celebrate his birthday and our future. We spent our time swimming, sunbathing, eating, and making love. I soaked in every second we had alone because we both knew things would get crazy once we returned home.

  Broadman’s pretrial hearings were scheduled to start, we also had a wedding to plan, and a mini-mansion to buy. The changes to our lives were huge and overwhelming, but so fucking amazing. I couldn’t wait to start our new life together and raise a family. In fact, we treated Josh’s birthday vacation like it might be the last time we got to go away alone as a couple for a very long time. I thought trips to Disney might be in our future instead of a romantic getaway for two. Some couples were lucky enough to do both, and I thought it should be our goal also.

  “That was the most amazing week I’ve ever had,” Josh said as I pulled down our street. “Thank you for so many wonderful birthday surprises.” He was talking about the little gifts I gave him daily to celebrate him taking another trip around the sun. Those were nothing compared to the surprise I had for him at home. I knew the moment he saw his special gift.

  “Oh! My! GOD!” He squealed and danced in his seat as I pulled in the driveway. The car hadn’t even come to a complete stop before he jumped out and ran to his Princess. “Racing stripes! You bought me racing stripes!” There was more dancing followed by a kiss fit for a hero. I seriously debated painting some temporary racing stripes down the front of my body to see what kind of reaction I would get from him. “You shouldn’t have spent so much money, but damn I’m so in love with them.” He ran his finger lightly over one of the silver stripes.

  “I’ve seen the way you lust after Emory’s stripes, or at least I hope it was just the damn stripes,” I grumbled.

  “Shut up,” Josh said, slapping me playfully on my arm. “Oh, speaking of Emory, here he comes. I bet he wants to talk about my new stripes.”

  I could tell by the expression on Emory’s face when he neared us that he wasn’t there to admire the stripes. In fact, I was positive that I didn’t want to hear whatever Emory had to say.

  “I’ve had a vision,” he said somberly. “I know why I’m here in Blissville.”

  I automatically reached for Josh and pulled him close. I didn’t have to be a psychic to know that it was bad news. “Why are you here, Emory?” I asked him.

  “Someone’s looking for you, Gabe. A man.” He replied so solemnly that it was almost funny.

  “Should I be worried?” Josh quipped, never one to miss an opportunity to snark. I looked down into his hazel eyes and was surprised that I saw concern there instead of the humor I expected. I remembered how unsettled Josh was about Emory’s appearance in our lives and how hard he worked to convince himself that everything was going to be okay.

  “Honestly,” Emory said then paused for effect, “yes.”

  “Whoa,” Josh said softly, every ounce of happiness he’d felt moments before was gone. I knew I needed to act fast to get it back.

  “Emory, do you know anything more specific than a man is looking for me. I mean, that could be anything. What makes you think we should be worried?
I asked our friend.

  “It’s hard to explain,” he said, but he could tell by the expression on my face that he was going to need to try. “There was an aura of danger in my vision.”

  “A feeling?” I asked. I wanted—no, I needed—something more concrete than a feeling. I was a cop and worked on facts, not premonitions.

  “More than that,” Emory said in frustration. I could tell he was struggling to find a way to explain things to me. “Sometimes my visions have colors around the edges, and sometimes colors surround the person in the vision. I saw a red aura, which can be several things, among them is anger, resentment, and even danger. This man—or whatever he represents—could be dangerous to you.”

  “Did you get a good look at his face?” Josh asked. “Believe it or not, we have a sketch artist on the task force.”

  “I remember,” Emory said. “Your work with the artist brought a killer to your door—the same man whose negative energy I sensed in my house when I first moved in.”

  “Well, did you see his face?” Josh asked, urging Emory to answer his question. I was curious to hear the answer myself.

  “It wasn’t a clear vision of the man; it seldom works that way. Hell, if it did I could prevent…” His words broke off as a look of complete devastation washed over him. I wondered if he was talking about his husband’s death, but hadn’t I read that his abilities started after River died? I also noticed he spoke in future tense—not past—like he wanted to prevent something that hadn’t happened yet, but knew he couldn’t. “Never mind,” he said, shaking his head. “What I see are fragmented pieces of events like snapshots, and sometimes they’re nothing more than vague impressions. In your case,” he nodded to me, “I saw an outline of a tall man appearing before you and his aura was so dark black that…”

  “I thought you said it was red,” Josh said, cutting him off.

  “Gabe’s aura was red,” Emory clarified patiently. “The stranger’s aura was black, which usually indicates the inability to forgive, repressed anger, and bitterness.”

  “Emory, why don’t we go upstairs and talk about this,” I suggested. “You can tell me exactly what you saw.”

  “Yeah, okay,” he said, but his tone indicated that he’d rather not. “I guess the least I can do is grab a suitcase.”

  “You’re reading my mind again,” Josh told him, trying to inject some humor into the situation.

  Once upstairs in our apartment above the salon, Emory sat sipping a can of Coke that Josh handed him while we greeted our fur and feather babies. Adrian had sent a text when we were on our way home that said he’d drop Buddy off, so that he could be waiting for us when we arrived. He couldn’t decide if he was happy to see us or pissed because we left him in the first place. Someone abandoned him once, and I always worried he felt left behind when Josh and I left him for an extended time.

  “You’re such a good boy,” I assured him as I rubbed his belly. “Best boy in the world.”

  “Bite me, asshole! Bite me!” Savage squawked as he flapped his wings angrily and rocked his little swing back and forth. “Asshole!”

  “Somebody’s jealous,” Josh said, nodding his head toward the bird. “Let me take over here while you calm the bird down.”

  I rose to my feet and walked over to the cage while Diva wove in and out of my legs. “Did you miss me, Savage? I missed you.” Savage settled down as soon as I opened his cage. “Have you been a good boy, Dirty Bird?” I stroked my finger over his soft blue feathers.

  “Big Daddy’s home! Little Daddy’s home!” Finally! I’d been trying to teach him to call Josh that for weeks!

  “Little Daddy?” Josh asked.

  I turned to face Josh, who had Jazzy sitting on his shoulders, while he rubbed Buddy’s belly. “I don’t know where he learns these things, Sunshine. I honestly don’t.” I turned back to face our bird who bopped his head like he was jamming to music that only he could hear, which made me wonder if I could teach him to dance to music to entertain our guests. “Daddies are home, Dirty Bird.”

  “Dirty Bird!” Savage repeated.

  Emory’s chuckle reminded me that a more serious discussion needed to take place. I stroked over Savage one last time before I closed his cage then braced myself to hear whatever Emory had to say. He looked nervous where before he looked afraid. Was he worried that I wouldn’t believe him? While I couldn’t say that I was hanging onto his every word, I wasn’t going to ignore him either.

  “Okay,” I said, taking a seat on the sofa. “Tell me exactly what you saw.”

  “It was just a snippet in time. You were standing on a porch talking to a man.” That was it? “That’s not all,” Emory said, giving me a knowing look. I blinked because Josh had jokingly called him a mind reader on more than one occasion. “It was the scowl on your face, Detective, not me peering into your brain.”

  “It’s still creepy,” I told him.

  “Right?” Josh asked from where he sat on the floor.

  “I feel ridiculous for practically running across the yard with an ominous threat with virtually no information to back it up. I know just how much you law enforcement officers want hard, concrete evidence.”

  “Juries kind of demand it, Emory,” I told him dryly. “Tell me what you saw.”

  “I feel ridiculous now that I’m about to say it out loud.” He released a long breath and said, “I saw a quick snippet of you talking to a man on a porch.”

  “Our front porch or back porch?” Josh asked. “Front door visits imply that the person doesn’t know us well or maybe not at all. Friends and family would come to our back door.”

  “Neither,” Emory replied. “It wasn’t at this house.”

  “What did the house look like in your vision?” Josh asked. Who was the detective here?

  Emory closed his eyes like he was trying to remember every detail. “It was a big, wide porch, with large white pillars and dark wicker furniture with gray and blue striped cushions.” He opened his eyes and said, “It seems familiar to me, but I don’t know why.” A shiver of fear snaked its way down my spine.

  “Like this?” Josh asked. He scooted over to Emory and showed him a picture on his phone. I knew without asking which house he was showing him. It was the one we were going to buy so we could start the next phase of our lives. We’d discussed it the day I asked Josh to marry me right before we went on his birthday trip. The house was exactly how Emory described it, minus the dark wicker furniture with striped cushions. But damn if that didn’t sound like something Josh would buy to put on that big porch.

  “Yes, just like that!” Emory exclaimed. “Whose house is that?”

  “It’s our forever home,” Josh said confidently. “We just need to buy it.”

  “You don’t know why the guy was there or what was said, and you can’t tell me what he looked like. Is that right?” I asked. I wanted to give credence to his words but it was hard to do with such vague details.

  Emory blushed a little, and I felt guilty for making him feel bad. “He was taller than you by a few inches, and he wasn’t as muscular as you,” he said. “I know this sounds ridiculous, but my visions or impressions have never been wrong. There will be a man who comes to your front door, and he will bring anger and resentment with him. He’s dangerous.”

  “Thank you, Emory,” I said, unsure what else to say. “I appreciate you looking out for me.”

  “I won’t stay any longer,” he said, rising to his feet. “I know you probably have a lot to do now that you’re back from vacation.” There was only one thing on my mind, and I’d pounce on it the minute he left.

  “Are you coming to dinner tomorrow?” Josh asked him when he reached the top of the staircase.

  “You mean I’m still invited?” he asked softly.

  “Of course,” Josh replied. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

  Emory looked at me as if he felt he needed my invitation as well. “Don’t be ridiculous,” I said, mirroring Josh’s words. I had a minimum of fift
y pounds of muscle on Josh, but I knew damn well who was in charge. Besides, Emory wasn’t trying to hurt either of us. He thought he was helping.

  “I’ll be here,” Emory said, but again I noticed that he hesitated.

  “He won’t be here,” Josh answered. I wasn’t sure who Josh meant. “See, Emory; it’s creepy when someone reads your mind.”

  Emory chuckled and headed down the stairs. I followed behind him to lock the back door. “See you tomorrow,” I told him. My words were met with a wave as he headed down the porch steps. When I returned upstairs, Josh was in our bedroom watching Emory through the window.

  “I’m worried about him,” Josh said.

  “Emory?” I asked. I didn’t want to sound like a big baby, but wasn’t I the one who received the dire warning? He’d been freaking out since Emory moved next door, but he was calm as a cucumber when he turned and walked to me.

  “You being in danger wasn’t what brought him here, Gabe. Jonathon Silver is the reason he’s here. I’m not saying we ignore what he said,” Josh added when my mouth dropped open in shock. “But I told you that I’m not living in fear; I meant it.”

  “Good, that means we march forward with our plans to buy Georgia’s mansion. I’m calling her lawyer tomorrow to tell him that we’re buying the place.” I pulled him tight against my chest and lowered my head until my lips hovered above his. “That’s not all we need to plan,” I reminded him. “I can’t wait for you to become mine.”

  “I’m already yours,” Josh whispered back.

  “I want it official before you change your mind,” I told him, earning myself a snort in reply. “I don’t want big and fancy like the weddings featured on your segments on Channel Eleven. I want it intimate and real with our closest friends and our families.” Josh’s hazel eyes softened at my words. “You know where would be a great place to get married in September? Our new backyard,” I said before he could answer. “We could set up an arbor and chairs in that big backyard where we’ll have barbecues, and our kids will play on their swing set someday.”

  Panic began to replace the warm mushy feelings as I threw out a specific time frame. “This September?” he asked. “As in three months?”

 
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