Point Blank

Point Blank by Catherine Coulter Read Free Book Online

Book: Point Blank by Catherine Coulter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Catherine Coulter
lemon cake for our dessert tonight. Hey, Dad, what’s for dinner?”
    “Not pizza tonight, Rafe, hang that up. I made some stew Tuesday and froze it. I’ll make biscuits to go with it.”
    “I’ll see if we’ve got enough catsup.”
    “We do. I checked before I left this morning. Is there any of the lemon cake left?”
    “I did eat a couple of pieces,” Rafer said.
    Dix could easily picture the gutted cake. He pulled his cell out of his jacket pocket and called the Claussons’ house. Sure enough, Rob was there, playing Foosball with Mary Lou and her parents, who were killers at the game. They had the fastest reflexes Dix had ever seen. Rob must have been getting beat really bad because he didn’t sound at all sorry to come home to dinner. “Hey, Dad, can Mary Lou have dinner with us?”
    Before Dix could answer, he heard Mr. Clausson say in the background, “No, Rob, Mary Lou’s aunt is visiting us tonight.”
    “Come on home, Rob.”
    “Yeah, Rob,” came Rafe’s voice loud in the background, “you don’t want Mr. Clausson to skin off your face.”
    IT STARTED SNOWING about nine-thirty that night. Dix and the boys were watching TV, he and Rafe having buried Othello and Desdemona an hour before. Rafe, rightfully in Dix’s opinion, wanted to know why Iago didn’t get his guts ripped out, to which Dix replied, “Hey, Shakespeare gave us a body count of five. That’s enough, isn’t it?”
    Rafe had finally said, “Yeah, I guess enough of the cast did croak.”
    Rafe’s model double helix was finished and sat once more on top of his desk next to his Titans football signed by Steve McNair. They usually watched TV on Friday nights. It was a treat for the boys since he had a no-TV rule during the week.
    Rafe fell asleep in the middle of Law & Order, his head on Dix’s leg. Rob, sixteen, long and skinny, was slouched in his favorite chair, snoring lightly. His hair was as black as Dix’s but his eyes were his mom’s blue-green. I’m the old man here in the room, Dix thought, and I’m the only one awake. It made him wonder what the boys had been up to today to wear themselves out.
    He got the boys off to bed at ten o’clock and took Brewster out for his night run. Since the snow had only just begun to fall, he didn’t have to worry about Brewster sinking in over his head and getting himself in trouble, a very real concern in the winter. He let him down on the front porch and watched him leap joyfully off the top step and race into the yard, barking and yapping. He twirled back around, bouncing like there were springs on his back legs, trying to catch the snowflakes with his front paws, his fluffy little tail wagging frantically.
    Dix walked down the sidewalk and raised his face to the sky. The snow was so lacy and soft it dissolved the instant it touched his face. He stood silently, smiling at Brewster, letting the cold night air fill his lungs. He realized he felt good, felt more whole again than not, and that was surely a step in the right direction. Brewster yelped three times at him and took off toward the woods.
    “Brewster! Come back here, you know the woods are off-limits!”
    But Brewster had the scent of some animal and wasn’t about to give up the chase. Dix headed after him, pulling on the gloves he’d pushed into the pockets of his leather jacket as he walked. There were lots of feral animals in the woods, 99 percent of them bigger and more vicious than Brewster. Dix called the dog again and again, but all he heard were Brewster’s yelps, growing more distant. He kept talking to Brewster, following the sound of his barks. He’d found something, perhaps an injured animal.
    The night sky hung heavy, fat, bloated clouds waiting for some internal alarm to dump their snow, and no more of this penny-ante stuff. “Brewster!”
    More yelps cut the night silence, not so distant now. Had Brewster trapped an opossum?
    The snow was coming down a bit heavier now, but the trees were thick, shielding

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