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Don't Let Me Down
Author: Kelsie Rae





A few years ago…



Two Men Arrested in Connection With Body Found Near Lockwood Heights Train Station



Two men were arrested for the murder of Buddy Rutherford yesterday evening. Martin Hayes and Troy McAdams were taken into custody on Friday after new evidence came to light,

connecting the men to Mr. Rutherford’s disappearance.

The Lockwood Heights coroner ruled Rutherford’s death a homicide after his body was discovered near Lockwood Train Station.

Hayes is a known drug dealer and loan shark in the area. Police suspect he loaned Rutherford a large sum of money. When the victim was unable to repay the loan, he was brutally tortured. It is believed that Hayes called McAdams, the son of businessman Dick McAdams, to assist in disposing of the body after the torture went too far.

The McAdams family is closely tied with gubernatorial candidate Christopher Buchanan, and some have questioned his involvement in the case. Troy McAdams is a long-time friend of Henry Buchanan, the candidate’s son, and the elder Buchanan and McAdams men are joint partners in B-Tech Enterprises.

The police are adamant there is absolutely no evidence indicating the Buchanans were involved in Rutherford’s disappearance and slaying. They are pleading with the public to please give the family space to mourn the loss of their friendship and business relationship with the McAdams family.

Rutherford is survived by his sister, Hadley Rutherford, his ex-wife, Isabelle Hill, and their daughter, Mia Rutherford. They have yet to respond to our requests for an interview. Everyone at the Lockwood Post sends them our deepest condolences.









The band is killing it on the stage. They’re not Broken Vows, my uncle’s band, but they’re pretty good. Alternative rock with a dash of blues. From behind the bar, my head bobs up and down with the music’s beat as I wipe out a freshly-washed glass with a clean towel.

Over the past couple of years, since I started working at SeaBird, it’s slowly become my home away from home. I love the atmosphere. The smell of coconut and salt lingering in the air. How the lights can go from dim to flashing in an instant. The customers. Well, most of them, anyway. Some are assholes, but I’ve had a habit of attracting them since I was a kid, so I’m not sure if the problem is SeaBird or if it’s me. Regardless, if being a bartender paid better, I’d almost consider sticking around and working here for the rest of my life since my initial plan to work as a nurse hasn’t exactly panned out the way I hoped.

Not yet, anyway.

I shove the familiar little black thought aside and set the clean glass next to the others when someone approaches me.

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the devil himself.

Henry Buchanan.

The suave billionaire from new money is not only the son of a former governor, now a US senator, he’s also a recently-retired LAU professor and the new owner of the NHL Lions.

I took a couple of his classes when I was a student, but even if I hadn’t, I’d still know him. Everyone knows Henry Buchanan. Or at least, they know of him. He has this air about him. The way he demands attention without uttering a single word. Hell, he enters a room, and people feel his presence. At this point, I’m not even sure if it’s because of his family name and the weight it holds or if it’s simply…Henry.

I force myself to ignore his strong jawline and pick up the same freshly-cleaned glass instead, hoping it’ll distract me enough to keep me from checking the guy out as he strides into SeaBird. He was here earlier this week. Probably because he wanted to talk to his new center and left wing for the Lions, who happen to be dating my friends, Ashlyn and Blakely. Yeah, Colt Thorne and Theodore Taylor are hockey gods, and they definitely know it. Thankfully, they’re good dudes and treat my friends like gold. If they didn’t, I’d neuter them, and they both know it.

However, they aren’t here tonight. Which begs the question, why is Buchanan?

“You know, if you lost the suit, you might not stick out like a sore thumb around here,” I add as he takes a seat on the barstool in front of me.

“Yeah.” He looks down at his dark, fitted suit as if he’s only now realizing how little he blends in while wearing it. Not going to lie. It makes him look like a GQ model surrounded by peasants. As he smooths down the rich fabric, light reflects off the Rolex wrapped around his sexy wrist, catching my attention. I didn’t know wrists could be sexy, but with the dapple of dark hair and veins popping along the top of his hand, I stand corrected. I’m not surprised. The man was voted the sexiest bachelor alive before his girlfriend took him off the market. If that isn’t an accomplishment, I don’t know what is.

“Guess I forget I don’t look like a student anymore,” he adds dryly, assessing his odd choice of clothing compared to everyone else around him.

Yeah, no. Not even close. The guy’s at least thirty-three and has aged like a fine fucking wine. I started paying attention to the Buchanan name when I found out Evelyn Buchanan, Henry’s little sister, was dating my father’s killer. Well, technically, two men were arrested for my dad’s murder, but still.

Man, it feels like a lifetime ago.

Thankfully, the Buchanans weren’t involved in my father’s disappearance. However, their names were still dragged through the mud thanks to Buchanan’s dad running for governor at the time.

After the police made the connection, the Buchanan name hit the newspapers for weeks. Eventually, Henry’s dad squashed the rumors and distracted the media with a new story.

Henry was best friends with one of the guys too. Troy McAdams. The asshole frat boy who became friends with a lowlife loan shark named Marty. After loaning my dad a bunch of money and realizing my father would never be able to pay him back, Marty killed my dad and asked Troy to help him cover his tracks. Apparently, Buchanan’s had a hard time allowing anyone to get close to him ever since.

I don’t blame him.

I don’t let people get very close to me, either.

But what would you know? My path crossed with the infamous Henry Buchanan a few years later, and I ended up having him as a professor at LAU.

It’s eerie how small the world feels sometimes.

And how much fate likes to screw with me.

Then again, I could’ve moved across the country to escape it all. I could still move across the country to get away from it all.

But I won’t.

Because my mom and my friends, who have become my family, are here in this small town, and I doubt they’re going anywhere anytime soon.

“Missing the good ol’ days, Professor?” I quip. “When you’d blend in with the rest of the students at SeaBird instead of sticking out like a sore thumb?”

Apparently, Henry Buchanan went to LAU, too. Rumor has it this is the same bar where his little sister met her husband, Jake Jensen. And it’s a good thing she found such a perfect fit for her snooty-tooty family because the guy’s a software nerd who took over B-Tech Enterprises after Buchanan passed along the responsibilities and decided to become a professor.

He presses his full lips together as he scans the bar, barely casting me a glance. “You’ve graduated,” he reminds me. “You don’t need to call me professor anymore.”

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