It sounded like a gunshot, muffled and distant, but none of Lacey’s companions looked up. Neither did the high-bred horses in the paddock. A groom closed the barn door behind the group. As Lacey thankfully breathed the fresher, less horsey air outside, another pop came, louder this time.
She looked for the source. It could be a starter pistol from Spruce Meadows, the international-class horse show place just down the hill. If show jumping used starter pistols. But she didn’t think it did.
“From the mansion to the south,” said Ryan Branson, the yuppie owner of Sundance Stables. “Construction noise. They’ve been renovating for over a year. We try to think of it as crowd-conditioning for the horses, instead of a bloody nuisance. Now, I’ve got a lunch date. Leah will help you with anything else.”
He turned away, his impeccably office-casual clothing at odds with the staff’s smudged riding gear.
A dark stain marred the back of his otherwise impeccable dress shirt. As Lacey watched, the stain spread. Ryan gave a little squeak and fell over.
The rumors were true, then! Somebody -- somebody nearby -- had a gun with ultra-slow-moving bullets!
Lacey whirled around, trying to look in all directions at once, wondering: What about that second gunshot?
Opening: Jeb.....Continuation: Ellie