Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

I swear to God it’s like having two more children dealing with these two. A few years ago for Christmas I bought them each a set of boxing gloves. When it gets really bad, I make them go out back and duke it out. This is actually one of the milder arguments and I think we can skip fight club today.

“I need the rest of the information you have on Martin McFadden,” I tell my dad as I hand him his slushie and he begins gulping it down while he sifts through a pile of files on top of his desk.

“If your father would have started using my new filing system, he could have e-mailed you that information in three seconds,” Uncle Wally muses from his desk.

Dad slams down his cup and starts clenching his fists.

“Can it, Uncle Wally. Dad, just drink your slushie.”

With a heavy sigh, he starts slurping through the straw, just to annoy my uncle.

My dad has a few part-time bounty hunters on his payroll and in the past when he got slammed with requests, before I opened Fool Me Once Investigations and I wasn’t busy with army duty, he’d have me fill in for him. I love the thrill of the chase and the rush of adrenaline when you find your man (or woman) and slap the cuffs on him (or her). After my marriage went down the shitter six months ago, I decided not to reenlist with the army so I could spend more time with my girls and they wouldn’t feel like both parents abandoned them.

“Ahhhh, here we go,” my dad states brightly as he finally finds the McFadden file and hands it over to me. “His last known address is in there as well as a list of all of his relatives. I haven’t had time to dig any deeper into his criminal background, but I figure Lorelei can pull some strings for you and get whatever else you need. Speaking of Lorelei, how are she and Paige? And when are you going to stop being so stubborn and just come work for me full time instead of just taking a case for me every once in a while?”

I sigh and shake my head at him. “Lorelei and Paige are fine. And we’ve gone over this a thousand times, Dad. I appreciate the offer of a full-time job, but I need to do something on my own. I need to keep busy so I don’t continue filling up notebooks with all of the ways I can remove Alex’s penis from his body. While fun, it’s not very constructive. Or healthy. Fool Me Once is the perfect distraction for me.”

Grabbing the file from my dad’s hand, I lean over his desk to kiss his cheek.

“I get it. You need to be independent. Just know, you’ll always have a job here if you decide adding things to the penis-removal list is more worthwhile,” he says with a smile.

I should have known Dad would be on board with that idea. He’s the reason I even started the notebooks in the first place. He’d told me the next time he saw Alex he was going to rip his dick off with his bare hands and then smack Alex across the face with the stump.

“Thanks, Dad. We still on for the Notre Dame game this weekend?” I ask as I grab my coffee and start walking backward to the door.

“You bet your sweet ass we are! Kickoff is at noon, so don’t be late,” my dad warns.

When you live in South Bend, Indiana, and a stone’s throw away from the University of Notre Dame, football is a way of life. Every Saturday in the fall is dedicated to watching our favorite team and pigging out on beer and junk food.

“Oh, and I hired a new guy for a few of our cases. He’s an ex-cop, so I’m giving him a shot at some bounty-hunter work. He’s going to meet you at McFadden’s house in thirty minutes so you can show him the ropes. Be nice to him,” Dad tells me with a raise of his eyebrow.

I work alone. I’ve always worked alone. The fact that I own a business with two other women hasn’t changed that. We each bring something different to the table and we each have our own separate jobs to do. Alone.

My father knows this and I’m sure he didn’t need another bounty hunter, but he hired one anyway to make sure I wouldn’t get into any trouble. For some reason, trouble always seems to find me no matter how hard I try to stay away from it.

“Dad, I don’t need any help on this case. I’m thirty-five years old and I’ve fought in Afghanistan, for fuck’s sake,” I complain as I shake my head at him.

“Humor me, Kennedy. I’m old. I’m going to die soon. I’d like to die knowing you’ll be safe.”

My dad has many skills. But his best one is his guilt trips. He is as healthy as a horse and the most stubborn human being on the face of the earth. He isn’t going to die anytime soon. He’ll outlive cockroaches and Twinkies.

I throw my hand in the air in an irritated wave and head back outside to my car. I swear to God if this guy doesn’t stay out of my way or screws anything up on this job, I will take my dad out back and beat his ass myself.

GD newbie bounty hunters.





CHAPTER 3




I pull up to the address for Martin McFadden and even though I googled the area and I’m a little familiar with the neighborhood, I’m still a bit surprised that this is the house of the criminal I’m hunting. It’s not the typical residence of a person I’m tracking down. Those people lean more toward houses on wheels with Spider-Man bedsheets for curtains and one-room apartments that make crack houses look like the lap of luxury.

This house looks like a sweet, little old lady lives here, not a bail-jumping criminal. It’s a ranch with a gorgeous white wraparound porch and there are hanging baskets of flowers all along the railing. As I get out of my vehicle, I notice the lawn has been manicured right down to those crisscross patterns you see on baseball fields. I make my way up the front walk and when I see a decorative flag stuck in the ground by the porch steps that says “Welcome Friends!” I’m once again bolstered by the fact that bringing this guy in will be a piece of cake.