Vandal (Redwood Rebels #3) by Rachel Leigh



Prologue





I’ve heard you can tell how dangerous a person is by how well they hold in their anger. For the past few weeks, I’ve held a raging storm inside of me and my friends are none the wiser. They’ve been elbows deep in their own shit that they haven’t even noticed I’m dealing with problems of my own. I’ve been pulled in every which direction to help their asses. All the while, I’m holding an endless supply of fury because life, as I know it, is over. It’s gone and it’s not fucking coming back.

Pulling out a flask from the inside pocket of my Ari Soho jacket, I twist the top off and take a swig. Talon shoots daggers in my direction. He’s noticed that I’ve been drinking a bit more than usual. Hell, I’m not denying it. If he was as royally fucked up from the inside out as I am, he’d be drowning in the bottle, too. Not to mention, this party is a drag. Sure, I love Marni and all, but slumming on the couch while her dad and his stuck-up friends snub us isn’t exactly thrilling.

Lars and Willa walk in an hour late and Lars plops down next to me. Willa takes a seat on his lap. "What are you guys talking about?" he asks.

Talon looks around at the older group across the room then he leans forward, bringing his voice down a few octaves. "I was just saying that someone out there has to be wondering how the fuck Josh's car went into Lake Ruin and how his body ended up in the pastor's basement. I mean, they've gotta be shitting bricks right now."

Lars comes forward with Willa still on his lap and whispers, "No kidding. I was thinking the same thing. We're in the clear for now, but someone out there knows something."

"Is it possible that Rick really is the one that hit him?" Willa shrugs her shoulders and looks back and forth at all of us.

"Nah, too obvious.” Talon shakes his head in small, rapid movements. “And it certainly wasn't an accident. When we found Josh, it looked like he had been mauled to death. Like someone ran him over and backed up a few times to finish him off. Then, of course, Marni's dad came flying down the road and smooshed his ass even more."

Willa cringes. "Ugh, that's disgusting."

I chime in, "You should have seen his face, it was—"

"No."Lars shakes his head. "Don't go there."

Willa nudges Lars. "Ask about the camera."

"What camera?" Marni asks.

"There's a camera about halfway down your driveway, facing the road. I'm sure your dad already checked it, but it could have caught something."

Marni taps her finger to her chin. "Hmm, I don't remember a camera in the driveway. Hey, Dad?" she hollers across the room, "come here."

Anderson makes his way over to us with a glass in his hand. The ice clinks, sloshing the caramel-colored liquor. "Is there a camera in the driveway?"

He raises a brow and thinks on it. "Tiny white camera?"

Marni looks at Willa for confirmation. "Yeah, it was white."

"Oh yeah. It's from the old system. That cheap piece of shit wouldn't pick up a pack of wolves coming down the driveway."

"Is it armed?" Talon asks.

"Nah, I don't think so. That system was set up through a third party. I'm pretty sure we dropped them when we switched to a private system."

"What's the name of the company?" Lars pulls out his phone.

"Umm, Whitlock Security."

"We're gonna look into it," Marni tells him. "I'll let you know if we need anything to log in."

With his eyes on his phone, Lars grabs our attention. "It looks like they have an online system where you can see all saved footage from the start of service. Doesn't hurt to try. Go ask your dad what his login info is," he tells Marni.

Marni jumps right up and goes to talk to him.

Fifteen minutes later, she returns with a piece of paper. "Holy fuck, what did you have to do, track down the software developer?" I tease.

"Sorry. My dad doesn't keep track of this shit. I had to search his office. Then call his former assistant. Anyways, I got it." She hands Lars the paper and he begins typing the info into his phone.

"Bingo. We're in.” There’s a brief pause while we all watch Lars intently. “Fucking-A dude, we got it!"

"No way!" Everyone gets up and hovers around him. "There's one segment clocked in five minutes before Tommy and Talon would have gotten there. This has to be it. The other ones are all after we arrived. This is some incriminating shit; we need to delete this when we're done."