That Was Then. This is now.

The few who knew about his dark life were not surprised by Ace’s disappearance. She remembered him in junior high, bullying everyone, including the bus driver who kicked him off the bus. The driver got fired and Ace stopped riding the bus after that. She thought he might have gotten in trouble but instead his father bought him a new truck. He drove it to school to screech around the parking lot, and drive over curbs, sidewalks and medians. He totaled it about a week later. No one was surprised but most everyone was disappointed Ace wasn’t hurt at all.

As an adult Ace assumed the character of an assassin after making this his life’s goal. He even wrote it down in a notebook and listed objectives and tasks with timelines as recommended by self-help professionals. The various checkmarks, dates and symbols later helped investigators piece together the gruesome history. He would have been charged on this evidence alone if he hadn’t disappeared.

Ace ran. That’s what everybody thought since he’d done it before. No one hardly missed him at all until about the third week when the guys who did the work he was hired to do showed up to get paid. Chocky had tried to get Ace busted for the work thing but it only got worse. Sammy got involved and the county gave Ace a sweet contract, all official.  He pretty much did whatever he wanted after that. They hired a gal, like an intern, to do all the paperwork and make sure he showed up to meetings.

Sadie paid the men from her account - whatever they said Ace owed them. Then she hired them on as barn hands and got them housing and health insurance.

Her brother was livid when he found out.

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