There was a hidden entrance to the Cozy Y ranch house. The Colonel built a Spanish Colonial home in 1910. It sat on the mesa above the older structures on the valley floor beneath it. In one of these was an ice house or root cellar. The roof was reinforced with beams and the walls were lined with shelves. In the back wall was a closet that housed a dumbwaiter up to the pantry.
There was room for a day bed and floor lamp. Connie would hide from her father-in-law down there. It stayed cool on the hottest days and cozy in the winter. She read books, ate peaches and preserves from glass jars with a spoon, and napped on piles of Persian carpets and Navajo rugs stored there. They were safe from their enemies too - the moths and sunlight.
When the first ranch house burned the icehouse and other structures were all that remained. These were ignored in rebuilding. Rosa had the dumbwaiter closet rebuilt after the fire, replacing the dumbwaiter with a series of ladders and stairs. She showed it to Chocky but Alva never knew about it and neither did Sebastian. Sadie was almost certain that Ace didn't either.
Sadie tried to jog the last hundred yards but was too exhausted. She'd been without water for the last couple of miles and she was wearing heels. She walked up her driveway and glanced at her reflection in a patio window. She looked exactly as she would expect to look if she'd hiked across the desert after killing her husband, shoving him in the trunk and wrecking the car.
She knew she couldn't get in without passing the office window. If he wasn't there someone else might be and there would be questions. She paused to consider her options. The swimming pool was burbling and glistening. It was right there. She was so thirsty and hot.
He glanced up when he heard the splash. She still had her clothes on but she'd done far weirder things. She waved at him and smiled a genuine smile because the water felt so delicious. When he was no longer watching she got out and strolled to the cabana for a towel. She headed the direction of the main house but appeared to reconsider and headed to the bar for a drink instead. No one was at the window when she turned around. She went back into the cabana and down a ladder in one of the changing room closets, emerging silently from the ice house below.
There was no sign of anyone at the barn. Either Cat or Angel would be with a horse or in the office. She waved at the security camera. Her barn was never left unattended or unguarded. She began counting seconds and got to three when her dogs turned the corner of the barn at a full run. They immediately veered toward the ice house and she allowed them to jump into her arms.