In Ranchos, she parked near the historic San Francisco de Asis Church and locked up. It was a cold day, but the sun shone brightly. Hot oil, garlic, and roasted chilies permeated the chilly air. A handful of overdressed tourists, cameras slung over their shoulders, milled about the parking lot, impatient for the shops and galleries to open. Locals lumbered out of the Ranchos Grill. They leaned against their pickups to socialize; they looked like contractors with time to spare before heading to the job site.
Darcy wandered toward the front doors of the church. Cooing pigeons scattered in her wake. She ducked into the vestibule, dipped her hand in holy water, and blessed herself. In the middle of the church, she genuflected, slid into a pew, and knelt. Strong sunlight warmed the interior.
Ten minutes passed, then fifteen. Darcy wondered if Elena’s words were nothing more than a clever ruse to get rid of her. With every second, she lost hope and grew angrier at herself for being duped. Still, she clung to a single impression: the concern in Elena’s eyes when Darcy said Johnny had been missing since Friday. Her apprehension appeared genuine.
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