"On my way." She hung up without saying good-bye. Bonnie looked at her inquiringly.
"Got to go," Harper told her, grabbing her bag. "Someone just got murdered on River Street."
Bonnie's jaw dropped. "River Street? Holy crap."
"I know." Harper pulled out her notebook and police scanner and headed across the room, mentally calculating how long it would take her to get there. "If it's a tourist, the mayor will absolutely lose her shit."
River Street was the epicenter of the city's tourism district—and the safest place in town. Until now.
Bonnie ran after her.
"Give me a second to lock up," she said. "I'll come with you."
Harper turned to look at her. "You're coming to a crime scene?" The music had started up again.
"You've had four margaritas," Bonnie reminded her. "I made them strong. You'll be over the limit. I've only had two beers tonight."
Behind the bar, she opened a concealed wall panel and flipped some switches. In an instant, the music fell silent. A second later, the lights went off one by one, until only the red glow of the exit sign remained.
Grabbing her keys, Bonnie ran to join Harper, the heels of her cowboy boots clicking against the concrete floor in the sudden quiet, her short skirt swirling around her thighs.
Harper still wasn't convinced this was a great idea. "You know there'll be dead people there, right?"
Shrugging, Bonnie unlocked the front door and pulled it open. Steamy Southern night air poured in.
"I'm a grown-up. I can take it."
She glanced over her shoulder with a look Harper had known better than to argue with since they were both six years old.
River Street was a narrow cobblestone lane running between the old wharves and warehouses that had once serviced tall ships sailing for Europe, and the wide, dark water of the Savannah River.
The most photographed street in the city, it would be packed in a few hours with workers, tourists, and tour buses, but it was virtually empty now.
Most bars had closed at two a.m., and the heat wave currently underway sent everyone who might ordinarily have lingered by the river scurrying for air-conditioning.
Bonnie swung her pink pickup, with Mavis painted on the tailgate in bright yellow, into a parking spot and killed the engine.
They could see flashing blue lights a short distance away at the water's edge.
The sight made Harper's heart race. It was nearly three in the morning. At this hour, the local TV channels might not have anyone on call. This could be her story exclusively.
"Come on," she told Bonnie, throwing the door open and jumping out.
When her feet hit the curb, the bullet wound in her shoulder throbbed a sharp warning. She winced, pressing her hand against the scar.
It had been over a year since she'd been shot. It was rare for the wound to twinge. It usually only acted up when the weather changed.
"You'll be a walking barometer now," her surgeon had remarked jovially at one of her checkups. "Always be able to tell when rain is coming."
"That's not the superpower I was hoping for," she'd responded.
Secretly, she was glad the pain was still there. The wound—which she'd sustained while exposing her mentor, former Chief Detective Robert Smith, for murder—served as a reminder to be careful who she trusted.
Bonnie missed her pained expression—her eyes were on the police cars.