He drove down the winding road. The lake was calm, quiet, and motionless, and so was the cabin that had been built there many years ago. He rode by it slowly, just as he had every day for the past several months, looking to see if there was any sign of life. On that particular day he came during late evening, but it didn't seem to matter. He'd come at all different hours of the day, and the cabin had always appeared the same - empty, lifeless, and neglected. He knew someone would be occupying it soon, and he wondered if they would ever learn what secrets the cabin held.
He went around the bend slowly and parked in front of another unoccupied unit, glancing back up the road to make sure that the cabin was still visible. Locking the vehicle's doors, he walked the short distance to take a closer look at the dormant structure.
The windows were still boarded up from winter's respite, but the fact that it would soon have new life concerned him. The full moon gave light as he walked behind the building. Everything looked the same, as no one had been there for months. The boat lay under a protective shed, untouched as far as he could tell. He walked up the back steps onto the deck. The grill was still positioned the same. After checking the locked door, he tried to see though its window - the only window that wasn't boarded - but the blind was pulled. He knew he shouldn't be there, but he wasn't concerned about being seen. No one at the lake had ever paid attention to him, and the cabins on either side were on a rental program. The occupants - always different - came and went. He felt safe.
On the short walk back to his car, a motorist pulled up beside him and asked if he wanted a ride. He declined and said that he needed fresh air. He was annoyed to have been bothered. Once inside the car, he knew that he should leave; instead, he lingered a few more minutes. The moon's fullness made it possible to see the lake through an open area in the trees. The light's reflection on the shimmering water made him feel at peace. He wondered why he kept coming.
The locks to the doors had been changed, and everything else had been done to make the cabin more secure. He didn't dare try to break in for fear he'd get caught. And why risk it? To his knowledge, the police didn't suspect foul play in connection with Billy's death. The only thing he heard on the news was that an elderly man appeared to have drowned on Douglas Lake while fishing. It was thought the man may have suffered a heart attack and fallen into the lake.
He knew he should leave well enough alone, but he had an uneasy feeling that something might be found in the cabin that could raise questions with Billy's niece. He told himself that he was acting paranoid. Regardless of what she found, she'd probably think nothing of it.
I must be patient, he thought. No need to be concerned. Rachael will be inhabiting the cabin soon, but that doesn't mean she's here to stay. I'll find a way to befriend her. I'll win her trust. And then I'll gain access to the cabin.