Still plugging away here. Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read and comment. 💕
In Plain View
Leah knew how roadkill felt, well, you know, if it weren’t dead. Over one miscalculated lunch of stilton and leek quiche and tomato basil soup, Andrea Kasey destroyed her.
Certainly, Leah was aware of Andrea Kasey’s reputation. In fact, Leah almost didn’t have a second date with Jerry once she discovered who his mother was. But Jerry was one of those lost creations: a truly nice guy. His ex-girlfriends didn’t even hold grudges, and one most definitely wanted him back, which was uncomfortable. Leah trusted Jerry’s goodness and Jerry thought she was the sun and rose petals and hazelnut cream in chocolate.
One lunch undid all of that.
The moment Andrea Kasey entered Leah’s townhouse, all six-foot one of her, her blond helmet of hair glistening, her teeth white and shiny, Leah realized that quiche might be wrong. Maybe a filet, very rare, something those sharp incisors could rip apart.
Andrea Kasey looked down at her. “You’re a little bit of a thing, aren’t you? How did Jerry ever find you? A magnifying glass?”
Leah glanced at Jerry and tried to laugh. It sounded a lot like a hiccup. Great, now his mother would probably think she’d been drinking already when it wasn’t even 1 pm. And that image wouldn’t be enhanced by the fact that Leah most definitely wanted the mimosas she’d planned for lunch. Now. Preferably the champagne straight from the bottle.
“Ah, quiche. What an original choice for brunch,” Andrea Kasey said.
Jerry squeezed Leah’s hand, but it didn’t help.
“You’re a kindergarten teacher,” Andrea Kasey said before glancing around the townhouse. “It must pay better than I thought.”
Leah decided not to inform this woman about the inheritance from her grandmother that had been more than enough for the down payment. “Teaching kindergarten is very rewarding.”
After tasting a spoonful of the soup, Andrea Kasey leaned back. She did seem to enjoy the soup at least. Her eyes met Leah’s as she set the spoon down.
“Let’s be honest here,” Andrea Kasey said. “I’m disconcerted by the fact that you’ve been engaged at least thirteen times before. The only one of them that my man Ralph could track done was living in the depth of a jungle in Southeast Asia, terrified of you. Right after Ralph interviewed him he fled.”
“Thirteen engagements?” Jerry asked.
Leah shouldn’t have been surprised that this woman had done a background check on her, not with her reputation.
“I wonder what happened to each of those men you were engaged to?”
“What makes you think anything happened to them? People are very transient these days.”
“Men don’t just stop attending jobs, using their credit cards, speaking to family. Unless they’re terrified, or worse.”
“This all sounds very ghoulish. Brava to you.” Leah laughed. She had to remind herself that this woman was just trying to intimidate her.
“I also know who your father is. Still on death row, biding his time, while his daughter fulfills his dreams. Who knew the traits that could run in families?” Andrea Kasey said.
Leah wiped her lips on her embroidered linen napkin and stood. “Time for you to leave.”
A smug smile curved Andrea Kasey’s lips. “It is time for you too, my dear. My friend the police chief has sent some of the men who work for him. They should be right outside.”