Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Episode 3

Biff Monroe's Car

"Come on Biff, let's go to the Rainbow," Selena said. She was talking to Biff Monroe, but she was looking at her father, quite enjoying the expression of frustrated rage on his face. 

Biff was the first guy Selena Kallias had ever kissed. Her father had gone ballistic after catching them in a lip-lock out in the parking lot. He'd fired Biff on the spot. Selena thought he was way overreacting, even if, at the time, she'd been only fourteen. So what if Biff was twenty-four? It was only a kiss, for God's sake. She'd been trying to get him to notice her for the entire six weeks that he'd been waiting tables at Taverna, and it was totally unfair that her father had to ruin everything. 

For most of the eight years since then, Biff had been away from Pine Lake. Now, he was back in town; she'd seen him in Starbucks this morning and impulsively, she'd asked if he'd have dinner with her. Now she felt guilty that her father was being so rude. Biff wasn't as bad as everyone said, but no one in this town had ever given him a break. 

The two of them walked out of Taverna, leaving Nick standing beside an empty table with two full glass of red wine. Never a good sign to other diners.

"I'd forgotten about the Rainbow," Biff said as they drove six blocks across town in his dark green Mustang Cobra. Selena was impressed with the car. It wasn't new, but Biff obviously kept it in top condition, and while he drove fast, he was careful. He kept his eyes on the road. He wasn't the handsomest man she'd ever been out with--his shaggy blond hair was dull and his nose was crooked-- but there was something kind in his gray eyes. 

"The Rainbow hasn't changed," Selena replied. "It's still nothing but a greasy spoon with cheap liquor."

"So it doesn't give Taverna much competition?"

"No. Completely different clientele. But Dad hates the place anyway. He says it gives the town a bad name and draws in creeps."

"He could be right about that."

"And he could be wrong. My dad doesn't know everything, though he'd like you to think so. Anyway, why are you defending him after the way he treated you?"

"I haven't always been a model citizen, Selena. And he'd just trying to protect you. I can't fault him for that."

"He treats me like a child."

Biff deftly maneuvered the car into a parallel parking place half a block from the Rainbow. He turned to her, tracing a line from her cheekbone to her chin with his index finger. "Pretty girl, I promise I'm not going to treat you that way."


Genevra Adams was accustomed to being in complete control over any situation. She could handle anything. Hadn't she single-handedly created her own publication? Pine Heart, a gorgeous (if she did say so herself) glossy magazine, covered interesting events, people, and businesses in and around Pine Lake. Subscriptions were on the rise in spite of the economy, they'd recently won an award for best small publication, and she loved her job. Two weeks ago, she'd hired Biff Monroe as a full-time photographer, which might have been going out on a limb a little bit, but he was talented. She'd seen the work he'd been doing in the last five years as he traveled around the country freelancing, and she was willing to give him a chance.

They would not, however, be covering what would no doubt be the story of the year. John Donati was on the terrace right now, standing over the body that Genevra had discovered shorty after she and Blake returned home this evening. Taking another large sip of her scotch, she relived the shock of the moment.

Both she and Blake had arrived home around half-past eight. (The police would be asking for a statement; she needed to think over the details.) After pouring a nightcap, Genevra had gone to the garden room to relax. The late September evening air was pleasant, so she'd opened one of the French doors. At first, she'd thought Billy had left  pile of clothing on the stone terrace, but as she looked more closely, she'd seen that it was a person--a man--lying in a pool of dark blood. She'd screamed, actually screamed, Blake's name, and for once, he'd come running.

Genevra heard voices in the hallway. Chief Donati stepped into the den. "Mrs. Adams, can we talk?"

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