Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Episode 27

"I'm sorry, sweetie. I don't know anymore than you do." Claire put a cup of coffee lightened with just a touch of milk in front of her guest. "One minute, everything was looking great; the next minute, he does this. Though I can't say it's the first time my son's done a runner."

Selena listened to Claire, who looked as devastated as Selena felt, with a sense of unreality. She stirred the coffee absentmindedly, then left it untouched. How could Biff do this to her? To his mother? She looked again at the note he'd left:

Got to leave. It's been grand.
             -- Biff 

The more she read it, the less sense it made. Why would he leave town with little more than the clothes on his back less than 24 hours after they'd talked about getting a place together?

"I just don't understand," Claire repeated. "He had a great job that he loved, and I know he adores you. For the first time in his life, he seemed settled and happy."

Selena picked up the hastily scrawled note. "You know what bothers me?" she said to herself as much as to Claire. "I don't get why he says he's "got" to leave."

"Well, no one ever told Biff what to do as far as I know."

"What if he was threatened?"

The two women stared at each other as the each considered that possibility. Claire thought about her son's wild side and the dangerous people with whom she suspected he'd come in contact.

Selena thought about her father.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Episode 26

The thrill of adrenaline, adventure, and pursuit surged in Jeni DuMont as she swung open the heavy door of the Pine Lake Library. The potent mix of emotions was better than drugs or alcohol, and the end result was a hell of a lot better than a hangover.

For Jeni, the scenario was familiar: get the mark to meet at a library--how innocent was that? No one ever figured out how complex and well-conceived her Plan was. The same Plan that had worked like a charm with both Peter and Jimmy was now going to work with Blake Adams.


Blake sat in one of the comfortable wing-backed chairs in the library's reading room. He relished the peace and quiet, something that was currently in short supply in his life.

His son, Billy, was in a psyche ward battling invisible demons. His daughter had thrown away all the wonderful opportunities he had provided to work as a bartender and shack up with a waiter. His wife either ignored him or berated him. Business was rocky; his recent investments had been disastrous. Only his oldest child, David, was acting like a reasonable human being. Blake had been thrilled when David agreed last year to join the family business. Of course, except for occasional encounters at the office, the two of them rarely spent any time together.

Yesterday, however, there had been a new development that piqued Blake curiousity. A young widow with a large amount of money to invest had telephoned him with an idea for a business venture that sounded intriguing. He thought it a bit odd that she insisted on meeting at the library, but it wouldn't be the first time he'd dealt with the quirky ways of the very wealthy.

"Mr. Adams?"

He turned at the sound of his name. "Mrs. DuMont. How nice to meet you."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Episode 25

"You can't be serious." Genevra Adams slammed down the file she was holding.

"Sorry. I wish I could give you more notice, but I can't," Biff Monroe said.

"Biff, whatever is going on with you--and I know this town has been hard on you and your mother--leaving isn't the answer. When you came back here last summer, you faced down all the naysayers and proved that you have talent and you work hard. Don't throw all that away."

Biff ran his hands through his thick brown hair. "Genevra, you have been super. You gave me a job when no one else would, and you've helped me more than you know, but I have to hit the road. Guess I'm just not meant to stay in one place."

Genevra locked eyes with him until all he could do was shrug, turn away, and get out the damn door as soon as possible. He had to leave quickly or he wouldn't leave at all. And he had to leave. Nick Kallias had seen to that.

Biff still couldn't understand why Kallias hated him so much, but the "why" didn't matter. What mattered was that Kallias had made him an offer he couldn't refuse: ten grand to get out of town, or stick around and wait for the Gonzales boys to get him.

What were his exact words? "I'll make sure your past catches up with you in ways that will make you wish you were dead."

Biff hadn't seen that coming and couldn't figure out how Kallias even knew about the Gonzales. It didn't matter, though. Even if Kallias was a bullheaded fool and had no idea what he was messing with, Biff couldn't take chances. Especially since it would mean the people he cared about would be in terrible danger.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Episode 24

"Where the hell have you been?"

Matt Wilson took one look at his wife's twisted, angry face and wanted to turn around and walk back out the door. Instead, he said, "I stopped at the store. Here."

He put a grocery bag containing fixings for sandwiches on the kitchen table. "How about ham and cheese tonight?"

Caroline Wilson peered into the bag. She lifted out a loaf of rye bread. "You bought the kind with caraway seeds. I hate caraway."

"Sorry, I forgot. I can go back to the store."

"And this is American cheese. Are you kidding? This stuff is horrible. I wouldn't feed it to a dog." She threw the offending packet of cheese on the floor. "You'd better get more mustard, too. We're almost out."

Matt was more than glad to go back to the crowded grocery store where not a single soul was as unpleasant as his wife. He took the long route, going almost a mile out of his way so he could drive past Claire's house.

He believed in hope, but his present situation was testing his fortitude. There wasn't a day that went by when he didn't wonder how he could extricate himself from Caroline so he could be with the woman he loved.