Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blood & Groom - sample #1



Some women seemed naked without makeup. Other
women seemed naked without jewellery. The uptight
Manolo-shod Chihuahua who had barged into my
office without an appointment seemed naked without
an entourage. I put down the current issue of Billboard
and listened.

“I thought that bullshit about till death do you
part only applied to couples who actually got married.
That bastard Gordon dumped me and got himself killed
four months later. I didn’t do it, but I’d like to thank
whoever did.”

Listening to the little bottle-blond bitch barking at
me, I automatically figured the guy who had dumped
her must have had a good reason. “So, Christine, what
would you like me to do for you?”

She looked down her nose at me. “Isn’t it obvious,
Sasha?”

Hmm … isn’t it obvious you’re a shrew in Chanel?

She got up from the faux leather chair opposite my
desk and brushed the back of her skirt as if the imitation
rawhide had left authentic cowpies on her designer
suit. “Everyone thinks I killed Gordon, and believe me,
I wanted to. Everyone except the police, that is. They
questioned me. They interviewed my family and my
friends. They checked my alibi and went to all the places
I said I’d been. They found nothing because there was
nothing to find, so I was never charged.”

She continued to pace around my minimalist-byaccident,
barren-by-bank-account office, her ring-less
left hand anxiously twirling her hair. I silently smirked
that my own blond hair would never have the mousy
brown roots hers did.

“So why bother?” I asked. “You should just move
on and forget about him.”

“Well, Sasha …” She drew out my name in the
same tone people used on a two-year-old who had just
discovered the treasures hidden deep inside his nostrils.
“I bother because people still talk, they point and
whisper, I know they think I did it, and they think I got
away with it. When I go to fundraisers or events, they
treat me differently. When I’m at the club, they make
me feel funny. Trust me, if I’d killed the bastard, I’d be
bragging about it.”

“So being accused of murder is shameful, but actually
doing it is fine?”

“Exactly. If I’m going to get credit for something, I’d
prefer it be for something I really did do.”

“Of course. But why now? He was killed eight
months ago.”

“Nine months.”

“Whatever. A while ago.”

“I was at Monsoon for a dinner date last night.
Gordon’s cousin Rebecca saw me there. She never liked
me, and my date and I happened to be seated at a table
right across from Rebecca and her friends. When she saw
me, she walked over to my table, called me a bunch of
names, said I got away with murder, and then she threw
her drink in my face.”

“Ouch.”

“On top of that, my date, a really hot proctologist
named Randall, made up some bullshit about a reminder
on his BlackBerry and bailed on our night out.”

“That sucks. So … why me then? I don’t really do
this kind of work. I mostly do background checks for
corporate hires and the occasional cheating partner. I’ve
never investigated a murder.”

“Because you’re all I can afford.”

“Gee, you know someone with an ounce of
graciousness would have answered that differently.”

“Don’t be so touchy. I didn’t mean it that way.”

I stared at her silently.

“Okay. Sorry.”

It was true my rates were low, at least for now.
I’d graduated from Sheridan College’s Security and
Investigator Diploma Program a few months ago and was
still trying to build my reputation and my client base.
“I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t make any promises,
and I won’t commit beyond one week. I don’t see the
point of wasting my time or your money.”

“I’ll be expecting results much sooner than that,”
Christine said. “And daily reports.”

I pointed out to the sabre-toothed socialite that
expenses weren’t included in the bargain prices of my
stellar but novice services. She took a chequebook out
of her Ferragamo purse and filled in the details using a
ninety-nine-cent disposable pen with blotchy ink. Her
signature, Christine Arvisais, was loopy and flowing,
and she topped all the i’s with little circles. That seemed
so very cutesy and incongruous with what I’d seen of
her personality.


BLOOD and GROOM  on Amazon click HERE



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