Tag Archives: affair

Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter twelve, part three

“The first time I met Brian, something zinged through me.  I could tell by the look in his eyes that he felt the same way.”  A faraway look came into her eyes and despite the serious circumstances, a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.  “After that, we made excuses not to spend time together, but Linda insisted.  She wanted me and Brian to get to know each other, so we gave in for her sake.  Every time I saw him, I felt the same pull.”  Mrs. Rodriguez stopped.

“This is starting to sound like a romance novel,” I muttered under my breath.  Even though I wasn’t as pissed at her, I had to keep up my role.  “Can you fast-forward to the sex part?”

“One time, he came over because Linda knew that my furnace wasn’t working right.  He’s a whiz at those kind of things, and Linda insisted that he see to it.  I have no sons, you see, to do that kind of thing for me.  She thought she was doing me a favor.”  This time, the smile Mrs. Rodriguez produced was mirthless.

“When was this?”  I interrupted, wanting a timeline.

“Four months ago,” Mrs. Rodriguez said, clearly irritated that I kept interrupting.

“Can I take it that your furnace remained broken?”  I asked archly, baring my teeth.  It was amazing how easy it was to rile this woman, and I watched in amusement as she flushed.

“It got fixed,” Mrs. Rodriguez said through gritted teeth.

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Duck, Duck, Dead Duck; chapter ten, part three

The private envelope that Lydia hadn’t wanted Brian to see loomed large in my mind.  Though what we had already gone through was interesting and cause for speculation to say the least, I had a hunch that what Lydia had kept from Brian was even juicier.  It was logical to assume that the reason she hadn’t wanted him to see what was in that envelope was because what she had found had something to do with him.  Suddenly, I had to get out of there and go through the private envelope.  I made my excuses, gathered up the papers, placed them in the manila envelope before returning it to my purse and headed for the door.  Rafe followed willingly, but Brian was complaining.  He wanted more time to look over the information, and while I couldn’t blame him, I wasn’t leaving the papers with him, either.  I didn’t trust him further than I could throw him.  I promised him that I would let him know if we came up with anything else of importance, but my reassurances didn’t seem to ease his mind.

“What’s your hurry?”  Rafe asked as he walked me to my mom’s car.  I could tell he wasn’t mad at me any more, but I knew we’d still have to discuss my withholding information.  I, for one, was glad to put it on hold for as long as possible.

“I want to see what’s in the ‘not for Brian’s eyes’ envelope,” I explained, clutching my purse.  “The other stuff is interesting, but I have a feeling that we’ll find pay dirt with the private papers.”

“You just want to dish the dirt,” Rafe said knowingly, giving me a peck on the cheek.  He knew that I liked to dig deep—the dirtier the better.  It wasn’t the most attractive part of my personality, but I wasn’t ashamed of it, either.

“Meet you back at the parents’?”  I asked, lifting an eyebrow.  He nodded and veered off towards his car.  Driving at a slower speed than usual, I was outpaced back to my parents’ house.  They were nowhere to be seen, which was unusual for this time of day on a weekday.  Rafe waited for me to open the door before he started pestering me to bring out the private stash.  We went into the living room and snuggled on the couch.  I pulled out the private envelope and opened it.  There was a few pieces of paper plus a bunch of pictures.  The first piece of paper was again addressed to me.

Bea, this is something that I don’t want Brian to see.  I’m hoping that it’s you reading this and not Brian.  You see, for the last month or so, I had a hunch that he was seeing someone else.  You know how it is.  First, the attention starts wandering, then the sex isn’t as frequent.  I tried to tell myself that it was because of his work, but since I don’t know what the hell he does, it was hard to convince myself that was true.  So I did what other suspicious women have done.  I followed him.

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Rainbow Connection; chapter nine, part two

“That Stevenson girl sounds like a real piece of works,” my mother says, returning to the former subject with little preamble.  “I think she stuck her nose where it didn’t belong.  If your group is involved, you have to find out more about the other members.”

“Maybe I could run the names by you,” I suggest cautiously.  Even though my mother is a fount of information, I don’t know what kind of confidentiality issues I’m running up against here.  Then again, I’m not a therapist, and I’m certainly not talking about the group on television.

“Only if you want to.”  My mother shifted on the couch to make herself comfortable.

I want to.  I trust that my mother is not going to run around blabbing about the information, so I run the names by her.  I only know the first names which makes it more difficult, but some of the names are quite unusual which should help.  I give names, races, and a brief description of each woman.  My mother doesn’t know Sharise, Jennifer, Maria or Leticia.  I include Rosie’s sister since she has bearing on the case.  She knows Tudd by sight and name, mostly because Stella knows her .  It surprises me as Tudd is decidedly not Marin material.  Turns out that Stella’s kids took judo from her.  Tudd went to Stella’s home twice a week because Stella had a home gym and preferred to have the lessons there.  It also surprises me to learn that Tudd taught judo, though I can’t say why.  She doesn’t teach any more, not since the rape.

My mother tells me the gory details because I only know the basics.  Tudd was walking home from work around eight o’clock—she’s a teacher in Marin County and stayed late for some reason—when two men dragged her into the bushes and raped her.  One of them left a cufflink that was quite expensive.  Stella’s impression was that Tudd knew at least one of her attackers, though no one was ever caught.  That leads me to wonder if perhaps Mr. Stevenson had been one of the attackers and something Ashley said in group triggered recognition in Tudd.  I grimace at my reasoning.  Even if it were true, there would be no reason to kill Ashley rather than Mr. Stevenson.  I say out loud that it was too bad the judo didn’t help, but my mother points out that it was two against one.  Also, there was a knife involved, so Tudd really didn’t stand much of a chance.

I move to the last member of the group—Astarte.  The minute I say her name, my mother’s face changes.  Up until now, my mother’s looked as if she’s solving an intriguing problem.  Now, there’s something else in her eyes, but I’m not quite sure what.  I’m not surprised that my mother knows Astarte, but I am perplexed at her reaction.  She leans back in the couch, sipping her tea.  There is a set to her jaw that hadn’t been there a minute before.  I open my mouth to say something, but shut it just as quickly.  I’m not sure I want to know what my mother has to say about Astarte, but I know that I can’t stop the momentum.  I nervously clear my throat and say her name again as my mother doesn’t seem inclined to talk.  Still, she doesn’t say anything for several minutes. Finally, I break the silence by asking in a small voice if she knows Astarte even though I already know the answer.

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