“Vashti? This is Rayne. How would you like to go the Wild West with me tonight?” She agrees and says she’ll be over in a half hour. It gives me enough time to change. I wriggle into a slim black skirt that reaches my ankles. I pull on a low-cut, snug-fitting bright red shirt with long sleeves. I brush my hair until it shines and give myself a little wink. I wish I could do something about the cut on my neck, but I’m not sweating it. I’m wearing my best set of underwear—all lace and very little fabric. I don’t know if I’ll be spending the night at Vashti’s, but I want to be prepared. I slip in a pair of black twisty earrings, black nylons, and black heels. I look in the mirror with satisfaction. I clean up good when I want to. I grab my little black purse and hurry to the living room to wait for Vashti. She is precisely on time which makes me question her heritage. She is definitely not running on CP time.
“You look beautiful,” Vashti compliments me as I slide into her car.
“So do you.” She is wearing black jeans and a white t-shirt with a black leather jacket. Her hair is cut short and slicked back. “You cut your hair!” I reach over to touch it, then pull back. “It looks good.”
“I thought it was time for a change,” Vashti shrugs. “It was getting too heavy.” She roars off into the night. We chitchat as she drives, not wanting to get too serious just yet. I tell her about the email I sent to Libby, and she heartily approves. She tells me that she hates doing administrative work and wants to get back to her kids, but her supervisor won’t budge until the murders are solved. I repeat that she should retain a lawyer, but I don’t push it. It’s her life, and I don’t know what the answer is. I just know what I would do if I were in her shoes. I tell her about Paris breaking up with his newest paramour. She tells me about Dylan’s newest girlfriend. We reach the Wild Side West in record time.
At first glance, it doesn’t appear that Billie is there. She is not working. There’s some cheerful BBW handling the bartending duties. I look over to the pool table, but no Billie. I wonder if it’s worth waiting then decide we might as well drink while we’re there. We snag a table near the pool table, and Vashti gets the drinks. Rum and coke for me, Rolling Rock for her. She is definitely in butch mode tonight as she doesn’t even ask me what I want to drink. I don’t mind once in awhile as long as she doesn’t make a habit of it. We sit and drink in silence as we watch the pool game going on. A cute blond is hustling a dour-looking brunette. Every time the brunette makes like she’s going to walk away, the blond kisses her on the cheek until she repents.
I want to talk to Vashti about Paris’s adoption, but I know it’s not my place. Besides the fact that they don’t like each other, it’s really Paris’s decision who should know and who shouldn’t. I don’t want to talk about the murders, not tonight, but I also want to solve them. I wish this was just a date and that the biggest thing on my mind was wondering if I’d be getting laid by the end of the night. Instead, here I am waiting for surly butch dyke who is bitter towards the world and delusional about Moira Kelley. However, said dyke might also have more information that she’s willing to share if I find the right way to ask her. I have a hunch wearing a tight shirt and leaning over a lot will help my cause. She already respects my pool-playing abilities. Now, if she would just show up. I can take care of business, then go home with Vashti. Or not.