That’s it? “We left to go walking?”
She nodded. “Yep. That’s it. She got in her Land Rover and drove away. That was it. Shame, too. She was one you’d want to keep. But her tag was a Florida one. She’s not from around here.”
I leaned my head back to rest on the chair and closed my eyes tightly in frustration. “Rosemary Beach, Florida to be exact. Want to know how I know that? Because I had breakfast with her this morning at Bliss and Nate’s. She’s Nate’s friend. Passing through on this road trip adventure she’s on. She owns a gun, too.”
“No way!” Larissa said sounding excited. I didn’t lift my head to look at her. “Oh, my God! You just walk into breakfast this morning not knowing, didn’t you? Does Bliss know about last night?”
She was acting like this was a book and she needed to know the next chapter. I sighed. “No, I didn’t know. Walked right in and ‘bam’ there she was. I told them we had met last night. That’s all. She barely spoke to me or looked at me. I need to know what I did to make her act that way,” I looked up then. “And she was as damn perfect as I thought she was when I was drunk. How is that? I thought she’d have some terrible flaw that my drunken vision was missing. But nothing. Just like I remembered.”
Larissa giggled. “This is epic. Damn, I mean dang,” she quickly corrected herself then looked to see if Jilly had been paying attention. Jilly had already been kicked out of daycare for cursing. It was frowned upon to tell the teacher you didn’t want to take a fucking nap. It was cause for dismissal. Larissa was working on cleaning up her three-year-old’s language.
“The killer was I think Bliss was trying to set us up.”
Larissa smiled over her cup. “She was a little late for that.”
“Yeah, and Lila—who they called Lila Kate—she didn’t say much at all. Made it real clear she hadn’t enjoyed the night before nor did she like having breakfast with me.”
“You mean she dropped the polite, proper thing?”
“Oh, no. She had that going on. She just didn’t speak to me unless forced.”
Ouch wasn’t what I was thinking. More like what the hell did I do?
“So you have no idea what we did when we walked? Where we went?”
“I was working—you know my job? Serving drinks?” Her sarcasm wasn’t lost on me.
“Maybe I can get her alone, and we can talk?”
If only I could. I didn’t want to let it go, and I didn’t want to let her go. Even if it was obvious I’d have to do both.
I gave Jilly another hug, but she was more interested in the dump truck that the little girl was fixing on television. I thanked Larissa and headed for the door.
“Please tell me if you see her again,” Larissa called out. “I gotta know what happens next.”
I rolled my eyes and closed the door behind me. That gave me a little more info, but now that I knew I left with her, I wanted to talk to her. What happened in those two hours had to do with why Lila didn’t like me today. If I’d crossed a line or something I needed to know. Apologize. Shit. Do something!
WHEN MY DAD calls me into his office, it is never a good thing. When he wakes me up at six in the motherfucking morning to inform me we have a tee time at six-thirty when he knows I hate golf, it’s even worse. Golfing with Woods Kerrington meant he was going to talk to me. For eighteen goddamn holes.
My mother was awake with a cup of tea in her hands looking at her computer screen while standing at the bar when I walked into the kitchen. She lowered her cup and smiled. “You look bright and chipper this morning,” she said sarcastically.
“Ugh,” I grunted and went to make coffee from the machine. I hated the nasty shit, but I drank it when I was forced to get out of my bed before the damn sun.
“There’s no hot cocoa in there. Zander drank it all. I need to go to the grocery store today.”
She had the nerve to chuckle. My mother wasn’t soft and sweet. She hadn’t been given a daughter. She’d been given three sons, and she held her own with us. As dainty as she looked she could scare the shit out of you if she snapped. Needless to say, none of us ran over our mom.
“Want a muffin? I made some fresh yesterday. Had to use up the blueberries before they went bad.”
That made this morning a little better. But only a little. “Yes, please,” I said wondering how I’d missed those when I got in last night. I normally could tell by the smell of the place when I got home if mom had been baking. I’d proceed to case the place for whatever she’d made.
She placed a plate in front of me with two muffins on it. “He just wants to spend time with you,” she was trying to reassure me.
“Then why can’t we spend time doing something I enjoy too. At a much later hour?” I grumbled.
“Because he has a job and it’s time you took your own job more seriously.”
My own. Meaning working under my father at the club. Going to meetings and learning the ropes. I had one more year of college then it all got real. I wanted to make my year last because my future didn’t sound that exciting.
“Whatever,” I replied before taking a bite. I braced myself to get slapped on the back of the head for that one word. It didn’t happen, though. Instead, Dad walked in dressed and looking happy to be awake.
“Take that to go. We need to leave,” he told me then went to kiss Mom. “If Zander isn’t up by eight call me. I told him yesterday that he was in charge of cutting the grass today.”
We didn’t have much grass. The backyard was the beach. But cutting the grass didn’t just mean cutting the grass. It meant doing all the other yard shit that he wanted done. You’d think we could hire a damn landscaper, but no. Dad said he had three sons he wasn’t paying to get shit done that we could do.
“I’ll get him up if he doesn’t,” mom said with a smug smile. That would involve ice. I know. She’d tossed some in bed with me before when I wouldn’t budge.
Dad chuckled. “For his sake, I hope he gets up.”
I took my second muffin and cup of coffee and headed for the door.
“Y’all have fun,” Mom called out. As if that was possible.
Dad followed me out the door. “Get in my car. No need for you to drive.”
That wasn’t good. This meant he was going to keep me busy doing shit all day. I would be stuck there. Unless I used a club car to give me a ride home. But then he’d find out about that in seconds. Damn.
I went to his silver SUV and climbed into the passenger side. He got in, and we drove in silence. Thankfully. I drank my coffee which tasted like ass and ate the muffin. I wish Mom had given me three. The drive to the course was only minutes.
Just when I thought we were going to get out of this thing without any conversation, he paused before getting out of the vehicle. “I don’t want to see my son fucking again on a security camera. Got that?”
Shit. I looked up at the clubhouse in front of us. I’d been drinking and forgot about the new security cameras inside. Wincing I climbed out and tossed back the rest of the coffee then left the cup behind.