While the men are at the crime scene, Vanessa interviews Butch. It doesn’t take long to get the truth from him.
Deirdre drove Eoin home. They talked happily about everything but the case, choosing to take this short time to ignore the ugliness that had brought them back together. When they got to his trailer, she made all the right noises when she saw Eoin’s home. He was so proud of his little slice of paradise, to have her compliment thing things he loved most, pleased him. He invited her to stay to lunch, which she graciously accepted.
“I’m not as good a cook as you, but I do well enough.”
He made grilled cheese sandwiches with three types of cheese, sauteed onions, and a dab of pepper jelly on top. Along with this, he warmed some French onion soup.
“I know the tradition is tomato soup, but I bloody loathe the stuff.”
“I’ve never liked it either. This is delicious. Did you make it yourself?”
“Yes, it’s very easy, just a box o’broth and more onions. I’m mad over onions of all types. I probably have more scallions, leeks and chives than a restaurant.”
“A man of taste. I love them, too. This sandwich is amazing! Thank you.”
He had ice cream for dessert. Remembering her love of chocolate, he brought out the Hershey’s syrup, pouring it over two scoops of vanilla bean. Happy and full, they chatted a bit more, until he had to get ready to go.
“It’s a lot of prep work,” he admitted. “Got to shave closely, wax the uni-brow, trim the sideburns….”
“Do you have to wax—elsewhere?” She blushed, trying not to think about things men had to wax.
“You mean—the area?” he vaguely gestured near his zipper. “I try not to wear anything that skimpy. I do have to shave and wax my legs, but I just had that done. Not a lot of fun, but one must sacrifice for ones art.” He raised his voice, sounding like Angelique, as he batted his eyelashes.
“Go be artful.” Deirdre gave him a kiss on the forehead. “Know you are loved and don’t forget to visit.”
“I promise to be more diligent. Now you know where I live, you’ll come kick my bony, Irish ass if I don’t.”
“Don’t think I won’t!” She waved her foot at him.
“I remember the time you did.”
“When was that?”
“Aiden and I had been to a party for the golf team, and I brought him home. You smelled alcohol on me and kicked my ass—hard! You didn’t even stop until Aiden assured you it was because someone else had spilled on me. You were all for a Breathalyzer.”
“I’m sorry about that.”
“No, as it should be. Besides, I deserved it for other things, at other times. You’ve always set me straight, and I appreciate that.” He gave her a hug and a kiss. “Let me know when Fred returns, and we’ll make a special night for you.”
“That sounds lovely. Thank you.”
“Thank you, Mum. You’re the best.”
As Deirdre drove home, she watched the gathering clouds. A late afternoon thunderstorm was headed her way. She sped up, wanting to get past Port Orange before all hell broke loose. The Spruce Creek bridge, south of the city, was horrible in a thunderstorm. She had just turned onto Beville, heading east, when the storm broke. She slowed to twenty miles an hour, turning her wipers on high. She’d lived in Florida all her life, but after an accident on I-95 a few years ago, she was very cautious in the rain. Glad she was taking the smaller highway, not the interstate, she crawled along toward US-1.
There weren’t many cars on the road, but she was being closely followed by a dark blue, Ford, four door. Traveling in the left lane, she eased over to the right. The blue Ford sidled up beside her. Keeping her eyes on the road, she didn’t pay attention to them, until she caught movement in the corner of her eye. The passenger’s window scrolled quickly down, and the man had a gun trained on her. Shocked and horrified, Deirdre slammed on her brakes. The Jeep screeched to a halt, gliding over the wet pavement to rest near the curb. The motor shuddered to a halt. Struggling to turn it back on, she prayed she wouldn’t flood it. Finally, the engine caught and she did her best to get back on the road.
The Ford passed her, but made a U-turn, coming around to her. Pulling herself together, she sped up and turned right onto a cross street, gunning her motor. She knew the police department wasn’t far away. In fact, nothing was far from anything else in South Daytona. The community wasn’t large, but she didn’t know her way around well. Luck was with her. She saw a sign for the police to her left. Sloshing into the side parking lot, she stopped her car, turning off the motor. Her red Jeep was distinctive, but she hoped the people following her wouldn’t notice her right away. Ducking down, she reached in the back seat for an umbrella. A car passed behind her, rolling slowly. Deirdre kept her head down, hoping it wasn’t the car that was following her, but uncomfortably sure it was. Chancing a peek, she saw it stop several yards away, in another parking spot. It was definitely the car that had been following her. Grabbing her bag and umbrella, she got out of the Jeep and scuttled to the door.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes