Missed past notes about this? Start her
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La Revanche des Trois is a novel intent on giving you sensual noir.
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Stefanie left Jezica standing at the foyer and went down the hallway to see if Axel was still there. He wasn’t anywhere in her house and when she went over to the patio door, she saw the lock was open, but he wasn’t in her private backyard. His large body could have hopped over the fence easily and since the security in the house was off, of course she wouldn’t have been alerted.
“Stefanie, have you heard a word I’ve said?” Jezica said coming into the kitchen area where the patio doors were.
Turning to Jezica perturbed over everything that was happening, Stefanie asked suspiciously, “I thought you said Lauren didn’t have any money.”
“She doesn’t,” Jezica answered. “I had to hide some money from Nick and I knew you’d ask too many questions, so I asked Lauren about five years ago to open up an account with me. I told her it was for the kids and if Nick ever got crazy and I had to leave right away. She swore she’d never touch it.”
“How much money was it?”
“Over three hundred grand.”
“How’d you get that kind of money?”
Jezica narrowed her eyes. “That’s none of your business.”
“But you want me to help you get your money back? Get out Jezica!”
Slamming her fist on the counter, Jezica cursed. “Dammit Stefanie! You aren’t going to let her just get away with stealing money from you are you?”
“And I’m not about to fight your battle to get your money back.”
“I took that money from Nick. I’ve been ciphering it out of our account little by little. From things he bought, I’d return to the store, to going directly to the bank and taking it out without him knowing.”
“You don’t think Nick would eventually find out you had a nest egg like that, Jezica? Do you really think Nick is that stupid?”
“Nick doesn’t care as long as he has a happy home and no drama. He could care less.”
Stefanie knew Nick enough to know Jezica was living in her own lie. “When you accused Lauren of taking this money, what did she say?”
“She said she never took the money, but then she started to tell me of this wonderful life she and Dex are starting anew on your dime in the islands. She said she gave him money to triple and she was going to pay you back tomorrow the whole amount before she got on a plane to the islands.”
“Tomorrow is the deadline and that’s my money.”
“It’s a lie! It’s a lie, Stefanie. This guy took her money. I think he’s got her high on expired crack and she thinks he actually made money in one short week that tripled her investment. That’s exactly what she was trying to convince me, but he’s lying. Please! You have to help me.”
Angrily, Stefanie said, “Get out, Jezica. Maybe now you’ll feel what I feel when your friends deceive you and let you down. Maybe now you’ll understand that it’s wrong and it hurts. It really hurts. Get out!”
Jezica looked like she wanted to say more, but didn’t. Trudging out of the kitchen, Stefanie listened to Jezica go out the front door. Lightening crackled across the sky as the door slammed and Stefanie leaned on the counter, putting her face in her palms.
What the hell was going on?
Maybe it was the stress from the long day, but Stefanie found herself passed out in front of her computer when she awoke to the ringing of the phone. Late into the night she had been searching for pictures of Axel Black to no avail. No one had a good description anywhere, except a Harvard technological discussion board calling Axel Black a crazy, white, bastard.
No one else responded to that comment and the post was anonymous. The phone rang again which was what had awakened her up in the first place.
Without moving her head that was laying on top of her keyboard to her sleeping computer, she dragged the phone to her ear and mumbled, “Hello.”
“Stefanie?” Treasure asked with concern. “Are you okay?”
She opened one eye to try to determine what time it was. Darkness was all around her, but she still wasn’t sure what time it was. “I’m fine. What time is it?”
“In the morning?”
“No! It’s still Thursday and seven at night.”
“I got worried when you didn’t contact me for lunch this afternoon. Are you really okay because you don’t sound okay.”
“I’m fine.” She sat up and held her head wishing the headache would go away and realizing she had not had a real cigarette for the past couple of weeks. “We can go to lunch tomorrow. After Lauren’s messenger gets here.”
“Where are you?” Treasure asked.
Yawning, Stefeanie answered, “I’m home.”
“Then open your door. I brought lunch and we can talk.”
Sitting up completely, she turned on the desk lamp and stretched some more. “I don’t think there’s anything to talk about.”
“I think there is. Please open up,” Treasure insisted.
Stefanie sighed and hung up the phone. Looking down at all the notes she’d been making and then at the front door. Would two brains be better than one in this case? Could Treasure really help her? Could Stefanie really have a real friend standing out there just waiting for her?
La Revanche des Trois (Revenge of Three) – Chapter 12.2 (c) 2011 Sylvia Hubbard. All Rights Reserved.