Friday, March 18, 2011

Death on the Aisle {Chapter Twelve}

 Thanks for your patience, everyone! I'm writing two books at the same time (only one of which is going up on the blog) so it gets a little crazy sometimes going back and forth between them. Sorry if I miss a week here or there. Thanks for reading! I really appreciate all your sweet emails and comments. I'm amazingly lucky to have wonderful readers and Annabelle Archer fans. Have a fabulous weekend!

Chapter Twelve

            “It was awful.” Richard had fought his way off the boat and the police gave up trying to keep him quiet.
            “We already questioned him,” one of the officers said to Detective Reese when they let Richard off the dock. “He’s all yours.”
Reese didn’t look thrilled.
“Richard.” I grabbed him by the shoulders. “What happened?”
Richard took out a lavender toile pocket square and dabbed his brow. “I just went in the kitchen to talk to the chef about our kitchen space. That galley kitchen is much too small for us to cook out of but I thought the ovens might be good for warming food. The equipment is top-of-the-line, you know.  And have you seen the wine cellar?”
Reese cleared his throat and gave Richard a pointed look. “Is this going anywhere?”
Richard pursed his lips and turned away from Reese. “As I was saying, I was talking to the chef about his equipment when he plugged in the blender and started twitching.” Richard put a hand to his mouth. “It took me a minute to realize he wasn’t just disagreeing with me.”
I put an arm around Richard. “That’s awful.”
“When he collapsed, I realized something was wrong and called for help.”
Reese took notes in his small leather notepad. “He screamed so loud that the police got calls from half a dozen nearby boats.”
“You’d think that someone would have come faster.” Now it was Richard’s turn to give Reese a pointed look. “I thought the DC response time had improved but the captain was the first person on the scene and then Mandy. It was a good ten minutes before the police showed up. I had to help Mandy to her quarters before they even arrived because she became a bit hysterical.”
I could only imagine what a mess Mandy had been if Richard classified her as hysterical. Richard didn’t look so hot himself. His beige linen suit looked like it had been slept in.
“Do you want me to take you home so you can change?” I asked.
“Well, your suit is all wrinkled,” I said.
Richard looked at the creases in his pants and jacket. “This is linen, darling. They’re money wrinkles.”
“Wrinkles are wrinkles, if you ask me,” Kate said, walking up to join us.
“I certainly didn’t ask  . . .” Richard began, running his hand over his jacket sleeve.
 “I thought you were helping Leatrice entertain Brody,” I said. I looked across the parking lot to where Leatrice stood her arm tightly linked with the bride’s stepbrother.  Brody wasn’t getting free from Leatrice anytime soon.  I only hoped he enjoyed talking about Matlock or violent crime reports.
Kate threw up her arms in mock surrender. “I give. A fiancĂ© I can handle. But a fiancĂ© and Leatrice? No thanks.”
“It isn’t like you to throw in the towel so easily,” Richard said. “Especially when they’re cute.”
“Well, I’m already seeing a couple of people and if I get too many, it just gets confusing.” Kate said. “You know what they say, two’s company, three’s too loud.”
Richard gave her a snarky smile. “I’m sure it is.”
I elbowed him and noticed Reese grinning at me. I gave him an apologetic smile. There was no chance of steering the conversation back to how I’d missed talking to him or how long it had been since we’d seen each other. Not with Richard and Kate (not to mention Leatrice) out in full force.
Richard tapped his pen on his notepad and looked at Richard. “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”
Richard shrugged.
“Why was the chef plugging in the blender?” Reese asked.
“To make Mrs. Barbery’s smoothie. She has them three times a day so she can lose weight before the wedding.”
“Really?” Reese scratched away in his notepad.
“Mandy told me when I walked her down to her room. She was babbling about the smoothies and how it was Mrs. Barbery’s newest obsession and she had the chef get fruit each morning and make them fresh. But she got bored easily so he had to come up with new combinations every time.”
“So it sounds like anyone who knew about this would know that the chef would use the blender on a regular basis,” Reese said.
“What are you thinking?” I asked.
            “That I’m glad I don’t work for Mrs. Barbery.” Richard shuddered. “A top-notch chef like Bernard being reduced to making smoothies. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a suicide.”
I ignored him and looked at Reese.
Detective Reese swung his notepad shut. “I’m thinking premeditated murder.”

Inspiration Flashback {Cherry Blossom}

credits: tablescape (A Delightful Day), bridesmaid dresses (In Style Weddings), centerpieces (In Style Weddings), cakes (Martha Stewart), invitations (Hello Lucky), landscape (Martha Stewart), cupcakes (Martha Stewart), cake slice (Martha Stewart), boutonnieres (Martha Stewart)

As the trees and flowers begin budding and blooming here in D.C., that means one thing: cherry blossoms are almost here! Enjoy this flashback inspiration board inspired by our city's trademark blooms!