Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Witness Wore Blood Bay

Excerpt from a random chapter. Doug Reilly is moving into Leigh's guesthouse. As Leigh is helping Doug unload his car, Doug's ex girlfriend drives by. 

            “Dang. What’s that woman doing out this way?”
            “What woman?” I hefted a trash bag and decided it was light enough for me to carry to the guesthouse.
            “Rebecca. That was her car. I hope she ain’t following me.”
            I silently agreed with him. For some reason I really would rather she didn’t know Doug had moved out to my place, but I’d seen the driver turn and look directly at us, though I hadn’t been able to make out her features from that distance.            
            “I’m sure she wasn’t stalking you or anything, Doug. I was at Brenda’s earlier and she said Rebecca was coming by to get a puppy she was giving away, so that has to be why she’s out here. Except I got the puppy for myself.”
            “Yeah?” He frowned. “Hope Rebecca don’t hold it against you.”
            “Good lord, Doug, you sure are scared of her. For heavens sake, what could she possibly do?”
            “Anything.” He shot me a dark look and slung one of the trash bags over his shoulder.
            “You might be right.” I shivered. Rebecca was younger and stronger than I was and fully capable of inflicting plenty of damage if she wanted to. I’d seen that when she went after Doug, who had probably deserved a little roughing up given his track record with women--date ‘em and dump ‘em. But of course, Rebecca wouldn’t hurt me. Sane people don’t go around hurting other people simply because they lost out on a puppy. Or because that person tricked their way her parents’ house.
            Doug and I finished carrying bags to the guesthouse and came back to the car to wrestle a donated TV out of the trunk. I hoped he knew that cable didn’t come with the rent.
            “Got it?” I asked. From the way he was staring over my head, I figured he’d zoned out and was in danger of dropping the set on my feet. I took two steps back before I turned to follow the direction of his gaze. Damn. Rebecca was passing the house again, and this time her car was crawling along under the limit. When she got even with my driveway, she braked hard and flipped a bird at us before accelerating and disappearing around a curve in the road. 
            “Guess she ain’t too happy about you getting that puppy.” Doug hitched the TV higher and took a tighter grip.
            “Guess not.” I wished I hadn’t seen her drive by.
            About ten minutes later, Brenda stopped to drop off Lorne--I still hadn’t thought of a better name--right after Adam pulled up behind Doug’s car. I didn’t like owing Brenda. On the other hand, I really did want to protect the puppy from a woman with a violent temper.
            “Here you go.” She pushed the puppy into my arms and, seeing that Adam had walked up beside me, she handed him a sample bag of puppy food. “Francine has his health record, so you’ll have to pick it up from her. Thanks. ‘Bye.”
            She zoomed off as if she were afraid I’d not only change my mind, but I’d load the back of her pickup with more animals for her to feed. Poor Brenda. She was struggling to sell off excess animals and not having all that much luck.
            Adam held the dog food out in front of him and shook the bag, pretending to be shocked. “Another stray?”
            “Sort of. Brenda couldn’t keep him and I didn’t want Rebecca to get her hands on him. She’s evil.”
            “Evil? You’re starting to sound like Sammi. Who’s Rebecca?”
            “Doug’s ex girlfriend. Not Tina--the latest ex.”
            “Doug’s girlfriend situation is way too complicated for me.” He rolled his eyes. “Let’s go fix dinner. I brought steaks. Uhmm, you don’t have to feed Doug, do you?”

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