A Miranda and Parker Mystery #16
Just a few weeks ago, PI Miranda Steele thought the love of her life was dead.
Parker believed the same about her.
Miraculously, they made it through the worst ordeal of their lives, and have retired to the peace and quiet of the North Georgia Mountains.
But it’s a little too peaceful here, and Miranda is getting restless.
As a diversion they decide to attend a high school reunion party in Chicago. Nothing dangerous about that, right?
But when a former classmate is found dead, Miranda and Parker are pulled out of retirement to investigate what could be a bizarre murder. Not exactly what they had planned.
Once again things are about to turn deadly.
This time, they might not survive.
This was going to be the best night of her life. Or at least one of them.
Turning this way and that, she carefully checked herself over in the full length mirror in the hotel’s elegant marble bathroom.
She smiled at her reflection.
Her hair was perfect, cut to just the right length and falling over her shoulders in the way that always made men swoon. Her makeup was just right, too. She’d used that new eye shadow method she’d found on YouTube recently.
And the nightgown? Well.
The black Victoria’s Secret special in scalloped eyelash lace hugged her curves as if she’d been poured into it. And its dramatic plunge down the front showed off her best feature in a way that would have him eating out of the palm of her hand the second he arrived.
She knew her assets. And how to use them to get what she wanted.
Lipstick. She could do with a bit more.
She grabbed the tube, drew it over her lips, smacked them together.
With a squeal of excitement, she put the tube away and danced into the bedroom, the fabric of her negligee flowing behind her like a regal robe.
She eyed the clean sweeping lines of the light colored furnishings and the pretty blue and white carpet. It wasn’t the suite she’d asked for. It was just a room with a king size bed. But it was nice. And in one of the best hotels in Chicago, in fact.
She wasn’t going to let him put her in some fleabag motel. Not with the kind of money he had.
She went to the table near the window and touched the champagne bottle chilling on ice in its decanter. The two flutes beside it reflected the lights from the magnificent view of the city below. They were going to have fun tonight.
She looked at the clock. He’d be here any minute.
Her heart beating in anticipation, she went to the door, unlatched it, and left it ajar. That would make him feel welcome and spike his curiosity at the same time. She wasn’t worried about anyone unwanted busting in on her. She had her little snub-nose eight shot revolver in the nightstand, and she knew how to use it.
It was legal and all. She had the proper ID and license for concealed carry.
She knew how to take care of herself.
Crossing to the bed, she laid down on the thick satiny duvet. Resting an arm on one of the embossed pillows, she struck a pose she knew would make his brows rise—and something else, as well.
She sighed happily.
No, this wasn’t about money. And it wasn’t going to be a one-night fling. This was more. She hadn’t thought she could feel this way again. All tingly and giddy and schoolgirlish. Not after all these years and so much water under the bridge.
But she did.
Tonight would be the start of something new. Something life altering.
She looked at the clock again and scowled. He was late.
He used to pride himself on being punctual. Oh, well. Some things were worth waiting for, weren’t they? She closed her eyes and imagined how she’d feel in his arms again.
Minutes passed. An hour. Another hour. And another.
At one a.m., she got up and checked on the champagne. The ice was melted, the bottle’s contents were probably near room temperature.
She didn’t care. She popped it open, poured some into one of the flutes, and swallowed a big mouthful.
She stomped over to the door, anger burning inside her. Nobody stood her up. Nobody humiliated her like this.
But he had. And it wasn’t the first time.
Gritting her teeth, she turned the lock and went back to the bed. At least she’d have a night in a nice hotel room.
Then she opened the drawer of the nightstand and stared down at her snub-nose revolver. Nobody did this to her. Nobody got away with something like this.
She’d make him pay.
She took out the gun, released the cylinder, and checked the bullets. All eight were there. She snapped it shut and blinked back the tears that were starting to come.
She knew what she had to do. It was clear as day. Simple.
She had to kill him.