Delilah let out her breath and opened the bedroom door. Greg ran to his mom and wrapped his arms around her long leg.
(Did you miss Episode 4?)
“Do I know you?” Cassandra asked, looking quizzically at Mari. She glanced at the large kitchen knife in Mari’s hand.
“Third grade. Ms. Timms’ class. Marisa Clark,” Mari said.
“Hmmm. You were the one who came to school in a tutu everyday? A pink one? Right?”
Mari blushed. “Yep. That was me.”
Both women stopped and looked at each other. Mari turned to bring the knife into the kitchen and nearly bumped into Delilah as she approached.
(Did you miss Episode 4?)
Seeing Delilah, Cassandra narrowed her eyes. “Do you know how easy it was to follow you here?” she asked, all pretenses of friendliness instantly gone.
“You...followed me here?”
“Obviously. Why else would I be here.”
“Um...I don’t know. Maybe just stopping in to say hi to an old friend?” The words sounded lame even before they left Delilah’s mouth.
“Sure.” Cassandra looked around. “I need to talk to you. Privately,” she said in a low voice.
Delilah followed her back into the living room. As soon as they sat down, Cassandra said, “Delilah, what happened with Richard today? I was sitting in the back of Panther Coffee. I looked down for a minute and then, I heard tires squealing and when I looked up, he was gone.”
Delilah gulped. “I -— I told him I couldn’t....I don’t even know him. So he walked away. And then, I looked up and someone forced him into this car.”
Cassandra took a deep breath. “Shit. This is worse than I thought.”
““I...I tried to help him,” Delilah said. “But I got there too late. But...I got the license number.”
Cassandra’s red eyebrows arched. “Watch CSI much?”
“It’s all I could think to do,” Delilah said. She looked at her hands. It struck her how normal her hands looked when everything else felt anything but.
Closing her eyes, Cassandra leaned back on the couch. “No, you did a good job. I’m just - this is all happening really fast. You shouldn’t even be involved. But since you are...do you remember what kind of car were they driving?”
Delilah took a deep breath. “It was a large black SUV...a Toyota, I think. Does that help?”
“What an idiot,” Cassandra said., smacking her leg. “He didn’t even think to cover his tracks. Typical.”
“My client. Frank Delano. He’s the one that’s after Richard. And I think I know where they went.”
Cassandra and Delilah jumped into Cassandra’s red Mustang convertible. Delilah could feel her heart beating. It was so loud she had to put her hand to her chest to calm herself down. She wasn’t a risk taker.
In fact, Delilah tried to play things as safe as humanly possible. She’d gone straight from college to getting her teaching degree to working as an elementary school teacher. Unlike some of her more adventurous friends, she’d never traveled abroad, not even to Mexico or Canada.
When she was in a relationship, she tried to prolong it as much as possible, even if it wasn’t working out. Because hey, as long as she was in a relationship, she wouldn’t have to go into the daunting world of dating, where she would face rejection and lonely nights.
The most dangerous thing Delilah did was wear dramatic makeup. She clutched her purse, feeling grateful she’d packed her 42 Dubonnet Smoky Eyes Mini Compact. There was something about having smoky eyelids that made her feel just a bit more confident and daring.
Unfortunately, Cassandra’s driving didn’t lend itself to safe makeup application. Delilah winced as Cassandra leaned on her horn, cursing at the car that had just cut her off. “Damn these Miami drivers,” she griped. “What a dick.”
Delilah smiled. Her world may have been turned upside down, but at least the Miami drivers were still the same. She looked over at Cassandra, feeling a pang of jealousy. Cassandra seemed so fearless, like nothing in the world would scare her.
“So,” Delilah said, “Where are we going?”
“To my old neighborhood. The land of manicured lawns and mansions. Pinecrest. Frank’s house is there, and I would bet you anything that’s where he took Richard. The guy doesn’t have much imagination.”
“Can you...would you mind telling me what’s going on?” Delilah asked. “Who is Frank? Why is he after Richard? How do you know him? Is he dangerous?” She took a break from the barrage of questions as Cassandra held her hand up.
“Frank is…” Cassandra stopped. “You know what, I’m just going to let Richard tell you. We’re here.” She pulled up in front of a large white house.
“Can you wait a minute? I need to get ready,” Delilah said. She pulled out her 42 Dubonnet travel brushes and applied her favorite eyeshadow, Sidecar. Then she followed it up with Irresistible Kissable Lipstick in Bootsy Collins.
“What are you doing?” Cassandra asked.
“Getting ready,” Delilah said. “I always feel better with eyeshadow and lipstick on.”
Cassandra rolled her eyes. “Seriously?”
After a few minutes, Delilah was ready. She and Cassandra walked up to the door of the opulent mansion. Cassandra knocked like she didn’t have a care in the world.
After a few minutes, a burly man with dark brown hair opened the door. “Cassandra!” he exclaimed. “I was wondering when you would show up.” He pulled her into a bear hug. Delilah was stunned. Wasn’t this the bad guy?
She saw Richard sitting in the other room on a chair, his arms and legs tied down with white rope. Something about this felt very, very wrong.