Sequence: Give a Dog a Bad Name (part six)
The position was not merely politic. Leave people alone to live their lives. Why not? But Rob had the suspicion he’d been hired already…that this privilege of speaking to Junior would not otherwise have been granted.
Alchemy. The elements seemed to form a chain. Each event either witnessed or inferred had seemed real in itself; and each, unexamined, detached from any sense of a guiding hand, bestowed a false status of verity on the next.
Now Rica had mentioned this thing about Bruner―
She touched Rob’s shoulder. He avoided starting, which would have made her laugh, because his concentration was so deep, nervous reaction delayed long enough, for pride to intervene.
“Did you forget where the kitchen is?”
“I figured you were heading off to make a pot of coffee. And thanks, by the way. I could use a cup.”
In the kitchen, he unplugged the percolator and started rinsing the basket. Rica bustled in, her broad hips crowding Rob at the sink.
“What do you think? Scrambled eggs and toast?”
So they were having brunch. He glanced over his shoulder. If he sounded tetchy, she would tell him to fix his own. He apologized, in a manner of speaking…literally, making his voice affable as Anselm’s. “That was Phillip Murchison I was with. I mean, the night of the raid. You saw him.”
She nestled four eggs in the ring of the gas burner to stop their wobbling to the floor, bumped him twice again, on and off the step-stool.
He let out a breath. “You were trying to get arrested.”
“That’s a lie. I was definitely arrested.”
“Okay…you were trying to get a story. And you waved to Oliver. That was the first time…no.” He checked himself. “It wasn’t.”
“Of course not. I’ve waved to Alfred a few times at least—although I wouldn’t call him a confirmed yoo-hooer.”
“At the lake. I saw him sitting in his car.”
“The day you decided Ethan was trying to kill you.”
“No I didn’t. I meant what I said.”
She cracked an egg. “Start at the top.”
Give a Dog a Bad Name
(2016, Stephanie Foster)