Martin checked his new, trusty to-do list. The first entry read: If it isn’t normal, ignore it.
She was treating him to a really expensive meal at San Francisco’s best: The Bimini Twist. Head honcho Don had just, himself, brought out oysters on the half shell and was telling them all about sustainability. The wine was excellent.
She was excellent. Her skimpy black dress had a V-neck that dipped all the way to her waist. Every guy in the place had his eyes on her, though one just looked confused.
Her eyes were only on Martin. “Whatever happens after this…Randolph,” she said in the velvety deep voice she sometimes used, “I want you to remember this night and please believe me when I tell you how very much I’ll always love you.”
Martin, yet again, cursed inwardly over not even knowing her name, as he struggled to figure out what to say in return. Bloody hell! He could never find anything like her purse or mail when she went to the loo. She lived in this town; why didn’t she ever introduce him to her friends, one of which was bound to utter her name at some point? Why, for that matter, didn’t she ever even get any phone calls or texts or anything? He raised his glass, about to toast her with words he still hadn’t figured out, when he caught something in his peripheral vision: the confused man was no longer looking confused.
“Officer Ann Worth!” The guy was on his feet, running at her with what now looked like murderous intent. “The homicide detective who commits homicide!” He was almost frothing at the mouth now.
Head honcho Don must have signaled someone. What were obviously bouncers pounced. The guy was literally dragged out screaming.
Martin looked at her. Ann?
But just then Don put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “This dinner is on the house, with our apologies since we should have spotted that crazy.”
Maybe not Ann, Martin thought. Crazy bugger they’d hauled out had obviously lost the plot. And she bloody well did not look homicidal.
Starved, he popped one of the now-free oysters into his mouth.
Was it his imagination or, when he bit into it, did he feel it squirm?
Martin tried to pull himself together and put a comforting hand on her other shoulder, then looked up at Don. “Oysters on the half shell…are still alive?”
But again he caught something in his peripheral vision and looked back down at the remaining oysters.
One wasn’t an oyster at all; it was Karen’s eye, winking at him.
Martin ignored it.