Rachel hung up the phone with the client she’d successfully served. The man sounded angry but vindicated. He agreed to her final payment with no argument and said he’d mail it right away.

She glanced at the Greene file yet again but reached passed it to “Lawson, Carter and Marie.” Carter Lawson owned an accounting firm downtown and believed Marie cheated on him with his partner, Peter Henkle. Henkle was both a lawyer and an accountant and slippery as hell. She’d so far failed to find him do anything in public that wasn’t above-board. Rachel was almost willing to believe his innocence if it weren’t for Mrs. Lawson.

Marie Lawson made Rachel cringe. A statuesque blonde, her outfits were always perfect and the jewelry just-so. She spent Mr. Lawson’s money like water, shopping in all the best boutiques and lunching at restaurants Rachel couldn’t afford to walk into, much less order from. Just being rich didn’t make her a bad person, but Rachel admitted privately that she would be happy to find something wrong with Marie Lawson.

Rachel locked her office, set the plastic “Will Return” sign for three o’clock, and went down to her car. Today was the day Mrs. Lawson went to the Spa for her weekly appointment. Rachel intended to catch up with her before she left but as she turned onto Main near Fourth the traffic stopped dead.

She craned her neck out of the window and could just barely see the side of a taxi jackknifed against a parked car.

“Can you see anything?” a voice hollered from next to her.

She looked over to the Porsche next to her. The man seemed to be in his late twenties, early thirties, dressed in a long-sleeved navy t-shirt and dark sunglasses. “Looks like a cab got in an accident,” Rachel told him. “I don’t think we’re going anywhere.”

He swore softly, words Rachel couldn’t quite catch, and opened the door to the Porsche. It seemed to Rachel he stood about six feet tall. His jeans were clean and fresh-looking. He stepped away from his car a foot or so and then threw his hands up. “Dammit!” He looked over and saw her looking at him and his expression softened. “I think traffic is completely blocked.”

She nodded. “Yeah.”

He studied her a moment and then leaned against his car. “Will you be late?”

“Late for what?” she asked suspiciously.

“Any appointments,” he answered like that should have been obvious.

‘No, I just like to sit in traffic for fun,’ she thought, but didn’t say. “Yes, I was hoping to get somewhere. But I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I’m Steve,” he announced.

Rachel blinked. “I’m Sara,” she responded.

He cocked an eyebrow. “Nice to meet you, Sara.”

They made small talk for a few more minutes until sirens sounded from behind them. Steve had to get back into the Porsche and move it up onto the sidewalk to let the ambulance through and by the time all the hubbub concluded he had gone.

Rachel suppressed a spurt of disappointment and continued on to the Spa. Steve was attractive and hadn’t been wearing a wedding band. Too bad she hadn’t even had a chance to exchange business cards, especially since she hadn’t given him her real name. Oh well, never could be too careful.

Maybe she could catch Mrs. Dawson on the way out. She pulled up behind the Valet line to wait.

4 thoughts on “The Night Is A Harsh Mistress, Chapter 6, by A. Catherine Noon

  1. Evey Brown says:

    She meets a nice, good looking guy with a Porsche and doesn’t give her name or card??? I suppose she’s smarter than horny!
    Kind of want to know about Ms. Lawson and that spa appointment, I would want to have a pretty girl like that be a cheater too!
    But that’s just jealousy talking.

  2. *facepalm* Uh… yeah! He seemed interested too, darn it. Or, maybe he was just bored.

    Loved this line:
    “Just being rich didn’t make her a bad person, but Rachel admitted privately that she would be happy to find something wrong with Marie Lawson.”

    It’s so true to what a real person would think, and tells a lot about Rachel too. I really like where you’re going with this character and can’t wait to see what sort of trouble she gets into!

  3. Fey says:

    O.O she should’ve at least given him her name! muffin *grumbles* well as the writer you know best..

  4. I like how careful she is and then later regrets it. I like how she hopes to catch 'Mrs Perfect' doing something wrong.

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