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Hmm…” She grabbed a tube of lipstick from her make-up counter and reapplied a layer of coral shine to her lips. Fifty-six and she still had a kissable, perky mouth.

No time to think about that though, there was a funeral to cry through, after all.



~~~



Darcey St. Claire jerked her rolling bag from the third muck-filled hole she’d encountered since lugging it down the narrow set of stairs from her upper-level apartment. “Oh, hell!” She stumbled backward into the rear wall of her apartment’s enclosed courtyard.

Oh, hell!” She twisted around, wiping the back of her shawl to make sure she wasn’t sporting the remnants of whatever her neighbors had burned last night for a Three King’s Day party.

You should carry that,” chirped a feminine voice from above.

Obviously.

Those little wheels aren’t made for these old courtyards. Needs a smooth surface like in the airport,” answered the male of the Holmes and Watson team.

Thank you.” She smiled up at the balcony opposite hers and shielded her eyes from the sun as well as anything more than a glimpse of Edward Newton’s pale bony legs. If it was more than fifty degrees outside, Judge Newton was sure to be having his morning coffee wearing his green and white striped robe.

Good morning. How are you?”

Very well. We were looking for you at the party. There was another young lady here from England. Oh, Edward…where was she from exactly?”

Darcey groaned while Judge Newton named cities and towns in England, Ireland and a few in Scotland if she remembered her geography correctly.

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