June 28, 2011
“There you are, child, I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for hours.”
Apparently not very hard, since I’d been here setting up things for tomorrow’s ceremony and reception most of the day. I nearly opened my mouth to say that out loud but fought back my inner perversity just in time. “Mrs. Banoub, what a pleasure. How can I help you?” Very good, Riss, you actually sound like you care about her latest disaster that isn’t! By the end of tomorrow – assuming the worse happened and we failed to flush Meritton into the open – I’d deserve an Oscar for playing this role all the way through. That or I’d be ready to voluntarily commit myself.
“You can start by telling me why that – that man is still involved in my grandson’s wedding.”
Her dirty glare at Mac’s – Victor’s – retreating back clued me in to who that man had to be, though I was a little confused by her sudden venom. She’d never seemed to care one way or another about Victor before now. I watched as my brother ambushed Harper, and then I caught sight of Penn and the groomsmen entering to take their places at the front of the room. All except Scott, who’d been intercepted by Trinity and was now heading back past Harper and Mac towards the hallway. That’s when I saw Neema Banoub’s eyes following their exit with eagle eyes and got another jolt. She wasn’t bitching (ha) about Victor but Scott.
“I – uh—I’m not sure what you mean.”
She sniffed and curled her lip as she glanced back at me. “Why am I not surprised to hear that? You have not lived up to your sterling credentials throughout this farce, so why would you end your obtuseness now?” Her arm waved in Scott’s direction. “That Murphy mongrel, child. The one my grandson decided to involve in this affair for some insane reason – only to discover the mongrel had just such a thing his” – another lip curl – “Harpy of a bride.”
Oh bloody hell. My worst fear confirmed – word had gotten out that Scott and Harper had a thing in the past. Chances were that, if Neema Banoub had found out, the killer would have by now. Which meant that Scott could be in as much danger here as Victor or Penn. Maybe more, considering he had just ducked out of the bustling room with Trinity as his only companion. My spider sense went crazy – and my tact went flying out the window.
“Mrs. Banoub, I hope you take this with the exact amount of respect that’s intended, but perhaps it would be best if you pulled your supercilious nose out of your blue-blooded ass long enough to notice a few things. One: that ‘Murphy mongrel’ is here to protect the wedding guests. Even bitchy ones like you.”
Her face went red and she started sputtering, but I continued on ruthlessly.
“Two: Harper is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and your grandson is a lucky SOB to have convinced her to marry into his tight-assed, self-absorbed family.”
Her face changed from red to a most interesting shade of purple, and her mouth opened and closed wordlessly. Which I was willing to bet, had to be a first.
“And three: this obtuse child has more important things to do than stand around listening to you blow hot air. So if you’ll be so kind as to excuse me… “