David was feeling good. He planted his empty beer glass on the bar and did a little air-guitar as his song finished. “Catch-ya Luce!” he called to the barmaid. Lucy was her name. She gave him a high-five, and he spun, strumming his imaginary guitar. “Vic!” he said, shaping up to Victor Turak, a fisherman friend who shaped up in mock readiness to box. The two men shadow-boxed each other but David’s shadow boxing morphed back into an air-guitar solo as he left his friend and spun toward the door of the bar, almost bumping right into his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra.
“Cassie! Oh shit!” He pulled up, grinning and switching his air-guitar to air-drums.
“Hello, David. Had a few, have you?”
A man stopped behind Cassie. It was her boss, Reece Norman, the man she had dumped David for. He placed his hands upon her shoulders. “Hello, David.”
David dropped the air-drumsticks, raising his hands in an exaggerated surrender as he steadied himself. He had had one too many beers. His mind was kind of numb and swaying this way and that. He tried to focus, though.
“Reece,” he said, shaking his head and waving a finger. “You know, Reecey, you’re looking sharp, man… Looks like a million bucks, eh, Cass?” he slurred. “A million fucking bucks, eh?”
David focused at the last and eyeballed the other man. He then met Cassandra’s eyes, which had watered up a bit. “Sorry, Cassie,” he said to her sincerely. “I’m a bit drunk.”
He passed the two of them, glancing at the other man again, then moving on out the door and across the car-park to the street. He had left his car at home, planning on having a few beers and being over the limit. He sat down for a while, watching the evening strollers along the foreshore and trying to sober up for the walk.
He sat for an hour before moving on and up the street to his house, where he heard laughter emanating from the living room. His mind had sharpened. He was still a bit drunk but was thinking clearly. He walked into the house to find his sister and some other woman laughing hysterically.
They both pointed at him and laughed louder.
“What the hell?” he said. “What’s so bloody funny?”
The other woman was hot. David sort of recognised her. He remembered the new girl at the B&B and had placed her.
“Actually, his shirt is tucked in a bit.” Clair looked at Amanda. “It looks like it was tucked in.”
One side of David’s shirt was secure, the other side had worked its way free of his jeans. It was still tucked in a bit at the back. He walked through the room with the two women still laughing at him, sharing a joke he had no idea of. “Crazy chicks,” he grumbled to himself, and when he got to the kitchen and opened the fridge, he called back to his sister, “Is there anything to eat?”
“In the oven!”
David found his dinner there and sat at the table to eat it. The two women joined him. They had wine.
“David, this is Clair,” Amanda announced. “She’s from the Gold Coast.”
“Hi,” Clair said, smiling.
David nodded. “Hi.”
“Except David’s not like the others,” Amanda said to Clair.
“Oh—how so?” Clair replied.
“He’s more like a girl.”
David frowned but kept eating. He was hungry.
“In that he..?” Clair prompted.
“In that he’s the one who always falls in love.”
David frowned harder. They were too giggly to argue with, though. Plus the other chick was hot, he reasoned again. He wouldn’t want to argue with her.
“Do you?” she said to him.
“Do I what?”
“Do you fall in love?”
He shrugged. “Nope! Love’s bullshit.”
“Oh, you do so!” his sister scolded. “And it is not bullshit.”
“No, I agree with your brother,” Clair said. “Love is for movies and fairy tales. All you need is sex!”
“Yes!” David agreed, cheering. “What’s your name, again?” He examined Clair closely.
“And how do you two—um..?” he motioned between the two of them.
“We met at the mansion. She’s going to ask the widow who killed her husband,” Amanda clarified as a matter-of-fact.
“Oh? But she killed him, didn’t she?” David queried.
“That’s what I’m hearing,” Clair agreed.
“And you’re..?” David prompted.
“I’m doing a paper for my college course. Oh, and some big old copper is going to show me the file tomorrow. I showed him some boob and he couldn’t say yes quick enough!”
“Clair!” Amanda scolded.
“You showed him some boob?” David questioned with interest.
Clair thrust her boobs forward, showing off her cleavage. “You guys are easy.”
“True,” David agreed, earning a more genuine smile. “Tell her!” He pointed to his sister. “Tell her to show Brent some boob or something.”
“No!” Amanda said. “It’s not like that with him.”
“Bullshit! He can’t get his eyes off the barmaids down at the Grill on a Saturday night. He’s no different to the rest of us.”
“Oh really?” Clair challenged Amanda. “The barmaids..?” she questioned David.
“See-through—boobs on show!” he explained. “And Brent with his tongue hanging out just like the rest of us.”
“Yeah, well, you can hardly blame him for that,” Amanda defended. “If girls are going to go topless!”
“Hey!” Clair exclaimed in mock indignation.
“Oh… Sorry… Not that there’s anything wrong with girls going topless.”
David was confused, looking at the two women for some clarification.
“I’m a stripper,” Clair explained. “You know—pole dancer—lap dancer.”
“Yeah, suck your tongue back in!” his sister said, giggling.
“Private dances?” David queried jokingly.
“A hundred bucks a song,” Clair replied, also jokingly. Although she got up and wiggled around David to get some more wine from the fridge.
“Your food’s getting cold,” his sister informed pointedly, raising her eyebrows at his stupid grin.
Clair brought the wine bottle back. She topped up Amanda’s glass. “Do you want to try it on?”
“Okay.” Amanda stood to go with her new girlfriend.
David questioned them, but was left there alone without explanation. They returned after a while wearing each other’s dress. Clair was wearing Amanda’s house dress and Amanda was in Clair’s slinky little woollen number.
“Well?” Clair said to David, presenting his little sister.
Amanda had a great figure, which was accentuated by the skin-tight dress. She never offered cleavage but was at the moment. “Damn!” David exclaimed. He was taken aback.
“See!” Clair said to Amanda.
David found himself looking Clair over too. The house dress had transformed her just as much, and what it had transformed her into had David’s heart pounding a bit. Although he consciously pushed that notion aside and pictured Clair lap dancing again.
The girls then vanished, and David gravitated toward the television and a rugby game that was on. Amanda came from her room a few times for more wine, but he never saw Clair again before going to bed…..
AKA Candy Weston is a steamy love story and a cold case murder mystery. Clair is the link between the mystery and romance. Something has brought her back to the small fishing village she used to visit as a child. The Widow Mulvane’s secret holds the key… On sale this week at Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon AU