Read Lipstick and Lies Online

Authors: Debbie Viggiano

Lipstick and Lies (58 page)

BOOK: Lipstick and Lies
11.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Oh bloody marvellous.
Morag had fainted.
I roughly shoved my friend into the recovery position before
snatching up
the phone.

‘Heddow?
Dust do it Olive.
Arrest Delina.’
I disconnected the call and slammed the handset back into its cradle.
Mora
g’s eyes were fluttering open.

‘What happened?’ she groaned.

‘You keeled over.
It’s shock from the realisation that we’re both dealing with an unstable, kidnapping, drug-induci
ng, nutcase who–’

‘Thank you Cass,’ Morag interrupted.
She sat up carefully.
Her hands fluttered up to her temples and she massaged them gingerly.

My
bonce
is making strange buzzing noises.

‘Stay still for a minute.’

‘No thanks.
I want to
get the hell out of here and back to Nell’s
.
’ Morag hauled herself upright
.

We better put
Nell
in the picture.
Selina spotted my car on
her
driveway.
We need to warn
Nell
and Ben to be vigilant.
Thank God they
have
Rocket who will bark the place down if Selina pays a
visit.’


W
e need to
keep a level head on us
– the last thing we want is to frighten Nell
.
H
opefully
everything will be fine now.
We’ve put Olive and Humpty on the trail.
They’re probably zooming off to
Greenwich
at this very moment to question Selina.
I’m one hundred per cent sure that woman will be out of our hair by tomorrow morning
,’ I said confidently
.

Which goes to show how little I knew.

 

Chapter Twenty
Nine

 

W
hen we returned to Nell’s,
our friend raised her eyebrows at
Morag’s
pale
complexion and
me covered in flick and dust.

‘What’s the matter with the pair of you?’ Nell scrutinised us as we piled into the hallway.
‘One of you looks like you’ve seen a ghost
,
and the other looks like she’s impersonating one.’

‘We’re fine,’ Morag assured. ‘It was just a bit odd seeing the house so,’ she paused to find the word she was looking for, ‘still.
It made Stevie’s absence seem, you know, a lot more ominous.
It just shook me up a bit.
And Cass managed to trip over and get
flick on her clothes.’

‘I see.

Nell didn’t look convinced
as she
shut the door behind us
.
W
e followed her
through to the kitchen.
‘Let’s have that coffee and you can tell me if you found anything of interest.’
She reached for the kettle.

‘Actually I’ll pass on the coffee,’ I said.
I was very aware
of
Morag twitching violently next to me
, desperate
to
remove
her car
from
Nell’s drive.
‘I’d really like to get h
ome and change these clothes.’

‘I need to get back too,’ Morag said quickly.
‘I’ve just remembered
the window cleaner is coming.’

‘But I’ve not seen anything of
you both
!’ Nell protested.
‘The babies are asleep
,
and I was thinking we’d have a nice gossip
about
your snoop around.’

‘There’s nothing to tell,’ Morag assured.
‘The place looked perfectly normal.’
Morag walked over to Rosie’s playpen and peered over the side.
‘Ah, look at them.
Three little cherubs all fast-a-bye-byes.’
She leant over the safety rail
, picked up Henry and then turned to face me
.

Come on
Cass
.
T
ake Eddie.
W
e’ll leave you in peace Nell.’

Nell was looking thoroughly short-changed.
‘W
hen will I see you both again?’

‘Soon,’ I
assured
as I scooped up my little boy.
He was out for the count.
I placed Eddie gently over my shoulder.
‘After we’ve gone Nell, make sure the door is firmly shut.
In fact I’
d lock it if I were you.’

‘A
nd put the safety chain on for good measur
e,’ Morag added.

‘Whatever for?’ Nell asked.

‘Because you’re a woman on your own with a baby.
Y
ou can’t be too careful these days,’ said Morag.
‘You never know who’s going to
come a-knocking on your door.’

‘It’s only ever the Born Again brigade.
And I quite like chatting to them actually,’ Nell sniffed.
‘There’s nothing like a bit of spirituality in one’s life.
You should try it some time.’

Morag and I gave each other a look.
Not so long ago Nell had had a deep flirtation with the local church.
Which had been nothing to do with wanting to follow Lord Jesus but everything to do with an unre
quited crush on the gay vicar.

‘Well just watch out please Nell,’ Morag
said.

T
hey’re not call
ed Bible Bashers for nothing.’

‘Are you
absolutely
sure nothing happened in that house
?’ Nell frowned.

‘Quite sure.

Morag grabbed her baby holdall.
‘Come
along
Cass.
The window cleaner beckons.’

I
reached for my
own holdall.
‘See you soon Nell
.

I gave my old neighbour a hug
.

A
nd don’t forget to put tha
t chain on after we’ve gone.’

‘Well,’ said Morag as we sped along the main road, ‘I think we got away with that quite lightly.’

‘What –
not getting found by Selina?’

‘No, I mean not arousing Nell’s suspicions
.’

‘Oh come off it,’ I snorted.

S
he thought we’d lost the plot.’
I looked out the window at the scenery rushing by.
Houses.
Somebody mowing a front lawn.
A man walking
into a newsagent.
A park full of children playing in the chill winter air.
People doing normal things.
Not hiding under beds or worrying about police investigations.
‘I wonder if Olive and Humpty have caught up with Selina yet.
Just think,’ I shifted in my seat and turned to face Morag, ‘she might be in a patrol car right now.
Sitting on the back seat
and
shaking like a jelly.
Shouting that she knows her rights and demanding a solicitor.’

‘Well let’s hope so,’ said Morag gripping the steering wheel, ‘because I’ll sleep a lot easier once I know she’s not on the loose.
Either way Cass, I’m going to tell Matt everything
.

Morag lifted one hand off the wheel to silence me
.

H
ear me out please!
Things are looking a bit different now.
And not in a good way.
Selina’s on the warpath
.
A
nd I don’t want to be the next person to vanish into thin air.
I
need
Matt by my side, looking out for m
e
.’ Morag slowed down for some traffic lights on the change to red.
‘And if you’ve got any sense
,
you’ll tell Jamie too.
Ideally before my husband gets on the blower to yours and spills the beans on what the pair of us have been up to.
Matt will go ballistic to begin with.
Hopefully he’ll calm down when he knows the police ar
e now properly involved.’

‘I understand,’ I sighed.
‘But could you ask Matt to refrain from calling Jamie until tomorrow?
Just until I’ve spoken to Jamie myself.
I’m going to have to pick my moment.
He’s not going to be too impressed when he hears what we were doing this morning.
It’s very likely that t
his is going to put a spanner in the works regarding the
b
ank’s ball tomorrow.
If
Selina
’s arrest
ed,
she
won’t be attending
.
In which case
Ethan will be too frantic about his fiancée to attend himself.’

‘I doubt any of you will b
e going,’ Morag glanced at me.

‘What do you mean?
Jamie will insist the pair of us still go.
It’s business!
So I’ll carry on as normal
– get
ready and drive myself up to
Oxfordshire
.’

‘Cass
,
I know you can be a bit ditzy
,
but you seem to be forgetting something
.

Morag looked away from me as the lights shifted through their colour change to green.
Shoving the car into gear we lurched forward.
‘Stop and think.
What will hap
pen when the truth comes out?’

‘Well, Selina will go to jail,’ I replied.
‘Obviously.’

‘Y-e-s.
But you seem to have suffered a memory bypass on the other
obvious
matter.’

I frowned.
And then gasped.
‘Stevie!’

‘Yes!
Stevie!
I don’t think Jamie is going to agree to waltz off to some ball – business or otherwise – when your ex-husband, father of your twins no less, is finally found and probably in need of a hospital.’
Morag gripped the steering wheel again.

Hopefully
Stevie will
only
be drugged up to his eyeballs
,
and not in a body bag from whatever that bitch has
been doing to him.’

‘Oh God Morag,’ I let out a shuddering gasp
.

D
on’t say that.
I just assumed that once Selina was in for questioning all would be well
.
Y
ou know
– Stevie
would be found safe and sound
.
Selina would go to jail
.
Stevie then goes home
.
A
nd we’re not looking over our shoulders all the time
.
H
appy endings all round.’
Suddenly the earlier nausea made an unwelcome return.
I clung on to the door handle
, closed my eyes and willed it to pass
.

Anyway,’ I
opened my eyes again and
took a deep breath, ‘
I’d better give
Charlotte
a call.
Have her on standby.’

‘No.
Not yet.
We don’t want her getting hysterical and turning up on your doorstep
.
Not
until you’ve put Jamie in the picture.
For the moment, j
ust let events take their course
.
A
ll the chess pieces are in place.
We just
sit tight and wait.’

 

When Jamie came
home
that evening, h
e looked absolutely knackered.

‘Hi darling
.
’ I pecked him on the cheek.
‘Arthur has taken Edna out for a romantic candlelit dinner, so you
have
my cooking tonight.’

Jamie pulled me into his arms and gave me a hug.
‘Please tell me you’ve not at
tempted anything adventurous.’

BOOK: Lipstick and Lies
11.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Rush by Minard, Tori
A Good Divorce by John E. Keegan
Perfect Ten by Nikki Worrell
Demon Jack by Donovan, Patrick
Tasty by Bella Cruise
True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
WAR CRIMES AND ATROCITIES (True Crime) by Anderson, Janice, Williams, Anne, Head, Vivian
A Vintage Wedding by Katie Fforde