Authors: Debbie Viggiano
Oh bloody marvellous.
Morag had fainted.
I roughly shoved my friend into the recovery position before
Dust do it Olive.
I disconnected the call and slammed the handset back into its cradle.
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.
is making strange buzzing noises.
‘Stay still for a minute.’
I want to
get the hell out of here and back to Nell’s
’ Morag hauled herself upright
We better put
in the picture.
Selina spotted my car on
We need to warn
and Ben to be vigilant.
Thank God they
Rocket who will bark the place down if Selina pays a
e need to
keep a level head on us
– the last thing we want is to frighten Nell
everything will be fine now.
We’ve put Olive and Humpty on the trail.
They’re probably zooming off to
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.
hen we returned to Nell’s,
our friend raised her eyebrows at
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.’
Nell didn’t look convinced
shut the door behind us
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
Morag twitching violently next to me
‘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
!’ Nell protested.
‘The babies are asleep
and I was thinking we’d have a nice gossip
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
e’ll leave you in peace Nell.’
Nell was looking thoroughly short-changed.
hen will I see you both again?’
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.’
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.
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
hey’re not call
ed Bible Bashers for nothing.’
sure nothing happened in that house
?’ Nell frowned.
Morag grabbed her baby holdall.
The window cleaner beckons.’
reached for my
‘See you soon Nell
I gave my old neighbour a hug
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.’
not getting found by Selina?’
‘No, I mean not arousing Nell’s suspicions
‘Oh come off it,’ I snorted.
he thought we’d lost the plot.’
I looked out the window at the scenery rushing by.
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
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
ear me out please!
Things are looking a bit different now.
And not in a good way.
Selina’s on the warpath
nd I don’t want to be the next person to vanish into thin air.
Matt by my side, looking out for m
.’ 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
ank’s ball tomorrow.
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.
So I’ll carry on as normal
ready and drive myself up to
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.
But you seem to have suffered a memory bypass on the other
And then gasped.
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.
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
on’t say that.
I just assumed that once Selina was in for questioning all would be well
would be found safe and sound
Selina would go to jail
Stevie then goes home
nd we’re not looking over our shoulders all the time
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
opened my eyes again and
took a deep breath, ‘
I’d better give
Have her on standby.’
We don’t want her getting hysterical and turning up on your doorstep
until you’ve put Jamie in the picture.
For the moment, j
ust let events take their course
ll the chess pieces are in place.
sit tight and wait.’
When Jamie came
that evening, h
e looked absolutely knackered.
’ I pecked him on the cheek.
‘Arthur has taken Edna out for a romantic candlelit dinner, so you
my cooking tonight.’
Jamie pulled me into his arms and gave me a hug.
‘Please tell me you’ve not at
tempted anything adventurous.’