landscape with green forest

PAGE 17


“Yeah, it is.”

Annabel couldn’t refrain from commenting, “This is lovely. The colours are comforting and it’s relaxing. I really love this.”

“Thanks. What I was shooting for.” Turning he continued with their previous conversation., “I take it you’ve suffered a loss of your own?”

“Yeah, my mom was killed in a car accident. The other driver lost control crossed the median and slammed into her car. She didn’t stand a chance. My dad dived into his work. Haven’t seen much of him since; he travels all over the world. Guess it’s his way of dealing with the grief and I get it, I do, but I wished he’d let me in. He’s shut me out whether he’s aware of it or not. It’s like I lost both of them that day.”

Returning to the kitchen, he handed her a coffee, took a seat on the sofa adjacent to the chair she was sitting in and replied, “I’m sorry. That’s gotta sting.”

“Yeah, it does.”

Taking a sip she asked, “What about you, you have any other family?”

“My dad and sister live in England and I have a brother in Wyoming. We see each other occasionally.” Laughingly he continued, “I think we spend more time Snapchatting and in Messenger than anyone I know, but it’s a way to keep in contact, and it works. Not quite the same, but it helps.”

Annabel laughed, “Yeah, I know that one. My dad understands but refuses to use it, says he does that enough for business and we talk on the phone every six months or so.

They sat quietly for a few minutes before Annabel said, “I don’t get it, you know? That fire at Amber and Teds was pure stupidity. Why let on he was around? Why not leave well enough alone? Why the breadcrumbs? Is it to keep me on edge? Try to scare me? I get that if he’s responsible for one murder, another is no big deal. I’m expendable in his world.” She shuddered at the thought.

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