There are some words you just can’t take back. Catch up on the story here.
“Wife?” Vanessa looked back and forth between the two.
Evie resisted the urge to slap the expression off Owen’s face; his mouth was still hanging open like a hooked fish. She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath calling herself every name she could think of and making up a few. Well, it was out there and there was no taking it back. She was glad Edgar at least seemed to be ignoring them. Jessamy slouched near the fire, taking in every word.
“Yeah, how many years has it been, honey?” she crossed her arms over her chest, only then aware that her hands were shaking.
Vanessa looked pointedly at Owen; he still stared at Evie, but he’d closed his mouth.
“He never could remember the little things,” Evie cocked her head as she met his gray eyes. “Our anniversary, my birthday, not to sleep with other women.”
She was pleased to see him flinch.
“Evie, I never–”
“Now, Owen, love,” she mimicked his drawl. “I’m sure you didn’t mean it, didya? Although, she sure seems to think you did.”
“You listen, here,” Vanessa closed the gap between them, using the advantage of her height to stand over Evie. “I won’t have you talk about me like that.”
“No, you listen. I don’t know how they do things out in California, but back home, if some woman sleeps with your man—no matter how much or how little you care about him—there’s no sitting back and ignoring that, sugar,” Evie stuck out her chin.
Vanessa was tall, but Evie knew she was soft—she didn’t grow up fighting the swamps and her daddy. She wondered how much of that Vanessa saw in her eyes, because the taller woman stepped back.
“We—that is, I—nothing ever happened,” Vanessa’s voice rose in a desperate whine. “I met Owen at a bar in New Orleans when I was down there working as an extra on a film. We talked and had a few drinks, some laughs…” she trailed off, looking back over her shoulder at Owen.
“Is that right, Owen? Met her at a bar, is that how it happened?” Evie turned away in disgust—but she was stopped by a steely grasp on her arm and the cold, hard circle of a gun-barrel in her back.
Edgar pulled her tight against him, his breath hot on her ear. She could smell his breath, the foulness that could not be disguised by the watered down coffee.
“So, Evie is it?” He murmured against her cheek. “I don’t think you’ll be wanting to move any further.”
Owen grunted and Evie tried to turn her head. To her surprise Edgar let her. Vanessa was standing next to him, a gun of her own leveled at his belly.
“Now,” Edgar said conversationally, “Why don’t you tell us about this little plane of yours or we’ll kill your husband there.”
Owen laughed and Vanessa shoved the gun harder into his side.
“You think threatening me will make her talk?” his laugh was more of a cough as the barrel jabbed him again. “She hates me, if it weren’t for the damned stumblers, she would have divorced me five times over. Besides, if you kill me, my man will never let you on the plane.”
“How’s about if we kill ‘er then?” Edgar’s voice was caressing and the gun barrel dug into her spine. “There’s some other things I wouldn’t mind doing to your sweet’eart here…we could make you watch.”
Owen shrugged, “She’s been a pain in my ass for every single one of the ten years I’ve known her. Not to mention the four we’ve been married.”
Evie held her breath for a moment. Despite her jab earlier about Owen never remembering their anniversary–which was true–he never forgot how long they’d been married. Five years, last time she checked. She caught his eye and one eyelid flickered in the barest wink. She tried to relax in Edgar’s grip, to let him think all the fight had gone out of her. The shudder than ran over her at his threat was one hundred percent genuine. She wondered if the friendly script writer from England was all an act or if the threatening man that held her was the charade. No use guessing. She let her knees go loose for a moment, as though she was about to faint and Edgar wrenched her upright again.
“None of that now, missy. Looks like we have ourselves a bit of an impasse, here. You won’t tell us how to get to your plane and we won’t let you two go until someone opens up.”
Not for the first time, Evie wished she had a little more height. The top of her head just brushed Edgar’s chin when he stood straight, but, just her luck, he was leaning in again and she swore she felt the dampness of his tongue against her cheek. In a move she’d used against an older, drunker man many times before, Evie jerked her head up and back. She felt the satisfying crunch as her skull hit Edgar’s nose.