“Soo *Edward*,” half giggled Penny Mart at the table. The salad Benjamin Bright tossed was about to be served again, like it had 16 times before in his short life as an animesh cook from Drakaina. “What’ve you been doing with yourself lately?” Obviously Penny had a crush on the handsome boy with his rugged features. Housemate Sandy Hook on the other side of him too. Across-from-him Shelley wasn’t jealous of the attention paid to her escort to the party by what she thought were prettier girls than herself. Not really. And, anyway, she could make this part of her romance novel. She was almost 1/4th into her 5th. Hubby Arthur didn’t know about all those things yet.
“Oh, this and that, here and there,” he vaguely answered with a smile, soaking in the admiration. He was also still basking in the victory over Sandman down at the docks. Shelley, with her ultra sharp Umbrella Club funded eyes, saw it all from her chair at the house. Edward didn’t know about those things yet — couldn’t see them from his angles of observation; hadn’t hit the right light yet. Starless. Bible black.
Shelley reviewed it in her mind as Edward kept talking about recent frivolities: the face to face confrontation, the lack of presents in the boat, and then, from even a further distance, this Amos T. Sandman, as he called him afterwards, opening the final present to find a box within the box. Lavender. This was foreshadowing pure and simple.
Edward was finished. He looked over, suspicion in his own eyes, although he didn’t know what of yet. Just a hunch. That girl is up to something, he knew.
(to be continued)