Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Killer Chocolate: A Valentine Mystery PART 3

PART THREE - Lisa Mondello

"Not so fast. I want answers," Rouen said. "It's been five years of wondering what happened to my brother and if you have any information for me, then I want to hear it now."

Lovey closed her eyes for a brief moment. "But I don't have any information for you."

"I don't believe that. Why else would Ryan send me here?"

"I don't know. I'm wondering the same thing," Lovey said, trying to remember any conversation they'd had during their engagement that may have indicated Ryan had a twin brother. It was so long ago and yet seeing Rouen, and how much he looked like Ryan, made it seem like it was yesterday. "Just like I'm wondering why my fiancé didn't bother to tell me he had a twin."

Rouen swayed. "Fiance? You and Ryan…"

"Yes, we were going to be married." Lovey sat down on the red velvet sofa, feeling the weight of grief she'd kept hidden. "The week after he disappeared."

Looking at her suspiciously, he said, "Then you must know about the Luxor Project he was working on."

Lovey looked at him confused. "Luxor Project? What is that?"

A veil of anger washed over Rouen's expression. His jaw tightened and his eyes turned cold. Cupid seemed to sense the tension in the room and decided to intervene by purring and rubbing up against Rouen's designer pants in an effort to soothe the anxiety in the room. Rouen seemed unaffected by Cupid's attention.

"If this is some joke," Rouen said through clenched teeth.

Lovey grasped the arm of the Victorian sofa and tried to get her bearings. "If it is, then it's being played on both of us."

"I find it hard to believe that you would be a week away from marrying my brother without my even knowing of your existence and without you knowing about the most important project he'd been working on."

He had a point and it became abundantly clear to Lovey that she may not have known Ryan at all. They'd fallen in love in a rush of romance and immediately decided to marry. When you knew, you knew, Ryan had said. And he'd told her over and over again that she was a blessing that God had brought into his life. She felt the same and saw no reason to wait through a long engagement before making their love for each other official. But that never happened. He'd gone missing at sea soon after.

Abruptly, the door to Hearts and Flowers sprang open. Athena raced through the flower shop door along with a rush of cold breeze and then locked the door behind her. She was breathless as if she'd run a marathon to get to the shop.

Taking in Rouen's presence, Athena said, "Good, you're here. I was afraid you wouldn't come."

"You were afraid? Ryan was the one who told me to come here," Rouen said.

Athena shook her head. "No, he didn't."

Confused, Lovey said, "He didn't? If Ryan didn't send Rouen here, then who did?"

Athena looked out the window as if she was searching for something…or someone. Lovey had never seen Athena like this and it was beginning to scare her.

"I did," Athena admitted.

Lovey gasped. "What? Why would you do something like this?" Lovey had known Athena for a long time. Athena was well aware of how much pain Lovey was in when Ryan disappeared. How could she open up a wound that had taken Lovey so long to close?

Biting her bottom lip, tears welled in Athena's terrified eyes. "Because Ryan asked me to, Lovey. I'm sorry, but you're in danger. We all are."


Ramona Richards said...

Oooh, the twists abound. I'm pulling a chair closer and pouring up the hot chocolate with a sprinkling of chili powder...

EllenToo said...

Well guess Ryan and Rouen are not the same person but Ryan's actions are strange. Why have Athena tell Rouen to go see Lovey instead of telling him himself. And why tell Athena he has a twin and not Lovey. Something about this whole thing is really, really suspicious!!!!

Lisa Mondello said...

Ellen, I wouldn't count that out just yet. I have no idea what direction the other ladies are going to take this story. I'm dying to find out what's next.

EllenToo said...

I never count anything out when it's coming from you CRAFTIE LADIES. That's ONE thing I like about your suspense...the inability to guess where you are going with the story (except for the HEA).

Margaret Daley said...

Love the twist.

Terri Reed said...

Oh, this is fun. Lots of intrigue. Good job ladies.

Merry said...

Love it... can't wait to see what is next!

Lenora said...

This is getting so good! And why has Athena hid all of this from Lovey? Does Athena have a thing with Ryan? Is that why he disappeared? Maybe she's a double-agent!!!

I need chocolater right now!

Lenora said...

It would help if I could proof my posts better. Hidden, not hid. And chocolate, not chocolater. But this is the most chocolater story I've seen lately!

PamelaTracy said...

Sweating bullets here, which is good for a suspense author. Lisa, great job. You really gave me fodder for tomorrow's installment.

Barbara Phinney said...

As one of the upcoming posters, I can tell you that the twists and turns ahead are sure to tantalize you as much as Lovey's deep dark chocolate! Wait 'til you see what's coming up!

Lynette Eason said...

OH MY, this is fabulous. What's going to happen next?? This is why I don't read trilogy's until ALL of the books are released! I have to know NOW! LOL. Good job ladies!

Debby Giusti said...

Glad Athena's back. I was afraid...well, you know. I was afraid something terrible and deadly had happened to her.

Waiting for tomorrow's installment. Is Athena the mastermind behind some type of crime ring? Or is Rouen the kingpin?

And is Lovey really as innocent as she pretends to be?