Speak Of The Devil (44)

Annette Gardner left St. Mark’s hospital distraught and confused. Those seemed to be her only qualities lately. Her sister was lying unconscious in a hospital bed, her husband cheated on her, and she was disturbed to know that her feelings for Michael Falcone were resurfacing. Entering her large, empty home, she threw herself on the couch, thoroughly exhausted. Shortly after, the telephone rang.

“Hello? Annette? It’s Laura.”

“Oh, hi Laura…how are you?” said Annette, distracted.

“Fine thanks, dear. I hope you’re feeling better. Listen, Elaine told me about Louise. We didn’t want to bring it up before. I can only imagine how you must be feeling right now!”

No, she could not. Annette said, “I don’t mean to be rude, Laura, but is there something I can do for you? I’m still not feeling very well…”

“Of course, dear, of course. I don’t mean to upset you, but I wanted to ask you where Louise is so that Elaine and I could visit her.” Laura could be very convincing– when she wanted to be, of course.

“Thank you so much, Laura. She’s in St. Marks. Although, I don’t know how much good it’ll do–”

“What do you mean, dear?”

“Well Laura, they thought she just had a bad fall, and that’s what caused the coma. It turns out…she was poisoned.”

“Poisoned? Oh my dear I’m so sorry! Oh!” Laura was genuinely shocked. No one goes around poisoning people in Huntsport. “Unless you’re a Falcone!” thought Laura to herself.

“Well dear, she is in my prayers. Please, call me if I can do anything.” Laura hung up.

“I must call Steven!” she thought excitedly.

***

Samantha Flint, pleased with her breaking-and-entering skills, decided to continue her own brand of justice and tracked down the address of Elaine Gardner. Climbing up the fire escape of Elaine’s apartment building, with Foley in tow, they peeked through the window and observed Elaine, Redmond, and Teddy, who she assumed to be Elaine’s soon-to-be husband.

“You know, Red, you really should throw Teddy a bachelor party,” said Elaine with a nudge.

Teddy Burke blushed. For as perfect as he was in Elaine’s eyes, he was one of the most bashful human beings she ever encountered. “Elaine, really,  I couldn’t…I mean it’s just not that big a deal. I mean, I only have eyes for you…” said Teddy. He was so incredibly awkward when his feisty girlfriend even joked about such things.

“Oh Ted, relax! I don’t care what you do, just don’t bring the cake girl to the wedding. That’s one guest I don’t need my mother meeting.”

Redmond jumped in. “Listen Ted, I’ll take you out for a drink, okay? We’ll have a night out if you’re not up for half-naked girls jumping out of over-sized pastries.”

Teddy looked relieved.  Samantha could only laugh as she heard this conversation unfold. “Oh my God! Foley, are you hearing this? My God this guy is such a loser!” Foley, trying to see said loser, squirmed around Samantha to  see Teddy Burke and company. As was his luck, he nudged Samantha’s face up against a window.

“Damnit Foley!” screeched Samantha, as her face pressed against the glass. The party inside looked at her in amused horror.

Rushing to the window, Teddy said, “Would you folks mind telling me what you’re doing hanging around our fire escape?”

Redmond cut in, “Nope, just push her back out. In fact, push her off!”

“Now Red, Samantha said hanging through the window, “Why don’t you introduce me to this…cute…young man? I’m Samantha Flint. I’m very pleased to meet you.” She looked at Elaine. “Elaine, sweetie, you’re a very lucky woman.”

The Gardner siblings faces went blank with horror.

END

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