Saturday, August 05, 2006
New Beginning 44
“I didn’t kill her,” Mason Bailey said, gulping down his third Glenlivet in a row.
How many times had she heard those words? Dozens. But not from the mouth of a United States senator. For all Whitney Steel cared, the man could drink himself under the table, but not until she got what she’d come for. An exclusive.
A steamy blast of wind kicked up under the turquoise awning shading the patio. She sipped a frosty lime daiquiri, mesmerized by the brutal way the early afternoon sunlight magnified every line on Mason’s tanned face. God, he was too old to choose the Pink Flamingo Club for a rendezvous. “Of all the reporters in Panama City, let alone Florida, why me? We cut our ties years ago.” And our losses, she wanted to add.
“I know I can trust you.” He turned his head to one side and slicked back his gray hair. “Besides, we were married once. That should count for something.”
"It does," Whitney assured him. "It counts for six strippers, two secretaries, my sister, and the pool boy."
"Aw, baby, don't hold a grudge." Mason signaled for his fourth scotch. "You done good out of it, for a third-rate pop singer with round heels."
"Oh, I've put that behind me." Whitney smiled past her icy drink. "I'm just here for the story. What are the Democrats going to do in '08 now that you murdered their probable nominee?"
"I told you," he said. "I made fun of her huge calves, I pinched her chipmunk cheeks. I mailed her maps of New York to help her get home. I even helped her model her health care plan. But I didn't kill her!"
Opening: Kim.....Continuation: J.E. Barnard/Dave Conifer