As Debra’s Toyota slides into the driveway of her home (well, she muses, not really her home), she notices that neighbor Eugene’s car is not in its usual space near the front walk of his split level.
Darn. Debra had hoped to invite Gene in for the nuts and martini. He isn’t a dark stranger, but he certainly keeps her nights from being lonely.
The open carport curves in as if to greet her. Debra uses her parents’ key to open the side door. The door she sneaked in at midnight as a teen. Until her parents died six months ago in the car crash, Debra hadn’t used that side door for 15 years.
The yellow kitchen wallpaper hurts her eyes as she switches on the light. One of these days she needs to strip the walls and paint them. A soft gray sounds nice. But really, why not just sell the small three-bedroom ranch? It’s not her style. Never was, even as a kid.
Debra dumps her purse on the old pine kitchen table, shucks off her shoes, and then sees it.
Where’d that come from?
Debra racks her brain to remember her morning. She’d brewed some coffee, sipped it while perusing the files for her client meeting, raced out for Philly by 8:15.
No box then.
Who else has a key?
No one. Well, the lawyer gave her one set of keys after he read her parents’ will – one key to the side door and one to the front door. Maybe he has another set?
No. Wait. She’d given the front door key to Eugene in case she ever lost hers.
The box stares at Debra, just waiting. She unties the ribbon and slowly opens it. Her puzzled look doesn’t leave her face when the side door rams open, and two men enter.
“If you want to help your friend,” the stockiest man growls, “empty the box and show us the rest.”
What’s in the box? The first person who guesses correctly receives a copy (e-book or softback) of my romantic suspense Twin Desires.