Final Catcall: A Magical Cats Mystery (22 page)

BOOK: Final Catcall: A Magical Cats Mystery
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he next hour was a blur of activity. Paramedics checked me out and then I was taken across the street to one of the private meeting rooms on the main floor of the hotel. The palms of both my hands were bandaged and my left ankle was wrapped. It wasn’t broken, just badly sprained.

I gave Detective Lind the bare bones of what had happened. She narrowed her eyes at Marcus. “Remind me to say no next time you come to me with some harebrained scheme,” she said.

It had taken all of Marcus’s persuasive powers to convince the detective to go along with my plan to get Chloe to confess. None of us had realized how deep her mental illness went. When Chloe and I had disappeared from the bar, both detectives had come in. What they didn’t know was that Chloe had told Charlie, the bartender, that she was helping me plan a “romantic” surprise for Marcus. She’d asked him to stall as long as he could.

By the time they found out we’d left the hotel, I was already over the embankment. The only reason Marcus and Detective Lind knew which way we’d gone was that Andrew had seen us headed in the direction of the Riverwalk.

“Here,” Andrew said. He handed me a cup of coffee.

“Thank you,” I said.

He hadn’t left my side since he’d helped Marcus pull me up over the rocks. I hadn’t seen Marcus since. I kept eyeing the door, hoping he would walk in. Detective Lind had sent someone up to get my mom. The first thing I was going to do when she showed up was send her to find Marcus.

Andrew pulled out a chair and sat beside me. There were tight lines around his eyes and concern was written all over his face. “You have to come home, Kathleen,” he said. “You can see that now, can’t you?”

I shook my head. “Andrew, this isn’t the time.”

Anger flashed across his face. “It’s exactly the time. You almost got killed tonight. That crazy b—woman had a gun!”

I took a breath, struggling to keep my emotions in check. “I’m fine, Andrew,” I said.

He shook his head. “You’re fine? Take a look at yourself. You’ve got bandages on your hands. You can hardly walk. This isn’t fine.”

“Stop,” I said. If he heard me, it didn’t make an impression. I didn’t want to deal with any of this now. All I wanted was to see Marcus.

He exhaled loudly. “I get that you have friends here. I get that. We’ll come back for visits. They can come see us in Boston. We can work it out.”

“No,” I said, a lot louder this time. “No.”

That got his attention. “Kathleen, you’re not thinking straight,” he began.

“Yes, I am.” I set my coffee on the table. “We can’t work it out, Andrew. I’m sorry, but we can’t. I do care about you, but we’re not getting back together and I’m not coming back to Boston, because I already am home. Here.”

“You’re picking him.” There were tight lines around his mouth.

I nodded. “If you mean Marcus, yes. I am.” Maybe if I hadn’t met Marcus I could have married Andrew and been happy. But I had met him.

“You’re making a mistake.”

I looked at Andrew and shook my head. “I’m sorry I hurt you.”

Without warning he leaned over and pulled me against him, his mouth hot and hard on mine. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Marcus appear in the doorway—and immediately turn around.

I shoved Andrew as hard as I could away from me and struggled to my feet, resisting his attempts to help me. I hobbled out the door and across the lobby, looking for Marcus.

There was no sign of him. My chest was tight and I could barely suck in a breath, but I kept going, out the front doors to the sidewalk. I looked around. There was no sign of him anywhere. I clenched my bandaged hands. I wasn’t giving up this easily.

And then I saw him, across the street, leaning against the front fender of his SUV. I started across the street to him, dragging my foot like Quasimodo coming from his bell tower.

“It wasn’t what it looked like,” I said. “Andrew kissed me. I didn’t kiss him. I’m not going back to Boston. I’m staying here.” The words rushed out of me.

“I know,” he said.

I stopped a couple of feet in front of him. “You know? What do you mean, you know?”

He was standing with his feet apart, hands stuffed in his pockets. His hair was falling on his forehead the way it always seemed to and there was dirt on the front of his shirt. He was gorgeous.

“Earlier, at the Stratton, when I went to pick up Hannah, I talked to your mother.”

“What did she say?”

“She told me if I ever made you unhappy again she would make me
unhappy.” He smiled. “She didn’t exactly word it that way. And then she told me to get the stick out of my, well, you know, and be grateful that I had you.” His smile faltered. “Do I have you?”

“Oh, yes, you do,” I said.

Then I pushed him back against the car and kissed him until his knees went weak, just so there was no doubt.


Sofie Kelly
is an author and mixed-media artist who lives on the East Coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu-style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores. And she admits to having a small crush on Matt Lauer.


BOOK: Final Catcall: A Magical Cats Mystery
4.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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