Ham Bones

Ham Bones by Carolyn Haines

Book: Ham Bones by Carolyn Haines Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carolyn Haines
lipstick on her lips." She faced the makeup
table and picked up a tray of lipsticks. "You know, I
thought it was such a lovely shade that I was tempted to
try it on myself."
    "Thank God you didn't!" The idea was appalling.
    "My fingerprints are on the tube. Once they figure you
didn't do it, how long will it be before I'm in the cross hairs." She sobbed. "I don't have friends down here. I don't
have money for a lawyer. What will I do?"
    I put my arm around her. She'd been on the road with
the show for nearly thirty-six weeks without a break to go
home. As I patted her back, I slid my cell phone from my
pocket. "What's your home number?"
    "You can't call Danny!" She grabbed at the phone,
knocking it to the floor.
    "What's wrong?" I was more surprised than anything
else. She obviously missed her husband and child, and I
was only going to call them down here to be at her side
during a crisis.
    "Don't get Danny down here. If he starts drinking and
running his mouth, he'll only make it worse"
    I nodded, understanding at last that life with a rock
star could sometimes be rocky.
    "What can I do to help?"
    "Promise me that if I am accused, you'll take the case
and prove me innocent. I'll pay you, somehow."
    "Don't worry about the money, Bobbe. If you're
charged, Tinkie and I will do all we can for you."
    Her smile was tentative. "God, why couldn't you have
been with the show all the time? That stupid bitch made it
so much harder than it had to be. I hate her. I'm glad she's
    And though Bobbe's smile was warm, my heart felt a
sudden chill.


Chapter 9
    ahlia House was cold and foreboding, as if the weather
reflected the condition of my heart. What should
have been a week of triumph left the taste of ashes in my
mouth. I was good. Damn good, on the stage. I sipped my
celebratory Jack Daniel's and listened to the merry tinkle
of my ice. Though the fire in the parlor fireplace crackled
brightly and I'd turned on every light in the downstairs,
nothing could block the fact that I celebrated alone.
    Hamilton would have carpeted the floor with rose
petals for my arrival.
    Harold would have gently sucked my thumb and ignited the twinkle lights that set my heart aflutter.
    Scott Hampton would have penned a blues song about
my performance as Maggie the Cat.
    The faces of the men from my past swept before my
closed eyelids like an album of dead possibilities.
    I'd settled on Coleman. I'd let his Dudley Do-Right attitude and unspoken promises lure me into love. I'd
checked the answering machine before I made a drink. There was no call from him, no word on Connie. He was
as alone as I was and it served him right!
    Though it would have been a sacrifice, I would have
given up the stage to be with him during his time of strife.
Nobody said it better than David Allen Coe. If Coleman's
needs were great, I would've lain with him in a field of
    What he didn't understand was that I had needs, too.
Success brought its own share of gnawing anxieties. Either Coleman didn't realize it, or he didn't care. A dream
that'd been nurtured, worked toward, and brutally battered, had finally come true for me. I needed someone to
share the success. God, I needed his arms around me to
anchor me to Dahlia House and Zinnia and Sunflower
County, because I felt myself beginning to slip away just
like Jitty faded.
    In my mind, I could clearly see a house on the Pacific
bluffs, surf pounding against the rocks, the perfect weather
warming my face. Reveler stood in a beautiful barn, unbothered by flies and mosquitoes or humidity. Sweetie
sniffed the ground around the small farm, happy to be a
California hound. With her ears, she'd be a natural at
    It could happen, and the images tantalized me with
    Around me was the home I'd known as a child. My
New Year's resolution was to give up the past. At first, I'd
viewed my dream to be an actress as the past I was meant
to leave

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