High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery (The Glass Bead Mystery Series)

High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery (The Glass Bead Mystery Series) by Janice Peacock

Book: High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery (The Glass Bead Mystery Series) by Janice Peacock Read Free Book Online
Authors: Janice Peacock
girl’ all the time, right?”
    Suddenly, Rosie noticed an entire room of partygoers was staring at her and her daughter.
    “Excuse me. I need to freshen up,” Rosie said to a few of us standing close by, without making eye contact. Then she hurried up the inside staircase into her apartment.
    “ Here, Tracy, let me help you,” I said. “Look, here’s some soda water.” I grabbed a bottle from the nearby makeshift bar. “It may have some lemon in it, but it’s supposed to be good at taking out stains.” I took a pile of napkins off the table, too, and started to soak up the liquid. I was down on my knees in my too-tight dress, wondering how I was going to get back up without showing everyone the Spanx and everything else up my dress. A hand, palm up, appeared next to my shoulder.
    “ May I help you up, miss?” said Allen, sweetly.
    “ Absolutely,” I said, taking his hand and hoisting myself up as gracefully as possible. As I straightened up, I saw Tracy bolt out the back door.
    “Hi, Allen. How are you? Recovered from Gumdrop’s acrobatics?” I asked trying to make light of what was possibly the most embarrassing experience in my life. Actually, I have had many embarrassing experiences, but this one was at least in the top ten.
    “ Oh, yes. I’m resilient. My cords need some serious washing and I may never be able to drink another mojito. But, really, I’m fine. Just fine,” he assured me, with a brilliant smile.
    Oh good. Well, that makes one of us.
    Judy ascended a few steps of the staircase by the front counter to make some announcements.
    “ Hello!” Judy shouted, trying to get everyone’s attention. “Hello!” Judy said again, pathetically. No one was paying attention or quieting down.
    Marta got up on the step next to Judy . She stuck her fingers in her mouth and let rip a loud wolf whistle. It was impressive and effective. The room was now silent. “I am overwhelmed and overjoyed to see everyone here for our first-ever Weekend of Education, Enlightenment and Design!” Judy said.
    “ WEED!” I whispered in Allen’s ear. He stifled a laugh.
    “ We’ve got some great workshops lined up for you tomorrow and Sunday. If you’ve not already done so, I hope you’ll sign up for a class. I’ll be around all weekend. If you need anything, I’m here for you. Everyone, please enjoy this evening, and a huge round of applause to Rosie for hosting this party, and to all the artists who are here this weekend to share their lovely beads and jewelry designs.”
    Dylan slid up next to me on the side opposite Allen. “Jax, can we talk later?” he asked quietly, so he wouldn’t interrupt Judy’s announcements.
    “ Sure, Dylan,” I replied, still listening to Judy.
    Judy finished her speech and we all applauded. I looked around to see if Rosie had come back down to hear our appreciative clapping. I couldn ’t see her anywhere, and suspected she was up in the apartment, trying to calm down.
    “ Now, how about a drink? One without mint or catnip?” I asked Allen.
    “ An excellent idea.” He took my hand and led me through the crowd and toward the front door.
    “ Wait a minute, there are drinks right next to us.”
    “ Ah, but it’s so noisy, so many people!”
    “ I know, but listen, I can’t leave the party. I’m here to support Rosie. And Tessa is in there somewhere. And Dylan, he wanted to talk with me. I—”
    “ Okay, okay,” Allen said.
    “ But, I have a great idea. You go get a couple of chairs and bring them out front.” There was no way I was going to be able to sit on the curb in this dress, and if I did, I doubted I’d ever be able to get back up again, without a team of professional body-builders doing some heavy lifting of my backside. “I’ll get some wine and glasses, and meet you out there in five minutes. We’ll make our own sidewalk café.”
    Before Allen could respond, I was gone, dashing to the makeshift bar. The ice bucket was empty —only a small amount of

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