Mission to Murder
plate away, even though I desperately wanted another slice. My ankle throbbed. What the heck had I run into?
    “You’d date who?” Greg turned off his phone and put his arm around me. “Do I need to be worried here?”
    Bending my head back, I puckered for a kiss. “Only if you forget my birthday. Or our anniversary. Or Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m a sucker for green food.”
    Greg kissed me gently, then took the empty plates off the table and slipped them into the sink. A total keeper. “I’m confused. We have an anniversary? I thought those happened after the whole proposal and marriage thing.”
    “We have lots of anniversaries.” I held up my hand and started counting on my fingers. “The day we met, our first date, our first real party together . . .”
    Greg laughed and added, “The day you let me get to second base.”
    “Whoa, hold on there, way too much information for this old woman.” Jackie finished her coffee and took the cup to the sink, where Greg rinsed and slipped it into the dishwasher along with the plates. “I guess I’ll see the two of you on our double date.”
    Greg walked over and got his own cup, filling it from the pot. He held the pot up and with a motion, asked if I wanted more. When I nodded, he walked over and refilled my cup. He glanced down at me. “Do I want to ask?”
    My aunt crossed the kitchen and gave me a hug. “You might want to bring the boy up to speed, dear. It’s your party.”
    I watched my aunt leave and waited until I heard the front door close behind her. Then I turned and faced Greg. “Josh is blackmailing me. If Jackie goes out with him, he’ll show me the evidence they were going to give the historical commission.”
    “I don’t think that’s the legal definition of blackmail.” Greg pulled me to my feet. “You want to watch a movie?”
    I nodded, limping to the living room with him. “Can you get me some painkillers from the bathroom?”
    “Heavy duty or over the counter?”
    “Over the counter. Anything stronger and I’ll be snoring in ten minutes max.” I eased down into the couch.
    “So what difference would that be? You usually sleep through our movie nights,” Greg teased.
    I threw a couch pillow at him. “Snot.”
    “Angel,” he countered.
    It’s hard to be mad at a man who calls you names like that.

    J osh appeared to be having a heart attack, his face beet red. He slipped into a chair next to a large rolltop desk I’d been considering for the shop, until I glanced at the sales price. I didn’t want to have to even think about performing CPR on the guy. “Are you okay?”
    He pulled an off-white handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped his brow. While he pulled himself together, I peeked over at the counter. The folder with the receipts from Craig had been put away. I quickly refocused my attention on Josh. He was nodding, then he glanced up at me. He swallowed, then in a voice sounding like it came from a squeaky toy rather than the heavyset man in front of me, he whispered, “I never thought she’d agree.”
    Weird. Then why did he ask me to ask? Pushing the thought away, I took advantage of my upper hand and Josh’s apparent shock. “There are some conditions. It’s a double date. You can’t touch her.” My mind raced, thinking of other stipulations to push the situation. “And I get to see the evidence now, before the deal is set.”
    “What’s to stop you from backing out?” Josh narrowed his eyes and watched me, suspicion in his gaze.
    “Greg will hold us accountable. No way would he want the mayor to find out he welched on a deal.” Which was only partly true. Greg had made his feelings clear on the subject. I already owed him for the outing with Hank and Amy. However, I’d keep my end of the bargain. But I didn’t trust Josh to keep his once he got what he wanted. “That’s the deal, take it or leave it, I don’t care. But we won’t be having this conversation a second time.”
    “Hold on,

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