The Ex Who Wouldn't Die

The Ex Who Wouldn't Die by Sally Berneathy Page B

Book: The Ex Who Wouldn't Die by Sally Berneathy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sally Berneathy
Tags: Humorous Paranormal Suspense
long enough to develop the air of supreme self-confidence and omniscience that seemed to come to all of them with age, experience and training. On the other hand, it didn't bode well for her that he seemed nervous.
     
    "If you had reason to believe your life was in danger from Charley, it gives us a plea of self-defense."
     
    A spear of cold shot through Amanda's chest and settled in her stomach. "I don't need a plea of self-defense. I didn't kill Charley." She almost added that Charley said Roland Kimball killed him, but bit back the words just in time. Brian would probably leap from self-defense straight to a plea of insanity if she started talking like that.
     
    Her lawyer pulled a yellow legal pad toward him and lifted a silver pen from its holder on his desk. "I need you to tell me everything you can remember about the day Charley was killed, especially your visit to his apartment and the gun he wanted you to bring to him."
     
    The cold in Amanda's gut swirled upward, squeezing her heart. "It sounds like this is getting serious," she said. "Am I going to be arrested?"
     
    "Don't worry," Brian reassured her. "If you are, we'll post bail and get you out immediately."
     
    Bail. We'll post bail and get you out. Somehow, his words weren't all that reassuring.
     
    ***
     
    Amanda met her mother-in-law (that concept still had her mind reeling) at a small restaurant next to an antique store. The place was run by a retired husband and wife who baked their own bread, cooked their own meats and served sandwiches and homemade soup on antique china. S he and Irene sat at a small round table, eating chicken salad sandwiches and drinking iced tea.
     
    Irene took a bite of her sandwich, swallowed and nodded. "This is good."
     
    "I like this place," Amanda agreed, taking a sip of tea. "I'm glad you do, too. The chicken salad's one of my favorites." She bit into her sandwich, unsure how to make conversation with Charley's mother. Probably not a good idea to lead with his other women or his unscrupulous financial activities or her attorney's conviction that he'd tried to kill Amanda. Those were not likely things a mother wanted to hear about her son.
     
    "Charley was always different," Irene said. She didn't seem the least bit uncomfortable or at a loss for words concerning the awkward situation.
     
    "Yes," Amanda agreed, peeling off a bit of crust. "He was different."
     
    "None of us was really all that surprised when he disappeared. He always wanted to leave Silver Creek. He wanted bigger things from life, and he was smart enough to get them."
     
    "Mmm m ," Amanda said noncommittally, taking a large bite of her sandwich so she'd have an excuse not to talk.
     
    "All my kids are special. Hank can build anything. Give him a piece of wood, and he'll make you the prettiest table or bookcase or carving you've ever seen. Travis, he's like a horse whisperer. He can train those horses of his to sit up and talk. Carolyn has a voice like an angel, and Susie makes clothes like you find at Neiman Marcus. The twins, Paula and Penny, they make the best pies and cakes you've ever put in your mouth. Charley was the smart one." She sighed, took a bite of sandwich and chewed slowly, looking into the distance, as if at another time and place. "I wanted him to go to college, become a doctor or a lawyer. I told him we'd help him all we could. But Charley didn't want to go to school. He thought he could make it through life on his charm."
     
    "He could be very charming," Amanda agreed.
     
    "He loved you."
     
    Amanda didn't respond. If this kindly woman wanted to think the best of her dead son, Amanda wasn't going to try to change that opinion.
     
    "When he called, he always told us how happy you two were."
     
    The bit of sandwich Amanda had just swallowed stuck in her throat. She coughed and swallowed again. "He called? While we were married?"
     
    "Not often. He said he was in trouble and couldn't let anybody know where he was, but he wanted

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