Shame on Him
Author:Tara Sivec

Even though I feel bad for Stephanie, she just made herself a prime suspect.

As if reading my mind, she continues. “I know what you’re thinking. I know what everyone is thinking. I killed him in a jealous rage. But Richard and I had been having problems even before I caught him cheating. To put it delicately, Richard had a fondness for pornographic movies. And I’m not just talking a few viewings here and there. I mean, he watched it all the time. Morning, noon, and night. He even took it to the office. I begged him to get help, but he just laughed it off. I told him I would leave him if he didn’t stop and the next thing I know, I’m walking in on him reenacting a scene with another woman. People think I might have killed him because he was trying to stiff me in the divorce. But Richard was worth more alive than he is dead.”

I look at her in confusion. “I’m sorry; I don’t follow.”

“My dearly departed ex didn’t believe in life insurance. He was fifty-five years old and he refused to go to the doctor even for a checkup. And now that he’s gone, his board of directors will take over the shares of his company, because even though he didn’t believe in protecting his life, he made damn sure to protect the only thing he ever loved,” she says bitterly.

Well, there goes that idea.

“Do you know anyone who might have had a grudge against your husband? A business associate or a friend whom he might have wronged?”

“I went over all of this with the detective who stopped by yesterday. Dallas, I think he said his name was. He was so nice—he took me out for drinks,” Stephanie says with a sniffle.

Oh, I’m sure Dallas was very nice at helping you forget by trying to get in your pants.

“Anyway, I just realized that I forgot to tell him last night that he should also question Richard’s old business partner, Andrew Jameson,” Stephanie tells me, crossing her legs and leaning back against the love seat.

Well, at least one good thing came from Dallas being a man whore last night: he was so busy feeding her alcohol and making her “forget,” that I know something he doesn’t.

“I don’t know everything that happened between them, but I know that they didn’t part on the best of terms when Andrew decided to leave the company. Are you going to put all of this in the article you’re writing? I don’t want Andrew to know I’m pointing fingers at him or anything.”

Oops, the article!

“Um, no, don’t worry about that at all. I’ll make sure to keep your name out of it,” I lie.

Stephanie looks relieved at my answer and continues. “I don’t know how many times I heard Richard on the phone with Andrew arguing. Richard was offering him quite a lot of money to buy him out, but Andrew felt like it wasn’t enough. Their arguments were just horrendous. They disrupted my chakras and I just couldn’t seem to get my life force back on track after that. My herbalist had to cleanse my aura three times a week just so I could sleep.”

Oh, my God.

I don’t want to seem rude, but I need to get out of here right away and get to this Andrew Jameson’s house before Dallas finds out about him. Or before Stephanie wants to cleanse my chakras.

“Stephanie, I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today. I have a prior appointment I need to get to. Would it be okay just to chat on the phone if I have any more questions?” I ask as I rise from the couch.

She walks me to the door. “Absolutely. I’ll do anything I can to help Richard’s killer be brought to justice. If you don’t mind my saying, you seem to have a very gray aura about you, Lori. That usually means you’re troubled by something or you have deep secrets. People with gray auras are usually struggling to find balance.”

Seriously? Is this a joke?

“I’m going to have my herbalist put something together for you. In the meantime, the best cure for a gray aura is love. You should get some love in your life, Lori.”

I thank her without laughing and as she closes the door behind me, I wonder what color her aura is. Is there a color for mentally insane?

Rushing down the stairs, I see a 1965 black Mustang pull into the circular drive and park a few feet behind my car. I’m instantly filled with longing when I see it. I always wanted a car like that when I was a teenager, but my father thought it was impractical. There was a girl in my high school who had a car just like it. She was wild and fun and I wanted to be just like her.

I stop in my tracks and groan when I see who steps out of it. Of course he would own my dream car.

“Well, fancy seeing you here, Lawyer,” Dallas says with a smirk as he saunters around the front of the car and walks up to me. “Are you having fun speaking to someone I already questioned?”

Folding my arms in front of me, I glare at him. “Questioned? Is that what they’re calling it nowadays? Did you come back today to apologize to the widow for getting her drunk and taking advantage of her?”

Dallas leans in close to me. I can feel his breath on my face and see tiny specks of blue in his gray eyes. My heart rate picks up when he leans down and his cheek brushes against my own, and I wonder if he’s going to whisper a secret in my ear. He smells like soap and there’s a tiny hint of cologne mixed in that makes me feel warm all over.

“Careful there, Lawyer.” His lips graze my ear when he speaks quietly. “You almost sound jealous.”

I let out the breath I was holding when he moved in so close to me, noticing he didn’t correct me when I accused him of taking advantage of Stephanie. Taking a step back to gather my wits, I roll my eyes at him. The heat I felt from moments ago disappears into thin air when I see the cocky smile on his face and realize he probably did sleep with her to get the answers to his questions.

“You’re delusional.”