"Are you still drinking those rum drinks," Reed asked as we sat in the lounge a few minutes later.
I clasped my shaking hands together under the table, willing myself to relax and tried to smile.
Older now, his reddish hair had turned to a sandy color and was mixed with gray. Lines were scattered around his blue eyes. Wearing a brown sport coat, a soft yellow shirt opened low to a broad chest.
"Lindy, where have you been?" He asked.
"I live in Minnespolis. You know Reed I got married a while back, but now its been almost a year since my husband died."
He reached for my hand and exclaimed, "I'm so sorry." My mind raced as I wondered, did he still care? Would he help me now?
"What about you Reed, are you still living on your ranch?'' I asked.
He sat back and put his arm over the top of the booth. "Nope, I pulled up stakes and sold out!"
"You did, I can't believe it, what about your law practice?"
"I gave most of that up," he laughed. "Midlife crisis I guess. Although I do still work part-time as an insurance investigator."
Oh Lordy, my breath caught, did he know about my house fire? No not likely, I consoled myself, it would be too much of a coincidence; there were hundreds of insurance companies. Then I got an idea and asked him innocently, "Reed do you still have your cabin at the lake?"
He smiled. "Yup, I sure do, that's where I live now."
Just then, I happened to glance up at a mirror that reflected the entrance into the lounge and I saw J.T. walk by. He was here, in the casino!
I willed my nerves to be still, I had to do something and get out of there! And then I got an idea and asked, "Reed, just for old times sake, would you consider letting me stay a day two at your place? I was on my way up to see my family and I had to stop here because I suddenly got this awful migraine." I ran a hand over my forehead and grimaced.
"Well sure Lindy," he said. "You know the way, the key is under the red flower pot on the deck."
I leaned over in thanks and kissed him on his cheek.
"I'm working on something so I'll probably be hung up for a day or two, but wait for me, will you?"
Within thirty minutes I was there. I would wait until I dared go back to Minneapolis to get my money and then leave town for good
Several days passed and he did not come, and I had already stayed longer than I'd planned. As much as I hated to, I had to leave in the morning. California beckoned.
It was a lovely warm fall day as I sat out on the dock enjoying the scenery, when suddenly footsteps echoed on the boards. I looked up and then froze as I saw two men coming towards me. Horrified, I recognized J.T. accompanied by an African- American man.
I scrambled to my feet ready to run for my life, then realized I was trapped out on the dock, over the deep swirling water. And I couldn't swim!
"Bitch," J.T. raged and as he came towards me, he slid his belt off.
I stared at it in horror as it snaked through the air making a cutting sound. I looked at the other man and he held a gun, and it was pointed right at me.
As a scream began deep in my throat, a shot rang out freezing the moment into a frame of stillness. No one moved! The belt in J.T.'s hand stopped in mid-air and the gunman swung around franticly looking for the new target. Gravel flew through the air then as police cars screeched to a stop in the driveway and Reed Conners voice cut throught the silence as he shouted, "okay assholes, don't even breath!"