The Cardholder by Kelly O'Callan


The Cardholder by Kelly O'Callan

Author:Kelly O'Callan [O'Callan, Kelly]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Kelly O'Callan
Published: 2013-11-08T05:00:00+00:00


I had asked Derek if he wanted to do anything special for his birthday. Thirteen was a weird age, and I wasn't about to suggest something because I'm sure Derek would have shot down my suggestions by calling them “lame,” his usual response to anything I suggest. He came up with the idea of just having a few school friends over to listen to music and shoot pool in the recreation room.

As far as I knew, there would be a few school friends and his two favorite cousins coming over, and I figured on maybe seven or eight kids. So, I was pretty shocked when we had seventeen kids show up! Even though I could easily order enough pizza to be delivered, I knew I'd need more snacks and beverages. I headed out to my car to make a quick trip to the store. As I pulled out of my driveway, I noticed Jill Coopersmith peeping at my house from her front door. I avoided looking at her for fear she would flag me down. I was on a mission and didn't have time to play the gossiping game.

I also felt bad that Derek had not invited her son, Doug, to the party. I insisted that Derek be nice and invite him over, but Derek whined that his friends would think he was "lame" for having the fat, geeky kid there. It was simply not my place to argue.

So, I was relieved Jill didn't nab me on my way out.

Unfortunately, she did succeed in nailing me on the way back. I pulled into my driveway and found Jill peering into my backyard.

"Cute dog!" she yelled in my direction as I popped out of my car. "What's its name?"

"Barney," I answered, wondering what she was doing at the top of my driveway.

"I just walked Dougie over here," she said, answering my thought. "I knew it was Derek's birthday and Dougie had a gift for him, so... Derek's having a little birthday party here right now, huh?"

I felt smaller than the stones I stood upon. "Yeah, he just wanted a couple friends over from school. And he has his cousins here, too. That's all."

Jill walked towards me to meet me at the steps to my side door. "And cute little Barney, here. Derek got him for his birthday, too?"

"Yeah. Greg got it for him. For some reason, he thought it would be a great idea to give Derek his own dog."

Jill smiled. "How nice. I saw the guy that dropped him off this morning. He looked like the same hottie that was living with Alexis LeNoir before she died. Was that who brought you the dog?"

Odd, I thought. "No, I wouldn't think so. Why would you think that?"

"No reason," she spoke with her shrill voice. "Just thought it looked like the same guy. There aren't too many men who look like that around here. Plus, it looks a lot like one of the dogs Alexis LeNoir owned. Have you heard what everyone's been saying around here?"

Uh-oh.



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