Betsy gave a false laugh. “I don’t have a sister. That’s ridiculous.”
“Well, this lady said she knew you.”
“I look like a lot of people. I get that all the time.” She gave another false hoot of a laugh, stuck two fingers up in the air in the peace sign, and walked away. I wanted to follow her and whisper the name “Janet” in her ear, but Margot, who was a little tipsy on champagne, waylaid me just then.
“How’s it going, girl?” She had a big, shit-eating grin on her face and she grabbed me and planted a sloppy kiss on either cheek, leaving gooey lipstick marks.
“I’m just great,” I said, thinking I was probably the only sober person at the party.
“You know, I ran into someone else who used to go to Victor, and she happens to be right here at this party.”
“That person in green over there.” She pointed at a tall skinny woman with long blond hair who was talking animatedly to a man in a tuxedo. “Her name’s Janet Lamar. She’s a travel agent. If you ever want to go to India or Africa, someplace complicated and far away, she’s the person to see.”
I glanced over at this Janet person, thinking the name that I had so badly wanted to whisper in Betsy’s ear a few moments before was auspicious.
“Why don’t you introduce me,” I said to Margot, who wasted no time, marching me straight over to the woman and tapping her on the shoulder.
“Someone for you to meet,” she said.
The woman whirled around and stared at me with an uncertain smile. Our faces were so close I could see the edge of pink where blush had been applied to her cheeks.
“I’m Nicole. I understand you knew Victor Goodlove.”
“Yes, uh huh. I was his travel agent. I used to arrange all sorts of shit for him.”
“Really? Like what?”
She laughed, her eyes screwing into twinkly dots. “Trips to Morocco and the far east. He was a complicated guy. I knew him growing up in Dallas.”
My mouth must have dropped open. I didn’t know anyone from Victor’s way past.
She removed her card from her handbag and held it out to me. “I’m away with a group in South America next week. Call at the end of the month and we’ll talk.”
To be continued…
Cover photo ~ [the]GODDESS (cropped), Vixie Rayna, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/