Between the Lines

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Chapter 21

The front doorbell chimed, causing Max to open his eyes and leap gracefully down from on top of the kitchen cabinets. He followed Keeley to the door. She should have named him Curious George, Keeley thought affectionately. She was surprised and pleased to see Detective McDonald standing on her front porch, wearing a leather flight jacket in deference to the unseasonable chill in the air. She led him into the kitchen, while Max investigated his shoes by sniffing and pawing at them. Keeley felt compelled to warn him that Max could get aggressive, and advised against petting him. He ignored this advice and bent down to scratch the cat’s ears. Of course, Max proceeded to act like he was the sweetest, most gentle, best behaved kitty in the world, staring up at the detective with innocent green eyes, and purring happily. Keeley almost would have preferred that he bite the detective, if only to prove that she had been telling him the truth.

“Would you like some coffee?” she asked, and when he answered in the affirmative, decided she might as well join him, although she had already consumed several cups that morning. It would be the polite thing to do. He sniffed the air, a slight frown on his face, as he looked around the room.

Just then Kira came into the kitchen, and greeted him. Kira was holding the necessary tools for her smudging operation. “Don’t worry, Detective. It’s only sage,” Kira said, smiling and waving the smoking bundle of white sage she held in her hand. “I’m space clearing. No illegal substances here.” She refused Keeley’s offer to make her some herbal tea, and saying she was going to finish the studio area, she went out of the room again.

“Space clearing?”

“It’s to get energy moving, and eliminate the lower frequency energy,” Keeley explained self consciously, knowing many people thought that sort of thing was nonsense. The detective raised a brow but made no comment, taking a sip of his coffee and glancing around the kitchen. Keeley didn’t necessarily share the same belief systems as Kira, but she didn’t like anyone making judgements about her friend either. “It works, and with the discovery of the skeletons, it’s necessary,” she told him frostily.

“Did I imply otherwise?” he replied calmly, a slight twitch of his lips betraying his amusement. “This is really good coffee. Let’s sit down. I have a few more questions I’d like to ask you.”

Great, she thought, now he probably thinks we’re both whack jobs. Good thing we weren’t here when the murders occurred. He’d probably think it was some kind of ritual killing. Could it be something like that, she wondered, and then laughed at herself. I think I need to stop hanging out with Lily so much.

“So, what did Detective Dreamy want?” Kira asked after he’d left, and the space clearing was completed.

Keeley frowned. “He asked me a bunch more questions about Daniel's frame of mind, how he was acting when the bones turned up, same kind of stuff he asked about before. Someone must have told him that Irene Freemont was here, and he wanted to know why she had come, what she and Daniel talked about, and if either of them seemed upset or acted unusual in any way. He still thinks Daniel, or Daniel and his mother might have killed those people. I told him they had absolutely nothing to do with any of this, but he just looked at me with that impassive cop face. Daniel was only a kid, for heaven’s sake!”

“Unless he’s a sociopath,” Kira said. “Or is it psychopath? I never remember what the difference is between them.”


“I guess the police have to ask if they want to do a thorough investigation,’ Kira said reasonably. “And some kids do commit murder.”

“You can’t possibly think Daniel killed them!”

“No, of course I don’t think Daniel killed anyone. I’m just saying the police have to look at everyone that might have had a motive, and generally, they look at spouses and other family members first.”

Later that day, sitting in the pub with Claire and Lily, the topic of conversation was resumed. The two women who had known Daniel since childhood agreed that he would never have killed anyone. “He worshipped both his parents,” Lily said. “I can remember some of us sitting around complaining about how strict are parents were, or how uncool, and Daniel said he had the best parents in the world. I mean, he was obviously pretty upset at his dad when he left them, but who wouldn’t be? The cops are crazy if they think he had anything to do with it.”

“Hopefully, your dreamy detective will find the real killer soon,” Keeley said to Kira.

Claire’s ears perked up. “Are you lusting after our local law enforcement, Kira?”

Kira shook her head. “No. He is definitely sexy, but he’s not my type. He’s a little too strait laced, plus cops are always having to be around so much negative energy. That wouldn’t be good for me at all. Besides, I think it’s Keeley he’s interested in.”

Claire was clearly fascinated by this new tidbit of news, but Keeley didn’t bother to respond to the obvious attempt to get a rise out of her, and Claire had another topic on her mind at the moment. “That’s good. It would break Wayne’s heart if you got scooped up by someone else,” she said to Kira. She had her cat with the canary smile upon seeing the look of surprise on Keeley’s face and shock on Kira’s. “You must know he has a huge crush on you,” she added.

“Are you talking about Wayne from the insurance agency?” Keeley asked.

Marci had asked Kira to start attending the Chamber of Commerce meetings on her behalf. With her pregnancy so far advanced, she was usually too tired to go herself. Kira had gone to the previous meeting, and been introduced to the other members, including Wayne Evigan. Wayne was a quiet, conservatively dressed man who owned and managed Evigan Insurance, which was located across the town square from It’s Magic. He could not have been more different than the hip, sometimes outrageous Kira.

Claire nodded smugly, and leaving them to contemplate her announcement, got up to order another round of drinks, since Traci was busy flirting with Dennis up at the bar instead of checking to see if any of her customers wanted anything.

Keeley had noticed the insurance agent looking at Kira at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, but then, everyone looked at Kira. It was hard not to. Her short, spiky hair ran the colour gamut from pink to purple to blue to green and back again, depending on her mood. She had tattoos, tasteful but still tattoos, a nose ring, and wore very unusual jewelry, often containing big chunks of various crystals, which she claimed all had healing properties of one kind or another. Her wardrobe was, well let’s just go with unconventional. Wayne, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. He wore ultra conservative suits, subdued ties, and was always impeccably groomed. They said opposites attract, but Kira and Wayne? That would be a stretch of the imagination, Keeley thought. Try as she might, she could not picture Kira and Wayne as a couple. Kira had always dated men as individual and out there as herself. Although, it was an undeniable truth that none of those relationships had so far worked out.

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