Community Affairs, book 3 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series, is only days away from being released! I’m so excited! Are you ready for another teaser to hold you over?
You can get your kindle copy at the discounted price of $2.99 by preordering here: http://www.amzn.to/1qnafz3
And if you haven’t read book 2 yet, it’s on sale for 99 cents! http://www.amzn.to/1exlgXR
“C’mon, girls; let’s go.”
“Finally!” Callie said with sarcasm. I think she was starting to imitate me, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
We hopped in the car, buckled up, and headed for Big Chuck’s for breakfast. Big Chuck’s was famous for their humungous portions, yummy eats, and low prices. We sat at a booth to the left of the hostess station. A waitress handed us menus and said she’d be back to take our order. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone come through the entrance.
“Oh, no. I told you before, you’re not welcome here,” the waitress said. I turned to see what the commotion was. I saw Cason trying to talk to the waitress.
“Nicole, you are her best friend. I need to know where she is.”
“What are you talking about, Cason?”
“I’m talking about how Lyla didn’t come home last night. I know you know where she is. Did she stay at your house?”
“Do you really think I’d tell you where she is? After the way you treated her?”
“Nicole, please. I’m worried about her. I just want to know she’s okay.”
“Did you have a fight or something? Did she catch you cheating yet again?”
“No, Nicole! We didn’t have a fight. I didn’t cheat on her again. It was only that one time.” Cason’s tone changed from pleading to agitated.
“Yeah, right. I know all about your little prostitute next door.”
All the patrons were beginning to stare. Nicole and Cason were not exactly quiet. I shrank down in my seat to avoid being detected by Cason. I thought it was odd that both Jayce and Lyla didn’t come home last night. It couldn’t possibly mean that the two of them were having an affair, could it? Then, accusing Cason and me of having one. What do they call that? Projecting?
“Why is our neighbor yelling at the waitress, Mommy?” Kailyn asked.
“Shhh, Kailyn. Let’s be patient.”
We turned our attention back to the scene unfolding before us.
“You need to leave, Cason. I’m at work here and you are disturbing all the customers,” the waitress said.
Cason spoke through clenched teeth. “Nicole. Nothing was going on with the neighbor. Lyla concocted that in her head. She was starting to lose it. And now I can’t find her. I’ve looked everywhere she would be. Please tell me she is okay and I’ll leave.”
Big Chuck stepped out of the kitchen in his white chef’s apron, holding a large spatula in one hand. “Is there a problem here, Nicole?”
“No, no problem at all, Chuck.” Nicole retreated to the coffee station and picked up a pot. She scurried around to various tables, freshening up people’s mugs with warm decaf. Cason followed her, seemingly unintimidated by Big Chuck’s enormous size and growing annoyance.
“Nicole, please. I’m begging you. Please tell me that she’s okay and I’ll go away.”
Big Chuck approached him from behind, placing his large hand on Cason’s shoulder. “I’m only going to ask you to leave once.” Big Chuck had a deep, booming voice that scared the pee out of me.
Cason looked back at him, disinterested, then looked back at Nicole. “Nicole, please. Just let me know if she’s okay.” Nicole ignored him.
I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next. Cason grabbed Nicole by the arm. Nicole swung around and threw the pot of hot coffee at Cason, which caused Cason to release her arm to jump out of the way.
The coffee pot sailed past Cason and shattered in a zillion pieces on the linoleum. Big Chuck grabbed Cason’s arm with his left hand, swung him around, and landed a right hook to Cason’s jaw. Cason stumbled backwards. Big Chuck swung again, making contact with Cason’s right eye. Cason fell on the ground and Big Chuck gave him a swift kick in the side. Cason scrambled to his feet and limped toward the door, slipping on the spilled coffee and landing face down in shards of glass. Scraped, bruised, and covered in coffee, Cason tried to get up, steadying himself with his hands in a downward dog position. Big Chuck went after him again, kicking him square in the rear end, forcing Cason to tumble out of the front door.
“Clean up this mess, Nicole!” Big Chuck picked up his spatula and strutted back into the kitchen.
“Right away, boss.”
I was speechless. Kailyn and Callie were dumbfounded. They hadn’t ever witnessed such violence, unless it was bestowed upon Wile E. Coyote.