Shadow in Serenity
- Wednesday, December 07, 2011
First, she eyed him with curiosity, then glanced down at his muddy legs. “Sorry. Why were you standing next to a puddle?”
He shifted the fliers from one arm to the other and gaped at the woman as her boy got off the bike. She didn’t seem to have the stature to hold up a Harley, much less ride one, but she stepped on the kickstand with little effort.
“I wasn’t standing next to a puddle — I was crossing the street,” he said. “I paid a fortune for these pants!”
“You know, I bet it would come off with a little water, if you don’t stand here and let them dry. A little mud never hurt anyone, though. Did it, Jason?”
“Nope. It washes right off. I get into it all the time.” The child, who looked no more than seven, held up his own feet and showed Logan the splashed mud on the bottoms of his jeans. “Hey, are you the movie producer guy?”
Still frowning, Logan nodded. “Yeah. I mean, no. Where’d you get that idea?”
“Everybody’s talking,” Jason said. “I’ve had the flu, so we haven’t been to town, but we heard all about you.”
With effort, Logan swallowed his ire and flashed the boy that political grin. “Well, I guess they are. Maybe I’ve been a little too secretive. My name’s Logan Brisco.” He reached out to shake the woman’s hand, but she seemed not to notice. He settled for shaking the boy’s.
“I’m Jason Sullivan,” the kid said. “And this is my mom.”
“Mrs. Sullivan,” he said, nodding and searching those eyes for some sign of admiration. When he addressed them formally, women usually corrected him and told him their first names. But not this one. She couldn’t have been less interested. “You know, if everybody’s so curious, they’ll be able to find out tonight what I’m doing in town. Six o’clock, at the bingo hall. Hope you’ll both be there. And here . . . I’ll give you a few of these fliers to pass out, if you wouldn’t mind.”
The woman didn’t take the fliers, but the boy grabbed the stack he offered.
“Me too? Do I get to come?” the kid asked.
“Sure. This affects everybody in town.”
“What does?” The woman took one of the fliers out of her son’s hand and scanned it. “It doesn’t say here what your seminar is about.”
Dipping his head to her ear, he said in his most confidential voice, “It’s about making all your dreams come true.”
She wasn’t moved. “My dreams have already come true.”
That was a new one, he thought, stepping back. No one had ever told him that. “Then let me show you how to make the most of them,” he said in the mesmerizing tone that had made him such a success. “Let me show you how to maximize your potential and minimize your risk, how to build your fortune the way everybody else in this town is going to, how to make your mark in the world.”
A smile transformed her face, and she met his eyes. “Really? You could do that? I could get rich?”
Now he had her. “It’s practically a guarantee.”
“Wow,” she said, pulling her purse out of a compartment on her bike. “How much will it cost me? I can write you a check right now. Two hundred? Two thousand? Maybe my life’s savings? Do you take debit cards?”
He chuckled, not certain how to take her.
Suddenly, that ditzy smile vanished, and she stood a little taller. “Let me give you a warning, Mr. Brisco, if that’s your real name. Not everyone in this town is fooled by that act. It only takes one person to blow your cover, and I’m the one who’s going to do it.”
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