Shadow in Serenity
- Wednesday, December 07, 2011
His smile crashed. “What makes you think there’s a cover to blow?”
Her cool smile told him there was no doubt in her mind. “I know your kind,” she said. “I knew it the first time one of my neighbors waxed poetic about the new man in town. You’re a two-bit con artist, and you think you can ride into Serenity and milk these people for everything they’re worth. This town has enough problems. I won’t let you do it.”
She turned to walk away. Following her, he said, “You’re pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?”
“What if you’re wrong, and you miss out on your chance to get richer than you ever imagined?”
“I’m never wrong,” she said. “Ask anybody.” Holding her helmet by the chin strap, she headed up the sidewalk.
Logan watched her stroll away from him, her son at her heels. Clearly, she didn’t need or want Logan’s attention. He would have staked everything on the probability that she drew men’s gazes wherever she went. When she reached the hardware store, she grabbed Jason’s fliers and glanced back, as if to make sure Logan was watching as she dropped them into the trash.
Logan grinned. This would be even more fun than he’d thought. He might have to stay longer than he’d planned, just to meet the challenge of the little lady whose first name he didn’t know.
The ladies of the Clippety Doo Dah Salon cackled and fluttered as Logan stepped inside, breathing in the scent of hair spray and peroxide and trying not to cough. “Hello, ladies,” he said with his best grin.
A dozen gals crooned back their hellos and preened with their rollers, their rods, and their teased tresses, as if he could see past them to the beauty that lay just moments away. Across the room, he saw Julia Peabody sitting in front of the hair dryers, where she had the attention of at least five women. Perfect, Logan thought. She had to be talking about him.
“Mr. Brisco!” Lahoma Kirtland called from the sink where she was dyeing the head of Mildred Smith. Abandoning her client, she held her gloved, red-dyed hands up like a surgeon and made a beeline across the shop.
“Please, darlin’. My daddy was Mr. Brisco. I’m just Logan.” He looked around the room. “I was just strolling through town, wondering where all the prettiest ladies were. And lo and behold, I think I’ve found them all right here.”
The women giggled and exchanged delighted looks. “It’s so nice to see you,” Lahoma said. “We were just talking about you, weren’t we, girls?”
“Were you now? Nothing bad, I hope.” He glanced through the arch that separated the main part of the salon from the room with the dryers. Julia Peabody had a deer-in-the-headlights look. He chuckled. “Julia, honey. You aren’t giving away all my secrets now, are you?”
Julia popped to her feet. “I was just spreading word about your seminar. Everyone’s so excited.”
“Well, good,” he said, reaching into his box and pulling out a handful of fliers. “I hope you’ll tell your friends, and your friends’ friends, and your enemies, and your sweethearts, and . . .”
A titter of giggles made its way around the shop as he put a flier into each lady’s hand.
“Tell them all that this could be the most important meeting of their lives. Years from now, you’ll all look back and remember how your lives were changed when Logan Brisco blew into town.”
The door clanged open behind him and closed with a tinkling bell. He turned around and saw the biker chick bouncing her son on her back as she cut across the salon toward Lahoma’s station, zigzagging and swaying, pretending she might drop the boy. Holding on for dear life, he giggled and shouted for her to stop.
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