Gloria poured her favorite wine for the three of them and they settled in the dining area where they could see the storm from both the east and west directions. It was amazing to Mori, having never been in a home of such luxury. It was late, or early depending on how you looked at it. The clock on her wall told them it was past two but it didn’t matter. They knew it was a special time for them to be together like this, and especially to have two of the women so friendly toward each other.
The storm was still raging outside. Gloria told them that she didn’t think it was the original storm. “It sounds like this is a new one. It’s totally unusual for us to get any kind of storm this time of year, but to have more than one on the same night is unheard of. I really don’t know what to make of it.” She stared out the windows for a moment. “I apologize that I keep saying that, but it really is making me uneasy.”
“Well if you ask me, I think it’s rather exciting to have a storm out there and us in here. So, are you two going to help me find this Sara lady?” Emma smiled at her mom, and went on, “I don’t want to make her part of my life because I already have the best mom I could ever dream of. But to see her, to meet her would be interesting. Mom, will you help me?”
“I guess we could work on that. I don’t even remember her last name, but it should be in your records, Gloria. She did work for you guys.”
“Sure, I can get that information. I’ll call my accountant tomorrow. We know she was on her way to Seattle when she left Wind River, so we should be able to trace her to there. But if it becomes too much for us, I’ll just hire someone to find her. I never knew her, Emma. But you heard the story tonight about your mom bringing you into the world. I hate to say something nice about Cowgirl here,” she smirked at Mori, “but in this case, it’s true. No one wanted to be around Sara because she complained all the time. She was a really unhappy woman. But your mom felt sorry for her and helped her out, even went to her house and played cards with her on a regular basis.” She laughed at Mori’s expression, “Yep, I did keep tabs on you, little cowgirl. I don’t know why, but I did.”
“Perhaps you couldn’t help but like me, Witch, was that it?”
Emma was moving her head from one woman to the other, feeling like she was watching a tennis match. “Are you guys being nice to each other or is this code for a cat fight, as Dad puts it?”
They laughed and told her that they weren’t fighting but were having a strange kind of reminiscence. “I guess you have to accept a really strange relationship between us, Emma. I came here thinkin’ that I was gonna have to suffer through a couple of days with the one woman I detest more than any other. But, I don’t know, maybe somethin’ changed this last 25 years, like maybe we grew up?”
Emma stood and gave them both hugs. “This is a moment I’ve fantasized about most of my life, and if I could keep my eyes open, I would. But, as you can guess, I’m saying good night to you. Please don’t say anything to each other to change this loving exchange thing you have going on. Love you both.” They watched her leave and enter her home through the secret door.
“What? I thought that was a bookcase, but a door?” Mori laughed. “I want one of those in my house. I love that idea.”
The air in the room became a little tense when they found themselves alone. They sipped their wine, and listened to the storm for a few minutes. Finally Gloria broke the silence, “You called me a sex kitten when we drove around town to find the animal heads, remember? I never told you this before, but I had to choke on my own vomit when we were in that house with all those poor animals featured on that man’s wall. I mean, he seemed nice, but how could he have killed the beautiful creatures for the sake of a sport?”
Mori laughed at the memory and especially at her new revelation over Gloria’s feelings. “No, you hid your feelin’s really good, Gloria. I never even suspected.”
Gloria cocked her head, not sure how to ask her the next question but decided to blurt it out. “Did you see something that frightened you in Paul’s eyes tonight?”
“Yea, I did. But there’s more that I don’t know, isn’t there? I know this business, Gloria. If you level with me, maybe Jimmy and I can help.”
“Ok, I’ll tell you some stuff, but first, what did you see about Paul that you didn’t like”?
“Oh I don’t know if it was anything, but his eyes did bother me. It was as if I’d seen them before, but that’s silly, it doesn’t make any sense. I need to think about it some more. I promise I’ll tell ya if I remember who he reminds me of. But what else is botherin’ you?”
Gloria filled her in on the two headless bodies, and how the weather patterns didn’t make any sense. She finished by remarking how she’d had a sample of Mickey’s DNA sent to be tested. “You know that his story doesn’t make any sense, but here he is. I’m just confused by all the things that have hit us at one time. It’s not natural, you know.”
Mori stood, and placed her wine glass on the table. “I really need to get into bed, and mark my word, your sorry little ass is gonna hurt real bad if that bed doesn’t have a good mattress.” Gloria laughed at her candor and followed her to the elevator door. She pressed the button, and when the doors opened, Mori entered. She turned to face her hostess, and a flash through her memory forced her eyes to open wide with fear. “Paul’s eyes, they reminded me of Cue’s.”
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