He didn’t respond. Was he asleep?
Missy sniffed Dr. O’s shoes, and Fluffy sniffed his, uh, man parts.
Darby’s faced turned fifty shades of embarrassed. She tugged Fluffy back. “Stop, girl. Sorry. Dr. O’Doggle?”
He didn’t say a word. He just remained slouched on the bench staring at us. At least, I assumed his eyes were open. With his dark sunglasses, it was hard to know for certain.
“So, are you here about the gift for Kiki?” I asked, relieved I hadn’t caved and handed it over to Tova. “Looks like you’ve had a rough night.”
Fluffy whined and stretched her long neck toward Jack. Darby pulled on the leash at the same time Fluffy stepped back and sneezed.
“Bless you,” we said.
Dr. O continued to give us the silent treatment. Fluffy eyed him intently. I studied him too.
Darby must have relaxed her grip on the leash. Fluffy took advantage. The big Afghan lunged toward Dr. O’Doggle and knocked him over.
The doctor rolled off the bench and dropped with a thud at our feet.
My stomach knotted. “No, no, no.” I shook my head. “Not again.”
I shoved Missy’s leash in Darby’s hand then knelt down and shook his shoulders. “Dr. O’Doggle?” I grabbed his suit lapels and yelled, “Jack?”
Nothing. No, “I’m fine.” No, “Stop yelling in my face.” No, “Get your hands off me.”
No, no, no.
I checked his throat for a pulse. Nothing. But he was still warm. My fingers brushed against something that felt familiar, and I’m not talking about his tie. I pulled back his shirt for a better look. I sucked in a breath, my nose filled with a light female perfume I didn’t recognize. A thin dog leash was wound tightly around his neck.
This was not an accident.
“Is he . . .?” Darby asked softly.
I looked up at her. “Dead. No more late night walks for him.”
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