A great day today with 3,629 words; 17,404 total. I’m finding it hard to not focus on the thriller aspect of the romantic thriller or thrilling romance. I need to be focusing on the romance, baby!
Today, the plot thickened:
When the phone rang in the foyer, Finnoula O’Saidh used the extension in the kitchen to answer. She gave the soup she was making a stir, lowered the heat, and wiped her hands on her apron before she picked up the receiver.
“Fisher House, O’Saidh speaking,” she said.
“Ms. O’Saidh, this is Alexei Bukharin. May I speak to Mai, please,” came the accented voice.
O’Saidh pursed her lips. “Lady Fisher is at her place of employment and won’t return until between six and seven this evening,” she said.
Silence, except for the man’s breathing, and he certainly sounded a bit breathless.
“Yes, of course,” he said. “Would you take a message for her? It’s very important.”
Finnoula snagged the pad and pen near the phone and said, “Go ahead.”
“Please explain to her I have an emergency trip for my work, and I won’t be able to make our date in Paris. Tell her I’m very sorry, but it can’t be helped and that I’ll be in touch as soon as a I can. Do you need for me to repeat any of that?” he asked.
What does he think? That I’m an eejit?
“You’ve been called away for your work and can’t make it to Paris. You’ll be in touch as soon as possible,” Finnoula repeated.
“Yes, that’s it,” he said. “Thank you.”
“A shame. She’s been looking forward to her birthday trip,” Finnoula said.
“I have, too. Again, please tell her I’m very sorry, and I’ll make it up to her,” he said.
“Of course, I will,” Finnoula said.
“Thank you again, Ms. O’Saidh. Give her my best, please. Good day,” he said and hung up.
Finnoula hung up the phone and looked at the message. She’d dutifully written down the date, time, and the man’s name, as well as the details he’d given. Herself would be disappointed. She’d talked about this trip constantly for two weeks, had practically bought herself a new wardrobe. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but she’d definitely gone shopping.
She looked from the message to the phone and picked up the receiver again. This time, she dialed a number in Dublin, Ireland, a private line.
“Fanny, what is it?” asked Roisin O’Saidh.
Finnoula explained what had just happened, all the while studying the message she still held in one hand, and she told Roisin what she thought she would do with it.
“I think you have the right idea,” Roisin said. “Better a little heartache now than a mess to clean up later.”
Finnoula hung up again. She tore the message into the tiniest possible pieces she could, placed them in the trash bin, making certain not a single scrap of paper had escaped. Though the trash wouldn’t be taken up for two more days, she removed the plastic bag from the bin, tied it closed, put it in another bag, and tied that one as well. She thought about putting it in the larger trash bin at the rear of the house. Instead, she put the plastic bag inside a spare paper bag, made it as small as she could, and tucked it away in the tote she brought back and forth between her flat and the house.
She washed her hands and went back to the soup.