Between Us Girls

Read Between Us Girls for Free Online

Book: Read Between Us Girls for Free Online
Authors: Sally John
a wig. She wore a rhinestone-studded jacket. She was the epitome of old-fashioned glamour. No one knew her age, but she told story after story of her Hollywood career in the 1940s and 1950s.
    Keagan from Cottage One was missing. He mingled even less than Sam did. She had yet to figure out Mr. Kung Fu Dude. According to Liv, he ran a gym and held some sort of martial arts honor. According to his constant facial expression, he ate a lot of lemons.
    Liv owned the property, all twelve cottages. She had inherited the place from her father. When her husband died about ten years ago, she had moved into Cottage Ten to manage as the resident busybody.
    Busybody probably went too far. Liv did not interfere with Sam in the least. She gave her warm greetings and food. At times Sam still bristled. In fair moments, she admired the woman’s independence and hard work. In unfair moments, she groaned.
    Liv approached her now. “Samantha, this is Jasmyn Albright from Valley Oaks, Illinois.”
    â€œHi.” Sam shook her small, cold hand. “I’m Sam from Seven. Have you memorized all our names and numbers yet? Liv’s going to test you.”
    Jasmyn’s smile slipped. She tried another with the same result.
    â€œOh, Samantha.” Liv’s smile never slipped. “Don’t make her feel worse. Her car was stolen right out in front of the Casa.”
    â€œNo way.”
    â€œYes way, with all her belongings. Isn’t that odd? These things don’t happen here.”
    Indeed, they did not happen around there. Seaside Village had its share of malcontents and crime. The Casa property, though, along with its street and the alley out back, was never involved. Even litter was a rare thing. Sam had always felt physically safe.
    Liv touched her arm and grinned. “No worries, dear. I’m sure it was a one-time incident. And now we’ve met Jasmyn.”
    Sam knew from experience that she should simply accept the leap between two unrelated events. If she tried to decipher what car theft had to do with happily meeting someone new, she would be there all night.
    Liv’s expression turned somber. “She’s lost her clothes, phone, and purse. Isn’t that awful? We notified the police, but that’s not going to take care of tonight or the foreseeable future, is it?”
    â€œN-no, it’s not.” Sam hesitated. Jumping onboard with Liv carried with it the possibility of being pushed out of her comfort zone.
    Sam had numerous examples. One time when a mouse had been spotted inside Riley’s cottage, Liv talked Sam into letting Riley and Tasha spend the night with her. It turned into three nights before the creature and its friends were dealt with. Because her spare bedroom served as an office without a bed, she let them stay in her bedroom while she slept on the couch.
    Liv said, “Eleven is vacant, you know, so Jasmyn can stay there.”
    Sam felt relief and then guilt. “But it’s empty.”
    â€œWhich is why I’m lining up a few necessities. Jasmyn insists a television is not a necessity, but I was wondering about that little one you have in your kitchen that you said you don’t use all that much.”
    Only for news programs. Mornings and evenings. Every day. “I’ll get it for you. What about a chair? I have a fold-up rocker.”
    â€œYes, we’ll need those. And pillows, sheets, and blankets. Inez has a rollaway but is short on linens because two of her grandkids are coming thisweek. Do you have a TV tray or two? Chad has a card table, but you know Chad. It’s buried treasure and he doesn’t have a map.”
    Sam nodded, noticing Jasmyn shift her weight from one foot to the other and crumple the water bottle. Her face reddened and her eyebrows were all but lost up into her hairline.
    Sam sensed the meltdown was approaching while Liv went on and on about linens and TV trays.

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