Chapter 26

Beatrice knew the final day for the cousins plan was approaching.  Although she was blind to what the cousins would actually do, she was hopeful Arthur and his team had pieced it together and would be ready for them.  She had seen her cousins plotting so many elements but collectively they lacked cohesion and seem senseless.  Beatrice was aware of a few key locations: a bank, a school, a doll hospital, a pizza parlor, a bikram yoga studio, each located at different parts of the city.  While contemplating everything she was aware of, her plan took shape.  She would go to all the locations she knew of and observe.  Look for things out of place, potential hazards, good lookout points and hiding places, what else was near each location, anything with allure to her devious cousins.

With her plan in mind, she simply had to evade her cousins, a difficult feat with Janelle following her everywhere.  Involving Arthur could be the best way to get rid of Janelle – she was very invested in their relationship.  He most certainly knew how to shake a tail.  In addition, she hadn’t seen or heard from Arthur in over a week, and attributed the radio silence to his team having a major breakthrough.  She wanted to know the details and do her own searching.  It was a win-win situation.

Arthur’s phone went straight to voicemail; Beatrice left a flirty message sighing over how much she missed him, and promising him a romantic evening.  This would at least help convince her cousins of her intentions. She got ready, but instead of the sleek ponytail she wore last time, she curled her hair, did smokey eyes, added her bright red lipstick, skinny jeans, and the sexiest top she owned; she even considered wearing three inch heels, but opted for a more practical boots.  Walking out to her kitchen, Janelle’s jaw dropped.

“Birdie, wow!  You must have a very special evening tonight,” she crooned.  “Yes,” Beatrice replied flatly, “and I was hoping you would do me the courtesy of leaving us alone tonight, especially since it is unlikely my relationship with Arthur will last much longer since you plan on kidnapping my mother and I when all of your charades are complete.”

Janelle smiled sweetly back, “But of course, and Birdie, it isn’t like that.  You will see.”  As she turned to leave, she swept up her youngest, singing, “Ta ta Auntie Te Te, enjoy your evening, Birdie!”  and sauntered out the door.  

With Janelle gone, Beatrice looked at her mother, “I am off to Arthur’s.  I will explain when I get back.  Wish me luck!”  She pecked her mother on the cheek, gave Pepe a scratch on the head, and left.

In the apartment building across the parking lot, Janelle was already on the phone.  “The final phase is beginning.  The bird is in route to the weasel.  I repeat the bird is in route to the weasel.  Everyone take your positions.”

-M.R.Gavin

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