Riana checked her email and found a message from Stacey waiting for her. She clicked on the message titled “Play with me tonight?” and read the few paragraphs.
I promise I’ll take ‘no’ for an answer anytime you turn me down, but I sure hope you’ll want to get together tonight. I miss you already, even though I see you a few times a week. Come on over at 6:00. We’ll have dinner again.
Hope to see you!
Yeah, sure, why not? Riana thought to herself. I’m tired of being hungry, and as pushy as Stacey can be at times, she’s fun to be around, and well, fun in the sack as well!
And then the remainder of the summer progressed with her and Stacey getting together every two to three days. Riana found her time with Stacey fun and enjoyable, but she still suspected that James didn’t know the extent of their relationship. It also bothered her that Stacey seemed to be putting her above everything else. Ordinarily, she’d be flattered. But Stacey was married. Her husband and child should come before her. Yet Stacey would often put off returning phone calls, texts or emails from Emma until after they’d gone out, eaten or had sex.
She tried not to let the things that bothered her about Stacey get to her, and instead, she tried to focus on the good that came of their relationship. She and Stacey had more fun than she thought two people who were so different could possibly have. Plus, she wasn’t hungry as much as she normally might be!
When Emma returned, Riana expected to see less of Stacey, but she didn’t. Stacey continued to arrange most of their time together during the evenings, particularly after Emma was in bed for the night, even though James would be home just after 11:00.
On her way to bed one night, Emma asked the question Riana was afraid she might ask. Riana and Stacey were in the master bedroom going through some old keepsakes Stacey had pulled from the closet shelf. They both glanced up to find a curious-looking Emma standing in the doorway.
“Yes?” Stacey asked.
“Is something going on?” Emma asked.
Stacey frowned with confusion. “Like what?”
“I’m just not used to seeing Riana around so much. Especially so late at night.”
“Oh. She’s helping me stay awake so I can see your dad when he gets in. You know that since they switched his shift we haven’t had as much time together.”
“Yeah, I know. Good night. Hug dad for me,” said Emma. She went into her bedroom, separated from Stacey’s only by a long closet, and shut the door.
“Be careful what you say,” Stacey whispered.
Riana nodded, feeling a pinch of guilt.
And then one day soon afterward, Riana would be in for quite a shock.
She entered the house one Saturday morning to find a teary-eyed Stacey and Emma seated on the living room couch. A young woman and an older man stood before them.
“What’s wrong?” Riana asked.
The woman and man turned to look at her. “You are?” asked the man.
“Our housekeeper, Riana. Riana Brennan,” Stacey said in a shaky voice that cracked horribly. “She lives in the guesthouse.”
“What happened?” Riana asked louder.
Trying to steady her voice, Stacey blurted out, “James is dead!”