Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons Page 79

“Why didn’t Joe tell you about them?”

“Because he knew exactly how I’d respond—not in a good way.” I pulled out my wallet. “In any case, we’re miserable without each other so I gave my notice at the DMV yesterday. I planned to move up in a week or so, but Mason thinks I should leave town with Joe on Thursday morning. Because of Skeeter.”

“Wow. That’s fast. You’re still gonna come to my wedding, aren’t you?”

“You really want me there?”

“It wouldn’t be the same without you!”

My heart burst with happiness again, only this time it was my own happiness and not Neely Kate’s leftover emotions from my vision. “I wouldn’t dream of missin’ it! It’s not every day you get to see a Skittle walk down the aisle.” I laughed. “Twice.”

“Ain’t that the truth.” Frowning, she stood. “I gotta get back to work, but if you come back to the office with me, I’ll show you a picture of the dresses.”

I almost mentioned that I’d just seen them, but I wasn’t eager to go home to my lonely house. “How can I refuse?”

Following Neely Kate back to the courthouse, I realized how much I was going to miss her. Sadness squeezed my heart. I’d finally made a friend, a friend who knew about my visions and didn’t think I was a freak. When I moved, I was going to lose her.

I stood at the counter while Neely Kate dug in her drawer. “I know it’s here somewhere.”

“Well, look who finally showed back to work.” Neely Kate’s boss rounded the corner, his words dripping with sarcasm.

Neely Kate kept rifling through her drawers. “Don’t be getting all worked up, Jimmy. Ah! Here it is!” She pulled a folded magazine page and handed it to me. “Now these right here are lavender, but mine are tangerine, even though they were supposed to be peach.”

I quickly scanned the page and handed it back, watching Jimmy out of the corner of my eye. He didn’t look very happy and I didn’t want to get Neely Kate in trouble. “Your wedding is goin’ to be wonderful.”

A dreamy look covered her face. “I’ve been imaginin’ this day my whole life.”

“I’ll let you get back to work. If you find out anything about Hyde Investments, let me know right away.”


Jimmy glared at me then barked, “Neely Kate! You have work to do.”

She jumped in surprise, whispering, “He’s not usually this snippy.”

He walked over to the counter, scanning me with interest. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before. Are you one of Neely Kate’s many cousins?”

I smiled, trying to smooth things over for her. “Oh, no. We met on jury duty last week.” My peripheral vision faded. Oh no. Not now.

I saw a hand pressing something into my hand.

“I believe this is yours,” a man’s voice said and the vision faded.

“You’re gonna get something back that’s yours.” I blurted.

Jimmy studied me. “Am I now? What are you, a fortune teller?”

I cringed. “Something like that.”

Neely Kate jumped out of her seat. “Jimmy, don’t be silly. I told her that you were missing your lucky penny. It’s her way of tellin’ you she hopes you find it.”

He scowled. “I’ve been looking for it everywhere. I’m about to offer a reward.” Jimmy kept his eyes on me. “Neely Kate, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”

Neely Kate rolled her eyes. “She has a boyfriend, Jimmy.”

“I’m not askin’ her out on a date,” he grumbled.

“Fine.” She huffed. “Rose Gardner, this is Jimmy DeWade. Jimmy, Rose.”

“Nice to meet you, Rose.” His mouth lifted into a smile that looked painful. “So you’re the juror that caused all the ruckus.”

There was no denying it. “Yeah.”

His eyes hardened. “They don’t take well to ruckuses around here.”

“Tell me about it.” Suddenly, Mason Deveraux popped into my head and melancholy washed over me. If Neely Kate was right, I needed to apologize. Again. I was forever apologizing to that man. “I’ve got to go.”

“Stay out of trouble.” She winked.

“I’m going to the Henryetta Garden Club meeting tonight with Violet. How much trouble can I get into there? See you later, Neely Kate.”

She moved closer to her desk. “Lunch tomorrow? Noon?”

I grinned. “Sure.”

Jimmy stood at the counter, watching as I walked out the door.

Chapter Twenty-Three

I felt bad leaving Muffy again. Rose Gardner, the homebody who never set foot off her property unless she was going to work or church, was suddenly a social butterfly, flitting all over town. But poor Muffy paid the price, getting left behind. I considered calling Violet to cancel. I didn’t really feel like spending the evening perched on a folding chair being polite to a bunch of old women. But I still hadn’t told her I was moving to Little Rock on Thursday morning and I planned to do it while we were out.

I cringed. Joe didn’t even know I was going to Little Rock with him Thursday morning. While he’d be thrilled with the end result, there was no way he was going to be happy about the cause. I’d call him after the Garden Club meeting.

One confrontation at a time.

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