The Ladies Who Don't Lunch

Chapter One

 

There is nothing glamorous about traveling for work. One airport is as stressful and frantic as another. A meeting room in one city is as depressing as another windowless space hundreds or thousands of miles away. The time tagged on to the business trip as a holiday, with no email access, had been a wonderful de-stressor. Still, after such a long absence, it was good to be home.

 

Unable to unwind because of jet lag and time zone changes, Lauren could not sleep. She turned on her computer for distraction. When 273 new emails downloaded to her inbox, Lauren groaned. She scrolled through them, deleting many offers of miraculous cures to increase the size of her penis and ignoring stock tips that guaranteed to earn triple-digit returns in the coming week. Each time she saw such bunk, she wondered why scammers even bothered sending it out. Did anyone really fall for this drivel?

 

The Ladies Who Still Don't Lunch

Chapter One

Only Jeanine wore black to the funeral. She did so not because she was in mourning; her husband had died many years earlier. She wore black because since losing her husband, she wore only that color.

 

The new widow was Deirdre. It was her husband, Russell, who was in the coffin at the front of the chapel. A sudden and massive heart attack killed him instantly. Deirdre was still surprised that he was dead; wasn’t he healthy enough to fight her viciously over their divorce settlement? Or perhaps the stress was what did him in. His intransigence meant that when Russell died, they did not have a formal separation agreement. Legally, that meant they were still married, and as they were childless and Russ had no other close family, that meant that Deirdre inherited Russell's entire estate. Her mind drifted from the eulogy, as she wondered how much of the inheritance she would have to deplete to cover Russell's legal expenses for fighting the divorce. Or whether the lawyer would write off the account as a bad debt, out of sympathy. Given her experience with this attorney, she very much doubted it.

 

The Ladies Who Do Dinner

Chapter One

She opened her eyes and saw someone gazing at her. A strange smile crept onto his face. Could it be Dan? She tried to shield her eyes from the overhead light, the better to see him, but could not lift her arm. Was the man holding her down? Was she drugged? Incapable of making any sense of the situation, she fell asleep again.

 

Next, she heard a far-away voice. “Deirdre, I’m so relieved to see you awake again. Dan told me that you had opened your eyes before, but I had stepped out of the room for a moment and I missed it.”

 

Deirdre wanted to see who was talking to her. It sounded like Lauren, although she couldn’t be sure. Again, Deirdre wanted to block some of the light from her eyes. But she found that her arm was still immobilized. Reaching across with her other arm, she felt the outline of a cast extending from her shoulder to her fingers.

 

 
 

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