I can offer a guess

He waited ten seconds before texting a follow up message.

Hot stuff?

The reply was immediate.

Well are you ready for the next step

Raul’s life was going along smoothly. He had settled into a little pattern. There was no need to get in a hurry about anything. He had brought that passive attitude over from the islands.

What did you have in mind

If it meant getting a little on the side he had gotten adept at charming his way out of it if he got caught. The message that he got back wasn't exactly what he
was expecting.

Moving to the next stage of my life

Raul hated to be pressured. Conversations that turned to the future always made him run, and especially when it came from a woman wanting more than just sex.

What is that

He sort of knew what the response was going to be but threw out the bait hoping that maybe someone how he could wiggle his way into a new topic.

Why do u always play stooooooopid!!!

Pop. Pop. Pop. The texts came in rapid fire succession.

U know what I want

Get rid of the effing bitch

She’s in the way

Raul threw his head back and stared at the ceiling. He took a deep breath and released it slowly, literally saved by the bell attached to the front door.

My appointment just walked thru the door

Don’t give me that BS

She’s in the way

I want you to do something

Raul stared at the screen trying to think as fast as he could.

We can talk later

Gotta go

He put the phone down.

     Leslie paused, wondering if her client was bi-polar, naïve, or just plain stupid. “Look, you’ve been spouses and business partners; now the relationship is ending. Someone might be upset about that. Accidents can easily be arranged, especially out of the confines of the USA.”

     “Are you saying that Tyler Cy might hurt me?”

     “Stranger things have happened in domestic disputes.”

    “He wouldn’t hurt a tick. Did I ever tell you about the time that one of his clients took him on a huntin’ trip?” Shari was set to go off on another tangent. Leslie glanced at her watch. Being a good listener was part of her job description, and it was billable. “A client took him to one of the duck clubs north of St. Peters. They had planned it for quite a while. The guy didn’t know that Tyler Cy had never shot a rifle or gun. They were up at three thirty. It was cool, overcast, and very misty. In fact, if I remember right, there was a steady rain and Tyler Cy—he’s such a pussy—didn’t want to go at the last minute because he thought he might catch a cold and be away from work for a couple of weeks.”

     Leslie grinned. As pretentious as Shari was, she was kind of likeable.

     “Tyler Cy went anyway. He didn’t want to damage the relationship. He had worked to get the guy’s business for a decade or more. And he looked so silly. I watched him go out the door. He had on brand new waterproof camouflage clothing and waders damn near up to his ass. I know because he made me go shopping for him! It was at one of those sporting goods shops at the Galleria. I got the whole outfit for him. Insulated gloves that were camouflaged! He even had on a waterproof flotation vest in case he fell in the river or somethin’.” Shari gasped for air. “Ha! How stupid do you think that would be? Fallin’ in the river?”

     Leslie chuckled. Listening to Shari’s version of the events was amusing.

     “They got out somewhere up in the flood plain where the Mississippi runs due east right before that crook in it where it flows to the north, and the first thing they did was go in the little cabin and fire up the skillet for a ham and egg breakfast. Then he said they polished off a fifth of Jack before the sun came up. Didn’t even pour it; they just passed the bottle around and everyone took a
swig until the bottle was empty.”

     Leslie’s snickered.

​     “Oh, you think that’s funny? He had never fired a rifle, let alone loaded one. He said they had to walk about forty yards to the blind and he got stuck in the mud. The dogs knew somethin’ good was gonna happen. They were bouncin’ off one another. Things got quiet as they sat and waited for the ducks.”

    “Actually I wanted to bring you back here to escape wandering ears. We do have a problem.”

     “What could that be? Did Tyler Cy not pay the bill?”

     “Oh no, that’s not it all. Mr. Donnelly is one of our best paying members or should I say was one of our best playing members.”

     “What do you mean?”

     “Mr. Donnelly resigned from the club, effective immediately.”

     Shari was stunned. “We just returned from vacation. He didn’t say a thing about that.”

     “What’s been done has been done. The general manager and membership committee asked me to give you the news if you were to show up to play golf.”

     “I was here yesterday playing bridge and having lunch.”

     “Evidently the resignation had not been finalized.”

     Shari was still in disbelief. “So what does all of this mean? Can I play golf with the girls this morning?”

     Nothins shook his head from side to side. “I’m afraid not.”

     “That’s absolute total BS!” Shari screamed. “I’m here and I want to play my home course of which I am a member!”

     “You were a member Mrs. Daniels-Donnelly. For reasons that I’m not privy to, you are no longer members.” Nothins paused to let the certainty of that set in. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave the grounds.”

     “I’m not going anywhere!”

     “I can understand your dilemma. However I want to caution you that I have been instructed to call the police and have you arrested for trespassing if you choose to stay.”

     “What the hell is going on around here? I come out to play bridge and have lunch, go home and come back the next day to buy an outfit and play golf and now you tell me I’m going to be arrested! I’ve never been in trouble with the law one single day in my life!” Shari clutched her outfit to her breast. “I seen it all now.”

     “I’m sorry that is has turned out this way.”

     “So am I!”

     “Mrs. Daniels-Donnelly I’m going to have to ask you to leave. I hope that you see the reasoning behind this.”

     “And if I don’t?”

     “The police will be called and in all likelihood you’ll be handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail.”

     “If that isn’t a fine farewell!” Within ten minutes Shari was in her car and headed for Leslie Potter’s office in Clayton.

     Tyler Cy hobbled into the offices of Truman Stewart. It was time to act on their game plan or at least progress further along to satisfy the divorce judge. Some would classify it as a necessary evil while others would claim that it was time for him to start saving his backside from an overzealous opponent.

​     “What the heck happened to you?” Truman asked as Tyler Cy appeared wrapped from mid-thigh to his ankle.

     “My wife thought it was a sprain.”

     “Obviously that was misdiagnosed.”

     “I had a total knee replacement—ligaments, cartilage, and a titanium knee.”

     “How did it happen?” Truman was exploring an angle. “Was it domestic abuse?”

     “She threw a pillow; I ducked and fell down half of a flight of stairs.”

     “Is that documented?”

     Tyler Cy nodded. “She made a statement to the emergency paramedics as to the cause.”

     “Get me the paperwork. The judge needs to see that.” Truman shook his head. “So the living arrangement isn’t working out?”

     “Just the opposite,” Tyler Cy answered. “I like it in the lower level. We can come and go as we please. We’re still friends with each other. She just doesn’t want to be married to me anymore.”

     “So we protect you.” Truman handed him a list of items. Tyler Cy looked it over. “Let’s go through this one by one.”

     “I’ve taken care of most of these.”

     Truman started with the first item. “You separated your accounts?”

     “Yes. We no longer have joint checking and savings accounts.” He handed over several statements that detailed all of their liquid cash. “She got fifty percent of the checking and savings. She has to have some cash to spend.”


     “I’ll pay the mortgage and all utilities since I’m still living in the house.” Tyler Cy winced as pain shot up his leg. “The only item that she’s going to be responsible for is her cell phone. The home phone, cable bill, and computer charges will be mine.”

     “Good job.” Truman was relieved that he had a very responsible client that adequately followed his directions

     Pork Chop, YouWho, Captain Jer, and Trot were in the back corner of the clubhouse when Curt and Shari walked in a few minutes ahead of the rest of the ladies. Julie and J Dub worked the counter while Curt continued into the office. A window air conditioning unit cooled that portion of the clubhouse. After time outside on a hot summer day the proprietors would retreat to the office, flop on an old couch, and relax for a few minutes.

​     Ashlyn joined Shari at one of the tables when the ladies finished. Conversations from varying groups of golfers bounced off the walls. The TV added to the noise. By lunchtime the guys had tired of the baseball game highlights of the night before. Julie had switched the channel to the local news at noon just like she did every day around this time.

     Local newscaster Paula Stewart provided the stories. Before heading into a commercial she said, “And as a follow-up to a story that we first reported several weeks ago St. Louis County police are reaching out to the public for information in the execution-style death of local businessman Richard W. Richards.” Richie’s photo as well as a hotline phone number accompanied the report.

     “2Dix must have really ticked someone off,” Captain Jer said. He had poured his beer into a frosty mug and was swirling it around.

     “Dey still haven’t caught da guy?” YouWho asked.

     “I don’t know if they ever will,” Trot followed. “If they don’t get some hot leads right away, finding the killer gets tough.”

     “Maybe we’ll turn on the TV in a decade and see that this murder is one of those cold case files that finally gets solved,” Pork Chop said.

     “Hey, Shari!” Captain Jer yelled. “Have you heard anything about your buddy?”

     It didn’t take long for Detectives Mullen and Basnahan to land on the front porch of Tindra’s home. They rapped on the door and waited. No one answered.

     Bazz double-checked the driveway that ran along the side of the home. A car was parked in front of the detached single-car garage in the rear of the home.
“Somebody is home. The kids are playing outside.”

     “I hear them.”

     Lester J knocked again. Still no answer. The pair turned to leave. The door creaked open. “Can I help you?” A disheveled Raul appeared wearing gym shorts and a tank top. He was barefoot and looked as if he just got out of bed. “Oh, it’s you two.”

     “Sorry to bother you. We’re looking for Tindra. Is she here?”

     “Yes, but she’s busy.”

     The detectives’ first thought was that Raul and Tindra had been jostled out of an afternoon liaison. “We’ve only got a few questions for her,” Bazz said.

     “Do you have my phone?”

     “Yes, we do,” Lester J admitted.

     “Can I have it back?”

     “Right now, no,” Bazz replied. “After we talk to Tindra we might be able to release it back to you. It depends on what she has to say.”

     Raul ran his hand through ruffled hair. His three day beard was filling in. “Let me see if she’s available.” He disappeared leaving the door open by two inches.

     “Who is it?” Tindra asked when he entered the bedroom.

     “The two detectives. They want to ask you some questions.”

     “Did you tell them we were busy?”

     Raul nodded. “They said they had a few questions for you.” He leaned against the door jamb. “I don’t know if you should talk to them.”

     “I can tell them I have an attorney,” Tindra said as she slipped on a pair of panties.”

     “I’ll tell them for you. Don’t talk to them.”

     “A few questions aren’t going to hurt anything.” Tindra put on a pair of cutoffs.

     “I don’t like them. They’re too nosy.” Raul paused. 


The collection of books by James Ross is for the avid reader. They are delivered from Prairie Winds Golf Course which sits high atop the Mississippi river bluffs east of St. Louis.


More excitement arrives at Prairie Winds Golf Course on the east side of St. Louis when former Mrs. Missouri, Shari Daniels-Donnelly, in a fluke twist of a bottle cap earns a chance to win $1 million at America's greatest golf tournament, The Classic.
Shari is among the fashionable nouveau-riche, a member of prestigious Olde Blueblood Country Club and seeking excitement outside a stale union with real estate mogul, Tyler Cy Donnelly. After her high-powered and influential attorney, Leslie Potter, serves divorce papers it appears Shari is on the path to a luxurious lifestyle that includes young lovers, a multimillion dollar settlement, and freedom from the balls and chains of a boring marriage.
Events become complicated when a young Latin lover supplants a longtime friend who vies for Shari's attention. Between threatening texts, arrests, jail time, confessions, and a liaison with a U.S. Congresswoman Shari's pending divorce delivers chaos. When a lover is found shot to death in a carpool parking lot prior to a golf outing a detective duo is determined to find out who fired the shot.
   Author James Ross

Copyright 2014 © Author James Ross