“Hello, Jewell,” Aurelia said in a polite tone.
“Who be yur gorgeous friend dere?” Jewell inquired, posing provocatively by her own car as Baron’s eyes took in her voluptuous bronze frame from top to bottom in the yellow-feathered outfit. Disappointment soon rolled across her face when he simply nodded in greeting and remained unaffected by what he’d seen.
“This is Dr. Baron Weaver, my fiancé,” Aurelia said, putting a possessive arm about his waist.
Jewell’s eyes expanded in their sockets. “Y…yur gettin’ married?”
“Yes,” Aurelia replied.
“Wh…when?” Jewell sputtered out. “Surely I’m invited ta de wedding?”
“Soon and it’s a family only affair. Now have fun at the festival tonight, girl,” Aurelia concluded super-sweetly before turning the whole of her attention back to a quiet Baron. “Now what were we talking about, baby?”
Baron chuckled. “Smooth. Real smooth,” he said as the jealous woman in yellow got in her car and sped away.
Aurelia laughed. “Call me Miss Parkay,” she said, sprouting the name of her favorite brand of butter.
“I’d rather call you Mrs. Weaver,” Baron replied, pulling her fully into his arms. “So what’s the deal with you and Jewell?”
“In a nutshell, because I always wanted a sister, I decided to befriend the closest female neighbor in my age group and make her my pretend-sister. Big Bird over there decided to be my pretend-friend instead because she was unwilling to deal with her not-so-secret jealousies of me.”
“Big bird?” Baron laughed at her wit.
“At least that’s what she looks like to me tonight.” Aurelia chuckled, before becoming extremely serious. “Anyway, I finally realized what Jewell really was the day she came up to me after my father’s funeral, smirked, and said, ‘Looks like we both fatherless now’.”
“That was just cruel.” Baron frowned, starting to dislike Jewell himself.
“It was beyond cruel, which is why I smacked her around a bit that day. Dragged her across a few floors. And it felt so good, too.” Aurelia grinned.
“I bet it did.” He chuckled.
“Anyway, our mothers made us apologize to each other. We did, but I never tried to be Jewell’s friend again after that, only a polite neighbor. However, since I’m not the kind of person to extend adult animosity to innocent children, I am especially nice to her kids and even let them play with
“Good for you,” Baron said, looking downright proud of her for being the better woman. “Speaking of
“About the fact that it was wavy like
Aurelia and her fellow students had taken it upon themselves as a pet project to help solve the crime of the innocent/guilty twins. They also wanted to do their part to bring justice to one of their professors, despite Rhoda’s continual moodiness and drooping approval ratings around campus.
“No, about the fact that the man’s hair was not naturally wavy like Trent’s or his brother’s,” Baron replied, starting to look almost gleeful now. “If you recall, the assailant mentioned to Rhoda that he’d been to a salon earlier that day to get a permanent wave in his hair because he was too lazy and impatient to build his waves naturally like his twin.”
“Which means the collected hair samples we have on file for each brother will reveal which of them is the guilty party due to the ammonium thioglycolate within the strands,” Aurelia deduced, starting to look gleeful herself.
“Exactly.” Baron grinned. “I predict that the perm salt in those hair strands will lead the police right to Rhoda’s attacker,” he said, referring to the layman’s term for ammonium thioglycolate. “I’m calling my hunch in to Liam when I get back to the hotel.”
“Nuff respect, Baron. You’re brilliant, mon! Just brilliant!” Aurelia exclaimed, excitedly jumping up and down in his arms.
At the first bounce, Baron moaned and squeezed her close to prevent another. “I can’t handle you bouncing against me like that,” he whispered in her right ear. “Either you send me away right now or I’m going to kidnap you, take you back to my hotel room, and—”
“Consider yourself sent,” Aurelia interrupted, smoothly withdrawing from his tight embrace. Then after giving him a brief smack on the lips, she waved goodnight, and quickly headed back to the house.
“Come on Friday,” Baron said, licking his lips as he got into the red jeep.
© 2009 by Mi’Chelle Dodson/Suprina Frazier
* * *
The first picture at this link is representative of Jewell’s festival costume, except hers was all yellow (I think it’s cute, even though Jewell’s jealous attitude sure wasn’t):