Snippet

Jazzi and Ansel invite their friends and family to their house every Sunday for a family meal. That way, they keep in touch with each other. And when Jazzi and her hunky hubby are trying to solve a murder, they discuss that, too:

Olivia sniffed the air.  “What are we eating?”

“Kebabs.”  Ansel went to carry them outside to the grill, and Walker, Thane, and Radley tagged along to supervise.  Dad and Eli disappeared in the basement to see the kids, and Jazzi took the roasted potatoes out of the oven to dish up.  By the time Ansel returned with the chicken, it was time to eat. 

Everyone chattered at the same time as they loaded their plates at the kitchen island and found seats.  Then it grew quiet for a while as people ate.  It was during this lull that Olivia announced, “Thane and I have talked, and we’ve decided not to have children.”

Ansel’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, and he glanced at Thane.

“I’m fine with it,” he said.  “Kids cost a lot of money and energy.  We’d rather invest in more fun.”

Gran nodded.  “Kids aren’t for everyone.  My Lynda should have never had them, didn’t want them.” 

An understatement.  That’s why she’d gone to New York to give birth and give them away.  One of the reasons they’d found her skeleton in a trunk in their attic.

Jerod wrinkled his nose, remembering.  He pointed to his three kids.  “I’m sure glad we have ours.  They might make us poorer, but what could ever be a better investment?”

Walker beamed at River and baby Noreen.  River wasn’t even his, but he loved him as his own.  “Ours have made our lives richer.”

Ansel turned a worried frown at Jazzi.  She smiled at him.  “I want them, just not right now.”

“Is your asparagus and rhubarb starting to come up?” Dad asked Gran.  A deliberate change of topic, and Jazzi chuckled.  He grinned at her.  She and her dad had always been close.

The talk turned to casual conversation, what they’d been doing during the week.  At the end of the meal, the guys stayed to help clean up, then took the kids out to the pond to look for frogs, skip stones, and to get rid of some wiggles. 

The women poured themselves glasses of wine and headed to the living room to visit. 

Gran looked at Jazzi.  “Xavier knew who it was.”

Jazzi blinked.  Gran’s visions always took her by surprise.  Gran, too.  “Do you know who killed him?”

Gran shook her head, coming out of her trance.  “Do I what?” Jazzi glanced at Samantha, who shared Gran’s house with her, but Samantha only shook her head.  When the vision was gone, it was gone.  Jazzi had learned from experience, though, that Gran was never wrong.  If she said Xavier knew who was stealing from the job site, then he did.  But why hadn’t he told someone?  She didn’t like the probable answer.  He must have tried to blackmail them for his silence.

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