Damn, she’d loved this office with its oak desk and sapphire, cushioned leather sofa. She had loved the soft, sumptuous leather chairs and matching navy executive chair. Hugh had bought the expensive floral oils. Even the tall crystal vases of fresh flowers were from Hugh, delivered as a standing order every Monday and Wednesday. The scent had become heavy, cloying.
Time to leave. Gathering her papers and briefcase, she ran her hand over the smooth polished wood as she rounded the desk, then strode to the door. With one last look and a lump in her throat she walked out.
Her first stop after leaving the office was to the bank to close out her accounts. At the drive-through she handed the teller a check for five thousand dollars, which he returned.
“Sorry, Ms. Strickland. You’ll need to come inside to cash that check.” He sounded apologetic.
“Excuse me?” she asked, adopting an affronted expression. “My husband and I have hundreds of thousands of dollars in this bank and we’ve done business here for years. You can make an exception this time.” She sent the check back to him.
He pointed to a notice. She had purposely written the check for more than a drive-through teller would accept.
“We’ll just see about that.”
After smearing her lipstick and mascara just a little, she rubbed smears of each on her blouse. She strode inside to the teller counter. She selected a young, new teller. With a head toss, she breezed to the window, purpose in her step.
“I am Mrs. Hugh Strickland and I cannot believe the rude young man at the drive-through window.”
By the time she slammed her keys on the desk, she could feel lots of attention on her. Surely someone would remember that she hadn’t been her usual neat, pleasant self.
“He certainly wouldn’t mean to be rude. He was just following bank policy. I’ll be glad to help you.” The woman couldn’t be more that twenty, if that old.
Patrice shrilled. “You’re defending him? I cannot believe this. I’ll close my account and take my money elsewhere.”
After thirty minutes of signing papers and cashing the bank check for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars she left.
Next she added to her false trail.
The day Patrice heard her husband order a hit to be done quickly or his ass wouldn’t be worth anything she knew she had to leave him. The only way she knew to investigate him and his people was by returning to stripping where she would meet the people who dealt in death, drugs, and prostitution. When she worked her way through college she learned more about crime than she ever wanted to know.
Why would anyone believe Hugh, the man who played golf with the mayor of the a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, who socialized the the chief of police in that town and respected business owner had a second life one involving crimes? Who would believe a former stripper over this man?
After faking her kidnapping Patrice became Angel White, stripper. This book has some gritty sections, not suitable for young readers.
Check out https://www.rlfblog.com/mm-mayfield-0119/#comment-9742 for interview questions about M. M. Mayfield.
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