"What do you want? And what's the big idea of stalking me?"
"So why doesn't she want to go to the Caribbean?"
He led her to the first-class check-in and she was asked for photo ID
"How can I be sure you'll be here?" she asked nervously
She swallowed. The pause lengthened
"Or shall I carry you?"
"But I think I could hold out until after dinner."
Meg vaguely recalled Ducane introducing her earlier to the three
"You're showing a side of yourself tonight I've never seen before."
"What is it?" Jake asked
"I thought I heard somebody coming this way."
"I thought you were going to be in London at least a week."
"Don't play that game with me. It no longer works."
"So be it. What would you like to do today?" An ironic grin appeared
This time there was an immediate response to her call to California
"Holy sh-" Mike began
"Smart thinking. Did he go for it?"
"Back to California?"
"I'll call you when I get home."
"I forgot to pack a cover-up. Could I borrow one of your shirts?"
"Touche. I'm sorry."
Meg stiffened. Abuse. Her vision of Rhea shifted slightly
For how long? And why?
"Do you remember that weekend in Capri?" Jake asked
But it was too late. Jake was nodding his approval
She sipped champagne and wondered how many setA
Jake raised his glass of Dom Perignon
Reality rushed back for Meg
She handed Jake the phone
Huxley was now nuzzling Meg and licking her hand
"Good. I'll see how Jess is doing and then take off."
"You'll be here when I get back?"
"Rhea." She made her name sound like a warning
"Friend? I thought it was your brother who was dying."
You've got to come home. He's already suspicious of me. "
"He said he was going to Dana Point to check on a project."
"Jessica. Everybody calls her Jessica. Jake calls her Jess."
"No doubt about it. You're a dead ringer for Rhea."
"I don't understand" -Meg began
Meg put down the phone. Her hand was trembling
"Okay. I'm done here."
"Is that why you insisted on meeting me when I called you?"
"You don't understand. They're talking about divorce."
"You know where Hal is?"
"With you--not with Rhea."
"What about your jobs? Aren't you expected back at work tomorrow?"
"Sit down. Would you like a cup of tea?"
"No time. I must leave."
"Have you called the hospital to tell Mrs. Chastain you're leaving?"
She and Hal had come together because of creme fraiche
"You're not going to refrigerate it?" Meg asked
Meg wondered how she was going to be able to take the call from Rhea
"Why do I bother to ask?"
"I'll get it. Have some more dessert."
"Huxley's fine. How are you feeling?"
"Sure. Whatever you say. Is the music all right?"
"No!" The word was wrenched from her like a cry of pain
"Another hang-up?" Jake asked grimly
"You've been under strain. I understand."
Huxley ambled into the room and nuzzled Meg's leg
Huxley growled again. Meg tightened her grip on his leash
"How does it feel to look at a mirror image?" Rhea asked
"Especially when Jake unexpectedly showed up."
"But he didn't challenge you? He really thought you were me?"
"Yes. I mean that sincerely. Your husband seems to be a very fine man."
"Did Aragon have any luck finding your husband?"
"I can't do that! What will Jake say when he finds him missing?"
Meg fondled Huxley's head
Meg looked around frantically. If Jake and Rhea had
"No!" Meg screamed the word
Frightening possibilities and implications flashed into Meg's mind
"Shall I fix you a drink?" Jake asked
"I'll sleep in one of the guest rooms. Good night."
The maid nodded. Evidently this was an acceptable response
"Yes. Jake's gone to check the damage at the beach house."
"Picked the lock. Did you handle any of those cans?"
"Don't be deceived by appearances" -Meg began
"My parents were wonderful." She sighed
"But they never told me I was adopted."
"What did Sloan do?"
"What?" Meg asked faintly
"Your husband rang. He asked me to tell you he'll be home for lunch
He asked that you instruct Cook as to what to serve. "
"Were you waiting for a call?" The question had an edge to it
Jessica Chastain's perfectly arched eyebrows lifted in surprise
"We'll both go with you. You're not too steady on your feet yet."
It's Mrs. Wells. Are you home? "
"Good grief! Are you going out of your mind?"
The only possible explanation was that Rhea simply didn't love Jake
A muffled female voice asked for Rhea
"Where were you? I tried to call you this morning."
"Are you nuts? I'd never do that."
"What happened last night?" Meg demanded
"I just thought" -Meg began
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to--I guess I'm a little jumpy."
Meg read the book's title. Fort Comme La Mort
"And I presume you intended to read it?" he asked mockingly
Meg scratched Huxley's ear
"I don't think this conversation is appropriate" -Meg began
"Have I ever given you any reason to doubt me?"
"Jake...! don't want to talk about Capri."
"Let's talk now about what happened in Capri."
Meg stared at him helplessly. She looked at her watch again: 7:50
"Do you remember what we talked about in the Gardens of Augustus?"
The room was empty. There were three washbasins and three stalls
So Rhea wasn't coming after all
"Are you all right? You weren't hurt?" Her voice was hoarse
She drummed her fingers on the desk. Where was he?
"I won't need you to drive. Please bring a car to the front door."
I've been going out of my mind worrying about you. Where were you? "
"Would you like something to drink?" Jake asked
Meg shook her head. Then she remembered something
"In Laguna Niguel?"
"Yes. I believe so."
"No. But I have a feeling she hired a gardener to keep an eye on us
"How? When? You do realize how convenient this sounds?"
Jake took it from her and examined it. She looked away
For the first time the lines of strain on Jake's face eased slightly
"If only I'd met you two years ago."
"Must I leave before dinner?"
He looked at Meg
"Were you able to find out anything about Mike Aragon?"
"The police are there now. I reported a possible homicide."
"You implicated me? You told the police I found the body?"
"I told them my wife had seen the body through a window. I had to
The phone rang and Jake picked it up. Meg quietly left the study
"Mason! Absolutely not. He intimidates the heck out of me."
Meg smiled in sympathy. She felt the same way about the butler
"What about his files? Did they find anything?"
A ghost of a smile plucked at Jake's mouth
"Yes. I'd better keep my distance."
"I don't believe I ever was in love with her
Meg desperately wanted Jake to trust and believe in her
"You're up early. Are you all right?"
"It's Rhea's handwriting."
"Do I believe you want to take Rhea's place as my wife?"
"How long has Mason been with you?" Meg asked
"I think he's known from the beginning that I'm not Rhea."
"If we weren't in a rush I could make something more interesting."
"Will we be in two different places?" Meg asked
"No. I want you near me."
Snapping open the carry-on bag she had taken to St
Not the . 25 automatic I found in my purse
"The turmoil began eighteen months ago when I married Rhea."
"Jake... I found something else when I was packing."
"Off the coast of Baja
Jake glanced over his shoulder at the Doberman
"Food-related? Similar to what you suggested in St. Maarten?"
"Unless I kill her?" Jake suggested lightly
"Doesn't it?" Meg murmured
Jake had not followed Meg into the cabin
"No. Have Taylor handle all the other calls. I'm taking a day off."
"Over easy. What can I do?"
"Coffee's ready. You can cut some bread. You want it fried?"
"Why not? Let's go for broke on the cholesterol."
"Like a baby. How about you?"
"We'll have to hit the road." He began to douse the fire
"Have they found Rhea?" Meg asked
"Do you have everything you need here?" Jake asked
"I'm going to hate having to tell her I deceived her."
"Why don't you wait here while I check it out?"
"At ten past ten? Hardly."
"Where do you suppose Mason and all the others have gone?"
"Jake... I think we ought to get out of here."
"How about I go to the kitchen and make dinner?" Meg said
"No--thanks. I'd rather go on my own."
It was hopeless. No one would be able to hear
Rhea smiled as Jake came through the bedroom door
Sloan had rehearsed Rhea repeatedly
Rhea had argued that it would be better for Sloan to do the shooting;
But Sloan had overridden her objections
"But what if I miss?" Rhea had fretted
"I'm sure. Where's Sloan? Lurking in a closet?"
"I don't have to. You're Rhea."
"I'll go to a hotel. You'd better get Mason and the staff back
Tomorrow we'll meet with the lawyers. I'll let you know what time. "
"It's me--Meg. I've called 911."
"I'm fine. Get the lights."
"There's a man inside with a gun ... but I think he's unconscious."
"You say your name is Margaret Lindley?"
"But Jake--Mr. Chastain... May I speak to him first?"
"Wait here. I'll check with my partner."
"May I leave now? I'd like to go to the hospital."
DOMINO? What could it possibly mean? And who had sent it?
"Could we meet somewhere? I'll find a way to dodge the paparazzi."
"I was lucky Yves gave me this job."
Meg disentangled her hands and stood up. Her voice sounded hollow
"Tres bien! Just un petit probleme." Yves smiled wickedly
"Not exactly. I've just managed to keep a low profile on my projects
Meg didn't have to ask what it was an antidote for. She knew only too well
"We're opening a new bistro there. I'll be the head chef."
"Congratulations. But I hope you'll have time for other pursuits."
"Yes. I am. Are you?"
"Right away. Let's not waste another minute apart."
"I'd like that. We'll need a house with a big fenced yard for Huxley II. "