Detective Alsup called me let me know that they had Suarez in custody and had picked him up in Laredo. He had made a full confession of murdering Mike so at least we are able to put some closure on that particular episode. I went to visit Kathleen to pass on the news for which she was very grateful. I asked her how was she doing and how about the kids. She said that Mike had the foresight of taking a fairly large insurance on himself and she had more than enough money to at least get the kids grown up. Her Mom had moved in with her temporarily so she was not lacking in company.
Next, I drove to Patricia‘s house to pass the news along to her. “Why Hello Bob” she said “This is a pleasant surprise. For what do I owe this visit. Come in and I will make some coffee“. I followed her in to the apartment which was beginning to become familiar and sat down at the kitchen table. Pat busied herself with the coffee and made small talk. The coffee made, she poured us both a cup and then sat down at the table. “Well”? she asked. “I just stopped by to tell you they have Suarez in custody and he has confessed to murdering Mike”. “That’s good news although I have long gotten over him. Our relationship didn’t last a week at the most” she said. We chatted for a bit and then I stood up to leave. “Do you have to leave so soon? Can you stay awhile and talk some more with me”? Pat said I turned and looked at her. She was a very attractive lady with a very nice shape but most of all, she had a real bubbly personality although I wondered if there was also a down side with that sort of a personality. “Of course” I replied “I have all the time in the world”. I stayed talking to her for a couple more hours and then finally stood up to leave. “You could stay, if you want to” Pat said I looked at her admiring her beauty and simplicity in the way she had made her invitation. “I would love to stay but not yet. There are things going on that need to be cleared up first”. “I understand. The offer is temporarily on hold but it is still there” she said.
We finished the Black project a little ahead of time and Valerie was very pleased. The project had worked out very well. I thought to myself that here we were on a project working at her house which a couple of moths ago, I would have absolutely loved so that I could have a lot more excuses to visit Mrs Valerie Black. With Jody and Valerie almost a couple, at least in my mind, I could not wait to pick up my check, get it in the Bank and then sever all ties with Mrs Black. I figured that in the process, I would also be severing any ties I might still have with Jody.
Sure enough, I received a call from Valerie asking me to stop by that coming evening around 6:00 pm. I thought that we had finished all of her work and was a little surprised that she called me. She met me at the door. “Come in, please and make yourself comfortable”. I followed her in and sat down at the kitchen table as I had done so many times in the past. I looked around at the newly remodelled kitchen and marvelled at how well it had turned out. “I need to take some pictures of this if you don’t mind. They will be good for future references, that is if that is OK with you”. “By all means, go ahead” Valerie said as he poured me a scotch. “Guess I should have asked first. Do you want a drink”. “Well, its in the glass and such a shame to waste it” I commented. I looked at her for a long time and then said “You and Jody seemed to have hit it off well. You spend a lot of time together”. She looked at me and said,”The truth is, we have become good friends and enjoy each others company a lot. It’s nice to go riding with someone instead of on my own all the time”. “Well, she certainly has cheered up a lot and I think she is glad to have found a new friend and another hobby” I said. “Thanks for being there for her”. We spent the evening talking and sharing drinks. I was still waiting for the bombshell to fall on me but as the evening wore on, it was apparent that Valerie wanted nothing more than my company. I have to admit that I found hers to be very enjoyable. I looked at the clock on the wall and said “Damn, look at the time. Where did it go”? “You could stay if you want to. You do not have to leave” she said in a low voice. There had been several times in the past couple of hours when I felt tempted to kiss her and in truth, those opportunities did not seem like random chances. For some reason and maybe out of deference to Jody and what was left of our marriage, I did not seize on the opportunity.
I turned to Valerie and reached out for her hands. “I want you and there is no secret about that but I don’t want this to turn into a sordid little affair. Tonight is not the night. I hope you understand”. Valerie folded into my arms in a long embrace and it was all I could do not to succumb to her temptations. I kissed her lightly on the lips and said “This is not over. Be patient” and walked out the door