Chasing daybreak, p.27
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       Chasing Daybreak, p.27

           Ranae Glass


  When I opened my eyes, I had a crick in my neck, Heather and Phoebe were gone, and the clock read 1:13 PM. I dragged myself upstairs and into the shower after turning on the coffee pot, something I hadn’t had to do for myself since the day Shane had moved in. Luckily for me, I didn’t have a headache after the previous night’s binge. However, I did replay Phoebe’s words over and over in my head. I knew she was right. I just wasn’t sure what to do about it. Besides, Shane had moved on, and with the Wicked Bitch of the East to boot.

  I was just drying off when the phone rang. Remembering that I was alone in the house, I defiantly walked from the bathroom to my bedroom without putting on a robe.

  “Hello. Stone Private Investigations. How can I help you?”

  “Izzy, it’s me.” Shane’s voice was casual, as if last night had never happened.

  “What can I do for you, Shane?”

  “I have some information for you.”

  “You can tell me when you come by to get your junk out of my attic.” I smiled a little as I rubbed lotion onto my legs.

  There was a shuffling sound, and then it was Xavier’s voice on the phone.

  “Please come by my office today. We have some things to discuss. Five o’clock.”

  The phone was shuffled again, and Shane was back on the line.

  “You in trouble already?” I asked jokingly.

  “You have no idea. See you at five.”

  I hung up the phone, curiosity going into overdrive. Shane had stumbled onto something during the ceremony, and I was betting whatever it was, it was bigger than I’d thought. Dressing quickly I headed downstairs to the smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen. It wasn’t quite finished, but not patient enough to wait, I quickly swapped out the pot and my empty mug, the slow drip bubbling just a little as I made the transition.

  I searched the cupboards for something to eat, coming up with only a half loaf of bread and some jelly. By the time I’d burnt my toast, the coffee cup was full and I quickly switched the pot back so it could finish filling.

  My office was a mess, which wasn’t typical. Of course, Shane had always been the one picking up behind me, so it did make sense. It also made my insides ache just a little. I’d had a lunch meeting on the books with a prospective client that day, so I called and rescheduled. I was simply too out of sorts to deal with anyone just yet. Then I spent the hours before the meet with Xavier pacing around the house, cleaning everything in sight, and going over the case file once more.

  Cleaning helped me settle down and allowed my mind to focus on something other than the big, empty house. And it wasn’t just a physical cleaning, I realized. It was an emotional one. The time had come to let go of all the crap that’d been weighing me down for so long. The wedding that wasn’t, Dad’s death, leaving school to take over the business—they had all been slowly eating away at me like a cancer. And I was done with all of them.

  With a burst of inspiration, or perhaps insanity, I rearranged the living room and the office. It was something my mother did every so often, her way of feeling like she was in control even when other parts of her life were spinning wildly. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’d woken up after a night that Dad was on stakeout to find the entire house had been reorganized, the furniture moved, and the photos on the walls rearranged.

  By four o’clock, the place sparkled, everything was organized, and I was feeling much better. Realizing how grubby I’d become, thanks to dust bunnies the size of Shetland ponies hiding under the sofa, I decided to throw on some fresh clothes. I brushed out my hair, slipping into a pair of gray slacks and a black, vest-like top, and then examined myself in the mirror. With a final burst of vanity, I added the strand of pearls my mother had given me after my high school graduation. Not sure who I was dressing up for, I tossed my leather jacket over my shoulder and headed for the mansion.

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