The Counterfeit Bride(8)

By: Liberty Blake


“He certainly liked both of them, but he couldn’t stop looking at her chest and the amethysts dangling from her belly button,” Moose said.

“I don’t know,” Ari said “I thought he was really enraptured with all the long red hair. But then when she turned to leave he couldn’t take his eyes off her ass. I heard him counting under his breath in Latin. I think he was trying to keep himself from running after her.”

“You guys are full of it. You’re making it up.” Cassidy felt the heat in her face. It had to be as red as tomato soup and clashing with all the hated red hair.

Lynda walked over and put her arm around Cassidy’s shoulders. “Cassie, honey, you gotta understand. Men always look at you like that. The men back home see your purity and innocence wrapped up in a body that’s illegal in at least five states and the District of Columbia. Add to that your feistiness and they just can’t help themselves.” She looked Cassidy straight in the eye. “They like to live, so they keep their hands off. They know one of us is always around you. We’d rip them apart if they tried anything. But there might come a time when we’re not with you. You have to become more aware on your effect on men.”

“Lynda, I love you guys, but you do tend to exaggerate. I know some men look at me, but mostly because they think I’m goofy, with my freaky red hair, skin that doesn’t tan, and big blotches of freckles,” Cassidy smiled. “I’m an anomaly, especially in Texas.”

“Honey, I swear to on my sacred Harley, I have seen gay men staring at you and wondering if they stood a shot, at least for one night,” Lynda laughed.

“Out of the room, before you make me as crazy as you three old coots.” Cassidy was still laughing as she prepared for her long awaited shower. Too bad she didn’t have enough time for a bath, but she knew if she rested in warm water, sleep would overtake her. At least her lavender and mint soap should refresh her. Hopefully it would wake her up and keep her alert. She wouldn’t put anything past those people. Thinking about them raised her stress level, so she thought of home and her son. She would not think about that gorgeous groom and wonder what he and Jules had been up to while her duplicitous cousin pretended to be Cassiopeia.





4





“Thank you for allowing me to wait up here, away from the crowds, Mr. Ambassador.” Theron had been met upon his arrival at the American Embassy by the Ambassador’s PA. The small reception room he had been installed in gave him a clear view of the street. After refusing the offer of refreshments, Theron positioned himself at the window to wait and watch.

Alone.

He had spent all of ten minutes in splendid solitude before Adam Shift, the ambassador, walked in and took the liberty of patting Theron on the shoulder. “Son, I don’t know what kind of scam artist that young woman is, but I guarantee she will not show up here today. She probably thought that Kirios Dolmides would immediately pull a roll of money out of his pocket and pay her off so the wedding could continue without further interruption.”

Theron chose not to comment. When the Ambassador received no reply to the conversational gambit he tried another track, “Those are the type of people that give all Americans a bad name. Look at the press frenzy out there. She must have contacted them out of spite when she didn’t receive an immediate payoff. She is quite a gambler if she believes a man of Costas Dolmides stature would deign to take her seriously. The Dolmides family are not coming, are they? You were sent as an emissary, in case she had the nerve to follow through.”

“You are correct, Costa will not come. Like you, he does not believe the girl will have the nerve to appear here today.” Theron shrugged, dislodging the Ambassador’s hand. He found strangers touching him distasteful. Theos, the Dolmides had a lot to answer for. He was in this humiliating situation because of Costas Domides and his manipulations.

“We were all shocked when the priest refused to continue the ceremony. We were sure after the little gold digger left you would find her papers were faulty and continue with the ceremony,” the Ambassador continued.

“The wedding could not continue once its legality was put in doubt.” If the Ambassador knew how relieved Theron was to have a reprieve, he would spread it all over Europe. The man was as gossipy as the fishwives down in the marketplace. He had met Adam Shift many times, at various functions and had never truly appreciated what a bore he was until now. This was private business. Personal business and yet this highly exalted representative of a major world power was trying to pry personal information out of him. The Ambassador’s persistence made the fishwives look like amateurs.