Black-Eyed Susan by Laura Lippman

By Laura Lippman

This brief tale used to be initially released in Laura Lippman's assortment rarely KNEW HER.

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She donned the oversized sunglasses, blinking to get used to the dim light. She checked her watch for the thousandth time. She was on schedule. By now, he knew. The thought sent a jolt of fear sizzling through her like an electric current, robbing her breath and making the stall spin dizzily. Caroline squeezed her eyes shut, reached out and grabbed the cold porcelain sink for support. She took a deep breath, licked her lips, and tried to swallow. But her throat refused to close around the ball of solid fear inside her.

Next she picked up toothpaste and a toothbrush on her way to the sundries aisle, praying the zippered beach totes would still be on sale. They were. She grabbed one, along with a pair of oversized sunglasses and a floppy hat before heading to the baby aisle to get a small bowl for Pippin’s food. To this she added a package of dog food, bottled water, and several packs of cheese and crackers, even though the thought of food nauseated her. She waited in line to pay, hoping the other customers couldn’t hear the pounding of her heart.

She didn’t like Porter and never had. He now realized he had underestimated Lindsay Crowley. She was a loose cannon who had gone to the police with her concerns. She could have said things to arouse their suspicions so they would think him capable of almost anything, Porter realized. ” Porter glanced down, licking his lips that had turned dry. He tasted salt. The sweat on his face prickled his skin. He took a swipe at it, willing himself to drop his hands before he scratched at the hives that were bubbling beneath his beard, making him itch.

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