After She's Gone (West Coast 3) - Page 28

“You were there,” Holly remembered.

“One of my few scenes had to be reshot and so, yeah, I talked to him that night, but it’s all kind of a blur. He called me the next day and also my mom. He was trying to get hold of Allie . . . but . . .” She shrugged, felt the dying sun’s warmth against her back. “. . . by then she was missing.” She slid Holly a glance. “For what it’s worth he said he was concerned.”

Holly snorted. “His star flat out disappears and someone’s shot on his production and he’s ‘concerned’? He’s a prick. Ask anyone who’s ever worked with him.”

“Have you run into anyone from Dead Heat?”

“A few, but everyone’s into their own thing. Little Bea’s out of the country, I think, on location in London. At least that’s what Laura Merrick says. She still does my hair and makeup sometimes, so I get some info from her.” She shot Cassie a glance as Cassie pulled her keys from her purse and hit the keyless lock for her Honda. The little car responded with a chirp and a flash of lights. “And I heard that Sig Masters’s lawyer told him to keep quiet. Since he was the, you know, ‘shooter,’ it could have been big trouble. Or bigger trouble if Lucinda had died. And she could have. I think the bullet just missed her heart or aorta or something.”

Cassie hadn’t heard that. “Sig thought the gun was the prop.”

Holly lifted her shoulders and dropped them again. “Who really knows? Anyway, because of the ongoing investigation and his role, whether intentional or not, and the threat of a lawsuit, he’s keeping his mouth shut.” She pretended to zip her own lips closed.

“Probably good advice.”

“You know, I wouldn’t put a lawsuit past Lucinda to sue everyone she can. She’s such a freakin’ bitch and she’s always after money, that’s why she came to Hollywood, to make a fortune and when it didn’t turn out that way, she tried dating rich guys. Then, she discovered lawsuits. She’s already been involved with a couple. Don’t think she got much, though. If she did, she didn’t say and there’s like no new Ferrari in her garage or anything. Everyone in this goddamned town is so damned paranoid, so worried about saving their own skin, and your sister is missing! Maybe worse.” She was still slurring a little, but she seemed steady on her feet.

“Are you driving?”

They paused at Cassie’s car. Holly added, “You know I ran into Cherise at the fitness center. The one where we all go. Well, Allie went there, too.”

Cherise Gotwell had been Allie’s personal assistant.

“And get this—” Holly touched Cassie on the forearm and teetered on her four-inch heels. Her fingers tightened and she righted herself. “Sorry. I guess I had one too many and before you ask again, no, I’m not driving. My apartment is only a few blocks off the beach. You’re gonna drive me.”

“Fair enough. Get in.”

Holly wobbled around the back of the car and slid into the passenger seat. Again she checked her phone.

“Someone trying to get hold of you?”

“Not really. Just, you know, talk.” She sighed. “Well, that’s not really the truth. I might’ve told a couple of people that I was meeting with you and they’re curious, like about how you’re doing and if you’ve seen Allie . . . crap like that.”

Cassie did a slow burn. “Who?”

“People who know you.”

“Who?” Cassie demanded.

“Like Cherise.”

“Anyone else?”

“People you don’t know.”

“Oh, great. Gossip. Thanks so much, Holly.”

“Hey, no offense.”

Cassie’s stomach was churning. “They could talk to me themselves instead of talking behind my back. Especially Cherise. Damn it.” Angrily Cassie flicked on the ignition and pulled down her visor.

Holly nodded and seemed a little rueful, but it didn’t last long. “I saw Cherise after yoga class and she casually mentioned that she’s going to work for Brandon McNary. Just like that. Like it was no big deal.” Struggling with her seatbelt, Holly glanced up at Cassie and gave her a can-you-believe-that-crap? look. The seat belt clicked. “She always was a bitch.”

Cassie didn’t comment. As she backed out and took directions from Holly to her apartment that was considerably more than “a few blocks” from the beach, her companion rambled on about how everyone in Allie’s entourage from bitchy Cherise, her assistant, to Laura, the makeup and hair stylist, had been searching for new jobs, backstabbing each other as if it were necessary to find one, probably all calling Holly for any gossip she had on the Kramer sisters. Cassie forced her voice to be level, for the anger to dissipate. “Everybody needs to work,” Cassie muttered.

“Not for pricks, bitches, and dickheads. Oh, wait.” Holly paused dramatically as if struck by a sudden truth. “I’m one of the bitches.” Barely able to see over the dash, she pointed a manicured finger at the glass and steel apartment building that rose seven floors into the sky. “That’s it. Home sweet home. Just pull in there, to the side entrance.” She indicated a back alley and Cassie nosed her Honda around a planter with lavender plants so lush the blooms scraped the side of the car. “A little close, aren’t you?” Holly complained.

“Shut up,” Cassie teased. “You got a ride, didn’t you?”

Tags: Lisa Jackson West Coast Mystery
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