Cold Cut Murder: Book Three in The Darling Deli Series (8 page)

BOOK: Cold Cut Murder: Book Three in The Darling Deli Series
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Trying not to think about it too much, she made a sudden lunge towards the purse. Steven was faster, and caught her roughly by the upper arm. His fingers dug into her skin, sure to leave bruises if she survived this.

“Let me go,” she gasped, recoiling automatically which just made him dig his fingers in even more tightly.

“You should have just said yes,” he hissed at her, ignoring her demand. “All I wanted to do was take you to the dance.”

“I don’t understand why you’re doing this.” She couldn’t take her eyes off the knife in his hand.

“I love you,” he said. “I did everything I could for you. I killed for you. But still you just couldn’t do something as simple as go on one date with me.” He jerked her closer. “It’s always the same with you women. No matter how much I do, it’s never enough.”

“What do you mean, you killed for me?” she managed to say, frantically looking around for anything that she could use to save herself.

“The man who unfairly judged the deli, I killed him. I heard you and your friend talk about the review maybe putting you out of business.” His grip tightened. “I was protecting you.”

“What about David, and Marcus?” she asked, doing her best to stall.

“They shouldn’t have gotten involved with you,” he said with a snort of disgust. “Enough talking. You’ve had your chances. You’re just like all the others. I shouldn’t have wasted my time on you.”

Moira saw his grip tighten on the knife, and knew that the end was near. He was too strong, there was no way she could break free from his grip. Her pepper spray was out of reach in her purse, and her cell phone was in the front room. There was nothing within reach that could save her. Nothing except… her eyes landed on the still-simmering pots of soup on the stove.

She made her move just as Steven was bringing the knife up. Her hand closed firmly around the nearest pot’s handle. As quickly as she could, she jerked it off the stove and flung the contents at him, the pot, too, for good measure. With a strangled cry of agony as scalding-hot soup splashed across his face, he let her go. Before he had a chance to recover, she leapt past him and dashed through the swinging door to the front room, where her phone was still sitting next to the plate of cookies. She grabbed it and dialed the police as she ran out of the building, not caring that it was freezing outside. She didn’t stop until she heard the howling of the sirens and a patrol unit pulled up next to her.



“Are you sure you don’t want me to take you home?” David asked, his eyes soft as he watched her.


“No. I need to clean up,” she told him. Realizing that her hands were still shaking, she sat down in a chair. “Though I might sit here for a little bit first.”

“You’re sure he didn’t hurt you?”

“Just a few bruises. I’m fine.” She managed a shaky laugh. “I’m exhausted, and shaken up, but fine.”

Thanks to the quick response of the police, Steven, still covered in soup, had been caught red-handed only a block away from the deli. The security camera had caught enough of the incident that there were no doubts about whether Moira’s story was true. The police had questioned her and, after making sure she was okay, had left her in peace. Tomorrow she would have to go down to the station to make a formal statement, but for the moment, she and David were alone.

David had come quickly when she had called him even though she hadn’t managed to tell the full story over the phone. She had been shocked to see the bruises on his face from when Steven had attacked him, and felt immense guilt that he had gotten hurt because of her.

“Some Valentine’s Day, huh?” she joked weakly.

“At least it’s over,” he told her, glancing at his watch. “It’s officially the fifteenth.”

“Thank goodness.” She buried her head in her hands. “I’m not looking forward to telling Candice what happened. Or Darrin and Dante, for that matter. They’ll be so concerned.”

“You don’t have to do any of that until you get some rest.” He stood up. “I’ll go put some coffee on, and then I’ll help you clean up the spilled soup. After that, I’ll drive you home. Candice can help you get your car tomorrow.”

“Thank you so much,” she said sincerely. “You don’t have to do any of this, you know. I’d be able to manage on my own—don’t feel like you have to stay and help.”

“Nonsense,” he said, giving her a small smile. “There isn’t anywhere I would rather be.” She could tell by the look in his eyes that he meant it. She smiled at him. He was a good friend, but something about his words made her think that he might want to be more.

“Let’s get started,” she said, standing up. She was too tired to think about David and their feelings towards each other at the moment. She had so much left to do, and knew that she would be busier than ever for the next few weeks. Besides repairing the damage from tonight, she would have to make amends with Denise at some point. Her husband may not have been the murderer, but he still acted like a slimebag. Women had to stick together, and the two of them had enough in common that they might even become good friends. “The sooner we get done, the sooner I can go to bed and wake up to a new, and hopefully better, day.”

BOOK: Cold Cut Murder: Book Three in The Darling Deli Series
8.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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