Murder Superior

Murder Superior by Jane Haddam Read Free Book Online

Book: Murder Superior by Jane Haddam Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jane Haddam
end to the other, and she didn’t like wrecking herself on the adolescent inanities of Norman Kevic.
    What she did like was Mark, and this thing she had thought up with whipped cream. It had taken her a long time to think up this thing with whipped cream, and she was a little proud of herself. Nobody she hadn’t told would ever guess that she’d spent so many years at school with the nuns, or that she was even now heavily involved with the alumnae association of her old college, which was forever sponsoring seminars on things like “The Virtuous Woman: Who She Is and How to Become Her.” When people asked, Nancy always said her husband insisted. She was supposed to be involved with something that would get her name in the papers and look good in the company prospectus they sent out every year to stockholders and members of the board.
    The thing with whipped cream required fourteen pressurized cans of Reddi Wip and six jars of cherries. Mark had bought them and spread them out on his kitchen table, which was a kitchen table only by virtue of being shoved off into the corner nearest the half-size stove. Mark was standing at attention next to the trove, looking very proud of himself. Mark was always proud of himself. That was part of what Nancy wanted him for.
    What Nancy Hare did not want him for was sex. Nancy Hare did not like sex. She had never liked sex. She was never going to like sex. She engaged in a great deal of it, but that was only because everyone expected her to. If she could have gotten a reputation for being intensely desirable by standing on her head in front of the liberty Bell, she would have done that
    She took off her sunglasses—she always wore sunglasses, even in winter—and cast a jaundiced eye at the boom box. Cultural Norm was just gearing up for a new assault on all things Japanese. What he had against the Japanese was beyond Nancy’s comprehension. Mark saw where she was looking and didn’t even have the grace to blush.
    “I’ve been listening to him all morning,” he said. “He’s been talking about that thing you’re involved with. The nun’s convention.”
    “I’m not involved with any nun’s convention,” Nancy said.
    “The thing at the college,” Mark told her, speaking very slowly, as if he were talking to an idiot. It was one of his least endearing traits, this fantasy of his that he was brighter than she was.
    She picked up one of the cans of Reddi Wip and shook it. “I’m not involved with it,” she said. “It’s VTZ that’s involved in it. I have a place on this committee I never go to except to get photographed for the papers and then I have to show up for a party next week and smile a lot for the Sisters. It’s all got something to do with business.”
    “How could a convention in a convent have something to do with business?”
    Nancy shrugged. “Come to the bathroom with me. Were you good? Did you clean out the tub?”
    “I got this woman I know to clean it out for me. I’m no good at cleaning things out.”
    Nancy thought he’d get good at cleaning things out if he had to live for a while with the results of not being good at it, and then she thought this woman must have a very interesting place in Mark’s life. She pushed open the door of the bathroom and decided she didn’t care, because the bathtub really was cleaned out and it probably wouldn’t have been if Mark had stuck to doing it himself. If this worked out she thought she would take him with her to Le Bourget, which was the restaurant all her friends were taking their lovers to lately, and where she had made it a point never to appear twice with the same man. Mark would look good in a suit and a tie and when he talked he would be almost presentable.
    “The thing is,” she said, “you’ve got to get into the tub first with your clothes off, and then you’ve got to wait.”
    “Are you going to take pictures?”
    “Of course I’m not going to take pictures.”
    “I think it’s too bad

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