worker. They stayed on a steady course, weaving through the casino and lobby as if this were part of a regular routine. Ms. Chadsworth reached out to tap the elevator button. The couple stepped into the car, and I positioned myself so that I stood facing the two. The brass doors closed behind me with a quiet thud and the elevator bell sounded, suggesting the beginning of round two of a boxing match. At once, the two fake smiles fell to the floor.
“How dare you, Holden, make demands on me? Demands! Here!” She waved her arm, narrowly missing my chin.
The seemingly calm Helen dropped the cool exterior and immediately tried to claw at her husband’s face. He grabbed the willowy woman by the wrists and pinned them to her side. She relaxed her arms and turned her head up to look at him from the corner of her eyes. I held my breath, not knowing how long they could stay locked in this position. Holden released her wrists and straightened the front of his jacket lapels.
He exhaled through his teeth. “We’ve had an arrangement since we got married. You know your place, and I don’t expect you to tell me what you think mine is.”
As the couple glared at each other and hissed venomous taunts, I wasn’t sure this was where I was supposed to be. Through Time Spell traveling, I had witnessed many marital fights, and after I’d seen the first few, I felt like I had seen them all. Helen didn’t appear to be in any danger; Holden was back in his corner. This was probably just a marriage quarrel, and I would need to part ways with the couple when the elevator ride ended, but something kept gnawing at me to stick with them.
The pleasant ding of the elevator sounded at the twentieth floor, and I jumped from the car, giving them ample room to walk past me. This was the penthouse apartment. Helen stormed ahead and didn’t give Holden a chance to catch up. Outside of the penthouse were two gentlemen in suits, who I assumed to be some type of security. The first guard was located next to the elevator entrance, and the other was planted next to a decorative palm. He kept his gaze straight ahead, not adjusting his stance or expression when the Chadsworths came into view.
My interest was starting to pique. Helen and Holden living in the penthouse apartment, known by everyone, and in the middle of an argument…could be something…could be nothing.
She flung open the door, threw her cocktail bag on the couch, and hurried to the bar to pour a drink. I hadn’t expected her to pour it straight. I managed to tactically skirt around them and found a spot in front of the wall of windows to observe the next battle round.
“Look, Simone isn’t going anywhere.” Holden stated this rather matter-of-factly and looked to Helen to see if she had found this fact to be as agreeable as he had.
I surveyed the furnishings in the Chadsworths’ penthouse suite. A white leather couch with slim wooden feet extended to a U-shape in the center of the room. Matching round glass tables with brass podium centers anchored the couch and made an overpowering center coffee table. There were some interesting art retro pieces on the wall and a metallic starburst, which I later realized was a clock. I looked for effects that might indicate this marriage had created children, but the bright white fabrics were unadorned with smudges or crayon markings, and no smiling little faces appeared in the framed black-and-white photographs of the Chadsworths.
“Simone? Simone isn’t going anywhere? You’re seeing someone named Simone?” Her eyes blazed with fury and contempt. “Holden, I moved to this God-awful place—the desert, the middle of nowhere—to be with you. I left my family, my home, my entire life to build this hotel empire, this casino, to support whatever business deals you thought you had to do to fulfill this dream. You think I wanted to leave New England to be here? And now, when it’s finally all coming together, you do this? After fifteen