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The Temptation of Savannah O'Neill Molly O Keefe 2022/8/3 13:52:43

Juliette pulled up in her tan sedan and Savannah was glad for the distraction.

“So?” Juliette said, joining her on the porch steps as Matt went around the house to the courtyards. She stretched out her long legs and leaned back against the railing. “That’s Matt Howe?”

“In the kitchen with Margot. They’re baking away their stress. You should stick around for sugar pie.”

“I will,” Juliette said. “You thinking about shagging away your stress?” Juliette asked, nodding in the direction Matt had disappeared. Savannah laughed. “It’s not funny, Savannah, you’re staring at that man like he’s the sugar pie.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Savannah said, blushing and angry because she knew Juliette was right. Worse, she would have to admit about Matt’s sleeping arrangements. And Juliette was never going to believe Savannah didn’t want to have sex with him. “Matt is spending the night here now.”

“Sleeping porch.” Juliette opened her mouth to protest and Savannah held up her hand. “You don’t have the staff to stake out my house and I’ve already hired the man to be around. Might as well have him around the clock.”

“I’ve called in some favors with the boys in Baton Rouge,” Juliette said, “they’re gonna run Matt’s name through the computer up there.”

“That would be fine.” They wouldn’t find anything, Savannah thought.

Juliette smiled. “But not necessary?”

“I trust him, don’t ask me why.”

Right. Eric. The mistake by which all other mistakes were measured. “Everyone wants to talk about Eric these days,” Savannah muttered.

“For good reason,” Juliette said. “History might be repeating itself before our very eyes.”

“I was already sleeping with Eric before I invited him to stay here. And I’m not sleeping with Matt. I’m not doing anything with Matt.”

“Except watching him from the porch.”

Savannah sighed. “Nothing wrong with that.”

Matt emerged once more from behind the house, his arms full, muscles flexed and damp. “Not when he looks like that,” Juliette said. “Good lord. Glasses?”

“I know.” Savannah smiled. “I don’t think ax murderers wear glasses, do they?”

“That’s not at all funny,” Juliette grumbled.

Savannah turned to her friend and slid her hand over Juliette’s elbow. “Thank you for being here last night,” Savannah said, reliving those terrifying moments after Katie’s screams had split the night. She’d called Juliette, frantic and freaked out, and her friend had arrived in no time, stayed until the fingerprints had been dusted, then rushed them to the station and all the fancy equipment she’d purchased last year.

“I’m glad you called,” Juliette said, squeezing Savannah’s fingers. “I’m just sorry I don’t have more information for you.”

Savannah braced herself. “The fingerprints?”

“The only prints in the whole room were yours, Margot’s and Katie’s. The intruder must have been wearing gloves.”

“The high school kids who wreck our property don’t seem the type to wear gloves.”

“You don’t think it was a kid?”

“It was so dark,” Savannah murmured, wishing she’d seen more. Wishing there was more she could do to protect her daughter, her home. She closed her eyes, imagining the windowsill, the bright moon glinting off blond hair as the person climbed back out the window. “All I saw was blond hair.”

“Well, without fingerprints…”

“I know. It probably was Owen or Garrett, they’re both blond and I’m sure they’re the ones who destroyed the greenhouse and painted the graffiti on the walls.”

“I’ll go have a word with their parents,” Juliette said. “See if we can’t get them to do a better job with their parenting skills.”

“I don’t think that’s in the police chief job description,” Savannah said, quirking her eyebrow at Juliette.