In the middle of the Louisiana Bayou, a hot date turns into a catastrophic nightmare when CIA agent-in-hiding Fortune Redding runs out of blind luck and comes face to face with a killer who has a million reasons to end her life.
“So you are going out on the town tonight!” Gertie sang out her delight. “Where’s he taking you?”
Seemed to be the universal question. “Maybe Mudbug.”
“Mudbug?” Gertie grunted. “What does Mudbug have that we don’t?”
“A good steakhouse for starters,” Ally said. “Just opened on the edge of town.”
“That’s in Wasteland. No way will I eat a steak in a place called Wasteland.”
“Don’t ruin it for her, Gertie,” said Ally.
“Place has one traffic light and it blinks on green all the time. The mayor recently put up one of those population signs, right next to the “Wasteland Steakhouse—Name alone will make your stomach growl” billboard. Who does that? And who throws good money away on a sign that recognizes fifteen people?”
“I would if all fifteen were family members,” Ally said.
“Maybe,” Gertie said. “Bet the mayor’s relatives work at the steakhouse.”
“Probably,” Ally agreed. “The restaurant is located right down from Mayor Hollowman’s farm.”
“Carter should’ve known better. I’ll call him with some suggestions. He should take Fortune to a classier joint and—”
“Don’t you dare!” I blurted out. “The farm-to-table restaurant was my idea.”
Ally shot me a suspicious look. “We have to go, Gertie. Carter will be here soon. Talk to you later. Bye.” Ally disconnected the call and narrowed her eyes. “Okay spill.”
I hesitated. Ally wouldn’t approve of my reasons behind the Wasteland Steakhouse suggestion.
“Okay, fine. I didn’t want anyone to see us on our first official date. Until I know what I’m feeling for Carter, I don’t need the locals weighing in with their opinions about ‘us’ or if there is an ‘us’ or if there is an ‘us’ what ‘we’ feel for each other. It’s too complicated when tongues start wagging. I’m not a he-said-she-said person.”
“I get it,” she said, surprising me. “But don’t fool yourself into believing that Carter doesn’t get it, too. He probably would’ve taken you to Wasteland whether you’d asked or not.”
Carter and Ally were old friends so I’d take her word for it. Then a sinking sensation made me uneasy. “Think he doesn’t want to be seen with me?”
“I don’t think that’s it at all. In fact, I bet Carter would be proud to take you just about anywhere.” Ally flicked her fingers and knocked my cap sideways. “But the least you can do is put on a dress. It’s Valentine’s night. And Cupid expects you to look presentable.”