Meeting with Kanesha was risky. I mitigated it by hauling her far from our usual haunts and to a Mexican place way out in the burbs. On Thea’s money. She seemed to have a solid supply of it, at least. I didn’t get the impression she was rich, but I did get the impression she was comfortable.
I didn’t ask where it came from. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she wasn’t involved in some variant on the oldest profession, about which I completely did not want to know. Fetish modeling, maybe.
So, I didn’t ask. “So…what’s really going on?” Kanesha asked, finally.
“I can’t tell you. As in, I really can’t. It’s not that I don’t trust you…but I thought we were going to talk about your problems.”
She let out a breath. “No. I wanted to talk to you about yours.” Her lips quirked. “I lied, and I’m sorry, but this sudden disappearance, this weird woman you’re hanging out with and there’s now been two sets of people asking after you. The smarmy guy and…” A pause. “One of them had a gun.”
“That’s why you need to go home now. You never saw me.” I knew I couldn’t go back, but I also…no, what was the point in going back to school? I was never going to graduate, never going to be ordinary. “Look. It’s something to do with my real parents. They think they can get information out of me that I can’t remember – it’s a mess.”
The lie came easier than I liked.
“And your cousin?”
“She’s a friend. But I still don’t know anything.” It was true on that front. I was pretty sure she was a family friend. Or a distant cousin. And I still didn’t know anything.
“I think that smarmy guy is related, too. No offense.”
I laughed. “I’ve wondered the same thing.”
“He was trying his best not to look at my breasts. I think he only cared because he didn’t want to get into trouble.”
Reaching for a bite of taco, I eyed her. “You’re probably right.” And he hadn’t looked at mine which, likely, proved that we were related. What other reason would there be? I knew the pattern Kanesha talked about. Guys who thought we were attractive but couldn’t admit it and would try to fight what was natural male behavior.
I’d even once seen it from a woman. But that wasn’t that surprising, I supposed. Thea hadn’t looked at me like that.
Thea was straight. Obviously. “Just don’t trust him. You’re right about him being smarmy.”
“He has one heck of a voice, though.”
“He has. Kanesha…this isn’t about you. I need to know you aren’t going to be involved. I have to deal with this…and Thea’s a pro.”
She shuddered. “I don’t like that idea.”
Thinking about it, neither did I.