Pauley steered the rented sedan onto the driveway of Vivian’s house. The single-door garage was closed. Pauley kept the car in drive, her foot slipped on the brake, causing Vivian to jump in the passenger seat as she was trying to open her door.
“I thought you only used your gun, Paulette. Have you turned to vehicular homicide, now?”
Pauley ignored Vivian’s snark and looked to the backseat where Danela appeared scared and fragile. Pauley grumbled.
“Viv, I need the car in the garage. So, open it.”
Vivian rolled her eyes then searched for her keys in her handbag. Danela spoke over their shoulders.
“Abrirei a garagem, Vivian.”
After Danela left the car, Vivian turned to Pauley and snarled.
“The Sampas don’t know where I live. And if they did, they’d already be here by now. Lenore does more than take care of the house and cook meals. She’s my buffer. So, stop acting like you know everything. I screwed up with Danela, now, she’s mine. Just watch.”
The garage was open. Pauley took her foot off the brake and coasted inside. As her hand pushed the gear to park, she grabbed Vivian’s left arm before she could exit.
“Viv, if you don’t want my help, tell me now. Stan will be here in a few hours. But he and I can have a nice vacation, and let you run your game with the Sampas all by yourself. Just tell me where the morgue is so I can claim your body before I go back to the States.”
Vivian didn’t flinch. She stared out the windshield and saw Danela, shaking while looking at her phone.
“Oh, Pauley, I do melodrama so much better than you. My fashion sense has made you soft. I’ll take the blame for your lameness. Let’s build up our little wilting flower out there then we’ll head to the airport and get your boyfriend.”
Pauley turned off the engine and gripped the steering wheel.
“He’s not my boyfriend.”
Vivian had gotten used to Pauley’s insolence toward personal matters. She stifled a laugh and opened her car door. She flipped down the sun visor and checked her makeup in the mirror.
“Okay, Paulette. But I think it’s time you accept that since you landed in Brazil, we’re living in a parallel universe. Just because Stanley is your co-worker in the states, doesn’t mean he can’t be your lover in Sao Paulo.”
Vivian pushed the visor into place and got out of the car. Pauley jumped out to meet her at the door as all three women started walking to the inside of the house.
“Viv, I’m going to the airport by myself. I need for you to protect Danela and have her get in touch with her boyfriend, this Marco.”
Danela dialed her cell phone and Vivian pointed her through the laundry room then turned to confront Pauley.
“Why are you going alone? I know Stanley, too. We could plan together. Danela’s eating out of my, I mean out hand already.”
Vivian leaned against a washing machine, cross-armed with her handbag dangling. Pauley was getting more irritated with her possessive friend.
“Again, I need you on Danela, Marco, and everything Sampas related. This will require a perfect, well-executed plan. Stan doesn’t need a Brazilian Carnivale and a load of Viv small talk. Now, I have to go pee, so can we go inside?”
Vivian didn’t respond but her scowl made Pauley uneasy. The women strolled through a foyer and met Danela and Lenore in the living room. Danela was crying while Lenore has a serious, concerned countenance. Vivian walked past them and tossed her handbag on the couch.
“Oh good God, ladies, Pauley and I are just game planning and girl talking. Everything’s going to be okay, at least tonight. Lenore, can we do spaghetti squash tonight? It’ll go great with the chicken.”
No one responded. Vivian turned and walked back to the middle of the living room. Pauley was sitting next to a whispering Danela.
“Vivian, the Sampas are on to Marco. She said he sounded like a hostage when she talked to him. I’m going to leave for the airport now, and do some reconnaissance along the way. This is going to get worse before it gets better.”
This is part of 2 new chapters from my friend and writing partner, Tar Rah, aka @Tara_R from Thin Spiral Notebook. please go read hers NOW – http://thinspiralnotebook.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/roller-coaster-of-love/
Today’s song kinda sorta fits lyrical, if you replace California with Sao Paulo. But the theme and title work well. Here’s Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Parallel Universe.