Episode Two - Gone in a Flash

Are you ready for Episode Two? Here it is! Happy sleuthing! And check back next Wednesday for the third installment.


Pug dog on white background

Needless to say the drinking game was suspended.

Well, the game part anyway.

I’d thought Rhianna had been fa-reaking out. Her mini-hysterics were nothing compared to Elizabeth’s major ones. “That’s a four and one-quarter carat, emerald-cut diamond ring in a platinum setting!” She wasn’t only freaking out at Rhianna (though the redhead was getting the brunt of it), but at all of us. As if collectively we were responsible.

Or as if one of us had taken it.

And unfortunately, that was a possibility. But who? I looked around the room.

Rochelle? Pfft? Not in a million years. But I couldn’t vouch so assuredly for Alyssa, Shelby and Rhianna. Hell, I couldn’t even really vouch for Elizabeth.

We spent the next thirty minutes looking everywhere in that suite: the bedroom, our purses, pockets and sleeves. I myself searched the cushions on the sofa and chairs. Shelby and Rhianna cleaned out the minibar in case it had fallen in. The ice bucket was checked. The pillow cases. Alyssa looked under the bed and every other piece of furniture.


Suffice it to say, the mood of Elizabeth’s bachelorette party had definitely gone downhill.

How sad was it? Someone had actually used their finger to draw a sad face on Cake Bieb. I licked the icing off said finger, and was glad that it was mine.

Um, did I mention we were still drinking?

“Well that was a waste of time,” Shelby said.

“I think there must be dust under the sofa,” Alyssa said. “My throat’s even sorer now.”

“I told you I had lozenges,” Rhianna said. “If you wanted–”

She shook her head.

“Oh crap, boy! Not here!” Shelby said.

I looked down to see Rhianna’s little pug going at the pillow again.

Bolt reluctantly disengaged when she wagged a finger in his face. She picked the pillow up (so carefully at the edges) and flicked it toward a corner of the room, away from guests. Bolt gave her a look of disdain, then bolted right after the flying cushion. Well, as much as Bolt ever seemed to bolt. Which is to say he yawned, scratched himself, sniffed his butt, then moseyed over to the corner.

Yep, definitely a boy dog.

At least the pillow should keep him busy for a while.

I watched as Shelby sat back again and readjusted herself. You’d think one good shake and it would all go back into place. Don’t get me wrong, I love my bling. Bring it on. But there was a fine line between rocking it and wearing too much. Shelby Bee was leaning into Mr. T territory. I could barely discern the leopard pattern of her figure hugging tank top beneath the glitter.

“The ring is insured, isn’t it?” Alyssa asked suddenly. “I mean … you’ll just get a new one, right?”

Elizabeth sniffed. “Of course it’s insured.”

That didn’t surprise me. This was Elizabeth Bee we were talking about—for all her faults she was a pretty savvy character.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Rochelle pushed herself up off the sofa and strode toward the oversized ice bucket. “If the ring has to be replaced, it can be. I know that would suck, but it could be so much worse.”

Ah, good old Rochelle, dispensing logic. Logic and liquor … the combination of champions! She selected one of several bottles of excellent champagne from the ice bath it had been chilling in, uncorked it, and started pouring for each of us.

“I still don’t want to lose the ring,” Elizabeth said. “Hugh will not be impressed.”

Hugh Drammen, the geriatric groom-to-be. No, I didn’t imagine he would be thrilled about the missing ring, or with the explanation as to why it went missing in the first place. The whole ‘keeper’ thing. He’d want to know why Elizabeth felt it necessary to remove the ring.

“Oh, no.” Alyssa sat forward as she spoke. “He wouldn’t cancel the wedding or anything, would he? I mean, Kenny’s got a lot of money tied up in this. Food and drinks ordered. He everyone on staff has to work that day—no exceptions.”

Elizabeth groaned. “God, Alyssa! What a thing to say. Of course he won’t cancel the wedding.”

Alyssa opened her mouth to protest when Rhianna cut in with an elbow jab to Elizabeth. “You said her name—” She pointed at Alyssa. “Drink up.”

Elizabeth paused for a moment before she reached for the small glass Rochelle had poured. Then she downed it like a pro. Or like someone who meant business. “I’m sure the ring will turn up. I walked in with it—I’ll walk out with it. And no one is leaving here until I do just that.”

She gave us all the hairy eyeball stare. Gross.

“Yes, drink up, ladies,” Elizabeth said. “It’s going to be a long night.”