“Welcome to Castle Buzz! Home sweet home! As we agreed, this is just until you can get back on your feet again. I’m still amazed that you made a journey so far from your homeland with so little baggage. You remind me of one of those characters in a TV series that is on the lam and only has the clothes on their back, but no toothbrush. By the way, I have an extra toothbrush if you need it. I’m real fussy about my toothbrush, so you should know that I’m not sharing. You can take that other room over there and set it up as your own.”
Zara studied Buzz a second and then asked, “All this hospitality to a stranger and you do not insist I share your bed? Don’t tell me I found both a gentleman and a kind stranger in this harsh city.”
Buzz chuckled as he responded, “Hey, I’m not going to discourage you from warming my bed, but it would be your choice, not a requirement. Besides, all this is new to me as well. Let’s take our time and get to know one another, then we can see where things stand.”
Zara wandered into the other room. As she inspected the closet and the top of the dresser, she noticed right away the belongings of another female. She turned and strode back out to Buzz. “I can’t help but notice another female’s trappings in the room and closet. What am I to say when this other female comes back to her room for her possessions? Were you looking for a team exercise rather than just a partner?”
Almost immediately, Buzz grew very dark. It took several seconds for him to regain his composure before he quietly remarked, “She won’t be coming back for her things, Daria. She was murdered by a Russian mobster.
“I simply can’t bring myself to remove Patty’s things. I haven’t been in that room in quite some time. It didn’t occur to me that you might take offense at her belongings being there. I try not to think about her belongings or what happened. If it will make you feel better you can put them into bags, so you don’t have to look at them. I can’t touch them. Too many memories. All of them painful.”
Zara smirked internally to herself and thought, ‘What a great con line! Maybe I can use that some time. However, I’d better play the ‘I’m-so-sorry-card to make him think I’m touched by his emotional whatever.’ Zara then commiserated, “Oh my! You poor thing! How awful for you and of course for her too! Yes, of course, I understand about her things. Did they ever catch the killer? Oh, I’m sorry, what a rude thing to ask. Is my being Russian going to be a problem with such a dreadful event having been in your life?”
Buzz was slightly melancholy with divulging the history, yet not anxious to let her leave. He commented, “Oh, you mustn’t think that way! I don’t hold all Russians personally responsible for one murderous psychotic! You have needs that I can accommodate. Somehow that seems right to me, regardless of your nationality. Anyway, the wretched little murderer, Sergei, got all that was coming to him. The police had me identify his body and his ugly silver front tooth.”
Zara barely contained her astonishment as her insides roiled on hearing the name Sergei. She immediately flashed on how she had come to work in the Dteam group in New York City.
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