As she walked, Jessica noticed a Bottega Veneta trolley and matching duffel identical to hers arranged up against a gigantic stainless steel ice freezer near the store entrance. Preoccupied with finding Warner, she traveled several steps before her brain signaled her feet to change direction. Time slowed to a surreal crawl as she reached out and turned over the luggage tag to find “JHG” engraved in ornate, scrolling letters on the gold plate affixed to the leather tag. That’s when she panicked.
Rushing past the gas pumps, Jessica’s head whipped from side to side. In a voice that started out loud then escalated to a scream, she called out, “Warner! Warner! WARNER!”
From one end to the other, she scrambled across the now empty lot, stumbling in her spiked heels, resisting the obvious conclusion. Warner was gone. And he had left her at a gas station in Cowboy Hell.
Irritation replacing confusion, Jessica made her way back to her luggage, rooting in her handbag for her mobile phone while running the possibilities through her mind. Warner might have left something at the construction site they’d just visited and gone back to retrieve it. It was possible he wanted another quick look at the main drag before they left town. Or maybe he’d gone to a carwash. Warner hated how dusty the Bentley got on the Wyoming back roads. She hadn’t noticed a carwash in town, but he would have.
With a frustrated huff, Jessica gave up trying to figure out her fiancé’s whereabouts. Solving the mystery was as easy as placing a call, so she turned her full attention to finding her phone.
She emptied the contents of her darling Yves Saint Laurent mini backpack and set them on top of her suitcase. Out came the hairbrush and travel-sized hairspray, followed by a red-and-white-striped makeup bag, a small tin filled with sugar-free mints, and a packet of moist towelettes. Cripes. Maybe she should have gone with a smaller bag.
Next, she extracted a roller-tube of instant stain remover and a mini manicure set followed by a tiny mirror hiding face powder behind the reflective circle and concealing her favorite mauve lipstick in the handle. Last came an engraved gold pen and matching business card holder. The latch on the cardholder caught on the zippered edge of the opening when she pulled it from the bag, causing it to pop open. The cards burst out like confetti from a New Year’s Eve popper.
Jessica’s shoulders slumped, and she blew out an exhausted, exasperated breath. The relentless sun had baked the parking lot to well-done, super-heating the muggy air. She was full-on sweating, even though she stood in the shade of the canopy between the convenience store and the gas pumps. Could things get any worse?
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish