Home > Getaway (The Godmothers #9)

Getaway (The Godmothers #9)
Author: Fern Michaels

Chapter One

Chester greeted Abby at the back door, sensing that she needed his assistance. He leaned against the heavy frame to keep it open when she entered with Amy on one hip and Jonathan on the other. Once inside, she stooped down, allowing the twins to wiggle out of her arms. “Thanks, Chester,” she said before giving her longtime best friend a rub between the ears. “I swear you’re more human than animal.”

“Woof! Woof!”

Once inside and seeing that Amy and Jonathan were occupied with a scattering of toys they’d left on the floor this morning, she found her godmother Mavis’s cell phone number written on a notepad next to the phone. Quickly, she punched in the digits. Mavis picked up on the third ring.

“Yes, dear.” She didn’t bother with hello. Abby smiled. She knew Mavis was fascinated with the ability to see who was calling.

“Did I catch you at a bad time?” Abby asked.

“Of course not, Abby. Wade and I were getting ready to close up for the night.”

Abby could only imagine what closing up for the night consisted of since Mavis and Wade operated a funeral parlor. There was no way that she was about to ask.

Peeping around the corner to make sure the twins were safely occupied, her voice grew serious. “Is there anything going on with Mom that I need to know? I stopped over earlier, just to say hi and let the twins visit, and we were no more settled in than, the next thing I know, she’s practically tossing us out. She didn’t bother with an explanation, either.”

Abby was more than concerned. Normally, her mother would practically have to beg her to stay longer just so she could play with her grandchildren, but that hadn’t been the case today.

She could hear Mavis’s intake of breath across the ether. “I haven’t seen your mother since we attended the séance at Sophie and Goebel’s. She did have a little too much to drink that night. Wade insisted we drive her home even though she said she was fine. Of course, I knew better. I haven’t spoken to her since then, so as far as I know, everything is fine. She and Phil were talking about their upcoming trip to New York for his book launch.”

Mavis was so kind, but sometimes she could be a bit long-winded.

“Yes, she mentioned the trip the other day,” Abby said. “Do you think Sophie or Ida might know what’s going on with Mom? It’s just so unlike her to act . . . well, never mind. Mom does act weird, a lot, but I’ve never seen her act this way around the twins.”

“I’m sure everything will be just fine. I wouldn’t worry too much, dear.”

Abby thanked her and ended the call. She punched in Sophie’s cell phone, and it went straight to voicemail. She tried her home number, and no one picked up. “Weird,” she said to herself. With Ida next on her list, she punched in her number. It rang at least ten times, then Abby hung up. That left Bernice. She called her mother’s house, knowing the odds of Bernice’s answering the phone were in her favor.

And, sure enough, Bernice answered on the first ring. “Thank goodness you called,” Bernice said.

Abby’s heart raced. “What in the world is going on?”

“I’ve been sworn to silence, but your mother told me if you called to tell you she was just fine, and not to worry.”

“Oh, great. That’s just great. Seriously, Bernice, is there something going on with her that I should know? She tossed me and the kids out so fast, I was too shocked to question her. Now I know something is wrong because she would insist on speaking to me if there wasn’t.” At least that’s what Abby thought. She and her mother didn’t keep secrets. At least none that she knew of. Of course, there was the matter of the Informer, but Abby hadn’t cared that her mother had purchased the struggling tabloid behind her back. She thought it truly proved what lengths a mother would go to for her child. Had the situation been reversed, she was sure she would have done the exact same thing for her kids. Like mother, like daughter.

“Abby, your mother is fine. Physically, at least. Now, as far as her mental state goes, I’ve questioned it for the past thirty-plus years.”

Abby grinned. Leave it to Bernice. “Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from. But still, this isn’t like her at all, and I need to know what’s going on so I can help fix whatever it is.”

She heard Bernice’s sigh. “Do you think the twins are old enough to be in the wedding? I was thinking ring bearer and flower girl.”

Abby pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at it. Maybe Bernice was the one she needed to be concerned about. “I’m not falling into your trap, Bernie,” Abby said, knowing she hated being referred to as “Bernie.”

“Look, I understand where you’re coming from, but I really don’t know what’s going on with your mother. Ida’s upstairs in your mother’s room, Sophie and Goebel went home. Well, I think that’s where they’re at. She left in a rush, and he wasn’t far behind her. I’m as much in the dark as you, and you know your mother. When she wants us to know something, she will tell us. If it were life threatening, she would have told us. I wouldn’t worry if I were you,” Bernice said. “I was serious when I asked you about the twins being in the wedding. Since they’re practically walking, I thought it might be fun to see them in action.”

The visual of Amy and Jonathan walking down any aisle without her trailing behind made her laugh out loud. “We’ll see, Bernice. I’m not sure if they’re steady on their feet enough yet, but they change daily, so I will give it some thought.”

“Good. I’ll tell your mother to call you as soon as she’s able,” Bernice said. “She’s going to do my wedding. What do you think of that?”

“God knows she’s had enough experience, so it should be perfect. She loves doing that stuff, so I can’t wait. I’m happy for you, really. You’ve been alone all your life,” Abby said, then felt a bit sad.

“No I haven’t, kid. I’ve had you, your mom, and my son Daniel. You’re my family, and that will never change, you got that?”

Abby’s eyes filled with tears. “I feel the same way, and I know that Mom does, too. Now”—she knuckled her eyes—“before I start blubbering, let’s stop this lovey-dovey stuff. Just know you’re loved, and make sure to tell Mom to call me as soon as she thinks it’s appropriate to let me in on what’s happening over there.”

“Will do,” Bernice promised, then hung up.

“Sure you will,” Abby said.

Her reporter instincts had been dormant too long, she thought as she observed the twins still playing on the floor. It was high time she did a bit of investigating of her own.



Chapter Two

“Who’s there?” Toots asked.

“The police,” Bernice answered sarcastically. “Who were you expecting?”

Toots peeked out of the small crack between her bedroom door and the doorframe. “What do you want?” she asked none too nicely. “I’ve got a . . . situation in here.” She wasn’t about to tell Bernice the full version of what Sophie suspected, at least not until she was 100 percent sure. In the meantime, her job was to keep Ida occupied, and that was almost impossible. She’d given her a double dose of an antihistamine to knock her out. The last thing she wanted was the entire gang asking questions.

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