That Which Remains by Olivia Batker Pritzker

unnamed-7Vote on what will happen at the end of this episode!

Previously… Ms. Johansson arrives at Juliette’s house and Roxy realizes that she is actually Flora, Calvin White’s ex-wife. Readers voted that the two women pretend not to know each other.

Episode 18

There was a pause during which Roxy and Ms. Johansson locked eyes. Roxy’s mind was reeling. It was definitely Flora, but she displayed none of her previously mousy, nervous demeanor. She was dressed in a black suit, carried a briefcase and walked confidently into the kitchen, although she had stopped dead when she saw Roxy.

If Juliette noticed anything, she didn’t show it. “Roxy,” she said, all smiles, “this is Ms. Johansson, my parents’ lawyer. Ms. Johansson, this is my friend and roommate Roxy.”

Another pause. Roxy’s first instinct was to challenge the woman. Secret ties to the organization, plus she had handled Anne and Horace’s affairs? She had to know about the jewels, might even have been responsible for the deaths of Juliette’s parents.

As Roxy calculated this, however, she could tell from Ms. Johansson’s face that she was also putting two and two together. Roxy couldn’t risk her own affiliation with the organization coming out either. Better to wait and see what Ms. Johansson’s game was. She smiled, extending her hand.

“So nice to finally meet you, Ms. Johansson. Juliette told me you were a real lifesaver for her family.”

Ms. Johansson, Flora, or whoever she was returned Roxy’s handshake with a warm smile that did not extend to her eyes. “Pleasure to meet you too, Roxy. I’m so glad Juliette has a friend she can trust right now.”

“Why?” Juliette cut in, looking at Ms. Johansson. “Why am I in danger?”

Ms. Johansson sighed. “Why don’t we sit down.” They sat at the dining room table. Ms. Johansson glanced at Roxy and hesitated.

“Juliette, dear,” she began, “this is extremely sensitive information. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather speak to me alone…?”

“Oh no Ms. Johansson,” Juliette said instantly. “Whatever you have to say, I’d like Roxy to hear it too. “

“Very well.” Ms. Johansson placed her hands on the wooden table. “Juliette, it’s time you knew a few things about what happened to your parents. At the time of their deaths, a group of people was searching for them, believing them to be in possession of some valuables. I don’t believe they ever had these items, but this group was convinced…they may have tracked your parents to Anchester Falls, and I believe there was a confrontation…resulting in your parents’ deaths. I’m so sorry.”

“What?” Juliette’s eye were bright. “My parents were murdered?”

“I kept this from you,” Ms. Johansson continued, “partially for protection should these people ever try to contact you. I was relieved when they seemed to stay away…until now. I’m sorry to say that it appears a few of them have infiltrated your life, and they are even more desperate than before to find those jewels.”

“You mean Jasper?” Juliette looked intently at Ms. Johansson. “He told me this morning about my parents and these supposed jewels. And he was very interested in you.”

“Me?” Ms. Johansson looked slightly alarmed. “How does he know who I am?”

Juliette hesitated. “It’s complicated,” she said finally. Roxy smiled inwardly, knowing Juliette was referring to the instrument. “I didn’t mean for him to find out. And he doesn’t know who you are, only that you exist.”

Ms. Johansson looked briefly at Roxy, who was beginning to get nervous. Ms. Johansson had somehow spun a cover story in which she could easily be a completely innocent party. At what point would she decide it was worth it to reveal Roxy for who she really was? She would have to do something, and quickly. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.

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