Did you miss part one of Chapter One?
From Pampered to Death
Chapter One Continued…
“Remember to drink lots of water,” the instructor called out.
“Clean out those toxins.”
“I’d like to drink something else,” I joked to Paula as we slipped out
of the yoga studio and headed down the hallway.
I was delighted to return my rented yoga mat to the woman
working the counter.
The woman smiled brightly at us. “I hope you ladies enjoyed Ms.
I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d hated it, so I did the next
best thing and let Paula answer her.
Paula returned the woman’s smile and said, “It was a blast. I feel
refreshed, exhilarated really.”
I held back a snort.
“We’d like to check out the hot tub and sauna. Could you point us
in the right direction?” I asked.
The woman pointed her finger to the other side of the lobby.
“Right through those double doors, but you ladies will have to wait a
few minutes. The floors were just cleaned, and until our janitorial
staff gives the thumbs up, I’ll have to ask you to wait in the lobby.”
Just my luck.
I feared my sore muscles would seize up if I took another step.
Paula must have been alarmed by my expression because she
grabbed my arm and ushered me toward a bench. “We can hang,” she
said over her shoulder to the woman.
I collapsed onto the leather sofa in the lobby.
“I think I hate you,” I said to Paula, and she laughed at me.
“You’re telling me that the yoga didn’t relax you even a tiny bit?”
“No,” I said defiantly. “In fact, my neck is tighter than before.”
Paula flexed her feet and stretched her calves. “That’s a shame. I
feel great. I needed this.”
“I need that hot tub, or a drink …”
Paula gave me a friendly nudge. “It’s like I always say, I can’t take
I giggled. “Sorry, I don’t mean to complain so much. It really is
nice to get out of the house for a bit and have an adult conversation.”
Paula nodded. “I know. There’s only so much cartoon network I
I laughed. “You know, darling, the TV does not substitute as a
“Believe me, Danny doesn’t let me forget it. All he wants to do is
play, but I’m nursing a newborn, seems like every minute of the day.
How am I supposed to get on all fours and play trains or superhero?”
“You don’t need to play superhero, you are a superhero,” I said
with a wink.
She shook her head. “It doesn’t feel like it. These days I just feel
tired, and at the same time all I can think about is getting back to
“You want to get back to work, already? That’s great,” I said.
After giving birth to Laurie I’d done everything imaginable to keep
from returning to the office and leaving Laurie in daycare. But thanks
to my efforts and some very chance encounters, I’d ended up with the
best work-from-home job I could ever wish for. I was a P.I. in
Paula ran her own company as an interior designer, and I knew
she loved her work every bit as much as I loved mine.
“I guess, I feel guilty though,” Paula admitted. “Chloe is only
four-weeks-old, and I should be all into her Destin-baby-powder-milky
smell and I’m not. I’m wondering how quickly I can potty train her
and when I can land my next client.”
“Got any leads?” I asked.
“No. I lost a little momentum with the business when David took
that assignment overseas. And then, well, with the pregnancy and
I held up a hand. “Preaching to the choir here. I need a new client
too. We’ve got to get some new connections,” I said.
“Yeah, I know,” Paula said. “I just wish I could skip ahead to the point
where my business is already successful and I can focus on the part I
like, which is talking to clients about their visions and then creating
something from scratch. But right now, I have to learn to put most of
my attention into marketing and finding new clients. It’s not fun.”
I nodded, thinking about my own new career. Currently, since I
didn’t have a P.I. license. I was interning under a former SF Police
Officer, Albert Galigani. Fortunately, the man had become a good
friend and mentor. My own mother thought so too as she was
currently dating him.
Galigani thought I had a knack for investigations, but the work he
had me doing was background checks for high-tech firms in Silicon
Valley. It was steady work, but a bit on the boring side for my liking.
Paula suddenly bolted upright. “You know what just occurred
“Are we planning on getting in the hot tub in our yoga getups?” she
I laughed. “I thought you had a brilliant idea for landing some new
She shook her head. “No, but maybe if we get ready for the hot
tub, the hot tub will be ready for us.”
“A build it and they will come mentality, huh?” I asked.
“It’s the same kind of mentality we need to land new clients.” She
stood and pulled me off the sofa. “Let’s go to the lockers and change,
then maybe by the time we get back, we will be allowed passage to the
We headed back down the hall and tucked into the locker room. It
was filled with a group of gabby women strutting around half dressed.
There were noisy and seemed a bit tipsy. I glanced around the room
as Paul quickly changed.
“I know there’s a bottle of chardonnay here somewhere …” I whis‐
pered to her.
“Bachelorette party,” Paula said wistfully. “I remember those days.”
“Good times,” I agreed. “Thin days.”
Paula flicked her towel at me. “Shut up, Kate, you’re thin now.”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I feel bloated all the time.”
Paula handed me my swimsuit, and I quickly changed as one of the
bachelorette party girls stumbled past me. She reeked of cucumbers
and lime, and for unknown reasons, the cloying smell got to me.
I gagged and suddenly felt queasy.
Now why would a sweet scent make me nauseous?
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