Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Two?
From Trigger Yappy
Chapter Two Continued…
The woman self-consciously adjusted her cap. “That’s not the
reason. He’s dated a lot of woman. It’s that Fran is so snobby.”
Geraldine harrumphed and said, “She is not.”
Yolanda snickered and said, “Birds of a feather.”
Geraldine cut Yolanda a mean glare, while I turned back to the bar
as quickly as I could. Max joined the table, sitting close to Brenda
with a hand on her knee as they giggled together.
Yolanda followed me back to the bar. “Rachel said not to worry
about her. She’ll likely get released from the hospital in the morning.
I’ll pick you up at nine o’clock and drive you.”
As I didn’t have a car, riding with Yolanda was the best option for
me. “What about that editor that’s supposed to show up? Am I
supposed to do anything special?”
Yolanda shook her head. “Oh, the woman called while Rachel and I
were on the phone. She can’t make it tonight. She’ll probably come by
Well, that was a relief. I didn’t want to be responsible for the
editor’s impression of the bar. I shuddered to think about a review on
the slightly crispy Arf d’oeuvres. I could see the title now “Yappy
Hour’s Bark Is Worse Than Its Bite!”
Yolanda fiddled with a coaster on the bar. “So what about your
trip? Are you really leaving us?”
I wiped the counter and squinted at Yolanda. “You’ve known for a
couple of weeks that I’m leaving. Don’t give me any static now. Ten-day
Mexican Riviera cruise: Baja, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta,
Yolanda tossed her full blond hair at me. “I’ll miss you, Mags. And
you’ll miss us, too. You just don’t realize how much. Until you’re on
that boat, way far away from us, with nothing to do.”
“Except shop in the Mexican stores, lie on the beaches, and drink
“Pfft.” Yolanda waved a hand around. “Who needs margaritas when
you can have a Muttgarita?”
I studied her. “Is that what you’d like now?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “What I’d like is for you to stay.”
I ignored her comment and began to mix up a Muttgarita for her.
A steady stream of patrons were starting to arrive, so after I fixed the
Muttgarita, and put it in front of Yolanda, I got busy pouring drafts
and opening various wines. The table near the window was getting
increasingly louder and both Yolanda and I glanced over. It seemed
like Geraldine and the woman with the ball cap were having a heated
Yolanda turned back to me. “I don’t know what it’s going to take,
but I’ll get you to stay.”
I said nothing.
“Do you know how seasick those cruise people can get?” she asked.
“Plus, if you leave, you’ll miss out on all the gossip.” Yolanda
glanced over her shoulder at the table by the window.
It looked like Geraldine and the woman with the Verdant Vines
cap on were about to come to blows. Both stood at the same time and
were glaring at each other. Their respective dogs had come to atten‐
tion and were barking at each other.
I raced from behind the bar toward the table, Yolanda on my heels.
“Is everything all right here, ladies?”
“You can tell Fran, if I ever see her near Hendrick again I’ll strangle
her little chicken neck!” the woman with the cap said.
“And you can leave right now!” Geraldine said, pointing to the
“Wait! You can’t kick her out!” Yolanda said. “If you don’t like what
she’s got to say, then you leave!”
“Now, everyone calm down,” I said in my best diplomatic voice.
The woman turned on a heel. “No, I’ll leave. I have plans with
Hendrick tonight.” She marched toward the front door, her Maltipoo
trailing behind her. Once she reached the door, she yanked it open
and, with a dramatic gesture said, “You should serve some of his wine
here. It would class the place up!”
As soon as the door closed, Geraldine said, “I think that woman is
“A mole? What do you mean?” Brenda asked.
“In our Roundup Crew,” Geraldine said. “I think she just joined us
so she could try and sell her boyfriend’s wine here.”
“Oh, Geraldine,” Max waved a hand around. “I hardly think
someone would target the group to—”
“Really?” Geraldine screeched, cutting him off. “I know some
people who even faked owning a dog to be part of our group.” Geral‐
dine’s coiffed show poodle howled on cue, showing the maximum
disdain for anyone posing as a dog owner.
Max reddened. Only a few weeks earlier, he had borrowed a dog
in order to get close to Brenda.
Brenda laughed. “Gerry! You can’t be serious.”
Abigail sat a little straighter and sipped her cocktail. “I know
Gerry doesn’t like anyone talking bad about Fran, but I certainly have
a bone to pick with her.”
Yolanda took the open seat across from Geraldine, despite her
feud with Geraldine, the gossip draw was just too much for her to
resist. “Do tell,” she prompted Abigail.
“Well, my cousin Ronnie, the poultry farmer—”
“Sexy cousin Ronnie?” Brenda interrupted. Max pulled his hand
off her knee and she said, “I mean sexy in a farmer way. Suspenders
and stuff.” She wrinkled her nose at him and said coquettishly, “Not
like you.” Max smiled shyly and replaced his hand. Brenda turned to
Abigail. “You should introduce him to Yolanda.”
Yolanda waved an impatient hand around. “I don’t do suspenders.”
The table laughed, but Yolanda prompted, “What about him, anyway?”
“He has a prize chicken,” Abigail said. “And the little girl artist,
Coral, at Meat and Greet, well, she did up a very nice watercolor
rendition of it. Then Fran just stole the image for the logo she uses for
The table gasped in unison.
“That’s illegal!” Brenda said. Ever the attorney, she added, “We can
Geraldine’s face contorted and she let out a little whimper as if in
“I love her logo,” Yolanda said. Then she stroked her cheek
thoughtfully. “Would a suit put her out of business?”
“You just want to see her close up shop!” Geraldine said, in an
Yolanda thrust out her chin defiantly. “I love her shop. In fact, I
offered to buy her out, and she ridiculed me.”
Due to the tension between Geraldine and Yolanda, I began to
clear the table of drinks. No good would come from fanning tempers
with more alcohol.
“She should!” Geraldine fired back. “You happen to be ridiculous!”
Yolanda took a sharp inhale of breath, but before she could reply, I
said, “Well, y’all certainly know how to take the happy out of Yappy
“I don’t think Ronnie wants to sue,” Abigail said. “He’s pretty
happy on his farm. He just wants to grow his business. I think he had
a meeting with Rachel to sell her some chicken. She is going to use his
chicken dogs in the Arf d’oeuvres.”
Panic suddenly overwhelmed me. Chicken in the Arf d’oeuvres?
Rachel is in the hospital with salmonella poisoning!
Did it have anything to do with Ronnie’s chicken? Alarm coursed
through my veins as I watched Geraldine pick up one of the Arf
“I was wondering why these taste different. Quite yummy!” Geral‐
dine raised her hand to her mouth and I slapped the Arf d’oeuvres out
She recoiled in shock, her poodle barking ferociously at me.
“Rachel’s in the hospital with salmonella,” I said.
Geraldine frowned, but Abigail jumped up. “You’re not blaming
Ronnie, are you?”
“No, no. I don’t know.” I rushed to clear away the tray of Arf d’oeu‐
vres. “Maybe they sat out on the counter before Rach froze them or
something. I just don’t want anyone to get sick. Better safe than
I bussed the tray to the back of the bar, as Brenda called out, “You
can’t get salmonella from vodka, right? Maybe we should have
another round of Salty Dogs.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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