AFTER RUTH LEFT, I took a long shower, dressed in a soft, oversized T-shirt and crawled into bed with one of Gladys Taber's Stillmeadow books. Her descriptions of bucolic life in the lateseventeenth-century farmhouse she and her friend Jill had rehabbed in 1920s and '30s Connecticut seemed the perfect continuation of my determined affection for the home life I had with Meghan and Erin.
Meghan came and stood in my bedroom doorway. I put my book down.
"Think tomorrow will be as exciting as today?" she asked with a rueful look.
"I hope not."
"What did Ruth want?"
I pasted innocence on my face.
"Come on. I know she came over specifically to talk to you, and it wasn't just about twisting fiber into yarn."
"She wants me to talk to Chris."
"Oh. Well, that makes sense, since you're a, you know… widow."
"Yeah, that and the police think Chris had something to do with Ariel's death."
"Ariel and Scott were having an affair. Barr wants me to talk to Chris, too. Well," I amended, "not just Chris. He wants me to talk to other people at CRAC, too. More like get them talking." I'd sort of left that out when I'd recounted my conversation with him earlier.
She stared at me. "He wants you to?"
"Well. I, um… " Meghan rarely looked as flummoxed as she did at that news. "I guess nothing I say is going to make any difference."
"I'm not investigating. I promise. I'm not asking a bunch of questions or putting myself in danger. I'm just acting as some extra eyes and ears because Robin Lane may be gorgeous, but she has the tact of a sledgehammer when it comes to questioning people about murder."
Understanding settled onto Meghan's face. "Ah. Promise you'll be careful?"
"Cross my heart."
She started to leave, then turned back. "You do lead an exciting life, don't you?"
I snorted. I couldn't help it. "Yeah. Maybe a little too exciting."
She grinned. "Goodnight."
"'Night," I said, and reached for the lamp. It was only ninethirty, but I was ready for some shut-eye. I heard Meghan dialing New Jersey as I drifted off.