Crime Time (Chapter Two, page 2 of 9)

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"If we're going to be frank," She said, "why don't you ditch that stupid rug you're wearing on your head? If you don't think I've seen scars, I'll take you down to hospital ER on any Saturday night."

Betsy was shocked, but not me. I'd known Martha far too long. If Howie was stunned he didn't show it as he pulled off his toupee with a smile.

"I suppose I'd remember you as an outspoken brat if I hadn't lost a few years of memory."

"You betcha, cousin," she replied as she leaned over the table and kissed him on the cheek. "I could tell you stories!"

"How would I know if you were lying?" Howie asked, adding, "Did I sleep with you?"

It was Martha's turn to be mildly shocked, "Only in my dreams. The summer you two came up here, I had a major crush on my handsome California cousin but you were seven years older than me and didn't know I existed." Their repartee set the tone for the evening.

"I'm not so good looking anymore," he answered, obviously embarrassed.

The left side of Howie's head was absent hair and a series of three dark scars were visible. However, while noticeable, his damaged appearance was less disagreeable than I expected.

"If you're concerned about a messed up head, either shave it all off or comb over the scars. But please, ditch that awful hair piece. It makes you look like a dork." She handed him the wine bottle. He smiled and joined us for a glass. He had some catching up to do, especially with Quinn.

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