Rock Con Roll (Chapter 7, page 2 of 5)

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Chapter 7

Staying in character, I didn’t even glance at Rawson as he walked past me and sat down. Instead, I kept up the charade. Bea and I had whole stories made up, which we delivered effortlessly, with smiles and sighs and soothing pats. We did a pretty good imitation of a mother and daughter who loved each other—surely the most easy-going conversation we’d ever had. Proof that I truly was a con artist.

Finally, Rawson placed his dinner order, which meant it was time to cast our line into the waters and try to land this big fish. Bea dropped her fork on the floor, with a loud, clattering sound. “Oh, dear me.”

I got up to retrieve the utensil and managed to brush against Rawson, just in case he wasn’t paying attention. I even apologized to him for the intrusion and smiled briefly. This gave me my first real look at our mark.

George Rawson was well dressed, with a black suit and a white dress shirt casually unbuttoned at the top. Clean-shaven, but with a heavy beard shadow already present, his short dark hair was lightly graying on the sides. He seemed like a serious man, someone who wouldn’t tolerate fluff. To make this work, I would need to appeal to his skeptical side.

I returned Bea’s fork, and we started our routine. “You see, Mom. This is why you need to move to the new place. You’ll have people there to help you. And you won’t have to climb stairs anymore.”

Bea sighed like the helpless older woman she was pretending to be. “Don’t be silly, dear. I can still walk up a flight of stairs. Why just yesterday I was in the attic, looking over everything your Uncle Norman left behind. You could set a stage with all that stuff: lights and speakers and musical instruments. Did I ever tell you he was a roadie for some famous bands?” Neither of us turned to see whether our fish was sniffing at the bait. Besides, we were just getting started.

I let out an annoyed laugh at this tale of my stupid but non-existent uncle. Then I leaned closer to Bea. “Screw Uncle Norman. All he ever did was mooch off you for months at a time, then leave his crap in your attic and disappear.” I couldn’t tell whether Rawson was listening, but I didn’t hear anything coming from his direction, which was a good sign.

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