AVAILABLE JULY 25, 2017!
“I don’t care what you say, you’re not going to hire him without me getting a chance to meet him. You just call him back and make the appointment for when I’m going to be awake.” Aegis tried to stare me down but I was having none of it. Besides, he might have been imposing if he wasn’t wearing my kittens-and-bows apron over his black leather pants, and been holding a copper mixing bowl in one hand, and a wire whisk in the other.
“If I think he can do a good job, you damned well bet your pearly fangs I’m going to hire him. Why don’t you just use the mixer for that?” All of the yummy afterglow of the booze had fled my system. I had perched on the counter, near from where Aegis was working, and now I reached out with one foot to lightly tap his ass.
He gave me one of his, ‘are you kidding’ looks.
“Because egg whites are best whipped by hand in a copper bowl. Faster than using a mixer and you get better results. So if you really want lemon meringue pie for the guests tomorrow, you’ll quit back-seat baking and let me do my job. And don’t you and Sandy go eating it all before we have a chance to offer it to the paying customers. I can’t just whip another one up in the middle of the day.” He paused, leaning against the counter next to me. “Did you really eat the entire pan of lemon bars I made last night? I’m glad you liked them, but it’s a wonder you both aren’t puking your guts out.”
“We have a high tolerance for booze and sugar, built up through centuries of practice.” I wrinkled my nose. “Don’t guilt trip me about my love for food and drink.”
“I won’t, if you quit complaining about the fact that I want to make sure you’re safe,” he shot back.
I rolled my eyes. “We have strange men in the house anyway. Don’t forget, we take in strangers and give them a place to sleep, and we know very little about them. Could be that kindly Mr. Mosswood is a serial killer.”
Aegis let out a laugh, setting the bowl down. “Oh, Maddy, I love you. You crack me up. If Mr. Mosswood is a serial killer, then I’ll walk out into the sun and just get a nice tan.”
Mr. Mosswood was rapidly becoming a long-term guest. He had checked in three weeks ago, and kept extending his stay. He was a slight man, about five-seven and thin as a reed, and he was quiet and polite to the point of annoying. He wore a suit and hat that reminded me of something out of the fifties—and I lived through the fifties—and had thinning hair and wore round glasses. I thought of them as spectacles, because he seemed to be stuck in a time period long past. He was human, and he said he was gathering information for a book he wanted to write about the history of Bedlam. He paid on time, tipped well, and was a tidy man, so I welcomed him as long as he wanted to stay.
“Don’t try it. You never know, seriously. Some of the worst killers have been the quietest. I’m sure Mr. Mosswood is a pleasant man, thoroughly benign, but let’s not take chances.” I leaned forward. “But that’s my point. We don’t know much about his background, but he’s staying here, and he’s up and around while you’re sleeping. If he were a murderer, you wouldn’t be able to help me during the day. So why worry about me interviewing someone for a housecleaning job?”