The Five Dahlias Moonstone

Eris orders a sidecar, and i order a dirty gin martini. We’re dining at her favorite restaurant in Seven Clematis Months West. It’s a small place with only a dozen tables. It’s exclusive, serves Basque and Italian dishes, and the well stocked bar uses half the space.  It’s an offbeat combination, but that’s Discord in a nutshell.  I’m using tact. Offbeat doesn’t begin to describe Eris. She has a reputation for troublemaking and apple tossing, but she has a compassionate side too.  Sometimes she misplaces that little bit of compassion.

Farley Friday phoned me last evening and asked if i could distract Eris for six days.  Specifically, six days. I’m Declan de Seckcee. I’m a part time agent at The Agency and a part time librarian in Portland. Anyway, Farley informed me that the Goddess of Discord seeks revenge against another agent named Reese Wade.  He’s a good guy. Ten years ago, we worked in Oslo together on two missions. Before Reese married, he had a three month relationship with Eris. If i remember correctly, Eris is the one who ended it. She moved on with a dude named Gerry Laughlin, head of a luxury rocking chair empire. So, no one understands what is stuck up Discord’s rear end.   Why does she want revenge? Why is she targeting Reese? And worse, why does she want to use Reese and his wife Calla’s twelve year old daughter as bait? That’s low even for Eris. I have orders to temporarily neutralize her. Not to kill her.  Killing Discord would put our planet into chaos. I mean i need to weaken her powers for awhile. I found a way.

Declan, i must say, you look fabulously handsome this evening. When you phoned and said you’d be here in Seven Clematis, i knew i wanted to bring you here. Isn’t it marvelous? And you are a sight for sore eyes. As much as i adore causing trouble, i need a relaxing break every now and then.  Creating strife causes stress.

Oh my dear, it’s so good to see you too. It’s been too long. And yes, i love it here. Glamorous and laid back at the same time. I want to get something out of the way, then we can unwind and talk honestly all night. I forgive you for trapping me in that couch months ago. I understand your motivation. You thought it was the only way you could get to Dominic, and you were right. No harm done.

Oh Dec! I knew you’d understand. Your agent background taught you to be ready for anything! Let’s order another round of drinks and a delicious dinner.

Yes! Let’s.

Our waiter appears as if through the wall. I order a second martini and ravioli di cotechino with mushroom sauce, and Eris orders a negroni and pork piperade. I make a mental note to come back solo. I love this restaurant.

I decide to give Eris her gift before i lose my nerve. I hope she doesn’t see through my ruse. Neutralizing her is tricky. She won’t notice my plan’s effect until morning. No nightcap for us. I’ll say my goodnight after dinner is finished, and get out of Seven Clematis and on the train to Ten Larkspur Days before midnight.

Our second drinks arrive, and i pull a little black box out of my jacket’s breast pocket. I say, Eris, i’d like you to have this in appreciation of our renewed friendship. I hand her the box. She beams at me. She doesn’t say,  oh Dec, you shouldn’t have. That would be insincere.  She takes the box and opens it.

Dec! Is this what i think it is? It’s as amazing as i’ve heard.

Yes, it’s the Five Dahlias April Moonstone!  All yours, Eris!  You deserve it.

She puts it on her right middle finger right away, and i think, good. It will only work if she puts it on herself. Now if i can maintain my game until dinner is done.

To Be Continued

M. Raynes


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