by Terri Welch
The ruby at her throat matched the scarlet in her wine glass.
"Always co-ordinated, eh Marilyn?" The heartbroken youngster inside him bitched silently, still bitter. He turned his back on them both, scanning the room.
A flashbulb popped. The culprit danced in the mirror behind the bar; point and shoot, move, point and shoot. Pushing his way to get the angle he needed. Like her, just less subtle.
A silver tray bearing champagne tempted his inner youngster. Forget it, dumbass.
His companion touched his elbow. "You okay, Henry?" Her murmured voice portrayed concern; her face gave nothing away. He nodded, grateful.
Velvet drapes hugged lead-pane windows, crystal chandeliers sparkled off paneled walls and a polished mahogany bar. The furniture probably cost the planet a piece of rain forest. Yep, it looked like she'd found the angle she was looking for. High society - her Holy Grail, with all the trimmings.
He had to look back. Another flashbulb seared her alabaster skin into his eyes.
"I think we can be pretty sure what did it." A fistful of pills; didn't matter what kind.
Did you really wanna end up like this? Surrounded by cops, wearing nothing but a thousand-dollar ruby that matches your wine..?
"Hey Sid... get that wine tested too."
"Anything that shouldn't be there."
Even twenty years later he'd never forget her last words to him.
"You got as much chance of getting rich as me taking a fancy to red wine, Henry. Forget it. Goodbye."