It was. . . Tiffany by Trish Perry
Okay, just hear me out here. Contrary to how things appear, I am not perfect. I make mistakes, just like an average person does. I said I wanted to develop a little culture, and I meant it. I want to be able to discuss . . . stuff. That’s why I came to the museum, and now I can talk about how messed up modern art looks. And thanks to the time we’ve been stuck in the Native American exhibit with Grandfather there, I know more about the Pince-nez Indians than I ever planned to. Nez Perce, I mean, thank you, Gracie so very much for correcting me.
Sigh. How Jessica got Miss Gracie Conspiracy-Theory and me confused from behind, I’ll never know. Sure, we both have auburn hair, but I am clearly the more relaxed of the two of us—I think I would have known Gracie was connected to the military even if she hadn’t mentioned it. Anyway, I’m wearing black, and Gracie’s in white, and she didn’t leave Grandfather’s side long enough to pull off any theft.
Ew. Theft. Sounds awful.
Look, it’s just that the book looked special. It looked like something maybe I could read and be impressive with. And if it’s a book I could get at the library or a book store, it probably wouldn’t be on display in a museum, is what I figured. That’s the only kind of book I could be certain Ren and Kara wouldn’t have read. I just wanted to know something they didn’t. I would have brought it back when I was done; why would I want to keep a book I’ve already read?
It wasn’t hard finding a man willing to hold the book for me so I could run back and tell Quinn I was leaving. I mean, look at me! Me, man, willing? Those three words just fit together in so many sentences. And I would have been fine if Jessica had minded her own business, instead of turning down my generous offer of help with her appearance; I’d be willing to bet that girl’s had a case of the munchies from time to time, if you catch my drift. If I hadn’t pulled out one of my cards to give her in the first place, I wouldn’t have dropped one at the scene of the dirty deed for Gracie to find and turn over to Max.
And that Max! Ears like an Australian Bandicoot, for Pete’s sake. So my stiletto’s click a little on these marble floors. I was practically on tiptoe when I rushed over to ask that guy to hold the book for me. What is it with these people, studying my every move? My every sound?
But that Marina was the last straw. She found one of my hairs near the empty display case? What is she, a bloodhound? Why, oh why did I bother to run a comb through my luxurious locks before dashing off to hand the book to that guy? It’s not like I needed to bother. But I’ve seen enough CSI shows to know that last piece of evidence is going to nail me.
So, listen, Quinn. Be a sweetie. Bring up the steel walls, let us out, and I can have that stupid book back in place in no time. But let’s make it snappy. I can still make my manicure appointment, and I don’t want that guy out there getting any ideas about taking the book out of the museum. Not that he’s likely to leave without me, but let’s not take any chances. Then you and I can get together later and have a little laugh about this whole silly episode. What time do you get off work, anyway?