“20 for 20”
by PearlAnn SnowStar
Jamie was a bit nervous as she left Father’s study. She told Father she was going to get a message from Vincent to Catherine about being late. He may have thought she was going to slip a note under Catherine’s door. But to go to the DA’s office? What was she thinking?
She made her way to the office and saw Catherine at her desk. A desk loaded with files. Taking a deep breath, she walked up to her.
Catherine looked up and saw Jamie standing there. “Jamie! What a surprise!” Seeing the look on her face, she added, “What is it? Is it something to do with Winterfest tonight?”
“I wanted to deliver a note to you in person. I was curious about where you work.”
“What’s the message?”
She handed the note over to her. “We’re going to have Winterfest, but there’s a small emergency. It will be starting a bit later than usual.”
“Whoa, who is this?” Joe startled Jamie as he walked up to her.
“Joe, this is a friend, her name is Jamie. Jamie, Joe.”
“Hey, girlfriend.” Edie walked up to Catherine with papers in her hand. “Here’s the information you asked for.” She turned toward Jamie. “Hi, I’m Edie, what’s your name?”
“Jamie.” She and Edie shook hands.
“Seems she is a friend of Cathy’s.” Joe turned toward Catherine. “I know you wanted out early today, but can you quickly take care of the Browns file. We have to make sure it’s ready for deposition.”
“Already done.” Catherine smiled.
“I’m going to go.” Jamie turned to leave.
“Jamie, thanks for letting me know and tell a fair and perfect knight I got his message.”
Jamie nodded. She quickly walked out of the office and toward the elevators when she noticed Edie was following her. “What?”
“Well, does this ‘knight’ happen to be a guy named Vincent?”
Jamie gave her a puzzled look.
“I’ve been curious ever since I saw a book with his name in it, in Cathy’s place.”
“I…” Jamie was stumped.
“Let’s see, he gave her another book, maybe Jane Eyre?”
The elevator opened and Jamie walked in, Edie following.
“Don’t say a thing, somebody told me to ‘follow your heart’ and that is what I am doing.” Edie smiled. “You don’t have to tell me all about Cathy’s secret life. But hey, maybe we can get together?”
* * *
Jamie smiled. She looked around Catherine’s apartment and out toward her balcony. Everything was decorated for Halloween. She was dressed up as Robin Hood in a green outfit and tights. And her crossbow was over her back.
There was a knock at the door. Catherine called out from her bedroom. “Jamie, that might be Edie, ask first.”
Jamie went up to the door. “Edie?”
“Yup, girlfriend. Are you going to let me in?”
Jamie opened the door. Edie was dressed as Cleopatra and was holding a book. She walked into the apartment as Catherine stepped out of the bedroom, dressed as a princess in a simple white gown and tiara on top of her head.
“Oh, you read 300 Days?” Catherine walked up to Edie and took the book from her hand.
“Yes.” Edie turned toward Jamie. “An archer?”
“Robin Hood, female style,” Jamie said proudly.
“Fantastic. Woman power. I like that.” Edie grinned.
“Promises of someday,” Jamie said.
“What?” Edie asked.
“Someday we girls will be ‘allowed’ to be ourselves and that includes being a warrior.” Jamie smiled. “We best go now.”
“I’m so glad you two became friends,” Catherine said as she hugged them both.
“Well, Jamie here is still very quiet about where she lives and this mystery man of yours.” Edie noticed the small vase on the table with red and white roses. “Four roses, hmm, where did he get those?”
“I think we best leave now,” Jamie piped up.
“OK, OK, still secrets, but we girlfriends are going to have some fun.” Edie grabbed Jamie’s arm and led her to the door. “Halloween is unusually warm, so that’s fantastic for this party.”
“Don’t corrupt her, Edie.” Catherine followed them to the door.
“Nonsense. I suggested this gathering to Jamie when she stopped by last month to say hi.” She looked at Jamie. “Girl, at least you are willing to go out and enjoy yourself, not seek secret meetings and secret lovers and stay in the dark. Oh, and Cathy, don’t worry, I’ll have her home early.”
“We’re going to go to see Isaac afterward.” Jamie looked at Edie. “Catherine introduced me to him a couple of months ago. She and I helped out some women who were staying at a women’s shelter. He was there, as Catherine asked if he would come and teach them some self-defense. Which he did, and that’s when he found out I liked crossbows.”
“Seems that Jamie was wearing her crossbow that day and he noticed.” Catherine looked at her. “He told Jamie she could stop by his place and practice and asked me to show her where it was.”
“It’s amazing, Edie,” Jamie said.
Catherine looked pleased. “I’m glad you two got along so well.” She looked at Edie. “He let me know about an archery tournament next year that he heard about from a friend. He wanted to discuss it with Jamie. I told him you two were going to go out for an afternoon Halloween party. And he thought that if it wasn’t too late, you two could stop by his place on the way home.”
“Oh, fantastic. You should have gone as an Amazon.” Edie winked at Jamie.
All three of them laughed.
“Go on, you two.” Catherine gave them another hug.
Edie rolled her eyes. “You see, Jamie, she wants us gone. To meet her ‘Vincent’ who may be like an angel, a terrible angel, come to save her.”
‘So, this Isaac cat, is he a brother? And is he good-looking?” Edie patted her wig and put out one hip, a hand on the other. “And…most important…”
“You’ll have to ask him, Edie.” Catherine blushed. “You’re also making Jamie blush.”
“Sigh, let’s go, Jamie, guess I can’t stall.” Edie opened the door. “But you two are going to have to share eventually.”
* * *
Jamie and Edie took the subway to Greenwich Village, then went to a small store. Music could be heard inside. Jamie noticed the business sign, ‘Madame Sharonova, Astrologer and Psychic’.
“Madame Sharonova decided to have a small Halloween gathering. As this is the day the spirits walk,” Edie said dramatically. “Besides, you might like her.”
“What?” Edie asked.
“I know someone who would love to discuss the spirits with Madame Sharonova.”
Jamie got quiet.
Edie grunted. “More secrets. OK, but maybe Madame Sharonova can help me at least get a few of them out. She has a cool, sort of safe gathering. If you don’t mind her finding out about things.”
Jamie shook her head. “And maybe, this is all for show.”
The two of them walked into the store. There were orange, black and red candles everywhere. A few people were dressed in costumes, chatting away over the music, which was coming from a CD player. Nothing too loud.
“Hope you don’t mind soul music?” Edie asked.
“No, it’s… interesting.”
Edie laughed. “Classic R&B, girl. But hey, I figured you owe me.”
“What do you mean?”
“You and Cathy dragged me out to a classical recital in a museum, remember?”
Jamie laughed. “You looked so…”
“Uncomfortable. Yes. I was. But now that we got together, I’m going to show you what I call music.”
“Edie!” A woman dressed in black, with ebony skin and ivory eyes that seem to pierce your soul, walked up to them. She was wearing a black cape and a slinky black gown that had a low neckline and long angel-winged sleeves. Her black hair had purple and gold streaks. In those streaks were small black cat clips.
She and Edie hugged.
“Madame Sharonova, this is Jamie, my new friend. A friend with a lot of secrets.”
Madame Sharonova hugged Jamie. “Don’t be nervous, young lady.” She looked at Edie. “She’s young.”
“Oh, I know she is younger than me, but for some reason she’s cool. We kind of clicked these past few months. She is Cathy’s friend. You know…”
“The beautiful woman whom you worked with.” Madame Sharonova looked Jamie up and down. “Your aura is an interesting mixture. Are you one of those folks who work with the government, like maybe a secretive part?”
Jamie felt uneasy.
“Hey, girl, that’s just the way Madame Sharonova works. Besides, she’s going to give us each a private reading.”
“Oh, I don’t know…” Jamie started to wonder if she’d made a mistake coming here.
“No worries, young lady. If I find out secrets, I keep secrets. There is dark and light in everyone and most people want the dark kept away.” Madame Sharonova took their hands. “Come meet others. Enjoy. Edie told me you two are only going to be here a short while.”
“Yes, we’re going to meet someone afterwards.” Edie looked at Jamie. “Is he expecting us at a certain time?”
“Catherine told me that he would like us to drop by sometime in the evening. And to call him when we are coming.”
“I have a phone by the counter you can use.” Madame Sharonova pointed to an area to the left of them. “But first, meet, then I do a reading.” She turned toward Edie. “And thank you for your payment.”
“Payment?” Jamie inquired, looking at Edie.
“Oh, yeah, sure, but it’s cool. Consider it a gift, as now I can at least know your birthday and see if we can continue being friends.”
Jamie was puzzled.
Edie gave her a gentle shove. “It’s cool. I know that you are at least over 18, so I won’t get in trouble.”
Oh man, Edie is a character, but a very nice character.
“I’m glad I met you. I do not…get out much.” Jamie was careful. She did not want to use the words ‘Above’ or ‘Below’, as Edie was very inquisitive.
* * *
The evening came quickly. Edie and Jamie were at Isaac’s building, walking up the stairs.
“This is OK?” Edie asked.
“You were quiet all the way here. Didn’t you like Madame Sharonova’s party?”
“Yes, I did; the reading was…”
“Well, Madame Sharonova can be a bit cryptic.”
Edie and Jamie walked into Isaac’s gym.
Jamie smiled. “Isaac, I know you’re here.”
Isaac laughed as Edie jumped in surprise.
Jamie grinned. “Isaac does that to almost everyone that comes here. Cathy told me that.”
“Yes, I do.” Isaac looked at Edie. “And where have you been all my life?”
“Funny, I was going to say the same thing. I’m Edie, handsome.”
Jamie just shook her head. “Thank you for the cab ride, Isaac, you didn’t have to.”
“Coming from the Greenwich Village area, yes I did.” He noticed Jamie’s outfit and the crossbow behind her. “Glad you’re ready to meet any invading army.”
“Catherine told me you have information about an archery tournament?” Jamie looked at him.
“Yes, and rather than give Cathy the information, I wanted to give it to you in person.”
“Let me see it,” Jamie said.
“Does Edie sort of help out?” Isaac noticed that Edie was looking him over.
“Uh, no…” Jamie started to say.
“Look, Isaac, I’m a friend of Jamie and Cathy’s, but they have a world of secrets I know they are not sharing. Especially about this cat, Vincent. But that’s cool.” Edie walked over to Isaac. “Bet you can give me a few lessons.”
“Edie!” Jamie looked at her as Isaac laughed.
“So, how was Madame Astrologer?” Isaac inquired.
“Interesting and unnerving.” Jamie sighed.
“Madame Sharonova got it right for me, told me I was about to meet a dark and handsome guy.” Edie placed her hand on Isaac’s arm. “You got muscles.”
Jamie and Isaac blushed at the same time.
“So, what was your reading, Jamie?” Isaac inquired.
“She said I have dark and light in me. That I mostly stay Below and I dared to come Above because I am meant to grow and learn things even if I wanted to stay Below.”
Edie walked over to Jamie and put her arm around her shoulders. “And she asked if you were a Sagittarius. ‘Cause of the crossbow. But,” Edie turned and looked at Isaac, “she’s really a Pisces. I’m Taurus; what sign are you?”
Jamie cleared her throat. “Isaac, show me the information on the archery tournament.”
“Uh, sure.” He walked over to the table.
* * *
After discussing the tournament, Isaac insisted on taking Edie and Jamie home. They sat in the back and he drove up to Catherine’s place.
“Seriously, Jamie, I encourage you to try out for it,” Isaac said. “Catherine and I can sponsor you.”
“I still want to think it over,” Jamie said.
Jamie got out of the car.
“I wish you had a phone instead of leaving messages with Cathy, but…” Edie jumped out of the car and gave Jamie a hug. “Guess you have no phone.”
“It’s the best way to get a hold of me.”
“OK, hope to see you again.” Edie got back into the car, this time sitting up front next to Isaac.
Isaac and Edie waved goodbye and the car pulled away.
“Hi, Jamie,” the doorman said, as he opened the door for her. “Miss Chandler is not back yet.”
“That’s OK, I’ll wait for her. She…gave me a key.”
He nodded. She went in and took a quick look around, to make sure no one was watching her. Quickly, she headed for the stairway. She took the stairs down to the basement garage area. She then made her way to the tunnels below.
* * *
It was late at night. Jamie went into Vincent’s chamber and noticed that he wasn’t back yet. He and Catherine are sure enjoying Halloween.
She placed a note by the journal on his desk. It was to let him know she was back, safe and sound. She noticed the books of poetry. She turned around and saw the warm quilts on his bed.
Catherine must be coming here later.
She walked out of his chamber and quickly went to hers. She was tired but happy. Edie was so young at heart and fun. It was also funny how her mouth dropped open when she met Isaac. Seems like those two really liked each other.
She took the notice about the tournament out of her pocket.
“Jamie?” Mouse walked into her chamber. Seeing her questioning look he said quickly, “Waited.”
“You didn’t have to.”
“OK good, OK fine. Night.” Mouse turned and left.
Jamie lay down and started to look over the notice when she realized something. Edie would make a great Helper.