The Heartseed Vine
Any other day, Drew Sheffield would've just said no. But with a monster migraine marching up her skull, she's not up to arguing with her friend, Allee, over her latest hair brained scheme--advertising for mates for the two of them. When Allee disappears after a date and no one will do anything to find her, Drew sticks her neck out, only to become the newest target of a killer.
By Nancy Arant Williams
Drew Sheffield looked up from the fiction she was editing, to see her friend standing in the doorway. All she needed was another interruption. Suddenly, anxiety filled her heart. I don't believe in premonition. Then why do I have this niggling worry?
Stifling her emotions, she plastered a smile on her face.
Allison Bentley hesitated before entering, as if she had something on her mind.
"Need something, Allee?"
Allison flopped into the overstuffed chair in the corner of the small office and stared at Drew, puckering her mouth absently. Then she glanced at her manicure and picked a piece of lint off her black slacks, before turning back to face Drew.
"Listen." Drew grimaced, suddenly aware of the whine of her computer. "I've got a deadline here, so if you have something to say, spit it out, will you?"
Allee sighed, narrowed her gray eyes and said, "Now give me a minute. I'm just trying to frame my request so you won't turn me down flat."
Pulling off her glasses, Drew laughed in surprise. "What request is that?"
"Promise you won't laugh?"
"Why would I laugh?"
Allee made a face. "Because this is exactly the kind of thing you laugh at."
"Okay, I promise."
"You say that now . . ."
"Okay, I want you to help me write a Mate-wanted ad for the Kansas City Sentinel."
"What?" Drew giggled, unable to help it.
"Hey, you promised you wouldn't laugh."
Putting on a poker face, Drew sighed. "Sorry. Okay. Why on earth would you want to advertise yourself?"
Allee crossed her eyes, causing her friend to smile. "Because I haven't found the right guy yet, and I'm sick of playing the waiting game. I'm not getting any younger, you know."
Turning back to the copy in front of her, Drew mumbled, "Hmm . . . I suppose that could be said of any number of us. Allee, it can be dangerous to meet strangers this way. You never know who will crawl out of the woodwork."
"Yeah, but I've also heard of couples who found true love that way."
Drew absently rubbed the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger. "Name one."
The other woman waved her hands in agitation. "Never mind. I knew you'd say no. Here I am at forty-five, and I haven't got a prospect in the world. And now you, my even-older friend, refuse to help me. I might as well jump off the Market Street overpass and end it all right now."
"Good grief, Allee, don't you think you're being just a trifle melodramatic?"
She frowned. "No. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and said, 'Where are all those lovely single men whose numbers are supposed to be multiplying, statistically?' I have seen none in the nearby vicinities, and I just decided I'd make something happen, or die trying." Drew frowned at the statement. It was a little too close to the truth to be funny.
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