Chapter Fifty-Two

Frisco is shooting pool, as though requesting a spare body is an everyday occurrence, which, Luke muses, it might well be. "You hiring me for a hit? Sorry, pal, but I do my own work. I don't contract out."

"Relax," Frisco says. "I'm saving Lucy's life."

Luke is instantly attentive. "Luce is in danger? I mean, more than usual?"

"Yeah," Frisco answers. "Our insider has been told to take her out-and return proof."

"I see. A switch. Okay, I have friends in....."

"Low places," Frisco finishes. "This has to be believable-and private. We need a fresh corpse."

"That looks like Lucy."

"Height, weight-this will be an accident-messy, so that the face won't be that important, but..."

"No sweat."

A little later, Luke speaks with Sonny. "So you see why we need a not-so-stiff stiff."

"Got it," he nods. "It just so happens that I have an undertaker who's on the payroll...." Sonny grins. "He's a rich man. Discreet." He picks up the phone and enters the numbers. "Diego! Amigo!! Sonny Corinthos aquí. Gracias, y tu familia?? Bien!! Amigo, necesito.........." Hmmmmmm

Reggie has wheeled Lila out of the mansion and down to the boathouse where they're to meet Jean-Pierre who has requested an interview. "I don't know if the staff believed my story about your wishing to view the sunset," Reggie observes. "It's overcast, and any sunset would be iffy at best."

"They'll believe anything," Lila says. "I've asked for some really strange things lately so as to appear eccentric."

"You've succeeded," Reggie laughs. "The pizza with butterscotch topping was a bit much."

"It was vile," Lila laughs.

"But the CD of the Swiss yodeler about did me in," Reggie snickers.

"Yes, but it kept the help away from us."

"True," Reggie admits with a chuckle. "At least we didn't have to suffer through a hog calling event."

Lila brightens. "We'll save that one for later."

Once inside the boathouse, Jean-Pierre steps out of the shadows. "Madame Quartermaine?"

"Jean-Pierre," Lila says, offering her hand, which he takes and kisses in the best French fashion. "I'm honored to meet you," he says.

"As I am honored to meet you. Now, how can we assist you?"

Jean-Pierre turns to his cousin, and says, "Reggie, there are forces that have threatened the Quartermaine family, Edward and Lila in particular. We have, of course, supplied guards."

"So this is why cook went on strike and we have had a few taken suddenly ill?"

Reggie guesses. Jean-Pierre nods. "We've discovered a problem with one of the staff and have taken care of that."

"Thanks," Reggie says, as Lila beams appreciatively.

Jean-Pierre continues. "It's now become important that Edward knows what is going on. We need you to bring him in. We are aware of his age, and how his heart is known to give the occasional difficult moment."

Lila smiles. "You want him to have another heart attack?"

"You can play that by ear. We are about to embark on an important part of our plan, and we need to know that Edward will not be overcome by what is to come."

Swiftly, Jean-Pierre outlines the plan. Hmmmmmm

"Edward," Lila begins after having summoned him to her room later that night. She motions Reggie to hand him a double martini. "Sit down, my darling."

Edward drops to his knees before her, fearing what she's about to say. He's been more and more concerned with her growing eccentricity. "Lila, please-tell me you're well. You know that I can't live without you."

"I'm well, Edward, but you need to listen carefully to me. Things are not as they seem." Edward is curious, and Lila continues. "Drink up, darling. You're going to need it."

He quickly gulps down half of the drink. "Fire away, Lila. Just don't tell me that Tracy is coming back to town."

Lila smiles, and says, "Well........." Hmmmmmmmm

Stay tuned!! Can Sonny locate a not-so-stiff stiff in time?? Will Lila and Reggie manage to pull Edward into this?? Will Edward make a good conspirator??? Are we kidding? This is Edward Q!!! Hmmmmm