#8 The Appraisal (Part I)
I locked the bedroom door.
“Who is the woman?” A voice cut through to me.
This voice I did not like. Despite the interest in the words there was an icy detached quality to the voice.
I backed up step by step until the backs of my knees bumped the bed. Then I sat down abruptly. I hadn’t liked it when Thunder warned me not to run. My fingers fisted in the white downy comforter. I wrapped it around myself. It was the only protection I had against such a voice.
“It is not ours. That is all that matters.” Another of the men answered. It was a weary voice, tired. And it was deep, too. Once I met one of my husband’s uncles. The man sang opera for fun. We had him to dinner one night. During dinner he ate plenty, which he said was to keep the weight on to better preserve his tone. What I found most fascinating was when the uncle spoke normally, as one normally speaks in conversation, the crystal on the table vibrated. “And I fear I may have made the situation worse.”
“Worse?” The question warbled out thinly. “It is my business that is to be destroyed for this! It is my reputation to be broken! My certificates of authenticity will be –“
“Nobody is saying you are a liar, Strumbeck.” The deep voice soothed. “This is not your fault.”
“And it is yours?” Thunder asked sharply.
“Bring the woman out.” The deep voice said.