Here's your last taste of Queer Eye for the Super Guy
! See y'all on the other side!
Jeremy relaxed against the back of the bench in his booth at La Churro’s and sipped his mango margarita. Today’s lunch with Elaine went far better than he expected. She already knew all his business procedures. Leonardo would spend the next two weeks walking through beginning and ending of the day routines with her.
Plus, she had no problem with a probationary period, though she negotiated Jeremy from his desired ninety days to sixty. If everything worked okay with Elaine, Leonardo would start cutting back on his time in the salon, and he’d share Jeremy’s chair for those clients they didn’t want to or couldn’t give up for various reasons. Leonardo could then focus on his design work.
Harri plopped down on the bench across from Jeremy, with her briefcase she used for court. Not a good sign. Without a word, she poured herself a margarita from the pitcher and downed half of it in two gulps before she scowled at him.
“Are you trying to punish me for ignoring your business interests over the past two years?” she said.
“Contract reviews aren’t anything new,” he protested.
“It is when Molly does a better job of pitching addendums than me.” Harri grabbed the pitcher and refilled her glass.
“You sound pissed,” Jeremy commented. “Is she insisting on only girl M&Ms in her dressing room for the show?”
“No, the kid should be going to law school, not screwing around with clothing design.” Harri took another gulp of margarita. “Please tell me you ordered queso and extra chips.”
The last time Harri plowed through alcohol and junk food like this was after she had fallen in love with Tim Canyon but didn’t want to admit it. She was worried about something more than Nix getting into some kind of trouble the TV people.
“Is you representing both me and the kid going to be an issue between us?” Jeremy grinned. “I can always go to Brick Montgomery at Bryson Gaither.”
At the mention of the attorney at a rival firm, Harri’s hand tightened on her glass. For a split second, it looked like she’d waste good tequila by tossing her drink in his face. Instead, she changed her mind and sipped her drink. At least, she’d stopped gulping it. Jeremy didn’t think he could handle a drunk Harri tonight. Neither Dopinder or any of his cousins would forgive her if she puked in one of their taxis.
“If it comes down to that, you’ll all need to alternate counsel.”
“I was joking about the kid.” Jeremy reached for the pitcher and topped off his own glass. “Does she really have a problem with me?”
“I don’t know if Bernhardt is doing this on purpose, but three of the judges and one of the designer contestants are Winters and Franklin clients.”
Jeremy whistled under his breath. Damn, that really put his sisters and Susan in an awkward position. But he knew for Harri, it wasn’t about the money. It was about doing the right thing for her clients.
“So what’s the plan?” he asked.
“We’re going to have a meeting with all the clients involved Friday night.” She stopped at the sight of La Churro’s owner Mateo delivering their queso and chips. “Ese, why are you waiting tables again?”
“I’m only waiting on your table, Winters,” the big man said dryly. “And it’s only to keep you from poaching any more of my staff.”
“Whoa.” Harri held up her hands. “Janna’s still working here during the evenings.”
“But she’s not available for the lunch shift thanks to you.”
Jeremy wasn’t sure if Mateo was really angry or just giving Harri a hard time. But when she glared at Jeremy, he shrugged. “I told him you were joining me when he asked where Leonardo was.”
Mateo pulled out an order pad from his apron pocket. “What can I get you two? And by the way, Winters, you’d better give me the same tip you give my staff.”
“How long are you going to make me pay for hiring Janna?” Harri asked coolly.
“Until I can find a waitress as good as her or I can train one.” Mateo smiled politely at her.
“I’ll have the three enchilada plate,” Jeremy interjected before Harri did something stupid. Mateo wasn’t like his old man back when the girls were in law school. He had no trouble kicking out unruly customers.
“I’ll have the beef taco platter. Crunchy, please.” Harri handed her menu to Mateo as did Jeremy.
Once the owner strode back to the kitchen area, Jeremy eyed Harri over his margarita glass. “I swear you have a natural talent for creating problems where none exist.”
“It’s not my fault people make the decisions they do,” she grumbled.
“Have you had Timmy and Arthur do a background check on this Dale Bernhardt?” Jeremy dipped a tortilla chip in the warm queso.
“Arthur’s working on it.” Harri paid too much attention selecting her own chip. “Did his paramour let something slip with you during their phone call?”
“I only get the impression he’s the latest boytoy.” Jeremy ate his chip while he reviewed his conversation with Mel this morning. “You think he may have seduced them on purpose?”
“You’re going to call me paranoid if I do.”
“Shit.” Jeremy leaned back against the back of the booth and regarded Harri. “I wish it was just you. But I suppose some idiot had to pick up where Trubble left off.”
“I almost wish the genetic testing came back negative.” Harri dunked another chip in the gooey cheese.
Jeremy blinked. There was only one reason Harri would be acting this squirrely. “You know, don’t you?”
“Know what?” She said around a mouthful of chip and queso.
He pulled out his phone and texted his question.
You know who killed Trubble?
Her phone buzzed. She glanced at the message before she turned her phone face down.
“Yes.” She shoved another chip and queso into her mouth.
“And?” He stared at her incredulously.
She slowly chewed and swallowed before she said, “Remember ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’?”
“If Trubble knew about me, his killer sure as hell does,” Jeremy hissed.
“Which was why I was really hoping you and the kids would be going to Los Angeles to record the damn show when I first looked at the paperwork.” She sighed and took another sip of her margarita.
“Harri—” He couldn’t yell at her like when they were kids. They were in a public place. Lord only knew how many eyes were on Harri at any given moment.
“Fine,” she muttered. “Come back to the Lechuza Building with me. I’ll show you everything.”
Jeremy almost said no out of spite, but something said Harri would only make this offer once. Someone considered Byron Trubble, who had been dangerous in his own right, worth kidnapping and killing. If that person wouldn’t stop at using a disturbed local attorney to break Trubble out of a supermax prison and shooting in the back of the head, they wouldn’t hesitate to murder everyone Jeremy cared about.