Leigh noted Emily’s saddened expression almost immediately. “I know it’s hard, but surely you didn’t think you’d find him here.”
Emily spun around and pasted a smile on her tearstained face. “No, of course not, she said in a more chipper tone than intended. It was just a dream. This place is just so weird. It’s unchanged.” She wandered into the kitchen, not surprised to find it exactly as it has been in the dream. She turned to the right and found a hallway leading to what had to be bedrooms and perhaps a guest bath.
Leigh followed her. She poked her head into the first door on the right. It was a medium sized bedroom with a mid century bedroom set and a double bed covered in a cream chenille bedspread. The room smelled faintly of women’s perfume. “It looks like someone might live here after all.”
“How very odd,” Emily walked into the room as if in a trance. Several perfume bottles were lined up in the dresser. Upon closer examination, the closet was a little ajar, revealing a full wardrobe of clothing inside. Shoes lined the closet floor, all colors and styles that reminded Emily of hoe women dressed in classic films.
“Nice,” Leigh said, peering over Emily’s shoulder.
It was irrational but Emily felt a pang of jealousy as she thought of Julian sitting in the armchair in the living room when it was obvious that this was the home of another woman. Why has he been here? Just a dream, she told herself. Someone lives here, but it isn’t Julian. If he were around, he’d live with me just like before.
Emily looked down at the shoes again and one image struck her: Natasha at the club the night before. She flipped through the clothing.
“Do you think this looks like something Natasha would wear?”
“Probably, it’s flashy enough.” Leigh sat down on the bed. “Do you think this room belongs to her?”
“I don’t know,” Emily replied as she tried to fight the unsettled feeling that came over her. “Maybe she’s one of the people who knows more than she’s letting on.”
They explored the other bedrooms, three in total. One was a guest room but the other clearly belonged to a man, based upon the clothing and other items found inside. Unlike the woman’s room, it was harder to pinpoint the type of man who would wear the rather generic apparel in the man’s closet.
As they left the room, a motor approached.
“Why didn’t we park farther away?” Emily’s heart pounded.
“We thought it was abandoned,” Leigh answered her.
They took refuge in the guest room as the front door opened. Two familiar voices rang out from the living room.
“Obviously she knows something,” a silky female voice said. “I thought you took care of that.”
“Natasha,” Emily whispered to Leigh.
“I did,” the man insisted. The voice belonged to Wesley, Julian’s military superior. “Looks like I’ll have to do it again.”