Mission Canyon by Meg Gardiner

Mission Canyon by Meg Gardiner

Author:Meg Gardiner [Gardiner, Meg]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Published: 2011-01-06T07:00:00+00:00

• 20 •

Driving home, I debriefed myself. Mission accomplished? No, there were unexpected difficulties. Such as? A purse snatcher with a shock baton. Prospective clients who took cash to kill people. Cash? Okay, maybe a cashier’s check. Did you find out anything about why Jesse’s in such a mess? No. Did you sign a contract to write the Norths’ memoirs? Contract is not a word I want to use right now.

When I stopped for a light the driver next to me, a cholo in a low-rider Chevy, heard me dishing it out to myself. He locked his doors.

Did you learn one single thing that could help you? Yeah, watch your back. What are you going to do now?

I don’t know.

When I swung to the curb in front of my house a man was standing at the garden gate. Holding that clipboard, he looked like an insurance salesman. Excellent, sign me up for a big fat life insurance policy. He walked toward me.

“Evan Delaney?” he said. I nodded. “This is for you.”

He handed me a document. I saw SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA and, next to DEFENDANT, my name. Mari Vasquez Diamond had followed through on her threat. She was suing me, Jesse, and Sanchez Marks for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The phone was ringing when I opened my front door. I let the machine get it. Staring at the complaint, I kicked off my shoes, a bad idea because slip-ons gain velocity like rocket-propelled grenades. One flew onto the dining table and hit the wedding mound. Papers spewed. Jax Rivera’s voice came on the machine.

“Evan, it’s important that we continue our conversation. Tim learned some things you need to know.”

I didn’t move.

“You know how to reach me,” she said. “Be smart. Call.”

In the depths of my head, “Wipeout” was playing. I had paddled out too far and now the big ones were rolling down on top of me.

I stared at the complaint. “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.” I read: “…that under the direction of defendant Blackburn, defendant Delaney subjected Mrs. Diamond to extreme abuse intended to cause severe distress. In particular: that in the presence of Mrs. Diamond’s party guests, Delaney did shockingly call her ‘old,’ ‘cheap,’ and a ‘snotty socialite….’ ”

She was going for the hat trick: petty, stupid, and inaccurate. Who, I wondered, was inane enough to file this lawsuit on her behalf? I checked the first page.

I picked up the phone and slammed it down again. I dug my shoe out from under the wedding pile and headed out the door. To Harley Dawson’s law firm.

Harley walked into the lobby at the law firm. In the dove gray suit, with her silver hair shining in the afternoon sun, she looked satiny. She gave me a glossy stare.

She said, “Uh-oh. You look like you’ve been drinking gasoline.”

I waved the complaint. “Since when does this firm take on frivolous lawsuits?”

“What are you talking about?”

I flipped to page three. “ ‘Knowing that her actions would cause emotional distress, Delaney did attempt to serve legal documents on Calvin Diamond in full view of Mrs.


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