Here is this week’s episode of Renee & Frei. I hope you enjoy having a catch up with Huber and Aunt Bess!
As always, please excuse the typos.
Act 2 Scene 5
Renee fiddled with her heel as she stepped from Frei’s car and her foot twinged. She needed to be dressed like Worthington to visit Huber’s Baltimore home but it didn’t mean she was happy about it.
“You have issues with the heels,” Frei said in an amused voice as she strode around to assist her.
“Why did you need to pick the highest ones?” Renee muttered at her then caught sight of someone pulling up outside the gates. She slid her hands up Frei’s shoulders and leaned into her.
“I picked whichever ones were closest,” Frei slid her hand to Renee’s pistol in the holster strapped to her back under her tiny jacket. “Hostiles?”
“No,” Renee said with a wheeze of relief as the gate slid across. “Aunt Bess.”
Frei relaxed and nodded her curt nod to Aunt Bess as she wriggled out of her car and stood up to her full height while wincing and shaking off her knee.
“Was that meant to show you were an item or somethin’?” Bess asked with a chuckle then strode over and cwtched them both.
“Yes.” Frei turned and strode toward the house.
Renee rolled her eyes. “It didn’t look convincing?”
“Nope.” Bess wrapped her arm around Renee. “You looked like Grimes tryin’ to dance. I guess you’re not used to showing your wiles to folks.”
Renee limped up to the door and stopped. She yanked off her heels and pursed her lips. “I do show my wiles, I have plenty of wiles.”
“Uh huh.” Bess tutted at her. “An’ Icy looks like she’s on parade even when Susan is flashing wiles at her.”
Renee snorted but Frei turned and narrowed her blue eyes.
“I am ignoring this heckling.” Frei turned and shoved open the door to Huber being fitted for a suit by a young man with a confused expression on his face. “My mother would like him to have a suit that is not exactly like his others.”
The young man turned and shrugged. “I tried to tell him this but he is insisting on his usual fitting.”
Huber scowled at the man. “I might pay you but you’re supposed to act as though I own you.”
The young man flicked his hand around. “You’re soft.” He turned to Frei. “What would you like me to do, Locks?”
“My mother is not soft. I would follow her instructions,” Frei said with a smirk at Huber who shrugged.
“I agree. Her mother has me shaving differently to achieve better smoothness for her.” Huber folded his arms and the suit sleeves pinged. “Why are you annoying me?”
“We want to find Smyth’s wife from Caprock,” Renee said and hobbled over to a chair to rub at her foot. “We have a POI who has been experimented on by Bison and Susan found a earring showing she was from the academy.”
Huber tutted at the young man who tutted at him as he re-sewed the sleeves. “She divorced Smyth when he lost the academy. She is now married to Cash. You are not allowed to heckle him.”
Frei went to the desk and poured several whiskeys. “I will if I think he’s useful.”
“You won’t. He’s too useful to me.” Huber pursed his lips at Frei handing out the whiskeys to Renee and Bess.
“Useful?” Bess sipped at her whiskey then nodded approval. “I got to say, you folks may not have a lot of wiles but you know how to drink.”
Renee slammed back her whiskey then poked out her tongue.
“He forges identification as well as counterfeiting.” Huber held out his hand for Frei to hand him the whiskey in her hand.
Frei sipped it while smiling at him. “I’m working on how to relieve Cash of his wife.”
Huber grunted. “You mother had me question them.” He folded his arms again, re-ripping his sleeves.
The young man tutted at him.
“Now, Icy Senior has wiles,” Bess said with a chuckle then strode over to Huber’s chair, sat down, adjusted the backrest and put her feet up on his desk. “I got information on Owens but I kinda wanna know what Cash said first.”
Huber eyed her but his steely eyes twinkled. “I enjoyed threatening him with heckling Eis women. His wife, having seen you in action, was easily subdued.” He flinched as the young man jabbed him. “Smyth’s ex-wife explained that Owens showed up at Caprock a few years prior to your closure of it.”
Frei, Renee and Bess gave a satisfied nod.
“When Owens showed, a slave went missing…” Huber yowched then glared at the young man who yanked the thread tight. “She was a slave then, it is not an insult.”
The young man pulled the thread even tighter. “I had to go to Caprock. You sent me to Caprock.”
Frei walked over with another whiskey… and handed it to the young man. “I had to go to Caprock too.”
“Don’t look at me for support. I’d make you wear heels,” Renee muttered then waved her glass in encouragement. “So Owens abducted a slave?”
“No.” Huber shrugged his arm free and marched to the desk and filled his own whiskey. “Owens was never suspected of stealing the slave but Smyth’s ex-wife did suspect her. I got the impression that Smyth quite enjoyed her beauty.”
Renee held up her glass. “If she had an affair with Smyth, I need way more whiskey.”
Bess raised her eyebrows. “Blondie?”
“You may not think I have wiles but I definitely have vials and… ewww.” Renee wrinkled up her face.
“She was not his mistress but he would have liked her to have been,” Huber said with a chuckle and sipped at his glass. “The interesting part is not Owens but the slave. I took the liberty of cross-checking with my wonderful granddaughter who talked to the insane woman who confirmed my suspicions.”
“Insane woman?” Bess swilled her whiskey around her mouth.
“Susan,” Renee said and wiggled her toes around.
Frei yanked at Huber’s sleeve and he yowched again. “What did Jessie confirm?”
Huber eyed her. “I thought you were involved with Theo.”
“I am involved with him. I take my ability to have normal relationships from you.” Frei sipped at her whiskey. “What did Susan help you with?”
“The slave matches the DNA of your POI as you suspect and she is the younger daughter of ‘Bite’ and his wife.” Huber looked Frei up and down. “Theo has pedigree and he doesn’t converse with the furniture.”
“I am aware.” Frei studied him. “Wasn’t Bite the man we took that set of jewelry from?”
“He was. He took that jewelry from another owner when he turned them in to the authorities.” Huber sighed then studied the floor. “He did so because he felt the owner was being too obvious about his dealings. I’m not sure who that owner was but his children were taken from him. He tried to get them returned but unfortunately both he and his wife were killed.”
Renee looked up from wiggling her sore toes. “That sounds like the story I got from Owens… She was investigating children being abducted.”
Bess nodded. “Which is what Gould… Fleming’s buddy… uncovered from digging through paper files at the Feds’ place.”
“So, Owens was trying to help the girl or rescued her?” Renee put her glass down and chewed on her lip. “If she was helping rescue girls then why did she try and abduct Miranda and Kevin when we were in Caprock?”
“I don’t know but Williams was the guy who tried to hurt you on Black Ridge Mountain and he happened to be Owen’s manager when she got medically retired.” Bess rubbed at her knee and leaned forward for Frei to refill her glass. “She got pretty hurt trying to protect the girls.”
“Owens was unsuccessful in helping the older sister.” Huber perched on the edge of his desk and fussed over the strands of material on his legs. “She remained in Caprock but Smyth’s ex-wife informed me that they changed her facial features so Owens would not have been able to identify her.”
“But the POI we have wasn’t surgically changed?” Renee crossed her legs and pulled down the short-excuse for a skirt.
“No. I believe the younger girl was deemed to be of show-slave quality,” Huber said then held up his hands. “It was in the gentlest manner I could phrase it.”
Frei refilled his glass. “And the older sister was not so?”
“No, she resembled Bite and he was not attractive.” Huber pulled his mouth to the side and met Frei’s gaze. “You can confirm this.”
Frei nodded. “He was strangely formed facially with oversized teeth and gums but no real cheekbones and sunken eyes.”
Renee cocked her head as she tried to picture Bite’s face. “There weren’t any kids in Caprock who matched that description.”
“No, but Owens may have been invested in Miranda because Bite’s children had extensive musical training.” Huber held up his finger. “The insane woman ran a DNA check and confirmed Miranda was not related.”
Renee furrowed her brow. “Alanna was looking for Owens when Lavelle found her.”
Frei turned and put down her glass. “She said she was a slave.”
“And both her and the POI have had Bison’s experimental medication.” Renee rubbed at her forehead.
“And your FBI buddy Lavelle has folks looking for his escaped witness.” Bess put her feet on the floor and leaned onto the desk. “So he must know that Alanna is her sister.”
“Which means he had to be involved with Williams,” Renee said then groaned. “So why was Owens on Black Ridge Mountain with Williams if she was trying to get the girls away from him?”
“My guess, Blondie, is that she saw how you and Icy pulled those kids to safety so she was maybe trying to make sure you could help Alanna and her sister too.” Bess held up her glass.
“But Alanna, if she is Bite’s daughter, is of high-value.” Huber shook his head then laughed. “I suspect Gem might have realized this. It would explain why he is allowing Lavelle access to his acquaintances.”
“But why would Lavelle be that dumb?” Renee looked at Frei but her gaze was pained as it so often became when she thought of her own sister Suz.
“He doesn’t realize Alanna is Bite’s sister. She told him she was Owens’ wife. He must think Owens is still alive and has evidence on him.” Frei met Renee’s eyes. “Alanna must have trained herself to cover her true memory.”
“Owens managed it. Aeron thought she wasn’t trying to help.” Renee chewed on her lip again.
“Shorty was too busy getting mad Owens was seeing your wiles,” Bess said then peered down her nose. “I got enough from when she told me ‘bout Caprock that she didn’t much like you talking to Owens.”
Renee let out a pouty sigh. “I used vials.”
Frei smiled and refilled her glass. “Which gave you a true memory and might help Susan.”
Huber rolled his eyes. “The insane woman?” He marched back to the young man who fussed over him again. “I doubt she will be less insane with vials.”
“I meant the vials might help with reaching Alanna.” Frei nodded to the young man who yanked the threads around Huber’s arm tight again and he yowched.
“You are meant to be with Theo. He is sane.” Huber grunted at Frei then glared at the young man. “He would look better at my wedding.”
“Theo is with his aunt and I am wearing a suit so Susan will look better in the dress than him.” Frei nodded to Bess and Renee. “And I like that she discusses her feelings with the furniture. It is relaxing.”
Renee shook her head. “Unlike her heels.” She held them up. “Her feet are smaller than mine.”
Frei blushed then strode out.
Renee smirked at Bess. “You might not think we have wiles but I think our dear Doctor Gossett does.”
Bess snorted with laughter and followed her from the room as Huber muttered to the young man fitting his suit. Aeron hadn’t been impressed with Owens. Even when Owens had been very attractive, Aeron was mad at Owens for talking to Renee.
She smirked and twirled her heels around on her finger. Guess she did have some wiles then, huh?