I had just come home from the library and settled in the sunroom with my dinner when my phone rang. I couldn’t help but smile at the caller ID. “Rica! What a lovely surprise.” The young woman on the other end of the call laughed. “Hello, Bran. I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” I muted the news before answering. “Always happy to hear from you, Rica. You know that.” I could hear some papers rustling in the background. “I do. Thank you.” Rica sighed softly, prompting my questioning. “What is it, Rica? Is something wrong?”
It was a few moments before Rica answered me. “Nothing’s wrong…exactly. I just needed some advice.” She hesitated before continuing, “Have you ever kept anything from Rick?” I was a little surprised by the question, but tried not to let it show. “I think most couples have things they just don’t talk about, honey. Little things. Things that aren’t that important. Have I ever lied to Rick or purposely hidden something serious? Not intentionally. Not if I could help it.”
I could hear the squeak of Rica’s chair as she got up. If I had to guess, she was probably pacing a bit in her office at the clinic. “Honey, what is it? What’s going on?” Again the mechanical squeak let me know she was sitting once more. “I’ve been seeing someone. He’s a great guy. Funny, smart, strong. He’s good to me. I think you’d like him.” I could hear the smile in her voice. “That’s wonderful, Rica. You sound happy.” I didn’t want to say much more, to stop her from telling me whatever she needed to. “I am. Thanks.”
“He’s um….he’s part of the Shreveport pack. Works for Alcide Herveaux.” Rica knew that I would have no problem with supes of any kind. Her ex was a dear friend of mine. Even if he was a vampire executioner. “One of his coworkers had some trouble. Needed to get out of Shreveport and Bon Temps for a while.” I gave her a few moments to collect her thoughts. “Nothing wrong with helping someone who needs it, Rica.” “Even if I didn’t tell David that I let Jake stay at the apartment? Even after David came to NOLA?”
I knew there was more to the story, but now didn’t feel like the time to press. “If he asked you directly, would you tell him?” She answered quickly and without hesitation. “Of course.” I tried to smile so she could feel it in my voice. “Would anything change if you told him right now?” She laughed nervously. “Well, since I got a message from Jake asking me to look after his motorcycle until he got back….nothing. He’s no longer at the apartment.” “Then try not to worry too much about it, honey.” On the other end of the phone, I could hear a soft sigh. “You don’t think I did anything wrong?”
I chose my words carefully. “Unless Jake did something illegal and you were deliberately hiding him, you simply did what you did to help a friend. Whether or not David will be happy about it, I can’t say. But if Jake comes up in conversation, be honest.” Again she laughed a little. “Not sure Jake and I are friends, but I helped him because he’s David’s friend. It was just a place to sleep.” Since that sounded exactly like something I would do, I tried to reassure her. “Thanks, Bran. I really appreciate this.” “Of course, Rica. I hope one of these days I get to meet this guy of yours.” Finally, her laugh felt genuine and less nervous. “I hope so, too. Night, Bran.” I smiled as I said good night, ending the call and getting back to my dinner as I turned up the volume on the news again. I hoped this David of hers really was a good man. She deserved to be happy….again.