swiftly uncapped the bottle and began to pour its contents into Charles'
drink. Suddenly, she felt a presence behind her.
"Excuse me," Lorraine
muttered as she bumped into Annabelle.
quite alright." She quickly recapped the bottle as she hid her
actions from sight and turned around. "Quite a lot of interesting
events going on tonight, aren't there?"
"That's probably an understatement." Lorraine's attitude
toward Annabelle was chilly. "Charles, are you doing alright?"
Her eyes darted back and forth between Charles and Annabelle.
"I'm doing better since I've been talking to Annabelle, here."
He reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "She's made me
understand exactly how foolishly I've reacted to certain slanderous comments
against my family."
"Ah, I see." Lorraine's voice was tinged with sarcasm as she
faced the bartender and requested a drink. She took a sip and sat it down
before addressing Charles again. "Well, I'm sure everything will work
out for the best. Reginald
are so perfect for one another."
"I hope so." Charles muttered in reply.
"Well, I need to find my date," Lorraine said as she picked up her
glass. "Seems Patterson
has disappeared somewhere. He's probably off trying to soothe Dane's
wounded ego. Honestly, I've never understood how those two could be such
"And I wonder where Francis
has gone," Charles spoke up as Lorraine walked away. "She went
to find Maggie
and send her home, but I haven't seen her since. She must be off gabbing
mother." He took a few steps away from the bar to make a quick
survey of the ball room for a glimpse of his wife.
Seeing her chance, Annabelle swiftly pulled out the bottle again and reached
for Charles' drink. Turning her back to hide her actions, she looked at
the bottle and smiled. She'd only managed to pour in a little of it's
contents before Lorraine had interrupted. As she picked up Charles' drink,
her eyes grew wide with shock...there was a smudge of lipstick on the glass.
She quickly realized what had happened. Lorraine had taken the wrong
"Annabelle?" Charles' voice came from behind her.
"What's going on? Can I have my drink?"
"Oh...why...yes, of course." She slipped the bottle back into
her purse and quickly wiped the lipstick off the rim of the glass.
"Here you go, Charles." She handed him the drink and smiled.
"You know, it's a little too loud in here. Why don't we go into the
lounge? I'm sure the quietness will greatly improve your mood.
Besides, it will give us a chance to talk."
"What are you up to?" he questioned as he watched her closely.
"Nothing!" she laughed nervously and clutched her purse tightly.
"It's just so loud in here."
"Well, I guess there's no harm. Just don't try anything
funny." He slowly left her side and walked toward the lounge.
"Me?" she chuckled. As she quickly followed him, she prayed
that she would get another chance to gain possession of his drink.
Suddenly, a thought struck her. Exactly how much of the contents of the
bottle had she managed to get into Lorraine's drink and what would happen when
Lorraine downed the tainted cocktail?