Day 10 Mystery genre entry for the Baker's Dozen contest.
| When Sam arrived at the party her eye was drawn to a photo frame on the kitchen counter with digital photos circulating through it. Standing there she watched the photos, curious who was at the party and what she had already missed. They were the usual party pictures happy and fun seemed to radiate, but one picture caught her eye. The woman she didn’t know... but the guy was her friend’s boyfriend, Matt. They were in bed together. She shifted to cover the frame until the shot moved on.
The pictures had been taken near the beginning of the party. The hostess, Janice had thought it would be cool to have all her attendees take snap shots of the things they were enjoying at the party. The idea was so popular; the first memory card was already full and thus circulating in the photo frame. Looking around, Sam could see the camera passing from person to person among the throng of revellers.
This was some party. A birthday party, actually. Sam had been invited by a friend of a friend so she barely knew the host or hostess but no one seemed to mind.
She moved on from the kitchen, taking an unopened cooler that was handed off to her. She smiled at the guy who smiled back, then watched as another woman dragged his fine ass off in the other direction. Too bad.
Searching through the crowd she managed to find her friend out by the pool. Jamie had gotten to the party hours before her and Sam could tell from her glazed, beaming smile that she was well on her way to drunk.
“Sammy, you showed. We were going to start taking bets...” Her friend’s words slurred and Sam gave her a smile shaking her head.
“I told you I’d be here...maybe I should have gotten here earlier.”
“Yes. You should have.” Her friend admonished.
“Where’s Matty?” Sam asked looking about to see if she could find him.
“He’s around somewhere. You know we’re going to get married. I told you, right?”
“Only every day since he proposed two weeks ago.” Sam said, forcing a smile.
Sam had had her suspicions about Matt. He seemed to latch on to Jamie and she could not shake the feeling he was there more for her money than for her. Jamie came from money. She didn’t flaunt it, but it certainly made her life easier. Seeing that picture confirmed it. It proved something and she itched to get that photo and show her friend. Get her to see the light, so to speak. She would have to talk to Janice.
“What does Janice look like?” she asked casually.
“Janice...” Jamie asked, then gazed around them. “She’s the girl over there.” She pointed towards the bar on the other side of the of the pool deck.
The woman looked familiar.
Sam excused herself, telling Jamie she was going to get a drink. She walked around the pool towards the bar. As she got closer the woman shifted and she was able to place her. She was the woman in the photo with Matt. Another rich woman. Was there a pattern here?
She moved through the crowd and back into the kitchen. She wanted to see that photo again, but when she got there the frame was black and empty. She picked it up to see if someone had turned it off and noticed that the memory card had been removed. Placing it back down she looked over the crowd wondering who would take it.
It could be Matt trying to hide his infidelity. It could be Janice; she could want to hide the infidelity as well. Then there was the question of who took the photo in the first place. Sam stood considering these things.
Then she saw Matt talking to his buddy, Garrett. Sam never liked Garrett. He gave her the creeps. There was something underhand and slimy about him. She usually avoided him whenever she could. Him being here raised red flags. Serious red flags.
She watched as something was passed between him. She waited until Garrett slunk off back into the crowd then followed Matt as he moved back towards Jamie. She caught up to him just out of hearing range and touched his arm.
He smiled a little more than usual, then leaned into her, “Sammy. You showed.” He sounded a bit drunk.
She noted Janice walking close by then. Now was her chance.
“What are you doing with the memory card from the photo frame?”
He looked at her blankly.
“I saw Garrett give it to you... and I saw a picture of you on it... not a good picture, either.”
His face broke into a fake smile and he leaned into her, pretending to lose his balance. “Stay out of this, Sammy.”
“Out of what?” She asked innocently.
“That’s my business.” He said flatly.
“Not if it involves my best friend.”
He stared at her. Coldly. Sam stood her ground. She was suddenly glad she was not alone with him.
“Just give me the memory card.” She raised her voice at this and several people looked. One was Janice, who began to move towards them.
“You have my memory card?” She asked looking at him angrily.
“Give it.” Sam said again.
He pulled it out of his pocket and Janice made a grab for it. It flipped out of her hand and sailed through the air, landing in the pool.
“Son of a Bitch.” Matt muttered, then glared at Sam.
“Leave.” Was all Janice managed to say.
Matt turned and left, pushing passed Jamie, who had got up to see what all the fuss was about.
“Matty.” She called, but he kept on moving.
“You are better off without him, sweetie.” Janice said reassuringly.
Sam glanced at her and saw she knew.
“Thank You.” She whispered to Sam.
Word Count = 985