Murder by the Written Word IX
"How could I be so foolish as to want to marry this bum?" Tiffany mumbled under her breath.
By now it was beginning to get dark and she could detect flickering lights in the distance.
"Dale," She said in her raspy voice. "What the heck is over there?"
"Yep, we're almost there. Now you better do as I say from now on and don't try to pull a fast one on me or you'll spoil the catch. I'll explain later. Just follow my cue when I look at you," Dale said as the car stopped behind some dry bushes.
Tiffany followed close behind Dale as he made his way from the car toward the flickering lights. She had no idea what she was walking into. She began to have questioning thoughts in her mind.
“What was left to clean up or who was left to be arrested? Confessions had been given, arrests made, and Margaret found. What was left that she was unaware of?” Tiffany puzzled and began to question her decision to trust Dale again.
They finally reached the clearing and Dale stepped aside exposing Tiffany to the scene in front of them. A small table with a white cloth and two chairs sat in the middle of a circle of tiny sparkling white lights. The table was set with Bone China plates and crystal goblets for two. A tall white candle surrounded by three purple orchids graced the center of the table. A man in a black tuxedo stood near the table and when he saw Dale and Tiffany, he lifted a violin to his chin and began to play “My Endless Love.”
Another man in a tuxedo walked to the table, and moved a chair back and motioned to Tiffany. She tried to move toward the man but felt as though her feet were planted in the dirt.
Dale gently took her arm and led her to the table. As soon as she was seated he walked around the table and took his chair. Tiffany was unable to speak. She remembered wondering if the cat has Dale’s tongue. Apparently it had hers now.
“Tiffany,” Dale spoke her name. Looking across the table Dale noticed how the candlelight reflected on her smooth ivory skin and deep cherry lips. Her long auburn hair hung across her shoulders and her eyes seemed to sparkle.
“Tiffany,” Dale said again.
“Dale, what is all of this?” Tiffany managed to mutter...
“Tiffany, I have loved you for such a long time and when you walked away from our plan to spend the rest of our life together, I felt that my world had ended. I existed without you, but I didn’t live. Then we acted almost like we hated each other and when everything started happening, murder, sabotage and all of the other crazy things going on in our lives, there was no time to work this out. So, I decided to bring you out here where we would have no interruptions and see if we can’t work this out. I love you Tiffany Armstrong with all my heart and I will love you forever,” Dale avowed. He slowly reached for Tiffany’s hand that lay limp on the table.
“I made a real mess of things, Dale. I really did. There were so many times I wanted to call you and tell you how much I loved you. But I just couldn’t. I did finally reach a point that I knew I had to see you. I had to tell you why I couldn’t marry you. To at least give you the opportunity to still love me or tell me you couldn’t love me anymore.” Tiffany’s eyes filled with tears and her voice quivered.
“Oh Tiffany, why didn’t you come? What stopped you? What could have ever made you think I didn’t love you? I’ve tried so hard to understand it all. Did you just fall out of love with me? Did I do something? Honey, tell me if I did.” There was desperation in Dales’ voice.
The tears flowed from Tiffany’s eyes as she gripped Dale’s hand tightly.
“Dale, I have never for one moment stopped loving you. You are my soul mate. But I had a terrible secret and I was afraid to tell you and I couldn’t carry this secret into our marriage.”
“Then tell me your secret. Make it our secret. Please, Tiffany.”
To be continued …