Six handwashings later, she'd managed to get her hands back to their normal flesh-tone coloring. It would take more than soap and water to dispel the feeling of violation on her soul.
Her first thought was that the intruder had been Sellers. However, the height and weight of the man had been all wrong. In fact, had it even been a man?
She picked up her cell phone, dialed, and waited for Sellers to pick up.
"Sellers' Realty."
"Mr. Sellers. This is Lucretia."
"Hello, dear. Have you reconsidered?"
"Not exactly," she hedged. "I was wondering who was interested in purchasing my house. It might make a difference in my decision."
"Well, no secret about that." Mr. Seller's chuckled. "Abigail Cartwright. And who better, since she's the head of the historical society."
"Abigail Cartwright?" Lucretia only knew one Abigail. She'd gone to school with a Abigail Perkins.
As if the realtor had read her mind, he continued, "She was a Perkins before she married. She's widowed now."
Pieces of the puzzle were beginning to reveal themselves.
Abby had made no secret of jealousy of Lucretia. She'd always wanted everything Lucretia had - especially Devon. In fact, Lucretia had no trouble picturing Abby as the intruder. What puzzled her the most was why Abby would know about a Lewis family heirloom. A book Lucretia, herself, knew nothing about.
But you do know. Devon's voice interrupted. Remember...
As if his words had opened a door she'd kept closed for far too long, memories began to materialize. Her grandmother and mother falling silent when she walked into a room, the cookbooks kept in a locked kitchen cupboard, and the air of speechless horror in the air the morning they'd looked out their window and saw that the Poe house next door was gone. Not burned down, not blown to bits, not destroyed, but simply gone.
What had really happened that night?
She had a feeling that once she'd figured that out, everything else would be crystal clear. But now she had a place to start looking.
The kitchen.