Bitter Pill (Sisterhood #32) - Fern Michaels Page 0,1

possession of the Chagall, he would hire a private security company, which would cost a small fortune, to deliver the artwork and keep guard over it during the gala he would hold at the club, then take it to a special locker at the Museum of Modern Art. He had made arrangements for the museum to borrow the painting in the fall. He wanted to spend his summer being known in the Hamptons as a great art connoisseur.

Yes, his group of “longevity” doctors—and their new protocol to moderate the progress of aging—had brought him and his two partners the wealth to live an extravagant lifestyle, something he was enjoying immensely. He had a co-op in Manhattan and now this modest home in Sag Harbor.

Corbett knew that he and his partners would have to retire soon—before the world learned the truth. There were two old biddies who could ruin it all. Lorraine Thompson had died of an accidental overdose, and Marjorie Brewster had had an incident that sent her into convulsions, the treatment for which put her in a semiconscious state. Even with the waivers and nondisclosure agreements their patients had agreed to, those incidents would eventually pop up on someone’s radar. They had been lucky enough to fly under the radar for a good long while. These were simply a couple of mishaps. He, Marcus, and Steinwood had made a killing. He smirked. No pun intended.

But enough of that. He picked a silk ascot, which added an additional three hundred dollars to his already ridiculously expensive ensemble, and left for the party.

Chapter 1


Myra Rutledge repositioned herself on the antique settee on the terrace of her farmhouse. The letter she was holding in her lap was disturbing. Looking around at the luscious flowers overflowing their Italian terra-cotta pots, she inwardly smiled at their beauty, but that did not change the gloom that had descended on her.

“Good morning, love,” Charles, her husband and partner, said, giving her a peck on the cheek. “Why so glum? It’s a spectacular day!”

Myra picked up the letter and handed it to Charles. “It’s from Charlotte.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“This letter. She sounds very depressed and a little disoriented,” Myra answered.

Charles began to read. “My dear Myra, I am visiting Maryann in London. I thought it would be a good change of scenery for me, but I’m feeling rather low. I’ve been somewhat forgetful lately and get a little ‘foggy’ at times. I am seeing a doctor here, Dr. Julian Marcus, who has me on a boatload of medications. He was recommended by my doctor in Aspen, Dr. Harold Steinwood, who took over Dr. Leeland’s practice. I was wondering if I could come by for a visit on my way back to Aspen. You always cheered me on . . . even when my first book submission was turned down! Don’t want to intrude, but I could really use a friend right now.”

Charles stopped reading. “Well, old girl, there doesn’t seem to be anything else to do except get her here as soon as possible.”

“Oh, Charles, you are such a dear. I know all the people coming in and out can be disruptive at times, but things have been very quiet for a while, and there doesn’t seem to be anything on the horizon to change that. I know you were relishing our having time alone, but I have a bad feeling about this thing with Charlotte. Back in the day, she was always the Pollyanna.” Myra took his hand and brushed her lips along his fingertips.

“Keep that up, and we’ll have to lock the doors!” Charles chortled. Then Myra playfully slapped his hand away.

“Please make the travel arrangements for her. I’ll send her an e-mail telling her to expect a full itinerary by the end of the day.” Myra was feeling more like herself—giving Charles orders, which he gladly acted upon.

“Will do, love. But do you suppose we should check on her availability first?”

“My instincts are telling me we need to do this pronto!” She gave him a pat on the bum. “Now go!”

Charles took a small bow. “At your service, my lady.”

* * *

Charlotte’s father had been the groundskeeper for Myra’s family’s farm when she and Charlotte were teenagers. She and her father had lived in one of the small cottages on the property, and Charlotte, Myra, and Annie would explore the vast farm and make up stories together. Charlotte had gone on to become an author of children’s books. She had made a Copyright 2016 - 2024