If you haven’t read January 19 yet, you can do so here.

If you stumbled onto this post by accident and haven’t read any of the other stories, head over to this post to find out more about this project.

“I’ll be back here for lunch around one. I’ve got some work to do so I’d prefer something like one of those tasting platters you got me the other day that I can nibble on. I have a private dinner this evening so I won’t be needing dinner, but I need you to go check on those snacks I had delivered yesterday.” 

Poppy listened to Adrienne’s list of tasks for the day forcing herself to keep a straight face. The actual job was a breeze, she spent most of her time on call but rarely had much to do. However, working for Adrienne McCoy sucked balls. It had been a week since Jessica had convinced her to take the job and somehow the other girl was still sick. Jessica had been right about the tips though. They were amazing. And it wasn’t just money, sometimes it was free drinks or snacks too. Most of her job involved making sure Adrienne’s food arrived at the time she wanted, the rest involved keeping the extravagant suite clean, a larger task than most suites but Adrienne was pretty tidy, so Poppy counted herself lucky. 

“Oh, I forgot to mention, I have some things laid out on my desk, if you could avoid disturbing them that would be great.” 

“Of course, ma’am.” Poppy smiled widely and waited for Adrienne to leave. Book club if Poppy had to guess. Poppy ignored the pang in her chest as she remembered who else would be at book club. Cleo. She’d seen Cleo visit a couple of times while she’d been working for Adrienne, but she never stayed the night that Poppy could tell. 

Poppy watched Adrienne strut out of the suite and forced her attention back to the task at hand. She had at least two uninterrupted hours to snoop around the suite. It had been almost a week and all she’d found out about Adrienne McCoy was that she was a bit of a workaholic and liked to have the occasional whiskey in the evenings. Plus, she really liked peanut M&Ms, hardly going to win Cleo over with that kind of knowledge. She cleaned as she went, beginning with the bedroom. 

Enormous king size bed that made Poppy more jealous than anything as she thought of the tiny room she shared with Jessica in the depths of the ship. A bunk bed and barely enough space for both of them to stand up, while Adrienne McCoy had a bathroom bigger than their entire cabin. Poppy glanced through the side tables noticing nothing of particular interest. A solitary vibrator, a tube of lube, a pair of handcuffs, nothing Poppy hadn’t seen in the bedroom of every woman she’d ever slept with. The second drawer held a notepad and pen, and the top held a couple of chargers and a book. The bathroom, deck, and sauna were equally uninteresting, the most interesting thing she found in the bathroom was anti-dandruff shampoo. 

Feeling dejected, Poppy glanced over the papers on Adrienne’s desk. She wasn’t an accountant but it all looked normal, no giant red marks that looked like the company was in trouble. She glanced through a couple of books on the bookshelf finding one about y Adrienne’s dad and the company, there were some cute photos of a tiny Adrienne wandering about in some old school Cruiseify merch so she snapped a couple of photos of those. 

Poppy was just about to give up on her search entirely when she spotted a little book at the end of one of the shelves with no writing on the spine. A notebook rather than a novel. She slid it out hoping for some kind of journal. Instead, she flicked through the first few pages and they were just lists of dates and names. 

Zelda 10/10/16

Amelia 10/12/16

Sophia 10/15/16

Sophia 10/16/16

Poppy flicked through the first few pages and saw way more names than she knew what to do with. Her first thought was dates and names of women she’d had sex with, but there were too many. It wasn’t possible. She flicked right to the end. 

Mikaela 01/12/20

Bingo. That wasn’t Cleo’s name. In fact, she was pleased to notice Cleo’s name wasn’t in there at all. She snapped photos of all the pages with her phone then returned the little notebook to its spot on the bookshelf. As she returned to cleaning the suite there was a renewed vigor to her actions. At least until she realized that she couldn’t tell Cleo what she knew without telling her how she knew it. Then she’d be in all kinds of trouble. This was all Jessica’s fault.

You can read January 21 here.

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