Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 28

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

Anne’s fists balled on her hips again. The gesture was becoming a bad habit. “Listen, without us you would have zilch on this case. You need to think beyond the counterfeiting and your nice, easy case. My friend was murdered because she contacted you about what she discovered.”

Erik looked stricken and pulled back as if she had suddenly sprouted snakes for hair.

Anne softened her demeanor, holding her hands out almost in supplication. “Please, we only want justice for Carol. She was too special for her life to be shoved aside in favor of a case about money.”

Tom wisely kept quiet, in fact he didn’t even seem to be breathing as Erik considered. Had she gone too far?

“You know I’m not the bad guy here, right?”

Anne swallowed. “I do know that. You’ve been swell. I never meant to imply—”

Erik waved her fumbling response into silence. “All right, I’ll give you the chance to do this your way. We’re only going to get the one opportunity. If it doesn’t go well my boss will take over and the only thing he gives a fig for is the job. He’ll play it straight by the book.”

Chastened, Anne swallowed again and nodded. Her words had really wounded him, the hurt in those gorgeous eyes was so obvious that she wanted to shout an apology. And that comment about his boss. Was it possible he was sticking his neck out on this case?

“So here’s how it is going to play out. I’ll get a wire for both of you. I’ll also see if I can get the boys to place a tap through one of the walls. Tom I need you to describe the layout of the house and grounds, so we get it in the right place.”

“I have paper, Tom’s an artist, he could draw it.” Anne volunteered. It was poor compensation for her previous attitude, but hopefully it would help to make amends.

Erik nodded and she hopped up to retrieve paper and pen and clear a space on the side table for Tom to sketch.

Tom bent over the paper, his tongue protruding slightly from between his teeth as he concentrated on the diagram.

Erik ran downstairs to send one of his men to retrieve the equipment they would need.

At loose ends, Anne wandered into the kitchen. Should she make a pot of coffee? It might prove to be a long night. She settled for another bottle of Coke and stood looking out the window at the scant patch of backyard shrouded in drying laundry.

“Lord, we need your help if we are going to succeed in this crazy plan. Please pour out wisdom and discernment on us as we go into this lion’s den.”


Anne started, dumping half her soda down the front of her blouse.

Erik stood in the door, brows raised in expectation as he waited for her to repeat what he’d obviously taken as a comment addressed to him.

Anne snatched a kitchen towel and blotted at the mess. “I was praying.”

The corners of his mouth quirked up in a rueful smile. “Say one for me while you’re at it. I have a feeling we’re going to need prayer tonight.”

“Can I get you or your men anything?”

“If you have a thermos we’ll probably want some coffee later.”

Anne filled the percolator for what seemed the umpteenth time that day and then excused herself to change clothes. What was the proper wardrobe for a hostage? Something practical. Definitely, something practical. No four-inch heels. No skinny pencil skirts.

She pulled on a fuzzy warm sweater set, and traded her pumps for loafers. At least she’d be able to run if necessary. The men were moving and murmuring in the living room and for an instant she wanted nothing more than to hide under her covers with her pillow over her head. Bile seared the back of her throat. What was she thinking? This whole plan was crazy. Was she really going to try to lay a trap for a killer?

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