Pierce Danser’s soon-to-be ex-wife, the glamorous actress Pauline Place, has disappeared. She’s been kidnapped by a very dangerous man, intent on adding her to his bizarre and twisted collection.
But Pierce is determined to find and rescue her, no matter the obstacles, even if it means the loss of his own life. The clock is ticking, his resources are slim, and he’s up against a sick man with a twisted, cruel vision.
The Viewfinder replica was moored in the center of the Deung’s fifty-meter pool. The boat’s keel had been removed because it was no more needed than the twin Chrysler engines needed fuel. Deung stood parallel to the stern of the boat, looking at his wrist, which was torqued by the firing of the Judge. The gun had made an absurdly loud boom that was only muffled by the water and the hundreds of mattresses on the soundstage walls.
“That hurt me,” he said to the gun, admonishing it.
Deung extended the Judge behind his back, and Allister relieved him of it.
Deung looked across the water to his three security guards, crouched and wide-eyed, with their guns out of their holsters.
“Search it,” he said, pointing to the Viewfinder. He saw the spray of blood on the transom lettering.
The three guards lowered themselves into the water and swam to the boat as Deung squatted and pulled the tow line that drew the dinghy to him. It had been fitted with a 5hp trolling motor, and Deung cruised across the pool, meeting with the guards at the swimming platform. He frowned. There was little blood.
He pointed to the ladder, still frowning, and the first guard climbed. When the other two were aboard, Deung followed. He remained at the back rail, letting them go forward, weaving through the white floral displays and the guests already aboard.
The guests were posed and looking pleased. Most sat on the deck benches, but a few stood on their own, the aluminum support bars barely visible. It was a nice gathering of well-dressed, unknown faces, and a few that had once been familiar and famous; all stiff and stuffed and looking happy, their large eyes bright with delight. Deung had worked the guest list carefully for the wedding reception. One of the famous was a peer of Pauline’s. He had tried to dig up others.
While the guards entered the salon and continued the search, Deung called across to Allister, “Who was that?”
Allister was studying the blood cloud in the wavering pool water at the rear of the Viewfinder.
“No idea. We’ll pull him out and see.”
Deung ducked around the camera and tripod mounted to the stern and looked out to the water. The surface was dancing and shimmering and bloodstained.
“Is that a lot of blood?” he called.
“Yes,” Allister answered.
Deung stepped around a lighting mount and looked to the salon doors for his guards. He could hear them calling tersely to one another as they searched the boat.
“It was a white guy. Not a local,” Deung shouted to Allister. “Any ideas?”
“I don’t like that answer.”
From inside the short hall one of the guards called out, “Borra todo,” giving the all clear.
The three soaked guards came out through the salon door in single file and stood among the guests looking uncertain, with their eyes avoiding the standing and sitting dead.
“Did you disturb my wedding bed?’ Deung asked. “Never mind—I’ll look.”
He entered the salon, crossed to the galley, and went down the steps. The other compartment doors were closed, but the stateroom door stood open. He stepped in to the foot of the bed. Light and air were entering from the opening in the ceiling where the cameras, boom mics, and lights were at the ready. The room was a festival of white lilies and looked undisturbed. Deung went back topside.
He walked past the reception guests and his guards and climbed over the back rail on the ladder, speaking just before lowering from view, “You three find the intruder. Shouldn’t be difficult.”
With that, he cautiously climbed into the dinghy and motored across to where Allister stood ready to assist.
Deung climbed up with some difficulty, rolling on the concrete and pedaling his legs to stand. Allister offered a hand and it was waved away.
“Call your boy, that Ethan, and make sure my Pauline is okay,” Deung ordered. “Place more security with her,” he added.
Allister dialed his radiophone and Deung looked back to the pool where his three guards were treading water before dunking under to chase down the intruder.
by Greg Jolley
Publication date: December 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=80IIEAAAQBAJ
Greg Jolley (also published under Gregory French) earned a master of art in writing from the University of San Francisco. He is the author of sixteen novels and one collection about the fictional, film industry-based Danser family. He currently lives in the Very Small town of Ormond Beach, Floridaa Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
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