Wednesday, September 12, 2012

S5: Chapter 04: Columbo Was a Wimp

Warning: I felt it necessary to warn you all that this may be a little on the long side. I apologize in advance. Good luck solving the mystery (I tried to keep it simple!)

Yvette sat staring at the wall still feeling the pain of their last mission. She was so close to finding answers to the person behind the notes; he was so close yet so far away. She blew up a building lobby thanks to her carelessness but luckily no one was inside at the time. Though had she kept the pen on her, she would not be sitting here right now. How could she have been that blinded? The entire situation was beginning to really weigh on her but she remained quiet over the actual depth of her feelings about it.

It didn’t matter if she spoke outright or in actions though given that Brett could always sense when her mood was off. He’d watched her over the last month and saw her slip more and more into a state of depression and became determined to pull her out of it. Thumbing through the items they’d received from their wedding gifts he hung up the phone and took a seat beside her on the couch.

“Are you feeling any better?” he asked kissing her cheek and pulling her into his lap. “I know dinner really messed with you.”

“I’m fine I haven’t smelled anything that’s made my stomach flip thankfully but that can all change.” She leaned up and inhaled his cologne with a smile. “You changed your scent huh?”

“Well when your wife tells you that your smell makes her want to vomit and then proceeds to empty the contents of her stomach in your lap you come to realize changes need to be made. Does this mean I don’t have to dry clean the couch covers this time?”

“It’s nice Brett, thank you.”

“Anytime,” he smirked and kissed her lovingly on the forehead. “So I was going over our gifts earlier and decided to cash in those tickets for a little getaway. They’re for any time since it’s a year round event and I was wondering if you would like to go this weekend for a sort of mini vacation.”

“Go where?” she asked lazily playing with his hands as he massaged her scalp.”

“Cambridge; it’s a little Murder Mystery dinner and seminar.”

“What? You want to take me to a seminar as a ‘mini vacation’?” she asked curiously and drew from the couch to make herself a glass of water for her daily prenatal vitamins.

“Yes,” Brett shrugged and followed after her. “Why not? You enjoy your job, you’re really good at solving mysteries and haven’t been able to satisfy that side of your personality. I figured this was the perfect way to get you back into it.”

“But a murder mystery? I don’t see how a Murder Mystery Weekend is going to help me relax!” Yvette reworded the same song. Brett’s cousins had given them the tickets as a wedding gift to a new crime solving gadgets seminar and they were hosting a weekend mystery dinner to announce the arrival of the newest devices in technology to law enforcement. 

“Well I hope you’re not planning to say no because you don’t honestly have a choice in the matter. I’ve already asked Dustin and Ryan to tag along and they’re both excited about it. Victor couldn’t join us because he’d already planned on taking Kiara to Disney World for her birthday so…we’re making it into a group thing. Besides Yve, you need something to take your mind off things and this is like work only no pressure and more fun!”

“More fun? What could be more fun than chasing down bad guys out on the streets and nailing them with a right hook just as they think they are making it over the wall?”

“Yes well you’re not going to be doing that for a while,” he smiled and nodded towards her growing baby bump. “And come on what about seeing Mica and Stefanie? That’ll be nice I’m sure.”

“Yeah. A little ‘girl time’ may be just what I need.”

“Good because as I said, you had no choice.” He took her hand and led her upstairs to the bedroom.

“Welcome everyone I’m very pleased to see so many faces in the audience tonight. As many of you know this weekend’s event is hosted by the Barker Corporation and we very much appreciate everything they’ve provided for us so we can make this event one of the most memorable to date! Prepare yourselves everyone!” 

“We’re in for a night of chills, thrills and blood spills as a murder takes us on a ride like never before! Will you uncover the killer before he, or she, strikes again? We will begin in just a moment but please feel free to help yourselves to drinks and snacks at the bar near the back.”

“Are you cold?” Dustin asked and placed his arm over Mica’s shoulders. She pulled herself closer into his chest but shook her head no. Slowly she inhaled his cologne as it coated the fabric of his shirt and a smile formed on her lips. Leaning over he could smell her Armani Code as it pulsed on her intimate parts and inhaled with a satisfied smirk. Placing a kiss on her bottom lip, he whispered against them and excused himself. “I’ll grab us some drinks.”

“Oh and a few cookies too,” she added watching the chef bring out a fresh tray of chocolate chip.

“Sure thing,” he smiled watching her rubbing her arms. “For someone not cold you’re certainly trying to get warm.” He sniffed his shirt realizing her perfume had saturated the cotton and frowned “And now I got your girl stink all over me,” he tossed over his shoulder as he, Ryan and Brett moved to the buffet table.

“You should be happy to have my ‘girl stink’ on your crappy shirt!” she shot back and rubbed the collar of his jacket against her neck causing him to frown briefly before laughing at her marking her territory. Yvette rubbed her hand over her belly and sighed smelling the freshly baked pastries. The baby was begging for a small taste of chocolate and it only made her anxious. “How’s the pregnancy ups and downs?” Mica asked noticing her adjusting in her seat.

Yvette pulled her chair closer towards the table until she was finally comfortable and breathed a relieved breath. “Not bad when I don’t feel bloated or cramped. For the most part my morning sickness has been isolated to mid afternoons though I do get the occasional heave right before bedtime. What bothers me the most is my dear, sweet husband is treating me like a piece of Chinaware and I’m about ready to snap his neck.”

“Ah yeah, I noticed the ‘handle with care’ sticker he tattooed on your forehead when he helped you in and out of the car. I could understand if you were bigger but, you’ve barely grown as big as you’re gonna get!”

“Thank you! Now try telling that to him! I can only imagine what his plans are for me when this belly expands to where my cute little toes disappear!”

“Brett has always been like that; well for as long as I’ve known him,” Stefanie laughed. “I remember he had this one girlfriend that was very clumsy to the point where if she had to go anywhere he was on her arm practically carrying her just so she didn’t fall. I’ve always thought it was sweet but Ryan always had a joke about it that made me laugh.”

“If Brett starts carrying me I’m loading my side arm and shooting him in the knee.”

“Here we are,” the guys announced and handed their ‘dates’ the food they’d freed from the buffet table. “They didn’t have any ice Sweetheart so I hope you don’t mind warm lemonade.” Brett slid the plate in front of his wife and took his seat beside her.

“It’s fine Brett, thank you.”

“You know there are laws against what you’re doing to Yve,” Mica smiled towards Yvette as her gaze darted to Brett’s. “Really it can’t be good for the baby.”

“No it’s great. She stays safe, my son sleeps well and it helps put my mind at ease. I’m just anxious to get this one out and put another one in there.”

“If you really think I’m letting you do this to me again, you’re crazy!” Yvette bit into her cookie and laughed watching Brett’s expression fall but before he could offer a complaint or rebuttal, the band started playing and the attention went towards the stage.

“Ok we’re ready to begin tonight’s events so if I could please have everyone’s attention,” the host Mr. Richard Sharsguard spoke and took the podium once more. “You will notice a small bag at each of your seats. Inside you’ll find all of the necessary tools of an investigator and many of which are courtesy of Barker and their never-ending mission of making detective work easier. Please be sure and tell all of your friends about these gadgets. And now then without further ado, let the games begin!”

The music started up again but was quickly silenced as a loud crash broke through the fanfare and gala. The lights went out and the sound of gunfire filled the room. Many of the attendees ducked beneath their tables taking care to keep themselves out of the line of fire.

When the lights came on again everyone stood taking in the scene. “Well that was…strange,” Stefanie sighed not seeing anything changed within their area.

“Is everyone alright?” Yvette asked pulling up from the ground and moving towards the stage. A scream originated from the left side of the room and everyone’s attention immediately fell on the woman lying huddled in a massive pool of blood.

Dustin was the first to make it to her side. Pulling her to her feet he checked her for injuries and nodded negatively towards Brett as he joined them. “It’s not her.”

“No, look!” she pointed towards a man slumped over on the sofa against the wall. 

A pool of blood spilled beneath him and drained towards the gathering crowd. His shoulders were hunched in an awkward position and his legs were spread eagle. Leaning forward more Brett saw that the top half of the man’s head was blown completely off. Bits of bone and grey matter covered the wall and table behind him and more splatter drenched the curtains hanging behind him and he had taken one additional shot to the chest.

A gun had been tossed into another puddle of blood just at his feet and a set of bloody bootprints led out of the room towards a set of stairs marked Employees Only. “Everyone stay back, keep this area cleared,” Ryan instructed as he designated a decent amount of room around the body.

“That could have been me,” the woman remarked dazedly as she dropped into a seat beside Mica. “It s-s-should’ve been me. Paul and I switched seats moments before the game began.”

“You knew the victim?” Brett asked moving towards her.

She nodded her head but never looked up at him. “Paul Whitney. He and I work for the Barker Corporation. I’m the Executive Officer of Finance and he is the Assistant Manager for Public Relations. We came as part of a company publicity gig.”

“And you are?”

“Diane Lively; I helped organize this event.” She looked at her hands and the red liquid staining her fingers and immediately began shrieking. “Get it off! Get it off!”

“Calm down Ma’am, it’s only corn syrup,” Dustin admonished hoping to settle her before she had a total panic attack.

“So is it safe to assume she’s not in on the murder? Or perhaps she’s just trying to throw us off.” Stefanie asked pulling out a small notepad from the bag they’d received and jotting down a note. “I’m marking you as suspect number one; switching seats so early in the game is highly suspicious.” Ryan turned to look at his kid sister and she shrugged. “What? I’m right aren’t I? Don’t act like you weren’t thinking it too!”

The crowd moved around the table and everyone began examining pieces of evidence that lay around the area. “Hmm an unpaid ticket for the valet and a half eaten chocolate chip cookie,” one woman noted as she took in the scene. “Perhaps the valet did it; it would be different than the butler. I guess he should have remembered to tip,” she giggled at her own lame joke and moved beside a man dressed for a fancy dinner.

“Looks like he paid, with his life,” Ryan slid his shades into his pocket and looked towards Brett.

“Um dude, I think you need to lay off the TV shows,” Dustin cocked his brow and shook his head at his corny line.

“What? CSI is awesome!”

“Yeah but you should leave the acting to the professionals. There’s a reason your name isn’t in the credits of that show.”

“Ah so the victim has been discovered!” Mr. Sharsguard smiled and started towards the crowd. “Excellent! And I am sure there are plenty of questions already forming within your minds as to why this man. Well to answer your questions, we’ve set up a small interrogation room. Each of you will get to conduct a round of interviews with each of the suspects and you will find their dossiers on the table just outside in the hall.”

The crowd immediately dispersed and headed up the stairs to begin their investigation and Brett noticed Yvette lagging behind. He started towards her just as Stefanie pulled away from the scene and rushed towards Ryan to grab her dossier. “Are you ok?  Come on we don’t want to get too far behind; you can’t let Stefanie beat us! How embarrassing would that be?”

Yvette smiled and took her husband’s hand with a sigh. “I’m fine just taking it all in.” He followed her gaze noting the setup of the room and the position of the body to where Diane said she had been sitting. 

“I see; maybe Stefanie was onto something after all. It is highly suspicious she changed seats at such a stage of the event. Her spot is clearly marked as is everyone’s in that area. You know first place is a deluxe model entertainment center complete with a 52” LCD/HDTV flat panel television, an iPod touch, a year of free DirecTV and 20 music, apps or books downloads. Second place gets a dinner for two to the Carmine and third place gets a voucher for return visit to the next Barker Corporation funded event.”

“That explains why Stef is working her ass off.” Yvette watched as Paul Whitney pulled a glass towards his lips, took a sip and slumped back into position. “How long do you think he has to be dead?”

“I don’t know. Let’s go though. I’m anxious to interview our list of suspects.” 

Handing Yvette a dossier, the couple entered the first available room and took a seat across from a very classy woman. She was wrapped in fur, draped in diamonds and petting a cat that seemed content in her lap. Yvette took a seat across from her and Brett stood behind his wife as she began the interrogation. “Let’s start with something easy, your name and occupation.”

“Mrs. Camilla Farnsworth and this handsome fellow is Mr. Kipling. I am an heiress I suppose one could say. My family made its fortune selling cat condos and now Mr. Kipling and I travel the world and just enjoying life!”

“Hiya! I’m Hailey! Hailey St. John! I guess you could say I’m sorta a rancher! I work with my Pa out on our farm in Montana. I came to see my brother here in the city for a spell and it’s sure been a blast!” She burped and excused herself with a smile. “I had myself a few drinks earlier but I’m such a lightweight they tend to stick with me for a while!”

“How are ya Beautiful?” Brett took a step forward and Colton laughed and propped his leg on top of the other. “The name’s Colton Blake. I couldn’t help but notice the ring on your finger and I must wonder does your husband know about us?” he winked and nodded to her belly. 

“Please, I’m Naomi Baxter, everyone should know that and if not now then very soon because I’m destined for fame and fortune. I’ll be a household name once my star takes flight. Mark my words.”

“You already know my name, it’s Diane Lively! Look I get why you’re looking at me for this but I had nothing to do with it! Like that girl said out there when I changed seats it looked suspicious, sure! But if I hadn’t that would be me laying out there right now!”

“Why exactly am I a suspect? Let me guess, it’s because I’m the butler right? How typical. You know I’ve worked here for over twenty years and not once have I received a Christmas bonus! No, no. Instead they save all of their funds for these events and buy the winners a large screen television or a dinner they don’t need.”

Ryan glanced at Stefanie and sighed before turning back to the man in front of him. “Sir all I asked for was your name…”

“Sure ignore my pain; take only what you came for! But you’d better not expect I’ll be the one cleaning up after you tonight! I’m Thomas Cadbury. Not Cadbury, not T.C. and not ‘ey you’.” 

“I’m Adrian Parker. I work as an accountant for Maynard and Young. I’m not exactly sure why I’m in here to be honest. I didn’t see what happened I don’t think anyone did the lights went out! Besides I was all the way across on the other side of the room. Can I go? I don’t even want to be here anymore.”

Mica marked something on the tablet in front of her and shook her head. “You can’t leave until everything has been cleared up, sorry,” she smiled at Dustin as he leaned forward and pushed against the wall just over her shoulder. “Did you know the victim?”

“It depends, was he a producer? Director? Script writer? I mean look at me! Do I look like the type to associate with someone that ISN’T in upper crest Hollywood set? I mean come on, a girl’s gotta eat.” She winked at Brett and he smiled in return.

Yvette cleared her throat loudly and continued with the questioning. “It says here you and Mr. Whitney had dinner two nights ago at Chez Lévesque. If you didn’t know him why were you having dinner with him?”

“Like I said, a girl’s gotta eat! I wouldn’t turn down a free meal no matter if the guy was a total loser. It’s like the bit parts in a horror flick. As any Hollywood pro would tell you, there are no small roles!”

“Were you aware that Paul Whitney was a married man?” she noticed her eyes on Brett once more and slammed her open hand onto the table loudly to regain her attention. “And so is he!” Naomi slowly rolled her eyes off of Brett and back towards Yvette.

“Of course I knew. He made it a big show to everyone about the meal ticket his secret wife had become for him. She is the apparent breadwinner in that family isn’t that right Mr. Kipling?” Camilla nuzzled her pet and the cat purred loudly at the feel of her fur being rubbed back. “If you ask me she had the most motive out of anyone. I mean it is such a sad thing having to live in secret and then on top of that being forced to care for the man as well. Who wouldn’t want to kill him?”

“I could hear them arguing practically every night. She wanted out of that marriage but he wasn’t about to let her go, oh no. If anything he would see her ruined first. What she didn’t know was that he had a thing on the side. I bet she was pretty pissed once his mistress became the sole beneficiary to his will! It’s enough reason to kill.” Cadbury leaned back in his seat with a smug look on his face as he thought back to the night of the argument. “Boy was she heated. The entire bedroom floor was covered in broken pottery and dirt. And guess who had to clean it up! Go on, take your best guess!”

“And how long had he been seeing this other woman?”

“I can’t be sure. She didn’t stay in town. In fact I had to call for transportation for him to and from the airport and a hotel under an assumed name. She only came up for a short visit most times but they were inseparable when she was here.”

“Something smells really sweet,” Stefanie sniffed and scrunched her nose as she flipped to the next page of her tablet. “So Mr. Whitney was going to divorce his wife?” Stefanie asked jotting down more notes. “Did she know about that?”

“Well golly I’m sure everyone knew at this point. He wasn’t makin’ it a secret that he’d done got fed up with her. He even told one of his coworkers that the only thang she was good for he wasn’t gettin’ no more so she’d done used up her usefulness. Daddy always said that a horse you can’t lead to water is better off put to pasture. I guess Mr. Whitney decided to do the same. Maybe she went on ahead and done him first!”

“There’s nothing wrong with a man that has a few ladies on call. Hell I’d be mad if one didn’t. I bet that old husband of yours has one or two mistresses, he seems the type. You know the insatiable in bed, always looking for the next time he’ll get off. I’ve seen tons of men like him in my travels and I’ll be damned of every one of them didn’t have another honey just waiting for their call. You’d better keep an eye on him. Better yet, you can just give me a call on the nights he doesn’t come home.”

“Keep flirting with my wife Blake and I’ll shove my size twelve boot up your ass. Now I’ll ask again, when was the last time you spoke with Whitney?”

“Well we were coordinating this event together; we spoke often because of our jobs. The last in-depth conversation we had concerned an email I received that was intended for him. It was in reference to his will. Apparently he was trying to change the beneficiary on his will to someone else but it was immediately halted by his wife.” She smiled to herself and shook her head. “Serves him right if you ask me; sneaking around behind her back like that!”

“And you’re sure the last time you saw him was that night? Looking at your files it states you had a few dinners with the victim as well as an outing to another of his company’s social gatherings.” 

“Alright, alright, he called me the night after the dinner. Said he wanted to talk about our future together and I blew him off. I told him we had no future, it was one dinner and I had no intentions of wasting my time on such a small time man. I have big dreams and they don’t include taking care of someone that should be taking care of me! Besides, he wasn’t too heartbroken. I saw him having drinks with someone not even a day after he called me!”

“Tax season last year. I don’t make it a habit of contacting my clients unless it’s some urgent matter that needs their immediate attention. It’s rare but it happens. But after our last meeting I told Paul I couldn’t be his accountant anymore. What he wanted from me I just couldn’t and wouldn’t do!”

“And what was that?”

“He needed me to hide some money for him off the books kind of thing. I don’t know why I didn’t bother to ask and I didn’t want to know anything more. I ended the conversation before it got too far.”

“One last question, where was Paul Whitney sitting in relation to you?” Mica asked watching his reaction closely.

“He was sitting to my right,” Adrian sighed and rubbed his hands across his temples.

“No he was on Adrian’s left. I saw them switch seats at some point but I didn’t understand why. We’re all assigned a certain seat and that’s the reason I noticed. He moved at the start of the event!”

“I’m fairly certain I was in front of Paul. No, no, maybe somewhere close to his right.”

“Well you see Paul is a rather short-tempered man. He’s always blowing up about one thing or another. So when Adrian moved in front of him, Paul made it a point to slide his chair further over to see around him. It made an unusual scraping sound as he dragged it against the carpet.”

“Thank you Mrs. Farnsworth. If we have any other questions we’ll let you know.”

“Of course.

“It was Colton Blake,” Brett sighed the moment they were out into the hallway. “It was him and he needs to be arrested.”

Dustin gave him a curious look and Yvette began laughing as he threw his hands up exaggerating his point. “Baby he’s a flirt, not a murderer. You have to look at this objectively.”

“I am looking at this objectively and it is what it is. He’s guilty.”

“And what evidence do you have proving that?”

“Doesn’t matter, we’ll make it fit.”

“Let me guess, he told you Vette had a nice rack?” Dustin asked pulling Mica closer towards his side.

“No he implied he impregnated her then proceeded to make kissy faces and continuously compliment her ass. After all that he tried to give her his card and offered her his ‘services’ on nights I don’t come home! He told you Mica had a nice rack?”

“Dude I was seconds away from punching his face in! If we can make this guy go down for this thing, I’m right there with you Man.” Mica and Yvette stepped back watching the two and laughed at the sight of their jealous men.

“Hey! You guys figure it out yet?” Stefanie yelled rushing into the hallway towards the group. “Have you interviewed the actress?” she asked marking something off on the notepad in her hand. “She’s a real piece of work!”

Everyone turned and looked at Ryan and he put his hands up defensively. “Hey, she didn’t get that from me! I take no credit for the things that come out of her mouth! But I can’t help but agree with her. That girl was a real piece of work. The heiress on the other hand,” he took a step into the group, narrowed his eyes and took on a Philip Marlowe persona. “She was a classy dame I could tell by the way she moved. She had style, she had grace, she had…a pet cat,” Ryan pretended to take a puff of a cigarette and gazed over his group with a smile.

“Let me guess,” Dustin sighed and folded his arms into his chest. “Film Noir?” 

“Pretty good huh?”

“No.” Dustin took Mica’s hand and they entered the next interrogation room. Yvette laughed at Ryan’s pout and placed her arm over his shoulder.

“It’s ok Ry I think your impressions are dead on. Dustin is just jealous because he could never pull it off.”

“Aww, go on,” he smiled cheaply and watched his sister dart into the dining room again in search of clues. “I better catch up to my partner before she solves this thing without me!”

Mica moved towards the bookcase noticing a small light beaming from just beneath it. “I think this opens,” she announced to her partner and Dustin came over to take a quick look. “It’s probably one with a secret book lever or something! I’ve always wanted to try one of these.” Carefully analyzing each title, she decided on ‘Infidelity’ and watched as the bookcase slid out of its compartment revealing a door. “COOL!”

Excitedly she stepped through and Dustin quickly followed behind. “Great job, maybe you’re in the wrong line of work Doc.” Moving forward Dustin stepped towards a desk just on the other side of the bookcase and noticed documents sitting in a fax machine. “So it looks like Diane was right. Take a look at this, these papers state that Paul Whitney was in the middle of changing his beneficiary to an unnamed non-relative. ‘Mr. Whitney please review and sign these and have them returned by Friday September 14.’ Courtesy of Maynard and Young.” Dustin glanced at his watch and sighed, “That seems kind of sudden considering it’s only the 12th.”

“Not when you factor in what today signified.” Mica replied looking over the calendar hanging on the wall. “Today’s event is marked on the calendar with the heading ‘D-Day’. I’m guessing that means he was planning to have everything finalized for today. I don’t think he got what he wanted.”

“Hmm it looks like Whitney was paying a blackmailer and was scheduled to meet and pay them off here today. I wonder what they had on him.”

“I think I know,” Stefanie responded and raised a set of Polaroids for her brother to see. “It seems he was caught on a rendezvous with his mystery mistress. Someone got some pretty candid shots of the two of them together.” Ryan walked over to take a look and Stefanie brushed past him sniffing the air. “You smell that?”

“No, I don’t. What is with you and smells today?”

“I don’t know but it’s similar to what I smelled earlier in the interrogation room. Smells like Lilac or something.” She stepped into the double doors on the other side of the room and gasped. “Looks like this is where our killer cleaned up! There’s a trail of blood in here Ry.” Noticing a tube of lipstick on the sink she lifted it and read the color, “C9 Sweet Berry Pink, hmm…”

“Well someone was a romantic,” Brett smirked as Yvette moved around the other side of the room. “Love letters, and here I thought the written word was dead.”

“It’s only dead because most men prefer not seducing their women with their tender words as the days of old. Sonnets, poems, letters; anyone woman would adore receiving such things from someone who truly loved them.”

“Duly noted,” Brett responded mostly to himself.


“I said there are a lot of them here back and forth from Paul to his mistress. You find anything?”

“Yep. It seems that whoever was in here was enjoying a drink and they had company; a woman.” She leaned closer and inhaled the lipgloss on the rim of the glass. “Smells sweet.”

“Ok so obviously the killer was in here at some point with our victim, that much is made apparent by the fact that everything in here belongs to our victim Paul Whitney. Now we have a motive and opportunity and putting everything together it shows intent and premeditation. Only thing left is figuring out who killed him.”

“You say that like it’s easy. Let’s just hope we get our ballot in first. I’m pretty sure I know who did this,” Brett smiled and took Yvette’s hand. “Come on, I can’t wait to see the look on Colton’s face.”

“Oh man…I’m not letting you accuse an innocent man just out of spite! I want to win dammit!” He kissed her cheek and she huffed in frustration as he pulled her back through the bookcase.

“So what do we know?” Mica asked sliding her feet out of her shoes and dropping down onto the bed. “Paul Whitney was having an affair with a woman that no one has ever met and was planning to divorce his wife for her. In doing so he would collect alimony since she was the breadwinner and make her pay for his extravagant lifestyle.”

“His wife, whose identity is also a mystery, seemed to be calling all the shots and wasn’t about to let him get away that easily with her pride and her money. She definitely has the motives but in order to commit the murder, the killer would have had to be in attendance. I doubt they would trust this kind of thing to a hired hand OR allow a mistake to occur.” Dustin tossed his shirt into a pile beside his bags and moved towards the bed with a smile. “But anyway, we’ve turned in our ballot and the winner won’t be revealed until dinnertime so that’s something we can worry about later. Right now all I can think about is peeling you out of that bodysuit.”

“And you think I want your boy stink on me?” she smiled coyly and he rushed towards the bed.

He looked up with a devilish grin and growled as he dropped down beside her. Pushing his lips against hers he pulled her against his chest and slowly guided her to the top of the bed. Looking down into her eyes, Dustin began undoing the belt around her waist to release the zipper and free his beautiful goddess from the constricting clothing. He sighed seeing her hardened nipples touch the air and instantly leaned forward taking one into his mouth.

Mica moaned and gripped his hair tightly between her hands. Her fingers slipped through the velvety strands of his head and she fell back into the pillows groaning in satisfaction as Dustin’s tongue toyed with the delicate skin of her erect breast. “Mmm are you sure we have time for this?” she asked watching the clock.

He laughed against her chest and undid the button on his jeans before kicking them off to the floor. Pressing his nude body against hers he slowly and methodically moved his hand down her side towards her thighs. Mica held her breath as his hand came to rest just on her damp mound. He again looked up at her and a wicked smile drew on his lips. Using his free hand he spread her legs apart and slipped his finger through the silky curls of her pussy.

Mica flinched from his first touch on her tender labia. He leaned forward and ducked his head for another kiss to ease her into his motions. She had already become wet from the gentle way he caressed her body and now she was more than ready to see where he would take her next. She dropped her head back as the tip of his finger plunged into her making little circular movements slowly coating itself in her juices.

Mica was incredibly wet and Dustin moaned instinctively feeling the warmth of his lover lubricating his finger. Her soft folds squeezed against him as he moved delicately in and out as far as he could go. Quickly finding her g-spot he watched her eyes roll and her hands grip the sheets in tight fists. She chewed her bottom lip to keep from making too much noise as a powerful orgasm rocked through her body sending her pulse soaring. Her breathing grew shallow as Dustin moved another finger within her extending her climax for as long as he could.

When she finally came down she looked at him breathlessly and he laughed at the intoxicated expression of lust on her face. “Need a minute?” he teased and was pleasantly surprised when she shoved him down onto his back and climbed into his lap. Hurriedly unwrapping a condom and rolling it down to the base of his cock Mica sank down onto his shaft and he felt that familiar tightness grow incredibly intense against him within moments. 

Dustin gasped as the sudden heat engulfed his erection and he watched as she rolled her brown eyes burying him deeper within her aching depths. The sensations heightened by her previous orgasm, her moans became louder to the point Dustin leaned forward to take her mouth into his. The whimpers died down and he kissed her soft neck as she began to ride him faster and he breathed in the strong fragrance she wore.

His hands moved to her ass pushing her higher every time she bounced against him and watching the strain on her face as she hide another scream. Moving his hand upwards he pinched and squeezed her firm little nipples between his fingers increasing the pleasure she felt surging through her body.

His kisses moved slowly down to her chest and he took first one and then the other nipple in his mouth, teasing them with flicks of his tongue. Their rhythm hastened; the muscles in her thighs working to lift herself up his hardness and then plunge down on him harder grinding her clitoris against him. 

Dustin thrust his cock within her, stirring it against her g-spot for full effect. Leaning forward he increased his pace again, moving quicker and firmer being careful not to hurt her. Her moans soon turned to near shouts and as he took her over the edge once again he timed his own climax to release with her. Mica’s entire body shuddered as she came, and he felt a sudden rush of her juice pouring down onto his balls, and her climaxing pussy gripped his cock as his hot semen flooded out into the latex sheath.

His heart was pounding within his chest and he slowly leaned back into the pillow pulling his girl down against his chest. Mica contoured her body into his and listened as his heart slowed in rhythm giggling to herself as she began wondering if anyone had heard. “And if they did, we’ll just tell them to mind their own business,” Dustin answered her unspoken concerns.

She laughed and bit his chest tenderly before pulling up from the bed. “Come along Scooby Doo, we’ve got a mystery to solve!”

“Welcome back everyone! Now it seems we do have all submissions in and they have been recorded in order of time received. Before we announce our winners I would just like to again thank the Barker Corporation and their efforts to create a fun mystery filled weekend for all of us here. Now remember there is yet another crime to solve tomorrow and it is a little more involved than this one and will require the use of Barker’s investigative tools. So without further ado,” he pulled an envelope from his pocket and gripped the microphone in his hand.

“Our third place winner who will receive free tickets to the next event is: Mica Valentine and Dustin Kimura. They correctly deduced the facts of the case and explained reasonably the evidence as they’ve uncovered it.” Dustin and Mica moved to the stage and shook Mr. Sharsguard’s hand taking the envelope containing the voucher tickets within. They stepped down from the stage and into the 3rd place position.

“Second place goes to: Brett and Yvette Knight. Their submission came at a stunning three seconds after our first place winners but they also correctly identified the murderer in this case.” Brett took Yvette’s hand and pulled her to the stage with him to accept their prize. Taking a bow, he kissed her cheek and glared in Colton’s direction. He in return shot his index finger at the blonde and smiled. 

“And our first place winners are: Stefanie Brooks and Ryan Sharpe. If they could please come up here and explain the solution for everyone it would be great.”

Stefanie rushed the stage again and grabbed the microphone before Ryan could take his place beside her. “It was the farmer’s daughter!” She yelled excitedly as the crowd listened intently. “We first suspected her when she said that she was only in town for a few days but that she was here long enough to have drinks. Well after interviewing everyone we discovered Whitney had a mistress and he was seen by one of them having drinks with this mystery woman only a few days ago. Thanks to the confessions of his embittered butler Cadbury, sorry, Thomas Cadbury,” He smiled in her direction as she corrected his name and listened as she continued. “We learned that often times his mistress came to town for only a few days and then left. Corroborating reports from other witnesses tell us the same story.”

“Those times conclusively correspond to times Hailey St. John is ‘visiting her brother’. Now we also learned that Whitney’s wife is a very influential woman with connections in a powerful company and from her own words it describes perfectly one Diane Lively, Executive Officer of Finance for the Barker Corporation. Our witness testimonies state that Whitney was getting ready to divorce his wife and marry the young ingénue and had already made her the beneficiary of his will. BUT later on in interrogations Mrs. Lively stated that she received an email that ‘mistakenly’ came to her cancelling the actions of the switch in beneficiary.”

“Paul Whitney had to tell Hailey that he wasn’t going to be able to divorce his wife until he cleared up the insurance and will information. That infuriated Hailey and so she decided to take matters into her own hands. Slipping in here under the guise of a fresh from the farm country girl she plotted to take her vengeance on Diane Lively. She hadn’t counted on her switching seats with Paul moments before the events started and causing his death instead. It was HER screaming when the lights came on and we found Paul Whitney dead. She was the only one that seemed to show any form of emotion towards his murder! And lastly, our killer wears a scent of lilac and Sweet Berry lipgloss, the exact items you can find by coming into close contact with Hailey St. John! I first smelled it during our investigation and then in the bathroom where the murderer cleaned up!”

“You did ya best Doll, but unfortunately for you, we’re just better at our jobs,” Ryan scratched his chin and squinted his eyes concluding Stefanie’s remarks.

“What is that?” Dustin asked peering up towards him.

“Columbo! You know Peter Falk?”

“Oh. I thought you had something caught in your throat. Seriously man, give it up!”

“Bravo to our young detective! She did an excellent job piecing together the events and solving the mystery. Congratulations again. Let’s have another round of applause for our winners please!” Mr. Sharsguard stepped up to the podium and handed Stefanie the winning envelope. 

Everyone started back towards their seats and the lights suddenly turned out once more. A loud bang rocked the small room and screams echoed around everyone. “Someone get the lights!” Paul shouted as glasses crashed to the ground. 

Cadbury hurried in the direction of the fuse box and flipped it back on. When the room became illuminated once more, Richard Sharsguard lay on the floor in a pool of blood. Yvette immediately rushed to his side as he choked up a mouthful of blood and held her hand over his wound. “Someone call an ambulance! Hurry!”

“Oh my God is he really…” Stefanie moved closer and Ryan quickly pulled her back shielding her eyes from the sight of the dying man.

“What the hell happened!? Where did that come from?” Dustin got Mica a safe distance away from the scene and started towards the door with Brett searching for the source of the shot.

Mr. Sharsguard began to convulse and a few partygoers screamed behind Yvette as they watched helplessly as Richard drew in his final breath. “NO!” Cadbury yelled and started forward.

“Stay back,” Yvette ordered and instructed everyone to give a distance perimeter around the body. “We must preserve this scene for your local authority to show up.”

“And who exactly are you?” Naomi asked crossing her arms into her chest.

“I’m an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and I won’t hesitate to arrest your ass if you don’t do as I say!” Yvette growled thinking about the way the starlet flirted with her husband. “Now I’d like for everyone to move out into the foyer and remain there until the authorities arrive.”

The crowd quickly responded to Yvette’s instructions and she stepped away from Sharsguard’s body following the line of trajectory from where he stood.

“Damn, hey Boss take a look at this,” Ryan pointed to a vent that was half open behind the bookcase where the shot had apparently originated. “Whoever set this up went through a lot of work to conceal the trigger.”

“Yeah and hopefully they left a bit of themselves on the device inside the wall. We need to get back there,” she pulled up and motioned over an employee. “What’s on the other side of this wall?”

“Uh this leads to the control room for all the special effects. If you enter through the employees’ only area, the door is the first on the right. Here,” he handed her the master key and she and Ryan started off for the back. “If you need anything just let me know!”

“Looks like it was time delayed to go off right at the end of the announcement. That points to an employee here. They would know exactly when the speaker’s script ended and be able to time it down to the second for this to go off.”

“That is if Sharsguard was their target you mean. It’s set to go off at a certain time but just moments before it went off, Stefani was standing at that podium giving her speech Ry. Whoever did this worked it so the winner was killed, not Sharsguard.”

“Son of a bitch! They could have hurt my baby sister!” his face flushed with anger and he paced the room thinking over the possibilities of what could have been. “I’m gonna fucking kill them when we find out who did this!”

“Let me take a look,” Dustin pushed into the room and peered into the paneling. Noticing the trigger mechanism and the distance of the angle from the barrel to the podium he gasped. “Uh Yve can you go out into the dining hall and take a look at the wiring on the fuse box and tell me what you see?”

“Sure Dust; am I looking for anything in particu…”

“Vette,” Brett pulled her out of the room and motioned towards the main hall. “I need you to handle the locals for me please while Dustin, Ryan and I look this thing over.”

“Is this a babysitting gig Brett?” He smiled wryly at her and nodded. “Well since you said please I won’t look at it as an order though I’m sure that’s what it is.”

“Thank you,” he kissed her cheek and watched her head off towards the main entrance.

“Hey Brett can I have a word?” Dustin asked and pulled him and Ryan to the side and out of ear range of the girls.

“What’s up Dusty?”

“Uh that gun machine inside the wall panel in the dining hall.”

“Yeah what about it?”

“I don’t think it hit it’s mark.”

“No Dustin it didn’t, that was the whole point,” Ryan growled. “It should have hit the winner which would be Stefanie but it…”

“No that’s, that’s not what I mean. I asked Yve to look at the wiring because I didn’t want her to see what I saw, that gun it wasn’t aimed at the winner, it was positioned to fire at her. Whoever set up that device behind the wall was trying to kill Yvette and make it look accidental.” Brett’s eyes opened in terror realizing exactly where Dustin was heading. “And that’s not all,” he lifted a small tissue from the table beside the computer to reveal another note.

I missed you once, if I miss you twice
I’ll be sure to try again


  1. Stef was on a mission. Too funny she was determined to get that first place prize. That was fun. I like the whole murder mystery thing. I love Clue. :)

    I feel bad for Yve she can't catch a break. First dealing with her sperm donor and now this crazy ex team member. All that while being pregnant and she needs to open up to her husband. He needs to know it all so he can better understand what he's dealing with.

    This can put her entire team and anyone close to her in danger since he wants her to suffer first. I hope they find him soon before someone on the team gets hurt. That poor announcer guy. :( Innocent bystander. :(

    1. LOL I was gonna do it sort of like Clue...then I had the idea to let one person tell the story and that didn't go as I'd hoped either. So alas, we have this :) Stefanie was definitely determined to win though! She was suspecting EVERYONE and working her ass off!

      She really does need to communicate her feelings to him about this but right now she's just trying to cope. Brett will have to fight with secrets also because there's no way he wants to tell her this right now. He has his child to be concerned about but then again keeping this secret means something may happen that she won't be prepared for.

      Yeah :( he was an innocent bystander and unfortunately her ex-partner doesn't care about anything except his revenge and watching her squirm is definitely a treat. Everyone is in danger until they figure this out. But no worries, she'll get a name real soon :)

  2. Ok, enough is enough, Yve just needs to talk to her biological father, somehow. This could have been a disaster, not only the possibility of her death, but if it had been Stephanie, the guilt would have been immeasurable. Ryan (I love him!) He took it a little calmly... haha...

    The murder/mystery theme was very cool. It was nice to see Stephani again and that she was interacting with everyone. She seemed quite positive.

    1. Ryan is very protective of his baby sister and knowing that she was nearly hurt really kills him. Unfortunately this time Yvette won't know who is behind this. The guys sent her from the room as they examined the device and she never saw the note. You're very right though anything happening because of her is a sad and painful fact like the building blowing up and she doesn't want to believe she's causing damage to anyone else if she can help it. Had she seen the note I'm sure she would have decided without a doubt to confront her father and get to the bottom of what's happening.

      Stefanie is doing well these days. She's putting everything behind her in a positive manner and trying to just live for the now and focus on her future. Soon she'll have more reason to smile as Ryan gets her away from the last piece that's could cause anxiety!

  3. Ok, whoever it is after Yve is creeping me out! WTF they tried to blow her up and now shoot her? Most killers would at least try to trap her so they could rub it in and say, "Look at me, I have a stick up my ass and this is why I'm going to end you!" but this person seems hellbent on killing her! What did she do to this person?

    I have to say this murder mystery was awesome! I did one of these on the cruise but missed the last day of it because I was starting to feel sea sick again. Anyway, I just love how Brett and Yve were threatening folks for flirting! Lol Then Ryan and his impressions! The CSI one had me rolling! Dustin obviously liked her girl stink since he pounced on her.

    I'm proud of Stef! Maybe she has a career as a cop ahead of her?

    I need them to figure out who's after Yve before Brett places her in a protective bubble and hires the armed forces to watch her.

    1. Oh he's taunting her in his own way. He is enjoying watching her try and figure this whole thing out and seeing how she gets out of his death traps. I think the idea of her being hunted is fun enough for him. Maybe soon she'll get to the bottom of this ordeal!

      It was a fun ride, I hope it was easy to solve! That sounds like fun too sorry you missed the ending! I've done a few of these when I was in collge but Jason won't go with me to the one down the street. :( Brett and Yve can't help but keep their spouse to themselves lol they are two VERY jealous people! Ryan kept them in smiles all night though Dustin wasn't having it! He hated his impressions lol! Yes, he definitely does love her girl stink haha He was already making plans to jump her when they got back to their room!

      She did really well...perhaps living with a FED is a starting point of her own career! She is getting to the age where she should decide for sure :)

      HAHA and he's not far from that! Poor Yve! I can just imagine that prison!

  4. The whole mystery thing was clever, I liked it!

    This guy that's after Yve..he's really pissin' me off now, enough is enough. He should either come face to face with her like he should if he had any balls at all or just leave her alone. The whole 'you never know where I'll be coming at you next' thing is just nerve wracking.
    So I get that he wants to make her worry and shit....but she's expecting and all of this stress is really taking it's toll on her, she's not thinking as clearly and is often distracted which leads to mistakes. I'm glad the guys didn't show her the letter, poor girl.
    And when they catch this piece of shit I hope Brett tears him apart limb by limb 'til theres nothing left, wiping that shitty smirk right off his face!....edenz~

    1. Thank you! So happy you enjoyed it :)

      Brett is right there with you. He's ready to go to war and just wants to keep his family safe from this guy. He wants Yve on the edge before he makes his move but what he's doing is only ensuring when he does reveal himself he's getting his ass kicked. Yve is definitely feeling the bad part of his threats though. She is really starting to worry which is bad for her and the baby. They need to figure this out and soon!

  5. Oh that was pretty cool! Stefanie has a future as a detective for sure! She did a great job with that.

    Also....this guy was just that close really. It's time for them to ramp this up and do whatever it takes to find out who this is and take him down. I mean she won't be able to do anything with him lurking about and now he's just playing mind games with her!

    1. Stefanie really enjoyed it and was determined to win! The team is even more determined than ever to put an end to this guy's reign of terror and help Yvette and Brett return to some semblance of peace before the baby's life is in jeopardy. The fact that he seems to be everywhere though is very disturbing.

  6. That was a fun chapter!
    It seemed like such a fun distraction...but in the end, once again, Yve's life is threatened.
    You are a master of suspense, DJ!

    1. It started out as a nice little event but tragedy struck the group once more :( they are getting closer to the edge though!

      Thank you Melissa :)