17 March 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 7
A Lead Somewhere

Javier was used to long hours on the job, he enjoyed his job, took pride in it, that he didn't mind the long hours.  He liked getting things things done and getting it done the right way, his way.  He liked being resourceful and he liked chasing the bad guys till the bad guys were caught, arrested and thrown into prison.  What he didn't like, was getting caught up in the woman he was protecting and running the case for.  It was mixing business with pleasure and that was a certified no - no.  He had rules and damn, he had to stick to them but he couldn't get over how amazing that kiss was and something unknown to him stirred something deep inside him. 
He carried on tapping away at the keyboard, accessing police data.  Since meeting Felix a few hours ago, he had a hunch and his hunches always came out right. Call him cocky or merely confident, but he prized himself on being right.  He'd been working hard, accessing information on Felix Stowe from his whereabouts in the time frame that Ruby had been missing, what he did when he wasn't at work, to where he shopped et al.   He was building a file against him, just in case.  His over eagerness to see Ruby, just didn't sit well with him.  Thinking of Ruby, he hadn't seen her in a while, after she received the flowers and the gift, she'd disappeared into her bedroom and he hadn't seen her since. He stood up from the table, striding over to her bedroom when the mobile phone beside his laptop started ringing.  He strode back and immediately saw 'Ryker's name blink on the caller ID.

"I have one suspect on my list that may fit the profile of our abductor," Ryker began.

"Let me guess, Felix Stowe?" Javier replied.

"Actually no, strange guy though," Ryker commented, "Came across him when I was scoping out the area."

"So, who's the guy then?" Javier whispered, not wanting to be overheard.

"Christopher Lewis, celebrity and surgeon of the stars," Ryker whipped.

"And the relationship he has with?" Javier eyed Ruby's door.

"Lewis has known and is Don Lee Carlton's best friend, he was present at the party, schmoozing with said folk and then he disappeared for a couple of hours, later returned, probably to keep up appearances."

"What else did you find out about him?"

"He was married to an heiress half his age Letitia Hampton, my sources tell me he was besotted with her, showered her with expensive gifts and then she was caught sleeping with the pool man, they'd been married two years," Ryker said.

"So, where is she now?" Javier said.

"Mental institution... checked that out as well. She's unrecognisable, it's as if the dogs got to her, tried talking to her but she's mute. I'm telling you Javier, I don't know what the hell happened to her, she's mutilated, her brain's frazzled.  Drew out her report, sending it over to you... seems her ex-husband put her there, he's signed her off to stay there."

"And what about her family?" Javier asked, his eyes trained on the bedroom door.

"They don't want to know about her, apparently looks and appearances mean a lot to the Hampton's and this sort of coverage, this attention is not good for their real estate business... so they too signed her away to the place, it's a darn shame too, as blood's meant to be thicker then water..." Ryker sighed down the phone, "How's Ruby doing?"

"She's holding up," he swiftly changed the subject, "I want you to keep an eye on him Ryker, have you got anything on Felix Stowe?"

"Why?" Ryker asked.

"He came around a few hours ago, he seemed a bit attached to Ruby, trying to gain entrance... no, just wasn't part of his vocab, there's something definitely strange about him but keep me posted," and Javier hung up. 

Both Ryker and he were at least getting somewhere, he wanted to nail the bastard before they decided to make the next move. He was heading back to his desk when he heard the bedroom door open and the patter of feet, he already knew it was Ruby.

He spun around about to mouth a question to her and noticed she was dressed up, "Where you going?"

"I have to go to my father's house, he wants me to sort out my mother's stuff," Ruby said, as she put on her Converse shoes.

Javier looked at his watch, "But it's seven thirty, surely this can wait till tomorrow?"

"He said, if I don't come out now, he'll throw it all away.  So, I'm going to take her stuff and bring it back with me," Ruby said.

"I'll come with you," Javier said, picking up his jacket.

"Why does my dad have to be such an ass? One minute he's giving me my mum's most prized possession, something that I've loved all my life," pointing at the locket she wore, "And now he's telling me, he's going to throw everything away!"

He touched her cheek and kissed her lightly on the lips, "Don't work yourself up Rubes, it's not worth it," he shut down his laptop, brought his mobile and a spy cam and put on the security alarm, they both made their way out to to the car.

Javier parked the car in the gravel driveway of the Palace and they both got out.  The lights were all on in the house, like a beacon directing ships to avoid the cliffs.  They walked towards it, Ruby reluctantly as she flagged a few steps behind.  The butler opened the door and they stepped in, Javier looked around and realised the extravagance of the Palace and why they called it that. There were twin staircases and fresco paintings adorned on the ceiling, the floor was warmed, marble and everywhere you looked there were paintings of contemporary artists and sculptures of deceased.  Though beautiful, it was very impersonal and he realised why Ruby didn't feel at home here.  They were led down the hallway towards the ballroom.

"Why are we being led to the ballroom?" Ruby asked.

"This way," the butler ignored her question and opened the doors.  The ballroom was dark but Ruby could hear shuffling and she stopped in the doorway.

"I can't do this Javier," she said panting.

He watched her, she was having the beginnings of a panic attack and before he could usher her away, the lights of the ballroom came on and there were at least two hundred people standing in their finest clothes shouting surprise. He took one look at Ruby as her eyes rolled back and she crumpled to the floor.