“Me too, Kacy. I can’t stand not being with you, kissing you….”
He got interrupted by the nurse putting her head around the door. “Mrs. Stewart, I have to ask you to go, the supervisor got here a little early.”
“I’ll call you when I get home.” Her kiss held promises he wished he could collect on. “Night, love.”
She left reluctantly, blowing him a kiss from the door, and was gone. Deacon fell asleep again and slept for several hours. He woke around two o’clock feeling vaguely disturbed about something, and it occurred to him that he hadn’t heard from Kacy. Groggy, he could hardly see the numbers on the phone. It was a dial rather than a key pad, which presented its own complications. After trying a few times, he gave up, setting the phone beside him on the bed, so if it rang, he’d be able to answer it right away. He dozed off again, the phone never rang.
Next morning, he woke with a start when his door opened surreptitiously. The black aid, Karmina, popped quickly in with a care package consisting of cranberry orange muffins and a small thermos of fresh coffee, extra sweet and just the right color.
“I’ll come pick that up, when I go off shift. You enjoy now.” She scooted out again as quickly as she had come in.
After eating, Deacon tried calling Kacy again, while he was still conscious. The drugs had worn off almost completely. He was starting to hurt, but he knew if he waited to call he’d have trouble. The phone rang about twenty times with no answer. He tried her cell phone and left a voice mail, then decided to try Dino’s. Dino answered on the third ring, sounding chipper and wide awake. Did the man ever sleep?
“Hi, Dino, it’s Deacon.”
“Hello! Good morning!”
He sounded a tad too bright and cheerful, Deacon suspected some of it was feigned, but didn’t know why.
“I can’t reach Kacy. I’m really worried. She was supposed to call when she got home.”
“Well, there’s a reason for that, Deacon.”
“Is she okay? What’s happened?” He could tell by the edge in Dino’s voice that he was concerned.
“When she got back last night, Pete’s folks and I were just pulling up. We went to the guest house, it had been broken into! Stuff was kind of tossed around, a few things broken. It spooked her pretty badly, so I insisted she and Mr. and Mrs. Du Champs stay here last night. I guess in the excitement, she just forgot. Maybe she didn’t want to alarm you.”
“Is she there, can I talk to her?”
Dino sighed heavily. “She’s here, but she’s sleeping. I called Doc Cooper. He came over and gave her a sedative to help her rest. She was pretty hysterical. She didn’t feel safe in the second guest room by herself, so Nancy stayed in with her, and Ev stayed in the other by himself. It was pretty alarming for all of us.”
“You’re sure nothing was taken?”
Dino paused. “Now you mention it, Kacy said she thought the original plans for the set and the blueprints were missing. It was a little freaky and didn’t seem too important, so we didn’t really think too much about it. I’ve still got the new plans and another set of the blueprints. We called the police. Detective Reyes came over personally. Something very weird is going on, Deacon. This is starting to get dangerous. Maybe we should just postpone opening until this is cleared up.”
“Dino, if we do that, we may never find out who is doing this. If we keep going like normal, stay on schedule as much as we can, maybe we force him to make a move he’s not planned out.”
“I won’t use any of our people as bait, Deacon.”
“I’m not saying that. If anything else happens, then we close down and wait it out.”
“The next thing to happen could be someone getting seriously hurt. I’m not willing to risk that.”
“No one has been yet. So far it’s been pretty low key. We’ve not even gotten any threatening calls or anything.”
Dino paused, it lengthened to a disturbing amount.
“Not exactly, no. But I’ve gotten a lot of calls where the phone rings, I answer and then they hang up. Sometimes two or three a day.”
“Did you tell Reyes?”
“Yes, he’s put a tap on my phone.”
“This just gets weirder all the time. Listen, Dino, don’t keep those plans at the house. Put them in the safe at your office.”
“Just a dumb hunch.”
“I’ll do that today. Reyes might be dropping by. Kacy is going to be there around ten, with Pete’s folks.”
“Thanks for taking care of her, Dino. I feel totally helpless here.”
“No problem, buddy. You get better. I’ll see you later.”
©2021 Dellani Oakes