Dripping With Suspicion 5
Part Five—Playing with Fire …
As Chris surveys the menu, his older brother leans slightly to the left. Kip observes the familiar couple as they rise from their booth abruptly and leave by way of the back exit. He first notices them when he arrives but thinks nothing more of it until their hasty departure.
“I think I’ll try the steak sandwich,” Chris declares closing the menu. Noticing his brother’s attention elsewhere, Chris asks, “What?”
“Sabrina was sitting in the last booth,” Kip informs his brother.
“Sabrina Brown?” Chris quizzes.
“So?” Chris wonders what is so interesting about that.
“She was with the new security guard the Justice Center just hired for the parking garage.” Kip is thinking out loud more than talking to his brother.
“Do you think they’re dating,” Chris asks, not really interested. “I don’t see a big deal with that. They’re both single.”
“They saw me come in. Looked directly at me, and as soon as you came in and sat down, left through the rear door. Now that’s what I call suspicious,” Kip proclaims.
Y’all Come Back, Now …
Finally getting to patrons in the front booths, Jimmy’s wife, Mildred eyes two of her favorite boys and walks up gingerly to greet the brothers.
“What can I get you guys?” Mildred asks measuring the concern on Kips face.
“Two beers to start,” Chris replies, “and I’ll have a steak sandwich.”
As Mildred turns to leave, Kip’s cellphone rings. Removing it from the clip on his belt, he determines it’s his father and answers.
“Yeah dad,” Kip speaks into the phone. Chris sits watching his brother’s eyes narrow and nervously licking his lips. Chris recognizes these gestures as his brother’s reaction to trouble – real trouble.
“We’re on our way,” Kip ends the call. Then returning his phone to his side; he looks at the recently vacated booth.
“What’s up, Kip?” Chris is now feeling anxious.
“Steve’s missing. Someone grabbed her from the parking garage. Dad called her to the Justice Center to bring him his extra set of car keys. We’re to meet them there. Let’s go.”
Kip quickly tosses a twenty on the table and the pair hurries outside. As the vehicle streaks away from the curb, Kip speaks.
“Chris, get dad on the phone. Ask him who knew Steve was coming to meet him and who witnessed Steve’s abduction in the garage?”
Immediately Chris complies. Repeating the questions to Lot, he quickly relays his father’s responses.
“Dad says he called Steve and left a voice message telling her to bring the keys to him. He said he may have told Sabrina to be on the lookout for Steve. It was the new security guard who claimed he saw two men and a lady get into a van. Dad says it’s got to be Steve.”
Kip feels justified that his instincts regarding Sabrina and the security guard leaving Jimmy’s by the back door are valid.
“Tell dad we’re ten minutes away. Then get Darren Woodbridge on the phone. I need him to find out everything he can on Sabrina Brown and the security guard. I don’t even know his name.”
“Something’s not right about those two,” Kip surmises, tightening his grip on the wheel and trying to maintain the speed limit but with great difficulty.
Meanwhile Hamilton gets an urgent telephone call.
“Hello? Oh Sara Jane … slow down … what?” Hamilton’s eyes resemble two large balls as he shakes his head several times before disconnecting the call.
“Just got a call from Sara Jane, your housekeeper. She said she got a call from somebody saying Steve’s cellphone is about to be permanently disconnected unless someone pays up.” Hamilton is exasperated from such a call.
“Steve’s cellphone number—what kind of bull crap call is—"but before Lot can finish, Keon interrupts.
“Damn it you two, can’t you see the forest for the trees?” Keon is incredulous. Lot looks from Hamilton to Keon and then it hits him.
“Sara got a phone call, must have been from the perpetrators who seized Steve. It looks like we have ourselves a hostage situation. How could she allow herself to become so vulnerable?” Lot replies feeling overwhelmed. Then Hamilton interjects.
“Lot, we’ve been over and over this with Steve– cautioning her about letting her guard down and putting herself in precarious situations. She is way too impulsive. We’re going to have to hire someone to look over her shoulder twenty-four hours a day.”
“Caller ID—why didn’t I think of that? We can establish the location of Steve and the culprits if we check the caller ID on your home phone with that advance technology you’ve got setup. I always thought it was overkill but … come on Hamilton, Lot, grab your coats, let’s get over to the house,” Keon is shouting as he rushes to the door, briefcase in hand.
By the time they make it to the first floor, Kip and Chris come barging into the foyer through the heavy glass doors ignoring both the clerk and internal security.
“Didn’t anyone do a background check on Sabrina Brown before she was hired?” Chris starts the conversation in his usual manner, still breathless from trying to keep up with Kip.
“Sabrina was with that new security guard when we saw them together at Jimmy’s Bar and Grill. They left rather suddenly through the back door when they saw us. Do you think they may have had anything to do with this? Maybe I’m being paranoid, but their behavior seems a bit strange.” Kip adds as a means of clarification, also a bit winded.
“The phone is ringing, quick, pick it up,” Hamilton shouts to no one in particular. Keon pushes the clerk over and answers it.
“Ham, it’s Curtis,” shouts Keon, “he says he may have some information for you about Steve’s disappearance.”
To Be Continued …
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS