Read Carolyn Arnold - McKinley 02 - Vacation is Murder Online

Authors: Carolyn Arnold

Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Homicide Detectives - Cancun

Carolyn Arnold - McKinley 02 - Vacation is Murder (6 page)

BOOK: Carolyn Arnold - McKinley 02 - Vacation is Murder
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Honeymoon Ransom

 

THE SUN WAS UP SO maybe Sara should surrender to the arrival of a new day. Her eyes pinched shut against the brightness assaulting her retinas. She knew Sean was awake and watching her, so she rolled over.

“You know, I could feel you watching the back of my head.”

“Who me?”

“The Spencers have been married thirty years, Sean. That sounds like such a long time.”

“Hey now, you promised me forever, and it’s first thing in the morning. Are you sure you want to spend this time talking about the Spencers?” He flashed a devilish smirk, lifted the sheet, looked down and then back up at her.

She caressed the arm that he had draped across her torso. “You didn’t let me finish.”

“All right. I’m listening, but not for very long.” He lifted his eyebrows.

“Forever, out of context, sounds long, but I look forward to spending all those years with you. Just promise me something?”

“Anything.”

“Don’t lose your romantic touch like Earl has.”

“I promise.”

There was something about the flicker in his eyes. “What are you thinking about?”

“I thought you would have figured that out.”

“Sean.” She giggled.

“Fine, something else too. But, how do you do that?”

“It’s a gift.”

“I’d say, and you haven’t even had your morning cof—”

“You know what? I think we’ve talked enough about the Spencers.” She pressed her body against his and kissed him, her passion quickly bursting into flame. She savored the taste of him, the touch of his tongue against hers, and rode the quiver of carnal hunger that needed satisfying. Now.

The phone rang.

“Don’t.” Her word carried on an exhale.

“What if—”

She went after him with more fervor, the need for him blooming within her.

He put a hand to her cheek and tapped a few quick kisses to her lips.

“I’m sorry, darling, but it could be important.”

She let out a sigh and rolled to her back.

Sean reached for the receiver. “Mr. McKinley.”

Sara could hear the caller was a woman and that she was excited. She sat up, tucking her legs beneath her. “Who is—”

Sean held up a finger and spoke into the phone. “We’ll be right there.”

“Sean?” Her heart was racing. She felt the energy in the room—something terrible had happened.

Sean took her hand. “That was Catherine. Earl’s missing.”

Her undying urge to make love to her husband muted to the background. “We better get going.”

 

Catherine paced the floor of her room. Her hand snapped to her mouth and then lowered. “He’s nowhere to be found. I’ve been all over the resort. I’ve called his cell phone.”

“Did you call the police?” Sara guided her back to the sofa.

“What are they going to do?”

“Sara,” Sean said.

“Yes, dear.”

“Why don’t you see if you can round up some tea for Mrs. Spencer?”

Sara patted Catherine’s knee and got on the phone. She cupped the mouthpiece. “They don’t typically do this, Sean.”

“Tell them I’ll pay whatever they like.”

She spoke to the resort employee. “Yes, I know it’s an all-inclusive resort. Please, just bring up some tea…we will pay cash. Yes, gracias.”

Sara sat beside Catherine again.

“You two are the sweetest people.” Catherine reached for Sara’s hand.

“Please, Catherine, tell us everything that happened. When did you last see him?”

“Last night. You two went on your way. We stayed in the lobby and had a few more drinks.”

“Then what?”

Catherine shared looks between them. “You were cops before, weren’t you? That was your day job? Earl said that’s what he thought.”

Sara glanced at Sean.

He nodded, his protective guard chipping away. “Yes, we were. We’d like to help, but you should call the police.”

Catherine cast a deadpan stare in his direction. “You are both telling me to do that, but until we know that something truly happened to him, aren’t we acting prematurely? It can’t be easy reporting things like that down here, and I don’t know the language very well.”

The phone rang and Sean answered, prepared to argue with the front desk over tea. Instead, the caller had a different message. Sean pointed to the receiver and both women went quiet.

He spoke to the caller, but his eyes were on Catherine. “She is, but you will speak to me…who I am doesn’t matter. What is your message?” Sean was certain his face was pale, mirroring that of the women.

“Sean?” Sara went over to him. “What is it?”

He replaced the receiver to the cradle. “They used a voice distorter, so I can’t tell if it’s a man or woman.” He heard defeat mark his words. “But you have your proof, Mrs. Spencer. Someone has Earl.”

“Oh my God.” Catherine let out a wail and bent over in sobbing convulsions.

“What do they want, Sean?” Sara asked.

“They requested fifty thousand dollars by Thursday. They’ll give more details then.”

“Thursday? That’s tomorrow.”

Catherine looked up. “Or? There’s always an
or
.”

Sean latched eyes with Sara.

Sara squeezed Catherine’s shoulder. “In situations like this it’s best we keep a level head. They’ve made their demand and now we just have to meet it. We’ll help get your husband back.”

The eye contact Sara made with Sean drilled home the fact she wasn’t going to look the other way with this. She was determined to see it through and make good on her promise.

Sean got up and paced the room, taking everything in, habits from the job resurfacing.

There were two wine glasses on the table—both with wine, but one had red lipstick on the edge. The other didn’t appear to have been touched.

“When did you last see Earl?” Sean asked.

Sara put an arm around Catherine. “It’s okay. Tell him.”

“Well, he went up ahead of me. I stayed down in the lobby and had some more drinks.”

“And Earl was in the room when you came up?”

“I think so.”

“You think so?”

“Yes, of course he was. Where else would he have been?”

Sean held up a hand. His instincts were firing all over the place and it was hard to pin them down. Earl had confessed to an indiscretion and hadn’t denied that his mistress was on the premises. Two wine glasses, one with lipstick—did it belong to her?

Sean rephrased his earlier question. “So, your husband was in bed when you came up?”

“I think so, okay? Is that what you want to hear? I was feeling pretty good.”

“Did you have wine with him in the room last night?”

“No, not that I—”

Her eyes followed through to the table. She walked over and went to lift the glass with the lipstick.

Sean stopped her. “Just in case we need it for prints, or for some other reason.”

Catherine nodded. “Someone must have found out about how successful he is. It’s not hard to find things out these days. Not with the Internet. His business is in his name. Oh my—” Sobs stole her breath.

Sara got up and shuffled Catherine back to the couch. “It will be all right.”

There was a knock on the door and Catherine jumped.

“You ladies stay right there.” Sean glanced out the peephole. “It’s just the tea.”

With the service paid for, he handed the beverage over to Catherine.

“Thank you.” She blew on it and sniffled before taking a small sip, and then she set the cup down on the coffee table.

During this time, Sara kept eyeballing from Catherine to Sean and sweeping back again.

It was just yesterday he had been craving a little action, and now it was here, he wasn’t sure he wanted to get involved. What if something happened to Sara?

“Catherine,” Sara said, “Sean and I will find your husband. Won’t we, dear?”

He knew both women awaited an answer. He reiterated his earlier direction. “Catherine, don’t let anyone touch that wine glass.”

 

 

It’s All About The Money

 

SARA AND SEAN FILTERED INTO the hallway. He recognized the spark in her eyes, but he harbored doubts about their finding Earl. “Are you sure about this?”

“We used to be cops.” Sara crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. “Do you have any ideas? We’ve never handled a case exactly like this one before. Usually everyone’s dead by the time we deal with an investigation.”

“This time we need to prevent that from happening.”

“Sean, do you even hear us talking? This isn’t Albany. This is Mexico. It’s the first time here for both of us. How do we even get the money to them?” She paused. “Wait a minute. You said they’d provide more details, but did they say where the money drop would be?”


Chichén Itzá
.”

“The ruins?”

“That’s right.”

Panic danced through her eyes. “It’s not exactly how I saw the excursion going.”

“There is something else I need to tell you.”

“Sean, why do I sense I might not like what else you have to say?”

“You won’t, but it doesn’t change the facts. Their marriage, it isn’t so perfect.”

“I know. Earl needs to learn how to romance his wife, treat her like a lady.”

“No.” Sean closed his eyes for a second and opened them to Sara’s loving yet curious gaze.

“Tell me.”

“Earl Spencer has a mistress.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“He does, darling. He told me so himself.”

“I never saw that. Why didn’t I see that?” Her brows pinched down. “If I couldn’t pick up on that about Earl, what about you? Would I ever know if you cheated?”

Sean kissed her nose. “It’s something you never have to worry about.”

She smiled and caressed his face before kissing him on the lips. “Are you sure you want to do this? We are on our honeymoon.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “We did promise her.”

“True, and you do seem restless.”

“It seems I’m not the only one.” Sean wrapped his arms around her and they headed to the elevator.

BOOK: Carolyn Arnold - McKinley 02 - Vacation is Murder
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