Read Taken! Alphabet Series - 26 Original Taken! Tales (Donald Wells' Taken! Series Book 14) Online

Authors: Donald Wells

Tags: #Thrillers, #mystery, #suspense, #women sleuths, #detective

Taken! Alphabet Series - 26 Original Taken! Tales (Donald Wells' Taken! Series Book 14) (13 page)

BOOK: Taken! Alphabet Series - 26 Original Taken! Tales (Donald Wells' Taken! Series Book 14)
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After breaking out of the jail with another inmate, Ronny worked a number of odd jobs under the table while getting deeper into a survivalist mentality, and now he lived off the grid completely, safe from the liars and the government storm troopers.

Belle moaned and he looked at her again, and again felt the stirring in his loins. Even though she was covered with bruises and had a nasty cut, she was still more woman than he’d ever had.

How long had it been since he’d had a woman?

It didn’t matter, the woman before him was hardly well enough for such activity. He covered her up with a blanket, put away the phone, and began heating up a can of soup.

When Belle spoke, it surprised him so much that he nearly knocked over the soup.

“Where am I?”

“Hey there, you’re safe, so don’t worry.”

Belle moaned again.

“Oh God, I hurt all over.”

“Hell, girl, you’re lucky to be alive. Did you really jump off that cliff?”

“You know who I am?”

“I do.”

Belle tried to sit up, but couldn’t do more than raise herself to an elbow, which caused the blanket to slip down to her waist.

“How long ago did you call the cops?”

Ronny didn’t answer, he was busy staring at her breasts.

“Hey!”

Ronny grinned.

“Sorry, but I can’t help but look.”

Belle pulled the blanket up to her neck.

“When did you call the cops?”

“I didn’t, they’d lock me up same as you.”

Belle nodded at that, and then gazed around.

“Why aren’t there any doors or windows?”

Ronny smiled with pride.

“You’re underground, in my fortress.”

“Oh,” Belle said, and then slumped back against the cot. “What’s wrong with me?”

“You nearly bled to death from a gash on your right leg, but don’t worry, you’ll get your strength back soon.”

Belle reached down and felt the wound.

“You stitched me up?”

“Sure did, and I gave you a shot of antibiotics too. I’m ready for when the end comes, and you can believe it.”

“Who else knows I’m here?”

“No one,”

“What about your friends?”

“I ain’t got none. I was involved in the local Prepper’s group, but them bastards said I was, ‘Crazy and extreme’, so the hell with them.”

Belle smiled.

“What’s your name?”

“I’m Ronny.”

“Well, Ronny, when I regain my strength, I will show you my appreciation.”

Ronny licked his lips and swallowed hard before asking his next question.

“How ah, just how are you gonna do that?”

Belle pulled back the blanket.

“I’ll think of something.”

***

F
our days later, Victoria Belle crawled out of the ground by way of a hidden tunnel and reentered the world.

She left the opening to the fortress exposed, in the hopes that it would make it that much easier for the scavengers to find and devourer Ronny Neth’s corpse. 

TAKEN! Y – THE OTHER DR. WHITE

(The events in
TAKEN!
Y took place prior to and after the events in
TAKEN!
50)

––––––––

N
EW YORK CITY, November 2010

––––––––

B
asketball star, Dwayne Jones, woke from a dreamless sleep to the sound of singing coming from the balcony behind him.

Dwayne winced at the off-key melody coming from the young blonde he’d picked up at the bar, and struggled to remember her name. When he couldn’t think of it, he simply shouted at her to stop singing.

“I’m trying to sleep here, girl, you know? I’ve got a game tonight.”

The woman giggled in response.

“I am so high.”

Dwayne smiled at that. He knew she was on something. She was pretty much out of it earlier while in bed, but now seemed ready for round two, and sleep could wait.

He rolled over to look at her.

“Hey, why don’t you bring that fine ass back to—oh shit!”

The naked blonde was walking atop the balcony railing as if it were a tightrope, and Dwayne’s apartment was on the 12th, floor.

Dwayne leapt from the bed just as the woman’s foot slipped, and it was only his incredible speed and long-legged stride that allowed him to even have a chance at saving her, however, gravity was faster.

He reached out for her, but she was already falling and the fingernails of her right hand raked across the back of his own, and then she was lost, a white screaming shape in the night, her long blond hair fluttering behind her.

Dwayne closed his eyes, but he couldn’t close his ears, and the impact of her body hitting the pavement was a sound he would never forget.

***

B
OSTON, MASSACHUETTS, August 2014

––––––––

D
r. James White sat in the office of his longtime friend, attorney Jeff Roman, as Roman filled him in on Dwayne Jones’ latest troubles.

At a lull in the conversation, Dr. White looked at the photos on the wall behind Roman’s desk, many of which displayed boxers of one sort or another, as Jeff Roman was a fight aficionado and one-time promoter.

One photo showed the doctor’s son-in-law as a very young man, winning a championship bout in a Premium Fighter contest.

Dr. White thought that boxing and all such violent sports were barbaric, and yet, he couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride whenever he looked at the photo of his son-in-law, although, he would never admit it.

Dr. White was in the area to attend an event given by the Harvard Alumni Association, and used the occasion to catch up with Roman and other friends in the area.

After having dinner together, Roman invited him back to his office to recruit him to aid in Dwayne Jones’ defense, as the former basketball star faced trouble once more.

“Didn’t he just get out of prison for another crime?” Dr. White said.

“He did over three years for negligent homicide in the death of Selena Richman, and now he’s accused of stabbing Christy Rose to death in her apartment.”

“And this Christy Rose, you say she’s the one that he blamed for the first death?”

“Yes, he says that she admitted to him that she had slipped Selena Richman a date rape drug in a drink, but she was never charged with anything by the cops in New York.”

“Why would she do that, to help Jones bed the woman?”

“Actually, Rose wanted the girl for herself, but Jones took her home first.”

“I see, so he did have a motive to murder her since he blamed her for the first death.”

Roman let out a sigh.

“It’s worse than that, Jones once threatened to kill Rose in front of witnesses.”

“How long was he out of prison before Rose was murdered?”

“One day.”

“Good God, Jeff, are all your cases this tough?”

“Jimmy, I know you’re semi-retired, but would you look over the case and tell me what you think, as a paid consultant of course.”

“I’m not sure I could offer any help.”

“I truly believe Jones when he tells me he’s innocent. I don’t expect a miracle, but I’d be negligent in my defense of Jones if I didn’t use every resource I had, and you’ve got one of the best minds I’ve ever known.”

“Thanks for saying that, but before I agree, what’s Jones’ alibi for the night of the murder?”

“He had gone out earlier to celebrate his release with friends from his old neighborhood, and then walked home from a local bar and went to bed. He was staying with his mother in Brooklyn, since he didn’t have an apartment yet, and she’s his only witness. She swears she looked in on him at four a.m. and Rose was murdered at about the same time in Manhattan.”

“I don’t think a jury would be swayed by a mother’s testimony.”

“No, you’re right about that.”

“All right, I’ll look into it, but I’ll need everything you have from both cases.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.”

Roman grabbed a laptop case from the floor behind his desk and passed it across to Dr. White.

“What’s this?”

“There’s a laptop in there loaded with everything you’ll need, and I’ve also included hard copies of all photos from the two cases.”

“Fine, I’ll take this home with me and study the contents.”

“Thanks, Jimmy, and good luck.”

***

T
HREE DAYS LATER, 1:12 a.m.

––––––––

J
ames White’s eyes were bleary as he searched yet again through the evidence and notes that Jeff Roman had given him concerning the stabbing death of Christy Rose, and the earlier death of Selena Richman.

This was his fifth time through the material and nothing had jumped out at him, and he could offer no help in Dwayne Jones’ defense.

As he was putting away the photos from the case, the face of Ruth Weaver caught his eye.

Weaver was the forty-five year-old landlady of the late Christy Rose, who lived in the apartment below hers. She claimed that she hadn’t heard or seen anyone on the night of the murder, but that she had been asleep.

The research notes mentioned that the portly Ms. Weaver was also the youngest daughter of the late evangelist Nathaniel Weaver, a man the doctor’s mother loved to listen to on the radio when he was just a boy.

Out of curiosity, Dr. White did an Internet search on Nathaniel Weaver. He had never seen a picture of the man, but could clearly remember the booming voice that used to trumpet forth from the kitchen radio in his boyhood home.

When the results of the search showed a thin, mousy-looking man barely five feet in height, the doctor let out a chuckle.

“It’s a good thing he had that voice.”

He was about to clear the page when a different photo of the man caught his eye. Weaver was not alone in the photo, and standing beside him was his wife, Evelyn, and his then twenty-year-old daughter, Ruth Weaver, who was chubby and wearing glasses.

Dr. White stared at the picture, while paying special attention to the girl’s face, as a feeling of
Déjà vu
came over him.

Have I seen this photo before?

No. He was certain that he had never seen it before that moment, and yet...

The truth hit him, and he searched through the photos that Roman had given him, until he found the right ones.

“Son of a bitch,” he whispered under his breath, and despite the late hour, he called Roman to tell him his belief that the case was solved.

***

H
omicide detective, Lieutenant Thomas Delaney of the New York City Police Department smiled pleasantly at Ruth Weaver, and then thanked her for coming into the station to talk.

Delaney was a big man with short black hair and a trim moustache, who was the son, grandson, and great-grandson of New York City policemen, and they had all been homicide detectives as well.

Ruth Weaver’s graying hair was up in a tight bun, and her pleasant face was devoid of make-up, while her heavy body bulged, straining the seams of the simple black dress she wore.

She and Delaney were in a white interrogation room where a laptop sat open on the table. There was a female officer present as well, an Officer O’Reilly, and watching from behind a one-way mirror were Dr. White and Jeff Roman.

Delaney gestured at the laptop’s monitor, tapped a key, and a set of photos of the late Selena Richman appeared. The photos were all “selfies” taken with Richman’s phone, and showed her and another woman laughing, mugging for the camera, and kissing.

The other woman had gone unidentified, until now.

“Do you recognize these pictures, Ms. Weaver?” Delaney asked.

Weaver pushed her glasses up higher on the bridge of her nose and answered, “No,” even as she stared at the photos with a look of longing.

“Christy Rose paid you very little rent for her apartment, didn’t she?”

Weaver tore her eyes away from the photos and smiled at Delaney.

“I was just trying to help the girl out. This city can be very expensive.”

“That it can, and in more ways than one,” Delaney said.

“Is there anything else?” Weaver said.

In answer, Delaney typed at the laptop, and two photos appeared side by side. The one on the left was a twenty-year-old Ruth Weaver, while the one on the right was a photo of the girl seen with Selena Richman in the selfies. The two women bore a striking resemblance.

Delaney picked up a sheet of paper and read from it.

“A Ms. Carol Rowen from the Lite Lady Gym on Seventeenth Street remembers you fondly, and remarked that you were one of the most driven clients she had ever trained. She says that you lost over fifty pounds in less than two months.”

Weaver shook her head as she pointed at the laptop.

“That’s not me in that other photo. Look at me; I could never be that thin, why, even in that photo of me as a girl you can see I’m overweight.”

“Yes, and you can also see the strong resemblance. Dwayne Jones’ attorney paid to have them compared using facial recognition software, and the report that came back stated that those pictures were of the same woman, and that woman is you.”

Weaver kept shaking her head, and Delaney went back to reading.

“Heather Sharell of the Beauty Queen Salon on Mulberry Street says that she performed the makeover on you. She dyed your hair, taught you how to enhance your looks with make-up, and suggested you get rid of your glasses and switch to contact lenses.” 

Delaney tapped at the keyboard again, and Ruth Weaver’s driver license photo appeared beside the photo of the woman in the selfie, a photo taken when she last renewed her license a month before Selena Richman’s death.

Heather Sharell also said that once you lost all the excess weight, that you looked twenty years younger, and looking at these photos, I tend to agree.”

“No, no,” Weaver said, while still shaking her head emphatically.

“Ms. Sharell also relayed a conversation you two had over drinks, a conversation in which you professed your love for a much younger woman. You changed to make yourself more attractive to Selena, didn’t you, Ruth?”

Weaver stopped shaking her head and stared down at the tabletop.

When she said nothing, Delaney continued.

“Christy Rose slipped a drug into Selena’s drink that night four years ago, and Selena died, and then Rose let Dwayne Jones take the legal consequences, but you blamed them both, didn’t you, you blamed them both, and you were going to make them both pay dearly for your loss.”

BOOK: Taken! Alphabet Series - 26 Original Taken! Tales (Donald Wells' Taken! Series Book 14)
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