Thursday, February 11, 2010
Killer Chocolate -- A Valentine Mystery (#11)
by Cara Putman
Lovey stared at Athena unsure what to do next, or what those glowing lights might be. She'd never trained for something like this. She ran a chocolate shop after all. She didn't even like spy movies or read suspense novels. No, she wanted hers coated with romance like a thick layer of dark chocolate icing on one of her homemade brownies.
She'd lived an ordered life for so long. Then she met Ryan. The fairytale had died with his disappearance. It had taken effort, but she'd finally moved back into her comfortable pre-Ryan life. Most days, she could pretend she was content, even happy.
But that had been when she thought her life was settled, filled with a few good friends. Now as Athena held the gun steady and pointed straight at Rouen, the truth seemed to scream at her. Athena had used her, too. All for something called Luxor.
The red lights drew closer, but she felt a drip of water land on her head and looked up. The storm must have started since they climbed in the accursed cave. But if the drops landed on her maybe there was a way out through the roof of the cave.
Athena chewed her bottom lip and then waved the gun at them. "Step aside you two. Or better yet, step into that cross-hatch of lasers. I want inside that chamber, and you're as good a way as any to do it. Lovey, you stand there, and Rouen, you can walk on through. Hesitate and I'll shoot her."
Rouen stared at the mish-mash, as if studying it for a way to slip through the defenses.
Lovey racked her brain. Somewhere she had to know the combination for the security system. "Can you see a keypad, one we could use to disengage it?"
Rouen flicked his penlight along the walls. "No...wait over here."
Lovey closed her eyes, tried to imagine what number Ryan might have used. "Try our wedding day."
"Type in what was supposed to be our wedding day. 02142005." If she'd ever meant anything to Ryan, maybe he would have used that date.
Rouen looked at her. "Are you sure? Some of these are one and done systems."
"What choice do we have? It looks like bullet, bomb or brine at this point."
Rouen searched her gaze another moment, looked at Athena, then nodded. "All right." He slipped her behind his bulk, then tapped in the numbers.
The breath caught in Lovely's throat as she watched each deliberate press of the button. 0. 2. 1. 4. 2. 0. 0. 5.
Nothing, then a click. A moment later the grid disappeared.