Friday, February 12, 2010

Killer Chocolate: A Valentine Mystery PART 12 Lisa Mondello

PART 12 - Lisa Mondello

As the grid disappeared, Rouen turned back and looked deeply in Lovey's terrified eyes. She looked up at him with eyes so vulnerable, yet strong and determined. And with such trust. It was if..

Did she truly not know that he was really Ryan? There was a moment when she'd uttered the date they were to be married 5 years ago that he wondered. The look on her face had brought him back to when she was his and they'd made plans for a lifetime together.

How could she have kissed him—even the brief kiss they'd shared—and not remember him? Rouen had shed his former identity 5 years ago when the Luxor Project had taken a turn for the worst and he realized that Creamer had betrayed everyone. He'd fooled everyone. But surely his Lovey would know him.

"Interesting that you just happened to have the combination to unlock the grid," Athena said. He'd almost forgotten about the gun Athena still had trained on Lovey. "All these years and I had the answer I was looking for right under my nose. I should have brought you here years ago, Lovey."

"How can you do this, Athena? I thought we were friends?" Lovey said, tears filling her eyes.

"Friends? Well, we had some laughs, sure. But there are more important things than friendship. Now walk on through ahead of me. If the information I uncovered in Egypt is correct, Ryan would have put the Luxor Diamond in this chamber. If you're lucky, it's still here."

"And if we're not?" Rouen said. Of course, he knew the Luxor Diamond was here. It was only recently that he deciphered the cryptic notes his partner had left him just before his death. There were five different places the Luxor Diamond could be. He'd checked 4 of them already. The last place was here.

"Silly me. I guess I'll be the only one who is lucky. You two will just be dead. Too bad Ryan isn't here to see me steal back the diamond he stole from me."

"Diamond? This is all about a diamond?"

"Keep moving," Rouen said quietly watching the two glowing lights meander toward Athena's back. "And stay behind me."

Athena's face showed twisted satisfaction as they slowly moved in the darkness of the chamber toward the platform where his partner stowed the artifacts Creamer and his cronies were selling for profit instead of giving them to the government. The platform was high enough that the water wouldn't reach it. All the artifacts were here, waiting for the time when Rouen had solid proof of Creamer and Athena's criminal dealings.

But there was only 1 piece that Athena and Creamer had been interested in. The Luxor Diamond, a 32 carat uncut diamond that when cut would be worth nearly 8 million dollars.

As he flashed the light onto the wall, the boxes of artifacts came into few.

"Which one is it? I know you know, Rouen. Ryan must have told you."

He knew. But only because of the description of the box his partner had left for him. His eyes immediately found the one brown leather box in the center of the shelf. His hands touched the dusty leather before flipping the lid open.

Lovey gasped when she saw the diamond nestled on blue crushed velvet. Even uncut, Rouen had to admit the stone was magnificent.

What should have brought hope and prosperity for the developing country that mined the diamonds, only brought despair when the riches were used for evil. Two key people on the project, his partners, had been mysteriously killed as well as their families. Everyone he was close to was in danger, especially Lovey.

How could he have married her and put her at risk? And for what? The chocolate diamond that would one day be cut and shine a brilliant canary yellow and be worth a fortune. Soon after his disappearance, Creamer had planted himself across the street from Lovey's chocolate shop and Athena had gone to work for Lovey. They were too close. They were watching her every move in the hopes that Lovey would lead them to Ryan.

That's when Ryan had become a ghost of the past and his fictitious twin brother was born as way for him to safely uncover the Luxor Diamond. And everything he'd wanted for himself…and Lovey was suddenly out of reach. If he'd contacted her to tell her the truth, she would have been used as a pawn to get to him. Only when he was able to deliver the diamond to the proper authorities and expose Creamer's criminal dealings would he and Lovey have a life together.

That is, if she'd still have him. After seeing her today, feeling her next to him, he prayed that she would. If they could make it out of the cave with Luxor, they had a chance.

"Out of my way," Athena snarled, snatching the diamond from the velvet box.

Just then, the glowing lights that had stealthy moved into the cave came into view. Only this time from above on the shelf. Cupid screeched and jumped onto Athena, scratching her face, startling her enough that she dropped the gun.

With Athena screaming in pain, Rouen grabbed the diamond from Athena's hand. Cupid whined and weaved around his feet as the sound of rushing water echoed in the cave.

"High tide?" Lovey asked. A rush of cold breeze blew Lovey's hair across her delicate face as a rush of water filled the floor of the cave and submerged them to their knees.

"We can't go back the way we came in," Rouen said. With the diamond in his hand, Rouen scooped Cupid up out of the water and handed her to Lovey. "Hold on to her tight. This is going to get rough. But I think I know a way out."

Taking Lovey by the hand he turned as a wall of water hit them in the back. He was able to climb onto the ledge and lift Lovey and Cupid up as well. The slice of light above was their only way out. It was either fight for life or die trying. Rouen knew one thing. He wouldn't lose Lovey again. He prayed with every fabric of his being that God would lead them out of the darkness and into the light before the tide swallowed them.


Donna said...

Ha, I knew Rouen had to be Ryan after Lovey kept kissing him!! And of course that cat saved the day!! But will Lovey forgive him?? And DOES she know Rouen is Ryan? The plot thickens!

Linda said...

Rouen IS Ryan! Now, how do they escape? What's happened to Athena? Will she help Mr. Creamer, so he can help her?

Barbara Phinney said...

Wow! What a plot twist! I was ready to really dislike Ryan, but I guess, I won't.
Thank goodness Cupid was there. I knew that cat had it in him. But I don't think Ryan/Rouen can get them out of there. The tides are pretty strong!
Barbara P

Margaret Daley said...

This story has been so much fun. I wonder where Athena is now.

EllenToo said...

We all believed the Rouen and Ryan were the same and we were right. Does Lovey have a clue??? I think she does but would any of us really believe if it happened to us??? And Cupid may have saved the day. And it's ok with me if Athena and Creamer drown but if we have two more days of story something else not so good is going to have to happen to Rouen and Lovey!!!!!

Lisa Mondello said...

My guess is we haven't seen the last of Creamer and Athena. But I have no idea what Cara has planned for tomorrow!

Barbara, like you, I was ready to really dislike Ryan. And then I thought Lovey couldn't have been THAT wrong about a man she was going to marry. She connected too quickly with Rouen (still love that name) and I figured there had to be a backstory that would reveal Ryan's true intentions. I was having so much fun with the story I got a little carried away and almost didn't stop writing!!! I can't wait for tomorrow!

RoxanneRustand said...

WOW...this is perfect!!!! I'm so glad you used the cat at just the right moment. The excitement is building exponentially!! Can't wait for the next episode!

PamelaTracy said...

Most excellent, and I want to know what's going to happen to Athena. Ryan and Athena will never be able to live with themselves if they just leave her.

Jessiecue said...

I am amazed.I am the only one that thought they were not the same person. So I was wrong. I am glad I was wrong though. So lets see how exactly that he can prove that he is truely sorry and that he really does love her. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks for a great segment of the story. Love how you provided the reasons Ryan couldn't contact his own true Lovey. Nicely done!

Thank goodness Calico attacked Athena. Now I'm worried about how Ryan/Rouen and Lovey will get out alive...with the diamond, of course.

Leann said...

Well, I was surprised that Ryan and Rouen were the same guy. But Lisa gave me a good motivation for Ryan leaving Lovely, because I wasn't going to forgive him.

And you have to love the cat.

PamelaTracy said...

Debby... What do you mean Calico? A cat named Calico.
Soooo, Rouen is really Ryan, but the cat, the CAT, now has a twin, and the Calico is the good cat, so has Cupid been a double agent all this time! hehehehehehe

Barbara Phinney said...

Jessiecue, I thought that Ryan and Rouen were two separate people, too, so go figure.
Debby, you must have a cat named Calico to mention him. I had this beautiful calico for 19 years! Now, she would have done exactly what Cupid has done. Yeah to the cats in stories!

Cara Putman said...

Isn't this fun :-) Tune in tomorrow...

Lenora said...

Wow, what a scene. I've been busy all day and couldn't wait to read Lisa's post. And what a big diamond. A chocolate diamond, now that is a girl's best friend. And Rouen/Ryan .... sigh. These two are going to be hard to let go. Maybe we'll plan a sequel!

Don't forget to see the ending on Valentine's Day!