Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Great Easter Bunny Heist - PART TWO by Lisa Mondello



Ellie tried her best to draw air into her lungs. If the robbery hadn't been enough to level her, seeing Richard after all these years certainly was.



He hadn't changed much. There was a light peppering of gray in his dark hair and she wondered if it was just age or stress from his job as a detective in the city. He had to see more action there than anything they got here in Hopper's Cove.



"I'm okay," she finally said. She really wasn't. But she knew Richard. He'd bend over backwards to make sure she was okay and make a fuss if she were anything but okay. At least, he used to.



To her relief, he simply nodded. "Easter bunny?" He looked amused and she wasn't sure if he was trying to tease her or get the facts straight.



Folding her arms across her chest, she said, "Yes. Lilac colored suit and big floppy ears and all."



"Lilac...your favorite flower."



She cleared her throat. "Um, yeah. He took the money in the register and grabbed a few items on his way out the door."



"You know it was a man? How?"



She shrugged. "The bunny was tall. Taller than me."



"Gloves? Paws?" he asked, his lips stretching into a grin that was more handsome than she wanted to acknowledge.



Shaking her head, she added, "Mits."



A small chuckle escaped his lips.



"I don't know why you're finding this so funny. I've been robbed."



He sobered quickly. "But you're all right. That was my main concern when I heard the call. Anything you lost here can be replaced except you."



Funny how he said that so casually. "You had no problem replacing me five years ago."



He leveled her with his stare. "And I've been regretting it every day since."



Ellie felt paralyzed for the briefest moment. Richard had always been able to do that to her. But no more. She was older. She'd gotten over his leaving her five years ago.



Keeping her mind focused on the present, she said, "He was quick and I didn't put up a fight."



He lifted an eyebrow. "Was he armed?"



"He had a knife. But I don't think he intended to use it on me. He was quick to cut open the cabinet with my Russian eggs. He made quite a mess of them."



Richard studied the cabinet that had been opened. It would no longer close securely thanks to the knife jimmying the lock and breaking it. "We probably won’t get any prints but yours off this. How many did he take?"



"Just one. Where are the other officers?" she asked. She was certain there'd been two.



"Outside. He managed to get into the cash register, take the money and a priceless Russian egg easy enough with mits on?"



"I opened the register. I told you. He had a knife and I was scared. Although when he started to leave I tried to stop him."



"By tripping him."



"Well, yes. But it didn't work," she said, rubbing her elbow that was beginning to swell. "I ended up on the floor for my trouble."



"You know, it was strange," she added.



"What?"



She shrugged, thinking back to the purposeful way the robber had rummaged through the cabinet. "It was as if he was looking for that one egg specifically. He didn't even take the prettiest ones. He just tossed those aside."



"He was," Richard said, studying the glass.



"What do you mean?"



He stood up straight and pulled out a notepad from his pocket and a picture, which he handed to her. "This is the Russian egg he took?"



A small gasp escaped her lips. "How did you know?"



Richard drew in a deep breath that stretched the fabric of his shirt against his broad shoulders. She recalled all too clearly how strong his arms were as he held her and a sudden longing to feel the safety of those arms overwhelmed Ellie.



But instead of reaching for her as he used to do, he handed her the blank notepad. "I'm going to need you to tell me exactly how you acquired that Russian egg. Don't leave any details out."


8 comments:

Sheri said...

You've got me hooked! I hope you are planning a part 3 :o)

Lisa Mondello said...

Glad you're hooked, Sheri. What do you think will happen next? Yes, there will be a part 3 and more!

Lenora said...

What a great installment. I like Richard!!! And I wonder why that bunny took that particular egg. The prize egg, maybe?

Barbara Phinney said...

That egg was stolen I bet. Or there was something inside. Ooh, can't wait for tomorrow.

Debby Giusti said...

The plot thickens! Thanks, Lisa, for a great chapter two! :)

So will Richard and Ellie get together in the end?

Margaret Daley said...

Great story, Lisa and Lenora.

PamelaTracy said...

Lisa,
You do suspense righ!

Cara Putman said...

Oh... great next segment!