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Previously… After successfully completing the Loan Some assignment to pose as the state Governor’s daughter, Beth thinks she’s going to have time to relax until Richard asks her to join his detective agency and she receives a mysterious text from an unknown number.
Beth studied the unknown number on her phone and the message beside it: “Meet me in the northwest corner of the parking lot in five minutes. Come alone.” A hazy shroud of uncertainty fell over her. Who was this? Why did they want to meet with her? Was it even safe to do something like this?
“What’s got your panties in a bunch?” Richard’s voice broke her stream of questions like a sharp boulder in a turbulent stream.
“Excuse me?” she asked, jutting her head back.
“You’ve never heard that expression?” he teased. “You look like you’re chewing on one heck of a problem.”
She protectively lowered her phone and rested it against her abdomen. “No, I was just thinking, that’s all.”
“Okay…” His reply was laced with disbelief. “So when can you come into the office to talk about working with Crawford Detective Agency?”
“That’s the name of your agency?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.
“Crawford is my last name. You don’t like it?”
“I didn’t say that,” she replied with a laugh. “It’s just less interesting than I imagined it would be. Why not ‘Lost and Found Private Eye?’
He pinched his nose and smiled. “That’s cute… and corny.”
“I think I will, thank you very much.” He playfully punched her arm.
Beth’s eyes drifted toward the parking lot. “Um, I have to go.”
He handed her a business card. “Okay, stop by my office tomorrow?”
“Great,” she said, stuffing the card into her pocket and jogging toward the parking lot.
“See ya,” he called.
She waved a quick farewell while snaking her way through rows of cars. When she neared the northwest corner, a shadow came into view. “Hello?” No answer. She took a hesitant step forward. “I see your shadow.”
Camilla’s frightened brown eyes emerged from the dark corner. “Hey, it’s me.” She motioned for Beth to come closer. “We’re probably being watched.”
“What’s going on?” Beth asked, stepping into the shadow of the sedan with her.
“I need your help,” Camilla whispered. “I think I’m being blackmailed or maybe worse. My puppy, Pepper, has gone missing. I thought Larry sent one of his guys to my house to take her out of spite. That’s why I crashed the party, but it turns out Larry’s as heart broken as I am that Pepper’s gone.” A lone tear escaped from the corner of her eye. “I have a lot of enemies. I’m sure there’s a blackmail letter somewhere at my house that I haven’t found yet. Or something… Why else would anyone steal my Pepper?” she asked with a sniffle.
“This all sounds terrible,” Beth replied in as comforting a tone as she could muster. “But why did you call me?”
Camilla looked up at her with wide eyes. “You’re obviously an undercover cop or detective or something. You just dressed up as Samantha for crying out —”
The sound of running footsteps heading straight in their direction silenced Camilla. The women froze. WIN $50 Amazon gift certificates by voting WEEKLY! Enter your address each time you vote then check your email to confirm. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.