Loan Some: Off-Off-Off Broadway by Rachel K. Barclay

Loan Some: Off-Off-Off Broadway by Rachel K. Barclay

A comedic romp that follows aspiring actors as they take on undercover roles posing as friends, lovers, or family of clients who don’t have any. It’s a steady paycheck, but can these thespians keep their love of drama out of the workplace? Previously… Camilla, Beth and Richard’s new client at Richard’s Private Eye Agency, didn’t show up for her appointment. They’ve visited her home and found a detective unit investigating her disappearance: Camilla’s gone missing. Beth also discovers that Richard used to be a detective with the police force until he was kicked out of the unit.

Episode 17

“This note isn’t by Camilla,” Beth declared, holding up Camilla’s suicide note.

“I just told you the handwriting’s a match. It’s already been tested,” Maloney almost screamed.

“She may have written it, but someone forced her to pick up the pen.” Beth crossed her arms and shot a defiant gaze in his direction. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Carter, Maloney’s beady-eyed counterpart, shaking his head.

Maloney leaned on the desk behind him and gave a slight shrug. “I’m listening…”

“Although the penmanship may be Camilla’s, the voice of the note is most certainly not. She is in love with her dog. It’s why she hired Richard and me in the first place. She believed Coco had been kidnapped by one of her enemies. She was sure someone was out to blackmail her, although she couldn’t find any kind of note after Coco’s disappearance. That’s why she hired us: to get to the bottom of this.”

Beth searched the blank expression on Maloney’s face. Nothing. “Continue…” he said in a quiet voice that surprised her.

She cleared her throat. “If this note were really her brainchild, Camilla would have said, ‘Take care of Coco,’ – not, ‘my dog.’ And this whole introduction in the note: ‘They say home is where the heart rests and I believe this to be true. I’m finally going to my resting place. Here at my home.’—” Beth looked up from the note. “That passage is her communicating directly with the reader. She wants us to find her.”

“Find her where?” Maloney asked, lifting himself from the desk.

“Where her heart is.”

“Great, we’re really going places,” he spewed. “I can see you have it all figured out.”

“Her heart is with the Governor,” Beth said in a flat voice.

Maloney grew still.

“They’ve been having an affair,” she continued. “He knows where Camilla’s at.” She stole a peek in Richard’s direction, who was staring at her with a glint of surprise, maybe even awe in his eyes.

Maloney pulled a new cigarette out of his breast pocket and perched it on his lips.

“Are you saying we should contact the Governor?” he asked, the cigarette bobbing up and down.

“I think he’s involved, yes,” Beth tentatively replied.

Maloney placed the cigarette behind his ear. “You’re inferring that he kidnapped her? If so, that’s a hefty statement to make.”

“No,” Beth said. “I’m not saying he kidnapped her. Maybe…maybe not. What I am saying is that we should find the governor…”

“And follow him,” Richard interjected.

Maloney raised his eyebrows. “We?”

“You obviously need me.”

“We don’t even know if your theory is correct. You haven’t convinced me to run with it.”

Beth watched him nervously play with his cigarette. She knew he was bullshitting her. “Doesn’t matter. I’m running with it either way.”

“Then you’re doing it for our team and playing by our terms,” Maloney crisply replied.

“But sir,” Carter yelped.

Maloney silenced him with the wave of a hand. “No going rogue,” he said, keeping his eyes on Beth. He then looked at Richard. “We’ve had enough of that.”

“I’d like to leave now,” Beth said. “And to take the note with me.”

“Where are you planning on going?” Maloney asked.

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