Now available at the usual suspects. My site, Amazon and ARe. This was once on the blog but I did change the ending because I didn’t like the first one as much . If you haven’t read it this is my nod to Beauty and the Beast or in this case he’s sort of the same person 🙂
Jonah Croft paced his office. He didn’t pay any attention to the panoramic water view out his window or the beauty of the crisp fall day. It might as well have been pouring outside for all he cared. His love had abandoned him. Two weeks had gone by, and still no contact. His calls were ignored, and Sammy still hadn’t returned to his apartment. Jonah had checked, he’d had others check, hell he’d even hired a useless detective who hadn’t been able to track Sammy down.
Fourteen days, ten hours and—Jonah checked his Rolex—fifteen minutes had passed since their argument, and Sammy still hadn’t returned. He knew Sammy had been irritated over Jonah’s insistence they move in together, but was it Jonah’s fault Sammy had a rod up his ass about being self-sufficient? It wasn’t like Jonah didn’t have enough money to support twenty musicians if he wanted. Why did Sammy care so much about being independent? Independence sucked if it kept Sammy out of Jonah’s bed.
A knock on his office door interrupted his furious marching back and forth. “Come in.”
He raised his eyebrows at the excited expression on his secretary’s face. “There’s a Mr. Allen to see you.”
Jonah’s heart skipped a beat. “Send him in.” Maybe the detective had discovered Sammy’s location. He shoved away the inner voice whispering that he’d moved from concerned boyfriend and into stalker territory.
The detective shuffled into the room. Everything about the man had the air of something faded, as if his best days had passed him by more than a few years ago. Even his face fell into a bulldog’s wrinkled folds.
“Did you find him?” He didn’t bother with pleasantries; he needed results.
Allen nodded, briefly distracting Jonah with his wobbling chin. “We found the house you told us about. It’s an estate in the Olympics. Under the name Vinzeno Strassford.”
“Yes, Strassford is the name he gave me.” Jonah clutched at the slender strands of hope with greedy fingers.
Allen pulled a notebook out of his pocket. “Mr. Strassford appears to still live there, but it’s not in the best shape. Your boyfriend’s rental car was found on the side of the road not far from Strassford’s estate. That and the name connection make me think I found the right place.”
Jonah frowned. Had Sammy run into a problem? Had something happened to him? “Was the car damaged? Did he have an accident?”
“No, it looked like some kind of mechanical failure.”
“Did you see him at the Strassford estate?”
“No, I can’t get close enough.” The detective went back to his notes. “The mansion sits pretty far from the road, and no one ever goes in or out of the gates—they’re padlocked. I checked around and no one has seen Strassford for years.”
“Then how do you know Strassford’s still there?”
“According to the local grocery, he has an order delivered twice a month and they have instructions to leave it by the gate.”
Jonah resisted the urge to snatch Allen’s notebook out of his hand and search it for further clues. “Thank you for the information. I’ll take it from here.”
The detective nodded. “I’ll write up a formal report. I thought you’d want to know what I found out as soon as possible.”
“Yes, thank you.” Jonah ran his index finger along the edge of his desk. Sammy tended to be an enthusiastic person who threw himself into everything without thinking about future consequences. Lost in his thoughts, he barely acknowledged the detective leaving.
What have you gotten yourself into, Sammy?