Part 17


Lois Kay


Sam felt her heart pounding in her chest so loudly her ears were buzzing. The knock on the door had made her jump and with pursed lips she wiped her sweaty palms on the fabric of her shorts.

Trishia had ordered her to stay inside the office and Sam cursed under her breath. Peter and Trishia were well trained and experienced, they knew what they were doing, but Sam felt frustrated and helpless. She knew she could be an easy target for anyone with a gun and bad intentions. Trishia only wanted her to be safe and out of harm’s way, but still, Sam felt like there had to be something she could do to help.

Her ears picked up the sound of a growling Kurt and she desperately hoped that the young dog would heed all the hours of training and remain where he was, safely out of sight in the living room.

Sam stepped closer to the door and wished she could look around the corner, but there was nothing she could see. She would have to rely on her ears to find out what was going on in the kitchen.


Trishia and Peter were both standing behind the closed door and as a senior officer, Trishia would be in charge of the situation. Peter gritted his teeth when he saw that she was going to do exactly what he had been afraid of. She motioned for him to yank open the door, in the hope that the element of surprise would be enough to throw Martin Coles off balance for a few seconds, so they could have the upper hand. But as soon as he would open the door, Peter knew he had to take a few steps back and that would bring his partner in the possible line of fire.

Another problem would be the screen door that could provide an obstacle once the kitchen door had been opened, but Trishia was confident she could still surprise the expected visitor.

Swallowing hard Trishia motioned for Peter to open the door on the count of three. He nodded and she held up her left hand silently counting down. Three, two, one…

While the blood pumped through their bodies with amazing speed, Peter jumped back, yanking the door open and immediately releasing the knob and stepping closer again.

In the meantime Trishia had used one of her long and powerful legs to violently kick open the screen door that gave away with a loud crack and immediately lost two of its hinges.

"Show me your hands!" Peter bellowed, while Trishia took two steps forward, grabbed a muscular arm and twisted it behind the man’s back, making him howl in pain. Standing behind him she kicked his legs apart and forced him to the ground, placing her knee against his back.

It was over in a few seconds. Taking a few deep breaths Trishia tried to calm her racing heart and sent her partner a questioning look. Peter nodded, letting her know he was fine and they both looked down at the man on the veranda, who was softly whimpering

"Don’t hurt me, please," he pleaded and Trishia and Peter exchanged a stunned look.

"What the hell?" the tall policewoman exclaimed, easing the pressure on the man’s back and rolling him over.

"Hot damn," Peter groaned in frustration.

Staring down they were looking at the frightened face of a young man who could not be older than twenty, at the most.

"Who the hell are you and where did you get that car?" Trishia snapped, feeling the anger rise in her chest.

The stranger trembled and behind the glasses his eyes nervously darted between Trishia and Peter. His face was extremely pale and small beads of perspiration had formed on his forehead. He opened his mouth a few times, but no sound came forth. It was clear the young man was petrified.

In the distance they could hear the sound of rapidly approaching police cars and Trishia briefly closed her eyes, swallowing away the bile that was rising in her throat.

"Damn, Peter, we have been set up," she whispered hoarsely.

She carefully tucked her gun away and extended her hand to help the still shaking youth back on his feet.

"I am sorry about that, mate," she mumbled, showing him her police ID. "We were expecting someone else. Where did you get that car?"

"I…I…down the road, I…there was this bloke who...who asked me if I could do him a small favor. He said he…he lived here and he was on his way up, but he had a real bad stomach ache and he said he was afraid he had a bleeding ulcer or something. He asked me if I could go and get his wife, while he was waiting down the road. He said he wouldn’t be able to drive up, because of the pain. I…I am really sorry, I thought….I…"

"Don’t worry, mate," Peter sighed, patting the young man on his back, while two police cars came racing up the driveway, kicking up pebbles and dust. "You only thought you were helping somebody, there’s nothing wrong with that."

"I..I thought it would be okay, cause he said I could take up his car."

"Were you walking along the road?" Trishia asked, feeling a presence at her back and knowing Sam was standing right behind her.

"No, I was on my bike."

"What kind of bike?"

"An all terrain bike, a red one."

Trishia cast a look at Peter, who understood the silent question and sprinted towards one of the police cars. He exchanged a few words with the uniformed occupants and grabbed the police radio. When he was finished talking he stepped back, while the two cars turned around and left the driveway in the same way they had arrived; in a cloud of dust.


Martin Coles was simply gloating when he heard the police cars approaching. Casually leaning against a tree, his hands stuffed in his pockets he watched the cars turn unto the track where a small sign said; ‘Murrook Farm’.

"I knew it," he mumbled with a grin. "They were expecting me. What a shame, I missed the party."

He pushed himself away from the tree and quickly walked towards a little house on the side of the road. There was an old truck in the driveway and Martin knew that if he was able to get inside, he would have no trouble hot wiring it.

As he approached the car he noticed the windows were rolled down and he softly chuckled. This would be easier than taking candy from a baby. He tried the door and to his utter delight it was not even locked.

The keys were absent, but Martin reached underneath the dashboard and yanked at the wires. He made quick work of hot wiring and starting the engine and whistling he backed it out of the driveway.

"Good job, Marty," he complimented himself. "You haven’t been able to kill that bitchy piece of trash yet, but that could be dessert! Maybe I should visit a little blond girl first, especially since the bad police lady won’t be by her side," he chuckled. "Now, if I were a little girl with a big protector like Senior Sergeant Dyke who has friends with the name Stevens Inc., where would I hide?"

Martin made a show of furrowing his brows as if he was deep in thought. He checked his appearance in the mirror and laughed at his scrunched up face. Humming he steered his truck through the early evening traffic, feeling utterly content and invincible.

"I know where you are hiding. I know where you are hiding," he chanted in a sing-song voice. "Martin is going to get you!"

Suddenly his whole demeanor changed and he gripped the steering wheel so tightly, his knuckles were turning white. With narrowed eyes he stared at the road in front of him.

"This will be the last time you have ruined my plans, you pervert,’ he growled. "I am going to end this now, for once and for all."




Alice looked at the smiling faces surrounding her and tried very hard not to be nervous, but she failed miserably. After Fiona had left the room it had only taken ten minutes for Jane to arrive. She was a petite brunette with a bubbly personality and when she had briefly studied Alice’s features her hazel eyes had shone with warmth.

Before Alice had the chance to change her mind, she was seated in a chair, with a big towel draped around her shoulders, while Jane’s skillful hands were using a pair of sharp scissors to radically cut off her long hair. When the first long strands had fallen on the sheet that was covering the floor, she had tried not to wince. There had been no way back anymore and she had closed her eyes, hoping that she would not regret her decision when she would look into the mirror.

When Jane was almost done, Jody, Lucy and Joan had entered the room. Joan had just smiled. Lucy had sported a big grin and had perched herself on the bed, while Jody gave Alice an encouraging nod.

"Looks good, Alice," she smiled.

Alice grunted as an answer and the look on the teenager’s face told Jody that she was not convinced her new look would be an improvement.

"Are you going to put some color in there too, Jane?" Lucy casually asked.

"No, way," Yarra exclaimed, wishing she would have kept quiet when Lucy and Fiona both cast her an identical amused look. "I mean, it’s a nice color already, right?" Yarra uncomfortably tried to explain her protest.

"Sure," Fiona drawled with sparkling eyes. Normally she would have loved to tease Yarra about her apparent preference for blonde, but a look at Alice’s tense features made her change her mind. She made a mental note to grill her friend later.

"I don’t want to dye it," Alice spoke up. "Cutting it is pretty drastic already."

"But it looks great, Alice," Fiona smiled, tilting her head and studying her friend. "You look like Renee O’Conner."

"Who?" Alice asked with a puzzled expression.

"Renee O’Conner, "Yarra snorted. "I hardly think so. Alice’s are eyes are really blue, while hers are, I don’t know, greenish blue? Green? Besides, who knows what color her hair is right now? Last time I saw her on TV, her hair was red."

"Okay, "Fiona laughed, amused by her friends fierce defense of Alice. "But her hair looks like Renee’s in that last episode we saw."

"You watch Xena Warrior Princess?" Lucy asked, casting her youngest sister a surprised look. "My, my, little sister. You are full of surprises. I can remember you raving about how that show crippled Greek mythology. That was you, wasn’t it?"

Fiona shrugged her shoulders and tried to look indifferent.

"It was a school project," she mumbled, trying hard not to look too embarrassed, while shooting a grinning Yarra an annoyed look. She was not about to confess that ever since Yarra had introduced her to the show and she had actually sit down and watched a whole episode, she had been hooked. That knowledge would make Lucy’s day and she did not want to contribute to that. Not when it would be at her own expense anyway.


Jane stepped back and slowly walked around Alice, scrutinizing her work. With a pleased smile she took the towel off Alice’s shoulders and motioned her to follow her to the bathroom, where a huge mirror adorned the wall.

"Have a look, Alice," Jane encouraged, instinctively understanding Alice’s need to watch her new looks in private and not surrounded by a group of admiring women.

Nervously Alice turned to the mirror where a stranger was looking back at her. Her first reaction was to hastily step back, but she squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. Bringing her face closer to the shiny surface she stared at her own image with unbelieving eyes. Tentatively she fingered her now short locks, slowly turning her head from side to side. Her hooded blue eyes gradually lost their cautious expression and with relief Jane saw them look at her in awe.

"That is amazing," Alice whispered. "It…it looks real nice. I…I don’t know what to say. Thanks, Jane," she stammered with moist eyes.

Jane patted Alice’s shoulder with a warm smile and walked back towards the door, wanting to give the teenager some moments alone.

"It was entirely my pleasure, Alice. You look gorgeous, but you already did. I had nothing to do with that. I just styled your hair and made sure we can see your pretty face better," she said with a wink before leaving the bathroom.

"That is one happy teenager," Jane announced when she came walking back into the room. "It’s almost a real make over."

"Almost?" Lucy mumbled. "I’d say she looks like a totally different person."

"I think I know what Jane is trying to say," Fiona said with a smirk, turning to her eldest sister and sending her a sweet smile. "Why don’t we go all the way, Pea? Get her a new wardrobe?"

Jody’s green eyes widened in surprise and after a few moments she shot Fiona an appreciative glance.

"I think I can contribute to that," she answered. "Isn’t it a coincidence that only two weeks ago our new fashion shop has opened, here in The Reef?" she grinned walking towards the phone. "I think Sandy wouldn’t mind bringing up some clothes, so Alice can have a look and see if she likes them."

"Good thinking, sis," Fiona commended with a huge grin. "We truly share the same blood."

"A clothing store? Here?" Yarra asked with a frown. "I don’t want to be rude or anything, but most of the shops in the hotels I have stayed at were…stuffy and boring. I mean, they are nice clothes for older people, but just not for teens."

"That’s the beauty of this place, mate," Fiona laughed. "Sam wants to attract a younger crowd, as well as a diving school, so they opened up a real cool shop downstairs."

Jody had dialed a number and her face lit up when the call was answered.

"Sandy, it’s me Jody. How are you?....Wow, that’s good, I am pleased to hear that…Oh, yes, Sam and I are doing great. Listen, I have a request, can you bring up some clothes from the store? They are for a teenage girl. Blond hair, blue eyes…size?" Jody raised her eyebrows and shot a quizzical look at Fiona and Yarra.

"Do you know my sister, Fiona?" she continued with an impish smile. "Something like that…Alright, thanks Sandy. See you in a bit."

She put down the phone and cast a pleased look at the bathroom where Alice emerged. The teenager did look gorgeous, Jane had not been exaggerating, but the clothes she was wearing were a little on the big side and Jody hoped that Alice would feel better if she could wear clothes that would fit and would be her own.

While Fiona and Yarra enthusiastically told their friend about the fact that she would be getting a new wardrobe soon, Jody cast a look at Lucy, who was sitting on the other end of the room with a forlorn look on her face. She exchanged a look with her mother and a wordless conversation took place. Joan smiled and nodded and walked towards the three girls, while Jody headed to her sister.

She let herself fall down on the couch beside Lucy and stretched her legs with a soft groan.

"Tired?" Lucy asked with sympathy.

"Very," Jody sighed. "But maybe not as worn-out as you are. You look exhausted, sis."

"Thanks," Lucy dryly replied, shooting her sister an amused look.

"You are welcome," Jody grinned, patting Lucy’s knee. "How are you holding up, Luce?"

Lucy’s eyes reflected something close to pain and Jody scooted a little closer, covering Lucy’s hand with her own and squeezing it gently.

"I am having trouble dealing with all this," Lucy confessed in a husky voice and Jody could tell her normally composed sister was on the verge of tears. "I know we are safer here, well Alice is anyway and at the moment that is all that counts. But I worry about Trish. She was already tired when this whole situation began and…there is so much pressure. I…I know you suffer because Sam is there as well, but Jody, I am glad. I know Sam will keep an eye on Trishia."

"And I am happy that Trishia will keep an eye on my stubborn Dutchie," Jody answered with a sad smile. "I so miss her," she added with a sigh. "Just sitting here and waiting drives me nuts."

"I know what you mean," Lucy smiled. "I just…I am here, Trishia is at Murrook Farm and I don’t know when we will see each other again. And that after I just swore I never wanted to wake up alone anymore," she ended in a whisper.

"You did?" Jody inquired with a smile. "Don’t get me wrong, I am happy you feel that way, but what brought that on?"

Lucy bit her bottom lip, debating with herself whether to tell her sister about Trishia’s proposal, or to remain quiet until things would be back to normal again. But a pair of warm, green eyes won her over.

"Don’t tell anyone else yet, because I feel Trishia should be with me when we announce it to the world, but this morning she proposed to me," Lucy said, casting down her eyes and taking a deep breath when she felt a blush creep up her cheeks.

Jody’s grip on her hand tightened and when Lucy looked up again she could see the happiness radiate from her sister’s face.

"Oh, Lucy, that is wonderful. You did say ‘yes’, didn’t you?"

"Of course," Lucy laughed. "I would be a fool to let her get away. I love her, Jody. I really do."

"So, does that mean I can stop worrying about you?" Jody joked.

"You worried about me?"

"I did," Jody confessed. "I know that when you and Trish got involved it was….stormy, to say the least. I couldn’t help holding my breath and see what would happen. But when I saw the two of you grow closer I was so happy, Lucy. I was hoping Trishia and you would make a commitment."

"Oh, so because you are a married woman, you want the whole world to be happy, huh?" Lucy gently teased.

"Something like that," Jody confessed. "And the fact that I love you and want you to be as happy as I am. You are very special to me, sis. Don’t ever forget that. You were the one who kept me sane when I fell in love with Sam. Heck, you were the one who pointed out that very fact to me," Jody remembered with a smile. "You kept dad off my back as long as you could. Don’t think I will ever forget that. You called Sam to come and get me."

"Which got her in a car wreck," Lucy sighed, her eyes dark with sadness. "Every time Sam is in pain and I see her limp, I remind myself of that."

"Are you crazy?" Jody choked out, turning so she could have a better look at her sister. "That was hardly your fault. It was Michael who drove her off the road. You only had my best interest at heart. Lucy. If Michael had not have pulled that stupid stunt, Sam and I would have run off together."

They were both silent for a moment, lost in their own thoughts and memories.

"You think that…if Sam and you would have run off, do you think you would still be together now? I mean, you were both so young."

"We would have managed," Jody answered, not having to think hard about her sister’s question. "I know we were young, but we had this connection that was amazing. When she disappeared and I thought she had just left me I was in pieces. I was hurting so much, I thought I would die. So, to answer your question: yes, I think we would still be together."

"I always wanted what you and Sam had," Lucy smiled. "That unconditional love, that deep…connection. The way Sam looks at you…I thought I was asking for too much, but…"

"You found that in Trishia," Jody added quietly.

"Yes," Lucy answered with slightly flushed cheeks. "I know that some people who don’t really know Trish think she’s…cool and distant. But she is not. She has such a warm personality. She is sweet and loving. Her sense of humor is amazing and so is her patience, especially when it concerns me," Lucy grinned. "She is also an incredible romantic," Lucy added in a low voice and she sighed dreamily, not noticing the amused smile on her sister’s face. "I know we started our relationship very fast and maybe even a little impulsive, but I swear Jody, from the very beginning she has always made me feel so special."

"Good, I’d hate having to beat her up," Jody dead panned, which made Lucy chuckle. Trishia was as tall as Sam and very strong. The idea of her small sister trying to beat the daylights out of her lover was too funny.

"You’d need something to stand on then," Lucy quipped. "Unless you want to just kick her in the shins."

They both laughed and Jody was happy to notice that the most of the tension had disappeared from her sister’s face.

"So, Trishia is a closeted romantic," Jody mused with a twinkle in her eyes.

"Oh yeah," Lucy sighed again, leaning her head against the back of the couch and staring at the ceiling.

"I will never forget our first night together."

"Um…do I want to hear about that?" Jody gently teased. "Because if your idea is to swap ‘first time’ stories, I am not sharing."

"No, that is not the intention," Lucy softly chuckled. She turned her head a little and glanced sideways. "Unless you just want to tell me."

"I’d like to keep some things private," Jody replied, nudging her sister in the ribs.

"I understand. I just want to ask one thing, call it curiosity. Was the first time the way you had expected it to be?"

"The very first time or the first time with Sam?" Jody calmly asked.

Lucy’s head shot up and she stared at her sister with wide eyes. Jody raised her eyebrows and stared back into a pair of stunned green orbs.


"You mean, Sam was not your first? You and Sam…you didn’t…? Really? Wow, I thought the two of you would have consumed your love way before the accident happened."

"No," Jody sighed, with something that suspiciously sounded like regret. "We didn’t. We never got passed kissing, really good kissing I might add and some heavy petting sessions. I think we both thought that we would have all the time in the world. And then the accident happened and Sam disappeared for eight years."

Jody rubbed her tired eyes and remembered the deep pain and sadness she had experienced after Sam had left, all those years ago. The memories were still a little unsettling. Especially now, with Sam staying at the farm and Jody safely tucked away at The Reef. What if…?

Vigorously Jody shook her head, clearing her mind from negative thoughts. Her conversation with Lucy proved to be interesting and, more importantly, it provided both women with some much needed distraction.

"So, since you really seem eager to know, I will answer both questions," Jody continued with a touch of humor in her voice. "My very first time was not completely what I had imagined it to be, but Megan was gentle and loving and I did enjoy it. My first time with Sam however, was what I had expected from the very first time, and more. It was…intense, powerful. It was overwhelming. It rocked my world," she smiled.

Lucy pushed back her dark hair and leaned back against the couch again, her hands clasped behind her head.

"Sounds satisfying," she remarked dreamily.

"Oh, it was,’ Jody smiled knowingly. "But.. um…sister mine…quid pro quo."

"Like you, my dear, I will not go into details," Lucy smiled mischievously. "But I can tell you my first time was something I will never ever forget. It was amazing."

"Was that the first time with Trish, or the very first time, or both?" Jody casually asked, thinking she already knew the answer to that question.

"My first time with Trish was my very first time," Lucy softly replied.

"Good for you, Luce," Jody smiled.

"Yeah, considering dad always accused me of sleeping with the whole town," Lucy sighed, not able to hide the bitterness in her voice.

"I never believed that anyway," Jody said. "I knew that deep down inside you were not like that at all. You might have joked and mocked a lot about love, much like Fiona does, but I knew you would never just sleep with anyone just for the heck of it."

"Trishia and I kissed on the very first day we met," Lucy grinned, remembering the moment so clearly she could almost taste the salt in the air and feel the ocean breeze brush against her skin. "But we didn’t sleep with each other for weeks. I needed to be sure that was what I wanted. And it was," she added with an impish smile.

"So, I guess I can safely conclude that you and I have both found our partners for life?" Jody remarked.

"Absolutely," Lucy answered. "Trishia really is the one for me."

"And when will be the big day?"

"We haven’t even discussed that yet," Lucy admitted with a chuckle. "This morning, after she asked me, we came into the house and…"

"Do I understand correctly that the shameless kissing session out on the veranda had something to do with Trishia’s proposal?" Jody interrupted gleefully.

"Oh, yeah," Lucy grinned. "It had. But then we came in and a lot of other things happened and we haven’t even set a date yet. But I don’t care. After all this is over, we will go on a vacation. And it will be just Trishia, me and a lot of privacy."

"Sounds excellent, Lucy," Jody remarked, looking at the door when she heard a polite knock.

She blew up out a breath and pushed herself up from her comfortable seat.

"I guess that will be Sandy. Let’s get this fashion show started, huh?"


"So what will happen now Trish? What is the meaning of all this?" Sam asked, while she was pacing the kitchen, nervously drumming her fingers against her thigh.

Trishia leaned her back against the kitchen counter. Her hands were tucked into her pockets and there was a brooding expression in her eyes. She did not look happy at all. In fact, Sam was convinced that if anyone would rub the tall woman the wrong way, she would simply explode.

"I am not sure, Sam," Trishia finally answered. "I can only guess. But it seems like Martin came up with a smart plan to see how well guarded this place is. He sent up that kid in the stolen car and waited to see what would happen. When I called for back up the car was only halfway up the hill and if he did hang around to see the outcome, he would have seen the police cars arrive. He is smart, Sam, he figured out we must have a security system up here, otherwise the police cars could not have been here so fast." Trishia raked her fingers through her unruly hair and let out a deep sigh. "I am sorry, Sam. I screwed up."

"Don’t be silly, Trish," Sam immediately answered. "You could not have known he would do something like this. Heck woman, if you could anticipate moves like that, I want you to come work for me," Sam sighed with a crooked smile.

Her remark had the desired effect, because Trishia looked up and Sam noticed a fleeting smile cross her face.

"Thing is, what do we do now?" Sam asked. "Better yet: what will he do?"

"Let me think for a moment, Sam," Trishia sighed. "I am so tired, my whole head seems to be fogged up."

"Want me to make us some coffee?" Sam asked. "I could even whip up something to eat. It’s almost six thirty. It will be getting dark soon as well."

"Coffee would be excellent, Sam," Peter grunted, while trying to lift the screen door out of its last hinge. The metal frame was completely bent out of shape and both Peter and Sam had immediately concluded the door was a lost cause.

"Okay, I’ll make us some coffee and some sandwiches."

"Yeah, fine," Trishia answered absentmindedly. The tall policewoman stared at a point on the kitchen floor and desperately tried to organize her thoughts. That was not an easy task. Lack of sleep and the huge amount of stress she was under made it hard for her to think clear. Especially when her thoughts were regularly interrupted by the image of a pair of dark green eyes.

Some nagging thought in the back of her mind alerted her to think hard and deep. Her gut feeling told her she was overlooking something. There was a piece of information in the back of her mind that was screaming for attention. But the tired haze that threatened to overtake her senses made it impossible for her to focus and the knowledge of not realizing something she had to know, was extremely frustrating.

"Sometimes it helps to think aloud," Sam’s voice suddenly sounded next to her.

When Trishia looked up she noticed Sam was leaning next to her against the counter, with a pensive expression in her clear blue eyes. Trishia shot her a weary smile and took a deep breath.

"Alright, Sam. Here goes. According to Carol, Martin Coles was interrupted packing his stuff. Apparently he wanted to run off. He fled the house through the backyard when he was not yet surrounded and walked towards the business area close to his place. He disappears in the crowd and eventually he managed to con an elderly couple out of their car. About an hour later, the couple notified the police. That was around one thirty. Martin could have put that time to good use by getting the heck out of town, but he didn’t. He stayed. So, he either is too stupid for words, extremely arrogant and sure of himself, or very smart and dangerous." Trishia paused for a moment and noticed the tense looks on Sam’s and Peter’s faces.

"Around four thirty this stolen car shows up on the driveway. That means Martin must have been driving around for about three hours. The kid who drove up here told us the man who gave him the car, was dressed in a pair of jeans and black t-shirt. He was wearing glasses, had a moustache and blonde hair. So, Martin either visited a beauty salon and dyed his hair, or he has another place we don’t know about and changed his appearance there."

"He could have gotten a motel room," Peter suggested. "Those cheap, sleazy ones never ask for an ID anyway. As long as you pay cash they don’t care whether you are mother Theresa or Jack the Ripper."

"Being in the middle of the coastal tourist industry, it would be impossible to find him," Sam sighed, wording what both Peter and Trishia were thinking.

"Anyway, Martin sends the kid up here, a few minutes later two police cars come racing up the hill and he knows for sure we have some sort of security system up here." Trishia continued. "So, what would be his next step?"

"We have to take a step back first," Sam spoke up, chewing on her bottom lip. "Nobody, except for Carol Wong, knows where Alice is. Why would Martin come over here? How did he know?"

"He knows about my connection with you," Trishia answered. "He probably also knows that Jody and Lucy are sisters. God knows there has been enough gossip about it at the station."

"Yeah and Martin always hung around those human newspapers, so I bet he heard about that as well," Peter helpfully added.

"He probably kept an eye on my place. He knew Alice was with me last night. He only had to drive past my place to see the car wasn’t there."

In spite of the heat outside, Sam’s hands were cold and she briskly rubbed them together to make them feel a little warmer. Talking about Martin Coles was extremely disturbing. Deep down inside she did not want to talk about the man at all, but keeping her friends and family safe was her main concern and if that meant trying to crawl inside his head, she was willing to do so.

"If he knows about me, he also knows about The Reef," Sam stated matter-of-factly, but inside her heart was pounding in her chest. She quickly looked at her wrist watch and noticed that she was supposed to call Jody within the next fifteen minutes.

Nervousness settled in the pit of her stomach and when she looked at Trishia her eyes were almost pleading. She didn’t want to speak the next words, but looking into Trishia’s eyes she just knew that her friend had already contemplated the same thought.

"He could be on his way to The Reef," Sam managed to say, while the tension painfully constricted her throat.

Trishia did not cast down her eyes to avoid Sam’s piercing blue eyes. Instead she calmly looked at her friend, seemingly deep in thought. Without taking her eyes away from Sam’s face, she took her cell phone and dialed a number by memory.

"Inspector? Can you send two cars up to Murrook Farm? We will be leaving, but we need a team here just in case Martin decides to show up again. We’ll be going to The Reef."



It was not unusual to see an old person slowly stroll through the parking garage of The Reef. In fact, it happened a lot, since the resort was very popular among retired people from all over the continent. They even had their annual visitors from Japan, New Zealand and Europe. So nobody looked twice when an elderly man stiffly walked through The Reef’s main entrance. He was leaning heavily on his cane and when he passed the security guard he politely greeted him by tapping his orange and green cap.

The guard smiled at the man and held open the inner door, so he could easily pass through.

"Thank you, son," a raspy voice sounded, while the man shuffled past the guard. "It’s mighty fine to see that there still are responsible young people around."

"No worries, sir," the guard smiled. "Have a nice evening."

"Same to you, boy," was the answer.

The guard closed the door behind the old man and walked back to his place near the main entrance, while the old man slowly continued his way to the elevators. Nobody gave him a second look.


To be continued in part 18

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