Monday, September 11, 2017

What a Romantic

Mike and Sam arrived at Ivy Lane to find Bunny's car in the drive but no sign of her. They walked around the yard. Mike went to the garage and saw that the Range Rover and Harrison's other car were still there. The back door was open so both of them went through the house. Nothing looked out of place. Sam finally said,"What do you think?"

"I don't have a clue. Knowing Bunny she could have been kidnapped and dead by now or walking her damn dog in the woods."

Sam responded, without humor," Great. That helps a lot."

Just then Bunny's phone, that Mike had in his pocket, rang. Mike pulled it out and answered it. On the phone was Luther Sweeny who was surprised when he found himself talking to Mike instead of Bunny. Mike just told him Bunny had left the phone at her office (just to avoid any suspicion) and since he was going out to Ivy Lane, he was going to return it.

"Well, when you see her, please tell her that Belva and Liza are aware of the jewelry and she needs to be very careful. God only knows what they may do."

"Jewelry, what jewelry?"

Luther hesitated, but said,"We found a safe deposit box of Mary's jewelry with a note from Harrison leaving it all to Bunny. The sticky part is that Harrison requested in the note that Bunny select one piece for each daughter."

"So Bunny has the jewelry?"

"Yes, she left my office at midday today with all of it in a box. I just wanted to make sure she put it in a safe place."

"I'll tell her as soon as I see her."

Luther thanked him and rang off.

Mike shared the news with Sam. Sam thought for a minute, "I don't feel good about this."

Then Sam picked up his phone and called Della. "Hey, what's the name of the guy Bunny has been seeing?"

"Sam Taylor, can you believe we are both seeing 'Sams'?"

Sam tried to laugh, "Did he happen to call her today?"

"He did. He called twice this afternoon looking for her. Said she wasn't answering her cell phone."

"Did he say anything else?"

"No, not really. Just that he wanted to take her out tonight. Why?"

"Nothing, just curious. She seems pretty serious about him."

"Oh she is."

Sam told her that he probably would not be able to make it tonight, but he promised to make it up to her. She understood. And they rang off.

Sam told Mike what he learned. "Now I'm really worried."

Just then they heard a car come up the drive. It was Belva and Liza.

"Great," said Mike. "Now the fun really begins."

The girls got out of their car. Liza started,"Wow, seems the little tart needs professional protection."

"What brings the 2 of you out here?" asked Sam.

"We came to discuss something with Bunny."

"If you are talking about the jewelry, I think you know your Daddy left that fair and square to Bunny. That said, I do not think you have any business here. So why don't you take your fancy car and get off this property. You are in enough trouble already."

The girls left in a huff, threatening to sue.

Mike looked at Sam, "I think we need to issue an APB on Bunny. As far as I am concerned, she is missing and probably in trouble. I'm going to call the station and get that taken care of."

Sam agreed. Mike made the phone call. He also suggested they call Anna Belle. "Not a bad idea. You know her better than I do.  You call her."

Mike called Anna Belle. When he explained the reason for the call, she said did not know where Bunny was, nor did she seem very concerned. Mike rang off in disgust.

Mike then called another deputy and asked him to come stay at the house in case Bunny returned and to make sure nothing happened. When the deputy arrived, Mike talked to him, then he and Sam left.

Sam looked at Mike as they drove back into town. "I still don't feel good about this."

"I don't know what else we can do."

"Just hold onto her phone. Call the judge to get a warrant to ping Mr. Taylor's cell phone. His number should be on Bunny's mobile under 'recent calls'. At least we can find out where he is."

Sam dropped Mike off and went back to his house trying to figure out where to go from here. Mike called to say he had run through the video tape of the surveillance cameras at Ivy Lane. There was nothing - no one had been in the house as best he could see. He had the warrant and had called the cell company. He was on his way to Mobile to meet them to ping Taylor's phone. He told Sam he would keep in touch.

It wasn't an hour before Mike called Sam. "Taylor's in Marengo county. They are trying to narrow his location. "

Sam said, "I'm on my way." Knowing that, unlike Mike, Sam drove an unmarked car, they set a place for them to meet.

Sam picked Mike up and they quickly drove to Marengo county. The cell company called and said they had narrowed the location down to a single block. Mike got the address and gave it to Sam.

He had just gotten off the phone with the cell company when his phone rang again. He did not recognize the number. When he answered it Bunny was on the line. He put his phone on speaker.

"Mike, I don't know what do."

"Are you OK."

"Of course I'm OK. I just need some help."

"Where are you?"

"At some restaurant in Merango county."

"Is Sam Taylor with you?"

"Yes, that is the problem."

Sam quietly said," That's the understatement."

Bunny continued,"I think Sam is going to propose to me tonight and I'm not sure I'm ready to get married. I've only been seeing him for a couple of weeks and he is so much smarter than I am. What if he thinks I'm dumb?"

"Bunny, has he asked you to marry you? "

"No. but he is very nervous and keeps looking over his shoulder. Don't most men get nervous and fidgety when they are going ask their girl friend to marry them?"

"Well that could be."

"And he has left the table several times and stepped outside. I'm really worried about him. He is making himself sick over this. If I say 'No' will that just make it worse?"

"Bunny, I have your cell phone, whose phone are you calling me on?"

"Oh, thank goodness. I could not find it anywhere."

"Bunny, stay with me here, whose phone are you using?"

"This nice lady I met in the Ladies Room. I told her it was an emergency and I needed to make a call. She loaned me her phone while she redid her makeup."

"Bunny, listen to me. I want you to stay in that Ladies Room. Sam and I are almost there?"

"Here? Why would you be coming here?"

Mike shook his head," We wanted to see you. Now do not talk to anyone and do not come out of that room until one of us comes in. Do you understand?"

"Mike you are scaring me. This sounds like a TV Crime show I was watching last week, where the bad man has some men kidnap a lady while he was having dinner with her at a restaurant. He had set the whole thing up for some other men to come get her. It was scary."

"Bunny, we are almost there." Mike rung off.

The phone rang again. It was Bunny. In a whisper she asked,"Mike is this like that crime show?"

"Bunny I hope not. Just stay where you are."

Sam and Mike parked a block from the targeted area and got out to continue on foot. Not knowing the name of the restaurant, they then surveyed each restaurant. One seemed a little nicer than the others. They would start there first. Since Taylor had seen Sam but not Mike, Mike went in to supposedly get a drink at the bar. Sam scoped everything outside. He saw an unmarked white panel van, with the engine running and two men sitting in it. He called the station to check the plates. Sure enough they were stolen.

Meanwhile Mike had picked a bar stool that gave him a clear view of the dining room. Looking around he saw Taylor sitting alone at a table for two talking on his phone. He glanced at the Ladies Room and saw no activity. Mike turned around and sent  text to Sam. "Taylor alone all else quiet".

Sam responded,"2 goons in panel trck w/ stln tags out here."

"any ideas?" replied Mike.

Just then a lady came out of the rest room, sat down at the table with Taylor and told him something. Taylor was not pleased. He picked up his phone and made a call. The lady calmly walked over to the bar and took a seat.

Mike quickly sent a text, "something is afoot".

Sam replied,"game on goons going in".

She had not been sitting there long before there was beep on her phone. She read it and calmly walked back to the Ladies Room. The Goons came in front door. Just as the mystery lady came out of the Ladies Room holding Bunny like Bunny was sick. It was just an instant before the goons grabbed her and were headed for a side door. 

The lights in the restaurant were dim and the goons were quiet and smooth. No one seemed to notice. Just as they got to the door Bunny shouted,"Help me.I'm being kidnapped. Call the Police."
Mike was already off the stool with his gun drawn. Sam was coming in the side door with his gun drawn, "FBI, stop. Let the lady go. Now!"

The goons were so surprised they let Bunny go and turned to run, only to see Mike standing there. They were going no where. Taylor in the mean time was getting up to make a quick exit but Sam stopped him.

By now there were FBI agents coming in as well as local police. When it all calmed down Sam and Mike knew it was being taken care of, they found Bunny who surprisingly calm. "You OK?" asked Mike.

"OK?, I've never had such excitement in my life," Bunny said beaming.

"Bunny do you realize what just happened. A very bad man who is on parole for many Federal Indictments, just tried to have you kidnapped?"

"Oh Sam would not do a thing like that. He was going to propose, I just know. I had a long talk in the Ladies Room with the nice lady who let me use her phone. No, those bad men tried to kidnap me. I know. It was just like CSI. Good thing I watch it because I knew what to do."

Mike knew there was no sense trying to argue with her. Then he remembered the jewelry. "Where is the jewelry?"

"How do you know about the jewelry?"

"Long story, do you know where it is?"

"Of, course I do. Sam told me he would take care of  it for safe keeping. It is in his trunk. I told you he is a dear."

Mike went and told Sam where the jewelry was and went back to stay with Bunny. Sam came back in. "The trunk is empty. The jewelry is not there. Bunny did y'all stop any where on the way here? At a house, a bank or anywhere?"

"No, not that I remember."

"Mike looked at the Sam, "What about the Van?"

"Already checked it, not there either."

Mike asked again about the  jewelry.

"You make Sam sound like such a bad person. I know what you told me earlier, but he is just not like that. He is kind, gentle, romantic, generous, and real smart.'

"Bunny, sometime people are not what they seem to be."

"Sam is not like that. For instance on the way here we saw a car that had a flat tire. Sam stopped to see if he could help the guy. He opened the trunk and even gave him something the man needed, probably the jack. Even though he was in nice suit and it was dusty out there."

"Do you remember the car?"

"No. not really because as soon as we pulled up in front of it, Sam popped the trunk open before he got out of the door. I couldn't see anything then.  And he told me to stay in the car because you could trust someone you didn't know on the side of the road. He cared that much about safety. How many men would do that."

Sam looked disgusted,"Not many, thank God."

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