Carlie was ready for a new life, giving up her career as an actress to marry wealthy Philip Nystum. But someone with a grudge to settle has Carlie captured and placed in a slave training facility. Detectives Jill and Nathan are hired to find Carlie, but their search for her across the galaxy puts them on a discovery of their own.
Jill Thomas stretched out behind her desk, trying to undo the kinks in her back from her kick-boxing workout prior to going to work. She returned her attention back to the monitor, and studied the document. Good mumble-jumble there. It makes it sound like we did real research. She added her digital signature to the document and sent it to billing. As the senior detective and manager of the Glenn Knotts Agency she was responsible for the final check of reports before files were sent to billing.
She turned her attention to another file when she heard the deep voice of Nathan Wilson, followed by his footsteps down the hallway leading to her office. She quickly used her fingers to brush back her wavy black hair and adjusted her posture before focusing on the computer monitor.
Nathan tapped on doorframe and leaned on it with his shoulder. He gave her a grin as he peered at her. “You do work too hard you know.”
“Someone has to worry about making enough money to pay our salaries. Another late night?” She tried to give an annoyed look at him as she took in his tall, lean frame. Everything about him was casual, from his only partially combed brown hair, his unshaven face, and his shirt left open enough to show curly chest hair.
“I met up with an old friend.” He shrugged. “What’s on tap for today?”
“Nothing urgent. I’m cleaning up some of the old file cases. By the way, good work on the Harper case. He was real pleased how quick you found out who was stealing the data.”
“Thanks. I just talked to some of the ladies that worked for him by meeting them out of the office. They gave me some good information.”
She stopped herself from asking exactly where he talked to them. A lot of women she knew fell for his brown, bedroom eyes.
Piper Nelson, the secretary for the small five person detective agency poked her head around Nathan. “There’s someone that wants to see you right away.” She looked behind her to where reception was. “It’s Philip Nystum.” She raised her eyebrows.
“Send him in.” Jill quickly turned off her monitor and looked at Nathan.
“I think I’ll sit in on this.” He walked into her office and stood by a wall.
Philip Nystrum, besides being rich, was infamous for messy affairs and business deals. He walked briskly into her office, looking upset. His tailor made suit looked like he had just thrown it on. He was in good shape for his years and Jill heard he made use of drugs and surgery to keep his looks like that of a thirty year old.
“You know who I am?” Philip sat down on the chair in front of Jill’s desk.
“Yes we do. Is this about your missing fiancée?”
“Carlie has been kidnapped and the damn, useless authorities aren’t doing anything to find her. They told me to be patient and wait for a ransom demand.” He pounded his fist into the palm of his hand. “I doubt there’s going to be a ransom note.” He shook his head.
Jill leaned forward. “Do you believe that she has been kidnapped for another reason?”
“I’ve a lot of enemies, both personal and business wise. But to be honest, while the business people I deal with may be pissed off at me at times, this isn’t their style. The business types I deal with all play the same game I do. Hell, I have dinner with them on a regular basis. Never know when they may become a business partner.”
“Personal?” Jill inquired.
“I suppose there’re some that would love to jab me in the heart by stealing the woman I’m engaged to. Most of them don’t have the resources to do anything like that. I mean, a kidnapping a hundred light years from here?”
Nathan spoke. “All the same this kidnapping does appear to be done by someone with a grudge against you or perhaps her.”
“I suppose you’re right, although I don’t know of any enemies of Carlie. Regardless of who did this, I need you to find and bring back Carlie. Glenn Knotts and you, Ms. Thomas, have an excellent reputation of solving difficult problems, and I’m asking you to accept this case. The cost isn’t a concern. Bill my office for whatever amount you want, just bring her back safely.”
Jill nodded. “Alright. I’ll have a contract drawn up. We’ll need details from you, such as what’s known about the kidnapping and the name of the investigating officer. I want a list of everyone you know that has enough resources to commit such an act, and include any of Carlie’s acquaintances as well. We’ll also need the use of one of your private starships. Commercial ships would be too slow and time is important.”
“Of course. Any resources you need will be given to you.”
“Let’s get started on those names.”