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My Little Mystery Part 11

My Little Mystery Part 11

Another ghost appears to Monica. Natasha gets rescued. A key clue is exposed.

Monica followed the group of four men toward the house. They were clumsy and not very hidden. She sensed something was wrong, but not knowing much about tactics for storming a building, it seemed normal. She left them when they turned toward the house. When she turned to go, another shimmer caught her eye. What was that? She thought. Whatever it was came at her and stopped. It was another specter. She recognized it as someone she met, when she was alive. But that could not happen; he died by his own hand, therefore he went to a different plane of being. The new specter was Roger Wolfson, Cricket’s first love. He was the CEO of Wolf’s Head Oil before Cricket took over. Now he was here. Monica felt she had to find out what kept him here.

“What are you doing here, Mr. Wolfson?” Monica asked.

“Who are you young lady? Call me Roger please.” Roger asked.

“I was Monica, Cricket’s personal assistant and best friend. We went to school together and graduated together. We have been friends and partners ever since.”

“I don’t remember you being around when she worked with me.”

“I was down in one of the lower departments, getting familiar with the company and its structure. It was a boring job. When you died and Cricket took over, I became her personal assistant. We worked to rebuild the company and moved it to become a broader energy company.”

“Yes, I saw that. At first I thought it was a big waste of resources. But looking at the bottom line it has been a very lucrative position. She did very well.”

“That still does not explain why you are here. I am here because Stefan was my fiancé and we are still in love. I want to be near him because he still needs me.”

“Can we move away from here for a while? I want to show you some things that may help you all in the long run.”

“OK, but we can’t go far. There is still something happening that I do not like.”

Monica followed Roger for a few miles to a small clearing in some woods. They descended to sit on the grass. Roger sat cross-legged Indian style. Monica lay sideways looking at him. She thought he was a handsome man. No wonder Cricket was in love with him. She was so heartbroken when he died. Now she will be happy that he is a specter which can be with her to help protect her. Monica wondered why he was here and how he avoided the other plane.

“Why are you here and not on the plane designated for suicides? I was told about the different planes, but never told that you can be somewhere else.”

Roger laughed, “I am here because I loved Cricket and never got to tell her. I wanted to ask her to marry me, before the company collapsed. Now she will never know. I was on my way to see her when the firefight broke out. The team behind the one you chased was very heavily armed. All five members were very good at hiding and sneaking.”

“What other team?” Monica asked.

“There was a second team which watched as the group captured the first team. They moved into place right after the capture.”

“We have to get back and warn Cricket’s group.”

Roger said sadly, “it is too late. The second team was moving on the house as we left. It must be overrun by now. I will never see Cricket again.”

“Well, maybe your dismay is premature. Cricket and her group are very resourceful. They have traced part of the mystery and moving in on more. They have a vast amount of resources available and know how to use them.”

Monica flew up, Roger followed her quickly. They headed back to the estate moving very fast. When they arrived, a big black car sped away. It looked like there was a body in the back seat. Monica saw it, but did not try to follow the car. They continued to the estate, hoping things were alright. Hovering over the scene, they observed, as Damon ran to the barn. He quickly turned around and ran back to the house even faster. He shouted, but Monica and Roger could not hear him. A lot of activity started, because of his shouting. They observed, Stefan, Cal, and a hand cuffed young woman get into a car and speed off towards the highway. Monica wanted to follow, but stayed to help Roger reveal himself to Cricket. They flew down to the estate and entered through a kitchen wall. Inside was a pile of three dead bodies from the second team. The first team sat there bound and gagged. Monica looked at Roger giving him thumbs up signal. Everything was good. The group survived. Roger searched the house and found Cricket in the dining room. She sat comforting Damon in handling his loss. He hovered in the upper corner far away from Cricket and Damon. He watched as the compassion oozed out of Cricket soothing Damon. Tears rolled down Roger’s face as he watched. Monica saw this and knew instantly that Roger still loved Cricket.

“Come on Roger, let’s go greet Cricket.”

“No, No not yet, I want to wait until she is alone.”

Monica moved away to go find Eric and Erin. They sat hunched over their laptops searching for Natasha. The best they accomplished was to find the Southampton airport. They hacked the video surveillance but could not see the private terminal. Eric’s phone rang. He chatted for a few seconds, turned to Erin and told her to get the troops and mount up. Over the next ten minutes they gathered arms and ammunition to go somewhere. When they left, Monica found Roger sulking on the front steps.

“What's wrong Roger?”

“I never got to reveal myself to Cricket.”

“Let’s wait and see if they come back.” Monica said.

“I heard one of them say something about a plane and taking off.” Roger softly replied.

“It was about the plane carrying Natasha after being kidnapped. They will be back. We need to go back inside and watch the prisoners. Maybe we can scare them a little.”

Roger followed Monica to the kitchen. She hovered over the tied up bunch thinking of what to do first. She tried to tickle one of them under the nose but it would not work. She tried another. Roger tried but failed too. They came to the conclusion that only the one’s they loved could see them. They sat down and waited for the group to return.

The group returned and filed into the dining room and quietly sat at the table. The air hung heavy over them. Natasha was still missing. Natalia comforted Damon. Eric and Erin poked at their laptops. Cricket, Cal, and Stefan huddled at one end of the table whispering. Eric announced that they had the flight plan for the jet. Erin searched for the ownership hitting stonewall after stonewall. She gave up the search and joined Eric in monitoring the plane’s flight. Cricket walked down to Damon and Natalia and sat with them. Natalia stood up pulling Damon with her. She led him to one of the bedrooms and closed the door. Cricket got up and went to her bedroom. Stefan and Cal moved down the table and sat with Eric and Erin. They followed the plane when it turned to Oklahoma City, then went to their respective rooms. Monica grabbed Roger and pushed him at Cricket’s room. It was time to tell Cricket he was a specter. He entered Cricket’s room and looked down at her. She lay there looking out the window deep in thought. He descended down to her bed and stood beside her.

“Hello Cricket.” He whispered.

“Roger is that you?” Cricket asked.

“Yes, it is I… I missed you my love. I wanted so much to ask you an important question the night I died. I searched for you but you were nowhere to be found.”

“Roger, what was the question?”

“It is too late now my love. Just know, I am here, because I died in love with you and now I can be here to help and protect you. Did you know Monica is with Stefan now too?”

“Yes, Roger, I did. They were engaged to be married when she died. Oh My God! Were you going to ask me to marry you?”

“Yes, Cricket, I was”

With that Cricket collapsed in convulsive tears and heavy sobs. She shook violently moaning in agony. Roger fled the room seeking Monica. His ability to comfort her was gone. He made her this way. Now he felt terrible. He had to get Monica. Only she knew how to fix this. Monica met Roger in the hall. He told her what happened. Monica went to Stefan and got him to go to Cricket. Stefan failed to comfort her and went to Cal. He failed too. The only ones left were Damon and Natalia. Stefan went to Damon and Natalia, explained the situation and asked their help comforting Cricket. They went into Cricket’s room. She sat up, saw Damon and stopped her sobbing, swallowed hard and bid them sit with her. Now she was comforting Damon as she should.

Dawn was about an hour away, so they sat and talked about Natasha and all her little quirks. They laughed and laughed about the little things that only she did. Soon, Cal knocked on the door asking Damon to help prepare breakfast. Damon got up and went with Cal. Cricket sat with Natalia chatting about the Bard School. In a few minutes everyone gathered around the dining room table for a big breakfast and meeting to lay out the plans for the ensuing days. When breakfast was over, Natalia and Cricket removed the dishes, carefully moving around the sleeping prisoners.

Meanwhile on the plane, Natasha awoke to the sound of air rushing by the outside of a private jet. She had loop cuffs on her hands and her feet restrained as well. She looked around the spacious cabin and saw two other people. As she slowly recovered from the shot that put her under, she wondered where she was and what happened. Upon further examination one of the two people seated nearby was very familiar. It was Mr. Schultz from the Bard School. What was he doing here she wondered. The two men argued. Her kidnapping made the situation very tenuous at best. Now they needed to get her back to Cricket without incident. Natasha knew now that something was afoot that involved the Bard School. That was still the big mystery. Maybe if she played still asleep, she could learn more.

“Ah, Natasha, you are awake,” a third familiar voice spoke up.

“Ye ... yes, I just woke up. Where am I? Why am I restrained? Is that you Mr. Wagner?”

“Yes, Natasha, It is I, Mr. Wagner. You thought I was blown up when my car was destroyed. That was a bit of sleight of hand by Mr. Schultz there. I had to be presumed dead to move to the next phase of the operation.”

“What do you mean Mr. Wagner?”

“All in good time, Natasha, all in good time. Are you hungry? This plane has an excellent galley and larder. They will make you anything you want. It is breakfast time and they make an excellent ham and cheese omelet, with the flakiest croissants. Would you like one?”

Natasha shook her head yes, still quite unsure what to expect. The last three days rushed back at her, giving her pause. Was it real or imagined? So many questions swirled in her head. Monica was dead, Cricket was injured. A manhunt found Cricket in Boston not New York City. Mr. Wagner came and got blown up. Damon fell in love with her. They found a camera and control box. The estate was assaulted. So many things, no real answers came out. Her breakfast arrived and she realized she was famished. As she ate, she thought of questions to ask Mr. Wagner. He owed her an explanation of what was going on. She wanted to know. The omelet and croissant were gone in mere minutes. She sat drinking her juice, when Mr. Schultz came up to her. He sat beside her and turned to face her.

“We are sorry to have taken you away. It was a mistake on an overzealous member of the recovery team. We will be dropping you in San Antonio, Texas. Cricket will find you there very easily. They will come and rescue you from what they think is a very dangerous situation. It will, however, be just a short vacation for you. You will be set up in a hotel with all bills paid by a mysterious benefactor. You will be allowed to tour San Antonio as long as you want. You can even call your love Damon anytime.”

Mr. Wagner walked up and joined the conversation, “You will not under any circumstances tell them I am alive or how you met Mr. Schultz. If you do, both you and Damon will die. Do I make myself clear?”

Natasha slowly shook her head and uttered haltingly, “ye … ye …. Yes Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz, I understand.”

“Good now let’s get those restraints off your hands and feet. We can’t have you arrive in San Antonio as a prisoner.”

The plane landed, Mr. Wagner and Mr. Schultz guided Natasha off the plane to a waiting car. They went to a hotel near the Alamo, where Natasha was booked and escorted her to her room. They left her with the instructions from earlier reinforced. She immediately left her room to go to a store in the hotel to get some clothes and personal items she needed. Next, she picked up the phone and called Damon.

“Uh… hello, Damon! It’s me Natasha.”

“Natasha? Where are you? Are you alright? Stay there we will come and get you.” Damon yelled. “Hey everybody, it is Natasha. She is in San Antonio, waiting for us to get her. We will be there as soon as we can. I love you, miss you.”

“Please hurry. I am scared. This place gives me the creeps. I miss you and the group. I love you. Please hurry! Bye.”

After she hung up, Natasha sat on the bed. She removed the tags from her new clothes. She got undressed, got in the shower and washed scrubbing hard to get all the dirt off her body. The more she scrubbed the angrier she got. When she finished, her anger was out of control. She wanted to hurt someone badly. It did not matter who just somebody. She’d never felt this angry before, the events of the last three days brought it on. She wanted Damon, needed him. He was the only one who calmed her down. She turned around looking at her image in the full length mirror. Damn, I look good she thought. She hoped Damon liked her new clothes. It was lunchtime and she was hungry. She picked up the phone ordered a room service lunch and waited. Lunch came and she ate it all. Normally Natasha picked at her food, but today she was famished.

At the Southampton private airport, Cricket, Cal, Stefan, and Damon boarded a plane bound for San Antonio. They left Natalia, Eric, and Erin huddled around their laptops searching for the plane that took Natasha. It seemed to disappear after San Antonio. Erin still puzzled out all the pieces for the deceptive owners of all the companies involved in the events that unfolded over the last few days. The paths crossed and double-crossed but it all pointed nowhere. There was a key here, but it was not obvious. Based on what she found and learned at the Bard School, she determined that the key was there in the officers of the respective companies. As it unfolded there was a common thread to it all, the bank that was the parent of all the subsidiaries. There was something there, Erin just passed over it many times. The more she searched; she came back to the bank. What was it about the bank? She looked closer at the bank. It was headquartered on Wall Street New York City about 35 years ago. It had not moved but grew bigger in assets year to year. In spite of its assets growing, the number of employees remained constant. The current president started the bank and ran it still today. The strange thing about him was that he did not reside in the United States. He resided in Germany near the Swiss border not far from the Bard School. That was it, the key. The bank began as a class exercise of the first graduating class and still existed today.

Erin noted that fact about the bank and moved back to the plane. It was gone, but planes just don’t disappear. Where did it go? She looked at the holding company. It had a subsidiary that refitted and refurbished private jets in St. Louis. A contract had arrived in St. Louis to refurbish a plane similar to the one Natasha spent the night in flying to San Antonio. Was this a coincidence, not likely? The plane went to St. Louis and emerged with new numbers and identity. It was so simple and totally legal, hide in plain sight. The question still begged an answer though, who was in charge? Where was he? Why all this secrecy?

Erin missed another factor. The team from Hooligans Ltd. was only four members. Where did the fifth member enter the picture? Natalia only knew about four members. There was no fifth, but he kidnapped Natasha. She turned to Eric to tell him about her discoveries, but Eric told her the plane was in St. Louis getting refurbished. He traced its flight path and found it. It became a non-issue now too.

“The plane is a dead end, but the bank holding company is very interesting.” Erin told Eric. “The bank president lives in Germany just across the border from the Bard School. He has lived there all his life. He was in the original graduating class.”

“The bank was part of a class project to set up finances and assets for future graduates to use, as they performed their major contracts.” Eric said.

“Right, it flourished over the years as graduates poured in money to get bigger and better assets. The number of employees has remained static throughout its history. Yet its assets have multiplied many times over. Does that mean the Bard School is involved in all this mayhem?” Erin queried to no one in particular.

“It could be involved, but why?” Eric replied.

Eric and Erin made notes about what they discovered. The fifth member was connected to the Bard School. That they knew for sure. The school played a part in this overall scheme. The unanswered questions still loomed. Why the cameras? Who was paying the bills? What did they really want?

The plane, carrying the group, landed in San Antonio and rode in a limousine to the hotel where Natasha was. Cricket, Cal and Stefan stayed in the lobby while Damon went to Natasha’s room. He knocked on her door. Natasha answered it and threw herself into his arms kissing him all over. They stood like that for five minutes after Damon carried her into the room. He put her down, held her at arm’s length, while she twirled, showing off her outfit. Damon approved. She came back to his arms hugging him close.

“Did you come alone?” Natasha asked.

“No, Cricket, Cal and Stefan are downstairs waiting for us to join them in the dining room.” Damon replied.

“Well, let’s go.”

Damon and Natasha left the room holding hands looking at each other. As the elevator descended, they kissed the whole way down. They broke the kiss as the doors opened on the ground floor. Red faced they walked to the dining room to see the rest of the group. Cricket jumped up at the sight of Natasha and ran to her. They hugged and danced around, overjoyed. Damon walked to the table and sat with Cal and Stefan watching the two women. The women came over arm in arm to join the men. Cal and Stefan smiled and greeted Natasha. She smiled back and greeted them all the while holding tightly to Damon. Over a light lunch, the group discussed the events of the last few days. They suspected there were forces at work trying to destroy Cricket and her hold on Wolf’s Head Oil, but why? The company grew at a very healthy rate and was very profitable. It continued growing and would for the foreseeable future. It did not make sense. They hoped Eric and Erin found out more about the plane and its owners.

Cal pondered the events. Nothing happened to the wolf pack at Cricket’s estate. The foundation grew stronger. The future loomed brighter. His job was secure. He and Cricket could get married soon. That may stall the bad events that happened for a little while. He looked at Cricket, leaned in and kissed her.

Stefan looked at the two couples. His heart was heavy with his loss of Monica. He thought how he never will find the right woman again. He liked Natalia, but she was a new comer to the group. Maybe he and she could date for a while. Romance grew over time and love happened at the most inconvenient times. Monica was gone, he needed to move on. Natalia was smart, efficient, lively and cute. He decided to ask her out when they got home to Long Island.

Damon and Natasha beamed at each other totally oblivious to their surroundings. As far as they cared, they were alone. Nothing changed between them. It was still a deep enduring bond that kept them together. The sparks still flew when they touched and kissed. What more could anyone want?

When the recovery team never returned to Hooligans Ltd. the client got very angry. He threatened to shut them down and destroy them in court and print. Cricket and her group had to be destroyed no matter what the cost. Just get it done they were told.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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