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Monday, April 17, 2017

#FreeDailyThriller - Lust, Money & Murder - Book 10, "Black Widow" - Part 21


* * *
When Gwen’s cellphone rang, she was sitting at her desk in the den of the villa, making out Alexander’s lesson plan for tomorrow. She glanced at the display and was surprised when she saw the words BLOCKED NUMBER.
She was a little suspicious when she answered it. “Yes...?”
“This is Robert from the Colibri Travel Agency, I’m calling about Alexander Ionescu’s passport.”
Colibri Travel Agency, Gwen thought. That was one of the agencies that Mr. Leandrou used to make some of their travel arrangements. “Yes?”
“Is this Gwen I’m speaking with?”
“Yes, it’s Gwen.”
“The Mozambique Consulate in Athens called us and said that they can’t read the expiration date on the passport copy we sent, and we can’t read it either, it’s blurred. Can you have a look at the actual passport and tell us the expiration date?”
“You should call Mr. Leandrou about this.”
“We’ve tried to reach Mr. Leandrou but he’s not answering his phone, and you’re listed as the back up contact on this visa application. If we don’t get the correct expiration date submitted within the next few minutes, your Mozambique visas will not be issued in time—all your reservations and tickets will have to be cancelled, and those first class tickets are not refundable.”
“Oh.” Gwen hesitated. “Can you hold on for a minute?”

* * *
At that moment, Kathy was heading towards the guard tower in her BMW. The limo had just driven out through the gate after dropping Spyro off at the front door of the villa.
 Kathy reached the paved portion of the driveway as the limo turned and headed back towards the highway. She brought her car to a stop by the guard house before the gate had even started to close. The guard saw her and waved her through.
Her heart thumping in anticipation, Kathy half-dreaded being a party to the scandal that must have been taking place inside the villa right now, and yet she also looked forward to the excitement and satisfaction of seeing Gwen pulverized. When Spyro returned from a trip, the first thing he always did was walk straight to the library, and to his desk, to look through the mail. He would find Kathy rifling through the bottom drawer of his desk, looking for Alexander’s passport...which was not there. Kathy had moved it to the back of the top drawer, where Spyro usually kept his own.
 For Spyro Leandrou, snooping was the worst possible offense that anyone who worked for him could ever commit, and snooping through his sacred desk...well, that was tantamount to treason in Spyro’s book. By now he would have found Gwen there at his desk, and probably be in a fit of rage. Kathy was confident the governess would be dismissed immediately, under a flurry of ranting and raving by her boss. Gwen would have no excuses—if she told Spyro that the travel agency had called her, he would simply call and check, only to discover that, exactly like he thought, no such call had been made by them. All she would have as evidence was a call from some blocked number, which would prove nothing.
With the house key clutched in her hand, Kathy breathlessly opened the front door of the villa and slipped inside the foyer, her ears already prepared to hear screaming coming from the library...
But the house was unnervingly quiet.
She turned her head towards the kitchen—she didn’t hear any sounds from that direction, either.
With her heart thumping even harder now, she crept down the tiled hallway, careful not to make any noise. She slowed in front of the library door. She had no idea what she might find when she looked into that room. She half-expected to see Spyro standing over Gwen’s prone body, breathing hard, having knocked the poor governess unconscious in a rage.
For a second she thought maybe she had gone too far.
But all she could hear was the soft scratch of shuffling paper.
When she took one more step forward, and the interior library came into view, she found Spyro not looming over an unconscious body, but merely standing beside his desk. His suitcase was on the floor behind him, and he was causally flipping through the mail.
Where the hell was Gwen?
There was the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs.
The governess appeared in the doorway. She was barefoot, dressed in sweats and a T-shirt. “Mister Leandrou?” Gwen said, after glancing at Kathy.
He turned and looked at the two women, only now noticing that they were both standing there. He smiled warmly at Kathy. “Hello, darling, I hope you had a nice day...” Then he glanced at Gwen expectantly. “Yes?”
“The travel agency just called and said they couldn’t quite make out the expiration date on the scanned copy of Alexander’s passport that you sent them yesterday...”
“Oh?”
“Don’t worry, it wasn’t a problem. I keep a copy of Alex’s passport on my phone. I gave them the date they needed. I hope that was okay?”
Spyro smiled at the governess, looking as if he was inwardly congratulating himself on making such a great hiring decision back in October, marveling at his own keen sense of intuition about people. “Of course it was okay, and thank you for handling that so efficiently, Gwen.” He rubbed his stomach and looked at Kathy. “I’m starving—do you know what’s for dinner?”


* * *
At that moment, Kathy was heading towards the guard tower in her BMW. The limo had just driven out through the gate after dropping Spyro off at the front door of the villa.
 Kathy reached the paved portion of the driveway as the limo turned and headed back towards the highway. She brought her car to a stop by the guard house before the gate had even started to close. The guard saw her and waved her through.
Her heart thumping in anticipation, Kathy half-dreaded being a party to the scandal that must have been taking place inside the villa right now, and yet she also looked forward to the excitement and satisfaction of seeing Gwen pulverized. When Spyro returned from a trip, the first thing he always did was walk straight to the library, and to his desk, to look through the mail. He would find Kathy rifling through the bottom drawer of his desk, looking for Alexander’s passport...which was not there. Kathy had moved it to the back of the top drawer, where Spyro usually kept his own.
 For Spyro Leandrou, snooping was the worst possible offense that anyone who worked for him could ever commit, and snooping through his sacred desk...well, that was tantamount to treason in Spyro’s book. By now he would have found Gwen there at his desk, and probably be in a fit of rage. Kathy was confident the governess would be dismissed immediately, under a flurry of ranting and raving by her boss. Gwen would have no excuses—if she told Spyro that the travel agency had called her, he would simply call and check, only to discover that, exactly like he thought, no such call had been made by them. All she would have as evidence was a call from some blocked number, which would prove nothing.
With the house key clutched in her hand, Kathy breathlessly opened the front door of the villa and slipped inside the foyer, her ears already prepared to hear screaming coming from the library...
But the house was unnervingly quiet.
She turned her head towards the kitchen—she didn’t hear any sounds from that direction, either.
With her heart thumping even harder now, she crept down the tiled hallway, careful not to make any noise. She slowed in front of the library door. She had no idea what she might find when she looked into that room. She half-expected to see Spyro standing over Gwen’s prone body, breathing hard, having knocked the poor governess unconscious in a rage.
For a second she thought maybe she had gone too far.
But all she could hear was the soft scratch of shuffling paper.
When she took one more step forward, and the interior library came into view, she found Spyro not looming over an unconscious body, but merely standing beside his desk. His suitcase was on the floor behind him, and he was causally flipping through the mail.
Where the hell was Gwen?
There was the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs.
The governess appeared in the doorway. She was barefoot, dressed in sweats and a T-shirt. “Mister Leandrou?” Gwen said, after glancing at Kathy.
He turned and looked at the two women, only now noticing that they were both standing there. He smiled warmly at Kathy. “Hello, darling, I hope you had a nice day...” Then he glanced at Gwen expectantly. “Yes?”
“The travel agency just called and said they couldn’t quite make out the expiration date on the scanned copy of Alexander’s passport that you sent them yesterday...”
“Oh?”
“Don’t worry, it wasn’t a problem. I keep a copy of Alex’s passport on my phone. I gave them the date they needed. I hope that was okay?”
Spyro smiled at the governess, looking as if he was inwardly congratulating himself on making such a great hiring decision back in October, marveling at his own keen sense of intuition about people. “Of course it was okay, and thank you for handling that so efficiently, Gwen.” He rubbed his stomach and looked at Kathy. “I’m starving—do you know what’s for dinner?”

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