The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 45

The Alibi – Chapter 45

Penny kept her eyes closed and stretched her legs and arms under the covers. She loved her soft mattressed, king-sized bed. She slept naked because the feel of the lightly perfumed midnight blue satin titillated her. Plus, he preferred her in the nude. Sometimes he came in so hungry, so aggressive, so possessive. He didn’t need to be teased. He was always calm. On the outside. But when he was alone with her in the dark? He unleashed something…not quite brutal. Demanding. That was it. Demanding.

She liked him that way.

Her feet bumped something at the foot of her bed.

And her arms, outstretched, hung over the sides of her bed.

And the sheets didn’t feel right.

Whatever stopped her feet at the foot of the bed shifted. “Good morning, Ms. Lane.”

She opened her eyes, inhaled deeply and stopped. Felt like something clogged her lungs and it took three good breaths before she could clear them out.

The speaker was male, white. Late middle age – early senior male. Somewhere near retirement if not slightly past. Clean shaven. Nicely tanned. Dusty brown hair going to gray on the sides. Posh clothes. Silk tie. Great smile under bright gray eyes.

He sat on the foot of her bed facing her.

She catalogued the room. Not hers. Not his. Not one familiar to her. Not quite sterile but common. Like a dorm room. Or a two or three star motel room. She’d been in one once and decided guys who could only afford such rendezvous weren’t worth her time.

A dollar-store vanity over a dollar-store bureau.

Or something like it

A door off to the side and another on the far wall.

Sterile. The walls were a floor-to-ceiling industrial beige. No TV, no radio. A desk but no phone.

Maybe ten-by-twelve feet? No windows. Nowhere near a Brazilian prison cell but what she remembered of one still gave her the chills. This place had the same look if not the feel.

Briggs got her out of Brazil with one phone call. She’d call him now. Put a stop to this.

Where was her phone?

“You’re probably thirsty. Most people are thirsty when they wake up from being spritz with M12.” The man rose from her bed. “Let me get you a glass of water.” He opened the side door. She heard water fill a paper cup. He walked out, handed it to her, and sat where he had before.

“What’s M12?”

“A fast acting knockout gas. A Ketamine derivative.”

“No Ketamine derivative would work that fast. I had to clear my lungs when I woke up. That indicates etorphine or something close. Concentrated. Where am I?”

The man continued holding the cup out. “It’s safe. No intoxicants. No suppressives. Just water. I apologize for the rough handling. We wanted to get you here with the minimum of difficulty.”

“Where is here?”

“We like to think of it as a safe place.”

“Safe for who?”

“Have you ever read Meister Eckhardt?”

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