With Liz in custody, Frank and Marka can finally relax a little. He’s still in the hospital, but decidedly on the mend.
“Where is Liz?” Marka asked.
“On her way to Elkton Federal Correctional Institute.”
“That’s a men’s prison,” Frank said.
“They’re doing me a solid,” Shay replied. “They’ll keep her there until she can be transferred to the nearest women’s facility. Meanwhile, she’s out of our hair.”
“Any clue yet who she was working with?”
“None. But you can be sure that when she sees what kind of time she’s facing, she’ll talk. Meanwhile, more interesting things to talk about. Clark, tell them about Ralph Penwarren.”
“Seems our Uncle Ralphie has been playing high and loose with his mother’s money. Fortunately, enough of her assets are tied up in investments, he couldn’t get his hands on it all, but he put a sizable dent in it.”
“Mabel’s not broke, is she?” Frank asked, worried.
“Not by a long shot, but she did drop from billionaire status. Not by much and should pop back in a couple years.”
“Why was he after the ring?”
“Seems he invested poorly—his horses failed to come in. He’d run up a lot of debt. The ring would have made him enough money to clear his debt and live high for quite awhile. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get it and his contact wanted to make a point. So he pushed him off the balcony. We checked the video feed.”
“I don’t remember a camera in that stairwell.”
“There’s not. It’s outside, but covers the door. All that glass, though, it got a clear shot.”
“It wasn’t Jeff?”
“No. He’s a vandal, but he’s not an attempted murder. He was syphoning money out of dozens of accounts and we’ve put a stop to that.” He wiggled his fingers as if typing on a keyboard. “I have a few mad skills left.”
“How are Brad and Cherry?” Marka asked.
“They’ll be okay. They’re in the ICU for the night, but the doctor is confident they’ll pull through.”
“Now it’s time for us to go,” Shay said. “We have an investigation to run and heads to lop off at the shoulder.” He rubbed his hands together. “What fun!” He gave each of them a hug. Marka, he gave a kiss on the cheek. “You take good care of our Frank. Oh, by the way, where did you leave the journals?No one can find them.”
“I dropped them off at the bank. They have a secure holding area for sensitive items and I asked if they would let me leave something for a couple days. They said sure. We can retrieve your evidence tomorrow.”
“Quick thinking, Marka. Thank you.”
Clark shook Frank’s hand and hugged Marka.
“Thank you, Marka. You’ve been a great help.”
“Thank you too, Clark. You’re a pretty nice guy—for a spook.”
“We’re really going to have to upgrade your vocabulary one of these days.” He kissed her cheek. “You kicked some serious ass, lady. Remind me never to make you that mad.”
“I don’t think you possibly could.”
The men bid farewell and left. Frank patted the bed.
“Where were we?”
A nurse popped in, smiling. “Time to check your vitals, Mr. Atherton.”
“Are you all ever gonna leave us in peace so I can give my woman a kiss?”
The nurse grinned. “No. This is a hospital. You want privacy, go to a motel.” She giggled when Frank grumbled. “You’re gonna have fun when you get him home,” she said to Marka. “He’s gonna be a great patient.”
“No, he’ll be horrible, but he makes up for it by being adorable and very good in bed.”
“You have to tell the nurse that?” Frank flopped back on his pillows.
“Why not? The Alzheimer’s group already knows and the girls at the facility figured it out.”
“I don’t really want the entire world to know, okay?”
“Why not? I thought you’d be pleased.” Marka fixed him with her dark eyes, arms crossed over her chest.
“Don’t want a bunch of pushy, jealous women up in my bidniss,” Frank teased.
“You’d love it.”
Once the nurse left, Marka dimmed the lights and cuddled up next to him until he fell asleep. She made up her bed and lay down, trying to get comfortable on the hard mattress. Eventually she slept, marginally aware of the people who came and went during the night, checking on Frank.
In the morning, Paula and Tom showed up with breakfast. Rochelle dropped by later with Marka’s keys and James brought a basket of goodies from the police department. The doctor dropped by around noon and started the check out process. James and Tom showed up in order to give them a ride home.
© Dellani Oakes
To Buy Dellani’s Books