Thank you all for being so patient with me. I have been really busy working two jobs so I have not had a lot of energy for writing. But I have finally finished the next story in my series. I hope you will all enjoy it! Please leave plenty of reviews. I am posting the first two chapters right away and then I will post more chapters as the reviews start rolling in.
With that, here's Organized Crime!
"Nice place," Joe complimented Frank as they walked through the house that Frank and Nancy had just bought. "Nice and big."
"Thanks," Frank replied. "We like it."
"How many square feet does it have?" Joe asked.
"About four thousand," Frank told him.
"Did I say big?" Joe whistled. "I meant huge!"
"Well, combine what Nancy and I make with the fact that it was a foreclosure, and we can easily afford to make the payments," Frank told him.
"And the payments on that brand new Challenger I saw in the driveway," Joe teased him.
"But of course," Frank replied. "Since you wanted to keep the GTO, it was the least I could do."
"Are you going to turn Phil loose on your new car?" Joe asked him.
"You'd better believe it," Frank answered. Frank and Joe's friend, Phil Cohen, was a genius with every kind of electronics, and he sometimes did freelance work for the Network, the top secret government agency that both Joe and Frank worked for. In this capacity, Frank had hired him to install numerous "improvements" on the brothers' GTO and now on his new Dodge Challenger.
"Is that the R/T model?" Joe continued questioning him as they ended their tour of the house.
"Yep. With that Hemi engine it can really move," Frank said proudly.
Just then, the brothers were startled by the front door of the empty house slamming open. "There you are!" the beautiful blonde exclaimed, breathing heavily. "You guys have got to help me!"
"Okay," Frank said, "just calm down, Bess. Of course we'll help you. What's wrong?"
Bess Marvin was a longtime friend of Frank's wife, Nancy Drew-Hardy. She recently had taken a job as a model in Chicago, where Frank and Joe and their new brides lived. She took a deep breath and said, "I think the Mafia is after me! They are trying to kill me!"
"Are you sure?" Joe asked skeptically.
"Don't you look at me like that, Joseph Hardy," the young lady snapped at him. "I know what I'm talking about."
"We believe you," Frank broke in smoothly. "Now, why don't you start from the beginning, and tell us everything?"
"Okay," Bess said as she took another deep breath. "Could we sit down? This could take awhile."
"Well," Frank grimaced as he looked around, "we don't have any furniture in here yet, but I guess we could sit on the stairs."
"Sounds good," Bess agreed as she plopped down on the magnificent staircase.
Once they were settled, Frank once again said, "Okay, now tell us the whole story."
"As you know," Bess began, "several months ago I started working for this new modeling agency in downtown Chicago."
"What's the name again?" Joe asked.
"Perfect Image," Bess replied. Frank scribbled the name on his ever present notepad. "Anyway," she continued, "everything has been going great until recently."
"What happened?" Frank asked.
"I stayed late one night last week," she replied. "I took an extra long shower. Just as I was getting out of the shower, I heard a scream."
"Male or female?"
"I think female, but I could be wrong," she said. "Of course, I was scared out of my wits. I quickly got dressed and was leaving the locker room when I practically ran over my boss."
"What's his name?"
"Tony Fanelli," Bess replied. "He was acting really weird and then he asked me why I was still there when I should be at home. I told him why and then he asked me if I had heard anything. I was still scared, so I told him that I hadn't. He acted like he was still suspicious, but he told me to go home. I got out of there as quickly as possible." She paused and took another deep breath.
"So because of that you think he's trying to kill you?" Joe asked, his disbelief evident.
Bess fixed him with another scathing look. "I wasn't finished," she snapped.
"Excuse me, Miss Marvin," Joe smirked. "Please continue."
Bess glared at him but she went on. "The next day I was still kind of freaked, so I mentioned it to my friend, Jamie."
"Does Jamie have a last name?" Frank asked.
"Lindert. Jamie Lindert. Anyway, Jamie got this scared look on her face and told me that I was better off ignoring the strange things that happen around Perfect Image. I asked her if she had seen other strange things, and she clammed up. The day after that, she showed up to work with bruises all over her body and she refused to talk to me at all."
"Where were the bruises located?"
"They were on her stomach and upper legs, basically places that you don't see when she is dressed. I only noticed them because I saw her changing in the locker room."
"It sounds to me like she was worked over by a professional," Frank said grimly.
"Yeah," Joe said, "and someone that had something to lose if she had visible bruises-Tony Fanelli."
"Tony Fanelli," Frank agreed, his expression filled with anger. If there was one thing that Frank hated more than anything, it was a criminal that victimized women.
"There's more," Bess said. "Yesterday afternoon, Tony came up to me and told me that I had been requested for a special shoot. He gave me an address and told me to be there at six last evening. When I got there, this creepy looking dude opened the door. He told me that he was expecting me and to come in. I almost stepped in the door when I glanced past him. What I saw made me turn around and run."
"What was it?" Joe asked.
"There were three guys in lab coats," Bess told them. "They were standing in a room filled with torture equipment!"