Why? Why Kiska?

Why? Why Kiska?

By: Sarah

kiska

“For Man Cannot Give Wild Animals Freedom, They Can Only Take It Away.”
Jacques-Yves Cousteau

I’ve been trying to write this for a while. I have already done a blog on Kiska’s history and her story, but there was no passion, there was nothing from my heart. Her story is sad and horrifying, and I will never be able to get past her life. All I want for her is to get her happy ending. To be free from the concrete tank where she is merely existing.

Why does this single animal mean so much to me? Why does she mean so much to others? And, what does she mean to Canada?

Obviously I cannot answer for other people who love and fight for her, but I will take a guess that their reasoning isn’t that different from my own.

Kiska has been an inspiration. She’s a reason to never give up no matter how tough life gets. To never give up on her, and to never give up on myself. She has fought so hard to live, even if it’s just in that tank. She is still fighting the heartbreak from watching all five of her babies die before the age of six.The loneliness she feels. Watching tank mate after tank mate die or be taken away to another park. She’s had to fight for space against other orcas she didn’t get along with. Fight through losing the only person, her former trainer, who paid attention to her and genuinely loved her. She has not given up on herself, so why should we?

There are a lot of us who haven’t given up. We trudge on for her, to make things better. To do right by her. There are some amazing people right down in the trenches fighting for her in Canada’s Federal Government system, and those same people fought for her in the province in which she is trapped in. I am very lucky to call these incredible people my friends, and that is because of Kiska.

There are times that I feel that I haven’t been able to do more for her. I don’t have the means to up and leave and go to our nation’s capitol with my friends to stand before our Government. But I really wanted to be there. It killed me that I couldn’t. I’ve battered through depression because I feel that I’m not doing enough for Kiska, that she deserves more from me. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where she isn’t on my mind, or that I’m not racking my brain for some way to bring her story to a wider audience, or get someone who has a huge public following to come on board and be her voice along with us. There isn’t a time where I am laying in bed, not thinking about her. I’m always thinking of her, of what I can do for her. I’m always left with, it’s not enough. Kiska deserves so much from me.

Kiska has inspired passion. Passion that reignited my love for orcas. I’ve never stopped loving these amazing animals. I fell in love with orcas when I was seven years old. It’s funny how life just gets in the way and although you never stop loving them, you just don’t have the time to pay attention. But it was Kiska, and her former trainer, Christine, who were able to bring back my passion. Another former trainer, Phil, came forward in the summer of 2012, exposing Marineland in a newspaper, and that was the catalyst which brought me to the fight. Both who I need to give credit to. Both have put a lot on the line. I’ve known Phil for some time now, and I’m so proud of the work he’s done, for the risks he has taken. I just recently met Christine for the first time in January, after attending a court hearing with my amazing friends I mentioned above, and I was in such awe of her. I went back to being shy, and just couldn’t get over how in awe I was. I really wanted to talk to her to get to know her more, and hear stories of her life with Kiska. I got to see that she’s a beautiful, bright, caring, and funny person in the brief time that I got to sit down with her. I so do admire her and her courage. I am notorious for chickening out, in person, when it comes to sharing my feelings. Both Christine and Phil have had it rough, yet they’re still standing and fighting. Kiska and Christine are two very strong, and very courageous females.

Courage is Kiska. She shows that every single day that she’s stuck in that concrete prison. Her courage is all the tragedy that she has endured; being kidnapped away from her family in Iceland, watching all of her babies die, being alone with no tank mates for the past six years. Courage comes with dealing with the painful dental procedures every day. She has no teeth left from dealing with the stress of captivity, and now, what’s left of her teeth, need attention for health reasons. This one animal, is dealing with so much stress that wild orca do not have to endure. Kiska is still there, swimming endless counter-clockwise circles in her pool, everyday. With no shelter from the hot sun, nothing to stimulate her mind except the occasional rubber tire on bungee cords that a trainer may or may not put in for her to play with, she doesn’t vocalize, she doesn’t jump or do tricks. No family. Just a rotating door of trainers and strangers who gawk at her. How is this living? How heartless does one have to be, to think that this is OK? To just turn a blind eye to this amazing, beautiful and majestic animal? How can anyone look at her and not feel sadness, heartbreak, and anger? It baffles me. The excuses from certain people, sicken me.

What does Kiska mean to Canada? Everything.

She represents change. Change that has happened, change that is happening, and, hopefully, future change on a global scale.

In the spring of 2015, Ontario passed Provincial Bill-80, banning the importation, exploitation and breeding of Orcas in Ontario. A ban that was inspired by Kiska, but unfortunately did not include her. It’s not over for her yet. There are physical (non-Internet) petitions going around to have the Bill amended to include her.

It doesn’t stop there. Currently a Federal Bill, S-203, is being presented and read in the Senate to ban all whale and dolphin captivity in Canada. This Bill isn’t just about Kiska, but she is the main reason, and inspiration behind it. Because of her, all captive held dolphins, and countless beluga whales, and any other whales being held in the two main captive facilities in Canada, will all have a chance, and the end of the captive whale and dolphin industry will end. It’s still ongoing, and nothing is passed yet, but I am very hopeful.

What about the future? Kiska may not ever see complete freedom, but I am hopeful, yet cautiously optimistic, that she will see and feel the ocean one day. That she will get to live out her life feeling the tides change, the mysterious world below her, hear other whales and dolphins, feel the fresh air that isn’t tainted with chlorine. That she will, indeed, get her happy ending.

Kiska is an inspiration to keep fighting. To fight through the hard times, because there is hope. There are people fighting either for or along side you. To never give up yourself, or on others. To keep passion. To be courageous. To make, and force change. This is Why Kiska. This is why I need to keep on fighting for her.

“I Prefer Dangerous Freedom Over Peaceful Slavery”

-Thomas Jefferson

Kiska Facts

-Kiska was captured in 1979, at the age of approximately 3 years old, and sold to Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in 1980.

-She has had 5 calves; *Her first calf, died just 2 months after he was born. *Kanuck, her second calf, died at the age of 4. *Nova, died at the age of 4 years and 9 months. *Hudson was her longest surviving calf who died at 6 years of age. *Athena, was her last calf, and only daughter, and she died in the spring of 2009 at the age of 4 and a half years old.

-Sea World loaned 4-year old Ikaika to Marineland in 2006 for breeding with Athena. However, out of concern for his mental and physical health, Sea World ordered to have Ikaika returned. Marineland refused to comply, so Sea World took them to court and won. Ikaika returned to Sea World San Diego in November 2011.

Kiska has not seen another orca since then. She has spent 6 years completely alone.

-Kiska is the ONLY orca to live 100% alone in the entire world. It is illegal, and considered cruel in most countries to keep an orca alone. Orcas are highly social animals, who live in complex social groupings. Only two other orcas, Lolita and Kshamenk, live without another orca, however both have dolphin companions living with them.

-Kiska has no teeth, as she has grounded them down from chewing on the sides of her pool. A common practice done by orcas in captivity due to high stress from living in an unnatural environment.

-Kiska is the ONLY orca held in captivity in all of Canada.

Grieving For My Grandfather

“There is a sacredness in tears.

They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.

They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.

They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

Washington Iriving

Someone recently told me the grieving process is said to be phases, not stages, because you back and forth. Those words have stayed in my mind because that’s exactly what I feel like is going on with me. One day I am fine, the next I’m sad, and then I’m angry, and then confused, and all of that gets mixed up, and I never know what the next day is going to bring.

I don’t feel like I was robbed of time with my Grandpa Earl, but I feel that I was robbed of my time to say good-bye and to tell him how I feel about him. I stood there next to him in the hospital, with the time to say it, but with the complete denial about what could possibly happen overtaking any of my rationalle. I could have told him I loved him, but I didn’t. I was scared.

I’m choosing to write because I find it’s an easier way for me to express myself. For me to get the words and feelings out in a private way, and then publically, as to not show my physical grief. My tears will flow during this writing, and I’m sure I’ll be sobbing as well. But I’m getting everything I can down on paper, so that I can share my grief with my closest friends and family. Then I truly believe, I will be ok. I know these things take time, and time will heal this heartache, but for now, I’m using this outlet in order to help me heal.

This is my Grandpa! Earl Garnet Martin, carpener, cabinet maker, creative genius, former navy dude (I honestly have no clue what you call them….Petty officers???). My Grandpa

Born to Merlin and Blanche Martin on March 31, 1929. Younger brother to Donald and older brother to Wayne.

brothers

(Wayne, Don, and Grandpa Earl)

He met my Grandma Joyce in 1946 while skating at a local rink in Grimsby. My Grandfather love my Grandmother so much. They married January 27, 1951, and stayed together for nearly 55 years, until my Grandmother’s passing in October of 2005.

wedding day

(Wedding Day January 27, 1951)

They would have two daughters together, Debra and Joy. They raised their girls to be strong independent women. My aunt Debra is currently an editor of a newspaper in Comox Valley in British Columbia, and my mom is enjoying retirement and being an amazing Grandmother to my daughter, River.

family photo

(My mom, Grandma, Grandpa & Aunt Deb)

Christmas 1999

(Christmas 1999, Aunt Deb, Grandma, Mom, and Grandpa)

For as long as I can remember, my Grandfather has always been a huge part of my life. I was born just two days before his 51st birthday in 1980.

me and grandpa

(Grandpa Earl and I, a week after I was born, 1980)

Since then we have shared a total of 36 birthday’s together. I remember my mom apologizing to me a few years ago about never really celebrating my birthday on it’s own, but to be honest, I loved sharing my birthday with my grandfather. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

me and grandpa 02

(Me age 5, Grandpa Earl age 56…hence just the 5 & 6 on the cake)

I loved that it wasn’t just me on my birthday because I didn’t always like being the centre of attention as I got older. I actually preferred to just sit back, and let my Grandpa shine. He did. Because he’s the brightest man I know.

He always had such a funny way of doing things with me. I have so many amazing memories that I will obviously cherish, but it was Grandpa Earl who introduced me to cold canned pasta, like Alphaghetti and Zoodles. My Grandmother would go to get her hair done and do some shopping downtown, we would drop her off and go back to the house where Grandpa would have to feed me lunch. Well he wasn’t exactly a kitchen guru, so it was either him opening up a can of Zoodles, and sticking them in a bowl and giving it to me, or we would have brown sugar sandwiches. I still eat my canned pasta cold. I refuse to heat it up. YUCK!! As for the brown sugar sandwiches, I’ll pass. I don’t think I could bring myself to eat that. For those times when we waited for Grandma, I would climb into the front seat of the giant brown station wagon (aka the Bat Mobile), and sit on the middle arm rest next to Grandpa Earl and we would play “I Spy With My Little Eye…”. I think he cheated a few times. Lol!! Taking his dentures out and chasing me when I was really little, and being the only person who I would let put eye drops in my eyes whenever I had eye infections. He taught me how to spit watermelon seeds. Most of the time we’d spit in the sink, but there were those odd times, Grandma would walk behind us, and we’d turn and let her have it. She used to get so mad.

I spent a lot of time at their house. Overnights on some weekends, when mom and dad would go away for a week, New Years Eves, we spent countless Christmas eve’s and days in that house. Birthday’s, and my weekly visits to see Grandpa. My Grandmother died in that house surrounded by us. Clogging with Grandma in the spare room (aka my room, then became Grandpa’s room), playing in the barn with Grandpa, helping plant snap dragons, and when Grandpa would be working in his workshop downstairs in the basement, I’d sit on the steps until he was done with a machine, and then I would take the little brush and clean the saw dust away from his ban saw or lathe. To this day, the smell of saw dust, wood chips, all that, reminds me of Grandpa Earl. He was a very hard worker. He would do work for other people all day, five days a week, and then come home, have dinner, and then work on their house, so that my Grandmother could have that log cabin, early American looks she always wanted. I would spend Saturday nights there, and would watch hockey with Grandpa, and then run and watch The Carol Burnett show reruns, or Benny Hill (yeah not really appropriate for 5/6 year old, lol). Their house, was my home for 35 years until Grandpa sold it in 2015.

The House

He did all that work. The floors, the ceiling, installed the woodstove, tables and armours, wainscotting, the cabinets in the kitchen, the two front bay windows, the board and batton siding, the shudders. Everything. The people who moved in, tore it all out. Breaks my heart completely. I wish we could have kept the house in our family. It’s ruined now.

Grandpa Earl’s talent exceeded anyones. He was talented and creative and could make literally anything. Stairs, floors, vanities, ducks, bears, Mounties, beds, dressers, bookcases, floors, walls, coopalas, you name it, he probably made it. In 1993, he gave me one of two of my most cherished possessions; my Orca. And in the mid 2000’s (the year escapes me at this moment), he and my dad made me a four poster bed, that matched theirs, because I loved their bed so much.

Grandpas Creattions

(My Orca whale, and yes he’s wearing a Santa hat, it was Christmas, My bed,

Grandpa & Cousin Jimmy with the bear he made, Canada Goose, and the Mountie that is

now at my Brother and Brother-in-law’s trailer)

What I miss the most about Grandpa Earl was his goofiness. His way of making me laugh and smile, even when I was having a bad day. His love for my Grandmother. I’ve never seen a love like that. Reminds me of a movie because to me it was perfect. They were both so good together. They bickered, and nagged and teased each other, but their love never changed. Seeing my grandfather heartbroken after Grandma died was probably the hardest for me to see. He spent nearly ten and a half years missing her, but still loving her. That’s true love right there.

Grandpa Earl was the first person I told about being pregnant. He said he knew already, that he had suspected it. He was excited for the arrival of his first and only Great-Grandchild. I would go over there and he would ask me how I was feeling, and try and feed me chocolate, or anything really. He would get excited to see the sonogram pictures because they didn’t have that when he had children or even grandchildren. It was all knew to him. I never asked him whether or not he thought he was going to have a great-granddaughter or great-grandson. I don’t think it mattered to him. When River Joyce (named after my Grandma Joyce) was born, I hadn’t seen him that happy since before my Grandmother got sick and passed away. I was able to give her her first 14 months of life and his last 14 months of life time together. Giving him memories and stories to take with him when he left us to tell my Grandmother when they finally were together again. Those are the memories I cherish most. That I was able to make him so happy once again. He loved River so much. He would make her laugh and smile, and he would get down on the floor with her when she was in her excersaucer and play with her. Two days before he died, he was dancing to The Wiggles in my parents livingroom with River. I loved seeing his smile back, and I will miss that immensely. My Grandpa Earl, became River’s Grandpa-Great! Because he was great!!

Grandpa Great and River

Maybe those 14 months is what he was waiting for. He wanted to have a great-grandchild before letting go. I know it’s unlikely River will remember him on her own, but that’s where it becomes my job to keep these photos for her, and tell her just how much she meant to him, and how much he loved her.

Grieving is a hard process, and a timely one. One I feel maybe I haven’t allowed myself to do. I’m so tired. Tired of not sleeping well, tired of feeling guilty for not grieving the same way I did for my Grandma Joyce, confused as to why I’m not. Tired of sadness hitting me at the most inappropriate times, tired of being locked up in my mind because I don’t want to upset or scare River. Tired of the anger, and depression. Tired of the fears. Worst part is, I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of. My bestie, Colleen, came over to help me with River one afternoon, just after Grandpa died, and while I was fixing River her dinner, everything was just going wrong and I was getting so frustrated and dropping things and spilling things. I eventually got so angry, that I whipped the bowl and spoon filled with mushy sweet potatoes into the sink and got it all up the wall, all over me, and River saw that. She was scared of me. She was scared of that anger. Colleen stepped in and took over while I took off to the front porch to just give myself a time-out. It had nothing to do with River, or the food, it was just everything hitting me all at once. Losing my focus, and losing my cool. I was so glad Colleen was there to catch me when I fell by just taking over with River. I think seeing her afraid of me like that, is a major reason as to why I haven’t allowed myself to let this grief out.

Grandpa Earl wasn’t a man who used the words “I Love You,” but I never questioned it. I always knew he loved me and yeah sometimes I wished he had said it but he never needed to. I still think he needed to hear me say those words to him. So many times I tried. I’d leave a visit and think, “say it, just tell him you love him.” Instead I would chicken out. I missed that last opportunity, and I will regret that. I regret not telling him that I loved him, that worshipped him, that I admired him. This is my way of getting it out in the open. That my grandfather, was silly, strong, stubborn, comforting, funny, accepting, carefree, free-spirited, laid back, daring, creative, talented, artistic, loyal, a caretaker, a rock, a storyteller. He loved Christmas. He enjoyed being around his family. He and my Grandma Joyce were my heroes. They were amazing Grandparents to both my brother and I.

moms wedding day

I take solace in knowing that he is with my Grandmother again.

Going through photos for this tribute to him, I realized that 2015’s Christmas was the Last Christmas we shared with him. I’m so glad that we took that family photo that year with the additions of Mathew, River and my brother-in-law, Rob. I hope that last Christmas for him was as good and fun as all the ones before it.

Last Christmas 2015

The last picture that was taken of Grandpa Earl, is also the first picture of him holding River. He never picked her up or held her until our last birthday and Easter together, just a few weeks before he died. Grandpa was afraid he might drop her or hurt her. I never had those fears but I trusted him to know what his limits were. I turned around and there he was, holding River, and I quickly snapped pictures. They’re a bit blurry, but I don’t care. I have those three photos, and those are treasured.

first and last

“It’ll all be okay in the end.

If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

John Lennon

No matter what, losing him will not make me forget him, and his life. It will not make me forget the thirty-six birthday’s we shared together. It will not make me forget the love he had for my daughter, his great-granddaughter. It will never make me forget his support, his love, his advice, his jokes, his laugh, his smile. It will never take those thirty-six years away from me. Grandpa Earl was the best Grandfather I could ever have asked for. Thank-you Grandpa Earl Garnet Martin for being the Best Grandfather ever. I’ll always love and miss you.

March 31, 1929 to April 16, 2016

Grieving For My Grandfather

“There is a sacredness in tears.

They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.

They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.

They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

Washington Iriving

Someone recently told me the grieving process is said to be phases, not stages, because you back and forth. Those words have stayed in my mind because that’s exactly what I feel like is going on with me. One day I am fine, the next I’m sad, and then I’m angry, and then confused, and all of that gets mixed up, and I never know what the next day is going to bring.

I don’t feel like I was robbed of time with my Grandpa Earl, but I feel that I was robbed of my time to say good-bye and to tell him how I feel about him. I stood there next to him in the hospital, with the time to say it, but with the complete denial about what could possibly happen overtaking any of my rationalle. I could have told him I loved him, but I didn’t. I was scared.

I’m choosing to write because I find it’s an easier way for me to express myself. For me to get the words and feelings out in a private way, and then publically, as to not show my physical grief. My tears will flow during this writing, and I’m sure I’ll be sobbing as well. But I’m getting everything I can down on paper, so that I can share my grief with my closest friends and family. Then I truly believe, I will be ok. I know these things take time, and time will heal this heartache, but for now, I’m using this outlet in order to help me heal.

This is my Grandpa! Earl Garnet Martin, carpener, cabinet maker, creative genius, former navy dude (I honestly have no clue what you call them….Petty officers???). My Grandpa

Born to Merlin and Blanche Martin on March 31, 1929. Younger brother to Donald and older brother to Wayne.

brothers

(Wayne, Don, and Grandpa Earl)

He met my Grandma Joyce in 1946 while skating at a local rink in Grimsby. My Grandfather love my Grandmother so much. They married January 27, 1951, and stayed together for nearly 55 years, until my Grandmother’s passing in October of 2005.

wedding day

(Wedding Day January 27, 1951)

They would have two daughters together, Debra and Joy. They raised their girls to be strong independent women. My aunt Debra is currently an editor of a newspaper in Comox Valley in British Columbia, and my mom is enjoying retirement and being an amazing Grandmother to my daughter, River.

family photo

(My mom, Grandma, Grandpa & Aunt Deb)

Christmas 1999

(Christmas 1999, Aunt Deb, Grandma, Mom, and Grandpa)

For as long as I can remember, my Grandfather has always been a huge part of my life. I was born just two days before his 51st birthday in 1980.

me and grandpa

(Grandpa Earl and I, a week after I was born, 1980)

Since then we have shared a total of 36 birthday’s together. I remember my mom apologizing to me a few years ago about never really celebrating my birthday on it’s own, but to be honest, I loved sharing my birthday with my grandfather. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

me and grandpa 02

(Me age 5, Grandpa Earl age 56…hence just the 5 & 6 on the cake)

I loved that it wasn’t just me on my birthday because I didn’t always like being the centre of attention as I got older. I actually preferred to just sit back, and let my Grandpa shine. He did. Because he’s the brightest man I know.

He always had such a funny way of doing things with me. I have so many amazing memories that I will obviously cherish, but it was Grandpa Earl who introduced me to cold canned pasta, like Alphaghetti and Zoodles. My Grandmother would go to get her hair done and do some shopping downtown, we would drop her off and go back to the house where Grandpa would have to feed me lunch. Well he wasn’t exactly a kitchen guru, so it was either him opening up a can of Zoodles, and sticking them in a bowl and giving it to me, or we would have brown sugar sandwiches. I still eat my canned pasta cold. I refuse to heat it up. YUCK!! As for the brown sugar sandwiches, I’ll pass. I don’t think I could bring myself to eat that. For those times when we waited for Grandma, I would climb into the front seat of the giant brown station wagon (aka the Bat Mobile), and sit on the middle arm rest next to Grandpa Earl and we would play “I Spy With My Little Eye…”. I think he cheated a few times. Lol!! Taking his dentures out and chasing me when I was really little, and being the only person who I would let put eye drops in my eyes whenever I had eye infections. He taught me how to spit watermelon seeds. Most of the time we’d spit in the sink, but there were those odd times, Grandma would walk behind us, and we’d turn and let her have it. She used to get so mad.

I spent a lot of time at their house. Overnights on some weekends, when mom and dad would go away for a week, New Years Eves, we spent countless Christmas eve’s and days in that house. Birthday’s, and my weekly visits to see Grandpa. My Grandmother died in that house surrounded by us. Clogging with Grandma in the spare room (aka my room, then became Grandpa’s room), playing in the barn with Grandpa, helping plant snap dragons, and when Grandpa would be working in his workshop downstairs in the basement, I’d sit on the steps until he was done with a machine, and then I would take the little brush and clean the saw dust away from his ban saw or lathe. To this day, the smell of saw dust, wood chips, all that, reminds me of Grandpa Earl. He was a very hard worker. He would do work for other people all day, five days a week, and then come home, have dinner, and then work on their house, so that my Grandmother could have that log cabin, early American looks she always wanted. I would spend Saturday nights there, and would watch hockey with Grandpa, and then run and watch The Carol Burnett show reruns, or Benny Hill (yeah not really appropriate for 5/6 year old, lol). Their house, was my home for 35 years until Grandpa sold it in 2015.

The House

He did all that work. The floors, the ceiling, installed the woodstove, tables and armours, wainscotting, the cabinets in the kitchen, the two front bay windows, the board and batton siding, the shudders. Everything. The people who moved in, tore it all out. Breaks my heart completely. I wish we could have kept the house in our family. It’s ruined now.

Grandpa Earl’s talent exceeded anyones. He was talented and creative and could make literally anything. Stairs, floors, vanities, ducks, bears, Mounties, beds, dressers, bookcases, floors, walls, coopalas, you name it, he probably made it. In 1993, he gave me one of two of my most cherished possessions; my Orca. And in the mid 2000’s (the year escapes me at this moment), he and my dad made me a four poster bed, that matched theirs, because I loved their bed so much.

Grandpas Creattions

(My Orca whale, and yes he’s wearing a Santa hat, it was Christmas, My bed,

Grandpa & Cousin Jimmy with the bear he made, Canada Goose, and the Mountie that is

now at my Brother and Brother-in-law’s trailer)

What I miss the most about Grandpa Earl was his goofiness. His way of making me laugh and smile, even when I was having a bad day. His love for my Grandmother. I’ve never seen a love like that. Reminds me of a movie because to me it was perfect. They were both so good together. They bickered, and nagged and teased each other, but their love never changed. Seeing my grandfather heartbroken after Grandma died was probably the hardest for me to see. He spent nearly ten and a half years missing her, but still loving her. That’s true love right there.

Grandpa Earl was the first person I told about being pregnant. He said he knew already, that he had suspected it. He was excited for the arrival of his first and only Great-Grandchild. I would go over there and he would ask me how I was feeling, and try and feed me chocolate, or anything really. He would get excited to see the sonogram pictures because they didn’t have that when he had children or even grandchildren. It was all knew to him. I never asked him whether or not he thought he was going to have a great-granddaughter or great-grandson. I don’t think it mattered to him. When River Joyce (named after my Grandma Joyce) was born, I hadn’t seen him that happy since before my Grandmother got sick and passed away. I was able to give her her first 14 months of life and his last 14 months of life time together. Giving him memories and stories to take with him when he left us to tell my Grandmother when they finally were together again. Those are the memories I cherish most. That I was able to make him so happy once again. He loved River so much. He would make her laugh and smile, and he would get down on the floor with her when she was in her excersaucer and play with her. Two days before he died, he was dancing to The Wiggles in my parents livingroom with River. I loved seeing his smile back, and I will miss that immensely. My Grandpa Earl, became River’s Grandpa-Great! Because he was great!!

Grandpa Great and River

Maybe those 14 months is what he was waiting for. He wanted to have a great-grandchild before letting go. I know it’s unlikely River will remember him on her own, but that’s where it becomes my job to keep these photos for her, and tell her just how much she meant to him, and how much he loved her.

Grieving is a hard process, and a timely one. One I feel maybe I haven’t allowed myself to do. I’m so tired. Tired of not sleeping well, tired of feeling guilty for not grieving the same way I did for my Grandma Joyce, confused as to why I’m not. Tired of sadness hitting me at the most inappropriate times, tired of being locked up in my mind because I don’t want to upset or scare River. Tired of the anger, and depression. Tired of the fears. Worst part is, I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of. My bestie, Colleen, came over to help me with River one afternoon, just after Grandpa died, and while I was fixing River her dinner, everything was just going wrong and I was getting so frustrated and dropping things and spilling things. I eventually got so angry, that I whipped the bowl and spoon filled with mushy sweet potatoes into the sink and got it all up the wall, all over me, and River saw that. She was scared of me. She was scared of that anger. Colleen stepped in and took over while I took off to the front porch to just give myself a time-out. It had nothing to do with River, or the food, it was just everything hitting me all at once. Losing my focus, and losing my cool. I was so glad Colleen was there to catch me when I fell by just taking over with River. I think seeing her afraid of me like that, is a major reason as to why I haven’t allowed myself to let this grief out.

Grandpa Earl wasn’t a man who used the words “I Love You,” but I never questioned it. I always knew he loved me and yeah sometimes I wished he had said it but he never needed to. I still think he needed to hear me say those words to him. So many times I tried. I’d leave a visit and think, “say it, just tell him you love him.” Instead I would chicken out. I missed that last opportunity, and I will regret that. I regret not telling him that I loved him, that worshipped him, that I admired him. This is my way of getting it out in the open. That my grandfather, was silly, strong, stubborn, comforting, funny, accepting, carefree, free-spirited, laid back, daring, creative, talented, artistic, loyal, a caretaker, a rock, a storyteller. He loved Christmas. He enjoyed being around his family. He and my Grandma Joyce were my heroes. They were amazing Grandparents to both my brother and I.

moms wedding day

I take solace in knowing that he is with my Grandmother again.

Going through photos for this tribute to him, I realized that 2015’s Christmas was the Last Christmas we shared with him. I’m so glad that we took that family photo that year with the additions of Mathew, River and my brother-in-law, Rob. I hope that last Christmas for him was as good and fun as all the ones before it.

Last Christmas 2015

The last picture that was taken of Grandpa Earl, is also the first picture of him holding River. He never picked her up or held her until our last birthday and Easter together, just a few weeks before he died. Grandpa was afraid he might drop her or hurt her. I never had those fears but I trusted him to know what his limits were. I turned around and there he was, holding River, and I quickly snapped pictures. They’re a bit blurry, but I don’t care. I have those three photos, and those are treasured.

first and last

“It’ll all be okay in the end.

If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

John Lennon

No matter what, losing him will not make me forget him, and his life. It will not make me forget the thirty-six birthday’s we shared together. It will not make me forget the love he had for my daughter, his great-granddaughter. It will never make me forget his support, his love, his advice, his jokes, his laugh, his smile. It will never take those thirty-six years away from me. Grandpa Earl was the best Grandfather I could ever have asked for. Thank-you Grandpa Earl Garnet Martin for being the Best Grandfather ever. I’ll always love and miss you.

March 31, 1929 to April 16, 2016

Taking A Look At the Damages in Captivity

January 11, 2017

Taking a Look at the Damage

I wanted to post some thoughts that have been running through my mind as of late. This is more of a blog than an article, as I am far from a professional writer, or marine biologist. Instead I’m just someone who fell in love with whales about thirty years ago. Fell so in love with them that I set out to get to know them and try to teach myself everything I could possibly learn. For the longest time, I was content with what I had learned because nothing new was really coming up. However, in the past five years I have managed to learn so much more about orcas than I could ever possibly imagine. I love it. I love learning about the animal who has brought me so much joy over the past thirty years.

One of those the things I’ve learned is just how cruel captivity is. For the longest time, I’ve always known that the Ontario park, Marineland, was not a good place. When I was younger I had a dream that I wanted to become a killer whale trainer, but I never wanted to do that job at Marineland. I aimed for Sea World. At the time, I fully believed that Sea World was far better than Marineland. In some ways it still is. The situation for their animals, is the same as it is at Marineland. I know that now. That curtain was lifted years ago. For once, I’m happy I didn’t attain my dream. For once, I’m happy I didn’t have the guts to go after it. I will never tell my daughter to not go after her dreams, but I will tell her to be sure about them. Not to be sure that she can attain that dream, but to be sure that is the dream she wants, and if she does….go after it balls to the wall.

But what validated my misgivings about Marineland? Actually it wasn’t a what, it was a who. Former Marineland trainer of 12-years, had had enough of what he was seeing happen in the park. To neglect, to poor water quality that was effecting the animals health, and stories that would knock your socks off. His name is Phil Demers, and his story was told through the Toronto Star in August of 2012 (https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/08/15/marineland_animals_suffering_former_staffers_say.html). I remember sitting and reading it at my desk at work and bawling my eyes out. I wasn’t so much in shock, but my heart broke for those animals, for Phil who had to walk away from Smooshi, a beautiful female walrus who had attached herself to him. He did it for her. For all those animals, in order to break the silence on what is really going on at that place. I know it couldn’t have been easy for him, as if I had followed that dream, it wouldn’t have been easy for me either. Phil walking away and taking such a huge chance at exposing the truth, is one of the most heroic and selfless acts anyone could have done. He’s now facing a massive lawsuit from Marineland (http://www.savesmooshi.org/). Strangely, not really related to the article and the backlash that has come forth since the release of the Toronto Star expose, but for erroneous accusations that I cannot believe are still being fought to this day. Charges of plotting to steal a walrus, (that would be Smooshi), and so many other messed up crap. He isn’t the only one to break their silence. Christine Santos, and Jim Hammond also came forward of stories about the place, and are also facing lawsuits. Theirs have yet to see inside of a courtroom.

Since 2012, so much has transpired at that park. Activists are getting hit with lawsuits, film student, writers, newspapers, and warnings to anti-cruelty groups to not trespass on their property have all gone out. Demonstrations outside of Marineland still take place, fundraising efforts, and symposiums to help educate the public on the dangers of captivity. These are the things that have Marineland shaking in their boots.

Before I continue on, I want to tell you how I got into going out to the demonstrations. When everything came to the surface, I really wanted to go, but being in a public service job I had concerns. For one, if things got out of hand, and arrests were going to be made, I would lose my job. I am also an introvert, and have trouble being around strangers and crowds. I didn’t really know anybody there, other than Phil Demers, and another activist, Mike Garrett. I technically didn’t know them. I had only talked to them on Facebook and Twitter. I’m much more comfortable being behind the computer. I didn’t get out until May of 2014 for the opening day demo at Marineland. I was shy and a bit nervous. I had worked hard on my signs, and just wanted to get involved more. What got me to that point…Oddly enough two people did. John Lennon and my grade 7 & 8 teacher, Mrs. B.. Yes, I’m aware of what a strange combination that is but wait for it. I was driving a few days before the event, and at that time I still wasn’t sure if I could get the balls to go, then “Give Peace A Chance” by John Lennon came on the radio. Obviously it’s not about animal activism, but it is about having your say and asking for peace and even protesting. It made me think. I wanted peace for these animals, for the people who were being sued for speaking out for these animals, and to do that, I had to go. During that drive, I remembered back in grade 8, when we were having career day coming up. My teacher had us think about where we wanted to go that would best suit our aspirations of a future career. Of course at that time, I wanted to be a killer whale trainer. I loved how behind me she was on this because it was a strange career to go after. Something most kids probably didn’t think about. So we wrote a letter to Marineland, asking if they could talk and show us what it took to become a trainer. Like what degree I would need, what sort of physical training, etc.. They never wrote back. If I’m not mistaken, we even called, and the answer we got was “we don’t do that.” They weren’t willing to help a young teenage girl to aspire a dream to work with animals that they proclaimed to love? It was that moment that if it wasn’t for Mrs. B and her help, that I realized, things happen for a reason. I remember her support and I drew from that even though it didn’t have that much to do with going to a demo. But I got the balls, I went, and then I went again a week later to my first ever “Free Kiska” demo. A year later at the opening demo, I had my three-month old daughter with me. She’s been to three demonstrations so far and she’s not even two yet. In that time, I’ve met wonderful people, whom I have come to care for and have the privilege to call my friends. I’ve learned from them, and I admire them. I’ve become inspired by them. This fight, I’ve engaged in, is because of them. I saw the importance of using my voice and my self-taught knowledge to help these animals. I doubt I would have stayed so vocal without them. I hope if they are reading this, you know who you are.

In that time, captivity has claimed many lives, from Sea lions, to dolphins, belugas and orca. There are health issues that plague captive cetaceans that wouldn’t necessarily plague them in the wild. Captive cetaceans spend more time at the surface because the pool that they are living in, is too shallow and far from what they are accustomed to in the wild. In one case, Kandu, a male transient orca who resided at Sea World in Florida died of encephalitis from a mosquitoes. His death was painful and tragic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trekA7p3hs8). Gudrun, a female orca, was often used as Sea World’s photogenic whale. She had the perfect dorsal fin and markings and would prefer to use her as their mascot whale. Even posing with children for photo ops. She’d haul out and strike a perfect pose, even while pregnant. Posing for long periods of time would put a lot of weight on her body and that of her unborn calf. Her undoing would be because of this and would result in the death of not only her third unborn calf but eventually her own. The calf was still-born, so the staff had to remove the dead calf from Gudrun, and in doing so she ended up hemorrhaging internally resulting in her death. Problem was, that she was being bred right after giving birth, with no time to allow for her body to heal properly. In the wild, orcas breed at least four years after giving birth. Marineland currently only has one orca, named Kiska. Kiska has been at Marineland since around 1980, and was captured in Icelandic waters, and then sold to Marineland. While at Marineland, Kiska had given birth to five calves, all male, except her last calf, Athena, who was her only daughter. Her first calf died just two months after his birth. Kanuck, Kiska’s second calf, was 4 years old and died of traumatic shock in 1998. He was separated from his mother and kept indoors in what is referred to as the barn. An indoor warehouse with small holding tanks. Her third calf, Nova, was about 4 1/2 years old when he died. Hudson, her fourth calf, lived the longest of all five, making it to just 6-years old. Athena was about 4 1/2 as well at the time of death. Marineland has a record of 17 orca deaths, and 3 miscarriages. In the wild, a female orca’s average life span is 60-80 years, some have made it longer than 80. Male orca’s life spans are that of 50-60 years, sometimes longer. The captive industry is hard pressed to tell you those averages, as the averages in captivity are significantly lower, about 18-25 years, with some exceptions. Falsifying information that has been scientifically proven by renowned and respected marine biologist from around the world, is just part of the smoke and mirrors of the captive industry to make it seem their animals are in a better environment. They’re not.

So why do we continue to believe that these animals thrive in captivity? That’s a great question. I don’t go. I will not buy a ticket to a zoo or an aquarium. I simply refuse to support these places and my child as well will not support these places too. With the release of the film “Blackfish” which Chronicles the life of captive orca, Tilikum, and what lead to the death of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau, questions have been answered regarding the captive industry. The stress these highly intelligent animals face, from having their teeth painfully drilled and flushed out daily, to painful endoscopy procedures, nevermind the lack of mental stimulation that orcas would have no trouble finding out in the wild. Instead they are in these boring tanks, that are too small for them, in makeshift-unnatural pods, living with food deprivation so they will perform their tricks for the paying patrons. Some lash out at each other, and even lash out at their trainers. These animals know. They know when another whale is upset, or a trainer is getting frustrated with them. They know when the food bucket is getting low on fish, they know when they’re in trouble for not following instructions properly. They just know. They are sentient beings, with emotions like our own. Maybe even more complex. Animals like this, do not belong in captivity. From all the trainers who spoke in the documentary “Blackfish,” said the same thing, Tilikum loved to work, he liked to please his trainers, and was actually a great whale to work with. But he snapped. Tilikum had caused three deaths in his time in captivity. Something completely unheard of in the wild. There is not one documented case of an orca harming or killing a human being in the wild. Not one. The first death took place in Victoria, British Columbia at Sealand of the Pacific, a small facility where Tilikum was housed with two older females, who used to attack him at night while locked in a small tin floating box. A trainer, Keltie Byrne, slipped into the orca pool, and was then dragged in by one of the orcas, and had drowned because the three orcas would not let her go. Some are clear that it was Tilikum who pulled in Keltie, and others say it was the two females, and that Tilikum just participated. I suppose we will never truly know for sure. After the death of Keltie, the owner sold off the three whales and close Sealand down for good. As former Sealand director, Steve Huxter, said in the movie, “the magic was gone.” All three were bought by Sea World, with the understanding that Tilikum was going to be used for mostly breeding and not performance. Well he was used for both. He was their cash whale. Siring up to around 14 calves through Artificial Insemination. In the late 90’s he struck again. A drifter named Daniel Dukes, managed to climb the fences at Sea World, and hid until after the park closed. He decided to go for a swim in Tilikum’s pool, and was found the next day, naked and draped over Tilikum’s back. Parts of Duke were mutilated and was not just a simple drowning. The final death, which would be the one to change the captive industry, was Dawn’s. During a Dine with Shamu show, Dawn was having a great show with Tilikum, until a certain point. He did a perfect perimeter peck wave, where he swims with his pectoral flipper out waving to the people. She had used her whistle to signal that he was done but he kept going. He then got disciplined by not receiving his fish right away. He could also tell that his bucket was near empty. During a session on the shallow slide-out, Tilikum took his revenge. This wasn’t play, this was anger. He grabbed Dawn by the arm and pulled her in. She was brutally killed.

I cannot blame Tilikum for all these incidents, I cannot blame Keltie or Dawn either. I can however, blame his situation. Being in captivity, is similar to being in prison. You don’t have your freedom. You can’t just leave and go home whenever you’re done there. You’re stuck. Pacing you jail cell, or swimming in circles. After 33 years in captivity, Tilikum found his freedom on January 6, 2017, when he passed away. It’s so sad that there wasn’t a way to get him to the ocean and into a sea pen before his death, as all captive orcas deserve to feel the natural water and rhythm of the ocean before they die. It breaks my heart that he couldn’t feel that.

With that said, Sea World is closer to ending their captive orca program than before Blackfish came out. The orcas who are currently imprisoned at the three Sea World parks, will be the last. They have taken note that times have changed and that the people no longer want to see these animals in these places anymore.

As for Marineland, well…we aren’t that lucky. Unlike the publicly owned company that Sea World is, Marineland is privately owned. Owned by one man, John Holer. The man behind the lawsuits, the man behind the controversy. He’s there sitting in his truck, at every demonstration, watching to see if the protesters disobey court orders given to Mike Garrett, so that he can sue more people, or ban Mike from every having future demos. It’s rather complicated to be honest (Mike Garrett’s situation can be found on http://www.marinelandindepth.com/). When it comes time to fight, Holer hides behind his lawyers. Instead of understanding that Canada’s only captive orca, Kiska, is not in a good situation, and help us help her, he instead throws lawsuits around like he’s giving out candy on Halloween.

Kiska will indeed be the last orca to be held in Ontario. Bill-80 was passed in 2015 prohibiting orcas from being imported, exported, kept and bred in the province of Ontario. However, Kiska was not included in this Bill, which is ridiculous, as this is was all for her. To get her moved either to a sea pen to live in the ocean, or at least to another park where she could be with other orcas. Anything was better than staying at Marineland. The fight continues for her. That isn’t something myself and my friends are willing to just give up on. Two possibilities are on the horizon. A federal bill S-203, and a petition going around for legislature in Ontario to amend Bill-80 to include Kiska in the orca ban. Why is this important to get her included? Because there is a chance she will see the ocean again. There is a chance that she will feel the tide changing. There’s a chance. The Whale Sanctuary Project is in the works and moving quickly with the intention of creating sea pens for captive orcas to retire in the ocean where they belong (http://www.whalesanctuaryproject.org/). This is why it is important for us to keep fighting for Kiska. We don’t want time to be up for her, the way it was up for Tilikum.

I only spoke briefly about Kiska so far. I spoke about her calves, and even where she was captured, but not her recent life. Kiska is about 42-43 years old, and in the past four or five years has been retired from performing at Marineland. When Athena, her only daughter died in early 2009, Kiska was left with Ikaika (Ike) from Sea World who was there on a loan. Ike and Kiska had to be separated as they didn’t get along. Concerned for Ike’s mental and physical health, Sea World demanded that he be returned to their park. Marineland refused. Sea World took Marineland to court, and won. Ike then returned to Sea World in 2011. That was the last orca Kiska has seen. She is the ONLY orca who lives in 100% complete solitude. Some will argue that she is not the only orca living alone, but she is the only one who is 100% alone. Kshamenk and Lolita are two other orca’s who live at two different parks, without other orca companions. The difference between Kshamenk, Lolita and Kiska is simple. Kshamenk and Lolita have dolphin companions with them in their tanks. Kiska has nothing. Kiska’s life right now is swimming around in a counter clock-wise pattern until her next feeding. She has no shade from the summer sun, nothing to really stimulate her mentally. Just the odd belly rubs, and maybe a tire on a thick rope at the odd time. She has NOTHING!!! It breaks my heart. I have been in to see her and check out her situation, and I have to tell you this is the one whale that has managed to really get to me. They all get to me, but Kiska is here. She’s forty-minutes away, and in a tank with nothing. Alone. How can that be good for her? How can people see her and think, “aw she’s pretty. She must be enjoying retirement.” That’s not it. These animals are not meant to be alone, they don’t retire in the wild. They keep swimming and jumping and hunting. Guiding the next generation of their family to carry on their traditions. Kiska has no family. She doesn’t do a damn thing. It’s heartbreaking. She breaks my heart. She inspires my mind. She inspires me to keep fighting for her. To fight for what she deserves. Her freedom.

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(Kiska; Photo courtesy of google images)

Marineland is also home to over 50 beluga whales. For starters, who needs 50 beluga whales? They’re all crammed in three different places around Marineland because the “home” (I use that term extremely loosely), that was built for them, got to be too small. So there are two in the show pool (which is ridiculously small), and about 10-20 in Friendship Cove, which is where Kiska is located (they are not visible to each other, as there are four separate pools with a massive “rock” wall dividing them). The rest are jammed in Arctic Cove, which was built for the Beluga display. They also have 5 bottlenosed dolphins, also located in the small show pool up at the front of the park. The five dolphins are kept in there with the two beluga whales. There are two very small round side pools attached to the slightly larger show pool on each side. The two belugas barely fit in the one, and the five dolphins are crammed into the other. One dolphin, Echo, in particular is covered in rake marks. Raking is something whales and dolphins do during times of aggression. It’s raking their teeth across the flesh of another. This happens a lot in captivity out of frustration, and for the targeted whale or dolphin, there is no place to go to avoid this. Marineland also has 6 seals, kept in a small indoor tank with no natural air, or natural light. They are retired as well. You will often see them swimming with their eyes tightly closed, and you shouldn’t have to ask yourself why while standing there watching them, because you smell the stench of chlorine. This goes back to the part of the water quality problems that Phil Demers mentioned in the Toronto Star investigation. The sea lions, and walruses, are not on public display, but instead come out during the show in the show pool. They have five walruses, two males and three females, and they might bring out one or two at the end of the show they put on. Sometimes not at all. More on the walruses in a few.

Marineland also houses, deer, elk, bears, various bird species, bison, fish, and a partridge in a pear tree. Ok maybe not the partridge. It is with the land animals, that 11 counts of animal cruelty charges have been laid by the OSPCA. Charges for two types of deer, elk, peacocks, guinea hens, and the bears. The first five counts came this past November (2016), regarding a peacock, guinea hens and the bears which include the following: – One Count of permitting a peacock bird to be in distress; -One count for failing to comply with the prescribed Standards of Care for a Peacock bird; – Two counts for failing to comply with the prescribed Standards of Care for Guinea Hens’ and -One count for failing to comply with the prescribed Standards of Care including failing to provide adequate and appropriate food and water for approximately 35 black bears. The current six charges stemming from January 9, 2017 news release are as follows: -One count of permitting elk to be in distress; -One count of failing to provide prescribed standards of care for elk; -One count of permitting red deer to be in distress; -One count of failing to prescribed standards of care for red deer.; -One count of permitting fallow deer to be in distress; -One count of failing to provide prescribed standards of care for fallow deer.

No mention of the marine mammals. Interesting. Now don’t get me wrong, this is great news for these animals. If found guilty of these charges, Marineland will face a life-time ban on owning ANY animal. This is a huge step in the right direction to get this place shut down. I just wish there was more charges which surrounds the marine mammals. It’s not like there hasn’t been complaints made with photographic evidence to back up those complaints to the OSPCA. There has been. Many, many times. Each time, not just myself, but anyone else I know who have made complaints, have all gotten the runaround. The same excuses. It’s horrendous, that these complaints go unanswered.

In the past two years, one walrus has stood out. Zeus. In the wild, male walruses are huge, robust and strong powerful animals. Males can weight over 4, 000 pounds. We’ve seen Zeus get smaller and smaller in the past few years. He is emaciated. The evidence has been given to the OSPCA, yet nothing has been done regarding this animals health and well-being.

(Zeus May 2016; Photo source: Screen capture posted on YouTube)

So you can see why we are concerned that no charges have been laid regarding Zeus, as well as Kiska. Can you honestly look at these pictures of Zeus, and think that there is nothing wrong with this animal? His estimated weight in these photos is maybe 1,000 pounds. It’s incredibly frustrating to know that nothing has been done about the marine mammals who are stuck in Marineland. Is it because the OSPCA have no clue what to do about them? They don’t have a marine mammal expert in their office to oversee these animals. All they can do is guess. Is it because if they have to seize one of these animals, they have nowhere to place them? I’m sure something can be done as a sort of compromise in regards to that issue. I personally feel that the problem is more they know nothing about these animals and have no idea what to look for. However, clearly looking at Zeus, it should be obvious that something is clearly wrong with him. They don’t really have any excuse when it comes to Zeus, they’ve just done nothing.

I hope that the OSPCA will have more charges coming forth to add to the current 11 that are awaiting to be read in court at the end of this month. I hope any more charges that do come, will have something to do with the marine mammals in some way.

I just want to make something clear here. I don’t want to see Marineland close. What I would like for them to do, is stop keeping animals in captivity. To phase out all their animals, or retire them, perhaps to a sea pen coming near you. The profit just isn’t there anymore for this industry, and Marineland would be much better off, spending the time to repair the rides that they currently have and update them and add new ones. How about being the first North American former aquarium to add an indoor Holographic show that not only teaches true and researched facts about whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals and walrus, but sharks, and manta rays, and eels, and immortal jelly fish. Teach and show what humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales, and all sort of whales that cannot be found in captivity are like. Holograms can go so far now that technology is where it’s at and improving all the time. There is just so much that this place can do with the land that it has that can improve their profits, Niagara Falls profits, and not harm or even worry about the care of their animals, if only they just stopped keeping animals. Concentrate on less of zoo/aquarium type atmosphere and focus more on a theme park with tons of rides, and other attractions. The profit will be there, if not the same, then more so than it is now.

It’s time to evolve. We do not need to see these animals to care about them. Children have grown up loving dinosaurs, and yet never seen one before. We can do the same with cetaceans and pinnipeds, and other animals like elephants, rhinoceroses, and lions, tigers, and….yeah I’m not saying what you thought I was, and hippos. It’s time to respect the animals who inhabited this planet before we came along. Fix the damages that we have created. Return what is not ours.

Kiska; The World’s LONELIEST Orca in Captivity…

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Meet Kiska. She resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in Canada. A very unusual place to find an ocean mammal. However, since 1979, Kiska has been stuck in captivity. Right now, she desperately needs your help. I guess you might need a bit of background on this poor girl. Well, I can give that to you.

Kiska was captured from the Arctic Ocean around Iceland back in 1979, around the same time infamous orca, Keiko, was. There is even speculation that Kiska and Keiko could be related somehow. No proof is available however.  Both were taken to Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Kiska has remained there, but Keiko was sold to a theme park in Mexico, where he would later capture the hearts of children and people all over the globe as the whale who played Willy in Free Willy. Keiko was successfully released and got to live out his days in the ocean, Kiska will never be able to feel that.

She has had 5 calves in the 31 years she’s been imprisoned in captivity. None of them making past the age of 4 1/2, except one. Her first calf was a male, never named died at 2 months old of unknown causes. Her second calf, another male, named Kanuck was 4 1/2 years old and died of Traumatic shock. Nova, another male, was 4 years and 8 months and died of starvation and pneumonia. Hudson, he lasted the longest out of all of Kiska’s calves. He died of meningitis at 6 years, 1 month and 5 days old. Kiska’s only daughter, Athena was 4 1/2 when she died of unknown causes.

At the time of Athena’s death, it was just Kiska and Sea World’s Ikaia, who was on loan for a breeding program. They had hoped that he and Athena would breed when Ike reached maturity, that didn’t happen. The two of them were nothing more than tank mates. So the focus turned to Kiska and Ike. However, no time was given when Sea World came up to check on their bull orca, and had grave concerns for his mental and physical health. They began a lengthy battle with Marineland over their orca. They wanted Ike back to protect him and his well-being. In 2011, Ike would be returned to Sea World in San Diego, and Kiska would be alone.

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She has not seen another orca in over 4 years. She hasn’t seen another species of any kind in 4 years. She is 100% alone. People have argued with us that Lolita and Kshamenk are alone too. However, that isn’t the case. Yes, they are without another orca to keep them company, but both live with dolphins in their tanks. They at least have companionship. Kiska, has nothing and no one.

You might be wondering why is she alone? Why isn’t the Canadian government doing anything? Problem is, we have no federal or provincial rules for zoos and aquariums. The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is privately run. CAZA claim there is nothing wrong with Marineland, and keep issuing the run-down park with license to run. The OSPCA has guidelines and rules that are not being enforced, and Kiska is being ignored.

OSPCA STANDARDS OF CARE
2. (2)- Every animal must be provided with adequate and appropriate medical attention (Kiska has no teeth and her dorsal fin will soon be non existent if not removed. How long must she endure these health issues until she receives adequate and appropriate care?)

3- Every animal must be provided with the care necessary for its general welfare (keeping a female orca in a tank, alone is simply criminal)
6- Every animal must be provided with adequate and appropriate

(a) space to allow the animal to move naturally and to exercise (orcas naturally swim 100’s of miles per day…..Kiska however swims in repeated circles rimming the edge of a concrete tank. Hardly “natural”)

(b) sanitary conditions (on several occasions we have noticed plastic floating in her tank, filthy bottoms, murky dirty water)

STANDARDS OF CARE FOR CAPTIVE WILDLIFE

2- Wildlife kept in captivity must be provided with a daily routine that facilitates and stimulates natural movement and behaviour. (again, sadly not the case for Kiska)

3- Wildlife kept in captivity MUST BE KEPT IN COMPATIBLE SOCIAL GROUPS to ensure the general welfare of the individual animals and of the group and to ensure that each animal in the group is not at risk of injury or undue stress from dominant animals of the same or a different species.

Kiska’s health is on the decline. She doesn’t have a whole lot of time. Unlike Keiko, Kiska cannot be released back into the wild and sea pens simply do not exists unless you have a millionaire willing to put the money up to build one. Then it takes hundreds-of-thousands of dollars a year to maintain the pen, feed the animal, keep a staff around. It’s just an impossible dream. Kiska doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for a dream to come true for she wouldn’t get to leave that pen. Her teeth are so bad, that she wouldn’t be able to properly hunt or defend herself. Also, we have no idea where her family would be. She is simply stuck.

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I am not a supporter of captivity by any means, but the more I’ve seen and learned from experts, I have come to the sad realization that some orcas, cannot achieve freedom. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and take a breath and say, “not every place is horrible.” It’s like eating crow.

Right now, we have no access to Kiska until May when Marineland opens. It’s killing us who are fighting hard for her. We do it because we love her and we want the best for her. Marineland isn’t what’s best for her. She barely gets any social interactions. People would walk up to see her at Friendship Cove, see that she was just lethargically swimming in a circle over and over, or just floating at the surface, and walk away after five minutes. The staff would feed her, and give her a quick rub down, then be done with her. Occasionally, she would get a dirty old tire with some rope and bungee cords wrapped around it to play with. That was it.

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Talking to Marine Mammologist, Dr.Naomi Rose, this past summer about Kiska’s health, and she didn’t have anything good to say. There simply wasn’t anything good about Kiska’s health. Kiska is clearly suffering from weight loss, which is clear by the depression just behind her blow-hole. A condition called “peanut head”. Marineland claims that she’s “lazy”. Lazy whales put on extra weight from not doing anything. Kiska is losing it from not doing anything. What is wrong with that picture??

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Her dorsal fin, looks mutilated. Like she has had some issues with possible gangrene. There was definite concern over the state of her dorsal fin.

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These concerns are very real. When the pictures were exposed to local news station, CHCH in Hamilton, they brushed it off. Taking Marineland’s word over expert opinion and photographic evidence. The one trainer, even admitted on the air, that Marineland doesn’t own a scale to weigh Kiska. Yes he says her weight is just fine. How would he know this? He referred to her as “lazy”. Orca’s are far from lazy animals. Kiska is approximately 40 years old, nearly 10 years younger than Miami Seaquarium’s Lolita. Kiska no longer does shows or even splash sessions, but Lolita who is closing in on 50 years of age, is still performing 2 shows a day. If there is a problem with Kiska being “lazy”, it’s not her it’s the trainers and the way they are handling her.

Orcas are not lazy animals. One of the oldest orcas on record is 103 years old and still swims and leads her family up and down the west coast.

We continue to fight for Kiska, and we will not stop. It is our job to tell her story and hope that anyone who takes the time to listen or read it, passes it on as well. I’ve mentioned a few times that she cannot be released to a sea pen. So what can we do? We need to press the Canadian and Ontario government to take possession of Kiska, and move her to a more appropriate facility. One where she will not be alone anymore, and one where she will receive proper medical care.

Right now, We are seeking 6,966 more signatures on a petition so that we can have it presented to Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynn. So please take the time to sign the petition and share it with all your family and friends. No animal should suffer.

https://www.change.org/p/kathleen-wynne-release-canada-s-only-captive-orca-kiska-to-an-appropriate-facility

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Thank-you so much!

Faithful Team Kiska member!

Quick piece about Deers at Marineland & Petting Zoo’s…

So my problem with the deer pavilion at Marineland and now other places where kids can interact with deer is this (and keep in mind, children are touching deer and who knows what else, and have a tendency to put their hands in their mouths before you have a chance to wash them). Problem is, that at Marineland you are surrounded by deer, their urine and poop. And what I learned about them this past weekend, sometimes their blood. Their blood can spray or drop on you from their antlers while shedding their velvet. Personally, when a deer is in the process of shedding their velvet, they should be out of the public view. As their blood, can be as dangerous to humans as their urine and poop. I don’t want my child around that.  http://youtu.be/BI9ezjPwIzM

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TOP 10 DISEASE PEOPLE CAN GET FROM DEER:

1. E. coli O157:H7 – from the feces
2. Leptospirosis – from the urine – can be transmitted through cuts including hang nails – Vaccination produces serological responses, but its effectiveness in protecting against disease, and prevention or reduction of shedding in urine, has not yet been confirmed in deer (2007)

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3. Lyme disease via ticks – an increasing concern – unless the deer are getting tick preventives there is no way this is not a risk – ticks fall off birds so it is a constant concern.
4. human babesiosis – from deer tick
5. human granulocytic ehrlichiosis – from deer tick
6. Mycobacterium bovis (tuberculosis) infection can occur from direct contact with a wound on an animal or by inhaling the bacteria in air exhaled by animals infected with M. bovis
7. Tularemia (Francisella tularensis bacteria) – potentially fatal – spread to people from deer by deerflies and other insects (incl ticks and fleas) or exposure of skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) with deer blood or inhaling dust from contaminated soil

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8. Deer Parapoxvirus – causes scabby, crusty lesions on the muzzle, lips, face, ears, neck and antlers of affected deer – There have been two confirmed cases of deer parapoxvirus infection in humans in the U.S.. Both patients had nicked their fingers while dressing the deer carcasses and later developed pox lesions (scabby crusts) on their hands – Both reported that the deer had not shown any signs of illness at the time they were dressed.
9. Cryptosporidia from ingesting deer feces
10. Giardia from ingesting deer feces.

 

Next time you go to a petting zoo, or Marineland (even though I strongly advise against either), keep a close eye on yourself and especially your children and remember what type of health risks there are.

Worst Experience of My Life- Marineland, Canada Investigation: Part Two

The last blog I covered the first half of my first investigation of one of the world’s worst aquariums. Actually a list was recently released and Marineland was number 2, behind Miami Seaquarium. I personally think it should be number 1, but I have never been to Miami Seaquarium. I know it’s a horrible place as well. Look up Lolita and her story. It’s as heartbreaking as Kiska’s. It’s time to move on and take a look at the remainder of my time at Marineland.

After we left the deer pavilion, we were still in shock for a long time about what we witnessed. It’s not every day you dodge deer blood flying around because they are doing something akin to self-mutilation. We headed to the bears. Now my memories of the bears were always horrible. Bears are suppose to be these big scary, aggressive predators, but at Marineland they are demoralized and weak. They sit in filthy water, their paddock reaking of feces, and they beg people for stale ice cream cones, which they can purchase at a little hut at the entrance to the bear area. Looking down at the bears sitting at the water’s edge or in the water, looking up at the people, begging for food, was pathetic. Sad and pathetic.

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It wasn’t until I got home and looked at my photos that I saw the sadness in the bears eyes. I have teddy bears from when I was a baby with eyes less sad looking.

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As an animal lover, I have an unexplained passion for orcas and know the most about them. It doesn’t mean that I don’t look at the pictures of the deer and the bears and feel less. I don’t. I look at these pictures of these bears and my heart is in pain for them. This is no way to treat an animal.

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This one photo that my friend took, says it all. Such a very powerful photo, and I wanted to make sure I shared it.

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After we left the bears, we headed over to Arctic Cove. This is where the Beluga whales are suppose to be housed. Instead, they are actually stashed all over the park because there are way too many. At Friendship Cove they were really active, but I accounted approximately eight in the one pool. Give or take. As we approached Arctic Cove, it was public feeding time. This when guest, usually children, pay extra to get up close and personal with a beluga whale by feeding him or her and getting to rub their melons.

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I decided to start counting. I got to twenty beluga whales and decided that number had to be wrong, so I played dumb with the one worker and flat out asked her, and sure enough, she said there were twenty beluga whales in this ONE pool. I managed to keep calm and said, “Oh, that’s what I thought but it looked like more.” Or something stupid. It’s really hard to play dumb with people who are clearly not as intelligent as you are.

My friend and I looked over and saw a man with another beluga whale, and we turned to look but the worker I had asked the dumb question to, asked if we would wait until he was finished feeding that particular beluga whale, as apparently the whale gets nervous. We obliged. Plus we didn’t want to look too eager to see this “nervous” beluga whale. We didn’t get a picture or even a chance to assess this whale. It may have been a missed opportunity, but one necessary for us to keep our cover.

We continued to observe the public feeding of the beluga’s. It’s great to see children smile and see these animals up close, I only wish it was in a different type of environment. I by no means, recommend anyone to partake in this type of interaction. There are just so many things that can go wrong. Beluga’s may not necessarily be aggressive by nature, but a trainer in the show pool was bit and attacked last year. Dolphins at Sea World, have been known to bite park visitors while doing a similar activity. It’s just not safe for your children to be this close.

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My friend also noticed, that they were using Kiska’s pail to feed the one Beluga. As you can see in the above photo.

We then headed to the underground viewing area. Again, there was a lot of leaks and pooling of water. Plus evidence of mold.

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Also present, was filthy water, with dirt and fecal matter, both in the main tank where there were 20 beluga’s, and then in the other tank that was being used as a nursery (and much much smaller than the first tank).

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In the viewing area, which was being used as the nursery, they had crammed in 5 females, and 4 babies. One female was pregnant. My concern was the dirt and fecal matter at the bottom of the tank, as well as the fact that they were all just crammed into a rather small tank.

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I actually found this rather sad. There wasn’t really any place for a mother and her calf to get away from the others. And it was my friend who managed to get the better pictures of a calf who was banged up. We both noticed it, but couldn’t say a thing to each other as an employee was working observation right next to us.

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It was unbelievable the amount of Beluga whales were stashed throughout this park. God knows if any were packed inside the infamous Barn. The barn is a dank, and indoor space where the animals are kept that aren’t being used, or where they go in the off season. There is no natural light, and often are subjected to fumes from diesel run equipment. It’s a concrete hell. Whether or not there were beluga’s inside the Barn, I counted approximately 40 Beluga whales inside Marineland. They just keep breeding these whales. Chances are some might even be inbred. Recently I spotted a beluga whale in one of my friend’s photos and was concerned about the shape of it’s melon. I have sent off inquiries about it but as of this time, have yet to hear back from any beluga researchers. We have our suspicions that it might likely be inbreeding, if anything at all. When you have 40 beluga whales, it’s going to be impossible to prevent inbreeding.

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It’s just ridiculous that there are so many of one species in one place. My theory is, ever since the Toronto Star article came out two summers ago, that Marineland’s reputation is mud now. They can’t sell their beluga’s. Instead, they are overloaded.

In that number of 40, two of them were in living in the show pool, in King Waldorf’s Stadium.

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Two belugas, live in the right hand side pool. Five bottlenosed dolphins live in the small left hand side pool.

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The so-called show wasn’t much of a show. The MC at the beginning basically mocked the wild animals by talking about the ocean in which they were from. Playing their vocals, to “educate” the public. Granted, the vocalizations of the animals, were the only thing educating about this entire 25 minute show. The California sea lions came out and did the usual comedy routine. The dolphins then came out to do some of the high spots. Earlier, I had spotted the one dolphin who I wasn’t sure if there was skin irritations on or not. We were on an angle and up a bit too high and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a decent photo. At first glance, it looked like a pox virus, but I can’t be sure at all. It very well could have just been the angle and glares of the dolphin’s wet skin. I hope it was nothing. However what we cannot deny are the massive rake marks on Echo’s body.

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Marineland’s one universal criticism is that the park is highly dated. Nothing says more high-tech then using a store regulated, yellow-braided rope to open and close your rusty gates…

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There really wasn’t much value in the show. We really only had one reason to be there. The walrus. The end of the show finale, done by one of the park’s five walrus. My friend had already seen three out of the five; Apollo, Sonja and Buttercup. We were hoping for Smooshi or Zeus. Smooshi is quite famous. She’s a central part of former trainer and whistle-blower, Phil Demers. He had a special relationship with Smooshi who had a series of problems. He’s constantly asking for people to send him photos if they see her in shows. Sadly, she’s rarely used. It might be because of Phil, and it might be because she isn’t well. Whatever the reason is, we are all really worried about her. We would still have to wait to see either Smooshi or Zeus. We were treated to Apollo. He’s a big boy. I’m concerned about the redness in his eyes. It’s a suggestion that water quality is to be called into question.

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It’s a mystery to us as to why the Sea Lions and Walrus’, as well as dolphins are not on public display in between shows.

Speaking of sketchy water conditions. I wasn’t prepared for the last and final spot on our tour. An indoor aquarium, where Marineland uses a former smaller show pool to house their seals. The moment you approached the door to this indoor facility, you are assaulted by the chlorine smell. It was then that I remember smelling it outside of the park, standing on the other side of the Aquarium wall, while I was waiting for my friend to arrive. It’s no wonder, because that place was over-chlorinated. Nothing was more explanatory than seeing the animals who were forced to live in the pool. All of them, had their eyes shut as tight as possible.

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Even when they did open them above the water, some closed them immediately. Aside from seeing Kiska, this was probably one of the most heartbreaking places I had to endure. Inside the aquarium, there was no natural light. There was nothing to enrich the seals or keep them occupied. Just an empty over-chlorinated pool of water.

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Also that caught my attention was the barred-door left open, I couldn’t help but bend down to quickly snap a photo of what was inside. Dry dock. it looked like a small platform for the seals to get on when they were tired of swimming. I’m not really sure, to be honest. It looked just as dingy as the rest of the place we were standing in. Not to mention the rusty concrete walls (to your right).

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One would think with the amount of chlorine we were ingesting, you would expect the water to be clear. Well, you would be wrong. Not only was it not clear, it was disgusting.

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The photo was of the same area, as the top one that my friend took. Actually both are her photos. My other concern was the filter at the bottom of the pool. One I really couldn’t get a decent photo of because of how dirty the water was. I could tell that there was enough room through the grate that could cause harm to a seal. I had once read that a sea lion died when it got its flipper caught in the filter because there wasn’t a small enough grate to prevent it. I’m a bit concerned over that.

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That is the end of this experience. One that I would deem as one of the worst experiences of my life. On an investigators stand-point, it was sadly successful, as we were able to obtain evidence. However, it was bitter sweet. You never go to investigate a place in hopes of finding problems, you go hoping that you don’t. For the animals sake.

Marineland needs to be shut down. The problem isn’t that it’s still running after decades, the problem is the government. Ontario and Canadian government has nothing to do with zoo and aquarium regulations. There is nothing to protect captive animals, and even less rights to captive cetaceans (whales & dolphins) and pinnipeds (seals, sea lions & walrus). One of the things we can do, it spread the word about how awful places like (and especially) Marineland is. The day is getting closer when aquariums and sea prisons, like Marineland, are not needed. People will stop going because people like myself has spread awareness. We’ve put a lot of our beliefs aside, to go in to gather this information for you.

I did not for one moment, enjoy my time at Marineland. I did NOT go in to the park for enjoyment. I went in there, to get information and visual proof of how horrific this place really is. I am getting criticized for going, but sometimes you have to enter the den of the devil in order to bring him down. I do NOT recommend that every anti-captivity person, or pro-captivity person or indifferent captivity person to visit or do their own investigation. It sucked to be there. I will carry that guilt with me, but I did raise awareness to this place. I’m asking and begging you all, not to go and buy a ticket to Marineland, or any other place alike.

As a protester, anti-captivity advocate, and someone who loves orcas so much, it made me physically sick to be inside this place. I did it for Kiska. My friend, does this for Kiska. If someone doesn’t keep an eye on her, or didn’t go in to investigate, then those photos at the beginning of my blog, of her teeth and blow-hole, would never have made it on to the News. Because of those photos that my friend from Ontario Captive Animal Watch managed to take, Kiska’s story is making a global splash. We are Team Kiska, and that means we want her released to a sea pen to live out her remaining days in the ocean where she was kidnapped, or we would even settle for her to be moved to Sea World. She hasn’t used her vocals in nearly three years. She hasn’t even heard another orca in three years. She has given up. She is a shell of herself now. Living out her days, waiting for the end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Y5WHbPxu4#

This October, Marineland will close for the next seven months before re-opening in May of 2015. For Team Kiska, it will be a long seven months, not knowing if she’s alright. If she’s alive or dead. We won’t know anything until opening day. Not knowing whether she’s alive or not, is going to be one of the most painful things we will ever have to endure. Doesn’t mean we will be silent for her. It’s actually time to push forward.

Check out Ontario Captive Animal Watch (OCAW) on Facebook, and learn about what they’re all about. Also check out Fins and Flukes. If you want to help spread the word about Kiska, you have 11-days to help raise money for Mike Garrett’s legal campaign against Marineland, by purchasing a “Free Kiska” t-shirt, http://teespring.com/FreeKiska . Check out his campaign at For donations via GoFundMe please visit: www.mikegarrett.ca or through pay-pal: mikegarrettdefensefund@gmail.com. Also check out http://www.marinelandindepth.com/ for more information. To help former trainer and Marineland whistle-blower, Phil Demers, you can check out savesmooshi.org.

Without people like Mike Garrett, Phil Demers, the wonderful people from Ontario Captive Animal Watch, Fins & Fluke, and Orca United, we wouldn’t be where we are now. We are so close to getting the world aware of the problems with whale and dolphin captivity. So a huge THANK-YOU to them.

Worst Experience of My Life– Marineland, Canada Investigation: Part One

This past weekend, I joined a friend of mine on one of her investigations of Marineland, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I acted as her second set of eyes, investigating right along side her. Catching things that she may have missed, and also helping her blend in a bit more to the unknowing people who think these places are fun to visit.

Usually I’m on the other side of the fence, protesting against this place. This time, I went on the patron side. It was a strange feeling. One of foreboding and lack of comfort. There was nothing comforting about this place. Not for me, and certainly not for the animals. The last time I was at Marineland was about 7-years ago. I’ve never really liked the place. It started when I was little. I had aspirations of becoming a killer whale trainer, and I had only ever been to Marineland at this point, but even then I wasn’t just going to be any killer whale trainer, I was going to be a Sea World killer whale trainer. Before all the anti-caps freak out, I was under the age of 16 and didn’t know better. It’s a dream that I never full-filled. I had mentioned this to former Sea World trainer, who was featured in the documentary, “Blackfish”, Jeffery Ventre on Twitter and he told me he was glad I never lived my dream. He’s right. I would never been able to handle seeing the truth behind the fantasy that these places provide. I’ve been to Sea World Orlando twice in my life. From first glance, it’s still ten-times the facility that Marineland is. But it’s still a bad place. All captive aquatic facilities are bad places. No matter what, you cannot recreate the space, the depth, or the water in the world’s oceans. For animals as intelligent as killer whales, or Orcas, who travel in their families their entire life time, these places are hell.

From the moment we walked in, I felt betrayal to the animals that I love and respect, but I was there for a reason. I had a purpose. To tell their story. This isn’t my story, and this isn’t about me. Truth be told, I’m someone who believes in freedom. I am an anti-cap. This was the first and last time, I will be going to Marineland, or any place like it, since I took the pledge to “Not Buy A Ticket”. This was strictly business.

We didn’t look at the rides, or think about going on the rides. We put no money into the park that we didn’t have to. We didn’t eat or drink anything sold in the park, we didn’t buy souvenirs. We quickly looked in the one gift shop to see how much educational items were for sale. Sadly, not many. A few books, both in English and in French. That was all that I saw.

Our first stop was to see Canada’s only captive orca. Kiska. Kiska breaks both my friend’s heart and mine. She holds a special place in our hearts that we feel the need to be with her to make sure she knows that she has a lot of people in her corner fighting for her. Us being there, was for her. Kiska has been imprisoned at Marineland since the early 1980’s. She was captured from Iceland at the young age of just 3 years old. She’s now approximately 38 years of age and has spent the last 35 years in captivity. Away from her natural family. Away from her mother. In 1992, Kiska gave birth to her first of five babies. Or calves as baby orcas are called. He was a male, with no name. He died of unknown causes at only 2-months of age. Her second calf, Kanuck, was male. Born August 28th, 1994 and died four and a half years later of Traumatic shock. Nova, another male, died of Pneumonia and starvation at 4-years and 8-months old. Marineland denied his death for months after. Hudson was Kiska’s longest surviving calf. He died at age 6 of meningitis. Her only daughter, Athena, was her last calf. She was sick for two days, and then died. She was age 4 and a half years and died of unknown causes in May of 2009.

Sea World had loaned a male orca named, Ikaika, or Ike, to Marineland for breeding in 2006. Although he and Kiska got along well, they never mated. Sea World had grown concerns over Ike’s mental and physical well-being and began a long custody battle against Marineland, which Sea World won. In 2011, Ike was moved back to Sea World, and Kiska has been alone for the past 3 years.

Today, Kiska floats at the surface of her pool. Slowly swimming the perimeter of her tank. Marineland claims that she’s old and is slowing down. The photos provide a different story. Photos my friend took a few weeks ago showed her dorsal fin in horrible shape. When I messaged Marine Mammologist, Dr. Naomi Rose, pictures of Kiska’s dorsal fin, she said;

This isn’t normal at all (and I don’t think her fin looked like this when I last saw her)- it looks like she’s had some kind of infection that has eaten away at the flesh (some sort of gangrene or leprosy-something that caused necrosis of the tissue, so it actually rotted and come away). And this kind of condition could cause additional collapse of the fin as well…”

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My friend also managed to get disturbing photos of Kiska’s teeth. Because of the conditions of her teeth, Kiska ineligible to be released back into the wild with her family. Her only hope is to be released to a sea pen back in Icelandic waters, to live out the rest of her days with the natural rhythm of the ocean and real ocean water. If it ever gets to that. Her teeth are so bad, and because they drilled the pulp out, she has to go through the painful procedure of flushing. They spray into each tooth, flushing out any fish that may be stuck or lodged in, which can cause infection.

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Even more damaging and concerning photos of Kiska came from these first few trips that my friend, an investigator for Ontario Captive Animal Watch, came away with. This one of Kiska’s blow-hole. Just behind her blow-hole, was a deep depression, which was noted by Dr. Rose last September when she visited Kiska. I sent the photos to Dr. Rose, who said that the depression was worse than it was when she saw Kiska.

She is definitely developing ‘peanut head’, which is the depression behind her blow-hole and is a sign of weight loss. She is not in good shape….The situation is just grim.”

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I hesitated at “Friendship Cove”, stopping by the first pool which was loaded with Beluga whales. Clamoring and acting up for the people laughing and smiling at them. Clearly clueless. We made our way over to Kiska. My friend had warned me that the photos were nothing compared to seeing her in person. She was right. With my camera in front of my face, I held in tears and my shock at the horrendous site I saw. Right away, I saw her dorsal fin.

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She stayed at the surface, moving slowly around her tank. I decided to play an audio clip I had found of Ike’s vocals, which were taken at Marineland during his stay. It took both my friend and I a bit to realize that after we played the vocals, Kiska would move faster around her tank and splash around in the one end. She was agitated by it. A sign that she recognized his vocals. The most active she was the entire time we were there. We spent a long time with Kiska. It was just too hard to leave her. My friend took this picture of Kiska, and the look in her eye is defeat. She’s given up.

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We heard they were planning on feeding her just as soon as they finished feeding the beluga’s on the other side. They were taking a long time, and we could tell Kiska was hungry. They finished feeding the beluga’s and started hovering around my friend and I as we waited for her feeding to begin.

Recently, pictures I showed earlier of Kiska’s teeth and her blow-hole made it to local news and out pouring of support for Kiska came out. Marineland was obviously being cautious about who they fed her around. We were pretty sure we were made. They were waiting for us to leave to feed their orca. We decided that we should leave and see if that was exactly what they were waiting for.

We took off for the underground viewing. Stopping first to check out the Beluga whales. One of the first things we noticed was the bird poop, on the inside of the glass. At least we’re assuming it’s bird poop. We just aren’t sure how it got in there. It’s inside and under water.

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The second thing we noticed was the water and the fecal matter at the bottom of the beluga tank.

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Everything was just disgusting. Also, there was a sign attached to the tank about the leaks.

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I’m not an expert on leaks, but I’m pretty sure leaks just don’t seal themselves. Unless you’re counting on the mold and mildew to seal the leak for you. The leaks were clearly visible, as was the mold and god knows what else.

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We then walked over to Kiska’s side of the underwater viewing, and watched her swim around her tank. My friend commented on how cloudy and dirty it was. You couldn’t see the other side of the tank. Kiska swam around, in dirty, murky water.

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Like the Beluga’s side of the tanks, was a pile of fecal matter and dirt. Chunks of stuff was floating in the water as well.13 Blog photo

Five minutes after we stood and watched Kiska, we noticed her going to the side of the pool where she gets fed and we watched her feed from the under water viewing. After eating she got a belly rub and pectoral fin rub down. See how cloudy and dirty the water was.

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During that time, I could see a leak that was actually active.

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After her rub down, she continued to swim slow laps around her tank. I noticed her tail. It didn’t have the smooth look that other orca’s tail flukes had. Not sure if this is something to look into, or if it’s a normal thing. I will be looking into it that’s for sure.

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There seems to be a lot of nicks, and scratches on her flukes. It makes me wonder if there is a necrosis there as well.

I was overwhelmed by seeing Kiska. I had never seen a captive orca in a sadder state than Kiska. She’s been on my mind so much lately. It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful, intelligent, animal in such a sorry state. I’m sadden by this. She shouldn’t be alone, and she shouldn’t be stuck in this stupid, filthy, dirty bath tub.

After seeing Kiska and her sorry state, we ventured over to the deer pavilion. It’s a place where people with their children can come and go, and interact with Fallow Deer. There’s a little hutch in the middle where you can purchase food for these animals and feed them. First thing I noticed was there was no shade of any kind. It was concrete and sandy-like dirt, and no trees. Second thing I noticed was a small child pulling on the antlers of a poor deer while her father encouraged her to do so, just to take a selfie picture of the three of them. No respect for these animals at all. Third, I noticed there was no visible staff. Just in the hutch selling food. The most disturbing, was the blood splatter we saw all over the ground. It was all dried up but still very noticeable.

17 Blog Photo

We had so much freedom to take as many photos of the blood soaked ground as we wanted. No one noticed us, because no one was around. At first we couldn’t figure out why there was so much blood everywhere. No effort was made to hose it off. Then we noticed it. Both my friend and I admittedly do not know much about deer and their natural behaviours, so the site we saw was horrific. A deer was rubbing the velvet off of his antlers across the cement. Blood was dripping everywhere, and the smears of blood we had seen just seconds before this event now made sense. The deer was violently and roughly scrapping his antlers across the pavement, banging and scrapping. Blood sprayed out at the force, some landing on my friend’s shoe while she video taped the event. I had never seen anything like this.

18 Blog photo

We were ready to call the OSPCA right then and there. She instead posted some photos to her social media page and one of the whistle-blowers who was a former trainer at Marineland, Phil Demers, told her that it was actually normal that the deer do this. We held off on calling the OSPCA, but it didn’t make what we saw any less disturbing. What baffled us, was that no one said a damn thing. No one was shocked by seeing this event happen. We are animal people, and we didn’t know that this was normal, you can’t possibly tell me that everyone in the deer pavilion KNEW that this was normal. Most people who visit these places have the IQ of a turd. I’m sorry, that’s harsh, but true. If you think seeing animals stuck behind bars or in small tanks is happy and wonderful, then you’re an idiot.

I looked into it, and Phil was right. This behaviour of shedding their velvet from their antlers is quite normal. With Fallow deers, they bleed during this process. Shedding of the velvet can occur at any time of the year, but usually it’s done on trees and logs. One thing I fail to understand is the sanitary issues. Is there any disease in fresh deer blood? I personally wouldn’t want my child walking through that and petting deers while they’re in the process. My co-worker agreed with me when I showed him the photos. He didn’t understand why Marineland didn’t segregate the ones who were in their shedding process. Personally, I don’t understand it either.

I wasn’t intending for my blog to be so long, but background and the section on Kiska took up a lot more room than I thought it might. So I’ve decided to make this a two parter. Things don’t get any better at the marine-park from hell. If you decide not to check out part 2, then I’ll say this. Don’t buy a ticket to these places. Especially Marineland. It’s an awful place. I don’t have anything against the staff there, as they are just making money to live on. I don’t believe they have any ill-wishes towards the animals they care for and spend time with. I would love to see a massive walk-out, and leaving John Holer, the owner, high and dry. I fear for the animals in this place. I fear for Kiska. She’s giving up, and she’s not in good shape. Between the park’s closed season, October to May, we won’t know what’s going on with her. If she will even make it through the winter. Those seven months, will be so hard to make it through. We will be holding our breaths come opening day of 2015.

Check out Ontario Captive Animal Watch (OCAW) on Facebook, and learn about what they’re all about. Also check out Fins and Flukes. If you want to help spread the word about Kiska, you have 14-days to help raise money for Mike Garrett’s legal campaign against Marineland, by purchasing a “Free Kiska” t-shirt, http://teespring.com/FreeKiska . Check out his campaign at For donations via GoFundMe please visit: www.mikegarrett.ca or through pay-pal: mikegarrettdefensefund@gmail.com. Also check out http://www.marinelandindepth.com/ for more information. To help former trainer and Marineland whistleblower, Phil Demers, you can check out savesmooshi.org.

Also you can sign this petition to help Kiska:  https://www.change.org/p/ospca-executive-offices-release-canada-s-only-captive-orca-kiska-to-a-sea-pen-or-a-more-appropriate-facility

Thank-you and hopefully you’ll check out part 2.

I Am An Activist…

I am an Activist

By: Sarah J. Sweedland

I may not be perfect, and I know I’ve made some mistakes in my life, but there is one thing that I’ve always truly loved and still love, and those are these amazing incredible creatures out there called, Orcas. Before I even saw one, I knew there was something special. Something magical about this ocean mammal. I could never quite pin-point it. Then again I was seven years old, but I knew that I loved this animal. I have never seen one in the wild. Only in captivity. I can admit, however, that as a small child, seeing them in captivity always made me smile. That was because of the love I had for this animal, and others alike. What I can tell you is that I have never felt good about them being in these small tanks.

There was one point in my life I wanted to be an orca trainer, or a marine biologist. Both dreams I never fulfilled. I’m not sure why. I can tell you that the only regret I have is not fulfilling my dream of being a marine biologist. I certainly have not regrets about never being an orca trainer. Blackfish star, and former orca trainer at Sea World, Jeffery Ventre told me that he was glad I never fulfilled that dream (via twitter–I really wish I had saved that tweet).

My heart belongs to the orcas. These massive, elegant, graceful, intelligent, social and compassionate animal. It always will.

It’s not just orcas I care about. I care about all animals. Nothing pisses me off more than seeing an animal who is hurt or being abused. My focus is mainly on whale/dolphin captivity, but I will always be a voice for animals as a whole.

Recently, I’ve attended two demonstrations outside of Marineland, Ontario’s fence. I say fence because they bought extra land to keep protestors and demonstrators away from their property. It’s quite the humourous thing amongst us anit-caps in the area. It’s not like it’s a brick wall. That would have been more effective I suppose. Still wouldn’t have kept us away. Anyways, both these demo’s were amazing experiences for me. Ones I will never forget. Not only because I’m being an active voice for the animals that I love and respect, but I’m helping four very courageous human beings as well.

Phil Demers, was a former trainer at Marineland. He worked there for 12-years before finally quitting in 2012 because he couldn’t take seeing the state the animals in the park were in. Water quality was so bad that dolphins were swimming with their eyes closed and their skin was falling off. Seals, sea lions and walrus’ were also affected by the poor water quality. Suffering lesions, eye irritations, and a multitude of other health issues. One sea lion was so bad off that when he coughed, his eye lens fell right out of his eye socket. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Phil to leave these animals behind. He was particularly close to a walrus by the name of Smooshi. Their relationship was a special one. Built on a trust, love and friendship. Maybe even a familial bond on Smooshi to Phil. She relied on Phil so much, like he was her parent. Their relationship garnered media attention. To this day, he worries about her. When he left Marineland, he was told that he could come by and see Smooshi whenever he wanted to. But was denied that after he left. Broken promises. Demers, and a group of other former employees came forward through the Toronto Star back in 2012, that exposed all the issues at Marineland. This resulted in outrage from the public; some defending the park, and some against the park. Owner of Marineland didn’t take to kindly to the negative publicity. My guess is because now he was going to have to spend money on fixing the problems before inspectors came through. Phil’s girlfriend, Christine Santos, was the trainer for Kiska, Marineland’s only orca. She was fired two months after the article surfaced, and she too came forward and shortly after was served with a lawsuit for $1.25 million. This resulted in a lawsuit against another former Marineland employee, Jim Hammond (also $1.25 million), Santos, and Demers. Phil is facing a lawsuit from Marineland of $1.5 million. Campaigns have been done to aid the pair in their legal aid. I’m not privy to how much has been raised, and it’s not my business. I hope that they have raised enough to help them out, and if not, we will keep on raising money. They took a chance to expose the problems for the animals sakes. Three unselfish people who took a huge risk.

You can help them out by going to savesmooshi.org

The fourth person, wasn’t an employee of the park, but someone who cares about animal welfare. Mike Garrett is associate with the Marineland In Depth personal opinion blog found online. He is a soldier in the front lines as well. Handing out information about the Niagara Falls tourist attraction. Because he cares about the well-being of these animals, he is now facing a SLAPP suit for $1.5 million dollars. Just for spreading the word. A SLAPP suit is Strategic Litigation Against Public participation. What it is, is that it takes away our freedom of speech. It forces you to amend what you say to the public regarding issues. Restrictions can be placed on the person who is facing the SLAAP suit, about what they can say, or what their protest posters say. It restricts their right to give information to the public about an issue. It undermines our freedom of expression. It’s rich companies, taking aim at people who are speaking up against their company to silence them. It’s the king, cutting the tongue out of a peasant, in a way. Money talks, and the people’s rights get to walk. The owner of Marineland doesn’t fight his own battles, but instead pays a legal team to do it for him. All Garrett did was hand out a piece of paper to some tourist leaving the park, that had information about Marineland on it. All of which can be backed up. Because of that simple task, Mike is now restricted from saying certain words, phrases, or slogans on posters. He has to watch not only what he says, but what everyone else around him are saying and doing while at demonstrations. Marineland have restricted his right to freedom of speech. Because Mike Garrett, is not a selfish person, he’s now facing a detrimental law suit all because he respects, and cares about the animals in that park. A SLAAP suit could happen to any one of us.

http://www.marinelandindepth.com/

For John Hammond, Christine Santos, Phil Demers and Mike Garrett, it happened to them. A price to pay for the selfless act of putting the animals first. I respect all four of them for that. I have done my best to donate to their causes to help them out as my way of saying “thank-you” and I’ve spread the word, and stood by them. I will continue to do so.

I’m an activist because I want justice for the animals that cannot speak. They cannot tell their stories. They can only suffer. For us. I focus on whale and dolphins because you cannot recreate an ocean. The tanks they live in, are simply not big enough. Not deep enough, not wide enough, not long enough. Orcas swim up to 100 miles a day in the oceans. Orcas in captivity would have to do over 9,000 circular laps in their pools to get even close to that. You cannot recreate the ocean tide, and rhythms. You cannot recreate the natural sea water that they belong in. Probably one of the most important, you cannot recreate their family bonds. I may not be educated by a school, but I have spent 27 years teaching myself about these animals. I know a lot for someone who is not a marine mammologist, biologist or any kind of oligist. I am someone who has great respect for these animals. I am someone who wants to see an end to captive whale and dolphins. I want to see them free or retired to a natural sea pen. There is absolutely nothing to be learned now after 50 years of having orcas in captivity. If they haven’t learned anything that will help them adapt by now, when all they’ve done is parish, then they are not going to. It’s time to say the show is over.

One day, I will see these amazing mammals out in the ocean. Watching their tall dorsal fins piercing the silky water as they come up for a breath. That mist from their blow-hole traveling through the air. Seeing the water gliding off their sleek black bodies. I feel that when that day comes, I will truly be at home. For nothing or no one gets my respect like orcas do.

For links to understand more:

Sea World Roundtable debate with Marine Mammal Specialist, Dr. Naomi Rose: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/48470399

My blog on Orcas In Captivity: https://rkodiva80.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/orcas-in-captivity/

You can help out The Marineland whistleblowers at: smooshi.org

You can help out Mike Garrett at: http://www.gofundme.com/3o192g

Also check out these documentaries: Blackfish

The Cove

Fall From Freedom

Lolita: Slave To Entertainment

And this book: “Death At Sea World” By David Kirby

Molly & Kendra: Molly (Book 3 of 3)

Molly’s Story

 

 

Prologue:

The moment when Nick slammed his gun and badge on the Lieutenant’s desk, Eli knew his career would never be the same again. He really wasn’t one for change, unless he was the one behind it. This time the control was no longer in his power. Maybe it never was to begin with. Nick had once voiced his opinion based on the unfairness of their job before, and Eli guessed Nick had made his decision to control his own destiny.

The Lieutenant turned to him and asked, “well, what about you, Savidis?”

The moment Eli looked into the man’s steely gray eyes, he knew there was only one thing he could do. Despite the fact that everything Eli ever did was usually planned out, in great detail, in advance, he was about to vary from his own plan.

Eli stood up removed his gun from his belt, then took his badge from the inside pocket of his jacket. This had to be last nights drinking bender’s influence. He peered at his badge for a few seconds then placed both the items on the Lieutenant’s desk.

Looking into the eyes of Lieutenant Jackson, he smiled, “thank-you for everything sir.” Then turned on the heels of his loafers and left the office.

He returned to his desk to collect the few personal items he had, then headed into the locker room to clean out his locker. Nick was still cleaning out his.

Nick glanced up at him a few times. “I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you before hand. You are my best friend, and I respect you to no end.” Eli listened as he opened his own locker. “To be honest, I didn’t know I was going to do that until after the Lieutenant’s spiel.”

Eli clutched the deodorant stick in his hand he had taken down from the top shelf, “I’m not worried or mad. Sure I was a bit shocked at first, but I get it man.”

Nick continued to eye Eli as he tossed stuff into his gym bag. “What are you doing?”

“Same thing you are. I resigned.” He explained. “After the shock wore off, I remembered what you had said a few days ago about our jobs being in the hands of bureaucrats. Deciding whether we get promoted or demoted, all based on one cases out come. Who said they can juggle our fate around? I don’t see them out there trying their hardest to capture every criminal.” Eli paused to toss in more items. “Every word you said, was right.”

“Eli, seriously, spontaneous isn’t your thing.”

“I know, but this feels right. I have no clue what I am going to do with my days from here on in, but I’m an organized person and I’m smart so I’ll figure it out.

Nick forced a smile. Eli knew the smile was forced because it was one Nick had forced on many occasions, usually during assignments or reprimand. Maybe his friend and partner’s decision wasn’t as well thought out as he thought. Chances are Nick didn’t even think about the financial affect this might have on him. Men never talked about three things; 1) Politics, 2) Religion, and 3) Money.

“You’ll be alright, you know,” Eli paused, “money wise, right?”

“Oh definitely. I know where what goes and when. I’m more than fine.” Nick answered truthfully. “I just never gave much thought about what I’m going to do with myself.”

“Me neither.”

Molly leaned back in her super comfortable desk chair. She sat in the only room in her home that didn’t have colour on the walls. She could always have her father paint it but then again there was a reason for it. Molly needed for this space to be natural lighting for her art. Something she hadn’t really done in a long time.

Her thought process was interrupted by Chewbacca’s obsessive barking. The more she listened to him, the more she knew it was just his excited bark. Boy, did she know her dog. When the barking suddenly stopped she figured it was Kendra, and no sooner had she thought that, did her best friend round the corner. “How did you get him to just stop like that?”

“Easy-peasy.” Kendra plunked down in her usual lime-green chair, “I brought dog cookies.”

“Smart.” Molly got up and walked around her desk, sitting in the other chair opposite of her friend, “have you seen the books?”

“Indeed I have. We are more than golden.” Kendra grinned.

“Thank-God, because I’m so exhausted,” groaned Molly. “I think this calls for a trip to Cabo, don’t you think?”

Kendra sighed, let her head fall back, then smiled as she rolled her head to look at Molly. She took that as a good sign. “Oh Molls, what a kick-ass idea you just had, unfortunately neither of us can indulge in such luxury as a vacation at this current

moment.”

“What?” Molly wasn’t sure she heard her bestie right. Normally it was Kendra who begged for vacation time.

“I have good news and really good news, both are bad news for the Cabo idea, however.” Kendra sat up, crossed her right leg over her left knee. “First the good news, I found us a new, bigger and cheaper office.”

“I’m still not getting it.” Molly admitted.

“If you will, shut your hole for a few, I will get to it.” Kendra responded saucily. “The space includes three small interior rooms, and a waiting-slash-reception area. We would each have our own offices, and the third little room can be for files and junk.” Molly opened her mouth, but Kendra shushed her, “it is in a brand new office building and the rent is actually the exact same we were paying at dumps-ville, but because of the size of the space we are getting, it works out to be cheaper.”

“I’m not too sure about this. How can the rent be cheaper for a large space?” Molly questioned.

“They just want to fill up the space with a variety of small, local businesses.” Kendra took a breath before continuing on. “Someone at the Police station apparently knows the property manager there, and had said that we were looking.”

“So they put the word in.” Molly was slowly getting it, “how much do you wanna bet that it was probably Nick and Eli?”

“So not taking that bet. The owner came to us. There was a message on the business line when I checked it earlier.”

Molly picked at her cuticles, “did you go and take a look?”

“I did, and I tried calling you but there was no answer.”

“Oh I was out doing food shopping.”

The two girls pretty much had decided to leave their old office the moment the crime scene tape had come off their door. Not to mention the blood stain in the hardwood where Marissa Marceno was shot, after she tried to kill the both of them. The place didn’t hold that good of “mo-jo” as Kendra said.

“Well, that’s great. We can go to Cabo after we get settled in.” Kendra shook her head, “no? Why?”

“We just got like thirty phone messages on the business line from potential clients asking for help. I’m afraid we are going to be really busy for a while.”

Molly loved those words, but right now she really wanted a holiday. Still this was great news. The news of the incoming business and the fact that they still had enough in the business account, she got an idea. “Would there be enough in the budget to hire a receptionist?”

Kendra leaned back in the chair, her brain working. Molly could smell the rubber burning. She almost laughed out loud at the thought but kept it to herself. “With the money coming in from these cases, we could probably afford a part-time receptionist. We will need help in the office. Someone to answer the phones and assign cases to us.”

Molly smiled. “How about Hailey? She would be perfect, and she’s looking for something part-time since her work place cut her hours.”

Kendra’s lips drew up in a slow grin, “perfect. She’s family, and we trust her. Plus we don’t have to interview hundreds of people for the job who would suck.”

They high-fived. Business was great!

Chapter 1:

Molly helped her sister, Hailey get settled into her desk in the freshly painted reception area of the new offices of Diva Private Investigators. With the room painted a bright pink, with black leather sofa and chairs and a retro shaped black coffee table, which matched the retro style desk where Hailey now sat. The office was feminine and cool. Molly’s sister had a huge smile on her face as she sat in the comfortable desk chair that Kendra found for her.

“Are you sure you want to work with us?” Molly asked.

Hailey looked up at her sister, “absolutely. I think that this should be a blast.”

Molly picked up her poodle mug and took a sip of coffee. Her mug matched the retro pink and black colour scheme of the office. Her office was just down the hall and on the left. After asking her sister that if she needed anything, and Hailey assured her that she was fine, Molly walked down the hall to her office.

Both hers and Kendra’s offices were not overly huge, but enough room for a set of book shelves, two comfy chairs in front of their new desks, and a filing cabinet. Molly varied from her usual favourite colour of pink in favour of a bright retro blue walls and carrying on with black as her accent. Although she wasn’t a huge fan of blue, she still loved the way her office felt.

She leaned back in her chair and put her feet up on the glass top of her desk, and drank her coffee. There was a pile of cases, three of which were priority over some of the other cases. Molly was happy to see that more than just adultery cases had come through. Since she was much better with numbers than Kendra was, she took three insurance fraud cases to look over. Kendra was out on a case too busy to confer with over which one she thought was the most important. Molly was more than capable of picking and choosing her own cases but sometimes a fresh set of eyes help.

Sitting up straight, Molly placed her coffee mug down, out of harms way since she knew she would likely spill it. The first folder was a local case that would be easy to solve. Fortunately she knew the people involved and knew that they would answer her questions honestly. Next case seemed highly unlikely, but it was in Kennebunkport, about forty-five minutes away from Glenberry. Phony paper trail for medical insurance. She decided, after reading the third file, that she was taking the Kennebunkport case, and it might just end up as a small mini-vacation.

Molly picked up phone on her desk and dialed Kendra’s cell phone and waited for her to pick up.

“Morgan,” she answered.

“Well, how professional of you.” Molly laughed. “Got a question for you.”

“Shoot, what’s up?” Kendra asked.

Molly leaned back in her chair, and put her legs up on her desk again. If Kendra saw her, she’d freak as they would leave marks on the glass. “Could you take Chewbacca for a few days?”

“Sure.” There was a pause, “why?”

“I’m taking the medical insurance fraud case in Kennebunkport, and I figure I’ll just stay there.” Molly explained. “I doubt I’ll be there too long.”

“I figured you would take that case. You probably can get away with expensing it for tax write-off since it’s for work. Check with Artie, he’ll be able to tell you for sure.” Kendra suggested.

Artie was their accountant, and he was kind of cute for a nerd, although Molly had a soft spot for the nerd-type, Artie was married, so apparently someone else had a soft spot too. “Good idea. I’ll call him now, if not I’m sure it’s no big deal to just stay anyways.”

“Don’t worry about Chewy, he and Hardy can hang out together.” Kendra hung up and Molly looked up Artie’s phone number. Within minutes he told her that she could indeed expense the hotel as part of the job, but not the food. Molly could care less, a few lobster dinners were not going to make her go broke.

She walked out of her office and into the reception area with Hailey. Her sister looked bored. “Not so exciting, is it?”

“There certainly is a lot of waiting. I already separated a pile of cases for you and Kendra to go through, and the phone has yet to ring.” Hailey placed her elbows on the desk and leaned on them. “Kendra is apparently expecting her client to check in today some time. She told me that this woman is a piece of work.”

Molly laughed. She remembered Mrs. Lombard. She was a bleach blonde, trophy wife with a squeaky voice and was worried that her husband was cheating on her with a man. So far Kendra had come up with nothing, but this woman keeps calling and keeps insisting that her husband, some old guy with money is keeping a boy toy around. The only thing Kendra found was that Mr. Lombard wasn’t the only one keeping a boy toy, and she had no proof that he was keeping one. But Mrs. Lombard was. Kendra hated the case but as long as the wife kept paying her she would look every where, even inside an elephants asshole, as Kendra once described. Yes, her best friend was indeed a colourful one.

“You wouldn’t believe it, until you saw it.” Then Molly explained the wife to her sister, and Hailey sat there laughing. “I’m telling you, we get more cases involving either the trophy wife coming in insisting that her old rich husband is cheating, or the old rich husband comes in and insists that his 21-year old trophy wife is cheating. I want to tell

them, duh!, but you can’t.”

“Guess I better learn not to say what I’m thinking, huh?” Hailey smiled. Molly grinned back. “So did you figure out a case?”

“I did, and I was coming out here to ask you to make me a reservation for four days at the Port Inn on The Water in Kennebunkport. I’m gonna stay there for at least four days to work this case.” Molly handed Hailey the businesses credit card to charge the expense. “I checked with Artie, there is more than enough on here to charge the reservations.”

“Sure thing. Any requests while your there? A massage maybe?”

“Don’t get saucy with me sis.” They laughed. “Anyways, if you need anything you can reach Ken on her cell. I’m going to go drop off Chewy at her place and then head out.”

“Drive carefully. Hey do you need me to work tomorrow since you both will likely be out of the office?” Hailey asked.

“Probably but ask Ken when you see her. I know it’s a PD day from school, so if you need to bring the kids, they can play on my computer in my office.” Molly informed her. “See you when I get back.”

It took three months for Eli to figure out what he was going to do, but he was ready and already had a case of his own. Working out of his apartment for now, since he was just trying to lay low, Eli put the word out to his police friends that he was now officially a licensed private investigator. His first client was coming to talk to him this morning. He quickly put on a pot of coffee and set up his living room so that the potential client would be more comfortable. It may sound silly to anyone else, but this ex-cop was nervous as hell. He was inspired by Molly, but he didn’t want to compete with her or Kendra for clients. If he felt the job wasn’t for him, he was going to suggest them.

When he left the department, he and Nick had no clue what to do with themselves, but he was surprised that when he suggested doing the private investigator thing, Nick said no. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to but more of because he didn’t want to right now. He missed his mother and wanted to visit with his family and take a holiday before jumping into anything. The only thing that Nick said he would do when he returned would be to get his private investigator’s license and the two of them would work together. So that was that. Nick took off and Eli had no idea when he would be back.

At eleven, his client arrived, nice and prompt, something Eli appreciated. George Hollingsworth, was about fifty years old and looked good for his age. His hair was kept short but had specks of gray at the temples. He was of average height and in good shape.

As he talked to Eli about his mother, Evis, he was upset. A good sign for an ex-cop. George wouldn’t be a likely suspect in the mother’s disappearance.

“She’s been gone for about three months. I called the police and they have put out bulletins for a missing woman in her eighties, but nothing has come up.” George explained.

“When was the last time you saw or spoke to your mother?” Eli asked.

George looked to the right, trying to remember, “I would have to say around Labour day. That week she had a doctor’s appointment but apparently she canceled it.”

“Why would she cancel her appointment?”

“I haven’t a clue. When I called to see if she showed up, they said she called and canceled. They said she never gave a reason except that she was feeling better.” George explained. “She drives still, you don’t suppose she got confused and ran her car off the road somewhere?”

“Doubtful Mr. Hollingsworth. They would have found her by now.” Eli wrote every detail, as well as ran a tape recorder in case he missed any thing. “Is there any place that she may have gone to for care before her appointment?”

Again, he looked to his right. “Not that I can think of. She mentioned a walk-in clinic, but I told her to wait and see her regular doctor.”

“Can I get you to write down all her doctor’s information, number and address for me, and if you can allow me access to her home, that would be great. I’ll get you to fill out a form so that I can enter to search.” Eli opened a folder and pulled out some sheets, “if you’re not comfortable with me going around your mother’s place, you are more than welcome to come and supervise or I can get the police to come and search with me. It’s up to you.”

“I’ll sign it, if you’ll just let me know when you go and search, that should be more than enough.” George wrote down all the information that Eli asked of him, handed him a key to his mother’s house, and signed all the papers. “I never did ask how much your fee is.”

“No worries, I’m not charging too much, probably just some expenses.” Eli gave him a number and then said that half up front is fine, and the other half when he finishes the case. “I’m hoping I can wrap up the mystery in a few days for you. Missing a love one for as long as you already have is tough. I will try my best to make this as easy as possible on you.”

“I really appreciate it. Thank-you so much.” George shook his hand and Eli showed him down to the lobby of his building.

Looked like Eli was off to Kennebunkport, to look into the disappearance of Evis Hollingsworth. With any luck, Eli would make it there by two in the afternoon. First he needed to call some of his police contacts in the small town. He wanted to let them know he was hired and would stay out of their way. What he found out was, they were doing nothing about the case and told him to go nuts if he wanted to. As a former police detective, their words pissed him off. No wonder most people hated the police.

The rain was pounding the roads outside, and the wind had picked up some as Molly dragged her suit cases with her up to the front desk. The hotel was one of the best ones in Kennebunkport. With high beams, wide plank hardwood flooring that creaked when you walked in certain places. Large windows, oak detailing along the floor boards and the doors were heavy solid oak as well. The place held five-hundred guests, and sat near the water front. As beautiful as it was to be able to see the Atlantic ocean just outside your bedroom window, it brought in heavier winds and harder rain than being a bit more inland like where she was from. Still, Molly loved Kennebunkport. It was her favourite place to be. She had tons of memories from her childhood here. Her parents used to take her to the small town every summer for a few weeks. It was expensive to even rent a cottage for a weekend, but since her family didn’t travel much when she was younger, it was the splurge for all of them.

Right now, she was soaked to the bone, and freezing. It was November after all, and the rain could turn into snow at any time. She really hoped it held off. Just one time she would love to sit on the beach, whether it was cold or not.

Carefully she wiped her feet on the mat at the front door and then headed in. She waited her turn in line while some guy at the desk was trying to get a room without a reservation. Molly wasn’t close enough to hear much of it but she knew that he didn’t have a reservation since Hailey secured her the last one. Thankfully. There was a huge conference in the area and pretty much every hotel was filled to capacity.

The back of his head looked vaguely familiar. The man had short, yellowy-blonde hair and it stuck up in the front, from the looks of it. He was wearing a rough looking brown leather jacket, one that didn’t like the rain, and jeans that cupped his nice ass. He wore Adidas on his feet and had computer bag hanging from his left shoulder, and a suitcase on rollers at his feet. As Molly re-scanned the man in front of her, she landed on his ass in those jeans. The jeans were faded in all the right places, but she knew that ass from somewhere.

The man nodded at the hotel clerk, and turned around. Eli Savidis. She hadn’t seen him since the Marceno case ended. He fiddled with something in his wallet and then looked up. His blue eyes locked in with her own. A slow, smile, curved his lips to the one side. God he was gorgeous, she thought to herself.

He slowly walked towards her, “I hope you have a reservation because this place is booked solid.”

“What no hello? No, how’s it going?” Molly retorted.

“I was getting there.” Eli reached out for her, and soon she found herself in his arms. “Hello, Molly.”

“Hi Eli. What are you doing here?” She asked against his shoulder. He smelled of leather and of rain.

“Working. You?”

“Working.”

“Like I said sweetie, I hope you have a reservation.” Eli’s smile fell. He could sense her coolness towards him.

When Eli turned around and saw Molly standing there, he nearly dropped his wallet. He may have been roomless, and had to sleep in his car, but he was shocked, and very happy to see Molly. Except she looked shocked and pissed to see him.

“I have a reservation. I got the last one this morning.” She informed him. “If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get settled and started in on my case.”

Any minute now she’ll figure out that he said he was working. She’ll realize he has no jurisdiction in Kennebunkport and will…

Molly turned around, “what do you mean work? You don’t have any jurisdiction here.”

“Not as a cop, no I wouldn’t have jurisdiction here. Except I am no longer a cop.” He then explained to her that both he and Nick resigned and he started working as private investigator as a trial run. He explained that Nick just took off to see his family then travel a bit.

Eli could see that Molly was in a bit of shock after his news. Her mouth kept on opening and closing like a fish. “That’s nice of you.”

“What now?”

“Trying to steal our business. Thanks a lot. And after all we did for you and Nick.” Molly was indeed upset.

“Actually, I’m not trying to steal your business. I have referred a bunch of people to you guys because the cases didn’t interest me. And I’m assuming you are on the medical insurance fraud case that I suggested to the company to bring to you.” Eli explained. Her smile fell.

“That was you?” Eli nodded. “Thanks, I guess. Anyways, I need to go.”

“Molly, dear,” Eli began.

“Oh that doesn’t sound promising.”

“I have a favour to ask you.” Molly put her hands on her hips. “By chance does your room have two beds?”

“It does, and no!”

Eli walked over to her, pulled her hands into his, pasted on his cute look, and went for it. “Please, I really don’t want to sleep in my car and freeze to death. That storm is getting worse. Pretty please? After all you wouldn’t be here without me.”

“I hate you.”

Chapter 2:

The look on Molly’s face when he used the old “you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for me” trick, was priceless. Her eyes bugged out at first but then retreated back into her head just in time for her to do her squinty look as she said she hated him. Now, he could feel here eyes bore into the back of his head as he carried their bags to their room.

Of course Eli didn’t have to carry the bags to their room, there were bell-boys who could do that for them, but he insisted. He needed to stay on her good side. He figured he would even pay for her meals, since she told him that the room had already been expensed to her business. It really was the least he could do.

“Here’s your room sir and miss.” The bell-boy stated, “would you like me to open it for you?”

Molly stepped forward, “no thank-you, we can manage.” She handed him five-dollars and took the key from the skinny young man.

The bell-boy nodded gratefully and took off down the hall. Eli watched while Molly opened the door. She sure was going slow enough, and her bags were heavy. She was staying for four days but packed like she was staying a month.

Once she had the door open, she entered first, nearly closing the door on Eli and his three-tons of luggage. When he finally got in, he almost knocked her over as she just stopped dead in the middle of the entry way.

“Molls, you could move in a little, after all I am carrying a humpback whale’s weight worth of your luggage.” Eli wittingly remarked.

“Um,” was all she managed.

Eli go the door closed after fighting with his own wheelie bag, which got stuck. He turned and saw the king sized bed. The only bed. “Oh,” the bags which weren’t attached to his neck, dropped to the floor with a thud.

“This isn’t happening.” Molly stated, clearly not amused. “I asked for two doubles.”

“Anticipating this happening, huh? Bunking with me?” He paused, “looks like they gave you the double and a half instead.” Molly stormed over to the phone on the night stand to the left of the bed, and went to pick it up. “Molly, the hotel is full. They can’t change our room. For now we will have to live with this. They said they would call me in here if another room opens up.”

“Then you can sleep on the floor Eli.” Molly retorted as she slammed the phone down.

“Sweetie, I would love to sleep on the floor, but on account of my,” he paused, “well, butt, I can’t. I need a soft surface.”

Molly leaned her head back and looked up at the ceiling, “why me? Who the hell did I piss off in my former life?”

“Honey, I doubt…”

“Eli, please stop with the endearments, you are just making me want to vomit on you.” Molly snapped.

“Ah, please don’t. This jacket is Nick’s and these are my favourite pair of runners.” Eli pleaded.

“That jacket’s Nick’s?” She asked.

“No, I just said that to stop the potential vomit you planned on aiming my way.” He paused, as she picked up a pillow and threw it at him. “Listen, we can make this work. I’ll call down to the front desk and ask for more pillows, and then I can make a Berlin.”

“What’s a Berlin?” Molly slowly asked.

Eli explained that it’s a pillow wall in the middle of the bed, which would allow them their own space on separate sides of the bed. “It’s more effective then the classic blanket-on-the-string wall.”

She waved a carefree hand in the air, “fine, you make it, but make sure that it’s under the blankets. Anything above could shift easier.”

“Was planning on it.”

Molly shot him a dirty look and plopped one of her five suitcases on the left side of the bed. She proceeded to use all the hangers in the closet, even hanging up jeans and t-shirts, stuff that would normally go inside a dresser drawer. After even she ran out of hangers, Molly just plunked a pile of folded clothes on top of the dresser instead of inside of one of the drawers. She then disappeared into the bathroom, with two smaller bags.

Eli glanced around the room. White wainscoting, went half way up, and light blue paint finished off the rest of the wall, topped with a blue and white border with flowers on it. The wood in the furniture was an antiqued white washed, and the king sized bed was dressed in frilly whites and blues. Looked like some colonial princess threw up in the room. At least it was blue, he thought to himself.

He opened up his bag, and transferred his clothes that belonged in a dresser, to the drawers, then called the front desk for those extra pillows and extra hangers for his clothes. Within five minutes, four pillows and about six hangers arrived and he finished up hanging his clothes. As he hung up the last of his shirts, Molly came out of the

bathroom.

“Where did you get more hangers?” She asked as she folded her arms across her chest.

“Asked for them when I called about the pillows. Are you done in the bathroom?” Eli explained.

“You could have got me some more.”

“Molly, you call for more. Your fingers aren’t broken. But in all honesty, you have a lot of clothes hung up in that closet, that do not require hangers, but could go in the drawers.” Eli stated.

“I like the accessibility of the closet. Saves on time.”

“How?”

“I don’t have to waste time opening up drawer after drawer, then rummage through a bunch of clothes until I find what I want.” She flopped down on a powdered blue arm chair.

“Either way, if you want more hangers, then you can call down for more.” Eli walked into the bathroom with his shave kit, and bag of toiletries. Molly’s make-up and hair products covered every available space on the counter top. “Too lazy to open a drawer to draw that perma-scowl on your face.” He muttered to himself.

He pulled open the top drawer to put his stuff inside, but was put off momentarily as feminine products exploded all over him. Raining down a multitude of coloured packages. “FUCKER!!!”

Molly smiled to herself. Must have been the drawer with the few pads and Tampons she placed inside, but that obscenity coming from Eli was a bit overkill.

The door flew open, and Eli stormed out, and Molly had to chew on her cuticle to stop from laughing as he kicked a large over-night maxi-pad into the room. Maybe it was a bit more than a few.

“I know you are mad at me for horning in on your room, but a flying tampon just nearly poked my eye out. Was an exploding drawer of monthlies really necessary?” He calmly asked,

Molly couldn’t hold it in any longer and let out a huge cackle. She was proud that she remembered the trick about the exploding drawer that her four male cousins taught her. They would be so proud. “Monthlies?”

“Molly,” he warned sternly.

“Alright, I’ll pack them in my suitcase.” Molly got up off the chair and re-packed all the feminine products.

“While you are in there, you could put all your make-up and hair shit in a drawer please, there’s no counter space.”

He sounded pissed off now, and even though she usually argued her right, she chose not to this time. She opened one of the three white wicker drawers and put her stuff inside. Curious, she opened the middled drawer and found his stuff neatly organized, complete with his own cup for rinsing after brushing his teeth.

When Eli got mad, it sort of reminded her of her father. Molly’s dad would sit her down and calmly talk to her about why he was upset or what she did to warrant his disapproval. The look in his eyes was always worse. Eli looked at her with annoyance and for some reason that struck her strange that she cared enough about what he thought. When Molly came out of the bathroom, the clothes she left on top of the dresser were gone. Most likely inside a drawer.

He sat with his back to her, at one of the desks, and he was looking at stuff on his lap top. She said nothing.

Molly settled in and opened her own lap top on the desk near his. She wanted to find out any information on the walk-in clinic she was investigating. There wasn’t too much information available. Their website was basic at best. Showing a large picture of an old home, with the clinic times and the names of the staff. Two doctors, both Liebers and two nurses, also Liebers. Warning bells went off inside her head. Why did this sound like an episode of the Twilight Zone?

“How does an eighty-one year old woman, who uses a walker, just vanish?” Eli spoke, breaking Molly’s thought process, which was nothing more than The Addam’s Family theme song going through her head.

“I haven’t the foggiest. Maybe she fell and couldn’t get up?” She smiled.

Eli chuckled, “I wouldn’t be surprised.”

“Listen, if I wrap my case up quickly, I can help you on yours if you want it.” Molly offered. She highly doubted he would accept her offer.

“Sounds good. And if I finish up early, I can do the same for you.”

“Deal!” Good he wasn’t scary anymore. “I think I’m going to head out and check out this clinic.”

Eli’s head snapped up, “wait!”

Molly froze as she put her messenger bag over her head, “what’s up?”

“What’s the name of the clinic?” Eli asked as his eyebrows were creasing together like a Neanderthals.

“The Lieber House Walk-In Clinic, over on Beach Front avenue.” She answered.

“Can you please let me know if the name Evis Hollingsworth pops up at anytime during your investigation?” He politely asked.

“Sure thing, since you asked me so nicely. I will call you later.”

“Um, wait.” Eli stood up, and grabbed her cell phone from her hand. “I changed my number after leaving the department since the number I had was department issue.” He changed his number in his cell. “Yours still the same?”

“Yeah it is.” Armed with his new cell phone number, she left to check out the Addam’s family.

Eli let himself inside Evis Hollingsworth’s beach house. It smelled very damped and musty, and a think layer of dust covered the surfaces. Including the plastic protective couch cover. Old people and their plastic coverings. Just before arriving he called George to let him know that he was heading over and promised to call him when he left.

He flipped a light switch, but nothing happened, and when he looked over at the stove, the clock was out. If she had been missing for three months, her hydro being off made sense. Eli opened the refrigerator and was immediately assaulted with the pungent odor of rotten food. “Yuck!”

Eli then checked her phone out, oddly that was still working. With permission from her son, he pushed play on her answering machine. Most of the messages were from her son, some from angry creditors, a few telemarketers, her denturist, her doctor and some guy with a thick foreign accent telling her she won a free trip for two to Bermuda. Eli made quick copies of the messages to go over later more closely. He continued to look around, no sign of a computer, which made perfect sense because most elderly people didn’t use computers. He checked through her mail, which was piled high at her front door. Again there were tons of past due notices, except her phone bill. There were two phone bills. Eli tore the envelopes open, and looked at the bills. They were receipts for payment.

“Thank-you for signing up on our on-line billing plan,” he read. “On-line? This makes no sense.” Eli pocketed the bills and the rest of the mail. He would need to trace the account number and find out who is paying this woman’s phone bill, but nothing else. Something seriously was wrong here, and he was bound to bet to figure out what it was. His gut told him, that this wasn’t going to end well for his first case.

Chapter 3:

Molly walked into the Lieber House Walk-In Clinic without a plan. She knew she needed to scope the place out but wasn’t sure where to start. So she just walked in. The place was full of patients despite the fact that it was five minutes to five o’clock. Closing time. Her acting skills weren’t nearly as passable as Kendra’s, but then again, Kendra poured it on thick most of the times. But still, she lied better than Molly.

The waiting room, was probably the old living room of the large house. It was like a mansion, complete with wrap around porch, white picket fence and a huge American flag hanging out front. Inside the foyer, the floors were wooden, but the waiting room was wall to wall carpeting. A Berber carpeting that muffled the sounds of the walkers, but really wasn’t practical for wheel chairs. The ceilings were really high, and the walls still looked like they had the original wallpaper on from thirty or forty years ago. It was peeling in some places. There was an eclectic collection of sofa’s and chairs throughout the room. Two antique desks, sat at the sides of the entry way, opposite of each other. With two identical twin nurses. One with the name tag which read, Rona Lieber, and the other’s read Lona Lieber. How cute, Molly thought to herself. The twins had to be in their fifties, and both kept their hair in a loose bun, which reminded her of Mrs. Ingles from Little House On the Prairie, only instead of blonde, theirs were a mixture of salt and pepper, but mostly salt. Judging from their last names, both were unmarried. It said on the website that the business was ran by four siblings, and there names were listed on the site. On their desks, they kept an old ledger where Molly assumed they kept their appointments and stuff. How, ancient.

Molly looked over at Lona Lieber, and noticed that she was dealing with the patients who were leaving the clinic, so she walked over to Rona Lieber.

“May I help you dear?” Rona Lieber asked. Molly thought she sounded like she was in her seventies than her fifties. For all Molly knew, she probably was.

“Um, yes, I was wondering if either of the doctors took actual patients, or if it was just strictly walk-ins?” Molly asked.

“Technically they take strictly walk-ins, but we get at lot of repeat business here. Most of our clientèle are of the older generation and they like to stick with who they know.” Nurse Rona Lieber looked her up and down. “We don’t get many younger people in here.”

“May I ask why is that?”

“Oh certainly dear, they prefer to have a regular doctor and usually wait for their own instead of popping into a walk-in. But we have been here for a really long time and I can say that we see a few young people. May I ask why you are interested?”

Molly looked down at her feet before thinking of something to say. Finally something hit her, “well I am moving here very soon. In fact I’m staying at a local hotel

until my home is ready, and I am having a hard time finding a doctor who will accept new patients.”

Rona slipped on her glasses which hung on a chain around her neck, “I understand that completely. I will tell you what I can do.” She paused and flipped through her ledger. “I can book you in tomorrow to have a consultation with Dr. Harold Lieber, he’s my brother you know. While there, talk to him about your problem and maybe he can help you better than I can.” The nurse stopped, her pencil hovering over her page, “what is your name, sweetheart?”

“Molly. Molly Savidis. I just got married and my new identification hasn’t come through yet.”

“Not a problem, all we will need tomorrow is either cash or an insurance card.” She explained.

Molly nodded, “not a problem. Thank-you so much.”

“We will see you tomorrow at eleven-fifteen.”

She said her thanks and then headed out to her car. The spooky old women and the smell of the house that the walk-in clinic set Molly’s teeth on edge. There was just something about that house that gave her the creeps. Molly decided that she would talk Eli into coming with her tomorrow and play her husband. Just so she can get a second opinion. She picked up her cell phone before pulling out of the small parking lot, but thought better of it. Her call to Eli would wait until she was out visibility. Her gut was telling her she was being watched.

Eli hung up the phone with Molly who seemed generally spooked. He told her to hurry up and get back to the hotel and they would go to dinner and discuss their cases. Then he had to go through all of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s mail. There just had to be something there.

He typed up the information on the phone bill and tried to hack into the account. Only problem was, he wasn’t good with computers. Not as good as Nick is. Against Eli’s better judgment he picked up his cell phone and called his former partner.

“Eli, what’s up?” Nick greeted.

“I am working on a case and I need your mad skills at computer work. Got a minutes?” Eli asked.

“Yes, a few.” Eli went on to explain his dilemma about the account to Nick. “I’m not good at talking people through this, but if you give me what you have in terms of numbers, I can probably get this done for you by midnight.”

“Seriously buddy, that would help me out big time. I need to know why this account is being paid on-line when this old woman doesn’t own a computer.” Eli said.

“Couldn’t her son be paying it on-line for her?” Nick questioned.

“I suppose he could but I am pretty sure he would have said as much, plus why just pay the one bill for his mother and not the other’s?” He wondered.

“Good point. I’ll see what I can get for you. With any luck, before you turn in tonight, I’ll have what you need. If you don’t hear from me tonight, means I have nothing for you yet. But I will.” Nick explained. “Where are you anyways?”

“Port Inn On the Water in Kennebunkport, room 144. It’s registered under Kendra’s name.” Eli related the information.

“Wait, what?” Nick chuckled, “is there something you’re not telling me?”

“Yeah, talk to you later when you’ve got my information. Bye Nick.” Eli hung up before more questions could be asked.

Eli had just hung up the phone when the phone rang again, expecting it to be Nick, he almost said something snarky, but it wasn’t. He was glad he kept it professional because it was his client. After explaining about not finding out anything at the time, he did ask George Hollingsworth some questions about his mother’s billing system. And just as expected George explained that his mother did everything via checks. He hung up from that phone call and ran his hand through his hair, making it stick up on weird angles. All the information was starting to make his eyes cross.

The door to his room flew open and Molly stormed in, not angry or pissed like earlier, but more anxious. She was a welcome distraction. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who raked his hands through his hair, because it looked like Molly was doing the same. And she smelled of cigarette smoke. A smell he never smelled on her before.

“Did you just have a smoke?” Eli asked.

She flopped down on the bed, arms splayed to her sides. “Yes I did. I haven’t smoked in two years, but there was something that has compelled me to light up today.” Molly exhaled a huge breath, “and I regret it big time.”

“Where are the cigarettes?”

“In my car.” She finally managed to sit up. Her burgundy blouse gaping somewhat between the buttons, allowing him to get a peek at her black lace bra underneath. “You look like I feel, need a smoke?”

Eli had to really think about his answer to her simple question, he too, hadn’t

smoked in a few years, but he could see her point. “Yes, yes I do.”

She got up and held her hand out to him. Eli took it and the petite Molly pulled him to his feet. He staggered behind her as she pulled him from their hotel room and down the elevator. “So here’s the plan, we grab the smokes from my car, and then head to the beach because the rain has stopped and I need to see sand.”

Who was he to argue? He followed her out to her car and then together they walked against the wind, down boardwalk stairs to the wet sand of the beach that was by their hotel. He stopped her from going further and helped her light two cigarettes. “These are really bad for our health, you know?” He said jokingly as he handed hers over.

“Good thing I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow with Dr. Harold Lieber, and you my husband will be joining me.” She spewed forth her information.

“So this is what this is, huh?”

“Huh, what?”

“You lure me outside and bribe me with a cigarette then get me in the midst of a romantic walk on the beach, and then drop the bomb about tomorrow and our marriage on me.” Eli smiled his cute half smile.

“Yeah pretty much. I needed a cover so I came up with one in case they wanted identification.”

“Well darling, I hate to break this to you, but married couples have identification too.”

“Duh,” she play slapped him on the chest, “I know that. I told her that we just got married and I haven’t received my new ones yet.”

The wind blew his blue buttoned down shirt up under his jacket, “pretty good cover actually. So where do I come in?”

“I know we said that we would help each other out after we were done with our own case, but I just have one teensy-weensy favour to ask of you.”

“To go with you because you’re scared?” He reached up and tucked a much longer strand of blonde hair behind her ear. Last time he saw her, her hair hadn’t been this long. It was sitting just past her shoulder blades now.

“Yes.”

“Well at least your honest.” Eli laughed. He hooked his arm around her shoulder and proceeded to walk on the wet sand, trying to smoke in the wind.

Together they walked a while in silence, still attached together, but both had given up smoking. The wind was just too strong, and neither was really enjoying it. Just before they walked up the steps of the boardwalk, Eli suggested going to get dinner, which Molly quickly agreed.

As they walked into a local lobster joint, Molly felt Eli’s hand leave hers. It wasn’t until just that moment that she realized he was holding her hand the entire time. Instead of taking the car, they had walked from the hotel to the Bait Shop, the restaurant they were standing in, waiting to be seated. Holding his hand was so natural. Maybe it was because she spent all that time a few months ago, doing just that at a party which almost got her and Kendra killed in the end. She tilted her head up to look up at his profile. That same blonde stubble covering his chin and cheeks, that same hair sticking up in different directions, but she realized she missed him.

They had to wait to be seated so Eli directed her to the bar and held out a stool for her to hop up on. Since she wasn’t short, there was no need to hop up. He sat down next to her, smelling of the sea air.

“You never answered my question?” She said amongst the noise of the bar.

“What’s that?” He smiled.

“Will you come with me tomorrow?”

Eli took her hand, “count me in.” She smiled back at him, and then he ordered drinks for them. “Can I get a Coors light for me please, draft, and a long island iced tea for the lady, please?”

“Coming right up.” The bartender said and then took off to get their drinks.

“Long Island iced tea?”

“I know you drink iced tea a lot, was I wrong to order it?” Eli asked. She shook her head and smiled again. “Next time I’ll ask what you feel like.”

“Thanks. I just hope you’re not trying to get me drunk.” Molly said slyly.

“Would a few Long Island’s do it?”

“Not a few, just one. I’m a cheap date.” She laughed.

“Boo-ya! That means I like it!” He laughed with her.

Once seated, Eli allowed her to order her own food, which Molly appreciated, although he already knew what she was planning on having. Lobster. She had been dying for a good lobster dinner. It wasn’t like she couldn’t make her own at home but she wasn’t good at it and basically her cooking skills were limited to boiling or microwaving

a hot dog. He had the same but substituted his baked potato for fries, and she did the same only for potato skins.

They cracked and slurped butter in relative silence. Smiling and laughing when the other slurped too loudly. Once his lobster was done, which was long before Molly finished her own, he started to talk again. Telling her about his case and how this woman had no computer, but somehow her telephone bill was being paid on-line. He shared with her that he had called Nick to help with finding who set the on-line billing up, and where it was being paid from. He shared details of his case and she shared what she had on hers. Which was nothing.

“All I know, is that apparently there is some serious insurance fraud going on in this place but all I can chop it down to is the fact that their book keeping system is as ancient as the house. So it’s likely just error.” She voiced as she buttered up a potato skin.

“You could very well be right, but your gut was telling you something the moment you walked into the place. Trust your gut Molls.” He added more ketchup on to his fries.

“The place smelled like bleach and every other cleaning product under the sun. It reeked. And all those old people, looked like they should be in a hospital or a hospice some place.” Molly placed a skin her mouth and closed her eyes. It was so good. When she opened her eyes, Eli was starring at her. “What?”

“Nothing, just you enjoying your food.” He smiled.

She smiled back at him since he had a bit of ketchup on his upper lip. Molly reached across the table, and used her index finger to wipe off the ketchup. The touch of his lips against her finger sent a wave through her. His lips were warm, and damp from his beer. Eli looked equally shocked at the contact. “Ketchup. You had some ketchup on your face.” He nodded at her. A funny feeling she wasn’t used to feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. As she sat back in her chair, she placed her hand over her tummy to quell that feeling. Only it didn’t work.

Molly chopped it up to the fact that it had been such a long time since she was with anyone. Maybe she was just feeling these little butterflies in her stomach because she was craving the attention of a man. Not just this man, but any man. That had to be it. She should reach out and touch their waiter to see if those butterflies kept up. A part of her knew that would be strange and told herself not to even bother to think of molesting their waiter. Her inner mind chuckled at her thoughts. She was horny, that was all.

“You OK?” Eli asked her. Her eyes snapped open and looked at him, she nodded. “Do you want desert?”

“Sure, please that would be great.” Molly reached for the desert menu, and flicked through the pages. “Um, I think I will have the hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream.”

“Me too, thanks.” He said as he handed the waiter their menus.

Molly felt her cheeks go red. She hadn’t even been aware that their waiter was standing next to the table. She could have just felt him up without realizing it. She smiled dopey-like at Eli and leaned back in her chair. Trying very hard to relax.

“Are you sure you’re alright Molls?”

“Yeah I am, I guess I’m a bit tired.” She stretched her arms out in a fake yawn, accidentally punching a guy walking by with his wife. “Oh I’m so sorry.” The man just looked at her funny. Eli started to laugh, “what’s so funny?”

He leaned back in his chair and ran his hand over his stubble, “you are. Were you just picturing me naked?”

She was leaning forward, about to place her elbow on the table when he asked her, and she missed, practically face-planting herself on the red and white checkered table cloth. “Excuse me?”

“You got really flustered there for a while and it was just after you touched me, and I could have sworn you were checking out my goods before you sat back.” Eli teased.

“Eli!” Molly gasped. Why was she experiencing a Kendra-moment? Only these stupid things happen to her best friend, not her.

“Jeeze, calm down Molls, I’m only teasing you.”

“I…I know. But still, what if someone heard you?”

“Then they would think that a husband was teasing his wife. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing since we will be playing our revised roles again tomorrow morning.” Eli declared.

“True. I guess it works just in case someone at the clinic does some checking around.”

“Just stop punching strangers or I’m going to have to tell people my wife has turrets.” Molly grinned at Eli, and shook her head just as their deserts arrived.

Chapter 4:

There was no call from Nick that night, and Eli figured it could take Nick a while if the person who set up the account covered their tracks well enough.

Eli sat in bed, with the sheet pulled up to his waist, reviewing some of the other bills and statements which belonged to Mrs. Hollingsworth. He was reading over one of her Social Security statements, when the bathroom door opened and Molly stepped out, wearing the ugliest pajamas he ever laid eyes on. She was wearing a long, blue flannel night gown with pink poodles and white snowmen on it. He managed to suppress a laugh, but she caught the eye roll.

“Stop it.”

“I didn’t say a thing,” he said as he kept looking at the statement.

“I only wear nightgowns to lounge in. I usually sleep naked.” She mentioned as she pulled the blankets back on her side of the bed.

Eli put the statement down, waved his hand, “by all means. Don’t let me stop you.”

“Bite me!”

He smirked and scratched his naked chest as he tried to go back to his task. Moving his legs up to prevent the blankets from tenting. Which he mentally told himself that it was because of the fact she usually sleeps naked, and not from the flannel nightie from hell.

“What are you doing right now?” She asked as she climbed in to bed.

Eli watched the swing of her caramel blonde pony tail, and the few fine strands that escaped the elastic. “Um, I am going through the mail belonging to my missing person.”

“Find anything?”

“Besides the phone bill thing, just that her Social Security is being direct deposited into her bank account.”

Molly pointed to his lap, “might want to take a look at that.”

Eli shifted, angling his body away from her view, and gasped “wh-what?”

“Her bank statement,” she clarified as she reached over to grab the paper, but Eli’s hand grasped her wrists, “Eli?”

“I got it Molly, thanks.”

“I was only trying to help,” she stated.

“Berlin Wall remember?”

She leaned back, but he could read her face, “alright.”

“Sorry.”

“Not a problem.”

Eli picked up the statement and leaned back on his pillows.

The moment Molly opened the door from the bathroom into the room, she noticed Eli half naked on his side of the bed, with a very intense, but very sexy, look on his face. He had solid shoulders and arms with great muscle definition, and his abs were a perfect six-pack. His chest and stomach were covered with the right amount of neatly groomed blonde hair. The way he looked made her feel silly for the poodle night gown, but she didn’t know she would be sharing a room with a man. Damn her for not listening to Kendra about always packing at least one sexy nightie, just in case. Actually damn Kendra for buying this damn night gown for her.

Molly was definitely damning her bestie, after grabbing just a little more than the statement off of Eli’s lap. It may have been a while but she knew what an erection felt like poking her, and he did just that despite his greatest effort to hide it. The moment he grabbed her wrist, Molly looked up into his blue eyes and saw something different there. Eli was fighting a personal war, of heat and control. He wanted to keep his control, and as far as Molly knew, Eli never lost that control. And that drove her crazy.

The thoughts of multiple sexual positions with the man on the right hand side of the pillow wall, ran through her head. This wasn’t like her at all, normally she only thought of just one position.

Molly’s thoughts were interrupted by Eli’s “fuck me,” and she had to fight to keep from saying, “OK.”

He turned to face her, “look at this bank statement.”

“Do I have to?” She whined as Eli thrusted the paper at her. Relentlessly Molly looked it over. There was some major withdrawals just after he Social Security checks were put in. Something wasn’t right. The woman was missing yet still using her money. She double checked when the statement was for, and it was for the second month of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s disappearance. “Maybe she went to Atlantic City for a few months?” He shook his head. She looked up at him, “this really should be easy enough to figure out. For starters, the withdrawals were local.”

“Exactly, it’s a major lead. I’ll have to go to the bank tomorrow.”

“And say what Eli?” Molly put him on the spot. “You are no longer a police detective, and the bank will not be willing to help you.”

“Shit you’re right. This job sucks!” He was frustrated. “How do you and Kendra do this without authority?”

“Easy, we break the law. You are having Nick do the same thing right now by having him hacking into her phone bills.” She explained honestly. “This job isn’t about honesty. It’s about being sneaky and creativity. You are going to have to get creative, or call her son and have him help you gain access. Or,” she paused, “nevermind. You’re not ready.”

“What am I not ready for?” Eli asked as he rung his hands in his lap.

“Pretend you’re the son.”

Eli’s head fell back, “that is a great idea Molly.”

“I sense sarcasm.”

“They would expect to see identification.” He ignored her.

“I know someone who is fantastic at making fake I.D’s.” She answered. He rolled his head to the side to look at her. “Me!”

“No, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.” Eli covered his ears. “There’s got to be another way. A legal way to do this.”

“Like I said, get creative.” Molly leaned back on the pillow wall, resisting the urger to lick her lips, or him. “Eli, sweetie, you need to remove that moral stick from up your bum, and get dirty. This career isn’t about sunshine and lollipops, it’s about dark clouds and getting mucky.”

“You’re wrong.” He said as he leaned down closer to him. His voice dropped an octave, “I don’t have a moral stick up my butt,” Eli smiled. “It’s a bullet.”

Molly returned the smile, “good night.”

“G’night.”

Molly had breached the wall, Eli came to find out when he woke up to the soft snoring sound in his ear. Feminine hands clutched his chest hair, and caramel hair tickled his nose. Eli was even more shocked to find his arms holding her tightly against him.

Yawning, Eli rolled his head over to the night stand on his side of the bed. It read 10:30. He blinked a couple of times to clear the cobwebs from his mind. Why was it a bad thing to be still in bed at 10:30? Finally it hit him. “Oh shit! Molly, Molly wake up!”

“Hmm…”

“You’re going to be late for your doctor’s appointment.” He told her as he gently shook her.

“Oh, I’m fin. I’m not sick at all.” She murmured through a raspy voice.

No more gently shakes, Eli shook her harder, “HEY!” Molly jumped a bit, “it’s for your case, remember.”

It took a few seconds, but she woke up with a start, “Shit! Shit! Shit!” As she sat up she took a fist full of his chest hair with her.

“Ow, Molls!”

“Sorry.” She rolled over, pulled her nightgown down over her butt and got up. First stop the bathroom, he realized when she slammed the door close behind her, and the water instantly started to run.

Eli pushed himself up out of bed and headed over to the closet to pull out a pair of charcoal gray dress pants, and a purple dress shirt before pulling out a matching light purple and gray tie out of the drawer in the dresser. He really couldn’t do anything until he got his hair flattened and shaved, although looking at his watch on the dresser, shaving was unlikely. He rapped on the door, “Molly, I need in there for a couple of minutes.” He called through the door, she opened it. “Thanks, I need to wet my hair down.”

“Go for it.” She said as she applied her eye make-up.

Eli stuck his head under the sinks faucet and soaked his hair. He stretched his hand out searching for a towel. Molly placed one in his hands, “thanks!” Drying his hair only slightly, he opened his drawer to grab his mousse.

“Are you planning on shaving?” She asked.

“I don’t have time. Is that going to be a problem?”

“No, not really.”

He worked the mousse into his hair, then started to brush his teeth as Molly finished up and left. Just as quickly, Eli grabbed his clothes from the end of the bed and headed back into the bathroom to change. Except he forgot his underwear, “oh well,” he said to himself.

They drove together in his black jeep and headed over to the walk-in clinic. She was dressed in a chic, all purpose halter style black dress, with a bright pink thick belt around her slim waist, a matching headband in her hair, and black shoes. Eli noticed how nice her ass was perfectly cupped in the just tight-enough fabric, and how her long legs showed off shapely calves and looked great in high heels.

They walked in, hand-in-hand, and she wasn’t kidding about the smell of the multiple cleaning products. Eli had to choke back a cough that was brought on by the stench. There were two spinsters sitting in the opposites sides of the entry way, each sitting at a very old crappy looking desk. He assumed they were the twins Molly spoke of, Rona and Lona. He let go of her hand and placed it at the small of her back and guided her over to the desk marked, “in.” Her name tag said Rona.

“Oh, Mrs. Savidis, you’re just in time. Dr. Lieber is just about ready for you. Won’t you please have a seat?” Rona gestured to the ugly non-matching sitting area.

Eli sat down on what had to be the hardest chair ever, and what reeked of upholstery cleaner. The place was giving him a weird feeling. He wished that she gave him a heads up about using his last name. He needed to think of something quick.

A short, rounded, bald man, wearing a white lab coat, and a pair of round-framed glasses, similar to the kind Harry Potter wears, came out. “Mrs. Molly Savidis?”

Eli looked at Molly, and together they stood up and walked over to the doctor. “I’m Molly.”

“Nice to meet you Molly, I’m doctor Harold Lieber.” He shook her hand.

She turned to Eli, “Doctor Lieber, this is my husband…”

“Nick. Nick Savidis.” Eli said as he stuck his hand out. He couldn’t allow Molly to use his real name, just in case Uncle Fester here was smart enough to do a background check. He would explain that to her later.

“Won’t you follow me Molly.” He turned to walk down a hallway. Molly and Eli started to follow the doctor, but then the doctor stopped. “Mr. Savidis, since this is a consultation, there is no need for you to come along.”

“Actually I would like him here, please.” Molly intercepted.

The doctor didn’t look all that impressed, but didn’t object verbally. Eli took mental note of the man’s mannerism. He was very stiff, not like he was when he introduced himself to them. He was a little less uptight then. The doctor also stopped looking at Eli in the face, either he just didn’t like Eli inserting himself into his work or he knew Eli lied about his name.

His office had floor to ceiling book cases filled with medical book after medical

book. Plaques on the wall showed off his many degrees and his specialties being family medicine and anesthesiology. No surprise there, Eli thought to himself. His desk looked a little big but it was covered with files and papers, and there wasn’t a computer in site. This place was running on old school practices. No computers, old style ledgers and doing everything by hand. Eli sat down in a green leather chair which matched the one Molly was sitting in, and put his left foot on his knee.

“What can I do for you?” The doctor asked.

“Well basically, I came in here yesterday and I spoke to your nurse about whether or not you took full-time patients or just walk-ins.” Molly looked over at Eli. “We are moving here very soon and are both in need of finding a new doctor. But we are having issues at finding doctors in the area who are taking on new patients.”

“I understand completely.” He shuffled a few meaningless papers around to feel important. “There seem to be more patients then doctors these days, and my brother and I have definitely felt the increase of this situation. Only thing is, we can’t stop you from coming in here for treatments or even check-ups, but we don’t actually take patients on a regular basis.” Dr. Lieber explained.

“This wouldn’t really be an issue if it weren’t for the fact that our actual doctors are about four hours away, and to travel that far just for basic care doesn’t fit with our busy schedules.” Eli added to their story.

Dr. Lieber fold his hands and put them on his desk, “I’ll tell you what we can do. Officially, we don’t take new patients. If your current doctors wouldn’t mind couriering over copies of your medical records, then we can keep them on file for such occasions.” He forced a smile. “Now about your insurance…”

“Actually, my insurance hasn’t kicked in yet from my new job.” Eli said, “it will within a few months, so everything will have to be cash dealings until then.”

“Very well. Since this is just a consultation, it won’t be much anyways. You can pay Lona on your way out. And please let me know when your records will be arriving.” Dr. Lieber stood up, indicating that their meeting, as short as it was, was now over.

Eli stood up and held his hand out for Molly. They shared a quick glance, and then shook the hand of Dr. Lieber before leaving. Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to talk until they were in the car, they kept completely silent.

Lona, looked exactly like her sister Rona, only she wore lime green medical scrubs, and those ugly Croc shoes that Eli hated. He stopped in front of Lona’s desk, and waited.

“Since the both of you went in, that will come to,” she used her calculator to add it up. “Forty-four dollars.” Lona said. Eli handed her a credit card, knowing they didn’t take credit cards or ATM cards. “I’m sorry sir, cash or check only.”

“My apologies ma’am.” He handed her a fifty. And she handed him back six dollars. “Thank-you very much and have a great day.”

Lona smiled up at him, practically batting her eye lashes at him.

As they walked out, Molly smacked him on the as, “flirt!”

Chapter 5:

Molly sat in the front seat of the jeep, quiet. Still wondering why she was now calling Eli, Nick. At this point she wasn’t even sure she knew where they were going. She felt him glance over at her and chose to ignore it, and looked straight ahead.

The sun was bright, and looked warm but it wasn’t. The air was chilled and the weather man on the radio said there was a chance for flurries in the evening. Molly loved the cool air and the chance she might see snow sooner rather than later. The sky that morning had been red’s and pink’s with orange’s all mixed together. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning, her mother used to say. A gust of wind shook the jeep a bit as it drove down the main street in Kennebunkport.

“May I ask what was up with the whole, calling you Nick thing?” She finally decided to ask.

“Oh yeah I wanted to talk to you about that. I didn’t realize that you gave them my last name, and to avoid them from possibly doing a background check on me, I stole Nick’s name. Plus it was the first one that popped into my head.” Eli explained as he came to a stop at the light.

Molly looked out the window at all the little shops lining the street. Their new England charm, and the unique items they sell. No wonder she loved this part of the state the most. She turned her head back to look at him, “I was thinking on the fly, and just blurted out Savidis. I didn’t really think about later.”

“Not a problem.”

“Where are we going? Isn’t the hotel in the other direction?”

Eli’s left arm hung over the steering wheel, and his right was on the gear shift, patiently waiting for the light to turn green. “I thought we would check out the bank. I’m hoping I can persuade someone with my charm, or your cleavage.”

Molly looked down. Yep, she had cleavage. “I take it you would like me to keep my jacket off?”

“Only if we are dealing with a woman, then keep it on. Women are too catty sometimes.” Eli’s hand gripped the wheel, as the light changed from red to green. He shifted into gear and took off at a leisurely pace to the bank.

Molly continued on about how no matter what he does, he won’t get any information. “Banks are the types of places that need to be hacked into.”

“Can I pretend I didn’t just hear you say that?”

“Eli, I’m just telling you how it is. Unless you can prove that you are related and

that the account holder is missing, they won’t do fuck all for you.” She explained.

“I think you’re wrong.”

“As a former cop, you kinda suck.” Molly muttered.

“Pardon?” And she told him what she said. “Well that isn’t a very nice thing to say. That hurts my feelings after I saved you and Kendra’s asses a while back.” He put his hand over his heart.

She realized he was being sarcastic, “ah, bite me.”

After parking the jeep, the two of them walked into the bank where Mrs. Hollingsworth did all of her banking. Eli quickly went to the bank receptionist and asked if the bank manager had a moment or two to talk.

“Ms. Anderson will be with you both in a few minutes.” The receptionist answered as she motioned for Eli and Molly to take a seat.

“Button up, it’s a chick.”

“You know, you are starting to sound more and more like Nick everyday.” Molly laughed as she checked her jacket to make sure her boobs were hidden. She caught Eli smirking as he watched as she checked herself.

A tall woman with red hair, and a face full of freckles came out of the office. She was wearing a smart looking pants suit in black and her hair was in a French twist. She looked stern and very business like. Eli already assumed his goose was cooked.

“Hello, I’m Erica Anderson, the bank manager, how can I help you?” She said holding out her hand.

Eli shook her hand, and noted she had a stern grip. “I’m Eli Savidis, and this is Molly Westin, and we’re private investigators, working on a missing person’s case. I was wondering if maybe you can help us?”

She nodded, and motioned for them to follow her into her office. “I’m not sure how I can possible help, but I will try.”

Eli settled himself in a chair next to Molly, as the tall red-head rounded her desk and took a seat across from them. “Ms. Anderson, I have an account number from the missing person’s statement. My concern is, is that this woman, went missing, but someone else is cashing in on her Social Security checks. She’s been missing for about three months, all of her utilities, except telephone, have been shut off.”

“That’s really strange, go on.” Ms. Anderson agreed.

“It is. Because this woman has no computer at all, and all of a sudden her phone bill is being paid on-line. And the moment her Social Security checks come in, they are automatically withdrawn.” Eli explained.

Ms. Anderson brought up a screen on her computer, “let me see what I can do sir. Can I have the name of the account holder and the account number?”

“Her name is Evis Hollingsworth,” he paused so the manager could type her name in, then rattled off the account number.

The room fell silent, except for the clicking of Ms. Anderson’s nails on the computer keys. Her face gave nothing away, but after ten minutes she looked up. “I can not give you any information, but I can confirm that your suspicions are correct. All I can hope is that Mrs. Hollingsworth is safely found.”

“You confirming our suspicions is good enough, that will help us build a case to take to the police.” Eli said.

“Excuse me for one second,” Molly interrupted, “could you maybe tell us one thing?”

“I can certainly try, but I can’t guarantee.”

Molly leaned over, “could you tell us if the withdrawals are made from the same location or if they are made at different locations?”

She typed again on her computer, “definitely different locations.”

“Thank-you Ms. Anderson,” Molly smiled. She held her hand out, “we really appreciate your help.”

“Anytime, and I wish I could have helped you out more.” She said looking strictly at Eli, ignoring Molly.

Eli smiled, winked and responded, “well maybe next time I’ll be able to get a little more help from you.”

“Certainly.”

“Good-bye, we must go now.” Molly said as she grabbed Eli’s hand. “Come on now, your boyfriend is waiting for you at the hotel.”

Eli watched as the hot red-head’s smile fall. Nervously he laughed, “oh, she’s joking. I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Molly pulled him out of the bank like a bulldozer pushing rock in a quarry. He thought that was cute, she was jealous, and for her being so jealous about the red-head, he

was going to treat her to lunch.

Together they sat in the Seaside restaurant enjoying their shrimp salad’s, Eli teased her about being jealous. She didn’t deny it or tell him to bite her, which was enough confirmation for him. Her cheeks were flushed pink and her hair was wind blown from that one gust of wind that messed it up as they approached the door to the restaurant. Molly looked gorgeous, and sexy. Sexier than that bank manager. He stared at her. Admiring her blue eyes, and the fullness of her bottom lip.

“Why are you staring at me like that?” Molly asked. Her eyes squinting.

“You.”

“Me? Why?”

Eli reached acrossed the table and took her hand, “you make laugh you know.”

“I do? Like, in a good way?”

“Yes, in a good way.” He ran his thumb across her wrists. “You are so sexy, and you don’t even know it. You act so tough, but you’re really not.”

“Eli,” Molly flushed. “You’re really sexy too.”

Just at that moment, Eli’s cell phone rang. “I’m sorry, would you give me a few minutes?” Molly nodded and he answered.

“Eli, bud, glad I caught you.”

“Nick, what do you got for me?”

“Actually, nothing. I was hoping you had more numbers for me to run. I’m not in a really good place to run numbers.” Nick explained.

“Here’s some numbers for ya,” Eli rattled off the account numbers again, practically knowing them by hand. “What are you going to do then?”

Nick cleared his throat, “I have a plan. It might not be a good plan, but it’s a plan.”

“Just don’t get arrested.” Eli said before hanging up. He looked over at Molly and told her what was going on. Molly suggested going to talk to Mrs. Hollingsworth’s real doctor to see what they can tell them.

The doctor’s office was in an official building, unlike the walk-in clinic which was more residential. It mimicked the typical doctor’s office, with light green walls,

matching cushy chairs, dark green carpeting, and pastel laminate over the oval desk where the five receptionists were situated. The room didn’t smell as bad as the walk-in either, it smelled lightly of lemons.

“Excuse me, I was wondering if I could talk to Dr. Gregory for five minutes?” Eli asked.

The receptionist typed into her computer, “I have a small opening in forty-five minutes.”

Eli looked at Molly, she nodded. “Alright, I’ll wait.”

They walked over to pastel pink chairs with wood trim, and sat down. Molly realized that Eli was holding her hand, and had been since they left the restaurant. She wasn’t sure what was going on between them, but she liked it. A lot. Her thoughts were interrupted when Eli leaned over and whispered in her ear.

“Why don’t you take the jeep and go back to the hotel to get some work done. I have a feeling I’ll be here longer than forty-five minutes.”

She thought about his suggestion for a few seconds. “Sounds like a plan, except I’ll walk.”

“It’s cold out and it’s far, take the jeep.”

“Uh, I can’t.”

“Why not?” He asked.

Molly looked down at her finger nails, “well, it’s just that I can’t drive stick shift.”

“Oh, I’ll call you a cab.”

“I can walk, Eli. It’s not that far.”

Eli turned in his chair and gripped her hand, “Molls, it’s cold out, and it’s about twenty minutes, by car, to the hotel.”

“Alright, I’ll call a cab.” Molly reached in her purse and pulled out her cell phone. After a quick conversation with the cab company, Molly hung up. “Five minutes.”

Eli leaned over a placed a soft kiss to her cheek, “we will talk later, but text me when you get to the hotel. I just want to make sure you’re safe.”

“What’s going on here?” Molly inquired.

“That’s what we’ll talk about later.”

She smiled slyly, “well, well, I’m intrigued.” Molly patted Eli’s knee, then got up. “I’ll guess I’ll see you later.

Molly wasn’t sure what the hell was going on between her and Eli, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to sleep next to him in that flannel nightgown. No way. When the taxi came, she asked the driver to take her to the one boutique she saw on Beach Cove drive, then asked him to wait for ten minutes.

“Meter’s running lady.”

“Yeah, yeah, when isn’t it?” She said sarcastically as she got out. Within five minutes she spotted and found a butter yellow satin negligee. She thought the short nightie made her legs look great and her boobs looked bigger, which was a good thing. Molly quickly paid for her lingerie and headed back to the cab in less then ten minutes. “Told ya.”

While on the way to the hotel, Molly decided to check in with Kendra.

“I need some help, then I’m going to kill you.” Molly greeted.

“Well, hello to you Chickie-Babe!” Kendra responded. “What can I help you with?”

Molly explained the case in full detail to Kendra, starting with the entire saga about Eli sleeping in her room, and the poodle nightgown. Kendra was being a good friend by not laughing at her, and Molly appreciated that. After a little bit of chit-chat, and Molly finding out that Kendra took Hailey’s son, Sheldon to his first wrestling event, and that he enjoyed it.

“Listen Ken, I need some phony medical records, and you to be available to be my doctor in case Dr. Uncle Fester calls.” Molly explained.

“Need a set for Eli?”

“Yeah you better just in case, and remember to change his name to Nick Savidis.”

Molly heard Kendra scribbling stuff down, “done and done. I’ll get them to the walk-in clinic first thing.”

“Marvelous Ken. Thanks so much.”

Eli came back to the hotel and took off his stupid dress shoes. His feet were killing him, no wonder he preferred sneakers. He didn’t get too much information from the doctor, although he was helpful. Eli untied the laces on his shoes, as Molly hung up the phone.

Loosening his tie, he told her about the appointment. “I found out that she canceled her appointment with Dr. Gregory two days before she went missing. She was suppose to come in because of arthritis pain in her fingers and knees. It was apparently really damp that week and it was bothering her joints.”

“How did you manage to squeeze that information out of the doctor?” Molly asked as she closed her powder blue mac-book.

“He basically didn’t tell me what was in her file, just what she was coming in for. I didn’t relay too much information, but I did express her son’s concern for his mother.” Eli got up and placed his tie in his empty luggage, along with his socks. He grabbed a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt and headed into the bathroom to change.

“I called Kendra today and asked her to forge us fake medical records. We need to get into that clinic.” Molly called through the door.

“Good plan, I’m starting to figure out that going illegal is the way to go.” He hollered back, “did you remember to tell her to change my name to Nick?”

“Yes I did. She’s on it, and will email us hard copies and courier over copies to the clinic, so we know what diseases she gives us.” Molly chuckled as the door opened.

“You don’t think she would be so cruel, do you?” Eli wondered, but Molly shrugged, “oh well that’s promising.”

Kendra finished falsifying medical documents for Molly, and just started on Eli’s, when the front door was knocked on. She got up and pulled the elastic out of her hair, and let her brown locks fall down her back. She had been sitting for a while and was feeling a bit stiff. Hardy and Chewbacca jumped and clawed at the wooden door, and Kendra had to tell them to stop. Nothing could have shocked her more than who was standing on the other side of the door, but when she flew the door open Kendra laid eyes on, “Nick?”

“Hey gorgeous. I need some help.”

“You certainly do, but why are you here?” Nick moved forward pushing Kendra back into her hallway. “Sure, why not, come on in.”

“Fine I will.” Nick barged in and started telling her that he was having a hell of a time tracking the account numbers Eli gave him. “I’m really stuck, Kendra.”

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“Kendra, I need your help.” She shook her head. “Please?”

Kendra placed her hands on her hips, “you disappear for months, and you

randomly come back and expect me to just forget about what happened, well good luck with that.”

“Molly, we need to have a talk.” Eli said as he sat down on the chair in front of the desk where his lap top was.

“I think we need to talk too.”

Then the phone rang.

Chapter 6:

The phone rang on Eli’s hip. His cell phone was the culprit for the interruption. Eli held up a finger, “give me a few, sorry.”

Touching the answer key on his iPhone, he realized it was Nick. “Please tell me you have something this time, and that you are not calling to tell me that you’ve got nothing.”

Nick laughed, “actually, I’ve got something.”

“Great, now hurry up.” Eli snapped.

“Eli, if you won’t play nice I…”

“NOW! Goddammit!” Eli noticed Molly jump, and mouthed sorry to her.

“I couldn’t use my bro-in-law’s computer, as he’s majorly paranoid and has a dozen firewalls on his computer. So I went to Kendra and together we headed over to her office, which, by the way is pink…”

“Nick, you’re testing my patience right now.” Eli scolded.

“I’m getting there. Kendra’s pretty useless around computers, so we called Mr. Westin, and he came over to help.” Nick explained. “He got us through and we managed to tap into Mrs. H’s account, and get this. Someone accessed her account from an ATM machine, and drained the entire account.”

“Do you know which bank?”

“Yes, her own. Port’s Banking and Investment Centre.”

“Perfect, thank-you so much. It’s about time you got off your ass and helped me. And we’ll discuss why using Molly’s father was a bad idea later.” Eli hung up.

“What’s this about my dad?” Molly wondered.

“Nick and Kendra used him to hack into Mrs. Hollingsworth’s bank account.”

“I bet he loved that. He always feels so super-agent-like when we need his help.” Molly laughed.

Now he was even more frustrated. “Stop using your father to hack into things. It’s illegal and he’s a civilian and he could go to jail.”

“Technically we all could go to jail.”

He stared at her, “you are such a smart ass.” The laughed. He walked over to his luggage and dug around the front pocket of his discarded pants and pulled out a business card. He dialed the number on his phone.

“What are you doing?”

“Making a phone call.”

Molly scrunched her face, “now who is the smart ass? You know what I meant.”

Eli excused himself, “Ms. Erica Anderson please.”

“Oh her.” Molly sneered. “I’m going to have a bath.” Then she disappeared into the bathroom.

“She isn’t?…Thanks, could you please let her know that Eli Savidis called, I spoke to her earlier today, and it’s very important that she gives me a call as soon as possible. Thank-you.” He had just hung up his cell phone when it rang again. He didn’t think it was possible that he would get tired of hearing the Hawaii Five-O theme song, but he is now. “Nick, what’s up?”

“I tapped into the ATM’s surveillance cameras, and the footage was so grainy that I couldn’t make out exactly who it was, but it’s definitely not Mrs. H.”

“How can you be sure?”

“I doubt that an old lady using a walker would stand above six feet tall, and have man hands.”

“That makes sense. Not clear enough really sucks in helping us nail this person. Maybe there’s a way to clean it up. Can you email the video to me?”

“Already have.”

“Thanks Nick, and make sure you tell Kendra thanks as well.” Eli said.

“Um, I would love to relay your message to her, only I’m no longer in town, and she is no longer speaking to me.” Nick explained.

Eli rubbed his hand over his face, he really needed a shave. “Why? What did you do?”

“After we finished the Marceno case, we played a game of tennis, and then we went back to her place and well, we got drunk.” Nick sighed, “and then we had sex.”

“You are a dumb ass.”

“I am?” He screeched into the phone like a woman. “I go over there the next day,

and some goofy looking dude is rubbing sun block all over her shoulders by the pool. So I don’t get how she can be angry with me.” Nick chided.

“Nick, ask her because I’m sure there’s a logical explanation. Maybe she has a creepy relationship with her brother like Hulk Hogan has with his daughter. Or maybe Goofy is just a friend. Either way, she’s mad because you just disappeared on her.” Eli explained. It was tiring to be the smart one. He chuckled to himself.

“Maybe. Could you ask Molly about who the dude with the tattoos, muscles and big ears is?”

“What are you still in high school?” Nick didn’t respond. “Fine, if it comes up, I’ll ask.”

“Thanks Eli.”

Eli hung up shaking his head. He decided while Molly was occupied in the bathroom still, that he would go and wait in front of the bank for a bit to see if anyone shows up. He threw on a long sleeved dress shirt and told Molly where he was going through the door before he left.

The door to the hotel room closed and Molly looked at her watch which was sitting on top of the toilet tank. It was after six o’clock already. The bank would be closed soon. She suspected him of lying but she didn’t deserve an explanation. It wasn’t like she was his girlfriend.

Skipping dinner, Molly decided against her fancy new nightgown, and slipped into the warmth of the flannel monster. With her lap top, Molly settled herself on her side of the bed. She had some hacking of her own to do.

Molly rolled over, the sun blinding her. She found herself alone in bed. The clock on Eli’s side read ten. She didn’t remember falling asleep. The last thing she remembered was waiting for a program to download. “My lap top!” She exclaimed, then yawned. Molly rolled over back to her side of the bed, and looked over the edge at the floor. Nothing was there. She looked up, and noticed it was sitting on the desk.

Unaware, and not really caring, that her nightgown was up over her rear end, but it was twisted around as her as well. She tugged at it as she neared the desk, where she found a note from Eli on her desktop.

“Hey Sleeping Beauty;

Got in late, around 8:30. Ha-ha! And you were out cold.

Didn’t want to wake you. I’m at the bank today.

Last night was a wash.

Meet me 4 lunch? Text or call me?”

-E.”

She smiled to herself and found herself humming the theme to Star Wars. Molly wasn’t really sure how the song got into her head until she noticed her cell phone vibrating across the nightstand. She made a mad dash for her phone. Damn Kendra for talking her into the ring tone.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Mrs. Savidis?” A woman said on the other end.

“I’m s’her.” She said remembering at the last moment that she was indeed Mrs. Savidis.

“It’s Lona Lieber calling from the Lieber House walk-in.” Lona paused, “we received your medical file, and Dr. Lieber, was hoping that you could come in today for a brief consultation.”

“I can certainly do that. What time, I’m free all day.” She said as she grabbed a stack of Post-it’s, courtesy of Kendra, from her backpack.

“Is eleven-thirty, alright?”

“Perfect.” She scribbled the time down and left another one to tell Eli where she was if he came back to the hotel.

Molly walked into the walk-in clinic with ten-minutes to spare. There was no sitting and there was no waiting necessary, as she went right in to see Dr. Harold Lieber. Her falsified records were there, and wondered if the clinic realized they were fakes. Her stomach pitched, and she was great full that she didn’t eat breakfast.

“It’s so nice to see you again Mrs. Savidis.” The doctor who resembled Uncle Fester said as he held the chair for her to be seated in. “I received your medical records this morning first thing. Bright young man. Short but he was right from the medical offices where your doctor is located.”

Funny, since there was no office. Must have been Nick. “I’m glad the records made it here so quickly.”

“I’ve had a nice long look at both your record and your husband’s. And I have to say, I doubt we will be seeing you all that much as you are a very healthy thirty-four year old woman.”

Thirty-four? Oh she was going to kill Kendra. “Yes I am. Except that it’s always good to have something lined up, just in case.”

The doctor nodded, “absolutely. I’m willing to take both you and your husband

on, but it will be just as walk-ins. I think that we can work around this.” He flipped through the file. “Dr. Divanski added a notation that you and Mr. Savidis are trying to have a child, is that true?”

Molly coughed, “excuse me, um, yes. That’s true.” She’s so dead!

“If there is any special treatments that need to be done medically to help you two conceive, I’m afraid that will need to be done by a specialist. I can give you a name of a obstetrician in the area, who will except new patients.”

“I’m unaware of any serious medical reasons as to why we would have trouble conceiving. I just think our timing is off.” Except that I’m apparently thirty-bloody-four-years-old.

The doctor followed up with a few more questions and then escorted her to the door. Warned her that she’s going to need to get that insurance in as soon as possible, and then said good-bye. Molly walked to the car and dialed Eli to see if he was available for lunch.

Kendra was sitting on the black retro sofa with Hailey, talking about the upcoming weekend, Nick, and how Molly’s making out on her case. Hailey was laughing at the fact that once Molly found out that Kendra made her older and that Nick made Eli impotent, that the two of them were going to get killed. “She’s going to kill you.”

“Me? You were the one who told Nick and I to have some fun.” Kendra laughed. Her cell phone rang. “It’s the walk-in.”

Hailey took Kendra’s cell phone and plugged her nose, “Good Afternoon Morris Medical Centre.” The girls suppressed a giggle. The older woman on the other line asked for extension 665, and Hailey plugged her nose again, “just one moment please.” Kendra switched on a radio with bad pop music, and Hailey held the cell phone up to it. They counted to thirty, and Hailey handed the phone over to Kendra.

“Dr. Vivian Divanski,” she answered.

“It’s Lona Lieber from The Lieber House Walk-In Clinic. I have Doctor Harold Lieber on the line for you to discuss your patients, Nick and Molly Savidis.”

“Oh, sure I have a few minutes.” Kendra rolled her eyes and mouthed to Hailey, “Freak-a-zoid’s.”

After what felt like a never ending call about the medical records, Kendra was more convinced that there was something hinky going on at the walk-in clinic. The doctor was more concerned about the type of Insurance the couple had while they were under her care. Luckily Kendra was a good fudger and managed to keep him thinking that the couple had had really good insurance but also related to the doctor that apparently Mr.

Savidis had switched jobs and that it would be likely their insurance wouldn’t kick in for a bit. The man was more concerned about money. You can’t take money as easily from a person paying cash for everything.

“Wow, that guy was a nut.” Hailey said. “Thank-God for speaker phone. I would never have believed that if I hadn’t heard it myself.”

“I probably should call Molls and tell her about the phone conversation.” Kendra picked up her cell phone.

“Oh shit, I need to go and pick up Megan from her basketball practice.” Hailey grabbed her brown leather purse from inside the filing cabinet that was behind her desk. “Tell kiddo that I say hey.”

“Talk to you tomorrow Hails.” Kendra waved.

She ran her hands through her long brown hair, then dialed Molly up.

Molly’s Star Wars theme song cell phone buzzed in her purse during her lunch with Eli, where they discussed business. She reached in and dug through the crap she kept in there. Feeling the vibration against her finger tips, Molly wrapped her hand along the phone and pulled it out. Kendra. Her smile fell. “You are so dead!”

“Oh whatever. Just wait until you see what Nick put into Eli’s. So guess what?” Kendra asked totally ignoring Molly’s death threat.

“OK, I’ll bite, what?”

“The good doctor called me from your walk-in clinic.” Kendra paused, “actually he called Dr. Vivian Divanski regarding your medical files.”

“Really? Do doctors do that?” Molly asked as she stabbed a fry with her fork.

“How the hell should I know, I’m not a doctor, dammit.”

“I know your a Private Investigator.”

“Huh-what?”

“Nevermind. What do you got?” Molly asked. Her best friend had no science-fiction knowledge at all.

“He was all over the fact that he wouldn’t be treating you guys for the conceiving-related issues. However, I think he was calling for non-medical reassurance.” Kendra explained.

Molly took a quick sip of her iced tea, “what do you mean Ken?”

“Dr. Lieber was all over the Insurance issue. Asking me if we ever had any issues with your insurance and if there was ever an issue about missing payments. I told him that you and your husband had great insurance and that there had never been an issue.” She got muffled a bit, Molly figured because she had her cell phone between her ear and shoulder.

“Did he buy it?”

“Um,” she paused, then suddenly she was clearer, “yes he did. I explained that I was aware that your husband, Nick, started a new job and that meant new insurance. I think that helped him buy into your story a little bit.”

“Great, do you expect to hear from him again?” Molly asked.

“I don’t, but I have the clinic’s number programmed into my cell phone and labeled with a different ring tone so I know when he’s calling.” Kendra stated. “I hope he doesn’t call again, because I’m not always near the Morris Medical Centre’s receptionist. Oh you would have died to hear Hailey answer the call earlier.”

Molly laughed, “I bet. She’s having a blast working for us. I think if we were to offer this gig to her full time she’d take it in a heart beat.”

“We should talk her into becoming an investigator.”

“No way, then we would lose our receptionist.” Molly exclaimed but was joking. “I doubt that Alex would let her.”

“Me too. Talk to you soon.” Kendra hung up.

Molly ate a few more fries and too another sip of her drink while Eli waited for her to tell her about the call.

“Well?”

She swallowed, “oh Uncle Fester called Kendra, and questioned her about the medical insurance. It seemed to be more important than what was in our files.” Molly took another quick sip, “oh,” she swallowed, “we really need to see what are in those medical file. Apparently Nick had a hand in yours.”

“Shit.” Eli used his iPhone to check the email. “Found it. Let me just take a look.” He moved his thumb around a few times and stopped to read. His mouth dropped open, “I’m gonna kill him.”

“Yeah I need to kill Kendra. Why are you killing Nick?”

“It says I am impotent.” Eli blurted out, and Molly’s iced tea nearly came out her nose.

Chapter 7:

“Glad my medical problem entertains you.” Eli smirked.

“Could be worse,” she began once she finished choking.” You could have had herpes.”

Eli smiled at her, “Nah, I think I’ll save that one when the chance to do up a fake medical profile for Nick.” He was aware that he still wanted to talk to her about possibly dating or sleeping with each other for the purpose of getting it out of their system, he just hadn’t figured out which one he wanted to go for. He knew that Nick expected him to ask questions about Kendra, but Eli knew that whatever he asked, would go right back to Kendra and Nick would be worse off than he already is.

Molly tossed her napkin on to the table, “it was nice lunching with you, but I want to stake out the clinic for a while.”

“Call me so that I know you’re alright.” He demanded sweetly.

She nodded as she stood up. Her ass was amazing in her tight, dark blue, jeans, and that white fuzzy, sweater made her breasts look phenomenal and large. His mouth was watering.

“Stop drooling, it makes you look simple.” Molly teased, then turned on the heels of her boots and walked out of the café.

Eli paid the check, then headed back to the hotel to make some calls. First on his list was George Hollingsworth, to update him on his mother’s case. Unfortunately he didn’t have good news to tell him.

George Hollingsworth seemed frantic over dealing with his mother’s bank account. He was constantly going over who would do such a thing to an old woman. Lucky for Eli, George didn’t care that Eli had hacked into the account. In fact he was grateful that he did and noticed the account being drained. He was more concerned over, who else was doing it. This still begged the question, where was dear old mom? And what happened to her?

After he hung up from talking to George, he called the Police, and after a long conversation ensued between him and the local Police chief regarding the bank account. He was asked for his evidence to back up his findings. Although Eli was more than happy to hand it over, there was no way he was doing so without copies of it for himself. He tried a few times to get a hold of Nick, but to know avail he couldn’t even find his former partner. Eli looked at his watch, it had been four hours since Molly had left him at the restaurant, and she still hadn’t called him. He dialed her number but there was no answer so he left a message.

Molly was camped out in her car, watching from a distance. The clinic closed at five on Friday’s. She looked down at her watch, and it was just a little after four. Molly grabbed the binoculars sitting beside her in her Matrix and surveyed the area. No one was exiting the clinic or entering it. She focused her view to the front door where the country-style wooden Open and Closed sign was attached to the wall. It read “CLOSED”. Strange, she thought as she lowered the binoculars. Molly got out of her car, and closed the door quietly without making it latch. She was so happy that she thought to bring her sneakers to change into, which she had. Her camel-coloured boots would have made way too much noise on the pavement towards the house.

The winter weather was approaching and with that, it got dark out earlier. Light glowed from the second story, but the lights on the main floor were pretty much out, with the exception of a light glow coming from the back of the house.

Molly reached the garden on the side and stepped into the shrubbery, a loud screech echoed through the quite night, and she caught the sight of orange fur take off out of the bush. Just a cat.

“Shit!” She hissed as she ducked into the bush as a light in the room above her came on. Molly prayed to every higher being that she whoever looked out of that window, couldn’t see her. Then as the side door open, she could hear the blood rush through her ears.

A tall man, who looked like he needed food, badly, came out. “Oscar, did something scare you?”

A woman’s voice from inside the house called to him, and Molly knew it was either Rona or Lona. “Was that Oscar or Elmo, Jonathan?”

He was the other brother. He must share his food with Harold. “It was Oscar Lona. He wants inside now.” The tall under-fed doctor responded. “Come now, Oscar and let mommy feed you.”

The door closed and Molly slowly let out a breath. She carefully and quietly headed back to her car and waited for any of the siblings to leave. Molly had a funny feeling that all four of the siblings lived in the house. She glanced down and noticed her cell phone was blinking. She had missed some calls. Molly checked the caller’s list, and saw that her mother or father called her twice and Eli the other three times. “Oh shit,” she swore as she realized he was expecting her to call. She supposed that she should call him, but she was heading back to the hotel so why bother wasting her minutes.

Molly started the car just as her phone beeped with a text. It was from Kendra. “Tried calling u. On a case, got poohed on by a damn bird. Not happy :(“

Molly laughed but she would have to respond later as she needed to make nice with Eli. And make nice she would, she smiled as she took off to the hotel.

Eli was pacing the floor when she entered the room. He couldn’t help it, he was a pacer. Didn’t she get it? He was worried about her. Despite the fact they tried to find out information about the Lieber’s, they still knew very little. He had called Kendra and asked if she could do a background check on each member of the family. He tried Nick first but he still hadn’t been able to reach him.

“Eli,” Molly started, she looked sorry, but he cut her off from any apology.

“I really don’t want to hear I’m sorry, right now.” He began, calm as can be. “There’s a reason why I asked you to call me.”

“Eli, I’m not a child.”

Eli turned to look at her, his voice raising slightly, “do you honestly think I don’t know that?”

“Well you’re treating me like one.” She responded. Her face flushing with a touch of anger.

“I don’t mean to, but really is it any wonder? On that last case we worked, both you and Kendra had run roughshod all over it until Nick and I stepped in. Even then we still had keep an eye on you both.” He scolded.

Molly stood-up straighter, placing her hands on her hips, “fuck-you Eli.”

“Molly, I just don’t want you to get hurt. You know nothing about these people. They could be dangerous. Did you even think to run a background check?” He asked. Now he was pissed, he could feel that vain in his forehead pop out and throb. Clearly Molly noticed it too, because she was staring right at it.

“Admittingly, no I didn’t. I should have, because I normally do. I guess I was a little preoccupied about getting a bit of a break from home.” She answered.

“I don’t think that’s a good reason.”

“I said it was a reason, I never said it was a good one. And when I got here, I sort of got distracted.”

“By what?”

“By you!”

Eli dropped his hands to his sides, “I know, I just showed up without warning. I wasn’t exactly expecting to see you either.”

“Can we skip all this, and get to why I didn’t call?” He nodded. “I wasn’t in my

car when you called me, and before that, I forgot. It had nothing to do with rebelling, I just forgot.”

“Why were you out of your car?”

Molly sucked in a breath. “I checked through the binoculars at four and noticed that clinic was closed, which was totally weird since on Friday’s they close at five, but the lights on the second floor were all on, and there was like hardly none on the main floor. So I got out of the car and walked to the house and when I stepped into the bush, I stepped on to a cat and that cat went RRRERRRRROOOWWW,” she made a cat sound. “Then the light in the room right above my head went on and I ducked and started to pray to all the higher-beings, except for that Muslim dude, because frankly there wasn’t any room to bend over, ’cause the light was still on and then the side door opened and a tall, skinny dude who looked like he missed a few meals, and then it turned out to be the other brother, Jonathan Lieber, and he came out to rescue the cat I stepped on. And I figured that Uncle Fester must eat all the damn food because Lurch is so damn skinny because he’s like some super under-fed crazy-assed doctor. And all the siblings live together, which is a tad creepy.” She took a few breaths as she came to a halt.

Eli blinked a couple of times. Man, could this girl ramble, he thought. Molly began to open her mouth for round two, and Eli grabbed her and sealed her mouth shut with his own.

Molly felt her toes curl inside her running shoes, once the realization that Eli’s lips were touching hers. His mouth was warm and moist, and he tasted of coffee. His hands were plunged in his hair and it was sending tingles up her spine and making the hair on the base of her neck stand up. Eli’s hands and lips were sensational. Making her feel things that she hadn’t felt in a long time. Molly could feel his hands pushing the elastic out of her pony tail and the fine silken strands hit her neck, and she shivered again.

He smelled so good. Warm, with a hint of soap. She allowed him deeper into her mouth, her tongue tangoing with his. Molly moved her hands up to the back of his neck, and into his hair. For a man whose hair stuck up as much as his did, Eli had really soft hair.

Slowly she felt him pull back, a strange moan, which sounded like a whine, escaped her. His arms were still locked behind her back, holding Molly against him. “I think we need to talk,” Eli paused, “slowly before we do anything stupid.”

“Oh lets just get stupid,” responded Molly.

Molly felt her body leave the floor as Eli scooped her up off her feet. She managed to kick off her running shoes, and he sat her gently down on the bed. Their eyes bored into one another’s, and Molly could see the heat in his eyes. There was a hunger for her and it turned her on. She could feel the dampness in her panties. Not taking her eyes

off him, Eli worked the buttons through the holes of his blue dress shirt, and then tugged it down his arms. He had great arms. Molly’s mouth moistened, and she leaned forward and sucked the skin just below his navel. Eli tasted good. Salty and manly. His hands plunged into her hair again, and she found her hands slipping up his chest. Enjoying the texture of his hair slip through her fingers.

Eli gently tugged on her hair, and made her look up at him. She reached the bottom of her fuzzy sweater, no longer enjoying the feel of the sweater compared to Eli, and pulled it over her head. Molly worked to get Eli’s belt undone, and then worked on the fly of his black dress pants. To her surprise, he sprung out in front of her. His cock happy to be free. He was commando, and that turned her on. His pants fell to his feet and he stepped away just for a second to step out of his pant legs and to remove his socks. While he was down there, he removed her socks as well.

The feeling of him removing her socks shouldn’t be a huge turn on, but she was. Molly leaned back on the bad, as Eli moved up her body, kissing her belly button, and then up her torso, to her breasts. He took each nipple into his mouth and sucked on them through the lace material of her white bra, as his hand undid the button on her jeans.

“You are incredible Molls.” He said against her breast. She would never hear her nickname the same way again.

He made love to her breasts, one hand sliding the zipper down on her jeans and the other working the clasp in the front of her bra. The feel of his mouth on her skin felt warm, and wonderful. Eli sat up and tugged her jeans down her long legs, revealing her matching lace thong. He ran his hands up her legs, kissing her behind her knee, then up her thigh.

“Eli, I want you so bad.”

“I want you too.” He stood up and walked over to his suitcase, and dug through a pouch, and came up with a foil package. As he walked toward her, he ripped the package open with his teeth. That simple gesture made her feel wetter between her thighs. She leaned down on her back, and raised her hips as she worked her panties down her thighs and legs.

In no time, Eli was up and over her body. His lips mashing with hers, as he used his legs to widen hers. Eli moved his lips to the sensitive spot between her neck and shoulder. He moved his hands between her legs and readied her for him to enter. Slowly, he moved his large, thick penis inside of her. Molly gasped, and he stopped to wait for her to adjust to his size. She raised her hips to bring him in deeper once she was ready for him. Slowly, Eli and Molly moved their bodies together. She could feel the wave of her orgasm beginning and she rotated her hips to make him come right along with her. He moved his tempo, and started to grind in deeper and faster into her. His breath became hurried and so did hers. Molly’s hands clasped his shoulders, and she looked up briefly before throwing her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes. Their bodies were slick with light sweat and they both orgasmed at the same time. Eli’s breath was in time with

hers. She felt him collapse on top of her. Molly loved the feel of the weight of Eli’s body on top of hers.

The power had flickered then gone out sometime during their antics in bed. Neither of them noticed. Now they were happily entangled in the sheets, arms wrapped around each other. The snow was coming down outside and the wind blowing around, was the only sound.

Eli ran his hand gently up and down Molly’s smooth back. Her head resting over his heart. He had never experienced sex like that before. With Molly it was incredible, the best he’s ever had.

Molly lifted her face, resting her chin on his chest, “where did all those pillows go?”

He wasn’t expecting to hear that, but with Molly, she never said what he expected her to. “The wall came down, one pillow at a time.”

She made a funny face, “that’s the second time in my life I’ve missed the damn wall coming down.”

Eli chuckled, as did Molly, “yeah and I’d say this one was a really important one, too.”

“It certainly was,” she responded, her voice all husky. Molly leaned her head down and kissed Eli’s chest, right in the middle. “You are one amazing specimen Eli Savidis.”

“You are one amazing speci-woman yourself.” He kissed the top of her head.

Eli was ready for round two, until Molly got up. Naked, and Eli forgot everything. She reached for his shirt off the foot of the bed and slipped it on. Even though Molly was now covered, he still was lucky if he could remember his own name. Never did he ever think that Molly could look sexier in clothes, but she did in his shirt. A few buttons closed up the front, the hem brushing the backs of her thighs, and her hair all mused from the sex they just had.

She stood in front of the window, watching the snow come down steadily. Eli got up, not caring that he was naked, and stood behind her. He wrapped his arms around her middle and rested his head on her shoulder.

“You my lovely, should never wear clothes again.” Eli gently caressed her tummy through the cotton of his shirt.

“I really wanted to see the snow. It’s the first snow fall of the season.” She tilted her head up, and kissed him on the chin.

“Baby, nobody is out there in this weather. That’s all beach. One, very, cold, beach.” Eli pressed his lips to hers. Keeping her occupied as he undid the buttons.

It was working to, because she raised her hands to his head. His chest pressed into her back, as their mouths mated. After successfully undoing his shirt, he cupped her naked breasts in his hands and pressed his palms into her softness.

Molly laughed as they kissed, then she pulled her lips away, “wasn’t that a sly move?”

He smiled, “wasn’t it though?” He removed his hands then gently with his one hand, moved her face to look at the window. “Watch yourself.”

“Eli, I…”

“Yes you can, because I want you to see yourself the way I see you.” Eli slipped his shirt from her body.

Molly couldn’t believe how bold she was being. She couldn’t believe that she was standing in front of the window, buck naked. She trusted Eli completely. She felt Eli cup her breasts again, and her gaze met her reflection in the window. He squeezed them and then rolled each of her nipples between his thumb and fore-finger. Pinching and adding just the amount of pressure. Watching herself added to the sexual tension in her body. She could feel her breathing quicken, and knew she was slick and ready for him. Eli was hard and pressing into her backside. She didn’t want to come without him, but he was going to make her. He kept one hand on her breasts, and the other slid down her body slowly, and he slipped his finger between her folds. She was done for.

Chapter 8:

Laying on the floor, all cuddled together on all their discarded clothes, was the best way to wake-up ever and with the morning light coming up, just made Eli realize how much Molly meant to him, and how much keeping her safe was important. He felt a connection to her that went beyond sex.

She stirred against him, and he wondered if her neck was going to hurt since she fell asleep using his arm as a pillow. Eli gently shook her awake, and with a happy moan, Molly opened her blue eyes.

“Morning sexy,” he smiled down at her, his voice a bit gravelly.

Molly returned his smile with one of her own, “good morning to you too.” She rolled off his arm, “owe.”

“Little kink?”

She raised an eyebrow at him then laughed, “just a bit.”

Eli sat up and angled Molly so her naked back was to him. Placing his hands on her shoulders, he began to knead her flesh and roll the tension from sleeping out of her stiff muscles. “After our little disagreement last night, I was thinking.”

“When did you have time to think last night?” Molly asked between moans of pleasure from her massage.

“While you were babbling actually, right before I kissed you.”

“Fair enough, what were you thinking?”

Eli kept massaging her neck, “it’s not fair that only you have to check in with me, and I was being unreasonable.”

She nodded, “go on. I’m starting to like this conversation.”

He chuckled, “how about I check in with you, and then two hours later you check in with me, and then so-on?”

“A compromise I can deal with.” Molly turned to face him, “I have a request of my own.”

“Shoot,” he smiled as he brushed a strand of her hair out of her eyes.

“If we can’t get a hold of each other right away, we leave a message. And the moment that person checks their messages, we have to call the other one back. If I’m talking to the Lieber’s, I really don’t want to stop to give you a status update on my case

in front of them.” Molly tugged on his shirt, that he had used as a pillow.

Eli watched her, tightened his lips together and responded. “OK fine that works. Why are you dressing?”

Molly had a great smile, it just lit up her eyes and her porcelain complexion got a rosey glow, “I’m actually really cold.”

“Fair enough.” Eli stood up, “hot shower with yours truly Miss Sexy-thing?” He held his hand out for her to grab. She nodded and placed her hand in his and he pulled her to her feet.

God, she felt like skipping but there was no way that was going to happen despite how happy she was. Her body ached in places she hadn’t realized existed. Maybe she should buy the Wii fit for her Wii unit, maybe that will help her out with those strange muscles she didn’t realized she had. Four times in less than fifteen hours had made it all worth it. Life was great.

She was all smiles as she felt the snow crunch beneath her boots as she walked to her car. The shower this morning was great. Who knew that someone else controlling the shower head could be such wicked awesome fun.

Molly plugged in her Taylor Swift CD into her car’s stereo system and turned it up loud. She started to sing along then stopped as she realized that she couldn’t just walk into the walk-in clinic, as ironic as that was.

She would figure something out. On her drive over, Molly felt her stomach rumble and realized that she hadn’t had breakfast yet. Luckily she was approaching a little bakery which was perfect as she was craving a ham and cheese scone to go with her large coffee with double milk. As she got out of the car, Molly nearly caught her finger in the door. “Crap!” She exclaimed. Within seconds Molly’s brain came up with the perfect excuse to go to the walk-in.

It was going to take some working up to do, but she would do it to get inside that clinic, legitimately. Kendra was smart enough to include stupid and clumsy type accidents into her medical file, so this wouldn’t surprise the doctor at all. Molly chowed down on her scone and drank her coffee. The idea of slipping a little Bailies in there for some liquid courage held some appeal as she finished the last gulp. Too late.

Molly tossed her purse on to the passenger side seat, put her gloves on and her winter hat into her mouth to bite down on. She grabbed on to the car door and closed her eyes, and slammed it shut on her finger. Except she missed. Molly did it the second time and didn’t miss.

“Holy-mother-blubber-gabbin-flov-nerd-fucking-Sponge Bob-fucking-Square

Pants-Crap-in-a-bloody-friggin’-hats-oid!!” She paused and forced a smile as a young mother walking her son to school strolled by. Once she was gone, “son-of-a-bitch-fucker-shit-eater!”

That so didn’t feel good at all, and if anybody ever accused her of not pulling her weight in the business, she was going to make sure they knew about her slamming her finger in the car door in the name of a case, and then they could bite her. She climbed into the car, choking back tears and called her office. “Hail’s it’s me.”

“You sound like you’re crying. Who do I have to kill?” Hailey responded.

“Me. I did it to myself.”

“Ah-what?”

“I slammed my finger in the car door on purpose.” Molly cried. She felt like an idiot.

“OK, but why?” Hailey asked.

“I needed an excuse to go to the Walk-in clinic.” She explained. “I can’t just walk in without a reason.”

“Well there’s irony for ya.” Hailey laughed, “why didn’t you just say you think you have herpes or feminine itching?”

“Because we’re saving that for Nick.”

“What? Feminine itching?”

“No, Auhg!” She was frustrated by her sister. “Are you sniffing glue?”

“Shut up and no.” Hailey responded.

“Seriously now, how are things at the office?” Molly inquired.

“Running smoothly.”

“Great,” she responded. “Has Kendra killed Chewbacca yet?”

“Nope, because he is sitting next to me on my left and Hardy is on my right.” Hailey answered.

“Even better. Listen, I’m at the clinic now.” Molly said as she parked her car. “I might be longer here in Kennebunkport, could you call the hotel and extend my stay for three more days?”

“Um,” Hailey was rummaging through her desk. Molly could hear it over the receiver. “Sure thing. I’ll call you after I talk to the hotel. I’ll try to keep you in the same room.”

Molly walked up the front porch, “son of a bitch!”

“What’s wrong?” Hailey asked.

“The clinic is closed today. It’s suppose to be open on Saturdays.”

Hailey choked back a laugh, “so you slammed your finger in the car door for no reason.”

“I’m hanging up now.” Molly stated as she hung up. Molly knocked on the door anyways. No answer. “Perfect,” she said to herself.

Molly walked across the drive way to the back of the house. Near the detached car port, there were trash cans which had been emptied last night, but now were full. The bags were the clear blue ones used for recycling, and there were two of them, filled with paper. Not shredded. Looking up she saw a black cable running from just over the car port to the Lieber’s house. Molly took the two clear blue recycling bags with her and followed the cable to the neighbour’s house. The house looked like it was shut up tight for the winter. The cable was connected to a phone jack covered in a plastic protective covering. Connected to the phone jack, was an Internet connection.

The Lieber’s were stealing the Internet from their neighbours. She could have sworn that there were no computers in that house. Not wanting to get caught, she quickly clicked a few pictures with her cell phone and took the papers in the bags and made a mad dash for her car, careful not to slip and hurt herself.

Eli sat at his computer as he talked on the phone to various people, including the police, Ms. Anderson, and George Hollingsworth. Trying to piece together some clues about the disappearance of George’s mother. He even talked to her physician.

He just hung up his cell phone when molly burst through the door, carrying two large blue recycling bags full of paper. He wasn’t going to ask. “Hey Molls.” Eli said as he stood up.

“Hey sweetie,” she gave him a quick kiss. “I have scored big time.”

Eli smiled and gave his best modesty look, “yeah I know. I did too.”

“No not you, I meant with my case.” She tossed the bags on the floor and then turned to see him pretending he was wounded. “I went to the clinic today because I purposely slammed my finger in the car door.”

“Why?”

“Because I couldn’t just walk-in with nothing wrong with me, now could I?”

Her logic often confused him, but he also found it refreshing. “Guess not.”

“Anyways, the clinic was closed and nobody was there.” She paused and Eli just stared at her, waiting for her to go on one of her no-air rants, but she didn’t. “I walked to the back of the house and spotted these,” she pointed to the bags on the floor. “Now they could be nothing, but I’m hoping there’s at least something to indicate Insurance Freud. It’s a start, anyways.”

“Yes it is. You going to sift through all of that?” Eli wondered.

“Hopefully. I have more,” and Molly proceeded to tell him about the Internet cable. He questioned whether or not she was positive. “I am. It’s an old school hook-up, but I’ve seen that kind before. The Lieber’s are stealing the neighbour’s connection.”

“How can they steal if the neighbour’s aren’t there?”

“They have a phone line and it’s hooked in through that. Most people don’t turn their phones off because it’s a pain in the ass.” Molly explained.

“Alright, good lead.” Eli admitted. “I have one of my own. Nick retrieved footage from an ATM camera of the person who is siphoning money from Mrs. Hollingsworth’s account. It’s so grainy that I can’t make anything out. I’ve been at it for a long time.”

“I’m no CSI or anything, but I know something about computers, maybe I’ll give it a try.”

“It seems like a lost cause, so we’ll try that after if I can’t get anything else to fit together. How’s that for a plan?”

“Sounds good.”

“Besides, I have a huge amount of PDF files to go through from the bank. How about when we’re both ready for a break, we’ll order a pizza?” Molly nodded at his suggestion.

An hour passed by and his eyes felt like the game Boggle. Just as if someone took his head and shook it repeatedly. Eli leaned back on the uncomfortable wooden chair and pinched the bridge of his nose, then looked down at Molly spread out all over the floor.

She was surrounded by piles of papers. She had a system going on, but Eli hadn’t a clue what the system was. The look on her face as she worked made him smile. Molly’s eyes were creased together in concentration and she chewed on a pen lid attached to the end of the pen she was using. Aside from neat little piles, there was a heap of untouched

papers. And one of those papers caught his eye.

Eli bent over and snatched it up. An insurance form for Evis Hollingsworth, “ah, Molls?”

“Huh?”

He looked at her and held up the paper, “have you by chance come across any papers with the name Evis Hollingsworth?”

Pulling the pen from her mouth, “I don’t think so.” Ducking her head she scanned her piles and grabbed a pile after locating what she wanted. She shifted through the papers, then her head snapped up. “Yeah, right here.”

Eli got up and met her mid way as she leaned up, then took paper from her. His eyes scanned it, it was another part of the insurance form. With the the page number on the bottom indicating it was page three of sixteen. “There has to be more in here.”

“I’m sure there is Eli, but I haven’t found any more.”

He was starting to get a bit frantic. He read through the two pages he had and started to sweat. Mrs. Hollingsworth’s claims were quite frequent and the page he had found on his own, was fairly recent.

“Well?” Molly asked.

He held up the sheet, “this one, lists a claim put in, five weeks ago.”

“Oh my God.” Molly quietly spoke. “Then where is she?”

Eli blinked a few times, “I haven’t a clue.”

Chapter 9:

Nick rubbed his hands together preparing to pick up the two weights in front of him. His brother-in-law, Tony, was beside him on the left and his step-brother, Aaron, was in front of him, at the gym. He was in Boston, again, trying to visit with his family. Every time he tried to spend some quality time with them, he would get called to action by his former partner. Nick never actually believed that Eli would need help with anything, unless it’s the whole no longer having access to the Police network. He was beginning to think Eli was getting lazy. Boston was much colder than he anticipated, it even felt colder than Maine.

He was just about to pick up the two dumbbells when his cell phone buzzed. Looking down, he noticed it was Eric. Figuring his partner wouldn’t give up until he got a hold of Nick, he figured he should just answer it and get it out of the way. “Eli, what’s up?” He was slightly annoyed.

“Got a minute?”

“Ah, well not…”

“Good.”

“Really…”

“I need you to do me a favour.” Eli talked over Nick.

“…at the gym.” He managed to finish through gritted teeth.

“Nobody really cares Nicky. I need you to stop and write down these numbers.”

“You can read off all the numbers you like, but I am no where near a pad of paper or a pen at the moment, so good luck to you.” Nick responded.

“Nick you know I wouldn’t ask if I had other options.” Eli pleaded.

“For starters, this is your case, not mine. I know that you are more than capable in your investigation skills, and I wish you would leave me out of it.” Nick paused, “and Kendra’s available to help you, or you can do something totally unimaginable, do it yourself.”

“I tried Kendra first. I can’t get a hold of her.”

“Fine, but I’m hanging up now, and I will call you back the moment I can located a pen and paper.” Nick stated before disconnecting the call. He let out an irritated huff and headed towards the locker room.

“Hey, where are you going?” Tony called to him.

“I’ve got work to do. Carry on in your work out, I’ll be at the juice bar.” Nick kept on walking.

He rummaged through his gym bag and managed to find a pen, but nothing to write on. He headed to the juice bar for a protein shake and a pile of napkins to write on. He sat down with his papaya smoothie and called Eli back. After jotting down the insurance claim numbers and the name of the broker, Nick realized that he was headed back to Maine. Something in his gut told him that was a good idea.

Eli gave Molly a quick kiss as she was leaving to do some work on the history house where the Lieber’s walk-in clinic was. She wasn’t gone for more than five minutes when there was a knock at the door. He opened it expecting to see Molly but instead it was the police.

“Mr. Savidis,” the young detective began, “we found your missing person.”

“Why do I have a feeling that this isn’t good news?” Eli studied both the younger detective, whose face gave away everything, and the older detective’s whose face gave away nothing.

The older detective stepped forward, “a jogger found her body on the beach this morning around seven.”

“Any other details you can give me?”

“Right now all we know is she has been dead for approximately thirty-six hours. There were ligature marks on her wrists, ankles and even around the neck. No cause of death has been determined yet.” The older detective whose name was Wayne Scott. “You’re welcome to come down to the station to help us out.”

Eli grabbed his coat, and headed out the door. “If your guys go to her house, you will find my prints because her son gave me a key.”

“We know and we’re not all that worried. Your prints would be in the system since you were a cop.”

He went with the detective’s back to the station and together they went over the evidence collected by Eli and the evidence collected from the scene of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s body dump. There was a discussion about who should alert the next of kin, which was Eli’s client. After a twenty minute, loud discussion about the matter, they all settled on a compromise. Eli and the two Detective’s would go to alert George Hollingsworth. There was also the compromise of not alerting the media. They wanted to keep the news of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s death from the media. Eli would have to wait and see if the police department obliged.

Now he found himself in a car with Detective Scott and the younger one, named Michael Brentwood. He never would remember either of their names. He wasn’t in the mood to be nice to them after how many times George Hollingsworth tried to get their help, and now the man’s mother was dead. He was doing the one job that he hated the most as a detective. Notifying the next of kin. He hated to do it, he hated it because he always had to watch the body language of the family members in case some might be suspects. It truly was the worst job ever.

It was mid-afternoon when they pulled-up to Eli’s clients house. There was a brisk coldness to the day, which matched the mood. Eli couldn’t remember it being so cold in November.

He pushed his finger into the door bell and waited. It felt like an eternity before George opened the door. This notification was worse. He now knew the person affected by this, personally. Maybe a downfall of being a private investigator. This one was probably the worst of his career thus far.

The moment George opened the door, Eli noticed that George knew by the look of the two detective’s standing behind him.

“I’m detective Scott and this is my partner detective Brentwood.” Scott held out his badge.

Ignoring the two detective’s, and Eli couldn’t blame him, George turned to him. “You found her, didn’t you?”

“George,” he began in his cop tone, but deciding to quickly drop it. “May we come in?” His client stepped aside and allowed Eli and the two detective’s inside. “Thank-you.”

“I don’t know why I’m even bothering. I can tell by the looks on your faces that you didn’t find her alive.” George said. His expression hardened in order to mask the pain. “How?”

Eli took George Hollingsworth’s expression for a touch of relief for at least knowing where she is. “Can I talk to you, alone?” They walked into the living room, leaving the detective’s behind. “George, your mother’s death wasn’t natural causes.”

“What are you saying?”

He took a deep breath, and just blurted it out, much like just ripping off a band-aid. “She was murdered.”

George’s head which was looking at the floor snapped up. Eli watched very closely, and his client started to shake his head slowly, “no. No that’s not possible. My

mother is, I mean was a good person. Nobody would hurt her, she was harmless.”

“Even so George, unfortunately, this happens. And this time it happened to your mother. I believe it’s the same person who has been stealing her money too.” Eli explained.

His client was visibly upset, his hands were shaking, but he was listening carefully to Eli. “how did this monster kill her?”

“Now I really don’t think you want to know, and besides we don’t exactly know yet.” Eli suggested, knowing he was going to have to tell him what he did know.

“Eli please be straight with me. I need to know what you do know.” George insisted.

“Officially like I said, we don’t know. The autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.” Eli stopped, waiting to see if that was enough. It wasn’t. “She was found on a beach by a jogger early this morning.”

“Go on.”

“She was partially dressed, and had severe antemortem bruising on her wrists, ankles and neck.”

“Meaning?” George questioned.

“Meaning,” he paused trying to find a way to sugar coat it, but there was no way to do so. “Meaning, she was being restrained for sometime.”

George sniffed back his emotion. “They kept her alive to steal from her, am I correct in assuming that?” Eli nodded. “How long has she been…been gone?”

Eli couldn’t blame him for not being about to say dead. “Your mother died sometime around Friday evening.”

Thankfully, George didn’t ask anymore questions. He had heard enough, then politely asked Eli to find whoever did this to his mother and offered to pay him ten-thousand more dollars on top of the original amount. Eli declined the money but said he still wasn’t finished with the case and that finding the person or persons responsible is still part of the original case.

On the way back to Kennebunkport, Eli called Nick. Since there was no answer, he left a quick message on his voice mail telling Nick to keep looking but kept the fact that she was found from his former partner.

Molly had found more documents on Mrs. Hollingsworth. A claim that was put in

by Dr. Jonathan Lieber, for a hip replacement. Knowing that Eli had been in contact with her regular physician, Molly checked his notes for the phone number and called him to confirm the bad hip. When she talked to the doctor, he said to her that there was never anything wrong with her hips, and that there was no need for a hip replacement.

She then ordered Chinese for delivery, then sat back with a stack of pages belonging to Eli’s client’s mother. There weren’t more outrageous claims other than the hip replacement. But some of the dates of certain claims failed to add up. As she was writing down dates on a note pad, Eli walked in the door. He looked tired and his beard was coming in thick, despite the really close shave he gave it earlier.

“Hey Hun, didn’t you say Mrs. Hollingsworth’s son said she barely went to the walk-in clinic?”

“Um, yeah,” he said slowly not sure what she was getting at. “Hello to you too.” He kissed her. Lingering long.

She was glad it wasn’t a quick one like this mornings. He was escaping something but at this moment all she wanted was Eli. He pulled back slowly and rested his forehead on hers. Eyes closed. “Are you alright?” She asked, but he gently shook his head back and forth, still attached her hers. “I ordered Chinese.”

Eli took a deep breath and sat back on the bed, “thanks, that actually sounds really good right now.”

“Wanna talk about it?” Molly asked as she put the papers beside her on the bed.

“Um…” He paused for a real long time. “I don’t think it was such a big deal. I think I am just pooped. I’m basically having a hard time adjusting to not being a cop. I keep thinking that cases that are this simple should take less time but clearly that’s not the case when you have to basically watch every little thing you do as to not break the law.”

“Or get caught.” Molly added.

Eli smiled and shook his head, “that too. I guess I just miss having the endless resources.”

“You just need to learn to make your own resources.”

Eli was quiet for a while. He took his shoes and socks off and then climbed up beside her on the bed. “How long until the food gets here?”

“Not enough time for whatever you’re thinking.” Molly teased.

“What?”

“I know that look Eli Savidis.” And no sooner did she say that did he put his hand

between her legs, and no sooner did he try to go for the promise land was there a knock on the door. “That would be dinner. See I told you.”

“Good, because I can think of something other than a stupid fortune cookie to open after I chow down on this meal.”

“Ew, but fine by me.” Molly laughed.

She didn’t buy for one second that he was tired. There was something bothering him that he wasn’t telling her. Sooner or later she would find out but if he wasn’t ready to tell her, then she wasn’t going to force the issue. They ate their Chinese take-out in comfortable silence as they watched the news. The start of every news story had Eli holding his breath, but then he would let it out. Molly knew there was something that could be on there that he was waiting for.

“What are you waiting for them to report?”

“What do you mean?” Eli asked as he shoved an egg roll into his mouth.

“You keep holding your breath at the start of every story and then let it out in relief when it starts. So what’s up?”

Eli chewed quickly then swallowed. “I think someone at the police department leaked information to the media about the funds being siphoned out of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s account.”

He was lying. “Oh, alright then. That’s not really news worthy is it?”

“It is if they think it is linked to bigger fish.”

“True I suppose.”

They fell silent and finished eating their meal. Molly was about to open up her fortune cookie when Eli grabbed it out of her hand and tossed it over his shoulder. Thankfully it was still in it’s plastic package. “Your fortune Miss Westin is that you are going to get lucky this evening. And your lucky number is sixty-nine.”

“Worst fortune ever.” She laughed. “Had to pick the cheesiest number in the entire sexual world.”

“Trust me sweetheart, you won’t be laughing.” He kissed her behind her ear as he worked the buttons on her blouse. She worked at his shirt, pulling it from the waist band of his slacks.

In not time they were naked, and Eli was on top. So far the fortune wasn’t a bad one.

“One thing I want to say,” Eli stopped to say, “I think that we should never be alone on our investigations. I am not sure what you’re dealing with, and I sure as hell don’t know what I’m dealing with.”

“Um, alright but…”

“No buts right now Molls, I just need you to promise me.”

“I promise Eli.”

“Great.” Eli kissed her hard on the mouth. His tongue entering hers and possessing her like he was afraid of losing her.

If he was going to play rough, so was she. Molly hooked him and rolled him to his back. She landed on top of him. He may need to be in control right now for whatever reason that was obviously bothering him, but Molly figured that if she took control away, then he would could just forget. Because she was going to rock his world.

Chapter 10:

After making love all night long to hopefully keep Molly from asking questions, Eli was so tired. He didn’t feel much like working today and talked Molly into taking a break in the afternoon. So while she worked all morning at trying to find out more information, he napped and watched bad talk shows.

All Molly said that she was doing was going to the library to look at newspaper clippings and then coming right home. He figured that he could skip being out with her as long as she promised to check in with him regularly and if anything strange happens.

He rolled over and opened his eyes, realizing he mus have fallen asleep, to find Molly sitting next to him. Just watching him.

“Creeper.” He joked. She laughed. “How was your research?”

“Dreadful. How was your nap?”

“Lonely.” Eli grabbed her around the waist and pulled her deeper into the middle of the bed. She laughed and squealed in delight. “I was thinking,” he began once he had her pinned beneath his body. “That maybe we should go to the Lighthouse restaurant for dinner tonight, what do you think?”

“I’m thinking, that’s great, but why leave the room?” Molly wiggled her hips. He was starting to like her idea much better than his, and so did the raging hard-on in his jeans.

“No, seriously.”

“Um, I like. They have great lobster there.” Molly answered.

Eli leaned down and kissed her. Lingering long enough, but not over doing it or else they would never leave the room. “Even this time of year?”

“Especially this time of year.”

“Alright then. I guess I should change into something dressier.” Eli rolled off of her, then held his hand out for her to grab.

“Me too, only I’m not sure I have anything suitable.” Her brow’s creased and her mouth went crooked as she tried to recall what was in the closet.

“I found something, it’s on the back of the door.” Eli informed her.

“Wow, confident much?” Molly walked into the bathroom. She would find a garment bag on the hook with a dress he had sent over from a local shop. “Oh my God! Eli!!”

“Shit, you hate it?” He said as he walked into the bathroom. Only clearly she didn’t hate it, she loved it. “Nevermind.”

“This is so beautiful.” She held up the long, elegant satin bronze coloured dressed. “How did you know my size?”

“I’ve seen you naked, trust me I know your size.” Eli smiled.

Molly put her hand on Eli and pushed him out the door, “get out so I can get ready.” Then the door was closed in his face.

Shrugging, he walked over to a nice suit he had in the closet and proceeded to get dressed. He was tucking in his dark blue dress shirt into his black trousers when the door opened. Standing before him like an angel, was the devil in disguise who could do wonders in bed. The dress hung on her slight curves perfectly. The dress gave her amazing cleavage making her breasts, which were already a good size, look even more voluptuous. The strapless dress hit her mid-calf, with a slit up the left leg, and the bronze coloured satin shimmered in the light. She looked amazing. Molly swept her hair into an elegant side pony tail at the base of her neck, and curled it into ringlets. Her make-up matched, making her look like a sexy bronzed statue.

“Wow.”

Molly walked over to him and finished tucking his shirt in for him, then straightened his tie. “I was taught that I can look great in ten minutes. A skill that I thought was useless but has actually come in handy tonight.”

“Who taught you that?” Eli asked.

“Kendra.”

“Remind me to have Nick kiss her thanks for me.” Eli slid his arms around her waist and pulled her close. He stared into her blue eyes for a bit, then decided if they wanted to eat, then he better knock it off. “We better go.”

Eli helped her into her coat and then they left the room and headed to the car. Eli made her wait while he pulled up in front so that she wouldn’t get too cold.

Molly hadn’t been to the Lighthouse Restaurant in many years. Last time she was there Kendra’s ex-boyfriend, Matt, took her and her then boyfriend, Michael, there for his and Ken’s anniversary. Oddly it was an anniversary that Molly had no clue what for. She was sure she didn’t want to know. It’s sometimes safer that way.

The white twinkle lights decorated the entrance of the small restaurant which looked over the Atlantic ocean. The floors were a dark wood, and creaked in places.

Elegant piano music played in the background and the tables were lit by floating candles in a shallow dish. There were tiny starfish in the water underneath the candles. The light was dim, but bright as well. Shadows weren’t quite casted on the walls, but they were on the floor.

The waiter held out her chair for her as Eli seated himself across from her. They were in a secluded corner and it baffled her on how Eli could snag such a table.

He reached across the table and took her hand, while he ordered champagne. Molly didn’t have the heart to tell him that she wasn’t much into it but she would drink it tonight. He was working so hard at making the night romantic.

Within seconds his expression changed, from the smile in his eyes, quickly turned to dread. A moment passed when she understood why. A tall, very muscular guy with short, light brown hair, dressed in what had to be top of the line Armani stood next to their table, with a busty blonde with dark roots, who was either Hooter’s waitress or a stripper. Molly wasn’t sure. Kendra would know. She could pick out a hooker or a stripper or Hooter’s chick from a mile away. It was a gift.

“Eli, little brother, what the hell are you doing here?” The guy greeted with his giant grin. Mouth full of white teeth.

“Eating dinner.” Eli responded surly.

The big guy let out a huge belt of laughter, then looked at her. He was checking out her cleavage. Molly crossed her arms and rested her hands under her chin in an attempt to shield her boobs from this ass-clown’s eyes. “Who do we have here? My brother, couldn’t possibly be dating such a hottie.”

“Eddie, this is my friend Molly. Molly this is my older, annoying brother Eddie.” Eli introduced reluctantly.

“Molly, eh?” Eddie smiled. “Very nice to meet you.”

“Same.” Molly responded.

Eddie was a tall guy. His muscular frame was bulging from under his dress jacket. His hair was trimmed in a stylish way, but on any other guy, this would be sexy. On this guy is screamed slime ball.

“Molly and baby brother Eli, this is my wife, Denise.”

“Wife?” Eli gasped. “When the hell did you get married?”

Eddie kept his hand on what was likely his wife’s ass as he spoke. “We got married last week actually.”

Molly watched Eli closely. He was clenching his teeth, and that vain popped out on his forehead again. It seemed to actually get bigger when his brother and new sister-in-law pulled up two chairs and unceremoniously joined them.

Denise’s breasts were in more danger of spilling over her tight black, tube dress than Molly was of hers. She had the roots which belonged to what Kendra would refer to as “trailer park blonde”, and she had a tattoo on her ankle of snake. Classy, Molly thought. The woman didn’t fit in this restaurant at all, and was really surprised that she didn’t get tossed out on her lycra ass.

“So I met Denise here, a month ago in Florida. She and her son lived down there and I saw her and it was instant love.”

“Hmmm, I see.” Eli nodded than shared a look with Molly. “What is that you do for a living Denise?”

“I’m a dancer.” She said flipping her long, ass-bound, fake blonde hair over her shoulder. “I worked at the Classy Moon Lounge in Fort Lauderdale for the last ten years.”

Eli nearly spit out his water, which he had just taken a drink of. “Ah…”

“Nice. Must be hard work.” Molly intercepted.

“Oh it is. Y’all should see me dance when I find a new job here.” Denise chomped away on what was likely gum.

“She’s a firecracker this one.” Eli said sarcastically. Molly kicked him under the table.

Eddie smiled and nodded instead of listening to the undertones of the conversation. “Anyways, Elliott, dad and Eric are coming in tomorrow for lunch. The two of you have to join us. It’ll be a great little family gathering.”

“Elliott?” Molly questioned.

“Yes I have a full name.” Eli responded.

“I like it a lot.” She smiled at him.

Eli smiled back, he was thankful for her having his back. “Thank-you for the invite Eddie but Molly and I are here on business and it’s just not possible to get away.”

“Well if you change your mind,” and Eddie scribbled directions with a fountain pen on the restaurant’s cloth napkin. “We are off to dine alone. Happy romance you two.”

After the gruesome twosome left, Eli’s head collapsed into his hands. “Well, all

that was missing was a wink, the fingers doing that gun thing, and a the noise that goes along with it.”

Eli started to laugh, “thanks for making me laugh. I’m sorry you had to endure that. I try to maintain a safe distance between my family and the women I would hope have potential.”

Molly smiled. She tried to get him to open up more about why his family seems to embarrass him but all he kept saying back was, “were you not just here?” So she left it. For now. The curiosity was getting to her about his father. What we he like? How could he have one son as great as Eli and have another as slimy as Eddie. And what was Eric like?

“My brother, the investment banker. The one, that aside from me, supposedly has his head on straight, married a stripper. How old was that thing?” Eli whispered to her, leaning in close.

“She was about thirty in this light, but I look fifteen so there. I’d say she’s probably about fifty, may be a bit younger.”

“Was she nasty or was it just me?”

“No, she was nasty.” Molly agreed. “She bred.”

“What?”

“Someone actually helped that woman breed. Did you miss that part about her having a son?”

Eli slapped his hand to the side of his cheek, “how the hell did I miss that?”

“I don’t know, but I’m glad because I can only imagine what your verbal reaction would have been right in front of them.” Molly smiled, and Eli smiled in return.

Eli found himself standing in the living room of his brother’s house. Trying to keep Molly from being hit up for money by his brother Eric or being groped by his father. She rocked his world last night after dinner and then asked him to go to his brother Eddie’s party. He was even starting to like the name Elliot. The way she said it was like she was purring his name.

Denise’s son, Dillon, was fifteen years old with really curly, shaggy hair. He was rude and said, “wat up bitch?” to Molly. She didn’t seem to be phased by it, but what pissed them both clearly off, was that Eddie just laughed. Like that was something appropriate to say to a woman of any age. Eli was slightly disappointed in his brother Eddie. He would expect this of Eric but not Eddie. Eddie used to be such a smart guy. Now he was no smarter than the old stripper he was now married to and her inbred son,

Dillon.

“So Molly, what is it that you do?” Eric asked, as he leaned in. Clearly he wasn’t smelling her, Eli thought. He was.

“I, um,” she looked at him, catching him in mid-sniff. “I work as a private investigator. What is that you do?”

“I am like John Kerowack.”

“You mean Jack Kerowack.” Molly corrected.

“Yeah sure babe. I drift and charm my way all over the place. Living in a camper van and just being me.” Eric smiled.

Eli studied his other older brother. Eric was short, and getting chubby. Likely from all the drugs he did and the booze he consumed. He wore his baseball cap indoors, and there was a slight hole in the ass of his jeans. He didn’t smell. Which was a bonus. For thirty-three, Eric looked like the stripper his other brother was now married to. He looked way older than he should be. It wasn’t a surprise, Eric was more like their father than Eddie or he was. Even Eddie rarely touches alcohol, and as far as Eli knew, never even smoked a cigarette let alone a joint. But then again, he didn’t think Eddie would marry a stripper and here he was, at his brother’s family gathering to introduce his new bride. The stripper.

His father was even more sad. Elton Savidis, used to be so full of life. He was reliable and held a steady job. He was respectable at one time. Then cancer took his mother away from them all, and his father fell into alcohol for his salvation. The cancer which took his mother from him at a young age, also took Elton’s self-worth and stripped him of his dignity and character. Elton stopped showing up to work at the law firm he was working and was fired. The next thing Eli knew, they were leaving their nice home in the suburbs and take up in the shit-hole town of Yardly. Probably the only place in Maine that sucked completely. His father’s brown hair was turning gray, and his brown eyes stopped shining. He battled with alcohol, and was currently proudly sporting his two month chip. Eli was impressed. That was the longest his old man had made it to without alcohol. Eli was even more impressed with the fact that his brother Eddie was not serving alcohol at this little function.

“Elliott my boy,” his father said as he wrapped his arm around his shoulders, “I’m so proud of you. Your mother would be so proud.”

“Thanks dad.”

“Now I mean that. Considering what I didn’t do all those years while you were just a boy, I couldn’t be happier than knowing that you have a good head on you shoulders. And Molly, now she’s a classy woman. You treat her right.”

“I will dad. How are things going?” Eli asked, wondering if his dad found a job.

“Well, I’ll be honest, it was rough there for a while.” His father said as he scratched the salt and pepper beard on his face. “I kept losing jobs. Not news to you though, eh son?”

“Not really, no.”

“But, I am starting a job next week at the high school in Yardly. The one you boys went to.” A sense of pride emanated from Elton Savidis.

Eli smiled back at his father. He was so proud of himself and that made Eli glad that he got manipulated into coming. He was glad he was talking to his father. “What will you be doing dad?”

“Nothing glamorous like you, son. I’ll be part of the janitorial staff.” Elton admitted. “I don’t plan on getting fired any time soon. I need to clean up my life. I’m ashamed of myself now. I just wish I could have figured that out a long time ago. Your mother is probably pissed off at me.”

“Probably,” he agreed. He looked over at his father, and the two smiled slowly and then laughed.

A few hours past, and Molly and he had managed to survive. She said that she enjoyed talking to his father. Reassuring Eli that his father never once tried to grab her ass, which made Eli realize that maybe his father really was changing. Being sober seems to agree with him. The day wasn’t a waste in terms of hiding from his family. A waste in a day with the investigation, but otherwise he was glad that he went, and he was glad he had Molly by his side.

“If in fact, I breed, and I allow my child to be that rude and inconsiderate, please have me imprisoned.” Molly said.

“I promise.” Well, at least they agreed on something.

Chapter 11:

Eli tapped his pen on the desk, driving Molly crazy. It had to be the most annoying sound, next to Kendra’s tongue clicking. She realized that he was thinking. He had murmured something about losing control last night in his sleep, and then had gritted his teeth. So Eli was a talk-in-his-sleep kind of guy. It was no worse than somethings past men in her life used to do in their sleep.

Molly got up and paced the room. Something she thought he did when he was thinking really hard, but apparently he only did that when he was thinking semi-hard. When she realized what she just thought, she giggled out loud.

“What?”

“Um, nothing. I was just thinking.”

“Thinking that required a giggle?” He raised an eyebrow.

“It wasn’t anything to do with the case.”

“That’s why I’m questioning it. We should be thinking about the case.” Eli chided.

Why did she always manage to find another control freak like herself? And why did this particular control freak have to be so damn hot? She couldn’t focus and apparently if Eli knew that she couldn’t focus, he would get mad at her. Molly didn’t want that. She just wanted her sweet, funny, non-control freak Eli back.

Molly sat down on the corner of the bed and sighed. She wasn’t sure that the two of them could close the insurance case or the fact that Mrs. Hollingsworth was missing. If she knew anything that usually three months is a little long to be hopeful.

“How badly do we want into the clinic? I think I have enough proof that there is definite insurance fraud going on.” Molly stated loudly.

“I need to get in there. Somehow, your case is connected to my case.” Eli said as he finally stopped tapping the pen. His eyes met hers, and he knew she was thinking the same thing. “For some reason, those papers didn’t just get thrown out randomly.”

He shuffled through a bunch of papers. As did Molly. They worked in silence for a bit, both thinking about how they can get some time inside the clinic.

“Alright, what’s next?”

“How do you feel about being pregnant?”

“Didn’t I do this angle before?” Molly asked, remembering the angle that Nick and Eli had stuck her in during the Marceno case months ago. The look Eli was giving

her really made her realize just how personal this case has become to him. Something he’s going to have to learn not to do. “Fine.”

“I’ll get your coat.”

“Wouldn’t you laugh if I actually was?” She joked, apparently he didn’t find it funny. “I’m not, and for starters I can’t get knocked up in a few days.”

Eli nearly had a heart attack when Molly made that joke. He had heard of men’s hearts going into rapid palpitation but that was just wrong.

The air outside was freezing and the wind smacked their faces like a wet towel being snapped on bare skin, Eli thought. He knew Molly felt that way too since she kept moving her head from side to side, like she was trying to avoid it.

Eli tucked her in close to him in order to keep her from blowing away. They walked up the steps to the walk-in clinic and immediately felt the warm air hit them when they opened the front door. As usual, the twins were at their respective desks, Lona wearing an ugly green knitted sweater, which clearly was a bunch of moth’s lunch at one time, and Rona was wearing a denim jumper which covered the picture of a white fur-ball of a cat in a basket full of flowers on her sweatshirt.

“Good morning, Ms. Lieber,” he greeted.

Lona Lieber lifted her head up, her smile faltering once she saw them, “Mr. Savidis. Mrs. Savidis.”

Molly looked at Eli with the same question on her mind. She turned back to Lona, “how are you doing today?” The woman just stared at her. “Um, OK then. I was wondering if I could see Dr. Lieber today?”

“Insurance please,” demanded Lona.

“Ms. Lieber,” Eli began, “my insurance for my new job won’t kick in for a least a few more months.”

“The two of you have come in here enough as it is, and we can no longer take you until you the proper insurance.” Lona Lieber responded harshly, exchanging glances with her sister.

“I’m aware of that, and I agreed to pay cash, up front until we can get our insurance in place.” Eli tried explaining.

“Plans changed,” said Rona Lieber from her desk behind them. “The doctor’s had a meeting Friday night and they agreed. No insurance, no treatment.”

“It’s just that Dr. Lieber has seen my file, and he knows how hard it has been for us to get pregnant, and I very well could be.” Molly pleaded, her eyebrows tilting up to give her a look of sadness.

“Not our problem,” snapped Lona.

Eli escorted Molly out of the warmth and back into the freezing cold. The sister’s demeanor had drastically changed towards them. He wondered if they knew that Molly was snooping around on Friday.

They got into his jeep, and just sat there. Both of them in obvious disbelief. It was obvious that something was going on . Eli started the jeep once he realized that he was freezing, and then looked over at Molly. She was thinking, and he knew that because she was attempting at chewing on her nail through her gloves, and had chewed right through.

“Like dog like owner,” he said as he pushed in the clutch and shifted into reverse.

“huh, what?”

“I should start calling you Chewbacca because of the way you’re going at your glove.” Eli chuckled.

She looked down at her hands, and her eyes widened at the damaged glove, then sat on both hands. A few seconds passed then she spoke, “I was just thinking of a way that we could get back into that clinic.”

“Chew our way through the siding?” He paused as he turned left at a set of lights, careful not to fishtail in the slush. “Other than chewing on your glove, did you come up with anything constructive.”

“I’m not sure I like you right now.” She spoke. He laughed. Then she realized what she said and how ridiculous it sounded. “Fine. I did come up with something believe it or not.”

“And would Molly like to share her idea with the class?” He joked.

“OK, that’s just creepy, and no, not yet. I want to see if it pans out first.” Molly informed him. Slightly amused by his jokes and slightly annoyed as well.

He dropped her off at the hotel and then headed out to pick up some supplies, which Eli didn’t elaborate on.

Molly was happy to be indoors where it was warm. Ordinarily she was partial to cold and cooler temperatures, but not when it’s so cold that it felt like all her insides were frozen.

Changing into a pair of gray and pink yoga pants with matching hoodie, Molly

grabbed her cell phone and proceeded to work on her plan and sat propped up against the pillows on the bed.

“Birkmount Insurance Broker, how may I help you?” The peppy woman on the other end greeted.

“Mr. Timothy Birkmount, please. It’s Molly Westin calling.” She was told please hold, and was now listening to really bad instrumental versions of already horrible show tunes.

“Ms. Westin, this is Tim. Please tell me you have good news,” the deep voice penetrated right through the phone asked.

“Actually I have both, good and bad news for you.” Molly explained that she’s collected quite a lot of circumstantial evidence, but wasn’t exactly ready to close it yet. “We are actually ready for a major break through.”

“That’s excellent,” Mr. Birkmount exclaimed. “So what’s the bad news?”

“The problem is, myself and my partner no longer have access to the clinic. We’ve been operating under cover in order to gain access, and it was working. Up until today that is.” She continued to explain their cover to the man who hired her.” He didn’t quite understand how a walk-in clinic could actually deny medical care to any paying patient, Molly explained that they have requested insurance.

“This one hiccup has prevented you from moving forward, what can I do to help you out?” He asked.

It was the opening that Molly wanted. “This might be a lot to ask, and we can take any charges out of the cost of my fee, but I was wondering if you could give us fake insurance.” Molly asked. “Eli is positive that we will only need it this one time in order to wrap things up, and I have to agree with him.”

Mr. Birkmount was quiet for a few minutes. “Alright, how do you want to do this?”

Molly smiled. She would have high-fived herself if she could. “The insurance needs to be under the last name Savidis.” She spelled it out for him. “First names, Nick and Molly.” She gave him all the pertinent information needed to help them inside.

“I will courier over all the forms as soon as possible.” Mr. Birkmount stated.

Molly told him how much she appreciated his help, just as Eli entered the room. “Thanks again.” She hung up her cell.

Eli put some bags down then removed his boots and gloves. His cheeks were really pink, and when he pulled off the stupid winter hat he was wearing his hair was

sticking up in all different directions. He was the epitome of cute. Manly yet boyish, and he made her heart pound. “Who was that?” He asked as he unzipped his coat.

Molly got to her knees and waddled to the foot of the bed, tossing the pad of paper she was doodling on during the phone call behind her on the bed. “I called the Insurance broker who hired me.”

“Are you wearing a thong or nothing?” Eli asked, then winked at her. Molly looked tilted her head, making her pony tail swing. He leaning around and was looking at her butt.

Snapping her fingers, “Eli babe, up here.” He looked at her, in the eyes this time. “As I was saying.” Once she had his full attention she told him about the phone call she made to Tim Birkmount.

“You are not only smart, sexy, and beautiful, but you, Molly-my-dear, are a freakin’ genius.” Eli stood against the foot of the bed in front of her, and leaned down and kissed. His tongue pressing against her lips, seeking entry. She wanted to taste him so badly that she opened her mouth, and as he slipped his tongue inside her mouth, she slipped hers into his. The kiss quickly turned hot and passionate. Eli was eating at her mouth like he would his favourite ice cream. Just as soon as they both got really into it, and she was pulling him down on to the bed, Eli pulled back. “As much as I would really love to go further, we really need to work on this case.”

She kissed his stubbly chin, “yes we do.”

Eli stepped away from her and went over to the bags be brought in. “First, I need to make a bug to plant inside the house. Second, we’ll need ice cream. I got you lemon drop gelato, ’cause you always hat it in your freezer.”

“I love lemon drop.” She smiled. Molly was impressed that he paid so much attention to her, but she was also falling head over heels in love with him. She had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well. Maybe she needed to remember what Kendra said. Stop sabotaging it before it really begins.

“I know, thirdly, I rented a really cool movie.” He reached in the one bag and gently tossed the DVD to her.

“Dark Rising?” She turned it over in her hands looking at it. “Never heard of it before.”

“It’s a Canadian movie. It’s kind of a mockery of horror films. Plus there is this really funny guy in the film. He totally cracks me up.” Eli winked and took the ice cream and gelato to the window, and surveyed the ledge before carefully placing both containers on the ledge.

“How are you making a bug? We have some at the office, I can get Kendra to

bring down.” Molly asked.

“That’s all fine and dandy,” he paused turned his head slightly, “did I just say dandy?”

“Yep.”

Shaking his head, “anyways, the type I’m making will be better because we won’t have to be so close to listen in. We can stay right here in our cozy little room.”

“How?”

Eli reached inside another one of the bags, and pulled out a soddering tool, some wires, wire strippers and cutters and two disposable cell phones. “I wire this cheap cell phone with some of the innards of the more expensive cell phone, then switch the batteries. A cheap cell phone usually has a wider reception, which usually picks up everything, including land line phone conversations. But the battery power sucks so you switch the batteries. Then I wire the inside of the phone with the some of the more expensive phone’s insides, not all because I still need the wider range of the cheap phone, but enough that I can attach another wire to the expensive phone so that when and if the battery power runs out before we have anything on the cheap phone, it’ll automatically trip the second phone and act as a back up.”

Molly was turned on beyond belief. “You have no clue how much that just made me want to ride you like a mechanical bull.” Eli smiled. “Seriously, how the hell did you learn how to do that?”

“Television.”

“What?””

“Yeah seriously, there’s some shows on TV about spies, and they did this thing with the cell phones. And I thought it was all crap, but my curiosity got the better of me and I tried it and sure enough, it worked. Maybe not quite like the way these guys on TV do it, but it is possible.” Eli explained.

Oh yeah, Molly was turned on. She knew he was smart, organized and skilled, but she didn’t realize he was a total nerd in a hot, sexy wrapped up present. “Do you have to make this bug right now?”

“Why?” Eli asked as he opened up the packaging from the soddering tool. Molly unzipped her hoodie and tossed it at him. He turned and saw her without her bra. “Oh hell no.” He dropped the packaging and went to her.

Scooping Molly up in his arms and carried her to the side of the bed, he managed to take her nipple into his mouth. She moaned. “I’m not wearing any underwear, to answer your earlier question.”

“Are you sure you’re real, and not just a fantastic wet dream I’m having?”

Molly grabbed his and placed it between her legs where she was so wet and ready for him, “you tell me.”

Chapter12:

Kendra responded to the silent alarm from the office. The excessive beeping from her computer at two in the morning woke her up. The last thing she wanted was to do was drive to her office this late in a blizzard, but it was part of her job.

Her Honda Civic fishtailed into her parking spot as she pulled in. Pulling on her hat, she raced from the car to the door of the office which was situated on the main floor. Originally they had an office on the second level, except the space was a bit too small for them so the chose the main floor.

Kendra walked in, cautiously, and turned the alarm off. It seemed as if whoever was there was gone or hadn’t been there in the first place. She was the last one to leave at nine o’clock, just five hours ago. Hailey had the day off in order to work at her other job. She moved further into her office and that’s when she knew someone had indeed been there.

“Nick?” She called out. Kendra could smell his cologne. He didn’t answer so she proceeded further down the hall. Her office door was open, as was the storage room. Anger settled in. What the hell was he up to?

She pushed the door to her office fully open and saw a huge bouquet of purple hydrangea’s and yellow roses. Naturally she would never have paired the yellow and the purple on it’s own, but she assumed he put yellow roses in as a way to apologize. Kendra took the card and read it out loud, “Ken, sorry to have to break-in, but I needed to borrow a few things. Trust me on this, you’ll thank me later,” the card was signed, “Nick.”

Tossing the note on to her desk, she dashed off down the hall to their storage room. Everything was organized so she knew where things were. And now, things were clearly riffled through. A few listening devices were taken, tools, a gun which fired bean bag rounds, and of course some bean bags. “Bugger!”

She was so incredibly sexy when she was pissed off, and right now, she was pissed at him. Nick knew she would be, which was why he buttered her up with the flowers, although he realized that seemed to piss her off more. The wind was whipping her hair around her face as she walked to her car. She was wearing a hat that reminded him of the one John Lennon used to wear in the early Beatles days. It made her looks sexy. She fumbled around with her keys looking for the one to unlock her car with. A few seconds later, the lights on her Civic flashed and she was getting inside.

Nick waited to start his car in the parking lot across from Kendra’s office. At this time of night it would be too easy to give away the fact he was planning on following her. He wanted to make sure she got home safe. She started to pull out of the parking lot and he only hoped that she would take it a lot easier than when she pulled in. He thought about disconnecting the alarm system before entering, but he really wanted to see her again.

Kendra drove slower, and was a lot more cautious in her driving, and Nick managed to keep a safe distance back. Visibility sucked because of the blowing snow so he figured he was alright. She would be paying more attention to what was in front of her, then what was behind her. As he prepared to turn right at the stop lights, he noticed that her blinker was indicating she was going left instead. Maybe she did know someone was tailing her. “Good girl, baby-doll.”

As he followed her, she was getting further away from her home. She made another left turn, then a right, and pulled into a townhouse complex before parking her car next to a black Dodge Caliber. Before she got out, the front door opened and the guy he saw her with before at her pool came out. He was shirtless, sporting his muscular arms, shoulders and stomach, and the tattoos circled his arms and when he walked her from the car inside, that one across his shoulder blades taunted Nick. What was she doing here with gigantor?

Nick’s good mood, just went up in flames.

That stupid Star Wars theme was playing in her head again. Molly opened her eyes hoping that it would stop. She was nestled close to Eli, wanting to get back the sexy dream she was having about him. She closed her eyes again and then the snapped open. It was her damn cell phone. She rolled away from Eli and grabbed her phone as she grabbed the hotel robe from the floor. She left it there after her late night shower with the sex king who was still asleep in their bed.

She headed into the bathroom, closed the lid on the toilet and sat down. It was Kendra. “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Yep.” Kendra paused, “it’s eleven-thirty. Don’t tell me you were still sleeping?”

“Ah-huh,” Molly yawned.

“Some dick-headed former detective broke in and stole from us last night.” Kendra snapped.

“Well, that answered that question.”

“Which question?”

“The one where I was about to ask you, why you were calling, but you just answered it.” Molly scratched her shoulder. “So what did he take?”

“Some tools, listening devices, our bean bag shooter and some bean bags. He left me some flowers with a note on it. He broke in at two in the morning during a blizzard.” Kendra bitched.

Molly wasn’t really in the mood for this, as she just woke up and was still processing that it was almost noon and that she and Eli had some major work to be doing. “At least he could have cut the alarm so he didn’t drag you all the way out there.”

“Not the point Molls.” Kendra talked over the dogs barking in the background.

“Where are you?” Molly asked.

“I am standing in my kitchen, watching the dogs play in the snow. Chewbacca just kicked-up snow on Hardy.”

“Good boy. I miss my boy.”

“He misses you too. But we can discuss that later. What the hell are we going to do about Nick?”

Molly stood up and lifted the lid to the toilet. She had to pee super bad. “Nothing. It’s not like he told you what they were for or where he was going. He will bring them back eventually, or we can just bill him, and bill him tons of extra money for putting you through stress.”

“I stayed at Matt’s last night because the roads and visibility sucked donkey nuts.” Kendra stated.

“Um, do you think that was a good idea?” Molly asked as she flushed. She washed her hands as she waited for Kendra to stop rolling her eyes and answer.

“Nothing happened. We’re just friends. I called him from the office and asked, and he yelled at me for not calling him to go check out the alarm since he is closer.”

“I guess dick-head can do something right then.” Molly opened the door and checked on Eli. He was cuddling her pillow and drooling. He was so cute.

“I should let you go. I need to get to the office before Hailey. I freaked out and ripped the alarm thingy off the wall. I should be there to explain to her.” Kendra said, and Molly laughed. “Talk to you later, and say hi to lover-boy for me.”

“Hey, no teasing.”

“Ha-ha!”

Molly ran a brush through her hair after hanging up from her phone call. She had some major knots going on and needed to get them out. She was looking funky this morning, and not in a good way.

She opened the door to see Eli closing the one to the hallway outside their room. He was holding a courier package. It was their insurance, Mr. Birkmount came through

and he came through fast. Eli yawned and scratched his stomach. He handed the couriered package over to Molly as he kissed her on the forehead.

“Gotta pee,” was all he said as he shuffled lazily into the bathroom.

Molly knew what that felt like so she sat on the foot of the bed and opened up her package. Sure enough, all the proper forms giving them insurance were there. Now they could head into the clinic and start a more detailed investigation. She was reading over the forms when she felt Eli straddle behind her, encasing his legs around her, and then his arms.

“It’s really late.” Molly smiled as she loved the way he made her feel.

“I know but I could stay like this all day, except I need to get a hold of Nick.” Eli said as he held her tighter against him.

She could feel his penis get hard again against her lower back. Molly could go another round before heading out for the day. “That probably won’t do you any good.” Then she told him how Nick broke into their office and “borrowed” some of their supplies. She could tell by the look on Eli’s face in the mirror that he was none to pleased. “I don’t know what he was up to, or why he would need it, but he did and Kendra is livid.”

“No doubt,” Eli stood up, letting go of her. “I should try him regardless. We could need back-up.”

“Call Kendra, because the way she is feeling right now, she’s more than a little ready for kicking some ass.” Molly laughed. Eli gave her a his cute half smile as he dialed Nick’s number.

“I don’t want to put her in any danger, as it is, I don’t want to put you in any danger.” Eli left a message.

“Danger turns me on.”

Eli looked at her, cocked an eyebrow, which wasn’t the only thing cocked, and said “is that so?”

“No time, as much as I would like to, we slept way too long today. We need to get this show on the road.” Molly stood up and grabbed her clothes and took them into the bathroom as to not get further behind on schedule than they already were. If she changed in front of Eli, then they would never make it out of the room. She wanted him so bad, that if he changed in front of her, it would be the same deal. Eli made her lose her focus, especially when he was naked.

Quickly, she changed into a pair of jeans, and hunter green sweater with three-quarter length sleeves. It was loose at the neck and hung off one shoulder, but it was one

of her favourites. It made her blue eyes turn a bit green. She quickly applied some make-up, trying to enhance her natural beauty. She was lucky, she had natural porcelain skin, and all she had to do was hide the odd small blemish, and make her eyes pop out. Never took her too long. The trick was to make it look as if she wasn’t wearing any make-up at all. And today, success!

Eli was putting on his socks while sitting on the corner of the bed. He was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt under a button-up collared shirt which was done up half way. His hair was brushed forward, making him look really silly. Molly pursed her lips together and walked over and mused it.

“Hey!”

“It looked really stupid. I like it better messy.” She said. “Sorry.”

He touched his hair gently, “no big deal.”

“I think it’s funny,” she paused, “you are so well put together, neat and organized, but your hair is always messy, but I love that about you.”

Eli smiled, “thanks sweet cheeks.” He stood up, and was watching her in the mirror putting in her earrings, they were just small simple gold hoops but he was watching like he was interested in everything she did. “You might not like what I have to say next.”

“What’s that?”

“If we go in there with this pregnancy story, and this is something we never thought about yesterday.” She nodded. “They are going to want to do an examination.”

“What?” Her jaw dropped, and she spun around on her heels. Molly couldn’t believe that Eli was saying this. This had to be the stupidest idea they have ever came up with.

“Time I guess you take one for the team, huh?”

Chapter 13:

“I would like to state for the record,” Molly began as they sat in the waiting room at the Lieber House Walk-In Clinic, “that I am not happy.”

Eli looked over at her, she was hiding her dismay with the plan rather well. All except with the nail biting. Luckily that could just be mistaken for nerves of a pending pregnant woman. He never thought of what the plan would entitle until he his ex-girlfriend’s appointment with the doctor’s when she thought she was pregnant. Thankfully, she wasn’t because Eli knew she would have made a horrible mother. Molly on the other-hand, would be a great mother. He shook the thought from his head.

He reached over and clutched her hand, then leaned into whisper into her ear, “remember, I’m going to insist that I call my mother or someone, and so you go ahead into the appointment without me. I’ll be here when you get out.”

“Not happy!” She said through clenched teeth.

“I know, and I’m sorry. If we have to get back in here again, and I’m hoping we don’t, it will be my turn to take one for the team.” Eli hoped that would make her feel better. She smiled. Great his little plan worked.

“I hope we do because then you can schedule yourself in for a prostate exam.”

Eli nearly choked on his own spit, “really? You would put me through that?”

Molly turned in her chair, glared at him for what felt like ten minutes then said, “don’t get me started, if we have to do this again, it will be your turn. I don’t care what the doctor does to your pooper, because I’m allowing this freak-a-zoid to go up my hoo-ha, so don’t tell me that I wouldn’t put you through an ass exam, because right now, I’m not thinking twice about it.”

“OK I get that you’re mad.” She glared again and he shut up. There was no way Eli was going to be the brunt of that angry outburst she just had. He sat still, waiting for the doctor to show up. Molly was no digging her nails into the skin on his hand. “Ow.”

“Too bad.”

“Molly Savidis,” Doctor Harold Lieber called. Eli escorted Molly over to the doctor, who glared at him. “Mr. Savidis, I’m sorry but it’s policy that the initial exam be done in private, with myself and Nurse Rona.”

Perfect, they were leaving him alone. “Well I was sort of hoping to be with my wife doc, but I understand policy.” He said with a look of shear disappointment on his face.

As Rona and Dr. Lieber walked with Molly down the hall, she looked over her

shoulder, and then stuck her tongue out at him. Lona happened to catch the action, and Eli turned to her, “we had a little argument this morning. She’s a bit angry at me still.”

“It happens.” Lona responded. A patient appeared from outside, making Lona busy. “Well Dr. Jonathan Lieber is busy with a patient right now. He should be about fifteen minutes, so if you won’t mind having a seat.” She said to the old man standing up, balancing on a cane.

Perfect, both doctors, and Rona were busy right now, and there was no way Lona could leave her desk while no one else was around. In fact, she would be busy manning both desks. Eli slipped into the hallway and grabbed his phone. Dialing Nick’s number in hope of getting a hold of him, he slowly made his way up the stairs of the house.

Molly changed into the paper gown that Rona gave to her. She was going to kill Eli when this was done. She wasn’t quite sure what she was in for, but if her conversations with Hailey while she was carrying Megan and Sheldon were an indication, then she was in for hell, and all for nothing. Maybe they would do the abdomen thing, where they pressed down and find out that there was nothing in there, and she wouldn’t have to have the internal ultrasound. There was a knock on the door, since both Doctor and crazy nurse left her to change. While she changed she searched for stuff but came up empty. “Come in, I’m ready.”

“Alright now Mrs. Savidis, why don’t we start with a few questions, shall we?” Dr. Lieber stated as he sat down in his chair, next to her a pile of paper, which resembled her phony medical file.

“We could just throw all convention to the wind and you can just call me Molly, since we’re about to get intimately acquainted here doc.” She joked. He looked up at her, and she gave a nervous smile. “No seriously, please call me Molly, Mrs. Savidis is my mother,” she paused, shit that didn’t sound right, and judging from the look on Rona and the doctor’s faces, it wasn’t. “in-law. Mrs. Savidis is my mother-in-law, and nobody wants to be their mother-in-law.” Especially her since if Mrs. Savidis was to be her mother-in-law, then she would be dead. “Sorry, I babble when I’m nervous.”

Rona looked at her brother Harold, then turned to Molly, “if it would help we can have your husband come in here to help keep you from being too nervous.”

“No,” Molly stated, “I mean, I would love that but Nick has a bit of a gag reflex, he might not be ready to bare witness to, well things.” They nodded like the understood. Oh God Molls, shut the hell up, she said in her mind.

“When was your last period?” The doctor asked.

Eli went over all this with her, she was suppose to say two months, no, was it three? Shit she couldn’t remember. “I think it was, about two and a half months ago. Give or take.” Ha! She would settle on the in-between.

He wrote it down, “and you are aware that this could be a long shot, right? Considering your history.”

“Yes I understand. Doesn’t hurt to check though, does it?” She asked, pretending that she’s hopeful.

Dr. Lieber asked her some more questions and then asked her to get up on the little bed that had a plush leather mattress, covered in paper. Molly was more nervous than anything, but he would begin with pressing on her abdomen. He will realize that she isn’t pregnant then. Yep, that’s what would happen. “I’m going to press down on your abdomen.” He did as she predicted.

The doctor pushed gently down on her abdomen and then looked up at his sister, the nurse standing across from him. So far, Molly’s plan was working. Given the looks that were being exchanged between Rona and Dr. Lieber, there was going to be no further examination. Molly felt his hand leave her tummy.

She started to sit up, “sorry Molly, we’re not done yet. We still need to do the internal examination.” Her eyes nearly fell out of their sockets.

Eli couldn’t stand the smell of the upstairs area. It reeked of burnt exotic food, and bleach. Lots of bleach. Inside his head that set off warning bells. It was then and there that he decided that he’s going to get some luminol to carry so that if he needs to see if there is blood anywhere then he could, he can’t go on naked eye alone, but in his gut, he knew. Mrs. Hollingsworth was likely murdered here in this house.

He walked into the kitchen as quietly as he could. Old homes like this often had creaky boards, and so far he’s been lucky. Eli just paid attention to the ware patterns on the floors, especially the carpeting and avoided those areas. The kitchen had very old cabinets and really nasty looking hardware. The oven and fridge were in early avocado colouring, and there was no dishwasher. The linoleum on the floor had some holes in it from the 1970’s chairs, with vinyl cushions, slid back. The walls were lined with faux brick, which were plastic when he touched them. Through the kitchen, there was an outside exit, which he found good to know in case he needed to make an escape. In fact that would be how he would leave so that Lona thought he went outside to make his phone call.

Eli made his way from the kitchen to the living room, four arm chairs were lined up in front of an old television counsel which sat on the floor. Lots of knick-knacks decorated the entire room. It smelled like cat piss. So they definitely weren’t all that clean. A black cat with one eye glared at him from the top of the television. He nearly jumped out of his skin as he thought it was a statue, until it opened it’s one good eye. “Fucking creepy cat, how fitting.”

In the living room a set of bi-fold doors sat to the left hand side of the room.

There was an out of place glow coming from slots in the door, and Eli walked carefully over the carpeting to find out.

Opening the doors really slowly, he discovered, seven computers. All of them on, and running the Internet. He leaned back out the doors to check the hallway. Nobody was coming. He pulled one of the big flash drives from his pants pocket and inserted it into the first computer. Molly told him to be smart and bring more than one, so he stopped and picked up a package of six from the Business Depot. He got to work, plugging in flash drives and started downloading as much information as he could. While that was going on, he took the bug he made from the cell phones and placed it in the living room behind a bookcase that was close to the bi-fold doors where the computers lived.

He just finished in time, and collected the last flash drive when he heard foot steps coming up the stairs. They sounded like they were from a man, probably Jonathan Lieber. Eli gently closed the bi-fold doors, and dashed down the hall and slipped into the kitchen. He hid around the corner near the door to the outside as he saw a shadow in the hallway approach. Please go to the computers, please go to the computers, Eli said to himself over and over again as he held his breath. Sure enough, he heard the doors to where the computers were open.

Slowly, he reached for the door knob to the outside door and opened it. As quickly, but as quietly as he could manage, he started down the stairs. One creaked, there was no time to just make a run for it, so he hopped his butt on the wooden banister, prayed for no splinters in his ass, and slid the way down and then sat on the bottom step and pretended to talk on his cell phone, but instead listened into what was going on in the room upstairs. Someone checked out the window, his heart was pounding in his chest, but all he heard them say on the other end was, “it’s just some guy talking on his cell phone. He planted his bottom on the bottom step.” Then he heard a female voice, “oh that’s the husband to the woman with the fake pregnancy.”

Shit! Eli got up and left his phone on in his pocket. He walked to the front of the house and up to the front door and went inside. Molly was just talking to Rona about the appointment. Rona kept telling her it was going to be alright.

“Molly, honey, what’s wrong?” Eli faked concern.

She sniffed, “the doctor said I had a hysterical pregnancy.”

Eli thought that was a much better way of saying fake, but he would take it. Eli wrapped his arms around his “wife” and consoled her. “I’m sorry sweetheart. I guess we’ll just keep trying then. It’ll happen sooner or later.” He smiled his thanks to Rona, “now just give me a moment so I can take care of the insurance.”

“It’s already put through. You’re lucky your company gave you your insurance early.” Rona said, clearly digging. She was suspicious, and she had every right to be.

“I told them that we didn’t want to be without it, so they allowed us a temporary one. It’s hard not to have one. That seems to be when you need it the most.” She handed him back the insurance card, and he put it inside his wallet. He and Molly said their good-byes and started to the door. “Thank-you and have a nice day.”

The woman behind the desk just glared.

Once they were in the car Molly punched him in the arm. He was smart enough not to say anything this time around. He started the car and handed her the cell phone.

“The bug is planted, so if you want to listen to anything, just use the cell phone.” He explained. Molly placed the cell phone to her ear and listened. She was ignoring him. “Don’t you wanna know what I found?”

He could see her thinking. Does she ignore him completely, or does she give in and find out stuff first? Eli smiled. Molly put the phone in her lap, “well, what did you find?”

“First of all, I’m sorry you had to go through all that shit with doctor freak-a-zoid, but I think we have all the proof you need.”

Eli told her about the seven computers he found and how the extra flash drives proved to be quite valuable and told her that she was genius. That seemed to boost her spirits a bit more. Then he told her about the creepy one eyed cat on top of the television. “I swear to you, the place looked like it was vomited out of the All In The Family, and into Mr. Kotter’s mouth. It was bad. Fake plastic bricks on the wall, shitty linoleum on the kitchen floor. Poop brown carpeting in the living room. It was bad.”

“Sounds like it. I can’t wait to see what we’ve got. I’m still mad, and there is no way you are having your way with me later. I’ve had enough fingers in me for the day.”

“Ew,” was all he could manage.

“Ew is right. Well we still have that gelato to get into and that movie which we skipped last night.” He suggested as he drove them to their hotel. Molly moved uncomfortably in her seat. She wanted more. He couldn’t really blame her. “Do you want me to order pizza for dinner?”

“Um, sure.”

“Maybe run you a hot bath for you to have while I wait for the pizza?” He hinted.

He was getting warmer, Molly thought. She was still not very happy, and part of her wasn’t sure if an internal exam was really necessary after being pushed on. She would take whatever he was offering. The possibility that he ended her case was not good enough at this point. Molly wasn’t usually a selfish person but being probed will do that

to a girl.

After getting back to the hotel, and she was situated in the hot bubble bath, with the sent of strawberries assaulting her senses, Molly was feeling a whole lot more forgiving. He was ordering her favourite pizza, pepperoni, with extra cheese and green olives. He already gave her a tumbler with vodka and orange juice, and left her with the cell phone bug so that she can listen in. Eli was out in the other room, waiting for the pizza and going over the information on the flash drives he collected.

Molly looked down at her fingers and noticed they were all wrinkled, a sure sign that she had been in there long enough. She got out, dried off and put her poodle jammies on.

“Anything?” Eli asked as she opened the door.

She shook her head, “nope, Rona and Lona are watching Wheel of Fortune, and they suck at it.”

“How’d you do?”

“Damn good if I may say so myself, considering I couldn’t see what order the letters were in.”

“I heard you yelling out strange phrases in there, but I decided you had a rough day and if you wanted to yell from the bath tub, the by all means.” Eli smiled at her.

“Thanks.” Molly flopped down on the bed, still feeling a bit sore down in the nether regions. Eli tossed her the remote control, and she flipped to Jeopardy. There was no way that she could listen in on the Lieber sisters and them playing Jeopardy, and watch something else. “Did you get anything?” She propped up their multitude of pillows.

“Yeah I did. I have pretty much everything you need to take to Mr. Birkmount to close your case, although I’m looking for more. More is better.”

“What is, potassium?!” Molly shouted. Eli looked at her strange, “sorry, just answering. Yes more is better. Like what?”

Eli got up and answered the knock at the door, he paid the pizza man and turned around, carrying a piping hot, Pizza Hut pizza. She knew that laid in that box, was a stuffed crust pizza, and she then realized, Eli was the man of her dreams. “Like, over one hundred false claims from dead people.”

Her jaw dropped, “you ordered extra green olives.” She was peering at the pizza. “You are not only my favourite man right now because you got me extra green olives, but you’re my hero for helping me solve my case.”

“I know.” He kissed her before snatching a piece of pizza from her precious box of stuffed crust.

Chapter 14:

Molly was looking over the morning news paper while Eli was in the shower. She sipped on her coffee and turned the page. Something small caught her eye, and on a normal day, Molly wasn’t sure that she would even catch an article so small. “Elderly Woman’s Body Found on Beach”, Molly put her cup on the desk and continued reading.

The name of the victim was Evis Hollingsworth, and her name practically jumped off the page at her. “Eli!” She jumped up, still clutching the paper and rand to the bathroom, “Eli!”

The water shut off, and Molly opened the door. “What’s going on Molls?” He asked as he grabbed a towel from behind the shower curtain.

“The police found Mrs. Hollingsworth’s body a few days ago.” She rattled the paper at him. Molly watched s he climbed out of the shower with the towel wrapped around his waist. He froze on the bath mat. “Eli, your missing person is no longer miss but she’s,” Molly watched his eyes. They were no longer meeting hers. As she stood there, her heart pounding fast and hard in her chest, she put all of the pieces together. Starting with how strange he was acting last Sunday evening, which would have been the day Mrs. Hollingsworth’s body had been found. The lack of surprise now, and his lack of eye contact. He knew, and he kept it from her. Molly felt her face grow hot. “You lied to me.”

“Molly, I…”

“No! You don’t get to speak right now.” She said quietly, but with authority. “I had put my trust in you with my case, and I expected you to do the same. I told you everything, and yet you kept something so important from me.”

“I did it to protect you.” Eli followed her from the bathroom. She wished he didn’t, it was hard enough yelling at him, but it was made worse because he was naked under that towel.

“Please shut up.” Molly fought back tears, “you slept with me that night to stop me from asking you questions. You probably solved my case too, so that it would appease any guilt you were feeling.”

Eli grabbed his jeans and pulled them on. “No, I helped you finish your case because I wanted you safe. I want you to go back home, without a scratch.”

“Both our cases are over now, so does it matter?” Molly spoke quietly as she crossed her arms under her breasts.

“Mine isn’t. I still don’t know who was stealing from Mrs. Hollingsworth, or who killed her.” Eli pulled on a t-shirt from the drawer.

Molly could hardly believe this. They made a deal and he expects her to go home while he plays detective. As much as she was angry, she was also feeling used. He slept with her for the wrong reasons. Did very intimate stuff to her body, all the while he was lying. “You’re not a cop any more Eli, and this is the type of thing that private investigators leave to the real police. All you are now, is a lacky. We do the leg work for the police, and then they get all the glory, so you better get used to it.”

“Molls.”

“Don’t call me that!” She yelled, “you lost that privilege when you decided to lie to me and kept this from me.” She threw the news paper at him.

“I didn’t use you for sex that night in order to keep from telling you things. I chose not to tell you that my case was now a murder case because,” he yelled back, “I wanted to get your case done first. Do you know why I was so intent on helping you on your case this week?”

Molly wasn’t sure she wanted to hear this. Eli was getting angry.

“I needed all the information you found on Mrs. Hollingsworth to connect the Lieber’s to her death and her missing money.” He swallowed his sip of coffee. “And now, I have it. You’re going home so these psychopaths don’t hurt you.”

“I can take care of myself.” She snapped.

The vain on his forehead popped out, “no you can’t. Playing house is one thing, but tracking down an entire family of sociopaths, who kill helpless old people for money, is out of your league.”

His words stung, but Molly couldn’t let him see that. She had one major card that she was holding. “Get out of this room and find another hotel room, because I am NOT paying for you any more. Your free ride is over, so pack up your shit and get the fuck out.” Molly stomped over to the bathroom, turned around, “when I come out, you better be gone.” Then she slammed the door.

Eli flinched as she closed, no, slammed the door. He hated seeing her face get all blotchy from holding in her tears. Tears which he caused and hated that he did. Eli had to, because he needed to protect her, and if that meant hurting her in the process, then he had no choice. But it still broke his heart.

He packed up everything, including the copies he made of her case. Once he had all he needed, he would take it all to the police. Needing Nick desperately to come in from this, he picked up his cell phone from the bedside table and dialed. Again no answer. Clipping his phone to his hip, he picked up his stuff, looking once over his shoulder at the bathroom door. “I love you Molls,” he whispered.

Molly broke all sorts of traffic violations on her way home. Luckily she didn’t get pulled over, and the way she was feeling the cop who could have pulled her over would have been treated quite poorly. She was angry and heartbroken, but why did that surprise her? She knew it was going to happen.

She pulled her Matrix into the spot next to Kendra’s Civic, and Hailey’s Honda C-RV. She had never been so happy in her life then to know for sure that her two girls are inside. She stopped herself from running right into her office. Molly took a deep breath, checked her face, and then walked calmly into the office.

Molly was greeted first by a very happy poodle. Her dog jumped up on his hind legs and licked her face and neck like he hadn’t seen her in forever. And for her, it felt the same way. She was so happy to see her dog. Molly always hated leaving him behind. The more her dog jumped at her and licked her, the more she had to fight back the tears.

Hailey stood up from her desk and walked over to Molly. No doubt, her face said more than she had originally wanted it to say. Without a word, her older sister wrapped her in a hug and they just stood there, Chewbacca in the middle at their feet. It was exactly what Molly needed.

Kendra walked out of her office, tugging down her skirt, when she noticed Hailey comforting Molly. Something went wrong while she was shacking up with Eli. She didn’t think that he would be the type to screw with Molly’s feelings, unlike Nick, but she must have been wrong. With only a few wide steps, Kendra closed the gap between the hallway leading to the offices to the hug-fest going on.

“Tell us all about it,” Kendra said as she joined them in the hug.

“He,” she sobbed, “he, he, used m-me.”

“No he didn’t. You used him.” Hailey tried to comfort on her sister.

“Yeah that’s exactly it, you used him.” Kendra agreed. “How did you use him?”

Hailey shot her a look over Molly’s shoulder, so she shrugged because they needed to know what the hell happened. Molly pulled apart from the embrace and walked to the couch and plopped down. She cleared her face of the tears and took a deep breath before as calmly as she could explain, she waited a few moments before she did so. “We were basically working on our cases together, as it was an added benefit as you know. His missing woman eventually became linked to my case, so Eli kept close. He kept some major information to himself, and didn’t tell me, even after my case was over he still kept it from me.”

Kendra poured some coffee into Molly’s poodle mug then walked it over, “what

did he keep from you?”

“The fact that his missing person was found dead.” She took the mug from Kendra, “thanks.”

She winked at her friend then sat down on the couch, while Hailey took the other side of Molly.

“We had been sleeping together, as you both know, but I knew something was up on Sunday when he came back to the room, but instead of telling me that Mrs. Hollingsworth was found dead, despite the fact that I questioned him about what was wrong, he slept with me and never said a word.”

“That’s low.” Kendra understood.

“I’m so glad I’m married.” Hailey stated. “I don’t know how you girls do it. I am not as envious as I thought I would be.”

Molly laughed, and Kendra was happy to see that she was dealing with this better than she was when she came in. Molly continued to tell them about the fight they had after she confronted him with the newspaper.

“I hate to say this, Molls, but you two had a deal.”

“What are you talking about Ken?” Molly asked.

“The two of you made a deal to work together until the end, and you should. You should go there and close his frigging case so that he can learn from one of the best. Danger be damned.” Kendra stated.

“You know you’re right.” Molly agreed.

“Yeah I usually am, but just don’t get killed or else Eli will be right.” Kendra winked, then gave her a hug. “Go. Go back there and show him how to do this job.”

Kendra watched Molly get to her feet, and head to the door. “Chewbacca…”

“Will be fine at my house, as he has been since you left.” She reassured.

“Thanks!”

“Any time, now go!”

Chapter 15:

The sun was out in full force as Molly drove into Kennebunkport. It felt as if her entire day had been spent in her car and her sore ass was proof. She stopped at the café she favoured to grab a coffee and a danish before heading over to the Lieber’s.

Although her case was finished, she had yet to bring it to Tim Birkmount, which probably is a good thing since it would interfere with Eli getting his case finished. On her drive back to Kennebunkport, she decided to stake out the Lieber’s for a half an hour before checking into her hotel. Just to get a feel for it.

Parking down the street with an excellent view of the clinic where she could see not only the front of the clinic, but the side leading to the car port and side doors. With the binoculars in one hand, and her danish in the other, Molly sat back and waited as she watched the house.

Eli had just finished unpacking his stuff in his new hotel room. Thankfully he was able to get another room in the same hotel. He grabbed his file on Mrs. Hollingsworth and sat on the bed just as his cell phone rang. Hoping it was Nick, who was still incognito, he jumped up and made a mad dash for the desk where he’d left it. Looking at the caller I.D, he knew right away that it wasn’t Nick.

“Hello?” He answered.

“Mr. Savidis, Detective Scott here, do you have some time to come down to the station?”

“I do have some time.” Eli looked down at his watch, “I can be there in ten minutes.” Eli hung up and gathered all his files, just in case he needed them.

In exactly ten minutes, Eli walked into the police station, lap top bag full of his files hung over his shoulder. He asked for Detective Scott at the front desk, and was just about to sit down when the detective’s Scott and Brentwood came out and escorted him into an interview room. Eli didn’t like the way this was going and the detective’s must have sensed Eli’s sudden trepidation and told him to relax, “we just want some place private to talk and spread out.”

He still didn’t relax.

“Eli, can we can call you Eli?” Scott asked.

“Sure as long as I can call you guys Wayne and Michael.” Eli countered.

“Absolutely, that’s fine. We are all working together.” Detective Wayne Scott smiled.

Michael Brentwood handed Eli a pile of files, “we have connected ten other

deaths of elderly people to your missing person’s death.”

Shocked, Eli opened the folder on top and looked through it quickly, “serial killer?”

“We think so, but a very smart one.” Wayne added. “We thought you might be interested since things look similar.”

Brentwood leaned over the table, “time-line matches, ligature marks match, the cause of death’s have also been the same. There’s signs of dehydration and starvation as well in all ten cases prior to Mrs. Hollingsworth’s death.”

“May I take a few minutes to look over everything?” He asked and the detective’s obliged leaving Eli alone with the eleven cases. Eli took his time reading through the files, making the appropriate notes to line up victimology and mapping out other similarities. There was one thing missing in the first ten cases and something Eli needed in order to close in on these victims’ killers. Their account records.

He was just getting up to find the detective’s when they came in. “Didn’t you say that Mrs. Hollingsworth’s son called in multiple missing person reports?”

“Yes I did, why?” He remained standing.

Wayne scratched the back of his head, “we just checked, and no reports were filed.”

“He told me,” Eli grabbed his bag and pulled out some of his files, “that he called several times and each time he was given the brush off.” He found the forms that he had George fill out and handed them to Wayne.

“There’s another problem,” Wayne began as he looked over the forms Eli handed him. “We did a background check on George Hollingsworth,” Eli could already tell he wasn’t going to like this. “George Hollingsworth was listed as missing two and a half months ago by his employers.”

“Then who the hell hired me?” Eli freaked out.

“We don’t know, but we have a unit going over to the place of residence to arrest whoever is there.” Michael answered.

“I have a major favour to ask of your and your department,” he began, “is there anyway that you can get me the financial and account records of the first ten victims for the four months prior to their deaths?”

“Sure, it might take a while but we can get those for you.” Michael said as he wrote down Eli’s request.

“What for?” Wayne asked curiously.

“I might be able to find a connection between them and Hollingsworth’s which we found connected to a local clinic and an insurance fraud case that my partner is working on.” Eli felt horrible, but he needed to call Molly for two reasons.

He dialed her cell and waited. He wasn’t surprised when she didn’t answer, so he left a message, “Molly, it’s Eli, don’t delete this, please listen.” He said to her voice mail. “We just connected ten more elderly people’s deaths to Mrs. Hollingsworth. I really need your help. Can you please run down through your case these names?” Eli gave the ten names over the voice mail, “and Molly, I’m so sorry I hurt you. It never was my intention. I love you.”

Eli poured over all the files again as he waited for the report about the arrest of the phony George Hollingsworth. A young police woman brought him three of the ten accounts, “there’s more coming sir.”

“Thank-you very much.” He took the reports from the young woman.

Gradually Eli found connections. All eleven victims had been missing for three months before turning up dead in different parts all over the area. Three of the victims accounts mimicked that of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s, and had been cleared out within the first month, but then they stopped. Eli figured that’s when they were reported missing and the accounts were frozen. The next three reports came in and it was the same for the first two, but the last one was different. It had been cleared out twice before it was frozen.

He pulled each of the victims files back over and checked the missing persons reports. Grabbing the receiver of the phone left in the room, he dialed the number belonging to the daughter of the sixth victim and talked to her for about an hour. Thankfully she was willing to answer the question he was asking. When Eli asked why it took her so long to file the missing person’s report, her response was that she and her family were in England for a month and a half visiting her in-laws.

“How did you know your mother had been missing for two months?” He asked.

“I talked to her just before we left, and I tried her multiple times while we were gone and never got an answer. I got so worried that we came back early.” The victim’s daughter answered. “By the time we got home, here in Georgia, and ready to make the trip north, it had been about two months.”

“Thank-you for answering my questions, and I am very sorry for your loss. I hope that we can close this case and the other’s for you.” Eli hung up.

Finally the account information for the final four victims came in, and sure enough each person was reported missing after two months. The closer he looked, the more he realized that all the phone calls kept going to an answering machine, so the family assumed that their loved one was still alive. The Police could tell they were gone

for three months since all the other bills in the first month never got paid, just the phone bill. Just as Eli suspected.

Looking down at his watch, he realized that time that had passed and that Molly hadn’t called him back. Picking up his cell phone he called the office to speak to Kendra. If Molly wouldn’t help him, maybe Kendra would.

“Hey Kendra, sorry to bug you.”

“No problem, what’s up?” She asked.

“I haven’t been able to get a hold of Molly, and I really need her help on something. Think you could help me out?”

“I could give you shit for hurting my bestie, but she’s a big girl.” Kendra stated,

It was time he explained, “I did it on purpose and it just about killed me. My case has gotten rather dangerous and I just wanted her to be safe. Could you please help me?”

He could hear her shuffling papers around on her desk, “sure, what do you need?”

“I need you or her to go over her case files and look for some names, and then fax me over everything on each of those names. Providing you have them of course.” Eli asked.

“I can do it for you, she isn’t here but lucky for you I have her files and her reports on her case.” Kendra answered. “I’ll write the names down, see what I can find and I’ll fax them over to you at the hotel.”

“Thanks Kendra. Oh don’t hand in the reports to her client yet, if you can hold off that would be wonderful.”

“I wasn’t going to. Molly likes to do face to face meetings with her clients, and she went back to Kennebunkport. She should be there now, unless she’s stuck in traffic somewhere.”

His palms started to sweat, “I wish she had stayed in Glenberry. I’m too worried about her being here. Why is she here?”

“For you. Hailey got her another room at the same hotel as before, she was suppose to check in an hour ago so I assume she’s there already. Eli, if you need any help, just call me. Especially if she gives you a hard time.”

“Thanks Kendra. I’m leaving for the hotel in a few minutes.” Eli announced just before he disengaged the call.

After receiving permission, he photo copied the police files to take back with him

to the hotel to piece the cases together, and then signed an agreement saying that the information in his possession were to remain confidential and that legal action would be pursued if he broke said agreement.

He arrived at the hotel and checked in with the front desk to see if Kendra had faxed anything yet.

“Yes, sir, a whole stack just came through,” Billy the hotel clerk handed them over to him.

“Thank-you, you can add the cost on my hotel bill, please.” Eli said as he put the faxes from Kendra into his bag.

“Consider it done sir,” smiled the clerk. “May I inquire on whether or not you’ve seen Ms. Westin, sir?”

Eli’s head snapped up, “you mean she hasn’t checked in yet?” The man shook his head. “She should have been her over an hour ago.”

“That’s why I’m asking sir. It’s unlike her not to check in on time, and I know that you two are colleagues. Plus I don’t think I can hold on to her reservation much longer. My boss will have my job.”

“If she shows up, put her in my room, neither of us want you to lose your job.” Eli smiled and then headed up the giant stair case to the floor where his room is located all the while dialing his phone. “Kendra! Molly never checked in to the hotel.”

“Are you kidding me?” Kendra responded. “She should have checked in an hour ago, and if she was stuck in traffic she would have called to tell them to hold her room.”

Eli stuck the key into the lock and entered his room, “well she hasn’t. Do you have GPS tracker in her car or cell phone?”

“Yes and yes. The car will be easier to track, because if her cell phone is turned off, we’ll get nothing.” Kendra sounded muffled, and he realized she stuck the phone between her ear and shoulder and then he heard insistent tapping on her computer keys.

“I got the faxes, and I’m going to try to go through them, if you track her let me know and I’ll go get her.” Eli stated.

“Fine, I’ll call you the moment I get anything.” Kendra hung up first this time.

He sat down at the desk in his room and ran his hands through his hair, “where the hell are you Molls?”

Molly was licking the icing from her danish from her fingers when she spotted both Harold and Jonathan Lieber rolling a cart with a large black sack towards the garage.

She grabbed her binoculars and looked through, it was a body bag. “Oh my God.”

Then her back door opened and before she could respond, she felt something around her neck. Molly struggled but soon everything went dark.

Chapter 16:

It was dark outside the windows of the hotel room where Eli was. He fought to keep his focus on the stuff Kendra faxed over to him, but that was hours ago., where the hell was Kendra’s call? Giving up, he grabbed his coat and keys from the dresser and headed out the door.

A snow storm was starting to blow in and Eli really hoped the he could find her before the storm really hit. There was a small part of him that held on to hope that he she was alright, but unfortunately fear was kicking hope’s ass. He knew in his gut that she was in danger.

Eli checked her favourite café, where apparently she had been in earlier according to the cashier. She said that she had only come in the one time and bought a danish along with her coffee, but that was four and a half hours ago. That fit in with Kendra’s time line and the hours he wasted reading stupid files when he should have been out looking for her. He sat in his care in front of the café, and tried to put himself into her shoes. If he was Molly, where would she go next?

He was too worried to think straight, but he left the café and headed in the same direction that Molly would have to the hotel. Hoping that maybe she had been stranded without cell service somewhere between the café and the hotel so he kept his eyes peeled. The snow was coming down slow but steadily and the wind was picking up, blowing snow all around the roads, making it detection near to impossible.

Frustration set in, and he gritted his teeth and angrily pounded his hands on the steering wheel, “God dammit!”

He turned a corner a little too sharp, and nearly having an accident of his own. He slowed down just a little bit, knowing that if he was to have an accident it was not going to help her any. Eli headed towards the clinic and prayed to his mother that Molly was there and safe.

Her car was parked just down the road from The Lieber House Walk-In Clinic, but judging from the snow covering the windows, she wasn’t inside. He pulled over right behind her Toyota, and he knew it was hers because of her “YODA XE2” license plate.

Eli left the warmth of his car and walked around hers. He lifted the door handle to the driver’s side door and it was opened. That alone had the hairs on the back of Eli’s neck standing up and his stomach pitching in fear. Molly was anal about locking her car and putting the CLUB on her steering wheel. It drove him nuts sometimes but she was consistent. He went in and found crumbs all over the middle counsel and some on the seat, and half of her coffee in the cup holder, and it was extremely cold, which told Eli she had been gone a while. Eli carefully searched the car, all the doors were unlocked, and the floor mat behind the driver’s side was wet to the touch, and the keys were in the ignition.

Grabbing her keys, he locked and armed her car alarm. His short hair ruffled in the giant gust of wind, as he looked over at the house where the creepiest family he’s ever met resided.

The smell of bleach permeated the air. The stench was so overpowering that she could taste it in her mouth. Molly’s headed pounded and her throat felt like a transport truck was parked on her trachea. She opened her eyes but could see nothing. Her head was in a hood, she could feel the material touching her skin. This was so not her idea of kinky.

Molly’s shoulder’s and wrists hurt, and that is when she realized that she was bound to a chair. She could feel the steel of the hand cuffs around her wrists, and her feet were tied to the chair she was sitting on as well. This wasn’t good. Not only did she despise the scent of bleach, but she knew what the use for it was in this case.

She heard the bang of metal off in the distance. It sounded like a heavy metal door opening. Several thuds which sounded like boots on a wooden stair case grew louder in her ears. Someone was coming. Make that a group of someones. Molly knew who those people were.

“Are you awake yet Miss Westin?” A familiar voice echoed. She knew it was Rona Lieber.

With her throat raw for whatever reason, she couldn’t remember why, she coughed her response.

“Good,” said the voice belonging to Harold Lieber, as he whipped the hood off her head.

The light stung her eyes. It was blaring bright, like the light a terrorist or a police officer would use when interrogating criminals. Molly closed her eyes again. She really didn’t want to see what they were going to do to her anyways.

“How are you doing? Are you nice and comfy?” Harold asked.

Swallowing a few times to clear the scratch in her throat, Molly managed to speak, “I’m a little pissed off.” She paused, “you’ve messed up my hair.”

They all laughed, then she felt the strong hand slap her face, leaving her left cheek stinging like a son of a bitch.

The four siblings of Creeper’s ville spoke to each other around her, taking turns giving their ideas on what to do with her. “I vote we torture her and steal her money, then we can dispose of her in a vat of acid.” Rona suggested.

“I think bringing back the acid isn’t such a bad idea Rona,” her brother Jonathan

agreed, “It worked for years.”

“Acid?” Molly scoffed, “can’t you come up with anything more creative? Acid’s been done.”

“Shut up liar!” Lona yelled. Her kitty cat sweater contradicting her current actions. Molly never did like those ugly sweaters. All that was missing were stirrup pants. She looked down. Or not. Lona had those covered too.

“I’m just saying that if you can come up with something that won’t tie you to past indiscretions, it might be in your best interests.” Molly’s eyes were starting to adjust to the light. “You should make my death look like a suicide. I could help out, I can write my own note.” She watched as the siblings shared looks with each other. If she can confuse them maybe that will buy her some time.

They stopped talking and circled her. The four of them standing in front of her in a semi-circle, quiet. Molly became more uneasy than she was before. They continued to converse with one another through looks, the same way that Hailey, Kendra and herself had perfected many years ago. If these four’s looks meant the same thing as Ken and Hails, then they were going to tell on her. Molly didn’t think that was it at all.

“Why were you snooping around here?” Harold Lieber asked as he walked behind her, his sister’s in tow.

Having no idea how to answer, Molly tried her hardest to think of something. She could see Jonathan’s eyes on her, but she could feel the eyes of his siblings on her. “M-my husband and I are private investigators.”

“He is not your husband!” Jonathan yelled at her just inches from her face.

She pulled her head back away from him as his breath was nasty, like cough syrup mixed with garlic. “Fine he’s not my husband, but we are private investigators.” Molly admitted.

He stood up to his full height, and peered down at her. “I know what he is. Eli Savidis took my case.” Molly wasn’t sure what he was talking about. “I can see that you have no idea what I am talking about.”

“No shit, really?” Molly said sarcastically. He responded by punching her in the jaw. Thankfully, Mike Tyson he wasn’t.

“I reported, my mother,” he said with a smirk, “Evis Hollingsworth missing. I figured once he found her body that he would go away. I could see it in his eyes that he wasn’t going away that easily, so I played the distraught son.”

“We just couldn’t figure out where you came in.” Said one of the twins behind her, “he never told Jonathan he had a partner.”

Molly’s face throbbed too much to care, and she could feel it swelling as she sat there, bound to a hard chair. “Well now you know.”

The hood was put back over her head, and she heard their foot steps parade up stairs before hearing the clank of the metal door closing. Now what?

With her hands bound with handcuffs, there was no chance of her getting out, at least not this time. She needed to think of a plan. She needed to get out of the handcuffs.

It felt like hours passed when Molly heard the door open and the softer foot steps come down the stairs. She knew that it had to be either Rona or Lona. The hood was pulled off slower than it had been when Harold had done so. The first sight she saw was that ugly cat sweater. Lona.

Lona hovered over her, just staring at her. Molly came up with the perfect excuse. “Please, I really need to use the bathroom.” Molly pleaded. “Please let me go to the bathroom.”

“I-I don’t know,” Lona hesitated, looking over her shoulder towards the stairs.

Perfect, Molly could see the remorse in Lona’s eyes. She was the submissive of the group, and Molly decided to use that to her advantage. “You’re a woman, you must understand how frustrating this is. Please Lona.” Personalizing the connection is suppose to help connect with the person who was holding you hostage.

Molly could see Lona’s resistance give way, and knew that her chance was coming to get the hell out of there. She was going to have to fight for her life, and although she wasn’t the type to fight, like Kendra was, it has never been more necessary that it was now.

“Fine,” Lona caved in, and reached for the key from the laynard from around her neck, and unhooked the hand cuffs.

Reserving her energy for when her feet were free, Molly held still. Once her feet were untied, she waited for Lona to start to stand up, then she made her move by kneeing her in the jaw. Lona flew back, and Molly was on her like a lion on it’s prey. Kicking her into the corner, Molly kept a close eye over her shoulder for Lona’s re-enforcements. Once she was sure that the psycho bitch was down, Molly made a bee-line for the stairs. She had just gotten her foot on the bottom step when Lona was back on her. Choking her from behind. Her forearm cutting off air.

“Seriously, You’re like, what, fifty?” Molly fought to get out. She managed to bite down on Lona’s arm and hearing a horrible scream pierce Molly’s ears. She remembered watching a lot of professional wrestling and the trick the guys used to get their opponents off their backs. With all her strength, Molly ran backwards towards the back wall and

smash her opponent against the hard concrete. She elbowed her once as hard as she could then turned to look at the crumpled woman on the floor. “I’m laying the SmackDown bitch!” Then felt something smash into the back of her head. The lights went out again.

Eli waited away from Molly’s car, he didn’t feel like getting caught. He was getting antsy and thought waiting too long would allow them more time to hurt her. Or worse. He left several more messages for Nick and Kendra, but now she was M.I.A..

Getting completely fed up, he tossed his cell phone on to the passenger seat of his jeep when he noticed all four siblings pile into the old station wagon. They were leaving the house. Something didn’t make sense. Maybe they didn’t have her, or maybe they already killed her. Eli’s stomach turned again. He waited until he left, then ran across the road, nearly falling on his ass.

He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a black, soft leather case with his lock picking set inside, and went to work on the side door off the original kitchen.

The locks to the house were the originals, and didn’t take Eli long to get the door opened. He looked around to see if anything looked out of place, and immediately saw a door that looked like it would lead to the basement, except it was locked with a combination lock. Looking around the room for something to bust the lock, Eli saw a row of numbers written on a wipe board.

“Thirty, nine, forty-five,” he whispered to himself before tugging on the lock, and it opened, “boom.”

Eli had to keep from running down the stairs just in case there was something unpleasant awaited for him. He noticed a splotch of blood on the concrete wall. He rounded the corner and sitting under a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling of the basement, was Molly. Eli couldn’t stop himself from running over to him. He took in her feet and hands, bound to the chair, and her face was covered in a black hood.

“Molls,” he said as he slowly pulled it off. The minute the hood was off, he saw the bruises on her face. He was going to kill somebody.

“Eli,” her voice was groggy, but was still music to his ears. “I got the key to the cuffs from Lona.”

“Where?” He asked as he bent down to undo the restraints on her feet. Knowing that they laid a hand on his Molly, pissed him off.

“I put it in my bra.”

“Lucky me,” Eli smiled up at her.

“You were right,” she admitted.

Eli retrieved the key from Molly’s bra, giving her a quick kiss. His hand was trembling because he didn’t know how long he had until they came back. “no, worries sweetie, I’m going to get us out of here.”

“Good luck with that,” said the voice of his client from behind him.

Chapter 17:

As happy as she had been to see Eli at first, Molly really wished that instead of coping a feel while he was digging around Molly’s bra for the key, he could have hurried up and had them at least ready to fight the family off. Part of her didn’t believe he took his time on purpose as she could feel his hands shaking. Out what she didn’t know.

Eli was seated behind her, his hands restrained the same way as hers. She could touch his hands with hers, which confirmed that his back was to hers.

The murdering psycho’s left the hood off of Molly this time, and the light that had been above her kept flickering. The light gave her a better opportunity to really look at the basement. A cold storage was on her far right, but the door was shut and latched. The floors were painted white, and the area near her and Eli had the walls also painted white, unlike the area near the stairs where the walls were just concrete. She moved her feet, and noticed that her boots stuck slightly. The floors had been recently painted. She looked down at the floor and studied it for some time, allowing her to see the impact prints of multiple footprints on the soft surface.

Eli stirred behind her, as he became more aware he struggled more. She stretched out her hands and grasped his as best as she could in order to calm him down. She didn’t want the freaks to come and check on them.

“By chance, Molls,” he began, “do you have another key?”

“That would be a no, and even if I did, I would be unable to get it.” She answered.

He struggled more, “why did you come back?”

Molly could tell that he was frustrated and she could also tell Eli she returned to piss him off, or the truth. She went with the truth, “I came back to help you.”

“Good job,”he responded.

“You know what Eli, screw you. Screw you in the ass with a butter knife.” She wondered where that came from. She was used to creating new phrases but that one wasn’t her style.

“Ah,” he began, “you could have warned me that someone was there.”

“Hate to tell you this buddy, but they were behind me when they hit you, so if anyone should have seen them coming, it should have been you.” Eli was getting on Molly’s nerves.

He kept picking small fights with her, ones he apparently can’t win, and that just made him more irritable.

“Is your chair metal or wood Molls?” He wondered.

She was ready with a smart comeback but hadn’t expected that question from him. “Metal, why?”

“Shit, mine too.” He took a deep breath, “I once saw this thing on Dexter, where he got caught by another serial killer and he escaped by knocking over the wood chair or table, I can’t remember which, but it broke so he got loose.”

“I hate to break it to you but this isn’t television, although I’m starting to understand Dexter’s motives a bit more.” The door opened, so she whispered, “besides if you tipped over your chair, you would break your wrist or arm, or both.”

Eli turned his head to see which Lieber sibling was approaching them. He clutched Molly’s hands in his. It was the man who hired him, George Hollingsworth, or so he said that was his name. He knew back at the police station when he found out that the real George had been reported missing. George was really Jonathan Lieber.

“Took you long enough to figure it out,” Lieber taunted as he stood before Eli. “You can imagine my surprise when I saw you in my clinic with her.” He purposely smacked Molly in the back of the head.

Eli gritted his teeth to keep from saying something that would put Molly at risk if he had pissed Lieber off more. He really wanted to tell him off. That vain was popping out of his forehead. Eli could feel it throbbing.

“What’s the matter Eli, didn’t like what I did your wife?” He laughed a very evil sounding laugh, “Oh that’s right, you’re not married.”

Jonathan Lieber pulled Molly’s chair to the side and around so that Eli could watch him run his hand through her hair. Eli could see the dry blood gnatting in her honey coloured hair. He responded by tugging on his cuffs. He hoped that he could have the strength of the Incredible Hulk to break through the cuffs restraining him.

“You are beautiful, and both my siblings told me that you have a lovely….”

“FUCK OFF you psycho!” Eli screamed. He wanted to forget that he pimped out his girlfriend’s uterus for the sake of the case to those psychos.

His out burst triggered a severe reaction from the one currently touching Molly. Jonathan raised his leg and hoofed Eli’s left shoulder so hard, tipping his chair over on it’s side. Eli grunted loudly as he felt pain shoot up his arms, and as he felt his own bones in his hand and wrists break on impact. Clenching his teeth together to keep from screaming, he swore instead.

The next sound he heard was Molly’s gasp, and her calling out his name, followed by the sound of an open palm on a face. He had slapped her.

“You, Mr. Savidis are the worst private investigator I have ever had the pleasure to kill.” Jonathan stopped and looked up at the floor above him when a thumping noise came from above.

Eli gritted his teeth from the pain, “so I’m not the first?”

Returning his attention to Eli, Jonathan leaned down and righted the chair he was on. “Oh no. I do have to say this,” thump-thump, he looked back up. “None of you are smart enough to work in teams, until,” thump, “what the…” thump.

“I’ll tell you this Lieber, Molly and I have two other partners.”

“That’s…” thump-thump, “nice.” Jonathan punched Eli in the face then raced up the stairs.

“What the hell is that noise, Eli?” Molly asked.

“I’m fine, thanks for asking.” He rolled his head to look at her. “With any luck it, it’s them killing each other.”

“With any luck.”

“By the way, you were wrong. It’s not the arm and wrist that break. It’s the wrist and hand.”

“Semantics,” then flinched at another series of thumps above her.

Eli smiled, “I’m sorry I pushed you away, and I am really sorry for hurting you.”

Her face turned as soft as it could with all the bruising and swelling, “I’m sorry I didn’t listen and stayed away.”

“Me too.” Glass broke over their heads. Eli looked up. “I hope to hell that’s help.” Molly nodded in agreement. “Molls, in case it isn’t help.” Eli swallowed the lump in his throat. “I just want you to know that I love you.”

“I love you too,” she looked up as multiple series of bangs and glass breaking sounded, “who the hell knows we’re here?”

More loud noises, “Kendra.”

“Sounds like her,” Molly snickered. The noise all stopped, “although I thought that she would have more stealth than that.”

Eli chuckled, but stopped the moment he heard the door open. Hefty sounding foot steps thumped down the stairs. It definitely was not Kendra.

“Yo, what’s up you two?”

“Nick!” Molly gasped.

“Hey sexy, is Eli knocking you around down here?” Nick acted cool as a cucumber, but concern was in his eyes and etched in his face.

“Not this time Nicky,” Eli responded. “I’m a little tied up at the moment.”

Nick laughed as he unlocked Molly’s hand cuffs, then cut the restrains around her feet with a pocket knife. Once she was freed he went to Eli. “Careful with Eli, Nick,” she warned. “Fucker broke his hand.”

“Shitty,” he said as he gingerly unlocked the cuffs.

“How are you containing the freaks up stairs?” Eli winced.

Nick worked on the binds on Eli’s feet as sirens blared in the background. “I arrived just as Kendra did. I lost the coin toss.”

“For what?” Molly asked as she tried to stand, but she was so stiff from sitting for hours.

“She’s got the gun and isn’t letting them even move or flinch.” He responded. “We flipped a coin as to who got to keep them at gun point.”

That did it, Molly found her legs and jumped to her feet, “are you crazy or something? Arming Kendra of all people?”

Nick placed his hands on her shoulder’s and made her sit. “While you and Eli were here working on your cases, Kendra go her license and is now allowed to carry on the job.”

“Not my point.”

“Molly, if she kills them, she kills them,” Eli said really not giving a fuck.

She looked over at the man who said he loved her, “it’s not them I’m worried about, it’s Nick.”

Nick laughed it off, “no worries. She realized we’re on the same side. Oh, hey Molly, whose the giant guy with the tats and the huge ears?”

“Not now Nick.”

“Oh you’re talking about Matt, Kendra’s ex-boyfriend.” Molly answered.

Molly looked past Nick to see Kendra rounding the corner after taking the last step on the stairs, relief flooded her partner’s face.

“Are you talking smack about me?” Kendra joked.

“Aren’t you suppose to be guarding the Adam’s Family?” Nick asked.

Kendra looked at him over her shoulder, “the police have all four under control, douche bag.” Molly missed her best friend so much that hearing Ken say “douche bag” felt like warm apple pie on a cool fall evening. That’s when Molly realized that she was weird.

The Emergency Medical Technicians came down the stairs interrupting their warm and cozy moment. The police were right behind them, wanting Eli and Molly’s statements, but the EMT’s staked their claims and told the police to talk to them at the hospital.

Molly was about to argue but she caught a look from Eli, who needed to go, and his eyes pleaded with her to just go to humour him.

Without argument, Molly and Eli shared the ambulance to the hospital. Nick and Kendra hung back to talk to the police.

“Marry Me?” Eli asked.

Epilogue:

“I can’t believe you’re licensed to carry a gun.” Molly said as she followed behind Kendra and Hailey.

Kendra looked over her shoulder, “could be worse. Hailey could be the one packing heat.”

Hailey whacked Kendra with her flowers, “hey! Careful with those. They have to look perfect for the photos. Then feel free to kill each other with your bouquets.”

“Sorry,” both Hailey and Kendra responded.

They stopped at a set of large wooden doors. Kendra turned around, wearing a long baby pink, satin dress with one strap on her shoulder and the other exposed, to help fix the train on Molly’s wedding gown. Hailey fixed the crown of flowers around Megan’s head, and straightened Sheldon’s tie.

It wasn’t until she saw her father blink back his tears behind his glasses, that Molly had to try to do the same. She looked down to the floor to avoid getting emotional, then started to laugh hysterically. Kendra, Hailey and the kids all turned to look at her as if she had Maine lobsters crawling out of her ears.

“Dad, I love you, but please tell me that you’re not walking me down the aisle in lime green Crocs?”

Henry looked down at his feet then looked up at his daughter and grinned, “they’re lime green?”

“Yes dad,” Molly answered.

He shrugged, “oh well, you’ll deal with it.”

Molly watched the looks on Kendra and Hailey’s faces as they exchanged panicked looks.

If anyone could diffuse a situation it was Molly. “Dad, I love that you want to be comfortable, because Lord knows that I’d like to be,” she paused in order to phrase the rest of this right, “mom is going to freak out if she sees those.”

Henry took a deep breath, “oh, shit,” and off he went down the hall to change his shoes.

Kendra and the kids started to laugh. “You laugh, and call me bridezilla, but trust me, that’s nothing compared to momzilla.” Molly then added, “nothing.”

Her father returned wearing the proper foot wear, and now they were all set.

“God I want her so bad,” Nick whispered.

Eli turned to his left and looked at hi best friend, “dude, you better not be talking about my wife.”

“No, I was talking about Kendra, and technically Molly isn’t your wife yet, so free reign.”

The music stopped and Eli watched as Kendra and Hailey took their places across from him and his groomsmen. He could swear he hear the drool leaving Nick’s mouth. The entire church stood up, and Eli felt a hand on his back pushing him forward. He looked to see his soon to be brother-in-law, Alex, step back into place next to Nick. “Thank-you” he mouthed and Alex gave a slight nod.

Megan and Sheldon walked down the aisle first. Megan tossing flowers and Sheldon holding on to the leash belonging to Chewbacca as the rings lightly clinked from his collar. Eli smiled at the two kids. Sheldon winking back and giving him a thumbs up. Looks like Nick has a fan.

When he looked up, the woman he loved was just starting down the long aisle on the arm of her father. She looked radiant, as the top part of her dress’ bodice was tight enough to give her the perfect amount of cleavage, and the skirt was puffed out slightly, and was a plain white. Simple and elegant. His Molly was anything but simple, but she was definitely elegant.

Henry handed over his daughter to Eli without hesitation. A compliment if Eli ever knew one. He felt her soft warm hand in his, and his heart swelled with overwhelming happiness. She smiled at him and he responded with “you take my breath away.”