Authors: Carrigan Fox
The MaCall Prophecy Trilogy
Published by Carrigan Fox
Copyright 2013 Carrigan Fox
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Overcome with rage, the bearded man slammed his finger in the drawer and bellowed a string of obscenities. He reached for the back of the file cabinet and toppled it with a grunt of satisfaction. His satisfaction was short-lived.
“There’s nothing here.”
He turned to glare at the officer and snarled, “There has to be something.”
“No photos, no calendar events, no emails, nothing. There’s no sign of the woman.”
“But this is definitely the guy.”
The question was in his tone, a tone that raised doubt over the competence of the man who was giving orders.
The younger officer nodded, his eyes darting shiftily around the room, as though making a last ditch effort to identify any shred of significant evidence.
His white blond eyebrows drew together in concentration and the bearded man was reminded of the young Nazi officer in The Sound of Music. He tried to imagine him dancing in the rain in a gazebo and smirked to himself.
“How old are you, Dawson? Seventeen…going on eighteen?” he snorted.
Dawson’s pale blue eyes flicked back to the bearded man. “Twenty-two, sir.” His young, clean-shaven face suggested no sense of humor. And clearly he had no knowledge of one of the world’s greatest musicals. The bearded man had fallen in love with Julie Andrews when he had been young. But hell, that was a lifetime ago. These days, given the proper motivation, he’d as soon put a bullet in each member of the Von Trapp family.
Behind his beard, he frowned and returned his attention to the
room. It was a tastefully but expensively furnished office. The mahogany desk had been practically cleared when they first entered the room, with none of the typical office equipment or notes that one would usually find on an office desk. The charcoal colored Herman Miller desk chair had been pushed in meticulously. Opposite the desk had stood two dark leather chairs. He was half tempted to try one of them out to see if it was as comfortable as it looked. He wondered if he had time for a quick cigar.
He dug the steel toe of his boot into the plush Oriental rug and sneered as he imagined burning his cigar down to a stub and carelessly tapping ash onto the rug.
Better yet, he could drop the stub and use the heel of his boots to grind it into the carpeting. At best, the doctor would never get rid of the cigar scent. If he were lucky, the rug would catch fire and take out the entire building.
He frowned again, knowing that they needed to clear out. They hadn’t found what they had come for, and he didn’t want to destroy any possible evidence.
It was possible they had arrived too early, in which case they’d have to come back again to reinvestigate…soon.
Maybe he’d get to enjoy a good smoke in the leather chairs
Jac MaCall was trying desperately to focus on breathing
deeply, inhale…exhale, but the sound of her sister’s ringtone was annoyingly distracting. She sighed when her phone finally fell silent and then groaned and unfolded herself when it rang again. She stood straight and stretched another moment before grabbing the cursed technological device.
“Hello, Taryn,” she greeted with very little annoyance in her voice.
“I need your help, Jac.” She continued on without waiting for agreement. “I’m on the side of the mother loving road with a flat tire. The tow truck I called is taking his sweet pony time. And I’ve got a consult a few blocks from your store.”
“Do you need me to pick you up?”
“I need you to take the consult. It’s in nine minutes.”
“Oh, Taryn,” she groaned.
“I know, I know. But I just need you to handle this one.”
you and Dad that I was done. You know that I have no passion for the security business.”
“You’re great with the consults, Jac. It’s a natural gift.”
“It’s a drag,” Jaclyn complained.
“Thank you,” her sister sang.
Jaclyn glanced out the window at the darkening skies and said a small spiteful prayer for rain to make her sister’s breakdown even more complete. Then she checked her watch and headed for the door, grabbing her purse along the way.
Her phone pinged at her, indicating that her sister had texted her the address. She didn’t need the street number. It was
a single story building in town that had been built specifically to serve as Archer Family Counseling. She had been driving past the sign on her way to her shop for months now. There were always cars parked in front of the small office building, so she had to assume that Dr. Archer’s business was booming. She imagined a small, portly man wearing glasses and a sweater vest. His hair would be thinning on top.
Personally, she didn’t believe in therapy…at least not the kind that was conducted by a psychiatrist. There were better ways. She practiced a small professional smile as she made her way up the sidewalk.
Inside, Will Archer impatiently glanced at the clock another time, wondering how MaCall Securities Consulting could possibly be the best when the representative couldn’t even manage to find his office on time. He ignored his restless urge to pace and leaned back in his chair instead, making another effort to concentrate on the case studies he’d been working on.
When the doorbell rang, he tucked the files back into the folder and muttered, “Seven minutes late.”
He opened the door as the heavens opened up, drenching the woman outside the front entrance. She stood with her back to him, not much over five feet tall, her blond-streaked chestnut colored hair catching his attention for the briefest of moments. Then he realized what she was wearing. She had on black cotton pants that were cropped almost to the knee and fit her rear end like spandex and a short plum colored hoodie. She whirled around to face him with the most electrifying grin on her face that extended to her eyes…eyes that were grey…no, they were lavender. He stood staring for a moment.
“Perfect,” she laughed, shaking rain out of
the short hair that fell only to her jaw line.
“Hello?” he greeted with a question.
“May I come in? I’ll shake your hand when I’m not getting poured on.” He stepped aside and she moved past him like a whisper, turning to look back into the rain. She added, “Spectacular,” before turning back to face him. “I’m looking for Dr. Archer.”
“I’m sorry,” he stuttered. “I’m not seeing any
more patients this evening. I have an appointment.” He had heard the phrase ‘laughing at the rain’ before, but this gorgeous eccentric made it look really attractive.
She laughed and held out her hand. The movement drew his attention to her hoodie, which was not, at the moment, zipped up. She wore a black sports bra underneath. Her belly was tanned and toned. And he swallowed thickly when the light reflected off of the silver jewel in her belly button. “I’m Jaclyn of MaCall Securities Consulting. I do apologize for being a couple of minutes late.”
“Seven minutes,” he blurted out without intending to be rude. He simply was--if nothing else--a stickler for details.
She hesitated a moment before smiling again. “
That’s an excellent sign. Seven is my lucky number.”
He was fairly certain she was laughing at him. He reached out to take her hand and was surprised by the firm grip of her handshake.
After another moment of awkward silence, she looked around the office and suggested that he show her around and tell her what he had in mind for his new security system.
She followed him from the entrance
and lobby into his office and tried not to admire his rear end. His hair was blond with the tiniest hint of curl around the ears. And he showed no signs of balding. And while he did wear glasses, they looked cute in a nerdy way on the bridge of his straight Roman-esque nose. His mouth was full and serious.
“I think that a new alarm system with cameras should be enough. But I want state-of-the-art. I had a break-in two nights ago, and they by-passed my alarm system.”
“You had a break-in?” She couldn’t imagine why anyone would break into his office. She couldn’t believe that he kept any prescription medications on hand, and these days everyone knew better than to keep a lot of cash lying around.
“Yes. I mentioned that to you on the phone.” He narrowed his eyes at her, wondering how such a flake had come to represent MaCall Securities Consulting.
“I didn’t speak to you. You probably had the initial phone consult with Taryn. She, unfortunately, experienced some car trouble and is probably standing in the rain at this very moment cursing her bad luck.” Her purple eyes flicked to the storm-darkened window and she smiled broadly.
She was cute. And sexy as hell. And it wasn’t just the belly button ring. He admired her shapely legs in her work-out clothes for another brief moment.
“Why would someone have broken into a psychiatrist’s office? Drugs?”
“I only write prescriptions. I have nothing here.”
“Do you have many violent patients who might do something like this?”
A couple of rage issues or violent tendencies, but none of them would do this. And I don’t have any addicts who would be desperate for a fix,” he answered, honestly and without offense.
“So who would have broken in?”
“I have no idea. Perhaps it was someone who expected to find medications, someone who isn’t a patient and doesn’t know that I have nothing on hand here.”
“What did it look like? The office I mean,” she added.
He hesitated a moment, and she admired the way his head was cocked slightly to the side as he studied her with open curiosity…like an adorable cocker spaniel. He was cute. And sexy as hell. She blamed the glasses that accented the beautifully intelligent and serious green eyes.
“I already spoke with the police about this.”
She smiled sincerely and disarmingly. “If you would like me to use my expertise to recommend the best security, Dr. Archer, I need to get an idea of what you’re up against.”
Again, he didn’t answer her question. Instead, she noticed his eyes dropping to her flat belly before he asked, “How long have you worked at MaCall Securities Consulting?”
“I haven’t worked for MSC in nearly two years now. I actually own my own shop down the street. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Triskele.”
“You don’t work for MSC?”
“Not anymore. I told you that Taryn asked me to fill in for her because she was not able to make the consult on time.”
“She could have re-scheduled. I think that I would prefer to work with Taryn or a current employee.”
Jac smiled to assure him that she wasn’t offended by his uptight rudeness. “I assure you, Dr. Archer, that I am as competent as Taryn. And when you consider that she’s fairly obtuse and doesn’t embrace her intuitive nature, in some respects I am even more competent than Taryn.”
His eyes widened in surprise and disapproval.
Jac laughed in response. “I’m Jac
. I did mention that, didn’t I? Taryn is my little sister.”
“And your father owns the company.”
“But you haven’t worked for the company in two years.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “I wasn’t driven by my career at MSC. So I took my savings, applied for a loan, and started Triskele.”
“What is Triskele?”
Jac considered her words carefully, both wanting to show her pride in her shop while not scaring off a potential customer for her sister. “Triskele is a shop that specializes in developing and strengthening intuitive health and awareness.”