Chapter 1 – Breaking & Entering
April opened the drawer quietly. She pawed through the papers looking for anything suspicious that she could use as evidence. The flashlight slipped from her hand, and she reacted quickly. She managed to grab it again before it hit the floor, but the flashlight smacked into the edge of the drawer making a loud hollow sound.
She paused what she was doing and ducked down for a minute, waiting to see if anyone would come to see what was going on. April held her breath in the dark office. It was a large room with a few steps that led down into another larger open area overlooking the city. Two large couches filled a part of the space closest to the window with a coffee table between them.
April had never been in this room during the day. She wondered if Tony ever had. Did he sit in the couch overlooking the city with that beautiful view casually discussing the terrible things they were doing with his partners? She could imagine him there casually sipping his coffee as if this were just another one of his multi-million dollar business deals.
How could he be so heartless? This was the man she had fallen in love with. The man she had married and promised to spend her life with. The man whose children she bore. This was a betrayal of trust far beyond anything she had ever imagined possible. How could he do this to her?
She was furious. If she found what she was looking for and could prove what she suspected to be true, nothing would keep her from exacting her revenge on the man she had once loved.
Sure, she would confront him and give him a chance to prove himself innocent. There was always the possibility that she could be wrong. But only a very tiny chance. All the mounting evidence seemed to be pointing in one direction.
Her husband was guilty.
A gleam of light flashed through the window as the guard came walking on his round. The light glowed softly off the wall. She wondered if he would enter the room as she squeezed in under the desk and pulled the chair back in after her.
She held her breath again and closed her eyes as the guard stopped at the door. He shined the light in and flashed it around a few times before continuing on to check on the rest of the rooms on the forty-seventh floor.
This was the only floor that had its own guard on duty twenty-four-seven. The rest of the building had its own security team with cameras and the whole nine yards. But they did things differently up here on this floor. They had their own security team. It was a completely different company that ran things up here. They had all the same toys as the boys below. The same top-of-the-line security equipment. But they also liked to do things the old-fashioned way.
Tony always said that there some things you just couldn’t depend on technology to do for you. That some things just needed to be done by hand.
April shuddered and tried not to imagine what all that involved. She still didn’t know much. She never had probed into what it was that Tony actually did here at LocTech. Sure, she knew they were a technology company that derived most of their profits from medical research and development that they licensed out to other companies for a share of participation and profits. They also had some top-secret government contracts.
But she never would have guessed that Tony could actually be involved in something so gruesome. Nor that he would have involved his own family members in this mess.
In hindsight, it was pretty obvious. She should have seen the handwriting on the wall. She didn’t know how she had managed to ignore it all this time. I mean, it had been staring her right in the face.
Maybe she just didn’t want to admit it. She felt guilty almost for not having noticing and taking action before. Not that it was her fault, but that she was guilty by association. Guilty for her negligence in asking questions sooner. Now, it was too late, and she had no one else to blame. But that was no longer the case. She was going to get to the bottom of this if that was the last thing she did.
Even if it killed her.
The guard had left already, and the flashlight’s glow continued receding down the hall. She pawed through the remaining drawers but still didn’t find anything useful. Hamilton was organized and obviously believed in minimalism. There wasn’t much in his drawers for her to even go through.
It was completely unlike Tony’s office down the hall. She had been in there lots of times, and it was always a mess. She looked out the window through the door to head back. The guard had stopped to check his phone. He was just standing there in the middle of the hall as he leaned up against the wall. If she ratted on him, she could have him fired because she knew it was against company policy. The guards were supposed to remain alert and avoid distractions. They weren’t even allowed to have a television on at night up here on floor forty-seven.
April knew because she had looked into it when she was researching how to break into these offices. She had known it would make her task more difficult. There wouldn’t just be some fat, lazy dude chugging down coffee and doughnuts engrossed in some old horror flick to block out the noise of her intrusion.
So, here she was now with this guard standing outside her door on his cell phone. Not that she could rat him out even she was concerned about the security of her husband’s company because that would raise questions about what she was doing in Hamilton’s office at three a.m.
He didn’t budge for several minutes, so she sighed and went back into the other room to sit down on the couch. She was tired. It had been a long night. She had been sneaking in and out of offices for the past several hours. She had already visited seven of the twelve director’s offices. And so far, hadn’t turned up anything interesting.
She laid down on the couch to stay out of sight if the guard should happen to come back by and look through the window. It was so comfortable here. She snuggled her head in deeper into the pillows. They smelled nice. Like flowers and lilies. Must have been a woman that sat here last.
April looked out over the city. This was her city. She had been born and raised here among Brimhill’s elite. Her father had been a powerful businessman and even been mayor for a term. He was a well-respected man in town even though he had long retired and didn’t leave his estate much. She loved him and tried to imagine leaving him and this city behind.
If things were as bad as she thought they were, there was no way she could stay here. Even if she was innocent, people would still consider her guilty by association.
If she exposed them.
Maybe she didn’t have to. Maybe she could just let things go. Keep on living the good life. Bad things happened. It wasn’t her fault. She wasn’t responsible for what they were doing.
She could just put her head down and act like she didn’t know anything at all. It was better than having her head shot off which was very likely to happen. She had heard the horror stories about Hamilton back in his younger days.
That was how he had built up his wealth and founded the company as senior partner. He was like a godfather from the old mafia organizations, only he wasn’t Italian. Actually, she didn’t know where he was from. He was pretty secretive about it, and no one ever would tell her anything. Even Tony brushed her off by saying he was from down south somewhere.
Really. Like no one would ever want to know where you were from and brush it off like that. At the very least, he could have made something up. Or even just stuck his finger on the map and mentioned a name. Or maybe that was just part persona he wanted to portray. The mysterious mobster.
April snickered at the thought and sat up carefully. She checked to make sure the guard wasn’t at the door before standing up. It was too dangerous staying on the couch. The last thing she wanted to do was fall asleep there and wake up with Hamilton standing over her wanting to know why she was asleep on the couch in his office.
She walked back to the door and peeked through the window. The guard was gone. She sighed in relief. April opened the door slowly to avoid making any noise and tiptoed down to the next office. Just as she got there though and started to open the door, someone yelled out at her.
“Hey! What are you doing? Stop right there.”
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