Fortune Furlough (Miss Fortune Mystery 14) - Page 101
After a run-in with a particularly pushy reporter and the “unexplained” destruction of ten thousand dollars’ worth of camera equipment, the DEA took pity on us and moved us to a private island they used for retreats. The mansion on the island came complete with a housekeeper, cook, and beach butler, which I’d never heard of but was totally cool.
So now, I sat on the beach of a private island, on my recently extended vacation, holding a drink that had just been served to me by the butler. Ida Belle reclined in the chair next to me, a frosty drink in one hand and her e-reader in the other. Gertie had discovered a metal detector among the beach toys and was off searching for pirate treasure.
My cell phone signaled a text. It was from Byron. I read it and smiled.
“Something naughty from Carter?” Ida Belle asked.
“No. Good news from Byron. Apparently Martin didn’t spend all the money he scammed. Benton seized a sizable hunk from the safe in his room. It’s going to be divvied up among the women they know were scammed by him.”
Ida Belle smiled. “That’s incredible news.”
I nodded. “It won’t make them whole, but at least they’ll be getting something back.”
“And I’ll bet they never give anyone money again.”
My phone rang and I answered Carter’s call.
“Are the reporters and their equipment safe?” Carter asked.
I laughed. “Perfectly. They can’t exactly get to us on a private island, especially if they don’t know where we are.”
“Private island?” Carter asked. “I just thought they were moving you to another resort farther along the coast.”
“That’s what they said, but then they brought us here. And it’s awesome.” I described the house and the servant situation.
“A big white house, Caribbean style, with turquoise doors and shutters?” Carter asked.
“Yes. How did you know?”
He started laughing. “That was the compound of a drug lord. They confiscated it several years back.”
“Well, I suppose that’s irony for you.”
“I’ve got to run, but try not to get into any more trouble before you get home. I hate to say it, but Sinful has been a little quiet since you guys have been gone. Even Celia is moping around like a dog without a fight.”
“We’ll be home in a couple days and I’m sure Celia has been saving up all her contempt for our return.”
I disconnected and told Ida Belle what Carter had said.
“Two more days in paradise,” Ida Belle said. “Then it’s back home to Celia.”
“The devil you know.”
“Ha. That’s one way to look at it.”
“Well, then I feel we must make the most of the next forty-eight hours. I want nothing but peace and quiet and sleeping on the beach with that well-mannered butler bringing us yummy treats and drinks that aren’t watered down.”
“You and me both.”
We both leaned back, and I closed my eyes, ready to enjoy nothing but the sound of the surf. A minute later, I heard pounding footsteps on the sand and a panting Gertie—wearing an evening gown—ran up to our chairs.
“You’re not going to believe what I found in the sand dunes,” she said. “Barrels of money and a human skull!”
I looked over at Ida Belle and grinned. “So much for peace and quiet.”
“Next year,” she said. “Separate vacations.”