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by Jeannine D. Van Eperen
Description: A kidnapping during Carnival in Rio De Janeiro begins a twenty year odyssey of lust, destruction and redemption
eBook Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc., 2010 2010
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [302 KB]
Reading time: 192-270 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
"Oh, what an exciting night!" Margaret said as they walked down the wide corridor to their hotel room. Her high heels clicked on the grey tile floor beneath her feet. She had been too busy with luggage and Chris to notice much of the hotel earlier, but now in her slightly inebriated state, she felt relaxed and her eyes took in the wide expanse of hallway and the other surroundings.
"And you didn't want to go out," Hugh teased.
"Hugh, dinner must have been expensive..."
"Hang the expense. We have to have some fun while we're still young enough to enjoy it." He chuckled. "Besides, my half of the meal goes on my expense account."
"This is a nice place," Margaret said, sounding and feeling a little tipsy. They had celebrated first with old-fashioneds, but then decided to try the waiter's suggestion of a cairpininha. The attractive and solicitous man had told them it was Brazil's national drink and it would be a shame not to drink at least one during this carnival season. Well, one taste of the cocktail led to another. She never drank much alcohol, usually preferring ginger ale, but as they say, "When in Rome," so it must apply to "When in Brazil" as well. She hiccupped. Hugh's arm tightened around her waist, steadying her. "Hugh, honey, I'm glad we did go out and kick up our heels tonight. What time is it, anyway?"
Hugh checked his watch. "Oh, boy! It's after midnight. I hope the sitter isn't too upset we're out so late. Where'd the time go?"
They reached their room doorway. He put the key into the door's lock. "They're probably both asleep by now," he whispered before opening the door. "But I do hear the television." He pushed the door open slowly so as not to disturb the sitter, who probably dozed, before he needed to do so. He wanted to be extra-polite and he also decided he'd give her a pretty good tip. They walked into the room. Stopped and looked at each other, confused. The bed was still made. The room service items were on the table and it was apparent Chris had eaten.
"No one's here," Margaret said. "Where are they?" Her eyes opened wide and she began to feel panic. No longer did she feel tipsy.
"Maybe Chris couldn't sleep and she took him for a walk."
She shook her head no. Her legs could no longer hold her and she fell back onto the chair by the table. "Hugh! What's happened?"
"I'm sure everything is fine," he answered as his stomach began to feel tied in knots, and he hoped he voiced the truth."
"Chris! Chris! Where are you?" Margaret cried, not wanting to believe her son was gone.
"I'll phone the desk." Hugh picked up the receiver and voiced his concern to the desk clerk. "My son and the sitter are missing. Are they in the lobby for some reason?"
"No, sir. No one's here. They must be somewhere," he said easily, not believing there was cause for concern. "Did you check the pool area? Maybe the boy couldn't sleep and they went out to the pool."
"I'll check, but if they're not there, I want you to get the police. Don't hang up."
Hugh ran outside through the sliding door he found wasn't locked. He looked around the area calling both names. "Chris, son, are you out here? Mrs..." It was then Hugh realized he didn't know the woman's last name. "Alicia? Alicia!" No one answered and no one was in the pool area. A couple of room lights flicked on as the occupants were disturbed by his loud calling. He ran back into the room.
Margaret was in tears. She had checked the closet and bureau drawers. "Hugh, Chris' clothes and toys are missing. She's stolen our son!"