9:08 AM Somewhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Chase woke at 6:00 AM and immediately read the previous day’s reports. He reviewed the news, checked messages from international contacts, and completed a 2-hour morning routine.
A double shot of espresso later, he was driving down the highway from San Francisco towards LA for an evening conference.
An ‘unknown caller’ activated his in-car Bluetooth.
He pressed to pick up, “Devineaux.”
“Secured line please,” the contralto request wasn’t unusual.
“Hold on,” he smiled and tapped a code on his linked communicator, “Right, we’re good.”
She waited a few seconds more.
“The weather in Buenos Aires was amicable,” she started.
He processed her clue, raised his brows and countered, “I see you did the thing.”
“I did,” a laugh was in her voice, “Thank you.”
Chase nodded at the ‘thank you,’ despite knowing she would be blind to his action, “So what happened?”
“I gave him the locket,” her tone remained steady, “Only one of us knew the woman in it, and it wasn’t me.”
Devineaux exhaled with some relief, she seemed happy, "Glad this ends well."
“...And I was thinking,” her topic shifted, “Meet me in Nice? Let’s race down the Upper Corniche to Menton.”
“This weekend?” The weekends were busy along the Corniches and it was wiser to race either at night or before sunrise. He wanted to avoid traffic. If safety was a real concern, there shouldn’t be a race at all, but the mention of Menton reminded him of limoncello, and he could use some. He suggested, “I can do Saturday night, predawn Sunday, but I need to be in Brussels Monday afternoon.”
“Airport, Saturday night, I’ll have a car ready,” she ended the call.
With voice command, Chase connected to Renee Grovesnor.
“Renee, free up my weekend? I need to take a flight to Nice, I’ll find my own way to Belgium.”
“Certainly,” she affirmed, “You have a redundancies meeting with Organized Crimes this Friday morning, I’ll cancel?”
“Move it to next week.”
“Friday afternoon, a conference call with Milan?”
“I’ll take that mid-trip.”
“Saturday afternoon reviewing cadet performance at the airfield?”
“Send Euge an apology, please.”
“Yoga with Dr. Weller and his wife early Sunday morning?”
“How... did I get invited into that?”
“Last week’s dinner conversation,” Apparently, Renee was keeping notes.
“Cancel politely and send him a box of that gluten-free stuff he likes.”
“Done, and...,” his assistant trailed, “Chase? There’s a Malcolm Avalon calling you, this is the second time this morning, should I patch him through?”
“Who?” Chase knew the answer to that question, but he was buying time.
“Malcolm Avalon,” Renee repeated, this time clearer, “He’s not a previous contact, I can relay--”
“No, it’s fine, let him through.”
As signals from Argentina rerouted through ACME and into Chase’s calibrated communicator, the indicating tones beeped an eternity.
Then came the silence.
“Devineaux,” Chase reluctantly greeted.
“Director Devineaux,” there was a pause.
“Yes, Mr. Avalon,” the detective apprehensively offered, “What can I do for you?”
“I’ve been told, Mr. Devineaux,” Avalon was more forward, “that you are the man to contact, if I want to find my daughter.”
Some things never end, Chase suddenly realized, they only get more complicated.
This concludes the 4-part journal entry, thanks for reading. If you do want this to continue, one way or another, put suggestions in the comments below. Feel free to give ideas.
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