by Terri Herman-Ponce
David Bellotti’s only focus is to find his abducted twelve-year old daughter. When he sees her on a news segment with her captor, a renowned archaeologist who’s made a major discovery, David sets out to bring her back home. But the search leads him to a secret message that could alter man’s history forever.
A message David and his daughter inscribed twelve-thousand years ago.
A message that will prove dangerous in the wrong hands.
Protecting this powerful information seems simple until David realizes some people will use his daughter against him to get it, at whatever the cost. Now David must make a choice. Protect mankind from a secret past that must remain hidden, or save his little girl.
I put the glass on the coffee table, raced upstairs for my laptop, and came back downstairs. When I got to the den, Lottie was finishing what was left of my Herradura. She poured another glass while I powered up the laptop, pulled up a search engine, and typed in Kyra Brand’s name.
Just like the online digging I did three years ago after her death, I tried different searches with different combinations, pairing Kyra’s name with the Blue Insignia Hotel in London, then with Paris where she and her ex-boyfriend spent time, and with the Soft Zephyr Charity Gala where we met.
And, like three years ago, I still got nothing.
Then, for the hell of it, I paired her name with PROs.
That left me with one option. I dug my cell phone out of my back pocket and dialed Nat. Best friend or not, he had tech skills I envied and that I relied on more often than I could remember, both professionally and personally.
“I need your help,” I told him when he answered.
“I love you too, but you gotta find new foreplay. Those four words aren’t doing it for me anymore.”
“I need information on Kyra Brand.” I spelled out the name for him and told him what I needed and why.
“You sure you had the right name when you met her?” he asked when I finished the story. “You know, some people like their anonymity when they hook up. Maybe she changed hers for you.”
“No. Her identity was confirmed when the police investigated.”
“Do you know if she had a twin? Maybe this is a case of stolen identity instead.”
“Lottie said the same thing, but it didn’t come up in conversation that night.”
“I bet it didn’t,” Nat said. “I’m thinking I gotta do some digging on family members first, but I got squat on where to start. You know where Kyra was from? Did she talk any kind of history at all?”
Kyra’s history hadn’t been my priority that night. “No.”
“Come on, D-Man. You gotta remember something. Any kind of pillow talk at all?”
None that I cared to share. “It’s been a long time,” I said.
I tried tracing back to a night three years ago that I’d been trying to forget ever since and didn’t come up with much. “Kyra and I didn’t talk about personal stuff, Nat. It was a—” I caught Lottie looking at me and reconsidered my words. “The police didn’t offer much about her and she didn’t say much. I think she grew up in France, and moved to London. She’d just broken up with her boyfriend and she liked to travel.” I stopped there, because everything else came up a blank. And then it hit me. “A tattoo. Kyra had a tattoo. A scrolling kind of thing that started at her lower back and curled around her left thigh.”
“I remember asking her about it. She said she had it done somewhere in London. Crossing Tattoos. Or Cross Tattoos. Something like that.”
“I could use that. Sit tight, D-Man, and I’ll get back.”
Nat hung up, and I tossed the cell phone onto the coffee table and dropped my elbows on my knees, my head in my hands.
Lottie’s warm hand pressed on my back. “We’ll find Ada. We’ll find her and we’ll bring her home. Just give it time and patience.”
Time. Patience. Neither of which I felt like I had.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Terri looks for any opportunity to make stuff up. She thinks anything that can’t so easily be explained is worth an extra look and often makes a great story. She loves red wine, scotch, sunrises, Ancient Egypt, the beach—and a host of other stuff that would take too much real estate to talk about. The youngest of five children, Terri lives with her husband and son on Long Island. And, in her next life, if she hasn’t moved on to somewhere else, she wants to be an astronomer. Terri’s fascinated with the night skies almost as much as she’s fascinated with ancient Egypt.
Terri is a member of member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and you can read about her at http://terriponce.com/.
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