For my prompt this week I opened up a book of quotations at random, closed my eyes, and point. The quotation I landed on was this:
One crime has to be concealed by another.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC-65) Roman philosopher and playwright.
Crime and Passion
Paul flipped open the laptop. This was the last one and then his debt to Bernie was repaid. He didn’t know where Bernie got all these laptops and he didn’t care. His job was to wipe the hard drives clean so Bernie could sell them.
This one was pink. Who the hell owned a pink lap top? Curiosity filling him, he hit the power button and waited for it to boot up. He half expected the desktop to show a picture of puppies or kittens, but instead the blues and greens of Neversink Pit, Alabama filled the screen, lifted right from the National Geographic site.
He checked the registry. The computer was registered to Shay Donaldson.
“I can’t believe you’re using Internet Explorer still,” he said, opening up the browser to check the browsing history. “Chrome or Firefox would be much more efficient.”
Scrolling through Shay Donaldson’s history he found the usual sites she’d visited on the internet, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, but then he found a few sites that made him sit up and take notice – Tips For Writing Erotica, Whips and Chains Oh My, Packing the Heat, Writing Erotica Checklist . . .
“My, my, my. You’ve suddenly become a very interesting woman, Shay Donaldson.”
Leaving the browser open, he scrolled over and clicked on the Documents folder on the desktop. There were about two dozen documents, most of them labelled Story One, Story Two, and so on, but the one that stood out for him was labelled, Erotic Short. Paul double-clicked to open the document and then sat back to read.
“Wow,” he said when he’d finished. It was the only word he could muster. The story had been about a man who’d found a woman’s wallet and when he returned it they’d had an instant attraction. She cooked him dinner as a thank you and a few paragraphs later they were having wildly inventive sex. He had to see what the writer of this looked like.
Exiting the document he brought up the browser again and clicked on the link for Shay’s Facebook. Sure enough, she had it set to load automatically. There was her profile picture, and under her info was her phone number.
Without even thinking about it, Paul was reaching for the phone and dialing.
“Hello, is this Shay Donaldson? My name is Paul Winters. The reason I’m calling . . . have you recently lost a lap top?”
* * * * *
“I can’t believe you found my lap top!”
Shay Donaldson was even better looking in person than her picture on Facebook. She was dark-haired and dark-eyed, petite but curved in all the right places. His ideal woman.
“You have no idea what this means to me!” Tears of gratitude filled her eyes.
“There must be something pretty important on there, huh?”
“You . . . you didn’t check out any of files?”
Paul shook his head. “Of course not! I feel as though a lap top is like a person’s diary. Whatever is on there is private. I checked the registry to see who owned it, but that was all, I swear.”
Shay laid her hand on top of his. “I believe you Paul. My novel is on this lap top. It took me over a year to write it and this is the only copy.”
“Wow. It’s a really good thing I found it then.”
“I don’t know how I can ever repay you.”
“How about having dinner with me some time?” he said promptly. “You can tell me all about this book of yours.”
“Maybe I could cook you dinner. You know, as a thank you,” she suggested shyly.
“I can’t think of anything I’d enjoy more.”