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|Chapter 45: Seychelles|
The call from Egypt came at ten in the morning, Florida time, and lasted half an hour, as Colonel el-Masri told Gonzalez everything he could, including the phone number in Florida that had originated the call to the bomb. Colonel el-Masri also described the situation regarding their attempt to trace the origins of the satellite phone, and asked Officer Gonzalez to see if he could prompt the Florida distributor to hand over its records. Officer Gonzales promised to find out what he could and would call back within twenty-four hours. As requested, first thing he did after the call ended was to send an e-mail to the colonel with the full case file on Dirk Carlson, who was now Gonzalez’s prime focus.
Officer Gonzalez ran the number through a crisscross directory, which told him it was a payphone and its address. Officer Gonzales knew without looking that it was within easy walking distance of the chandlery. His first thought was to arrest Dirk immediately, but after thinking it through, he reasoned that all he had at the moment was circumstantial evidence, and thus it might be better to wait.
Gonzalez’s next step was to call the distributor in Miami and exact a promise that they’d check their records and get back to him that day.
Officer Gonzalez then called Lisa and told her that he needed to see her and Joel immediately, insisting that she was to mention this to no one.
Lisa, feeling a sudden chill, asked if it was something to do with Trevor.
“All I’ll say until I see you is that, as far as I know, he’s fine. Nothing more until I see you in person – and that needs to be right away,” Gonzalez said.
Officer Gonzalez’s call had caught Lisa between classes, and she managed to catch Joel before he went into his math class. Out of breath from the run, she told him that they needed to go see Officer Gonzalez immediately.
Gonzalez was waiting for them in the interview room, notebook and recorder in hand. Lisa and Joel sat down on the opposite side of the stark wooden table, and Joel led off by asking, “Are you sure Trevor is okay?”
Officer Gonzales looked at them both before replying, “That this interview is occurring goes no further than the three of us, for now. If I hear that you’ve leaked so much as one word to anyone, I’m going to haul you both in for interfering in a police investigation. Is that clear?” Lisa and Joel shared a worried glance before nodding silently in reply. Officer Gonzales continued, “As far as I know, he’s okay. Now, where is he; when did you last speak with him; and when will you do so again?”
Joel explained about the dropped call from off Socotra, and Trevor’s anticipated arrival in the Seychelles.
“Is there any way to reach him before then?” Officer Gonzalez asked, after quizzing Joel to find out where Socotra was, and the distance from there to the Seychelles.
“No, my dad Fed-Ex’d him a satellite phone, or he thought he did, but when he got it in Suez, there was a rock in the box,” Joel replied, which resulted in Officer Gonzalez prompting Lisa and Joel to tell everything they knew about that. Officer Gonzalez’s eyes narrowed at the mention of the phone’s make: Iridium – the same one the Egyptians were inquiring about – but he said nothing.
Officer Gonzales worked through the interview slowly, mainly questioning Joel. Fifteen minutes into the interview, Gonzales asked in an offhand way about the propane tanks, and if they had checked them since leaving the strait of Messina.
Joel was about to answer when his eyes opened a bit wider. “Is this about the bomb in the canal?” he asked.
“What makes you think that?” Officer Gonzales inquired, in a casual way.
Joel glanced at Lisa, and looked at Gonzales before replying, “Uh, we had kind of a bomb scare in the Strait of Messina. We got worried that maybe Jim Ainsworth had put something aboard, so we searched the boat, but then we calmed down and figured we had just been paranoid. The bomb in the Suez kind of brought it to mind, but according to Trev that was on a freighter, right?”
Gonzalez ignored the question. “Think carefully. Did you check the propane tanks, especially the ones that were stolen in Ismailia?”
Joel slowly shrugged. “I think Trevor did... and I remember he got one or two tanks filled in Mykonos. I don’t remember if those were from the cockpit storage rack or not, though.”
Lisa was becoming exasperated, and said in a firm tone, “We’ve answered your questions, so how about answering ours?”
After attempting to sidestep Lisa’s demand by quizzing Joel, but finding him unresponsive, Officer Gonzalez said, “Okay, I’ll tell you as much as I can later, but you have to understand; I need to complete the interviews first. That’s necessary, because otherwise something I tell you could taint your responses, even if you don’t intend it to.”
For the next hour, Officer Gonzales quizzed Lisa and Joel, and came back several times to the bomb scare in the strait and to what Trevor had said about the thefts and the chase.
Finally, satisfied that he’d gotten all he could, he said, “We’re looking into the bombing of that freighter. I can’t tell you any more right now, as this is an active investigation, but it is absolutely critical that you tell no one about this interview. I’ll be in touch soon, and I’ll let you know what I can, but for now, I need to speak with Trevor first. When you hear from him, tell him to call me regardless of the hour, and make sure he understands that it is highly urgent.”
“I want to know what is going on. You obviously think Trevor or his boat was involved in some way or you wouldn’t have asked so many questions about propane tanks. Do you think his father tried to blow him up?” Lisa asked, as Joel nodded in agreement.
Officer Gonzalez stood up, signaling an end to the interview. “I cannot disclose information about an active case to civilians. When Trevor calls, I’ll tell him more if I can.” Officer Gonzalez had every intention of doing just that, because the evidence was piling up that someone – Dirk and Jim were at the top of Gonzalez’s mental suspect list – had tried to kill Trevor, and that meant they might do so again.
Joel could tell that Lisa was about to explode, so in part to head her off, he said to Officer Gonzalez, “Too bad you didn’t ask all the right questions. Trevor noticed something very specific about what was in that phone box, and I know you’re interested in it or you wouldn’t have asked so much about that phone.”
Officer Gonzalez remained standing, and asked, “What might that be?”
“He’s pretty sure he knows exactly where the rock is from, and it’s somewhere here,” Joel replied.
“I want to know exactly what he said,” Officer Gonzalez demanded, as he sat down again and flipped open his notebook.
Joel glanced at Lisa before replying, “Not until you tell us what is going on.”
“You’ll do so, or I’ll put you both in juvenile hall right now, for refusing to cooperate with a police investigation,” Officer Gonzalez said. He was bluffing, but was counting on them not knowing that. “I don’t think your parents would appreciate having to hire lawyers,” he added. He didn’t like threatening them, but at that moment they were hindering what he saw as his duty.
Lisa smiled coldly. “I don’t like threats. We came in here to help, and now you’re threatening to lock us up when all we want to know is if our best friend is in danger. I don’t remember exactly what Trev said about that rock...” Lisa glanced at Joel, and asked, in a sweetly sarcastic tone, “Do you remember exactly what he said?” Joel smiled, and gave an opened handed shrug. Lisa glared at Officer Gonzalez. “My father would be furious if he has to hire a lawyer, but I do have an open offer of a very good one from Bridget Bellevue, and I’m sure that applies to Joel, too.”
Officer Gonzalez felt his temper begin to rise, due to realizing that he’d out-maneuvered himself. He forced himself to smile. “I think we all want what’s best for Trevor. I hope to be able to tell you something soon... something that will be, in a way, good news for him, because it means he’ll be able to come home. However, I need to know exactly what he said, for his sake as well as the investigation, and I really can’t divulge any information to you yet. I’m... sorry about the threat; blame it on acquired habits in this job. I’ll give you my word; if I think there is, or has been, any threat to Trevor, I’ll tell him when he calls. I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t, not right now.”
Lisa and Joel shared a troubled glance, and then Joel gave a resigned sigh. “Trev thinks the rock could be from the front of his house; it looks like the landscaping rock there. I don’t know if he still has it.”
Officer Gonzalez scribbled in his notebook, and then said, “Thank you. When you speak to him, tell him to keep it if he still has it, and then make sure he calls me at once. I’ll tell you more when I can, and I might need to speak with you both again soon. Also, remember what I said; tell no one about what we discussed today, and I’m serious, I will lock you up if you do.”
“We skipped school to come here... could you square that with the attendance office?” Joel asked.
Officer Gonzalez glanced at his watch, and smiled. “I’ll take care of that. You’ll be too late to make much of your last class, so it’ll be for the remainder of today.”
With the long interview finally over, Lisa and Joel walked out into the hot, humid afternoon, heading for Lisa’s truck. “What do you think?” Joel asked.
“I think Trev’s dad tried something, and that lawyer too... I think he planted a bomb and you missed it in your search. Officer Gonzalez seemed really interested in the propane tanks and the phone. I don’t understand about the phone, but I’m betting either Trev’s propane tanks were at the bomb site, or one or both of them was the bomb.”
Joel was frustrated at the lack of information. As they reached Lisa’s truck, he tugged his shirt off and hurled it behind the seat before getting in. He thought for a few moments before replying, “The phone makes sense in one way... I saw a news article on Iraq, and it said the roadside bombs are often triggered by phone.”
Lisa stared at Joel in shock. “Oh my God, that fits... And the bomb at the freighter went off before Trev was supposed to pick up his phone,” Lisa said, forgetting that Trevor had mistakenly thought the Suez Canal Yacht Club was at the north end of the canal, and that Dirk had no way of knowing where the phone would be sent to.
Joel nodded, focused on the threat to Trevor. “If that phone was the trigger, and the bomb was on Atlantis, and the cops can prove it was that phone... Trev’s father is going to prison, and Trev can come home.”
Lisa scowled and started her engine. “Yeah, but he kept saying that once he’s past Suez, he’d keep going, and he had a bad time there even before the bomb. Do you really think we can talk him into turning around now he’s in the Indian Ocean?”
Joel stared out the window, watching the passing scenery as they drove the short distance to Bridget’s guesthouse. “From what I know about the wind patterns, the fastest way home from the Seychelles would be around South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, then up the Atlantic. But rounding the cape means he’d have headwinds... and in the Seychelles, he’s damn near halfway around the world already. He told me that the antipodal point to Ft. Pierce is in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I think he’ll keep going, no matter what.”
Lisa frowned at that, and asked Joel a few questions about possible routes and times. By the time they pulled up in front of the guesthouse, she’d reluctantly accepted that Trevor would almost certainly keep going, because coming back via the Atlantic would take almost as long, if not longer.
As soon as they were in the guesthouse, she asked, “What should we do... Bridget has some kind of a source inside the police department. I don’t like the way we just got jerked around there... so I’m thinking we could ask her to see what she can find out.”
Joel frowned. “I don’t know. She seems pretty cool, but what if doing that somehow hurts the case against Trev’s dad? We can’t do anything until Trev gets to the Seychelles and calls, and Gonzalez did promise to let Trev know what’s going on, sort of. Why don’t we wait and see what happens when Trev calls him? Then, if we need to, we can still ask Bridget. In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye on the Internet and see if there’s any mention of the bomb being in a propane tank, or triggered by a satellite phone.”
“That’s part of why I love you; you’re as smart as you are hot,” Lisa replied, coming up behind Joel and putting her arms around Joel’s bare shoulders, hugging him and not letting go.
Joel chuckled, leaning back into Lisa, as her hands began to roam across his chest “That’s why I love you too...” Joel said, gently turning around to hug Lisa. Neither of them was in the mood to head for the bedroom. They sat down together on the sofa as Joel began a fruitless search for specific information on the bombing. They returned to their discussion about Trevor, still trying to figure out exactly what had occurred in Egypt, but firmly decided that they’d tell Trevor everything they knew as soon as he called.
Officer Gonzalez received the call he’d been expecting from the satellite phone distributor. As he’d expected, the phone that had triggered the bomb had been part of a delivery to Dirk’s chandlery. And with that, the case turned from largely circumstantial to hard evidence, and Officer Gonzalez knew it was now time to bring the other officers and the prosecutor’s office fully into the loop, but first, he called Egypt, to tell them about the phone.
Trevor watched as the morning sunlight brought the flat green line of tiny Bird Island – the northernmost speck of land in the Seychelles Archipelago – into view, exactly where his navigation system said it should be, three miles off Atlantis’s starboard beam. Trevor smiled, the breeze blowing in his hair, and he checked his range to Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles, and his destination. He got a result of sixty miles to the anchorage at Victoria, and did the math in his head: fifteen hours at four knots.
Using the excuse to himself of wanting to make port in daylight, and convincing himself that debris – so far, he’d seen none in the Indian Ocean – were not a grave concern, Trevor hoisted full mainsail and foresail, feeling Atlantis surge ahead as she accelerated to sixteen knots.
Trevor kept a constant watch for debris, thinking that he could see any in time to avoid it, even at that speed, as he raced towards port.
Five miles off Victoria, with the green hills of Mahé in clear view, Trevor furled his sails and waited as Atlantis glided to a halt on the sparkling turquoise waters. He was a little premature for the shift over to engines for the run into port, but he had a task to attend to; returning his gun – which he’d kept near at hand in the Red Sea and for the transit past Somalia – to his secret compartment under the bathroom floor of his sea cabin. It was a prudent move; the port information he’d looked up for Victoria stated that all firearms and ammunition must be handed in upon arrival, and he’d been warned by his fellow yachters that they meant it.
With the chrome revolver and its ammo safely stowed, Trevor fired up the engines and motored in to Victoria, thrilled to have completed the perilous passage past Somalia.
After clearing customs, Trevor flipped open his phone, and dialed Lisa’s cell. As soon as she answered, he said, “Guess what? The pirates didn’t get me: I’m in the Seychelles!”
“Trev! I’m so glad you called... and are safe! Joel is here, we’re at the mall. Listen, we’ve got news... the cops want to speak with you urgently. They’ve interviewed me and Joel, and the cop – Officer Gonzales – wouldn’t say exactly what’s up, but it sounds to us like he thinks the bomb on the freighter was meant for you, and may have been on Atlantis until you had that robbery. But, that’s good news; he also said this might mean you could come home.”
Trevor stood staring out at the city of Victoria’s waterfront in shock. “Uh, somebody tried to kill me, and that’s the good news?” he mumbled, already wondering if it had something to do with his father.
Joel joined the conversation by saying, “Trev, you’ll have to call Gonzalez to find out, but that’s the way it sounded to us. Oh, one thing... Do you still have that rock, the one from your satellite phone box?”
Trevor mumbled numbly, “Uh, yeah, it’s still in the box. Why?”
“Gonzalez wants to talk to you about it. Look, call him right away,” Joel read off the number, and Trevor wrote it down, “and make sure you make him tell you what’s going on. Refuse to answer questions if you have to, but make sure he tells you what’s up. Call us back as soon as you talk to him.”
Trevor agreed, and with a feeling of icy dread, his mind awhirl, he ended that call and dialed Officer Gonzalez’s cell.
“Gonzalez,” came the curt reply.
“Uh, hi, this is Trevor Carlson, I was told that you–”
“I’m very glad you called, Trevor. Good to speak with you again. Where are you, and are you safe?”
Trevor hesitated a moment, and then replied, “I’m in the Seychelles, and I’m on my boat.”
“Don’t accept any packages, or let anyone aboard. I have reason to believe that someone tried to kill you. Now, do you still have that rock and the packaging for the satellite phone?”
“Yes to both, but who tried to kill me?” Trevor asked, hoping that his hunch was wrong.
Officer Gonzales noticed that Trevor had not asked when or how, which confirmed to him that Joel and Lisa had told what they’d surmised. Not wanting to taint any of Trevor’s recollections, Officer Gonzalez said, “Trevor, I’ll tell you all I can in a few minutes, but I have to ask some questions first...” Officer Gonzales proceeded to interview Trevor about Jim’s visit, the propane tanks, the robbery of Atlantis, and finished off by asking, “Think carefully. Could a bomb have been inside one of your stolen propane tanks?”
The line of questioning clearly indicated that Jim and Trevor’s father were the suspects, and Trevor felt his stomach churn. “I, uh... I don’t know. I checked the boat from stem to stern after Jim’s visit. One of the propane tanks that was stolen was refilled from empty in Mykonos, but the other... I think it’s been in the rack since I left home. I can’t remember if I moved it or not. Now, before we go any further, I really need to know what’s going on. Did my father do this, or was it Jim?”
Officer Gonzales knew he had to tell Trevor something; unlike Joel and Lisa, he was directly involved by virtue of being the target. “We’re still a little vague on that. We believe that the bomb was triggered by satellite phone, one that was traced to your father’s shop, but you can tell no one that. We also think Jim placed the bomb on Atlantis, and then it was stolen and dumped when you gave chase. When they tried to blow it, it was floating next to the freighter. Now, what can you tell me about your father and Jim Ainsworth?”
Trevor was still reeling, and mumbled, “I... I know Jim is dad’s lawyer, and I only met him once, but they seem to be pretty close friends. Dad gave me Jim’s number in case I needed to get ahold of Dad.”
“I need to know more than that... is there a... romantic relationship there?”
Trevor nearly choked. “I can pretty much guarantee there isn’t. Dad doesn’t like gays.” Trevor hesitated, but decided that he had to tell it all, and added quietly, “Or at least, he has issues having one for a son, which is a big part of why I’m out here...” Trevor explained at length what had led up to his run from Florida, feeling oddly at ease coming out to the officer he’d never met. Then he added, “I don’t think Jim is gay, or Dad wouldn’t have much to do with him.”
Officer Gonzales made a note of that, appending three exclamation marks to it as he asked, “Who here knows you’re gay?”
“Joel, Lisa, Joel’s parents, my dad... a couple of ex-boyfriends of mine, some guys Lisa tried to set me up with, and Julie – my former captain for Atlantis, but she moved to Tahiti a few months ago. . Maybe some of the guys on my swim team suspected, but they didn’t know... I think that’s pretty much it. I wasn’t out.”
“Okay now, does anyone besides me know where you’re at?”
“Joel and Lisa, and maybe my dad... he sorta guessed at my route when we were talking after I transited Suez. He didn’t mention them by name, but the Seychelles are the only place to stop at this point on my route. He’d only know it was the Seychelles, not when I was arriving or what port... but the port at Victoria, the capital, would be a pretty easy guess.”
Officer Gonzalez felt a sudden chill. “Trevor, I want you to sail immediately. Right this very second. Is there somewhere you can head for?”
Trevor checked his chart. “Yeah, there’s an anchorage in a big bay, on the east end of Praslin Island. It’s about thirty miles northeast of here,” Trevor said, holding the phone with his shoulder as he began casting off, his blood running cold as he again felt hunted.
“Go there. I’m probably overreacting, but if he’s tried once, he might try again,” Officer Gonzalez said, as he heard the rumble of engines over the phone.
“I’m pulling away now. I’m not sure I can get a phone connection there, though.”
“If you see anything suspicious, anything at all, either get police protection or get out to sea. If you go to the police, give them my name, and tell them to call me collect, and that it’s official business. If they ask what, tell them you’re a key witness in a murder case and someone has tried to kill you once already, and that you are in immediate fear for your life. Now, just in case we can’t get in touch right away, I need you to do something for me: give me all the info you can from the satellite phone box. I also want you to photograph it with your phone, and the rock as well. Then, when you get to Praslin, I want you to find a post office and express mail me that box and rock.” Officer Gonzalez read off the police station address, which Trevor wrote down.
As soon as Atlantis was in the channel, and hurrying in case he lost cell reception, Trevor photographed the rock and the box, and then read off the serial number from a sticker on the satellite phone’s activation card.
Officer Gonzalez checked the number on his computer, finding that the one Trevor had given him was – as he’d expected – from the phone that had triggered the bomb. “Trevor, that’s a match; that phone was the trigger of the bomb, so your life is very much at risk. Your safest bet is keeping your location secret. Okay, the Egyptian police are probably going to need to talk with you, and then you’ll be needed here, to testify for the grand jury, and then at trial. Find a place to dock your boat and I’ll arrange airfare for you to Egypt, then here.”
Trevor stared for a moment at his beloved Atlantis, remembering what had happened to her when he’d left her for a few hours. “No, I’m not leaving my boat here for fuck knows how long. I don’t think she’d be safe. Why can’t I go into a consulate somewhere and give testimony there?”
Officer Gonzalez had never had to consider such a question. He didn’t know of any reason offhand why it would be impossible for anything short of trial, but he knew what the prosecutor would think of it. “Sorry, I’ll do what I can for you, but you may have no choice.”
Trevor glanced out at the open sea, his mind made up. “I’ll be back in time for any trial. If I can find a safe place for Atlantis in Australia, I’ll fly home from there, but I’m not leaving her here.”
Officer Gonzalez knew that he had no good way of forcing the issue over the phone, and he felt sympathy for Trevor’s situation, so he sidestepped. “I’ll need to be in contact with you again soon. How long will you be in the Seychelles?”
“A week, but I could stay a bit longer if you need me to. My dad figured out that the island of Rodrigues – four hundred miles east of Mauritius and about eleven hundred miles south by southeast of here – is my next planned stop, and I’ve been warned that the phone system there is unreliable. After what you’ve told me, I’m thinking of bypassing Rodrigues and going to Australia non-stop from here. I should get there sometime in November.”
“That won’t work; I’ll probably need you back here before then. Can’t you get to Australia sooner?” Officer Gonzalez asked.
“No, I can’t. The wind patterns make a direct route impossible, so my course track is about five thousand miles. I’m also speed-limited to four knots because of the floating logs left over from the big tsunami a year and a half ago. I’ve got to go right through the Indian Ocean Gyre, which is where they’re reported to be the worst. Hitting a ten-ton log at speed would do massive damage, so I have to go slow.”
“I’m having a meeting the day after tomorrow, so I’ll know a lot more about schedules then. If you can get a cell signal on Praslin, leave your cell on and I’ll call you. If not, sail back close enough to where you are now to get a signal and call me. Look, I will need to be able to get ahold of you; is there any way you can get a satphone?” Officer Gonzalez asked.
“No, even if they have them here, they cost more than I can afford, and I’d have trouble getting the account set up and transferred in time... but there is a way, maybe, but it’s iffy: Atlantis has single-sideband radio. That’s how I get my weather update data files, but I can transmit, too. In the higher bands, like twenty-two megahertz, I can sometimes contact ships up to four thousand miles away. It bounces a signal off the ionosphere, so I get better reception and range at night. I know the Navy has ships in the Indian Ocean, and if the atmospherics are right maybe they could act as a relay for you. That way, we might be able to communicate while I’m at sea.”
Officer Gonzalez pictured himself trying to requisition a ship from the Navy; he was sure he’d be laughed out of the building, even if it turned out to be technically possible. He hoped that a phone would be far easier. “Trevor, I really don’t think I’m going to be able to whistle that up, but I’ll look into it, and I’ll see if there’s some way I can get the department to set you up with a satellite phone. Just make sure you send me that package, and call me at this time the day after tomorrow if you can’t receive my call, okay?”
“Okay, here’s my number,” Trevor read it off, and then confirmed, “I’ll keep it on if I have a signal, and call you in forty-eight hours if I don’t.”
“Okay, and be careful out there, Trevor,” Officer Gonzalez said.
As soon as the call ended, Trevor checked the signal, and called Lisa and Joel. He reduced speed to just steerageway in order to stay in cell range, and then waited while they called back on Bridget’s landline, which as they’d hoped reduced some of the static.
Trevor was still stunned and in turmoil from what he’d learned. He told Lisa and Joel about the conversation with Officer Gonzalez in full detail, and then said in a dejected tone, “So it looks like Dad really did kill Mom, and now he’s trying to kill me so I won’t find Ares. Well, screw him, and guess what; I’m going to find Ares even if he’s in fucking prison. I owe that to Mom.”
“We’re going to find Ares,” Joel said, reminding Trevor that he wasn’t alone in his quest. “And you’ve still got me and Lisa for family, don’t ever forget that.”
“I know, and that’s the only thing keeping me together right now...” Trevor said softly, and then he added, “Gonzalez’s questions don’t add up. Why would he think Jim and my dad are a couple?”
“When Jim took us to dinner after he found us in Italy, I noticed that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring,” Joel said, thinking aloud.
Lisa thought about that for a second, and asked, “Trev, you said your dad left you Jim’s phone numbers... could they be a couple?”
Trevor was feeling a bit manic due to the repeated shocks of the day, and found himself laughing at what he felt was a preposterous notion. “I’m not that stupid, Lisa; I think I’d have noticed. Remember, a big part of why I’m out here is his reaction to me being gay. Remember all the times he tried to make me live a normal life? I think the cops are barking up the wrong tree with that one.” Trevor blinked at his own words, as the thought came, ‘If they’re wrong about that, then they could be wrong about the rest, too.’
“Yeah, Bridget said they can be pretty incompetent at times, and I’ve seen enough to believe her. What if they screw up the case?” Lisa asked.
“Then I’m screwed, not that I really care right now,” Trevor said.
Joel could read between the lines, and the bond between them was strong enough that he felt Trevor’s pain. “Trev... do you think your dad and Jim tried to kill you?” Joel asked, in a subdued tone.
Trevor thought for almost a minute before replying, “I don’t know. It fits in a lot of ways, but the cops also think he and Jim are a couple, so I know they’re wrong about some stuff, at least... but I... I just... I can’t believe Dad would try to kill me. I don’t have a reason, I just...” Trevor’s voice faded into silence.
“Trev, when we were in Capri, you said something to me... You asked me what I’d do if it was my dad... and that made me think. A lot. So, I get where you’re coming from, I really do, but we’ve got to find the truth, no matter what it is. I think it’s at least possible, based on what we know, that he killed your Mom and tried to kill you, too,” Joel said.
“I think it’s possible too. I wish I didn’t, ‘cause it hurts like fucking hell, but I do. What I’m not is sure, and until I’m sure, I don’t know what to do,” Trevor said darkly.
Joel knew he had to do something, so he looked at Lisa and met her eyes, saying, “Lisa and I could investigate too, to make sure the cops are on the right track, or find out if they aren’t. I don’t know where we’ll begin, but we’ll figure it out. For a start, chip a piece off that rock and save it for when I get to Australia.... and send those pics of it and the box you took to my cell.”
“Thanks...” Trevor mumbled, and then he added, “Be careful. Joel, he drove by Lisa’s house, then he had a bomb put onboard Atlantis which could have killed us both. Don’t let him know you have any part of this... stay away from him.”
“Will do, we’ll stay well clear. He’ll probably be in jail any day now anyway. Uh, what are you going to do now?” Joel asked.
“Gonzalez wants me to leave Atlantis here and fly home, but no way... If the port of Victoria is anything to go by, it doesn’t look safe. I’m worried Gonzalez might try to have Atlantis impounded by the local police, so I’m going to get her ready and set sail for Australia in three days unless stuff changes. Dad figured out I’d stop in Rodrigues, so I won’t. I’ll come close and sail in circles waiting for a weather window if I have to, but I’ll stay out of sight of land. If I need to make port before then, I’ll detour east to Mauritius. Dad knows I was going to Fremantle, near Perth, but I’ve been thinking about it and I’ll head for the next marina north, in Hillarys, about fifteen miles north of Fremantle. I hope it’ll be safe by then, but that’ll give me a chance to get into port and call you guys and see what’s going on,” Trevor said. Then, after a glance at his navigation display, he said, “I told Gonzalez I was going to another island, Praslin, and anchoring in a bay on the east end, but I’m going to head for Grand Anse, on the south side of the island. It’s the main town so I’m more likely to find a post office and cell reception, plus if Gonzalez tries anything sneaky, he’ll be looking in the wrong place. I also don’t want anyone but you guys knowing where to find me right now. This bomb stuff has me stressed out.”
They talked for a while longer,
with Trevor taking solace in his friends’ voices from afar.
Reluctantly, running low on daylight, he ended the call and
motored to Grand Anse, a village in a tropical paradise.
© 2010 C James
Please give me feedback, and please don’t be shy if you want to criticize! The feedback thread for this story is in my Forum. Please stop by and say "Hi!"
Many thanks to my editor EMoe for editing and for his support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions.
Special thanks to Graeme, for beta-reading and advice.
Thanks also to Talonrider and MikeL for beta reading.
Thank You to RedA for Beta reading and advice, and to
Bondwriter for final Zeta-reading and