[Background music at the end. This story will be posted in full after the Challenge for those of us that like to read everything in one complete telling,]
JEOPARDY – Thursday Evening
Jackdaw jigs keep us entertained as Kama and I relax on our patio, enjoying the evening sun and breeze. Negesydd had adopted us and even assists on cases.
“He’s entitled to time off too – and I’m glad your fraud case is nearing a conclusion.”
“Once Wiley and Ffion think we have enough material for CPS.”
Unless the Criminal Prosecution Service feel a judge and jury would dismiss the case. A chill settles over me. My stomach is heavy.
“I need a witness to the assault on Stefan and Ivan – and identities for their rich assailants if my Aberdaron case is going to progress further.”
“But you’ll find them and the motive.”
An idea sparks in my head and my tattoos. R for Regatta.
“Want to enter the Aberdaron regatta? Late entry.”
Kama leans against me and whisper-kisses my ear. “Sounds like one of your typical ploys. A risk. And a rush. So yes.”
I snigger and kiss her, tasting grape and lemongrass.
“If our rich Swedes want divers who can sail, we can oblige. Ffion should endorse the sting. With Stefan in supposed custody and Ivan on the run –”
“– They might bite. Our lives in jeopardy as usual.” She winks and caresses me. “So, early to bed tonight. Exercise. Tomorrow, and early swim session. Then you devise a plan with Ffion.”
Ffion reads my satisfied grin as I bring her a cup of mint tea.
“Hopefully your colleagues don’t interpret joyous rapture for what it is. Remember keep that at home. So, I presume the case has progressed due to our custody visitor’s revelations.”
I’m outmanoeuvred so I hand her the flash drive with my plan. She studies the details, her expressions ranging from a grin and nod to pursed lips with a long frown to close.
“The money guys will balk at this – unless most of it is done off-duty. Your lives will be in jeopardy as usual – but I expect that with you and Kama.”
“We’ve agreed to do the training off-duty – but I fear time is short so –”
“– We might need to fast track your diving licenses. What’s your current status?”
Our wild water swimming is already challenging. Ffion knows that. Lying isn’t necessary.
“More than proficient. We need more deep-water hours.”
“I can arrange that with the North West Police Underwater Search & Marine Unit – and adjust your off-duty days. Issuing a license won’t be a problem. You want to leak the bait through the press?”
My body thrills at the thought of decisive action. My fingers tap bracer studs.
L for Lure. O for Off-Duty. And J.
“Our tame journalist will spread the fake news. She’s reliable – despite her jealousy at our not-so-glamorous jobs.”
We laugh together. The plan will only work if the rich couple are desperate after losing Stefan and possibly Ivan.
Too many variables.
“Why do you think the Swedish couple need divers and a fishing boat?” Ffion raises her eyebrows.
Our wildcard. “The freighter jettisons its illegal cargo off Aberdaron. Divers are needed to recover the goods.”
“Interesting lateral thinking. What inspired that? Wine or passion?”
Her teasing eyes prompt an honest answer. “Both.”
Memories of our evening – after Negesydd hopped away – blood my cheeks and send finger spirals up my spine.
I force them down and let my tattoos feed in.
K for Knowledge and Kama. I for Intrigue. L for Lure and License. J Journalist and Jeopardy. O for Off-Duty and Ops. Y for Yield and Yester-eve.
KILLJOY. Our penny-counters or someone else?
Ffion’s smile turns serious.
“When this case is closed, I have a new mystery for you both. It’s minor – non-CID incidents now. But ones I’m watching. Seemingly unrelated jewel thefts – low value items, trinkets but from tourists.”
“Intriguing. When you want our input, let us know. Meantime, I’ll work on the diving scheme.”
“I’ll monitor the jewel incidents – perhaps let you see something in advance. Unofficially. Get some judicious feedback.”
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“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” William Congreve – The Mourning Bride