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Cruising Into Darkness (Complete)

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Chapter 2


I just returned from the Chief's office. He had asked to speak with several police officers, detectives, and myself regarding unused vacation that we will lose if not taken by the end of the fiscal year. He had asked us all to work with each other so that two officers could be gone during the same week.

I am thumbing through my cases when my good friend and police officer Pete pokes his head into my office. "Hey, Sam."

I look up from my paperwork, "Hey, Pete, what going on?"

He smirks, "Word on the street says that you have some vacation time to use up."

"Seriously, I just got out of that meeting. How the hell do you know that I need to take vacation time?" I demand to know.

Pete shrugs, "What can I say? News travels fast around here. I am hoping that you will help me out."

I lean forward in my chair, "Of course, man. What can I help you with?"

He takes a seat in the chair across from my desk and takes a deep breath. "Shelly and I broke up. It was not pretty man, she was throwing shit at me and tossed all of my shit out of the front door."

I raise my brow in surprise, "Damn! What the hell happened?"

"She went through my phone. I had it locked with what I thought was a foolproof password, and she figured it out." He lays his head back onto the seat.

I can't help but chuckle, "Dude! You fucking asked for it. Why do you insist on having a girlfriend when you can't keep it in your pants?"

He smirks at me, "That's what she said."

We both laugh hard.

I finally get myself under control and ask, "So, what does this all have to do with me?"

He sits up, "I planned a cruise for Shelly and me next week, and now she refuses to go, and you need to take a vacation. Do you see where I am going with this?"

I look down at my caseload, and it is exceptionally light for what I usually have going on.

I am smiling when I look back up at Pete, "Are you asking me to go cruising with you?" I bat my eyelashes.

"Dude! Don't make this weird!" He responds.

I laugh before I get serious, "Actually, next week would work for me. My caseload is light, and I should be able to ask some other detectives to fill in."

Pete stands up. "Great, I will take care of the details and email you. I know that I will need your passport number and birthdate."

I nod, "I will text you my personal information right after I get approval from the chief to take off."

After Pete leaves, I email my request for a vacation to the Chief. Moments later, he responds with his approval. I text Pete my personal information and let my mind wander.

This vacation is just what I need. A nice break to relax and get away from the craziness of my job while hopefully adding some excitement to my highly dull personal life.

It is my fault that my personal life is boring. Not only do I not put myself out there, but I don't have time to invest in a relationship. My hours and unexpected calls for my job have kept women from getting the attention they need from me. I finally just gave up because I am not the type to randomly hook up. It will take an extraordinary lady to love a man like me, and I have all but given up on finding her.

My job is everything to me. Even as a young boy, crime has always intrigued me. Whenever my parents would lose or misplace something, I was on the case. I would collect information by asking them when they realized that the item went missing. I would take my notepad to take notes as I have them talk through what steps they went through since they lost the thing, and I would backtrack their steps till I found the item. I am pretty sure that they placed "missing" items around the house just for me to play out my detective game.

My parents retired over six years ago. They sold my childhood home and have been traveling the country in a camper ever since. They always find time to call me at least once a week. They fill me in on where they have been, where they are, and where they're going. They are having the time of their lives, and I look forward all week to hearing about their adventures. The older they get, the more I worry about them traveling alone. I talked them into getting a tracker app so that no matter where they are in the United States, I will locate them.

My desk phone rings, bringing me out of my thoughts. "Hello, Detective Sam Kidwell."


I am waiting for Pete to come to pick me up. We are heading to Los Angles early this morning, where our cruise leaves for Mexico with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Ensenada. I am surprised by my excitement for this trip.

I was able to pass all of my files to other detectives, and feel free to enjoy this week with Pete. No cases will be on my mind, and I will be able to relax and enjoy disconnecting for a week.

I see Pete pull into my driveway. I grab my bag and head out of my front door to Pete's car. "Good morning!"

Pete opens his trunk. "Good morning!"

Pete grabs my luggage and tosses it into the trunk. "Ready?"

"Hell, yeah!" I respond while climbing into the passenger seat.

Pete closes the trunk and gets into the driver's seat. He looks over at me, "Let the vacation begin!"

Four hours later, we arrive at the Los Angeles' San Pedro Bay port terminal. We go through the maze of checking in. We have our photos taken they give us our cruise ship ID cards. We embark on the Norwegian Bliss.

We have a Club Balcony Suite with a large balcony. There are two beds that Pete requested not to be put together for a queen bed. There is a closet, a decent-sized bathroom, and a small bar. The best part of the room is the large balcony with two chairs and a small table. The view from the balcony is impressive.

Pete and I unpack before we leave to check out the rest of the ship. We find a lot of things on our deck. There is a brewhouse, several restaurants, duty-free shops, a whiskey bar, and a cigar lounge. Nothing will be open until we set sail.

We make our way to the outside deck to wave goodbye as the ship's horn sounds, indicating our departure. I breathe in the fresh open air, ready for the adventures this week has to offer.

Nothing could have prepared me for the evil turn of events that this cruise would take us into or the one woman that I would find myself desperately needing to help crack this case wide open.
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