The Naked Eye - A Trilogy

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Chapter 8

Face buried in his hands, Michael can’t bring himself to look up.

Katrina places a warm hand on the back of his neck. “Are you all right?” she asks.

The look Michael gives her says more than any words.

“You know,” she says, “it could have been much worse.”

Behind a steep, penetrating glare, Michael asks, “How do you figure that?”

“Well,” she scrambles, “at least we didn’t blow our cover.”

“Our cover?”

“I think you’re looking at this all wrong. Don’t you see? You now have an ‘in’ with the guy.”

“An ‘in’? How does what happened back there give me an ‘in’?”

“It gives you an excuse to go back, another opportunity to see what he’s keeping inside that freezer.”

“You don’t honestly think I’m ever going back over there, do you?”

“You’re acting like he was about to rape you or something.”

“Yeah, well, for a moment there, I wasn’t quite sure.”

“But he didn’t, he invited you to a dinner party. Don’t you see? It’s the perfect ploy.”

“The perfect ploy for what?”

“For getting a look at what’s in that freezer.”

“You’re forgetting two things. One, it’s locked. And two, the dining room and the kitchen are right next to each other. How am I supposed to get into the pantry without anyone noticing?”

“I suppose you’ll have to wait for an opening, maybe after everyone’s finished eating and they’re all just sitting around the living room talking you can offer to grab more wine. Then, while everyone’s distracted, you break into the freezer.”

“Break into the freezer? How exactly am I supposed to just break into the freezer? Didn’t you say it was padlocked?”

“All you need are a pair of bolt cutters.”

“Bolt cutters? Really? And I guess I’m just supposed to keep those hidden in my pocket?”

“How about some sort of lock picking device?”

“A lock picking device, now you’re talking,” Michael slaps his thigh. “And I take it you have one of those lying around somewhere?”

“No, but you leave that to me,” she says.

“Leave it to you?”

“I know someone.”

“You know someone?” Michael huffs. “What are you Franco Corleone all of a sudden? Who do you know?”

“My brother-in-law,” Katrina defends. “He happens to be a locksmith.”

“And you think you can get a hold of this device by Friday?”

“Trust me. You’ll have it by Friday, if not before.”

“And if there’s no body in the freezer?”

“Listen,” Katrina says, “we’ve narrowed down the only place where he could have stashed the body. It’s either there or he’s not our killer.”

“And if I’m caught?”

“That’s the genius of it, you won’t be alone, there will be other people there.”

“And what,” Michael says, “you think he’d temper his homicidal rage, just because there are other people around?”

“Did he tell you who all these other guests are?”

“They’re just tenants from around the complex, or so he said.”

Katrina chews her lip. “So, what do you think?”

Michael shakes his head. “I think it’s a bad idea.”

“But will you do it?”

“Just promise me this doesn’t end with me tied up in a bathtub undergoing some deeply camp, vaguely homoerotic electrical torture.”

Katrina laughs, “Don’t be so dramatic. The worst that could happen is you find the body, alert the guests, someone calls the police, and you’re proclaimed a hero.”

“In your mind that’s the worst that could happen?”

“Trust me,” she says. “You’ll be in and out of there before you know it.”

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