Archive for November 18th, 2013

The Complication

on November 18, 2013 in Misc 8 Comments »

For the remainder of 2013, my posts will be from Layla Daltry’s perspective.  She’s the hero of The Compass Master, a daring antiquities hunter, and while on the trail of a rare, precious artifact is living undercover in Denver as Helena Soister…

My heart started beating faster.  Was Annie in any kind of danger?  I got my answer when the gorgeous stranger reached out and took her elbow.  It appeared to be a gentlemanly gesture—he was merely guiding her forward.  But for me alarm bells went off.

This stranger was Arabic, possibly Egyptian, and such men never touch women outside their families.  What he was doing now was strictly forbidden in his culture.

I could tell that he knew I knew something was up, and he knew Annie knew I had come to this museum for a rendezvous for the stolen scroll, but he couldn’t know that I knew how to use the stiletto up my sleeve or that Annie knew how to take care of herself too.

My first thought was to help Annie.  I walked faster and away from the rottweiler man, and as I moved I took off my hat and innocently held it out to her.

“Do you have a comb?” I asked.  “My hat made my hair such a mess.”

She didn’t even blink at the word “mess”—one of our signal words.  Instead she held my hat for me and said something about not having a comb, all the while slipping the poison-tipped hatpin into her pocket.

“We have met before,” said the mysterious stranger.

I looked into his dark eyes and for one dangerous moment hoped that Annie wouldn’t hurt him.  Then his eyes shifted toward the grand staircase behind me and he scowled.  I glanced over my shoulder.

The rottweiler man was hurrying away from us and down the stairs.

“The scroll!” I whispered.  If he disappeared, my chances of getting my hands on the scroll and clearing my name would disappear with him.

I bolted down the stairs.  But the rottweiler had already reached the vestibule below and was vanishing into the crowd.  I caught sight of him again when he reached the museum’s open doors and stepped outside…