Ronny Quinn of Quinn Security Agency stood at the helm of the agency's conference table. Fifteen undercover agents were ready to hear the mornings’ briefings. "Agent Astolfi, hit the lights. Will you?" Ronny picked up the projector remote.
Maverick Astolfi leaned back and pushed the light switch up with the back of his head. The room went dark and then the projector light illuminated the wall beyond the conference table. Ronny pressed a remote button and a photo of a man came up on the wall. "This nice gentleman is Alexander Barringer. Alex for short and Kat Holmes-Barringer's ex-husband. He's thirty-five, stands five feet, eleven inches. Eyes are blue. I've been busy collecting information on him for the last few days. Agent Sanders?" Ronny tossed the remote to her.
Sylvie Sanders’ hand snapped upward and caught the remote. She pressed on a button. "For any of you who are unfamiliar with this case," Sylvie pointed at the screen and the photo changed to a woman with dark hair sitting next to a blonde-haired woman, both looking to be in their thirties. ..."the brunette is our tail - Kat Holmes Barringer. We've been keeping an eye on her since her father came to us and said she'd been attacked by a man posing as a homebuyer. However, three days ago we picked up conversation from our bugging devices in Beechwood Coffee Shoppe. In this conversation, Miss Holmes admitted that she'd lied to her father about the assault and stated that her ex-husband Alexander Barringer had beaten her."
Maverick Astolfi piped up, "Hey Ryan, want to go boxing tonight? We've just located a new candidate for the ring."
Laughter broke out in the room.
"The father passed away several months ago,” Sanders continued.” We are her tail because of the assault. That's what we were hired for. However, we will continue to be her tail even though we now know a homebuyer didn't assault her."
She pressed the remote and a close up of Kat and Lexi appeared. "The blonde, Lexi Meyer, seems to be her best friend for a number of years. This friend knew that Alexander had been abusing Miss Holmes."
The photo on the wall changed. A document appeared. "This is the restraining order she has on the ex. She stated she's not going to block him from her cell phone so that she has a record of him contacting her, thus, evidence of him breaking the restraining order. We've pulled over one hundred and fifty text messages and phone calls combined in the last ten days from her phone, so he's out of control.”
Maverick threw an upper cut into the air with a robust fist. “Ready, Roberts? Let’s go meet up with our boy.”
Kat's lips tightened as she paced back and forth waiting for Lexi to pick her up. Her eyes on the floor, she walked to the kitchen doorway, turned around and walked up to the living room picture window and back to the kitchen again. Her foot hit the door frame and she didn't realize she was squeezing the soggy tissue in her hand. Back and forth she went again not noticing the pain in her foot. A car horn blared.
Quinn Security Agent Sylvie Sanders dropped Kat Holmes - Barringer's file onto the table in front of Agent Ryan Roberts. "Our Kat tail has got problems."
"What's going on?" Ryan asked, gulping down hot black coffee.
"Holmes' car is missing."
"Where's Kat's phone?" Maverick questioned.
"It's at her house, last location." Silvie walked to the back of the table.
"How'd we find out about the car missing?" Ryan asked.
"She called her friend Lexi. No calls to the Lakewood Police. I checked with them," Ronnie folded his arms across his chest.
A couple of grumbles were heard in the room.
"It's odd,” one of the agents commented.
Sylvie signed into wheellocator.com and typed in the vehicle identification number to Kat Holmes’ Mercedes.
"Is our tracking device still working on her car?" Ronnie was looking at the screen from behind Agent Astolfi.
"Yup.” Silvie connected the computer to the projector and it reflected on the wall. She pointed at the red blinking light on the screen that indicated the Mercedes. “It's heading down Pacific Coast Highway towards Laguna Beach.”
"I'm on it." Ryan grabbed his baseball hat and headed out the door, Maverick on his heels.
Lexi scrolled through her phone while Kat climbed into her Lexus LS. "Did you call the police?”
“I started to.” Tears fell from Kat’s eyes. “but I’m so late, I have to get to my appointment. Hurry, Lexi!”
Lexi looked at Kat and put her car in reverse. “You look terrible. You can’t go to an appointment looking like that.”