Elevator Music

Little James Wolfe walked through the kitchen carrying his supper plate behind his father. What an odd question his father asked him! You would think that after five years as his father he would know that Jimmy liked oranges.

"If you like that piece, you can only have the rest when you finish your peas. Every last one of them." He then turned in the direction of his bedroom and yelled for Mandy, his wife. Mandy walked out as soon as she was called, like a trained dog, but walked very slowly over to her husband.

Jimmy wasn't stupid enough to stick around for what he knew would happen. He ran out the back door as his father called after him one more time to finish his peas. Mandy walked over to the door and stood next to James sr. as if in a trance. She feared every shaky step. Her breaths were just as uneven as her steps, and just as nervous.

James inserted his thick fingers into a tangled mass of Mandy's permed, dyed red hair and moved it away from her face, revealing a lone tear she had attempted to hide. He wiped her cheek dry and kissed her. "What's the matter, love of my life?" he asked with a mischievous smile. Attempted to walk past him through the door, as she normally did every morning, but he grabbed her arm, viciously digging his nails in it.

"No, Mandy dear. I have a secret for just the two of us to know. I think you had better stay."

Chapter One

"Here ya are, Anne dear. All it has is some background info. The dead lady is Mandy Jade Sanders Wolfe. The main suspect is, no surprise, her husband. That's usually the case. Especialy when they disappear. No one knows where he is or when he's coming back. It gets stranger though. Jimmy junior had been put in a foster home two years ago after a severe beating. Why they brought him back home, I have no idea, because days before they did that, court records show that Mandy had just sued James. He had been beating her too, it seems. In fact, I have hospital records that show she was in the hospital the day after, somehow, she lost her case in court. We have the x-rays to prove she had at least ten broken bones and two fractures. Your job is to find James senior and bring him to me, and find James junior and bring him to a social worker. I've gotten Daniel Gray to help you. You leave together today, in ten minutes, for Tipton Indiana.

"With Danny? Oh, well, I suppose you do what you have to do. One little question though. Why don't the local authorities just deal with this? Domestic violence, sad as it may be, doesn't seem to be something the IIIA should have to deal with."

"I asked the same question," piped in a voice coming from the direction of the door. Anne turned from her boss's desk and saw, just as she had expected but hoped against, Daniel Gray. "and it turns out, as you may have guessed, this guy has connections. This James dude used to work as a nuclear engineer. I'm sure you've heard of him. You see, his name was changed ten years ago as part of a witness protection program when Geoffrey Mitchell, who I'm sure you remember from last summer, was trying to get his grubby little hands on him. First he threatened, then he bribed, then he actually made some pretty sick promises. He made the kind of offer no-one in their right minds would turn down. So, you see, it's more than domestic violence, it's the fate of the world. Unfortunately, James has still got connections to Mitchell. The one problem with that is that Mitchell only works if there's a middle man who in this case is Paul..."

"No!"

"Yes," smiled Daniel. "Which is why you were put on the case. You know more about 'the angel from hell', 'the invisible enchanter', 'the phantom of the heart', than any of us. I mean, you've dated the guy, so you must know how he feels and thinks what he wants, and how he'll get it. 'Cause he will."

"Yeah, well he didn't get me, did he?"

"No, but I hope to God we get him."

"Don't worry, I will."