Sunday, April 28, 2013

Work in Progress: Worth

For the letter W on the A to Z blogging Challenge I'm sharing an excerpt from my work in progress, Worth. Enjoy a little taste of this exciting thriller and please leave a comment and let me know what you think. :) 

Dean Cross waited impatiently for his estranged wife to step off her flight. He has hope that after three years of separation they can put their marriage back together again. The last passenger disembarked, no Lucinda. Had she missed the flight, changed her mind?

Kidnapping isn’t just a crime, it’s a multi-million dollar business. Most believe only rich kids or missionaries in a foreign country are held for ransom. The Cross’ find out anyone can be taken, it only matters what your worth.  


Chapter One

The airport intercom hissed then called out, “United Flight 109 to Los Angeles  will be boarding in 20 minutes, at gate six.”

Lucinda sat in the airport there was a thirty-minute delay boarding, of course. When did she ever get on a flight that left on time..... Never. She'd drank a soda during the first delay and now it was time to take a break.

She pulled her bag over to the desk. "Excuse me, I'm on this flight but I need to visit the ladies. Can I leave my bag with you for just a minute?"

The clerk pulled the bag around the desk and nodded. "Sure, they should be ready soon so don't be long."

Luce smiled. "Thanks I'll be quick." She hurried into the restroom and into a stall with a sigh of relief.

When she came out of the stall another woman a bit taller, with an athletic build came out of the stall next to her. Luce thought the lovely woman would make a fantastic sports model.

The woman toyed with her skirt and watched Lucinda walk up to the sink. "Best to go before you get on the plane. I hate those bathrooms."

Luce glanced up in the mirror and grinned softly. "Ditto. I have luggage bigger than that.”

Lucinda took a breath as she stood in front of the ladies room mirror. She washed her hands and wondered if going home was the right decision. It had been a long time, maybe too long to make things right again.

The stranger stepped over to the sink next to Lucinda. She glanced over with a friendly grin. “Anxious about flying?”

Lucinda gave her back a slight grin in an attempt to be polite. “No, anxious about the destination.” She pulled a couple of towels from the machine, the rough paper echoed as it crinkled as she rubbed her hands dry.

Lucinda turned from the woman to drop the towels in the trash, when a cloth covered her nose and mouth. She tried to move away, but was trapped by the woman's body and the sinks. Luce struggled to pull the hand from her face, but that only made the chloroform work faster.

She tried to scream but the deep breath she took to belt one out made the room spin. The next second the room turned hazy and her body went limp in the stranger’s arms.


Lucinda felt groggy as she woke. She swallowed and her mouth felt like dry cotton. The room was dark and the bed uncomfortable and lumpy. “This is not the five star hotel I booked online.” She must have been tired she can‘t remember the flight or getting to LA.

She sat up and a lightheaded sensation made her head spin a bit. Luce rubbed her eyes and remembered Dino was supposed to have met her at the airport. She tugged at her blouse and paused, she hadn’t changed into bedclothes?

Luce looked down and her clothing was askew. As though she had been searched. She took a deep breath in an attempt to push back the grogginess. “What is going on?” She reached to switch on a lamp... there was no night table.

She squinted and looked around as her eyes adjusted to the moonlit room. It was not a hotel, she was sure of that. Quickly she swung her legs off the bed and started to the door. Something cinched her ankle and she fell hard to the filthy wood floor.

Lucinda looked down her leg, a small chain that reminded her of something to tie a dog out with was fastened tight around her ankle. The other end to the bed, she pulled but the bed had been fastened to the floor as well.

Panic began to set in. Luce looked out the window, there wasn’t much to see. She was on the second floor of a house maybe... Where was she? Why was she here?

Memory of the woman in the airport came back to her. “Oh God… I’ve been kidnapped?”

That couldn’t be right, that kind of thing didn’t happen to people like her she wasn’t rich or famous.

Her attention snapped back when the doorknob jiggled. Her breath began to pant as the door creaked open. It wasn’t a movie where Liam Neeson was going to sweep in and save her from the man who stepped in. It was real. 

So what do you think? Do you know what you would be worth? 

Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the letter W

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