01-25-2013, 04:16 PM
10:00 am to 11:00 am:
As JD made his way to the production office, his mind kept replaying what his mother had told him about what happened in Criss' suite last night. How the hell did that Athene woman get in there in the first place? he wondered. Security is supposed to be tighter than that. Not even JD himself was allowed in there without notifying Criss first. If that woman could get in, then anyone could, and that could prove dangerous in the long run. Something was wrong, and he was going to find out.
JD made a quick detour to the security office, determined to get some answers. He strode up to the desk where a uniformed officer sat and demanded to see the chief of security. The officer picked up the phone and called Macaffey's office. JD stood at the desk, fuming as he waited.
Macaffey entered the security office foyer. "What can I do for you?" he asked brusquely.
"I want to know what happened last night in Criss' suite," JD demanded. "How did that Athene What's-Her-Name get in there in the first place?"
Macaffey's face creased into a sour grin. "Athene Christopolous? Yeah, seems she swiped a housekeeper's pass and decided to wait for Criss in his bedroom, wearing nothing but a smile on her face. Your mom chased her out, though--she smacked her ass good. We got it all on tape if you care to see it."
"Okay, I'll see it," JD grudgingly agreed. "But this better not happen again. If anyone can just slip into his suite like that, there's no telling what'll happen."
"Oh, we got that under control, no problem," Macaffey assured him. "It's just a case of securing the housekeeping passes a little better."
"What about Athene? You press charges or something?"
"Nah, she's out of here by noon today. The publicity will do more damage than an arrest for that kind of woman. Come on and see the tape--the guys here are still laughing about it."
JD followed Macaffey to the back of the office where the CSI team was still sifting through last night's surveillance for more evidence to convict Steve Packard. Macaffey sorted thorugh the videocassesttes to find what he was looking for. "Let's see...no...no...ah! Here it is." He held up the cassette. "You'll have to view it somewhere else, though," he said. "We're in the middle of an investigation here."
"What kind of an investigation?"
"Safe got robbed last night," Macaffey told him. "We got the money, now we gotta find the guy who did it. Bring that back ASAP, okay? It's hotel property."
"Sure." JD walked out with the cassette in hand. A robbery, a break-in--these guys had a busy night, he thought.
Felix Rappaport emerged from oblivion to find himself in a hospital bed. What the hell happened? he said to himself. His stomach felt sore, but he was no longer in the searing pain he had felt earlier. What had happened to him? He tried to remember where he was last. The hotel, in his office. Criss was there, but he could not remember why. He had been coughing up something warm and runny--not vomit, but something else. The rest was a blur.
It was a woman's voice he heard. A nurse, maybe? He tried to raise his head, but his whole body felt like a lead weight. All he could do was groan in response. A stout, dark haired woman in a white doctor's coat loomed over him.
"I'm Dr. Shelley Greenburg," the stocky woman said. "How are you feeling right now?"
"Well...a bit sore down there," Felix managed to get out.
"Do you feel nauseous? Any other pain?"
He shook his head no. "Good," said the doctor. "You had a bleeding gastric ulcer in your stomach. We had to remove the damage to your stomach lining and seal it up again. You're going to be on a liquid diet for a while, but you came out of it just fine."
An ulcer. Why wasn't he surprised? Given the stresses of his job, it was a wonder he wasn't eaten up alive by now. A gastric ulcer wasn't an ailment in Corporate America, it was an occupational hazard. "How long am I going to be in here?" he rasped.
"For a week at least," the doctor told him. "Don't worry, the world won't come to an end without you."
"It's not the world I'm worried about," Felix retorted weakly. "It's the Luxor Hotel. Someone robbed it last night--half a million dollars."
"Now, Mr. Rappaport, you just relax and get some rest," Dr. Greenburg said soothingly. "Let the police handle whatever happened to the stolen money. You concentrate on your recovery."
Felix sighed. Easy for her to say, he thought bitterly. She didn't have to answer to the Board of Directors.
Gary Brighton managed to slip out of the dining room as unobtrusivly as he could. He casually strolled over to the potted plant where he hid the money, trying not to attract attention. He saw the potted plant, the chair he had napped in, and the newspaper he had been reading, but the suitcase and bag were gone.
Gary froze. Panic began to set in. He recalled with sudden horror that his name and address were on the luggage tag that was still attached to the suitcase. If anyone found it, he'd be tied to the money and it was good-bye freedom. He'd be heading for prison instead of Margaritaville. God, I am so screwed now, he thought.
"Mr. Brighton?" a man's voice spoke behind him.
He whirled around. A security guard stood there beside him. Gary swallowed hard. Okay, don't panic, he told himself. Maybe you can bluff your way out of this. "Yes?" he said, hiding his anxiety behind a mask of nonchalance.
"We found your luggage here in the lobby," the guard said. "It's in the security office. We'd like for you to come and identify it if you could."
Gary faked a grateful smile. "Oh, man, I can't thank you enough!" he babbled, shaking the guard's hand. "I thought I'd been robbed! God, I must be getting forgetful in my old age, you know? Sure, I'd be glad to go! Lead the way!"
The guard turned and led Gary to the security office. Whew! That was close! he thought. Keep up the act, Gary, and you'll get out of this mess yet. Just play it cool. Whatever you do, don't blow it!
Gary entered the security office with the guard. Macaffey and Grissom stood there, waiting for them. "Hey, guys!" Gary greeted them jovially. "The man says you found my bags in the lobby. I know it was boneheaded of me to leave them there, but I didn't want to lug them in the dining room, know what I mean?"
"Mmm-hmm," Macaffey grunted. "Just for security reasons, can you describe your luggage and what was in them?"
Gary was momentarily paralyzed, but quickly recovered. "Sure, pal, sure," he said, still struggling to conceal his anxiety. "I got a large yellow suitcase, kinda old model, got it from my dad years and ages ago, got my name tag from the airport on the handle. It's got the usual stuff--clothes, underwear, copy of my boarding pass, stuff like that."
Macaffey nodded. "Okay, we got that here. Anything else?"
Now what? Gary thought. If they find out about the money, I'm cooked! Wait! I got an idea! "Well, I do have a black carry-on bag," he said, "kinda beat up. Just more of the same that was in the first, plus some stuff I got for my little girl."
"Any identification on it?" Macaffey asked.
"No, no," Gary replied. "It was a carry on, so I didn't think it was necessary. They already scanned it in the airport terminal, so you won't find any bombs or stuff like that."
"Okay, Mr. Brighton," Macaffey said. "If you would just step this way, please?" He escorted Gary to one of the "offices", opened a door to one, and guided him in.
Gary was perplexed. "Hey," he said, bewildered. "What's going on? Where's my suitcase? What are you guys doing?"
"Just a precaution, Mr. Brighton," Macaffey said to him as he closed the door. "We'll only be a few minutes."
Macaffey left Gary in the "office", still protesting. "I want last night's reports," he told Whyte. "Something about that guy rang a bell when he mentioned his kid."
Meanwhile, in the MindFreak Production office, the entire staff huddled around the television screen watching Dimitra spank Athene Christopolous again and again and again, cheering her and laughing all the way. Johnny Thompson, technical advisor and part of Criss' surreal MindFreak "family" came in.
"What the hell's going on?" he asked curiously.
"Well, it turned out that somebody's been sleeping in Criss' bed," JD replied, "and it wasn't Goldilocks."
Johnny was perplexed. "Huh?"
JD pointed to the screen. "Check it out."
Johnny leaned down to see the screen. Athene Christopolous dashed out the door for the hundredth time, clutching her clothes in front of her naked body, as Dimitra landed yet another smack on her bare ass, to the infinite delight of the staff.
"Who the hell was that?" Johnny asked.
"Some chick, Athene Christopolous, I think," JD replied indifferently.
"You know her?"
"Yeah, she's been making headlines in the tabloids for years. Hell, I remember when she tried to get her claws into Elvis when he performed at the Flamingo in the Seventies."
JD looked up at Johnny. "Elvis?!"
Johnny nodded. "That's right. She bent over backwards to be Queen to the King--literally! She would have succeeded if he hadn't died suddenly. Lucky break, I'd say."
Now it was JD's turn to be bewildered. "That was...what? Thirty years ago? Then, she's gotta be...what? Forty? Forty-five?"
"She's fifty if she's a day!" Johnny said.
JD's jaw dropped three inches. "Fifty?!"
"She's been lying about her age for thirty years, acting like she's still twenty. She's been through three husbands and God knows how many lovers!"
"And Criss was next on the list," JD said grimly. "Geez!" He rewound the tape and ejected it from the machine. "Jennifer? Get this back to the security office, willya?"
Jennifer nodded, taking the videotape from him. "Okay, everybody," JD called out. "Fun's over, we got work to do."
As soon as the MindFreak office settled down to the morning business routine, Ashley sidled up to Jennifer with a conspiriatorial air.
"You still have that tape?" she whispered.
"Right here." Jennifer held up the cassette.
Ashley looked around warily. "You know, I have a YouTube account," she told Jennifer. "I can transfer that tape onto it and...well...you know..."
Jennifer clapped her hand over her mouth to keep from squealing in delight. "Ohmigod! You are so wicked!"
"Hey, after that BS on Celebnooz.com, and you know it is, I think a little payback is in order."
Jennifer was suddenly struck with a thought. "You know what? I bet Athene made up that crap about Criss to cover up her little, you know, 'indescretion', just to make herself look good."
"And to make Criss look bad," Ashley added. "Well, payback is a (bleep). So, what do you say?"
Jennifer handed the tape over to Ashley. "Just make sure it gets back to the security office before anyone finds out."
"Not a problem," Ashley said. "Leave everything to me."