Bob Williamson

Six Feet Six In Heels: The next adventure of Royal Summers and Alex Bradley begins with a tender moment, and death.

Chapter 1




Matt Elias grabbed the iPhone from his nightstand. He had gotten to it quickly enough that it hadn’t awakened Rachael. He groped around on the nightstand until found his glasses. The phone’s display said it was 3:19 in the morning. The call was from Germany, from their trading desk in Frankfurt.

Ja, Walter,” whispered Matt, turning away from his sleeping wife.

“You were right. The European Central Bank bureaucrats could not make up their minds. The DAX is down. What should we do?”

“Close our short position don’t you think?”

There was a reluctant sigh. “Ja, ja. Like your Mr. Buffet said, ‘I got rich selling too soon,’ so we too always sell too soon.”

“A profit is a profit.”

Ja, we will talk later. Sorry to call so early.”

“Don’t worry, Walter, it’s never too early for good news.”

Very good news.

They were going to have a fabulous quarter.

In a lot of ways.

Matt pulled off the covers and put his feet down on the cool hardwood floor. There was no use trying to go back to sleep. He always got up by 4:00 to go to the gym. It took him a few minutes to get dressed in his old Brown University sweatshirt, gym shorts, and sneakers.

Downstairs he stopped in the kitchen to take a bottle of Perrier from one of the refrigerators. They charged $5.00 for a bottle of Perrier at the gym. That was plain old highway robbery. He didn’t care how many billions he was worth he was not going to pay $5.00 for a little plastic bottle filled with seltzer water. Even French seltzer water.

Particularly French seltzer water.

            “Daddy!” Matt’s two-year old Jon stood at the door of the kitchen wearing his favorite Spiderman pajamas, the ones with a hole in the left knee. He was rubbing his eyes. “I want a glass of kitchen water.”

            Matt filled a sippy cup and walked Jon back to his bedroom. He hoisted his son onto the top bunk. “Take a drink and then back to sleep.” Jon took a couple of gulps and handed the cup back to his father. “Now lie down,” said Matt. He pulled the covers over his son. He’d only gotten to the bedroom door when Jon rolled over onto his stomach. In an instant the child was asleep.

            Matt couldn’t help himself. He tiptoed back into the bedroom. He ran his fingers through his son’s curly black hair. He kissed the child’s soft cheek.

Matt put the bottle of Perrier in his gym bag, turned off the lights in the kitchen, and went through the back door to the four-car garage. He pressed a button on his keychain; the locks of his 760 BMW jumped up and the door behind his car began to crawl open.

            He’d go to the gym and be back in the office well before 6:00 so he could be on the European mid-day conference call between their trading desks in Frankfurt and London. Even if they had sold too early he knew Walter was going to enjoy rubbing Ian’s nose in that trade.

He started the car and put it in reverse.

            The backup lights caught a man standing in the driveway. The man was dressed in slacks, a blazer, and a white shirt with a solid gray tie. Startled, Matt put his foot on the brake and the shift back into park.

The man didn’t move. “Excuse me, sir,” he called out. “I didn’t mean to frighten you. I think I’m lost. I’m supposed to drive Mr. Donald Wiley down to Miami International this morning.” He looked down at a piece of paper in his hand and tentatively stepped to the garage opening. “He’s got a 6:45 flight. It says here the Wiley residence is located at 739 Hibiscus. I’ve driven up and down the street. I can’t find it and my dispatcher isn’t answering his cell phone.”

            Matt decided to open the driver’s window a crack. “What did you say the address was?”

            The man took a step into the garage. “739 Hibiscus I think, sir. My dispatcher wrote it down. May I hand this to you?” He offered the paper to Matt. “Maybe I misread it in the dark. My dispatcher doesn’t have the greatest handwriting in the world.”

            The man seemed harmless. Limousine services were always coming and going from the Pointe. Heaven forbid that one of its pampered residents should have to drive himself to the airport. Matt put the window the rest of the way down and signaled for the driver to come nearer. “This is 115 Hibiscus. I don’t know the Wileys. Let me see that.”

The man handed Matt the piece of paper. “I’m very sorry sir. I know it’s early in the morning and I didn’t mean to bother you but I’d been driving up and down the street for 20 minutes when I saw your garage door open. I’ve got to find Mr. Wiley’s home or he’ll be late for his flight.” There was a nervous laugh. “My dispatcher really hates that.”

Matt turned to the dashboard where the faint light from the control panel illuminated the paper. “You’re right, it says ‘739’. Did the guard out at the booth say the Wileys live here in Steele Pointe?” He handed back the paper, a little annoyed. “The guard is supposed to give you a map and directions at the guard booth so you don’t drive around and get lost. I don’t think the numbers on our street go that high. Maybe you ought to go back there and check with him.”

The man took the piece of paper with his left hand. He said, “Thank you, anyway. I guess I better try calling my dispatcher again.”

There was a gun in the man’s right hand. It was a .22 caliber double action revolver with a black matte finish. The hammer was pulled back. The barrel was aimed at Matt’s left eye. The man squeezed the trigger before it registered with Matt that this was not a robbery.

The Bride Wore A White Bikini - the first book in the Royal Summers, Party Planner and Private Eye Series