By Jeff Baker
There was no other way.
Donna Reidel stared at the ocean, at the man pulling the girl on water skis. It looked fast and wet. She shuddered. Staking out somebody in a car she was used to, waterskiing she wasn’t.
Donna and Sean Reidel had been hired by the hotel to investigate a series of jewel thefts. Items stolen from the rooms because rich vacationers would keep the jewels they were going to wear, and didn’t trust the hotel safe.
“Too many people can get into that,” one of the guests had said.
The Malaki Hotel had fake-Hawaiian décor and high prices for its exclusive stretch of California beach and rich clientele. Clientele who liked to be seen rich when they weren’t in swimwear; the hotel banquet hall hosted lavish parties in its expansive ballroom seemingly nightly.
“Expensive ballroom is more like it,” Shawn had said. “But the guests live in their own little world.”
It hadn’t taken long to find the guilty party; a gang of thieves had infiltrated the staff, even security. But recovering the jewels was another matter. The Reidels had staked out the delivery area, even the dumpsters. Somebody was delivering the stolen goods to someone outside the carefully-screened hotel property.
Donna hung on as Shawn pulled her at a seeming thousand miles an hour over the water; she had learned to waterski when she’d been undercover at a waterpark a year ago. She kept her eyes open. The song “Surfin’ Bird” was going through her head.
She saw it.
She waved at Shawn to circle back. She snagged the small plastic bag floating on the water’s surface. In it was a diamond necklace.
The clear plastic and glittery diamonds blended in with the waves. They would be picked up by one of the gang on a jet ski. Donna and Shawn called the police and the Coast Guard who managed to round up the rest of the gang and recover the jewels.
The hotel, of course, was grateful. They paid the Reidels their usual fee (daily, plus expenses) and even let them stay on another week free in the rooms they’d been put up in. They stayed away from the water skis, though. Blanket on the beach with an ice chest of bottled tea and each other under an umbrella was excitement enough.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Reidels first appear in my story “The Cutesey Bear Caper,” back on August 14, 2016. https://authorjeffbaker.com/2016/08/14/monday-flash-fic-cutesy-bears-and-intrigue/ After four years, it’s nice to have them back! —–jsb 8/21/20.