June 25 at 4:00 PM
Cover Art courtesy of DepositPhotos.com
Tyler paced the floor, clearly agitated. He mouthed something and then slammed down the handset. Sara gasped as he tore the phone from the wall and tossed it out of frame. Although she had thousands of hours of surveillance footage, she had never seen him react like this. In fact, Tyler rarely ever raised his voice. He was always so calm and collected. What had gotten into him? What was so different about tonight?
Sara paused the video, taking careful note of his body language. She clicked on another feed that showed Tyler from a different angle. The microphone on this end caught Tyler’s obscenity-laced outburst. She alternated between the third and fourth angles, hoping they might provide additional clues. But there was nothing here. She had come up empty.
Something gnawed at her in the pit of her stomach. She rolled her chair over to a second workstation with three flat panel monitors connected to it. Several cameras focused on the master bedroom exclusively while another dozen covered other areas of the house. She dragged the slider to the beginning of the timeline until she saw Tyler near the bed. Although she’d lost a lot of weight, Tyler was quite strong and set her on the bed like a feather. She stared at her motionless body as the minutes ticked by. When nothing happened, she skipped forward in five-minute intervals.
Pain needled through her as she backed up the footage and played it at normal speed. She stared into the monitor, trying to ignore the torturous tide crashing inside of her. Finally she saw what she was looking for and jumped. “What the hell?” she said aloud. She skipped back a few seconds and then watched in horror as the panel to the room slid open on its own accord. Apparently she wasn’t the only one who knew about the secret hideaway.
Suddenly the lights flickered. It was a frequent nuisance, one that she paid handsomely to fix but still lingered. It always caught her off guard, scattering her thoughts and putting her nerves on edge. The only alternative was to allow an electrician inside of the narrow chamber, a proposition that was completely unacceptable. But perhaps there was a parallel here. The same electrical surge could have caused the door to open. She reviewed the video again and quickly dismissed the idea.
Finally, Sara switched over to the live feeds. The grounds were empty, even the maid had gone home for the evening. Before she could find any solace, a call came across the switchboard. It was a number that she knew well. It was David Bridgley.