Warning! The following may contain bad spelling, grammar, punctuation, cardboard characters, cheesy plots, offensive NSFW material, and / or puns. Reader discretion is advised.
“There has to be some connection between you and the kidnappers.” Tom was thinking out loud. “They wouldn’t randomly just take your fiancé and hold her for ransom, especially not for two hundred and fifty thousand, not if you are a manager for a department store. Forgive my presumption but I’m going to guess you don’t make that much in a year.”
Alan didn’t seem offended. “No, I don’t. I don’t know where I’m going to get that kind of money. I might be able to borrow some from friends but I’m still not going to have enough.”
“The important thing here is don’t panic.” Tom tried to sound reassuring. “There is a way out of this, even if we don’t know what it is just yet.”
“We may be here a while. Maybe I should make some coffee.” Freddie said. “Where is the kitchen?”
Alan pointed down a hallway. “Just down there. Coffee is in the cabinet above the machine.”
“Thanks.” Freddie headed down the hallway.
Tom took up the questioning again. “Has there been any strange incidents recently, either at home or at work that might indicate that someone was after you or Jane?”
Alan looked very uncomfortable. “No, nothing at all. Nobody has come to see me or anything.”
“Now that’s an interesting response. You looked away when you said no one had come to see you. And since I asked about incidents you immediately jumped to the conclusion that I asked about someone visiting you. What aren’t you telling me, Alan?”
“Nothing, nothing at all. Everything has been fine up until now.”
“Alan, this will only work if you are honest with me. You’re hiding something. What is it?”
Alan’s face flushed. “Its… its possible I may know who did this.”
Tom stayed silent and looked intently at Alan.
“The truth is, I have a gambling problem. I’m into a lot of money to my bookie.”
“Two hundred and fifty thousand worth?” Tom asked.
“Yeah. I was well into him for a lot and then I made a bet for double or nothing on the Superbowl. Turns out that I backed the wrong team.”
“And now it is time to pay up.”
Freddie came back into the room. “I’m sorry, I spilled some water on the counter while making the coffee. I’ll clean it up. Do you know where a towel is at?”
Alan looked up. “Uh, yeah, there should be one in the drawer by the stove.”
“Thanks.” Freddie turned and headed back to the kitchen. To himself he said “There’s one hoopy frood.”