Gone with the Dawn

After twenty five year old Cynthia Heart goes missing without a trace, a young detective named Megan Macuentha is assigned to the case. However, when her seventeen year old daughter Melissa goes missing on the next day, she can only see a pattern in these abrupt kidnappings.
As she digs further and further into her case, Megan discovers that these kidnappings may not be some sick minded joke, but the work of a trapped spirit, who vows to get revenge for her husbands affair, no matter what the cost, and Cynthia and Melissa may just be the key to her revenge...


1. Chapter One

I shuffled into the meeting, late as usual, though my disheveled appearance kept anyone from making a snide remark. I was still miserable, and my mind was reeling from Cynthia Hart’s disappearance. All the seats were already taken by museum executives, lenders, and the police officers on the case. I stood at the back, directly opposite Mr. Paxton, Cynthia’s fiance.

     Mr. Paxton was on the phone, and he sounded furious. His English accent sharpened his already cutting words. He was a far cry from the bald, rotund man I had been expecting, looking to be about only 26 or 27. He was calm, serene, content even. I suddenly realized he was staring back at me, so I shifted my attention to the notes that one of the officers had left on his desk. I pulled them close to me as an officer peered over my arm to try and read what I’d gathered. He frowned and looked away as I blocked his view. After all, we were hired by the museum to sort out this mess, not the police force. They could find their own evidence.

     I jumped as Mr. Paxton’s loud, happy voice filled the room. “I just wanted you all to know how very pleased I am with your work so far! Everyone is working so hard, I’m just downright chuffed.” The room shifted uncomfortably, grateful for his words but confused about the fact that we had made no progress and had no leads. His smile faded noticeably with the lack of reactions from the room, but he continued in the same cheery fashion: “I have complete faith in all individuals working on this case. I know we’ll find Cynthia in no time.”

     The chief finally spoke up, and Mr. Paxton grinned even more broadly. “ We've certainly made this our priority, sir,” said the chief proudly.

     The meeting ended abruptly as Mr. Paxton thanked everyone for their time, reminded us not to stress ourselves too much, and strode out. Happy to get out of that cramped, windowless cage, I dashed out the door immediately. I was eager to get home and start the research that I had been waiting to begin for a long time.

     “Hold up there!”

     I jumped and spun around, dropping my papers. Mr. Paxton had been waiting outside the conference room, leaning against the wall. He grabbed my papers from the floor before I could crouch down to retrieve them.

     He grinned at me. “Easy there, girl. Ought to lay off on the caffeine.”

     Still breathless, I shakily grabbed my folder and tried to pull it from his hands. He held on tight. I looked up from the papers into his steel grey eyes. “I’m having a get-together with some execs from the museum tonight. You should definitely join us. I really appreciate the hard work you've put forth on this case. You’re a real hard worker,” he said, releasing my papers.

     He doesn't know a single thing about me or my investigation, I thought, how could he possibly know whether or not I’m a hard worker?

     “I’m not sure that’s really the place for me...”

     He maintained his smirk, but I could see disappointment in his eyes, so I continued, “It’s just, I’m hardly an executive. I don’t know if it would be approp—”

     “Goodness!” he interrupted. “Propriety? Do I look like the kind of fellow that engages in propriety?”

     Yes, I thought to myself.

     “Listen, you look stressed. It’ll be a good night of fun and relaxation. Take a break,” he said. It sounded more like an order than a request.

     I reluctantly agreed, assuring myself that it wouldn't be a wasted night. I would at least be able to take a look around his place for clues. Something in the way he was carrying himself just didn't seem right.

     “A car will be over at 8:30 tonight to collect you,” he said, winking and turning away.

     “Oh, no, no, that’s not necessary!” I called after him.

      He turned toward me, continuing to walk backward toward the elevator behind him, and chuckled, “You’ll never be able to find it on your own.”

     He pressed the down button, and the doors immediately opened. He stepped in, turned around to face me, and mumbled what sounded like, “Even I get lost sometimes.”.

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