K2 Series - Book 2.
Sir Morris Beesely is heading to the Bahamas, a reunion with his former associates at the American Lodge. A nuclear device, a 'dirty bomb', is heading across Europe. K2 is attacked, a massive onslaught. But who is really behind it, and why?
The large wall poster advocated the merits of cleaning your teeth regularly, a picture of a beautiful Caribbean girl with a smile that could light up a room. It wobbled slightly in the draft caused by a ceiling fan with worn bearings. Wearing colourful Hawaiian shirts, Beesely and Johno now sat opposite each other on low cushioned chairs as they waited.
'Why do doctor's surgeries always have year old magazines?' Beesely complained. 'Is it some unwritten rule?' He flicked through Caribbean News, Time Magazine and others, a strong American influence on the available selection. A very worn Playboy 1982 was an interesting find.
'You do realise ... that I really, really hate doctors?' Johno quietly, but firmly, mentioned for the third time, picking at a scab on his knee.
'How about nurses?' Beesely asked without looking up, sitting back and opening the well-worn Playboy. He cocked an eyebrow at playmates with bushy pubic hair, the 'fir bikini' of that era.
Johno swung his head around to the nurse sat at her station, catching her watching them. 'They're OK.'
'Quiet backwater, low paid jobs ... she may want a rich western sugar daddy,' Beesely suggested as he turned the pages. 'Why don't you go flirt, take your mind off the smell of antiseptic.'
Johno stood without a second thought and stepped across to the receptionist. Lifting his leg, Beesely studied his purple toe, cursing to himself. Then crying caught his attention, a young British woman being consoled by her parents.
'Everything is ruined!' the girl sobbed, her head nestled into her mother's shoulder.
The family wore tourist clothes and sported severe pink sunburn on their shoulders and faces, 'lobsters' as the locals called them. The girl appeared to Beesely to be in her early twenties, the parents greying and in their fifties.
Beesely listened in: the wedding had been planned for tomorrow, but the groom had injured himself on a ... jet ski ... nothing serious. Ah, no insurance, Beesely noted. At least, no medical insurance that would payout for a jet-ski accident. And the hotel had lost their wedding booking ... or something.
He stood and stepped towards them, the toe would have to wait. 'Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing about your mishap. I own several hotels on the island and have a seat on the board of the Bahamas Tourist ... Board.' That did not sound as good out-loud as it had done in is head.
The father spoke first, the very man prideful. 'Damn hotel screwed up our wedding booking,' he said through gritted teeth, hand gesturing as if he was enthusiastically orchestrating a band. 'Now our boy has injured himself and these bunch of crooks won't do anything without insurance. Our insurer says they don't cover jet-ski accidents.'
Beesely nodded, offering a sympathetic expression. 'Yes, that's normal for any kind of dangerous sports, I'm afraid. Which hotel are staying you at?'
'The Wyndham,' the mother answered, now regarding Beesely suspiciously.
'And how many of you are there, might I enquire?'
'Twelve in total,' the father answered with a questioning look. 'Been planning this for two years.'
Beesely took out his phone and straightened. 'Otto, please.' He waited. 'Otto? I want the honeymoon suite in The Paradise, Coral Towers, for the next week, plus -'
'We can't afford that!' the father protested.
Beesely raised a hand and cut him off. 'Plus executive rooms for another ten people. I want two stretch limos and a yacht for a wedding, the largest we can find. Have an extra car brought to the doctor's surgery straight away. Thanks.' He lowered the phone.
'We can't afford that -' the father began again.
'It will cost you nothing, it will all be taken care of,' Beesely quietly insisted.
A doctor appeared from a side room; white coat, wide collared shirt straight from the 1970s, dark skin and a potbelly.
'Is that your doctor?' Beesely softly enquired, tipping his head towards the man. They confirmed it was. 'Doctor! If you please.'
The man glanced at the family, whom he had just rowed with, before reluctantly walking up. 'Yes?' he curtly asked, looking Beesely over.
Beesely produced a wad of thousand dollar bills from his trouser pocket. 'This is towards the bridegroom's medical bills. Twenty thousand enough?'
The doctor took the wad, staring wide-eyed at it. 'Of course,' he finally said, a deep and joyful West Caribbean accent.
'Good, good. The rest goes to a local children's charity. Have the young man transferred today to the honeymoon suite at the Paradise Hotel, Coral Towers, and treated on-site at the hotel from now on. OK?'
'Yes, sir,' the doctor enthusiastically boomed.