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Authors: Amelia Price

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The Unexpected Coincidence

BOOK: The Unexpected Coincidence
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The Unexpected
Coincidence

Amelia
Price

 

 

Copyright 2015
Jess Mountifield

Cover Copyright
2015 Elizabeth Mackey

Smashwords
edition

All rights
reserved.

This novel is a
work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are
either the product of the author's imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locals,
organisations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental
and beyond the intent of the author.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook
may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like
to share this book with another person, please purchase an
additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and
did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only,
then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

Acknowledgements

There's always
that awkward moment when getting to the acknowledgements where I
panic that someone gets forgotten who should be thanked, so I'm
going to start by thanking anyone I've ever forgotten to thank who
has helped in some way. I didn't mean to forget you and I often
remember later exactly what I wanted to thank you for and that it
meant a lot to me. Writing books is never a solitary task despite
how often it can seem it. From little nudges in the right direction
to something as seemingly random like listening to the right song
at the right time, so much goes into a book.

Thank you, Phil,
for being a husband I often don't feel I deserve. For making dinner
those times I didn't want to stop writing, and being gracious when
I moaned because I had to stop writing to make yours.

To Bear, for
always listening, even when I knew you were meant to be doing
something else. I hope I haven't spoilt the plot too badly and you
can still enjoy reading the stories. Just being able to say my
ideas out loud makes it so much easier to get them straight and
make sure there's no plot holes.

To Ella, for being
an awesome editor. Fixing all my mistakes can't be an easy job but
you've managed to make my rough draft shine much brighter and your
suggestions for changes often feel like what I was trying to think
of the first time around, but didn't quite manage.

To Elizabeth for
the amazing cover design. You're always a joy to work with and help
put my words into pictures that often say so much. I know the books
find themselves into more of the hands that will enjoy them most
thanks to you.

Finally to God,
for being there, always.

 

 

Dedication

To Phil, for
making me feel safe.

 

 

Chapter 1

Mycroft took
another sip of his tea from the delicate china cup Mrs Wintern had
provided. It would have tasted perfect if it wasn't for the
lingering smell of formaldehyde. Sherlock's flat never smelt normal
at the best of times, but his younger brother had a case and was
experimenting on some severed body parts.

“It's not that
bad,” Sherlock said, disturbing him from his thoughts.

“What's not?”

“Having to look
over a crime scene for yourself.”

“Apparently not.
You seem to enjoy it,” Mycroft replied, not sure whether to be
relieved that his younger brother hadn't read his current thoughts
or annoyed that Sherlock had figured out the real reason he was
there.

It had been a week
since Mycroft had realised his own people were too incompetent to
do what he needed, and still he hadn't gone himself. Coming to see
Sherlock was always his last resort. Most of the time his younger
brother was only too eager to go take a look at a crime scene or
evaluate a suspect, but Mycroft had found him in the middle of his
own case.

Since Mycroft's
abduction along with Amelia Jones, Sherlock had changed his tune a
little. His younger brother seemed to think it was good for Mycroft
to be in the thick of the action. He, however, felt as he always
had, that it was far too much effort when he could get someone else
to do it for him.

“You could get
Amelia to do it.” Sherlock plonked himself down in the armchair
opposite Mycroft. He had a smug grin on his face. He put his cup
down on the nearby tray to buy himself a few seconds to compose his
voice.

“And why would I
ask her? She's hardly suitable for the task.”

“She'd be perfect.
I've taught her plenty, and I'm sure she'd love to help you catch
the people who took both you and her. No doubt the event was more
traumatic for her than you, even with your aversion to getting
physically involved.”

“Which is exactly
why I would never involve her further. The last thing I need is a
woman's emotions clouding a delicate situation. And besides, I've
not seen her since. It's not as if we're acquainted.” Mycroft
rolled his eyes and hoped his brother would drop the subject. He
didn't want to talk about Amelia. Every time she was brought up he
ran the risk of giving something away about their arrangement, and
it was bad enough that Amelia spoke to Sherlock often.

“Then I can ask
her. I'm sure she won't mind.” Sherlock grinned and got up again to
go back to the kitchen table, which was covered in laboratory
equipment.

“No, she won't
have the time. She starts another book tour tomorrow and they have
her signing all over the country. It seems the new book is a big
hit.”

“So you've been
keeping an eye on her then,” Sherlock said as he stared down the
microscope lens.

“Of course. She's
an acquaintance of yours. For her safety, I thought it best.”

“Perfect,”
Sherlock muttered under his breath right before taking the specimen
out from under the light. “Although it has nothing to do with the
novel, does it, brother of mine? The one she re-wrote for you. I
suppose you feel she ought to be thanking you, considering how well
it's selling.”

“Nothing of the
sort. I only know that part because she seems to have charmed
Daniels.” Mycroft let out an exasperated sigh. “Every time I come
back to the car he's got one of her books in his hands.”

“Well, she is very
charming. But if we're done here... My case is waiting and I really
have a lot to do.” Sherlock put his hand out towards the door and
gave his brother another brief smile.

It was fake, and
Mycroft knew he'd outstayed his welcome. With another sigh that was
a last attempt to sway Sherlock into helping, he got up and nodded
his parting.

“Have a good day,
brother of mine, and try not to cause an international incident,”
Sherlock said as Mycroft was part way through the door. He rolled
his eyes and ignored the jibe. It was meant to annoy him, and he
wasn't going to give his brother the satisfaction of seeing his
success. But it wasn't the only part of their discussion that irked
him. Sherlock had focused on Amelia much more than Mycroft was
comfortable with, and even worse, he was going to have to look over
the house himself. He'd gone to Baker Street for nothing.

When he stepped
outside the sun was shining, which helped to take the chill off the
late November air, but the wind had a bite to it that reminded
everyone it wouldn't be long until Christmas. Not wanting to be out
in such cold when wearing nothing but his favourite suit, he took
several quick steps to the car and the door Daniels already had
open for him.

“Back home, sir?”
the chauffeur asked once he was back behind the wheel.

“No, Moffat Road
in Thornton Heath. Number eighty-nine. And try to avoid traffic. I
want this dealt with as swiftly as possible.”

“Of course,
sir.”

Mycroft gazed out
the window as his driver did his best to wind through the traffic
and ensure it didn't take too long to get to their destination. For
a few minutes, he let the details he picked up from the passers-by
go through his mind, noticing a young woman evidently having an
affair and two teenagers who were about to try and rob a local
shop. He knew they wouldn't succeed, or he might have got out his
phone and sent a quick text to the chief of police.

When the people in
the streets failed to keep his interest, he re-focused his thoughts
to business. Since his little adventure with Amelia, when both of
them had been abducted from the Thames barrier in Silvertown, he'd
been trying to track down the terrorist group responsible. It
didn't make it easier that the North Koreans and Russians appeared
to be working together on this.

Of all the
countries causing concern, they were two of the worst. Russia was
making threatening moves in Eastern Europe, and North Korea was
adapting to its younger leader. Like all people who were brought up
knowing they would run a country, the Korean was a spoilt brat used
to getting his own way. But all this knowledge didn't help in
finding the terrorists who'd tried to flood the capital city. There
was no guarantee they were acting on orders and were not simply
some extreme group of mercenaries who happened to have aligned
goals. Whoever they were, they had plenty of funding from
somewhere.

The yacht they'd
held him and Amelia on hadn't been small, and they had moved house
twice since Mycroft had become aware of them. Each time, they'd
sent someone into an estate agent with the deposit and several
months' rent in cash. On top of that, the first house Sherlock had
found had been left in such a hurry that there was technology and
money left behind. Most of the computers had been wiped clean, but
Mycroft had found enough information to know it was the right
place. The police had completely bungled the attempt at catching
everyone, alerting them to their detection and giving them time to
run.

He'd been praised
for saving London, despite Amelia being involved, but since then
the trail had been difficult to follow. Little head-way was gained
until his brother helped him track a lead to a second address. The
address Mycroft was now being driven to.

Over half an hour
after setting off, Daniels pulled the car over to the side of
Moffat road right in front of the driveway of house number
eighty-nine. It looked worse than Sherlock had said. The drive had
once been bricked over, but areas had sunk while the bricks
themselves had worn and crumbled. Weeds grew up in the cracks, and
a large pile of rubbish filled one corner of the front yard.

As Daniels opened
the car door Mycroft was assaulted by the smell of the rotting
refuse. He wrinkled up his nose in disgust and hurried over to the
front door. Before he made the six steps to the porch, he'd managed
to fish his skeleton keys from his pocket. Pretty much every door
in London opened to these.

Once inside, he
paused in the hallway and surveyed the area. It smelt musty but
nothing that opening a window wouldn't fix. There were a few sparse
furnishings in the living room, and he expected to find the rest of
the house in a similar state. A couch with old cushions sat near a
coffee table. No television or music player of any kind, and no
lamp shade.

The curtains were
drawn in every room, but all the doors were open everywhere,
including up the stairs as far as he could see to his left.
Thankfully, the material hanging over the windows was thin and
enough light from the shining sun still bled through into the
rooms. So he could see the detail he might need, he pulled a small
torch from his jacket pocket and shone it at the floor in a path to
the sofa.

The carpet was
yellowing and threadbare in several places, but traces of dirt from
some kind of boot still lingered near the very edge of the sofa.
Mycroft pulled an empty envelope and a small spatula from another
pocket and scraped up some of the residue before sealing the packet
and tucking it safely back. He could have his brother analyse the
make-up of it and tell him where it had come from.

A glance at the
sofa let him know the occupants had put a plastic covering over it.
There would be no evidence for him to find. Although he didn't
expect anything in the kitchen to aid his search, he put his head
through the doorway all the same and looked over the
appliances.

A fridge and
freezer combo stood on the far wall. He knew it would be empty but
he went over to it and checked anyway. On his way back to the
living room he opened the oven and the few cupboards, but they were
unused and dusty from neglect.

He sighed wishing
this sort of process was quicker but Mycroft knew he had to be
thorough. After decades of sending his little brother to crime
scenes he couldn't do a worse job.

With a sigh,
Mycroft padded up the carpeted stairs, using his torch to scan
important locations as he went, such as the bannister and the walls
at ankle height. Not even a scuff mark appeared beneath the bright
light.

BOOK: The Unexpected Coincidence
9.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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