“A Mr. Liam Pace on line eight," the secretary’s voice announced, over the desk intercom, in Anton Werner Mittlewerk’s office.

Anton picked up immediately.

“Mr. Pace?” he said.

“Yeah,” Liam mumbled.

“Pleasure to finally speak to you,” Anton continued, “thank you for your prompt response. So what is your answer?”

Liam cleared his throat.

“I’ve done what you’ve asked,” Liam reluctantly replied, “I’ve signed the contract giving over all the rights. Now what?”

“Well,” Anton replied, “now you tell me where have you stashed it?”

“There were no recordings,” Liam lied.

“Mr. Pace, please do not waste my time,” Anton replied, “I know there were recordings and there was something else. Awhile back, I happen to have spoken with someone who was very close to me and who was once very close to you. You remember a very beautiful girl named Anastasia? Anastasia Mittlewerk?”

“No. Can’t say I do,” Liam mumbled, “but then I’ve known a lot of beautiful women over the years!”

“Of course you’ve been with a lot of beautiful women,” Anton replied, “and its no surprise to me that an arrogant, ego inflated, self-centered ass like yourself, wouldn’t remember Anastasia. To you she was just another little fling back in the day, wasn’t she? However, she was my sister and when she was on her death bed just over a year ago, I guess she wanted to make her peace, so she gave me some information that may turn out to be of tremendous personal value to me.

Among the many things she told me, just before she died, was a very interesting story about an affair she had had with a has been rock star by the name of Liam Pace.

She told me about a night that you, in a stoned stupor, had told her how jealous you were of your late brother and his recordings, how you were afraid that, even in death, he could become more successful than you could ever imagine and, despite the fact you could profit off your brother since you were his sole beneficiary after his untimely death, your ego was so fragile that you weren’t ever going to let anyone know about the very existence of those recordings.

More importantly, she also told me she had given you a gift. A sort of “protective charm” and how you all ended up at some recording studio. A studio that Anatasia, due to her sickness at the time, could no longer remember its name or location. She did remember you had placed everything, your brother’s solo recordings and even that charm, my sister’s gift to you, into a safe at that studio.”

“You been smokin crack?” Liam replied, “I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about!”

“Crack?!” Anton subtly laughed, “that’s so ironic! It was crack that you turned my sister on to, that eventually resulted in her declining health and eventual death! So don’t play games with me, Mr. Pace. So, unless you have lost that item you placed in that safe or have since destroyed it, I know you know where it is. So, Mr. Pace, where is it?!”

“If I tell you,” Liam reluctantly replied, “will you immediately release my niece and leave of all us the hell alone?!”

“Your niece will be taken care of just as soon as I have the item I seek safe in my hands,” Anton answered, “but not until then. So, where is it?”

There was a long silence. Anton figured Liam, in his alcohol diluted, drug damaged brain, was weighing his options which, at this moment, were none.

“Well, Mr. Pace,” Anton continued, “I’m waiting and I don’t have all day. You have eight more seconds to answer and if you won’t, then I will assume you are not interested in your niece’s welfare and I will order her immediate termination!”

“Everything is being kept in a safe at a recording studio in downtown L.A. called Rock Island Recordings,” Liam finally answered.

“Very good, Mr. Pace,” Anton replied, “see, that wasn’t difficult at all, was it? Now you will take the signed documents and give them back to your daughter. Instruct her to go to that studio and wait. I will have some of my associates meet her there and she will hand over the documents and we will retrieve the merchandise. Once they have confirmed to me that it has been successfully delivered into their custody, then I will immediately take care of your niece and you won’t have to deal with me or anything else ever again in your sad and pathetic little life! Do you understand?!”

“Yeah,” Liam answered.

“Good,” Anton replied. “now, get your daughter over to that studio. My associates will be there in an hour! Tell her not to be late!”

Anton hung up the phone and smiled. He felt it was all just about over, especially for Pace’s niece.

Next: Chap. Twenty-Two “An Awful Scream”

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