Genre: Action/Thriller/Crime/Romance for 18+
With a string of horrendous kidnappings of the heirs of billion dollar conglomerates around the world growing, Zara Zee, one of Hong Kong’s youngest top female crime investigator goes undercover to protect the next target who is Leopold Lee, an American action star, whose father is Chinese and mother is Franco-American, the recent heir to Lee Holdings, and a bad boy out to prove he is not just another pretty face. What appears to be an unassuming case, leads to the discovery of a major plot orchestrated thousands of years ago yet set to explode and change the world today. All the clues are pointing to the catastrophe to come unless Zara and Leo can work together to stop the conspirators.
Zara Zee and the Unassuming Case of the Billionaire Heir
Copyrighted Material by Kailin Gow and Sparklesoup Inc.
Officer Zara Zee
Hong Kong – at Lu Towers
“I am in the basement of Lu Towers, and let me tell you, Peter, the building may cost 1.5 billion dollars to build, but from down here, it looks like I’m the bowels of a mechanical steam dragon. It’s a maze down here. Are you sure the signal is coming from this building?” Zara asked her superior Peter Brock through the cellphone. “It’s Richard Lu’s own building, where he has his office on the penthouse floor. You mean he was held in his own building the entire time he was kidnapped?”
“It’s where the signal is coming from,” Peter said, his British accent clipped and his tone short. “Be careful, Zara. Richard Lu is a well-trained martial artist. He was tutored by the best money could afford since he was a child. If these people could capture him and hold him hostage, they must be professionals. These people don’t kid around. They mean business.”
“I got that,” Zara said. Zara held both hands around the handle of her colt .45 ready to shoot at anyone coming down the half-lit hallway in the basement for one of Hong Kong’s most beautifully designed state-of-the-art high-rises known as Lu’s Towers.
Why wasn’t the basement as lit as the rest of the flashy building? Lu Towers was known for its changing neon light patterns that lit up the entire building for miles. A winner of many architectural design competition, Lu Towers was touted as a major and exciting new addition to the cosmopolitan Hong Kong cityscape.
You would think the basement would be high-tech and glamorous too.
Not this grim dungeon-like maze where the lights weren’t working, and it reeked of gasoline, sulfur, garbage, and rotting food. It was a ghastly combination of a smell, and Zara tried to block out the intense odor.
She held out her gun but walked carefully in the near dark until she saw a glimpse of green neon light coming from around the corner.
Zara had to hold her breath. The smell was ten times more intense here.
She waited for any sound, but it has been quiet for the past few minutes she had made her way to the basement. She followed the green light which illuminated the basement with a faint eeriness that reminded her of those old horror films she had watched growing up with her old-fashion grandmother. It had only been about ten to fifteen years ago when she first moved to live with her grandmother in a humble little one-bedroom house in a small town just outside of Hong Kong. She was only five but she remembered how scared and sad she was when her grandmother took her in, following the accident that killed both her parents. Her grandmother was poor, and the house barely had electricity. What she did have was some change, which she gave Zara, to have her go to an old one screen theater playing classic films from the United States. A neighbor of her grandmother took her to the theater while her grandmother talked to the police who brought Zara to her. Frankenstein was the black and white film she had to watch that day.
Zara gripped her gun tightly. She had a feeling she was going to make a discovery on the other side of the door where the main source of the green light was coming from.
Her cellphone vibrated, and she answered it without saying a word. She had it go to text instead.
Peter was on the line: Zara, you are right where the signal is strongest. We have a team who will be there in a minute. They would be there sooner but traffic is a killer. Thank God you were right at the café nearby when we got the signal. Wait for them, and they will give you backup.
Zara was already at the door, the cellphone in her pocket. A humming noise was coming from the room. Then a soft scraping. Maybe a shoe against the floor. Someone was in there.
How many of them were in there? Who was in there? Did they have Richard Lu?
Zara was about to reach for her cellphone to ask Peter if he can get an id on the maintenance workers for Lu Towers. It didn’t make sense that Richard Lu would be down here. There was no business for him here, with him being far removed from his operations people. Unless he knew them.
“Ahhh!” Zara heard the man’s faint voice grimace in pain. Zara remembered seeing Richard Lu on television once when he rang the bell for the Hong Kong stock market.
He was a handsome and large man, the recent heir to his family’s fortunes and successor to the Lu Legacy of real estate, hospitality, foreign investment and more. He also had a distinct deep voice. It was just a groan, but she could tell it belonged to Richard Lu.
She kicked open the door, and quickly looked around the room, expecting a gang of men to fire at her or to jump her.
But the place was empty except for a wooden chair next to the furnace. A cord leading from the furnace to the man sitting in the chair, slumped down. Bloodied, a cellphone on and vibrating in his shirt pocket. It was the source of the green light.
Zara almost threw up.
He couldn’t reach his phone because his fingers were cut off. He couldn’t hear her coming to shout for help because his ears were cut off. His one good eye stared bloodily at her while the other was shut closed.
Feces and old food littered the area around him.
“Hold on!” Zara shouted, running to him.
But as soon as stepped onto the rubberized mat that covered the area near the door, a signal went off, and the cord next to Richard was ignited from the furnace with a spark of fire that quickly traveled down to Richard.
Richard could see the fire light up and he seemed to be shouting at Zara, “Get out!” Zara saw him indicate his head at the cellphone in his pocket. A bomb? The cellphone?
Zara tried to get to him to snatch it but it took less than a second before Richard was completely engulfed in flames and then the room began shaking.
The bomb wasn’t on Richard. It wasn’t the cellphone. It was under Richard’s chair. There was a matt underneath his chair. Any slight movement would set it off, which was why he didn’t try to call out to anyone or try to escape.
Zara began rushing to him, saving him was the only thought in her mind, but strong arms held her back.
Peter. The rest of their team was behind him.
“I can save him!” Zara shouted. Peter pulled her back and they were running down the hallway with the two officers behind them before the entire room exploded, along with the basement.
Zara and Peter were running as fast as they could, exiting out to the street through an emergency exit door, but they turned around and the two officers behind them were no longer behind them.
“Kenneth! Thomas!” Peter shouted, running in, but Zara held him back.
The entire basement was like a giant furnace with fire everywhere.
A loud alarm sounded, sending everyone into a panic. People were pouring out of the building. The fire truck was already there, and everywhere she looked, there was chaos and disorder. Even if they tried to go back in to look for Kenneth and Thomas, the crowd of people running for their lives pushing their way out of the building, blocked them from entering.
“Peter…they doused him with gasoline and filled the basement with it. He was down there for days, undergoing such torture. They weren’t merciful, those bastards. He paid them already. They got his ransom, yet they still did all that to him and killed him.”
She was crying now. It wasn’t like her to lose it on the job. She was more professional than that. She didn’t even know Richard Lu, except for his celebrity persona as a billionaire heir.
But Zara was the last person he saw before he died. She couldn’t forget the look in his eyes before he was engulfed.
“Kenneth and Thomas, too.” Peter was shaking. “The fire came at us so fast, we barely made it out ourselves.”
“Who can be so cruel?” Zara asked.
“All the evidence from the kidnapping blew up in there,” Peter said.
Zara looked down. If only she had waited for back up. If only she didn’t rush into the room and stepped on the matt, triggering the fire that led to igniting the explosive on Richard. She clenched her hand into a tight fist. It was not only cruel to make Richard suffer like that, but to have him witness his own beloved pride and joy building go up in flames. “Whoever they are,” Zara said bitterly. “I will make them pay.”
UNASSUMED releases Monday, 9/21/2015 on Amazon, BN.com, Kobo, and Apple!!!!