Twisting Dagger Chapter Three
      Since Eddie had the rest of the day off, he decided he would take the time to relax and enjoy one of his favorite hobbies.  His trailer was fully equipped so he sprawled on the comfortable double bed with the remote to the television/dvd and tried to watch a video.  Into the first 10 minutes of the documentary, he found he was unable to concentrate on anything but the problems he'd been having on the sets of the movie.  
     He reached for his phone.  Despite Philip's objections, he'd sent him home so he, too, could take the advice of the Paramedics, and follow Tony's orders.  Eddie dialed the number, then, as he pressed the last digit, changed his mind.  he had no idea what he'd tell him.  The truth might sound a little desperate.  He was lonesome.  He often was.  Making friends for him was hard with his busy schedules.  His closest friend, his bodyguard, was in the hospital.  The rest of his team was busy on the set or back in Hong Kong. 
     He was worried.  He needed someone to talk to about what had been happening, but felt uncomfortable about discussing it.  He wanted to know, but didn't want to appear weak and unable to take care of himself.  Truth; he was scared to death.  
     He hung up the phone, turned off the television, and leaned into his pillows.  With a sigh, he ran his hand through his ebony hair.  He didn't know what to think.
     Voices outside the trailer reached him.  His crew was preparing the set for the next shoot.  All of them were chosen personally.  He trusted them.  There was no way he could convince himself any of them were behind the accidents.
But someone had sabotaged the ladder.  What he didn't know was why.  He had no hard feelings with any of the crew, and as far as he knew, they had no quarrels with him.  Of course, in every new place they filmed, he had to hire some extra assistants, but they had nothing to do with the set.
     It was strange and he was uneasy.  He thought back over the past few months.  From the start of filming, there had been accidents.  At first they seemed just bad luck, but after the third stuntman ended up in the hospital, he began to suspect there was more going on.  His suspicions won out especially after he was nearly decapitated and his bodyguard was knocked off a balcony at the last location.  
     Sai Lo had suffered a concussion and a sprained back, was restricted to a bed for a few days, and advised to take it easy for a few weeks.  He'd argued.  The studio insisted, as did the insurance man.  It wasn't until Eddie stepped in and insisted the Sai Lo capitulated.  Neither of them liked it, especially since they both felt there was something not right.  
     It was a relief to Eddie to know he wasn't the only one who suspected the tampering.  Alone in Sai Lo's hospital room, they'd discussed it between them at some length, trying to find the elusive why.  They decided the best thing for him to do was keep his eyes open and watch for anything or anyone that didn't look or feel right.
     Surrounded by people he knew and trusted, it was hard for him to stay vigilant, although he knew he should.  His attention was on the movie.  From past experience he knew that dividing his attention meant disaster.  It was the main reason he didn't argue when the insurance man demanded the hiring of a new bodyguard.  Philip would have to be his eyes and ears for the duration of the shoot in Baytown.  He couldn't afford for it to be otherwise.

     Holding a pair of strong binoculars, Philip stood in front of the panoramic window that gave him a perfect view of the docks and the set.  He had wanted to stay close to Eddie to make sure nothing else happened to him, but Eddie insisted that he go home and take it easy.  The unplanned dip in the frigid water and the biting October wind had sapped energy from them both.  Philip was used to the weather this time of the year, but not going swimming in the freezing Pacific.
     The accident worried him.  His instincts yelled at him that the whole incident wasn't over.  On the contrary, he had a nagging feeling it was just the beginning.  From what little Tony and Eddie had told him, it was likely to continue until they found out who and what was behind all that had happened so far.
     He looked at the phone.  He kept expecting it to ring.  He found himself almost willing it to ring.  The silence was driving him to distraction and he was worried about Eddie's state of mind.  If anything he'd read about the star was true, Eddie wouldn't be able to sit still for long.
     He looked over to the set again and let his gaze linger on the trailer.  There were two security guards standing close by.  members of the crew were busy doing whatever they were assigned to do.  Everything looked normal, as far as he knew.
     He realized he was hungry.  Temporarily leaving his surveillance, he went to the kitchen to prowl through his refrigerator, but found nothing that looked appetizing. 
     He was listless.  He settled on a glass of orange juice and went back to the window.
     The light was fading.  He glanced at his watch.  It was nearly six p.m., too dark to keep watch by binoculars. 
     He changed into several layers of warm clothing, the outer layer all black, took his heavy police flashlight, and set off to the docks where he intended to spend the night in surveillance.

     It wasn't until the phone rang that Eddie realized he'd fallen asleep.  The trailer was in darkness.  He fumbled for the switch to the bedside lamp.  It took a minute for his eyes to adjust to the light so he could see the phone, but it had already stopped ringing. 
     Rubbing his eyes, he stumbled to the bathroom.  Finished there, he went into the kitchen area.  he wasn't really hungry, but he ate an apple and drank a glass of water.  He glanced at the clock and was amazed to see it was three in the morning.  He decided he must have been more affected by the accident that he thought. 
     The trailer was warm, but there was frost on the outside of the windows.  He went to the front window and looked out.  The set was dark, except for a few security lights and lights in other trailers.  He shut off his light so he could see better outside.  It was then he noticed the dark figure sitting on the cable spool at the edge of the site. 
     He wasn't surprised.  He fixed two cups of hot tea, pulled on his own warm clothing, and slipped out.  He crossed to where Philip sat and handed him one of the cups.
     "What are you doing up?" Philip asked, thankfully accepting the tea.
     "Probably the same thing you are," Eddie said.  "Restless.  Paul and the insurance man wouldn't let me work."
     "You've been asleep awhile," Philip said.  "Some of your men checked on you several times since I came out here."
     "Umm," Eddie said, "asleep but not comfortable.  When I wake, the blankets in a knot on the floor."
     Philip smiled and drank his tea.  The hot liquid felt warm good going down.  Eddie was still upset.  Philip could tell by his English.
     "It's too cold to sit out here," Eddie said, looking around the docks.
     The water of the bay glistened silver from the light of the blue quarter moon.  Waves lapped against the pylons, but all else was silent.  It was almost peaceful.
     "Someone doesn't think so," Philip whispered suddenly, nodding his head in the direction of the trailer.
     Eddie turned to see what he was looking at and froze.  A dark figure slid through the shadows to the front door of the trailer, coming from behind it and staying well out of sight of any guards.  With his back pressed against the wall, he was nearly invisible.  If Philip hadn't been watching for just such a thing, he wouldn't have seen him.
     The figure hesitated before slipping a pry bar of some kind into the door jam.  There was a light pop and the door was open.  They let him get inside before they ran silently to the trailer and positioned themselves on either side of the door. 
They could hear the prowler search, then his footsteps hurry back toward them. 
     As he slipped outside, Eddie landed a solid right kick in the man's midsection.  He went over with a grunt, but managed to roll out of the way of Eddie's next move. 
     Philip brought him down before he got all the way to his feet.  A sharp jab with an elbow knocked him off as the man scrambled a few feet, then was up and moving. 
     Eddie dove and caught the man around the waist.  Both of them slammed back to the ground.  The prowler flipped Eddie over his head, rolled, came up, and kicked.  He caught Eddie squarely in the jaw.  Eddie's head snapped back and he was sent sprawling.
     By that time, Philip moved in and managed a one/two combination punch that knocked the prowler off balance, but didn't knock him down.  He swung his pry bar and caught Philip's upper arm.  His arm went momentarily numb, then screamed in pain as the feeling returned.  He felt the warmth of blood run down to his fingertips as he gritted his teeth and gave chase to the fleeing intruder.
     He was too late.  The prowler disappeared into the darkness and shadows of the old warehouses.  Philip gave up the pursuit and hurried over to Eddie, who was dazed by the blow to his jaw.  Both men were breathing heavily from their exertions.
     "You okay?" Philip asked.
     His arm throbbed and he felt the sticky dampness of his shirt sleeve against his skin.
     Eddie struggled to a sitting position and tried to shake his eyes back into place.  He let Philip help him to his feet, swaying dizzily.
     "He get away?" Eddie asked.
     "Fraid so," Philip said.  "You alright?"
     "I think so," Eddie said, blinking as his eyes refocused.
     "Let's get inside," Philip said, leading Eddie toward the trailer.  "I need to take a look at you."
     Inside in the light of the trailer, Eddie noticed the blood on Philip's hand.
     "You're bleeding," he said.
     "I know."  Philip pulled off his jacket.
     The sleeve of his black shirt was completely saturated with blood.  He managed to get it off without passing out.  There was an ugly deep gash across his forearm.  Eddie quickly wrapped a towel around it.
     "Hold tight," he said.  "Where is everyone?  Why didn't anyone hear the noise?"
     He reached for the phone, mumbling dire threats under his breath.  Philip assumed the threats were aimed at the absent guards.  He'd have a few things to say to them, too.
     "Good question," he said.  "There should've been guards out there.  There were earlier...and some of the crew.  Someone should've heard something."
     Eddie dialed 911, gave the emergency, and was transferred to Tony, who was on night duty and had given orders that any calls from the set were to come immediately to his office.
     "You two stay quiet," Tony instructed.  "The Paramedics are on their way.  I'll have my men there in a few minutes."
     After Eddie hung up, Philip took a good look at his face.
     "Your jaw is black and blue," he said.  "Can you move it?'
     "It's not broken," Eddie said.  "Believe me, I would know.  But it's going to be sore.  It will make dialogue difficult."
     "What is there about this movie that someone wants it stopped?" Philip asked.
     Refilling their cups with more hot tea, Eddie shook his head.
     "It's just a movie, like any other of my movies."  He was already beginning to have problems talking.  "It's not dealing with anything particular.  I don't understand what's going on."
     A knock at the door made them both jump.  Hot tea spilled on Philip's hand and he quickly set his cup down while Eddie answered the door.  It was the Paramedics.
     "We didn't have the siren on," the first Paramedic who Philip recognized as Glen, said.  "Captain Ferrone said you told him you weren't in dire need."
     He began examining Eddie as his partner, Aaron, went over to Philip.  Philip knew both men from his several trips to the emergency room over the past eighteen months.  They'd almost become friends.
     "Let's see what we got here," Aaron, a man over six feet, football player's build, dark brown hair, and crystal blue eyes, said as he carefully unwrapped the towel.
     All of the Paramedics were big.  Aaron and Glen had explained it was due to the fact they were able to lift heavy bodies easier.  The female Paramedics, of which there were two, were, in contrast, petite in build, but as strong as their male counterparts.
     "Well," Aaron said, examining the injury, "you're going to need stitches.  We can do it here or at the hospital, your choice."
     "Here," Philip said.
     Aaron laughed.  He and his partner had been on call for all of Philip's past mishaps.  They understood his reluctance to go to the hospital if it wasn't necessary. 
     "Glen, this one needs stitches," he said.
     "This one needs to have his jaw x-rayed, but it's up to him," Glen said, moving Eddie's jaw carefully side-to-side.
     Eddie grimaced from the pain.  
     "It's not broken," he managed to say.
     "You sure?" Glen asked.  "You better have a doctor look at it anyway.  I suppose it can wait until later today.  In the meantime, keep it iced."
     There was another knock at the door and Tony entered.  He surveyed the injured men and shook his head.  
     "I knew this was going to happen," he said.  "You two are going to be a walking catastrophe.  How're they doing, Aaron?"
     "They'll live," Aaron said.  "This time."
     He clipped the stitches and wrapped a bandage around Philip's arm. 
     "I don't suppose you need a tetanus shot."
     Philip grunted.  The way things were going, it would be twenty years before he needed another one.
     "How about you?" Glen asked Eddie, cleaning a gash on his cheek with an antiseptic pad.
     Eddie shook his head, screwing his face up from the sting of the alcohol.
     Their tasks completed, the Paramedics gathered their equipment and moved to leave.
     "They're all yours, Captain," Glen said.
     "Thanks," Tony said wryly.
     After the Paramedics were gone, he asked, "So, what happened?"
     Eddie and Philip filled him in.
     "I'll have the trailer checked for prints, although there probably aren't any," he said.  "As soon as it gets light, I'll have my men go over the area.  Right now, they're checking on the people who should've been here."
     His radio squawked and a voice informed him that the security guards were nowhere to be found.  The members of the movie crew who'd stayed on site had all been sound asleep.  They'd left their lights on in hopes of deterring anyone from stealing.  They'd never imagined anyone would break into Eddie's trailer or attack him.  According to the voice on the radio, all of the crew were ready to start their own posse, but a quick assurance from Eddie that he was fine convinced them to let the police take care of it.
    

Comments:
 
kt6550   kt6550 wrote
on 5/20/2009 8:39:35 PM
Very good chapter. The imagery outside of the trailer was excellent.

shwangltd   shwangltd wrote
on 4/21/2008 12:34:11 PM
Thank you for reading. I appreciate the feedback. I always find it very helpful and encouraging, good or bad.

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 4/21/2008 3:20:29 AM
So far, so good. Think this may be a suspenseful novel with a lot of action. And I forsee a few twists???? Keep up the good work.

shwangltd
Novel / Novella
Mystery
writing shwangltd
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