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Big French Mistake
“It’s huge!” A teenage girl said in astonishment as she stared up at the magnificent tower. “Yeah.” Her companion grinned as he led her towards the tower. This was the teenage girl’s first trip abroad, alone. She met a young French man called Peter; he was showing her the Eiffel Tower and other places of significance.
“The view is surreal.” The girl smiled as she looked out from the top of the tower, clearly breath taken by the city. “It’s even nicer at night.” Peter smiled crookedly. “I’m sure it is.” The girl replied, still staring at the tops of the buildings. The city stretched out as far as the eye could see. “Hungry?” Peter cocked his head to the side. “Very.” The girl admitted.
“I’ll take you to this little restaurant I know of.” Peter led the way down a narrow street. The girl followed quickly behind, watching the people who were selling scarves and miniature Eiffel Towers. Peter stopped short and scurried down an alleyway. The girl followed. “Here we are.” Peter announced as he pushed open a small glass door. The aroma of French delicacies filled the girl’s lungs.
“Bon appetite.” Peter clinked his wine glass against the girls. The girl tucked into a pasta dish and Peter ate raw beef – a French dish. “No frog’s legs?” Peter teased. “Never.” The girl laughed, finishing her meal. They paid for their meal and as it was getting dark, they decided to go back to the hotel.
“So what’s your job here then?” The girl asked. “Chef.” Peter smiled as he walked down the staff corridor. “See you.” The girl called as she scurried up the stairs to her hotel room. She was glad the Manager of the hotel decided to ask Peter to show her around the city. He was better than any tour guide. “Hello Chloe, how is your trip going?” The girl recognized the female’s voice on the other end of the phone. It was her older sister Jane.
“It’s fantastic,” Chloe told her sister “I’m going to the Eiffel Tower again tonight.” “Really? In the dark?” “Peter said it was meant to be even better than it is in the daytime.” Chloe replied. “Peter?” Jane asked. “Nice French boy. He’s a chef too.” Chloe laughed. “Be careful.” Jane warned her younger sister. “I will.” Chloe promised.
“Wow, Peter was right.” Chloe exclaimed as she tugged her jacket tighter around her. The lights of the city looked like needle heads from where Chloe was standing. There was no pattern to the lights, just the sparkling oranges, yellows and reds illuminating the dark city streets. “I know I was.” A male voice behind her spoke. Chloe whipped around and saw Peter smile slightly at her. “What are you doing up here?” Chloe asked, raising her eyebrows. “I followed you.” Peter stared past Chloe’s shoulder into the darkness.
“Why?” Chloe demanded. “You’re in danger.” Peter frowned, presuming Chloe had already known. “I am not!” Chloe scowled, her arms folded tightly across her chest. “Please, come with me.” Peter begged. “No! I hardly know you!” Chloe shouted. “Just come on!” Peter sighed, grabbing Chloe and when they reached the bottom of the Eiffel Tower he let her go. “Hurry!” Peter urged and walked towards a silver car which shone in the dim street lights.
“Get in.” Peter ordered, opening the passenger door. “No.” Chloe’s voice broke. She was going to cry. “Chloe, I’m a police officer so get in!”” Peter showed her his badge. “Fine,” Chloe wiped her eyes “Only if you tell me why I’m in danger.” “I promise, now get in!” Peter smiled. Chloe did as she was told and Peter sat in the driver’s seat. “How did you get a ticket to Paris?” Peter said bluntly, he already knew the answer. “A bloke gave them to me.” Chloe answered. “What else did he give to you?” Peter raised his eyebrows.
“Just an envelope. He told me to give it to a friend of his and then I could enjoy the rest of my holiday.” Chloe whispered, suddenly realizing how stupid she was that she took the envelope and plane ticket. “What’s in the envelope Chloe?” Peter smiled, trying to comfort her. “Money,” Chloe sighed “Well there was money in it.” “What do you mean ‘there was’?” Peter sounded shocked. “I lost it.” Chloe replied.
“Oh man this is not going to go well with James.” Peter frowned, pulling into a deserted warehouse. “Out,” Peter ordered “and wait over there.” He pointed to a dumpster. Chloe trudged over to the dumpster and waited. Peter parked his silver car, jumped out and knocked on a steel door. A dark haired man opened it and Peter stepped inside. Muffled shouts came from within the warehouse and suddenly someone grabbed Chloe from behind.
“Let go!” Chloe screamed as a tall man pulled her into the warehouse. “You’re Chloe?” The dark haired man who opened the steel door for Peter raised his eyebrows. “What’s it to you?” Chloe spat. “I’m James,” The dark haired man smiled “I’m guessing Peter told you everything?” “Not quite.” Peter spoke quietly from behind James. “Oh,” James frowned “Chloe darling, we need that money.” “I said I lost it.” Chloe scowled, still struggling to get free from the tall man’s grasp.
“Ian, let her go.” James nodded and the tall man dropped his arms. Chloe stood up and her eyes narrowed. “What is going on?!” She shouted. “That money was to buy ammunition for a man called Jacque.” James sighed, sitting down on a crate. “Like guns and stuff?” Chloe asked. James and Peter nodded. “You didn’t loose it did you?” Ian spoke for the first time. Chloe drew in a deep breath. “No.” She replied.
“It’s hidden in my hotel room.” Chloe whispered. “Good, we have to get it before Jacque does.” James replied. “Ready?” Peter asked James. “Yeah,” James replied “let’s go.” Chloe sat on a crate beside Ian and watched the two men leave the warehouse. Peter, Ian and James were undercover policemen. Peter knew Chloe had the envelope so that’s why he offered to be her tour guide so he could watch over her until she gave the envelope to Jacque. This was when he was going to intercept and take the money before Jacque could buy any more ammunition.
“I’ve never heard of a French mafia.” Chloe told Ian. “Well now you have.” Ian grunted. “I have to help somehow.” Chloe moaned. “You’re nineteen, what are you going to do?” Ian frowned. “Distraction.” Chloe grinned, walking towards the steel door. “I’m coming.” Ian yelled. “I know you are, you’re driving.” Chloe laughed. Ian started the engine and tailed Peter and James’ car.
Chloe and Ian raced up the hotel stairway until they halted outside Chloe’s room. “Is anyone in there?” Chloe whispered. “No.” Ian said, sounding confused. He’d followed Peter’s silver car right to the hotel entrance. “You’re sure it was Peter’s car?” Chloe asked, just as the door swung open. “Jacque!” Ian hissed as a tanned man dashed out of Chloe’s hotel room clutching an envelope. “He knew which room I was in too?” Chloe gasped. Who hadn’t been following her!?
Ian dashed after Jacque and Chloe ran into her hotel room. Jacque had climbed in through the open window. “My room is on the fourth floor!” Chloe thought aloud. Peter dashed into the hotel room moments later. “Chloe?” Peter gasped “Where’s the money?” “I’m looking, I’m looking!” Chloe shouted, rummaging through her suitcase.
“Have you got it?” Peter yelled. “Jacque took it.” James appeared at the doorway. “No he didn’t.” Chloe growled, throwing her clothes across the room. “Ian just called me and told me.” James sighed. “That was a brown envelope with a picture of an Eiffel Tower on it,” Chloe shouted. “The money’s in a darker envelope with no picture on it.” Chloe told the two men before they could ask another question.
“Here you go.” Chloe grinned, handing him a dark brown envelope. Ian entered the room and his expression was comical. “Where’d you get that?!” He puffed, clutching his sides. He wasn’t very fit. “The other envelope was full of souvenirs for my sister Jane.” Chloe giggled.
“Jacque has an envelope full of key rings and postcards?” James laughed, standing at the doorway. “Don’t forget the miniature Eiffel Tower!” Chloe laughed. “All that running for nothing!” Ian frowned. “Jacque won’t be very happy!” Peter snickered. “Good.” James chuckled. “So what now?” Chloe asked. “James Ian and I will take it to the police station and you can either stay here for a while or get the next plane back to Dublin.” Peter told her. “I’m not ready to go home,” Chloe said “I’m going to train to be a police officer in Paris.”
“You’re serious?” Ian smirked. “Yes,” Chloe scowled “got a problem?” “No, no,” Ian chuckled “just don’t go taking free tickets to a country from a random person.” “Especially if they give you an envelope.” Peter teased. “Oh you are both hilarious.” Chloe scowled. The three police officers burst into laughter.
Morris Plains, New Jersey
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