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Saturday, September 15, 2012





    Stealing some one's life had never been easier.  With the  onslaught of portable smart phones and tablets, people spread their private bits and pieces across the Internet like a Saturday morning garage sale.  It was all on display, and ready for the taking... if one knew where to shop.  And when it came to personal identities, she was an experienced bargain hunter.

   In the three hours she had been at it, Cassie McKreedy had set up four bogus credit card accounts, two different banking statements, and titled herself with an MBA from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.  All in all, a very profitable Tuesday afternoon.  Curled up on the antique divan in Teddy's sun room, she felt like the proverbial cat who had been allowed to swallow the family canary.  Considering that her own cousin had attempted to blow her up, and that she had been left virtually homeless and penniless, things had turned out rather well.  She was firmly ensconced in both Teddy's life and home, and with a few hours spent at her new laptop, she was once again in the financial black.

    With the necessities taken care of, she could finally focus on the two things that mattered most: retrieving the missing half million, and finding that pathetic bitch, Lizzie.  The PI she had hired a month ago had  tracked her down to a cheap motel outside of town.  But she was no longer there, and the trail had gone cold. Despite days searching the web, Cassie could find no digital trace of her.  That wasn't surprising.  She had learned at the same knee Cassie had.  She wasn't apt to make stupid blunders.  But sooner or later, she'd turn up, and they'd take care of this New Orleans business, once and for all.

     In the meantime, she'd concentrate on getting her money back from that dumb shit priest.  That's where Liz had made her biggest mistake.  She'd thought she had been so damn clever, leaving it with the pastor over at Holy Family, figuring it was safely out of Cassie's reach.  Like the fact he was a priest  was going to keep her from something that was rightfully hers?  Fat chance.  She'd broken bigger taboos than that before, and a Roman collar wasn't going to be much of a deterrent.  It was hers, and she'd have it back, to hell with the costs.

      If luck was on her side, O'Kenney would have placed the money in an account separate from the general church fund.  It was human nature.  A pile of money no one knew about, and he was prohibited from speaking publicly on?  It was as good as his now. Surely he had found a nice little hidey hole in some obscure bank or safety deposit box, hadn't he?  That's what the average person would do, believing the money was safer in there then stuffed in some mattress.  It was that naive belief, and the desire to blab all over the Internet, that usually made her job so damn easy.

    She began by checking to see if he was part of the social networking rage.  For some ungodly reason, people felt the need to bare their soul to all of the world.  It appeared that he was not on Twitter, but a quick google check found an account registered with Facebook.  He had his privacy settings fixed loosely, so it was easy enough enough to read the personal information on his profile page.  Birth date was listed as July 2, 1982, and hometown was Boston, Massachusetts.  That would make it a breeze to track him, opening the door to loads of possible information.  He had completed his education at St. Paul's Seminary, and had been ordained in May of 2006. Maybe he still had his seminary email account  set up?  It was crazy how many people kept those things around long after they were needed.  Lastly, she checked through his list of friends, and noticed a number of people with the same last name, probably family members, whose accounts could possibly be pumped for additional facts.  She copied the details, and began her search.

      The minutes turned into hours, and after an exploring every avenue of possible leads, she had come up empty handed.  Her back ached, and her eyes burned from staring at the lit screen.  Undoubtedly, Kevin O'Kenney had to be the most boring person she'd ever met.  She had quickly located his personal accounts at the bank in town, and because he had stupidly used his birth date as a password, she'd easily hacked in.  It was a regular checking account with a balance of $640, a far stretch from the $500,000 she was looking for. The savings account held all of $76.  What a joke.  It also appeared that he had never rented a  safety deposit box, or set up an off shore account anywhere in the world, and in fact, didn't even hold a U.S. passport.

     She was able to discover that his mother was a patient at a nursing home in Boston, but the payment for that was being handled by someone named Maureen, who was probably his younger sister, and who had even less in her checking account then her dull brother.  Dead end after dead end.  Frustrated, she slammed the cover down on the laptop.  This was getting her nowhere fast.  She must be missing something, but what that was, she was at a loss to figure out.

     Wandering over to the window, Cassie stared off into space.  Was it possible he still had the money within reach?  Dumb as that was, it was a genuine possibility.  She needed an opportunity to pump him for a bit more information, find a way to get him to say more than he might have planned.   It wasn't as hard as it sounded.  Most people, if given the chance, loved to talk about themselves, and O'Kenney was no different than any other man.  They were really all the same.
     
    It was all a matter of finding his Achilles heel.  Everyone had one.  In the priest's case, she didn't think it was sex.  The few times she had tried to outrageously flirt with him, using her best tried and true moves, he had turned a polite, but cold shoulder.  She could tell that she wasn't going to get anywhere with that maneuver.  It was obvious he was either gay, or unbelievably committed to his vows.  In any case, she'd have to take another route.  Determining what that was would be the biggest challenge, and to do so, she'd need to spend more one on one time with him.

      She'd start with a little dinner party right here at Teddy's.  They had been talking about an engagement party of sorts, and this would be just the opportunity she needed.  Invite a few of the neighbors, make a fabulous meal, and pour a few strong drinks in him, and things might just go her way.  Yes, indeed.  She knew just the thing to make her little clergy birdie sing.

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus



 

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