“Best Party Ever!” yelled Jonathan. His hair was thinning and starting to go grey, but he was unmistakable.
“Remind me why I came?” Riko asked her partner Ethan.
“Because this is your ten year high school reunion and you’re the youngest person to make Inspector in Ottawa police history.” Ethan smiled proudly, looking at the quickly approaching island.
His pride was something she appreciated. Most men’s egos were too fragile to handle their female partners being promoted ahead of them.
“So how are you doing? I’m a lawyer you know.” Jonathan was drunk and they hadn’t reached the island yet. He pressed himself against her and she pushed him away.
They were on a nice sized yacht that was taking them to Wargrave Island; a small island in Lake Ontario which had some top notch facilities for high end events. It was overly expensive, but apparently Allison, the school nerd, had made it big with some sort of wearable tech invention.
“Jonny, piss off. You’re drunk.” Riko couldn’t stand the man when he had been a sober high school student. Now she was fighting the urge to throw him overboard. He was easily three times her size, but he was drunk. When he grabbed her ass, she punched him in his side hard enough to hurt, but not enough to have him pissing blood the next day.
He called her a few nasty names before saying, “Who invited the buzzkill.” He walked away from her looking grumpy until he saw Zoe. She had been the popular girl at school. The pretty one who all the guys, and some girls, wanted and none of them could get close. Riko’s facebook stalking showed her that Zoe had graduated from a prestigious University in Psychology and had gone on to do educational videos online.
“Thanks for the help, ‘Partner’.” Riko glared at Ethan. His sandy brown hair and scruffy beard made him look more like a beach bum or hipster than a police sergeant. He was large and everything about the way he moved and talked screamed, “I am not a threat.” It was half an act and half a lifestyle.
“I was ready to jump in and save you,” he paused before laughing and adding, “from throwing him overboard.”
The smell of the lake, a combination of fish and clean air, wafted over the deck as the boat slowed down and blew its horn three short blasts.
Everyone, Jonathan, Zoe, Ethan, Riko, Abe, and Arun, gathered on the deck.
“You didn’t tell me you had an underwear model in your class.” Ethan whispered gesturing towards Arun. He was the athelete of their class. He had gotten a huge scholarship to play hockey for an American College and Riko had lost track of him. His lush black hair was cut short now, but other than that he still looked the same as last time she’d seen him, powerful muscles hiding under tight dark caramel skin. Riko tried not to blush.
It was odd to see Abe without his cloak. He had always been a little odd, always wearing a dark cloak and making obscure, often inappropriate, geeky jokes. He’d been teased and called Dracula. He had been harmless and awkward. She hadn’t heard anything about him since high school. He seemed to have traded his cape for a smart looking vest and tieless dress shirt. He looked less like Dracula and more like Benedict Cumberbatch.
The ship docked and they all disembarked. The island was dominated by a large building. It was a beautiful turn of the century house that would feel at home in Avonlea. The only difference being it was four stories high and there was some sort of techno-remix of the Backstreet Boys playing.
“Yeah. Let’s get wasted!” yelled Jonathan obnoxiously.
After the last person got off the ship, the crew untied the ship and drove back to the mainland. “That’s the only boat on the island?” Riko pointed at a canoe that was on the beach. She didn’t like the idea of being trapped here.
“It’s only one night. They said the boat would come back tomorrow morning to pick everyone up.” Zoe’s overly chipper words sounded forced and certainly didn’t make Riko any less comfortable. She checked her cellphone and it had full bars, which did reassure her.
The lobby of the hotel was a stark contrast to its exterior. Everything was clean modern marble. The lobby was a hexagon where none of the six walls were the same length or height. The wall furthest from the entrance had an elevator and open-air staircase going up. On the wall behind a black stone counter was a banner saying, “Welcome Trudeau High, Class of 2006.”
There was a large television on the wall below the banner and it cycled between three screens. The first said there were drinks and food in the grand ballroom, the second had twelve names and room numbers, and the third had a collage of pictures from highschool.
“Is that everyone who could make it?” asked Zoe, disgusted.
They were all on the second floor and there was enough room for everyone to have a room of their own. Riko and Ethan had connecting rooms. In her room, she took off her regular clothing, stored her gun in the safe, and pulled out her dress. It was a sparkly purple dress that went to her ankles. It had a slit on the left side that went to her mid-thigh.
She was part way through doing her makeup when Ethan knocked on the connecting door. It was a hard and almost panicked knock.
Opening the door she didn’t get a chance to ask anything, he just pushed passed her and opened the curtains in her room. Floating towards the shore, was a large canoe or small boat and it was on fire.
The flames reflected on the calm surface of Lake Ontario, giving the impression that they were bigger than they seemed.
Running out of the room, Riko and Ethan grabbed a pair of fire extinguishers from the hallway. Not wanting to wait for the elevator, they ran down the single story flight of stairs and out the front entrance. The hill to the beach wasn’t steep, but she was happy to have slipped on her flats on the way out of her room.
The boat gently washed onto the beach. In her dress, the heat from the flames was intense in the cool night. As strong as the flames were, they weren’t a match for the fire extinguishers.
“What happened?” asked Jonathan, drunkenly staggering towards them, trying to get to the boat.
“What’s in there?” asked Zoe, who was followed by the rest of the party guests who must have seen the fire.
Riko tried to keep them back, but Jonathan made it past her and yelled, “Oh shit, there’s a dead body in there!”