Ben Hope 05 - The Shadow Project
demands. He knew enough about the way these things worked to know that things didn?t just go back to normal afterwards.
    Which was why, right from the first moment he?d stood there listening to their demands on the phone, he?d made his plans.
    Fuck them . They didn?t know who they were dealing with. He was going to get his son out of there unharmed, and he knew exactly how he was going to do it.
    Downstairs in the hotel lobby, the fat receptionist picked up the phone and stabbed out the number he?d been given. Two rings, and someone answered. The same voice he?d heard before.
    ?The American is here,? the receptionist said. Then he put the phone down and went back to his internet poker.

    Chapter Twelve
    It had been a gloriously sunny day in the Wicklow Hills, and Sabrina had spent most of it by the pool listening to music in her earphones and reading photography magazines. Every so often she?d slip into the water and swim a couple of lengths. All the while, she?d been trying hard to forget about her brother?s odd behaviour and the phone call from Rory.
    A practical joke? She knew Rory well, better than most aunts knew their nephews, probably even better than Adam knew his son. He was a serious kind of boy, maybe even a little too serious sometimes. A thoughtless prank like pretending to be kidnapped just seemed beneath him somehow.
    Then again, she?d thought, he was at the age where you could expect to start seeing behavioural and attitudinal changes. And maybe, in fact, as she?d turned it over in her mind, discovering the humorous side of his personality could be good for him. As for the tennis camp, it occurred to her that there might be more to that than met the eye. Maybe there was a girl involved, a teen romance going on there. Perhaps something that Adam didn?t even know about. It was possible. Kind of sweet, too.
    In any case, the alternative was unthinkable. Her nephew kidnapped, her brother acting cool about it? Completely absurd. Now she?d started to feel bad about the way she?d overreacted with Adam earlier. He was clearly under a lot of stress.
    By the time her thoughts had worked their way round that far, the sun had started to dip behind the clouds and it was getting too chilly to stay out in her swimsuit. She?d wrapped a towel round herself, taken her iPod and magazines inside, showered and dried her hair and pulled on jeans and a blouse.
    After a light dinner she?d settled in front of the TV and flipped through channels for a while, then got bored with the rubbish that was on and started combing idly through the ads in the back of one of the photography magazines. By chance, she came across a juicy special offer on a tele-photo lens, a top-notch piece of kit that she?d been toying with the idea of buying for a while. ?For more information, view our website? the ad proclaimed.
    It was an attractive enough prospect to make her start thinking about logging on to Adam?s computer and checking out the site. She got up from the sofa and padded upstairs in her bare feet.
    But his study door on the top floor was locked. Damned if she knew what the password was for that one.
    Then it occurred to her that she could use the PC across the hall in Rory?s room. He?d often allowed her to go on it, and she was sure it wouldn?t be intruding on his privacy if she used it in his absence. She gingerly tried the handle on his door and found it open.
    She went inside. The room hadn?t changed much since the last time she?d seen it. Going over to the desk, she was about to turn on his computer when she accidentally nudged the mouse with her hand and to her surprise the screen flashed awake. Why had he left it on standby if he wasn?t going to be around for two whole weeks?
    The screen had opened up in Rory?s Outlook Express email program. She was about to close that box and go to Internet Explorer when she saw that there was a new message incoming. When the mail appeared on the screen, she saw that it was from someone called Declan. It

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