Drayton wiped his face with his napkin and nodded at the chef, Louie, who had once again outdone himself. Louie grinned and nodded back. Breakfast at the Boat House had become a tradition for Drayton, especially since his novels started taking off again. It was a routine that never had any hiccups, except for that particular Saturday morning.
“I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask.” a tiny voice said from behind him.
He turned to face the voice, which belonged to a tiny girl in a baggy sweater and tight black jeans. She was cute, with deep blue eyes and light brown hair, but not his type. He never wanted to get involved with anyone else after the pain of the first love.
“Aren’t you Nicholas Drayton?” she asked in her sing-song voice. “The author?”
He smiled, he had never been recognized before in public. It had always been a dream of his as an author, but never one he thought he could fulfill.
“Yeah, how are you doing?”
She giggled with delight, doing a little dance as she did. Drayton thought she was going to explode if she wasn’t careful.
“I’m a huge fan of your novels. I’ve read them all, including your earlier ones. A Wedding for Delilah was the first book I ever read…it’s still a classic, Mr. Drayton, even if critics tend to forget about it.” she said.
“Thank you. I always thought that was one of my better books myself, but the critics tore it up. And please, just Nick.” he said with a smile.
She beamed, and held out a tiny, doll-like hand.
“I’m Caitlin. Honestly, Nick, I’m your biggest fan.”
He shook it, and asked if she wanted to join him at the counter. Of course, she giggled with excitement, and hopped up on the stool.
When she was settled in, she asked what every fan asked him: if he would read their stories.
“I’ve only been writing for a little while, but I think it’s improved.” Caitlin said, digging around in her bag, only to pull out a thin manuscript. She handed it to him, and he took it graciously. Most authors didn’t like to read fan’s work, but Drayton did. He liked giving young talent pointers, even if their writing was terrible. After all, they were the next generation of writers.
He put on his glasses, and began to read:
“The lock was easy to pick, and I walked in.
I walked to his room, and watched him sleep.
Oh Bobby Williams, you are so cute when you sleep. I said to myself. But it is too bad that you tried to attack my sister, Bobby. She got hurt really bad.
Bobby was still asleep when I attacked him.
He never knew it was me.”
Drayton seemed to recall a Robert Williams being brutally murdered a year ago, and they never caught the killer. He was thinking this when the world went dark.
When he awoke, Drayton was tied up and gagged, duct taped to a chair. He saw Caitlin on the other side of the room, and she was talking into a phone.
“I spiked his water when he was reading. He just kept drinking the water without knowing anything. Yeah, he’s here, he’ll be here for a while.”
She laughed her little laugh again.
“And that’s how I become the proud owner of a famous author.”