“Hey, ‘Liv,” Natalia began, “are you sure Francesca will be all right this weekend?”
“Chessie will be fine this weekend. She’s with Frank and you know she’ll be with Frank and Buzz and Lillian and Marina and—“
“All right, I get it. She’ll have about fifty doting mothers and fathers,” Natalia replied, interrupting Olivia’s statement about the Coopers.
“Talia, let me remind you that Emma is over with Phillip and Beth and Chessie’s over with the Coopers. Do you realize what this means?”
“That I don’t like being called Talia?”
“Well, I won’t call you Talia if you don’t call me ‘Liv,” Olivia replied with that characteristic gleam in her eyes.
“But I like calling you ‘Liv. It’s like a little pet name,” Natalia said.
“All right,” Olivia started as she put her arms around Natalia, “but I get to call you Talia since it’s my little pet name for you!”
Natalia put her arms around Olivia also, leaned in, and kissed her to seal the deal.
“Now let me think, ‘Liv. The children are off with their other parents. We’re here and—“ Natalia paused for a moment, putting the pieces together. “For the first time in about a year, we’re alone!”
“Exactly! We’re finally alone.” Olivia sounded like she had this planned from the first moment. “I have a special couple’s time ready for us, but first, we need to get cleaned up.”
She gently pulled Natalia into the bathroom and prepared a shower for two tonight. They undressed and got in there while Olivia pulled the shower curtain. They touched each other for a while and kissed a few times before getting to the business of cleaning each other up.
Natalia got a squirt of shampoo to work Olivia’s hair when she thought she heard a noise. She turned and from the look in Olivia’s eyes, she heard the same noise also. Olivia put her finger to her lips, calmly, almost like this has happened to her before while in the shower. Her hand reached for the shower rod and quickly dislocated it to use it to jab whoever or whatever was making the noise.
To their shock and screams, a man was in there with a video camera, apparently filming everything that was happening in their intimate moments. After a few jabs from Olivia and a few items being thrown at him from Natalia, the cameraman ran away in fear of the two naked women.
“My god, Olivia—“
“I’m going to get the gun from the lockbox, Talia. Call Frank, now.” The sense of urgency in Olivia’s voice echoed through the tiles in the bathroom.
The two women ran naked through the house, not knowing who or what else was in there. Natalia grabbed the phone and hurriedly fumbled through the telephone keys to call Frank. After several rings, she received no answer.
“’Liv, he’s not home. I’m calling his cell!”
“I got the lockbox open and my cell. I’ll call Phillip,” Olivia yelled back.
Over at Company, Frank was behind the counter grabbing a drink when his cell phone rang. He saw it was Natalia and, thinking it was just Francesca’s doting mother worrying, answered it after a couple of rings.
“Oh my God, Frank, where are you,” Natalia screamed into the phone, almost sobbing in hysteria.
“Natalia, calm down. Francesca is fine,” Frank replied, assuming what Natalia was calling about.
“This isn’t about the baby. There was a stranger in our house and he had a camera and somehow got in here and started filming us and then—“
“Wait a second. Someone was in there,” Frank asked, cutting Natalia off.
“Yes, Frank, we need you over here now!” Natalia’s urgency couldn’t have been made clearer.
“All right, I’m on my way and I’ll get a detective over there also. I’ll leave Francesca with Lillian and Buzz.”
A few minutes later, Frank Cooper arrived with Detective Mendez. They taped off the area and started to look around. Thankfully, both women were decently dressed by this time after making sure there weren’t any more intruders. After a few minutes of searching they started to discuss it.
“It’s strange,” Mendez started. “There’s no sign of forced entry at the door. The windows are all locked up. It’s like someone had a key and got in that way.”
“That’s impossible,” Olivia answered.
“Right, you had a key, Natalia had a key, I had a key, and Phillip had a key,” Frank added.
“Frank, this guy looked nothing like you or Phillip,” Natalia added, still shaking from the incident as Phillip ran up to the house.
“Phillip, where’s Emma?”
“She’s still with Beth, Olivia. I didn’t think you wanted her involved,” Phillip replied.
“You’re damn right I don’t want her involved! We’re both nervous wrecks here and the police are saying someone has the key to our house!”
“Olivia, we’re not going to get anything accomplished by getting unnerved and yelling,” Frank interjected. “Detective, did you get all the pictures you need?”
“Almost,” Mendez said, “I just need a few more windows upstairs.”
“All right. When you’re done, we’ll get Olivia and Natalia down to the station.”
“What do you mean,” Natalia asked.
“Well,” Frank started, “We’ll have you look through some known Peeping Toms and if those don’t make a match, we’ll have to get our sketch artist there to make a composite.”
Just then, Phillip’s cell phone rang. He grabbed it out of his pocket and looked at it. It read “Lizzie Spaulding” on the receiver. He flipped his phone open to answer it.
“Lizzie, what’s going on,” Phillip said.
“This is going to sound very weird, but have you been putting cameras in the house? Bill found two of them not more than five minutes ago.”
“Cameras? I’m over here at Olivia and Natalia’s house and they’re saying there was a man with a camera here.”
“Cameras,” Frank interjected. “Phillip let me talk to her.”
Phillip gave the phone over to Frank who hurriedly put it to his ear to discuss this with Lizzie.
“Lizzie, it’s Frank. Don’t touch the cameras any more. I’m going to call the station and see who I can get over there. We’ll get them dusted at least and see where we can go from there.”
“All right, Frank. Are you thinking they’re related somehow,” Lizzie asked.
“God I hope not, but something tells me they might be,” Frank replied. “Stay inside and lock the doors until the police get there. Don’t be scared, but let’s not take any chances here.”
“I’m locking the doors locked now. I’ll let you go so you can call the station.”
“All right, Lizzie,” Frank said as he hung up the phone and gave it back to Phillip.
“Let me get someone over to Lizzie’s. Phillip, do me a favor and have the Spaulding security people sweep the mansion for cameras. I’m going to get Marina to work Company over. Let’s make sure we’re not all being watched. We’ll meet at the station sometime around three o’clock?”
“Sounds like a deal to me,” Phillip replied.
“Mendez, are you done in there,” Frank said, almost barking out an order.
“Yeah, I just snapped the last one,” Detective Mendez replied.
“Good, get down here so we can lock up. Olivia, Natalia, can the two of you follow us down to the station?”
“Yeah, I--I’ll drive,” Olivia said.
“’Liv, you’re a wreck,” Natalia said. “How are you going to drive down there?”
“Talia, you haven’t seen me at my worst,” Olivia replied.
Detective Mendez made his way out of the door. Natalia locked the door while Olivia started up the car. She pulled around, picked up Natalia, and followed the men down to the police station.
The next few hours were tense to say the least. Phillip Spaulding got every security man that could spare a minute to go through the Spaulding mansion in a desperate hunt for cameras. Marina Cooper went through Company, leaving no stone unturned for cameras.
Eventually, nearly everyone in Springfield was looking through their house in a desperate attempt to find these mysterious cameras, including Buzz and Lillian. Lillian called Rick Bauer who started a search both in his house and at Cedars Hospital.
At two forty-five in the afternoon, several people banded together over the Springfield Police Department. Frank attempted to calm everyone down, but it seemed that everyone had their own story to tell. Unfortunately, each story had a camera involved in some way.
Phillip came in stating that the search was not complete at the Spaulding mansion, but they have found four so far. They were all very well hidden, even one in the late Alan Spaulding’s desk, where he kept his cigars. He worriedly speculated about how many more cameras they would find.
Marina came in with two cameras in her gloved hands – ever the police officer, even if she no longer worked on the force. She stated that this was all she’d found so far.
Buzz only found one at the house. Between watching Francesca and searching, he and Lillian could only unearth one.
Dr. Rick Bauer said that even the hospital found a few cameras that didn’t connect to their security office. The worst part was, he said, they found one in a patient’s room, implanted in one of their medical monitors!
Just then, the clock struck three. The television at the police station was tuned to CBS. The residents of Springfield saw and heard something interesting and took them a minute to process.
“And now, Guiding Li—“ the television began before turning to static for a few seconds.
After those seconds, they saw and heard, “It’s time for Let’s Make a Deal!”
“Wait a minute,” Olivia said. “Did anyone else just see that?”
Buzz replied, “Yeah…something about ‘Guiding Light’?”
Marina then said, “What the hell’s ‘Guiding Light’?”
Continues in Guiding Light Monthly #2