All of that made Ron Costello an angry, bitter man. Despite his obvious limitations, he thought he deserved to be in the first echelon of broadcasting stars. He wanted a lead role, more fame and, especially, more power. Because he had not achieved any of those three ambitions, Costello vented his frustrations upon the rank and file below him at the network. That they universally loathed him bothered Costello not at all. In fact, he never even thought about it. His energy was directed toward getting as much as he could of what he wanted. And tonight he wanted this freelance GNN camerawoman named Suzanne. He wanted her in a big way. So he turned his gaze toward Suzanne, who was slowly meandering back toward him, her hips discreetly swaying. His intense sexual hunger was apparent to anyone who bothered to notice. And someone was noticing. From the shadows across the street, a man dressed in dark clothes stood perfectly still. Had he entered the party, many would have known him. But he did not want to be recognized. The man staring at Costello wanted complete anonymity.
The ferry from Woods Hole, on Cape Cod, had carried this observer to Vineyard Haven just three hours prior. He checked into a small bed and breakfast house a few yards from the ferry terminal and, soon after, took a cab to the media center, located in an elementary school just outside of Edgartown.
Telling the cabby to wait, the man circled the media center while staying close to the wall. He wanted no one to see him. Then he was handed his first stroke of luck. On the door outside the center, a posted sign told of that evening's party in Edgartown. Knowing how Ron Costello operated away from home, he suspected Costello would be there.
The man now lurking in the shadows was about to do something he had never done before. It had taken him more than a year to decide to act. But, now, he was both determined and apprehensive.
Costello himself had no idea he was being stalked. The thought would never have occurred to him. He knew he had enemies, but he lived in a world of rules and entitlement. He was protected by law and position. Never in his life had he personally felt the horror of violent crime.
The man in the shadows watched patiently as Costello began speaking to a well built brunette. Though much too far away to hear the conversation, he sensed what was going on.
"Let's get out of here. I have some really good weed back at the hotel."
"Ron, you know I don't smoke. Besides, what would your wife say?"
"Bullsh--, Ron." "She's in D.C. and I'm here. That's separated, Suzanne."
The young woman silently sighed, her brown eyes darting to the floor. She wanted no part of the disagreeable Ron Costello. Her friends at GNN had warned her about the lecherous correspondent. His wire-like lips gave him a perpetually cruel expression. And that belly hanging over his belt! No way she was buying into this. Lyle Fleming that might be another matter.
Costello, armed with a predator's instinct, sensed it wasn't going well. So he did what he usually did when gratification eluded him he got unpleasant.
"Listen, luv, I'm giving you a great opportunity here. You could be back in New York doing ambush interviews for the tabloid shows. Instead, you're on this beautiful island with the First Family. But that could end very fast."
"Are you threatening me, Ron?" the woman asked, suddenly a bit more sober.