Frank H. – detective, college man, and….auction prize….
To help raise money for a wounded firefighter’s family, Frank gets talked into being the prize date with the female who has the highest bid. The date turns into much more than he, or anyone else, ever bargained for.
Frank, 20, and Joe, 19, are both in college, attending classes at Bayport University along with their girlfriends and some of their friends. They also work alongside their dad with their dream detective agency – Hardy and Sons as mentioned in #1 “The Tower Treasure” and #7 “The Secret of the Caves”. This story also references #105 “The Smoke Screen Mystery” where Frank and Joe solve an arson case while serving as firefighters with the Bayport Fire Dept. and Con’s a lieutenant in the Bayport Police Dept. And from #45 “The Mystery of the Spiral Bridge” with Phil’s talents in sketching again displayed. 🙂
I want to say thank you to all of the wonderful people who risk their lives to save lives in various capacities and those who live their lives to help others. You make the world a better place with your presence. 🙂
Biff is one of the Few and the Proud of the USMC (United States Marine Corps). Thank you so very much to all of the brave Marines, who have fought, are fighting, or will fight. My dad is the best Marine of all time. 😀
To family and friends who will be or are or were firefighters, thank you so very much. 🙂
Hope you guys like the story – please let me know by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page. Thank you! 🙂
Thank you to all who have requested stories and yes, I’m working on more. 🙂
Thank you and love always to my family and the Creator. 🙂
In a private jet, its interior filled with extravagant furnishings, a person’s termination was being discussed over caviar, champagne, and cigarettes.
“I want her to go away, do you understand?” The owner of the jet told the associate, who nodded and continued to listen. “As in permanently. Make sure you cover it up well, but make sure it is done. Soon. My business has already suffered because of her. I won’t lose any more of my money.” The money referenced had in reality been stolen from hard-working people all over the world.
“Our fixer is already on the way to Bayport.” The associate had just confirmed this information and hoped that would be well-received as encouragement to ending the currently precarious financial problems created by the subject of the conversation.
“Good. And they better not fail. If they do, send someone else to take the fixer out and her.”
At the Hardy home, where the detective agency, Hardy and Sons, was currently located, Frank and Joe were taking it easy on their day off from both cases and attending classes at nearby Bayport University.
And things were as calm as usual. As indicated by a call for help.
“I need some help, Frank!” Joe yelled urgently, his blue eyes holding an anxious look in their depths. “I’m in the kitchen – making dinner!” He had just finished with a phone call and was getting ready to put a pizza in the oven. Fries and salad to go with that would make an exceptional meal, he hoped in anticipation. Fenton and Laura were out right then, but were planning on being back in time to eat with their sons.
Tall, dark, twenty year old Frank came down the stairs from where he had been catching up on some reading. He eyed the array of dishes and measuring cups on the counter, a result of his whirlwind brother.
“Wow, you sure do,” Frank commented wryly with a raise of an eyebrow.
“No, not with dinner. I got this,” Joe told him, easing the pizza onto the pan and sliding it into the oven with a flourish. Their mom had made up several fresh-baked pizza shells one day and frozen them. So Joe had just needed to make his not-patented-but-delicious-nonetheless-made-from-scratch pizza sauce, spread it on the unthawed crust then had added the toppings of mozzarella cheese, black olives, onions, and peppers.
Coming back over to the island, Joe started getting the salad ready by chopping the vegetables for it. He wasn’t much on salads, but was doing it because his mom liked them to eat stuff like that.
Frank sat down and waited patiently for his younger brother to tell him what he needed help with. It was probably going to be a request to help him clean up the messy kitchen before their parents got home. Frank grinned to himself, dark eyes twinkling. He’d kid his brother for a little while and then eventually help him clean it up.
But he was soon to find out it had nothing to do with the clean-up. Frank listened with curiosity as his brother began telling him about it.
“Well, I ended up on a committee. All I said was that it was a good idea to raise money to help a wounded firefighter. Then ‘bam’ I’m a part of what they’d already planned,” Joe told his brother, shaking his curly, blond head at the memory.
“So what’s the problem?” Frank asked, going over and getting another knife to start cutting up the tomatoes for the salad. The two brothers worked steadily as they discussed this problem of Joe’s. It was soon going to be Frank’s, though.
“I didn’t get a vote on how to raise the money because they’d already decided on an auction,” Joe said.
“And you’re going to be the auctioneer? You talk fast enough to handle it fine,” Frank encouraged and teased his brother at the same time with a grin.
“Ha ha. Actually, you’re correct, O Wise Detective,” Joe returned with a smile. “So you think it’s a good way to raise money? An auction?”
Frank decided it would be unwise to agree for some reason, so he asked, “Why?”
Joe responded to Frank’s question with another question of his own. “What do you mean ‘why’?”
“I meant what I said. Why do you want to know whether or not I think it’s a good idea?”
“I was afraid of this happening, Frank,” Joe said, a somber tone to his voice. “By being detectives, it has made us extremely suspicious-minded. Very sad, really.”
“And it helped make us mentally sharp and alert to catch subtle clues,” Frank returned. “What exactly is it that you’re needing help with?”
Joe explained after the slightest hesitation, “They agreed that whoever won the poll they ran on a blog one of them has for college events should be the prize for the auction. As in a ‘win a date’ kind of thing.” He gave a quick look over at his brother’s face.
Frank’s expression read that he was listening and wondering, patiently, what was coming next.
“The poll was ‘Bayport’s Favorite Bachelor’,” Joe said. Another nanosecond pause. “You should be very pleased.”
“Why?” asked Frank suspiciously.
Joe shrugged and said, “You won.”
“I won ‘Bayport’s Favorite Bachelor’?”
“Yep, congrats, bro,” Joe grinned.
Frank didn’t look happy he’d won. “They can’t just decide, without asking me, to auction off a date with me! I’ve got a girl!”
“Of course they can’t. Everything is already arranged; they just missed asking you about it. So then that fell to me. You can say no, Frank. But I have to ask if you would please consider being the prize for the auction.”
Frank didn’t say anything, just sat there in shocked silence at what all his brother had just told him.
“I even have it figured out what to do,” Joe said. “We’ll gather up donations from all of our friends, put it together and let Callie win you.” He grinned, pleased with his idea.
“That sounds fine. But that isn’t a guarantee that’s how it will work out.” And Frank looked doubtful it would.
“It’s for a good cause.”
Frank heaved a sigh. “I wish you’d just needed help cleaning up this mess. I wouldn’t have minded that.”
“Oh, will you help me clean the kitchen up?” Joe asked hopefully.
Frank gave him a look. “Not a chance, pal. Not a chance.”
It wasn’t long before the evening of the auction arrived. Ladies, anxious for a date with hot Frank Hardy, packed the large room on campus rented for Bayport U’s event of the year.
“Just smile and walk out there so all of those hungry ladies can see you.” Joe grinned at his brother, who looked at him with a very unfriendly expression on his face. Unfazed, the younger Hardy brother took a quick glance past the curtain to see the crowd gathered in front of the stage, waiting anxiously for the auction to begin. Then he had a word of advice for Frank. “But, uh, don’t get too close to the edge of the stage, though.”
“How did I let you talk me into this?” Frank asked. He nervously and needlessly adjusted his collar. The tuxedo the elder Hardy brother wore was expertly tailored for his six-foot-one athletic physique.
Joe checked his watch. Almost show time and with a roomful of females out there, he hadn’t yet spotted Callie. Frank was going to have a fit if she didn’t get there in time. Joe decided a reminder, one that would help Frank get through the auction, was needed. “Think how we’re helping.”
“But I could just give you whatever money the charity would raise.” Frank started to reach a hand up to run through his hair, but Joe jumped over quickly and grabbed his arm, stopping him.
“And deprive those ladies? Nah, wouldn’t be right. Plus, you might attract a bid for more than twenty-five dollars.”
“Ha ha.” Frank moved to peek out the curtain, but Joe effectively blocked his way. “Is Callie out there yet?”
“There are a lot of people. I couldn’t see everyone,” Joe said honestly while praying fervently that she was or would get there soon. Otherwise little brother was going to be in serious trouble. “You talked with her on the phone right before we got here. She said she was on her way.” The brothers couldn’t stop and pick Callie up on the way to campus because she’d gone with her mom into New Jersey and wouldn’t have been home yet.
“She has to get here in time!” Frank wasn’t going to back out at this point, but he was still wishing he didn’t have to go out there. “Someone else could have done this-”
Joe interrupted him after a glance at his watch again. “Just take it easy and stop worrying. Now as soon as I announce you – get out there! And smile!”
“Joe-,” Frank again started to say but Joe was already stepping past the curtain and onto the stage. Having no choice, Frank stood back there, hoping he wouldn’t look nervous when he faced all of those women, and listened as his brother began his spiel.
“Hi, ladies.” Joe’s voice drifted back clearly so Frank couldn’t even pretend not to hear and miss his cue. “The moment you’ve been waiting for is just about here. The bidding will soon start for the prize of a date with Bayport’s favorite bachelor, Frank Hardy. Now most of you know what he looks like and about his genius brain. But I would like to add a few more interesting tidbits of info that will make you empty your bank accounts.”
Frank’s eyes strayed over to the door – the exit – the escape – sweet freedom, but for some reason he stayed right there.
“I can see you ladies want to hear more. Here it is: in addition to his looks and intelligence, Frank is very thoughtful and compassionate, plus he has a great sense of humor,” Joe said. “And here now is one happy lady’s date – Frank Hardy!”
I wish I were somewhere else, I wish I were somewhere else, Frank thought quietly to himself, standing tall and straight. His feet somehow moved toward the stage and soon he was in front of all of the ladies about to bid on him. He hoped he looked confident. And he tried not to make eye contact, although Joe had instructed him specifically to make eye contact with the anxious females.
Frank’s dark eyes sought out Callie in the crowd, but he didn’t see her. He knew he would have seen her had she been there. Even with so many in the room, he would have zeroed in on her. But she wasn’t there! Now, his worries centered on why she wasn’t there, no longer about the auction.
“See, what did I tell you? Cleans up nice, huh?” Joe was asking the audience, eliciting a number of appreciative whistles.
Frank wondered about taking out his cell to try to reach Callie as he turned and walked back, looking very handsome and confident despite all of his nervous thoughts. All the Hardy men were fine examples of masculinity.
“You know the opening bid, so with that, as Frank continues to wow you, who will start the bidding?” Joe met his brother’s eyes as they narrowed and the smile was slipping off of his face. Smiling widely with the intent to remind Frank to also, Joe recognized the first bid. The bidding was soon quite a competition with the ladies.
“He’s gorgeous! I have to have a date with him!” exclaimed one female to her friend. “Famous, too! I wonder how much money my credit card has left on it…Can I borrow some from you if I need it?”
“I’m planning on outbidding you!” her friend told her, proving it by calling out a high bid and waving her arm.
Joe recognized the different bids and felt a little worried for his brother. He had thought it would be a nice, fun, amusing auction that would bring help to a firefighter. Plus, even as Joe listened to the bids, he was wondering where Callie was and his concern at her absence was increasing, as was his brother’s.
Many bids and a near girl fight later the auction had finished, but Frank’s headache had just begun….