“A dull, boring, gray life. I have no idea how long I was there, over a year, maybe two. One day was just like another. Then one day I woke up in a private clinic in Tampa, Florida with what I was told was a viral memory loss. My head was aching. When I was released, I went to my beautiful home on the beach. It was like paradise. It was wonderful. And just when I thought my life couldn’t get any better, I was kidnapped by some international terrorists, one named Werner. They had me do some code breaking and encoding for them.” Her father nodded as he listened. “Then we escaped. We jumped out of a window, we slid down an awning, ran down the street, and slipped into a little vintage clothing shop, where we met a very sweet older woman who helped us find clothing to disguise us.”
“WE? Bella, who is we?”
“Me,” she suddenly feared telling him the truth, “and my husband, Jakson Blake.”
“Do you remember marrying this man, this Jakson Blake?”
“Yes, Father, I do. It was a lovely little ceremony on the beach with a few friends and some people from work. My best friend Annette was my maid of honor. The weather was perfect. And Jakson’s parents came in from London. Oh, they’re wonderful people, Father. It was beautiful! I know that Jakson Blake is my husband,” she nodded.
“And what does this Jakson Blake look like, Daughter?”
“Tall, thin, dark hair, dark eyes. An attractive man. Kind, funny, and what a sweetheart!”
“How long has this man been travelling with you as your husband?”
“I’m not really sure. A year, a year and a half. Why?”
“Is THIS Jakson Blake, Isabella?” He pulled out a photo from a file on the table.
“Yes, that’s him, that’s my Jaks. He’s an international mediator. He’s a brilliant man, he speaks seven languages. Oh, he’s incredible, Father,” she smiled and nodded.
“No, Dear. This is Tarek Ikari, a Galt tracker, actually the best tracker on all of Norwell, the one who was sent to track you, find you, and kill you.”
“No! No, Father, you’ve got it all wrong. This is Jakson Blake. Jaks is my husband. He’s been wonderful to me, very loving, devoted. He has had many opportunities to harm me, but he didn’t. We’ve been together for a year and a half. He could have killed me anytime, at night while I slept next to him. Are you sure Werner and the international terrorists weren’t hired to track and kill me?”
“I am absolutely positive Tarek Ikari was the one sent to kill you. He is the best tracker the Galts have. You are very lucky to be alive, Daughter. Our men are zeroing in on him right now. They expect to have him in custody by sunrise.” Sam gulped hard.
“Father, what will you do to him?”
“Get the truth out of him.”
“The usual way.”
“And then what?”
“No one has ever left the Tower alive, Child.”
“Father, please don’t kill him, or hurt him. Promise me. I need to talk to him.” Her father didn’t answer. “I want to be there for your interrogation.” She thought about it some more. “No, no! I want to handle the interrogation myself,” realizing she could spare him much agony that way. Her father was silent. “Father, PLEASE!”