“Help! Help!” he called. He called for quite a long time, until his throat hurt. No one came. He fell asleep.
Some time later, the door opened and Garrett and two very big, burly men entered the room. Garrett untied him. Richard sat up and rubbed his aching wrists and ankles to get some circulation in them.
“Garrett, did you come to release me?”
“Then, are you the one responsible for me being here?”
“Guess! Here’s some prepackaged food, water, enough for three days. These pills are multiple vitamins. Take one a day. There’s a bucket in the corner to relieve yourself. Someone will be back four days from now.”
The two big assistants lifted Richard off the table and removed the table from the room.
“If you behave yourself, I won’t sedate you. If you don’t behave, then I’ll be forced to drug you up, heavily. The room is soundproof and you are in a very isolated place. So shout and yell, carry on all you want, it won’t help. No one will hear you.”
“It’s freezing in here. Can I at least have my shoes and socks? Please, Garrett. My feet are freezing!”
“Because I want you to be uncomfortable. Cold. Lonely. And miserable.”“You’ll never get away with this, you know. You can’t just leave me in here!”
“Yes, I can.”
“And just how long do you plan to keep me here?”
“Until she forgets you.”
Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me. Nicole, find me.
“Brook, his car was found in the airport parking lot. No Richard, no baggage. He wasn’t listed as a passenger on any major airline flight out. However, four private planes departed between five o’clock and eight o’clock. Flight plans show one going to San Francisco, one to Cleveland, one to Chicago, and one to Atlanta.”“No. He didn’t leave me. No. I know it. He’s still here. He’s hurting. He’s in danger. I feel it. I feel him panicking. He’s cold. He’s worried. He’s upset. Do you honestly believe he left me?”
“No. But I think somebody sure wants it to look like he’s left you.”
“Who? Sebastian Sharpe? Why?”
“I don’t know. But I don’t think you should be alone tonight. Have Johnny take you to my house. My kids will keep you occupied. My wife will make sure you eat.”
“That’s very sweet of you and your wife and your kids, Tommy, but I’m staying here.”
“Okay, okay. Then Johnny will stay with you overnight. I’ll call you in the morning.”
“Okay. Good night, Tommy.”
“Tommy says you can go home now, Johnny. He’ll stop by after work. Thank you, Johnny.” She lied. She was glad he wasn’t Tommy. Johnny wasn’t nearly as good at recognizing a lie as his older brother was.
“Are you sure? You’re not still scared? I think you’re still scared.”
“Nope. Not scared. All better. Really. Tommy will be here soon.” She smiled.
“Okay. Call me if you need me.” He gave her a hug and left. She waited until his car was out of sight. Then she got into her car and drove to the motel where Richard had been staying. She parked in front of his room. She closed her eyes. She breathed in, out, in, out. She was trying to pick up… something, a trail, a scent, an image. Nothing. She drove. Come on, Richard John MacKenzie, send me a hint, send me a sign, send me a vibe, she said to herself. Send me something, Sweetheart! Nothing. She drove.
The next thing she knew she was in the hospital parking lot.
“Damn it! This car automatically comes straight to this hospital! I have no life. Hospital. Hospital. Hospital. I’m sorry, My Darling Richard, I really thought I could find you. I was sure our connection was strong enough to pull me straight to you. Instead I ended up HERE at this damn hospital! I’m sorry.”
She went back home. She curled up in the bed and cried. It was ten thirty. No Richard. Somehow, she fell asleep. Somehow, morning came. Somehow, life went on. Richard was missing. Their plans were dashed. She was sick to her stomach. But, somehow, it was time to get up and get ready to go to work… at the hospital.