Dana stepped back into Jenna’s room and went to the bed. She picked up the legal pad and wrote, “We’ve been investigating your father for some time. You saw the body of a woman in his freezer. We think the woman belonged to a drug and human trafficking cartel that your father is working for. My boss is sending an extraction team to get you out of here. I’m not going to leave the room. Just go along with what we say. You are in great danger.”
Jenna read the note and nodded.
The nosy nurse came back in with a Sierra Mist. “I thought you might like a soda. I’m a big Coke fan, and I’d miss the fizz if I didn’t get to have one for a while.”
Jenna turned the pad over so the nurse would not see what was written on it and handed it to Dana. The nurse watched the exchange suspiciously and then looked expectantly at Jenna who reached for the can.
“Here, I’ll open it for you,” the nurse said and took a straw out of her pocket and gave it to Jenna.
The straw was not in the paper wrapper. Dana took it from Jenna and asked the nurse, “Aren’t these supposed to come in a wrapper?”
“Oh yes,” the nurse said and reached into her pocket for one that was in the wrapper. “I grabbed the wrong one.” The nurse’s phone buzzed in her front pocket. “Excuse me. I have to take this. Got a sick kid at home.”
Dana watched the nurse step away and start texting. Then the nurse lifted the phone slightly, and it appeared she’d taken a picture of Jenna. Dana looked at Jenna, who’d seen the same thing. She looked up at Dana with questioning eyes. “I’m going to call the office again to see if the people who claimed to be your parents showed up.” Dana put a protective hand on Jenna’s shoulder and hit speed dial on her phone.
Her boss answered on the second ring. “The team is on their way.”
“So the parents were able to be validated? Great! That’s fantastic. I’m sure Sarah will be excited to hear that,” Dana said.
“Is something going on there?” her boss asked.
“The nurses were hoping to have a name to call her by,” Dana said.
Her boss was quiet for a few minutes, and then he asked, “You think one of the nurses pegged her for the girl in the Amber Alert?”
“Maybe.” Dana was trying to figure out how to convey the urgency of getting Jenna out of there. “We definitely need to get her parents here so they can take over her care.”
“Can’t talk?” he asked.
“No. She’s still pretty shook up. I think her parents being here would make her feel safe,” Dana said.
“Is there a nurse in there asking too many questions,” he asked.
“Yes, that’s exactly right,” Dana said.
“Got it. I’ll put a call into the administrator and get any nurses who’ve been involved with her moved,” he said.
“So, you think the parents are going to want to take her to their family physician,” Dana said and smiled at the nurse who looked up from her texting with an angry expression and started texting faster.
“Is she in a good enough condition to leave?” he asked.
“Oh, that’s not going to matter,” Dana said looking at Jenna. “I’m sure Sarah would much rather have the rest of her treatment with her family doctor. I don’t see any reason why her parents couldn’t take her to their doctor today. They only live in Evansville. Going that far is not going to do any damage.”
“The nurse must still be there, and you’re trying to throw her off,” her boss said.
“That’s right,” Dana said and nodded toward Jenna.
“I’ll text you with an ETA and call the administration to tell them we’re taking her out of the hospital,” her boss said.
“Perfect,” Dana said. “We’ll be ready.” She ended the call and clapped her hands excitedly. “We found your parents, Sarah! They are on their way here!”
“So, her name is Sarah?” the nurse asked suspiciously.
“Sarah Jane Dadey,” Dana said and turned to the nurse. “It would appear that Sarah has a violent boyfriend that she was trying to break up with. According to her parents, she’d met with him at the mall to end things, and he kidnapped her.”
“I haven’t seen anything about that in the news. Did it happen here?” the nurse asked, clearly not believing Dana.
“No, Evansville. They went straight to the police, who referred them to us because the parents were pretty certain he’d taken her across state lines, and they were right because here we are in Kentucky. Anyway, they will be here shortly to take over care of Miss Sarah,” Dana said happily.
“That’s wonderful,” the nurse said, but didn’t smile.
Another nurse that Dana had never seen before came into the room. “Ruby, Dr. Incas is looking for you. Something about a patient on the other side of the ward.”
The nurse, Ruby, looked at Jenna again and was trying not to frown. “Congratulations, Sarah, it looks like you’ll be going home soon.”
Jenna nodded and watched the nurse leave the room. She looked at the new nurse who was reading her chart.
“Since Ruby already took your catheter out, would you like me to help you go to the bathroom?” the nurse asked.
Jenna grabbed Dana’s arm. Dana looked at the nurse’s name tag and said, “I’ll help her, Sharon. Now that she knows who she is and why she is here, I think she’s a little afraid of new people.”
“Are you sure?” Sharon asked.
“Okay,” Sharon said and shrugged. “Call me if you need anything.”
Jenna nodded again, and Dana said, “Thank you. We will.”
When the nurse was out of the room, Dana started helping Jenna out of the bed. “Let’s get you dressed and ready to run if necessary. I have a bad feeling about Ruby.”
Jenna pointed to her chest as if to say, “Me too.”
Dana’s boss texted to let her know he’d talked to the administrator. Jenna’s release papers were being put together, and the extraction team would be there in about twenty minutes.
Inside the bathroom, Dana opened the bag she’d brought with her the third day on this assignment. She’d had a feeling they might have to make a run for it at some point, so she picked up some clean clothes for Jenna. She pulled a pair of jeans out of the bag. “I did a little measuring while you were sleeping. These might be a little big, but that’s better than them being too tight.”
Dana helped Jenna dress as quickly as she could, but Jenna was still weak and groggy from the medicine. Once Jenna was dressed, Dana smiled at how well she’d done guessing the sizes. The clothes fit Jenna pretty well. She helped Jenna relieve her bowels and then they went back out to the bed. Dana put socks and shoes on Jenna’s feet and looked at her watch. The extraction team should be getting there any second. She leaned close to Jenna and whispered. “Don’t forget to act like these are your parents and that you are excited to see them.”
Jenna nodded, and a few minutes later a tall blond man dressed in a gray suit stepped into the room followed by a pretty blond woman wearing a white business suit. “There’s my baby!” the woman exclaimed and rushed over to Jenna, kissed her on the cheek and hugged her.
Nurse Sharon followed the couple in the room, and Ruby was right on her heels with a serious disapproving look on her face.
The man leaned over and kissed Jenna on the forehead. “We were terrified we wouldn’t find you, pumpkin.” He turned to the nurses. “The Owensboro police caught the monster that did this to her, and he confessed.” He turned to Jenna. “Thank God somebody found you lying on the ground by the interstate where the son-of-a...”
“Harold!” the woman cut him off.
“Sorry, sweetie,” he said and put his hand on the woman’s shoulder. “I can’t believe he just dumped you alongside the road.”
Dana smiled and held out her hand. “Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Dadey. I’m Special Agent Dana Tamaski. My team was assigned to protect your daughter and find you guys. I’m so glad we were able to reunite you.”
The man shook Dana’s hand firmly. “Thank you for finding our baby girl.” He turned to the nurse. “We need to get her release papers. We’re going to take her to her doctor at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. He can finish patching her up.”
“Of course,” Sharon said and left the room.
Ruby lingered a little longer looking at the family suspiciously before leaving too.
After Ruby had left, the man turned to Dana. “Special Agent Randy Miller,” he said quietly, pointing to himself and then the woman. “Special Agent Andrea Darson.”
“Nice to meet you both. I think Jenna is going to want me to be close by,” Dana said.
“We’ll caravan out of here,” Randy said, and then Sharon came back in the room.
“I think this is the fastest release I’ve ever done,” she said.
“Great,” Andrea said bouncing a little bit with her bubbly personality. “Hear that, Sweetie?” she asked taking Jenna by the hand. “We’re going to go see Doctor Tucker. Dad and I’ve already asked him if we can bring you home tonight. He said that shouldn’t be a problem. And I’ve hired a nurse who is going to stay with you during the day until they take those nasty wires out.”
Jenna raised her arms above her head like she was cheering. Randy helped Jenna out of the bed and put his arm around her. “Let’s get out of here.”
Andrea turned to the nurse. “When did she eat last?”
Sharon looked at the chart. “About an hour ago, but you could probably pick her up a milk shake if she wanted one.”
“Great,” Andrea said and followed Randy and Jenna out the door. “Thank you for taking care of my baby.”
Dana followed them out. Ruby was standing by the elevator. “I’m glad you all have been reunited,” she said.
“Thank you,” Andrea said and put her arm around Jenna, so she was sandwiched between her and Randy with Dana right behind them.
“So headed back to Evansville?” Ruby asked when she got in the elevator with them.
“Yes, our family doctor is going to meet us at the hospital,” Andrea said. “After that, we’ll get our baby home.” She kissed Jenna on the cheek. “You’ll get to sleep in your bed tonight, Honey.”
Jenna looked heavenward and pretended to blow a kiss to God.
“That’s right, Angel. God was watching over you,” Andrea said and then looked at Ruby. “Are you done for the day?”
“No, just on a break. It’s such a beautiful day. I thought I’d go outside,” Ruby said.
“Well, I don’t know about that,” Andrea said. “It was clouding up when we got here.”
The elevator stopped on the first floor, and the group walked out the front lobby together. Outside the heavy clouds looked like they were going to fall to the ground. Ruby took a cigarette out of her pocket and lit it. “You know, Sarah looks an awful lot like that girl they got that Amber Alert out for in Evansville.”
Andrea stopped and looked from Jenna to Ruby. “Not really. She’s got blonde hair and all that, but her facial featured used to be just like mine.” She touched Jenna’s good cheek. “Thank God one of our best friends is a plastic surgeon. Thomas is going to fix you up good as new, Sweetie. I promise. By fall you’ll be back on the cheerleading squad.” Andrea turned back to Ruby with a sad smile. “I sure hope they find that girl.” Andrea turned to Randy. “Let’s go. I think I could use a chocolate shake.”
“That sounds good,” Dana said. “There’s a local ice cream place a few blocks from here that has great shakes. You want to follow me over there?”
“That would be wonderful,” Andrea said.
When Dana got to her car, she saw Ruby standing out front watching them. Dana pulled her car out of her spot and led Randy, who was driving the other car out of the parking lot through a back exit away from the front door, making it hard for Ruby to read their license plates.
Andrea called Dana’s phone a few minutes later. “Was that woman suspicious or what? I thought she was going to try to stop us from leaving.”
“Me too,” Dana said. “She’s the one that’s been acting suspiciously. I think she recognized Jenna and called the Evansville police.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t take the Interstate then,” Andrea said. “If they pull us over it might blow our cover.”
“It should be okay. We’re going in the opposite direction than they think we are,” Dana said.
“True,” Andrea agreed. “Should we stop and get our girl something to drink?” Andrea looked over her shoulder at Jenna who was sitting in the back seat.
Jenna shook her head and pointed to the road.
“I guess she doesn’t want anything but to get as far away from here as possible,” Andrea said.
“That’s probably for the best,” Dana agreed. “Let’s get her to headquarters and go from there.”