The Teletubbies Are Missing
DAY THREE: CHAPTER NINE
As Sebastian bent down to take the handgun, Casey grabbed her revolver concealed in her ankle holster and pulled the trigger. He roared in pain as blood trickled down his left thigh, his grip loosening on Jesse.
“You bitch!” Before he can shoot someone, or something, Tyler kicked the rooftop door open and tackled Sebastian down. Jesse threw himself at Hope, breaking into tears.
Tyler laughed. “I always wanted to kick a door open and look cool.”
“You don’t look cool from any angle.” Jesse sneered, which came out as a sniff. “You look like you could stop breathing any second now.”
“Don’t you dare lose your grip on him!” Casey yelled at Tyler, who put all his weight on Sebastian.
“Are you okay?” Hope asked Jesse, checking if he was physically hurt.
Vincent hugged him. “He must’ve been scared to death to cry like that.”
“It’s not that.” Jesse wiped a tear from his eye and rubbed his runny nose. “He threw my hot dog away.”
Vincent and Hope looked at each other as Tyler yelled, “On the bright side, you still have your milkshake!”
Casey pointed the barrel of her gun at Sebastian, smirking. “You’re going to prison for more than money laundering.”
“No, I’m not.” Sebastian rolled over, pushing Tyler into the water and ran out, dodging a punch from Vincent. Casey ran behind him, aiming for another shot just when she realized that she lost her earpiece. Darn, she can’t even alert anyone.
“Let’s go, come on.” After helping Tyler out, the four of them ran downstairs and out of the hotel. They barely got into the car when it moved like a jet aircraft. Casey asked Vincent to call her Lieutenant and put on speaker. “Sir, Salvador stole a car and is on the move. I am right behind him.”
“Stop him before he hurts somebody, Parker.”
“I’m sorry to let you down, sir.”
“You didn’t, not yet. Cops are in the next street. He is wounded and bleeding, so I am certain he won’t be able to escape this time.”
Casey sped down the street, honking continuously for other vehicles to give way. In seconds, they were joined by two Impalas.
“Why did you go to the hotel in the first place?” Tyler asked. “You could’ve died.”
“I followed some chick in and climbed up all the stairs.” Jesse sipped on his milkshake, looking through his lashes. “I love rooftops.”
“What is wrong with you?” Hope shook her head and turned to look out the window. “Whoa, is that – ”
The sound of helicopter rotors whirling came from above. Casey glanced at the copter before accelerating to the maximum speed. “He’s getting away.”
She was close to Sebastian, so close. She can’t lose him after eight months of gathering concrete evidence and finding him. “Give me that shake.”
“No!” Casey grabbed the drink and threw it out of the window. Hope, Tyler and Vincent watched as the contents spilled on the windshield, making it impossible for Sebastian to see. He turned the wheel and the car crashed into a light pole. Before he could pull through the sudden impact, he was surrounded by cops with guns pointed at the car.
Casey smirked. Game over.
“Great job, Casey.”
Sebastian cast a deadly look at Casey as he was taken away. “Jesse gets all the credit, sir.”
Hope and Tyler giggled behind his back. “It was your milkshake that stopped him from escaping.”
“Well done, guys. ACPD is grateful for all of your help.” The lieutenant left with a brief nod.
“You know, ACPD doesn’t have the same ring to it. Unlike LAPD or NYPD.” Everyone ignored Jesse and started walking back to the car.
“Do we have to go back to Bluestone right now?” Tyler whined. “It’s still 3.”
“Let’s explore the town!” Jesse clapped his hands like a seal.
Casey smirked from the window. “Who said we’re going back? I just said get in.”
“Don’t you need to do something at the precinct, like an official statement?” Hope asked. “Since I’m technically on vacation, there’s no need. So, what do you guys want to do?”
“You live here, not us. Be our guide!”
Casey smiled to herself. These people might be dimwitted, but they are bearable. “Get ready for the best night of your lives.”
Twenty minutes later...
“This is not how I imagined things to be.” Casey placed her head on the steering wheel and grunted loudly. As soon as she parked the car outside Margaritaville to grab a bite, everyone ran in separate directions. And the worst part is that no one is picking up her calls. Seriously, why do people even bother to use cellphones?
“They are unbearable.”
“Finally!” Selena sighed as she crashed on the couch. “Done with the honeymoon packing.”
“This is more tiresome than shopping.” Ellie commented as she blew on her coffee. “Oh, I forgot to tell you. Casey called.”
“She got the bad guy?”
“Did Vincent and the three musketeers cause any trouble?”
“From what she said, they kinda helped.”
Selena sighed again. “They should be back any minute now, right?”
“Actually, they’ll probably stay at Casey’s tonight.”
“What do you mean?”
“Apparently, Casey took Vincent and the three musketeers to explore the city. It’s risky to come here at night, so they will be here tomorrow.”
“I just hope they don’t make her go insane.” Selena joked, just as her phone rung. “Cass?”
“I’m at the boardwalk and the teletubbies are missing.”
“It’s so beautiful up here!” Hope’s cheeks hurt, but she was still smiling at the breathless views from inside the enclosed pod. “I wish there was a ferris wheel this tall in Asheville.”
“Glad you’re enjoying this.” Vincent smiled at her. “Your eyes are lit up as bright as the wheel.”
She only giggled in reply. “We should get on the swing carousel.”
He chuckled. “What are we, 8?”
“C’mon. It’ll be fun.”
“Okay, what else do you want to do? The night is ours, baby.”
“Hmm.” She pretended to think. “First, let’s take a picture.”
“Picture’s mandatory.” He pulled his phone out and noticed a missed call from Selena. He dismissed it before opening the camera. “Alright, say ‘Yahoo!’”
As soon as they got off the ferris wheel, he asked Hope to buy the tickets while calling Selena. “Babe, I’m so sorry - ”
“Where the hell are you?” She yelled in a high - pitch tone, almost destroying his eardrums.
“Hey, I know I said I’ll be back soon, but - ”
“Casey’s worried about you guys.”
“What?” Vincent processed the situation and his eyes widened. “Oh shit. I’ll call her right away.”
“Are Jesse and Tyler with you?”
“No, just me and Hope.”
“Call her. And don’t do any stupid stuff.”
Before he can reply, Hope shoved her phone at his face. It was a new post in which Jesse held a glass of champagne with the hashtag ‘Happy Hour Cruise’.
“I can’t promise you that, buttercup. Hey, I gotta go, but don’t you worry. We’re fine.”
“Fine, my as - ”
“Love you, bye!” He turned to look at Hope. “We gotta go.”
“I know.” She grabbed his wrist and dragged him out of the park.
“What about the carousel?”
“Another time.” Hope huffed, running out of breath. “Damn, I need to work out more.”
“I want to throw you both in the ocean and feed you to the sharks right now.”
“Sorry.” Hope and Vincent said in unison. “We were irresponsible.”
Casey sighed. “Do you have any idea where the other two went?”
“Jesse is on the happy hour cruise, so he won’t be back for another hour.”
“How the hell did he go to New Hampshire Ave?”
Vincent frowned at his phone. “Tyler’s not picking up, which is unlike him.”
Casey processed the situation. “Text me his number, I’ll try tracing his location.”
“In the mean time, why don’t we go inside Margeritaville since we are here anyway?”
Casey glared at him. “I’m close to the last straw and I could punch you anytime now. If you want a broken nose for your bachelor party, keep talk - what the?”
“What the what?” Hope leaned to peek at the GPS. “Is that Tyler?”
“He’s two miles away.”
“The baffling part here is that he’s at some lighthouse.”
Casey ran her fingers through her hair and sighed. “The worse part is that he seems to be at the top of the lighthouse.”
It was silent for a minute before Vincent said, “Now I know why he wasn’t picking up his phone.”
“What do you mean?”
Hope replied, “He’s acrophobic.”
“You guys go and get Jesse.” The three of them switched seats. “We’ll meet back at Margaritaville.”
Hope pressed the ignition button and asked, “Will you be okay?”
Casey nodded. “I got him. Go.”
“Call if you need help.”
As they drove off, she ran towards the tallest lighthouse in NJ.
“Excuse me, where do you think you’re going? It’s closed.”
“Hi, I work in the Atlantic City Police Department.” She flashed her ID at the guard. “We got a report that there is a tourist inside and apparently, he is afraid of heights. I can bring him, just give me five minutes.”
He just stared at her. “Seriously?” She took out her wallet and gave him two 20 dollar bills. He opened the entrance gate and she started to climb the stairs.
“Tyler?” She was almost at the top of the lighthouse, but he was nowhere in sight. “Tyler!”
She felt a sudden weight and arms wrapped around her waist from the back. “Casey! You found me.”
Why do people hug? It’s so startling and bothering! More importantly, why is her heart racing? Is it because of the out-of-nowhere back hug or because of the warm feeling radiating from Tyler goddamn Meller?
“You dipshit!” She turned around and smacked his head hard enough for him to shriek. “Are you brainless? Do you think you live here and know everything around here to run off like that? How did you even get in here - ”
She was cut off when he wrapped his arms around her again. “I was so scared! It feels so good to see a familiar face.”
Her arms were limp by her sides and Tyler seemed to notice that. “When someone hugs you, you should return it. Pat my back or something.”
As he said, she slapped his back really hard before pushing him away. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Wow.” Tyler looked around in admiration as happy hour food and drinks were served. “This place is just – “
Vincent took a sip of his cocktail and raised his eyebrows in surprise. “This feels exquisite.”
Jesse forced an entire lobster roll into his mouth and yelled, “Delicious!”
Casey laughed, despite almost going crazy ten minutes ago, and wondered if maybe they could become friends after their adventure today. Yes, they are unusual and very weird, but they are one of a kind. “This is one of my go – to places in Atlantic City; I usually come here after work to clear my mind and sometimes, solve a case.”
“How long have you lived here?” Hope asked.
“Since I joined the academy.” Casey gulped down her ice - cold coffee. “Feels like I’ve lived here all my life though.”
“We should do this more often.” Tyler slurped down a raw oyster. “Solve cases, chase cars, throw milkshakes and laugh about it all day.”
“I’m never bringing any of you here with me, ever again.” She said with a deadly stare directed at Tyler. “How dare you faint on me. I had to carry you all the way here.”
He simply smiled. “Thanks for the piggyback.”
“Thank you!” Jesse grinned at the waitress, food stuck between teeth, before looking down at his plate of skewers.
Hope’s face turned pale. “Is that - ”
“Octopus and chorizo.” He took a bite and moaned loudly. “I normally don’t share food, but if you want one – “Casey could’ve sworn she saw Hope belch as she choked out, “No, thank you, excuse me.” She got off the high chair and rushed out of the restaurant.
Casey glanced at the entrance and asked, “Is she vegan?”
“Hope? Please, she can’t survive without chicken.” Tyler frowned, deeply in thought. “I don’t remember her disliking seafood.”
“I’ll go check on her.” Vincent stood up abruptly and followed her.
Jesse was obliged to what was going on around him and took another bite, this time burping out loud. “Ah, seafood is heaven.”
“Since when are you allergic to seafood?” Vincent asked as he placed his jacket over her shoulders.
“You know that I’m not. Tyler and I always compete in eating oysters, remember?” Hope chuckled at the memory as they ambled down the sidewalk. “Last year, I went to Josh’s house for his birthday dinner and his mother made this god-awful octopus salad. Now, you know I had octopus only once in my life before, but this was – “
“Seeing how you can’t even describe it,” He watched her for a good minute before smirking, “Let me guess, you spat out on her face?”
“Oh, c’mon!” She smacked his chest. “I have more self – control than that. I threw up on her rug.”
“Holy wow.” Vincent chuckled as they turned around to go back to the fish and oyster bar. “I’m surprised she let Josh continue working with you. I would never let my kid near a woman who barfed in my house.”
“Shut up.” She smacked him again with a smirk. “Vinny.”
“You are eccentric, Hobbit, but still, I love you too.” He pulled her to him and tickled her side, making her jump and bump into a man. “I’m so sorry – “
Her eyes widened in recognition and Vincent stiffened behind her.
“Ah, seven hells.”
A/N: Mysterious man, again. Who do you think is it this time? I bet you’re not gonna expect what’s coming.
- LOL, Katherine :)
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