In Extremis

Chapter 11

Back at LAPD headquarters…

Travis stood up from his desk, having worked all through the night, and walked into the kitchen area in order to pour himself another cup of coffee to help wake him up, then Captain Sutton walked into the room as well as he spoke up saying, "I know that you don't plan on going home to rest until you find your partner, but you should at least go get yourself something to eat so that you can continue. You look dead on your feet."

Travis shook his head as he answered curtly, "I'll eat later. I have to find something that can help me find him. Something's got to give way."

"You've worn out every lead you can think of," the captain responded as they both walked back out into the main room. "The girls interrogated the thugs that killed Kyle and finally got them to confess, but not to taking Wes."

"I already knew that, Cap," Travis said in frustration as he sat down once again at his desk and pinched the bridge of his nose, then took a few aspirins with his coffee to try to get rid of his headache that was only growing worse the more tired he grew. "I saw the surprise in their faces when I asked them about kidnapping him back at the warehouse we arrested them in. They didn't have any reason to kidnap Wes. I looked into Wes' old colleague, Trent Conway, and so far, nothing looks out of the ordinary. His finances look clean. He hated Wes. That I could tell right away, but he doesn't have a motive for kidnapping him. He mostly likes to torture him with guilt. Besides, there is no way there would have been enough time for him to call in a goon squad to come and take him. It all happened less than a half hour after we left his home."

Sutton pulled up the chair from Wes' desk, then sat down beside Travis' desk, and asked, "Is there a chance that he could be the man responsible? Think real hard."

It was then that Kate and Amy walked back into the room as Kate spoke up saying, "Those thugs may have confessed to killing your kid, but they're not cracking on who it was that hired them to do it."

"Whoever did, told them they would pay them half a million dollars for the job and told them that they could keep the car as well," Amy continued. "Before the job, they were paid half of the money, but the second half would only be given to them if the job was done. It looks like we got to them before their employer could pay them the second half though. We tried to get them to tell us who the guy is, but they won't budge. It appears they believe that he's going to get them off."

"I didn't see any financial transactions matching half a million in Conway's accounts, but that doesn't mean that he's not responsible for hiring our thugs to kill Kyle Moore," Travis replied as he looked between their captain and the other detectives standing over him. "Can you ladies keep digging? My gut's telling me he's the guy responsible for the kid's death. Oh, and keep trying to locate this mysterious aunt that set up the trust fund too. She may have a story to tell. But I'm telling you, Conway isn't responsible for kidnapping Wes. And it's not the Wah Ching either. It's someone else not linked to this case. I just can't think of who it could be."

Kate placed her hand gently on his shoulder as she stated, "He's going to be all right, Travis. You're going to find the sons of bitches responsible for all this and get him back. Something's going to turn up."

It was then that Kendall came running into the room as she said urgently, "Travis! Captain! I think I might have something! Although, I don't know if this will really help, but…"

"Whoa, whoa, easy Kendall," Travis spoke as he stood up and tried to calm her so that she could finish explaining. "What are you talking about?"

"I've been keeping track of Wes' cell phone and his credit cards, not that I actually expected someone would be dumb enough to use them, but it turns out, someone actually did…" she answered. "Aah… use one of his credit cards, I mean."

Travis quickly asked, "Where? Where was it used, Kendall?"

The young woman pushed up the glasses she wore as she answered, "Whoever has his card, used it downtown at a club last night and then again this morning at a diner, also downtown. I've texted you the address."

"Kendall, you're brilliant," Travis responded as he leaned over and kissed her cheek, then quickly grabbed his things again and started toward the door.

"Do you want us to come with you?" Amy shouted out before he left.

He called back, "Keep doing what you were doing! I've got this!"

Once he was gone, Amy looked over at their captain as she asked, "Should we go after him?"

"No, he's got this," the man replied with a smile. "He'll be fine."

Travis arrived at the diner where Kendall said that the person he was looking for might still be in record time thanks to his bike, and when he walked inside, there were only two tables in use by the diner's patrons, as well as two waitresses, and a cook working back in the kitchen. It was almost ten o'clock and so it was in between the breakfast rush and the lunch rush. Travis quickly flashed his badge at one of the waitresses, who then nodded toward her one customer, still sitting at his table while drinking coffee and reading a newspaper. Travis walked over, then sat down in the booth across from the man, who looked up and glared at the stranger now sitting with him.

"Can I help you?" he asked angrily.

Travis held up his badge again, and the man attempted to get up to run, but Travis quickly grabbed hold of his coat and held firmly, as he answered, "I understand that you're using a credit card that doesn't belong to you. Show it to me; right now!"

The patron tried to shake the detective off of him, but Travis continued to keep his tight hold and then the man asked, "Who the hell are you and why are you looking for me?"

"Because, the card you're using belongs to my partner, but of course, you already know that, don't you?" Travis responded coldly. "Hand it over."

"Look, I was hungry, all right?" the man replied as he finally pulled out the card, as well as Wes' wallet from his coat pocket and handed them over to him. "I found these in the dumpster behind this diner. They would have just ended up in some landfill somewhere, so I used one of them."

Travis read his face and could see that he was lying, then he responded angrily, "Try again. It's obvious that you're lying about where you got this from, so let me ask you this, where is the man you stole this wallet from? Where did you take him?"

The man shook his head in objection until Travis swiftly moved to stand beside him, grabbed him by the collar of his coat, pulled him from the booth, and shoved him hard up against the bar, then Travis continued, "Look, I'm getting very impatient and I have a feeling that my partner doesn't have much time left. He's in trouble and I'll be damned if I allow you to stand in my way of saving him, so I'll ask you again, where is he? Tell me now!"

"I don't know," the man replied fearfully. "That's the truth, I don't know. I was hired along with a few others to attack you and your partner and to take him to them, but as soon as we handed him over, they took off. They left his gun, badge, and wallet behind, I took his wallet, then I went back home."

"Who hired you?" Travis shouted.

The man shook his head as he answered, "I don't know his name. None of us did. When we first met, my friends and I were approached by some guy who asked to do a job in exchange for twenty-five thousand dollars. Once we knew the guy was for real and we agreed, we were told where we could find you, then was handed a picture of him, so that we wouldn't screw up and take the wrong cop. The guy wasn't very trusting and he seemed awfully desperate for us to get this job done."

Travis turned Wes' kidnapper around and cuffed his hands behind his back, then as he walked him out of the diner, Travis spoke up again saying, "I came here on my motorcycle, so I'm going to hand you off to a cop friend of mine I saw working the beat just down the street from here and he'll escort you to the station. You're under arrest for the kidnapping of an LAPD detective. I'm going to ask you one more question and I suggest you come up with a good answer. Help yourself out just a little bit. Is there anything at all you can tell me that will help me find the men who have my partner?"

"The guy my friends and I dealt with is some kind of doctor, or nurse, or… someone… a paramedic I think," he responded curtly. "He was wearing a jacket that had some kind of patch on the arm. It had the paramedic emblem on it. Also, inside the Sudan I saw what looked like a couple of medical charts. He was really kind of creepy looking."

"Son of a bitch," Travis replied to himself when it suddenly dawned on him who one of Wes' kidnappers might be, as he remembered the creepy paramedic who took Wes' blood, at the blood drive they attended the day before.

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