The two assailants disappeared down the hall and around the corner and once they were gone, Casey slowly reached down and picked up her gun, then headed off in her own direction in search for Walsh and Alvarez. When she finally found them, they were searching on the sixth floor of the ten story apartment complex.
"Hey, did you see anything out of place?" Eddie asked once they were finally back together and Casey could see that her partner was only growing worse the longer he remained out in the field.
"No, I didn't," she replied without looking at the self absorbed detective, as she continued to stare at Jason. "Are you feeling all right, Walsh?"
Jason reached up and wiped sweat off his brow with his hand and then answered, "I'm fine, really. I told you, I'll be better once we find these guys. They're probably not even hiding out here. It looks like your lead is a bust."
Casey looked away as she responded, "Yeah, it looks like."
"We should get back to the precinct then," Eddie continued as Walsh started to walk back toward the elevator to leave the building, followed by Casey and then Alvarez. "Maybe the others have found something. Let me ask you guys something, do you think Latham is as smart as me?"
"Now's not the time to be thinking of yourself, Alvarez," Shraeger replied as she helped her partner get into their car, then turned to face Alvarez after closing the door. "Listen, there's something I have to do right now, so I need you to take Jason back on your own. Can you do that for me?"
Detective Alvarez stared at her as he asked in surprise, "What on earth could possibly be more important than this? Where are you going?"
She looked over at Walsh as he stared up at her from inside the car, then turned back to their friend and answered sadly, "I just need you to trust me. What I have to do right now is important. Please, Eddie."
"All right, you've got it," he finally conceded. "Just hurry back. Your partner's holding his own pretty good so far, but he's hurting more than he's letting on. He won't be able to hold on for much longer."
"I know, but he'll keep fighting for as long as he has to," Casey responded confidently, then turned and walked away, leaving Eddie and her partner behind her, confused as to why she was leaving them.
Forty minutes later…
Casey finally arrived, after fighting through all the city's traffic, at the one place that always made her feel the most uncomfortable and upon seeing the number of cars parked outside the large townhouse, the discomfort increased substantially. She slowly walked up the stairs leading to the front door and was about to knock, when suddenly the door opened before she could, startling both her and the woman that stood before her.
The woman spoke up first as she stated, "Casey, well this certainly is a surprise and of course once again you are way underdressed for this joyous occasion."
The detective quickly and reluctantly hugged the woman and then shrugged as she replied, "Yeah Mom, I am. And what joyous occasion are you celebrating tonight?"
"It's your father's and mine's anniversary," she answered as she led Casey inside and motioned to her husband to walk over to them.
"Right, I'm so sorry, I forgot, but I swear to you there's a reason, which is why I'm here," Casey responded as her father made his way through the crowd and gently gave his daughter a hug. "Happy Anniversary. Listen, can I talk to you in private, please? This will only take a minute and then you can get back to all of your rich, fancy friends."
As Casey swiftly walked into her father's study, her parents following behind her, her mother replied disapprovingly, "Casey Shraeger, how many times have I told you not to insult your father and I by insulting our friends?"
The detective looked between them and then answered sadly sincerely, "You're right, I'm sorry."
"Casey, is everything all right?" her father asked finally. "You look terrible."
"No Dad, everything's not all right," she responded more curtly than she meant. "I know this is going to sound crazy, especially since I've told you a number of times that I would never ask you for any money because I don't approve of how you flaunt it off to people, but I need four million dollars."
Her mother asked in confusion, "Excuse me? I don't understand. Why would you come to us now and ask for such an ungodly amount? Four million is extreme, even for us. Surely you know that we can't just hand it over like…"
Casey suddenly interrupted abruptly as she shouted, "It's for my partner, who'll die if I can't save him."
"What are you talking about, sweetheart?" her father asked calmly, as he finally turned his full attention on her.
"I'm sorry," she continued as she quickly lowered her voice again. "Look, I can't explain everything to you, but this money is needed for a ransom. Walsh wasn't kidnapped, but he has been poisoned and I need this money to pay the killers for an antidote."
Mrs. Shraeger replied, "And you really think that these killers of yours are going to hand over what you need to you, just because you agreed to pay them the money? I thought you didn't believe in negotiating with criminals? At least that's what you've told your father and I?"
Casey crossed her arms as she answered fearfully, "Normally I don't, but if I don't do what they ask this time, Jason will die and I can't… I just can't let that happen. I can't; I won't."
"My my, am I hearing what I think I'm hearing?" her mother asked smugly. "Has my daughter finally found love?"
"Love?" she scoffed. "Am I in love, with Walsh? No, no. Walsh is my partner and the best partner I've ever worked with. He's just a really good friend, quite possibly even my best friend, but I am most certainly not in love with him. Please, may I have the money? I know it's a lot and somehow, I'll find a way to pay it all back, unless you agree to possibly take it from my trust fund, which I specifically have told you over and over that I do not want, seeing as there's no way being a detective will help me make that kind of money in a lifetime."
Her father looked at her as he responded calmly, "Sweetheart, I really wish I could help you, but I'm afraid that there's no way we can possibly give you that kind of money, especially tonight or even within the next few days. I…"
Casey angrily shouted once again saying, "Jason doesn't have a few days! Our family has always looked down on me for not being accepting of who I am and now, when I finally come to you for help, you can't be there for me? Well, to hell with you, all of you! Happy Anniversary again. I hope you enjoy your precious party."
With that being said, Casey swiftly shoved her way back through the crowd and then stormed out of her parents' spacious townhouse without looking back, leaving her bewildered parents behind. A small part of her regretted having said those cruel words to them, but she knew she was right to say them. Her family was spoiled and self centered and it was about time Casey finally let them know how she truly felt, even though she had tried many times beforehand. Maybe this time would sink in one day.