After leaving her parent's home, Casey drove with no destination in mind as she was trying to think of another way she could solve the problem at hand, though nothing came to mind. The detective wasn't completely without money, as she worked hard to save up all she earned, but what she had saved was not even a fraction of the amount that her partner's assailants were asking for. After what seemed like several hours, though it was really only a little over one, Shraeger arrived at her own apartment and slowly walked inside with one purpose in mind before she would head back to her precinct. What she wasn't expecting was that she wasn't alone.
Upon turning on her lights, she quickly walked into her room and began to rummage through a box she stored underneath her bed in search for a smaller box, but as she was doing so, her partner slowly walked in behind her and spoke up asking, "Are you all right?"
She turned around and looked at him in surprise and answered, "What? Of course I'm all right. Why wouldn't I be and what… how did you know I would be here and why did you come? I told Alvarez I'd be back soon. How did you get here anyway?"
"I convinced Eddie to drop me off here because I knew that you would make your way here, eventually," Walsh replied wearily, then slowly began to collapse until Casey quickly reached out to help him sit down on her bed. "Thanks. They were there… tonight, weren't they; the men who… attacked me the other night?"
"I should have known that you saw through me earlier," Casey responded gruffly. "You always could ever since we became partners."
Jason nodded and answered, "What can I say, it's a gift. I'm pretty good at reading people. The only person that I've read wrong so far was Cole."
Detective Shraeger shook her head sadly and replied, "You somehow need to learn to let that go, Jason. It wasn't that you read him wrong because you didn't. There was good in him, but it mostly disappeared when he gave in to his brother and nearly allowed you to die in that shipping crate. It was because of you that he saw his mistakes and tried to make up for what he did."
"I appreciate that, but we're getting off the subject at hand here," Walsh responded as he looked up at her. "What did they say to you? What is it that they want?"
"They want money," she answered plainly. "What else do criminals usually want? The problem is, I don't have a fraction of it and I don't know how else to get it."
Jason shook his head as he replied, "I don't understand. Why would you?"
Casey responded, "Because they have an antidote for the poison that's killing you right now and I'm not about to take any chances that they'll disappear or kill me for not paying, making it so that there's no chance to save you; that's why."
"Casey, I need you to tell me everything, please," he stated firmly.
"These men killed Karen Simmons, our victim from our case we got assigned just before all this happened, and her sister, as well as a number of other people," Shraeger answered finally. "Her sister was poisoned and Karen was blackmailed into paying our suspects two million dollars because she was wealthy. The same happened to the others. One victim is poisoned and someone close to them is asked to pay the ransom. Those that couldn't pay, or tried to cheat them out of their money, like Karen, were killed as well as the ones who were poisoned. Whoever our killers are, they've done their research on us, or the person they work for did. They know I'm a Shraeger and think that I've got the money to pay them four million instead of two. If I don't pay them, you're as good as dead. Apparently, the extra's because you're a detective, but I got the sense that there was more to it than that. I think their boss has a personal grudge against you."
Walsh pinched the bridge of his nose as he took in the information his partner just explained to him and then looked back up at her as he replied, "Even if you did have the money, Casey, I wouldn't allow you to just hand it over to them, in hope that they would actually keep their word and hand over the antidote needed to save my life. We don't negotiate with other criminals and we're not going to start now, even for me."
Detective Shraeger stood up and looked down on him as she responded curtly, "You're only my partner, Walsh. You're not my boss. I know what the rules are because you taught them to me, but I don't care anymore. I'm not going to let you die if there's something I can do to help you. I can't and you're in no condition to stop me."
"Damn it, Casey, even if I did… agree to this, how… do you suppose you're going to… get your hands… on four mill…?" he began to ask angrily until he suddenly broke off as he doubled over in intense pain.
"Jason!" she cried out as she quickly pulled him close to her, then grabbed her cell phone and dialed 911. "Hang on, you're going to be all right, I promise. Please hold on. Hold on."
The paramedics had come within a few minutes and worked hard to stabilize the detective and while they were doing so, Casey kept her focus on him until they began to load him into the ambulance. As they were doing so, she walked back into her room and continued to rummage through the box from under her bed until she found the smaller box she had been looking for, then opened it up to make sure the item inside was indeed what she was after. She found an antique diamond necklace and carefully placed it inside her coat pocket, then walked out and got into the ambulance beside her partner for the trip to the hospital.
Casey went back and forth from pacing outside the operating room to sitting uncomfortably in the waiting room while she waited for word on her partner's condition. An hour more passed by and she had yet to call their sergeant or the other detectives about Walsh's collapse. She needed to see someone else first.
As Detective Shraeger was resting inside the waiting room, her head in her hands as she was exhausted from not having had any sleep since this mess began, a woman walked over to her and spoke up softly saying, "You look like hell, Casey. Surely this job allows you to sleep once in awhile, doesn't it?"
She turned toward the woman and stood up while she pulled the necklace out, then Casey asked, "I do what I have to do and that includes the reason why you're here, Carol. You've always wanted this and was angry when our grandmother gave it to me instead. You can have it, but I need the money first."
"I've been trying to buy it from you for years, little sister, but you've always refused to let me have it; something about honoring her wishes," Carol answered as she pulled out a change purse and handed it over to the detective. "So why now?"
"This money isn't for me," Casey replied as she pulled out a wad of bills and began to count it. "Talk to Mom and Dad. I'm sure they'll tell you all about my visit to them earlier. This isn't ten thousand dollars? I'm asking for less than half of how much this necklace is worth, but this isn't it; this is only six. Where's the rest?"
The woman looked at Casey as she responded, "I'm sorry, but six thousand is all I could pull together at this time of night. It's late and it's not like I can withdraw the rest from an ATM. You're asking for ten thousand and you're sitting here in the hospital alone. Please, tell me what's going on, Casey?"
Casey placed the money back inside the small bag and into her jacket pocket, then she looked at her sister and said sadly, "I'm trying to save my partner's life and I'm ready to do whatever it takes."