Safe House: Graceland Fanfiction

Chapter 14

Johnny had already put the DVD in the player before they had followed her into the kitchen, so all he had to do was click a button on the remote for it to start the movie.

Jessie was still holding onto him when he sat back on the couch, lifting his feet onto the coffee table.

When Jessie heard the movie starting she slowly eased up on her grip and fell to the side of him on the couch. She rested her head on the side of his arm and kept her hand tucked under his elbow.

Briggs came back down the stairs and smiled at the two of them, "Ohh Frozen," he said, pretending to be excited for Jessie. "It's an epic story, Briggs," Johnny said laughing. Jessie jumped a little at his loud voice, so Johnny wrapped his arm around her, getting her to snuggle into him a bit more.

Briggs walked over to Charlie in the kitchen. "She knows, Paul," Charlie said, handing him the drawing of one of the girls on bus 118, "she knows."

Briggs held the picture and shook his head. "Is this someone specific?" he asked, pointing to the stick figure.

"Yeah, her name is Katia," she said, "Mikey and I are thinking that this girl was pulled to be her babysitter or something. I mean, I hope the kid doesn't understand what trafficking is, but she definitely knew something was wrong with how this woman got here."

Briggs nodded and sharply exhaled, "HQ is looking into the LAPD officers who were assigned to back up the raid... and I sent the picture of the guy she calls 'the rat'; they said they would call back when they had an ID."

"What else did they say, Paul?" she asked him, continuing to put away dishes. "They want more info on her father." He took a breath, "They're pushing to know if Joseph Barone is really her father, or if it is just an uncle or something I guess. They need to know who had legal custody so they can arrange charges and get all this paperwork sorted."

Charlie shook her head and grinned, "So what?" she said sarcastically, "are we supposed to bring her down to booking for a paternity test?" She laughed at her own comment.

"Not quite, Chuck," he said, "But they think one of the guys they took into custody from the house is Joseph Barone and they did request that we send them a blood sample." He raised his eyebrows at her and shrugged his shoulders.

"We're waiting for Paige," she said, taking the cookies out of the oven.

"Oh, I know," he said. Briggs looked back into the living room, admiring how peaceful Johnny and Jessie looked watching the cartoon.

"Go talk to Mikey and see what he has to say about this Katia thing," she said to him. He leaned in softly kissed her cheek. "And have you heard from Jakes or Paige yet?" she asked him quietly. "Nope," he said, "they're fine. What's for dinner?"

She swatted her hand at him and he turned and headed back upstairs to collaborate with Mike.

Charlie figured that Briggs was right; they should have a family meal for dinner. She thought about what the boys had gotten at the grocery store earlier that day and started to pull some stuff out of the refrigerator and freezer. She couldn't stop herself from humming some of the music from the movie as she worked.

Charlie had been going through files in the kitchen and cutting up vegetables for almost an hour when she heard Johnny's voice. She walked into the living room and saw Johnny trying to wake up Jessie.

"She's having a nightmare, Chuck," he said, "She's still holding on to me, but she's losing it. Are you supposed to wake her up? I feel like I read something that said—"

"Johnny that 's sleepwalking..." she said, "you can't knock her out of it?"

Her feet were kicking and it looked as though all of her muscles in her upper body were tense. Her eyes were scrunched tight and her breathing was heavy. "I'm going to go get Mike," Charlie said, quickly moving up the steps.

Johnny kept trying to wake her up. He stood up and held her close in his arms. He had started to walk around with her when she finally became still. Her eyes opened and Johnny could tell that she was confused and she started crying softly.

"Hi," he said with a big smile, "you fell asleep duirng our movie!"

Jessie caught Mike coming down the stairs out of the corner of her eye and put her hands out towards him like she had done before. He stole her from Johnny and sat on the couch with her, again trying to mimic how Paige was able to keep her calm.

"What made you so scared?" Mike whispered to her. He wasn't sure himself whether or not he was being rhetorical.

Jessie kept crying and had both of her hands clasped in fists around pieces of his shirt.

"Is it your dad who makes you scared when you sleep?" He didn't get a response. "Or is it the LAPD cop, or someone else?" He partially wanted to know for his case, but he also just wanted to know how to help her. The past two times she woke up from a nightmare, he was useless.

Jessie shook her head into his chest. "No?" Mike asked with a positive tone of voice, "Then what makes you so scared when you sleep?"

"Being stuck...." Her breathing was sporadic and she couldn't get out more than a few whispered words at a time.

"Being stuck where?" Mike asked her patiently. He tried to sit her up a little so that he could see her face.

She sniffled a few times, but rather than look up at him, she kept her head buried. "Stuck in -" she stuttered, "in the closet." Mike and Johnny exchanged some confused glances.

There was a loud slam noise and Mike felt Jessie's arms and body tense up against him.

"Hello?!"

It was Paige. Mike was relieved to see that Paige was back and he was eager to fill her in and to see what she had uncovered, but he also knew that a terrified version of Jessie in his lap was not making his caretaking skills look good.

"Hey," Mike said to Jessie, rubbing her back, "look who's home."

"Hey, Jessie," Paige said, sitting down next to Mike.

That was all it took. As soon as Jessie heard Paige's voice, she reached out and clung to the woman. Mike and Paige sat close while they both continued to console her.

"Was the closet in your old house?" Mike asked her. Paige looked at him with a puzzled expression. Mike thought about what to say. "We got upset when we were sleeping because of a closet," he said matter-of-factly. Paige nodded but didn't look any less confused.

"Jakes and I barely got anything today," she said to him, "how about here?"

Mike smiled, "She's the best little C.I. we've got."

She wanted to kiss him in that moment on the couch, but knew that announcing their relationship in front of Jakes, Johnny and Charlie right there in the living room would not be the best plan.


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