Rachel, Delaney and Elizabeth were lying on the ground in Emily’s room. The trip to the library and the entire afternoon had proven to be pointless. The police had only managed to arrest the men who had helped kidnapped Emily. None of them were talking and the lawyers defending the men weren’t helping. Rachel was mad at Officer Daniel. He had explained to her that he couldn’t head to the library because he was trying to wake up the police station and had been about to call the hospital when she had called. Rachel was still mad at him. She had told him that he was just as bad as the kidnappers because he hadn’t helped try to save her sister.
Delaney was on her Facebook account seeing what their relatives were doing. Most of them were sharing pictures of Emily with posts that ranged from a reward for anyone who managed to find Emily and bring her home safely to posts begging the kidnappers to return her home. The F.B.I. had arrived to try to help but unfortunately they had exhausted all of their leads too quickly. The elderly lady that everyone at the library had confirmed being there was gone. The F.B.I. agent that was responsible for reporting their finds to the family had told them that the woman’s house still had everything that any elder would have. What had bugged them was that she didn’t have any bank accounts and there was no sign of money at the house and the name she had been using had proven to be bogus.
Elizabeth shook her head. “We should have stayed with her.” She said. “Splitting up was the dumbest idea ever. If we had stayed with her, she’d be with us.”
Delaney looked at her sister. “We can’t think like that Elizabeth. If we didn’t split up, we might have all gone missing.” She said.
Rachel looked at her cousins. “At least then it would be harder for whoever those guys are. Four hostages are harder to keep under control then one.” She added, supporting Elizabeth's choice.
Delaney shook her head. “Not unless they were only after Emily.” She said. “Didn’t anyone else notice the guns they had?” She let that sink in. Elizabeth and Rachel knew what she was implying. That they could have been killed if they had been captured with Emily.
Rachel looked at her cousins. “Where do you think Emily is?” She asked.
Delaney shook her head. “We don’t even know who those guys are.” She reminded Rachel. “Or why they were so interested in Emily.” She didn’t know how else to say that but it was true. They didn’t even know where to begin because they had no idea who the men were.
“Do you think it had something to do with that book Emily got?” Rachel then asked.
Both Delaney and Elizabeth looked at each other. They had been so focused on Emily that it didn’t even occur to them that it might have been because of the book. It would made sense though. Before Emily had gotten that book, the only thing bad that had happened to her was the car accident several years before. But the men coming for her after she had gotten that book would make sense. “We don’t even know what was written in the book.” Delaney said. “Just that your mom wanted Emily to have it several years ago.”
Rachel nodded. “And the strange texts in the book might have something to do with why she was taken.” She went to her school notebooks and opened one of them. She drew the cover of Emily’s book. She looked at the fancy S. “S.” She said.
Elizabeth and Delaney both looked at her. “What?” Elizabeth asked.
Rachel pointed at the S. “There was only an S on it.” She told them. “What if it’s important?”
Delaney shook her head. “It could mean just about anything.” She said. “Might not even be important. Just an interesting cover of an old book.” Rachel shook her head and looked at the S. She knew that it was important. She just couldn’t figure out why.
She then thought of something. “Mom wanted Emily to have that book.” She said. “But why would the professor get that copy for Mom to give to Emily?” That got Delaney and Elizabeth.
“Why do you think he got that copy when he should have gotten one in English?” Elizabeth asked her cousin. This just had to be good.
Rachel looked at her. “I don’t think that that book can be found anywhere else.” She said. “I think it’s one of those “only one copy of this ever existed” books.” Seeing that neither of her cousins was arguing against that, she continued. “What if that book is the only one of its kind and what if what’s written in it is what those guys were after?”
Delaney thought about it. “It would make sense.” She said.
“But then how would your mom know of its existence?” Elizabeth asked.
It took Rachel a minute to come up with an idea. “Because Mom must have seen it before.” She said. That got her cousins. “She might have seen it before or tried to own it. But she couldn’t at that time.”
Elizabeth cut her off right there. “But why then would she try to get it again but for Emily?” She asked.
“Family heirloom in her family?” Both Rachel and Elizabeth looked at Delaney.
“What?” They both asked.
Delaney looked at her. “What if the book is a family heirloom in her family?” Delaney asked. “It would make sense why it would be a one of a kind. Because one of your ancestors would have written it.”
There was a knock on the door. All three girls turned to the door. Mr. Tual was standing there. “What are you girls doing?” He asked.
Rachel stood up. “Daddy, did Mommy have any relatives whose first name started with an S?” She asked. All three looked at her. Elizabeth and Delaney weren’t expecting Rachel to still be hung up on the S. But seeing Mr. Tual thinking about it did get them interested.
“There were a few over the years that I’ve heard of.” Mr. Tual answered. “Sarah, your mom’s grandma. And then there was Samantha who was a part of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement. She was your mom’s great, great grandma.”
Rachel shook her head. The S didn’t seem like it would belong to someone that soon to their own time. “What about further back?” She asked.
Mr. Tual sighed. “Why are you asking Rachel?” He asked.
Rachel showed him the sketch of Emily’s book cover. “We think the book might be a family heirloom on Mom’s side of the family and that’s why Mom wanted Emily to have it.” She explained.
Mr. Tual looked at the picture. “Hmmm.” He said.
Delaney tilted her head curiously. “Does that S mean anything to you?” She asked.
Mr. Tual shook his head. “I’m not sure.” He admitted. “But your mom said once that there was someone in her ancestry whose name started with S. She had learned about it during…” His face fell.
Rachel frowned. “Daddy?” She asked.
Mr. Tual handed the sheet of paper back to her. “During her college years.” He told her. “She was in a history class and they were doing a genealogy report on their families.” Delaney, Elizabeth and Rachel looked at each other before looking back at him.
“Does Mommy still have her genealogy report?” Rachel asked.
Mr. Tual looked at his watch. “You three need to be getting to bed.” He told them. “I’ll look in some of your mom’s stuff up in the attic. She might have kept her report.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Now go to bed you three.”
Rachel looked out the window as she laid down in Emily’s bed. “Please be okay wherever you are Emily.” She whispered. “Even though you’ve been kidnap, please be alright and find a way back to us.” She closed her eyes as the lights were turned off.
Up in the attic, Mr. Tual looked at Joan’s boxes. “Please tell me you still have your old reports Joan.” He whispered. He started going through the boxes, trying to find one that had Joan’s college years in it. He then found it. He opened it. There were several papers and books in it. He shook his head. This was going to take a while. He started going through the papers. Most of it was notes she had taken in class. There were a few sketches mixed in. No doubt from when she needed to get her brain working.
Mr. Tual sat down and rubbed his eyes. It felt like he had been there for hours. He looked at his watch. It was already two in the morning. He was about to call it a night when he saw the last stack of papers. He picked it up. Despite being tired, he smiled. It was his wife’s report on her family’s ancestry. He went through the pages until he found the family tree sketch she had drawn. He saw her name in one of the higher branches. He traced the branch all the way down to the trunk, going through generations of her ancestors. At the trunk of the tree was a single name. Seraphina.
He flipped a few pages back towards the front. He wondered if it was Seraphina that Rachel would be interested in. His eyes widened as he read what Joan had found out about. As he noticed that the S in Seraphina was the same as the one that Rachel had sketched. He closed the report stack and took it downstairs.
Outside the house, Officer Daniel looked at the house from his police car. He had volunteered to stay by the house to watch after the family in case the kidnappers came back. He knew that the family was missing Emily greatly. He smiled. If only they knew that one of the men that had helped out with the kidnapping was right there. He had wanted to laugh mockingly at Rachel when she had accused him of being just as bad as the kidnappers themselves. He took his phone out and dialed a number. He raised it up to his ear.
After a few seconds, the person picked up. “Is the job done?” Officer Daniel asked.
“Not yet. The girl is still alive.” Eliza answered. “Cliff is still having fun torturing and hurting the girl. Doesn’t help that we had to escape the library because the girl’s father and her aunt showed up.”
Officer Daniel shook his head. “I did my job.” He told Eliza. “I kept the police asleep during the kidnapping.” He looked at the house again. “Tell me you’ve got her in a secured location.” He then said.
“Yes. We’re at the fortress in the mountains.” Eliza told him. “The girl is in a locked chamber below us. Cliff is asleep right now. He wants to be ready to torture her in the morning.”
Daniel shook his head. “Leaving the girl’s torture and end to that idiot was mistake.” He told Eliza. “You and Johnny should have just killed her back at the library. Do you know how many Black Hand lawyers I had to get to make sure our men would be given a good chance of avoiding prison?” That had not been easy. He had to make deals and cancel out debts to get those lawyers to come. From what he had seen, it looked like the lawyers were doing their jobs right in making the case go in their favor.
“Are the lawyers asking why the men were arrested in the first place?” Eliza asked.
Officer Daniel managed not to groan. “Of course they did. I simply told them that they were a part of an extraction team that needed to steal something. Not even our men know all the details as to why they were chosen in carrying out the mission at the library. The only ones who know of why it was done are you, Johnny, Bastet, her servant and me.” He then smiled. “The fewer people who know that we’re doing this to strike him down with embarrassment, the better.”
“Which reminds me, what are you telling the people there?” He knew that there were a lot of Black Hands in the fortress in the mountain. He heard Eliza chuckle. It sounded really gross when she did, given her age.
“I told them that we found a threat and we were eliminating it.” She told him.
Officer Daniel smiled. “Not the entire truth.” He said. “Impressive.” Eliza was very clever at that. “Just make sure that you get the job done.” He reminded Eliza. “I’m pretty sure that he likes to go there a few times during the year and I think that one of those times is coming up.” He then hung up and looked at the house again.