Megan pushed her long brown hair out of her face, trying to control the mess. Her hair seemed to reflect her mood, wild and excited. She wished she didn’t have to wait for the love of her life to return home. Megan replayed in her head over and over again how she would tell him her exciting news, then glanced over at the clock. 2:47.a.m.
“Where could he have gone?” Megan started pacing back and forth in their bedroom, then paused in front of the mirror to check how she looked. She knew he wouldn’t care, but she wanted everything to be perfect.
I know I look good, I really don’t know why I fuss over what I look like and besides, Jake loves me for me. She found herself checking in the mirror to see if she showed yet.
She decided she better just settle down in a chair with a mug of hot chocolate. She sipped it, loving the warmth it gave her. As she got lost in her dreams. They took her back to the wonderful three years they had shared together. Her mind went back to when they first met, and a smile came to her face.
A noise startled her and she glanced up just in time to see the front door opened, and her lover walked in.
He barely put his bag down before she rushed him throwing her arms around his shoulders and bombarding him with hugs and kisses.
“Hello,” he said in-between kisses.
She smiled at him and said, “Do I have some news for you, sweetheart.”
“Oh yeah?” He said. “Well then, do tell. Don’t keep me in the dark.”
She got a flirtatious smile on her face. “Guess, sweetie.”
“Umm, how about...you dyed your hair?”
She gave him a look. “Come on Jake be serious.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll guess again. Umm, let’s see, you cut your hair?” She shook her head. Getting tired of this game, he blurted out another guess. “You’re pregnant?”
She jumped up and down with excitement. She could hardly wait to answer him. “Yes, honey! We are going to have a baby!”
“That’s wonderful, sweetheart.” He said as he smiled and opened his arms.
She smiled back and threw her arms around his neck again and kissed him passionately. “Do you know how much I love you, Jake?”
“I believe I do, and I love you too, Megan.” He picked her up as they continued to kiss and carried her to their bedroom and gently laid her on their king-sized bed.
“So, about this baby,” he asked after a few more rounds of kissing. “What would you like to have, a boy or a girl?”
“Either one, Jake.” She smiled up at him. “What about you?”
Jake went quiet for a moment, lost in his thoughts. I can’t believe how much my life has changed for the better since I lost Rachel and Isaac. A warm, loving feeling came over him.
“Jake?” Megan prompted, gently.
“What? Oh sorry. Um, either. No. Better yet, how about both?”
“How do I break this to you?” She was suddenly serious. “No on the twins.”
Jake gazed into her beautiful blue eyes. “Where were we before I started this conversation?”
“I believe we were here.” Her lips found his, quickly deepening the kiss.
A large, black-hooded form leaned up against a wall in a dark alley in downtown Avalon City. He looked up as the cars rolled down the street, just outside the darkness of the alley. He knew exactly what kind of young woman his employer liked. They weren’t hard to find. A door opened up at the back of a building, and the person who stumbled out was perfect. She was even laughing trying not to spill her drink.
As he walked toward her, he saw she was fit the criteria even more perfectly than he originally thought. He slowed when she glanced in his direction.
“Is someone there?” She asked.
The man slipped further into the darkness, not saying a word, and just stared at her while he slowly made his way toward her.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” Her voice quivered with fear. “Who are you? Do I know you?”
Still he said nothing. He knew the moment she decided to run, but was too late. As she turned, he reached out and grabbed her long, blonde hair.
“No! Stay away!” She screamed as she stumbled and fell to the ground. The glass fell from her hand, shattering on the pavement, its contents darkening the asphalt.
The hooded form reached out to help her up. “I won’t hurt you.” He said with a deep, warm, soothing voice. “Here, let me help you up.”
Tears stained her face. She looked up at the man and timidly reached for his hand. He grabbed her hand and pulled her from the ground. Before she had a chance to react, he spun her around and put his arms around her neck in a rear naked choke.
“It hurts less if you don’t struggle.” He growled into her ear.
As she started to fade into unconsciousness, he caught her just before she fell and held her like a loving father would hold his daughter. He caressed her hair as he soothed her. She tried to scream, but she didn’t have the breath or energy to make any kind of sound.
He carried her to the abandoned building across from the club. Once he got to the front door, he had the others drag her into the building, with one of the dark figures stationed by the door to keep watch. She came to a little, and as they dragged her to wherever they were going. She tried to figure out where she was, and if she could somehow get away, but when she saw the butts of the guns that were strapped to their hips, she decided that might be a bad idea. She didn’t want to die, so she screamed as loud as she could.
“No one can hear your screams!” he said. “No one will ever find you! You are mine. I’ll never let you go!” screamed the hooded figure. He slapped the girl until she stopped screaming.
Harold, a middle-aged man with his wife in tow, moved as fast as he could through the Salt Lake City police station. He scanned the large room with various signs over each counter. Which one did he go to?
An officer slipped a file back into a drawer while stifling a yawn. Harold rushed to the counter before the woman had an opportunity to get started on another project, making it easier to dismiss him and his wife.
“Can I help you?” The officer at the information desk asked.
“Who do we talk to about a missing person?”
“Take a seat and someone one will be right with you.”
The couple took a seat, and as they waited, Harold watched as other officers came and went, in and out of different rooms. Harold paced back and forth, wishing they would hurry up so they could help him find their daughter. A few minutes later, an officer walked up to them.
“Hello. I’m Officer Smith. What can I do for you?”
“We need to report a missing person.” Harold said. “Our daughter has been missing for around twenty-four hours.”
“All right. What is her name?”
“How old is she?”
“Twenty-two years old.”
“When was the last time you heard from her?”
Her mom’s eyes dropped sadly and she remarked. “We haven’t seen our daughter in a few years. She left home when she turned eighteen, but she does keep in contact.”
“Yeah, only when she needs money,” mumbled Harold.
“Harold!” Jean scolded “She’s has just fallen on hard times and needs our help.”
“What she needs is some tough love, not you rushing out to fulfill her every whim.”
The officer invited the couple to have a seat at a desk and continued gathering the pertinent information. After about forty minutes of questions and emotional answers, he said. “I’ll forward this to one of our detectives and he’ll be here to help you in a minute or two.”
A little while later, a detective approached the desk. “Hello, I’m Detective Armstrong, and I’ll be working on your daughter’s case. When did you say you talked to Sarah, last?”
“Yesterday. She called us out of the blue. She said she wanted to talk with us in person, and asked us to meet her at a cafe in downtown Avalon.”
“Which café did she want to meet at?”
“That’s just it,” the woman said, looking forlornly at her husband. “She never said. We got disconnected right as she started to tell us. You have to help us find her, you have to!”
Sobbing, the woman buried herself into her husband’s chest.
Harold’s arms protectively encircled his wife as his eyes met the face of the person in whom they were placing their trust.
“We will do everything we can to help find your daughter, Mr. and Mrs. McBride.”
Harold simply nodded at the detective. He wrapped his arm around his wife and kissed her on the top of her head.