Beyond the Ocean's Depths (Not an Average Shifter Romance)

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Chapter 54: A Plea for Help

TOBIE

My mind was still trying to wrap around the idea that Anne had stolen this guy’s diamonds and somehow managed to get them in the attic as he finished locking the three kids in the dolphin enclosure with Vickie’s keys he’d taken from her before shutting Rhonda, her, and the still somewhat bleeding Chuy in the penguin enclosure.

He’d determined it best to separate the kids from the adults, and wanted to separate the adults from one another, but was running out of time and didn’t want to decide who to allow to stay with Chuy to manage his bleeding.

“Move. We’ll take your car.” He glared at me and I nodded fearfully, trying to go over where exactly in that chest Anne had stashed the diamonds. What if they weren’t there or I got her instructions wrong?!

“Uh, I need my keys,” I managed to get out. “They’re in my office, in my purse. My house keys, too.”

The criminal didn’t answer, simply motioning the barrel of his gun towards the way forward. We were silent all the way upstairs to my office, giving me time to think through the situation. My keys were in my purse which was under my desk, and my cell phone was somewhere on my desk. Perhaps, it was out of sight and I would somehow be able to get it without him seeing.

I shakily maneuvered us to my office and was more than relieved when he stopped midway between the door and my desk as I went around the wooden table to seek out my purse.

My phone was miraculously and strategically sitting behind my coffee cup and completely out of his view. I held my breath as I leaned down to grab my purse from the floor, hoisting the bag to my desk, with the intention of pretending to ensure my keys were in fact inside.

Luckily, my huge monitor obscured most of my midsection, and I easily slid my phone into my purse as I withdrew my wad of keys, jingling them slightly for effect. “They’re here.”

I looked my captor in the eye and nodded that I was ready to go as I swung my purse over my shoulder and made my way back around the desk. Still at gunpoint, I led the silent criminal into the hall. Now, I pondered, how was I going to call for help?

The bathroom! Perhaps, I could convince him that I should use the bathroom before we go and I would be able to call 911 from there. My heart skipped a beat as I finally braved the question as the women’s restroom came into view just up the hall. “Um, can I use the bathroom?” I squeaked.

“What?!” He sounded like he’d never heard of anyone needing to pee in his life and I cringed.

“Uh, I need to go and the bathroom is right here.”

He eyed the sign on the restroom door, then glared back at me, obviously weighing his options.

“I’m sorry, but I was on my way to the restroom when I came down to see what was going on in Rhonda’s office. And I don’t know if I’m going to make it all the way home.” I hoped I sounded convincing.

He grumbled, then looking pissed, pointed towards the bathroom door and proceeded to follow me in!

“Uh, there’s no windows or anything in there,” I offered, then added, “And I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize my daughter or any of the others out there.” I nodded my head towards the animal enclosure side of the building.

Peeking inside the two-stall restroom, he asserted, “I’ll wait right here. You do anything funny and your daughter will be the first to go.”

I swallowed nervously. There was no way I could call 911 without being caught with him standing in the bathroom, even if I was behind the stall door. “Shit! Think, Tobie. Think!”

As soon as I closed the stall door, I pulled my phone out of my purse, quickly unlocked the screen and put the phone on silent, not wanting it to go off, notifying this insane man that I had my phone now. But if I couldn’t call 911, what should I do?

I opened my messaging app, scanning the list of my most recent messages with one name jumping out at me. “Torin!”

Of course! He’s a cop and his Mom and daughter are here, too! Unbuttoning my jeans, I proceeded to make like I was going to the bathroom, effectively and simultaneously sending off a quick message to the one person who could possibly help the most, despite my trembling fingers.

Help! We r being held hostage at rehab. Man with gun. Chuy shot. Locked in with animals. Going to my house for diamonds. Send help now!

I quickly put my phone back in my purse, doing up my pants, and opening the stall door. Grabbing me by the arm after allowing me to wash my hands, my captor hauled me down the hall and out to the parking lot.

}<<(((}> * <{)))>>{

TORIN

I stifled a yawn, sitting in the back of the briefing room as the monthly Navarro Beach law enforcement meeting droned on. I’d already presented my statistics via PowerPoint a half hour ago, and I didn’t really care about how the K-9 unit was looking to get a new dog to replace the one set to retire next year.

My phone vibrated in my back pocket, jolting me awake. But it only went off once, so I knew it was a text message. Probably Rainie or Mom, I thought. Work would have called or sent out a message on the radio.

Sitting forward in hopes of staying awake for the next twenty minutes, I looked at the clock. Perhaps, for lunch I’d go visit the girls at the aquarium today.

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