While waiting for any updates, Blaire's dad, Brenton, and her other brothers, Blake and Bryan showed up and so did one of my security personnel and friend, Andrew. They were trying to be supportive, but I just wanted to know if my daughter and wife were okay. None of them could give me any answers so I just stayed to myself.
An hour went by and Debra informed me that the money was sent with a confirmation number. About 15 minutes later I was sent an address by an unknown number. I told Agent Lewis and he told his partner so they could set up a tactical and recovery team. He said it would take up to 30 minutes. I didn't want to take that long. I wanted to get to my daughter immediately.
"Y'all got 5 minutes or I'm going by myself," I snapped.
"Okay. Let's get ready to go," Lewis said.
He quickly rounded up his crew. I felt better that we were going to leave soon. I told Brent and Andrew to come with me. Brent is a doctor so if Maddie needed any medical attention he could help. Andrew, of course, could protect us if this was a setup. We got into Agent Lewis's SUV and two police officers were trailing us in their unmarked vehicle. Then we headed to the address.
"Avery, she's going to be just fine," Brent said.
"Man, I hope so. She better be," I said frustrated.
Andrew put his hand on my shoulder giving me a pat. He was a man of few words, so that was his way to tell me he had my back. We approached an empty warehouse that was for sale. It actually looked well maintained. We cautiously approached. There was a sign on the door that told us where to find her.
The two FBI agents and two police officers went in first. We stayed back for a few minutes then we were given a signal to come in. I nervously followed Agent Lewis. We came into an empty room and there she was on the floor sleeping. She was still in the clothes I took her to school that morning. I ran to her to see if she was still breathing.
"Come on, princess. Please wake up. It's dad. Maddie, please," I said, softly shaking her.
She moved a bit and struggled to open her eyes. It looked like she was on something. I wasn't scared of too many things, but seeing my daughter like this had me shook.
"What's wrong with her?" I asked Brent.
He stooped down and checked her pulse and then her eyes with the flashlight on his phone.
"I think they gave her something to make her sleep. We need to get her to the hospital right now her pulse is too slow," he said.
I picked her up and ran to the SUV. We sped off to Emory hospital. Agent Lewis called ahead so they would be ready for us when we arrived. During the ride, I called Blaire. I was happy she finally answered.
"Baby, we have her! We have Maddie. She's safe," I said, trying to sound happy.
I didn't want her to know that there was a possibility that something might be wrong with our daughter.
"She's okay? They didn't touch her?", she asked worriedly.
"Doesn't look like it. She's very tired. I think they gave her something to make her sleep. We are in the police car on our way to the hospital to make sure everything is okay. Are you okay? Are you home yet?"
I was trying to not make her panic. I was worried about Maddie. I had no idea what they gave her and wasn't sure if she was really okay. I expected her to be home by now, but Nick didn't call me yet so I knew she wasn't. Blaire got quiet.
"Blaire? Baby, are you there?" I asked.
"I'm almost there. I'm on our street."
"Okay, good. Nick is waiting outside for you. Once we get to the hospital and settled I'll have Nick bring you. So, go eat something. I know you haven't eaten anything all day. And I want you to lay down for a while. I love you," I said.
I heard her sniffling and I knew something wasn't right. I knew this was a lot and I hoped she and our babies are okay.
"I'm sorry," she cried.
"There's nothing to be sorry about. This wasn't your fault. Please don't cry," I said, trying to calm her down.
"I'm home. I have to go," she said, her voice cracking.
Something definitely wasn't right. I knew Blaire would have asked me what hospital we were heading to instead of going home. I had to worry about her later. I had to make sure Maddie was okay. Brent kept checking on her. He said that her pulse was picking up. I instantly felt relieved. We went to the emergency room and the staff took her in immediately. I was told that I could come into the room while they checked her out. I watched as they hooked her up to the machines and drew blood. Then they told me to step out for a while.
I was pacing back and forth. My phone was buzzing like crazy. I took it out of my pocket. I stepped to an empty room I checked Nick's message first.
Nick: Your wife is home. She went straight to the bedroom. Did you find Maddie? Is she okay?
Me: Yeah, we have her. We are at the hospital. Emory. Make sure that my wife eats something. Keep an eye on her and my babies. I'm really worried about her.
Nick: Thank God, man. I got you. I'll call you if anything happens.
Then I checked a few other messages from my friends and family. My last one was from my dad.
Dad: I just landed. Where should I meet you?
Me: Maddie is with me. We're at Emory.
Dad: On my way.
I placed the phone down and went back to Maddie's room. She was still asleep. I sat next to my daughter and held her hand. I thanked God that she was okay. It could have gone so wrong. I was lucky to get my daughter back in hours compared to days or weeks and sometimes people never got their children back.
The nurse checked her vitals. So far, everything seemed to be fine. I was still worried if the people that took her did anything to her. I don't know what I was going to do if they hurt my little girl in any way. Then the doctor walked in. The tall older woman seemed calm so that put me at ease.
"Mr. Rowland? I'm Dr. Boyd," she said with her hand out.
"Yes." I nodded and shook her hand. "Is she going to be okay?"
"Yes. It seems like they gave her Rohypnol better known as roofies. She is still tired and groggy. It will take a few hours for it to wear off. There were no signs of physical or sexual abuse. She's very lucky. We are going to keep her overnight for observation. She'll be in her own private suite soon."
I felt like I could breathe again and like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. I was relieved that she didn't endure any abuse. I thanked the doctor and sat back down. I rubbed my face as the tears ran down my face. Today was the worst day of my life but somehow it turned around. My daughter was safe, my wife was safe at home resting, and my son was safe with his grandma.
The nurse came in and told me they're about to move her to a more private part of the hospital. I followed them there not wanting Maddie out of my sight ever again. After we got settled in the room, my son and Maddie's grandparents; Brandy, Brenton, Jen, and Matthew came in the room. Matt and Jen are her real father's parents. Maddie is fortunate to have 3 sets of loving grandparents. Matt was very difficult at first but now he accepts me as her father. He even accepts Aiden as his grandson.
As they were fawning over my little girl, my phone rang again. It was Nick. He said he would call if it was a problem so, I panicked. My heart dropped and I prayed she was okay.
"I thought she'd be downstairs to eat by now. She's been in the bedroom for too long. I'm a little worried. I called for her and I haven't got an answer. I even called her phone and texted her. Still nothing, so I came upstairs. I can hear the shower running. Who showers for over an hour? Do you think I should check?" he hesitated.
I had a bad feeling too. I just knew she'd be on her way to the hospital to see Maddie. Even if she was exhausted she would have been here by now.
"Yes. Go knock on the door," I said.
I heard him knocking and calling for her. He was banging loudly and yelling. There was no response from Bee and I began to worry even more.
"She's not answering. Something isn't right. I just feel it. What should I do?" he asked.
I could only think of the worst scenarios. What if she fell and hit her head? What if she lost the babies? Did she pass out? Was she even still alive?
"Knock down the door!" I panicked.
"Are you sure? She's possibly naked in there I don't want to disrespect her or you. She might have fallen asleep in the tub," he said nervously
"Naw. Not with all that banging. She's a light sleeper. Nick just kick down the fu*king door right now!" I yelled.
I heard a loud bang and then silence for a while. The moments of hearing nothing was driving me crazy.
"Damn! Blaire! Blaire get up! Come on Blaire get up! Sh!t!... P she's not looking good... I'm taking her to the hospital right now," he said.
"What's going on?! Hello! Nick! What's wrong with my wife?!" I yelled.
I didn't hear anything. Then I saw that he hung up and that made me lose it. I dropped my phone. I was so frustrated, devastated, and livid that I punched the wall. I didn't feel the pain from the impact. I was cussing and shouting. I didn't care who saw me. Then Brenton and Matt came out.
"What's going on, son?" Brenton asked.
"Something happened to Blaire. I don't know what- God, why is this happening to me!?" I yelled out in frustration.
I fell down on my knees. Blaire and the twins had to be okay. I don't think I could take any more bad news today. Matt bent down to help me up.
"Get up. You have to be strong for your family right now. Blaire and Maddie have been through too much so you need to stand up for them. You can break down later," Matt encouraged.
He gave me a firm handshake and then a hug. I really needed that. I picked up my phone and took a few deep breaths. I had to keep it together and be strong for my family right now. I went back to my daughter's room and grabbed my son. I just needed my kids close. They gave me the strength to keep going no matter what.
The room was a bit tense. I noticed the confusion on Jen's face. Matt and Brenton broke the silence by offering to get some coffee for us. Jen and Brandy were sitting quietly. I could tell Brandy was trying to keep it together as her fingers nervously tapped on the arm of the chair.
"You heard anything about my daughter? Is she okay? Is the baby okay?" Brandy asked nervously.
I shook my head and shrugged. I had no idea if they were okay. We didn't even get to tell everyone the good news about expecting twins. I guess that would be something positive for them to know with all the chaos going on.
"We found out it's twins today," I said.
They both gasped. Aiden shifted his head from the abrupt noise. Then he placed his head back on my chest and continued to sleep.
"That's great. Congrats!" Jen beamed.
"I just hope all three of them are okay," Brandy whispered.
That dampened my mood. There was a possibility that they weren't. I had to remain positive. After a few moments of silence, my phone was ringing again. It was Nick. I answered putting him on speaker.
"Meet us in ER," he said.
"What happened?" I asked.
"I found her passed out in the shower. She's still breathing, but I can't wake her up."
"Do you think she lost the babies?"
"I don't know. I didn't see any blood but I don't know how long she was like that. She's super red and has marks all over her body."
Jen and Brandy starting crying. I couldn't take seeing them so upset like that. I handed Aiden to Brandy and headed to the ER. I hoped that Blaire and our babies were okay. They had to be okay.