ENGAGING JAYDEN

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GAGE


I sped my way through downtown and crossed Monroe bridge. Seeing that the road turned into a one way I pressed my foot on the gas pedal and cut off the car before the merge. The loud horn carried for about ten seconds letting me know just how pissed off he was at me. The speed limit turned to twenty and my adrenaline went through the roof as the car in front of me began to slow down. I gripped the wheel making my knuckles turn white. I clenched my jaw. I would have gone around them but there was a median dividing the two lanes with trees and shit. I’ve never wanted to ram into another car and push them out of my way so fucking bad in my life. I rode his ass for a minute before he put his signal on. Never thought I’d be so eager to receive the small amount of relief that washed through me just then.

He honked his horn at me during his turn as I skirted his car by the skin of my teeth. The car behind me tried to ride my ass and I floored it; leaving the pack of cars behind growing smaller in my rearview mirror. I flew up the hill and crossed through a yellow light.

With my phone synced to the blue tooth I answered knowing it was Abel. “Yeah?”

I wove in and out of traffic, ignoring the honks and people flipping me off out their window. Frankly, I drove like an asshole. But I didn’t care. Jayden had been kidnapped by Jamie and who knew what he had planned to do to her. I pushed all the scenarios aside because if I didn’t I wasn’t sure if I could keep holding on to the sliver amount of control I did have. If I totaled the Mercedes I’d never make it there.

“Wait hold on.″ The silence lasted for only a few minutes but it felt like an eternity. I heard Abel typing away on his computer. “Fuck...”

“What?” It was more of a demand than a question.

“Just give me another second.”

I gripped the steering wheel harder.

“I don’t think he’ll take her there. I just found a cabin on Mt. Spokane that his parent’s own. My guess...That’s where he’s taking her.”

“Send me the location.”

Once my phone pinged I reprogrammed the GPS.

“Does the Chief know about the cabin?”

“I don’t know. I just found it. I just sent him a text with the address. I used a satellite and pulled up the cabin. There’s a blue sports car parked out front.”

I glanced at my phone. Sixteen minutes. My arrival time was sixteen minutes. So far, it had taken me seventeen to get where I was which wasn’t bad considering I had to reroute. So by my calculations I could probably shave off nearly four minutes if everything went my way.

“I hope you don’t get fired for this Abel.”

I heard him punching away on his laptop. “Don’t sweat it man. The cops were sent to Jamie’s house. He wasn’t there but they caught his mother and his brother trying to remove a bunch of boxes from his house. One’s filled with videos.” Abel was silent for a minute. There was no mistaking the apprehension in his tone. “Be careful when you get to the cabin bro— Ok?”

“I will.” I concentrated on the road.

“He has a gun and...I don’t want you getting shot.”

I didn’t say anything.

“Mom will ream my ass for it, ya know?”

I huffed a smile as he tried to make light of it. “Ya— I know.”

“Cops are on their way to the cabin. Not sure how you managed it but you’re about three minutes ahead of them.”

That didn’t make me feel any better. Right now she was all alone with Jamie. And who knew what he was doing to her right now. My stomach lurched and I bit the bile down. There was no time for that shit. She had to be okay. Knowing the fear that consumed her angered me more and I wanted to punch something more than ever. I held back because punching the steering wheel going eighty-five miles-per-hour would only end in catastrophe.

Seeing a pack of cars ahead I slowed down and wove through the best I could. I saw I had another call coming and I saw that it was my mom.

“Mom’s callin’. Do me a favor and call her will ya? Come up with something and tell her I’ll call her later.”

“Yeah. I’ll call you when I find out more.” Abel hung up.

After carefully going through two red lights, I made it up north. I was about to hit Hwy two when the light turned red. I was three cars back and my skin was crawling. Seeing that there were no oncoming cars I rolled out and inched forward. The two cars that were in front of me were shaking their heads; one of them rolled down their window to yell at me. I paid them no mind and seeing that there was an opening on the cross traffic I punched the gas and turned onto the highway. Luckily there were only a handful of cars which made it easy to weave through traffic since it was three lanes. Two lanes were merging on from the freeway and got over when I saw a car merging. Seeing the stop light ahead Siri began talking to me.

“In one thousand feet, take a right turn on Day mount Spokane Road.”

I took the corner and concentrated on where I was going next.

I checked the phone. Eight minutes. I was glad I had shaved some time off. The road was straight with only a few cars. I’ve never wove in and out of traffic so much in my entire life. I went through the round-about and took to the twisty road.

I was thankful to hear Siri. “In five-hundred feet turn left onto Jenson Rd. Before turning down the dirt road I slowed down and avoided the bumps as best I could. Some of it washed out but thankfully it wasn’t bad enough that I’d get the car stuck. I twisted my way up the hill. How fucking long was this road? I grabbed my phone and saw that I had four minutes.

Great! There was no possible way for me to shave any time off.

Finally, I reached the end and saw a heavy cattle gate locked headed. I leaned my seat back in case the airbag went off as I sped up, careful not to fishtail as I rammed into the gate.

The airbag went off, barely catching my cheek and the sound of Jayden’s Mercedes' front end crunched upon contact. Steam rolled from the hood and I knew I blew her radiator. I didn’t slow down and a minute later a small cabin came into view. I pulled up to the front door and hopped out of the car. I found that the front door was locked. I heard Jayden scream and my heart leaped with joy. She was alive. I hadn’t been too late. Stepping back I kicked the door as hard as I could near the door jam. Three kicks in it busted open.

“Jayden?”

She screamed my name and I heard Jamie yelling at her. I ran towards her screaming and flew down the steps. I wove through the floor to ceiling shelving and made a beeline for where the light was flooding from the room ahead.

I entered the room just as Jamie had Jayden by the hair and slapped her across the face. As Jayden crumpled to the floor Jamie turned to me. I rushed him; wrapping my arm around him I took him to the floor. The air rushed out of him with a groan as I landed partially on top of him. If he had landed any punches I hadn’t felt any. I sat up and curled my right hand into a tight ball I swung only to feel a crunch. I wasn’t sure as to what broke but I knew something had. He went limp and his arms dropped to his sides. I knew he was out. I didn’t care. I’m not sure how many times my fist connected to his face. All I know is that there was a lot of blood.

Suddenly, an arm hooked my elbow and I was pulled off Jamie by two cops. One was hovering over Jayden checking her pulse.

One cop let go of me and checked Jamie’s condition. The other released me and I couldn’t comprehend anything he was saying to me as he stepped back. I scrambled to Jayden and scooped her up.

“Jayden?” I tapped her cheek and tried walking her. “Jayden, baby wake up. Wake up, baby.”

A second later and her eyes fluttered open.

I had never seen a more beautiful sight.

I sighed with relief.

When I caressed her cheek she smacked my hand away. “Get away from me.” She screamed. She clawed at my arm and tried to get away.

I held her tighter, “Baby, it’s me.” Instantly she froze. I pressed my forehead to hers. “It’s ok— You’re safe.”

“Gage?” She choked.

I hated that she sounded tired and completely out of it. “I’m here.” I kissed her. First, it was her forehead. Then her cheek followed by her lips. Her body shook as she burst into tears.

“Shhh...I got you, baby. I got you. You’re safe now.” I couldn’t hold back my tears. I had never come so close to losing someone I love. I pressed my forehead to hers. I didn’t look up when her hand cupped my cheek. “You had me so worried, Jayden.”

I pulled Jayden closer against me and she wrapped her arms around my neck as the cop tried waking Jamie. He turned his head to his shoulder and called it in; requesting for an ambulance. I noticed the other two cops were frozen in place as they scanned the room.

And for the first time I saw what they were staring at.

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