Angel’s Crossing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 11 (v.1) - The Search for Ava

Submitted: June 29, 2020

Reads: 13

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 29, 2020

A A A

A A A

“What do you mean she’s missing? How did that happen? Where’s Joyce?” I ask frantically as I rise from my chair and walk over to him.

 

“I was canvasing the area by the shelter and the café to see if anyone saw someone taking pictures. There were cop cars and an ambulance in front of the shelter. I saw Miles talking with Charlie and Piper and got a real bad feeling. Miles saw me and motioned for me to meet him at the café.

 

When we got there, he told me Joyce had come to pick up Ava from her daycare early, but when they went to get her from their playground she wasn’t there. The police arrived and asked her to come with them to the station to file a report. Next thing he knows, they’re called out to the shelter because a body was found behind the dumpster. It was Joyce.”

 

There’s silence in the room until David slams his fist on the table and gets up from his chair. He lets out a yell and is pacing back and forth with both his hands, on top of his head. Corey and I are staring at each other. I can see the tears start forming in his eyes and the guilt he’s feeling for not being there to protect them.

 

I can feel everyone’s emotions in the room. Their anger and sadness over Joyce’s death and fear over Ava’s disappearance. I can’t move. I can feel the anger and rage building inside me and all I can do now, all I want to do now, is act. After a few minutes, Miles walks into the office and looks around at everyone. As soon as he enters the room, his eyes land on me. He walks over to me and hands me a piece of paper.

 

“This was folded up in Joyce’s hand. I took it before anyone saw it.” I opened the paper and I could feel my blood start to boil. I read the note aloud, so everyone can hear.

 

“Come find us. It’s time to be a family.” I crumble the piece of paper in my hands. I turn to David and see him looking at me asking me what to do next with his eyes. His eyes are dark with vengeance. Mine are darker. I walk back to my chair and before I sit, I start barking out orders. My voice is calm but commanding.

 

“They were cops.” I say to David. Right away he knows what I’m asking him to do. He falls back into his chair and starts typing furiously at his laptop. I look at Kinsie.

 

“I need a name.” She nods at me and continues her search for a doctor and his wife, the ones who took me and are somehow connected with Ava’s abduction and Joyce’s death. I turn back to Corey and just look at him.

 

“Right.” He nods at me and leaves. I don’t need to vocalize what I need him to do. He knows me well enough to know what I’m going to ask of him. I turn to Miles next.

 

“We need some cover. Your friends can’t be in our way.” He nods and leave to return to the station. I turn to look at my grandfather, who has knowing smirk on his face. He then turns to my father.

 

“She’ll need reinforcements. Only the best and most trusted.” He tells him. My father nods and looks at me with both understanding of what I’m about to do, as well as confusion as to how it is I know what I’m doing.

 

“We’ll make some calls.” He turns to my brothers and they each pull out their phones sporting that same confused look as my dad. Emilio looks at Lucas and Gabriel.

 

“Boys?” They nod at him and take their phones out to contact their men. My mother then looks at Juliana, Lisette, and Roxy.

 

“Ladies.” She says calmly. “We need to prepare.” That directive usually means running to the pharmacy to grab medical supplies and calling in our ‘unofficial’ family doctors to the house, just in case.

 

I sit back down in my chair and close my eyes. I need to breathe and focus. When I open them, I look at the scene unfolding around me. David and Kinsie are focused on their research. My brothers, Lucas, and Gabriel are on the phone calling in their associates. My grandfather is studying me. He and I stare at each other for a few minutes and then I look at my laptop and start typing.

 

After a few minutes, I hear Kinsie gasp.

 

“Holy crap!” She says. Everyone looks at her waiting for her to continue. I look at her knowingly and David continues working on his laptop with a smirk. He knows, too.

 

“What?! Did you find him?” Evan asks.

 

“N-no.” She says nervously. “A message came through. Someone else is looking for Ava and they said anyone who has information needs to come forward with it or suffer the same fate as the person who took her or anyone who gets in the way of us finding her. I need to respond to let them know I’m looking too.”

 

“Wait. How did you get that message? Do they know you’re looking for her?” Lucas asks.

 

“I’m searching on the dark web right now for any chatter around the time Ava was taken while I’m waiting for the search for the doctor to finish. The message went out to every message board out on the dark web. And the person who sent this message isn’t someone to mess with.”

 

“How do you know? Who sent the message?”

 

“I don’t know who it is exactly, but I know the handle. This person has only logged onto the dark web a few times with similar messages. At first people thought this person was a joke and ignored them. But after they posted pictures of bodies and recordings or torture sessions, nobody ignores their request.” She looks to me. “They’ll know I’m looking and if I don’t say anything and share what I know, they’ll come after me.”

 

“What if it’s a trap?” Alex asks. “What’s the person’s handle? Maybe David can find out who it’s.”

 

“Viper.” David says not looking up from his laptop. “Not someone to mess with like Kinsie said.” I look at them and I can feel my grandfather’s smirk that I find most annoying displayed on my face.

 

“It isn’t a trap and you don’t need to respond.” I say calmly. They all just look at me confused. “Kinsie, I’ll need you to monitor the message boards for responses. And I still need the doctor’s name.” Kinsie looks uneasy but sits back down and does what I ask. Corey comes into the room holding a small duffel bag and sliver briefcase. He puts them off to the side and takes a seat at the table. “You got everything?” He nods. Just then, David smacks the table and shouts.

 

“Son of a b*tch! I found them!”

 

“Good.” I look at my grandfather. “They’ll need to be collected.” He nods and whispers something to my father. My father gets their location from David and gives it to Alex, who quickly gets on a call and heads out with Lucas. Kinsie then chimes in with her own news.

 

“I found the doctor!” She says. “He worked in the same office as your pediatrician. He and his wife lost their daughter, Sara, a couple years after she was born in a freak car accident. The wife was driving. She had just been released from the psychiatric ward just before you were taken the first time. Then she went back in after you were found and released about a year before you were taken the second time.” Then her face turns grim.

 

“What is it?” I ask.

 

“She committed suicide shortly after they found you. Apparently, she drove her car off a cliff, but they never found her body.”

 

“Check her financials.” I tell her. “Those men she hired had to have been paid somehow. I want their names.” I turn to Corey. “We should probably pay our respects to the good doctor, don’t you think?” He nods and gets up to leave. I look at Kinsie and she looks nervous as she’s typing. I lean over to her, place my hand on her arm, and whisper in her ear, “Do not worry, Eris.” I call her by the handle she uses on the dark web. “You are safe.” She looks at me wide-eyed and nods.

 

I get up from my chair and walk out to our patio. I needed some air. I stand at the edge of the patio looking into our backyard. It’s so peaceful and quite out here, which is a stark contrast to what is going through my mind. This was my fault. I brought this evil into Joyce’s and Ava’s lives. They were already going through so much and don’t deserve what has happened.

 

In the short time that I’ve known them, they’ve become an important part of my life. Joyce was my sister and Ava, my daughter. I promised them I would always protect them. I failed. As I stand there, the tears I had been holding back the past few hours started falling down the sides of my face. I need to let them fall, so I can focus on getting Ava back and taking care of this threat once and for all. I feel someone come up behind me and pull me into a hug from behind.

 

“Tell me what to do.” Evan says to me with his face buried in my hair. I turn in his arms and pull him closer to me.

 

“Be my strength.” I whisper to him.

 

“Always.” We stand there for some time, me crying into his chest and him holding me tight. Once it’s out of my system, I wipe the last tears from my face and look up at him.

 

“Evan, I need to prepare you.” He looks into my eyes and strokes my hair with one hand. “I’m not the same person you were holding hands with in the hospital. You may not like who I’ve become.” He puts his forehead on mine.

 

“I’m not the same person either.” He tells me. “I know, however, that no matter who we’ve both turned into, you’re still the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.” He smiles at me and there’s a sparkle in his eyes. He gives me a sweet kiss and holds me close. “I got you. Always and forever.”

 

We walk back into the office and David stands.

 

“Miles, Alex, and Lucas are at the warehouse with our guests.” He says. “Corey is on his way with the doctor.” I nod.

 

“I’ll be right back. I need to change.” I head out of the room and go upstairs to change my clothes. I put on an all-black ensemble, down to my boots. It’s a stark contrast to the floral romper I just took off. I pull my hair back into a pony-tail, grab my black leather gloves and head back to my grandfather’s office.

 

Once I enter the room, I get the duffel bag and place them on the conference table. I open it and pull out a few my favorite toys, my two pistols and my two favorite daggers. As I’m pulling them out piece by piece and strapping them on to my body, everyone’s eyes go wide. Everyone except my grandfather and David.

 

“What the f--?" Austin starts to say before someone slaps the back of his head. I just look at him and grin. Once I’m ready, I close the duffel bag and throw it over my shoulder. David, grabs his laptop from the table and we head out the door. Kinsie stays back to keep searching for more information about the people who took and Ava while my grandfather, father, and Emilio also stay behind to help coordinate things from home. The rest of us get into the SUV and head over to the warehouse.

 

My grandfather owns several warehouses outside of town. This is where he handles his more private business meetings. As we approach the warehouse, I see Alex, Lucas, and Corey standing outside the door. There are a few other men who work for my family and the Cortez family with them. I pull out a smaller pouch from my duffel bag and get out of the car. As I walk by them into the warehouse, Alex and Lucas take in the weapons I’m brandishing on my person.

 

“What the hell?” Alex says looking back at Austin, who shrugs. Corey just laughs at them.

 

“Just wait.” He continues laughing as he walks into the warehouse behind me.

 

We walk towards the end of the warehouse where there is a staircase leading to the basement. Waiting for us at the door is Miles. He opens the door and smiles at me.

 

“I’ll be outside.” He says. I nod and walk into the room. Everyone falls in behind me and closes the door. The three men are sitting in the middle of the room with their hands and feet tied to their chairs. There is a hood placed on each of their heads. I place my pouch on the table next to them and walk back over so I’m facing them. Alex, Lucas, and Corey take their places behind our guests and remove their hoods. Everyone else stands off to the side to watch.

 

Our three guests blink their eyes to adjust to the lighting in the room when I remove their hoods. As soon as they’re able, they focus their attention on me. I stand there staring them down with my hands across my chest.

 

I look first to the doctor. He’s an older gentleman, not too much older than my father, but looks much more worn down from life. He looks nervously around at everyone in the room, but when his eyes find mine, horror comes over his face.

 

“I-It’s y-you.” He stutters and blinks rapidly as if he was seeing a ghost.


© Copyright 2020 C.B. Rose. All rights reserved.

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