After breaking the news to his wife and eventually getting her to calm down long enough for Jake to come in and give her a sedative, Jesse picked her up off the floor and laid her in the bed. “Jesse, please…” The words died on her lips as her eyes began to close and her breathing became even. “I will find her,” he whispered in her ear as he kissed it and then fixed the covers around her. As he just stood there and watched her he silently cursed himself for leaving his wife and his baby girl. Had he just stayed there it wouldn’t have happened because Ellie would have been in the room with her parents and he would have watched over their sleeping forms like a hawk! Daring somebody to take a step threatening step to his girls.
“I’m so sorry,” he uttered, gripping the railings of the bed and dropping his head. “Baby girl, I’m sorry.”
In the midst of his moment, the door slid open and somebody walked in. “Dad I… Sorry, I didn’t know–”
“What is it Franklin?” Jesse asked gruffly.
“Uh… They want to speak with you.”
“For what? Did they find anything?” Jesse still hadn’t turned around. Giving his son his back was better than turning and letting him see the tears that he struggled to keep at bay, but failed.
Frankie took a step forward. “Not sure,” he lied. They found something. One of the officers found Ellie’s blanket that Jesse had specially made in New York for his girls, right outside an exit that led to the parking lot. And they went up to check the surveillance cameras and found something.
“Frankie, your mother is sleeping. Just tell me.”
“Ahem… They found her blanket and they are getting ready to take it to station to have check out. And they went upstairs to check the surveillance cameras.”
“Who was it?”
Frankie dropped his head. “I’m family. I wasn’t allowed to look at them.”
Jesse nodded. His son was right. In the beginning of a investigation only officers were allowed to view the tapes just in case there was something on there that the family should not be looking at. “Okay… Uh… Frankie I need you to stay with your mother until I come back.” Jesse wiped his face and then turned after a minute or two. “Don’t walk out of here until I return. You got that?”
“Yes sir,” Frankie answered fearfully as he went to take a seat by his mother’s bed.
After kissing his wife one more time, Jesse left the room and headed upstairs to where some of his men were. When he walked in the video stopped and they all fell silent. “Don’t do that. Play it. Let me see.”
“Chief, this ma–”
“Did I ask you anything?” He asked Officer Marcus. “Play the damn tape!”
“Yes sir.” Perry answered calmly. He gestured for Marcus to rewind it and let it play. After which Marcus vacated his seat and let Jesse take it.
The screen showed a man walking into the nursery and then moments later the nurse walking out. Sometime after that the same man was seen walking out the nursery holding something close to him. “Go back a few frames and then pause it,” Jesse ordered going to edge of his seat. Trying to get as close as he possibly could. Perry did as he was told and when the screen froze Jesse strained his eyes to see who this person was. “You have anything that shows the inside of the nursery?” This question was directed to Jake.
They made the switch and let the video play.
Once that video was finished, Thaddeus sighed and dropped his head. “Whoever this cat is knows the camera angles. He knows how to position himself so the camera would only catch his back and hardly part of his profile.”
Jesse nodded and let his tongue swipe the insides of his cheek. “This man has on a lab coat. And something red around his neck,” he explained scratching his chin. As much as it pained Jesse to do this, pulling possibly innocent men out… “Jake, I want you to get me every male doctor that works here. Muscular build and about Tad’s height. I want you to pull all records of any visiting doctors in the past 24 hours. I want their sign in and out times. If they signed out before you called the code, they could have gotten away but I know there has to be a way we can catch up with them.”
The door closed behind them and then a very annoying, but commanding voice said, “Mr. Martin, do as the Chief said. Lieutenant Perry you are to see over every aspect of this case.” Mayor Iris Blanco fixed her glasses as she stood there. Everything about her commanded respect and that was what she was given.
Everybody assembled in the small room turned. Jesse was the one to jump up and protest to her order. “No, I will see to everything. This is my team and this is my chi–”
“Exactly!” Iris barked. “Which is why you’re being taken off this case.”
“The hell I am!”
Iris pulled back and eyed him closely. “Chief Hubbard I will appreciate it if you watch your tone,” she warned and then dropped her pointed finger. “I’m going to give you five minutes to calm down and then I want you to meet me out in the hall. Understand…” When Jesse didn’t answer her, just looked away she put her hands on her hips. “That’s an order! Do you understand me Chief Hubbard?”
“Yea,” he muttered. “I gotcha.”
Mayor Blanco gave a firm nod before she turned to Jake and Perry and gestured for them to follow her. Once the door was close Jesse plopped into one of the vacant chairs. “This is some… Arrrgh!” He fussed. He couldn’t even put into words how pissed he was.
Tad gave his friend’s shoulders a supporting squeeze. “Everything will be alright. You got the best men on the case.”
It took more than five minutes to get Jesse calm enough to talk with the Mayor, but when he finally walked out she led him to an empty office and shut the door. “I stand by my reasons for pulling you.”
“Oh?” Jesse scoffed, crossing his arms.
“Yes. You’re are the case,” she reminded. “Look, Jesse if this was anybody else you better believe I would let you have your way with this… But you are not anybody else. You are that child’s father and—”
“And that’s all the more reason for me to be on this case. She’s mine!”
“No!” Iris barked getting in his face. “That is all the more reason for me to snatch your ass off this case… Jesse, I understand. I get it! You want to be the one to put this bastard away for what he’s done to your family, but I can’t allow it. You will only become a distraction and we can’t have that. Time is precious for this baby and right now we need all of those men focus to be on getting her back alive and in the same shape she was taken out of here in.”
Jesse shook his head. He wanted to more than put that bastard away. No, he wanted to put that son of a b*tch out of his misery! “I want the same damn thing.” He said instead.
“I know… But one thing looks funny and you could very well do something that will cause you and Angela more pain. One thing out of the way, one tick and this baby could be killed.” She made him look at her. “Let’s not make this one of those cases. Let’s not make you and Angela bury this baby instead of laying her in her crib where she belongs.”
Jesse dropped his head. He didn’t feel he would become a distraction, but then again what did he know. For all he knew he could very break on the next day.
“Jesse, please… Do as I say. Be with your family, especially Angie and you let us handle everything else. Please.” She touched his shoulder. “For the sake of your little girl. Step back.”
Wait! Was Iris being nice to Jesse? WTH! lol.