After comforting his wife and promising her that this would only take a few minutes Jesse led her into the living room where Perry, Kelly, Pete, Cass and now Frankie waited. Once Angie was seated Frankie moved to let Jesse sit next to her. Exactly where he would always be. Beside her. “Alright Perry… Go ahead.”
“Are you sure Chief?” He asked, raising a brow.
Jesse nodded and took Angie’s hand. “Yea, I’m sure.”
“Mrs. Hubbard, do you know Kevin Starks?”
“Yes I do,” she answered curiously. “But, what exactly does this have to do with Dr. Starks?” Jesse hadn’t told her anything except Perry was going to ask her couple of questions. Angie didn’t know what else he had to ask, she answered each and every one of his questions days ago.
Perry raised his head. “We have reasons to believe he has your baby.”
“What? No, no!” She said. “That’s crazy! Kevin and I may have not ended things on a good note, but he wouldn’t do this,” she defended. “He wouldn’t… I know he wouldn’t.”
“Well Mrs. Hubbard in order for us to feel the same way you do, I need you to answer a few questions about him.”
Angie shook her head. “Why can’t you just take my word for it?”
“Because this man isn’t giving us any reason’s to take your word.” Jesse took her hand. “Look, we’re not 100% sure Kevin Starks has Ellie, but we have to keep in mind that he is the only person who was asking for you. He’s the one that attacked Kelly to get information on your whereabouts.”
“He was asking about me?” She asked. “Is Kelly here? Kelly?” She called.
Kelly cleared her throat. “Right here,” Kelly replied, coming a little a closer. “And it’s true… I was attacked that same day you were released from my care. I was getting ready to leave out for the night when Kevin came from under my desk… He started choking me and hitting me and asking where you were. When I didn’t give him anything he started tried to… rape me.”
Angie’s face fell. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I was afraid and I’m sorry… I know had I said something sooner this wouldn’t have happened, but I… I just didn’t want to relive that night. I was afraid he would come after me and do to me what he did to his mother.”
“I thought you were my friend! I thought you cared about me!” Angie yelled standing back up. “I wouldn’t have done that to you. Had somebody came to me wanting your information, I wouldn’t have held out on telling the police everything I knew!”
“What took you so long to come forward? Huh? What did you think I suffered enough!?”
Jesse stood between the two women. “Alright, come on now. Please.”
Everybody was now standing ready to jump when Angie jumped. Jesse may have been a strong man, but there was only so much he could do when Angie was as pissed as a taunted bull. There was only so much holding back he could do.
“Mrs. Hubbard, will you answer a couple of questions for us? Please,” Perry was the first to speak up. “I know you’re going through a lot and hearing this can’t make things any easier, but it will help us.”
When Angie didn’t make a move, just stood there breathing enough for them all, Jesse lowered his head. “Tell me why you were so convinced that Kevin wasn’t involved,” Jesse pleaded. “Why were you so quick to defend him?”
Angie sighed. “Because I… I just couldn’t imagine him doing this. I know he was angry with me awhile back for having him committed, but I thought with years he would understand that my only intentions were to help him. Save him from himself.”
“Were you and Starks involved in a relationship?” Perry asked cautiously.
“No! I mean in a way… I mean… He was involved with me, but I wasn’t with him.” It probably didn’t make a lick of sense to anybody, but it was the truth.
“Do you mind explaining how that is possible?” Perry replied.
“Can’t get no simpler than what she just said,” inquired somebody behind the group.
Everybody except for Angie looked toward the door. Perry who was the most shocked of them all looked from the intruder to his boss and then back over. Jesse told him about this man, but to actually see him… Well damn, he thought. “Who are you?” he asked though it was pretty damn obvious.
Angie didn’t have to ask nor have her sight to know who the person was. She recognize that voice and cologne anywhere. “That’s my ex-husband and Cassandra’s father, Jacob Foster,” she replied.
As Jacob closed the door and came closer to the group, Jesse stood. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m here to help,” Jacob answered, wrapping his arms around Cass and kissing her forehead. “Cass called me the day Ellie went missing and we’ve been talking every day since. When we talked yesterday she told me the baby hadn’t been found yet I decided to come down sooner.” Jacob explained. He had planned on coming down that weekend, but after hearing from Cass he knew that would be too late. So dropping everything he was doing back in Paris he caught the earliest flight out.
Angie stood and soon Jacob came to give her a friendly hug. “Thank you for coming,” she whispered.
He pulled back and thumbed away her tears. “I should have came down sooner. Angie, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. You’re here now…”
“You’re right and now that I’m here I’m going to help you all find her,” Jacob said to her and Jesse. Jesse had been standing beside Angie the whole time. “Now earlier,” he started, turning to the Perry guy. “You wanted her to explain to you how it was possible for him to be involved and not her. It really doesn’t get any simpler than what she just said, but let me give it a go. It was no mystery that Kevin had a thing for Angie. Hell you’d have to be dead, deaf, dumb or stupid to not know it. But just as much as he liked her, hell probably loved her, he respected her enough to not cross the line and put her in a bad spot. Or so we thought,” he hinted. “Of course Angie never felt that way about him. She said herself she looked at him as a brother and nothing more.”
Jacob nodded as he took the seat on the other side of Angie. “Yes, loved. We didn’t know it at first, but this Starks guy had some sick obsession when it came to Angie.”
“Before he was committed, they went to his home and saw he had a mini shrine as well as some of my clothes. Being a doctor you learn to keep extra outfits stashed away because you never know what’s going to happen. I only noticed a few of my things missing, s shirt or a skirt. Nothing big! I thought I took them home and Jacob washed and misplaced them. I had some missing scrubs, but I figured the ones that were missing were the ones that ha been horribly soiled that I just threw them away… When we went to his home we discovered that all of my missing clothes were in his possession.”
Angie nodded. “There were loads and loads of pictures of Cass and I running the streets. He even had a picture of us as a family only his head was replaced with Jacobs and they too were hanging on the walls. My scrubs, he had them folded and in a dresser. The room was very similar to the room Jacob and I shared. There were journals laying around and each one of them had entries pertaining to me. Some were reality and others were so out there it was scary.”
Perry and Jesse shared a look before letting Angie continue. “Okay tell me when things started to change between you guys.”
“Jacob and I had a huge fight one day and despite me being this ticking time bomb I went into the hospital. Back then instead of me trying to clear my head by taking a walk or just sitting alone somewhere, I lost myself in my work. It was easier to do that than to deal with what was happening back at home,” she explained. “Anyway, when I uh… I walked into the hospital everybody started asking me what was wrong, why was there when I had told them the very day before that I was taking the week off. I brushed them off and went to my office with strict orders that I was not disturbed. Kevin didn’t listen.”
“Angie, you okay?”
“I’m fine!” She snapped throwing herself into her chair and picking up a pen. “I thought I said I didn’t want to be disturbed?”
Ignoring her little question, request, whatever it was Kevin claimed the chair across from her desk. “If that’s your definition of fine, I’d hate to see what great looks like,” he teased. He reached over and put his hand on top of hers. She raised her head. “Come on, this is Kevin you’re talking too.”
Angie stared at him. He never gave her any reasons to not trust him. Without that in mind she opened up to him about how Jacob had some gig not far from the city and had not only forgot to call her, but forgot that she made plans for their special night. Said when he came in well into the morning he reeked of cheap perfume and was drunk and hadn’t even apologized when she brought everything to his attention.
“Kevin, I’m tired,” she said with a sigh as she dropped her head. “He’s been doing this for weeks and… and in the beginning it really hadn’t bothered me, but now…” She covered her eyes. “It does and I don’t think I can take this anymore. It’s not the fact that he’s doing what he loves to do. I knew before I married him the jobs he did and all of that. What bothers me is the fact is he’s starting neglect things. Not taking care of things at home. Possibly having an affair!” Moments later she looked up. “What am I going to do?”
Kevin stood and went around the desk. “Come here,” he mumbled opening his arms. Angie reluctantly stood and went into his arms. “You’re going to dry those eyes and do what needs to be done,” he soothed, rubbing her back. “You tell him what you just told me. Let him know you tired and if he can’t get his act together then you will have no choice but to leave him.”
Angie buried her head into the nap of his neck and sighed. “I have no other choice,” she whispered.
Whereas Angie only sighed and whispered. In Kevin’s mind she was kissing him and not wanting her to feel as if she was alone in this, he pulled back and cupped her face.
“What are you doing?” Angie asked low.
Kevin’s gaze slipped down to her luscious lips before leaning over and capturing them into a heated kiss.
Shocked as all get out it took Angie a few seconds to realize what had happened and a few seconds more to realize what was still happening. He was leaning her against her desk and running his hand along her thigh.
“Angie,” he groaned, gripping her thigh roughly.
Angie pushed at his chest to separate them. “K-Kev,” she mumbled into his lips. When he didn’t let her go she pushed him harder until he fell back against her chair. “Why did you do that?!” She fussed, dashing around her desk and swiping her lips.
“It should be obvious Angie…”
“Like Jacob said, I had never given him any reasons to think that there could be anything other than friendship between us.”
“What happened after that? Did things get back to normal?”
“I damn near beat it into his skull that that couldn’t happen ever again. I told him that even though I was mad with Jacob, he was still my husband and I wasn’t willing to take a step on the wild side. Even if he was doing it. Kevin seemed disturbed by it, but he said he understood. He just had to get that off his chest because it’d been eating him up since he and I got closer. After that we tried to act like nothing happened, but it was impossible. Every moment between us was awkward. Then one day he just stopped coming into work. It was like he fell off the face of the earth… Weeks later out of the blue he popped back up. He came to the hospital and cornered me saying he needed help.”
“Help with what?”
Angie shrugged her shoulders. “He kept saying he did something to his mother and he needed my help. He said he didn’t want to get in trouble and he wanted me to help him stay out of it… Then he started twitching and shaking and looking around. Mumbling something about stop talking to him and kept saying shut-up, get away. Before I could do or say anything else the guards came up asking if there was a problem and if he was bothering me. And just like that he straightened up and walked away,” she finished in disbelief.
“So he had a history of mental problems?”
“We didn’t know anything about it until after the incident. They went deep, deep into his past and discovered that when he was younger he experienced some harsh things.”
“You said he kept mentioning his mother and earlier Mrs. Owens said something about she didn’t want him doing to her what he did to his mother. What did he do to his mother?”
“He didn’t do anything to his mother.”
“But you just said— “
“We thought he did, but the more we dug into the his file we realized he didn’t do it. At that time everybody was already convinced he did.”
“Okay, then what was it that you found?”
“When he about 6 or 7, his mother was tortured and killed. His father made him watch the whole thing and dared him to say anything to anybody about it. The woman’s sister filed a missing persons report when she couldn’t get in touch with her and that’s when they found her and found Kevin in same house with her. He couldn’t say anything because if he did his father would do to him what he did to his mother, so he kept quiet about. Days later they found his and he put the blame all on him. And the more he heard it the more he started believing it was his fault. That he was the reason his mother was dead. His aunt took him in after and sought out help for him…”
“So when he came to you?”
“Something must have triggered those flashbacks, those thoughts.”
Jacob nodded. “After that incident she recommended that he was taken somewhere to get help. I wanted them to lock his ass up because the fact that he came to her the way he did didn’t sit right with me… Anyway the man was nowhere to be found. They searched his home, that’s when they found the shrine and everything else. They went to his aunt. They searched every place they knew and still no sign of him.”
“Sometime into the search he called me at the hospital. He was fussing and asking me why I wouldn’t help him, why did I get him in trouble when he asked to keep him out of it. That’s when I told him I was only trying to get him some help. He needed somebody’s help.”
“Angie, if you love me as much as you say you do, you would tell them to back off!” Kevin yelled into the phone. “Help me by doing that.”
Angie was about to say she didn’t anything about loving him, but figured right now saying she didn’t would only make matters worse. Clearing her throat she stared across the office. “No, if you loved me as much as you claim, you would get help… For yourself… For me.”
“Don’t… Don’t use that psych-babble shit on me! Angie, please,” he begged. “Just tell them to back off… Angie I’m begging you.”
“Before I could say anything else he hung up. I remembered later on that day when I was with Charles, who was also a Chief of Police, he would speak on fishing people out and what tactics they had to use. I knew at that moment the only way I could get him the help he needed was to… fish him out.”
“Which I thought I was crazy,” Jacob muttered.
Angie turned her head in his direction. “It worked didn’t it?” She asked, though she knew damn well it did.
“Yea, but you put yourself on the line.”
“What did you do?” Jesse asked, curious as to how in the hell Angie coaxed this man out of hiding.
Angie turned her head back in the direction of Jesse. “I went to the police and told them what happened and then told them what I had in mind. They thought it was a great idea but the fact that I was using myself as bait they didn’t like so much. But I knew I was the only one that could make it happen. He didn’t trust anybody as much as he trusted me… After about a week they agreed to make it happen and it was perfect timing too because he called and asked me if I did as I was told.”
“I did. They have promised to back off just as long as I help you,” she lied, squeezing her eyes shut and breathing as calmly as she possibly could.
“Help me? Angie, I don’t need help.”
Angie chuckled. “Humor me,” she said softly. “Meet me at the Marriott,” she requested. “Let me see you for myself and once that’s done I’ll tell them you are fine.”
“What about Jacob? Don’t you think your big bad husband would get mad at your for meeting me at a hotel?”
Angie scoffed for measure. “Jacob who?” She asked. “Jacob and I had another fight so I could careless about his feelings towards what I’m going to do. I’m a grown woman with a mind of my own. Simple as that.”
“It took a little more convincing but he soon agreed to meet me. We were set to meet up at 9 that evening. I showed up an hour early and saw they had everything set up. There was an orderly from the ward hiding under the bed, the other one was in the large walk in closet and a police officer and a doctor hiding out on the balcony. Jacob and a couple of others were in the next room waiting… At 9 sharp, Kevin arrived. The minute I turned to greet him I gasped! He looked so different! It was so obvious that he hadn’t eaten nor slept in days. His clothes were worn. He just looked a mess.” No other way to explain that.
“I thought you weren’t going to show,” Kevin teased, his shoulder jumping a bit.
Angie walked from the window. “I keep my word.” As she spoke she resisted the urge to not cringe. She promised him she called the guys off and she just wanted to see him and she was doing just the opposite. “You uh… You look good,” she lied again.
Kevin chuckled and waved her off. “I look like hell… But it’s only because I uh… I’m coming down with something. Yea, I think I’m getting sick.”
Angie nodded. “Well I hope you get that taken care of soon. Catch it before it catches you… I uh… Well now that I see that you are doing good, I’m going to go on home.”
“Wait!” Kevin yelped, blocking her exit. “Sit down. Come on we have this nice hotel room to ourselves, let’s just relax… Talk. Hey, you know I’m a good listener. Why don’t you tell me what Jacob has done this time?”
Feeling all that bravado she had coming in, going out Angie started walking around. “I don’t want to talk about him. Not right now.”
“Why are you acting like that?”
She looked over her shoulder and noticed the distance she tried to put between then he had closed. If he reached out he would be able to grab the back of her shirt. She turned. “Like what?”
“Like your nervous or scared,” he told her. “Angie, what’s going on?”
Out the corner of Angie’s eye she saw the police officer out on the balcony give her the signal. “I’m just not… I guess I’m more disturbed by my fight with Jacob than I thought,” she lied, making her way toward the bathroom. “Forgive me,” she muttered, rushing into the bathroom and locking the door behind her.
“Angie!” He called walking to the door and knocking. “It’s okay. You need a minute, I understand.”
Before Angie could reply she heard stuff being knocked over and hollering. “Angie! Angie!” She heard Kevin yell. “Angie, please!”
She stayed leaning against the door, listening to all the commotion until there was a knock on the door. “You can come out Dr. Hubbard,” the officer announced. The minute she opened the door and walked out, Jacob rushed to her and wrapped his arms tightly around her.
“I thought you loved me! Angie, you said you loved me!” Kevin fussed, as the orderly started dragging him out the room. “You lied to me, Angie! You lied to me!” He continued.
Perry looked at the chief wondering if they were thinking the same thing. Mrs. Hubbard actually played as bait!
“Wow,” Perry started, making some more notes on his pad. After a minute or two he looked back up.
“I know earlier you said you were trying to help him, but with all you have shared and all that Mrs. Owens has come to us with, I’m starting to think in Kevin Starks mind it was the opposite,” Jesse finally answered.
Perry shrugged. “Or he hasn’t gotten over you in a way and he’s trying to get you.”
“By taking our baby?”
“He’s using Ellie as bait,” Frankie interjected. “Pop’s didn’t you say there was a guard at mom’s door that same day? What if he had intentions on getting her then, but saw the guard and decided to get her another way? What if he figured if he had the baby you would have no choice but to give mom up?”
“Why hasn’t he made any demands? That’s what has me wondering,” he admitted. The call should have come through by now.
Before anybody could mull things over there was a knock at the door and seconds later Brot poked his head in. “Are we interrupting?”
“No, come on in.”
Nodding, Brot and Officer Marcus walked in. “We uh… we have that information you asked for.”
Jesse came to his feet. “Frankie, stay with your mother. Jacob, come with me.” The two men walked to the door where Brot and Officer Marcus waited. “Picture included?” He asked, getting a nod. “Let Jacob identify him first.”
Brot nodded and handed the folder to Jesse’s look-a-like. Jacob took one look. “Yep, that’s him.”
Jesse looked next and soon after slapped his hand against the door. “Son of a b*tch!” He yelled. “Son. Of. A. B*tch!” He yelled again. Though his gut told him before he even came down to Angie, he had hoped for her sake things would have been different. She looked hurt beyond words when he and Perry accused her friend of doing this.
“Jesse, what is it?” Angie asked.
“It’s him…” He groaned. “That Samuel Morrison guy is Kevin Starks… That guy that was sitting next to you on the plane, the guy that helped you and the guy that was talking to you at the hospital. Kevin Starks is Samuel Morrison.”
“He was also identified by one of the guys,” Marcus reported. “Stone said sometime before they called the code, this guy walked past the room… He didn’t say anything because nothing about him looked out the way.”
Angie pulled back a little and let all of this come together in her mind. Everything was indeed pointing to Kevin! “But… But he… Why? Why would he want to harm my baby girl? Why would he do this to me?” She cried. “I was only… I was only trying to help him,” she repeated with a sob. “I was helping him!”
((Poor Angie… So you all what do you think is going to happen next? I bet you can’t guess…))