Coughing and trying to catch his breath, Scottie hissed, “I don’t know. I swear I don’t,” he spat out. “Today was the first time I talked to him since the day before that baby went missing. I called Kevin earlier to tell him the news about the old la—About your wife and he started talking and asking for me to help him get back into the hospital so he could see her for himself. When I told him no and to do the same thing the man that stole the baby did, he slipped and said that there wasn’t a lot of people around to watch his every move. When I asked him what the said, to make sure I was just hearing things he fussed and hung up. I swear that’s all I know!”
“And why on earth should I believe you?”
“I… I don’t know… You just have to believe me. You have too.”
Jesse eyed him for a few seconds before clearing his throat. “Is he coming here? Now?”
“He said he was on his way,” Scottie said. “My conscience got the best of me and I had to tell you.”
“You should have told me in the beginning some random man was looking for my wife. The same lady who just so happened to be over your damn pay check… But we’ll deal with that later. Right now you need to help that man get into this hospital and show him to Angela’s room.”
“What? Man I can’t do that.”
“Oh you can and you will,” Jesse hissed before lowering his voice and getting a little closer. “Because if you don’t this Starks guy and the drug dealer you owe money too will be the very last people you need to worry about. Oh and you definitely don’t have to worry about going to jail either,” he threatened. “Tell me kid, how much you owe? And spare me the ‘you don’t know what I’m talking about’ bit. I can spot a drug addict a mile away. I’m from center city I hung with the meanest, hung with the kings.”
“What a guy like you know about center city?” He said all angry like.
“J. Hub ring a bell to you? J. Hub? King T? Teague Mighty?”
Gulping for the one hundredth time since the man grabbed him, Scottie’s eyes damn near bulged out of his head. “Wait, wait… You mean Chief Jesse Hubbard is J. Hub?”
“I wasn’t always a clean cut dude. Now! Stop beating around the bush and tell me!” He fussed.
Scottie looked around and sighed. He’d heard too many stories about Teague Mighty and if this guy hung out with him, knew him personally then he wasn’t one to be played with. “A couple of g’s, and I’m not an addict, yea I may dip here and there but I can stop whenever I want,” he rambled.
“So what’s the problem?”
“I shortchanged him. I skimmed a couple of hundred’s off the top and I left New York. Some kind of way he found me and told me to either pay him back or die. I told him I just got a job at the hospital and it would take months, maybe years before I could even give him half of what I owed, he said he could wait. So when this Starks dude came up to me and my buddies offering cash money to help him I jumped at the chance. Anything to get Roc off my back.”
“Humph!” Jesse snorted. “Tell you what… Help me catch this guy and I can guarantee your safety.”
“Can you guarantee I wont go to jail?”
“You’re pushing it,” he warned. “Help me get this guy and you won’t have to worry about ole Roc coming for you.”
“What about Kevin? He’s a dirty man. The man is sick! I haven’t seem him in action, but I’ve seen the finishing product.”
“Kevin will be a distant memory of yours once I’m done with him.”
Frankie eased out of the door and sighed. “Her headaches have returned with a vengeance.”
“Could this be the cause of that much pain?” Tad asked watching as Angie was taken under with some pain meds.
“Yes and no. Depends on the person… You talked to dad? What he say?”
Tad nodded. “He said no. He’s dead set on waiting until after the guy is arrested.”
“What if the guy doesn’t show up?” Randi asked.
“Oh he will,” they heard Jesse say from behind. Frankie, Cass, Tad, Jacob, Nat and Randi all turned. “And this guy is going to help us get him,” he concluded shoving Scottie into the circle and daring him to move or even breathe the wrong way.
“What’s going on Scottie?” Frankie asked curiously. Scottie was one of the many clean up guys and more times than not they ran into each other.
“He’ll explain it all later. Right now we need to get in place.” Just as the words were spoken Jake came up. “Just the guy I need to see. I want Angela out of that room and I want you three girls,” he said turning to look at his daughters. “To go with her and stay by her side until I say so.”
As if they weren’t quite sure they heard Jesse right, the other men looked at him wearing questionable looks. “What? Jesse, that wasn’t the plan,” Tad fussed. “We agreed to leave her.”
“Yea. Jesse you can’t go changing up on us now!” Jacob put in his two cents.
Looking at his father and practically reading his mind, Frankie cleared his throat. “I agree… Let’s move her.”
“What?!” Jacob, Jake and Tad asked in unison.
Proud of his son, Jesse gave him a subtle wink. “Alright! Jake move Angela from this room, Frankie take the girls.”
“Jesse… Come on man. Think about what you are doing?”
Jesse turned a glaring eye toward the men who weren’t on board. “Do it!” He barked. “And I don’t want anymore damn questions. Understand?”
Sighing, Jake nodded and went about getting Angie removed from the room. Frankie after patting his father on the back went about taking the girls to another part of the hospital.
“Tad… You still remember how to disconnect the hospital cameras?” Jesse asked.
“I want you to go up and disconnect the camera to this room.”
“Jesse, what are you up too?”
Turning back around, Jesse glanced at Jake as he let the railings of Angie’s bed up and cleared his throat. “I’m getting ready to give this bastard his just due for messing with my damn family.”
“Angie would not like this! The plan was to just catch him here! Get him in the room and make an arrest! Not what you have in mind!” Tad fussed, knowing his friend would have a cow and two chickens if she knew what Jesse was up to. Angela had never liked violence and seeing this sick look in Jesse’s eyes just let him know that he was about to do something. Do something serious and crazy. “Think about Ellie! What will happen to her if you go to jail for this?”
“Don’t you worry about Ellie. Now go disconnect the damn cameras,” he ordered. “And Jacob once the room is clear let me know. I can’t be here to see this and not do anything at the moment.”
“Jesse, you can do something,” Jacob corrected. “Be with her and let the cops handle this guy.”
Jesse turned around quickly and charged up to Jacob. “If you’re not on board then by all means Foster leave, but I’m still going to do this. You and no one else will stop me. Is that understood?” He asked and without waiting for an answer gave a quick, stern nod and walked down the hall to another room. Once he closed the door and the curtains he turned to Scottie who hadn’t said a word since being dragged by Jesse earlier. “You! Get him in this hospital and get him to that room. If you give a single hint about what’s happening it will be me and you and then once I’m done with you I will personally find Roc and tell him you decided to flake out on him. Go it?”
Scottie’s eyes went wide as he nodded his head quickly.
“And if you run after this is all over… You won’t get very far. Trust me,” he whispered. “When he get’s here send me a text. Now leave!”
Without a second thought, Scottie ran out of the room. The sick menacing look in the old man’s eyes scared him to the damn core.
Once alone, Jesse laid on the bed and closed his eyes. He knew what he was about to do was crossing the line. Knew the minute he and this guy came face to face he could lose his job. Lose the chance to ever get a job in law enforcement ever again… But at the same time the force and all that it offered was not his life. It isn’t who he really is. He was a man, father and husband first and he had to take care of my responsibilities. This was his family. This was his wife and daughter. He would kill for them, die for them. If he had to give his freedom just to give his wife the number one thing she craved most, get their daughter back home where she belongs then so be it.
“It’ll all be worth it in the end,” he said to a still quiet room as his fingers slowly began to massage his thumping temples. “All worth it.”