Jesse reared his head back and let out a hearty chuckle. “Seriously!?” He fussed, dropping his head forward and fixing him with a menacing look.
“Hey the woman can be very convincing.”
“Right,” Jesse nodded and played like it hurt him and that he was truly thinking about it. “You know you’re truly sicker than I thought! You’re more crazier than the nut-ward led people to believe,” he joked.
“I’m crazy because I’m telling the truth?” Kevin asked the most serious of tones.
Jesse, seeing that the guy was dead serious about the words he spoke, just continued to shake his head. In all of his days on this earth he could honestly say that other than David Hayward, this guy was the craziest! Shrines of his wife, her clothes in his dresser, the bedroom the same as hers. The guy was beyond obsessed with Angie and still Jesse didn’t know exactly why. If Angie swore that she gave him no idea whatsoever that they could be together why was he dragging this out? Why couldn’t he just leave it alone?
“What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue? Truth staring you in the face and you can’t bear to deal with it? Angie loves me and had it not been for you and your unstable ways she would still be alive and she would be mine. She would be with me, the man who she truly loves!” Kevin continued to spew. “Had it not been for Jacob convincing her to set me up that night in New York, she would be mine. You damn Hubbard men just don’t know when to quit!”
“You’re crazy because you believe that crap to be true. Angela doesn’t love you and has never loved you. She doesn’t want you!” He spat.
The words Jesse spoke struck a cord deep within Kevin because suddenly his left eye went to twitching and new strength had been found to the point where he pushed Jesse off of him and into the shelf full of medical supplies. “She does want me!” Kevin growled, charging for him and holding him down by his neck. “She does want me and I’ll be damned if I let you or the other one keep her from me any longer!”
“Sh*t,” Jesse hissed as Kevin’s grip around his neck grew tighter and tighter. “Over my dead body,” he gasped, fighting back and not for one second paying any attention to the needle that lodged into his side.
“Oh I can make that happen,” Kevin grumbled, putting more force around Jesse’s neck as he tried and tried to get free. Kevin was fueled by his love for Angela. He was fueled by the thought that had it not been for Jesse or Jacob, his Angie would still be here.
Any other man would have long ago stopped moving, stopped fighting, but Jesse… Jesse wasn’t going down. Not until his daughter was found and back home with her mother. Not until this guy was down for the count once and for all. Especially since deep down he knew that if he didn’t get rid of him at this very moment he would comeback for Angela and this time succeed at getting her. Voluntarily or involuntarily.
Jesse sat on the bunk in front of his wife and rubbed her stomach and then moved his hand around to her back. They were indeed coming closer. Fifteen minutes had turned into ten minutes and then easily turned into six minutes. And that was all within the last thirty minutes. Closing his eyes, he rested his forehead against Angie’s belly. “Angie,” his tone was low, but the underlining message was loud and clear.
“I know,” she whimpered. She threw her head back and started biting her bottom lip. “I know,” she breathed. She imagined bringing her baby into the world in many different scenarios, but this was never one of them. This hadn’t once crossed her mind!
Jesse placed a kiss upon the place that housed his baby girl for the past eight months and whispered something. “Don’t worry Peanut… Daddy got you and your momma… Always,” he promised.
One of the best days of Jesse’s life flashed right before his eyes and it was in those moments he started to fight back with more strength than he’d ever known. He grabbed Kevin’s wrist and squeezed hard enough for his wrist bones to pop.
“Arrrgggh!!!” Kevin yelped, dropping his hands and backing away from Jesse.
Not giving himself a chance to catch his breath, for he knew this guy would be coming back for more, Jesse charged at him and presented him with a right hook and then a left to his face. “Come on fight back!” Jesse fussed, throwing another punch only this time to his side. “Fight back!”
Kevin reared back and tried to get his bearings. “Bastard,” he hissed, going for a punch only to be rewarded with another one and another one and another to his left and right sides. Just as Kevin was falling to the floor, Jesse came up behind him, wrapped his arm around his neck and pulled back.
“Where is my daughter?” He growled. “Tell me now or else I’ll kill you,” he warned.
Out of nowhere, Kevin started laughing. “Kill me and you’ll never find that bastard child of yours!” He spat, trying to loosen Jesse’s grip. “I’m the damn man! I’ve always been the man!” He started rambling off.
Jesse’s grip tightened!
“Where is she?!” He yelled. “Where in the hell is she?!”
“I want to see Angie,” Kevin bargained. “Let me see her.”
“You’re out of your ever loving mind if you think I’m letting you anywhere near my wife! Not after what you’ve done.”
“Dad! Dad! Open up!” Frankie yelled, banging on the glass door that was locked. “Dad, please open up!”
“Where is my daughter?” Jesse demanded, ignoring Frankie’s call.
“Where is Angie? Fair trade,” Kevin hissed.
“Not even close! Where is she, Kevin?”
“Not now!” Jesse yelled back never letting go of Kevin. “Tell me where she is and I might just might leave you recognizable,” he threatened. “Where is my child?!”
“No! You give me Angie first,” Kevin demanded. “Give her to me!”
“Why would I do that? You’re the reason she’s dead. You’re the reason for the pain she experienced. You took the one thing that was more important to her than life itself! Why would I give her to you?!”
“Because I love her! Because I love her!”
“Love makes you do some crazy things, but hurting her like this isn’t one of them,” Jesse said, tightening his grip. “It’s your fault she’s gone! It’s your fault she died without knowing about her daughter! And you know, now that I think about it killing you would be too easy! I want you to live with the fact that you’re the reason my wife is dead,” he growled. “You’re the reason the woman you love so much is gone and is never ever coming back!”
Though Angie was far from dead, the words came from Jesse’s lips smooth as butter.
“No! No I didn’t do it!” Kevin started to cry.
“It’s your fault,” Jesse snarled. “Yours and yours alone.”
“No it’s not my fault! It’s not!” Kevin yelled, as his body began to twitch and the voices in his head began to play the age old lines.
This is your fault! You did this! You killed the only person that believed in you, cared for you and loved you. This is all your fault!
You killed her… You killed her… You killed her!
“Dad! Ellie!” Frankie yelled from the other side of the door again. Sometime ago he left to get somebody to help him open the door. He knew this hospital like the back of his hands and never once came across a hospital door that he couldn’t unlock with a flick of a switch. “We found Ellie! We found her dad!”
Unknowingly, Jesse’s grip began to loosen upon hearing those 3 sweet words. “What?” He mumbled, looking toward the door.
“Ellie’s alive! Dad, please open up!”
“Come on Jesse, open the door!” Tad’s voice came. He’d been standing guard when he saw Frankie running around like a chicken with his head cut-off. He stopped him long enough to see what was going on. “Jesse, think about Angela! Think about Ellie! She needs you! Needs you now more than ever! They both do!” Tad yelled.
Even though he wasn’t fully in his right mind, Kevin took this chance to get Jesse back! He underhandedly pulled his knife from his pocket and counting down from 10 to 1, made his move! He reversed the head lock and made Jesse kneel to the ground. “You make anymore moves and I swear I’ll kill you!” He fussed.
After closing his eyes and saying a prayer knowing that this next move could cost him his life, Jesse jerked Kevin’s left leg from under him and quickly rolled away before he hit the floor. He rolled toward the bed and just as he went to pull the gun, Kevin grabbed his own leg and stabbed him in the calf!
“Son of a bi—-“ He yelped, dropping his head forward.
“I told you I would kill you,” Kevin hissed scooting onto his knees and yanking the knife from his leg. “Didn’t I tell you,” he continued on, turning Jesse onto his back and dragging the knife towards his thigh. So busy trying to determine just where the knife would go next, he never realized what hit him until it hit him in the shoulder and chest.
The gun that was hidden under the bed had been pulled and fired, by none other than Jesse Hubbard. “You messed with the wrong one,” he hinted, watching him fall back. “Nobody come in and disrespect my home and get away with it! Nobody comes near my wife and child and get away with it!” He fussed and though in a great deal of pain came to his feet and stood over Kevin as he choked on his own blood. “Angie, is mine and always will be.”
“It should be me,” Kevin choked out, holding his chest to try and stop the bleeding. “It should be… m… me.”
“It has never been you and it’ll never be you,” Jesse promised, holding the gun up getting ready to give off one more shot.
“Jesse,” Tad yelled when they finally got the door open.
“Chief, put the gun down,” one of the officer’s coaxed, holding his hand toward him. “Put it down and step back. Let us take care of him from here on out.”
Glancing over his shoulder, Jesse started releasing his grip.
One of the ordly’s that came in with the group ran over to check the man’s pulse and when he looked up with a somber look, Jesse let the gun swing down and held it out with his index finger. Soon after he dropped to the floor and grabbed at his right leg. “Where is Ellie?” He asked,.
The guys sighed with relief and lowered their guns. Tad and Frankie, being mindful of the overturned equipment and the speckles of blood on the floor, made their way over to Jesse. “Are you okay? Let me check this out,” Frankie urged, reaching for his leg.
“What is this?” Jesse hissed, just now feeling the needle stuck in his side.
Frankie went to check it out just as Jesse yanked it out. “Dad! You could have hurt yourself!”
“I’ve felt worse,” he mumbled. “Where’s Ellie?” Jesse asked again, waving off his son and his best friend.
“She’s at St. Michael’s,” Frankie told him.
Jesse looked over his shoulder at Kevin’s lifeless body. “I need proof,” he sighed, suddenly wishing he would have waited to pull the trigger.
Frankie took the phone from his pocket and put it on speaker. “Marcus? Tell Jesse what you told me.”
“Jesse, she’s here at St. Michael’s. Ellie is laying right here in front of me.
“And Chief Hubbard she’s the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Deep dimples, beautiful skin and has the most beautiful lips, ever. Pouty and beautiful!” Dr. Williams added.
Nodding in a agreement, Marcus smiled at the little one as she began to stir and make little noises. “That’s the doctor whose taking care of her,” Marcus clarified. “Jesse, I promise you. I put it on my life she’s here and she’s perfect.”
“What color are her eyes?” Jesse asked, shakily.
“Light brown like Angie’s when she’s happy,” he clarified. “Say hey to your daddy,” Marcus urged, putting the phone on speaker and laying it next to Ellie. “Say hey.”
Jesse heard a small coo and the heavy heart he’d been carrying around for the past 10days seemed like a distant memory. “Ellie?” He called softly. “Ellie, baby, it’s your old man.”
“Aaa…ahhhh!” She squeaked, kicking her legs and giving a gum-filled grin to the people standing before her as if to say ‘yea, that’s my daddy!’ “Aaaaaah!”
Tears began to fall from Jesse’s eyes as he listened to the sweet sounds of his daughter. “I’m coming… We’re coming to get you,” he vowed. No words could describe what he was feeling right then and there. “Thank god,” he whispered, dropping his head. “Thank you.”
“Where is Frankie?” Randi asked as she paced the room for what seemed like the 100th time.
Cass who’d been sworn to keep quiet just sat near the bed holding her mother’s hand as she laid with her eyes closed and her free hand over her heart. “He’ll be back,” she could only say.
“Well we said the same thing about Jesse, but where the hell is he?” Randi fussed.
Natalia turned away from the window. “Why are you so testy?” She asked. “If anybody in this room has the right to be asking questions it’s Angie. If anybody in this room should be so worked up it’s Angie. Not you!”
“Who asked you!?”
“Look, you are not—“
“Please… Please stop fighting. Please,” Angie begged. Her headache had long ago worn off, thanks to the medication, but she was still tired and upset and emotionally spent. There had been no word on her baby and no word from her husband. To her it was the end of the world. “Natalia, can you please go find Jesse or somebody? Find something out about my family,” she cried.
Throwing one last look toward her sister in law, Natalia nodded. “Yes ma’am. Would you like me to bring you anything back?” she asked her and Cass.
When both women shook their heads, Natalia headed to the elevators. The minute the doors swooshed open she was greeted by Jesse, Frankie, Tad and Jacob. “Dad!” She went into his arms.
Groaning at the added weight put on his leg, but not throwing his daughter off, Jesse wrapped his arm around her.
“Are you okay? What happened? Did he tell you where Ellie was?” She asked, pulling back and then going back into his arms.
“I’m fine and I just… I did what I had to do,” he simply said, not feeling the least bit remorse for pulling the trigger. He swore to everybody that crossed him he would kill for his family. Kill and have no regrets. “I need to see Angela first, okay?”
“She’s been asking for you,” Nat told him before letting him go and leading him to the room where Angie had been placed earlier. It was then she noticed that her father was limping and favoring his left side. “Dad, are you okay? What’s wrong with you?”
“Minor injuries. I’m good,” he reassured, making his way to his wife’s room. When he stepped in the spotlight was instantly placed on him.
Feeling the sudden tension in the room, Angie turned and started pulling herself into the sitting position. “Wh… Jesse,” she whispered, turning her head from side to side, trying to get a good placing on him. She couldn’t smell his cologne but she could definitely feel him. “Jesse, baby where are you?”
Gulping, Jesse limped over to her and took her hands. “Right here, baby. I’m right here,” he whispered back as he pulled her hands to his lips and kissed them. “A place I will always be.”
“What happened? Why did you leave me? Why didn’t you come when I called for you? Jesse, why?” She cried, squeezing his hands. “I’ve already lost one part of my heart, I don’t think I can lose another one. Jesse, promise me you won’t leave me again. Please,” she begged. The events had did nothing to strengthen her only weaken her and while she hated to be this weak there was nothing she could do about it. It was something way beyond her control.
“I’m so sorry,” he started, leaning over and kissing her cheek and then her forehead. “I promise I’ll never leave your side again.”
“Where did you go?”
“I did what I promised you and our daughter I would do for rest of our lives. I was protecting my family.”
Angie’s brows furrowed. “What did you do?” She asked and for several minutes was greeted with silence. “Jesse?”
Looking away and catching his son’s eye, he sighed. “I did… I did what I had to do,” he replied in the same tone he did with Natalia. The lowdown on exactly what he had to do didn’t need to be put all out there, people only needed to know that he took care of business. “I have something to tell you… Something very important.
“I already know,” Angie mumbled. “I’ve known for quite sometime I just couldn’t bear it,” she cried, dropping her head. Earlier before everything started turning upside down her heart started beating uncontrollably and her muscles started to tighten. She knew at that moment that her daughter had been—
“We found Ellie,” he said, interjecting her thoughts.
The thoughts running through her mind hadn’t been anywhere close to that. “What?”
“Ellie is at St. Michael’s hospital.”
Angie’s breath hitched and her hands began to shake. “She is? Jesse, my baby… my baby…” The words were suddenly to hard to say.
“Yes. I heard her,” he told her. “She cooed and ahhhh’ed and I told her we were on our way to get her.”
“O…Oh… Oh my god,” Angie’s gasped, covering her now racing heart and leaning into Jesse’s chest. “Oh my god,” she cried.