What Katy Did Next – Part 2
Wednesday 6th April
“You did WHAT? You said you needed that money for something important, and instead you gallivant off to Germany for a week? I can’t believe you would waste your life in that way! If your father was alive...”
"No Mom it was not a waste of my time and your money." Dear God in Hell he hated that old bitch. How dare she question the validity of his trip to spend time with his beloved. Didn't she understand the forces that were conspiring to keep Katy and him apart?
"Get a job you lazy bum," she shrieked at him across the table. How could she not know? He had a job - protecting Katy Carter, making sure that she was kept safe, and ensuring the safe place that he had prepared for her was ready.
dropped out of school to just take pictures of some snotty young model?"
Didn't she understand that Katy was a goddess and that 'he' was the guardian of
her image and her soul?
No -the truth was the old bitch understood nothing, and as he stood up and looked at her, he knew she would never understand, never really see the passion and purity of his love for her.
Well, it was past the point of caring – everything was ready, and the time had come to take Katy under his protective and loving care. All he needed was the opportunity...
2 pm CET
Waidhaus, the Germany/Czech Republic Border
The border guard came onto the bus, and said “Passports and Travel Papers please.”
“There you go,” Dave Clarke said as he handed a set of passports over, “mine and those of the five kids over there.”
As he checked the passports, the guard said “American? Why are you travelling today?”
“Going with my oldest one to Prague so that she can work,” Dave said as he looked at Mary, who was talking to Yeli Zetterling in a seat further back. The guard looked at them, then nodded as he handed the documents back.
“What can we watch now,” Liz said as she went up to the driver.
“You may pick,” he said as the guard took the passport off Missy.
“Enjoying the bus ride Missy?”
“On the whole, I prefer flying, but we couldn’t get tickets in time,” Missy said with a sigh as she took her passport back.
“Here,” Dave said as he took a bottle of water from the ice box and handed it over, while the guard checked the rest of the passports, and then got off, waving the bus through as it started to move.
“Don’t worry – we’re half way there,” Dave said with a smile as Missy shook her head.
The Huntingdown Apartment
“What is it,” Carina said as she came through to the main room, a mug of coffee and a cup of juice in her hands.
“Light on your screen, mamma.”
“So there is,” Carina said with a smile as she gave Judith her drink, and then opened the Skype window. “Well, if it isn’t the rather tanned looking bride – did you follow Pru’s advice Mom?”
“No comment,” Juliette said as Judith waved at the screen. “Hey little one – are you having fun?”
“Yes Grammy – where’s Grappy?”
“He’s enjoying the sunshine darling,” Juliette said.
“Nice,” Judith said as she sat on her mother’s lap.
“Well, you lasted until Wednesday – you and Pops must have been busy.”
“There is a very impressionable young mind sitting there Cari.”
“Where,” Carina said as Judith giggled. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re relaxing. Seen anyone else yet?”
“We had dinner with Richard on Monday night,” Juliette said, “but mainly just us and some very attentive – and discrete – staff.”
“Say no more,” Carina said with a smile.
“So what am I missing?”
“Not much – I’m meeting Dom later.”
“Oh yeah – April’s party. Got our present?”
“Right here – anyway, she wants to talk to me about a couple of things. Apart from that, everything is quiet.”
“Good – well, give my love to everyone, and I’ll call at the weekend.”
“Enjoy the downtime Mom – talk to you then,” Cari said as Judith waved, and the line went dead.
“Right – party time soon.”
Judith nodded before she sipped off Carina’s lap, and went to fetch her rabbit.
Susan and Clint’s Apartment
“I think April is going to love your present,” Susan said as she kissed Judith on the cheek, the little girl giggling as she watched April play with the bear. She then walked over to where Jennifer Graham was sitting with some of the other babies and toddlers.
“Mom asked me to make sure you got this as well,” Carina said as she handed Susan a card, while Alice, Rose and Maeve carried food through from the kitchen and laid it out on a low table. Opening it, Susan whistled and said “this is incredibly generous of her – but April will love buying clothes here.”
“So these are her friends from the day nursery,” Caroline said as she watched.
“Yeah – they’re all good kids really,” Susan said with a smile as she watched them playing with each other, “and their moms are nice to know as well – well, those who don’t have their nannies bring them along.”
“No class distinctions here,” Orlanda said with a smile. “Remember?”
“I know, I know,” Annie said as she came in.
“Hey Teach – how was the first day back?”
“Over early, thank goodness. Can I have a coffee please, Susan.”
“Coming right up!”
“All right kids,” Rose said with a smile, “who would like some trifle?”
is twifell Momma?" Judith asked.
Oh you mean trifle," Carina laughed. "Well it's a mixture of cake,
fruit, berries, and cream darling."
wite can I have some please?"
certainly can Judith?" Rose started to scoop some into her bowl,
"Susan loved this when she was a little girl."
be told, I still do." Susan whispered in Carina's ear, "I've had some
already while Mom was making it."
"That's cheating," Cari whispered back.
“Yeah – ain’t I a stinker?”
Elphine have some ice cream and jello?" one of the very smartly dressed
young mothers asked.
can...is she teething?" Rose looked at the little girl in her blue party
is poor thing, so soft and cold things only."
luckily we have plenty of both of those." Rose smiled at the little girl.
"Look Elphine...raspberry jello, your favorite."
“Yippee,” she said with a smile as she took the bowl.
“And what about you Jennifer – what would you like?”
“Can I have some trifle as well please,” the toddler said, Maeve nodding as she put some in a bowl for her.
“Now does everyone have some food,” Susan said as the babies nodded. “Good – well, just ask if you want some more.”
As the kids cheered, Susan stood back and smiled, while Alice and Maeve held court with the toddlers. She also looked at the mothers as they stood and watched – aware there were really two groups. There were the mothers – young, smartly dressed, but always with one eye on each other as well as their kids.
Then there were the nannies – just as young, but more casually if smartly dressed, and their focus was on their charges rather than each other. It wasn’t that the mothers did not care – it was that they were brought up in a different way.
There were two who were moving between the two groups, however – Orlanda, who seemed at home in both, and one of the mothers, who was not as smartly dressed but still stylish, who was talking to the nannies.
Susan looked on, and made a mental note to talk to her later.
After a while, Caroline said “right – all you kids come over with me, because I have a game that we can play.”
As she carried April with her, she whispered something to Annie, who nodded a sshe went to join the assembled parents and others at the chairs.
is organising a game of pass the parcel." Annie sat down next to Rose,
"so we get to sit down for a few minutes."
I hope these girls play nicer then Susan and her friends did,” Rose said, “pass
the parcel was practically a martial arts game for them."
dear," Annie giggled.
Caroline is great at maintaining control," Orlanda said as she sat down as
"That she is," Rose said with a smile as she poured herself some tea.
how do you combine Yale and having a youngster?" the mom Susan had noticed
having great friends, and a supportive family."
by having a genius IQ," Susan butted in.
that would help," the mom smiled. "Hi I'm Serena Witt...I think you
know my van Roon cousins?"
do indeed." Carina smiled. "but I thought I knew most of the van Roon
"Well I'm something of a black sheep..."
“Oh? In what way?”
“My mom is Augie van Roon’s sister – Gus’s niece. But she married for love, and gave up her inheritance. But if you see Pussy, say Hi for me – we still meet from time to time.”
“Serena? Is that you?”
“Speak of the angel,” Serena said as she hugged Pussy, Frieda carrying Pauline in her car seat.
“One day I’ll make it on time – but you never said you knew Baa Baa, Suz?”
“I didn’t know she was your cousin,” Susan said with a smile as Caroline led the applause for Jennifer as the winner.
“All right,” Maeve said as she stood up, and Caroline came over, “let’s play statues. Once the music starts...”
“Cari, do you have a moment,” Caroline said as she came over.
“Yeah – what for?”
“To make some more coffee,” Caroline said, Carina nodding as she came after her.
“Okay – what’s up?”
“Two things, family related. One – Sharon Kennedy was the intruder who tried to rob Doc. She’s accepted a place with us, but at some point someone should explain her family history to her.”
Nodding, Cari said “Gale’s back next week, if you want to set something up...”
“Okay – more urgent however, i had a call from Munich today – Frau Strecher.”
“Oh,” Carina said with a smile, “what did we leave behind?”
“Edwin Brietz – Cari, without going into details, if I said he has been asking about the Baroness Buchenwald?”
Cari frowned and said “then she and I would need to talk. Can you keep this between you and Frau Strecher – tell her you’ll talk to Aunt Natalya, and then leave it with me.”
“I don’t want to know, do I?”
“No - no you don’t,” Carina said as she heard Jennifer say “Aunt Susan? Imelda has just been sick.”
“Not a problem,” Maeve said as she came into the kitchen.
the mishap Maeve?" Caroline asked.
one of the little darlin's just overdid it with the trifle."
it going to leave a stain?"
if I can help it," Maeve got a couple of bottles out from under the sink,
"I've been to enough kids parties to know throwing-up is a certainty, so I
got these in especially."
thought out...I'll have to remember those brands if they work."
these and some elbow grease and the carpet will look as good as new."
"I'm just so sorry," the mom was still apologising to Susan and still red with embarrassment as Maeve went back into the sitting room.
“Oh don’t worry – occupational hazard. Hey Natasha. Glad you could both make it!”
“Sorry we were a bit late,” Natasha said as she kissed Susan, carrying Alain in her arms, “we were having lunch with Diana, and lost track of the time. Did we miss much?”
“No,” Rose said with a smile, “just a party hazard. Let me get you a drink.”
As Rose poured the drink, Carina took her cell phone out and selected a contact.
Natalya? It's Carina."
Carina...what is all that noise in the background?"
April Walker's birthday party." Cari
looked at the kids laughing with each other.
little ones...explains everything."
Aunt,” Cari said as she turned her back and spoke quietly, “I just got a word
from Caroline, she was called by Frau Strecher this morning...Edwin Breitz
seems to be asking an awful lot of questions about you as he is filming."
"He is?" Carina heard the change of tone in her Aunt's voice.
“Yeah – watch your back, please? We’ll talk later.”
“I understand – and thank you for the warning my dear. I am having dinner with our cousin tomorrow – I may consult with her. For now, enjoy the party.”
“Thanks, Aunt Natalya,” she said as she looked down, and saw Alain trying to pull himself up her leg.
“Hey there little one – are you trying to walk,” she said as she squatted down and picked him up, tickling his chin as she walked back over.
Bishop Walden School
“See you guys tomorrow?”
“Yeah see you,” Sands said as Liz, Cassie, Laura and Shawnee headed to their cars.
“Well another day done,” Katy said as she put her bag over her shoulder. “Any sign of Heather yet?”
“Nah – aw shoot,” Sands said, “I left my Science folder in my locker, and we have that assignment for tomorrow. I’ll be back in a minute.”
“No problem,” Katy said as Sands ran back to the room, and picked up the blue folder. As she came back out again, she found Heather waiting.
“Hey,” she said as Sands put the folder in her back, “is Katy behind you?”
“No – she was waiting out here for me while I went to get this. Why – wasn’t she out here?”
“No she wasn’t,” Heather said as she looked round. “Sands, go and check in the school office will you?”
“Sure,” Sands said as she went back in. Heather looked round, and then walked over to a bush by the gate, reaching over and picking up a bag.
“Oh goddess,” she whispered before she heard Sands say “that’s Katy’s bag. Where did you find it Heather?”
“Sands,” Heather said quietly, “get in the car will you? I’ll be there in a minute.” As the young girl walked to the car, Heather took her cell phone out.
“Caroline? Heather. Are Cari and Susan still there?
“All right – I need you to call Jan, find out if she had heard from Katy. Call me back immediately.”
Heather waited for a moment, before she answered her phone.
“Damn – very quietly, tell Carina and Susan we have a potential Code Black. I’ll call in a few minutes.”
She then dialled another number.
“Adam? It’s Heather. Can you get to Katy’s school please.
“Now – and don’t tell Jan. Because I’m hoping I am wrong...”
Bishop Walden School
“Heather, is something wrong? Where did Katy go?”
“I don’t know,” Heather said as Adam pulled up. “Hey,” he said as he came over, “what’s the problem?”
“Katy’s disappeared,” Sands said, “we were going out of school when I had to duck back in. When I came out, she had gone.”
Adam looked at Heather, who said quietly “I got here, asked Sands to check the school office, and then found this.” She held up Katy’s bag as Adam’s face turned white.
“Over there, by the bush,” Heather said quietly as Adam pulled a pair of gloves on, and took the bag from Heather’s own gloved hand. He looked at it, and then looked at the bush.
“Fuck,” he said quietly, “Fuck fuck fuck.”
“Adam – where is Jan?”
“At the office – we got an agent transferred over, and she was doing the induction. Look – you need to get Sands home, but stay with her.”
“I’ll need to tell Sandy – and Jan...”
“Leave that with me,” Adam said quietly. “Take her home Heather – I’ll call round later.”
“All right,” Heather said as Adam held the bag, and she got behind the wheel. As she drove off, he took out his cell phone.
“Caroline? It’s Adam. Can you talk?”
“Give me a minute,” he heard her say, and then “do we have a problem Adam?”
“I’m afraid we do,” Adam said quietly, “I’m going to call the office, get them to keep Jan there and send a team down.”
“Shit,” he heard Caroline say, “Adam, I need to tell you something...”
“Katy had a bodyguard before she went to Ireland.”
“How did you...”
– please. I need to ask - any sign of a
but I've sent a message to Missy to contact me from Prague, just in case if
there is one it goes to her agency."
about to home?"
is shooting round there for me to check whilst Katherine is at the baby
“Adam – will you tell her?”
“I will do that,” Adam said quietly, “I need you to make sure Katherine gets home safely, and stay there with her.”
“What about police?”
"Yeah. I hate to say, but get Moletti in on
this," Adam looked at his watch, "send one of your girls to the New
Calabria to collect him, he's usually there this time of day."
"Okay I'll divert Sharon there to fetch him."
“Good – I’ll get Jan home as soon as I can. Caroline – thank you.”
“You take care, Adam,” Caroline said quietly as she ended the call, and Adam let out a sigh. He then turned, still holding the bag, and went back into the school.
The New Calabria
Annie looked up as the door opened, and a young dark haired woman walked in.
“Can I help ye,” she said as she walked up to the bar.
“I’m looking for Lieutenant Moletti?”
“He’s over there,” Annie said as she pointed to a booth, where two men were talking. Walking over, she said “are you Lieutenant Alberto Moletti?”
Moletti looked at the young woman, wearing a jacket and trousers with a darker jumper, and said “who wans ta know?”
“I’m Sharon Kennedy – I work for Caroline Jameson. I have a message for you.”
“Oh yeah – my colleague, Bobby Morgan. So,” Moletti said as he took a drink, “the message.”
“Adam Ball needs you – Katy Carter has gone missing.”
Moletti stopped, and then slowly lowered his glass to the table. “Where?”
“Bishop Walden School.”
“Doesn’t know yet – but he needs you there.”
“What’s going on Al?”
“Call it in,” Moletti said as he jumped up, “tell them we’re attending a possible 207. Lady, thank Jameson for us.”
10 pm CET
Ventana Hotel Prague
“Finally,” Mary said as they walked in, “I thought we would never get here.”
“Well, we finally made it,” Missy said, “and at least we had something to eat on the way.
"Miss Auerbach it is good to have you back with us again," the manager bowed low as he walked over.
"Well it's good to be finally here," Missy looked up from signing the hotel register. "Can I present Mary Clarke and Yeli Zetterling?"
"Aha two very famous young models," he kissed both girls hands.
“And two very tired families – can you have your porters take them straight to their rooms please. Shall we say we meet for breakfast at eight?”
“Sounds good,” Mary said, “come on everyone, straight to bed.”
“At least we fly back from here,” Tommy said as they walked to the lifts.
“Miss Aurbach,” the manager said, “this message has arrived for you. I was asked to make sure it was delivered for your eyes only.”
Missy raised an eyebrow and then looked at the note. Nodding, she went into the bar and said “large white wine” as she dialled her phone.
“Caroline? I just got your message,” she said as she picked up the glass of wine, “what’s wrong?”
She listened, the glass halfway to her lips, and then slowly put the glass down. “Are you sure?
“All right – I haven’t heard anything, but I’m going to call now and put them on alert. What about Jan?”
“Of course – look, let me know if you hear anything and I’ll do likewise.
“No – keep Juliette out of this for the moment. I’ll talk to you in a little while.”
Ending the call, Missy looked round, and then dialled another number.
“Ellie? Missy – have we had any calls or messages concerning Katy Carter?
“Good – I want someone there all the time, just in case. Offer triple time for volunteers. Thanks.”
Bishop Walden School
“Moletti – Morgan,” Adam said as he looked at the two officers, “Look – before we do anything else, can we set our own personal feelings aside on this one. Jan still doesn’t know – I’m going to tell her what is going on now.”
Nodding Moletti said “you’ll stay with her?”
“All the way. Tom’s on leave, but I’ve got a forensic team coming.”
“Evidence,” Bobby said.
“Katy’s bag,” Adam said as he held up a brown bag. “Heather Smith, the nanny to her friend, found it behind that bush over there. She used gloves, so did I. I talked to the school office – they’ll cooperate fully.”
“Okay – leave it with us now Ball. You know the rules.”
“Yeah – keep us informed, right?”
“Go – tell her, be with her,” Bobby said, Adam nodding as he went off, and a car pulled up.
“Yeah – do what you gotta do guys.”
FBI Field Office
“Well, I think that’s everything,” Jan said as she smiled across the table, “you start officially next week, right?”
“That’s right,” Erin Corben said as she leaned back, “I finally get out of the poison that was Buffalo.”
“Well, I think you’ll fit right in,” Jan said with a smile as the door opened, and Jeanne came in. “Agent Erin Corben, Inspector Jeanne Marais of Interpol, our official...”
She saw the look on Jeanne’s face, and said “what’s happened?”
“Janice, Adam and I need to talk to you,” she said quietly, “would you mind, Erin?”
“Of course not,” Erin said as she stepped out. Adam nodded as he went in, and she went to the main area.
“Director MacKay,” Erin said as she looked at the grey haired senior officer. “What’s...”
“Step into AD Callaghan’s office,” he said as he opened the door, “I need to brief you on something.”
As she went in, MacKay saw Adam walk out with Jan, Jeanne behind them.
“Adam, take Jan home – I don’t want to see either of you here until this is over, understood?”
Adam nodded as Jeanne looked at them.
“Inspector Marais – I want to talk to you and Agent Corben. You’ll be running this from our end.”
West Central Park
Pepsi ran to the door as she heard the key going in, watching as it opened and Katherine came in with Caroline.
“Gran, what’s going on?”
“I’ll tell you in a minute,” Caroline said as she took her coat off. “Anything?”
“No letters or phone messages – Gran?”
“Pepsi,” Katherine said quietly, “it looks like Katy may have been kidnapped.”
“Kidnapped? Oh god,” Pepsi whispered, “but why? What...”
“Come here,” she said as Jan walked in, and walked into her mother’s waiting arms.
“She disappeared from the front of the school this afternoon,” Adam said as he closed the door. “Heather realised something was wrong, called me, and I’ve brought in the police and the right people in.”
“Not her, not her,” Jan whispered, Katherine holding her as she walked into the front room.
“Are you going to be all right Adam,” Caroline said quietly.
“Yeah – and thanks for your...”
The doorbell interrupted her as he went to answer it. “Ball,” Moletti said as he came in, “I know this ain’t what you want, but I need to talk to Jan.”
“Of course – she’s in there with her mother, so go gentle, all right?”
“Yeah, I know,” he said as he and Adam walked into the front room.
“I know,” the tall woman said as she looked at Pepsi, “you stay here, I have to go and talk to some people. I’ll let your mother know what has happened.”
As Pepsi nodded, Caroline looked in the door, where Jan was sitting talking to Moletti, and then headed out. As she got into the lift, she took out her cell phone.
“Carina? Confirmed Code Black. Make the calls – your place, two hours.”
He looked at Katy as she lay on the bed, her eyes closed as she breathed gently through her nostrils. A wide strip of white medical tape covered her mouth, and her wrists were bound together in front of her with more white tape, a small bouquet of flowers in her hands.
He had taken the ridiculous school uniform off her, with great care and love, and dressed in this simple white dress, her bare ankles also secured together with tape. It was not that he wanted to keep her like this, but he knew the drug he had injected her with would keep her unconscious until the morning, and he did not want her to say or do anything until he had a chance to explain why he done it. Later, he would dump her uniform somewhere – she would not need it again.
He brushed her blonde hair, and stood up, brushing some lint from his suit as he adjusted his tie. Holding her hands in his, he said “if there is anyone here who can think of any reason why we should not be together, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace.”
For a moment, he felt a pang of fear, but there was no objection, no response. Smiling he said “do you take this woman, to look after and to care for, to keep safe and to keep pure, to tend and love, now and always?”
He quietly nodded as he then said “and do you take this man, to look after and care for you, to be kept safe and kept pure by, to be tended and loved by, now and always?”
He waited for a moment, and then took from his pocket a small box. Opening it, he took out a plain gold ring, and slipped it onto the third finger of her left hand, s,iling as he saw how well it fitted.
“With these rings, we seal and proclaim to the world the bond between us,” he said quietly as he slipped a ring onto his own finger, “now and for evermore, and let no-one keep us apart.”
He leaned over and gently kissed her forehead, then left the room, closing and locking the door behind himself and smiling. He would go to his room now, and watch her, and wait for her to wake to their new life together...
West Central Park
Katherine opened the door to see Jeanne Marais and Erin Corben standing outside the apartment.
“Katherine,” Jeanne said, “may we come in?”
“Of course,” she said quietly as she let the two agents come in.
“Adam,” Jeanne said, “MacKay has asked us to act as liaisons.”
“A friendly face – that’s nice. Considerate,” Jan said as she looked up, her eyes red as she held a coffee mug.
“Lieutenant Moletti, Lieutenant Morgan,” Jeanne said, “this is Agent Erin Corben. She has recently transferred to the New York Office, and was due to start Monday, but Director MacKay wants her to work this.”
Erin sat next to Janice, holding her hand as she said “we’re going to get her back Jan – count on it.”
“I know we will,” Jan said quietly, “and I need to be looking for her as well...”
“No Jan,” Adam said as he sat on the other side, “you know the rules. We need to be here, doing the hardest job of all.
Moletti indicated to Jeanne to come out into the corridor, and then turned round. “We’ve got the security footage from outside the school. We can see some guy in a dark suit come up to Katy, and then she collapses into his arms. He puts her in the back of a dark car, and drives off.”
“Any way of identifying him?”
Moletti shook his head. “He never looked at the camera, and the car had the plates partially covered. We have the make, and forensics are examining her bag and the scene.”
Nodding, Jeanne said “We’ll stay here a while. Let us know if anything comes up.”
“Will do – we need to go and talk to the girl who raised the alarm – Sands?”
“Alexandra Richmond Junior. She’ll be at home with her mother and Heather, her nanny.”
The Huntingdown Apartment
“What’s going on,” Doc said as she came into the lift, joining Susan and Penny.
“Caroline will explain upstairs,” Susan said quietly, “All I know is she left the party early, and then Carina made the call.”
“Ah there you are,” Sandy said as she saw them come into the apartment. “Heather can’t come, but I’ll let her know what we discuss here.”
“I’ll tell you when Diana and Abby get here,” Caroline said as she looked up from the laptop. “Jo – thanks for joining us.”
“Well, Cari called a Code Black,” Jo said. “Are we pulling Ju in?”
“No,” Carina said as she brought through a tray of mugs, “I don’t want anything to disturb Mom and Pop’s honeymoon. Besides, we need to be circumspect in working on this one.”
“I called Shirley,” Susan said, “and informed her. So...”
“I’m here,” Shirley said in a second window.
“My apologies for the delay,” Diana said as she came in with Abby, “did Kylie and Marina get away safely?”
“They did,” Susan said, “so – to business?”
“Indeed,” Caroline said as she sat down. “The ten second version – Katy Carter disappeared from the entrance of Bishop Walden School this afternoon. Sands was with her, but had to go back to collect something, and when she came back – Katy was gone. Heather found her bag thrown behind a bush, so she called me and I called Adam.”
“Shit,” Jo said quietly, “How’s Jan?”
“In shock – Adam is with her, and so is Pepsi. Adam called in Lieutenant Moletti of the NYPD, and he and his partner have started the investigation. Jeanne and a new agent – Erin Corben – are handling the FBI side.”
“I presume Adam and Jan are off this one?”
“They’ve been ordered to stay at home,” Caroline said. “Sandy?”
“Moletti talked to Sands with me, and he’s talking to Heather now – that’s why she’s not here. But this is Jan – she just can’t sit there and wait, can she?”
“No – but she has to help in quiet ways, and so do we,” Shirley said. “Caroline – share all we have.”
“Adam knows Katy had Bev as a bodyguard – I’m going to see Jeanne tomorrow and share what we found out.”
“You guys moved heaven and earth to get me back,” Jo said, “we need to do the same for Katy. Dom, what do you want me to do.”
“Jo, I’m going to send you what info we have. Want to try profiling with Curt?”
“Let me call him after this – if we can help, we will.”
“Jeanne will be doing the same thing,” Diana said.
“True – but we have access to other sources. Sandy, we need to use everything we can – we require the insight of Tommy the Fish.”
“Agreed,” Diana said, “we will arrange to see him first thing at the market.”
“In the meantime, all of you, ears to the ground – and be there for Jan and the rest of the family. Doc – you need to be there with Ama for Pepsi.”
“Where is she now?”
“At their apartment. April is going to go round and collect her later.”
“The question nobody wants to ask,” Cari says, “is what happens if we find her before they do?”
“Whoever did this hurt one of us Cari – do you need to ask?”
“Oh he is dead.”
“You’re sure it’s a he, Dom?”
As she nodded, Caroline said “Katy’s had a feeling someone was stalking her for a few weeks. That’s why her ‘cousin’ Bev visited before the trip to Ireland and Germany. We have some documents, some photos, and Kylie sighted him a couple of times, but nothing concrete yet.”
“Penny, Susan,” Shirley said, “our full resources on helping to identify contacts now.”
“Is there anything else we can do Shirley,” Penny asked.
“There is one other thing – I will take care of that personally. Call me in the morning please to update me.”
“Of course,” Susan said as Shirley ended the call.
“Who does she have to call?”
Susan looked at Caroline, and said “a special contact.”
“I need to get back to Jan’s – I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
Eleanor Ball put her bag down, removed her coat and hung it up, and walked into her front room, pouring herself a drink and looking out over the water. The ringing tone took her by surprise, and as she looked at the caller ID she raised an eyebrow.
“Madame – I was not expecting to talk to you until the weekend.”
“My apologies, Mermaid,” the deep warm voice said, “but an emergency has arisen that requires your attention.”
“An emergency? What sort?”
“A family one.”
West Central Park
“I’m back,” Caroline said as she came in.
“Hey,” April said quietly as she came out, “I need to take Pepsi home. Let me know what happens will you?”
“If I can,” Caroline said with a smile as she saw Pepsi come out. “Thanks for coming earlier,” she said, “go home, try and get some sleep. We need to work from here.”
“Get her home safe,” Pepsi said, Caroline nodding as they went out.
“Coffee,” Katherine said as she came out.
“Please – I’ll be in there,” she said as she walked in. “Caroline,” Adam said, “what news?”
“I’ve heard from Missy – she has alerts out,” Caroline said as she looked at Moletti. “Nothing here?”
“No,” Jan said quietly, “and there should have been a demand by now if this was for ransom.”
“I agree,” Jeanne said, “this is looking less like a financial kidnapping and more like...”
“Oh goddess – no, not that, anything but that,” Jan said as she looked up.
“Don’t think that lover,” Adam said quietly.
“Morgan,” Moletti said quietly, ”you know what I need?”
“I’m on it,” the younger man said as he slipped out.
“There is the third possibility,” Jeanne said, “obsession.”
“Katy did say she thought she was been stalked,” Jan whispered. “Caroline?”
“I’ve had operatives watching – they managed to obtain some identification, but we got nowhere identifying anyone. I’ll have Sharon bring the records from the apartment.”
“Thanks,” Jeanne said quietly.
this is an obsessed fan rather than a kidnapping for ransom, could the
kidnapper have been writing to her Jan?" Moletti asked quietly.
"I don't know," Jan shook her head as she superseded tears, "you'd need to ask Norstar, all her fan mail goes to them."
"I'll ring Missy and get her to get whoever does Katy's mail to meet Sharon at their offices so Sharon can collect it on her way here."
"Good idea Jameson," Moletti nodded. Caroline took her phone out and said “Sharon? Go to the apartment and collect a file from Ama or Annie – and then I need you to go to Norstar...”
“Here,” Katherine said as she brought the coffees in, “I get the feeling we all need this...”
“Hello,” Sharon said as she came into the offices, “anyone home?”
“Who’s asking,” a young girl called out.
“Sharon Kennedy – I’m here from Jameson Security?”
“Oh hi,” the voce said as its owner came through, “I’m Liddy – Liddy Kapler. Missy has me on the night watch.”
Sharon instantly took Liddy Kapler in, she looked just what she was a 22 year old college graduate working her first job. She had blonde curly hair, large black framed glasses, a penchant for red lipstick, and a perky attitude.
"Did my boss tell you the need for secrecy in this Miss Kapler."
did," the perky attitude disappeared for a few moments, "who would do
this to Katy?"
were hoping you might have an idea...does she get much 'questionable' fan
most of it is just for a photo and autograph, but yeah I do keep a file of all
you grab it?"
"Here," Liddy pulled down three large file boxes. "Take these, I'll bring the rest."
“You’d be surprised,” Liddy said as she picked up three more. “Come on – I’ll give you a hand down with them.”
West Central Park
“Hey – want a hand?”
Caroline stood up balancing several box files in her arms, and said “you are?”
“Lieutenant Robert Morgan, NYPD,” he said with a smile.
“Sharon Kennedy – I’m Caroline’s Intern stroke Gopher stroke Coffee Maker.”
“Ah – these must be the letters we’re expecting. We’re going to the same place – so, want a hand?”
“Well, I won’t say no,” Sharon said as they split the files between them, and made their way to the lifts. Stepping out, they stopped and waited as the door opened.
“You must be Sharon,” the grey haired and bearded man said, “I’m George Saunders.”
“Caroline’s number two,” she said as they went in, Caroline appearing at the door.
“Yeah – Missy’s assistant said this was only the relevant ones,” Sharon set as they set the boxes down, and she handed the top one over.
“Here we are,” Caroline said, “my people managed to retrieve these pictures and cards. The cards are fakes, the pictures fuzzy, but it’s something.”
“The other info you asked for,” Morgan said as he passed a disc case to Moletti.
sex offenders with a thing for younger girls." Moletti handed Caroline the
"Thanks Moletti,” Caroline said as she looked at it. “Look - I know a few people, kosher and maybe not so kosher, and there is one in particular I want here in this room."
"Who's that Jameson?"
know her,” Caroline said, “as the Hidden Hand."
stared at the tall blonde. "The
Caroline said, “maybe the world’s greatest computer geek fits her better as a
title... She can run checks that law
enforcement hasn't even dreamed of yet, and she's discreet."
aint she wanted, like everywhere?"
Jan said as she wiped her eyes. "Caroline go call her please."
Caroline said, “this needs total privacy."
nodded as she went into Katy’s bedroom, looking round before she took her phone
"Sandy? Get Heather into her Hand disguise and over to Jan's, we need her services."
“She’ll be with you ASAP.”
“Boss – there’s a visitor on her way up.”
Caroline put her phone away and went to join George at the door.
“What’s going on,” Adam said as he came out of the room.
“Someone’s coming to the apartment,” Caroline said as they heard footsteps outside. Adam put his hand to his weapon as the footsteps stopped, Caroline nodding as George opened the door.
“Hello Adam,” Eleanor Ball said as she came in, “I heard what had happened, and I have come to offer my support – and my help.”
“I’d ask how you know, but right now, I’m just glad to see you,” Adam said as he hugged his mother. “This is Caroline Jameson and George Saunders.”
“Jameson Security – a pleasure. Captain Eleanor Ball, USN Retired – and as you heard, Adam’s mother.”
“My apologies,” Caroline said, “as you can imagine, this is a rather tense situation.”
“Oh lord – what are you doing here,” Jan said as she stood in the doorway.
“Not to fight,” Eleanor said as she walked forward, “but to do whatever I can.
“If you will let me.”
“I’ll take all the support I can get,” Jan said quietly as Katherine held her. “Thanks.”
“Jeanne,” Erin said, “go home, get some rest. I’ll stay and you can relieve me in the morning.”
“Thanks – Jan, my prayers are with you,” Jeanne said as she walked to the door – only to stop as she saw the tall woman standing there. She wore a leather jacket, fastened up to her throat, a leather micro skirt that barely covered her bottom, fishnet stockings and high heeled ankle boots. A leather cap covered her hair, as well as a veil over her face, but she could see the dark glasses over her eyes underneath.
“Inspector Marais,” she said with a smile, “I see you are well.”
“And we are glad,” Caroline said as she came out, “thank you for coming.”
“I am happy to offer what help I can,” she said as she walked in, Jeanne smiling as she went to the lift.
“Agent Carter – I must first offer my profound regrets we meet again under such circumstances.”
Jan stood up and walked over, taking her gloved hands as she said “thank you for coming. I need your help.”
“And you shall have it – Agent Ball, I am glad we meet at last. And the others?”
“Lieutenants Moletti and Morgan, NYPD, Eleanor Ball – and Agent Erin Corben.”
“Ah – I am glad to see you have emerged from that unfortunate situation, Agent Corben,” the masked woman said. “A pleasure, all of you, but we have work to do, and time is short. What do you require me to do?”
“This disk,” Caroline said as she held it up, “has the list of known felons in the NY area who may have snatched Katy Carter. We need to know if any are viable, and where they are.”
“Of course,” she said as she removed a laptop from her shoulder bag, “to work then.”
“In the meantime,” Eleanor said as she looked at the files, “what are these?”
“Letters to Katy that went beyond the norm,” Caroline said. “We need to read and sort them.”
“I need to help with this,” Jan said quietly, “or I’ll go mad.”
“Then I’m getting more coffee,” Katherine said.
“I’ll help,” Sharon said as they went into the kitchen.
“So let me get this straight,” Moletti said, “I’m in the room with the world’s most notorious hacker, a former head honcho of Naval Intelligence, agents and...”
“And a very worried mother,” Jan said quietly, “so for once in your life, Al, shut the fuck up and let’s work together.”
“Agreed,” Eleanor said, “let’s get into this.”
“According to Liddy,” Caroline said, “these are all the ones that go beyond a simple photo or signature request.”
“All right,” Moletti said, “sort into three piles – polite, abusive, other. Let’s dig in.”
Thursday 7th April
11 am Local Time
Hong Kong – Catherine Lu’s Apartment
As the door opened, both Helen and Catherine stood up, watching as Marina and Kylie came in.
“Hello darlings – thank you for sending the car to meet us,” Kylie said – and then she saw the look on the faces of her sensei and mentor.
“What’s happened,” Marina said.
“We have had a message,” Catherine said, “Somebody abducted Katy Carter from her school.”
“Goddess,” Kylie whispered, “the ladies?”
“Are meeting – Madame has sent some specialised and personal help, and Dominique is sharing everything gathered over the last few weeks.”
“From here, there is little we can do,” Helen said, “except offer our prayers and support. But you need to be aware, in case it is not possible to contact anyone over the next few days.”
“Of course,” Marina said, “if you will allow us to unpack, we stand ready.”
“Excellent – but Kylie, your priority is your examinations. Allow Marina to assist if necessary.”
“Of course,” Kylie said with a smile as she stretched her arms up.
West Central Park
“Dear Katy, I think you’re really beautiful, and I want to be just like you. Will you send me some of your clothes and make up tips?” Adam looked up and said “why is this in the Uh Oh Files?”
“The handwriting,” Eleanor said as she looked at it, “it’s too firm and neat. Either it is a very strong willed girl or something else.”
“Do you have the return address,” the Hand purred. Adam passed the letter over, and watched as she looked at the screen through the veil.
“A charming person by the name of Edgar Penn lives there – I believe you know the name Lieutenant?”
“Yeah – likes to do it himself with the clothes of young girls. Good spot on the part of dose ladies at the agency.”
“I suspect Missy has picked up an internal warning system,” Caroline said as she looked at another one, and grimaced.
“What does that one say,” Jan asked as she looked up.
“Trust me, you don’t want to see,” Caroline said as she read of what the letter writer wanted to do with Katy. The description of how they would paint her body and lick it off was particularly disturbing.
“Got something Eleanor.”
“I’m not sure – there’s something about a couple of these letters...”
“What are you seeing,” Erin asked.
“Similarity in wording and sentence structure. I could be wrong, but...”
Edie looked at Adam, who said “mom, I’ve never known you to be wrong about something like...”
“Are they all from the same person?”
“Different addresses on the envelope,” Eleanor said, “but if we are dealing with an obsessive, that would be standard practice. Let’s see if we can find any others...”
Adam stopped as Morgan’s cell phone went off. He listened for a moment, before he said “Any cameras in the area? Good – get someone on reviewing the tape after four yesterday afternoon.”
“What’s happened,” Jan said as he ended the call.
“A patrol car found a bag containing a uniform for Bishop Walden – it looks like they are Katy’s. No sign of her though – so don’t think the worst.”
Katy slowly opened her eyes, wondering what had happened. The last thing she could remember was waiting for Sands, and seeing a car pull up. The driver had got out, and walked up to her, and then...
She slowly sat up, rubbing her head as she took a moment to focus her eyes. She remembered the man, and then a pin prick, and then...
As her head cleared, she looked round the room. “Okay,” she thought to herself, “this is not my room – or any room I have ever seen.” It was all white, and lit by two ornate lamps, but there were no windows. She could hear an air conditioner unit at work, but there were two doors. One was open, and through it she could see a shower and toilet suite.
She then looked at her arms, the white sleeves, and the knee length white skirt – as well as the band of residue around her ankles. Looking at her wrists, she saw the same band, and slowly stood up, walking to look at herself in the mirror.
Her hair was pushed back, and as she looked at the white dress she said “what the hell...” She then looked at her left hand, and the ring on her third finger.
“Okay,” Katy thought to herself, “either George is playing a very sick game – or I have been snatched. And George is not that devious.”
Walking to the wardrobe, she opened it, and then looked at the outfits on the hangers, the new underwear, the stockings, the shoes. “This is getting weird,” she said quietly, “and someone is going to pay for this. But not yet – I need to play the...”
“Ah good – you are awake darling.”
Katy span round to see a young man, with short flaxen hair, come in with a tray. He used his body to close the door, and walked over, placing the tray on a dressing table.
“I imagine you must be hungry and thirsty – please, come and eat.”
Katy looked at him – about five ten, thin, casually dressed, but there was a look in his eyes, one that told her this was not the time to question him, beyond the obvious.
“Who are you, mister,” she said quietly, “and where am I?”
“I’m your husband, my love – and you are in your new home, our little place away from everyone.”
“My husband? But I’m only thirteen...”
“Irrelevant,” he said as he handed her a glass of orange juice. Katy had to admit, her mouth was dry, so she took the glass, and sipped it.
“Don’t worry – it’s just orange juice. I’m sorry I had to make you sleep for a while, but I wanted to make sure you got here safely.”
“So that we could start our life together,” he said as he stroked her cheek, and Katy felt the ring on his finger. “I have been in love with you for so long, Katy, and I have been watching you as well.”
“Well, I’m flattered,” Katy said with a smile as she picked up a slice of toast, “but if you wanted to meet me, you could have asked.”
“Oh no – the bitches would never have let me.”
“Your family, your minders – I had to make sure none of them could stop us being together.”
“But I don’t even know your name...”
“Time enough for that later,” he said as he stood up, “I need to go out for a few hours, so eat and finish your drink. We’ll talk when I get back.”
know my Mom and Gran will be worried sick?"
weren't looking after you properly...I can."
Katy said quietly, “if you love me like you say, at least let me phone them and
let them know I'm okay."
"And have your Mom's scumbag colleagues at the FBI listen in?"
“Why would they – unless... You really kidnapped me.”
“I’ll be back soon – the DVD player has some films, and you can wash and change,” he said as he walked to the door.
“Where’s my handbag? I had my book and make up in there...”
“Oh you won’t need that – or the cell phone in it,” he said, “relax my love – I will care for you.”
And with that, Katy watched him walk out, heard the bolts and the keys, and sat on the bed.
“Shit,” she said to herself, “all right, Katy, what do you do now?”
Looking at the tray, she said “first rule – eat,” and started to have the muffin.
West Central Park
"I hope Jan doesn't find it too offensive - my barging in to try and help?" Eleanor asked as she stood beside Katherine at the coffee maker.
Katherine said as she turned and folded her arms, “she actually is sort of
pleased you can bring your expertise to help...on the other hand I..."
my presence?" Eleanor interrupted.
of the sort," Katherine smiled, "I was going to say I wish I had the
skills that you bring to the table to help."
Eleanor said, “you make superb coffee and that's going to be important. We’re pulling an all nighter here, and this
and the need to find her is what keeps us going."
know,” Katherine said, “but I do wish I had the investigative skills of her
other gran to help our Katy."
Gran?...” Eleanor looked over, and then
stopped, her lips parting as she said “Oh!..."
given Adam is the nearest thing she will ever have to a father,” Katherine said
quietly, “I do think you are a second grandmother for her Eleanor."
"Dear God, I don't know what to say...Thank you for saying that Katherine," Eleanor hugged the Irishwoman.
“So if he asks her, would you stand in her way – in his way?”
“I’ll let you know if it happens,” Eleanor said quietly.
“If - not when?”
“Eleanor – we need you in here.”
As the two women walked in, the Hand turned and smiled under her veil.
and ladies of law enforcement would you kindly turn your backs please,"
the Hand purred.
Lieutenant Moletti dear,” she said quietly, “you can deny you saw a felony
about to launch a trawl through all the records of every psychiatrist in the
city to see if I can find a patient who has reported fantasizing on Katy."
can do that?" Eleanor asked in surprise.
even MI can't do that I'm aware Captain," the Hand smiled under her veil,
"but just let me say I've adjusted and beefed up some of your software to
let me do this."
you let me have that upgrade?"
the Hand laughed lightly, "Now why should I do that, I'm sure one day even
your people will figure it out."
hit the button so we start getting results." Moletti growled.
"Alright turn your backs...Here goes" Heather pressed enter.
“The list,” Caroline asked.
“Ah yes – my researches indicate half the names are either out of the city, or no longer with us. Not much, but it does narrow the list. Hopefully, this search will narrow it still further.”
“Hey – you’re very quiet,” Morgan said as he sat with Adam.
“Yeah, well – I want to help as well, but I just want her safe back here.”
“Ye really care about her, don’t ya?”
Adam looked up and nodded. “You got kids Morgan?”
“Nah – don’t even have a significant other, I suppose there’s Tammy?”
Adam nodded. “I know Tommy would do anything to protect her and Annie, and I feel the same way about Katy and Jan.” Taking the policeman and turning their backs to the others, he said “I have to stay strong for the sake of Jan, but at the same time I’m fighting the urge to go out and kill someone.”
Morgan looked at the agent, the fear in his eyes, as he banged his fist into the palm of his hand. “I want that to be the face of whoever did this, I want him to feel how much pain he is causing us.”
“Hey, Ball,” Morgan said, “you’re talking like her father.”
“Yeah – I’d do anything for her, any...”
He suddenly had a vision in his mind of him in bed, Katy kissing him and caressing him.
“Sorry – something just came to mind.” Adam looked at Jan, as the Hand stood up.
“Even someone like I need to allow time for the programs to work – Agent Carter, is there somewhere I may rest?”
“Yeah – you can use my room,” she said, “I’ll show you.”
“Please,” she said as she looked at Erin, “alert me if the alarm sounds.”
As Corben nodded, Janice said “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Adam nodding as they walked to the bedroom. As they walked in, Jan watched, her back to the door as Heather removed her hat and glasses, and looked at her friend.
“How are you – really,” Heather whispered.
“I haven’t felt this scared in years,” Jan said quietly. “When I was – kidnapped, I remember how scared I was, how I wished I could see Mom and Dad, and they would come and rescue me.”
“And you’re worried the same thing may be happening to Katy?”
“No – all the signs are one person,” Jan said as she held herself. “This is worse - because one person knows what they are doing is wrong, and yet she’s alone with them. “
“Jan,” Heather said quietly, “we are going to find her. Just look at the team that is out there.”
“Yeah,” Jan said as she hugged herself tighter, “a former boyfriend who hates me, the mother from hell, the nephew of...”
“People who want Katy back safe and sound, and as fast as possible,” Heather said as she put her gloved hands on Jan’s shoulders.
“I know,” Jan said as she looked up, and then it came, “Goddess, keep her safe and bring her back,” she whispered, before she started to cry, putting her head on Heather’s shoulder as she shivered and let herself go.
Eventually, she looked up and said ”thanks – I needed that.”
“Good,” Heather said as there was a knock on the door. “Yes?”
“Miss Hand,” they heard Erin said, “your computer is flashing.”
“Excellent,” Heather purred as she replaced the voice modulator, “let us see what we can find.”
The Richmond Mansion
George sat in his bed, still unable to sleep after everything he had heard. When he got home from school, his mother and sister had told him of Katy’s disappearance - and then the police had talking to Heather and Sands.
He’d tried to sleep, but he was too worried, too upset. Finally, he got up and put on his slippers and dressing gown, leaving his room and heading down the staircase. Perhaps a glass of milk would help – although he very much doubted it.
As he passed the television room, however, he noticed a light on, and heard voices, so he opened the door and looked in.
“Hey – you couldn’t sleep either?”
Sands looked up from where she was sitting on a couch, her knees drawn up and her chin resting on them, and shook her head.
“Want some milk and some company?”
“Please,” she said quietly, watching as he walked out of the door, and then came back in with two glasses.
“Anything worth watching,” he asked as he handed her a glass, and sat down next to her.
“Nah – I thought normal television was bad enough, but these infomercials...”
“That bad huh? So why watch them?”
“Because,” Sands said as she held her glass, “when I close my eyes, I see Katy, and I can’t stop thinking what would have happened if I had been there.”
“You can’t think that way Sands,” George said quietly, “you may have got hurt – or worse.”
“At least she would not be alone, wherever she is,” Sands aid as she started to shiver.
“No – but I would have been, I’m worried sick as it is,” he said quietly, “if you had been taken as well...”
Sands looked at her brother, his red eyes, the way he gripped the glass of milk, the way he was starting to shake, and put her glass down, before she put her head against his shoulder. George looked at her, and put his own glass down before he held her.
They both started crying, finding comfort with each other as Sandy watched quietly from the door, and then made her way to the kitchen.
11 am CET
“Snatched? Oh my god,” Mary said as she looked at Missy. “How is Jan?”
“I have no idea,” Missy said quietly, as they watched Yeli pose for Antonio, “but we are being kept informed, and we all need to do the one thing we can to do to support her.”
“I’ve got someone watching them,” Missy said, “so don’t worry. Now, go to work...”
“Mary, my angel, join us.”
Mary nodded as she walked over, both models wearing floral dresses and wraps as they posed for Il Maestro.
“Missy – phone call.”
Walking to the side, Missy took the phone and said “This is Missy Auerbach.
“Ah – any word?
“All right then – Rowena should be in by seven. Go home, and thanks again Liddy.”
West Central Park
“So what we got,” Moletti said as he looked at the Hand.
“Apart from the fact far too many people have dreams about our young friend?” The Hand smiled as she said “cross-referencing to the list Lieutenant Moletti provided gives us six matches – if you desire, I can bring their records up for you.”
“Nah – i don’t think I wanna see youse do that,” Moletti said. “Can you give us de names?”
“Here you go,” she said as she wrote them down, Moletti watching as she held the pen in her gloved hand.
“Do you never takes dem off?”
“I prefer to keep my anonymity, Lieutenant – after all, while I have no outstanding warrants in this country, others are not forthcoming.”
“We need to go back to the office – an officer will be downstairs.”
“Of course – keep us informed,” Adam said as he went out with them.
“There is a name here that may be of interest to you – a young man whose father died serving in the gulf.”
As she handed Eleanor the slip of paper, she nodded and said “let me make a call.”
“You didn’t tell Moletti,” Jan said, “why?”
“Because I want to see what we can learn of him first – it may be nothing, it may be anything...”
“But it might not be a known offender?”
The Hand nodded as she said “Exactly – we need to cover all bases. Right now, can some more coffee be provided?”
“Hey,” Nikki said as she joined Doc at the school entrance, “any idea why we got asked to arrive early today?”
“I do,” Ama said as she and Pepsi got out of the Beetle, locking the car doors as she did so.
“Peps, is it true?”
“We will talk about it inside,” Ama said quietly as they headed in, joining Abby inside.
“Thanks for coming in,” she said as Poppy and Erica walked in.
“Is it true?”
“Let’s go to Grace’s office,” Abby said as they walked along, Pepsi simply nodding in response to Poppy’s question. As Ama opened the door, they saw Grave sitting with Sarah Nightingale, both wearing dark trouser suits. Becca and Jeannie were also there, Jeannie wiping her eyes as she said “Hey – you as well, eh?”
“Okay – be seated everyone,” Grace said as she went and closed the door. “Thank you all for coming in early.”
“So what’s really happened, Mrs Brand,” Erica asked.
gathered you all here in my office to stress that what I think you all know
about Katy Carter cannot be discussed beyond this room." Grace looked from
face to face.
it is true then?" Nikki asked.
it is, so until the police make it public knowledge can you all keep your
mouths shut that Katy has been snatched." Pepsi looked both tired, and
means you all behave as though nothing has happened, and you all keep your
mouths ZIPPED!" Abby made a motion across her lips.
go on acting like your biggest care is what you are going to wear for your
weekend dates," Grace continued, "but in the meantime if any of you
have any information or ideas that may help the authorities, can I hear them
anyone contacted Orion?" Doc asked, "she and Katy, plus one of the
Gaunt girls spent a lot of time together in Ireland...did anyone check on what
far as I'm aware nothing happened Anna, but I'll pass that onto Caroline."
know this probably sounds silly..." Erica spoke, "but has anyone
thought to ask photographers to let the FBI have crowd shots from the wedding
just in case the kidnapper was in Munich?"
not stupid Erica," Grace smiled, "And I'll pass that on as well to
“Sebring as well,” Pepsi said, “Jack?”
“Caroline is going to see him later this morning,” Sarah said.
Mom says we need total rumor control," Ama spoke slowly, "So I'll
just reinforce what Pepsi said, this is Sinners only...we need total silence
the Tennant...Sorry I mean Miss Tennant, know?" asked Poppy.
as I said as far as I'm aware only those of us here in this room right now are
in on the secret." Grace looked sternly at each girl, "So don't even
whisper among yourselves in case the wrong ears hear."
that?" Sarah smiled, "any girl lets this team down will be running
round the soccer field every night till she graduates."
"And she means that." Abby added.
“You can rely on us,” Doc said.
“Good – right, you can go to the morning assembly now.”
As they walked out, Sarah saw Doc and Ama put their arms round Pepsi.
“She’s taking this really badly, isn’t she?”
“So would you if your sister was kidnapped.”
Sarah slowly turned and looked at Grace. “She’s Katy’s sister?”
“Half sister – it’s a fairly open secret amongst the Sinners,” Grace said with a sigh. “I’d better go and join Kate and Wilhelmina. We’ll see you in the assembly room.”
West Central Park
“How you doing,” Caroline asked Sharon as she handed her a mug of Katherine’s coffee.
“Running on adrenaline I think,” Sharon said quietly.
“Well, if you do need to put your head down for an hour or two, let me know.”
“No I’m good – where did the other cop go?”
“Morgan? Back to the precinct house to check in, I think. What you’re seeing here is a very, VERY unusual gathering of people.”
“Jan,” Adam said quietly, “there’s a Skype call coming in for you.”
“Anyones you know,” Moletti asked as Jan walked over.
“It’s Sandy – Alexandra Richmond,” Jan said as she sat down, and opened the chat window.
“Jan – how are you doing?”
“I’ve been better,” Jan said with a weak smile. “How are the kids?”
“Tired, scared, confused – but they’re coping. You?”
“I’ve got a lot of support here – police, FBI – even one or two unexpected sources.”
“They’ll find her and get her home safe,” Sandy said quietly. “We’re all praying for you, and Alex said he would call round later.”
“Thanks – and the school?”
told Bishop Walden that both Katy and Sands have one of these 24 hour flu
viruses." Sandy spoke on the computer screen, "that should head off
friends can be relied upon to keep their mouths shut?" Jan looked round at Caroline, who had joined
we all met for breakfast and the girls all know they cannot say or hint at
for handling this Sandy," Jan looked teary eyed at the screen, "and
thanks to Heather as well."
"You are welcome," the Hand whispered noiselessly to herself.
“You keep safe Jan – and remember, we’re only a call away,” Sandy said as she ended the call.
George came in and said “Inspector Marais is here.”
“Jeanne – did you get some sleep?”
“A little – Tom called me. He and Gale are flying back today, and he has been briefed. He said to tell you to be strong.”
“Bit difficult to do that, but I’ll try,” Jan said quietly as George went to the door.
“I’d better go and get some sleep – call me if you need anything,” Erin said.
“Thank you – for everything,” Adam said as he walked her out, returning with another familiar face.
“Jane – thanks for coming,” Jan said as she came forward.
those of you who don't know her, this is Jane Molloy of the Times," Adam
spoke as the newcomer hugged the crying Janice.
Jane lifted up an arm.
time Molloy," Moletti looked up from the latest information the Hands
computer had pumped out.
Moletti," Jane started to undo her jacket as Katherine took her turn
wasn't sure we needed to bring der press in,” Moletti said, “but Carter
we do need someone who can help us formulate a media strategy Jane."
Caroline hugged the journalist.
Jane nodded, "so would someone like to bring me up to speed with what has
"Me as well,” Jeanne said as she sat down. “It looks as if you have had a busy night.”
the police officer said, “we think an obsessed fan has kidnapped Katy."
why do you think that Moletti?"
Jane said, “so not a commercial snatch."
all these letters sent to her agency suggest there are some really obsessed
maniacs out there," Moletti indicated the pile of letters, "so we are
getting pretty sure this aint no..."
know what you are talking about," Jane interrupted. "Alright, what are you doing about
know who the Hidden Hand is," Jane smiled, "we have met before."
As she shook the veiled woman's gloved
hand, Moletti shook his head.
she's given us a few names that may be our perp."
"Should I ask how?" Jane smiled.
“Perhaps best if you do not, Jane,” the Hand purred.
“Dis lady was also a help.”
“Captain Eleanor Ball – it’s a real honour to meet you Ms Malloy.”
“And I’m honoured to meet you,” Jane said. “So who else knows the truth?”
“Outside of the Sinnerz? Only us here and the superiors at the FBI and NYPD – and Missy Auerbach. We had to read her in to get the letters.”
“And she is?”
“In Prague,” Caroline said, “but we are keeping her informed.”
“Okay – so the information flow is controlled – and you are?”
“Sorry – Sharon is interning with me Jane. She’s been in since the start, and won’t speak out.”
Jane said, “I know most of us hate him, but we need Tom Julian in on
asked Jan who was just settling down again, "he hates Katy, he's made his
position pretty clear that he thinks she's too young to be modeling the way she
Jane replied, "Katy has been a fairly constant topic on his show for
weeks, and he gets a lot of people phone in quite passionately for and against
Katy and you Jan."
think I see where you are going Miss Molloy." Eleanor stood thoughtfully,
"just maybe he or his producers have records of some persistent defender
of and fan of, Katy's."
Captain Ball, he might be a sexist scumbag, but he's also a father with a
teenage daughter, we get him in, or better someone goes see him at his studio,
I'm pretty sure he will do all he can to help."
"That's good thinking Molloy." Moletti nodded his approval.
“So let’s review – we need to talk to Julian and see if he knows anything,” Jane said.
“We need to get these letters analysed to see if my hunch is right,” Eleanor said.
“That the same person wrote them.”
“I’m meeting Jack later,” Caroline said, “getting his photos from Sebring. Jane, we need copies of any crowd shots from Munich.”
“I’ll take care of that,” Jane said quietly.
“My friend The Hand will stay and coordinate with all of us,” Caroline said, “and you have our leads Moletti.”
As the officer nodded, Caroline said “to work people – meet again in two hours - and maybe Jan, you and Katherine both try and get some sleep."
“Caroline’s right – you need to get some rest,” Adam said, “Mom and I will hold the fort, wake you if we hear anything.”
“Come on,” Katherine said as she gently took Jan by the arm, “let’s go and at least lie down.”
As they went out, Jeanne said “I will stay as well.”
“As will I,” the Hand said. “I will contact Caroline if I find anything.”
“All right – Morgan will meet me at the precinct. We’ll get someone on checking these letters.”
“Jane – let’s go and see Julian.”
The party looked at each other, and then walked quietly out.
Katy sat on the bed, thinking over what little she had been able to deduce so far. After he had left, she had eaten the food, drank the juice, and then taken the opportunity to wash and clean herself up.
Whoever this guy was, he had learned everything about her – the small shower and toilet room had al the soaps and perfumes she used, and even the flannel and towels were the same.
Having dried herself off, she dressed in a white blouse and jeans, with clean underwear, and put on a pair of moccasins. She had then very carefully looked round and tried to find any indication of where she was. She wasn’t surprised to find the bed had been bolted to the floor – that was an obvious way to try and get up to the ceiling. The mattress and the pillows had yielded nothing either.
She then examined the other items in the room. The dressing table had LerraBella cosmetics, and the drawers the sort of underwear she would wear – albeit in a plain style.
“This guy obviously thinks I need to be the catholic pure girl,” she said to herself as she looked in the wardrobe. The clothes were top quality but nothing daring, nothing with a plunging neckline or a short skirt.
“This,” she thought to herself, “confirms this nutjob thinks I need to be pure all the time. Which gives me a little hope. Now – the walls and the door.”
She walked over and looked carefully at the door frame, but the door was a snug fit, and the handle refused to budge. Looking up at the walls, there were no windows, just two ventilation grills. She listened carefully, and could hear the air flowing in and out, but the grills were too high, and too far away from the other furniture.
“Yeah, he’s not as stupid as he looks,” Katy said to herself as she looked at the DVD player. It had no connections, save to the television, and the only cable to the television barring the power one came from that.
Sitting on the bed, Katy started to think things over. “Okay – I’m in a room somewhere, locked in by a guy who has the idea he has married me to protect me. He’s giving me food, clothing, and a shower, but he hasn’t harmed me. Having said which, I wish to harm him – when the time is right.
“Mom must be going out of her mind – but the others will be helping. I bet even now they’re looking for me, trying to figure out who did this, and why they did it. All I have to be is patient.
“What I want to do is be patient – and get my handbag if at all possible. That might end up being the only way they can find me – wherever here is...”
“Danny – is that you?”
The flaxen haired young man looked into the front room, where her mother was sitting, and said “yes, it’s me. What do you want this time mother?”
“Where have you been?”
“Believe it or not, at an interview – they wanted to do it early. I’ll be in my room all day now – please, do not disturb me.”
She watched as he walked off, wondering what he had really been doing, and then returning to her book. He walked to the kitchen, and put his purchases away, before he took his cell phone out and looked at the live feed.
“I will come down in a few minutes,” he said as he touched Katy’s face, “and then we will talk...”
The Morgan Apartment
“Whos at da door,” Annie called through as Tommy heard the knock.
“I’ll look,” he called back, handing Tammy a finger of toast before he walked over, looked through the spyhole, and then opened it.
“Bobby? What brings youse here?”
“I needs a coffee and a friendly ear, Uncle Tommy,” the detective said as he came in. “I’ve had the night from hell.”
“Come on in, I’ll make a fresh pot,” Tommy said as he came in, slumping at the table as Tammy waved at him. He smiled and waved back as Annie came in.
“Bobby? Bit early for wings isn’t it?”
“Not hungry – just need a coffee and a chance to sound off,” Bobby said as a fresh mug was placed in front of him.
“So what gives,” Tommy said as he sat down.
“I dunno – youse guys know Ball and Carter, right?”
“Of old,” Annie said with a smile, “why?”
“Don’t spread this about, but someone snatched Carter’s kid last night – Moletti and I have spent the night with them, trying to narrow down the list of suspects.”
“Kidnapped? Sheesh – she’s only just a teenager,” Annie said. “Carter must be devastated.”
“To say the least – but Ball’s even worse. I get the feeling if he finds the guy that did this, he’ll rip his head off.”
“So is just youse guys from the NYPD?”
“Nah – the Jameson broad, the one with the security firm, also helped, and Ball’s mother turned up.”
“Ellie? No wonder he’s on edge,” Tommy said, suppressing a laugh when he saw Annie shake her head.
“An then there’s da specialist Carter and Jameson called in – The Hidden Hand.”
“Doesn’t she know everyfink about computers,” Annie asked.
“Well, she certainly did something – she narrowed down our standard perp list to less than a dozen in two hours.” Draining his cup, he said “I need to go to the precinct – fanks for dat Uncle Tommy.”
“Hey – hang in there kid. I know it’s tuff.”
“Thanks Uncle Tommy – see ya,” Bobby said as he walked out, Annie looking at her husband.
“I’m coming down to da club wi ya Annie,” Tommy said, “once we drop Tammy off. I need to talk to Carlos.”
“Miss Molloy, Miss Jameson?”
As Caroline turned round, she looked at the man known as George, and smiled as she said “That’s right.”
“Mister Julian will see you in the studio,” he said as he indicated the lift.
“Sharon, check in with Missy, see if she has any further word.”
“Got it boss,” Sharon said as Caroline and Jane followed George, standing in the lift as the doors closed.
“How’s life treating you George,” Jane said as the lift went up.
“I can’t complain, Miss Molloy,” the man mountain said quietly as Caroline raised an eyebrow, waiting until the lift doors opened and they walked to the studio.
Tom looked up from his desk and smiled as he said “hey Jane, come to see how an honest dollar is earned?”
“Always with the wisecracks, Tom – this is...”
“Caroline Jameson – so are you here as the model or as the security expert?”
“Both, but mainly the latter,” Caroline said. “Can we talk in private, Mister Julian?”
“Oh call me Tom – despite what you may think, I don’t bite,” he said as he nodded to George, who stepped outside. “So, what can I do for you?”
“First, I need your word there are no live mikes in the room.”
Tom reached over and pressed a button, a green light going off, before he said “Now, what is so serious you had to say that?”
“Tom,” Jane said, “we need your help, and we need you to swear what we talk about does not become public knowledge – yet.”
“Oookay,” he said as he looked at them, “what’s going on?”
“Little Lolita? What happened – she finally end up in bed with someone?”
“She was snatched last night from outside her school.”
“Oh shit,” Tom said quietly as he looked at a photo on top of one of the decks. Caroline looked over to see him with a young girl. “You’ve kept this quiet so far?”
“We have,” Caroline said, “I’m cooperating fully with the police, FBI and other experts, and we are convinced this is someone obsessed with her rather than wanting a demand. We’ve spent most of the night sifting through her fan mail.”
“They brought me in this morning. Tom, we will go public at some point, but right now we need...”
“My help? Well, it has been a couple of years since the stunt Jane – time for me to step up.”
we can trust you not to blab this over the air?"
Tom said, “what kinda monster do you think I am?"
choose not to answer that." Caroline murmured.
I may not like a 13 year old being out there, looking like that, being a come
on for every pervert in town,” Tom said as he looked at them, “but I wouldn't
wish being kidnapped on anyone."
we can rely on your help Mr Julian?"
as far as it can go Miss Jameson, but as soon as she's back safe the gloves
come off again."
expect no less."
does anyone spring to mind Tom?" Jane asked.
couple, but there's one in particular has been something of her 'knight in
shining armor'. He absolves Katy of all blame for what she does and instead
accuses her mother and her agency of exploiting her...Damn does he hate Miss
"Do you have a name for this guy?"
“The producers will – let me get them to check the call logs, see if they can say anything,” Tom said as he stood up. “I want this ended, and her safe back with her family – then we can argue again.”
“Lieutenant,” Eleanor Ball said as she stood by Moletti’s desk, “how are you doing?”
“We’re looking into da names the Hand gave us,” Moletti said, “and our profiler’s looking at the letters. Why don’t we grab a coffee and see how dey’re doing?”
“Is it drinkable?”
“Barely – but you’re the forces vet.”
“When you put it in that context,” Eleanor said with a smile as they headed to the coffee machine, and then up some stairs. Stopping outside a door that said “Criminal Intelligence,” he knocked on the door and looked in.
“Bertie – had a chance to look at them?”
“Yeah – come in.”
As he walked in, he said “this is Captain Eleanor Ball – she’s helping out in an informal way wif dis one.”
“Honoured,” the grey haired man said as he stood up and shook her hand. “This was an – interesting problem.”
Eleanor said, “what can you tell us?"
much I'm afraid."
Moletti said, “every little helps. Give
us what ye’ve got Bertie."
the man said as he looked over the letters again. “The author is young...very early twenties
I'd guess...Jewish...working class...a native New Yorker..."
you can tell all that how?"
by how he uses the language and idiom, Moletti...it's very characteristic.”
a domineering mother and an absent father...he also probably has never had a
girlfriend in his life."
how the hell can you tell that?"
as much by experience as anything Captain Ball...he's laying out to this young,
beautiful model, all the things I bet he cannot say to 'real' girls."
very little, this seems a lot to me," Eleanor started making notes.
"Oh, he's left handed, and I'd guess a college dropout."
“Okay – all dat helps narrow things down,” Moletti said, “but the 64,000 dollar question?”
“I don’t think he wants to hurt her – this is more to me like he has the idea he has to protect her from what he perceives as the threat from others. So no, I don’t think he intends to do anything like that – but...”
“I cannot guarantee what would happen if he is threatened – so if you find him, tread carefully.”
“Duly noted – fanks a lot Bertie,” Moletti said as he and Eleanor stood up.
“One other thing – the way he writes indicates he has a mind that will plan things out. I get the feeling he will have laid his plans very carefully, so check any previous reports.”
Eleanor and Moletti looked at each other, and nodded as they went out.
Jack Linklater’s studio
“Kidnapped? Oh the poor wee lamb,” Jack said as he held his hand to his mouth.
“It’s not public knowledge yet,” Caroline said, “but we need your help Jack. There’s a chance whoever did this has been following Katy for some time, so we need photos of where she had been – such as Sebring.”
“I was going to say, Munich was all the official portrait shots, but Sebring – Luke, we need to prepare a DVD to help in the search.”
“I’m on it,” Luke said as he left the studio.
“Does the PTA know?”
“Some of them,” Caroline said, “but of those, they are the right people.”
“Good – if we can do anything else, let us know.”
Katy looked up as she heard the door unlock, and her captor walk in, carrying some food and a glass of drink on a tray.
“Sorry it took me so long to come back, he said as he closed the door do, and walked over, placing the tray on the dressing table, “but I had to deal with something first. I trust you weren’t too bored?”
“I watched a film – I haven’t seen The Princess Diaries 1 and 2 for some time,” Katy said. “Where have you been?”
“Sorting a few things out,” he said with a smile as he uncovered the plate of sandwiches and brought them over. “You must be hungry again – please eat.”
“Thank you,” Katy said as she picked up a sandwich. “If you’re going to look after me, can I at least know the name of the man who is going to protect me.”
“It’s Danny,” he said quietly, “so what have you been doing?”
“Looking round, settling in,” Katy said quietly, “but why are there no windows in this room?”
“I had to make sure nobody could hurt you, or ask you to do anything that made you look as if you’re something you’re not – and that includes looking at you,” Danny said quietly. “Eventually, when our new home is ready, I will take you there, but for now you will need to stay here, where I can look after you.”
“Well – if you think that’s for the best,” Katy said quietly, “but where am I? Can you at least tell me that?”
“Safe – and that’s all that matters. Go on – eat.”
As she looked at him, Katy was imagining new and inventive ways to hurt him for what he was doing to her and her family, without involving Carina or any of the more – purposeful members of the extended family. If she could find out when he was going to come – or even what time it was, but he had taken her watch, the ring on her left hand the only jewellery.
“This is very good,” she then said with a smile, “did you make it yourself?”
“Of course – I will do everything for you, short of what you must do for yourself,”
“You really are worried about me, aren’t you,” Katy said softly as she looked into his eyes. “My knight in shining armour?”
She saw Danny blush at this, before she reached up and kissed him on his cheek.
“Thank you,” he said quietly.
“You know,” she said softly, “you can kiss me if you want.”
“No – I don’t want you to think I’m not that kind of man.”
“Oh I don’t think that,” Katy purred as she stroked his cheek – then had to stop a cry of pain as he grabbed her wrist and pulled it down.
“I said I was here to protect you, keep you pure,” he said in a quiet, dangerous voice, “why would I ruin that by doing that?”
“Please,” Katy said, “you’re hurting me...”
Danny looked at her, and then let go. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly, “but I don’t want you to be what you are not – and you are not the painted harlot they force you to be.”
“All right,” Katy whispered, “I’m sorry I gave the impression I wanted you to – do that.”
Danny stood up and looked at her, and then said “I’ll bring you dinner later – we’ll eat together,” before he collected both sets of plates on the tray, and then walked out. As she heard the door lock turning, Katy’s face hardened, as she said “you, Danny, are a dead man.”
The New Calabria
“Someone call for a cab?”
“Hey Carlos,” Tommy said as he looked up, “come thru da back. Annie, ah’ll be a few minutes.”
Annie nodded as the two men went through, the third man in the back room looking up and saying “Carlos – you got roped into dis as well?”
“Yeah – what’s the deal Tommy?”
“The deal,” Tommy said as he closed the door, “is someone snatched a thirteen year old kid yesterday.”
“Anyone we know,” Carlos said.
“By name, yeah – Katy Carter?”
“The young model? Sheesh,” Weasel said, “is this a ransom job?”
“According to my sources, nah – dis looks like some mook who may have obsessed over her. Fing is, she’s an innocent - and she’s the daughter of a good friend of mine and Annie, so I want the word spread. Anyone – ANYONE – who has seen or heard anyfing about dis to let me know. No blame, no actions – my beef is wif whoever did dis.”
“And if you find out?”
“I’ll tell the authorities – right after I find out from him or her where she is.”
FBI Field Office, New York
“All right Adam – you try and get some rest as well,” Tom Callaghan said as he looked up, and saw Caroline and Jane walk in. “I’ll call round and see all of you later.”
“Tom – how are Gale and Allan?”
“They’ve gone back to the apartment,” Tom said as he rubbed his eyes, “we got the first flight we could out. I just spoke to Jeanne and Adam – they’ve brought me up to speed on what happened during the night, and what you were all doing this morning.”
“Caroline,” Tom said, “if it got Katy back quicker, I’d get you to call the National Guard in. If it was Gale and Allan...”
“Yeah, I got the feeling that would be the case,” Caroline said as they sat down. “Have you heard from the others?”
“Moletti and Eleanor Ball are on their way in. They should be here in a minute?”
“And Jan,” Jane asked.
“She and Katherine are finally getting some sleep – Adam and Jeanne are still there, but the Hand left. She said she would be in touch later.”
“She called me,” Caroline said, “she needs some rest, but also needs to be elsewhere if we need to probe deeper on anyone.”
“Hey,” Eleanor said as she and Moletti came in. “Busy morning?”
“Like you would not believe,” Caroline said. “Let’s bring everyone up to date. You want to go first?”
“Okays,” Moletti said, “we’re going through the list da Hand gave us. Of the twelve, half have solid alibis – Morgan is working on the other half now. Our profiler also went over the letters Norstar provided. Captain?”
“They reckon we’re definitely dealing with a loner,” Eleanor said as she consulted her notes, “young male, working class, Jewish family. I guess the best description I can give on this is like Howard Wolowitz – but without the college degree.”
“Hmm – now that’s interesting,” Caroline said.
“Oh – why?”
“We went to see Tom Julian – he’s been rather vocal recently about Jan and Katy. Anyway, he got his producer to pull this – it’s a set of recordings from a caller who has leapt to Katy’s defence over the last few weeks. Want to hear one?”
“Go on,” Tom said as Jane put the CD into a player, and they started it.
“You’re listening to W-XJQ, and you’re listening to Tom Julian – the topic today is once again the model I call Little Lolita, and whether or not it’s right someone barely thirteen does something like this. We’ve had a fairly heated discussion so far, but right on cue we have Sir Daniel on the line. Good morning Sirrah!”
“Good morning, Tom – I see your view is still that of a blinkered idiot,” a young man said with a Bronx accent.
“Well, if I am a blinkered idiot, Sir Daniel, what is it I yet again fail to see?”
“That under the paint and the clothes, Katy is a pure young woman who is only doing this because she wants to please others.”
“Well, the pictures in Complete Style and from Fashion Week tell a different story, Daniel – she seems to positively revel in the attention.”
“Because she thinks she is doing what her witch of a mother wants her to do – if I was looking after her, I would never allow her to do that.”
“So you’re saying she is a plaything of others, is that right?”
“Because she knows no better, because her fucking whore of a mother...”
“Language like that is unbecoming of a knight,” Tom laughed.
“She needs to be rescued from the attention seeking whore, and all those who are convincing her this is the right thing to do – and be allowed to be the pure virginal person she really is.”
“Well, as always Sir Daniel, we can count on you to ride to her rescue,” Tom said, “let’s move on – Eddie, what do you think?”
Jane stopped the player as Tom looked at the others.
“Young lad, Bronx accent – your profiler may be on the money Moletti.”
“We’ll see if it narrows our search still further,” Moletti said as Eleanor tapped her chin. “Were the call logs any use?”
“Nope – he called from different places, and used pre-pay phones. He may not have a college education, but he’s smart.”
“Sorry – something I need to look into,” she said quietly, “once I’m done here.”
“Right – Caroline, you’ve provided some evidence of the person you thought was stalking Katy. What else have we got?”
“Jack Linklater has given us a copy of all the shots he took when the group were in Sebring,” Caroline said as she passed over a disc.
“And the paper has sent the shots their photog took in Munich at the wedding – as well as some film from Jeanne Beckmann,” Jane said as she passed over a second disc.
Tom looked at the discs, and the identification Caroline handed over, before he picked up the phone.
“Majewski? Conference room, now.”
Two minutes later, the door opened and the bearded Phil Majewski came in.
“You screamed, Boss?”
“Yeah – I need you to scan this photo in,” Tom said as he held up the fake ID, “and then see if it appears in any of the photos or film on these discs. And Phil?”
“I need it as soon as humanly possible.”
“What about standard databases?”
“Run those as well,” Tom said as Phil took the items and left. “So, if I understand this correctly, between us we have a profile of the guy, but no name yet?”
“Not yet, no.”
The group looked at Eleanor as she said “Tom, can I use the phone?”
“Help yourself,” Tom said as Eleanor picked up the phone and dialled a number.
“This is Captain Eleanor Ball – I need the records office.
“Authorization Tango Victor two five Echo Bravo.
“I’ll hold,” she said as she looked at the others. She then said “I need the full service and family record for the following person forwarded to me at the FBI New York Field office within the hour.
“Chief Petty Officer Peter Morgenstern, last based in the Naval Yards, New York.
“Good – personal only, to be hand delivered to me.”
As she put the phone down, she said “the Hand gave me an additional name – I need to see if that pans out as well. With luck, we may have a break...”
Pepsi turned round and said “sorry, Mrs Brand, I was a million miles away.”
“I can imagine,” Grace said quietly. “Listen – can you make your way out to the school entrance? There’s somebody there who wants to see you.”
“Just go and look,” Grace said with a smile as she guided the young girl to the school entrance.
“All right, who is out here that I have to...” Pepsi stopped as she saw the thin, brown haired young man who was standing there, wearing a leather jacket, shirt and pants.
“Hey,” he said with a smile as he turned round, “hope you don’t mind that I dragged you from lunch.”
what are you doing here?" Pepsi smiled for the first time that day as she
ran over and fell against him.
"Why? Can't a chap fly over to see his girl on an
yes, but what about the people at your college?"
phoned and explained it was 'family' business." Jack whispered.
up into his blue eyes, Pepsi whispered "So you know...?"
your dear sister has been nabbed...of course I do," Jack ran his hand
through her hair, "how are you doing?"
then Mom and Gran are, but not a lot..."
“Well, I’m here now as well,” he said quietly as he looked at her.
"Hey Jack," Jeannie said as she wheeled herself outside into the midday sun, "you must have hopped an early flight?"
“First one i could get – what is the word?”
“Those who need to know, know – but it’s not public knowledge yet,” Pepsi said quietly.
“Anyway, Mrs Brand says she’s going to be out of her office for the next hour – you guys let me know what you want for lunch, I’ll have it brought to you, but remember this is a school, right?”
“Don’t worry – we’ll just eat and talk,” Jack said with a smile as he walked Pepsi into the school.
“Where did Pepsi go,” Doc asked as she sat with Becca and Nikki.
“Mrs Brand called her out – guess we’ll find out soon enough,” Becca said as Abby came over.
“How are you girls doing?”
“How do you think,” Doc said quietly. “But we’ve kept stumm.”
“Good – we haven’t heard anything yet,” Abby said as Ama joined them, “unless you have heard from Caroline.”
“Only to say they are making progress, and not to worry,” Ama said as she opened her wrap. “Did I just see Jack Fitzstuart with Pepsi?”
“Ah good – he arrived,” Abby said. “Mandy called to say she had heard, and he was on his way over.”
“Which explains where Pepsi is,” Doc said with a smile.
West Central Park
Jan suddenly sat up, crying out “KATY!” Looking round, she saw Adam lying beside her, sleeping, before the door opened and her mother looked in.
“Are you all right, Jan,” she said quietly.
“Yeah – how long was I out?”
“It’s one o’clock – Jeannie is still here, and Alex Richmond is here as well. Do you feel like eating?”
“No – but if there’s some coffee I’ll have some,” Jan said as she rubbed her eyes, and got up. Turning, she gently kissed Adam on the cheek and then walked into the main room.
As she came in, Alex stood up and said “I won’t ask how you are – I saw that look in Heather when Jo was taken. Come – sit with me.”
“Thanks Alex,” Jan said as she sat down, “where did everyone go?”
“Well,” Jeanne said, “the Hand left mid-morning, but assured us she will be in touch. Adam’s mother went with Moletti, and Jane went off with Caroline. I spoke to Tom an hour or so ago – they’ve met up at the field office, and managed to narrow the field down even more by the sound of things. They’re not ready to give a name to a firm suspect yet though.”
“Finally agreed to get some sleep when I arrived,” Alex said, “the poor man was exhausted.”
“Here we go,” Katherine said as she laid down a tray of mugs. “Sharon – Caroline’s assistant – just called to say she would be round in a little while.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to thank all of them,” Jan said quietly as she held a mug in her hands.
“When we needed your support, you and Adam were there for us,” Alex said, “now it is our turn.”
Ida Morgenstern looked in the front room of their house, sighing in exasperation that she could not find him. Bad enough her layabout son was going out all hours of the morning and night for the last few days, and would not tell her what he was doing – but now he didn’t seem to be anywhere.
She could have sworn he had not left the house – but would he answer? Would he like heck! Well, as she had said to Margo and Rachel, she had done just about as much as she could with him. Ever since her husband had died, she had struggled to do the best for him, but it seemed to have gone for nothing.
He only lasted one year at college as well, before he got kicked out for laziness. Yeah, they called it failure to get a sufficiently good grade, but she knew he was capable of doing it – he just did not want to. He was lazy – it was as simple as that, and not even Rabbi Leibowski had been able to make him see that.
No, he had to have his hobby, his obsession – and that model had been the subject of choice. When he had come to ask her for some money, she had thought it was to get a job in another city – and instead, he had flown to Munich. MUNICH! Why any son of hers would want to go to that country was beyond her thinking. But he went, and now he was back.
Still no answer – Ida growled as she went up the stairs and looked in his room. At least he had taken al the posters and pictures down – in fact, it looked remarkably neat and tidy.
Still, she had to go and meet the ladies that afternoon – and as she took a last look round, something caught her eye under his bed. As she knelt down, trapping her skirt underneath, she reached under and pulled out a cream coloured leather handbag.
“Maybe he got me a present,” she said to herself, “well, I’ll make use of it now.” Standing up, she walked down the stairs and into the front room, putting her wallet and other items in before she closed it and firmly closed the bag, her hand pressing on the clasp to make sure it stayed shut.
“Right – time to go,” she said as put on her coat and went out, closing the door behind herself. A moment later, a door that led to the cellar opened and Danny came out, closing the door behind himself as he watched the scene on his phone.
“What is the situation now,” Shirley said from the computer screen as Susan sipped her water.
“Caroline is providing full cooperation – and with the Hidden Hand and Captain Ball on the team, it would not surprise me if we got an answer to who did this sooner rather than later,” Susan said quietly.
“How do you think,” Susan said with a sigh. “April may be only a year old, but I know how I would feel if...”
There was a knock on the door, Susan looking up as Pamela came in.
“My apologies, Susan – is Shirley on the call with you?”
“I am – what is it Pamela?”
Susan’s assistant came round and said “I have news. Five minutes ago, we picked up the tracker signal from Katy’s handbag.”
“We did? Audio?”
“Street sounds – and the signal is on the move. We don’t think it’s her, but...”
“I understand – track the signal and monitor the audio. As soon as it settles in one place, inform Dominique by telephone. This might be the breakthrough we need.”
“Of course,” Pamela said as Shirley looked at Susan.
“Let’s just hope this gives us a clue where to look.”
FBI Field Office
Tom looked up as the group heard the knock on the door.
“Got a minute, Tom?”
“What do you have Phil?”
“Two things – first, a visitor for Captain Ball.”
As Eleanor stood up, a Marine in full uniform came in and stood to attention. “The file you requested m’am,” he said as he saluted and handed over a brown manila folder.
“Thank you Sergeant – wait outside, and you can return to the records office with it in a little while,” Eleanor said as the marine saluted and marched out. Tom looked at Elaine and raised an eyebrow.
“Okay – the other thing Phil?”
“The guy on that ID – he’s been following Katy and her family around,” he said as he closed the door. “May I?”
“Go ahead,” Tom said as Phil switched on the monitor. “Here we have the false driver’s licence you – obtained before Caroline,” Phil said as it came up on the screen.
“Okay – so what do we have?”
“Sebring,” Phil said as he pressed a button, showing some of the photos Jack had taken in Sebring, and then highlighting the same face in the background of the LerraBella launch for RCM Racing.
“Holy...” Caroline said as she looked up, “where else?”
“Munich,” Phil said as he switched to some of the photos supplied by Jane, and the same face appeared in crowd scenes at the cathedral.
“While you were in here,” Phil continued, “we also got some photographs from one Paula Gaunt, who was with Katy and another model in Ireland when she visited before Munich. Want to guess who is in the background of some of them?”
Moletti and Eleanor stood as well as he put the photos up, and the same face appeared in the background.
“So who is he?”
“He doesn’t have a criminal record, whoever he is,” Phil said, “we checked. But now we have a profile, we have a face, we...”
“We may have a potential name?”
The room turned and looked at Eleanor, who had been examining the file. “The name the Hand gave me was for someone she picked up on when scanning the psychiatrist’s files – but it was a woman, not a man. She talked of her son’s obsession with Katy Carter, and how her husband Peter would have dealt with him.”
“Go on,” Moletti said.
“Which leads us,” Eleanor said as she opened the file, “to Chief Petty Officer Peter Morgenstern, USNR. He served in the navy from ’82 to ’02, but was given an honourable discharge for health reasons. He died two years later from cancer, leaving a widow Ida, and a ten year old son Daniel. They lived in the Bronx at the time, and may still do so – the psychiatrist Ida visits works from Third Avenue.”
“Ten year old –so he’d be about twenty two now? Majewski, get everything you can on Daniel Morgenstern. Find out if he has left the country in the last three months, and if so for where. Caroline?”
“I’ll call her,” Caroline said, but as she took her cell phone out she was surprised to hear it ring. Answering it, she said “Caroline Jameson?
“You’re kidding me – for how long?
“No of course not – where? And what can you hear?
“Right – you do not know how right that sounds. Continue monitoring, let me know if it moves again.”
“What’s happened,” Jane said as Tom and Moletti stood up.
“Katy’s handbag had an emergency tracker which my firm monitors – and it went off. Moletti, with me – we just got a break.”
As they left, Tom said “Phil, get to work. Eleanor?”
“If I may, I will stay here. Jane, can you go back to the apartment?”
Delicious on Lydig Kosher
746 Lydig Avenue, The Bronx
“So what did that nogoodnik son of yours do this time, Ida,” Margo said as she sipped her drink, her curled grey hair held in place by a mountain of pins and a while can of hairspray.
“Well, he returned from the trip he said he HAD to take,” Ida said as she swallowed her food, “and now he’s holing himself up somewhere. He actually tried to tell me he had a job interview today.”
“Did he,” Rachel asked as she sipped her drink. She was dressed in black – literally, from head to toe in black, including the headscarf tied over her hair.
“Well, you tell me – what sort of job calls you for an interview before nine in the morning?”
“The type a good Jewish boy should not be going for,” Margo said, the other two nodding in agreement. “Now my Rhoda, she gets a good steady job, she helps when she can – all we need now is the good Jewish boy to marry her.”
“Well, it won’t be my Danny, not since Peter – god bless his soul – moved on. That boy has gone completely into his own world. Did I tell you the boy borrowed money from me which he said was for a business trip –and he went to Florida, then Ireland, then that godforsaken land!”
The other two women nodded as the door opened, and a couple walked in. One was a tall blonde woman, wearing a black jumper and slacks under a long cream coat, the other a balding tall man wearing a suit. They looked round the restaurant, then walked over and had a quiet word with the owner.
“I’m sure some day he will come right, Ida,” Margo said.
“Right – and pigs might fly,” Ida laughed out loud, as the staff quietly shepherded the rest of the customers out of the back door.
“Hey – is it me,” Rachel said, “or is it getting quiet in here? Hey Manny – any chance of any more coffee?”
“Allow me,” a female voice said, and as they looked up they saw the blonde haired woman holding a coffee pot.
“Have I seen you somewhere before,” Margo said as she looked at her.
“Oh I get seen from time to time,” she said as she refilled their cups. “I must say, I do admire your handbags ladies – would it be rude if I was to look at them properly.”
“You’re not trying to steal them are you,” Ida said quietly.
“No – I just wanted to see them. May I?”
“Oh go on Ida – what’s the harm,” Rachel said as she, and then Margo, showed her their bags. As Ida handed hers over, the woman smiled as she examined it.
“Now this is an exquisite handbag,” she said quietly, “may I ask where you purchased it.”
“It was a gift – my nogood deadbeat son trying to apologise,” Ida said as the woman looked at her, and nodded.
“And do you know where he got it?”
“No – should I?”
“Well, I will tell you,” the blonde said, “after I introduce myself and my friend. My name is Caroline Jameson – I run Jameson Security, and my friend is here Lieutenant Moletti, NYPD.”
Ida turned and looked at the man behind her, and said “why are you telling me this?”
“Because,” Moletti said, “dis handbag has been sending a distress signal for the last ninety minutes. It was taken from a young lady who has disappeared – so, with deep regret, I needs to ask ye to accompany me.”
“Ida, what’s going on,” Margo said as she and Rachel looked at her.
“Come,” the blonde said, “we’ll explain everything there.”
The de Ros Mansion
“Well, this has been a long day,” Cari said as she looked out from one of the windows on the laptop screen. “How’s Abby?”
“She’s playing mother hen at St Angela’s – those who are in the Sinnerz know, but no one else, so they’re supporting Pepsi as best they can.”
Juliette ever forgive us for not telling her immediately Cari Cherie?"
Diana said as she sipped her coffee.
even you want to interrupt her honeymoon Aunt Diana?"
she nodded, “but if things do turn nasty she will always say we should have
know," Carina looked at the secured screen "But there are already
more than enough people worrying about Katy, and it's not like I don't have
other problems to worry about..."
Sandy broke in.
"Yes...” Carina rubbed her eyes and said “Herr Breitz
is proving to be a pain in the ass."
he still investigating Natalya?"
is Aunt Diana."
Carina reached down to give a toy to Judith, "we needed him at just this
time like we needed a hole in the head."
just when you are also working hard on your big German history paper as
Sandy, and I so want a straight A so I can do the Senior Honors elective next
do it," Heather came on screen. "I know you will."
just wish I had your confidence Heather."
"So any news Heather?" Diana asked.
“So far no...”
“Hold on a second... Oh sweet lord.”
“Heather, what’s wrong?”
“Susan just sent a message,” Sandy said, “someone set off the tracer on Katy’s handbag. Dom and Moletti have tracked it down, and taken someone to the precinct.”
“Oh god,” Cari said, “did they...”
“No – but apparently this narrows the field of names down.”
“To how many?”
Sandy looked at the screen and said “one.”