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|A fan fiction story|
| Copyright Notice: The characters and stories of CSI: Miami are Copyright of CBS and their respective production companies’ et al, and are used here without permission or license. No claims to the above copyright are made by the author of these works. These works are for non-commercial use ONLY and are produced only for the enjoyment of the fans. These works are the expressions of the author and the depiction of CSI: Miami characters herein are in no way represented to be a part of CSI: Miami as depicted by the original author and copyright holder(s).|
It was an unusually humid day for May due to a tropical storm that was approaching. Melinda had just gotten off work and was glad she had gotten the a/c fixed in the car she had bought. She was driving down the Ocean Drive Highway in rush hour traffic. She turned up the radio to drown out the noise of the world outside. As she was adjusting the radio, someone drove up beside her and threw something at her window. She screamed and started swerving into the lane next to her. She could not see anything out her windshield as it had spider webbed. She was finally able to get the car pulled over to the side of the highway and wondered what she was going to do now. She pulled her cell phone out of her bra and called Delko daycare to let them know what had just happened to her. The teacher that answered got Marlania on the phone and Melinda told her what had just happened, and that she was going to call a tow truck. Marlania told Melinda to not worry about the boys and to just pick them up from Marlania’s home. Melinda slipped her cell phone back inside her bra. Melinda didn’t see the gray van that had pulled up behind her while she had been on the phone. As she turned the radio down, she heard someone tapping on her window. A tall man with long jet black hair in a ponytail was outside her door. He gave a whistle at the damage to her windshield and motioned for her to get out of the car. She was thinking about a warning she had heard on TV but for some reason could not recall what MDPD had warned the people of. The guy outside her door was starting to act a little strange and screamed at the window to see if she was okay. Melinda shook her head to get rid of the feeling that something bad was about to happen and opened her door. As she opened the door the guy grabbed her and yanked her out by her hair. Before Melinda could react he had her at the side of the van and hit her upside her head. Her world went black from the pain of getting hit that hard on her head.
When she started to come to, her hand went to her head. Melinda moaned, and then realized that she needed to stay as quite as possible. She tried to recall what had happened and understood now why she had the feeling of dread when she saw the guy who was supposedly there to offer her help. She opened her eyes and saw she was still in the van but didn’t feel any movement and wondered where the man had taken her. She moved her head a little to see if anyone else was in the van with her. When she didn’t see anyone, Melinda pulled out her cell phone and hit the speed dial number for Marlania’s home.
“Hey Melinda did you get a hold of the tow company?” Marlania asked.
“Marlania listen to me, some guy stopped to help me but he hit me in the head. I am in the back of a gray van.” Melinda told her.
“Melinda you have to call 911, and I will call my brother and get him to help also. Don’t worry about the boys I will make sure they stay safe until you are brought home”.
“Marlania tell them I love them and to be good. I will call you as soon as I have called the police.”
“No, Melinda, listen to me. Leave the call going that way the GPS in your phone can help the police find you. And stay as calm and as still as you can.”
“Okay I will.”
Once Melinda was off the phone with Marlania she dialed 911 and whispered to the dispatcher
“Please help me. Someone kidnapped me and I am in the back of a gray van.”
“Stay on the line with me, Miss. I am dispatching the police.”
“I have to hide the phone someone is coming to the van” she whispered.
She slid the phone back inside her bra but left it on the call hoping that the dispatcher would be able to trace the call and find where she was at. The man with the long hair slide the door open on the side of the van, and Melinda closed her eyes again. Melinda hoped that he would think she was still knocked out and he would leave her alone. She was right; he yelled out that she was still unconscious.
Melinda started thinking that this could not be happening to me. She had thought she had been so careful to not let anyone know about her past. She had to wonder if this was just a case of mistaken identity or if he had found her. Melinda had changed her name, the way she looked, and acted so that no one here would know her. She worried about her two boys; about how she had made them relocate and how she may have not kept them safe in the end. Since they had moved Melinda had made sure to stay to herself and not let anyone get close because of what she had seen. She was running and still trying to provide for her boys without telling them what was going on. The boys didn’t understand why she was being so protective but Melinda knew if they had known what had happened they would have been scared. She was carrying a lot on her shoulders while she was waiting for word from her sister to see if the man had been caught. Now she had to wonder if he had found out from her sister where Melinda had moved and worried if her sister was okay.
Melinda heard a couple of men talking about what they were going to do with her when they got the money from the person who had called them. Her heart dropped because she thought she had pulled off the con and realized that she hadn’t. She hoped beyond hope that the dispatcher was still on the line and was tracing her call to get help to her. She opened one eye and saw three men outside the van. Melinda could hear them arguing about who she was. The man with the ponytail said that this is the lady that had the windshield shattered. She opened her eye for another second and caught a glimpse of the other two men. She saw that one of the men was bald and was tall with a lot of muscles. The other man was short and lean with really neat blond hair. Melinda closed her eye and the guy with blond hair was telling the other two that she was not the one they were after. They all started to talk at the same time when she heard one of them say that the license plate and car was the same as the car they were suppose to stop.
Melinda thought about that for a moment knowing she had just gotten the car about a week ago. Surely no one would be able to trace the car to her, what with her getting a license plate in a fake name. The door was shut again and she breathed a small sigh of relief. She pulled out her phone and whispered for the dispatcher praying she would hear a reply. What she heard surprised her. Instead of the voice of the lady dispatcher she heard a man on the line. She could hear him giving out information over a Police radio.
“Miss, are you alright?” he asked.
“I think I am but my head hurts and it feels like it is bleeding” she told him.
“This is Lieutenant Horatio Caine of the Miami-Dade Police Department and we are going to find you.” “Do you know where you are?” he asked.
“I saw an old warehouse when they opened the door a few minutes ago but I don’t know for sure where I am” she replied.
“Can you tell me how many people there are and are they male or female or both?” he asked.
“All I have seen so far is three males in their 30’s” she responded. “I hear someone coming and have to hide the phone again” she stated.
“Try not to end the call as we are using it to triangulate where you are and stay calm. I will find you I promise” Lieutenant Caine stated.
Just then the door started to open and the man with the blond hair was standing there. He grabbed her hair and she screamed in pain.
“It is about time you came to.” he said He yanked her out of the van and pushed her toward an old building.
“Where are we and why are you doing this to me?” she asked.
He just pushed her toward the building. The door opened and she saw the other two men inside waiting for her.
“What are you going to do to me? I don’t have any money, I just moved to Miami with my kids. Please let me go” she pleaded.
“Shut up and relax. As long as you do as you are told everything will be over soon.” the man with the ponytail told her. She prayed that the Lieutenant was able to hear what the man had said.
Melinda was taken to a small room in the middle of what she could now see was an old abandon office building. The man with the ponytail told her to just sit tight and it would all be over soon. As he was leaving he said he would bring her some aspirin and a rag and to stay calm. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a few deep breaths while waiting for him to return. He came back and handed her the aspirins, water, and the rag. When he left she heard the door lock and knew she would be alone for a while. She pulled out her phone and saw it was still on the call.
“Can you hear me?” she asked in a hushed voice.
Lieutenant Caine replied “Yes we can. We have found your car and need your permission to take it the lab and see if we can find any clues from the man who grabbed you. Is that okay with you?”
“Do what ever you need to find me. I need you to call my babysitter and let her know what is going on, please. She has my two boys and I know they are worried about me.”
“First things first, what is your name?” he asked
“My name is Melinda Lowle, I mean Melinda Truman” She answered
“So you have two names? Why and which one is your real one?” Horatio asked
“Lieutenant you have to understand I changed my name to try and keep my kids and me safe. My real name is Melinda Truman but everyone I have had contact with in Miami knows my by Melinda Lowle.” she explained
“Okay. Can you tell me anything about the people who grabbed you?” he asked.
“There are three men that I have seen so far, the one who grabbed me out of my car is around 5’10” and has long black hair in a ponytail. From what I heard the second man is the one who throw something at my car and he is over 6’ tall with no hair. The third is short about 5’5” and has very neat blond hair” she told him.
“What do you mean by neat?” Horatio asked.
“I mean it has not gotten ruffled or out of place yet, almost like it is sprayed or gelled in place. Why are they doing this to me? I thought I had been so careful when we moved.” she asked, more to herself, as she started to lose her composure.
“I don’t know sweetheart, but we will find you. You know that don’t you? You have been very brave hiding the phone so we could stay in contact with you and hear what they are saying to you.” He was reassuring her
“I had hoped you had heard what they were saying to me and each other.”
“Just do me a favor, and if you hear them coming close to you, hide the phone and leave it on the call so we can listen in to what they are saying, can you do that for me? Were you able to see the building that they took you to?” he asked
“Yes it is an abandoned office building with three floors. I am on the main floor in the middle of the building in a small room.” she replied.
“You are doing great Melinda, may I call you Melinda? Tell me your babysitters name so we can check on your boys and make sure they are safe while we find you, okay.”
“Her name is Marlania Delko and she…”
“Did you say Delko?” he interrupted her.
“Yes, I did. Do you know her?” she asked and started wondering why Marlania had insisted Melinda call 911.
“I don’t know her but I know her brother. He is one of my CSIs and is the one with your car right now.” the Lieutenant answered.
“That explains why… I have to go” and she hide the phone again.
Horatio calls Eric on his other phone to find out about his sister Marlania.
“Hey H, I just got off the phone with my sister Marlania. She said that one of the mothers that she babysits for is in trouble. She said Melinda Lowle called her saying someone had grabbed her and was holding her against her will. Isn’t that the women we are trying to find?”
“Yes Eric it is. But her real name is Melinda Truman. Did your sister say anything else about Melinda or when she came to Miami?”
“Yea she told me that Melinda has two boys and they moved to Miami about a month ago. She also said that the few times she has tried to talk to Melinda or get her to stay and have dinner with them Melinda gets real quiet and wants to get out of there. She said that the boys are very quiet and seem to not be sure of what they are suppose to be doing. According to Marlania the boys act like something is wrong all the time, like they are looking over their shoulder trying to make sure no one is there.” Eric answered.
“Okay Eric we need your sister to bring the boys to the lab and then we need to find out everything we can about Melinda Truman. I want to know everything about her family and friends from their home town. Is that clear?”
“Will do H. Oh by the way we found some long black hair and 2 fingerprints on the window of the car.”
“That is great news Eric, Has Calleigh been able to come up with how they shattered the windshield?”
“She is working on it now H. She will call you when she figures it out.”
“Okay, let’s get the hair to DNA and run it through CODIS and get the fingerprints ran through AFIS. I will be in touch as soon as we get more information on where they have her. Call me as soon as your sister shows up with the kids.”
“Will do H.”
Horatio listens to the silent 911 call and wondered what was going on. He hears something but it is muffled and can’t quiet make it out. Then he hears a door open and hears a man say
“You should have been more careful when you booked the rental car to move down here.”
“Oh God you found me.” Melinda stated.
“Of course I found you. Did you really think I would leave you alone after what you saw? You are the only one who can put me away and you think I would leave such a lose end.” he asked.
“I have not told anyone what happened. Please let me go I will keep my mouth shut.” she cried.
He just laughed and slammed the door shut. She heard him say he knew of a way to guarantee she never talked about it. She had to take a few minutes to calm herself back down before she pulled the phone back out.
“Lieutenant, are you there?” she asked.
“Melinda, call me Horatio, okay? Who was that you were just talking to honey?”
“I can’t tell you, he will kill me and my boys. Please tell me you have my boys safe and sound. If he finds them he will kill them. Oh god what did I stumble on and how do I keep my kids safe?” she said more to herself then anyone else. Horatio could tell she was softly crying and trying real hard to not let any of her captors hear how upset she was.
“Melinda listen to me sweetheart, we have your boys in protective custody. Do they know what the man was talking about?” Horatio questioned.
“No I could never tell them what was going on. I know they are mad at me for moving them like I did but I didn’t know what else to do. I had to get them out of harms way.” she told him.
“Can you tell me what this man looks like? I need to know if it is him that I see outside of the building.” he asked.
“You mean you are outside of the building now?” she asked and he could hear the fear in her voice.
“Yes with you leaving the phone on we were able to locate the building they have you in but I am looking at someone and he does not fit any of the descriptions you gave me earlier. I need to know what the man looks like.” He stated.
“He is younger then the other men, I would say in his late twenties. He is very tall and has corn rows in his hair but he is Asian. He also has a tattoo that goes all the way down his arm.” She told him.
Horatio was watching the man and knew it was the one who had put the hit out for her.
“Okay sweetheart you stay real quiet and still. We are getting ready to come in and get you out of there. If you hear gunfire I want you to lay down on the floor so you stay safe, do you understand me?”
“Yes and I will, Hurry please I am so scared.” She said but realized that he was already gone. She put the phone back in her bra and prayed. It seemed like an eternity before she heard anything. She heard a lot of shouting and then gunfire. She started to drop to the floor but just was not quick enough. She felt a hot searing pain in her shoulder and screamed. The pain threatened to take over but she concentrated on seeing her boys again to block out the pain. As she was laying on the floor, bleeding she prayed that she would get out of this to see her kids again. Melinda heard someone try the knob on the door and wondered if it was one of the men who took her or if it was the police here to save her. As the door is opened she has to close her eyes from the light. But she heard the voice that had been talking to her on the phone.
“Get me a medic, she’s been shot.” He yells, “Melinda, sweetheart can you open your eyes?”
“Horatio” she sighed, “you found me just like you promised.”
“I always keep my promises. Looks like you were hit in the shoulder sweetheart. Can you move? I want to get you out of here and safe back at the lab as soon as we can.”
She started to sit up and bit her tongue to keep from screaming.
“Its okay honey let me help you get up.” Horatio put his arms around her and helped her stand up. He walked her out the door and she could see three of the men being walked out in handcuffs. She stopped and looked around and Horatio knew what she was looking for. “No we did not get him. He disappeared when the shots started. Don’t worry we will get him.” Horatio reassured her.
“I hope so. Where are my boys? Are they safe? Please don’t let him get my boys.” She mumbles.
“Don’t worry about the kids; we will protect them and you. Just concentrate on getting better. And let us do our job.” Horatio told her.
She could see some people walking over to them and wondered which one was Marlania’s brother. It didn’t take long to figure it out. They look so much alike. “Please tell Marlania thank you for everything she did for me today, Eric” she said to Eric.
H chuckled and asked “How did you know he was Eric?”
“He looks like his sister more then Marlania is willing to admit.” Melinda said.
Calleigh had to hide a smirk, and Eric just looked down at his feet.
“Melinda, this is part of my team Eric, Calleigh, Ryan, and Frank. We need to ask you some questions and see if you have any evidence on you that you may not realize you have. Do you understand what I mean by that?”
“I do understand Horatio.”
“Good, I am going to send Calleigh with you to the hospital so you can get checked out and she will bring you by the lab when the doctor gives her the okay for you to leave.”
Looking at Calleigh, H says “Do not leave her side for anything Calleigh, and if the doctor gives you any problems you call me.”
Horatio watched as the ambulance leaves with Melinda in it and Calleigh following in her hummer then turns to rest of the team.
“Let’s get to work Gentleman. I want this man found as soon as we can. Frank, why don’t you see what you can get from the three we have cooling in the cars. Eric and Ryan, I want you to go through the van and the building with a fine tooth comb. Nothing is too small as far as this case is concerned.”
“H, I have something I need to tell you. You are not going to like it but Melinda Lowle did not exist more then 2 months ago. And we are having trouble finding anything about a Melinda Truman. Who ever that woman is she changed her name to hide from the man who put a hit on her.” Frank told him.
“Okay so we know her real name is not Melinda Lowle and very little information about Melinda Truman but we know she had a good reason to change it. So let’s find out who she really is and where she came from.” H looked back at the cars thinking about what had just transpired. Eric came up to him
“H, Marlania just called and told me she was at the lab with the boys.”
“Thanks Eric. I am heading back to the lab to talk to the boys.” called H as he was walking to his hummer.
Calleigh and Melinda arrive at the hospital and while they are waiting for the doctor Calleigh starts to collect Melinda’s stuff. Melinda realizes that Calleigh is staring at her.
“What is it? Is it worse then it feels?” Melinda asked.
“Melinda I am not sure how to ask this so I am just going to come straight out and ask it. What is your real name and why is the man after you? What did you see that made you go into hiding?”
Melinda sighed “I can’t tell you until I know my boys are safe. I need to see my boys and than I will tell you everything. I am sorry but I just need to know that they are not going to be harmed.”
“I do understand Melinda and I really hope you know that with everything H, opps I mean Horatio, had us doing today that we would never let anything happen to you or your boys. We just want to make sure that you all are no longer in danger.” Calleigh reassured her.
“I know and you all have been so great but I have been running and hiding for so long, I just don’t know who to trust. But I know I can no longer hide from this. I have to let someone know what is going on or he will hunt us down and then he will kill us.” Melinda starts to cry.
Calleigh puts her arms around her “It will be okay. We will stop him.”
The doctor came in and told them that the bullet missed anything important and if Melinda wanted to leave then she could as soon as the nurse had her bandaged up but she had to come back in a week. Melinda looked at Calleigh and agreed with the doctor. Calleigh walked Melinda out to her hummer and had her sign the paperwork to ride in the hummer and noticed that Melinda signed her real name on the sheet.
Back at the lab Horatio sees Marlania and chuckles because he realizes that Melinda was right. Eric and Marlania look a lot alike. He walks up to her and the boys and introduces himself “Hi My name is Lieutenant Horatio Caine and you must be Marlania Delko and these fine young men must be Melinda’s kids” Marlania shakes Horatio’s hand and introduces the boys to him.
“This is Robert Michael and this is Daniel Ryan. Did you find Melinda yet? Is she okay?” Marlania asked.
“Yes we found her and she is safe. I had one of my CSIs take her to the hospital to make sure. Is it okay if I talk with the boys for a few minutes alone?” Horatio asked.
“Boys I am going to get something to drink, would you like some pop or water?” Marlania asked. The boys shake their heads no. As soon as Marlania was gone, Horatio sat down in front of the boys.
“Are you sure our mom is safe?” Robert Michael asked
“Yes I know for a fact that your mom is fine and she will be here with us soon.” Horatio reassures the boys. “Now I need to ask you both some questions and it is okay if you don’t know the answer but anything you can tell me will help us put the people that hurt your mom away? Can you do that for me?”
The boys look down at their feet not sure how to answer him.
“Can you tell me what your real names are?” Horatio asked. The boys look at each other but stay quiet.
“I understand you are scared for your mom and that she has told you to not tell anyone about your past but I really need to know in order to make sure the men that tried to hurt her today can never try it again.”
Robert said “My name is Michael and his name is David.”
David glared at Michael “we were not suppose to tell anyone Mike. Mom is going to be so mad at us for telling.”
Horatio looks at the boys and tells them “It is okay boys; your mom will understand that you told me your real first names but you still haven’t told me your last names.”
“I am not sure if we should without our mom here, David is right Mom is going to be so mad at me.” Mike said.
“That is okay Mike, is it okay if I call you Mike?” Mike nods that it is. “I was the officer that was talking to your mom on the phone while we figured out where she was. I am also the officer who rescued your mother out of the room they had her in.”
“You are?” both boys asked at the same time.
“Yes I am, and I know for a fact that your mom is going to be fine.” Horatio told them. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like something to drink or maybe a snack until your mom gets here.” He asked. Just then his phone rings and he excuses himself to answer it.
“Calleigh, what’s up?”
“H, we are at the lab but we have run into a little snag.” Calleigh answered.
“What snag, Calleigh?”
“You need to come outside H. Stetler is out here and will not let me bring Melinda inside.”
“I am already on my way.”
As H exits the building he sees Rick at the passenger door of the hummer that Calleigh drives. H walks up to Rick.
“Rick what are you doing?”
“I need to talk with her due to the shootout this afternoon H, you know that.” Rick stated
“I know this Rick but we are still working on the case. And until we are done you are to stay out of my team’s way. Do you understand me Rick?” Horatio said. “Fine but I want to talk to her as soon as you are done Horatio.” Rick said as he turns to leave.
Horatio helps Melinda out of the hummer and escorts her into the lab.
“Before we go any further, what do your boys Mike and David like to eat and drink?” Horatio asked. “They have been here for a long time and must be hungry by now.”
Melinda shakes her head, “If you had been anyone else they would have never said their real names. They love chicken strips, fries and Dr. Pepper.”
“Okay. After you see the boys then we will get them something to eat and you tell us what happened to you.” Horatio said.
“I will tell you everything once I know my boys are safe. Thank you for getting me out of there this afternoon.” Melinda told him.
“All part of the job.” H answers.
Melinda, Calleigh and Horatio walk into the lab. Melinda spots her boys immediately and rushes over to them. Michael and David jump up and hug her and notice the bandage on her shoulder.
Calleigh tells H “I am going to take the bullet over to ballistics and see what I can get from it.”
“Thanks Calleigh” H calls after her. Horatio sees Frank walking down the hall and calls to him.
“Frank can you do me a favor and get some food for the boys? I am not sure how long we are going to be here but they need something to eat.”
“Sure thing Horatio but what do you want me to get them?” Frank asks.
“They like chicken strips and fries. After you get them some food I want you in the room while we talk to Melinda, okay?"
H walks over to Melinda and the boys and smiles a little to himself. He thinks about how nice it is to see the family back together again.
“What happened to our mom’s shoulder? I thought you said she was fine” Michael and David asked in unison.
“Hey guys, I am okay. I just wasn’t quick enough to hit the floor when the police was getting me out of the building. I will be fine even the doctor I just saw said so. It is okay guys. You know I love you and that no one will ever take me away from you guys.” Melinda reassured the boys.
Horatio said “Things got a little tense when we were getting the bad guys under control but your mom was very brave and did just what she was suppose to do.” “Okay as long as you are safe mom.” David cried a little and Melinda held him then she took Mike and hugged him again.
“Boys I have to go and talk to the Lieutenant for a while and let him know what is going on. I want you to sit right here and you will be able to watch us, okay? And no fighting with each other, and I mean it.” Melinda told the boys.
“But mom we want to know what is going on also.” Mike said.
“Don’t worry boys you will be able to see your mom and the rest of us in the room right over there. I also have some food on its way here for you to eat so why don’t you all just sit and relax until the food gets here.” Horatio told them.
Horatio steps away for minute to make a couple of calls.
“Eric can you come down to interrogation and bring your kit with you?” Horatio asked when Eric answered his phone. “I will be there in a few minutes H; I am getting the DNA results for the hair we found.”
“Bring that with you also. I need you to find your sister so she can sit with the boys while we are listening to what Melinda has to tell us.” Horatio tells him.
“I will bring her with me also.” Eric answers him.
Horatio called Frank to see where he was with the food. Then he called Calleigh to see if she would be able to join them to hear what Melinda had to say.
Once everyone was in the interrogation room Horatio brought Melinda in.
“Have a seat Melinda.” Horatio says
“Before I tell you all what is going on I want to say thank you for making sure my boys and I are safe. I know you are all wondering what it was that I stumbled upon so here it is.” Melinda starts. “My real name is Melinda Truman and my kid’s names are Michael and David Truman. We used to live in a little town called Braymer Missouri. I commuted everyday to work in Kansas City, Missouri. I worked at an animal rendering plant. I worked in the office in the back of the plant with the plant manager. I was the plant manager’s secretary and anything else that needed done I would do.”
“When you say animal rendering plant what do you mean by that?” Calleigh asked.
“If there is a dead animal we would get the call to pick it up and dispose of the carcass. With all the farmers and zoos in the area we would get a lot of different types of animals come through the plant to be ground down and cooked up into a type of grease called tallow.” Melinda explained. “Well, we had employees from all walks of life and the person that is after me is one of the employees and his name is Bob Yung. Our busiest time for work was during the fall and winter months. We had a load of dead cows come in from the Dodge City area on the 2nd of January so someone had to go in to the plant and make sure that they were able to dump the cows and get them inside okay.” Melinda said.
“Only a few people had an alarm code and I was one of them so I got the call to go in and shut the alarm off so some employees could come in and take care of the dead stock before the city started to yell about them being outside. Only thing is when I got there the alarm was already off and some of the machines were running that should not have been. I, being the person that I am, went to see who was at the plant and why they were there when they should not have been. That is when I saw the office manager, Raul Dimas and Bob Yung arguing with each other. Neither one of them noticed I was there so I stood as quiet as possible in the shadows and listened to see why they were arguing. Raul was accusing Bob of stealing over $10,000.00 in tools, and machine parts from the plant and ordering stuff under another employees name but charging it to the plant. We had known someone was doing this but no one was for sure who was stealing the items or why. We figured they were pawning the stuff for money to buy drugs or something along those lines. They got into a fight and Bob overpowered Raul and knocked him out. Bob was so angry, he was muttering to himself but I could not tell what he was saying. I was so scared and didn’t want him to know I was there. He dragged Raul over to one of the conveyor belts that feed carcasses into the grinders. He turned on the belt and grinder and put Raul on the belt. I watched in horror as Raul was swallowed by the grinder. Understand that the grinder can handle a full grown bull or cow and have everything ground up in as little as five seconds. When the grinder is done it feeds everything straight into a cooker where everything is cooked at a very high temp to cook out all of the grease. I could not believe what I had just seen.” Melinda said as she drew in a shaky breath. She could still see it all in her mind. Horatio and Eric put their hand on her shoulders to help her calm down as she was remembering what she had seen.
“Okay let us get this straight.” Eric was the first one to speak. “You watched this Bob Yung, who you are running from, put Raul Dimas on a belt and send him into the grinder which then dumps into a cooker.”
“Yes I watched and listened to the horror of Raul getting ground into little pieces then cooked in with the fleshing from the other animals and turned into grease that is shipped to one of the other plants for making animal food. I am not proud of hiding in the shadows but I was so scared of what would happen to me if Bob knew I was there. After I thought about what I had seen I knew I had to get out of there and tell someone before any trace of Raul was gone.” Melinda said with fear in her voice. “I knew that without proof no one would have listened to me.”
“You mean you have proof of what happened? How did you manage that and where is the proof?” Frank asked.
“I said that I wanted to know who was there when they should not have been there so I set up the security video cameras we have to record anyone moving around the building. I have everything that happened on a DVD that I have hidden.” Melinda answered. “I really just thought I would catch someone trespassing or maybe even stealing but not the death of a person by the hands of another person.”
As Melinda was answering questions about everything she had witnessed Horatio thought of how lucky and smart she has been to keep herself and her boys safe for as long as she had.
“Melinda, we need the DVD you have and then we need to hide you and the boys so that we can make sure you stay safe until we get this all sorted out.” Horatio tells her.
“Did you take the DVD to the police in Kansas City and what did they say about it?” Frank asked.
“Yes I took a copy of it to the police and they did check into it but by the time they got to the plant all the evidence of what had happened was gone. All the equipment was cleaned with the 15% bleach solution that we use so there was no trace of Raul being killed. I have a copy of a missing person’s flyer that Raul’s family put up but the police have done nothing and then I started getting threatening emails, phone calls, someone showed up at my home so I did the only thing I knew to do and ran. I know I should have stayed and made the police listen to me but with all the death threats and the police doing nothing I figured I need to hide my kids and myself.” Melinda stated. “We have stayed in three different states for a couple of weeks at a time before the calls and emails would start again but when we got to Florida and there was no calls or emails I thought it was safe to try to settle down and live as normal or a life as we could. I had planned on going all the way to the Keys but the money had started getting low so we stopped in Miami.”
“Melinda, we need you to give us any and all information you have about this.” Calleigh said
“As I said the office manager’s name was Raul Dimas, and the guy who killed him is Bob Yung. The detective I was dealing with in Kansas City is Randall Thorp and he thought I was a crack pot until I gave him a few of the emails threatening the boys and me. His captain, Bill Logan, on the other hand didn’t think anything I said had any merit and told him to drop the case.”
“I know Bob is into some bad stuff but not sure what. He was always getting calls at work and some of them were from some really bad people.” Melinda stated
“What do you mean bad people?” Horatio asked.
“It is hard to explain but when I would answer the phone I could tell if the person on the other end was mad just by the way they would ask to speak to Bob. He had a couple of calls in the last week that I was there, that when he got on the phone and realized who it was he would turn white as a sheet. You could tell that whoever he was talking to he was scared of. And it was always just yes and no answers when he got a call at work. And when they would call, I got a feeling of something bad getting ready to happen.” Melinda told them.
“Who else knows about what you saw and recorded?” Horatio asked.
“There are only a few people I told about the DVD and they are my sister Brenda, the plant manager Paul, and the detective Randall Throp. I just didn’t trust a lot of people knowing what was going on cause that would put them in danger and make it harder for me to hide my family.” Melinda answered.
“Okay Melinda, we are going to put you and the boys in protective custody while we sort this all out. I need to know where the DVD is so we can get it to the lab and check it out.” Horatio told her.
“I am not sure about this. It has been so hard for me to trust anyone since I had to pick up my family and run like we did. I am so tried of running and always looking over my shoulder.” Melinda sighed.
“It will be okay Melinda. We will protect you and your boys, but you have to trust us and do everything we tell you to do.” Calleigh said in a hushed tone. “We need you to know that we will take care of you and your boys and make sure no harm comes to any of you.”
Melinda looked at everyone in the room and they all could see the fear in her eyes and face. She felt Calleigh and Eric’s hand on her shoulders again and part of her knew that no matter what happened they would make sure that she and the boys were safe. She looked at Horatio and saw the concern in his eyes and knew then that she would do what every they needed her to do in order to catch the person behind all of this.
“I will need someone to drive me to where I have to DVD. After I get it to you all what will happen to the boys and me?” Melinda asked.
“Good I will have Eric and Frank take you where ever you need to go to get the DVD, then they will bring you back here and we will figure out where to have you all stay the night.” Horatio said.
Melinda went and told Marlania and the boys what she was doing and that she would be right back. She reminded the boys to be on their best behavior. They watched as she walked out with Eric and Frank.
Bob Yung was thinking of how to get to Melinda with out the cops knowing he had her. Bob was sitting in his car waiting to see her and her boys come out of the crime lab. He figured she would have to leave soon and was hoping to follow her to her home. But when he saw her walk out with two of the CSI’s he had to wonder what was going on. He knew she had seen what he had done to Raul but was not sure if she had told anyone. He watched as the three of them got into one of the hummers and drove away. He waited for thirty seconds then started following the hummer to see where they were going. He followed a couple of cars lengths behind the hummer and saw them go to a self storage. The hummer pulled up to the gate and he watched as Melinda put the code in to the security system so the gate would open. Bob pulled into the parking lot across the street and watched as the hummer came to a stop in front of one of the storage units. He watched all three of them get out of the hummer and Melinda open the door. He watched one of the guys go into the unit with Melinda and the other stayed outside looking around the area. He figured that they were in the unit for almost five minutes before they reappeared with one of the boxes and put it in the back of the hummer. Bob wondered what Melinda had that the police would want and would take the time to drive her to get. He watched as they all get back into the hummer and headed back they way they came. He followed as they went back to MDPD and he parked down the street. He pulled out his phone and made a call. He told the person on the other end of the line, “Hey, it’s me. I found her in Miami. But we have a problem. She is with the cops right now. The kidnapping failed and they got the guys that I hired but I was able to get away. What do you want me to do?” He asked the person that he had called.
“Okay I will go and see him and let him know what happened and you will take care of things on your end.” He said into the phone.
“Don’t yell at me you know it makes me nervous when you yell at me. Yes I will go and get the extra help that I need to take care of her and the kids.” he said. And then he hung up the phone. He waited for another hour to see if Melinda and her kids would come out and when they didn’t, he left to get a hold of the extra help that was being offered.
Bob stopped his car in front of one of the hottest Miami clubs. He went inside and looked at the bartender. The bartender handed him a beer and told him to go into the back office and wait. Bob went into the back office and waited for the others to arrive. He had taken his first drink when the door opened and in walked the big boss followed by five hunch men. Dean Lee O’Donald looked at him and said “What the hell. You know better then coming here unless you have good news for me. Do you have good news for me Bob?”
“No sir, she got away. I was getting ready to kill her when the police showed up.” Bob said.
“You were suppose to take care of this mess in Kansas City but you couldn’t get her there either. What am I going to do with you?” Dean asked.
“Just give me another shot, I know I can get her or have her come to me if I have her kids.” Bob said.
“Okay you have one more shot but if the police come here looking for you or me I will have you killed just like I had you kill Raul. Do you understand me Bob?” Dean asked.
“Yes sir I won’t fail you again.” Bob stammered.
Back at the crime lab Melinda, Eric, and Frank had just gotten back with the box that had the DVD and some other things that Eric could not believe she had collected from the rendering plant. Eric walked her back to where the boys were and then went into his lab room and call Horatio in.
“What is it Eric? You sounded funny on the phone.” Horatio asked.
“H you have to see all the stuff that Melinda picked up from the plant that day. I can’t understand why the police didn’t believe her with all the evidence she got.” Eric said.
They both looked into the box and Horatio just smiled.
“She has done half of our job for us. Now we need to find out if she had shown any of this stuff to the police in Kansas City.” Horatio said. “I want you to call the detective Randall Thorp in Kansas City and see if he will cooperate with us in this investigation.”
“Sure thing H, I will call him right now.”
“Okay, I will have Calleigh and Ryan come in here and go through the box with you. Then I want you all to meet me in the A/V department to watch the DVD.” Horatio said.
Horatio walked over to where Marlania, Melinda, and the boys were and watched them for a few minutes.
“Hi guys, how would you all like to go out and grab something to eat and then to a hotel for a while?” Horatio asked.
“Sure but why can’t we just go home?” Mike asked.
“Well, Mike until we figure out who grabbed your mom today it is safer for all of you if we have you stay some where besides your home.” Horatio said.
“Okay I guess” Mike said. Horatio hide his smile.
“Lieutenant, they can stay with me if you need them to.” Marlania offered.
“I appreciate the offer Marlania, but that would put your family in danger and we don’t want to do that.” Horatio answered.
“Besides Marlania, you have helped me so much already. I could not handle it if something would happen to your family or you because of me.” Melinda said. “Then I tell you what, if you need someone to watch the boys while you are giving your statement or testimony then just bring the boys over to my home anytime day or night you do it. I will take care of them for you while the police take care of keeping you safe.” Marlania offered.
“Now that’s an offer we might be taken you up on.” Horatio said
“Okay Mike and David I want you to behave and do exactly what the police and your mom tell you to do. I will see you all real soon.” Marlania said as she was leaving.
Frank walked up beside Horatio
“The safe house is ready whenever you are H.” Frank said.
“Boys I want to introduce you to Detective Frank Tripp. He is going to stay with you and your mom until we get all of this sorted out.” Horatio told them.
“Hello Detective Tripp.” The boys said together.
“Hi guys. I am going to explain my ground rules for you all before we leave here.”
“Oh boy more rules we have to follow. When is it all going to end so we can go back home. I miss my friends.” David whined.
“First rule is there will be no whining or yelling. We are going to be together for a while and I want you all to stay safe but I will not deal with whining and yelling. Second rule is you will do everything that I or any other police officer tells you to do. Third rule is you will do everything that your mother tells you to do. Fourth rule is you will stay where we can see and or hear you at all times. And the last rule is you can not tell anyone what is going on. That will put you and your mother in more danger. Now I do understand that you will need time to go outside and play but only if you have an officer outside with you.” Tripp told the boys.
“I know it seems like a lot for you boys to understand,” Horatio said “but your mother has to follow all the same rules as you do. It is the only way to keep you all safe and alive.”
“What do you like to eat and I will have someone stop at the store and grab it for us?” Frank asked.
“We love a lot of different things as long as we can cook it in the microwave or it is something fast for mom to cook. With all the work she does we don’t want her in a hot kitchen more then she has to be.” Mike said “But mom really loves Mountain Dew or Red Diamond Sweet Tea to drink, so we have to make sure we have them at this place.”
Melinda looked at her boys and realized that they did remember how much she loved her tea and how it helped calm her down.
“One thing you should know is our mother smokes a lot when she is really stressed out and under a lot of pressure.” David added.
Melinda had to smile about that. She knew she needed to cut back but with everything going on she had been smoking more then normal. She knew the boys had noticed the increase also.
“Okay you all go with Frank and I will be by later to check on you all.” Horatio said.
They all got up and followed Frank out to the car.
H went into the lab where Eric, Calleigh, Ryan were going through the box.
“So what did you all find in the box?” H asked
“You are never going to believe what all she had in that box H” Calleigh said.
“She either believed in covering her ass or she was forced to cover her ass to keep her job.” Ryan explained. “She has every email printed out with the date, time, and sub heading of who sent it to her.”
“She recorded every one of her phone calls if it was someone she didn’t know and the smart thing is she slips it into the conversation that she is recording the call along with the date and time of the call and no one objected to it, and that includes the threatening calls.” Eric stated.
“She has printed out a lot of information about what went missing and when from her work and she has all her hand written notes from the meetings she attended about the missing items. The notes tell us everything about the item including the price to replace the item. She is one smart person to make sure she has all this information.” Calleigh told them.
“But that is not the only stuff she has in the box. Here we have a bunch of voice recorders that a full and some DVD’s so I am wondering which one of them has the murder on it?” Ryan asked. “Well let’s take the DVD’s and the recorders to the A/V lab and see what we have on each on them.” Horatio said.
As Melinda and the boys get into the police car, Tripp notices a blue Ford Taurus with four people sitting in it. Frank got into the car and tells everyone to buckle up. As he pulls out of the parking lot, he called dispatch to have a couple of unmarked cars follow him. Melinda looked at Frank and he could see the question on her face.
“I am just not sure but something doesn’t feel right about that car sitting back there. So we will go with the side of caution and make sure no one is following us.” Frank explained in a hushed tone so the boys could not hear him.
Melinda shook her head to let him know she understood. They both are looking in the mirror when they see the car start to follow them.
“Dispatch I need a 10-28 for plate number X-ray 21 Idle Sam Henry.” Frank said.
“Detective your plate comes back to a 2007 black 4 door Dodge Charger.”
“10-4 dispatch.” Frank put the radio down and pulled out his cell phone. He looked at Melinda and saw that she understood that the plate was on the wrong car.
“Hey boys, why don’t you lay down in the seat and relax it is going to take about an hour for us to get to the safe house.” Tripp told the boys as he dialed Eric’s phone number.
“Delko its Tripp” Frank said. Melinda could not hear what Eric had said in return.
“Delko we are being followed by a blue Ford Taurus but the plates belong to a black Dodge Charger “Frank said into the phone.
“Yea we have two unmarked following us also but the reason I am letting you know about the car is there is a person missing from the car. Who ever the missing person is, got out of the car at MDPD and stayed there.” Frank told him.
“I didn’t get a good look at who got out but you might want to check the video surveillance at the lab to see who got out of the car. And let H know we are going to take the long route to see if I can shake our follower. I will let you know if anything happens.” Frank said and hung up.
Frank could see the tension in Melinda and knew she was worried again about someone following them.
“It will be okay we have plenty of back up with us. There is no way someone will try anything right now. We will lose them on the way and then no one will know where you and your boys are.” Frank told her.
“I just don’t want anyone else to get hurt.” Melinda said.
“You just relax and let us worry about taking care of you and them boys of yours, Okay.” Frank reassured her.
Back at the lab Horatio, Eric, Calleigh, and Ryan all meet at the AV lab. As they all enter the lab Dave turns and asked “Okay what do you all have for me?” “We need you to play this for us and then we will let you know.” Eric said as he handed Dave the DVD that Melinda had in the box.
“What’s supposed to be on it if you don’t mind my asking?” Dave said.
“It is supposed to be a video of a murder in Kansas City, Missouri.” Horatio replied.
“Oh does this have to do with the woman that was kidnapped this afternoon?” Dave asked. The all shook their heads. Dave put it into the player and set it up for them all to watch. The first thing they see is the plant and all the different equipment that is there. Then they see two people coming into view. One is yelling and screaming and the other one is just standing there. The team sees Melinda stop and stand behind one of the machines.
“Stop it here Dave. Can you give me a close up on the faces of the two guys arguing? Let’s figure out which one is Raul and which one is Bob.” Horatio said. “We know that Bob a tattoo that goes all the way down his arm so he should be easy to spot.” Ryan said. Dave pointed to the man just standing there and said “well there is the tattoo so he must be Bob, and that would make the other man Raul, and there is Melinda hiding behind the large tank to the left of the screen.”
“Okay keep playing the DVD and let’s see what happens.” Eric said.
They are all watching at what looks like Raul getting angry at Bob and they can see Raul turn his back and put his hands in the air like he was giving up and going back the other way. That is when they see Bob pick up a hammer and swing it at Raul. Raul ducks the first swing but was not quick enough to get out of the way of the second swing of the hammer. It connected with Raul’s head and he steps back. They watch as Raul turned around and faced Bob and Bob swing the hammer for a third time. Raul fell to the floor and was bleeding out of his head. The team sees Bob step out of the frame and then back into the frame and they notice the belt behind him is moving now. They watch as Bob is saying something while he drags Raul across the floor to what looks like a hook on the end of a chain by the belt. Bob brings the hook down to Raul’s neck and hooks him on it. The team gasped as they watch Bob put the hook into the back of Raul’s neck. They could see that Raul had screamed as Bob was doing it. Then Raul’s body went slack. They watch as Bob hits a button and Raul’s body is raised into the air. Bob grabs Raul’s feet and set them on the belt beside him and hits another button on the controller he is holding. Raul is lowered down on to the belt and Bob pulls the hook out of his back. Bob grabs something off of Raul as he watches the belt take him to a machine with on opening on the end of it. Everyone in the lab watched as Raul’s body disappeared in to the machine and out the other end. They see chunks of the body come out and land on to another conveyor belt. The belt carries the chunks to the top of a big machine and drops the chunks in to the machine. They watch as Bob checks a few of the gauges and adjust some of the valves on the machine. The team noticed Bob looking in the direction of where Melinda had been and wondered if she had made a noise as she was trying to get out of there. They see Bob yelling at something but not sure what.
“Where did Melinda go?” Ryan asked.
“There she is in the back of the frame. She moved from one spot and looks to be heading out the door.” Calleigh pointed to where Melinda had moved to. “She is trying to get out with out being noticed but some how she was detected. Now the questions are how she got out of there and how much longer is this DVD. We need to check the other DVD’s and see what is on them also.” Eric said.
“Calleigh I want you and Ryan to stay here with Dave and watch the other DVD’s and listen to the tapes.” Horatio said. “Eric did you get a hold of the detective in Kansas City yet?”
“All I got was his voice mail and a bunch of red tape from the desk in Kansas City, H.” Eric said.
“Okay you keep trying to get a hold of him and I am going to check in with Tripp and make sure they made it to the safe house okay.” Horatio said as he walked out the door.
Horatio pulled his phone out and dials Frank number and listens to it go to voice mail. He senses something is not right and heads outside. He spots Stetler talking to someone on the sidewalk. As he is walking up to them he realizes that Stetler is talking to one of the guys from the Asian gangs in Miami. Horatio wonders what Rick is up to but as he gets closer they both turn and look at him. Rick just smiles at Horatio then says goodbye to other guy. Rick walks up to Horatio “Something I can help you with Horatio?” Rick asked.
“Just wondering why you are out here talking to Chun Lee, Rick.” Horatio said.
“It is none of your business Horatio. I am just following up on something with one of my cases.” Rick said as he walks away.
Horatio tries to call Frank again and get the voice mail. He tells Frank to call him as soon as he gets the message. As soon as Horatio hangs up his phone rings again only this time it is Melinda on the other end.
“Melinda sweetheart, why are you calling me from Detective Tripp’s phone?”
“We are being followed and Frank asked me to call you. I have you on speaker phone so he can drive.”
“H, I have done everything I can think of to shake this car but no such luck. Do we have a protective order for Melinda and the boys yet so I can have the unmarked cars make the stop?” Frank asked.
“Tell me where you are Frank. Eric and I are on the way to help get them to the safe house.”
“Right now we are on the 976 coming up on the 953.” Frank said
“We are on our way, take the 953 and we will meet in the middle.”
“Will do H.” Frank said. Horatio hangs up with Frank and Melinda and calls Eric.
“Eric meet me in the parking lot.” H said as soon as Eric answered his phone.
“On my way H. What’s wrong?” Eric asked as he headed towards the elevator.
“Frank is still being followed and we don’t have the protection order yet for Melinda and the kids. We are going to meet him and see if we can give him some diversion to get them to the safe house.” Horatio said as he saw Eric come out of the building. They both hang up their phones and jump in to Horatio’s hummer and head out to intercept the car following Frank.
“Eric, call Calleigh and see if she can get a hold of the ADA and see where our protection order is and why we don’t have it yet.” Horatio told Eric as he is driving through evening traffic. Eric pulled out his phone and dialed Calleigh’s phone. It went to voice mail and Eric wondered if she just didn’t hear it so he called again.
Calleigh answers in a strained voice “Yea Eric, what do you need?”
“Calleigh what is going on?”
“Nothing, just working on the DVD like Horatio asked us to do” Calleigh responded but Eric knew something was not right.
“Is there someone in the lab with you that should not be, and are you in danger?” Eric asked as he puts the phone on speaker.
“Yes it is a lot to watch and no we are fine doing this for right now.” Calleigh said in the phone. H looks at Eric and Eric nods his head that he got the answers. “Calleigh can you tell me who is in the lab with you right now?” Eric asked her.
“Not sure Eric but you know how it is with watching something. You can almost always tell the good people from the bad and this DVD is showing the bad in someone right now big time.”
“It is Stetler isn’t it?” Eric guessed.
“You got it buddy. It takes a lot to understand someone like him but we will get him one way or another.”
“Calleigh its Horatio. Do you need us to come back or can you handle the situation on your own?”
“Don’t worry about us. Just kind of a kill joy watching what is going on right now.” Calleigh said.
“If you are sure then when you get a chance can you check with the ADA and see if the protection order is in place for us?”
“Not a problem Eric we can handle it and I will call you if I find anything else in the video.” Calleigh said.
“Okay if you need us just call and we will come right back to the lab.” Horatio told her.
“See you later and be careful if you need back up call us.” Calleigh said as she hung up her phone.
“What are you doing in here Rick? What can we do to help you?” Ryan asked while Calleigh was on the phone. She put a hand on Dave’s shoulder in a sign for Dave to record what is about to be said.
“I just want to know what Horatio has done with Miss Truman and her kids. Do you know where they are so I can talk with her about the shootout this afternoon?” Rick asked all of them in the lab.
“Not sure Rick, we know he was trying to get her a protection order to be able to keep her and her kids safe while we figure everything out.” Calleigh said. “He can’t get her a protection order she doesn’t need it” Rick stated in a loud voice. Calleigh could tell he was getting angry.
“And why shouldn’t he get her a protection order Rick?” Calleigh asked.
“Because she is not our problem. She is the problem of the Kansas City Police Department and from what I have heard she was a pain in the back side that they are glad left town. Have any of you checked into her back ground yet?” Rick asked but didn’t give them time to answer before he continued. “I was told by the Kansas City police chief Bill Logan that she was calling all the time and would stop by every few hours to see if they were going to do anything to help her. The Chief thinks she made it all up to just get attention.”
“Rick we can guarantee that she is not doing this for attention. We have seen all the proof we need to see to know that what she has said is true and that she is running to keep her kids and herself alive.” Ryan said.
“Fine you all can keep working on this case right now but I want to be copied on everything you all do.” Rick said as he walked out the door.
Calleigh, Ryan, and Dave start watching the next DVD. They realize it is the same as the first jus from different camera angle. Dave puts the third DVD in and they see something that none of them expect to see. They all notice right away it is a home video camera that was used for this DVD. They are watching someone follow Melinda and they can see her checking over her shoulder like she knows something is wrong but not sure what. They see her walk in to a building and then the camera swings to her car and everyone in the lab see three guys breaking in to Melinda’s car. Calleigh holds back a gasp as she watches the guys open the trunk and put what looks like a box in the car trunk. Then they see Bob come in to view and see him hide on the floor in the back seat area of the car. They see the camera move away from the car and watch as Melinda comes up to the car. They see her slow down as she approaches the car and realize she is looking for any thing out of place with the car. They notice that she sees something and turns back to the building acting like she forgot to get something when she was in there the first time. They watch her go back into the building and see a guard come out and go to her car. He opens the door and is shot in the chest. They see one of the other guys pull the body of the guard out of the view of the camera. That is when Calleigh realizes what Ryan and Dave have not. The building that Melinda is hiding in is here in Miami.
“Ryan, do you realize that this video is of Melinda in Miami? So we need to figure out where this building is and find the guards body.” Calleigh said to the others.
“Okay Dave do you think you can pinpoint where that building is by what you see on the DVD?” Ryan asked.
“I am already analyzing the landmarks on it. I will let you know when I find out what building it is.” Dave said. “Then we can look over the other DVD’s and listen to the recordings.”
Horatio pulls on to the 953 just in time to see Tripp’s car go by him. Eric watches as the unmarked cars follow behind Frank and see the blue Ford Taurus that has been following Frank and Melinda. Horatio pulls up behind the Taurus and runs the plates again. Eric gets on the radio and tells Frank and the officers in the unmarked cars that they need to box the Taurus in with Frank in front and hummer in back of it. Eric’s phone rings and he looks down and see that it is Calleigh. He puts it on speaker phone when he answers it.
“Hey Calleigh you have good news for us right?” Eric asked.
“You know I do. I have the protection order in my hands for Melinda and her kids. Sorry it took a few minutes but once the ADA saw one of the DVDs he got the Judge to agree to it real quick.” Calleigh said. “Call me as soon as you get them to the safe house, we have a problem and I need to let you and H in on it.”
“We will talk to you in a few minutes, thanks and bye Calleigh.” Eric said. Horatio smiled because he knows that Calleigh and Eric have feelings for each other but they are trying to keep it a secret from the office.
“Frank its Delko. We have the protection order so let’s get this car of you back side and get them to the safe house.” Eric told Frank through the radio. Frank hit his brakes and started to slow down which made the Taurus slow down and that is when the men in the car realize they are surrounded by police. H turned on his lights and sirens then the unmarked cars turn theirs on then Frank turned his on. They guide the car over to the shoulder of the 953.
“I want you three on the floor just in case one of these guys has a case of the stupids and tries anything.” Frank told Melinda and the boys.
“Please don’t leave us in here by ourselves.” The boys said to Frank.
“Don’t worry guys I won’t leave you alone I will be here to protect you.” Frank promised them. Horatio and Eric are the first ones out of their vehicle with their guns drawn. The other officers follow and start advancing to the Taurus when they heard someone shouting in the car and then shooting. Everyone ducked for cover and Horatio yells “Don’t do it! Just drop your gun out the window and put your hands on your head.” The guy looks around at all the officers pointing guns and him and drops his gun out the window. Eric goes up to the window and pulls him out and handcuffs him. Then he calls for an ambulance for the two guys in the front seat.
“They are alive but not sure how for how long.” Eric hollered over to H. Horatio walked up to the guy that was in hand cuffs and snapped a picture of the guy with his phone and then walked up to Frank’s car.
“Hey guys are you all okay?” Horatio called out so that everyone in the car could hear him.
“Yea H, they are okay just shaken up a lot.” Frank said. Frank started to open the door and David grabbed his hand.
“Please don’t leave us here.” David cried.
“It’s okay partner. Horatio and Eric got the bad guys. I just need to let Horatio know that we are all okay and ready to get to the safe house. We will be right outside the window and you will be able to see us.” Frank said to David.
“Hi guys, how are you all doing?” Horatio asked as he came up to the window.
“We all are doing okay but the boys are a little scared of what just happened.” Melinda said.
“Hi Mike and David, I know that what just happened is a very scary thing and I want you to know that we did get these bad guys but you still have to be on your guard because there is still more bad guys out there that we have to arrest before all of this is over. But understand that we are going to get them so that you can go back to living your life with out being afraid of them.” Horatio told the boys. Turning his attention back to Frank and Melinda Horatio said “Why don’t we get them over to the safe house and so they can relax and let the shock wear off some?”
“Sounds like a good plan to me.” Frank said. Horatio and Eric climb back into the hummer and follow Frank to the safe house.
Back at the lab Calleigh is heading to the A/V lab after she got a call from Dave about another one of the DVDs. She sees Ryan in front of her and catches up to him. “I wonder what Dave found that is so important for us to see.”
“Not sure but he may have pin pointed the location the building.” Ryan answered as they got to the door way.
“You are right I have figured out what building that was but that is not the main reason I called you down here.” Dave said with a smile on his face. “I decided to search through the DVDs for Melinda or Bob faces and marked when each one showed up in frame. Well these DVDs all have Bob on the in some way or another and in a couple you can watch him taking stuff out of the plant to someone waiting in a car. So I decided we needed to know who was in the car and here he is.”
“He looks familiar who is he?” Ryan asked.
“He should look familiar we dealt with him a few years ago, his name is Lee Choi.” Dave said.
“I remember him, he was running the gambling boat off the coast and he had taken someone’s son as collateral. What the heck is he doing out of prison?” Calleigh asked.
“Well from what I saw when I pulled him up on the computer he is still suppose to be in jail in Leavenworth Kansas but escaped 6 months ago. The DVDs he is in show him in Kansas City then in Miami.” Dave told them.
“Okay you have him on the DVDs from the plant in Kansas City with Bob right?” Calleigh asked.
“Yes, he is in the car that Bob is taking stuff out to.” Dave replied.
“Then you have him on the DVD down here in Miami doing what?” Ryan asked.
“Well on DVD of the guard shooting I got to wondering who pulled the guard away from the car so I used some of the reflective programs and was able to pull his face off the window of the car.” Dave told them. “And I found the area that this DVD was taken at.”
“You are a wonder Dave, I will call Natalia and Walter right now and have them go and check it out for us.” Calleigh said and pulled out her phone.
“Natalia its Calleigh, I need you to take Walter and go over to Hialeah Gardens and see if you can find a building for us. I am sending you the picture now.” Calleigh tells her.
“Okay but what are we looking for when we get there?” Natalia asked.
“When you find the building then I need you to search around the area for a dead guard and Dave will send you his picture.” Calleigh said.
“So we have a guard that was shot in the Hialeah Gardens area but we are not sure where they dumped the body right?” Natalia asked.
“You got it and let me know what you come up with okay.” Calleigh said as she hung up her phone.
“So Bob and Lee are working together and they both followed Melinda from Kansas City.” Calleigh said.
“I wonder if Eric was ever able to get a hold of that Detective Thorp. I am sure he could shed some light on to what is going on with this case.” Ryan said. “And I would love to know what Rick is up to with talking to the chief in Kansas City about our case.” Calleigh added.
“Calleigh why don’t we head over to the safe house and have everyone sit down with Melinda again and see what more information we can get from her and see if she remembers anything else?” Ryan suggested.
“Good Idea Ryan. Dave can you print me some of the pics of these guys and the building? Maybe Melinda will remember exactly where she was at when the shooting of the guard took place and we can let H know what is going on with Rick and that captain in Kansas City.” Calleigh added.
Calleigh and Ryan head out of the lab and notice Rick standing by the hummer that Calleigh drives. They walk up to Rick “What do you want now Stetler? We need to check on a couple of leads and you are in our way.” Ryan said.
“Not so fast you two. I want to know what you all found on the DVDs that you were watching and where you are going.” Stetler said.
“You know we can’t tell you that Rick. You will found out when we are through with the investigation and have turned in our reports just like everyone else.” Calleigh said.
“Damn it” Rick whispered to himself. “I need to see if the protective order we have for that woman and her kids is going to hold up or if we need to cut her lose and send her back to Kansas City.” Rick said loud enough for Calleigh and Ryan to hear him.
“When Natalie and Walter get back from the case they are on we will get a report up to you.” Calleigh said to him. “Now if you don’t mind we are on our way out to check some leads of our own and you are stopping us from doing our job.”
“Fine but I want to see what you found out and who you all have as persons of interest.” Rick said as he turned and left.
“Calleigh is it me or is there something very wrong with the way Stetler is acting?” Ryan asked.
“I agree with you Ryan something is not adding up with the way Rick is about this case and we need to make sure Horatio and rest of the team are on their guard around Stetler.” Calleigh said as she climbed into the driver’s seat of the hummer. “Call Natalia and let her know to watch out for Stetler.”
Frank pulled into the drive way of the safe house with Horatio pulling the Hummer in beside him. Horatio went up to Frank’s car.
“You all stay in the car while Eric and I take a look around and make sure everything is safe and ready for you all to go in.” Horatio said. “Eric you take the outside and circle around and I will check out the house.”
“On my way H.” Eric said as he started around the house and Horatio headed for the front door.
“I want you to know how much I love you guys and you are being so brave with everything going on.” Melinda said to her boys as she turned in the seat to talk with them.
“So when are you going to tell us what happened to make you move us here mom. We can handle it. We will help protect you and would have helped a lot sooner had we known what was going on. You know better then hiding things from us mom.” Mike said.
“I know I should have told you both sooner but I thought I was doing the right thing to get us all out of harms way. I just hoped it wouldn’t follow us like it did. Any way you remember when I got the call to open the plant for the load that showed up right after New Years Day.” Melinda paused to watch the boys remember the day she was talking about. “Well there were a couple of people there when I got there and they were arguing and one of the people killed the other one.” “So which one of the guys got killed mom, not Jose or Mo right.” Mike asked.
“No Mike they are fine. You remember who Raul was and who Bob is right? Melinda asked.
“I remember Raul Mom, he use to give us dirty looks whenever we showed up there with you.” David said.
“Yea that is the one, well Bob and Raul were arguing and Bob hit him a few times with a hammer and killed him there at the plant.” Melinda said. “Bob knows I saw what he did and started threatening to hurt you two. I went to the police but they didn’t believe me so I did the only thing I knew to keep you both safe. We ran and I am sorry I didn’t tell you sooner what was going on but it is a lot to deal with. This is why I don’t like it when you guys go outside and don’t tell me what you are doing. I get scared that Bob will show up and hurt you both.” Melinda told the boys. Frank realized then that Melinda would give up her own life for her kids to be able to live.
“Okay guys you have to make your mom and me a huge promise no matter what happens you will let us know where you are at all times. I am going to give you each a little panic button so if someone should come up to you and you just are not sure then you can push the button and we will be right there to help you. This button also has a GPS in it so we can see where you are at all times.” Frank told the boys. “And before you ask yes your mother has to have one also.” The boys and Melinda laughed a little and Frank decided that they needed to laugh a lot more and he was going to make sure they stayed safe so they could.
As Eric was coming around the corner of the house, Horatio came out of the house and saw Calleigh and Ryan pull up in Calleigh’s hummer. Everyone went into the house and sat down in the front room. The boys just looked around the room as they could not believe all the stuff that was in the front room. Mike saw the video games and systems while David saw a big and little TV along with a wall of movies. They both look at Melinda as she was looking at the room. Horatio and Frank can see the questions in their faces.
Frank said “Why don’t you guys go up stairs and look at the room you will be in and let me know if it is okay, then you can watch a movie or play a video game or both as long as it is not too loud.”
Both boys head upstairs and look in the room that they would be sleeping in and yell back down “It is perfect but can we stay up here and play for a while?” “Hold it guys did you forget the rules?” Frank said in a loud voice.
The boys came to the top of the stairs “We are sorry, we just can’t believe what is all in the room that we will be staying in. Do you all do this for everyone that has to stay here?” the boys asked.
“Yes all that stuff stays here for the people in protective custody to use.” Frank said.
“Is it okay if we stay up here until Mom fixes dinner?” David asked as Melinda came up to where Frank was standing.
“Yes you boys can stay up there and play until I get something cooked then it will be bed time, deal?” Melinda asked.
“That is fine with us Mom and we love you.” both boys said as they headed back into the bedroom.
Melinda and Frank went back into the front room where Horatio, Eric, Calleigh, and Ryan were sitting. Melinda went to sit down and Frank gestured for her to sit in the recliner beside him. Horatio and Calleigh both noticed the little gesture. Calleigh cleared her throat and pulled out some papers from her files. She put the papers on the coffee table and turned towards Melinda
“We have some questions for you since we have gone through most of the stuff that you had in the box.”
“I will answer any questions that I can.” Melinda said.
“Do you know who this person is?” Eric asked as he showed Melinda a picture of Lee Choi.
“Yes he was one of the people that would meet with Bob outside the plant and sometimes he would call and want to talk to Bob but I don’t know his name.” Melinda said.
“That is Lee Choi and we thought he is cooling his heals in jail for kidnapping and money counterfeiting.” Horatio said and then turned to Calleigh and asked “What does he have to do with all of this?”
“He is on the DVDs with Bob at the plant but he is also on one DVD of them trying to get Melinda here in Miami but she got suspicious of something not being right and having a guard check it out and them shooting the guard.” Ryan explained.
“What do you mean Ryan?” Frank asked.
“Well maybe this will explain it.” Ryan said as he put the DVD in the machine and started to play the DVD.
“The one thing we did notice about this DVD is it is shot here in Miami and we don’t know how Melinda ended up with it.” Eric said as the DVD started. They all watched the DVD of Melinda getting out of her car and going into the building. They watched as one of the guys put a box in the back of her car and then climbing into the back seat. They see Melinda come up and look around the car and then head back into the building and then a guard came out to look at the car. They all watch as he gets shot in the chest and then pulled out of view and then the guy in the car gets out and puts something in the car before the DVD ends.
“So Melinda do you know where you were when this was taking and how did you end up with the DVD?” Eric asked. Melinda was just staring at the screen not believing what she had just seen.
Frank put a hand on her shoulder to pull her attention back to the present. “It is okay I know this is disturbing but we need to know where you were so we can find the guard that was shot.”
“I was at the JD Reece realtor in Hialeah and it was last Monday that this was taken. But I don’t understand how it ended up with my stuff.” Melinda said.
“Well from what we figure is that they slipped the DVD into your car on the same day. We know that they have been tailing you for a while and we have Natalia and Walter out at the area looking for the guard’s body.” Calleigh said. “Now here is where we are having some trouble and can you tell us who this is?” Calleigh asked as she pulled out a picture of Rick Stetler.
“Yea he was the person that mainly called Bob and would show up at the plant every so often with a delivery for Bob. Why who is he?” Melinda asked as she looked around the group.
“Are you sure about seeing him in Kansas City and dealing with Bob?” Frank asked.
“Yes we even made him sign in the few times he showed up for our security. And there should be a DVD and paperwork of him being at the plant in the box.” Melinda said becoming a little more upset.
“I am sensing that you were getting really paranoid with all the activity that was going on there.” Frank said. Everyone but Melinda had noticed that Frank had yet to pull his hand off her shoulder.
“I started to wonder about what was going on with some of the employees about a month after we hired Bob. You have to understand that with our people no one missed work unless they were taking vacation or a sick day. Because of the respect our employees had for Buster our plant manager, if they drank to much the night before they would call in and tell him the truth instead of just saying they were sick. But all of that changed with in the first month of hiring Bob. Bob would ask some of the guys if they wanted to go out with him and a couple said yes and they never showed up for work the next day. They never called in or showed back up. When the second day of them not calling in or showing up Buster called the police and requested a welfare check on the employee. We ended up with four of our employees hospitalized because of their night out with Bob.” Melinda told the group. “I don’t mean to end this but I need to get the boys some dinner made. Do you all want to stay and eat with us?” Melinda asked.
“Thanks for the offer but Calleigh, Ryan, and I need to get back to the lab and see if Natalia and Walter are back yet and if they found the guard or any clues as to where he is.” Eric replied.
“Horatio and I will stay here with you and the boys. We are not going to leave you alone until we get all the suspects in custody.” Frank said.
“Okay I am going to start some spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner.” Melinda said as she headed into the kitchen.
“Horatio how do you want us to handle all of this with Stetler.” Calleigh asked when Melinda had left the room.
“I need you all to watch your backs and make sure everything is done by the book so there is no way anything can be questioned. Since we know Stetler is involved we need to make sure that when we get him he can not get out of it.” Horatio stressed to the rest of the team. “But Frank that means we have to do everything we can to keep Stetler away from Melinda. He can not find out where we have her and we may want to change our safe house location for her and the boys.”
“I knew he was doing something wrong but to be involved with someone’s murder is low even for him.” Frank said. “I understand about not keeping the boys and Melinda here and if need be we can take them to each of our places to keep them safe.”
“Yea if you need to bring them over to any of our houses so that no one but us knows where they are then it is not a problem with us.” Ryan said. Calleigh and Eric agreed with Ryan.
“We may take you all up on the offer but for now let’s wait and see if he tries anything. I don’t want them left alone at anytime until we get this figured out and have the people behind bars. Just watch your back around Stetler and we need to find out who he has bought in the Kansas City police department.” Horatio said
“We may have an answer to that question. One thing Stetler made sure we knew was that he was dealing with the police chief Bill Logan in Kansas City so that maybe our dirty cop up there.” Ryan said.
“Well that ought to make things real interesting for us. I will have a word with the chief tomorrow and let him know what evidence we have and see how he wants us to go from here.” Horatio said. Frank left to go and check on Melinda.
“Hey you, I know it has been a very long and stressful day and you are holding up so well.” Frank said as he walked into the kitchen. Melinda turned away from the stove and looked at him.
“Yes it has been and I know this is going to sound bad but I really need to step outside and smoke a few cigarettes to help calm me down.” Melinda said with a slight grin.
“With everything you have been through today I think having a smoke outside right now won’t hurt. I will come out with you to make sure you are safe while you are outside.” Frank said. “But you know you need to quit smoking it is such a nasty habit.” He added with a grin.
“Thank you and yes I do know. Actually I have surprised myself with how little I have wanted one today until right now. I think with everything that happened today I just didn’t think about it and now that I am the strong person that I have always been for my kids and family is about to crack open and let lose to the very scared person buried deep inside of me. I really don’t like the feeling of not being in control of myself like this.” She said on a sniffle. They both headed out the back door and she lit a cigarette up and even though it helped her calm her nerves for a few minutes she knew that this is not what she really wanted. She was losing her composure and just wanted to let it out for a change. She wanted to be the weak person and let someone else worry about everything for a while and that feeling was driving her crazy at the moment.
Little did either one know that Horatio was watching them from the window in the kitchen and thought to himself it was good to see Frank interested in someone for a change. Horatio pulls out his cell phone and calls Eric.
“Hey Eric, I want you and Ryan to do me a favor. If you get a chance I want you to put a GPS tracker on Stetler’s personal car so we can track where he goes when he uses it, and then we need ears on him to hear who he is talking to. Also have you gotten a hold of that dectective in Kansas City yet? We really need to talk to him know that we know they have a bad chief of police up there.”
“We’ll get the GPS on Stetlers’ car before we leave for the day. I think we can slip a mike on his coat without him knowing it is there today also. I have a message from detective throp on my voicemail I was going to have you listen to tomorrow. Is there anyone in particular we need to watch for him visiting with?” Eric asks.
“I am hoping he will lead us to the person in charge and maybe we can get some evidence against the chief in Kansas City and any others that may be involved.” Horatio answered.
“Sounds like a plan to me. I will let you know as soon as we get anything on tape. When do you want to trade out people staying with Melinda and the kids?” Eric asked.
“Have Calleigh come over in the morning and take my spot. We are going to leave Frank here until tomorrow afternoon.” Horatio said as they hung up.
Melinda sat down at the table and put her head in her hands and started to cry softly. Frank saw this and went to her side and took the cigarette away from her and pulled her up next to him. He sat down and pulled her on his lap and just let her cry on his shoulder. He whispered to her that it would be okay and that he would make sure that they all got through this safe and sound. He hugged her while she cried and don’t bother her until he felt the shudders from her crying slow down. He rubbed her shoulders and her back until he felt the tension slowly dissolve in her as she started to relax and stopped crying.
“I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to breakdown like that.” Melinda said but stayed in his embrace. It has been so long since someone held her and let her feel like she didn’t have to be in control she thought to herself. She didn’t want to break the contact and the protectiveness she felt in him. She figured it was just his nature but for just this little bit of time she wanted to be the weak person and enjoy someone else being the strong person.
“It is okay we all need to be able to let our guard down once in a while and just let it out.” Frank said as he slid his hand through her hair. Frank thought about the last time he had held someone and realized that it felt so very right holding Melinda right now. He knew he should not get involved with her but he could not help himself. He could not explain the very strong feelings he was having towards her and decided he would deal with the consequences of his actions later. “You all have been so good to me and the boys. I just don’t know what I would have done if this had happened in Kansas City or any other place that we have been to.” Melinda said on another sniffle. “You all have done everything to make sure we are okay when the police in Kansas City could have cared less about us.”
“Listen to me Melinda.” Frank whispered to her as he lifted her face to look him in the eye. “We will take care of you and your boys. I know it is hard to give up the control especially when you have had to be the strong person for someone else for as long as you have Melinda but let us have the control to keep you and your boys safe.”
“I know I should but it is so hard to give that control over to anyone but I will try. That is the best I can do.” Melinda whispered back. They stared into each others eyes for a few moments and Frank saw the worry and fear in her eyes that she could not express in words. Right then he knew he would do what ever it took to make sure no one every made her that afraid again. Melinda realized then that she was still sitting on his lap and that they were still in the embrace and got a little embarrassed but reluctantly got up.
“I better go and finish dinner before the boys come out here and holler that they are hungry.”
“You don’t want to finish you smoke?” Frank asked trying to figure out a reason for them to be able to stay alone for a little while longer.
“No I need to finish dinner but after we eat, if you don’t mind then I would like to come back out here again.”
They both went inside and saw Horatio with a little grin on his face sitting at the kitchen table mixing up a salad. Frank cleared his throat and nodded his head at Horatio who nodded his head back. Frank grabbed the ingredients for garlic bread and sat down at the table beside Horatio. Melinda went to the stove and checked to see if the hamburger had browned or if the water was boiling. They all worked in companionable silence but Horatio noticed Frank watched every move that Melinda made. Horatio knew he should warn his friend but it had been so long since Frank had been interested in anyone that Horatio didn’t have the heart to bring it up right now. Who knew if he left it all alone maybe something good would come out of all the bad both of them have had to deal with lately.
Melinda was the first to hear the kids coming down the stairs. “Dinner is almost done guys. Would you please come in here and set the table for all of us to eat dinner?” She hollered down the hall at the boys.
“What about the rules mom you just broke the first rule.” Both boys said as they entered the kitchen. They turned to Frank “What should her punishment be for breaking the rule detective?” they asked him.
Frank chuckled “They got you on that one Melinda. So boys what do you think her punishment should be?” He asked the boys.
“Well we can’t send her to her room without dinner so how about no dessert for her?” David asked.
“You just want her dessert for yourself David.” Mike said.
“How about we make her do the dishes and then no television for the night for her?” Frank suggested.
“Oh come on guys, you got a break earlier when you hollered downstairs to us. Don’t I deserve a warning for the first time also?” Melinda asked them.
Frank and Horatio were trying very hard to keep from laughing out load.
“Okay guys she is right about the first time reprieve. She does deserve to just get by with a warning.” Horatio said.
They all started to laugh about it and Frank was glad to hear Melinda and the boys laughing for a change. The boys set the table and they all sat down and ate dinner. After dinner Melinda had the boys do the dishes while she and Frank stepped outside.
“Thank you for letting me have my little breakdown earlier. I am not sure why but around you I feel safe and don’t feel like I have to be in control of everything.” Melinda told him as they both sat down at the patio table.
“Don’t mention it. Every once in a while we all need to have a moment of weakness to help make us stronger.” Frank told her. “If you don’t mind I would like to ask you some questions but they are personal and I can understand if you don’t want to answer them.”
“Sure go ahead I have nothing to hide.” She said and then thought about what he had said and started to object.
“Too late you said I could. I am wondering why you are still single. Didn’t you ever find someone that you wanted to spend your life with?” Frank asked as he took a hold of her hand.
“You know at one time I thought I was in love with each of my boys’ dads but you find a lot of truth about a man when you tell them you are pregnant. Both of them just decided that they were not ready to be fathers and left at the first chance that they got. And trust me my kids and I are better people for it. Yea I know the boys miss not having a father figure around but living in a small town like we did they were able to spend time with their friends dads and most of them treated my boys like they were family which is the same way I treated their kids. In the small town I knew what my kids did within a minute of them doing it and that drove the boys crazy.” Melinda answered him. “And no I can’t say I ever found true love. With the busy life that I have I just never had the time to go out and find it.”
“You have to understand something about me Frank, my life has always revolved around my family. They come first and then I worry about me.” Melinda said. “Let me tell you a little secret, all of us on the team had figured that out about you. On the call this morning your main concern was not you but your kids being safe and protected. Right there told all of us what kind of a person you are and we knew then that we were going to do everything we needed to make sure you felt that safety for your family again.” Frank smiled at the look of surprise on her face. Just then the boys came out the back door.
“We are finished with the dishes mom so can we watch one movie before we go to bed?” Mike asked. Frank just snickered a little.
“I guess but it has to be one that we all agree on not just one that you two want to watch.”
“Okay we can do that.” David said and turned to go to back in the house.
“Better get in there before they fight over the movie. Most of them here we have never had to chance to watch.” Melinda said and reluctantly got up. Frank followed her back into the house and sure enough the boys could not decide on the same movie. Melinda went over to the wall of movies and read the names of the newer movies and decided that they should all watch The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Once the movie was over Melinda sent the boys upstairs for their showers and to get ready for bed. “Let me know when you are ready and I will come up and tuck you both in.”
“Oh come on mom we are not little babies any more we don’t need tucked into bed.” Mike said.
“I know but just humor me this time okay? We have had a very rough day and I just need to make sure you are safe in bed before I will be able to relax enough to sleep myself.” Melinda told them both.
They agreed that it would be okay if she tucked them in and headed upstairs to get ready for bed.
She sat back down on the couch and turned on the news. Frank and Horatio decided to go and have a look around the outside of the house one last time before they set the alarms. As soon as Horatio and Frank were outside Horatio looked at Frank and said “I know you know that getting involved with Melinda right now is not the right thing but I have seen how you look at her and I am not going to stop you. It is good to see that you have found someone you are interested in for a change. But watch your back until we have everything set with Stetler so that he can not come back on you for it.”
“Thanks Horatio and I will watch it when we are in public but I really want to get to know her and her boys better. It is hard to explain but she brings out a very protective side in me and I hate knowing the hell she has been through and is going to be going through until we got all the players in this rounded up and put behind bars.” Frank said. They finished there walk around the outside of the house.
Back in the house Frank shows Melinda which room she will be sleeping and lets her know he is right next door if she needs anything. Horatio sets the alarms and calls the unmarked patrol cars down the street to let them know they are calling it a night and would talk to them in the morning unless something happens during the night.
Rick stepped out of his office and headed towards the lab. He had heard that Natalia and Walter were back and had located the body of the guard. He thought to himself that if he put enough pressure on Natalia or Walter one of them would tell him where Horatio had hid the one person who had caused his associates so many problems. As he gets out of the elevator on the floor of the lab Eric bumps into him.
“Stetler, sorry didn’t see you there. Here let me help you with that.” Eric said as he helped pick up the papers and Stetler’s reports. Stetler didn’t see him put a bug on the side of his shoe.
“Why don’t you watch where you are going Eric? Where are Natalia and Walter?” Rick asked.
“They are in the trace lab. Working on some of the evidence they got at the scene of the guard being shot. What do you need with them Rick?” Eric asked.
“I just want to know what they found.” Stetler said.
“Well they should be getting ready to call it a night like the rest of us. So you might as well wait until the morning to talk with them, or better yet just wait for them to do file their reports like your suppose too.” Eric suggested. Rick knew that he was getting no where fast with any of Horatio’s team and it made him crazy. He always thought he should have been given the control of the crime lab and he hated Horatio for getting control of the lab.
“Fine I will check in with you all tomorrow morning.” Rick said as he got back on the elevator to leave for the night.
Rick went out to his car in the parking lot and headed out to meet with Dean Lee O’Donnell. Rick was so preoccupied about the call he had received earlier in the day about this meeting that he didn’t notice he had someone following him. He pulled up to the night club that Mr. O’Donnell ran and went inside.
Ryan had seen Rick leave the lab and decided to follow him. He parked this car couple of blocks away from the night club that Stetler stopped at and pulled out a receiver so he could hear and record what was being said from the bug that Eric had planted on Stetler’s shoe.
“I have a meeting with Mr. O’Donnell.” Rick said.
“Yes he is expecting you. You can go right through that door.” said a voice that Ryan figured was the bartenders.
“Welcome Rick, come on in and have a seat. I am Lee Choi and it looks like we have both been summoned by the boss. Would you like anything to drink? Mr. O’Donnell will be right in to see you.” Ryan heard Lee Choi say.
“No I am fine but just wondering why I was called down here. Do you all realize what could happen to us if anyone saw me here with you?” Rick asked.
“Do I hear you complaining about me calling you here Rick?” Ryan heard a new voice but was not sure who it was.
“No Mr. O’Donnell I was not complaining about it but I am wondering why we are taking the chance and meeting like this.” Rick said.
“I think it is time that you all understand what is going on here but we have a few more people that need to join us before I will start the meeting. Until they show up please enjoy a drink and relax Rick you look way too stressed out.” O’Donnell said.
Outside in his car Ryan was pulling out his phone to let Eric know what he was doing and listening to when his phone rang. He saw that it was Walter calling and remembered he was supposed to meet up with him for a night out. He answered the phone “Hey Walter, I am sorry bud but I forgot about meeting up with you tonight.” Ryan said
“That’s okay Ryan with all that is going on I was calling to let you know I was not going to be able to meet up with you. We were working in the lab and I just got done.” Walter said.
“Well if you have a chance I could really use you and Eric to meet me at Dean Lee O’Donnell’s night club. Rick is meeting with him and a few others about Melinda and her kids. Tell Eric that the bug is working perfect and I have been recording everything so vary.” Ryan said.
“Has the meeting started yet?” Ryan heard Eric ask.
“Not yet O’Donnell said that they were waiting for a few more people to show up before they started. Stetler is mad that he was summoned here so I am not sure how long he will be here.” Ryan said.
“We are on our way right now. If Stetler leaves call us and we will follow you and him.” Walter said.
“Okay who wants to let Horatio and Frank know what is going on?” Ryan asked.
“I will have Calleigh and Natalia head over to the safe house and let them know so they can catch up with us if they want. Don’t let Stetler out of your sight and will be there in a few minutes.” Eric said.
“Okay see you both in a few minutes, Bye.” Ryan said as he hung up the phone.
Eric stopped by the Ballistics lab to talk with Calleigh and Walter went to the DNA lab to talk to Natalia before they went out to the parking lot. Eric told Calleigh what Ryan had done and Walter explained the situation to Natalia and they all meet up at the elevator.
“I can’t believe Ryan followed Stetler like that without telling someone first but I am glad he did. So we are all on the same page here is what we are going to do, Calleigh and Natalia are heading to the safe house and let Horatio and Frank know what we are doing. Let Horatio and Frank know that Stetler has his radio on and is listening to it so we will stay in touch by our cell phones.” Eric said as they all were heading out into the parking lot. That is when Eric saw Bob sitting in a car. Eric nodded to Walter and they went over to where Bob was.
“Can we help you Bob?” Eric asked.
“So you do know who I am. I came here to turn myself in and ask for protection.” Bob said.
“What do you mean you want protection? The only thing you are going to get is a holding cell for right now.” Walter said.
“That is fine with me then I don’t have to worry about Mr. O’Donnell killing me.” Bob said. Walter called for a couple of uniformed officers to take Bob into custody and put him in the holding cell until they got back. “Man that was strange for him to just show up like that.” Walter said.
“Yea but we need to focus on what we were doing before we saw him. We can worry about Bob when we get done.” Calleigh said as her and Natalia was getting in Calleigh’s hummer and headed out for the safe house.
Eric and Walter went to meet up with Ryan outside the night club. Ryan jumped into the back seat of the hummer and they all listened to what Stetler was doing. “Have you been recording this since he went to the building?” Eric asked Ryan.
“Yea they were waiting on someone else to show up but no one said who.” Ryan answered.
“Well we better hope it is not Bob since he is sitting in a holding cell waiting on us.” Walter said. Ryan looked at him and Eric in disbelief.
“It is true we came out of the lab and there he was, wanting to be put into protective custody.” Eric told Ryan. They all heard the door open and wondered what was going on.
“There better be a real good reason for you calling me here like I am one of your lackeys O’Donnell.” Someone said.
“Sit down with everyone else and shut up Logan. We are waiting on one person to show up and then we will start this little meeting of the minds.” O’Donnell said. .
“Bob is not going to show up, O’Donnell. He was too much of a coward and turned himself in about 30 minutes ago.” Stetler said a little too happily.
“What do you mean he turned himself in Stetler? You were suppose to take care of him so he couldn’t go to the police.” O’Donnell said.
“You really didn’t expect me to get my hands dirty like that did you? There is no way I was going to do that and I told you so. You have plenty of flunkies that can do it instead of me. I have a career to think about. It is bad enough I am making evidence disappear for you. What else do you want out of me?” Stetler answered back at O’Donnell.
“I want you to do what you are suppose to do and did you find out where they are hiding the woman and her kids yet?” O’Donnell asked. “Not yet but I will know where they are in the morning.” Stetler said.
“You know Rick you should have thought about not having done anything for me before you came to me for help to get rid of a certain lieutenant on the force.” O’Donnell said.
“But you haven’t gotten rid of him for me yet.” Stetler said.
“No but after tonight he will be gone for good. Then you can take your so called rightful spot as head of the crime lab like you want Rick.” O’Donnell said. “Now since Bob has become a liability I want you to go where they are holding Bob and bring him here. I will deal with him personally. You think you can handle doing that or do I need to send someone with you Rick?” O’Donnell asked.
“Yea I can do it, but it may take a couple of hours to get him out and back here.” Stetler said.
“Now Logan you were wondering why I had you come down to Miami. Well I thought it was time you paid back your loan or if you don’t have the money right now than I have a job for you to do to take care of at least the interest you owe me.” O’Donnell said.
“You know I don’t have the money to pay you back so what do you want me to do?” Logan said.
“I need you to help Lee Choi here get a package up to Kansas City.” O’Donnell said.
“What is in the package or is it better that we don’t know what is in it?” Lee Choi asked.
“It is better if you don’t know what is in the package. And don’t think about opening it either.” O’Donnell said. “Now get out of here and don’t come back until you take care of your assignments.”
“I am heading over to the safe house to let Horatio listen to this and you two head back to the lab and get Bob out of there before Rick shows up.” Eric said to Ryan and Walter.
“Okay but let me copy this recording real quick so if we have to we have it to detain Stetler.” Ryan said.
“Good idea but we have to hurry.” Eric said as Ryan made the copy.
Ryan and Walter went to Ryan’s car and headed to the lab as Eric headed to the safe house. Ryan and Walter got to the lab and headed straight to the holding cell.
“Bob you are coming with us and don’t argue about it. We need to get you somewhere safe real quick.” Ryan said.
“Okay but what is going on?” Bob said as he followed Ryan.
“O’Donnell sent someone here to take you out so we need to get you out of here.” Ryan said he opened the cell. Walter and Ryan took Bob out of the back door of the building and they all got in the hummer that Ryan drives. As Ryan was driving around the front of the building Walter saw Rick pulling into the parking lot. Walter called Eric and let him know they had Bob safe and was taking him away from the lab.
Eric had just pulled into the driveway of the safe house when he got the call from Walter. He told them he would let H know and to stay at Ryan’s until H or him called them. Eric went into the safe house and seen Horatio on the phone with someone. Calleigh, Natalia, Frank, and Melinda were all in the front room. Eric joined them as they waited for H to get off the phone. Melinda was the first to speak “would you all like some coffee while we are waiting to find out what is going on?”
“I think that is a good ideal Melinda but let me help you make it.” Frank said as he got up to go in the kitchen with her. He had noticed that she had been real quiet and jumpy since Calleigh and Natalia had showed up. Now he wanted to help calm her down so that they could all figure out what to do now. “Thanks Frank I can always use the help.” Melinda said as she smiled at him. Calleigh, Eric and Natalia had all noticed how Frank had hovered over her protectively. Once Frank and Melinda had left the room, Calleigh made the comment “It is nice to see Frank in love again.”
“I so agree with you Calleigh. And by the way Melinda was watching him I would say the feelings are mutual.” Natalia said
“You both are so off base on this. Frank is just trying to protect her. He knows what could happen if he was it get involved with her right now.” Eric said.
“Yea just like you and Calleigh but that has not stopped you two now has it? And don’t play like nothing is going on everyone in the lab knows there is something between you too but you do hide it very well at work.” Natalia said
On the way to the kitchen Melinda had overheard what Calleigh had said and wondered if Frank did have feelings for her. She knew she had feelings for Frank but with everything going on she had not had a chance to think about them and was not sure how to act on them. Frank noticed she was preoccupied and came up behind her and turned her around. He looked into her eyes and said “I am about to do something that could get me into a lot of trouble but I can’t seem to help myself around you. If you don’t like me tell me now so I don’t make a fool of myself.”
“Oh Frank I do like you. In fact I have very strong feelings for you.” Melinda said just as Frank leaned his head down and kissed her tenderly.
“What are we going to do Frank? I want to give into the feelings I have for you but I need you to know that I have a family. You have to be willing and ready to accept my kids also.” Melinda said as she looked into his eyes while they were holding each other.
“I like your boys already Melinda and I am willing to do what ever it takes to show you how I feel about you.” Frank whispered into her ear.
“You are such a good man Frank but you know nothing about me or how it was for me and my kids. I am so scared that something will go wrong and I will lose the only people that matter to me.”
“Melinda, you and your boys are special to me and I will do everything in my power to keep you all safe so we can be together.” Frank said.
That is when Horatio made a noise so that Frank and Melinda would know that they were no longer alone. They stepped apart but Frank kept his arm around Melinda’s shoulder as they went back into the front room with the coffee. Calleigh, Eric and Natalia were all smiling at Frank and Melinda when they went back into the front room. Melinda blushed a little but Frank just held her tighter to him. Melinda set the coffee down and they all got a cup.
Eric was the first to talk “Ryan and Walter got Bob out of the holding cell and I have a recoding I need you all to listen to before you get upset about me telling them to get Bob away from the lab.” They all listened to the recording of Stetler and the others in the meeting with O’Donnell and when it was done Horatio said “That explains Rick’s call to me wanting to know where Bob and Melinda are. He is trying to tie up the lose ends before O’Donnell does something to him. Frank call some uniforms and get them here but don’t use the radio. I don’t want to give Stetler or anyone else the heads up that we know something is about to go down.”
“On it right now Horatio. How many do you want here?” Frank asked.
“From what I heard earlier I would get us as many as you can Frank and the faster they can get here the better we all are. I told Ryan and Walter to hide Bob at Ryan’s place until he heard from us.” Eric said.
“Smart thinking about hiding Bob at Ryan’s. No one will look for him there.” Horatio said. “Calleigh and Natalia I want you to take Melinda and the boys to the panic room and keep them there until one of us come and get you all.” Horatio said. Melinda looked at Frank and he could see the fear in her eyes. He hugged her tightly because of how badly she had started to shake from being scared.
“Come on Melinda, we need to get you and the boys into the panic room before all heck breaks lose.” Calleigh said and she took a hold of Melinda and led her upstairs. In the boy’s room Melinda woke the boys up and told the boys to grab some clothes and follow Calleigh and Natalia. As soon as the boys had some clothes and their shoes they all went into the closet and Calleigh opened the door to the panic room.
“Why are we going in here mom?” Mike asked.
“Well some of the bad people have figured out where we are and they are wanting us in here to be safe while they get them into custody.” Melinda said.
“Boys I want you to listen to me okay. No matter what we hear we are going to stay in here until Frank, Horatio, or Eric come and get us. As long as we are in here we are safe.” Calleigh said.
“Okay but what if we need to go to the bathroom?” David asked.
“We are in the best panic room possible. It has a bathroom and a fridge and beds in here. We also have a television and radio so we can know what is going on outside.” Natalia said.
“Eric I want you in the kitchen watching the back yard for anything. Frank I want you upstairs watching out over the front of the house. I am going to go out and check the perimeter. Set the alarm after I go out the door. I will call when I am ready to come back in.” Horatio said.
“Do you have the remote to shut off the alarm?” Frank asked as he was heading upstairs. Once they were all in place they didn’t have to wait long before they all saw Stetler’s car along with a couple of other cars stop down the street. Horatio used the walkie talkie on the phone to let everyone know they had company coming.
Rick went up to the door and said “This is Sergeant Rick Stetler with IAB and I have come for Melinda and the kids”
“I have orders to not hand them over except to Horatio or someone from the Crime Lab.” replied an officer.
“You better open this door or I will make you regret crossing me on this one.” Stetler said.
“I have to call the Lieutenant and let him know you are here before I can do anything sir.” the officer said.
“Fine but you are going on report for disobeying a direct order and I am coming in right now.” Stetler yelled.
“Let him in” Eric whispered to the officer and hid in the closest.
“Sorry about this Sergeant but you have to stay right here while I make the call and make sure it is okay for you to be here.” the officer said and that just made Rick even madder. As the officer called Horatio he turned his back to Rick and Rick took the chance to crack the door open. The officer saw the light on the alarm light up.
When Horatio answered his phone the officer said “Sir I am sorry to bother you but Rick Stetler with IAB is here to take the woman and kids with him.” Of course Rick was not able to hear the other end of the conversation.
“Yes he is right here behind me by the door.” the officer said.
“Yes sir I will let him know he will have to wait until you get here before he is allowed to see her or the kids.” and the officer hung up. The phone call was enough for Horatio to find out that Rick was in the house and had opened the door for the other to come in after him to make it look like an ambush. Horatio let the rest know that Rick was in the house and had opened the door for the other men to come in. He called in the uniforms that had been waiting on the street over. They were able to get all of the men that Rick had brought with him arrested without incident. Then Horatio and the uniforms surrounded the house and Horatio entered through the front door. He looked at Rick and said “Well Rick you wanted to see me and here I am. You know I can not let you see Melinda or the kids and you know that you need to turn yourself in.”
“What the hell are you talking about Horatio? I will see her today and she will be leaving with me.”
“You know that is not happening Rick.” Horatio said as he drew his weapon and aimed it at Stetler.
“You know I cannot leave here without her Horatio.” Rick said
“You should have thought about that before you went to Dean O’Donnell and made a deal with him Rick. Yes I know all about it and we have it all recorded so does the chief Rick. You know this is over and we have an arrest warrant for you. You are done.” Horatio said as he slowly walked closer to Rick. Eric had come around the corner and was behind Rick. Rick went to grab his gun when Eric knocked him down to the ground and put cuffs on him. Frank came down the stair and said “we have more company. I just saw two more cars park down the street and six guys got out.”
“Okay we need to get ready for company to arrive. Eric I want you in the kitchen watching the back door and put Rick in the closest for right now. Frank I want you in the den. Officer Jones I want you in the front room, and I am going to be up on the stairs. Lets protect this family and get it done with the lease amount of damage so the kids don’t have to see anything real bad.” Horatio said. They didn’t have to wait long before the front door was kicked in the men entered the house. Two of the men stay at the front door while the others split up. One went towards the kitchen where Eric was waiting. One headed into the front room where Officer Jones was waiting. One went into the den where Frank was waiting, and the other two started up the stairs when one of the got sight of Horatio and started shooting.
Eric yelled “Police drop your weapon.” at the man heading towards him and was able to catch him off guard. Eric was able to get him hand cuffed without having to shoot his gun and headed to the front of the house. Eric saw the Officer Jones pinned down behind the coffee table and yelled again “Miami Dade Police drop your weapons or I will shoot.” When they didn’t drop their weapons Eric took aim at the man behind the couch and shot him in the arm. Frank shot one of the men on the stairs and Horatio shot the other one. The last two men put their weapons down and had their hands on their heads when Eric and Frank looked at them. As soon as they had been hand cuffed and led out of the house by the extra uniformed officers Eric brought Stetler back into the front room.
“How the hell did you manage to get a warrant for my arrest Horatio?” Rick asked.
“Well Rick, you have a little device on your shoe that we used to record your meeting and on Eric’s way here he stopped at the ADA’s office and they gave us the warrant for your arrest.” Horatio said.
“You should have been happy with what you had Stetler instead of trying to get rid of Horatio and the crime lab like you did.” Eric said.
“You don’t know crap Delko. None of you know how deep I am in to these people. No matter what happens I am a dead man now.” Rick said.
“You should have thought about that before you made the choice to do business with them Stetler.” Frank said. “
You all have no ideal the reach O’Donnell has. He has people over that will get to your little wench and her kids and make them disappear.” Rick laughed and Frank hit him square in the jaw. Horatio and Eric hid their smirks because if Frank had not hit Stetler one of them would have. Frank pushed Rick towards a couple of the uniformed officers and said “Be careful getting in the car Stetler wouldn’t want your pretty face damaged before you get to jail.”
"Eric, I want you and Frank check the perimeter before we let Melinda and the kids out of the panic room.” Horatio said.
When Eric and frank came back into the house and gave Horatio the all clear he sent Frank upstairs to let everyone out of the room.
Melinda was the first one to notice someone was at the door trying to open it. Calleigh noticed that Melinda was staring at the door and she looked at the monitor and saw that Frank was at the door. They waited for Frank to enter the code for the door to open. After the door opened Frank entered the room and pulled Melinda into his arms and kissed her with such urgency that it left Melinda and him breathless. Calleigh, Natalia, and the boys all had to laugh. Frank stopped the kiss first when he heard the boys laughing at them. He looked at the boys and grabbed each one and gave them each a bear hug and said “I am so glad you are all safe. I was very worried you would try to come out and see what was going on before we came up here to get you.”
“Too tell you the truth I thought about it but I also thought about what my mother would do to me if I went any where near that door.” Mike said.
Frank laughed “Yea I think your mom would have hurt you had gone anywhere near that door before we had given the all clear.”
“Yea she can be all protective like that at times.” Mike said.
“But I think that is a good thing. I think that shows how much she loves you and how much she is willing to do to make sure you have a good life.”
“You are probably right but sometimes she can be overly protective if you know what I mean. She needs to realize that we are growing up and are no longer her little babies anymore.” Mike said. “But I also think that if she found someone she could love then maybe she wouldn’t worry so much about David and I.” “Yea Mike but you have to realize you are not as old as you want to be. You are only thirteen and David is only eleven. Your mother will always be there to protect you even when you are all grown up and have a family of your own.” Frank said. Melinda just listened to the exchange between Frank and Mike and was not sure what to say but realized that her kids had grown up somewhere along the line and she needed to start treating them according to the age. Calleigh and Natalia watched Melinda as she listened to what Mike and Frank said. Calleigh could tell that Melinda was not going to make it long before everything that happened today finally caught up with her and then she would have the breakdown that she needed to be able to keep going
“Why don’t we all go down stairs and see what Horatio wants us to do know.” Calleigh suggested as she was watching Melinda. Calleigh could see the worry in her eyes and wondered what Melinda was thinking. Calleigh caught Frank’s attention just as Melinda started to pass out and he caught her and held her to his chest and started out the door until she started to fight him.
“Just relax against me; you have been on one heck of an adrenaline rush with all that has happened tonight and now your body just wants to relax. Let me take charge for a little while and I will make sure everything is okay.” Frank whispered in her ear. But that seemed to upset Melinda. No one was sure what was going on in her mind but they knew they needed to get her to relax so they could get her down stairs and to the new safe house. They could all see the terror in her eyes and knew that she did not realize what was going on.
“It’s okay Melinda, let us do our job and you will be safe. You have been strong for so long that it is time for you to take a rest and just relax.” Calleigh said. “Mom you need to do what they say and not fight Frank.” Mike and David both said.
That was when Melinda realized it was Frank holding her and that she had been fight him. Melinda sighed and closed her eyes and thought to herself that her life needed to get back to normal some time soon or she was not going to make it through it.
Frank carried Melinda downstairs and Calleigh, Natalia, Mike, and David followed. When Frank turned to go into the front room Horatio looked up at and asked “What happened up there?”
Calleigh said “She is at her limit Horatio. We need to get her some where safe and let her relax before she totally loses it.”
“Who wants to volunteer their place for them to stay at first?” Horatio asked even though he knew the answer as he asked the question.
“Melinda and the boys will stay with at my place Horatio.” Frank said as he went to set Melinda down on the couch but she would not let go of him.
"Okay but only if Calleigh and Natalia stay there also.” Horatio said.
“No, no more I am tired of it all I just want to go home and forget all this every happened.” Melinda mumbled.
Horatio went over to Melinda, who was still sitting on Frank’s lap, and saw the confusion and fear in her eyes and said “Oh Melinda sweetheart. I am so sorry you are going through this but you know we are going to keep you safe don’t you?”
Melinda shook her head yes.
“I am going to promise you that we will get you and your boys through all of this and you will be better than okay when all of this is over. And you know I keep my promises don’t I?” Horatio asked.
Melinda Shook her head yes again.
“Okay sweetheart, we are going to get you and your boys over to Frank’s place with Calleigh and Natalia and I want to relax and not worry about anything. We will take care of everything.” Horatio said then he looked at Frank and said “Frank you take them to your place and you call me as soon as you get them settled. Calleigh and Natalia I want you to go with Frank and help with Melinda and the boys. Eric we need to talk with the Detective in Kansas City and let them know what is going on and see what he can do on his end so we can wrap this case up. I am going to call Ryan and Walter and get them to keep Bob in hiding until we are ready for him to testify and I will have them persuade him to turn himself in for what he did in Kansas City so that Melinda will not have to go back and deal with that also.”
Frank looked down at Melinda sitting on his lap and said “Melinda honey we need to stand up and get all your stuff together so we can go to my place okay?”
Melinda got up and looked lost so that Calleigh took her by the hand and led her upstairs while Natalia went with the boys and they packed what few clothes they had. After everything was packed up they went back down stairs and Frank took Melinda’s hand and led them all outside to the cars. Frank put Mike and David in the back seat of his car and then opened the front door for Melinda and made sure she had her seat belt on after she got in. After he shut her door he walked over to Calleigh and Natalia by Calleigh’s hummer.
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, Dec 17 2010, 2:05 PM EST
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|HoratiosGirl101||Melinda's Hope (page: 1 2)||32||Jul 16 2011, 12:43 PM EDT by dollydarwloo|
|Mrs_David_Caruso||Melinda's Hope (page: 1 2 3)||47||Dec 6 2010, 3:22 PM EST by maui_mandy85|
|LoraReed-Duncan||Melinda's Hope||10||Nov 28 2010, 4:54 AM EST by maui_mandy85|
Thread started: Nov 9 2010, 1:19 PM EST Watch
is an awesome read, you can visual them saying or acting the parts you have written, would make an excellent episode...Keep writing, I will keep reading
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