Bo’s phone rang as he was leaving the Java. ‘Clarice? ’ He asked, thinking it was Carly, really to yell at her for causing a lot of anxiety.
‘Bo, come over; we need to talk.’
Bo sighed, exasperated. He was in no mood to deal with Victor right now. ‘I’m not interested in whatever you want to spill out at me...’
‘Considering you obviously thought it was that woman calling you, more than ever I need to talk you.’
‘I don't take orders from you, so why don't you kiss my...’
‘Fine, I’ll just let Hope know what you’re hiding, she’ll certainly thank me for it.’ was Victor’s icy reply.
Bo gritted his teeth in fury, cursing under his breath. ‘I’m on my way.’ Snapping his phone shut, he hailed a passing cab.
At the same moment Clarice was dialling his number, almost screaming in despair when she kept getting the engaged tone. What do I do now? She thought frantically. She called the station again. ‘Is Commander Brady there?’ she demanded.
‘No, he’s still out with Detective Hernandez on a case...’
‘What about Officer Hartman? Is he at the station, can I speak with him?’
‘No, he left...’
Clarice swiftly interrupted. ‘Listen carefully; Officer Dean Hartman was involved in Ciara’s kidnap; I repeat, Officer Dean Hartman was involved in Ciara’s kidnap. He’s already killed two people so he should be considered armed and dangerous! Put out an APB him right now before he can escape!’
‘Don't argue with me!’ Clarice shouted harshly. ‘I can’t get a hold of the Commissioner so find a way of calling him or Roman and give them this message! I’m a Federal Agent assigned to this case; I’m authorising you to put out the APB on Hartman... I’ll take responsibility for it, just do it!’
‘Yes Ma’am, right away!’ the dispatcher said, sounding harried.
‘Wait!’ Hope needed to be told and if she had to shake some sense on that silly woman she would. ‘What’s the Commissioner’s address?’
‘Uh... it’s... it’s 526 Scuttlehoe Road. ’
‘Okay, do what I asked you to do. I’m going there and I’ll call if I need back up.’
Clarice put her foot down hard, speeding to Bo’s house.
Hope set Ciara’s down, her heart beating fast. They were completely vulnerable; her service pistol was in her purse... on the bed upstairs. How was she going to overpower him without exposing Ciara to danger?
‘Nothing wrong. I just realised that we have to go to the bank after all.’
Dean’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. ‘Why? You just told me the money’s been transferred to my account already.’
‘I know, but I just remembered there’s a few documents we both need to sign; 5 million is a lot of money you know.’
Dean was not an idiot. With the way the kid was avoiding his eyes, she was suspecting, no... was already on to him. How she figured him out he had no idea but he wasn't going to waste time pondering over that. Just as well, his revenge wasn’t over.
‘Let me just go up and grab my purse...’ she turned towards the stairs with Ciara at her heels but froze as she heard Dean’s cold voice. ‘I don't think so, Detective Brady.’
Holding her daughter close to her, she turned to see a gun armed at them. ‘Come back,’ Dean’s eyes flashed, ‘and sit on the couch, nice and slow.’
She obeyed, Ciara clinging to her tightly. ‘Why did you do this?’ she demanded, trying to keep her voice from shaking. ‘You’re one of our best officers; we trusted you... I defended you all this time, how could you?’
‘If you’re trying to make me feel guilty and all, it ain’t working.’ He sneered, keeping the gun on both of them. ‘Why? Why? I wanted the money and I almost didn't get it, thanks to your husband. But more important... I’ve always hated you Hope Brady! Spoiled rich girl who should’ve stayed at home and arrange furniture instead of stealing jobs you didn't deserve... that detective promotion was mine!’
‘This is what it was all about? You wanted to punish me?’ Hope gasped incredulously.
‘Yeah. And now I’m not going to leave until I get rid of the thorn in my flesh.’ Dean said grimly. ‘I’ve been waiting a long time to pin you down...’
He flinched as there was a pounding on the door. Ciara’s heart leapt at the sound of Clarice’s voice. ‘Hope! Open up, I need to talk to you.’
Hope glanced at Dean, wondering whether or not to jump at him.
‘Don't even think about it.’ He said in a low voice. ‘Get rid of her or your kid’s going to get it.’ He moved to hide behind the door, gun pointed at Ciara’s direction.
Hope got up, squeezing Ciara’s hand reassuringly, praying that Clarice was armed.
She opened the door slowly but didn't bargain on Clarice pushing her backwards angrily. ‘You! What the hell was that earlier?’ she snapped, entering the living room, glaring at Hope. ‘I was warning you about...’
‘Clarice, he has a gun!’ Ciara shrieked suddenly.
Clarice spun round and Dean shot her.
‘You’re obviously not over that woman so why don't you stop denying it?’ Victor raged. ‘And if you’re not careful, she’s going to ruin your marriage!’
‘You sure seem to think that everybody’s just like you.’ Bo snapped angrily. ‘And for the last time, back off! I already told you she has no idea she once had a life here...’
‘Yeah right.’ Victor sneered. ‘She’s even better than Billie who came back here all saintly and look at what she did to you.’
‘Look who’s talking ... you married her Mum, remember?’
‘Story of my life; I married a string of two faced bitches; including your so called Clarice...’
Bo suddenly flinched, a strange sensation rushing through him. He hardly heard the rest of Victor’s spiteful words; he’d had that feeling before, when?
When Carly had flat lined while Marcus and Dr. Horton were operating on her.
‘Are you listening to me, Bo?’ Victor barked at him, baffled at the look on his son’s face.
Before Bo could speak, his cell rang. Not bothering to answer Victor, he pulled it out of his pocket. ‘Brady.’
‘Sir, thank God I got hold of you!’ The dispatcher said frantically, relaying Clarice’s message. Bo stood still, shocked. One of his own men? ‘Have you told Commander Brady about this?’ he barked.
‘Yes! He’s already sent men to the airport and the bus and train station.’
‘Where’s Agent Parker?’
‘She said she was going over to your house.’
‘Send back up over there now! I’m on my way!’ he hung up, filled with foreboding.
‘Agent Parker?’ Victor asked, stunned. ‘What the hell..?’
Justin chose that tense moment to appear. ‘What’s going on?’
‘You give me your keys.. now!’ Bo shouted, his voice and tone brooking no argument as he grabbed the lapels of Justin’s jacket.
Bewildered, Justin produced them and Bo fled; leaving Victor trying to get over how Bo had addressed Carly.
‘One bitch less.’ Dean remarked, using one foot to nudge Clarice’s cheek.
‘You’re definitely going to prison; you’ve just killed an ISA agent, you son of a bitch!’ Hope shouted, trying to comfort Ciara who was crying loudly. ‘My husband won’t rest until...’
‘Shut the hell up!’ Dean snapped. ‘We’re going for a ride now Detective, you and your brat.’
‘You’ve got your money, you don't need us; just walk away!’ Hope pleaded.
‘No way. I’ve gone too far to back out now. You just come with me, nice and slow...’
‘CIARA RUN!’ Hope lurched at him, trying to wrest the gun from his hands. Ciara ran to the door but Dean, punching her on the jaw; grabbed the child by her hair before she could get the door open. Enraged, Hope darted at him again and in the struggle, the gun flew over the couch. Hope was knocked unconscious by another vicious blow. Dean cursed loudly as he felt teeth sinking on his left leg and turned, backslapping the child. ‘You little brat... you’re going to pay for that!’ he growled, pulling out a switchblade as Ciara cowered to a corner, a vivid pink bruise on her cheek.
‘Hold it right there, Hartman.’
Dean sharply turned to find himself suddenly facing a deadly looking semi automatic Smith & Wesson. He cursed. He should have remembered that international spies were always full of tricks.
‘If you lay another hand on that child, I swear to God I’ll kill you.’ Clarice hissed, glaring at him, despite the fact she was bleeding from her gunshot wound, the bullet had gotten her on the left side, just below her rib cage but she held herself firmly. ‘Drop the knife and back away from her… I’m a crack shot so no tricks!’ Dean obeyed, watching Clarice warily as Ciara got up and ran to her mother. ‘This got nothing to do with you, Agent Parker.’
‘Murder... kidnap... you’re an utter disgrace to your uniform.’
‘She took what was rightfully mine!’ he spat. ‘You have no idea...’
‘Nothing justifies you terrorizing an innocent little girl; causing her parents pain and worry!’ She hurled back at him.
Hope was already coming to. She blinked and hugged her daughter joyfully, looking up. ‘Clarice, you’re alive...’ she began.
‘Hope, I need a pair of... oh no you don't!’ she darted after Dean as he suddenly opened the door and made a run for it; desperately gambling she wouldn't be able to aim straight nor catch up with him while in great pain. But Clarice wasn't kidding when she told him she was a crack shot. She fired, hitting him on the shoulder and leg and he went down hard on the pavement, screaming in agony. At that moment, the sound of sirens could be heard and several cars appeared.
‘Clarice, are you alright?’ she heard Hope cry. She tried to answer but couldn't, her vision was suddenly blurry, her strength ebbing.
‘Clarice! She’s wounded, call an ambulance now!’ someone ordered. Dizzy and faint, Clarice fell but instead of the hard ground, into a pair of strong arms.
‘Move back right now, sweetheart...’
‘Is she dead?’
‘Come here, Ciara.’
‘Is she dead?’ a sobbing, trembling voice. ‘Don't let her die, please!’
The sound of someone’s angry screams, Dean’s. Clarice felt a warm hand stroking her forehead and hair. It was so soothing... she wanted the person doing it to keep going.
‘Hang in there... the ambulance’s on its way; don't you crash out on me now...’ a soft voice in her ear. ‘Come on Clarice...’
Bo... he sounds so worried, poor thing; she thought dreamily, opening her eyes to peer at him. He was looking down at her, out of those beautiful, brown eyes. But... he looks different... younger. He was weeping and his voice sounded like it was coming from far away. Come on, princess, come on... hang in there baby... please Carly open your eyes for me...
I’m not Carly... I’m Clarice; she wanted to say then finally succumbed to oblivion.