The story so far:
Kate and Emily soon found themselves outside of David Thompson’s house.
“What’s the plan?” Emily asked, looking over at Kate.
“I was hoping you had one, to be honest,” Kate said, getting out of the car. She walked to the front door and tried the handle; it was unlocked. “Just follow my lead.” Emily nodded.
Kate crept into the dark house and looked around; it was definitely the habitat of a bachelor. There were clothes strewn everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink and an inch of dust on every flat surface. Emily snapped her fingers at Kate, pointing at the ajar bed room door. At the same moment, the smell hit Kate.
“****, I’ll give you twenty dollars to go check the bedroom,” Kate coughed, covering her nose and mouth with one hand. Emily rolled her eyes and pushed the door open.
“It appears the resident of this domicile is deceased,” Emily said, wrinkling her nose.
“Whoa, look at you using five dollar words,” Kate said.
“Well I did go to one of Britain’s finest boarding schools,” Emily said, entering the room. On the bed lay a lanky young man with a needle sticking out of his arm. “Looks like an overdose.”
Kate came into the room and examined the body.
“Maybe, but he wasn’t a drug user, there aren’t any track marks,” Kate said. “What now?”
“Get out of here and call Scotland Yard on the way back,” Emily said, still staring at the body.
“Good call,” Kate said. “I’m going to look around first.”
Kate wandered through the small flat, looking for any evidence of drug use or foul play. There was neither.
“There’s not a single drug in the place, no paraphernalia, no nothing,” Kate called, re-entering the bedroom. She stopped when she saw Emily muttering to herself with her head bent before crossing herself and kissing the gold cross she wore under her shirt. “You’re praying for the stiff?” Emily looked up at fixed Kate with a cold glare.
With that, Kate and Emily left the flat, leaving the door unlocked behind them. They didn’t speak again until they were driving down the street.
“So you’re Catholic?” Kate asked.
“I’m Irish, of course I’m **** Catholic,” Emily said.
“It’s just… there’s not a whole lot of religion in our line of work.”
“Well, considering we’re in harms’ way most of the time I figure it can’t hurt to stay on God’s good side as much as possible.”
“You mean the killing, the coveting, the false testimony, and the promiscuity with bartenders is part of you staying on God’s good side?” Kate laughed.
“I’m an imperfect person,” Emily grinned.
“So we have nothing,” Kelly sighed after Kate and Emily made their report back at the safe house.
“Pretty much,” Kate agreed. Kelly swore under her breath and leaned forward to snatch Kate’s pack of cigarettes off of the coffee table. “Whoa, what the **** are you doing?”
“A ten year old girl is imprisoned and we have no idea where or why or how or who, so yeah, I’m having a cigarette. You got a problem with it?” Kelly snapped. Kate took her Zippo out of her pocket and handed it to Kelly. Kelly nodded her thanks and stepped out to the terrace, followed by Kate, Emily and Iris. Max rolled his eyes at Jack.
“Surprised they haven’t gotten you smoking yet,” Max said.
“My father is an oncologist at John Hopkins, I know exactly what a soothing cigarette can lead to,” Jack said. “What’s your excuse?”
“My dad caught me smoking when I was fourteen, made me smoke a whole pack, haven’t touched them since,” Max said, smiling.
On the terrace Kate watched the others carefully. All four of them were showing signs of their frustration; Iris had her fist clenched at her side, Emily kept fingering her cross and Kate couldn’t make herself be still.
“Can they get the ransom together in time?” Kate asked.
“I don’t know,” Kelly said.
“What did the abductors say that they would do if they didn’t have their demands met?” Emily asked.
“They said that Sarah will never be seen again,” Kelly said.
“We got nothing, sis,” Kate said, pinching the bridge of her nose.
“I know,” Kelly said.
“Maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way,” Iris said. “Instead of trying to figure out who the abductor is we should be looking at who Sarah is. Aren’t most kidnappings committed by someone the victim already knows?”
“That’s not bad... and it’s better than anything we have now,” Kelly said. “Let me make a call.”
The other three re-entered the living room where Max and Jack were waiting. They all settled into their usual spots and waited for Kelly to re-enter the house.
“Alright, we got permission from the Prime Minister to look through Sarah’s room. The other agencies already have without getting any leads. The money has been arranged but the prisoners are posing a problem.”
“No ****, the Prime Minister can’t just free prisoners without someone noticing,” Kate said, standing. “Let’s go check it out.”
Thirty minutes later the team stood in the middle of Sarah Rogers room. It was like any other pre-pubescent girl’s room; there were hand-made drawings on the walls along with a few boy band posters. The bed was neatly made and covered in stuffed animals and all of the clothes were hanging up in a large closet. Kate paced the floor, thinking, until one of her steps made a hollow noise. She stopped and looked at her feet. The hardwood floor beneath her was waxed to a fine shine but this board looked more worn than the rest. Crouching, Kate pulled at the board and lifted. Beneath it lay a box filled with trinkets and a small pink diary with a lock.
“Did anyone else find this?” Kate asked, holding up the diary.
“No one mentioned it,” Kelly said. Kate handed the book to Iris who quickly undid the lock with a paper clip.
“It starts on January 1st of this year,” Iris said, reading carefully. “She talks about school and how she doesn’t like her maths teacher.”
“Skip to April,” Kelly said. Iris flipped through the pages quickly and stopped with a deep breath.
“March 31st she mentions a crush but she doesn’t give him a name. She says he’s dreamy with eyes like chocolate,” Iris glanced up at Kate. “Does that remind you of anyone?”
“Keep going,” Kate said.
“On April 2nd she mentions that she saw her crush at the park and that he bought her an icy lolli.”
“A what?” Jack asked.
“A popsicle,” Kelly explained. “Any mention of a name?”
“No… the last entry is dated April 15th, the day she was taken. She mentions… shite!”
“What?” All five of the others asked, frustrated.
“She mentions that her crush came by her school yesterday and asked if she’d like to go to lunch today. She then states that, ‘Pierce is perfect.’”
“****,” Emily muttered. Kate was silent with her hands clenched at her sides.
“Alright, we need to meet with the agency heads now,” Kelly said.