Melissa picks up the phone hoping to reach Eddie before it was too late. She prayed for the strength. She prayed for her mother.
"Detective Torres?" Eddie asked through the phone. Melissa held her breath trying to find the right words. "Help!" she said before hanging up. Confusion crossed Eddie's face. Suddenly it hit him to dial 69. A voice mail recording came on. He immediately recognized the voice. "Melissa" he said to himself.
"It was her J.C. Melissa called me, but all she said was 'help'. It was like she was panicked or frightened about something. Something is up." Eddie stated.
"I don't know man. Why would Melissa contact you? And why would she sound all spooked. She doesn't even know about Nina." J.C replied.
"I know I know, but something just doesn't feel right."
"Did you leave a message?"
""Naw man. I hung up. I'm gonna check with Nancy and see what's up."
"She is her daughter. She has the right to know her mom is missing."
Eddie sat down in his chair rubbing his head. Suddenly his phone rung.
"Torres." He said into the phone.
"Help her please!" the voice said hanging up. Eddie looked at JC.
The sun shinned through the bare window. Blinded by the light, Nina closed her eyes. Sighing seconds later she reopened her eyes looking for her capturer. He was nowhere in sight. Stretching she got up fully. The chain around her ankle prevented her from going to far. "Ouch!" she yelled to herself. Frustrated tears stung her eyes. She missed Eddie. "Let me out of here!" she yelled into the empty room. "Why are you doing this to me?" she continued. Her cries went unheard. She was starving and had to use the bathroom like a race horse. "Why me Father?" she silently asked. "What did I do?" she paused. "I know you're punishing me for giving up my baby. Well, there is nothing you could do that could make me feel worse than I already feel. But I can't get her back! I tried. So help me get out of here! Please" she cried for herself, her daughter, and the unborn child she never got a chance to tell Eddie about.
JC and Eddie entered the 4th Precinct for a follow up meeting with Cooper. They entered her office with out knocking because they knew she was expecting me. They felt completely exhausted. "Have a seat gentleman." She told them. "Melissa is gone Eddie. Nancy hasn't heard from her in about a month. No one seems to know where she is."
"Well that doesn't surprise me. I got two phone calls from her today. I didn't get much information out of her. Each time she said, 'help'. I think she has information regarding her mother's disappearance." Eddie told her pointedly.
"Did you call her back?" Cooper questioned.
"Yeah and I got her voicemail. Seems she doesn't want to be reached."
"Maybe this guy has Melissa too?" JC added in.
"No." Cooper paused. "Detective, Melissa was last spotted outside your window last night."
"She knows something Lou. And I won't stop till I find out what it is." Eddie said walking out of her office. "Follow him," Cooper said. Nodding JC walked out the office as well.
"Wake up sleeping beauty!" He said into her ear. "I have a surprise for you my dear. Come on, wake up."
"Leave me alone!" Nina screamed.
"Aww come on. Don't be like that. Don't you want to see what I've been working on?" He unlocked the chain on her ankle. "Come now!" She unwillingly followed him into the next room. Hands now tied behind her back. "Where are you taking me?" Nina inquired. He continued to walk silently leading her into a basement like room. A cold chill ran down her spine. "Just a little further." He told her. She sighed. Suddenly he stopped. A large casket lay before her.
"What is this?"
Doing what she was told, Nina slowly opened the steal like casket. Instead of find it empty as she suspected, there laid a replica to herself. "What the hell is that?" She questioned loudly. "You are insane. If you think for one second people will believe that's me, then you are crazier than I thought." She continued. "Oh of course! You're going to write him a letter. Telling him you love him, but just don't have the energy to live anymore." He said directly. Nina stared at him with a blank expression on her face.
"Oh please, this won't work. I have no reason to commit suicide. I love my husband and I love my life."
"With your letter, all I will have to do is burn it and copy your dental records and we'll be set. When I'm finish with you, the whole world will know you are dead."
"You can't make me do this! I want out of here! Let me go! You sick fuck! My husband won't believe any of this. I'm a cop you kill me, they'll have every cop on the force looking for me! Now LET me GO!" Nina yelled with all of her strength. "You could scream all you want. Sound proof walls. No one could hear you for miles." He said smugly. An evil grin appeared on his face. His eyes darken. Nina sat back. He wanted to scare her and was very please he was succeeding. 'She'll be mine soon'. He thought to himself. Nina eyed him cautiously. "Please let me go. I'll do anything you want. Just let me go!" Nina begged him; tears now streaming down her face. "Write the damn letter or I will make you pay." He said while taking a picture out of his pocket. Nina eyes bugged out. 'Melissa' she said to herself. "You don't want me to hurt this precious angel do you? Such a pretty girl. I could really hurt her you know, but I won't if you'd just do what I asked!" He said straightforwardly.
"No please don't. Don't hurt my baby girl!"
"Write the letter Nina! I don't want to hurt her, but I will if"
"Alright! I'll write your damn letter"
24th and 10th
Melissa's stomach growled with hunger. All her limbs ached from every inch of her body. A wave of nausea washed over her. Then everything went black.
Nina sat at the wooden desk with pin in head. She had to think of a way Eddie would read more into the letter. She had to leave clues. Say things she wouldn't normally say.
My Dearest Eduardo,
It pains me to write this to you. It seems just like yesterday I walked in the 4th with you standing at your desk. You hated me before you met me. But I knew that there was something special between us. The connection that we shared was amazing. I love you. From the time we first kissed at NATALIES to the time we had our first fight. Remember the time you went undercover at that REHAB center because your dad was a recovering ALCOHOLIC and you were too stubborn to listen to me. The time you proposed at the PRECINCT. Tell Julius Clarence I said to keep his head up. I will always love you. Look to the stars my sweet Eduardo.
She put the pin down hoping Eddie would read between the lines. 'Please Eddie' she thought. "Save me."
Eddie and JC walked tiredly into the precinct. Three hours of searching and there still wasn't any sign of Melissa or Nina. Pain crossed Eddie's face as the thought of someone hurting his family. Cooper approached both JC and Eddie with a strained look on her face. "I have some news for you. Let's go in my office where we could talk privately." JC and Eddie obediently followed her shutting the door behind them. "A body has been found burned beyond recognition. From the dental records it appears to be…" Cutting her off Eddie says, "It's not Nina is it." Cooper looked at him sincerely. "I'm sorry Detective, but from the records we had on file it appears to be Nina. " The words barely came out of her mouth before tears stung her eyes. Eddie looks down trying desperately to keep his emotions in check. "Forensics found a letter." She tells him reaching into her desk taking out an envelope clearly marked "Eddie". "I'll give you a minute. Like I said, I'm sorry Detective. Nina was a incredible cop. I know you loved her very much." Cooper stats as she and JC leave the office. "I'm sorry man." JC says as he closes the door behind him. Eddie remained silent several minutes just staring at the letter in his hands. Reading Nina's words over and over, he finally let his emotions get the best of him. Silently he wept.
St. Christian's Memorial
Melissa rested her eyes on the pillow as Nurse Rhea entered the room. The Five o'clock news muted. "That's so sad. That poor man." Nurse Rhea says to herself. "What?" Melissa inquired. "That poor man on the news that just lost his wife." She said as she unmated the television. The news anchors voice entered the room.
"32 year old police Detective Nina Moreno-Torres' body was found early today. Coroner Miller says that the dental records confirmed the identity of her body due to the burns she sustained. Police say she was burned beyond recognition. Detective Moreno-Torres had been missing for several days before her body was finally found. There still aren't any leads as of yet, however, her husband, who is also a detective says that her daughter may shed some light on Detective Moreno-Torres' death. "Melissa looked away. "Oh No!" she practically yelled in the room frightening Nurse Rhea/ "Are you okay sweetie?" Nurse Rhea asked. "If any one sees this girl, Melissa Moreno, please contact Detective Eddie Torres of the 4th Precinct at 555-1851. He also asks if anyone has information regarding the Detective Nina Moreno- Torres please come forward." The news anchor said.
"He doesn't know! Oh my god! He doesn't know. I've got to get out of here!" Melissa said.
"Hey! It's you! You're the girl from the TV!" Nurse Rhea yelled. Melissa yanked the IV out of her arm. "What are you doing? You can't leave!"
"Watch me!" Melissa yelled. Running out of the room, Nurse Rhea yelled after her. "Help! Stop that girl! Stop!" Nurse Rhea chased after her. "Someone stop her!" It was too late. Melissa was already gone.
Eddie sat on his bed cling to the only wedding picture of him and Nina in the room. The late Luther Vandross' song "A House is not a Home," is continuously playing in the background. "Why Nina? Why?" Eddie questions the empty room. "I need you. I need you!" His voice cracks as he weeps for his now dead wife.
Same Time: 4th Precinct
"It just doesn't make any sense. Why would Nina write Ed that letter? I mean it's not adding up. You said it yourself the things in her letter weren't true. So why would she write it. Hell she even called me by my full name…She never does that. And what does she mean look to the stars. You know Cooper; now that I think about it I'm not too sure Nina is dead. How accurate are those dental records?" JC says to Cooper in her office. "Pretty accurate Detective. The coroner said it himself. Detective Moreno was a good cop; we've got to just accept it." Cooper replied. "Wait a minute. Didn't Ed say something about Nina having to update her dental records because she got some caps for her back teeth? If the records they used to identify her body aren't recent then maybe that just isn't Nina after all. "JC said with reason. Cooper just looked at him; waiting for him to finish his thoughts. "Say this person faked Nina's death and is still holding her hostage. Question is who is doing this and why...I've got to call Ed!" Just as Cooper was about to respond, Melissa stormed into Cooper's office. "My Mom isn't dead!" JC and Cooper both looked at Melissa with shocked expressions on their faces. "Melissa…What the hell are you doing here?" Cooper let it. "My mom isn't dead!" Mel said sitting in the chair. "Look we don't have time. We've got to stop my dad before it's too late."
"What you mean before it's too late. Just what do you know about this case Melissa?"
"I don't have time to explain! We've got to go! Now!" Melissa argued with JC. Both he and Cooper looked at each other curiously as Melissa left the room.
Eddie eyed the gun that is lying on the coffee table before him. "Though I'm missing you," is playing in the background. A depressed Eddie says to himself, "I'm gonna miss you baby!" He grabs the gun cocking it to his head. "I'm coming!" He says pulling the trigger.
"Noooooooooooo!" Melissa yelled. "Daddy NOOooo!"