"Check mate again," Charlie sighed boredly.
"Charles, no matter how hard I try at this game I can never win when I play you," Larry said, sighing in frustration as he scanned the chess board.
"I get that a lot," Charlie smirked, leaning back in his chair.
"Thought you would have learned by now Larry," Alan shook his head laughing as he made his way into the kitchen where his youngest son and his colleague sat.
"Ah well, I must be going anyway. I have a lesson to prepare for tomorrow," Larry said, getting up from his chair and grabbing his jacket. "I'll see you tomorrow Charles."
Charlie waved to Larry as he stepped out the door of the Eppes house.
"So Charlie. Any new cases with Don," Alan asked his youngest son.
"Not really," Charlie sighed, fiddling with the small pieces on the chess board.
"Not really or no," the older man asked, turning away from the sandwich he was making to face the curly haired mathematician.
"Well, there's a new kidnapping case developing. I just haven't looked over the material yet."
"Ah I see," Alan replied, turning back to his turkey sandwich. "I'm going golfing with Art today, do you want to come?"
"Nah, I'll pass, I should really start to look over the files Don gave me," Charlie answered, retreating from his place at the table and towards the stairs.
"Suit yourself," Alan shrugged, taking a huge bite out of his sandwich.
Charlie sat in his bedroom scanning several files Don had given him, to try and create an equation as to who was behind the kidnappings. So far, thirteen people had been abducted, their ages ranging from 15 to 27. All the bodies of the victims had been recovered, bloody and beaten. From the looks of it they had been tortured is what Charlie hypothesized as he looked at the photos taken of the victims. Charlie first composed a list of the victims names, their age, and the day they had been abducted. He tacked to his bedroom wall and studied it for several minutes.
Christina Hamby - Age 15 - Taken November 18, 2005
Walter Cowling - Age 16 - Taken November 22, 2005
Louis Wyman - Age 17 - Taken November 26, 2005
Angela Geiss - Age 18 - Taken November 30, 2005
Monica Heyman - Age 19 - Taken December 2, 2005
Lori Moore - Age 20 - Taken December 6, 2005
Damian Sawley - Age 21 - Taken December 10, 2005
Nina Garcia - Age 22 - Taken December 14, 2005
Gregory Pitt - Age 23 - Taken December 18, 2005
Eric Furring - Age 24 - Taken December 22, 2005
Ashley Neumann - Age 25 - Taken December 26, 2005
Caroline Peddlow - Age 26 - Taken December 30, 2005
Andrew Lawe - Age 27 - Taken January 3, 2006
Charlie couldn't believe what he saw. Not only one pattern but two! He quickly put on his jacket and rushed outside, grabbing his bike and peddling as hard as he could to the FBI building. Once there, he slammed on his brakes and dumped his bike in the lobby. When he reached Don's floor, he hurriedly stepped of the elevator and almost directly into Meghan. (AN: I'm spelling Meghan with an H because my name is Meghan and it's spelled with an H. :) )
"Where's Don," Charlie asked her.
"Well, hello to you to," she smirked. "He's at his desk."
"Thanks," Charlie yelled to her and he ran down the aisles of desk's. "Don," Charlie yelled as he stopped at his brother's work area.
"Whoa buddy, take a breath," Don said, looking up from his paperwork. Meghan, Colby, and David gathered around to hear what Charlie had to say.
"There's two patterns I was able to discern. One is that all of his victims get older by one year in the order that he took them. age 15 to 27, the ages all rise by one year. Another is that all of the victims were taken exactly four days apart."
Don looked at his coworkers, a look on determination on his face, "All right Meghan you start doing some background checks on some of the suspects see where they were on these dates," Don ordered as he handed Meghan the list Charlie had made. "Good job Charlie," Don slapped his younger brother's shoulder, who just nodded back.
"Don you know what this means right," Charlie asked his older brother. Don gave Charlie a quizzical look. The younger man sighed in return. "The next victim will be taken today, January 7. The victim will also be 28 years old," Charlie explained. A look of understanding dawned on Don.
"Damn," he whispered. "Meghan how are doing on those background checks."
"Were looking at John Vurst. He was reportedly seen at the sight of six of the kidnappings," Meghan called from her computer.
"Okay well we don't have much time so Meghan you keep working on those, David and Colby you come with me," Don yelled out. Don looked over John Vurst's files. "We have to check these addresses so let's go." Don started to make his way out of the building but stopped abruptly and turned to Charlie. "Hey Charlie, why don't you head home buddy it's getting late and dad will want you home for dinner. Everything is taking care of here," Don smiled at his brother and left.
"Well, I guess I'll see you later," Charlie sighed, turning toward Meghan.
"See ya Charlie," She replied, not even look up from her computer. Charlie stalked off towards the door, down the elevator, and out onto the street with his bike, riding away into the setting sun towards home.
When Charlie arrived home, the message machine blinked 1. He pressed the play button.
"Hey Charlie it's dad. Me and Art decided to get a bite to eat for dinner. There's some left over Roast beef in the fridge you can heat it up. Well, see ya later."
Charlie plopped down on the couch to start putting a lesson together for his classes he had the next day when a large crash came from the kitchen. Charlie shot up from his place on the couch. He stayed glued to the spot. He could hear his heart beating in his ears. Charlie frantically looked around the living room. Then from behind him he heard the click of the safety of gun.
"Hello Professor," a voice snarled from behind Charlie. The mathematician was to terrified to even turned around. "You're going to have me discovered if you keep up your little equations. And you know, I really don't want to end up in prison Professor, so I decided. Hey, your 28, why not have you be next on my list." Charlie finally turned around to face the man who had been speaking to him. Charlie opened his mouth to speak, but was cut short by the man before him. "Oh, no need to speak Professor. I guess you're wondering how I found out so soon that you were on the case and getting close to finding me. Actually you've been a target for a long time Charlie. So it's just more convenient that I take you before they find me," the mysterious man said as he began to walk towards Charlie, who tried to scurry backwards, but was soon against the wall with no where to go. The man's face was so close to Charlie he could feel his hot breathe on his face. The smell of alcohol and tobacco was overwhelming and making Charlie's stomach lurch. The mathematician looked from side to side, trying his best to scope out an escape. Equations danced through his brain in such a rush that he couldn't even make sense of them. With all the courage he could muster, Charlie dashed to his right, trying his best to get away from his attacker but it was in vain. The unknown man grabbed his arm and slammed Charlie against the wall.
"Wrong move professor," he growled before sending a vicious pistol whip to Charlie's head, causing blackness to fall upon him.