A/N: Wow, ok, I know I saidI was going to wait until my other story is over, but I wanted to start this one and get a reaction from people. To my beta Nordygirl, you are awesome! Thanks so much! Anyway, here is my new story, enjoy...
Knock Three Times
Chapter 1: Memory's Embrace
"Daddy!" little Christine squealed, when she saw her father walk through the colorful door decorated in finger paintings.
"Ma Bella," Ross Daae said, picking the little four year old up and planting her on his hip.
"Awww…" the daycare supervisors cooed, when the handsome father and daughter shared an Eskimo kiss, "He's so dreamy and sweet…Bye, Mr. Daae!" they all shouted in unison as he left with his daughter.
"So, what did you do today?" he said as they were driving home, looking into the rear view mirror. He saw her smile turn to a frown in an instant, "Oh, so silent, bella?"
"We learned about mommies…" Christine said, looking down at her stuffed Mon-chi-chi, taking it's thumb and sticking it in it's mouth.
"Oh, Ma Bella, I know you wished you had your mommy, it's hard, but you know what?" he said, feeling his heart ache for his daughter and his beloved…Melanie.
"What?" she said, lifting her eyes finally to meet his in the mirror.
"She has never really left," he said pulling into the driveway and taking her out from the backseat. Kneeling at her eye level, "She's in here," he pointed to her heart, "Forever."
Little Christine looked in wonderment at what her father just told her, her mommy was inside her and she never knew?
"Hi, mommy!" she whispered to her chest, as Ross felt his tears welling up.
Christine hugged her daddy tightly and whispered, "I love you daddy. You're so good a daddy to mommy and me." And kissed him on the cheek.
"Ti amo, Bella, ti amo," he said as he hugged her fiercely and scooped her up in his arms to take her inside…
"Special agent Ross Daae, in the flesh. You know you're more trouble then you're worth." A man in the shadows said, Ross knew that voice anywhere.
Ross was coming back to consciousness; tied up and bleeding from the blow to his head. He tried to assess his situation by testing the virality of the ropes binding him, his training kicking in full mode.
"Now, now, be a good boy, Mr. Daae." The man sneered when he saw Ross struggling against his bonds.
"Damn, they're tied to tight. Ok, calm down. Cooperate, "Just stay calm, collected, don't let the bastards get the best of you," a very good friend's words came back to him.
"What do you want?" Ross said tonelessly.
The man laughed hollowly, "Oh, come, come Mr. Daae, you know very well who I am and what I want. Let's not play games."
"Why not, I love games?" he said, same toneless voice.
"Really? Well then…I feel a change in the winds, let's play one," the man sneered.
The man reached into an oversized envelope and pulled out a huge stack of, what appeared to be, papers.
Stepping into the light, he threw the papers on the small interrogation table; they were pictures. Pictures of Christine…
They've been watching her, somewhere I knew this would happen. Damn it!" Ross thought furiously to himself, yet keeping his cool façade.
"Your daughter, such a beautiful girl, well…beautiful woman, now," he said with a undertone of threat and lust, "Such like Melanie. The spitting image in fact."
"You know she doesn't know anything. This is between you and me," Ross said calmly, his fists tightening in rage.
"Such a pretty thing," he mused, "You know my other side of business, no? Of course you do, you've been watching me religiously. I have a good male client who would pay handsomely for her. We're always looking for green eyes. However, I think I might keep her for myself. What do you think?" the man said, smiling as he held up a picture of Christine changing in her apartment.
The man groaned, "I bet she knows how to please a man, just look at her hands! And those luscious hips?" here the man growled lustfully, a cold smile on his face, "They are just waiting to buck, aren't they gentlemen?" the man asked to the three guards at the door, going over and showing them the multiple pictures of Christine indecent.
Ross was sick to his stomache, he felt like throwing up at the man's words. He could only take so much taunting, and he was murderous now, the pictures of his daughter and that man were only fueling his rage.
"You sick son of a bitch! STOP! STOP NOW!" He yelled vehemently, as the man and guards cackled in delight.
The man came back over, pausing right by Ross's ear, "See how I play my games, Mr. Daae?"
"It's only a matter of time until my agency realizes I'm missing and then they'll look at my case file on you…and my notes. We both know what's in there, and then they will know where you are and what you're doing. I hope for your sake, you were smart enough to figure that out, jack ass?" He said, looking the man straight in the eye, all the fury he possessed channeled into that stare.
A resounding slap filled the room, "Am I that ignorant, Mr. Daae? Tell me, am I!" the man yelled, an angry red mark forming on Ross's cheek.
Recovering from the slap, breathing heavy, Ross spoke, "You think I don't know what you did? Maybe you are that ignorant? I hope you burn in hell for everything you've done, you sick bastard!"
"I'll see you there Mr. Daae. Until then, I'll take real good care of Christine for you. I wonder if she moans like the bitch she is, in bed?" the man hissed maliciously and pulled out his pistol, cocking it, "I guess I'll just have to find out, won't I? To bad you won't be around for me to tell you all about her screams for you—"
"Say another fucking word and I swear, you won't fucking live to see—"Ross said quietly, laced with dark anger.
"Good Bye, Mr. Daae," And with that he pulled the trigger and a deafening silence fell upon the room.
"Drake, Johnson, clean up this fucking mess!" he barked, "DAMN IT!" he yelled, kicking over the table, pictures flying everywhere.
It wasn't supposed to go like this, he still needed information from Daae, he just felt his temper go up and…couldn't stop himself. He looked at the scattered pictures, all save one were lying face down. The one lying face up was of Christine in the park, reading, her features relaxed and peaceful…"Yes, yes, the girl, "he thought, his plans starting to form again.
"Johnson! Get the car, now! We have a visit to pay." He said, an unfeeling smile growing on his face.