Author's Note: I doubt that Jason and Harold would be able to get Don'sname, but it works for the story, so go with me on this, please.(think of them as suspects that were investigated and that's how they figured out his name) Also, I know Charlie usually doesn't drive, but I have him driving here. I hope you like it!
We had just finished a case and were all taking it easy around the FBI office. I walked by Megan's office.
"Hey, good job today." I said as I passed her by.
"Thanks, Charlie." She said, smiling at me.
No "Good job, Charlie."
I headed down to Don's office before I left for the day.
"Hey, Don. What a case, man." I said conversationally.
"Yeah, I know. I'm just glad it's over with."
"Yeah." I agreed.
"You heading home?" Don asked.
"I have to pick up some milk first, but, yeah, that's where I'm heading. You?"
"I'll be here for a couple more hours finishing up the paperwork, but then I'm heading home. I'll see you later."
"See you." I said a little disappointed.
Again, no "good job."
Don got congratulations on every case. I'd heard Megan, Colby, and
David get them too. But when did I?
I went down stairs and out the lobby to my car.
I drove down to the grocery store closest to home. I walked into the grocery store to pick up milk.
When I got to the cash register, the cashier must have recognized me.
"Hello, Mr. Eppes." He said, extending his hand.
"Hello." I said, shaking his hand.
"I'm George Beckman. My son Frank is in your class." He said, smiling proudly.
"Oh, right! Frank is a brilliant student. He has a perfect mind for solving equations."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, sir. Frank has pointed you out to me, but we've never had the honor."
"The pleasure's all mine."
He scanned in the milk and handed it back to me after I paid him.
"Thanks." I said.
"Anytime, Mr. Eppes."
"Please, call me Charlie."
"Have a good day, Charlie."
"You too, Mr. Beckman."
It was then that I noticed the lone figure standing beside the door.
"Hello. I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. Are you, by any chance, related to Don Eppes?"
"Why, yes, he's my brother." I replied, smiling proudly.
"Well, it is a small world after all." The guy said.
"I'm Harold Sharp. Your brother was involved in a case that helped me and my friend a lot."
"I'm glad he was able to help." Again, the praise goes to Don.
"Come with me. There's someone I'd like you to meet."
I followed Harold out into the parking lot. A man was waiting by a garbage can.
"Hey, Jason. This here is Don Eppes' brother Charlie." He said with a sly grin.
"You don't say? It's a pleasure to meet you." He said, smiling wolfishly.
"The pleasure's all mine, I'm sure."
The two men looked at each other, silently discussing something.
"Hey, um, do you have a minute? Perhaps you can help us with something. You've helped your brother with cases before haven't you?"
"Yes." I said proudly.
"Good. See, we suspect some guys we know of selling drugs and...well, there's this place down by the bridge. I think that's where they're storing the drugs."
"Maybe I should call Don..." I started.
"I'm sure you can handle it. We're not going to actually do anything, just check it out."
"Okay." I said hesitantly.
"Follow us in your car." Harold said.
I got into my car, setting down the milk in the back seat.
After ten minutes, Harold and Jason's car stopped. I pulled up beside their car and waited for them to get out.
"Come on. It's down here." Jason said quietly.
We quietly made our way down the hill and to walk way below the bridge. There was no water here.
"So where is the place they're-" I was interrupted by a blow to the face.
I stumbled backwards, grabbing my sore nose.
"What the-" I started.
Jason grabbed me from behind, pulling my arm behind my back until I yelped out in pain.
In the mean time, Harold came up and started punching me in the stomach. The air left my body.
I doubled over, and Harold punched me across the face.
Jason suddenly let go of me and I fell to the ground, gasping for breath.
One of them kicked me hard in the ribs and I screamed from the pain.
Harold picked me up and Jason got his turn at hitting me. Every time he hit me in the ribs, I cried out. They were obviously broken.
Jason took out a switchblade from his pocket and stabbed me in the side. I screamed as the pain took over.
When I didn't think I could stand any longer, Harold let go and I crumpled to the ground.
After a swift kick to the head, I fought to remain conscious. But failed miserably.
When I came to, I screamed. I was in so much pain I didn't think I'd be able to remain conscious any longer.
I looked around me. Harold and Jason were no longer anywhere in sight.
I looked up the hill and saw that my car was gone.
I searched my pockets, and breathed a sigh of relief when I felt my cell phone. I took it out and called the only person I could think of.
I was about to finish up for the day when my cell phone rang.
"Hello?" I said.
"D-Don..." Charlie's weak voice spoke over the line.
"Charlie? What's going on?" I asked, fearing the worst.
"Got... beat up... can't move."
"Charlie, where are you?" I asked.
"I don't know. I'm cold... so cold."
"It's okay, buddy. You're going to be fine." I reassured him.
I waved Megan over and she walked to my desk.
"What's going on?" She asked.
"It's Charlie. Something's happened to him."
"Charlie? You still with me, buddy?" I asked.
"I'm tired, Don."
"I know you're tired. But you have to stay awake for me."
"There's so much blood, Don. You know I don't like blood."
"Charlie? Where are you hurt?" I asked, fear creeping into my voice at the word "blood."
"Every where. I-I was stabbed... in the side."
"Do you have a jacket or something with you?"
"My... my coat. It's not too far away. Don, I don't think I can reach it."
"Yes you can. I know you can. Just reach, buddy. You can do it."
I heard Charlie struggle and then yelp out in pain.
"Charlie!" I exclaimed.
"I got it." He said weakly.
"Good. Charlie, I need you to tie that around your waist. Make sure it's covering where you were stabbed." My God, he was stabbed!
"It hurts." He said after he must have tied it.
"I know. It'll be over soon. Listen, I need you to do me a big favor. I'm going to hang up, and I need you to do the same. I'm going to call
your cell phone and track where you are, okay? Can you do that, buddy?"
"I-I think so."
"I know you can. You ready? Just make sure you answer it when it rings."
"I'm hanging up now." I warned, then hung up.
"Is he okay?" Megan asked.
"No. He said he got beat up. I'm going to call back with the tracking phone."
I rushed over to the phone as fast as I could. I dialed with shaking hands and prayed Charlie could pick up.
"Don?" Charlie's voice said over the line, sounding better than music.
"Good job, buddy. You did good I'm proud of you." I encouraged.
"What?" He asked, sounding confused.
"I said I'm proud of you. You did a good job."
"You... you haven't said that to me... in a long time." Charlie said and I felt immediately guilty.
"Megan, can you talk to him while I retrace where he is?" I asked.
"Sure." She said, coming around the desk to get the phone.
"Charlie, Megan's going to talk to you for a minute, but I'll be back. Just hang in there, okay, Charlie?"
"Okay." He said breathlessly.
I handed Megan the phone and heard her start talking to him.
I tracked where Charlie was. When I found out where he was, I quickly dialed 9-1-1 with my cell phone.
"9-1-1. What's you emergency?" A lady's voice spoke over the line.
"Yes, this is Don Eppes. My brother, Charlie, has been attacked. He's under the Riverside Bridge. He needs medical attention now!"
"What are his injuries?"
"I don't know all, he's on the phone right now. He said he's been stabbed."
"I'm sending emergency vehicles to the scene now." She said.
"Thank you." I said and hung up.
"Don, I'm losing him!" Megan called.
I rushed over and stole the phone from her.
"Charlie! Charlie, stay with me, buddy."
"I'm so tired." He said in a whisper.
"Charlie, I know you're tired, but you can't sleep now, okay? Now is not the time. There's an ambulance on the way now. You can sleep when they get there, okay?"
"Can't..." He said.
"Charlie, yes you can! You have to."
"Give him something to do!" Megan suggested.
"Hey, Charlie. Recite the numbers of pi for me. Can you do that, buddy?"
"That's good. Keep going." I encouraged.
I heard an ambulance siren in the backround.
"Good job, buddy. You did good. You can stop now. The ambulance is almost there now. I'm going be there at the hospital when you get there, okay? You're going to be fine, buddy. Just hang on for me."
"Can I go to sleep now?" He asked. I heard voices in the backround, and knew he was safe.
"Yes, Charlie. You can go to sleep now. But, Charlie-"
"Promise me you'll wake up."
"I-I promise." He said, his voice already drifting as he fell asleep.
I hung up the phone.
"I'm heading to the hospital. I want a team down there as soon as possible. We've got to figure out who did this."
"All right, Don. Take care of him." Megan said as she moved to get a team ready.
Please, Charlie, be okay. I prayed.