A/N: It's later than I planned, but at least I'm updating right. Okay, I'm sorry in advance if this chapter is a little blah, but it needed to be done and that is part of the reason why it took me longer to write it. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction; I own nothing. All characters, settings, etc belong to the author, Terry Farley. The song is Run Daddy Run by Miranda Lambert.


Chapter Thirteen

By: TheEquestrianWriter

The Spanish mustang tossed his head as he jogged over the River Bend bridge. His stride was smooth and energetic, showing no signs of fatigue. That was one thing Wyatt liked about the gelding; it didn't matter how long they were out on the range, the mustang never seemed like he got that tired. Wyatt gave the blue and white paint a pat on the neck, which the gelding took it as a chance to increase his speed.

"No, you don't," Wyatt murmured, turning the mustang in a circle until he decreased his speed. "Atta' boy, Blue." Blue Wings snorted and tossed his mane.

The gelding was obviously glad to be back at the ranch, Wyatt, however, was not. At least when he was out on the range, Wyatt could feel like he was doing something and lose himself in his work. But when he was home, Wyatt was faced with the brutal reality; both his children were missing. Wyatt felt helpless and angry that he couldn't do anything while Samantha and Cody could be anywhere, hurt even.

There's been no news on the whereabouts of Caleb or the kids and now no one knew where Jake was. Everybody has assumed he went off to find Sam by himself. Wyatt envied the young man; he wished that he could go find Sam and Cody on his own. But he just couldn't just run off and leave his home life a mess, especially now that Louise was back. Wyatt had no idea what he was going to do about that.

As they grew closer to the ranch house, Wyatt could make out a figure standing on the porch. It was Brynna. She looked anxious, like she'd been waiting awhile. Wyatt pulled up Blue Wings, and, ignoring the gelding's little buck of protest, dismounted. He handed the mustang's reins to Ross as the quiet cowboy started to walk past.

"Take care of him for me?" Wyatt asked him.

Ross nodded, and took Blue's reins. He led Blue along with his horse, Tank, to the barn. Wiping his hands on his jeans, Wyatt turned and started walking to the house. His mind was rapidly sifting through multiple scenarios, all of them no better than the last. Wyatt was halfway up the porch steps when Brynna started speaking.

"Caleb's been in contact with us," she said.

Daddy, can you hear the devil drawing near

Like a bullet from a gun,

Run daddy run

Wyatt hurried up the rest of the steps. "What? What did he say?" he replied in disbelief.

"He sent this," Brynna said, holding up a black DVD case. Wyatt took it from her and opened it up. Inside was just a plain, simple disc, no note or anything.

"What's on it? Has the police seen this?" Wyatt asked.

Brynna nodded, tucking a piece of red hair behind her ear. "I called the police as soon as I found it," she explained. "They told us to go ahead and watch it and they'll send someone over as soon as they can. I couldn't even open it before you came home." She put her hands to her head. "Oh, Wyatt, what if something horrible is on that DVD?"

"Hey," Wyatt said putting his hands on her shoulders. "It's going to be okay." Brynna nodded, taking deep, even breaths. He put an arm around her shoulders and steered to the house. "Let's go see what this animal has done with our children."

The kitchen was empty when they entered the house and they continued to the living room. Louise was sitting in one of the armchairs, her auburn hair pulled back in a loose ponytail, she stood up when Wyatt and Brynna came in. Wyatt couldn't help notice how at ease Louise seemed here, it was as if she had never been gone. He didn't realize how much he'd missed her presence in the house until now.

"Ready to start?" Louise asked them, indicating the DVD.

Brynna and Wyatt both nodded and Wyatt gestured for both women to sit, while he put the DVD in the DVD player. Louise sat back down in the armchair and Brynna took a spot on the couch. Wyatt grabbed the remote and sat down next to Brynna. He glanced quickly at Louise, but she averted his gaze and stared at the television. Wyatt hit play on the remote and the TV clicked to life.

At first, it was just a shot of a dim, bare room with only an empty chair facing the camera. Then the sound of footsteps echoed through the room until someone stepped in front of the camera. It was Caleb. Wyatt clenched his hands into fists, just seeing the man made him want to leap through the television and kill him.

"Hello, Wyatt," Caleb grinned into the camera. "Are you enjoying your two lovely brides?" He chuckled for a moment and then he grew serious, very serious.

"It wasn't supposed to be this way," Caleb continued. "We were all getting along fine. Until your daughter stuck her nose where it didn't belong. Now, I'm alone and you, Wyatt, have two wives and two children."

Wyatt ran a hand over his face. "What do you want?" he yelled at the TV.

As if he heard him, Caleb's grin widened. "I'm sure you're worried about them. Your children. Don't worry, they're both safe."

All the songs you used to sing to me

Would rock birds to sleep

I need you now, so please somehow,

Put rockets on your feet

The scene cut away and another took its' place. It was the same room as before except there was someone sitting in the chair this time. It was Sam. She was blindfolded and her hands were bound together behind her back. She was trembling as Caleb walked into view and stood over her. Wyatt was trembling too, but with fury. That pig had his daughter and who knows what he was doing to her.

Daddy, can you hear the devil drawing near

Like a bullet from a gun,

Run daddy run

"You have your mother's beauty," Caleb said to Sam, and then he half-turned toward the camera. "Doesn't she, Wyatt?"

Brynna put a hand on Wyatt's arm as if she thought he was about to lunge toward the TV. Actually, he probably would have, given that he was gripping the couch cushions with both hands. He hadn't even realized he'd been doing it. Wyatt glanced at Louise. She was sitting on the edge of her chair, staring at the TV, her face pale. A part of him wanted to go to her and comfort her, but he stayed where he was. He turned back to the television. What he saw next made him sick to his stomach.

Caleb had pulled a knife out and was running it lightly down Sam's face. He wasn't trying to hurt her, not yet anyway. Wyatt could see that his daughter was trying to hold it together, but she was rapidly losing control.

"Daddy's little girl," Caleb murmured. He traced the knife down Sam's neck. "How far will he go to protect her?" Caleb tossed the knife to the floor and leaned down closer to Sam. "Let's find out, shall we?"

Saw that dark cloud coming from a million miles away

Oh, how I dreaded this God forsaken day

Daddy, can you hear the devil drawing near

Like a bullet from a gun,

Run daddy run

Then, Caleb was kissing his daughter. He pinned her to the chair as Sam struggled against him. Wyatt heard Louise get up and flee the room, he didn't blame her. He couldn't stand just sitting here while that animal had his little girl. Back on the screen Caleb had pulled away abruptly. He put his hand to his lip; it was bleeding.

Mama's been crying in the kitchen

Sister's been afraid of the dark

I've been gathering the pieces of all these shattered hearts

"Bitch," Caleb growled and he slapped Sam hard across the face. The impact made Sam topple over in the chair and out of sight of the camera. Wyatt flinched when he heard her hit the floor. The screen when black for a second and then Caleb was back, speaking to the camera again.

And I don't care where you go to

I don't care where you land

But just get out of there, daddy

As fast as you can

"As you saw, I'm having a little trouble reining Samantha in," Caleb said. "But don't worry, she'll soon submit to my will. Unless she's the one you want."

Wyatt narrowed his eyes.

"Yes, Wyatt Forster, you must choose," Caleb elaborated. "You can't have it all. One wife, one child. Pick one and I'll return him or her to you completely unharmed."

Brynna drew a sharp intake of breath.

"You have two days to decide," Caleb went on. "I'll be at the Dalton high school at noon on Saturday, awaiting your decision. Think of it as a new beginning, for both of us."

"He's kidding, right?" Wyatt asked incredulously. He turned towards Brynna, but she was still staring at the television. Caleb wasn't done yet.

"I almost forgot," Caleb was saying. "Your son is doing fine as well."

At that, the scene changed again. This time it was an up close shot of a baby boy. Cody. He was lying on his belly with his head turned to one side. He also appeared to be sleeping peacefully, unharmed. It looked like he was in a crib with Elmo sheets. Wyatt heard Brynna choke back a sob, so he took her hand in his and squeezed it.

Daddy, can you hear the devil drawing near

Like a bullet from a gun,

Run daddy run

There was movement in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and then a slender, tan hand appeared. It pulled a soft blue blanket up around Cody's shoulders before resting at the back of his head. Wyatt could hear soft humming coming from off-screen. Cody cooed softly in his sleep. The hand stayed a moment longer and then disappeared off camera. The camera zoomed in on Cody's sleeping face and then the picture was gone completely.

"Your son or your daughter," Caleb was back on screen. He grinned wickedly. "Who do you love more?"

The TV clicked off for good after that, Wyatt and Brynna were left sitting in silence. Wyatt didn't know what to think. How could he choose between his children? What kind of person would make someone choose between their children? Wyatt shook his head. One thing was certain; he was bringing both of his children home on Saturday.

Run Daddy Run

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

An hour later, Wyatt sat with Sheriff Ballard at the kitchen table. They were discussing the plan to get the kids back. Wyatt hadn't seen Louise since they watched the DVD and Brynna was outside with Penny, her blind mare. She'd said she needed some time alone and Wyatt had given her that.

"The idea is not to provoke him, but to reason with him," Sheriff Ballard explained. "You'll go to the school on Saturday, let him think he's in control. I'll have officers placed strategically around the school and when it's safe, we'll extract the kids."

"Are you sure this will work?" Wyatt asked. "Caleb has to know we'll try something like this."

"He probably does," Sheriff Ballard said after he took a sip of his coffee. "But it's the only chance we have and we have to take it. We'll take every precaution to make sure we get Sam and Cody back safely." After he finished his coffee, Sheriff Ballard stood up. "If nothing turns up before then, I'll see you on Saturday."

Wyatt stood up and walked the sheriff out. "See you, Heck," Sheriff Ballard walked down the steps of the porch to his patrol car. Brynna waved to him from where she was walking Penny and he waved back at her.

Wyatt watched his wife lead her mare to the ten-acre pasture. She looked sad and didn't know what to do with herself since Cody's been missing. That little boy had given her so much in a few short months and if he didn't come back... No, he wasn't going to think like that. They were getting their son back and Sam too. This ranch wasn't the same without his daughter.

There was no way Wyatt was going to let Caleb keep either one of his children.


A/N: How was it? Please Review!