"Who's missing?" Cassie asked.
"James?... James! Why was James here?"
"He helped me find the place," An angry Jimmy replied, "Come on, I've got to get you in the car."
They hurried outside. Jimmy called 911 as he helped Cassie into the car.
"Don't open the door until they get here, okay?" Jimmy said once he hung up. "And if you see another car pull up it's Abel. You can open the door for him too."
"Abel?" Cassie repeated as though the name sounded familiar.
"Yeah. I gotta go. I'm gonna be looking around back."
"We're here," Abel said with a sigh of relief.
Cody looked out at a large lake. There was nothing else around, except for trees and a boat in the water.
Abel got out of the car and walked over to Cody's side. He opened the door and, before giving Cody a chance to get out on his own, jerked him out of the car, causing Cody to gasp in pain.
"Get in the boat," Abel said as he pushed Cody toward the boat.
Cody, knowing he was too weak to fight back, did as he was told.
Abel got inside the boat right after Cody. There was something on lying on the bottom of the boat. Abel picked it up, "This," He began, "Is scuba gear. Inside the oxygen tank there is approximately twenty minutes of oxygen." Abel started the engine on the boat and directed it to go toward the middle of the lake. "I suggest you put the gear on."
By the time Cody got it on they were right in the middle of the lake. Abel moved to the other end of the boat and pulled out some rope and a cement block. He began tying it around Cody's ankles.
"What are you doing?" Cody asked, becoming more and more worried.
"Here's how it goes. You are going down there," He said as he pointed to the lake, "This is the deepest part of the lake. In twenty minutes you will run out of oxygen and you'll die- unless, of course, someone finds you first... But they won't. Anyway, it'll give you twenty minutes to think about your life before you die a slow and painful death... I suggest not taking any deep breaths."
"You don't have to do this," Cody began.
"Oh, don't try that with me. Of course I have to do this. I've waited eight years to do this," Abel made sure Cody had everything on right. "Now, just a few parting words before you go: It's been fun. Thanks for all the good times. I'm sure you'll be missed, and good luck!" Abel pushed Cody off the side of the boat.
It took Abel eight minutes to get back to his truck.
"Where is he?" He heard a man say right before he opened his car door.
Abel slowly turned around, "What?... James? What are you doing here?"
"I told you that Cody was mine! What did you do with him?"
"I... I couldn't help it. I had to-"
"Where is he?" James repeated with more anger than before.
"He's in the lake," Abel replied.
"I put him down in the middle of the lake."
James began to go toward the water but Abel drew a gun out from his truck, "Don't!" He yelled.
"I will not let my Cody die!" James yelled. He continued to the water, but before he could get close Abel shot him.
"Ah!" James yelled as he fell to the ground.
For five minutes Abel stood there as James gasped for breath. It was as though he was in shock at the fact that the had shot his mentor.
About a minute later Jimmy arrived. Abel looked away from James, "I got him," Abel said.
"Put down the gun, Abel," Jimmy said angrily as he pointed the gun at Abel.
"What if he tries to get up?" Abel said, his voice was shaky, "Why are you pointing the gun at me?"
"Where's Cody?" Jimmy asked.
"What... What do you mean?"
"I know it was you. Cassie heard Cody talking to you. When I said your name she remembered you. Next time you decide to kidnap people, take them to a soundproof house. Now where is he?"
Abel shook his head, "No. No, it'll be too late then. You'll never have him back!" Abel swung the gun around to face Jimmy, causing Jimmy to shoot him. It hit him right between his eyes, killing him instantly.
Jimmy ran over to James, "James... James? Did he tell you where Cody was?"
James, in terrible pain, shook his head 'yes'.
"Good, good. Where is he?"
"L... Lake," James began coughing up blood, "M...Middle." With one last cough, and a gasp, James was dead.
Jimmy, not wanting to waste anymore time, ran to the boat and made his way to the middle of the lake. By the time he got there Cody's 20 minutes had been up for two minutes.
Jimmy dove into the water beginning his search for Cody. It didn't take long to find him. Jimmy quickly lifted his thin body into the boat. He hurried to take off all the scuba gear. Once he did he leaned down to listen and see if Cody had a heartbeat. There was neither a heartbeat or a pulse.
"Come on Cody! Come on!" Jimmy said as he began CPR. "Don't do this, Cody! Come back!"
After three minutes of CPR Jimmy began to feel a faint pulse and heartbeat.
"Oh thank God!"
"Is he gonna be okay?" Zack asked the doctor as he sat beside Cody in the hospital room. Anna, Toby, and Jimmy were in there as well. Cassie had gone back to the safehouse with Ella.
Dr. West sighed, "You want me to candy-coat it or to be blunt?"
"Blunt," Zack replied as he continued staring at his brother.
"I don't know. Right now I'm giving him a thirty percent chance. It would be more, but he seems to not have the will to survive."
"What do you mean?" Anna asked.
"I honestly think that if he wanted to wake up, he could. I'm not saying he would be out of the woods if or when he did wake up... We would have to do some tests to see if there is any brain damage from being without oxygen. He has four broken ribs and some pretty bad bruises all over his body, but all that would heal. I think he could survive, if he wanted too, but I'm not sure that's what he wants." The doctor's pager started to light up. He looked at it, "If you'll all excuse me I have to go. I'll be back in an hour. Let the nurses know if you need anything."
"Thanks," Jimmy replied with a nod.
They all sat and stood in silence for a little over ten minutes before Zack spoke up, "Guys," He began, "Would you excuse us for a minute?" He asked as he stared at Cody.
They left the room and Anna shut the door behind them.
Zack sighed and took his brothers hand, "Hey Cody. I'm- a- not sure you can hear me but... but I'm gonna talk anyway. I've been hearing alot of people whispering about you. They've been asking each other "why would a trained detective go alone to apprehend a murder suspect?". But, I already know why. You did it for Cassie, Ella... And me, I think. See, I know that you felt if you would have called it in then it would have taken too long. You didn't want to wait to get a group of officers together and storm into his place because you were afraid he'd suspect something and he'd leave. You wanted to move fast and you couldn't risk anyone else catching up to you too soon..." A tear fell from Zack's face, "I get that, Cody. No one else does, but I do. And I want you to know that he didn't get away and that Cassie is safe. You saved her." Zack began crying even harder, "Now I need you to save yourself... I wish I could save you, but I can't. Only you can. Only you." Zack let go of Cody's hand, leaned back into the chair he was sitting in, and wiped the tears from his eyes.
"Cody... My Cody! Wake up!"
"Wha.. What? What is it?"
"Take my hand."
Cody opened his eyes and saw James standing over him. He quickly crawled to the back corner of the room, "No, no, no! Not again!"
"I said take my hand!"
Cody's shaking hand slowly reached up and held onto James's hand.
"Good. Now come with me."
Cody walked outside of the room that held him captive, but instead of being in the little house he was standing on the top of a mountain. The cold wind was blowing his hair. Cody looked down where his hand was holding onto James, but James was gone. Cody turned around, "Hello? Hello!" He yelled.
"I brought you," A voice said from behind him. Cody turned back around.
"Are... Are you-"
"Yupp, I'm you... A younger you, but you." A teenage Cody stood near the edge of the mountain. He was wearing nothing but a dirty jacket and stained boxers.
"Weird," The younger Cody replied, "For you... I know why I'm here."
"I'm the you that you need to let go of. I'm the you that you've been holding onto for way too long."
Cody looked around him, "Where did James go?"
"Why does it matter? Do you want him here?"
"Of course not!"
"Then why do you bring him into your dreams?" The younger Cody asked, "Why do you think about him all the time? You pretend you don't, but you think about him more often then not."
"It's kinda hard not to think about him. He ruined me. He took my life from me," Tears fell from Cody's eyes, "He... He-"
"He raped you. He tortured you and Zack."
"I can't pretend it never happened."
"No one's asking you to pretend. All I'm asking... Well, all you're asking yourself really, is to let go of the pain he put you through. He didn't ruin you and he most certainly did not take your life. You seem to have a pretty good life if you ask me- I mean- ask you. Why don't you try waking up now?"
Cody shook his head, "I... I don't want to."
"It's too hard to deal with right now. I'm more comfortable this way. I don't have to worry like I have to when I'm awake."
"You'd rather die?"
Cody shrugged, "I don't know... Maybe."
"Cause everything that has happened from the time you got rescued sixteen years ago, until now, will be in vain."
"Everybody has gotta die sometime," Cody replied, "Why not now?"
"And you really want to die? You want to leave your boss, who is like a dad to you? You want to leave Cassie and Ella? You want to never see your best friend or your brother ever again? And you never want to be with Anna, the woman you love? Is that what you want?"
Cody didn't reply.
"This," The younger Cody said as he pointed to himself, "Was a chapter in your life... A crappy chapter, but just a chapter. This is not your whole life. This is not your whole story. So wake up, move on, start a new chapter, and finish your book when you're an old man with wrinkles and hands that shake."
Cody shook his head, "You're right."
"I know," The younger Cody replied sarcastically, "I mean, I am you, and you have always been smart... Although you are talking to yourself right now so that's pretty weird."
"Well, I gotta go... Bye!"
Suddenly Cody's eyes opened.
"He's awake!" Zack yelled. Everyone was in the room except Ella, who was staying with a babysitter.
They all jumped at the volume of Zack's voice. For the three weeks that Cody had been in a coma Zack had seemed to become a mute.
"I'll get the doctor," Toby said as he rushed out of the room, forgetting about the cane that he used to walk.
"Cody, are you okay?" Zack asked.
Cody shook his head, "Yeah," He replied, his voice sounding dry.
Dr. West came rushing into the room, with Toby following closely behind.
"Hello Cody," The doctor began, "I'm Dr. West. I'm glad to see you're awake."
"How... long?" Cody asked, swallowing hard as he tried to speak.
"I'll get a nurse to get you some ice chips."
"I'll get it," Cassie offered.
"How... long?" Cody asked again.
"I'm guessing you're asking how long you've been in a coma. It's been three weeks," Dr. West replied. "I'm gonna ask you some simple questions. If your throat hurts let me know okay?"
"What's your first and last name?"
"Good. What state do you live in?"
"What's your brothers name?"
"Z... Zack," Cody began to cough.
Cassie came in with the ice chips and handed them to Cody. He put two small pieces in his mouth.
"When I introduced myself, what did I say my last name was?"
"West," Cody replied. His voice sounding better once the ice had melted and soothed his throat.
"Do you know everyone in this room?"
Cody looked around to each person, saying their names one by one.
"Well, your short term and long term memory seems to be doing well. I'll run more tests later but for right now I'll let you relax. I'll be back soon to check up on you," Dr. West smiled, "I'm very glad to see your eyes open, Cody."
Once the doctor left Jimmy walked up beside Cody, "You feeling okay?" He asked.
"Yeah," Cody replied.
Jimmy nodded, tears visible in his eyes, "Good."
"What... happened?" Cody asked.
Jimmy looked at Zack to make sure it was okay for him to tell Cody what happened. When Zack nodded in approval, Jimmy continued, "Abel took you out to a lake-"
Cody stopped him, "I remember... After?"
"I needed to find you, so I went to see James. He knew where you were but he would only take me there. I found Cassie at the house, and when I went downstairs James had gotten away from where I had cuffed him."
Cody's heart rate rose drastically.
"But it's okay!" Jimmy continued quickly, "I found him. He went to the lake to find you and Abel shot him, then I shot Abel. They're both dead Cody. Both of them."
"Are you serious?" Cody asked in shock.
After twenty minutes of reuniting with everyone they began to say their goodbyes and clear the room.
"I'm glad you woke up Cody," Cassie smiled, "And thanks for coming after me."
"Anytime," Cody replied as he gave her a hug.
Jimmy was next, "You know the last time you did something stupid I told you that I would fire you if you did something stupid like that again."
"Which means, let's forget I ever said that. Feel better Cody."
Then it was Toby's turn, "What is it with you?" He asked sarcastically, "Do you just like being kidnapped?"
Cody laughed, "Yeah, I'm trying to start a new record."
"I figured... You know if you wanted all this attention you could have at least waited a little while... You completely stole my thunder. I'm not sure anyone remembers that I got shot."
"I remember," Cody replied. "I'm sure you'll be reminding me of that for a long time."
"That," Toby replied, "You can count on."
Toby left and Anna walked up to Cody, "You scared me."
"I scared me too."
"I love you Anna," Cody cut her off.
Anna was shocked. She smiled, "Really?"
Cody nodded, "Really."
"I love you too, Cody." She leaned over and gave him a small kiss on the lips, "I'll be back this evening. See ya later."
"So, did you do anything while you slept?" Zack asked curiously once he was the only one in the room.
Cody nodded, "I did."
"Really? And what's that?"
"I let go."
Zack was confused, "Of?"
Zack was extremely happy to be hearing the words that came out of Cody's mouth, "How does it feel?" He asked.
"Good," Cody replied with a smile, "Really good."
The End! Woot! We made it! haha... I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I can't believe the amount of wonderful and supportive reviews I have received! You guys are amazing! This last chapter was alot longer than I expected. I'm glad I separated chapter 20 from this one. Sorry I didn't finish the story earlier but this last chapter was difficult to write and I haven't had much spare time lately.
This story ends my three part series :( I'm sad to see it end because I love writing Zack and Cody as adults, but it doesn't mean I'll never write them as adults again.
I went to church with my sister last week and the sermon was almost exactly like one I heard about a month ago at my church so I began writing another story while in church. I have the first chapter complete but I don't have a name for it yet. I'm not sure when I will start posting but I want to take at least a week off before I begin a new story.
Again, thank you all for the reviews! Until next time... God Bless!