Alec McCain closed his phone after some minutes of talking. He looked to his friends that were still waiting inside Sue's house.
-Lucy and Paulo are ok. They have left the hospital 20 minutes ago.
Sue looked at McCain, nervous. She thanked now most than ever to have Alec at her side. His cold mind was a great help in those difficult moments. It was him who told everyone to join together in the house, and also who stopped Jazzmine from going outside alone to search for Paulo.
In fact, it was probably thanks to him that noone more was missing.
-Lieutenant Tylar also asked us to stay together, at least until your parents -said pointing to Sue, Tess and Mike- are back in Roseville.
Jazzmine sat in a sofa, closing her eyes and breathing in relief. She didn't sleep in all night, crying for the frustration of not being able to help her friends. Or even contact Paulo. But she understood, now that the night was over, that it would have been an stupid idea to go outside alone.
Mike and Sandy were sitting together in the same sofa, lying one against the other. Mike was shocked, the night was to much for him. For once in life, Sandy made it to Roseville... and she was close to being kidnapped by those... monsters.
But it was someting he could not stand with. It was HIM who made Lucy run away, and who forced Paulo to follow her. Mike could not support the idea that Lucy may have died... and that she could have died thinking that he hated her. How could he be so cruel with his friends?
And now Daisy and Abbey... Daisy... God, what hapenned to them? Where could they be?
In the other side of the room, Tess walked around near the christmas tree, worried. Even David was serious, sitting alone in a chair, turning his police helmet in his hands.
-Do they have any news about Daisy and Abbey? -asked Mike
-No. -responded McCain.
The sadness and the fear felt over the group, as a shadow hand. They didn't know what to do. They didn't have a single clue that could point them where to search. Sandy put the doubs of all the group in a single question:
-What are we going to do? -asked her
-Nothing -responded Alec-, It would be unwise.
Noone asked him to shut up, coz everyone knew that it was true. Alec sat in a chair. He pulled out his christmas gift, the utility knife, and it's intruction manual. But as soon as he started reading it, Sue sat on his side. She hugged him and started crying. Alec was slightly surprised, but soon he found it... logical. After all, Amaya and Daisy were Sue's friends since their childhood. It was normal that she was affected. He hugged her back with one arm. He could not tell her that it would be all ok. He didn't think so. In fact, Alec though that Daisy and Abbey were probably dead, in the best of the cases. So, he hugged her with one arm.
All the groups keep a heavy silence, only broken by Sue's sobs.
Someone proposed to prepare something for breakfast, and soon all the group were eating. But suddenly, someone knocked on the door. Everyone stopped eating, looking to the door in fear. Mike stood over his feets, with the adrenaline pumping through his veins. But McCain rose and walked to the door.
-Alec! -said Sue.
-Be calm. Noone would attack us if we are together, and less during the day.
McCain looked to the exterior through the window, and then he opened the door. He had to stept appart as Paulo, followed by Lucy, rushed into the house.
-Paulo! -exclaimed Jazzmine
-Lucy! -said Mike.
Jazz jumped from her seat and hugged Paulo, crying. He hugged her back, and whispered a quiet "I'm ok". But soon he moved to the center of the room to face all his friends.
At the same time, Mike ran to encounter Lucy. But as he hugged her he felt how... distant she was. She didn't reject the hug, but she didn't hug him in return.
-Lucy... -started Mike- ... I...
-What are we going to do! -shouted Paulo, interrupting Mike.
-There is nothing we can do now, Paulo -said Jess, with the worry stuck in her face.
-DAISY IS MISSING! AND WE WERE ABOUT TO DIE YESTERDAY NIGHT! -he shouted pointing to him and Lucy- Don't fucking say me there is nothing that we can do!
-In fact, Paulo, we have not a single clue to follow. How do you expect to find Daisy and Abraham?
-Shut it, McCain! -responded Paulo.
A tense silence followed those words, until Sandy spoke.
-What can we do?
Paulo looked around while he tried to figure out what to answer. But any idea that came to his mind was rapidly eliminated by his own logic.
-I...I don't know...
-I'm sick of hearing this! -said Lucy. All the group looked at her, surprised.
-How can you be sitting there? -she continued- How can you stay there, crying while we could, at least, TRY to do something?
-Lucy, we don't even know where to start searching -said McCain.
-At least I will try to find anything that helps Abbey and Daisy! And if I fail, at least i would have TRIED!
Saying that she walked directly to the door.
-Wait! -said Mike. Lucy stopped. -I'm coming with you.
He took his scarf and, while putting it over his neck, he said:
-You are right, we can't stay here. We don't even know what those bastards would be doing to them!
Lucy opened the door, but someone, in the exterior, blocked the exit. White fur, black ears... His face and arms were covered in small cuts. Over his right arm he had a blood-filled band. He walked limping, what made Lucy notice another improvised band on his leg.
-They are probably raping Daisy at this moment. -said Augustus
Less than a second passed before Lucy and Paulo grabbed Augustus by his jacket. Together they immobilized him against a wall. Augustus almost moaned for the pain.
-Ouch! You should be gently with an injured guy like me...
-Way worse you will be if you don't give us some answers! -shouted Lucy.
-What do you know! WHERE ARE THEM!
Augustus observed Paulo and Lucy. The first one, a guy that also loved Daisy. He could see it in his eyes, his anger... his fear. And Lucy, she was blinded with anger. She would not stop until making Alejandro pay for what he did... or any of Alejandro's friends.
He knew that the next words were crucial. They could determine the difference between saving Daisy, or loosing everything.
-I don't know where they are. But I can help you finding them.
-You know what happened to them? -asked Jazzmine.
Augustus looked at her and nodded.
-I know who captured them, why, and what is he planning to do.
-THEN YOU MUST BE RESPONSIVE OF THAT! YOU SURE ARE INVOLVED! -shouted Paulo.
-Anyway, we are running out of time -said Augustus slowly, looking at both Paulo and Lucy-. The sooner you let me free, the sooner I will talk.
Jazzmine took Paulo and made him let Augustus free. Slowly, Lucy did the same. When the Siamese cat put his leg in the ground, he grounded in pain.
-You better start talking -menaced Lucy.
Augustus sat on a chair.
-I know some of you know Alejandro... oh well you don't really know his name. The cat that attacked you -said pointing Sue, Paulo, and Mike- and tried to rape you -said pointing Lucy- is called Alejandro. Well, at least he says it is his name.
-But what does he want? Is it simply revenge? -asked Tess
-And how do you know about all this? -said Lucy.
Augustus looked around, winning some time. There was a lot of things to explain before saying that he was responsible of the attacks.
-It's not simply revenge -he said, ignoring Lucy's question-. Alejandro is not a simple rapist. The last years his power has been growing in the... suburbs.
He stopped a second to see the effect of his words. Everyone was listening. Sue walked to the kitchen and came back with a medical kit. She asked Augustus to band his wound properly. While she was taking care of his injured arm, Augustus continued.
-Alejandro is an... still-to-grow mob. He has been involved in a lot of criminal actions around Rosevile, not really important. Mainly small robberies and so on. But the last two years he has been trying to enter in serious business.
-Serious business? -asked Sue, finishing the bandaging and starting to cure Augustus' leg.
-He has tried to enter in the drugs market.
-But how does that affect us? -said Jazzmine -Why Amaya, or Daisy?
Augustus waited some moments before answering. How would they react when they know the truth? They will not understand probably... or even worse, they would call the police. But he had no choice. He had no friends to ask for help, he only had... some common interests with Daisy's friends.
-How do you expect -said Augustus- that a criminal can be trusted, or feared, when two 13 years old kids beaten him up? And that in fact, chipped him a tooth as a remind?
Heavy silence in the room.
-He's not only going to beat, rape, or kill you -he said looking at Lucy and Mike alternatively-. He's going to use you as a lesson for all his enemies. He wants to show with you two what happens to those who attack them. And to their families and beloved ones.
Soon the panic was shown in the faces of all the presents. Jazz hugged Paulo, while Sue sat next to McCain muttering "Oh God...". Mike looked alternatively to Sandy and Lucy. Lucy, with her eyes wide-opened, asked:
-What... will happen to Daisy and Abbey?
Augustus looked at her directly before answering.
-They will smack and rape them to death. Their bodies will be found as an evidence of what is going to happen to you both.
Suddenly, Sue rose and walked to the phone.
-We have to call police! Maybe they could be in time!
-No... -started Augustus
-But what are you going to tell them? -cried Jazz
-No! -said Augustus again.
-Anything! -responded Sue- There are a lot of clues there!
-NO! -shouted Augustus, making everyone stop and stare at him.
Augustus knew that he had to stop them. If they called police, then all will be lost. Daisy would die.
-The police will not found them. And even if they get close, Alejandro will kill them before the police arrives!
-But how the fuck -said Lucy- do you know all that, Augustus?
Sandy jumped from her seat and pointed to the Siamese cat.
-Augustus... Augustus! They told your name when I was attacked in Maishul's home!
The silence followed that phrase. Everyone looked at Augustus. Paulo got free from Jazz's arms, and walked slowly to him. Tess went to his side to try to stop him.
For Augustus, that was the decisive moment. No tricks, no lies. He wished to believe in God, or Budah, or Ala, only to have someone to pray.
-I know all that -said him- because I have been part of Alejandro's band for the last years.
Before anyone could say anything more, Alejandro added:
-And I had to help them to attack you yesterday night.
The reaction exploded around Augustus. Lucy was stopped by Sandy from attacking him. Sue tried to call the police, but McCain forced her to not do so. Jazzmine tried to stop Paulo, but she was pushed away, as was Tess. Paulo hit Augustus in the mandible, launching him to the ground. At the moment, Mike jumped over Augustus and grabbed him with one arm. He hit him two times, before Paulo arrived and pushed him away.
Paulo took Augustus from his jacked and forced him to rise. But when he was about to punch the Siamese again, David appeared from nowhere and grabbed Paulo's arm.
-LET ME DO IT! LET ME! -exclamed Paulo, out of his mind
-But then why did he come there? -asked David.
-Because he though he could manipulate us again! -said Lucy
-GOD DAMN IT! Look at me! -demanded Augustus- You don't even ask for my cuts? Yesterday Alejandro tried to kill me!
There was a little fight when Paulo tried to hit him again, but David blocked him. Alec, while preventing Sue from calling the police, observed the scene from the distance.
-THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET ALONG WITH SCUM! -he shouted
-Probably you failed and now you are his enemy too! -said Mike, getting in front of Augustus again- What other possible reason could be!
-I tried to save Daisy! I swear! -he said- That's why he tried to kill me. I know too much, and he doesn't trust me anymore.
Lucy, still trapped by Sandy, shoted:
-You were trying to save Daisy? YOU WERE TRYING TO SAVE HER? You pushed us into the hands of Alejandro! You knew what would happen and you did nothing!
-I... I had no choice -said Augustus, almost whispering.
-You always have a choice! -said Lucy, crossing unwillingly his eyes with Sandy's- You can always choose, and you have made your decision!
Augustus seemed hurt by those words, but Lucy continued:
-You always fight for your own interests! And you pretend we trust you now?
Augustus pushed Paulo back and tried to walk to Lucy, but he was soon catch by Mike.
-You don't know anything about me! Do you think that my life is easy? That I agreed with Alejandro's plan? I had no choice but to help him!
-Yeah? -shouted Paulo, still grabbed by David- So he also forced you to rape Daisy!
-I WAS NOT GOING TO RAPE HER! If Abraham did not appear at that moment, now Daisy would be safe!
-And we would be fucked up, huh? -asked Mike.- And you pretend that we trust you? Why should we?
-Because... -started Augustus.
-BECAUSE I LOVE HER! -shouted Augustus.
No one responded to that. Lucy and Mike didn't really believe him.
-Listen -said Augustus- I know you hate me now, and you are right to do so! After all that is finished I promise I will surrender to the police! But now we are the last hope to save Daisy and Abraham!
There was a silence again, only broken by the slow walking of Alec McCain.
-Let him free -he stated.
-What? -said Mike.
-Oh, Shut it McCain! -added Lucy.
-You should shut up and listen Lucy. All he says is logical. You are sure that he will lead us to a trap, when in fact you didn't let him explain his plan.
Mike looked to Lucy, Sue and Paulo.
-Let him free -said Alec again.
Finally, Sue walked next to Alec. Her face reflected her fear. But in fact, she knew that McCain was right. After all, he was the calm in the center of the storm.
-I think he's right. Let him free, let's finish listening to him. We could made a decision after he finishes explaining his intentions.
Mike waited a moment before letting Augustus free. Soon, Lucy and David were freed too. Augustus, silently walked around the room. He looked to McCain and Sue.
-Now it is up to you to tell us why we should help you, and to state your intentions -said McCain.
Augustus took some secs to calm his mind. He had to explain them what he knew, what he had to investigate, where to go and how, and what they should do when they found Daisy and Abbey.
-Well. The plan is not easy. I don't know where they are now, but I can find out the exact place with a little investigation. Tonight.
-Tonight? -said Paulo- They could be dead by tonight! Each moment we wait they will be suffering!
-First, yes they will be suffering, I know. Second, Alejandro will not kill them before tomorrow at least. He wanted to play with them as long as possible.
The horrified face of Jazz, Tess, Sue, Paulo Mike and Sandy was enough for Augustus to know that he was getting the desired feeling into the teenagers.
-And finally -he continued- there are places where I can only investigate in the night. If we try to do that during the day, Alejandro's band would find us easily.
Paulo moved away, exasperated.
-But why you came to us? What do you need from us? -Asked Tessa
-I don't have any real friends that will... risk themselves for Daisy, or Abraham. Even if I find where are your friends, I would not be able to free them. Not alone.
-But if you can find them, then you should call the police! -said Jazzmine.
-As I told before -responded Augustus- if Alejandro sees that the police is near him, he will kill them even faster. The police will not be able to help them. Not this time.
-So you really pretend that we...? -started Sue
-My plan consist in finding them, break stealthy into Alejandro's lair, and free Daisy and Abbey.
Mike walked a few steps, nervously.
-But that... that's crazy! We could be killed, even worse!
-I know. And I have accepted that risk. Now I'm really fucked up, and I want to do that. I want to do what is right.
Everyone looked at him.
-So I have to ask you that question now. Are you willing to do that? Do you want to take the risk of being killed, or something worse, for the possibility of saving Daisy and Abraham?
Paulo was the first one on taking an step and saying:
-Me too! -added David happily.
-But Paulo...! -said Jazzmine
-You don't have to come Jazz.
-So you're going anyway... I'm going too. -responded Jasmine
Before he could add something more, Mike and Lucy said: "I will do it too" at the same time. Lucy walked next to Augustus.
-But I promise you something. If you are planning something against us again, I will kill you myself.
Augustus wasn't able to see if she was capable of doing so, or if she was only menacing him.
-I'm not going to betray you -said Augustus. It would only be my death too.
-I'm coming too! -said Sue.
McCain looked at her. He knew that when Susan took a decision, it was impossible to make her change her mind. No matter on what arguments or logic was exposed. She would go no matter of what Alec could say.
-Then I will come with too.
-Anyway, you will need some cold logic. And I don't think that anyone of you is capable of doing some cold-thinking in an stress situation.
Finally, sandy walked to Mike and put a hand over his shoulder.
-Well, that is not exactly the holidays I expected with you, Maishul. But I'm coming too.
-What? No! -responded Mike.
-Ah no? And what will you do? Beat me in a hand-to-hand combat? -she added with a giggle- You know that I can defend myself
-And you? -asked Augustus to Tessa
-I guess... I will come with you too.
-Great. So we are all in.
Everyone waited next to Augustus.
-So, what's the plan, genius? -asked Lucy.
Augustus took a glass of water that was lying over a table and drank. There was a little part of his plan that he could not tell them. He had a secondary objective in mind, the only chance he would ever had to be free again.
But now, the most important thing was to save Daisy. He looked at the group.
-The plan is...
Meanwhile, in the exterior of Sue's house, a civilian car was parked in the street. In the interior, two men -a cat and a dog- with casual clothes were watching the house.
-You knew that guy who entered before? The Siamese one? -said the cat.
-Yes Jim -answered Derick Tylar-. Once he told me he was called Augustus, but I'm sure it is not his real name. I think he has some kind of relation with some criminal event happened the last years. But nothing was even proved.
-What do you think? -asked again Jim again as he lit a cigarette.
-I think he knows way more about all those events that what we even imagine.
-So? Will we follow him?
-Yes. And we will hope that he will guide us to the kidnapped couple.
-We could be fired for acting like that, you know? Or even detained for obstructing an official investigation.
-You are free to leave. -responded Derick
-Heh, you know I will not.
I'm so sorry for the late update. I have been traveling and also preparing a concert, so my creative capacity was a bit too much focused in the music. Anyway, I hope you enjoy that.