It had been two weeks since they had found Baylaa at the horror house. They still hadn't found James White and they weren't giving up, but they had other cases to work on. Baylaa and Nicole would text and talk on the phone everyday; they just had this connection with each other and Baylaa needed all support she could get. Baylaa was still in the hospital so the doctors could keep an eye on her and the baby. Nicole had got out the same day they went in. She wasn't about to stay in a hospital for a "little wound" as she would call it.
Nicole and Jess were having breakfast at Jess's apartment before heading to work.
"Jess do you think we made the right decision?"
Jess swallowed some orange juice then answered.
"Yes and no."
"Care to explain?"
"Nicole even though we all want to be free of Pollock the killer is still out there."
"I know," Nicole paused before continuing "Antonio wants us to leave for good, but I can't bring myself to do it knowing that White hasn't been caught yet."
"I'm sure Antonio understands that."
"He tries to and I know he wants to, but I don't think he does Jess."
"Nicole don't say that. Antonio has his heart in this job just as much as we do."
"I know your right," Nicole looked at the clock on the wall "Damn we're late."
"I hope Pollock is in a good mood."
"I doubt that since we still haven't caught White."
When they arrived at the office Antonio was already there and he was in Pollock's office. Nicole could tell from his body language that they weren't having a friendly conversation.
Jess looked at Nicole and knew she wanted to interrupt whatever was going on.
"Come on let's go break this up."
Nicole smiled at Jess and then walked into Pollock's office.
"What's going on?" Nicole asked
"Antonio are you OK?" Jess asked looking worried at how red Antonio looked.
"This man is completely unbearable!"
"I'm fine Nic, I'll meet you guys out here."
Antonio walked out of the office. Nicole followed him with her eyes then glared at Pollock. Pollock said he wouldn't change, but he has been coming down harder on Antonio then anybody else and Nicole was just as sick of it as Antonio was.
"Sir what was that about?" Nicole asked trying to be as respectful as possible.
"Nothing. Agent Cortez is just in one of his moods." Pollock smiled at both of the ladies but neither of them returned it. He decided to just talk to them about the new case.
We have a new case. 50 year old Dick Arnold has been missing for two days. He is Caucasian, has been married ten times, and has 24 children all from different women."
"He has 24 different baby mamas?" Nicole was highly amused by this.
"Yes, his youngest child coming from his current wife Ashley Arnold who is 18 years old."
"18? Wow that's really young."
"How old are the kids?"
"They range from 1 month to 24 years old."
"Wow this man has been super busy." Jess said completely shocked.
"I want you two and Cortez to go to the Arnold household and see what you can find."
Usually when they go to crime scenes or anywhere Nicole would drive and Jess rides with her, but this time Jess drove her car and Antonio rode with Nicole.
"Seriously Nic I don't think I can take it anymore."
"Just ignore Pollock. Don't let him get to you."
"That's easy for you to say because he likes, respects, and admires you."
"That's not true."
"Yes it is! He takes everything out on me."
"Are you saying you're jealous?" Antonio stayed silent.
Nicole pulled up to the Arnold's house but her and Antonio stayed in the car.
Nicole rolled her eyes. "Antonio please don't take this out on me."
"Nic," he sighed "I'm not trying to but its just we're suppose to be done here."
"The bureau is my life. It's the only thing I know how to do right."
"I'm not asking you to give up your career I just want to get away from Pollock plus we could get married and start our family we have been talking about."
Nicole quickly got out the car. She wasn't ready to have this conversation again. She wasn't ready to change her life completely just yet.
Antonio cursed under his breath then exited the car. She would always run away when he brung up marriage and family lately and he didn't understand why. Ever since her mother came back into her life her views on family has changed.
He caught up to Nicole.
"Nic we're gonna have to talk about this."
"Not now Antonio."
He sighed but dropped the subject. He knew when and when not to push her.
They met Jess at the door and as soon as she saw the looks on their faces she knew this wasn't a good time to ask Nicole how their talk in the car went.
The current Mrs. Arnold answered the door in tears with her I month old son.
"Come in." She broke down after she said that.
Antonio and the forensic team spread out around the simple two story house while Nicole and Jess stayed in the living room with Mrs. Arnold.
"Mrs. Arnold I'm Agent Scott and this is my partner Agent Mastriani."
"Hello Agents… I think my husband has left me for another woman."
Nicole and Jess looked at each other.
"Mrs. Arnold why do you say that?"
"Agent Scott please call me Ashley and because its no secret how much my husband loves women."
"Ashley has he cheated on you?" Jess didn't understand why somebody this young would get married so early.
"I don't know, but he acts weird around me."
"Weird how?" Nicole was interested in how this conversation was going.
"He treats me like I'm his child and not his wife."
Nicole looked at Jess because she didn't wanna respond to this one. Jess didn't know what to say.
"I know I'm young agents but that doesn't mean I'm stupid. My husband doesn't respect me like I want him to and I think he has been seeing someone else because he has been coming home later and later and he doesn't wanna touch our son anymore."
"So you don't think something bad has happened to him?" Jess couldn't take Ashley seriously.
"Is there a problem Agent Mastriani?" Ashley caught on to Jess's attitude and didn't appreciate it at all.
"I just don't see why you would get married so young." Nicole looked at Jess like she was crazy. Now was not the time to judge this woman.
"You are suppose to be here to find my husband not to judge me."
Before Jess could respond Nicole jumped in.
"Thank you Ashley we will let you know as soon as we find something out about your husband."
"Thank you Agent Scott, at least somebody is here to do their job."
Jess was about to say something but Nicole grabbed her and pulled her out of the house.
"Jess what was that all about?"
"Who gets married at 18?"
"Seriously Jess let it go."
On the way back to the office Antonio didn't bring back up their previous discussion and they were on good terms right now.
"You should have seen Jess. It's like Jess just wanted to fight with Ashley."
"Well you know how she gets sometimes."
"I know but there has to be a real personal reason Jess was about to take this woman's head off for being married at 18."
Their conversation was interrupted by Nicole's phone ringing.
"Hi Baylaa. How are you feeling?"
"Good. Better then yesterday. The doctors said I might get to go home soon."
"That's great. I hope you do get to go home because I don't see how you could stay in the hospital for so long." Baylaa and Nicole both laughed.
Antonio looked at Nicole while she was on the phone with Baylaa and saw a sparkle in her eyes. Everyone had gotten close to Baylaa even Pollock. This young girl was just special to all of them. Every time Nicole would talk to Baylaa her face would light up and she would always smile. He knew she would be a great mother someday.
"When are you coming back to visit me?"
"I'll be there soon. The case we are working on now isn't that time consuming."
"Yay is El Sr. Cutie coming with you?"
Nicole laughed at the nickname Baylaa gave Antonio.
"Yes Antonio is coming with me."
"See you when you get here Nini."
"OK bye Lala." Baylaa laughed at her nickname and then hung up.
"So we're off to the hospital?"
"Yep. I miss Baylaa and I haven't been to see her in a couple of days."
"Nicole where are you guys?"
"We're at the hospital with Baylaa. What's up Jess?"
"We got a security tape from the store Dick was last seen at and you're gonna wanna see this."
"OK we're headed back to the office now."
Nicole turned around and looked at Baylaa. Baylaa knew Nicole had to go to work but it still saddened her when she left.
"Don't worry Lala I'll be back soon. I promise."
Nicole and Antonio hugged Baylaa and then headed back to the office.
"Let's see the tape."
Jess played the security video which showed Dick Arnold arguing with a young girl in her teens and then three men jumped out of a car and grabbed him and the girl then drove off.
"I guess he didn't just run off with some other woman." Nicole looked at Jess waiting for her response.
"I think I can pull the plates from the car." Antonio walked to his office after he said that.
"We need to print a picture of that girl and see if Ashley know who she is."
"Are you and Antonio OK?"
Nicole looked in the direction Antonio had walked away in.
"Yeah why do you ask?"
"Just making sure. Lets get that picture to Ashley."
"Yeah she's one of my students."
"You're a teacher?"
"Yes. Does that surprise you Agent Mastriani? Am I too young for that too?"
Jess rolled her eyes and let Nicole speak.
"What kind of teacher are you Ashley?"
"A dance teacher. I have my own dance studio."
"What's her name?"
"Alanna Jackson. She's 16 years old," Ashley looked down for a minute "I was her mentor. I taught her everything, now I wonder if she was just using me to get my husband."
Nicole grabbed her hands.
"Ashley we will get to the bottom of this and all your questions will get answered."
"Thank you Agent Scott."
"Call me Nicole and your welcome."
Nicole went and interviewed Alanna's best friend Tasha.
"I know I'm not suppose to say anything but she was involved with an older man."
"Do you know his name?"
"Of course. It's Dick Arnold."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes I went out on a couple of dates with them."
"Yeah he's a nice guy."
"You do know he is 50"
"That's against the law."
"Yes he will go to jail. Alanna is only 16 and he is 50."
"Oh I had no idea this is not good. Alanna thinks she might be pregnant by him and her family is really crazy. She was suppose to tell her dad two days ago but I haven't heard from her since. Her dad doesn't play when it comes to her.
"Wait you said she was suppose to tell her dad about the pregnancy?"
"She was suppose to tell him everything even about Dick."
Nicole quickly took out her phone.
"Antonio we need to find Alanna's dad Cain Jackson now."
"I'm on it Nic."
"Thank you for your help."
"Your welcome Agent Scott."
Nicole got into her car and started driving.
"OK Nic he is at his office building 2150 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Nicole snapped her phone shut and pressed on the gas pedal even harder.
Antonio had called Jess and had her meet Nicole at the doctor's office.
When they arrived at the scene Dr. Jackson was walking to his car.
They hopped out of their cars and slowly walked up to him.
"Cain Jackson FBI!"
Soon as Nicole said that Dr. Jackson started shooting at them.
Nicole and Jess took cover and started shooting back. They were both hoping the swat team would arrive soon.
Dr. Jackson started walking closer and closer to them all the while still shooting.
"Jess are you gonna go for it or am I?"
"I say we both do."
"Alright let's do this."
They both hopped up and shot at the same time. Nicole's bullet popped Dr. Jackson in the shoulder and he dropped his gun and dropped to his knees. Nicole and Jess ran over to him. Jess kicked his gun away while Nicole put him in handcuffs.
"Where is Dick Arnold?"
"Your too late. He's probably dead by now."
Jess wasn't expecting that response to her question.
"She asked where he was at."
"Go find out."
Nicole didn't like that so she put her hand over his bullet wound and squeezed hard. Dr. Jackson screamed out in pain.
"He's… inside… there…" Dr. Jackson was taking deep breaths in between each word.
Swat chose that time to show up.
"Cover him the victim is inside."
Nicole and Jess ran inside to find Mr. Arnold.
"Nicole, there he is !"
He was lying on the floor bleeding with multiple stab wounds.
"Mr. Arnold are you alright?"
Jess rushed over to help him while Nicole ran to get the paramedics.
Mr. Arnold couldn't respond. He was coughing up blood.
"Oh my gosh is he OK Nicole?"
"He's going to be just fine. He's sleep right now."
"What happened to him?"
"He was having an affair with Alanna and she got pregnant. She told her dad about it and he tried to kill Mr. Arnold."
Ashley look like she expected that but you could still see there was some shock on her face. And she didn't like the fact that Jess answered her question instead of Nicole.
"I'm sorry Ashley."
"No don't apologize Nicole. That bastard got everything he deserved. Thank you for everything. I think I'm just gonna head back home, I can't face him right now." Nicole and Jess looked at each other as Ashley walked away from them.
"I think we should go out for some drinks."
"Oh no I said I was never going out with you again and I meant it."
"Oh come Jess just for a little while and besides Antonio will be there to watch us."
"It's not as if you guys listen to me but yeah I'll be there."
Nicole looked at Antonio and smiled. Before Jess responded she looked on her desk and saw a note.
Dear Jess, I miss you and I love you
- Colin or Agent McHottie as Nicole would say :)
Jess handed the note to Nicole.
"I will take you up on your offer. Let's get out of here." Jess started walking towards the elevator.
Nicole smiled at the note because she didn't know Colin knew she called him that.
"I feel like crap for not knowing how to make her feel better."
"We're doing the best we can Nic, as long as she knows she's not alone she will be fine. Jess is a strong girl."