Finger on the Trigger
Chapter Three: Wounded
To say that Amita was shocked when she learned the news that Charlie had been kidnapped would be the understatement of the year. She didn't know what to say so she just stood there at 9 in the morning outside of Charlie's office at CalSci, just watching as David checked the entire room. It was obvious that the check was just routine but to Amita it wasn't.
How could this have happened to her Charlie? She didn't want to admit it; didn't think that she was ready to admit that she loved him. It had gone way past the student-teacher phase; even going past the 'I like you' phase. She had definite feelings for Charlie and was sure that he had feelings for her. Charlie was her lifeline; she knew it but she was unsure whether or not he knew it.
When David told her about the string of numbers that had been found, Amita had agreed to take a look at it. She vowed that she would do whatever it would take to get Charlie back; to her and to his family.
"Okay it's clear."
Amita took a deep breath before entering in to Charlie's office.
"What were you expecting to find here? They got Charlie, there's no need for someone to be in his office." Amita said.
David just gave a short shrug of his shoulders. Don had told him to check Charlie's office for clues; it was standard procedure even though David had expected not to find anything. At least it was better than what Don and Colby were doing; the two of them having gone to Bonnie Park's house to look for clues.
David knew that Don wanted to keep working on Charlie's disappearance but they couldn't just leave the Bonnie Parks case; even for Charlie. Not since the two cases were interconnected.
"Just following orders. Maybe Charlie was getting to close to something." David suggested, but it was Amita who shook her head at that.
"No, Charlie was almost completely distracted the last time I saw him. He told me he had slept in his office that night because he thought he had been followed to the school." Amita said.
That statement sparked David's interest. Followed? Charlie had been followed before he had been captured?
"Followed? Followed how?" David asked.
"He wouldn't give me or Larry any specifics but it was clear to see that he was bothered by it." Amita said. She wished she had pressed Charlie for information but he had looked so adamant about not wanting to talk about it.
David inwardly winced but managed to keep it off of his face. He knew he shouldn't jump to conclusions but he figured that the same people who had took him had probably followed him the previous night prior to him being taken. It made sense in that it wasn't some random thing. They had been singling Charlie out.
Don and Colby were at Bonnie Park's apartment, going through everything. They didn't find much of anything; no one thing that would give them any sort of clues as to where she was.
"Her brother Clay was killed by an IED three years ago. The last family she had."
That was Colby. Closing his eyes Don turned from the white window blinds and looked at his team mate Colby Granger who was across the room, a picture of Bonnie Parks in his hands.
It was hard for Don to keep focused on this case; keep focused on Bonnie; what with his brother being missing if not hurt and all.
Don looked in to Colby's eyes and saw that he was really bothered by everything. Something about Bonnie Parks was really getting to him which was a little unusual for the younger man.
Colby once more. What could Don possibly say? Of course he wasn't alight! Charlie was gone; wounded if not dead! How the hell could Don be alright after something like that?
Seeing the look on his boss's face, Colby smiled and shook his head a little; it was clear to him that Don was still blaming himself for Charlie's abduction.
"Man you can't blame yourself." Colby said. He watched Don shake his head; finally a reaction!
"But...what if they had killed him?" Don asked. He didn't really want to think about that; arriving at the scene to find a black body bag on the street. If that had happened Don felt that he too could have died right then and there; it would have torn him and his father apart.
"Well they didn't." Colby pointed out. Of course he didn't know that for sure; no one did but it was important to think positive. Charlie was still alive; he had to be.
It took Don several moments before his weakened emotions were finally half ways bottled up once more. He walked away from the window, past the wood dining room table.
"Well...we just gotta find out who Bonnie was after; right?" Don asked. It wasn't really a question but a statement of fact.
"Her editor said that she didn't do much work in her office but it certainly seems like she didn't do much here either." Colby said as he finally put the picture he had been holding back in it's 'place of honor.'
"Alright well, let's get out of here." Don said.
To Colby it was clear that his boss wanted to leave, but he himself didn't want to leave; not yet. There was something there; something that they were missing.
"I'm thinking about sticking around for a little bit. I kinda get this feeling there's something more to her that everybody's missing. Maybe I can figure it out, you know?" Colby said.
Don thought about the request for a moment before he said, "Alright good. I'll see you back at the office." A moment later he had left the house, the door closing behind him.
Colby stayed for hours and hours, going through a bunch of vhs tapes that had 'behind the scenes' footage of Bonnie's news reports. The more he watched the more Colby felt he understood her if not knew her. He felt his heart opening up to her and it was at that point that he knew he had to be the one to find her.
A clanking sound at the front door broke him out of his musings. Pausing the video he went to check it out. Arriving at the front door Colby saw that it was only the afternoon mail. Picking up the envelopes he looked through them; stopping when he noted two bills from a power company. One struck him as a little odd; the billing address wasn't the same as the service address!
Getting his phone out he hit 3, which was the speed dial button for Don's cellphone. One and a half rings later Colby heard, "Eppes."
"Hey Don, she gets two power bills delivered here. One's for an address down in the warehouse district. Maybe that's where she does her work." Colby said as he glanced at the envelope.
"Well I...I need the address, I'm coming from the house."
"It's 819 3rd street, number 104." Colby said. He waited as Don confirmed the address before he hung up. 819 3rd street was about three miles away. He was certainly closer than Don was and what if whomever had taken Charlie was already there ransacking the place? If he waited for Don then they could be left with nothing. No, better to ask forgiveness than permission in this case. Not thinking about it, Colby left Bonnie's house and quickly traveled to the address in question.
When he got to the address and got out of his car, he heard voices coming from the building; specially room 104; Bonnie's room. Someone was in there! Seeing the door open and three males exit; all carrying boxes and saying out they should get out of there, Colby quickly grabbed his 9 millimeter and pointed it at them as they turned the corner; now facing him.
"FBI, don't move!" Colby instructed.
The three men looked at him; two were American's, one was possibly a Mexican. But before Colby could get anywhere with them, the second man pulled out a gun and started shooting at Colby. Even as Colby took cover behind a metal dumpster, the other men took out their weapons and started firing too.
Several shots whizzed overhead; some even striking the dumpster. Damn pricks! No one shoots at Colby and gets away with it!
Taking a deep breath Colby left his cover and shot several times, taking down one of the men. From behind, Colby could hear sirens; the sweet sound of Don's approaching Suburban.
Gun still out, Colby approached the fence in time to see the other two men get in to a silver pickup with fog lights on top. No way...it couldn't be! It was the truck that the boy described! Was it the same truck that had been involved in Charlie's disappearance?
Not taking any chances, Colby fired two more times; one of his shots hitting one of the men as he got in to the passenger side of the truck, seconds before the truck peeled out of there.
That was Don. Where had he come from? Oh right...the sirens!
"Yeah." Colby muttered; barely paying attention as Don hopped over the small waist height fence to check on the downed perp.
After checking to see if the guy was alive, Don got on his cellphone and contacted the rest of his team and an ambulance even though the guy was already dead.
"That was the truck that the kid...Kalen described right?" Don asked. He was breathing heavily; adrenaline clearly coursing through his body at that point.
"Yeah...You know what, I'm pretty sure I wounded a second one of those guys." Colby replied, sitting down on the stone steps with a sigh.
The way Colby moved and sighed, Don feared for a moment that he had been hit.
"You alright, you good?" He asked, watching as Colby took off his sunglasses. He didn't see any bullet holes but that didn't mean anything.
"Probably more lucky than good but I'm fine." Colby replied.
Still standing where he was; looming over the downed victim, Don took off his sunglasses as well. A firefight always did wonders for him; sometimes not in a good way.
"These guys were clearing out Bonnie's place. Take a look at this." Colby said, reaching in to one of the boxes that had been dropped. He pulled out sheets of yellow paper, on which was nothing but numbers. This was where Don needed his brother; knowing he could figure out what the numbers meant, but they didn't have Charlie any more.
"Some more of those lists of numbers like we found in her office." Colby continued.
Don had looked in another box; his sunglasses hanging out of his mouth as he perused some of the cut outs.
"Got stuff on this guy named Richard Taylor." Don said.
"Richard Taylor? He's a big real-estate developer. I wonder if that's who Bonnie was investigating?" Colby said.
He stood up and looked over Don's shoulder as he got to some pictures; quickly noticing one of the pictures; particularly who was in it.
"Wait a minute! This guy was one of the guys who just took off in the truck!" Colby said, pointing to the Mexican in the picture.
"Are you sure?" Don asked, seeing Colby nod his head a moment later.
So, this big real-estate tycoon had not only kidnapped a reporter but he had also hired these guys to kidnap Charlie? Kidnapping Bonnie Parks was a no no but kidnapping Charlie? That was crossing a line! If it was the last thing he'd do, Don swore that he would make Richard Taylor pay! No one messes with his family and gets away with it!