After searching the house in detail, all Daniel he could come up with was that whoever it was had obviously come through the front door and Amanda had put up a hell of a fight.

He had stared intently for what felt like hours at the claw-like marks in the door frames. She must have dug her nails so deep into the wood that when whoever it was that took her finally ripped her away, chunks of wood, along with the bloody tips of her fingernails, were roughly severed as well. Daniel could see the evidence of her struggle lying at his feet.

Of course, his first immediate thought once he had gathered himself together and started really thinking was of Eric. He had to be the one behind this.

The problem was he couldn't exactly go up to Eric and demand he tell him where Amanda was.

As far as Eric knew, his ex-wife's only child was still missing and had no connection to the woman he was so desperately hunting. On the off chance that Eric wasn't the one behind Amanda's disappearance, the last thing Daniel wanted to do was blow not only his own cover, but hers as well.

After they had all thought for a few more minutes, it was Jeanine who came up with an idea. As much as she would prefer having her teeth pulled over talking to the woman, she would call Allison Kerry to see if she could get anything out of her. That way, she'd be able to avoid Eric's suspicious questions.

The phone was answered after two rings.

"Detective Allison Kerry, Homicide Division."

Jeanine couldn't help but roll her eyes.

"Kerry, it's Jeanine. Listen, I know you don't want to be hearing from me right now, but I need you to answer a question. Do you know where Eric has been today?"

Kerry's answer came quick, with a touch of annoyance at the answer to the question being obvious.

"Yeah, he's been with me at the station."

"All day?" Jeanine asked skeptically.

"Yes, all day. He may not work here anymore, but I got him to help me with paperwork. We've been going through piles of it since early this morning."

"Okay...thanks..." Jeanine replied hesitantly, now more confused than ever.

Before she could hang up, though, Kerry interjected.

"What is this about, Jeanine?"

"Nothing," she answered perhaps a little too quickly. She rushed to calm herself and come up with a reasonable explanation.

"I came home a little while ago and it looked like someone had been messing around in my front yard. I wanted to know if Eric had been by."

"Oh," Kerry's somewhat confused voice responded. "Well, no, he hasn't been to your place. Sorry, Jeanine."

"Thanks. Just... could you not mention this to Eric? I...don't want him freaking out about what was probably a harmless kid playing around."

There was silence on the other end of the line for a few moments before Kerry finally let out a sigh.

"You have my word, Jeanine."

"Thanks, Kerry. Bye."

As she hung up the phone, Jeanine looked worriedly at her son.

They were back at square one.


Yay, another update! Hopefully these will be coming much more frequently now. I will say that because I wanted so much to get an update out, I wrote the majority of this chapter on a pad of sticky notes while I was at work today. ;) Please let me know what you think. And thanks for reading and sticking with me!