A/N: This is my new story. It's definitely a mystery in the same vein as Taken (Liam Neeson), but with an SVM twist. This is AH, that will be around 20 chapters or so. It's not completely written, but I have an outline, so I expect updates to be weekly. I don't own SVM.
Chapter 1: Taken
"Dadeeeee!" I heard my lovely, obnoxious, overly excited daughter bellow. I was sitting in my home office, working through Quickbooks trying to figure out how much in quarterly taxes I owed. We had been making really good money lately, thanks to my new bartender, Chow. He was built like a professional wrestler and had some killer tattoos that had the patrons fawning. The women loved him, and in turn, loved the drinks he made for them. Area 5, the bar I owned in Shreveport, was my main source of income, though I did have a few smaller investments. The bar was my main priority and the reason for my current tax dilemma.
"Dadeeee, Dadeee, Dadeee, Dadeee." Pam said over and over, as if I didn't hear her the first time. I loved my daughter, truly I did, but sometimes, I just wanted to take a break from being her father for just one second. Her mother, Aude, had died during childbirth, so it's been just me and her since the beginning.
Being a single father to a baby girl had to be the most difficult job in the world. I swear that it was, but I wouldn't trade her for the world.
"What is it baby girl?" I replied happily after taking a moment to gather myself.
She was adorable. She put her hands on her hips and gave me the look. Every father knows that look, it's the one that had me wrapped around her little finger no matter what she said or did.
"You forgotted. Tomorrow is the pony party at Leesha's. There's gonna be ponies, and cake, and ice cream and a bouncy house, cuz it's her birfday!" She said while using my legs as leverage to bounce up and down. She hadn't even had any sugar today; I couldn't even imagine what she would be like after Felicia's birthday party.
"Dadee! We gots to go Wal-Mart to gets her a present!" She said as she continued jumping up and down on my knees.
"I know baby. Why don't you go change and give daddy five minutes and we'll go to the store, ok?"
I almost forgot about the birthday party, though I'm not sure how since Pam had been talking about it nonstop for a month now. Pam was five years old and the little girl, Felicia, was in her Kindergarten class with her and was also Pam's "bestest friend". They were adorable together.
"But Dadeee! I am dressed!" She said in her little exasperated tone that told me she was not going to change. She was wearing a Cinderella princess costume, complete with tutu and tiara.
"Baby, those are play dress up clothes, not going out clothes." I said to her as I took the tiara off her head and handed it to her.
"But dadee!" she started to whine.
"No buts, go change or else we won't go to the store." I said in my no nonsense "dad" tone.
"Fine." She frowned as stomped out of my office huffing the entire time. I could hear her exaggerated steps as she stomped up the stairs to her bedroom.
I blew out an exasperated breath of air and finished up in Quickbooks.
I love being a father, I love being a father. I love my daughter, I love my daughter.
Ugh, Wal-mart. I could think of about a million other places that I'd rather go than that big box hell hole. Going to that damn store ranked up there with getting a colonoscopy on the list of things I'd like to do.
The place was crawling with people dressed in their Sunday worst. I couldn't even fathom how some people could walk out of their house wearing what they were wearing and thinking "oh yeah this looks acceptable for public viewing." No. It just wasn't ok.
"Daddee, Leesha wants a Princess Jasmine dress. I'm gonna wear my Cinderella dress and we're gonna play princesses. She tolded me that's what she wanted." She said as I put her in the basket.
"Ok, baby girl, we'll get her the Jasmine dress." I said laughing as I hoisted her into the basket.
Pam's hair was pale blonde, just like mine and apparently just like Cinderella.
As we made our way towards the toy section of the store, Pam began fidgeting in the cart. Her eyes were darting from toy to toy and I just knew that she was about to start whining.
"Dadeee, can I get down? Pretty please with cheese on top?" she begged.
"OK, but you have to stay right next to me." I said sternly. The store was packed and there were so many kids running around, that I was worried about her getting lost.
"Okay dadee, I promise." She said in her cute voice that held my heart hostage.
I put her down and immediately she ran towards the Baby dolls. I watched her carefully trying in vain to wrangle her towards the princess clothes. We may have come here with the sole purpose of buying a gift, but I was under no delusions that that was all we were going to be leaving the store with.
"Can I get this dadee? " She said holding up some kind of baby doll. "Oh and this too?" she said holding up some baby clothes.
"Is that for Felicia?" I asked innocently, knowing the answer was no.
"Huh Uh, it's for meeee!" she exclaimed as she put them in the basket.
"But sweetie, we're here to shop for a gift for your friend." I said gently.
"Bestest Friend." She corrected. "But I want something too!" she wasn't throwing a fit, so I didn't find the harm in indulging her just a little bit.
"Ok, you can get the doll and the clothes, but that's all. We need to go get a gift for your bestest friend." I told her. She thought about it for a minute, then agreed. Thank god. "
Just as we rounded the corner towards the princess clothes aisle, Pam knocked over a large display of board games. Great.
"I'm sorry dadee, I didn't mean to." She said biting her lip looking afraid as if I were about to punish her.
"It's ok baby, just hold onto the basket while I pick up the games." I told her.
She had managed to knock over about 100 boards games. Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Operation, and who knows what all else all fell like dominoes across the middle of the store. As I finished putting the last one on the shelf, I had calmed down enough to deal with my rambunctious child in a manner appropriate for public.
"Ok, Pam, let's go find the…" but the words died on my tongue as I turned to see that my cart was sitting there and Pam was nowhere to be found.
Panic ratcheted through my body as I forgot about the cart and began to run up and down the toy aisles. But she was nowhere to be found, not a trace.
I was shaking with fear, trying to think of all the places in the store that she could have run off to. The problem was that the store was huge and there were items that would pique her interest in every corner.
I remembered that Wal-mart had that Code Adam thing, where they lock down the store in the even that a child went missing. So I took off up to customer service so that they could lock the store down.
Two hours. It had been Two hours since I'd last seen her. She was nowhere to be found and the police had been called. The store was in the process of going through the security tapes and I was a giant nervous wreck.
"Would you like some coffee or water sir?" Someone asked me. I was pacing like a caged lion.
"No, I want my daughter." I replied angrily. I knew it wasn't her fault, but I couldn't contain myself. I was shaking with anger and I had no outlet for it.
"I know Sir. The police are here and are going through the tapes. " The woman replied. I wanted so badly to be in that room with them as they went through the tapes, but they wouldn't allow me.
That pissed me off beyond belief, and they threatened to arrest me if I didn't calm myself down. Fuck them, see how they react if their child goes missing.
"Mr. Northman?" A police officer called. I stopped pacing immediately, hoping that he would tell me that my daughter had been found.
"We have some developments to inform you of." The officer said.
My anxiety was swelling and I didn't think I could take it if they had bad news to tell me.
"I'm Officer Pryor, please come this way." He said and indicated which way to follow.
I walked into what was clearly used to monitor the stores, security tapes. Where were these fuckers when my child was lost and alone wondering the store? Didn't they notice a scared little girl?
"We have some footage that you need to see. And before we show it to you, please know that the Shreveport PD is already in action." He said as a matter of fact.
His words did nothing to calm me. What the fuck did he mean that the Shreveport PD was already on it? Something had happened to her and I was going to murder someone.
Officer Pryor sat me down in front of a monitor and the guy next to me hit play.
The camera was one that was situated on top of a light pole in the parking lot. I saw Pam wondering around near where my car was parked. Clearly she had gotten lost and wondered to the spot where she knew I would go eventually. I could see her tear stained face and she looked so frightened.
A noticed a woman, putting her groceries into a piece of shit late model white Malibu. She was a pretty woman, young, with blonde hair and a little sundress on. She noticed my daughter crying and approached her. The woman hunched down to talk to her and she looked as though was comforting her. Pam's tears had subsided a bit and the woman wiped my daughter's tears from her cheek. The woman stood and grabbed Pam's hand and as they were about to start walking back towards the store, a white Ford Expedition pulled up beside them. The passenger door flew open and a man got out of the car. In an instant, he had grabbed both my daughter and the woman and threw them in the SUV. The car sped off and all that was left as evidence that they were taken was the woman's purse.
My heart was pounding in my chest, and I swore that I was going to have a heart attack and my world came to a crashing halt.
"Who the fuck was that?" I asked. Did they target Pam or the woman?
"Why are we standing here? Why isn't someone tracking down that motherfucker?" I demanded, flailing my arms wildly.
"We got the plates, and the Shreveport PD has all their resources out tracking the car. Believe me Mr. Northman, we are doing everything that we can to find your daughter." Officer Pryor said. I nodded in acceptance, while clutching my heart.
"I know that this is very difficult for you, and believe me when I say that we take child abductions very seriously. We are doing everything that we can." Said the officer.
The word "abduction" played over and over in my head. How was this happening to me? My child? This shit only happened in movies. My daughter was the victim of an abduction. I couldn't wrap my head around that. My head was pounding and my heart was beating wildly. I couldn't help the stream of tears as they fell from my face.
It was all I could do to not tear apart that office. How could I have let her get away from me? This was my entire fault. My daughter had been abducted my god only knew who because I couldn't watch her.
Someone was saying something to me, but I don't know who and I didn't care what they were saying. All I could think about was the crazy evil things that whoever took my daughter was doing to her. The only thought that saved my sanity was the hope that maybe, just maybe, the woman who was taken along with her could somehow escape and protect my baby. I held on to that belief and prayed that it came true.
"Who was the woman?" I asked robotically.
Officer Pryor came back over towards me holding her ID in his hand. "Name's Sookie Stackhouse, 23 years old from Bon Temps Louisiana."
I knew where that was; it was a small town about 30 minutes away. All I could do was hope and pray that this woman, Sookie Stackhouse, would be able to protect my baby in my place.