Hey there everybody! Tis me again! I just want to say thanks to everyone who Reviewed, Favorited and Followed my first story, your support helped me write more! Sorry for the long wait, I've been having a kind of lazy summer so far. And just a heads up, I'm going out west (to the prairies!) tomorrow for a week, but I'll be writing while I'm out there (just not posting...). Not terribly ecstatic about this chapter, but I'll live. Hope you enjoy it regardless!
Thanks to AnimeAnime24, Solstice1394, and Neshomeleh for reviewing!
Disclaimer: (oops, forgot this last time!) I do not own The Listener. If I did, I'd be in it and Toby would be mine!
Toby was in the kitchen making dinner when he heard Oz coming. Of course, Toby didn't hear him physically- for a big guy, he was surprisingly light on his feet -but he definitely heard him mentally. His nervous thoughts washed over Toby's barriers louder than anything his old partner had ever said, or thought, before. Usually Toby could discern most of what was running through his friend's head, but today it was just a solid wall of worry.
"Toby," Oz had barely opened the door when he started talking, thoughts still impossible to decipher. "Toby, you've gotta help me... I'm freaking out... dunno what to do!" He couldn't even voice his confusing thoughts properly.
"Oz, Oz, calm down. Take a beer and a deep breath." Toby soothed, passing him the cool bottle he'd just opened. Oz took it gratefully, and as he took a mouthful he eyed his friend. Toby had always known exactly how to calm him down in a stressful situation, and he always appreciated that. Toby smiled as he heard all that, but his smile faded when the worry crept back into Oz's thoughts. "Ok, now what happened?"
"Friday is my one-year anniversary with Sandy." Oz looked right in to Toby's eyes, his voice dead serious. "Tob, I've been on my laptop all day, but I can't find anything!" Toby's look of concern quickly melted into one of... well, if he had to describe it, he would call it his 'seriously Oz? look'. Oz had received it many times. "I don't know what to give her, or where to take her... Tob I don't know what to do!"
"Seriously Oz?" Toby accompanied his face, and his thoughts with these fitting words.
"What?" Oz asked defensively. "Toby, this is a serious problem." He said after finally noticing Toby's face.
"Alright Oz." Toby said, deciding his friend didn't need any teasing at the moment. Later was, of course, another story. Oz's thoughts had calmed some from the alcohol in his system, and Toby could now clearly tell that he had, in fact, not a single idea. Toby decided to ask, regardless of how endearingly clueless Oz seemed. "Any ideas? Anything at all."
"I dunno, Tob." Oz said. "This is one year, one of the big ones. It needs to be something special."
"Something that shows you know her." Toby finished Oz's thought. He was about to continue when his phone rang, and glancing from the caller ID to Oz's face he sighed. Michelle sure had an uncanny ability to call at the worst time. "Sorry Oz." He said with an apologetic smile as he answered.
Oz took another swig of beer as he watched his best friend's face. Toby's expression went from excitedly curious, to completely devoid of any emotion. It always made Oz cringe when Toby looked like that; it was a clear sign that something was seriously wrong, but he couldn't let Oz know... or maybe didn't want Oz to know. Whichever was the case, Oz was ready to watch his friend bolt out the door. And he did. Leaving Oz, once again, alone with his thoughts. He didn't really mind, though. Toby was clearly in heaven helping the IIB, and hated leaving Oz twisting in the wind. Still, the curious cat inside Oz wished Toby could (and would) tell him about an ongoing case. He hated not knowing where Toby was running off to. Trouble just had a way of finding him.
"Hey Toby." Michelle greeted as her partner slid into the car. In an instant, Toby could feel her stress washing over his barriers. Knowing she wouldn't want him spying, he instantly blocked it out, but could still feel the worry behind the stress. Knowing she would tell him in time, Toby kept his mouth and mind shut.
"Hey Michelle, what's the case?" Toby asked as he shut the door.
"Armed abduction, looks like." Michelle answered. "Victim's name is Cassidy Taylor. Apparently a neighbour down the hall noticed the door to one of the apartments open. Blood on the floor and a broken doorframe says that she didn't go quietly, but we don't know if it's her blood yet." It was short. A little too short of a briefing for Michelle.
"What is it?" Toby asked.
"What's what?" Michelle responded. Definitely too short.
"What you're not saying." Toby could tell she was holding something back, but he couldn't tell what. Michelle sighed, breaking Toby away from his personal debate of whether or not to read her.
"Evidence suggests a sexual assault before the kidnapping." Michelle sounded deflated. "Which means that we'll either find the body somewhere within the next two days, or-" Michelle stopped, and this time Toby didn't hesitate to read her. "Or he's keeping her because he wants more."
Cassidy didn't open her eyes at first, afraid of what she might see. She could tell without looking that she wasn't still in her apartment. It was much colder here, and it smelled like burnt wood. The bed she was lying in was hard and rough, but she couldn't move. It wasn't that she didn't want to, all she wanted to do was jump up and run out the door, but she could feel eyes on her. Eyes that suddenly translated into footsteps coming towards the bed. Obviously he knew she was awake. Cassidy curled into herself, wrapping her bound hands around her head, and prepared for the beating that she knew was about to come. But, to her surprise, that beating never came. A gentle hand wrapped around her wrists and gently pulled them up, and the cool metal of scissors brushed against her skin as they cut through the rope. She was about to look up, intrigued by the unexpected kindness, when her hands were roughly pulled above her head and pinned against the bed. This time she opened her eyes, and came face-to-face with the cold eyes of Jordan as he slid on top of her.
"Let me go." She hissed at him. He responded by gripping her wrists tighter with one hand, and caressing her cheek with the other.
"I can't do that, Cass." Jordan's voice was deadly calm. "And you wouldn't want me to anyways." His caress turned into a hard slap.
"Let me go!" She repeated, struggling to get away from him. He was too strong for her, and all that got her was another, harder slap. She screamed at him again, but it was too late, he wouldn't stop now. Her screams and kicks eventually died down to a whimper, and all she wanted to do was roll over and curl up in to a ball. When it was all over, that's exactly what she did.
"Cass, you're home now." Jordan whispered as he slid off her. "We can be together all the time. It's better this way, you'll see." Cassidy held back her tears until he was out of the room.
"Please, somebody find me." She whispered, and in the safety of solidarity, she let the tears flow.
Oh no! Poor Cassidy! Stay tuned!
To Be Continued...