#My52 “Captive Heart, Part VII”

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#My52 – Week 21

Word Prompt – breakfast

Word Count – 1161

Reading Time – 2 mins, 16 secs

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“Man, this is some straight up bull.”

Prentiss paced around the sofa where his brother sat slumped over.

“You know Yvonne is behind this. Have the cops even questioned her?”

Mark sat up, dragging his hands down his face and through his dreads. “It’s 3 a.m., dude, and it hasn’t been an hour since they finished with me. I’m sure they haven’t knocked on her door yet.”

“What the hell are they waiting for? An invitation to tea? They should have picked her up the second you gave them her name.”

When he got no response, Prentiss plopped own on the sofa next to Mark. “You look like hell.”

“Damn. Thanks, man. Love you too.”

“You know what I mean. I’m sorry for blowing up at you. It just pisses me off to see you go through shit like this when you’ve done nothing wrong.”

“It’s definitely not the weekend I planned.”

“I know, right? It was cool getting away to chill with Mom and Pop-… oh, damn! Mom and Pop. What are you going to tell them?”

“Nothing yet.”

“Huh uh. You know how upset they’ll be if you don’t call them right away.”

“And tell them what? That ten years of my life has been destroyed and the woman carrying my child is responsible?”

He rose from the sofa and walked over to the patio doors, staring out into the darkness. “I don’t know of anyone who could hate me this much. Yvonne is angry I said no to marriage, and yes, she knew I’d be out of town,” he turned to his brother, “but this is extreme for even her.”

“Stop it.”

“Stop what –”

“She hasn’t been questioned yet and you’re already absolving her of guilt.”

“I’m not- ”

“You are! I get it, man. You still care about her. Maybe even love her. She’s held your heart captive since we were kids. But the Mark I spent the last few days with had found direction and was making plans. Hold on to that guy.”

“I hear you and you’re right.”

He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and turned back to the darkness of the night.

“It’s just coming to terms with everything being gone. My furniture, clothes, artwork… nothing was spared.”

“What are you going to do?”

“It’s not like I have options. Detective Lewis said they’d be done with my place no later than Monday morning. I have to get an adjuster in to file a claim, get the place cleaned up… and start over.”

“Damn. This is just messed up.”

“I couldn’t agree more, but I appreciate my big brother taking me in until I get it all figured out.”

“Shut up.”

“I’m serious.”

“What was I supposed to do? Let you stay in some hotel with five dollar bottled water and ten dollar peanuts? Not gonna happen. Mi casa, es tu casa.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Stop thanking me. Now I can blame you for eating all the creamsicles.”

“I hate those things.”

Prentiss waggled his eyebrows. “That’s beside the point.”

Mark smiled for the first time since he’d arrived.

“That’s more like it! Now, c’mon.”

“I know I’ll regret asking, but where are we going in the middle of the night?”

“We’re both too agitated to sleep so you’re buying me breakfast.”

He had no appetite, but Mark was grateful for the distraction… and his brother.

 

He was sick of lists.

There was a list of damages for the police department, another for his insurance claim and HOA, and still a shopping list for his immediate personal needs.

Going over the project list for the rebuild one more time, Mark hit send on the email tab. Now it was Bailey’s problem.

He sat back in the chair, the weight of the week bearing down on him. Yvonne had returned none of his calls or texts and his recent conversation with Detective Lewis only added fuel to the fire.

“The partial prints the crime scene unit pulled weren’t enough to match any prints on file.”

“So, what are you saying, Detective?”

“We have no leads… ”

“Great. Just great.”

“… but we keep the investigation going. Try another canvas of your building and neighborhood.”

“Why bother? My neighbor was out and no one else heard anything.”

“You’d be surprised at what people remember after we’ve questioned them that’s helped us solve cases.”

“Detective, are you sure positive – ”

“Mr. Kelly, we’ve confirmed everything twice. Ms. Bellgoode was at her parents’ in San Diego from Friday afternoon until Monday morning.”

“Pretty convenient.”

“Agreed, not to mention the young lady is far too arrogant and condescending for my tastes, but I have no choice but to look for other leads.”

“Of which you have none.”

“True. But let me ask you again. You seriously believe your girlfriend is capable of something like this?”

Mark sighed. “Until a few weeks ago, I would have said no. But things went sour fast and I saw a different side of her, or maybe it was there all along and I just refused to see it. And she’s not my girlfriend anymore.”

“But the baby?”

“Still not sure about that. She said she was pregnant, but I’ve seen no confirmation.”

“Domestic issues turn ugly fast but I hope you’re wrong if you are going to be a father.”

Mark wasn’t optimistic about the future. The insurance adjuster had said what Detective Lewis left out.

“I see this two or three times a month, unfortunately. Homes are broken into all the time. Thieves are looking for items they can turn into quick cash.” He looked down at his portable workstation. “They took nothing from your place, but destroyed everything. This wasn’t random… this was personal.”

He’d been with Yvonne over five years and had dated no one else in over six. He hung out with his brother or guys from his work crew. His closest friend from college lived over seven hours away. There was no one else in his immediate personal life. If it wasn’t Yvonne, who did this to him?

Mark shoved his tablet into his backpack, locked up the work shack and headed for the parking lot.

He’d told his crew he might join him at Dessie’s for a beer, but now all he wanted to do was get back to his brother’s place and try to rest his weary mind. When had his life become such a shit-storm?

Mark’s brain had other plans, however, racking up a to-do list for the weekend ahead. Furniture store, bedding and linen, dishes-

His heart sank as he approached his Tahoe.

Stunned, he walked around the vehicle then turned in circles taking in the empty parking lot.

No security cameras, and construction fencing blocking all view from the street.

A perfect place and opportunity for someone to slash his tires and smash out his windows.

Clenching his fists, Mark’s body shook with contempt and rage for the anonymous attacker… who was stalking him.

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Someone is turning Mark’s life upside down and the police say it isn’t Yvonne. Is there someone else with a grudge against Mark Kelly?

To be continued…

 

Part IPart II   |  Part IIIPart IV  |  Part V  |  Part VI  |

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

The Devil You Know, Part XI #52weeks52stories

Intruder

#52weeks52stories: Week 21

Word prompt: uniform

Word Count: 1557, Reading time – 1 minute, 58 secs

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Part I    |     Part II    |    Part III    |   Part IV   | Part V

Part VI   |   Part VII   |   Part VIII   |   IX   |   |

(All links open new windows.)

Surrounded by cold sandwiches and lukewarm coffee, Marks, Holland, Ganson, and Hill studied their surprised find from the stolen Ford Explorer.

An old Army duffel bag and a beat-up suitcase were found in the backseat and their contents were now laid out on the conference table like puzzle pieces.

Ganson scratched his head. “This is a weird collection of stuff to carry around.”

The treasure trove included bank records, hotel receipts, airline ticket stubs, elementary school report cards, maps, floor plans, and more than two dozen driver’s licenses from several states. The licenses all bore photos of the same four men… all with different names.

The lone license with a woman’s photo was issued over twenty-five years ago by the state of Delaware… to Sarah Elaine Sievers of Drexler, Delaware.

“Look at all these names, ages, and addresses. How do we find out which one is correct… or if any of them are correct?” Ganson raked through the pile. “Benedict, Lilly, Spellman, Montrose, geeze. Do you know how big the search returns will be on all these names?”

Mentally honing his focus, Marks had a plan. “We’ll focus on one name at a time, and since we knew of Sievers first, we’ll stay with that one for now.”

“Lindy Piquat and Mossford Sievers were married August 4, 1939.” Holland waved a yellowed document in the air. “It was the day after her 18th birthday and six months after his.”

Hill whistled low and slow. “1939? They would have to be-”

“Grandparents.”

After logging the info on his notepad, Holland slipped the license into a glassine sheet protector.

“Somebody had mommy-issues.”

The three men turned to Ganson.

He held four faded black and white photographs. The same young girl was in all four photos, and though there were others standing with her, only her body was full of dozens of tiny pinpricks.

Marks couldn’t contain his excitement. “We’ll need Chaney in on this sooner than later for a psych profile.”

“I believe the girl in these photos is a young Sarah Sievers. Matches the Delaware license, only younger. Here she’s a kid with a guy in uniform.” He held it up. “Dad, maybe?”

“This one here has to be her and her mom… they look alike. This is a school photo—maybe high school—and this is probably her with her brothers,” he tilted his head toward the stack of state IDs, “and the guys on all the driver’s licenses.”

Marks clapped his hands together and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

Hill smirked. “Share so we can celebrate too. What’s up?”

Grinning, Gavin Marks picked up one photo. “What have we just learned, gentlemen?” He continued before they could respond. “Mossford Sievers married Lindy Piquat in 1939 when he was eighteen years old. The guy in this photo is military. And at his age… he served in World War II.”

The detectives applauded. “Very good, Marks. You get an ‘A’ today.”

He waved Hill off. “Too bad I didn’t get an ‘A’ in history when it counted.”

He turned to Holland. “Call Perreti and Griffin back in. They’re aces at forensic searches. If we’re lucky, they can find what we need, and I won’t have to reach out to Veteran’s Affairs tomorrow… that’s never fun. Let’s narrow our search for now to any Sievers in Drexler, Delaware. I’ll contact the LEOs in that area tomorrow morning. With all of these fake IDs, someone had to get caught doing something wrong at least once.”

Brian Holland added to his list. “I just had to be a detective. This sure doesn’t feel like a promotion… feels like more work.”

“That’s why we make the big bucks.”

They all shared a laugh as Holland left the room.

Ganson smirked. “Big bucks? Yeah, right. I’m so poor I can’t afford to pay attention.”

“Well, how does your captain feel about overtime?”

Leonard Ganson groaned.

Hill chuckled.

“Hates it with a passion. The brass downtown is always hollering about budget cuts. But I explained the link to your case and possibly the Senior Citizen Rapist, so we’re good for forty-eight hours. If we can’t prove a connection to our case by then, we have to take our toys and go home.”

Marks belly laughed. “Oh, man. I can just hear him saying that.”

He clapped his hands together again, looking over the unusual collection of items.

“Let’s see if we have anything else useful here.”

Before they could get back to their searching, Holland burst back into the room.

“Marks, man, I want to be you when I grow up!”

“Why? What happened?”

“You nailed it. Patrol found Franklin Bennett’s 2016 Chevy Traverse three blocks from where the Ford Explorer was stolen.”

The men all exchanged glances. Gavin paced around the table.

“So, the man we know as Gary Sievers fought with Franklin Bennett in his apartment, took his car, ditched it and stole another vehicle, and ended up at the Ramirez home to attack two women… one of which was Bennett’s wife.”

He scrubbed his hand down his face.

“What was Bennett doing there? How do they know each other…not to mention being almost identical in looks? What did they fight about? And why did Sievers go to the Ramirez home?”

Hill grimaced. “Can we go back to the celebrating part because this sucks.”

“The picture is still blurred, gentlemen. Let’s pull it into focus.”

*

Watching the nurse replenish her husband’s I.V. meds, Sally Bennett’s spirits lifted for the first time in days.

Lab cultures showed Franklin Bennett was in the early stages of a bacterial infection, but Dr. Stanley’s decision to include antibiotics from the beginning of his care was a good one.

Though not gone, the infection was weakening, allowing his blood pressure to rise.

“He’s doing very well, ma’am. Nice strong blood pressure, no fluctuations.”

Sally sat in the chair next to the bed holding her husband’s hand. She was afraid if she let go he’d slip away and be lost to her again. The thought frightened her more than anything else from the past three days.

Sally was grateful to be with Frankie and know he was at least alive, but a raw edginess bristled just beneath her skin which kept her fears and doubts in the front of her mind.

Remembering Dr. Stanley’s words to stay positive, Sally decided to stop stewing in her worries and grab some coffee from across the hall.

Rising from her seat, she gave Frankie’s hand a gentle squeeze as she turned to walk away, and froze.

The hand she was holding was now holding hers!

Her gaze went from their joined hands to his face and Sally’s heart plummeted.

He wasn’t awake.

Involuntary nerve spasms were explained to her earlier and now she understood why.

Another attempt at releasing Franklin’s hand again caused his grip to tighten.

This can’t be a nerve spasm.

Sally reached for the call button to alert the nurse but stopped when Frankie’s grip tightened even more.

Her brows knitted in confusion.

“Frankie? Can you hear me? Frankie? Can you give me any kind of response? Squeeze my hand again, baby. Wiggle a toe. Dammit, I’ll even accept a facial twitch.”

He didn’t respond but Sally knew he’d gripped her hand. She was sure of it.

Frankie’s hand became limp inside Sally’s. She raised it to her face, rubbing it against her cheek.

“It’s okay, baby. You’re going to beat this. Just hang on.”

She planted a light kiss on his hand and laid his arm to rest on the bed.

Sally left the room without looking back, silently cursing muscle spasms.

Crossing the hall, she saw Dr. Stanley approaching with two men casually dressed and close to her age.

“Mrs. Bennett, we were on our way to speak with you. This is Dr. Ted Beamish and Dr. Paul Weathers. They’re the doctors I told you were on call for your husband. He’s been stable for over an hour. It’s time.”

Sally shook each of their offered hands but held on to Paul Weathers’. “He’s been my life for thirty-two years…please…” Her voice broke on the last word.

Paul Weather’s wrapped her hand in both of his. “Ted and I have had many successes with traumatic brain injuries in private practice and the military. I promise you we’ll do everything we can.”

“Where are your children, Mrs. Bennett?”

It took her a few seconds to find her voice. “They all went to find quiet places to call home with an update. They should be back soon.”

Dr. Weathers released her hand. “Good. The procedure can take as little as two hours or as many as six. Just depends on what we find. We’re on our way to scrub up and someone from our team will be here soon to get Mr. Bennett prepped.”

She pressed her hand against her stomach. The churning had returned.

Dr. Stanley tried to lead her into the lounge. “You should sit-”

Sally pulled away.

“I’m sorry, it’s just nerves. I’ll sit with my husband until it’s time.”

Assuring her she would receive status updates during the surgery, the doctors left to prepare.

Sally Bennett took a deep breath, digging deep inside for a reserve of faith and went to kiss her husband for what she hoped wasn’t the last time.

 

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved