A heavy vibration sounded from the bedside dresser, prompting Carmen’s eyelids to flutter. Still very much asleep, her eyes never opened, allowing the buzzing to disappear back in the night. A few moments later, the sound became repetitive. Her eyes finally opened as Jay’s body draped over hers. “It’s your phone,” he whispered, still somewhat dazed. His words went in one ear and out the other as Carmen’s eyes slowly closed. She dozed off as the sound ceased until it returned for a third time. It was then she became fully awake and pushed Jay onto the opposite side of the bed.
Carmen reached her arm out from underneath the sheets, grabbing her cell off the bedside dresser. She blinked her eyes several times before she was able to decipher the word Unknown that was flashing on the home screen. Unsure of who was calling, Carmen answered the phone. “Hello,” she muttered, trying to wipe the sleep from her eyes.
“I’m trying to reach a Carmen Davenport,” the male voice said on the opposite end.
Carmen raised her brow before looking at the alarm clock. It was a little past twelve, which meant she had been sleep for only three hours or so. Somehow, in between that time, something had happened to prompt a phone call. Instead of instantly thinking the worst, she told the man she was indeed Carmen.
“Mrs. Davenport, I hate to disturb you at this hour, but I am Detective Morris from the Copperton City Police Department. I’m calling because your vehicle was located at the corner of Middleton Avenue. For some reason, no one was in it. Now, the number I’m calling is a New York number. Did you recently move to Copperton City from New York?”
“No, no,” Carmen repeated as she continued to wipe her face. “I’m not in Georgia. I have two daughters who are. The car is a Lexus, right? You said you located it where?”
“Mrs. Davenport, the car is a Lexus, and it’s in your name. We located it at the corner of Middleton Avenue and Parrish. No one was in it, but the front windshield has been shattered as well as the driver’s side window. The car is badly damaged, but no one took anything. There was even a purse and cell phone located in the car. A wallet was also there with money, debit cards, and credit cards still inside. The driver’s license we found was for a Kristian Kane. Do you know her?”
“That’s my daughter,” Carmen yelped, now fully awake. She pushed the bed sheets away from her just as Jay’s arm latched onto hers.
“Who is it?” Jay asked, sitting up as well.
Carmen shook her head at him, pulling her arm away from his. To put even more space in between them, she stood from the bed, heading towards the balcony.
“Ma’am, most of the time in these situations, we find a victim and their property is gone. Since there wasn’t a victim found, we are ruling this as a kidnapping. We would like for you to come down to the station in the morning. That will give us enough time to piece together the details. Will you be able to make it by let’s say ten o’clock?”
While her face once held an expression of concern, it now became enraged at the detective’s words. She tried to contain her anger, feeling a slew of expletives about to fly from her mouth. She turned to look at Jay who was making his way towards her. She heard him ask who is it for a second time, but she didn’t respond. However, when he tried to pull the phone from her ear, she smacked his arm away.
“Are you trying to tell me my daughter has been kidnapped?”
The detective cleared his throat as he started to repeat himself. “Mrs. Davenport, from what we’re seeing here, that seems to be the only explanation. No one took the car or the money she had in her purse. Now, if you are able to come down to the station, we can go through her personal items together and see if there are some clues. We are still running tests on the car for fingerprints so I won’t be able to relinquish the vehicle to you until later today.”
“Okay, okay,” Carmen repeated. “I’ll be there. I’ll start looking at flights now.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Davenport. We’re going to try and do everything we can on our end. Have a safe trip and I’ll see you in a few hours.”
Carmen didn’t respond to the detective’s words, as she hung up the phone. Though the outside air was cool on her skin, her body temperature was rising traumatically. It seemed to escalate when she heard Jay’s voice coming from the bedroom. He was pulling a pair of sweatpants over his boxers as he walked onto the balcony.
“I heard what you said, Peaches. What happened to Kristian?”
Carmen shook her head as she started to think the inevitable. She didn’t want to point the finger, but she knew Kristian’s kidnapping was a direct effect of the ongoing war between her fiancé and Blu. She hadn’t known of her daughter to have problems with anyone for something like this to happen. She couldn’t even come up with an explanation of how Blu had found his way to Georgia to even get close to her. “This motherfucker,” she whimpered. “He keeps coming. Now he has gone and touched my child? Fuck no,” Carmen screamed, pushing her way past Jay.
She felt his hands as he tried to grab her, but she moved too fast. Carmen headed inside their walk-in closet, grabbed the first piece of luggage she saw, and threw it in the bedroom. “You can’t kill him,” she screamed, picking up another suitcase. “King sure as hell can’t kill him because he’s on probation.” Carmen threw the suitcase in the room missing Jay by a few inches. “I’ve already paid my debt to society. I can do what y’all can’t.”
“Peaches, this thing is much deeper than what you think. If he took Kristian, then that means he wants something. If he left evidence then he wants us to know he has her. He’s not trying to kill her. He wants to use her for ransom.”
“I don’t give a fuck what he wants,” Carmen blurted, turning to face him. She walked up to Jay, her finger pointed directly in his face. “You know why? Because whatever it is, you’re going to give it to him. You better pray my daughter is alive when I find her. If this motherfucker even touches a hair on her head, I promise you, Jay, I’m spraying bullets in all directions.”
Jay rolled his eyes, but he didn’t do it while Carmen was looking at him. He waited until she had gone in the closet. If she had seen him, it would’ve only tripled her anger. “You need to calm down. Nothing can be done until we get to Georgia. There aren’t any flights going out in the middle of the night. I can’t even get my pilot right now. These things take time.”
“Time,” Carmen questioned. She walked in the room where Jay was standing. “We don’t have fuckin’ time. Every second I stand here and listen to your bitch ass, my daughter is one step closer to being murdered. What you need to be doing is picking up the horn. You need to find out where this motherfucker has her and do something about it. You’re the reason for this shit.”
Jay knew to keep his cool. Carmen was already being aggressive and if he matched it, the entire house would be woken up. “Listen to me, Peaches. We can’t move right now. All we can do is pray and go to sleep. In the morning, I’ll call King and let him know what happened. Then, we’ll make our way to Georgia. That was the original plan, anyway. You can go to the police station while we start the hunt for Blu. Trust me on this one.”
Carmen stared at him in disbelief. “Trust you? You want me to trust you? This motherfucker has my daughter. He took her because he couldn’t get you. You’re the reason for this shit.” Her right hand balled into a fist and she immediately went to strike him. Jay appeared to have seen it coming because he grabbed her arm, using it to push her away. When she went to hit him with the other one, he grabbed it as well before pushing her down on the bed. He used his body weight to restrain her, pinning her down.
“Right now,” Jay said, sternly. “You’re going to shut the fuck up and listen. I know what I did and I know how this came to be. I don’t need the reminder. Fussing and trying to throw blows is not going to get Kristian back. Tonight, you’re not worth a damn to anyone. You need to calm down before you take one step out this house. Operating on emotions is not going to get you far because you’re not using your head.”
Carmen didn’t respond, crying even harder than before. To add to her fury, a door was opening down the hall. Without a doubt, Carmen knew it was her mother. She figured she heard the arguing and was coming to see what was going on. Jay heard her as well because he loosened his grip, standing on his feet.
Since the sound of her mother’s footsteps was drawing closer to them, Carmen didn’t budge. Jay didn’t move either, which worked to their benefit when her mother’s shadow appeared underneath their doorway. Patricia stayed there for only a few seconds before disappearing into her room. It wasn’t until they heard her door close that Jay spoke.
“You may see otherwise,” he said, “but we’re in this together. You can’t move without me. I promise you, if you let me lead this thing, I will make sure we get Kristian back.”
Carmen covered her face as her emotions became riled once again. Deep down, she knew Jay was bothered by the news like she was. She was simply more open with her feelings while he was being nonchalant. Though she knew she wasn’t overreacting, she told herself to calm down. Jay was right when he said there wasn’t anything she could do. Even if she did make it to Georgia, she would have to wait for the detectives to finish examining the evidence before she could do anything. The only thing she could do at the moment was break the news to Kane. He was a detective in his own right and to top it off, he was her soon-to-be ex-husband and Kristian’s father.
Carmen sat up, nodding her head to let him know she agreed. “I’m sorry,” she told him, softly. “That’s my baby, you know? This shit would be hard for anybody.” Carmen sniffled as she wiped both sides of her face. “You’re right, though. We can’t do anything right now. Until then, all we can do is call Kane and pray. We’re all in this together.”
To show her he agreed, Jay picked up her cell phone and handed it to her. “Go ahead and make the call. I’m going to check up on the kids to make sure I didn’t wake them. Are you okay by yourself?”
Carmen mouthed the word yes as she started to dial Kane’s number. He didn’t answer right off, but she knew he was probably asleep. When the phone continued to ring, she hoped it woke him. He didn’t answer and when his voicemail came on, she hung up the phone only to call him again. When he didn’t answer the second time, she found herself growing upset. Instead of giving up, she called him again. Third time is supposed to be the charm, she thought. From the way things were going, it appeared that the saying didn’t apply to her situation. Kane still didn’t pick up so she simply left him a message.
Since Jay hadn’t returned to the room, she called Akaila, her adopted daughter, who was in Copperton City with Kristian. The moment she said hello, Carmen quickly updated her on what was going on. Akaila was unaware of the situation and stated she thought Kristian was still out due to the bitterness she had about their parents’ pending divorce. Carmen had filed for divorce only a couple of days ago while she informed the family of it only yesterday. Worried about her safety as well, Carmen advised her to get a one-way ticket to Brookstone. Their conversation didn’t last long and shortly after she hung up, Jay returned to the room. He got in the bed without a word. Despite her growing resentment, Carmen joined him and even allowed him to hold her. While he instantly went to sleep, Carmen prayed silently to God until her eyes were forced into a peaceful slumber.
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