After Lorenzo ran into the house, Diego turned to Spinelli. “Listen, before you go in there, there are some things you need to know.”
Spinelli nodded, bringing his wide eyes back to Diego. He had seen Alcazar angry – even desperate – and worried about his little innocent granddaughter, but Spinelli had never seen him scared. And there was no doubt in Spinelli’s mind that the Mighty Lorenzo Alcazar was scared.
“Spinelli! Are you listening?” Diego asked, snapping his fingers to get his attention.
“Yeah, yeah, The Jackal is all ears,” Spinelli said refocusing his attention.
Once he was sure he had Spinelli’s attention, Diego let out a breath. “There are three women staying in this house and they are all very important to me and my father. If anything happens to them because of you, there will be nowhere you can go where we won’t find you.”
Spinelli gulped. He was sure that was more of a promise than a threat.
Sure he had gotten his point across, Diego continued on. “Skye Quartermaine and my father are together and she is pregnant with his child-"
“Cool!” Spinelli interrupted, his face breaking into a wide grin. “The Mighty Big Al is going to be a big daddy!”
“Like I was saying,” Diego said after a moment. “Skye is pregnant and it’s a very high risk pregnancy. She needs to rest and not be bothered or annoyed.”
“Got it,” said Spinelli with a nod. “The Jackal will not bring any unharmonious vibes to the Heavenly Skye and the Innocent Unborn One.”
“Good,” said Diego, nodding his head slowly. “Now, my grandmother is also here – Esmerelda Alcazar. She came to help Skye and my dad.”
“Nice. The mother of the Mighty Big Al,” Spinelli said. “The one who reproduced such an awesome power.”
Diego was trying to keep a hold on his rapidly depleting nerves. “And finally, there’s Lulu Spencer. She’s a good friend of mine and is helping my grandmother and Skye.”
“Lulu Spencer?” Spinelli asked, his eyes widening and his eyebrows almost disappearing under his shaggy bangs.
“You know her?” Diego asked. He wasn’t sure if he liked that too much.
“Yeah . . . the Blonde Goddess . . . Wow!”
Diego narrowed his eyes at him. He definitely didn’t like this at all.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” Lorenzo asked, sitting on the side of the bed, Skye’s hand clutched in his.
“For the tenth time Lorenzo, I’m fine,” Skye said patiently. “I had a dizzy spell, that’s all.”
“A dizzy spell? Skye, you passed out,” Lorenzo said. “Dr. Rodriguez said your blood pressure had spiked and caused you to pass out. Skye . . . I am so sorry that you have to go through this. It’s not good for you or the baby.”
“Don’t start that Lorenzo,” Skye said firmly, sitting up straighter against the pillows piled behind her back. “We both knew this was a high risk pregnancy from the beginning and things like this were going to happen. You didn’t cause it. And no one upset me. Not even Carly.”
Lorenzo smirked. “I think you scared her,” he said. “She was apologizing the minute I walked in the door.”
“It wasn’t her fault either. I mean, yeah, that pizza she was eating was making me sick to my stomach . . . but it was nothing anyone did. Your mother and Lulu have been taking wonderful care of me. And with Carly here . . . I’m sure it’ll make being here that much more interesting.”
“Well, if you want interesting, I think I have someone who will top even Carly,” Lorenzo said, shaking his head. At Skye’s inquisitive look, Lorenzo continued. “Diego found this kid at school, a computer whiz, who is helping us to find Elaina and Sam. And I will admit that although this kid might be . . . out there, he’s good. He’ll take a little getting used to, but I think he means well.”
“Can’t wait to meet him,” Skye said, sure that watching Lorenzo with this Spinelli would be the most interesting part of it all. “Have you checked in on Jason? Is he doing okay?”
“He checked himself out of GH,” Lorenzo informed her. He held up his hand to stop her protests. “I know, I don’t like it either, but there is nothing any of us can do. He wouldn’t have stayed there and I understand that.”
Skye did as well. She could see that determination in Lorenzo. “Lorenzo . . . are you even taking care of yourself? You look tired.” She lifted her other hand and cupped his cheek.
Lorenzo put a hand over hers. “I’m fine,” he said with a small smile. “We were so close Skye. We almost had them back. Manny found out about the tracking device in Elaina’s bracelet. When we got to where they were, they were already gone. Elaina’s bracelet was left behind.”
Skye closed her eyes a moment. “You’ll find them Lorenzo. He can’t keep moving or hiding them forever . . . and I refuse to believe that at this point he would kill them. I know I don’t know Manny Ruiz very well, but I am sure that if he wanted them dead, he would have done it when he shot Jason. He is using them as leverage. You will find them.”
“He’ll slip up,” Lorenzo said, more for himself. “I just don’t want Sam and Elaina hurt when he does.”
Elaina made it to the estate and found the secret passage Michael and Morgan ad shown her – it brought her to the lake. None of the adults knew about it. After crawling through the bushes, Elaina ran to her Poppi’s house. She had to tell him where Mommy Sam was so he could save her.
Reaching the back patio, Elaina found the door locked. Sighing in frustration, Elaina looked around. She had to find help.
Spotting the portable phone, Elaina picked it up. Mommy Sam had taught her the important buttons to push in an emergency. Looking at the buttons, Elaina pressed the one for her Poppi and then the green button to make the phone ring. Putting the phone to her ear, Elaina waited to hear her Poppi’s voice.
Sam hit the wall but managed to stay on her feet. Manny’s anger was fueling this fight and Sam was getting tired. Every muscle ached and her head was throbbing. This had to end – and Sam was afraid it was going to end with her being the loser.
Pulling in a much needed breath, Sam pushed her hair out of her face and turned to Manny. “Even if you kill me, you still won’t win,” she said as she pulled herself up straighter. “Jason and Lorenzo will hunt you down like the deranged animal that you are.”
“That little brat may have managed to get away, but that’s okay – I’m sure I can come up with some fun stuff for us.”
The smile on Manny’s face caused Sam’s stomach to turn. She would rather die than have Manny touch her.
“No one’s coming to help you Princess,” Manny said as he moved closer to her. “Once Alcazar and Morgan have their precious little angel back, they will forget all about you.”
“It won’t work. I know my family. And they would never leave me here with you. And who’s to say I can’t get away on my own. A two-year-old was able to get away Manny. Think about it.”
Lorenzo sat on the bed, his back against the pillows, his arms around Skye as she leaned against his chest. It was quiet. Neither of them needed to talk right now. They just needed to be together. But the ringing of Lorenzo’s cell phone broke it.
“Answer it Lorenzo. It could be important,” Skye insisted as she looked up at him.
Shifting slightly, Lorenzo pulled his phone out of his pocket and looked at the caller ID. It said HOME. But no one was there. Sitting up a little straighter, Lorenzo flipped the phone open. “Hello . . .” he said. Then his eyes widened and his breath froze as he heard the little voice on the phone.
“Poppi, where everyone?” Elaina asked.
“Elaina? Where are you?” Lorenzo asked, sitting up fully and getting to his feet. Skye got off the bed as well, ignoring Lorenzo’s gestures for her to get back into bed.
“Home,” said Elaina. “No one here and door locked,” she complained. “I have to go potty.”
“Okay, I don’t want you to go anywhere, understand. I’ll come to you,” Lorenzo said as he headed to the door.
“Okay Poppi,” Elaina said. “And we get Mommy Sam.”
“Jason, you should be sitting,” Esmerelda said as she put a plate of food on the coffee table for him. “And I am sure you haven’t had much to eat.”
Jason didn’t want to sit and he sure as hell didn’t want to eat. He knew Lorenzo needed to make sure Skye and the baby were okay – he would be doing the same thing – but finding Sam and Elaina were the only important things on his mind right now. He barely even noticed as Esmerelda guided him to the couch and made him sit.
“I know you’re worried, Jason. We all are,” she said as she put the plate in his hands. “And it will do Sam and Elaina no good if you end up back in the hospital so soon after getting out. Now eat.”
Jason sighed. “You’re right,” he said, giving in. Then he looked up at her. “Thank you.”
Esmerelda sat next to him. “I know this is hard for you Jason. You lost Jessica and now your daughter’s life is in jeopardy . . . but I know that you and Lorenzo will do everything you can to get them back safely. I have faith in that.”
Before Jason could respond, Lorenzo came barreling down the stairs. “Jason! Elaina somehow escaped from Manny and is back at the house. She called me from there,” he said.
Jason jumped up, ignoring the jolt of pain in his leg. “Then Manny has had them in town all along,” he said, shocked.
“Or just moved them back,” Lorenzo said. “Milo is getting the car. I’m leaving Diego and Max here with everyone else.”
Nodding, Jason quickly followed and the two men left the house.
“Something must be going on,” Lulu muttered to herself as she watched Jason and Lorenzo sprint for the car and speed off.
“Elaina escaped and called Dad,” Diego said from the door.
Lulu spun around. “Diego!” she said before bolting into his arms.
Diego hugged her tightly, closing his eyes a moment as he held her.
Lulu pulled back after a moment and looked up at him. “I’ve been so worried,” she said.
“I know,” Diego said. “But it looks like it’s almost over Lulu. Elaina got away. My Dad and Jason are going to get her now and then they’ll be able to find Manny.”
“What about Sam?” Lulu asked. “She must not have been with Elaina if Elaina called on her own.”
Diego sighed. “All she said about Sam was that Dad had to save her. But he will. And so will Jason.”
“Is Jason physically able to do that? I mean, come on, he was shot in the leg and chest Diego! I saw him limping out of here.”
“Not to fear Blonde One,” said Spinelli from the doorway. “Stone Cold won’t let anything stop him from saving his Precious Innocent One and his Fair Maiden Samantha.”
Lulu looked over Diego’s shoulder at Spinelli. “Hi Spinelli,” she said with a little wave.
Diego stepped back and looked between the two of them. “You know him?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Spinelli helped me with some research for a class,” Lulu said with a shrug.
Spinelli smiled at Lulu. “That’s right Al Junior. The Jackal and the Blonde One are intimately acquainted.”
“Right,” said Diego, looking back at Lulu.
Lulu just laughed.
The large black SUV had barely stopped before Jason was out of the car and heading to the house.
“Jason wait!” said Lorenzo, catching up to him. “She said the doors were locked, so she’s not in the house. There’s a portable phone hookup on the back patio. She might be there.”
Jason nodded and went with Lorenzo around the side of the house. Both men had their guns drawn in case this was a set up. Milo went around the other side. All three men stopped when they heard sniffles and sobs.
Putting his gun away, Jason slowly rounded the corner to see Elaina sitting on the floor of the patio, her knees to her chin and her head on her knees. He slowly walked over to her, trying not to make his limp too pronounced and scare her.
Elaina looked up and saw her father. But she didn’t get up and go running to him. This worried Jason. Was she hurt?
“Elaina?” he said as he got closer. But his daughter remained sitting where she was.
“Hi Daddy,” Elaina said sadly from her spot on the ground.
“Hi baby,” Jason said as he reached his daughter and crouched in front of her. “I know you’re scared, but I won’t let Manny hurt you again.”
“I no hurt Daddy,” Elaina said, sniffling.
“Can you stand up?” Jason asked, reaching for her. He needed to see for himself she wasn’t hurt.
Elaina only shook her head.
“Why not?” Now Jason was getting worried. What had that monster done to his daughter?
“I have accident,” Elaina said sadly.
Jason noticed that the area around where she was sitting was wet. “Okay, how about Daddy takes you inside so you can get cleaned up.”
Elaina nodded. “Daddy hurt?” she asked, looking up at him.
“Yeah, a little,” Jason said standing as his leg began to burn.
“Me too,” Elaina said as she held out her wrist. “The Ugly Man break my bracelet.”
Lorenzo walked over to them. He pulled Elaina’s bracelet from his pocket.
Elaina’s face lit up as she took it from him. Then she got up. “I go clean now and you save Mommy Sam,” she said as the two men stood there looking at her.
Everything hurt. She just wanted it to stop. Her head was spinning and she was sure she had a couple of bruised ribs. Groaning, Sam rolled onto her back, trying to assess her injuries. She had to get out of there. He was gone for now, but she knew he was coming back and when he did, she wasn’t sure she would be able to stop him – and she would be damned if she let him get his hands on her.
“Are you sure this is the place?” Jason asked his daughter as she pointed out the house where Manny had kept her and Sam.
Elaina nodded. “I go out that door,” she said, pointing. “Mommy Sam in basement.”
Jason nodded to Milo and handed Elaina over to him. “Take her to the safe house,” he said.
Milo took Elaina. “Alright munchkin, let’s get out of here,” he said, walking back to where his car was parked.
Once they were out of sight, Jason and Lorenzo pulled their guns out. They nodded to each other and headed to the run down house at the edge of the park.
The men made their way to the property, alert as they moved. They knew how unpredictable Manny was and anything could happen if he knew they were there. Heading to the kitchen door, Jason checked the knob. It was still open. He pushed the door open slowly, his gun preceding him into the room. It was empty and he slipped in further, Lorenzo following behind.
As they moved further into the dilapidated room, Lorenzo saw the door leading to the basement and headed toward it. Jason nodded when he saw him. They were going to stick together on this one and cover each other’s backs.
The door to the basement was slightly ajar. Lorenzo used his foot to open it further and stepped over the threshold, listening for sounds from below. Once he was sure it was quiet, he started down, one step at a time, slowly – ready to react if Manny pounced.
With Jason’s presence behind him, Lorenzo continued down the stairs, reaching the bottom without consequence. Looking around, Lorenzo let his eyes adjust to the dimness of the room – knowing Jason was doing the same – he didn’t see any immediate threat. The room was open and empty with no where for anyone to hide. As his eyes scanned the space, they rested on a form lying motionless. He knew deep down in his gut it was his sister. But he couldn’t rush to her like he wanted – it could still be a trap.
Using all of their combined will power, Lorenzo and Jason waited as long as they could before they stepped off the stairs and moved cautiously toward Sam.
Reaching his sister, Lorenzo crouched down while Jason covered him. His hand shaking, Lorenzo reached out to find Sam’s pulse point.
“Is she . . . ?” Jason whispered, not wanting to say the words. He didn’t want to even entertain the thought of losing another woman he loved. Loved. In that moment, Jason realized that he was in love with Sam.
Lorenzo’s fingers found Sam’s pulse and he breathed out a sigh of relief. “No, she’s alive,” he said.
Thank God, Jason thought, letting out the breath he had been holding.
Lorenzo looked around again and then tucked his gun at the back of his pants. “No one’s here Jason,” he said. “He had to knowing we were coming once Elaina got away.”
“I agree,” Jason said, also tucking his gun away. Then he crouched on Sam’s other side and gently brushed her hair off her face. The bruises he saw caused his blood to burn, but Jason held his anger in check. Manny wasn’t there for him to beat into a pulp, and right now Sam needed him.
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