Chapter Forty-Eight

Leaving the office, Sam leaned against the wall, taking a couple of deep breaths to calm herself. What she had just witnessed, what she had just watched her brother go through – the pain he was suppressing, the way he was trying not to cry out, show what he was going through.

She needed to breathe, to refocus. Lorenzo was her brother. He had always protected her, kept her safe, loved her. There was no way she was going to stand by and let this continue to happen to him. Lorenzo had always been there for her . . . now it was time for her to be there for him.


Swallowing, Sam turned to Jason, a steely determination in her eyes. “We have to rescue him Jason. He can’t endure that much longer.”

Jason pulled Sam into his arms, holding her tightly. “I know. We’re going to get him out of there, Sam. But we just can’t go running in there blind. It would be suicidal. As soon as Spinelli gets me the information I need, we’re going to put together a plan and get Lorenzo out of there.” He looked down at her, holding her face in his hands. “Promise me Sam; promise me that you will not go charging after Manny on your own. I wouldn’t be able to bear it if anything happened to you.”

Sam looked deep into his blue eyes. Spinelli called him Stone Cold – but he was far from that. Jason was caring, loving and deeply passionate. “I promise Jason,” she whispered. “But please, I don’t want to be cut out of this. Lorenzo is my brother and I need to be there for him like he always has been for me.”

He didn’t want her to be a part of this, but Jason knew there would be no holding her back. “Alright. I promise,” he said.


How long has it been? Lorenzo wondered. His arms ached and the whip lashes on his back stung in the cold air.

With no warning, the pulley holding his arms up released and Lorenzo dropped hard to his knees. Wincing and gritting his teeth, he tried to rotate the muscles in his shoulders. Nothing appeared to be dislocated.

Taking a couple of deep breaths, Lorenzo managed to get to his feet – being on the ground when whoever was doing this walked in would show defeat, and he was not defeated.

Working the kinks out of his muscles, Lorenzo took a quick inventory of his injuries that might inhibit a possible escape.


“I no wan to play no more,” Elaina said, putting her doll to the side.

Lainey put the doll she had been using down. “That’s fine,” she said. “It’s such a nice day; maybe you could introduce me to Goldie.”

Elaina nodded and hopped off the bed. “Okay! And we see Poppi!”

“Sweetie, do you remember that your Poppi went on a trip?” Lainey asked, crouching in front of the little girl.

“Oh,” said Elaina. “When he come home?”

“I’m sure he’ll be home soon,” Lainey assured her.

“I see Sye?” Elaina asked as she found her shoes and sat on the floor to put them on.

“I think she would like that. Let’s go see Goldie first and then we can visit Skye,” Lainey suggested.

Elaina nodded, finished with her shoes and stood back up. “I ready,” she announced, taking Lainey’s hand.

Smiling down at her, Lainey closed her hand around the little fingers. They left the bedroom and Lainey was aware of the four large guards following them.


Feeling a little stronger, Lorenzo managed to stay on his feet without swaying too much. His head was still foggy due to all he had been put through so far. He had tested the chains and found that he could only move a couple of feet in either direction. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

Letting out a breath, Lorenzo looked around. Nothing had changed in the room; expect that the footage of Jessica’s death had stopped playing. The room was quiet again. And as far as he could see, there was no way out as he was very sure the only door he could see would be locked from the inside.

Sitting down right now would feel good, give his body a chance to bounce back, but that was not going to happen as long as he was locked in here like some kind of animal. Ignoring the pain and fatigue in his body, Lorenzo did what he could to stay alert and on his toes. He knew this was far from over.


“Where are you going?” Johnny asked, watching Manny get up and head to the door.

Manny turned and smiled. “It’s about time I paid our guest a little visit.”


Lulu danced back and forth a moment in front of the PCPD. She wasn’t sure if she should be doing this, but she had to help in some way.

Steeling her nerves, Lulu pulled open the door of the police station and went in in search of her brother.


“Do you have anything yet?” Jason asked as he walked back into the office. He had convinced Sam not to go after Manny, but he knew that wouldn’t last long if they didn’t find a way in. Sam was determined to save her brother and she would gladly take Diego with her and leave Jason behind.

“Not yet,” Spinelli said, not looking up from the screen. “But the Jackal is close . . . he can feel it.”

“Well, feel it a little faster,” Jason said. “I need a way in. Lorenzo’s life depends on it.”


“Sye!” Elaina cried as she ran into the room.

Skye smiled at the little girl. She was so glad to see Elaina. “Hi sweetie,” she said.

“I sow Lainey Goldie,” Elaina informed her. “And Goldie like Lainey.”

“That’s great,” Skye said, smiling at Lainey. “I’m glad you had someone to play with.”

“Sye, when Poppi come home?” Elaina asked as she climbed onto the bed and cuddled next to her. “I wan see Poppi.”

Skye looked up at Lainey again, not sure what to say.

“Elaina, remember, we talked about this. Poppi is on a trip,” Lainey reminded the little girl. “And I bet he would want you having fun instead of wondering when he’ll be home.”

Elaina looked up at Skye for confirmation.

“Lainey’s right,” Skye said, grateful for the other woman’s help. “And when Poppi gets back, I have a surprise for him.”

“What supwise?” Elaina asked with interest.

Skye smiled and put her hand over her belly. “There are two babies in here,” she said.

Elaina’s eyes widened as she looked at Skye’s belly and her mouth dropped open in an O. “Two babies?” she asked. “How they fit?”

Skye and Lainey laughed. “Do you think Poppi will be surprised?”

Elaina nodded. Then she put her head gently on Skye’s belly and whispered, “Hi two babies. Poppi be home soon.”


“Is Detective Spencer around?” Lulu asked, twisting her fingers together and biting her lip.

“Lulu? Is something wrong?” Lucky asked as he came out of the interrogation room. He dropped a file onto his desk.

“Kind of,” Lulu answered. “Can we talk somewhere private?”

“Yeah, sure,” Lucky said, leading her to the now empty interrogation room. “What’s up?”

“I don’t know if I should have even come here,” Lulu started, starting to second guess her decision.

“If you’re in some kind of trouble, you need to tell me, Lulu,” Lucky insisted.

Lulu let out a breath. “Alright. I’m not in trouble. It’s Lorenzo.”

Lucky raised an eyebrow. “Lorenzo Alcazar? What does he have to do with you?”

“Lucky, he’s Diego’s father. Diego is in a bad place right now and I want to help him.”

“Help how? What exactly is going on Lulu?” Lucky asked suspiciously.

Pulling out one of the metal chairs, Lulu sat and and plopped her bag onto the table. “I can’t get too much into it, but Lorenzo disappeared and he may be being held captive and possibly tortured.”

“Okay,” Lucky said. He pulled out the chair opposite his sister and sat. “And what do you think you’re going to be able to do about it Lulu? From what I understand, this has nothing to do with you.”

“It has everything to do with me Lucky! I love Diego and what affects him affects me. He’s devastated and scared he’s going to lose his father!”

Lucky held up his hand to stop her. “What do you want me to do?” he asked.


Diego shoved his hands into his pockets. After seeing what he saw, watching what was being done to his father, he had needed to get out and get some air. He knew Max was nearby.

“I don’t know what to do Jessica,” he whispered, crouching in front of his sister’s headstone. “Dad needs me, but Jason doesn’t want me running off on my own. I can’t just stand by and do nothing.”

But deep down, Diego knew it would be suicide to go running off on his own. He had to think with his head, not his emotions . . . that was something his father was always telling him. “Think with your head, not your emotions, Diego. Although your emotions are just as important, it is not always wise to act on them first.”

“I’m trying to stay in control and focused, like Dad would . . . but its hard Jessica. He has so much good going for him. He has Skye and their baby – rather, babies.” Diego smiled. “Can you believe it, twins? Pop is going to be so happy . . . when he comes home and is with his family again.”

Diego stopped and swallowed the lump in his throat. He stood, putting his hand on the stone. “I know you’re with him Jessica. Keep him safe, please.”


“I hope you’re comfortable,” Manny said as he stepped into the room.

Lorenzo didn’t say anything as he stared at the little man before him.

Manny laughed. “Cuál es la materia, el gato consiguió su lengüeta?” (What’s the matter, cat got your tongue?)

“Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, it’s not going to work,” Lorenzo said, his voice week and thick.

“Come now Lorenzo,” Manny said. “Romperle es lo que deseo y lo que voy a conseguir. Ahora hay manera que usted está entrando poder al último aquí.” (Breaking you is what I want and what I am going to get. There is no way you’re going to last in here.)

Lorenzo met Manny’s eyes. “Usted no es nada sino un pequeño hombre débil que no puede hacer el trabajo mismo,” he grunted (You are nothing but a weak little man who can’t do the job himself). “Usted nunca me romperá .” (You will never break me)

“Veremos sobre ése,” he said. (We shall see about that)


Johnny shook his head as Manny returned to the living room. “You really had him shaking there,” he commented dryly.

“Lorenzo Alcazar believes he is above pain. That he has experienced enough of it and has risen above it. But I am going to show him how wrong he truly is.”

“And how do you intend to do that?” Johnny asked with interest. “We are going to make him believe he has lost those that he cares deeply about . . . starting with his little granddaughter.”


“Yes!” Spinelli threw both of his arms in the air in victory.

Jason looked up from the files he was going over. With all of this going on he needed to keep the organization running as smoothly as if Lorenzo were doing it himself. “You’re in?” he asked.

“The Jackal has been victorious,” Spinelli said, turning to face Jason. “Not only did the Jackal manage to decimate the Evil Demented One’s feeble security, he did it in a way that my amazing talents will not be detected.”

“Good,” Jason said. It was taking time, but he had gotten used to the strange way in which Spinelli spoke. He was becoming pretty adept at translating when needed. “I want it patched through to the handheld Stan dropped off. And make sure whatever I need is on there.”

“The Jackal will abide by your wishes,” Spinelli said, turning back to his work.

Jason rolled his eyes and pulled out his cell phone. “Max, where are you? Alright, as soon as you get back, meet me in the office – we’re in and now we need to get a plan in place, I want to move as soon as possible.”


Nothing was happening. Lorenzo had been expecting some kind of physical retribution from Manny, but there was nothing – yet. Lorenzo had no hopes that it would stop there, Manny was too crazy to stop now. To him, this was fun.

Lorenzo had remained on his feet, ready and waiting, so he was alert when the door opened again and Manny walked in.

“You are going to make this very interesting for me Alcazar,” Manny said with a smile. “The longer it takes to break you, the better. See, I can do this for a long time – can you?”

“I think I’ve already proven I can,” Lorenzo answered. He had nothing else to do, why not play along for a while – it would help to pass the time.

“So far,” Manny conceded. “But it won’t last. All men have a breaking point Alcazar, and I am going to enjoy finding yours.”

“I don’t see what you’re getting out of this Manny,” Lorenzo said almost conversationally. This bantering back and forth was helping him push aside his hunger pangs, his intense thirst and the pain in his arms and back. “I die, you still don’t win. My organization continues on as strong as ever. You know that.”

“True,” Manny agreed. “And rather smart of you, but I have my own plans on how to break down that wonderfully crafted idea of yours. By the way, did you enjoy the video clip? I always find it very entertaining.”

Lorenzo reigned in his emotions over being made to relive his daughter’s death. “I have relieved the events of my daughter’s death for years . . . there is nothing new you can do with that.”

Manny nodded. “Nice front you’re putting up there,” he said. “Remind me never to play poker against you. The point of the little show was to demonstrate that no one is safe. Not you. Not Jason. Not even that sweet little granddaughter of yours.”

Tensions pulled his muscles tight. “You’ll never be able to get close to her,” he said through gritted teeth.

“It’ll be fun to prove you wrong.” Then he left the room. Left Lorenzo Alcazar to wonder if his precious little Elaina would be okay.


“How are you really doing?” Lainey asked Skye after Elaina had left, under the watchful eye of Milo.

“Scared,” Skye confessed. “More for Lorenzo than for myself. And I know, I know I have to put my babies first, and I am, but I am being selfish. I want Lorenzo here. He promised he would be there through every step of this pregnancy and I intend on holding him to that.”

Lainey couldn’t help smiling. “With an attitude like that, I know you will,” she said. “You do know that everyone is doing everything they can to bring him home, right?”

Skye took a breath and nodded. “I know. And I trust and believe in all of them. I just want him home.”

“He will be,” Lainey said, hoping she was speaking the truth. A lot of emotional well-being depended on that.


“What do we have to work with?” Diego asked as he sat in the office with Max, Jason, Spinelli and Stan.

“Full access to Manny’s security system,” Stan began to explain. “Remotely, Spinelli and I can control where the cameras are moving and what they are seeing. We can also disable any alarm system without detection and open any doors locked with a security code. In short, that compound is ours.”

“Now we figure out our plan of action and head down to Miami. No delays. Once this starts, it goes all the way, no matter what. We come home with Lorenzo . . .”

“Or . . . or not come home at all?” Spinelli squeaked.

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