Without A Trace characters belong to Hank Steinberg and the folks with Jerry Bruckheimer
Television in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Productions. I'm
borrowing them for a while; no infringement is intended, and no profit is being
Thanks again to my betas, Carol and TAE for keeping the characters
true and the writing tight.
Viv stepped off the elevator, secretly pleased with herself
that she was able to get to work before eight-thirty. There were things on her
desk that she wanted to work on while the office was quiet. Hanging her coat in
the closet, she headed for her desk to drop off her purse before she got her first
cup of coffee for the day. The kitchenette had a good size refrigerator, microwave,
soda machine, and a smart coffee maker that brewed by the cup. It was a luxury,
but Van Doren lobbied for it and so there it was. Viv added a touch of milk to
her mug of coffee before walking back into the hallway. It was then that she noticed
Jack in his office. His tie was unknotted, suit jacket neatly folded over the
leather chair opposite him, and his shirtsleeves pushed to his elbows. She tapped
on his door and walked in.
"Hi," she ventured, setting her coffee on his desk.
He stood slowly and walked around the desk before drawing her into a tight
"What? Since when?"
"Her roommate called
Ritchie and Meg around one this morning when she got home from work."
back and cleared his throat before sitting down. Viv sat in the open chair and
looked at him.
"When did you get to the office?"
"Three or four, I guess.
Look, Viv, I have to recuse myself from the case. But I'd like to walk you through
what I know."
"Please," she replied, reaching for her coffee.
Jenkins, nineteen, sophomore at NYU. Left for class at eight-thirty yesterday
morning, never showed up for her shift at Virgin Records at four in the afternoon,"
"Did she show up for class?"
"I don't know. The roommate said there were
four phone messages from her boss at Virgin. She said he sounded very concerned.
This is the latest photo of Maggie."
Viv looked at the young African American
woman, her head shaved, her nose pierced, her beauty enhanced by the defiance
in her eyes.
"She's really grown up in the last year."
Jack said nothing
but rotated his head, feeling the pressure in his neck release as it popped. Viv
handed back the photograph and looked closely at her colleague.
"Jack, is there
something you're not telling me?"
"I had coffee with her last week."
Days Before Disappearance-Wednesday Jack drove up to the Knickerbocker Restaurant,
the rain pounding on the roof of his car. He knew the neighborhood and was fairly
positive that he wouldn't find a parking space. Abusing the privilege of being
an FBI agent, he double parked on University Place, put his FBI parking pass in
the window, turned off the engine, and switched on his emergency blinkers. Checking
the side mirror, he got out of the car and ran into the restaurant. Jack stood
for a moment, the raindrops sliding down his face, before he located Maggie sitting
in the front cafe area of the restaurant. He walked over to her table, leaned
over, and kissed her cheek.
"Hi, Uncle Jack," she replied
as she stood up and returned his kiss.
He pulled out the chair opposite her
and sat down, brushing his hair back. A waitress came up to the table and smiled.
"Would you like to see a menu, sir?"
"No, thank you, just a cup of coffee
would be fine."
"Okay," the waitress said, leaving them alone.
terrific. I haven't seen you since your parents' Christmas party."
Uncle Jack. You look tired, though."
"Well, thanks a lot," he said, smiling.
"Comes with the job, I guess."
"You know what I mean!"
"Yeah, I do. So what's
up? How's Billy? " Jack asked as the waitress set down his coffee.
up last month."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Maggie."
"Uncle Jack, I just need
to talk for a minute, okay?"
"Sure," he said, sipping his coffee.
of all, when I finish school for the year in two weeks, I'm moving to Chicago.
I start Northwestern in the fall."
"Wow, do your parents know?"
"Uncle Jack," she paused, trying to formulate her thoughts.
"I'm bi-sexual. I'm seeing a woman and she has been accepted to the Law program
She looked into his brown eyes, trying
to see if he was being honest.
"Thanks, I just don't know how I'm going to
Jack paused, looking at his hands as they fidgeted with his coffee
cup. He drew a breath to respond when his cell phone rang.
"Excuse me; Malone.
I'm at Ninth and University. Yeah, tell Danny I'll meet him in ten minutes. Thanks,
Sam. Bye," Jack said, slipping his phone back into his trouser pocket.
to go. Can I drop you anywhere?"
"No, thanks, Uncle Jack. I have to be at work
in an hour. I'll stay here and finish my coffee."
"Okay. Look, I'm glad you
called. And I'm glad you have someone in your life," Jack said, standing and setting
a twenty dollar bill on the table.
"Me, too. Please, don't say anything to
Mom and Dad. I'm seeing them for lunch after church on Sunday. I'm going to tell
them then," she said, standing as well.
"Sure, I understand. Take care of yourself,
Maggie," he said, embracing her.
"I will. Thanks again, Uncle Jack."
for my goddaughter," he said with a smile before heading out into the rain.
Viv looked at her friend and colleague, noting the fatigue and pain in his
"We'll find her, Jack."
"I know," he said, shifting his glance into
"It's almost nine, why don't you take a power nap?"
Vivian stood, picked up her almost empty coffee cup and the folder
before heading to the bullpen. Jack got to his feet and walked to the blinds that
seemed to define his office. He shut them all before stretching out on the couch.
Viv walked to the whiteboard and put
Maggie's photo up. Taking the black marker, she started to write in the timeline:
24 hours missing. She continued the timeline backwards. The rest of the
team walked up to her and studied the board.
"Maybe we should look into the
godfather," Martin speculated.
"The godfather is Jack."
I am the lead investigator and Jack has officially recused himself. You and Danny,
check out Billy the ex-boyfriend. Samantha, please check out the roommate. Elena,
I need you to start the basic research. I'm heading to see the parents," Viv instructed.
The agents took their paperwork and headed out to their assignments.
10:00 a.m. 25 hours missing
Jack woke up and looked around
at his office, feeling edgy. Standing, he put on his tie, buttoned his sleeves
and slipped on his jacket. He cleaned up his desk, left his office, and went to
the garage. Driving uptown, he arrived at his destination thirty minutes later.
He sat down, leaned forward, and placed his head in his hands.
The music jerked him from his thoughts and he looked up to the altar. The noon
mass had started and he had missed his chance for a talk. Slowly, he stood, pausing
for a moment before he walked to the rear of the narthex. He turned back to face
the altar one more time. Father Walker looked out onto his parishioners and saw
him. Shaking his head, Jack walked out of St. Germaine's.
"God be with you,
Jack," Father Walker said out loud, before continuing with his service.
the street, Jack stood still just to take a breath. He turned his phone back on
and walked to the car as his phone began to ring.
"Hi, it's Vivian.
Are you on your way back to the office? I need to go over a couple of things."
"Yeah, depending on traffic, I should get there in thirty minutes or so."
I'll see you then, bye,"
Unlocking his car, he lowered himself into
the seat and started the drive down the West Side Highway.
"William Sternlich?" Martin asked the young man behind the counter at Pop Burger.
"I'm Martin Fitzgerald and this is my associate, Danny Taylor, we're
from the FBI. We need to ask you some questions about Maggie Jenkins," he said,
flashing his badge at the blonde man behind the counter.
Billy looked at the
two men in suits before him and then removed his apron.
"I'm taking a break,
but I'll just be in the restaurant if you need me," He said to the other man at
Martin and Danny walked to the most remote table
and sat down as the young man came out from the kitchen.
"You and Maggie dated?"
"We were engaged, and then she broke it off."
"Tell us what
"I don't know. At first she started cancelling dates and then she
wouldn't return my calls. I just gave up."
"When was the last time you saw
"First week of March,"
"You seem pretty positive about that,"
"Yeah well, I was a Shakespeare buff in high school and it was the week before
the Ides of March. Look I have to get back to work. Is there anything else?" Billy
"No, thanks for your time,"
Martin and Danny walked to their
"There's more to that story," Danny remarked.
"Oh, yeah, he never asked
why we were here," Martin affirmed.
stood in front of a four story apartment building on Norfolk Street. She pressed
the buzzer for 3R. The door buzzed and she pushed her way through and began the
trek up the switchback stairs. A few minutes later, she stood in front of a drab
gray door with 3R on it. Taking a step back, she pulled out her ID and then knocked
on the door. Sam heard the noise of someone lifting the cap on the eyehole in
"Samantha Spade, FBI, I'm here to talk to you about Maggie,"
heard the chains being released as the dead bolt was thrown. The door opened and
Sam viewed a young Asian woman with a blue streak in her hair.
"Hi, I'm Shelly,"
"Come on in,"
They walked into the common area and Sam
looked around. Typical college student's apartment except for the paintings on
the wall. The paintings were large, colourful, and graphic depictions of naked
"Which is Maggie's room?"
Sam walked to the left
and opened the door. The room smelled vaguely of patchouli, or some other incense.
A hi-end PC sat on a desk, very neat, and very organized with post-its on its
perimeter. Walking to the bedside table, she looked at the books stacked on top;
Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Gertrude Stein. Tucked next to the phone, was a leather
phone book. Sam picked it up and thumbed through it.
"I'm going to have to
"Uhm, okay, as long as you bring it back,"
"Of course," Sam
said, walking to the closet.
She opened the door and looked at the clothes,
trying to get a sense of the person she was trying to find. Finally, she looked
at the photos on the dresser. She wasn't surprised when she saw Jack in a photo
but she was surprised at the relaxed smile on his face.
"Are these Maggie's
"Yes, that was taken at a party last Christmas. The man on the far
right is her Uncle Jack."
Walking into the living room, Sam sat
on the couch, looking at Shelly, who sat down next to her.
"Can you walk me
through again what happened last night?"
"Sure, I work at Crispo; it's a restaurant
on West 14th Street. My shift ends around midnight so I usually take the cross-town
bus and then transfer downtown. When I got home, Maggie wasn't here. I looked
at the machine, because I thought she might have spent the night at Vicki's house.
I played the machine but all the messages were from Bob, her boss at Virgin."
"I'm going to need to take the tape, too."
"Who is Vicki?"
Manzarelli, her partner."
"Is she an NYU student as well?"
where they met."
"Has Vicki called you?"
"No, at least if she did, she didn't
leave a message."
"Thanks for your help. In about a half an hour, a team is
going to come here to process the apartment and they will have to take Maggie's
"Shelly, if she's out there, we'll find her. Here's my
card, if you need to speak to me."
"Mrs. Jenkins, I'm Vivian Johnson of the FBI, we met at Jack's 40th birthday party,"
Viv said, holding up her ID.
"Yes, of course, I'm sorry, Vivian, a face out
"No problem at all. I do need to come in and ask you some questions."
They walked into the living room and Vivian noted that although
elegant, it was sterile. Sitting on the sofa, Vivian looked around, again.
have a beautiful home."
"Thank you; it was a wedding present from my parents.
Ritchie was in the academy and I was pregnant. He got a lot of ribbing from the
guys in his precinct."
"What area of law enforcement did he follow?"
disposal, that's what he did in the Army. But he's about to retire and start his
own security company."
"Good for him," Vivian said, her gaze drifting to family
photos on the upright piano.
She stood up and looked at them. In two of the
photographs, there was a young man, about fourteen, in the family group.
"That's Ricky," Meg said, walking to her side.
"Where is he now?"
"He...he committed suicide right after that photo was
taken, eight years ago."
"I'm very sorry."
"Thank you. Ritchie took it very
hard, first child and a boy, you know how it is. I sent him to work today; he
was so upset about Maggie."
"Jack had coffee with Maggie last week," Vivian
said, leading them back to the sofa.
"Did she talk to you on Sunday
at lunch after church?" Viv said sitting down.
Meg reached into her pocket
for a much-used handkerchief as tears started to stream down her face. She simply
nodded, sitting down next to Vivian.
"She told you that she was moving to Chicago
to be with her girlfriend,"
"How did your husband take the
Meg looked at her quickly, summoning her resolve.
"Ritchie was upset.
He liked Billy. Billy was pre-law and he and Maggie seemed like a good couple.
She didn't tell us why they broke up."
"All right, well thank you, Mrs. Jenkins,
you've been a great help."
"Please, call me Meg."
"Meg, I'll be in touch,"
Viv said, standing.
sat at her computer and shook her head. Maggie Jenkins seemed to have the perfect
life. Her father was a decorated police officer, her mother the daughter of a
socialite. With her trust fund, she never wanted for anything. She had inherited
money on her eighteenth birthday and shrewdly, as a business major would, reinvested
it. NYU professors had her in all of their classes on the day of her disappearance,
so Elena revised the timeline; 18 hours missing.
18.5 hour missing
Elena walked to the fax machine to pull the
phone records from Maggie's apartment as well as the cell phone. She relaxed into
a chair at the conference table as the rest of the team arrived.
Martin theorized, taking off his suit coat.
"Or the girl friend who hasn't
called at all," Sam said, putting her purse on her desk.
"Or her father, who
already dealt with bigotry in his marriage as a black man with a white wife, is
now dealing with his only child as a bisexual. There was a son, who committed
suicide," Viv said with a sigh.
"Really? His name?" Elena asked, walking to
the nearest terminal.
"I think it would be Richard Jenkins, Jr." Viv said,
walking up behind her.
"Yep, here it is, Richard Jenkins, Jr. son of decorated
police officer Richard Jenkins, was found dead from a drug overdose at his school,"
"We need to follow up on that," Viv directed.
"I'm on it," Elena said, printing
out the necessary information.
"Viv, Jack's back," Danny commented, seeing
his boss walk into his office.
"Thanks, Danny; would you go see her manager
at Virgin records? Sam, would you look into the girlfriend? Martin, would you
call Northwestern, and confirm that Maggie is to be attending there in the fall?"
The agents sat down at their desks as Viv walked in to see Jack. She sat opposite
him and waited until he brought his attention to bear on her.
"Hi, what did
"I need to ask you about Ritchie."
"When did you
"In basic training, in the army. He was trained as a bomb disposal
expert and I was just a soldier," Jack said with a sad smile.
"I doubt that
you were just a soldier."
"Perhaps not, but after six years in I realized that
I led men into battle. I was good at it. But I didn't like it."
"How long did
"So what happened when you came back to the
"I went home and called Ritchie. He was already married to Meg and
they had a two year old son, Ricky."
"What do you know about Ricky's death?"
Jack paused, before speaking again.
"I know that I received a phone call
at four in the afternoon to go up to their apartment and baby-sit Maggie because
Ricky was found at Hunter College High School with a needle in his arm. I don't
know anything more except to say that Ritchie was devastated; the first born and
his namesake. The fact that he was a devout Catholic didn't help."
I'm going to look at the rest of the evidence from the team."
"Thank you, Viv."
"You're very welcome, Jack."
walked out into the bullpen and looked at the other agents before sitting at her
desk and typing up her notes.
"Sam, here are the phone records for the apartment
and Maggie's cell phone," Elena said.
"Great, can you run them with me?"
me fifteen minutes to look up the information on the son, and I'll be right with
The intercom buzzed and Jack picked
up the phone.
"Agent Malone, there's a Sgt. Jenkins of the NYPD
here to see you."
"Thanks send him back," Jack said, hanging up the phone.
A tall black man in a suit with a police badge hanging from his pocket walked
into the bullpen.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for Jack Malone?"
"He's in that
office there, sir," Danny said, standing.
The man walked out
"That's Ritchie Jenkins, the father," Sam said.
"Yes, it is,
I'll be right back," Viv said, walking quickly to Jack's office.
hell is going on, Jack?" Ritchie asked.
"Relax, Ritchie, let us do our jobs,"
Jack said, standing.
Viv opened the door and walked in.
"I'm Special Agent
Vivian Johnson; I'm in charge of the investigation."
"Ritchie Jenkins, have
"Yes at Jack's 40th."
"Right, sure, I'm sorry," Ritchie said, rubbing
his neck with his hand.
"No need to be. Mr. Jenkins, Jack has had to recuse
himself from this case. If you're here to speak to him about the case, you need
to be speaking to me."
Ritchie looked at Jack and then at Vivian before sitting
in one of the chairs in front of Jack's desk. Jack sat down and observed his friend
as Viv began her interrogation.
"Mr. Jenkins, I know this is difficult, but
I need you to tell me what happened on Sunday,"
"Maggie came home with us after
church to have Sunday dinner. She was quiet and withdrawn, but I figured it was
because she was just about to take her final exams. Somewhere in-between the meatloaf
and the pie, I found out that my daughter was moving to Chicago to live with a
"How did you take the news?"
Ritchie stood and started pacing, formulating
his answer. Jack watched him quietly and then, suddenly stood up and left the
room. Vivian and Ritchie looked at Jack's back as he walked away down the hall.
"What's with him?"
"Maggie is your daughter, but his goddaughter. Now, Mr.
Jenkins, how did you take the news?"
p.m. 23 hours missing
"Vicki's coming in to talk to us," Sam said
"Northwestern has both Vicki and Maggie scheduled for first term
in the fall. Get this, both their tuitions were paid for by Maggie." Martin said,
"Richard Jenkins, Jr. was found dead of a drug overdose at Hunter
College High School, April of 1988. He left a suicide note blaming his parents."
Elena said, reading from her computer screen.
"That's heavy," Sam remarked.
"Yeah, well, Margaret Jenkins, Maggie's mother, was born into major money;
silver spoon all the way. She was an only child. Richard Jenkins, Sr. was born
in Brooklyn. His father is unknown and his mother was a cleaning lady."
an interesting combination. How did they meet?"
"I don't know."
up to the bullpen and stared at the whiteboard. Elena and Sam started to work
on the phone logs while Martin went back to his desk. A few minutes later, Viv
"Are you all right?" she asked, touching his arm.
fine. Was Ritchie any help?" Jack asked, turning to look at her.
you ask about the bruises on his hands?"
"Yes, I did. He said he got them boxing
at the department gym."
"He's lying to you."
"Yes, I know. Did you notice
"He couldn't look me in the eye. Viv, I've known Ritchie for
more than twenty years."
"What do you want to do?"
"I want to interrogate
"Jack, you've recused yourself," she reminded him.
Look, keep at him. But if you get stonewalled, then bring him in."
"No, not right now."
"Agent Spade? There's a Victoria
Manzarelli here to see you," an agent announced.
"The girlfriend," Viv remarked.
Jack nodded and walked back to his office, shutting the door, and closing his
eyes for a moment.
"Vicki, please," the small blonde woman in the chair opposite said,
her voice shaking.
"Vicki, I'm Samantha Spade. As I explained to you on the
phone, we're investigating the disappearance of Maggie Jenkins. When was the last
time you saw her?"
"Yesterday, we had lunch at Eddie's. They have a good jukebox."
Vicki said, smiling nervously.
"Was anything bothering her?"
the fact that her father slapped her around when she came out to her parents the
day before, no,"
"He hit her?"
"Yeah, we had to do some major makeup to
hide the bruise on her cheek."
"How did the two of you meet?"
"We met at
Jamba Juice on University. That's my job when I'm not studying."
"Oh, so you know Billy Sternlich?"
"Sure, he's number
one in our class."
"Did you know that Billy and Maggie were engaged?"
I knew they dated, but I didn't know it was that serious."
Sam looked at her,
watching as tears began to stream down her face.
"Thanks, you've been a big
help," Sam said, leaving her to be escorted off the floor by the agent outside
"Well, what did you get from
the girlfriend?" Viv asked as Sam walked into the bullpen.
"She's in the same
class as Billy Sternlich in pre-law. Claims she didn't know how serious Maggie's
relationship with him was."
"Maybe Maggie was hiding a lot more than her sexual
"Oh, and one more thing, she said Maggie's father hit her on Sunday:
"Sure," Sam replied, walking back to her
5:00 p.m. 25 hours missing
"Martin, didn't you say that the boyfriend hadn't been in contact with Maggie
since March?" Elena asked, staring at the phone list.
"Yes," he said, walking
up to her.
"Well, he called the house every day at nine a.m. and then the cell
phone at six p.m."
"But according to Maggie's schedule, she's either in class
or at work during that time."
Vivian's phone rang.
"Johnson, yes?" she said,
writing on her pad, "got it, thanks, Danny."
Hanging up the phone, Viv turned
to the team.
"That was Danny. Maggie's boss at Virgin records had some interesting
things to say."
"Oh?" Sam asked.
"She was a trustworthy employee, liked
by her co-workers, never late, always pleasant. And she put out."
apparently, she was sleeping with her boss. At least she was until she broke up
with him two months ago."
"Before she broke up with Billy," Martin remarked.
"But around the same time she hooked u p with Vicki," Sam pointed out.
do we go now?" Martin asked.
"Elena, keep digging into the phone logs. Martin,
bring Billy in. Sam, you and I are going to go see Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins." Viv
Anne stood outside Jack's office
and watched him for a moment before she knocked on the glass door and walked in.
Looking up, he smiled at her as he stood up and walked around his desk to hug
"I understand that you've recused yourself from the Jenkins case," she
said as he pulled back.
"Yeah, she's my goddaughter."
"I'm sorry, Jack."
He turned and walked away from her, pausing before he spoke.
you stick around tonight?"
"Sure, what's going on?"
"I'm not sure, call
it a hunch, but I think Viv's gonna have this whole thing figured out soon."
up to him, Anne carefully put her hand on his shoulder, turning him to face her.
"What do you know?" she asked, her eyes searching his face.
He looked to
the floor taking a couple of deep breaths.
"I know she's dead and I think one
of my oldest friend's might be involved."
6:00 p.m. 26 hours missing
"Agent Johnson, this is a
surprise," Meg said, standing in the doorway.
"Yes, Mrs. Jenkins. My colleague,
Agent Spade, and I have a few more questions for you."
"Who is it, Meg?"
Johnson and Agent Spade."
Ritchie Jenkins walked up behind his wife and stared
hard at the two women on his doorstep.
"Did you find her?"
"No, but we need
to ask you a few more questions."
He sighed but relented, walking back into
the apartment. Sam looked around, taking in her surroundings.
"You lied to
me today," Viv said, facing the taller man.
and swelling on your knuckles were from you hitting your daughter."
on the sofa and started to cry. Ritchie remained on his feet, looking between
his weeping wife and the two agents before him.
"Did her girlfriend tell you
"As a matter of fact, she did."
"Yes, I lost my temper and backhanded
her, once. I swear to God, I just hit her once," Ritchie said, sitting next to
Sam watched the chemistry between the two as Ritchie broke down,
Meg drawing him to her, rocking softly. Quietly, the two agents left the apartment.
"I believe him," Sam remarked.
7:00 p.m. 27 hours missing
Jack stepped out of the kitchenette
with a fresh cup of coffee, only to see the back of Billy Sternlich as he was
led into an interrogation room. Following the group, Jack stood outside in the
viewing room, reaching over to turn the sound up in the small room. As Martin
began his interrogation, Jack reached for the phone on the wall and dialed Anne's
"Hi, it's me. Uhm, I need you in Interrogation
Room Four, please."
"Oh, okay, I'm on my way,"
"Thanks," Jack said, hanging
up the phone.
Loosening his tie, he unbuttoned the top button of his shirt
and started to listen.
Danny and Martin sat at the interview table, their backs
to the two-way glass pane.
"Billy, there are a couple of inconsistencies in
"Yeah, really. You've been stalking Maggie Jenkins
since you broke up; calling her twice a day."
"What? You're crazy."
are the phone logs from that time period," Danny said, showing him the document.
Billy ran his hand through his hair and then over his face.
"I called but
I called to speak to Vicki. She's in my pre-law class."
"Everyday for almost
five minutes every phone call? What did you talk about?" Martin asked.
we have our first exam next week so we talked about that."
"Why didn't you
ask us why were asking about your ex-fiancee?" Danny asked.
we spoke to you at Pop Burger you didn't seem too surprised."
"I was in shock,"
Danny and Martin looked at each other in amazement. Slowly Jack removed his
jacket and tie. He took his shield and gun, and laid them on the table. Anne slipped
into the room and stood in a corner, watching the interrogation. Danny and Martin
were silent, staring at the young man in the chair, when the door flew open. Everyone
looked up in surprise.
"Yes, Billy, remember me? I'm Maggie's godfather,
and I'm here to ask you some questions." Jack said, standing at the end of the
table before slowly sitting in the chair.
"What about? We
are here, Billy, because your ex-fiancee has gone missing. But you knew that,
didn't you? You knew that because you and Vicki were in it together. How did it
happen, Billy? I mean, after Maggie embarrassed you by leaving you for a woman;
that must have made you feel shitty, right?"
"No, I mean, yes."
to the phone and called Elena to have Vicki returned to them.
"Which is it,
Billy? You wanna know what I think? I think that you and Vicki are in this together.
You needed to redeem your manhood, and Vicki needed a meal ticket. But what went
wrong? Did you have a three way and discover you liked it?" Jack asked, his volume
"NO! That's not what happened." Billy said, standing.
Billy sank into the chair.
"It was her idea."
"Yeah, she said she'd help me embarrass Maggie. I swear, that's what happened."
"Tell us exactly," Danny intoned.
"Okay, okay, it all started one day in
March. I was leaving my Constitutional Law class, and I saw Maggie talking to
another woman and they ended up in a kiss. Two weeks later, I asked the woman
out for a coffee after class and found out that she was Maggie's girlfriend. I
lost my temper; I guess and told her that Maggie was my ex-fiancee. Then she got
angry because she didn't know that we were that serious. One thing led to another
and she came up with the plan."
"That's an interesting story. If I understand
this correctly, she was jealous of your relationship with Maggie and you were
angry that Maggie left you for a woman. How could embarrassing Maggie help either
of you?" Danny asked.
"Vicki was going to video tape it and put it on the web."
Jack stared at Billy. After five minutes, he thought he understood what had
"Where is she?" Jack asked, his voice low and menacing.
Jack stood and picked Billy up, slamming him against the wall.
and Vicki were done, what did you do with her?"
"Jack, cut it out," Martin
Martin and Danny both had hands on Jack, trying to pull him away from
the other man as Anne left the room.
"WHERE IS SHE?" he shouted, moving his
forearm under Billy's chin.
"Manhattan Mini Storage, 17th and the West Side
Highway, sixth floor, aisle four, unit ten," Billy said, as his face started to
turn from red to blue.
Jack released him and ran out of the room. Viv and Sam
watched Jack fly out of the interrogation room to retrieve his things from the
monitoring room. He looked at them briefly.
"I'm driving," Sam announced as
they headed for the elevator and then the garage.
8:00 p.m. 28 hours missing
They pulled up and flashed
their badges to the attendant who escorted them to the locker.
"Open it," Jack
"I don't have the key. Only the tenant has the key."
Sam called, pointing to a Jamba Juice cup in the garbage container.
back," Jack said, pointing his gun at the lock.
The sound of the shot was magnified
by the concrete floors and the low walls of the lockers. He wrestled with the
lock, ignoring the flared metal as it cut into his hands. Finally he was able
to open the door. Maggie was lying nude on the floor. She had a black eye and
several bruises on her body. Running to her, he felt for her pulse.
alive, call 911."
Jack removed his coat and covered her body with it and got
more comfortable on the floor leaning against a cardboard box, holding her hand,
as tears slowly trickled down his face.
"How is she?" Martin asked as Viv and Sam walked
in to the bullpen.
"She'll need some counseling, but there are no long-lasting
physical effects." Viv answered.
"And Jack?" Danny asked.
"We left him at
the hospital," Sam replied.
"What did Vicki tell you?" Vivian asked Elena as
she walked in with a fresh cup of coffee.
"She did nothing, it was all Billy."
"Yeah, right," Martin stated.
"Look I have someone tossing both apartments.
If there are images out there of what they did to Maggie, we'll find them," Danny
"Jack?" a voice called.
looked up and saw Anne walking down the corridor towards him. Sitting next to
him, she took his bandaged hand. He squeezed her hand gently and leaned his head
back against the wall.
"Is she going to be all right?"
"It'll take some
time but I think so," he whispered.
"Where are her parents?"
"Then let's go home."
Sitting up, Jack looked at her.
need to do one thing, please."
"Okay, Jack. I'll meet you at the apartment."
Jack leaned over and kissed her on her forehead before getting to his feet.
She walked with him to the elevator and then down to the garage. He kissed her
again before walking to his car. As he unlocked his car, he turned on his phone.
Sitting with one leg in and one leg out of the car, he dialed a number.
"Jack? I was hoping you'd call."
it's late, but I really need to talk."
"I always welcome your visits. Please
come to the side entrance."
"Thank you, Father."
"You're welcome, Jack."
Pulling his other leg into the car, Jack started the engine and headed up to
St. Germaine's from St. Vincent's Hospital.
Jack parked the car and walked to the side entrance.
Pressing the buzzer, he waited, hearing nothing. Suddenly the door opened and
Father Walker stepped back from the doorway.
"So, are we talking, Jack?" Father
Walker said, closing the door behind him.
Jack looked at him, and then looked
at his surroundings. He was in a small foyer. Walking through it, he discovered
a chapel; its walnut stained walls rich in colour and carved with different images
from the bible. Continuing in, with Father Walker softly walking behind him, Jack
sighed and sat in the second pew. Father Walker sat in the pew in front and waited
"Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been over thirty years
since my last confession."
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