George Carver High School – Monday Morning –
Penelope looked up at the young man’s outstretched hand. She was thirsty and hungry but without her hands she had very little chance of accepting the offer without help. He had already removed her gag and for that she was thankful.
“Can you untie my hands please?”
“Can I trust you not to try anything?”
“Yes, I won’t try anything.”
“Good because I would hate to make a phone call to my brother.”
“I just want something to drink, that’s all.”
Corey stared at his guest for a moment wondering if he could trust her. Then reluctantly, he removed her bindings and handed her the bottle of water.
“Thank you,” then “may I go to the bathroom?”
“You’re pushing it, lady.”
“I promise I won’t try anything.”
Corey gently grabbed her arm and led her from the dark basement and down a hallway to the girl’s restroom.
Nodding, Penelope pushed the door open. Her hands were shaking, and her eyes roamed the small room in hopes of finding another way out.
Corey was having second thoughts about his sister’s plans. He’d been loyal and she’d convinced him that he owed her, but he wondered when his debt would be paid in full. He didn’t owe her this, not even close. Still, he knew that he would not cross her or Paolo. So, when the woman stepped out of the restroom, he led her back to the basement.
Home of Savannah Hayes –
Savannah opened the door without looking through the peephole. She assumed it was Della and she was surprised when it was not.
“Can I come in?”
Savannah stepped aside to let the agent in.
“Have you found Derek and Penelope?”
“No Savannah we haven’t but I think you can help us find them.”
“I’ve told you everything I know.”
“How long have you had a nanny?”
“A nanny? What does all of this have to do with my nanny?”
“Please, just answer the question.”
“It’s been almost nine months now. I needed more help, and I thought it would be best.”
“What can you tell me about her?”
“Her name is Della Manson and I found her through an agency that one of the nurses suggested.”
“What else do you know about her; family, friends, where she’s from.”
“She’s married, she came from a pretty rough upbringing, look what’s this have to do with anything?”
“I’m not sure yet but it could be a very important piece to the puzzle.”
“She’s young and she’s been a godsend. There’s no way she’d have anything to do with Derek’s disappearance or Penelope.”
“Are you two close?”
“Yes, I guess we are. I mean I don’t have any family and she’s been like a sister to me. I’ve confided in her.”
“About your marriage, about Derek?”
“Yes, yes I have.”
“So, you’ve made it clear that you want to reconcile.”
“I have, yes definitely, but again, she...”
“I’d appreciate it if you would not share our conversation with her, not yet anyway.”
“Della and I don’t have any secrets, she’s like family.”
“Then if that’s the case, help me eliminate her as a suspect and do not let her know that we’ve spoken about her.”
BAU Headquarters –
“Della Manson is twenty-seven and lived most of her childhood in and out of foster homes. She stayed in the home of Chester and Mabel Jackson from the time she was fourteen until she aged out of the system at eighteen. While in the Jackson home, she became close with two younger boys who she took under her wing and their names are Corey Stevenson, and Paolo Jimenez,” Kevin began.
Pictures of the three appeared on the large white board in front of the room.
“Where are the brothers now?” Hotch asked.
“They live here in Quantico with Della and her husband Jason.”
JJ joined the others taking her seat near the head of the table.
“Savannah doesn’t believe her nanny is involved and if she does then she’s a hell of an actress.”
“Need I remind you of the baby-gate,” Reid added sarcastically.
“We need to find these two brothers,” Dave began.
“Yes, and fast,” Hotch urged. “Kevin, I need the address...”
“Already sent to your tablets.”
“Good work, Lynch,” said Hotch.
“Don’t thank me, just bring Penelope home; bring them both home.”
Della spent the next few hours getting things ready for Derek’s and Savannah’s reconciliation. She knew how much Savannah loved taking DJ to the park and there was a secluded corner there where Derek had proposed three years ago. So, it was perfect; very few people knew about the spot so she was confident that setting up the romantic scene would go unbothered.
Della stepped back and admired her handiwork. She was exhausted but the effort was worth it knowing that in less than an hour, the woman she admired and loved would find her smile again. Now it was time to meet with the groom-to-be.
Abandoned Skid Row Building –
The door opened and Paolo stepped inside. Derek watched the man approach as he tossed a package next to him.
“You need to clean up, you have a date,” said Paola glancing at the package of wet wipes.
Paolo removed the bindings around Derek’s wrist then stepped away.
“Just get yourself cleaned up; Della will be here soon.”
“I want to talk to Penelope.”
“Look man you’re not in any position to make demands, now clean yourself up!”
Just before Paolo sent his foot flying into Derek’s midsection, the door opened again.
“Wooo!” Della closed the door behind her, “you’ve done enough damage to our guest already. We want him at his best when he reunites with his family today.”
Paolo shrugged and stepped away while Della kneeled in front of Derek. She could see the rage in his eyes, and it made her feel confident knowing that there was nothing he could do to her without Penelope suffering the consequences.
“Hand me his phone,” she reached back toward her brother.
Reluctantly, Paolo dug the phone from his pocket and handed it to her.
“Now, I hope by now you know that I have no problems calling my brother and having him put a bullet in that cute little blondes head.”
“Please I already told you I’d do what you asked.”
“Good, very good. Now, you are going to call Savannah and apologize for leaving her and DJ. Then you’re going to ask her to meet you in that special place in the park. Then, you’re going to tell her that you love her and that you want your family back.”
BAU Headquarters –
“Hotch, I have the information you wanted on Della Manson and her brothers,” Kevin shouted from the laptop.
“Go ahead, Lynch.”
“After the three aged out of foster care, Della has worked primarily as a waitress and most recently as a nanny; nothing remarkable about those assignments. Her brother Paolo has been in and out of trouble with a violent rap sheet. He’s unemployed right now and on parole.”
“What else?” Hotch interrupted.
“The youngest brother, Corey has worked various jobs, the last at George Carver High school where he was the head janitor until the city shut the school down. The building has been abandoned since.”
“Hold on,” JJ began, “an abandoned high school, he was the janitor and if the city shut the school down and forgot about it...”
“Great place to hold hostages,” Dave added.
“Corey may still have the keys and access to the entire campus,” added Reid.
“Kevin, I need the plans of the school, we may not have time to search the entire campus,” Hotch ordered.
“I’m on it!”
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!