Chapter Twelve

Darting my eyes through the chaos, I search for her. I search for her knowing I won’t find her. I search hoping her last message to me was a lie. The look on her face, the movement of her body, something was wrong. Terribly wrong. “Where is Sam?” I bark, drawing everyone’s attention to me. I don’t wait for an answer when I can’t locate Sam, I head for the door.   

“Stone Cold. Oh, Stone Cold, I need to speak to you at once. It’s of the utmost importance.”

Scattered, Spinelli trips over himself trying to get to me. I see the years haven’t changed him.  Barely registering him, I blow right past him. I know he is there, but I don’t hear his word. My vision is tunneled,  hearing is tunneled, my body is tunneled. Sam was all I could see.

Reaching the front door, Spinelli steps in front of me. “We need to speak at once,” Spinelli whispers. Staring at him, I see the desperation, it drips off him like sweat on a hot day. My attention is all he wants, and I know what he has to say is essential, but it’s not about Sam.

Pushing him out of the way, Carly grabs me, pulling my attention towards her. “Jason, what is going on? What did Jordan want with you?” Surveying the room, Carly looks around, lowers her voice and whispers, “She was smug as hell. I hate when Jordan has the upper hand. Did Diane hand her, her ass? What was this all about? Jason? Jason, are you listening to me?”

Sonny interrupts from the other side of the room, “Carly give the man a moment to breathe and let Spinelli talk to him.” He’s casually seating at one of the desks, half leaning on it. He’s dressed in designers from head to toe. Looking up at me, he nods letting me know he always has my back. He could see I was preoccupied. He could see I was somewhere else. He could see I needed saying.

“No, Sonny. Something is going on –

“Where’s Sam?” I cut through the noise. “ She was just here. Where did she go?” Pulling away from Carly, and brushing her and Spinelli aside, I search the squad room one last time in vain. “Did she say anything? Was she alone? Why did you guys let her leave alone?” Pacing the squad room, I can feel the wrong floating in the air. I can sense the shift in security my family once had. My heart fills with guilt. I should have never left Sam once I got her. I should have made her stay. I should have made her understand. Immersed in my own thoughts, I don’t hear Spinelli talking until he touches my shoulder, stopping me, grounding me.

“Um, Jason, it’s of great importance that I speak with you post haste.” Circling to be face to face with me, Spinelli pushes papers in my face. “I’m afraid Fair Samantha came as went, expeditiously. She didn’t speak words to us, she didn’t even acknowledge us but knowing Fair Samantha she would want you to know and want you to hear what I have to say.” Pushing the papers further in my face, Spinelli doesn’t let me sidestep him this time.

Looking him square in the eye, “No Spinelli, whatever it is can wait.” I knock the papers out of his hands, push him to the side harder this time, again heading for the door. What Spinelli wants doesn’t matter, he couldn’t possibly know what Sam would want right now. He didn’t see her face. He didn’t look in her eyes or hear her voice. He doesn’t know she needs me.

“No Jason. This can’t wait. It’s everything. It’s the holy grail. It’s the light in the dark.  It’s the right to my wrong, and it must be addressed now.” Scrambling to gather his papers, Spinelli tries to sort them out, he tries to find the truth in the mess. “Jason, please listen.”  Looking back to see me leaving, Spinelli hurries to halt my forward process. “You want to hear what I have found.”

Grabbing Spinelli, pinning him to the wall, “Is it about Sam?” I rage in his face. It’s not what I want, but my instinct overrides all rational judgment. I feel in my gut something is wrong with Sam. And, no one, friend or foe will stop me. I can’t hear Spinelli, I don’t want to listen to him. The only voice I can hear is Sam’s, and it’s saying, I need you, Jason. Your family needs you.

I always loved Spinelli’s fight and will. Pinned against the wall, he still tries to shove the information down my throat like a mother force-feeding her children medicine to heal their sick bodies.  “Well um, no not particularly.” Shoving the papers into my face again. “ If you let me explain, you would understand. It affects everyone.” Wiggling out of my grip, Spinelli pleads with me. “Please, my friend just listen to me.”

Seizing the papers from him, I throw them aside once again.  “I’m sorry, Spinelli. This can wait. Sam can’t.” Placing Spinelli on the side of me, I retrieve my buzzing phone and move away from the crowd. Quivering at the sight of Sam’s name on my screen, I unlock my phone to listen to the voicemail from her. Collecting my thoughts, I place the phone to my ear as her voice rings through calming my raging heart. Listening to her words, I feel her pain, I feel her hurt.

“Jason, Hi. Um, it’s me, Sam. I ah, I. Um, you’re locked up, and I don’t know why or when you’ll be released. And um, I need you. I mean I need your help. I can’t tell you like this. I should have told you from the beginning. I should have… A lot of things happened that I shouldn’t have. This is all my fault, and I thought I could fix it by myself, but I need you. I tried to wait but I can’t. He has.” beep! The call abruptly ends.

Drowning out all the outside noise, closing my eyes, concentrating on Sam’s last words; I picture her face, her desperate eyes, and her quivering mouth, mouthing I need you. Her voice is sweet and calm. To the untrained ear, you wouldn’t know she was scared but I know Sam, and I know she is putting on a brave face. For me, the kids or herself, I know, Sam will fight. Shaking the image from my mind, “Sam.” I mouth, heading for the door.

“Jason, wait. What is going on?” Grabbing me before I can escape, Carly looks upon me with horror reflecting back on her. “What’s wrong? What was that phone call about?” Carly hammers on. She loves me as only she can, and I know her questions come from fear for me and under normal circumstances, I would take the time to calm her down, but now isn’t the time. Snatching myself away, I look through Carly. “I have to find Sam. Can you tell me anything about Sam?”

“Sam? She came and left. She didn’t speak to us. She went in there with you, and I don’t recall her leaving. I was focused on getting you out.” Grabbing my arm, I know Carly can feel the nerves radiate through me. My entire body is on fire, giving a slight hum to my skin. “What’s wrong Jason?” Carly ask.  “I can tell something is wrong. Let me help, let us help.” She reaches behind her to Sonny without taking her eyes off of me.

Ignoring Calry, nodding at Sonny, I finally leave the PCPD in search of the heart that beats out of my chest. Spinelli follows after, papers trailing behind him. “Jason, Jason wait. You need me, I can help.” He cries.

Grabbing Spinelli before he can leave, Carly too knocks the papers out of his hand, “Spinelli, tell me everything you know. Something is going on, Jason needs me, and you said you know what’s going on.”

Spinelli looks from the Carly to a leaving Jason. “I don’t know where he’s going or why he needs to find Sam.

“But you said,” Carly says.

“No, I said I know what happened to Jason missing years. I don’t know what could be laboring Jason now.


Racing over to the Penthouse, I replay Sam’s message over and over again. I play it on repeat like it’s my favorite record. Her voice sounds so sweet, so casual, so breathless; like a mother’s lullaby on a baby’s ear. I know she’s trying to tell me something without telling me something. I can hear the panic she’s trying to mask; the fear she trying to hide. I analyze what she said, how she said; trying to decipher any secret message in her words. I’m positive there’s more she wanted me to know.

Arriving at the Penthouse, I barely get my truck into park before I’m out and running for the entrance. Every minute that ticks by I feel the danger to my family, mounting. Racing up the 14 flights of stairs, trying to forget the regrettable night Elizabeth did this very thing in the dark, I transform myself into who I need to be. I become the person people fear, the person people need. I transform into Stone Cold.  With my hand on my gun, I enter the 14 floors, cracking the door to the hallway, I scan the area. The hall is dark and silent, giving me a surreal feeling. This place used to be home, and now it feels like a prison holding my loved ones hostage.

Letting my gun guide me, I move towards the Penthouse door to find it slightly ajar.

“Sam?” I call into the house. “Are you here?” Pressing my gun against the cracked open door, I listen for signs of life. “Sam?” I call out again only hearing the echo of my own voice against the silence.

Swinging the door wide, everything is still.

Stepping into the house, I feel everything and nothing hit me all at once. All I wanted was to walk into my home and find my family waiting for me. I dreamed about it, prayed for it and now to actually be here; to be home. It wasn’t what I imagine. Walking into a dark, cold house felt like God was playing a cruel joke on me. I felt like a foreigner in my own home as if I didn’t belong.

Gliding through the main level of the house, my eyes are alert, and my gun is ready. “Sam?”

The house smelled like her; flowerier and sweet, with a hint of lavender. My favorite. The whole house smelled like she just finished bathing. I use to love coming home to this smell. To her fragrance. Her essence surrounds me, replacing the air in my lungs with her sweet scent. Yearning for her from my core, I just want to be wrapped in her everything.

Circling the room, I take it all in. I take her in. Filling my lung with her sweet scent. My soul yearns for hers, it aches for it’s missing piece.

Moving through the house, my body tenses up, making me feel out of place. The living room was how I remember it. The furniture was different, but the set up was the same. I remember the pictures on the mantle, more have appeared over the years, pictures of people I don’t recognize but the ones I cherished the most are still there. Emily and Lila. My beautiful wife. My sweet Michael as a baby, and one I’ve never seen but remember taking it like it was yesterday.

Brushing my fingers over Danny’s face, I slowly pick up our first family photo. Our only family photo to date. I remember Sam’s words like they are being whispered in my ears at this exact moment. “Our first family photo.” She was so happy that day. I was so happy that day. We were a happy family that day. “Say cheese!” Her smile, I can see it. Her joy, I can feel it. My son in my arms, Sam by my side, smiles on all our faces; it was everything I feared but wanted. It was everything I still wanted. Remembering us together was as real to me now as it was all those years ago. Closing my eyes, I let the memory sweep me away to happier times. “They’ll probably going to be a million more.”  A promise never fulfilled. A photo of a family that never got a chance to be.

I wanted for just a moment to be back there. To be in that moment the three of us alone, happy, and smiling. I wanted to go back to that moment and never leave them. I wanted to go back and live in the love and light forever.

Placing the picture where I found it and pushing the memories away, I continue my journey through the past.

Spinning on my heels at the sound of noise, I take in the whole room. Memories of what was fight with what-if thoughts. I remember the life shared here. I remember the life that was planned here. I remember when this was all mine. When this was my home when she was my wife when this was my family when this was our future. The here and now might look different, but the bones were still the same. Our hearts were always the same.

Seeing no sign of life or a struggle, I move up the stairs to the second floor.

Gun-armed and ready, I let it take the lead, guiding me through my past. Leading me on my journey into the unknown. “Danny? Sam? Is anyone here?” I whisper taking every step, as gently as possible. Only able to hear my beating heart, silence surrounds me again. Silence has always been my friend, but now it threatens everything I love, making it my worst enemy.

Rounding the corner of the second-floor landing, the anxiety in my chest builds as I get closer and closer to the master bedroom. Our bedroom. The last place we were a family together. The only place we were connected as a family before everything went horribly wrong.

Looking down the long hallway, everything feels foreign. There are more doors than I remember, the walls have been recently painted, and are liter with pictures. The hardwood floors are now carpeted, and baby gates block every opening. The life I once lived here was long gone. It was more than gone, it was stolen, disassemble and given to the highest bidder.

Moving through a life I never got to live, I try the first door closest to the stairs. “Sam, are you here?” Pushing the door open, no longer letting my gun guide me, I enter the shattered room.

I don’t recognize the room we once shared as husband and wife. I don’t recognize anything about it but the open safe. Stepping further into the room, I hear a crack under the weight of my foot. Looking down, I find Sam smiling face in all white looking back at me. She holding flowers and lighting up the room with her bright eyes. She looks beautiful and peaceful.

Her smile lifts my spirits, reminding of her inner warrior.

Lifting my foot to reveal the full destroyed picture, my heart shutters at the imposter holding my wife. Picking up what was left of the photo, I take in the reality of what this photo is and what it means. Closing my eyes, I try not to think about the moments that transpired before it was taken. I try not to think about the vows that were exchanged. The pledge to love and honor. The I do’s followed by you may kiss the bride. I try not to think about my wife becoming someone else’s.

Throwing the picture at the wall, I move further into the warzone room. Destroyed, Sam’s life the past five years clutter the floor, making it hard to move.

Staring at the bed we once shared, her essence hits me out of nowhere, surrounds me again, transporting me back to our last moments together.  “Jason I can’t believe this is happening. I love you so much.”  Sam’s voices echoed through the room like a trapped ghost. “Sam” I whisper, circling the room for signs of her. “This ring is never coming off my finger ever again.” Her voice nibbles at my ear.

Shaking her ghost off of me, I head for the closet.

The walk-in closet is the only thing normal about the whole room, except an entire side is empty. My side. My side of the closet is vacant, untouched and abandoned. It’s like it been waiting this whole time for me to return and make everything right again.

Moving deeper into the closest, I brush against her clothes. The smell of her is at its strongest, it’s most potent in here. Her scent was aimless and trapped, waiting to breathe life back into me. Taking a moment to breathe her in, I realize how much I miss her. How much I need her. How much of me is her. Grabbing one of her dresses and holding it to my nose, I take all of her in. Breathing her into my soul, transporting me back to our first night back together. I can feel her touch tickle my skin. I can taste her skin on the length of my tongue.

“God, please let her be okay, please let them all be okay. You didn’t bring me all this way just to lose them now.”  Praying to the heavens, I make my way out the closet and back into the war zone.

Standing in the threshold, examining the scene one last time, the memories hit me again. “Even through everything, I never stop. All those what if’s are coming true now.”  Guiding me out of the room, our last night together, our only night together wraps me in its warmth.

Nothing was the same about this house of mine, nothing but the smell of her.


Hugging the wall, I move back into the hallway, descending further into the house, further into my unlived life.

I knock down one of the many pictures lining the walls. It’s a baby picture of Danny. He’s smiling right at the camera and throwing leaves in the air. You can tell he’s happy just being him. He looks so much like me. It’s crazy to think I made him and didn’t know. It’s crazier to think he doesn’t even know.

Slowly moving further down the hallway, I stop at each picture on the wall. The left side was Danny, and the right side was Scout. The left side had considerably more photos. Sam document everything. Walking the hallway was like having an unguided tour of my son’s life. From birthdays to life-changing events, it was all here. His first step to his first day at school. His whole life a picture movie waiting for me to view.

Taking more time than I intended in the hall, I find my way to the room that was supposed to be Danny’s. I flip the switch to discover a destroyed pink room but not my pink room. This room was different. It was made for a little princess, not a grown one.  Unicorns and rainbow lace the pink painted walls, a canopy hangs from the ceiling, marking the spot where her crib once stood. This was Sam’s daughter’s room. This was where Emily Scout lived. This was the room she always wanted for the little girl that always escaped her.

Stepping away from the room, I move deeper into the house. Eye’s still alert, gun steady.

Reaching the next room, I don’t have to guess what this room is now. A homemade sign, probably made by Danny with the help of Sam hanged from the door. The sign read ‘Danny’s Room.’ His room, one of my favorite rooms in the house, my old weight room. Stepping into his room, I’m not surprised that it too is a mess. I don’t register the mess, to me this was Danny’s life. A life I never got to see blossom.

Moving to the center of the mess, I take my place with his things. The world falls away, leaving me alone with the son I never knew I had.

I wanted to know everything, what he liked, what he loved and what he didn’t. Did he like adventures like his parents? Was he bold and in your face like Sam or quiet and subtle like me? Did he like motorcycles or cars. What was his favorite color? Did she read to him about the world? Did he love his life? Was he happy? I wanted to know about every second of every day of his life. I wanted to know it all.

Picking up a book, one of my many questions were answered. Titled South America, the book was worn out at the seams. It eased my anxiety and calm my guilt to know they had moments together, with me in the middle.

Holding the book close, fighting the tears, I pull out my cell phone and press a button. “Spinelli, I need you, now. Come to the penthouse.” Hanging up the phone, I throw it to the side, continuing my quest to know more about my son.

Touching everything I can of his, I imagine what he did with it. How he played with it. What his favorite was? His whole life was in this room, and I knew nothing about it. I knew nothing about my own son, and he didn’t know me. The pain of the truth is indescribable.

Haunted and tortured by a life never lived, I muster the strength to leave Danny’s room.

Roaming through the rest of the house, I hear a noise coming from the first floor; pulling my gun out, I slowly make my way towards the sound.  I know it can’t be Spinelli, the kid moves fast but not that fast. Circling around the corner of the stairs, I spot her before she can spot me, quietly as I  can, I creep down the stairs, locking the women in my sight, “Who are you?” I startle her. Turning quick on her heels, she becomes terrified at the sight of my gun. Pulling her hands up in a surrender pose, the woman screams while slowly backing away from me.

Seeing the fear in her eyes, I mimic her movements, I put both hands up, signaling to her I mean no harm. Tucking the gun safely into my waistband, I move further away from her. “I won’t hurt you. I just want to ask you some questions.” I stated as slowly as possible not to come off any more frightening than I already had.

“Who are you?” She screams like she was unsure any sound would come out her mouth.

“I’m um I’m looking for Sam and the kids,” I explained unsure of how to introduce myself. I don’t know her, and I know she doesn’t know me as Jason. Already scaring her with my gun, I didn’t want to scare her with my true identity.

“You’re him aren’t you?” She asked easing the tension in her shoulders. “You’re the man that saved Sam?”

“Yea that’s me.” Relieved that she is no longer scared, I move a little closer to her. “Do you know where Sam and the kids are?” I ask.

Looking at me like she had seen a ghost, the woman ignores my question. “Your face.” Moving in closer to me, reaching her hand out like she wants to touch me, “I’ve seen it before. In Danny’s baby book.” Looking back at the mantle, lowering her hand, she chuckles a little. “You’re the daddy before daddy got a new face or at least that’s how Danny describes it.”

“He calls me daddy?” I ask, losing focus of my true purpose. “He knows I’m his daddy?”

Hearing the desperation in my voice, the woman steps back taking me, making a point to watch my hands. “Who are you? Why are you here?”

“I already told you, I’m here for Sam and the kids. Who are you?”

With a shaky voice, she whispers, “I’m the nanny. Sam asked me to come to get the kids.”

Leaping out if my skin, “You’ve talked to Sam? What did she say?” I slightly jolt towards her causing her to jump back into the chair.

Moving closer to the woman, I can see she is scared again. Knowing Sam and the kids don’t have the time for me to coddle the answers out of her, I ask you again “What did she say?”

“Please, I don’t know anything. Please, don’t hurt me. I don’t know anything.” She cries, shielding her body from the blow she believes I’m about to serve.

Back away, throwing my hands up to the air, I try to reassure her I’m not here to hurt her or anyone. “No, No. That’s not what I’m here for. I won’t hurt you. I’m here to help.”

Not listening to me she chants, “I know nothing, please don’t hurt me.” over and over again.

Trying to figure a way through this situation, a soft knock at the door saves us both.

Peeking his head through the door, Spinelli appears like a fresh breath. “Oh Stone Cold, I’m overjoyed you finally called me.” Entering the house, Spinelli places his bag on the desk right as the nanny attacks him.

“Oh, Damien you’re here.” Wrapping him in her arms, She cries into him. “I didn’t tell him anything. You have to, believe me, I didn’t tell him anything.”

Bug eyeing me down, Spinelli tries to peel the frightened women off of him. “What do you mean? It’s okay he’s…um he’s a friend.”

Placing her in the desk chair, Spinelli wipes her tears. “What’s going on?” Looking from the woman to me, Spinelli questions us both. “Why are you here? Where are Sam and the kids?” Inching closer to me, “Why are you here of all places?” He whispers.

Feeling my patience running out, “Sam and the kids are missing! And the upstairs is trashed like someone was looking for something.” I bark. Pointing at the woman in the chair, “She knows where they are.” Staring into her soul, Stone Cold has completely taken over.

“No, I swear I know nothing. I swear on my children’s lives.” She cries, closing her eyes like she couldn’t trust anything she was seeing.

“You’re lying. She told me she had spoken to Sam.” Fed up, I move in closer. “You know something, just tell me.”

Blocking me from the woman, “Whoa, get yourself together. I’ve never seen you like this.” Spinelli pushes me back from her trying to talk me down with his eyes. Trembling in the chair, the woman shakes her head chanting “I don’t know anything, I don’t know anything.”

Pulling me to the side, Spinelli tries to talk some sense into me.”What has gotten into you? I know you’re worried about Sam but”

“No, Spinelli, I’m not worried I’m terrified for Sam. Someone tried to take her the other night, and now the house is trashed, and everyone who lives here is missing. You need to talk to this woman. You need to get us to tell her what Sam said”

“Mr. Spinelli, do you know this man?” The lady asks interrupting our hushed conversation.

Turning his attention back to the women, but still managing to keep me at bay, “Just call me Spinelli and yes, I do.” Standing side by side with me, Spinelli beams at the woman. “He is my oldest, dearest,  and most trusted friend. And Sam’s too.” Taking her hand in his, Spinelli reassures her. “You can trust him.”

Looking from the women to me again, “If you know something about Sam or the kids, she would want you to tell him. Trust me, she would want you to only confide her secrets to him.”

Looking at me with big watery eyes, the woman eases into the chair, “Mrs. Morgan asked me to come to get the kids, hours ago. She asked me to take them to their Grandma Monica’s house. The kids don’t usually go over there on school days, but she said they must. She and Mr. Morgan had an important meeting, and she didn’t know how long it would be. I told her I could stay with the kids until they arrived home but she insisted I take them to the mansion.”

“So the kids are at Monica’s. Problem solved.” Spinelli states interrupting the woman mid-sentence. Turning his back to the women to look at me, “Now that we know where the kids are, can we get to more important matters? You’re lost-”

“I said Mrs. Morgan wanted me to pick up the kids.” The woman interrupts Spinelli. “But when I got here Mr. Morgan said no. He said he would take the kids. I insisted that Mrs. Morgan wanted me to, but he said no and closed the door in my face. He wouldn’t even let me come in.” Fidgeting with her purse, the woman lowers her head and falls silent.

“What is it?” Spinelli asks her. “You can tell us.”

Looking straight at me, she continues. “Mr. Morgan is always so nice. Sweet and caring. Soft-spoken but not today.” Placing her attention back on her purse, the woman falls silent once again. Several minutes go by before she speaks again. “ Something was off, I could feel it when he first opened the door. He was frantic and sweaty. The house was quiet. I didn’t hear the kids, and I should have heard the kids. It was 4:30 in the evening. The baby should have been just getting up for her feeding and Danny should have been at the desk doing his homework. The Morgans usually keep the kids on a tight schedule.”

“Was Mrs. Morgan here?” Spinelli asks, taking the words out of my mouth.

“Not that I could see, I pushed my way in a little and saw packed bags and Scout’s mountain stroller. He lied to me, he told me he still needed to pack the kids overnight bag. That’s when I knew something was wrong.”

Looking at Spinelli fearfully, “I know what Mr. Morgan is or was. I know his lifestyle is dangerous. They told me this when I started. So, I thought maybe something was wrong, and he was protecting me you know. So, I waited to make sure I didn’t need to call the cops. I waited until I saw Mr. Morgan pack the kids and all the bags in the car. There were a lot of bags.”

“Was Mrs. Morgan with them? Do you know where they went?” I desperately ask.

She shakes her head no as she starts to cry.

“Why did you come back here if you knew everyone had left? Why are you crying? What else do you know?” I bark, pacing the room trying to figure out what life is. My homecoming wasn’t supposed to be like this, but I guess my life was always like this.

“Mrs. Morgan left me a message. I should have followed him. I should have made him let me take the kids. I should have done as I was told.” The woman cries.

“What does that mean? What did she say?” Charging at the woman, I scream in her face.

“She said whatever I do, don’t leave the kids with Mr. Morgan.” Trembling and sobbing, the woman shields herself from me. “I didn’t get the message until after he had left with the kids. I didn’t know, okay! I’m sorry I didn’t know. Tell Mrs. Morgan I didn’t know.”

Pulling myself away from her, I realize I’m back at square one. I don’t know where Sam and the kids are and, I don’t know what is going on in my own life. Pacing the room, pulling at my hair, I try to figure out what’s next. “Do you know where he was going or where he could have taken the kids.?

“He had Scout’s mountain stroller.” She states looking around the room. “And I don’t see it here now, and I know I saw it when I got that little peek.”

“What does a stroller have to do with anything?” I yell, growing more and more frantic with every passing minute.

“It has everything to do with this. Mrs. Morgan is the only one that uses that stroller, and she only uses it when she goes to her secret cabin.” Pointing at me, “The cabin that has the pictures of you everywhere.”

Tensing up at the mention of the cabin, I think about the men that found us. I assumed this whole time they followed me up there, but maybe they were sent by someone. “Mrs. Morgan said Mr.Morgan didn’t know about that cabin.

“Revealing a little smile, “He doesn’t know, just like she doesn’t know about his secret getaway. The Morgan’s have many secrets. Secrets that I don’t tell anyone I know. Secrets they don’t know I know.”

“This secret place Mr. Morgan has, have you ever been?” Spinelli asks.

Shaking her head no, the woman takes out her cell phone. “I’ve never been inside, but one time I had to use Mr.Morgan’s truck for the kids. When I press the home button on the GPS, it took me there.” Showing us her phone, “I saved the address just in case. I thought Mr. Morgan was cheating on Mrs. Morgan. I wanted the address if she ever came to me asking about it.”

Retrieving the phone from the woman, Spinelli pulls out his laptop, moves to the couch and goes to work. The clicking of the keyboard is all I hear as I paced the room waiting for news. The woman watches my every move, her eyes darting back and forth in her head.

After what seems like an eternity, Spinelli’s computer pings, followed by an “I’ve got something guys.”

Rushing over to the couch, I take one side as the woman takes the other. Pulling up an aerial view of the cabin, the woman confirms that is the house; while Spinelli confirms this house with the right telescope can see clear across the woods to my cabin.

Wasting no more time, I had all the information I needed, I bolt for the door.

“Jason, wait! You don’t know what you’ll find out there.” Spinelli says. Ignoring him, I open the door and head for the stairwell. The only thought in my head was to find Sam, find my family.


“There’s nothing here, Spinelli. I’m telling you it a pile of ashes.

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