Alric was driving around town in the cab he got from a junk yard and fixed up. It wasn’t a part of any company but he had gone through a lot of trouble to make it look and seem like the real deal with a local cab company. This is how he would get them, the women that reminded him of his step mother. Some would never take cabs but it still made his murders easier. He could park the cab a distance away and commit the act. In such a busy city nobody was going to say I see a cab within two blocks of every serial killing. He hated them, every last woman who wore any sort of punk, gothic or steam punk style. His step mother had dressed in those same ways during his years of abuse at her hands. Every time he’d see one, no matter how kind she was he hated her instantly. His step mother was the first victim but his father had been blamed, not that Alric cared. His father had let her abuse him so he deserved to be framed for her murder. In Alrics mind he was killing his step mother over and over, making her pay for his misery.
Tonight he was in luck. He had been staying near his next targets house and here she was hailing him down tonight. The woman slid in the car, tears pouring from her eyes. “that bastard”
“I just caught my boyfriend cheating”
“I know a nice place you can go to, get yourself a nice drink and relax”
“That sounds good. A bar is just what i need.”
“First drink this” He grabbed a water bottle from his passenger seat “You’ll get thirsty crying like that”
“Thank you” She unscrewed the cap and took long gulps of the water as Alric began driving. “you know it’s just a bigger slap in the face hes cheating in MY apartment”
“the dog” Alric dosed the water bottle so heavily it didn’t take much more time for the woman to pass out in his back seat. He drove until he was a little ways out of town. Alric turned onto the dirt road of his house. He lived far out in the woods since he hated people in general. He would act friendly when he was around them but avoided the public like the plague. One in front of his house he lifted the woman out of his back seat and carried her inside. Once inside he went into his basement and dropped her on the floor. Alric ripped off the clothing that disgusted him even though her nude form disgusted him just as much.
“You fucking bitch” he mumbled to himself before he began to kick her unconscious body mercilessly. Whenhe had gotten enough rage out to wait until she was awake he lifted her onto his butchering table where he put restraints on her arms and legs. It wasn’t fun to torture and kill his step mother while she wasn’t fully aware of what was going on. What he was going to do to her this time played through Alrics mind until she woke the next day. Horror filled her eyes as she began to jerk “you try everytime Emily, every time you fail to get away from me”
“Please, I’m not Emily, I’m Anna” Alric slapped her “stop fucking lieing Emily! You keep coming back and I have to keep getting rid of you!” Just as all his victims before she endured hours of torture before he finally finished the job. Feeling the fleeting happiness he always did after torturing and killing his step mom he began to cut up the body to burn in his fire place. He wished the euphoria would last longer but he would be angry and ready to kill again in a few days to a week. He’d have to find his step mother again and make her suffer.
Antoinette jerked awake to the sound of her alarm going off and felt that nausea that always plagued her early in the morning. She groaned as she switched of her alarm and Gaston pulled her back into his arms. “You feeling okay?” He asked.
“I feel like I’m going to puke up my guts. Two months in and I already feel like throwing in the towel.”
“Call your boss and tell him you aren’t feeling well. He’ll understand.”
“I can’t skip work because I have a little morning sickness.” She kissed him and got out of bed. “Could you get Dane up while I shower?”
“Sure, you want fruit salad or bacon and eggs?”
“Bacon and eggs and toast oh and strawberry jam.”
He chuckled as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and stood. He grabbed a pair of sweats before heading down the hall to Dane’s room. He knocked on the door and heard the creak of his son’s mattress. Dane pulled the door open, rubbing his eyes and yawning. “Time to get up buddy.”
“Morning dad. What’s for breakfast?”
“Your mom says bacon, eggs, and toast.”
“Strawberry jam, seems to be the baby’s favorite.”
“I like it to” Gaston smiled “well get dressed for school and make sure your homework is in your backpack”
“ok dad” Dane shut the door and Gaston walked into the kitchen. Antoinette just wanted to stay in the water all morning. Somthing about the warm spray nearly took away her morning sickness while she stood under it. The only thing that pulled her out was knowing she’d be late for work and her breakfast would get cold if she stayed in much longer. She put on her suit then went into the kitchen where Gaston was working on toast. If Dane wasn’t sitting right there she would run her hands along his beddable, burly body. He caught that look in her eyes and just grinned resplendently, only adding to his looks.
“you’re going to work tonight dad?”
“you’ll see us in twenty four hours after that”
“yeah, you be good for your mother and the afterschool service while I’m gone”
“I always am”
“I know, I’m proud of you.” They finished their breakfast then exchanged hugs and kisses before Antoinette went to work and Gaston took Dane to school. As Gaston drove away from the school he sighed. He loved his work but it still sucked when he had to go since it would mean so much time away from his family. He would be alone from now until dinner tonight since they had to enroll Dane into an after school program. To keep him in he had to go every weeknight. It helped Dane a lot with his grades and with Gastons twenty four hour shifts and Antoinette working at the lawfirm he needed to be in somthing so he wouldn’t be home alone. Dane was a good boy but they didn’t want their nine year old home alone for hours waiting on his mother.
Gaston would get to see them for dinner and then leave at eight pm. He would of course return the next day at eight pm but that would leave almost no time with them and of course Antoinette would go to work the next day so honestly from the time he left he’d be without them for about thirty two hours rather than twenty four and that was if Antoinette left work on time with no trouble in traffic.
When Antoinette arrived at work she was still feeling sick, but it was better than it had been when she woke up. She got out and made sure her uniform was straight before heading inside and taking her place behind the desk outside Sean’s office. She flipped open the laptop setting on her desk and turned it on. Sean’s office door opened and she turned, smiling at him. “Morning boss.” She said and he smiled back.
“You look pale Antoinette, you okay?”
She rested her hand on her abdomen. “Just a little morning sickness. I thought I was going to barf my brains out this morning, but I guess the baby changed its mind.”
“You should have called.”
Her smiled widened. “You and Gaston, it’s not that bad. I’ve been pregnant before you know.”
“I know, but it can’t be fun coming into work and feeling sick all morning.”
“It’s not, but that’s what the garbage can is for.”
He laughed. “So what’s on my schedule for today?”
“Well if you’d let me work, I’d know.” She said in a teasing manner. She turned back to her computer and brought up his schedule. “Looks like you have a consultation at eleven, another at one and then a new client is coming in. Apparently you came highly recommended.”
“The new ones can sometimes be the toughest to get to open up. They always want to hide things from you.”
“She’s really pretty.”
“Oh fine, I guess I can deal with it.” She laughed.
“You and the ladies, you just can’t help yourself can you.” He shrugged. She knew he wasn’t a dog or anything and was always respectful, but when a beautiful woman came asking for help he could never say no.
“What else do you got for me?”
“At three you have to be in court for that burglary case.”
“alright, thanks. You just let me know if you need to leave. I know tonight is a shift for Gaston so I wouldn’t blame you for leaving me”
“you hired me for a job and I’m going to do it unless I absolutely can’t. I’ll have to sleep alone regardless tonight and that’s what I hate most when he works. I think missing him two days a week is worth five days at home.”
“I thought it was three days a week he worked a twenty four hour shift.”
“He had to do that for awhile but now they have plenty of men and women so nobody has to be at the station over forty eight hours a week.”
“I hope that doesn’t change since you two will be having a newborn in seven months. You are taking the last month of your pregnancy off right? I’d really like you to. I’ll feel bad having you here in that last month.”
“Gaston already convinced me to take your offer. Thank you for being so generous even though I’ve only worked here about a year. You are giving me way over normal maternity leave. ”
“You mean normal for USA. Other countries mothers get six months to a year at home with their baby. I think it’s important and companies should give their mothers more time off after they give birth. I wish I could give you more than five months at home but the partners aren’t going for it. Have you started thinking about who is going to care for the new little one when you head back to work?”
“after those parents sued that daycare center because they didnt think their child was being changed enough everyones quit watching kids that aren’t potty trained so it looks like we’re going to have to fork out the money for a daytime nanny. We already pay for Danes after school program so it’s going to suck having to pay a nanny too. We love where he’s at though. He has so many friends and they have tutors to help with homework and help your child in general if they are struggling in a subject. He loves going after school”
“There is no way I’m letting you pay for a babysitter. You can use my niece. She’s home schooled and has been looking for a way to make a little money.”
“How old is she?”
“Just turned sixteen and is extremely reliable, she’s a real angel and loves kids. I’ll give her a call if you like.”
“That would be great Sean, thank you. I mean we won’t need her for awhile unless we need someone to watch Dane.”
“Who knows, maybe you and Gaston will want a date night at some point.”
“Thank you.” He went back into his office and let her get back to work while he called his sister to see if Hailey would like being an on call babysitter.
Gaston picked up the house while Antoinette and Dane were gone that way she wouldn’t have too. The baby, though still just a little thing, had been making her exhausted and he wanted to do as much for her as he could. He threw their dirty clothes in the washing machine and went to get himself a soda out of the fridge. He noticed two papers on the freezer door and pulled them off. One was a note letting both he and Antoinette know Dane’s class was having a bring your dad to school day next week and the second was a permission slip for a field trip to a farm. He went ahead and signed it, knowing Antoinette wouldn’t mind.
With the house cleaned for Antoinette Gaston entertained himself with the internet and Comedy Central until five finally came. Antoinette would be getting off work now and going to pick up Dane so he turned off the TV and started on dinner. When Antoinette arrived home with their son she could smell dinner. It was sweet how he always had dinner ready when she got home if he had been there all day. She walked to the kitchen while Dane sat on the couch to watch cartoons until dinner. Antoinette slid her arms around Gastons waist “I love you” she said softly and he answered “I love you too. How was work?”
“Same as always. We don’t have to hire a nanny now. Seans niece is going to babysit for us”
“Thats amazing. Whatever she charges I’m sure will be less”
“Yeah, how was being home alone all day?”
“eh, normal too I guess. I signed Danes permission slip on the fridge”
“awesome, I’ll pour drinks fr our dinner. What do you want?”
“Sprite” Antoinette set the table and poured drinks while Gaston finished their dinner. “Dane, dinner” Gastons voice called loudly. Dane turned off the TV then took his place at the table. Dane glanced at the wall clock and frowned. “You’re going to have to leave almost right after we finish”
“I know buddy. I miss you and your mom very much while I’m working” Dane told them about school and what he did with his friends afterward through supper and up until Gaston had to leave. Dane gave his father a long hug then so did Antoinette ‘you be safe” she said and he smiled before kissing her “I will. Take care of yourself and our two little ones”
“You know I will”
“Do you have any homework sweetie?”
“No, I wish dad didn’t have to be gone all day. Do you know when his next day off is?”
“Saturday so you’ll get the weekend together.”
Dane smiled. “Do you think he’d take me to see Captain America, the second one is in theaters and I really want to see it.”
“I’m sure he will baby.”
Dane gave her a hug and she kissed his forehead. “Is it okay if I watch cartoons until bed time?”
“Sure, I’ll clean up the kitchen.”
Antoinette hummed as she washed their dishes then wiped down the kitchen table. She noticed Gaston had cleaned the house so all she had to do was throw the clothes in the dryer. She locked the doors and headed upstairs to take a shower, feeling exhausted after such a long day. There was a knock on the bathroom door half an hour later and it cracked open. “Mom, I’m going to read in my room. There wasn’t anything on I felt like watching.”
“Okay baby, love you.”
“Love you too.”
When Antoinette was clean and in her pajamas she went to Danes room and opened the door “what’re you reading sweetie?”
“A Wrinkle in Time”
“Haven’t you read that series twice?”
“It’s so good. Can I have some new books though mom. I really want to go to the bookstore.”
“How about since we’ll be alone tomorrow night until eight anyway we’ll go straight from after school care to Books A Million and you can pick out a few more.”
“How many is a few?” Antoinette laughed “you do read quick huh? We’ll see what the prices are on the books you choose and go from there.”
“Mom, can i give Mark Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. He wants to read it and I don’t read it any more”
“It’s not a problem with me and I doubt your dad would mind. It’ll give you space for books you like to read again and again. It’s up to you really once your done with them. No sense letting them collect dust here if you can give them to friends who want to read too”
“Thanks, since his dad left they don’t have very much money so his mom can’t buy him books. I remember when we didn’t have money so I really wanted to give him my book when I heard he wanted to read it” Antoinette smiled, proud of her son. She walked over to hug him “you are such a sweet boy. Would you like me to read to you until you fall asleep or would you rather read on your own?”
Dane handed Antoinette the book and scooted over so she could get in the bed. She stayed until he was sleeping then book marked his page and slipped the book into his backpack so he wouldn’t forget it the next day. Thankfully on days without Gaston home Sean didn’t mind if Antoinette was late due to having to drop off Dane. She kissed him bye then went on to work. She was excited about her plans with Dane. It had been a little bit since they bought him new books and she was surprised he hadn’t asked for more sooner.
Gaston sat in the fire house, cup of coffee in hand as he stared at the TV. One call had come in the previous night and he hoped Antoinette had skipped the news. Someone had set fire to an old warehouse, whether is was accidental or on purpose had not been determined yet, but inside had been a couple of homeless people who he and a fellow firefighter had pulled out. He sighed, knowing if Antoinette had been watching the news she would be worried. “What’re you looking so down for?” The chief asked as he came down from his office.
“I’m not down sir, you know I love this job.”
“I do too, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get down sometimes. What’s eating you?”
“Nothing really, just hoping Antoinette didn’t watch the news last night. You would think reporters would have something better to do than report a fire like helping stop world hunger or reporting on a football game.”
“They only report the big fires.”
“I know, I just hate going home and Antoinette is worried. She’s pregnant, she shouldn’t be worrying, she should be relaxing as much as she can while I spoil her.”
The chief laughed. “Just spoil her extra over the weekend.”
“Oh I will, I can’t wait to get home. Especially since the following day will be Saturday so she wont have to go to bed so soon after I get home and then leave for eight hours.”
“So things between you two are still going great?”
“Yeah, I can atleast vouch for myself in saying I’m incredibly happy”
“That’s amazing, glad to hear it. How’s your boy?”
“same as always. Doing great in school and reading a lot. The teachers at the after school program say he’s taking an interest in plays too so we’ll see where that goes”
“One of these days when you get a weekend shift you should bring him again. We all miss the little guy.”
“I will” When it came time to pick Dane up he ran to the car excitedly and slid in “we’re still going right? I did all my homework already”
“yep, where would you like to eat?”
“Um, Chik Fil A is by Books A Million”
“Ok baby” They ate quickly then Antoinette followed her son around the book store until he came upon a section of sale books. He had been looking for the sales books since they enabled him to get more. He picked a few and only had to put one back. The only reason she told him no is because she used her Iphone to research reviews and information about books he wanted and if there was sex or drug use in them she wouldn’t allow him to read it. That was the only trouble with having a well read kid that didn’t like most the books in the childrens section. She had to research each one and make sure they were appropriate for him.
They bought the books he wanted then headed home, knowing Gaston would most likely be waiting since they were so long in the store. As they guessed they walked in to find Gaston on the couch. He practicly jumped up then went to hug them “where were you two?”
“Mom bought me more books” he said proudly holding up his bag “awesome”
“I’m going to go to my room for the night and read. Love you guys”
“Love you. Don’t forget to brush your teeth before bed”
“I wont mom” Gaston gave Antoinette another hug and a long kiss “I missed you”
“Missed you too. Thank goodness I’m off tomorrow.”
“Dane wants you to take him to see The Winter Soldier.”
“He loves Captain America doesn’t he?”
She smiled. “That’s because he reminds him of you.”
“Yeah right, I’m no Captain America.”
“Of course you are, your Dane’s Captain America.”
He chuckled and pulled her down on the couch, holding her close to him and kissing her cheek. “Alright, I’ll take him to see Captain America. What about you, what are you going to do while we’re gone?”
“Probably go shopping. I gave away all of my maternity clothes after I had Dane so I need to get new ones. My breasts are going to get huge.”
“I don’t mind.”
She giggled and pinched him. “Pervert.” She sighed and then yawned.
“You’ve had a long day baby, lets go to bed.” He stood and had her in his arms before she could protest. She wanted to spend more time with him awake, but there was no denying how tired she was.
“I wish I wasn’t so tired” she said as they got comfortable in bed. He kissed her head “It’s finally the weekend. We have lots of time together”
“I love you so much”
“I love you too” The next day the boys selected a showing of The Winter Soldier that would play at one. “Your mom wants to go clothes shopping. Lets go ahead and go over to the mall. We can eat lunch there before the movie.”
“sounds good” They took their own cars so Antoinette could leave if she wanted or needed to go home while they watched the movie. They walked around in stores Dane wanted to go into until about eleven thirty when they went to the food court to grab somthing to eat. They all decided on Wraps since Antoinette loved their caesar salad wrap. She had come to love caesar salad since becoming pregnant. The line was never long so they had time to eat slowly and talk the time away until the boys needed to walk inside the theater.
“I love you guys. Have fun!” she said loudly then left to give them their man time while she found clothes that would fit her better for the rest of the pregnancy. None of the maternity shops in the mall were interesting her so she decided to drive over to Bella Blu. Another pregnant woman she had met online told her they had gorgeous maternity clothes. She easily found things she liked and was glad she took her friends advice. The prices were a bit offputting but this time she would save the clothes incase she got pregnant again.
When she went outside to start her car nothing happend. Antoinette sighed “Don’t do this to me. Their movie just started.” she tried again and sighed “damnit” Antoinette didn’t know it but the crazed Alric was sitting his cab, staring triumphantly at her distress. He was just pulling into the parking lot to buy porn from the store in the same strip as the maternity shop when Antoinette had pulled in. He hadn’t needed to kill again yet but once he saw her he had gone into that familiar rage. She had the same platinum hair as his step mom and even seemed to be the same height. There she was again and once again she was going to suffer for what she did to him. Alric tampered with her car to ensure it wouldn’t start and she would need a cab. He saw she was going to a maternity store and needed to kill her before she brought another child into the world to suffer as he had suffered.
He stepped out of his cab and approached her “hey miss, you alright?’
“No, my car wont move and I know nothing about cars to even begin to look under the hood”
‘you’re pregnant aren’t you? I coudl have sworn you just walke dout of that maternity store”
“Yeah but dont worry about me. I can wait in the maternity store until my boyfriend and son get out of their movie” Alric pointed at his cab car. “thats mine, let me give you a lift for free. A pregnant woman shouldn’t be standing around in a store waiting.”
“I’m barely pregnant” He wore a fake frown “thats what my Susan said before she lost our little one. She had a miscarriage…i kept telling her she tried to do too much and….please…let me take you somwhere” Now Antoinette didn’t want to say no. She was really fine but she didn’t want to fight about it with a man who had lost his child and was only worried about her loseing the little one growing inside of her.
“Okay, thank you, just give me a minute.” She sent a quick text to Gaston, telling him her car had broken down and not to worry that she was taking a cab home. She then grabbed her bags and Alric took them from her with a warm smile. She got into the back seat of the cab and buckled up while he put her bags in the trunk.
“Ready to go miss?” Alric asked as he climbed behind the wheel of his car.
“Yes, thanks so much for this.” Her phone vibrated and she smiled when she read the message.
“That from your boyfriend?”
“Yeah, just telling me he loves me. So, I’m Antoinette.”
“Oh, I’m Alric, nice to meet you.” She smiled and he smiled back, feeling like strangling her. He knew the evil that hid behind that smile, he wasn’t stupid. She gave him her address and he pulled out of the parking lot. Her stomach started bothering her again as they went down the street and she covered her mouth.
“Can you pull over please?” He stopped the car and she opened the door, her stomach emptying itself of its contents. “Sorry, this baby is really kicking my butt.” She closed the door and took a deep breath.
“It’s okay, here have some water. It’s a fresh bottle, I promise.”
“thank you so much. I hate that taste in my mouth”
“Shut up Emily” Now that she had drank i wouldn’t be long until she was out so he didn’t have to fake any longer. “Emily?”
“You know who you are” Was the last thing Antoinette heard before everything was mumbles and blurs. She fell asleep and he drove yet another victim to his home. After the movie was over Dane asked if they could go back to the train store “I’m sorry but your moms car broke down and we need to check on her and then see what’s up with the car. Hopefully we can get it fixed over the weekend for her. I’d really hate for you and your mother to need it and not have it.”
“ok, once we have that straight can we come back to the train store?”
“If it’s still open I promise we can” Gaston drove home and unlocked his door, surprised to see all their lights still turned off. He called Antoinette and it went straight to voicemail. Alric always searched the women for cellphones and if they had one he’d turn it off and throw it away. His heart beat fast, she said she was already in a cab and he knew she always had her phone charged. “where’s mom?” Dane asked, not comprehending yet that anything was wrong. “she said her car broke down at Bella Blus. Lets go there, maybe she went back.”
“Can i grab a book first?’
“Just hurry little man”
“I’m a big boy dad”
“sorry, just hurry please. I’m worried”
Antoinette let out a groan, feeling horribly sick to her stomach and extremely dizzy. Her body ached and her head throbbed. She slowly opened her eyes, finding herself staring up at a bright light. She shivered, feeling cold and when she tried to move she found herself restrained. She closed her eyes, trying to remember what happened. Her car had broke down and there had been a man wi a cab. She focused hard, ignoring the drowsiness. His name was Alric and he had been so nice, he had given her water and then…her heart leapt and then he had called her Emily, he had sounded close to rage when he said that name.
“Help.” She cried out, her voice was weak. She pulled against the restraints. They felt wet and she looked up, almost screaming when she saw blood soaked into them. She shivered again, the cold biting into her skin and she finally realized she was nude.
“You’re finally awake Emily.” His voice startled her and her head snapped to the left as he stepped off the last step to his basement.
“I don’t know who that is, I’m Antoinette.”
“Stop lying you bitch.”
“I’m not, I’m telling the truth.” He crossed the room and slapped her.
“Liar.” He placed his hand on her stomach. “I won’t let you hurt another one. It’ll be better off dead.”
“I’m not Emily. I swear. Why do you think I’m her?”
“you keep coming back to torment me again. You lived to make me suffer before I killed you the first time. Not a single day did you leave me alone and now you just keep coming back from the dead. You always try to deny you’re Emily but you can’t fool me. I need to save this baby from your cruelty.” Antoinette was terrified for her child and was having trouble deciding if she should fake being Emily and try to apologize and comfort him as she had seen many times in movies work or keep trying to convince this obviously crazed man she wasn’t who he thought she was. Obviously she wasn’t the first victim and the others had tried to tell him so maybe faking actually being Emily was her only option. All she knew for sure was that she had to decide how to handle this fast, she needed to protect her baby.
Gaston only had to look in the hood of the car a second to see her car had been tampered with. He had gone to the police station and told them. He also informed them a man with a cab was conveniently near by and he wanted them to get the security tapes of the parking lot to see who he was. He hated having to wait for a judge to approve them receiving the tapes but after a few hours they had the correct paperwork and all the security footage within the hours Antoinette was there.
They could clearly see him walk over to the car and sabotage it then return to his cab to pretend he was just there. Gaston was clenching his right fist, not even realizing he was bleeding until Dane said ‘dad, you’re hurting yourself” Gaston stopped “sorry buddy”
“why did that man break moms car?”
“He wanted to kidnap her”
“because there are bad people who like to hurt others. It’s why your mother and I don’t like you talking to strangers or staying home alone yet” Danes face looked scared and Gaston didn’t know how to comfort him since he was afraid too. “can you call the cab company?”
“They’ll know who it was by that number on top the cab. This kind of thing is precisely why they write those numbers so big on the top and side of cabs.” The police called the cab company and quickly learned they had no such driver. The man hungup the phone, hating having to say that to a husband and son.
Antoinette took a deep breath, trying her best to stay calm and stop the constant shivering of her body. “Alric sweetie?” He froze and turned away from the table where his instruments of torture were laid out. His eyes were almost feral. “Alric, why don’t you let me go and we can talk.”
“Because you’re evil and sick. You hurt me you bitch.”
“I’m sorry, please believe me.”
“Liar.” He grabbed her by her throat and started to strangle her. “Every day you beat me and tortured me, every day and it didn’t matter how hard I cried and that bastard father of mine let you.”
She felt tears forming in her eyes and they spilled over, running into her hair. “Sorry.” She choked out. “Scared.”
“What?” He let her go.
“I was scared of your father.” She didn’t know if this was the right thing to say, she didn’t even know what his father had been like.
He looked confused. “That can’t be true, you were always laughing and smiling with him.”
“That doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared. I should have protected you, but I was scared Alric. Please believe me.”
He raked his fingers through his hair, his eyes darting around the room as if searching for an answer. He backed away from her, his hands clenched at his sides and trembling. He shook his head, denying her claim of being abused. “You’re lying, you have to be.”
“No.” He yelled and an up the stairs, slamming and locking the door behind him.
If anything she had atleast bought more time for Gaston and the police she was sure were called by now to find and save her. “I love you so much” she said to her baby, wishing she could quit stressing since it wasn’t good for her developing little one. Gaston didn’t want Dane involved in all this so arranged for Hailey to come over to their house and watch him “but I want to stay here” Dane insisted “I know but grown up things are happening and some things we wont be able to discuss around you. I’m sure hailey is really nice. If she’s not you can call me and I’ll come get you”
“Please no buts, you’re my big man right?”
“as my big man I need you to stay home for me. I’ll take you to buy more books again”
“You’ll come get me as soon as mom is safe?”
“ok” Gaston told the police he’d be right back then took Dane home. Gaston stayed long enough to wait for Hailey then give her the run down of their home and told her Dane could stay up as late as he wanted to reading. Gaston called his chef on the way back to the police station to let him know what was going on. The worst thing a team could have was a distracted member if a bad fire broke loose so he wanted somebody else ready to take his shift since he didn’t even know if he’d be ready to work come his next shift.
He said don’t worry about it and assured Gaston the station would be fine without him. He hated it since with only him gone the guys would have to go back to over forty eight hour weeks but he just wasn’t up for it. He especially wasn’t up for it until Antoinette was safely back in his arms.
Antoinette’s eyes snapped open. She had not realized she’d fallen asleep. “Did dad really threaten to hurt you?” Alric’s voice startled her and she looked over to see him standing against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest.
“Yes, every day. If I didn’t do what I did to you.”
“How do I know you’re not just trying to get free so you can run?”
“I won’t run I promise, I’ll stay with you, I’ll do whatever you say.”
He seemed to think on her request for a moment and crossed the room, grabbing one of the knives off the table. She closed her eyes, waiting for him to stab her. Instead he unbuckled the restraints around her wrists and ankles. She slowly opened her and just laid there for a moment staring up at him. “If you run I’ll chase you down and I’ll slice you open. Do you understand?”
“Yes, you’re the boss. May I have some clothes?”
“No and I ruined them anyway.” He grabbed her by the back of her neck and forced her upstairs. They came out into a kitchen. “You can start by cleaning up. No one will hear you if you scream so don’t bother. After you’re done cleaning you can cook something. Don’t displease me.”
“what would you like me to make you?”
“Macaroni and cheese with hotdogs cut up in them. No dogfood in it”
“Not ever again. Wheres the cleaners and broom?” He showed her where everything was and she began. His house was filthy so she knew this would be a long job. Even after she grew tired she continued to clean. She wouldn’t dare ask for a break and risk her life and the babies. The police had gotten Antoinettes cellphone records and found the last tower her cell pinged off of. “Theres a lot of road between that tour and the next.” the cop said without any emotion. It was more materafactly than anything else. “so?” Gaston asked annoyed, wanting the cop to express more emotion than he was.
“we’ll send men out there. I’m just letting you know the search from that point will be a big job.”
“Fine then, shes my girlfriend and she’s carrying our child. We need to get to it instead of talking about time. ”
“We’re going to need you to stay here”
“Like hell I am. You don’t give a damn about finding my wife. I wont leave you to it. He could be hurting her. She’s probably afraid and worrying herself sick over our baby. She needs someone who is serious about finding her”
“I am serious Gaston. It just helps to keep a level head. I can’t have you out there blowing up.”
“I am a firefighter, I can take the pressure”
“ride with me then and we’ll all go in search of her” Brigid began cooking as soon as cleaning was done. It was becoming late now and she worried she was going to have to stay over night with this lunatic who thought she was his step mom .Antoinettes was atleast grateful he wanted something as simple as macaroni with hot dogs so she couldn’t mess it up. When it was done and served she sat at the table with him and he just stared. It made her nervous until he said “you just made it for me. You didn’t put anything in it”
“I just put the hotdogs like you asked”
“don’t annoy me. You know you used to put dog food or mouse droppings and all else in my food and tell me to eat everything or I wouldn’t eat for two meals. Why did my father have you do that?”
“To toughen you up” was the only thing she could come up with “but my dad never had a backbone. All he wanted to do was watch TV and drink his beer. He never cared about anything else. I mean, he seemed to care about you too but I guess that wasn’t true”
“He did have a backbone, he just didn’t want you to know. He said it would help toughen you and if I was the one to do it then you’d still like him when you were an adult.”
“I hate him”
“He was a horrible man. I don’t blame you”
“you could have told me when we were alone”
“I was too afraid”
“Why do you care so much about clothes now? You were naked all the time at home”
“Your dad made me”
“Dad used to get annoyed when you were near the windows naked”
“It was part of his act” He was silent again, seemingly thinking. She tried not to stress about it. It atleast meant she didn’t have to answer questions and risk getting somthing wrong. “we need to call it a night Gaston. We’re getting nowhere with flashlights”
“then you all go home. I’ll keep searching”
“just rest. We’ll come back tomorrow”
“I will not leave her. I will look until I have her back.”
“sir, see reason”
“I am seeing reason. My girlfriend is with some crazy man who wanted her enough to sabotage her car. He could be hurting her or our baby. He could be doing anything to them. Yeah, let me just go home and sleep” the cop sighed “I’ll see what men are willing to still search. I’ll atleast stay out with you”
“well you aren’t giving me much of a choice”
“I wont apologize for it if thats what you’re looking for” They found a dirt road about four in the morning and went back to the police cruisers to drive down it. When they pulled up to this remote house it was the second one they had found on their search of the area. Gastons heart rate began to spike when he saw that cab from the video, the same numbers on top and on the side. The officer took the safety off his gun then whispered though they were still in the car “stay quiet and just do as I do”
Antoinette was asleep in her captors arms when a knock at the door woke her. She had only just fallen asleep and she hoped it wasn’t some crazy or crazier friend of his. He seemed agitated and told her “you just stay put and soundless”
“ok” she held the covers to herself. Hoping she wouldn’t have to share a bed with another strange man. When Alric opened the door a gun was already pointed in his face “where is she? We know you have her”
“you’ll play an idiot while a guns in your face?’
“what makes you think I have said girl”
“you were caught on the parkinglots security camera”
“she wants to stay here.”
“Why don’t you let me ask her that?”
“No, she’s sleeping”
“Is she alright?”
“yes, we were cuddling”
“How’s the baby?”
“fine I guess, I dont want you waking her”
“I need to talk to her and I dont need a warrant with the cab in front of your house and a face to match that security footage”
“it’s not kidnap now. She wants to make things up to me”
“what did she do to you?” Gaston was growing tired of this talking. He wanted to deck this bastard and go after his Antoinette. “she’s my step mom. She used to abuse me and now shes making it up to me”
“Antoinette has never been married”
“Sir, she is Antoinette.”
“She was just fooling everybody. She comes back to life” Now Gastons heart was pumping even more fearfully for his wife. This man was crazier than he had dared to imagine while searching for her. “if she confirms she wants to be here I’ll leave and not bother you again”
“fine, god.” Alric went back into his bedroom “a cop is here and wants you to confirm you want to be here. Don’t you dare say no. I’ll find you again and you will die the second time” She got up, hating that another man would see her naked. She walked with him to the door, wide eyed when she saw her boyfriend and the rage he was obviously holding down in this moment. “mam, do you want to stay here?” the police officer asked. She swallowed “No” she said since Alric had not been thoughtful enough to grab a weapon or maybe she had just played being his sorry step mother so well he thought she’d really say she wanted to be here. Possibly he thought the fear would make her lie but she wasn’t going to, she needed to get out of this looney bin.
“You bitch!” The police officer and Gaston weren’t sure what he was going to do when Alric raised his arm but the officer shot him, the force knocking the man back. Gaston ran in, not caring if the officer wanted him to or not.
His arms were around Antoinette in an instant and she clung to his shirt, her face buried in his chest. Alric coughed and she looked down, her eyes widening at the blood pooling beneath him. She pushed out of Gaston’s arms and dropped down next to him, taking his hand. “Antoinette.” Gaston said and she held up her other hand to silence him.
“It’s okay now Alric, everything’s okay.” She said softly.
“Don’t leave.” He gripped tightly to her hand and she reached out, stroking his hair.
“I’m not going anywhere so just rest okay, you need to rest.”
“I know sweetie.”
She sat there and held his hand, not hearing the police officer calling for help. She just sat there and watched as the life drained out of her kidnapper, her heart breaking for the little boy who had been destroyed by a monster. When his hand went limp in hers she let the tears flow freely down her face and turned to Gaston, letting him hold her. “You’re safe now baby, you’re both safe.” He kissed the top of her head and lifted her off the floor, carrying her out to the police cruiser. He pulled off his shirt and tugged it over her head then just held her as they waited.
By the time everything was sorted it was about six am. They returned to their home and paid Hailey for keeping Dane “he wasn’t any trouble”
“thank you for staying so long”
“anytime, I’m glad to see you alright Antoinette. My Uncle will be glad to hear you’re safe” Gaston took Antoinette to their bedroom so they could cuddle until Dane was up. “I cant believe you still showed such sympathy for that man after everything.”
“He was just crazy from a horrible childhood. He was broken from an abusive step mom and a father who didn’t care.”
‘I just want to hold Dane”
“we can get him up”
“No, I’ll be fine. I’m so glad our new baby is alright”
“yeah, I’m so glad you told me what you were doing so I’d have an idea of where to start looking for you. It would have taken much longer if I hadn’t known precisely where to look for you.”
“How was the movie?” Antoinette asked and Gaston actually chuckled “it was good. Dane had been excited to tell you about it”
‘I’ll have him tell me when he’s up”
“speaking of which i had to promise him new books to stay home. I didn’t think he needed to stay in the police station and help hunt for you”
“good idea. Besides, we’re lucky it’s books our kid loves.”
“Yeah, he’s such a smart and amazing kid. You did so well with him.”
“I’ll never stop being sorry I left you out of it for so long”
“hey, that conversation was over a year ago. I understand and now I have you guys so that’s all that matters.” They just laid there, Antoinette glad to be in the safety of her home. She hoped with Dane so young he wouldn’t get upset when she was out of sight now. She didn’t want him scared and stressed about her disappearing again but knew it was a possibility. She knew that if that were the case they could all work through it like the tight, loving family they were. There was nothing the four of them couldn’t handle.
~ The End ~