“A runaway,” Jim Valenti was sitting at his desk in his office over at the Sheriff’s office while his daughter-in-law paced the floor of his office as they discussed the latest developments over how Tommy Ellis had disappeared, and their current suspect for it. Isabel knew to be quiet in how they discussed the matter because she knew the truth couldn’t get out around the station because then that would put Jim at a disadvantage as she fretted and turned to her father-in-law as he said those words. “I am serious.”
“That is how it’s going down?” Isabel asked in disbelief.
“Yes,” Jim nodded. “That is how it’s currently classified. Even the Ellis family buys it because of a letter that made it to their home last night that they brought to our little meeting. Written by their son.”
“Oh god,” Isabel asked. “What did the little creep say?”
“That he is sorry. He loved them, but he’s done some things he’s not proud of and he needs to get away, because it was becoming to stressful for him to be at home right now, and maybe one day he can return home.”
“Do we think he wrote that sentimental crap?” Isabel asked.
“Who knows, maybe, and I having his handwriting tested but he probably didn’t write the one that was delivered to me personally this morning.”
“Oh god what did it say?” Isabel asked as she stopped pacing and looked at Jim.
“He confessed to raping Grace, attacking Elizabeth and harassment and possible abuse of several other females over at the high school, students he doesn’t name. I can’t believe he would write it, but maybe he did but if he did, it was probably under distress.”
“Kal’s urging, before he did whatever he did with the boy?” Isabel asked.
“Yes,” Jim said. “And I have it if he ever does show up alive.”
“What if he doesn’t?” Isabel said. “Wouldn’t it come directly at us…”
“Depends on how much Tommy shared with others. I don’t think many people knew the truth about the park, or what he was threatening to tell at the hospital, so you might be safe in that regard, but you never know” as the door opened, and in walked his son. “Hello, son.”
“How is everything?”
“I have no idea, and that greatly disturbs me” Isabel muttered as she took the letter from Jim and looked at it and shook her head and wished she didn’t have to worry that Kal was thinking of the added suspicion the group would be under, but she then thought of how Nascedo engineered Michael’s emancipation.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Kyle said as he walked to his wife, and saw her reading the letter and he saw the contents. “He actually wrote this and sent it to you?” he asked his father.
“Or Kal made him do it, and then made sure I got it” Jim asked.
“Why did the gods take away our no-drama life,” Isabel muttered as she sat down with a flop on the chair, as she looked at the letter again and looked at Jim. “What does the Ellis family say about all this?”
“They are curious, but then they don’t want to look under the surface of why he would want to run.” Jim observed. “They don’t know what we know…”
“Living under a rock?” Kyle asked.
“They didn’t see it before, and they weren’t going to see it now…” Jim muttered.
“So, all this means?” Isabel asked.
“Grace and Elizabeth and many other girls can breathe a sigh of relief and hope that he doesn’t come back.”
“That would be nice,” Isabel sighed as it would be nice if they didn’t have to think of one crisis of one of the many on the list that was compiling rapidly.
“It leaves us with the mystery of who took Liz fourteen years ago, and why would someone would want to attack Grace” Kyle asked.
“What is up with the suspect?” Isabel asked Jim as it seemed like given all the drama over the few days, the asshole who nearly killed her niece seemed to be getting a free ride despite being behind bars.
“He’s not talking,” Jim said simply. “He still maintains he’s innocent and he has no idea why he’s in Roswell or my jail. Nor does he want to talk about the attack on Sue Adams or Grace. He’ s pleading ignorance.”
“There are witnesses,” Isabel asked.
“Which helps,” Jim nodded. “But he’s pleading insanity at this time. He doesn’t understand how this all happened nor why, I have arrested him. He has no memory of the attack, nor any motive for it… at least according to him.”
“Is he telling the truth?” Kyle asked his eyes wide.
“The girls swear they didn’t do anything to him,” Jim admitted. “Although they also clammed up on advice of their worried parents and they have also danced around the subject since the incident in question.”
“Oh god,” Isabel whispered because the last thing she wanted was to have the kids to worry about in more avenue.
“Could they have?” Kyle asked…
“Elizabeth says she’s innocent on that front,” came a voice from the doorway as they all twisted and saw that Max, Maria and Michael were watching before walking in on the tense conversation. It was Maria who was saying those words, “And for this, I am inclined to believe her.”
“Come in,” Jim said. “We were talking… about several clan related disasters.” Jim muttered as Max was quick to close the door, so the outside of the station didn’t hear their dicey discussions. “His attorney finally surfaced this morning, so I can’t keep him beyond the weekend without calling in a judge for a bail hearing.”
“Will he be held over?” Max asked.
“He says he doesn’t live around here, so we have cause to say he’s a flight risk. He’s adamant he’s innocent so he’s liable to run if given a chance.”
“Let’s hope,” Max sighed as he thought of the capabilities of his daughter and her best friend. They younger generation in the last several weeks were definitely living up to the legend of their parents, and that gave the older generations a lot of pause and concern and he hated to think what those girls may have done in the name of saving Sue.”
“After Tuesday I have doubts that Grace or Elizabeth would have done something. Even in the name of saving Sue,” Maria said as if she could read Max’s mind. “They would have tried some other trick.”
“Why are the gods trying to make life more difficult for us than maybe we even faced in high school,” Maria muttered.
“Everything is reawakened again,” Isabel muttered. “Due to the newer generation, there is potential for the grounds to open up and old crap come back to haunt us through them. Although getting Liz back helps.”
“There is still a way to go on that front,” Max sighed as he thought of the wife, he had but only in name only. “She might be remembering but still that doesn’t guarantee that will make her stay.”
“I am sorry Max,” Jim sighed. “I wished you and Grace didn’t have to face this.”
“She is alive, and that is all that matters” Max smiled. “At the end of the day, we will handle it whereever this may go,” he sighed as he truly hoped they wouldn't lose her from their lives again. What if she wants her life in Connecticut?
he still feared.
“At least you know,” Jim said. “And the twins, they will get a chance to know you. No matter where this goes, they know you and Grace, and you know them.”
Max nodded as he knew he had to be strong for the kids, wherever this may go for the adults. They deserved them to be strong and fearless but even though he now older than he was as a teenager, he still felt the same fears and they always revolved around the same woman, his soulmate Liz. He prayed he could find the same strength to get through the next days, and that this chapter of their lives had a happy ending.
“Max, Beth is over at Crashdown” Isabel said quietly. “Or she was, I don’t know how long she would have stayed. When I was coming here, I parked by the Crashdown and saw her trying to get the courage to go in.”
“Did she?” Max asked as he turned to face his sister.
“I assume so,” Isabel smiled a small smile. “She didn’t have the twins with her, I think they were still asleep, so I am sure didn’t stay that long.”
“God why is this so hard,” Max muttered. “Thank you, Jim, for everything you’re trying to do. Let me know if there is anymore movement on any of the battles we’re fighting, okay?” he asked. “I need to head over to the hospital to visit Grace.”
“Good luck,” Jim said as his friend left the office. “Damn…”
“I know,” Maria murmured. “What we’re all facing or dealing with is minor compared to all the battles Max is dealing with. I don’t know how he can make it through…”
“My brother has always been stronger than he’s been given credit of being, but I even am amazed at how badly this has turned in his direction. It’s one thing after another, and you would think we would have been given a break by now but nope…”
“Maybe Ellis will stay gone,” Michael murmured but knew he was living a fantasy because he knew they wouldn’t be handed a win on this front, despite all Kal was likely doing to rig the game.”
“Eventually he’ll come back to haunt us,” Maria warned. “I need to go pick up Elizabeth as she went over to the hospital to visit Grace and Jake.”
“Go,” Michael said. “I’ll see you at home. I have to check in with the office.”
“Jamie is finished with his swim practice,” Kyle said as he checked his watch. “Do you want me to pick him up.”
“No, let me go.” Isabel smiled as kissed her husband, before leaving as she joined the exodus and therefore before long the office was completely empty except for Jim and Kyle as Jim checked his email, while Kyle took a seat.
“I am sorry if we’re putting you in a position here at work, and with the town?” Kyle asked his father.
“So far, I have always been able to walk the tightrope, but it definitely seems to be getting a little loose at times. But so far I haven’t heard of any complaints from any of my old haunts about questions in regards all that is happening.”
“Why do you think this has all descended on us again” Kyle asked.
“Because Liz is alive, and we know?” Jim queried. “Whatever enemy orchestrated all this was happy for the last fourteen years, and now this has all been opened again and they know it went badly last time, and they are determined to make things even more hellish this time because they have a new generation to concentrate on as well…”
“Let’s hope this doesn’t reach them,” Kyle shivered.
“It probably did if the early evidence is true about Grace’s attacker” Jim observed. “If it’s Khivar. It might not end here… because it opens up the whole field to whatever his long game is…”
“You would think they would know that we’re now on alert and will protect our children…all of them from any threats posed. We didn’t know about Liz, so we couldn’t help her now we will know for the future and further attempts on any of them.”
“We just have to be ware,” Jim said as Kyle only nodded and got up and gave his good-byes and left his father to do his work as he did more of a search of their attacker, as he planned for a bail hearing to be held Monday morning. He just prayed nothing else would happen as he focused on his work.
“Max, she’s left…” Jeff Parker came running as Max bypassed the Crashdown and he saw his son-in-law walk by his restaurant as he was helping a customer. Realizing Max wasn’t intending to come inside, he decided to go and see Max.
“Isabel told me she wanted to go in.” Max said as he stopped and turned. “How did it go?”
“Short,” Jeff said honestly. “I could tell she was uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to push her. So, she picked herself up something for herself and the kids for breakfast, and quickly left. But just the knowledge she was here…”
“I know,” Max smiled. “We all are going to have to deal with the reality of the situation.”
“She’s alive Max, that is all I care about right now. We can take it as slow as she wants. But Nancy and I have our daughter back. She might not be who we remember her to be, but who is… We’re different too, so we’ll take it one moment at a time.”
“I am glad you have that chance and that we all have that chance,” Max smiled. “I was headed over to see Grace. Do you want me to say hello for you?”
“Tell her I will be around later; Nancy is planning to take the afternoon shift and so I’ll come over and spend some time with her.”
“Good,” Max nodded as he headed for his car as Jeff sighed and walked back into the restaurant and back to normalcy.
Beth felt like a chicken as she walked into her motel room and checked the time and knew the girls were probably awake by now because it would be unprecedented for them to sleep this late when they knew they had adventures to seek out, but she thought back to her time at the Crashdown. She could see the hope in Jeff Parker’s face as she came in, and the glares as the customers in the restaurant buzzed around as they witnessed her walk into the establishment. And yet she still didn’t have the memories of the place to make the Parker’s dreams come true with her acceptance of that part of her life. She wondered why there was still such a wall that she was hiding behind in terms of Liz’s parents… She was remembering more about her life with Max, or Liz’s life with Max and Grace. But nothing about Liz’s parents…
“I need to stop thinking of them in the distance,” she muttered as she took the breakfast, she took from the Crashdown and walked next door, and knocked. “Girls, are you awake?”
“Come in Mom,” Carrie sang from the bathroom, so Beth opened the door, and found Alexandra making her bed and Carrie’s unmade, and each girl dressed.
“I brought breakfast,” Beth said as she delivered each an order of a breakfast burrito and some hash brown’s, and some orange juice. “You were asleep when I got up, so I went out…”
“Cool,” Carrie smiled. “We’re both hungry. Did you see anything Mom?”
“A few things,” Beth said as the girls ate their breakfasts.
“What is the plan for today?” Alexandra asked as she dived into her hash browns.
“We’ll probably take it easy,” Beth smiled. “It’s been a long couple of days. Right now, I don’t have a plan… but I’ll let you know if that changes.”
“Are we going to see Max and Grace?” Carrie asked.
“We’ll see,” Beth said as she wasn’t sure what today would hold, and she didn’t know what it meant for them as she navigated the tricky waters of being in Roswell and facing the unknown.
“I wonder how Grace is?” Alexandra asked as she polished off her burrito.
“Maybe we’ll stop by later and see how she is doing, but in the meantime once you’re done with breakfast. I figure we will go and look around.”
“So, can I get out of this bed?” Jake was asking his doctor as she came into the room to observe her patient. Jake had been fretting all night since he also saw the report on television about Tommy going missing, and he also had the same thoughts as Grace as he traced the disappearance to his family, or at least had the same fears. And now he had to get out of this bed and move around at least.
“How is the pain?” the doctor was asking.
“It hasn’t gotten any worse, and I have adapted to the pain level I was facing so can I get out of this bed?” Jake asked as he needed to do something more than lay in this bed.
“Your leg still needs time,” the doctor tried, and Jake started to protest but she continued. “But because I am aware from your parents that you will do something rash and detrimental to your recovery if you’re not allowed some freedom, well, I will allow you access to a wheelchair if you promise to stay off your leg and not to do too much, okay?”
“When?” Jake asked excited to get out of the bed.
“I will have a chair delivered to the room,” the doctor said. “But be careful okay, otherwise you will be spending more time in this hospital than you would have had to.”
“I promise,” Jake said as the doctor made the notion, and went to make the arrangements.
“Thank you, Dr. Jacobs,” he called out as he couldn’t wait to get out of this room as Elizabeth walked in. “What’s going on Elizabeth. What is happening with Ellis?”
“Boy, both you and Grace are way too impatient,” Elizabeth quipped. “I came to pay a lovely visit to my big brother, and best friend and I am getting peppered with questions.”
“Sorry, I am glad to see you,” Jake sighed as he was quick to add. “So, you’ve seen Grace?”
“Yup,” Elizabeth smiled at the second nature of her brother’s questions turning to Grace. “She’s bored, but she is doing better than she was...”
“Good,” Jake said. “What’s going on with Ellis?”
“As I have told Grace, I have no news except to say Mom and Dad swear it’s not any of them or our clan for that matter. And you and Grace both have alibi’s, and Mom and Dad can attest that I was at home, so I think we’re off the hook on this one, at least. “
“Who knows,” Elizabeth said with a broad smile on her face. “I was home at the time, although I would have loved to have seen how it happened… but let’s hope he’s gone for good.”
“Let me have my happiness will you as both you and Grace are trying to crush my buzz. I will come down from it eventually. Yes, I know it looks bad for us, and it doesn’t help anyone for him to be missing as much as it is good for my moral, but I can’t help it. He hurt a lot of people, including those in our inner sanctum,” Elizabeth asked as she couldn’t remember if her brother knew about what Ellis did to her. Everyone in the family did, it seemed
, she mused to herself, but she knew it wasn’t wise to tell her older brother who already took the fact Grace was hurt personally, he would be downright murderous if he knew the truth about his little sister.
“You are way to happy?” Jake asked. “Why?” he asked suspiciously at his sister. “You are too buzzed up about it, and yes I know he hurt Grace and I would have liked to have gotten my hands on him for that and I actually did, but still… I don’t get you…”
“You don’t have to get me Jake, let me celebrate and them embrace the fallout later,” Elizabeth muttered. “I have more reasons for wanting him gone than you even know.”
“Because Tommy tried to hurt Elizabeth too,” came a shocking voice in the room and they stunningly looked over and saw Grace wheeling herself into the room…
“Oh my God Grace, what are you doing here…” Elizabeth asked as she saw her friend wheel herself into the room, as Jake looked in speechless and in awe after more than twenty-four hours of not seeing Grace.