Sitting in Liz’s private hospital room. Jeff was trying to keep his daughter calm as she still insisted on wanting to go to the conference. They were all worried that the constant fretting about the damn conference, it would cause a setback for her health and so Michael decided to do something about it as he walked into the room and saw his friend in her hospital bed.
“If you promise to stay in the hospital until you have completely recovered and are officially released, and that you stop with the fretting and pleas to get out of here, I’ll go to the conference for you.”
Liz stopped the squirming in her bed, and stopped her pestering of her father to persuade Kyle to get her released, and concentrated on Michael. “You would be willing to do that for me?”
“I would be willing to do it, so you get better, and for Isabella. Since I am a private investigator, and an expert in her disappearance, I can lead my expertise at the conference. Maria would have my head if I do anything to impede your recovery, so I am willing to do it. We do need to make sure that everyone knows Bella’s story.”
“Thank you, Michael”
“Now do you promise me you stay here until the doctors release you” Michael ordered, and Liz smiled a grateful smile.
“We're only trying to do what we feel is best for you?” Michael assured his friend as with a smile Jeff left the room with a pat of approval on Michael’s shoulder. “Only you would get me to go to Vegas again,” he cracked once they were alone.
Liz smiled as they both remembered the group’s previous attempt at a Spring Break adventure in Vegas. It wasn’t a good night for both Michael nor Max, until at least Max was able to have a moment with Liz, which she would always treasure even during her most heated anger at the guy.
Yet the mention of Vegas meant memories of Max for Liz, and she hated it and hated how even all these years later Max brought confusion into her life. “Would you please stop your wife from bringing my ex into the situation, and I'll be happy to focus on my recovery.”
“You brought him into the situation when you refused to let myself and Jim go off track Max down for you,” Michael sighed as he risked getting her upset by bringing up the past.
“I was perfectly happy with my life,” Liz lied as she knew full well she fell deep in the hole after Max drove off on his mission, and the ensuing days forced her to make a decision she would soon regret when she ended it while he was still in California. She had thought he would come back after he finished whatever he was doing over there, even with their breakup. Very little had kept them apart or she thought maybe she would change her mind if only he saw him again, but he didn’t show… and never came back again, and therefore she went dark, and did things that she would forever regret.
“Bella is his daughter too you know? Once she comes home, the fact will still be with you?” Michael said quietly.
“He left for a reason Michael and I knew his reasoning and I knew he was not going appreciate if he was dragged back home to deal with me if he hadn’t achieved answers regarding his son to have a child with me.”
“He loves you Liz, and the situation with you and Tess were completely different. You actually have his child, and she didn’t.” Michael sighed. “He would have wanted to be here for you and Bella in an instant and would have treasured it. You know how he was when he believed Tess gave him a child, and to know he had one with you. He loves you Liz, he never loved Tess so he would have grabbed a hold of that potential of a future with you and Bella or at least been here for both of you to support you.”
“Obviously he didn’t want to come back and try to convince me that we needed to be together.” Liz shuttered at the distance of the memories and yet they had the power to consume her into grief and into anger. She sighed as she tried to quell the feeling. “Anyway Michael, he probably has his own family by now, and I am not going to disrupt that? Liz murmured.
Michael trying to ignore the nagging feeling of Max’s call to Isabel from the back of his mind, he sighed. “What if he doesn't? Doesn't he deserve to know that his child is in danger and may need his help? If Maria had been in the same situation, I would have wanted to know, and you would be telling her to tell me.”
“You and Maria are different than me and Max?” Liz cracked. “Max and I have too much history, and that history is better left in the past.”
“You are stubborn you know?” Michael commented.
“I know, but I like my life the way it is. I just need my daughter back, to make it complete,” Liz sighed.
“We could never understand why you got mixed up with that creep after Max left?”
“Because he was the opposite of Max and I needed it as a diversion, and he wasn’t a creep when I first knew him. I thought he was nice, and he enjoyed my company.”
“Too bad he wasn't into marriage, children or staying out of jail?” Michael muttered.
“Well, Sean Deluca is out of my life and when my daughter does come home, I can concentrate on making the best life I can for both of us.”
Michael had choice words to say about Sean Deluca, but he didn’t want to risk with Liz’s condition so fragile, so he knew it was time to leave, “I have to go pick up Betty at camp?”
“Thank you for agreeing to go to the conference next week”
“It’s my pleasure to,” Michael nodded as he got up and left moments later for the camp.
Max had spent time watching the videotapes which was very tedious at times but also contained very good information about the types of missing kid cases out there in the US today. Unfortunately, he was also going between the house, station and the hospital as he tried to get the little girl through her crisis--since she was all alone. He knew there was an attachment with this little girl for some reason. Why, he didn't know. But she was a sweet little girl who just wanted to get better again. Because of that attachment he never got around to watching the Valenti tapes before he had to go to Las Vegas.
It was Sunday morning when he stopped at the hospital to see Molly. He had the weekend off, and he was due to leave for the airport after visiting the child.
“Molly, you look like you’re doing better,” Max smiled as the little girl eyes brightened when she saw Max to come into the room. “I am glad you’re feeling better.”
“I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I have to go out of town on some police business?” Max sighed as he saw the mood cross the face of Molly.
Molly’s eyes showed fear.
“You don’t have to worry, I will be back on Wednesday and I will come and visit you first thing, okay?”
Molly’s face softened.
“Just do something for me, build up your strength for me okay? Show me that you are getting better, okay. Also, my partner, Serena. You have met her, well, she’s going to stop in and see you okay.”
Max sighed with relief that Molly was getting stronger, and the bruises were diminishing by the day, and she indeed was improving as more of the bandages were removed, and you could see the tiny little dusty brunette fully. She was a striking child, and there was something familiar about her, but he had to get home and pick up his bags so that he could make his flight to Vegas.
After Michael left for the conference, Liz sat on her hospital bed and read the newspapers from all over the country hoping to find a clue to Isabella’s whereabouts. It was also to keep her mind off the conference. Knowing she should be there, but at least Michael would be there.
She picked up the LA Times and started to go through the paper and came across an article!
10-year-old Molly Davidson remains in Intensive Care at Cedar Sinai Hospital as she recovers from an almost fatal beating last week. She had multiple broken ribs, concussion, both broken legs, fractured skull and wrist, crushed throat which has made impossible for the little girl to talk in any detail. Doctors are very optimistic at the little girl’s full recovery, but it is going to be a long road for the little girl who was in a spare room in the basement battered and bruised. Her family consists of a father and four older brothers; Mark Davidson Sr who is her father, and his sons Mark Davidson Jr, Sonny, Davis and Hawk. Her mother died six months ago of cancer.
Police have been looking for the father who vanished before the little girl was located. The brothers have also disappeared, and police are looking for them as well as the father. The lead detective, Detective Evans has said that it was a problem house since the mother died and he and his partner had been out to the house on three official visits. But there was nothing they really could do, as each time the father would explain away, and the children seem fine. But the latest call was the most serious, and unfortunately this time the kids slipped away, and they were horrified to find the girl in such distress. She is under constant monitoring by the nursing staff and the police.
The detective is asking anyone who has any information on what happened or the whereabouts of the father and the brothers to please contact Det. Evans at (222) 555-1221 ext. 120
There were tears in Liz’s eyes when she put the paper down and got out of bed and walked over to the window and looked out at the park across the street. Since it was Sunday, there were plenty of kids having the time of their lives. Her thoughts went back to Isabella who should be planning her summer and not fearing for her life somewhere out there.
The tears easily came!