Alissa: Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-One

Screenshot-98-22Alex was now on-site.  From the moment he had heard that Joy had been abducted,  Alex’s thinking had become a racing jumble.  He had to get himself together before he faced his family, before he faced Alissa.  He had to think clearly in order to locate Joy.

“Sir, all exits and entrances are still being monitored.   We’re interviewing all visitors at the venue.   Just as we thought, the missing child was a diversion.  He was found unharmed locked inside a utility closet.  He was grabbed from behind and didn’t see the person who abducted him.   The “perp” bound and gagged the worker on duty in the animal care unit on-site.   He took his uniform and thus had free range at the venue.  The area is being searched.   We’ve brought in the local P.D. to help with the search.  Also sir, your family has arrived to pick up the children. “

Screenshot-133Cara couldn’t stop crying, and Aidan was scared.  Shawn was angry with himself for not protecting Joy.  He was pacing back and forth full of guilt.  Dale and Alissa came into the room and Aidan ran to Dale.  Dale picked him up and held him as he went over to Cara.  Alissa walked over to the police officer and demanded to see Alex.  The officer forwarded her request, and Alex agreed to see her.  He took her into a private room.

Screenshot-127Alissa walked over and slapped him.   He didn’t flinch.

Screenshot-128“Alex, I trusted you!  You said that Joy and Aidan were safe now.  What happened!  Where is my baby!”

Alex didn’t have an answer for her.  Their plan had gone wrong.  The “perp” had gotten away, taking Joy with him.  Alissa looked into his eyes, and she saw the pain and anguish there.  He had lost his confidence and looked defeated.   That scared her even more!  She turned away from him to compose herself.  Then she looked at him again trying to find the right words to say.

Screenshot-129“Alex, this is what you do for a living!  You know how to find our daughter.  Get yourself together and do your job now!  If you let this man hurt her–!”   Alissa trailed off.  She didn’t want to think about that.

Screenshot-130Alex said quietly.  “I’m going to find her, Alissa.  I’ll keep you informed.” 

Alissa returned to Dale and the children.  There was nothing else that she could do except to hope that Alex would find her baby.  She comforted Cara, and told her and Shawn not to blame themselves.  They hadn’t done anything wrong.  Alex promised to let them know when he had anything to share.

Screenshot-99One of Alex’s senior team members came into the room carrying a cup of coffee for him and placed it on the desk.  He looked at Alex closely.

“Are you ready to do your job, or do I need to take over?”

Screenshot-100The steel came back into Alex’s eyes.  Yes, his confidence had been shaken, but he couldn’t afford to let that cripple him.  Joy needed him.

“Let’s get back to work.  Get the team together and we’ll set up here in the manager’s office.”

Screenshot-104-1Joy looked around.  The place where he had taken her appeared to be a converted garage. 

“What’s your name?”

Screenshot-106-1He didn’t answer her question.    “Your Daddy and his team thought they were so smart!”  He laughed.  “They pinned the wrong man!”

Joy didn’t say anything.  She just looked at him with her bright innocent eyes.  As he looked at her, he realized that she was no longer afraid.  Usually at this point in the other abductions, the child was pleading or crying to be returned to their mother or father.  However, Joy just looked at him with an interested expression.

“I bet you miss your Daddy, and he’s missing you too!  He and his team aren’t as great as they think they are.”   He smirked.

Screenshot-109-1“Do you mean Alex?”

“You call your Daddy, Alex?”

“Alex is my bio-father.   I haven’t known him very long.  I don’t know him that well yet.  I guess he might be missing me.”

That surprised, Roger.   “Why don’t you know him?”

“He was working out of the country for most of my life.  He came back when I got sick to help me.  After he moved back into the country, my Mom and Dad told me that Alex is my bio-father.”

“You were sick?”

Screenshot-110-1“Yeah, I had leukemia.  No one else in the family was a match for my marrow.  Alex found out that he was a match and came back to give me some of his marrow.  Now I’m well again, and he says he wants to get to know me better.  I said that I would try, but like I told you, I don’t know him very well yet.”

As  Roger looked at Joy, a funny feeling came over him.  He was seeing his own son sitting there.  His son before his body was ravaged by infection, before the doctors had mutilated him!  It was something about her personality, the expression in her eyes,  that was like his son’s.  He pressed his hands against his head and turned away.

Screenshot-1181 -1

 

“Do you have a headache?  I can get you some aspirin.  Is there some in the bathroom?”

“No, I’m alright.”

He asked himself, “Why did she care!  She was supposed to be afraid and begging him to let her go!  This wasn’t how it was supposed to work!”

“Do you have any kids?”

Screenshot-112-1He turned back to her.

“I had a son.”

“How old was he?”

“He was close to your age.”

“What happened to him?”

At first, Roger stood there looking blankly at Joy.  Although his eyes appeared focused on her, he was seeing his son seated there.  Then he started talking.  It had been years since he’d spoken to anyone about it.

Screenshot-108-1“My son broke his leg in a fall from his treehouse in the backyard.  This was the second bone that he had broken that year.  He’d broken his arm in a fall off of his bicycle previously.  For some reason, his doctor decided that my wife and I were responsible for his broken bones.   He called the authorities, who on his word, took our son from us.  They termed us abusive parents and we were not permitted to see him.” 

While in the hospital, he developed an infection from what they called “flesh eating bacteria.”   I  sneaked into the hospital to see him.  My son was extremely thin and weak, but the worst part is that they had amputated his right foot.  As weak as he was, he was still very brave and happy to see me.  He died a few days after that.  The authorities said that the sepsis had spread throughout his body.  If they had just let us take care of him at home, if they hadn’t taken him from us, then he would not have remained in that hospital to sicken and die alone.  He would not have caught that infection.  My wife was heartbroken.”

“Where is your wife?”

“She walked into the ocean and drowned herself.”

Screenshot-111-11“Oh no!  You must be very sad.  I know I would be.  At least I had my Mommy and my Dad while I was sick.  I wish I could make you feel better.  Is that why you took me?”

“What?”

“Did you take me because you want a little girl?”

He didn’t answer.

Screenshot-123George walked into the office.  Alex glanced at him.  “I know you’re angry because I didn’t inform the local P.D. about our operation.  We thought it best to keep a low profile in order to draw the “perp.  Yes, it may have been a mistake, but now we have to go on from here.”

George sighed.  Alex was an ass sometimes, but he was right.  They could argue later.  Now they needed to find Joy.

Screenshot-124“I’ll get more of my men involved in searching the surrounding area.  I assume your guys are still searching the areas in close proximity to the circus.”

Screenshot-126“Yes they are.  Thanks George, and one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you what I was doing.”

Screenshot-125“Couldn’t or chose not to tell me?   It doesn’t matter now.  Let’s find Joy.”

Dale and Shawn joined the search for Joy.  Dale was furious with Alex and didn’t trust himself to see him right now.  So he stayed away from him.

Screenshot-114“So did you see Agent Stallworth’s ex-wife?”

“Yes.  She’s even better looking in person than she is on television.  I saw them together and he’s clearly still in love with her.”

“What about her?”

Screenshot-115“I saw her interact with her husband too.  She’s crazy about him, but I think she still has some lingering attraction for the boss too.”

Screenshot-119“Well Agent Stallworth is definitely easy on the eyes, and so far he’s good to work with.   Despite all that’s going on he gave me time to call my son to say goodnight.   His Daddy was just putting him to bed.”

“Yeah, he is a good boss.  Let’s help him find Joy.”

Screenshot-117-1“What things did your son like to do?”

“He liked boats and baseball and bikes.   He loved having sleepovers with his friends in his treehouse.  After he died, I couldn’t bear to look at it.  I cut it down.”

“My brother and I have a tree house!  We play in ours all the time too.  Aidan plays soccer more than baseball though.  Me, I love to dance.  I go to dance classes, and we sometimes give performances.  Would you like to come to my next one?”

Screenshot-109Alex and his team were going back over the “perp’s” profile.   They had commandeered the venue manager’s office.  The “perp” had changed his appearance just as they had anticipated.  They rejected the idea that he’d had inside help from workers at the circus.  More than likely he’d learned the layout from researching public documents and internet records.

Screenshot-113Alex spoke with the manager of the circus venue.   Then with his team.

“There were no surveillance cameras in the animal holding and training area.  The manager didn’t say it, but they were omitted intentionally to avoid having evidence for the ASPCA to use in citing them for their treatment of the animals.  Therefore, the “perp” was able to do as he wanted without observation in that area.”

Alex sat back down at the computer to continue dissecting the “perp’s” profile. 

Screenshot-111“Agent Stallworth, I’ve located redacted patient records for the “perp’s” son.”

“Redacted?  So the hospital was hiding what really happened and replaced his health history with the other records.”

“That’s the way it appears now, Sir.  The boy’s doctor died in an automobile accident shortly after the child’s death.  However, some of the medical personnel who treated the boy are still working at the facility.  I’ll twist their arms and jog their memories.”

Screenshot-110Alex was looking at the information that she had already retrieved and was shocked when he saw a picture of the doctor who had treated the “perp’s” son.  Alex and the doctor’s appearance were very similar.  Alex could be a younger version of the doctor!

“I think I just found the reason why the “perp” fixated on my daughter.”

Screenshot-112“Sir, I know why he’s so angry!”

She presented the facts that she had uncovered to the team.  They now knew that the “perp’s son had been unjustly taken from him and that his son had sickened and died in the hospital.   The hospital and local authorities had attempted to cover up the incident.  They also learned that the “perp’s” wife had committed suicide a year after the death of their son.  They believed that was the event that had “triggered” the “perp’s” deviant behavior.

The perpetrator whom they had identified as Roger Hueston wanted revenge against the world that he believed had robbed him of everyone important in his life.  He wanted other people to experience the pain that he had suffered at the loss of his son.  They also suspected that he had been in some way responsible for the death of the doctor.

Screenshot-120George and his assistant were tracking the search for Joy and the “perp.”

“Everything in this area was under observation before the “perp” took Joy, and the roads in and out were immediately shut down.”

Screenshot-122-22George frowned and then had the solution.

“He left on foot!  He didn’t drive away.”

“That has to be it!”

George quickly radioed Alex.

They had searched all of the residences and buildings near the circus venue.  What had they missed!

“If he was on foot, then it would have taken him longer to arrive at his hideaway than it would if he had driven, and he’s not going to choose a place where a child’s screams could be easily heard.”

Screenshot-121 “I think I know where he is.”

Screenshot-114-1His anger was draining away.  He was finally beginning to feel an inner peace for the first time since his son had died.  He never had believed in fate, but what if somehow his son had directed him to find Joy.  Maybe Roger Jr. was telling him it was time to stop seeking revenge and just let him go. 

Looking at Joy now, he couldn’t help but see his son.  Not the sick child in the hospital, but his happy, healthy little boy.  Hurting Joy would feel like he was hurting Roger.  She had Roger’s spirit, his spunk, his open heart.

Screenshot-100Then a police officer kicked in the door!  Alex and a member of his team came into the room with their guns drawn!

Screenshot-99-1Roger pulled Joy in front of him.

“Stop right there if you don’t want anything to happen to the girl!”

Screenshot-104Alex held his hand out to the other agent signalling for her not to fire.  He holstered his own weapon and tried to reason with Roger.

“Roger,  you are understandably angry about what happened to your wife and son.  It was inexcusably unjust and unforgivable.   However, this child, my daughter is an innocent, loving little girl.  Hurting her won’t bring your son or your wife back.  You know in your heart that they would not want you to harm another child.  Wouldn’t they want you to get help?  I’m here to help you.  We can make the authorities responsible for the death of your son be held accountable for their unlawful actions.  Harming Joy won’t make them pay for what they’ve done.”

Screenshot-102“He’s not going to hurt me, Alex.  We’re friends now.  He needs a friend.”

Screenshot-106Roger felt tears come into his eyes at Joy’s words.   He leaned down and grabbed a wrench.  He pushed Joy away as he lunged at Alex!  

Screenshot-108Agent Miles fired and shot Roger!   Joy screamed and Alex picked her up and quickly carried her out of the house.  Roger Hamilton Sr. was dead and no longer a threat to anyone.  He had chosen suicide by cop.  Alex knew that their initial deduction that Roger subconsciously wanted to be stopped had been correct.

Screenshot-131As word went out that Joy was safe, Alex drove up to Alissa’s home.  Joy ran ahead and into the house.   Alissa, Cara and Aidan were in the great room.

“Joy!”

They were all crying and hugging her.  Alex stood in the doorway.  Alissa looked at him and smiled.

Screenshot-132“Thank you for bringing her back to us.”

Alex smiled and then left the house.

Screenshot-134Alex was staying with Leslie and George for the night before heading back home with his team the following morning.    He wasn’t surprised to see Noah.  Noah wanted to speak with him privately.  They went into George and Leslie’s office to talk.  Noah got quickly to the point.

“I don’t forgive as easily as the rest of the family.  I don’t buy the crap that you thought they would be safe.  You were determined to catch that guy at the risk of the children.  I’ll break your neck if you ever put my daughter in danger like that again.”

Alex looked Noah.  He was still on crutches but that didn’t stop him from doing what he needed to do to protect his daughter.  He had quickly gained Alex’s respect.

Screenshot-137“Noah, if I were in your place, I would have said the same thing.  You have my word that I won’t ever knowingly put any of the family in danger and especially not my little great niece.”  He paused and then said,  “Just make this the last time that you threaten me.”

Screenshot-136Noah didn’t blink as he said, “Oh, this will be the last time.  Because if anything like this happens again I won’t give you a warning.  I’ll just break your neck.  One more thing.  You’d better be glad that I came in here instead of Sharlee.  She was out to skin you!”

Alex laughed at that.  Noah left soon after.  Alex had already had a confrontation with Dale.  He frowned when he remembered it.

Screenshot-141“I never would have thought that you would use your own family, your own daughter to advance your career.”

“Dale, you know me better than that!”

Screenshot-142Dale had studied Alex’s face thoughtfully.   “Do I still know you, Alex?  There seem to be so many versions of you over the years.  The big brother I grew up with.  The man who tried to take my wife away from me.  The man who faked his death.  The man who came to save his daughter’s health.  The man who returned to become a part of his daughter’s life.”

Screenshot-144Alex grinned at Dale.  “Let’s just say that I’m a work in progress, but I’m still your big brother, Dale.  I won’t ever take a chance like this with our family again.  I had the best of intentions, but the risk was too great.”

Screenshot-138Leslie came into the room, and she hugged Alex tightly.   “I know this was a tough one, Alex.  I’m not going to beat you up like the others have.  You know how we feel about what you did, but we still love you.”

Alex needed to hear that.  He breathed out a deep sigh of relief.  He was ready to go back home and start working on his next case.

 ______________

I kept changing my mind about the ending of this chapter.  I had planned for Joy to die, but decided against it again.   All the pictures have been added now.  🙂

 

21 thoughts on “Alissa: Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-One

  1. I’m speechless. These last two chapters were really good 🙂
    If you killed Joy I would have been completely devastated! I’m glad you didn’t though.
    Let’s hope baby Hall #2 is on it’s way! I hope it’s a boy, we need more boys in this family.

    Thank you for working so hard on these chapters, they turned out really good!

    • Thanks Kelli! 🙂

      I’m glad I didn’t do kill her now. I would have been sad too. We are short on boys aren’t we! 😯

      You are so welcome! ❤ Thank you, Kelli. I'm happy that you enjoyed reading them!

  2. wonderful chapter!!! I could never imagine Joy dying!! That would have probably been one of the most shocking things that happened in ‘Alissa’. I don’t think the family would ever get over it, especially Alex, it would probably end him. I’m so glad Joy was alright and the perpetrator’s actions stemmed from his own anguish rather than some psychopathic, mentally-unstable murderer. So glad Joy survived but how horrible to witness someone getting shot!! Anyway, great chapter and so glad it was posted so soon, because the last chapter was such a cliffhanger! 🙂

    • Thank you, Layla! 🙂

      You’re right about how Joy’s death would effect her family. Alissa would be devastated and Alex would probably have not been able to handle the guilt. 😦

      The perpetrator really did have some horrible things happen to him. Some people do snap when they suffer such horrible events in their lives like he did.

      Joy will need therapy. After recovering from leukemia, discovering that Alex is her bio-Dad and seeing Roger get shot, she has been through a lot. 😦

      Thank you, Layla! I’m glad you enjoyed it! ❤

  3. OMG THAT WAS SO SO SO GOOD! THANKS FOR NOT KILLING JOY! Although that would be good drama… But I thinks it’s too soon from her cancer to kill her. Great Update, as always!

  4. Wow! So intense! I’m really glad you decided not to kill Joy. And I’m very curious, what made you want to in the first place? Like what benefit would it have had to the story? Because from my perspective, it would have irreparably darkened all the characters, especially the three parents. It also would’ve destroyed Alex, as she’s his only child. Dale and Alissa’s marriage might not have even survived the ordeal, as many times couples divorce after losing a child.

    I’m also curious about why you decided against it in the end. Was it just because killing a child character would have been too hard, or because of Joy’s potential for later, or the damaging effects on other characters and the story’s dynamic? And if you don’t mind sharing, how was she going to die?

    I’m glad they caught the perp. But poor Joy, having to be kidnapped, befriend the guy, be used as a human shield, and watch the police take him out! She’s going to need so much therapy!

    Circuses are creepy, hands down. They’re like, the place to go if you want to get kidnapped :).

    • It’s probably a very silly reason, and it’s my own fault. I’ll use her relationship with Aidan as an example. Joy is his sister and his cousin. For some reason, that was bothering me, but that’s what happened when I decided to have Alissa marry Alex and have a child with him.

      I planned to have her die from leukemia, but I couldn’t do it. Then in this storyline, I was going to have the “perp” kill her like he did the other children he abducted, but I couldn’t do it again. Now I’m attached to Joy too. So she’s definitely going to remain in the story. I know I can’t kill her off! 😀

      Yeah, it would have really turned the story dark, and I don’t want it to be a completely dark story. I already had Alissa lose a child after she was raped, and this would probably have been too much to make her bear. Alex would not have been able to handle the guilt or the loss of his only child. You are right about the way they all would have been effected. Skylar would have been devastated too because she’s very attached to Joy. Okay, now I’m even more glad that I didn’t kill her off!

      I think I’ve done enough to Joy now. 😦 She definitely deserves a happy break!

      You feel that way about circuses? I have always thought that clowns are a bit creepy. Even when I was a small child, they never made me laugh. Then when I was a teenager I saw a movie called “Killer Clowns from Outer Space.” Even though it was a horror movie and not real, it fit in with how I always saw clowns. You’ll notice that I didn’t have them as an act at the circus! LOL

      Thanks for reading my story, Maddie! ❤

  5. A wonderful two chapters. I am grateful you didn’t kill of Joy that would have been devastating. I can’t believe Alex put the family at risk and am not sure I could have been forgiving. I am glad that the children ok but sad that the perp thought this was his way out of the pain and suffering he’d endured. I can’t wait to see what other things are going on with this family. I also hope Sharlee and Noah have another baby soon.

    • Thank you, KSmomma! ❤

      I think it would have made me sad to let Joy die too! 😦

      Alex took too huge of a risk and put too much confidence in himself and his team to keep Joy safe. He does know that now, but it probably has shaken Alissa's trust in his decision making when it comes to her children.

      It was really sad for the "perp" Roger too. He's had some awful things happen to him, and definitely handled it in a horrible way. In the end, he knew he couldn't live with the things that he'd done and wanted to die. 😦

      Noah and Sharlee are working on getting another little one! 😉

    • No, she is really sad. I did think of having her pretend that she was his friend, but I felt that she is too young to fake like that. Most children are very trusting, and she didn’t know about all of the bad things that he had done in the past.

      Her family has mentioned before what a big heart she has, and she sensed the sadness that Roger felt. She really didn’t believe that he wanted to hurt her.

      In the next chapter, we’ll see just a bit more about the effect on her. Therapy will help her just as it has helped her family in the past. She’ll still be sweet, loving Joy. 🙂

      More to come for her and for her family, good and difficult times! 😉

      I think they could use a little break in the difficult times in the next chapter though. 😀

  6. I’m bit behind on reading my stories and writing my own. Phew!!

    Anyways, Love it! It was great, I was on edge of my seat, trying hurry up and read. (Since I’m at work)

  7. So many thoughts on this 2 part-er… First, Alex is a bonehead. I can’t believe he’d put his family through that, especially considering he’s just really getting back into good graces with them. But he is just so darn arrogant, that I’m not really surprised. There have been times I’ve wanted to see Alex ‘taken down a notch’, but not like this.
    Second, Joy is one very brave and very strong little girl. I find it interesting that you chose not to kill her off; I understand your reasons from other comment replies and don’t fault you at all. I do think it would have been interesting to see how the family deals with the whole situation, but you’re right that it would have become a pretty dark and heavy story. I agree with you, I think the family could use some lighthearted times and to just deal with normal life drama and not all the craziness that has been happening (which, btw… we still don’t really know everything about Noah’s accident! Dun dun dunnnnnn!! haha) 🙂 Great stuff Daisies!

    • Alex really is arrogant, but putting Joy in such a dangerous situation has chastened him a bit. Just a bit though! LOL He’s still arrogant, but he won’t knowingly put any of the children in his family in danger again.

      After almost dying from cancer, Joy is stronger than a lot of children her age. She has a lot of empathy for others, and that’s why she wasn’t afraid of Roger. She was at first, but then she saw how depressed and lonely he was. She didn’t know about what he’d done to the other children that he’d abducted, and so she didn’t believe that he would really hurt her. You’re right that she is a brave and strong little girl. She got that from her mother, and maybe a bit of Alex too! 😀

      I was thinking that it might be time for a family vacation. I haven’t decided where, though; or if it should be the whole family together. Maybe it’s time for Sharlee and Noah to go on a vacation with Skylar. The rest of the family can go on a separate vacation. Or maybe it’s time for the family to buy a big vacation house at the beach where they could all go together. 🙂

      It’s funny you mentioned Noah’s accident! More on that is coming in the next chapter. 😉

      Awww, thanks Angie! ❤

  8. Hi, I finally caught up again. I kind of like reading several chapters at a time, but I know it’s been a long while. I’m sorry I haven’t talk to you for awhile. I hope you are fine.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is one of my favorite stories.

    I’m also glad you didn’t kill Joy off. I would suggest to kill off Alex, but I think he bring drama to the table. I’m actually curious where all of this will lead with Joy now knowing he is her bio-father.

    To comment about a past chapter, I wonder why Noah’s brakes didn’t work….. ummmmm!

    I can’t wait for the next chapter. I really enjoyed catching up on the past ones. Great work as always.
    Jensjch2000

    • Hi Jens! ❤ I'm fine and I hope you are too.

      Awww, that is so sweet of you to say!

      No, I just couldn't kill her off. She's made it into my heart too much to do that to her now. So, we'll get to see her grow up too. 😀

      We'll find out more about Noah's accident in the next chapter. 😉

      Thank you so much, Jens! 🙂

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