Alissa: Chapter One Hundred and Sixty

Screenshot-159“I am so glad to be home and out of that hospital!”

Sky was standing in the hallway looking up at him.

“I glad too Daddy!”

Screenshot-160Noah made his way over to the couch, and Sharlee helped him get settled.  She kissed him.  Sharlee and Skylar helped him take off his shoes, and then Sharlee helped Sky take off hers.  Sky scrambled up onto the couch beside him, and Noah hugged her to him with his good hand.  It was hard for him to adjust to being incapacitated.

Screenshot-161Sharlee didn’t care that he was battered.  Skylar didn’t care either.  She was just happy her Daddy was back home.  Sharlee was relieved that he was home where she could look after him.  They heard Noah’s stomach growl loudly.

Screenshot-163“I guess my appetite is back or maybe it’s relieved to not have that hospital food anymore.”

Screenshot-162Sharlee laughed.  “I’ll fix us something.”

Screenshot-165She went over to the refrigerator and was shocked to find it fully stocked with prepared meals.  The freezer was as well.  There was a note on the counter from her Aunt Leslie.  It read:  “Sweetie, your Gran Kaye and I wanted you to be able to relax as much as possible and just enjoy your family.  We didn’t want you to have to spend time cooking or have to worry about planning meals.  Please call if you need us for anything!  We love you, and we know your Mom would do this for you if she could.”

Sharlee smiled and quickly put lunch out on the table for the three of them.  She called her aunt and grandmother later that day to thank them.  She was happy to be able to spend more of her time spoiling Noah and Skylar until she had to return to her regular schedule later in the week.

Screenshot-97-1The public liaison for Alex’s unit was holding a press conference with Alex and the rest of the team standing nearby.

“At 5:00 a.m. this morning, a suspect by the name of Abel Cooney was arrested.  He is believed to be responsible for a series of child abductions and murder cases in Northfield, Minnesota over the past two years.  I’m sorry but we won’t be taking any questions today.”

She left the podium and Alex and the other members of the team went with her.

Screenshot-99Alissa and her children had been rushed to a plane in the middle of  the night.  This was the third time that the agents had relocated them.

Screenshot-106Alissa never knew where they were going.  She was glad though that it was always at night, and the children slept through the flights.  Alissa fell asleep as well until agent Hendrix awakened her and told her that their plane had landed.  Aidan and Joy were still sleeping, and he was carrying Aidan.  He suggested that Agent Stinson carry Joy out to the car, but Alissa thanked him and said that she would carry Joy.

Screenshot-110After they disembarked from the plane, Alissa looked around the airport shocked to realize that they were back in Santa Fe.  Agent Stinson told her that Agent Stallworth would call her in the morning to explain.

Screenshot-223Dale had been asleep until the alarm panel on his bedside let him know that the alarm had been unarmed.  He always set it to inform him after he went to bed for the night.  He quickly got up and went into the great room.

Screenshot-225He was completely surprised and pleased to see Alissa and his children enter the door.

He took a still sleeping Aidan from the agent, and he and Alissa put Joy and Aidan into their beds.  Dale met Alissa back at the stairway, and she rushed to him for a tight hug.

Screenshot-226“I missed you!”

Screenshot-227“I missed you too!”

Screenshot-229They kissed, each glad to hold the other.

They went downstairs to thank the agents for taking such good care of them and to say goodbye to them.

Screenshot-233Aidan opened his eyes and there was sunlight pouring into the room.  He looked around and then shut his eyes quickly again.  He reopened them and saw that it was really true.  He was home in his own bed in his own room!  He jumped out of bed and went rushing out into the hall!

“Daddy!  Shawn, Cara!  Where is everyone!”

Screenshot-234He went racing down the stairs and out into the great room.  Shawn and Cara were there eating breakfast and were shocked to see their little brother coming toward them.  They both got up and rushed to hug him!   They heard Joy come running down the stairs too and hugged her happily as well!

“When did you two get home!  Is Mom here too?  Where is she?”

Alissa had still been sleeping and Dale was just getting dressed when they heard the commotion.  They went out into the great room to join their children.

Screenshot-236Alissa had tears in her eyes as she hugged Cara and Shawn.  Joy and Aidan dive bombed Dale and hugged him too!

Joy gave Dale a happy kiss!

Screenshot-237Then Dale hugged Aidan tightly.

Screenshot-176Shawn walked into the house ahead of Cara.  He’d stopped at Starbucks on his way home from school and bought a cappuccino.  He sat it on the counter and then went upstairs to put his backpack away.  He came back downstairs to get his drink.  It wasn’t on the counter!  He looked in the fridge to see if anyone had put it in there.

Screenshot-177He didn’t see it there either!

Screenshot-178Cara was really enjoying Shawn’s drink!

Screenshot-180As he stood by the fridge, he heard a slurping noise coming from the seating area.

Screenshot-183He quickly walked over and saw Cara on the floor, drinking his cappuccino!  He grabbed it from her and started drinking it while she raised her hand trying to get it back!

Screenshot-186“Uh, Uh, no.  It’s mine, Cara, and it tastes so good!”   He said it tauntingly!

Screenshot-184“Come on Shawn!  You know it’s my favorite.”

Shawn kept drinking and then when there was just a few swallows left, he gave it back to her.

Screenshot-187The doorbell rang and Shawn went to answer it.  It was Nikki.  She was there to study with Cara.

“Hey Nikki.”

“Hi Shawn.”

He went upstairs to the home gym to work out.

Screenshot-191As Nikki and Cara studied, Noah came into the kitchen and walked over to the refrigerator.   He grabbed a drink.  He was getting around better on his crutches, and he’d learned to balance very well on his good leg.

Screenshot-195“Noah, I didn’t know that you were here.”

Screenshot-193“Yeah, I’ve been here most of the day.  Your Mom wanted to spend some time with Sky, and Sharlee has classes today.  So she dropped us off over here so that your Mom could “babysit” both of us.  Sharlee should be here soon to take us home.  Next week I’ll be back in class too.”

Screenshot-192Nikki was staring at Noah with her mouth open.  When Noah realized it, he spoke to her.

“Hi, I don’t think we’ve met.”

Cara laughed at Nikki’s expression.

“You haven’t met my brother-in-law yet.  Nikki, this is my brother-in-law, Noah Hall.  Noah, this is my friend, Nikki.”

Screenshot-206 “It’s nice to meet you, Nikki.”

Screenshot-194Nikki was tongue tied, but she managed to get out, “It’s great to meet you too!”

Screenshot-200Skylar came into the room and saw Cara.

“Hey, Skylar!”

“Hi.  Whatcha doin, Cara?’

“I’m studying with Nikki.”

Skylar looked at Nikki.

“Hi, I Skylar.”

“Hello Skylar.”

Screenshot-203Sky went over to Cara, and Cara pulled her up into her lap.

“Daddy, I studying too!”

Noah laughed.

Screenshot-207Sharlee came into the house.

Screenshot-208“Sorry I’m late!  I got hung up in traffic.”

She gave Noah a kiss hello, and Sky held out her arms for Sharlee to take her.  Sharlee hugged Skylar and gave her a kiss too.

Cara introduced Sharlee to Nikki also.   Sharlee, Noah and Skylar left soon after.

Screenshot-202“You never told me that you were related to them!  I have a poster of Noah on his Harley right above the desk in my bedroom!  Dang he’s even hotter in person!”

Screenshot-209Cara smiled.  “I just never thought of mentioning it.  I guess it’s because to me Sharlee’s just my Sis, and he’s my brother now too.”

Screenshot-122Alex sent tickets to the circus for the kids as a gift.  Cara suggested that she, and Shawn take all of the kids including Skylar.  Kaylee and Devon wanted to go too.  So Alissa bought more tickets to the show.  They thought it would be fun for Darion and Rene’s children to go as well. Cara told Niki about it, and she decided to go and bring her younger sister too.  Her boyfriend from their old town surprised her by coming to Santa Fe that weekend.  Niki’s parents bought a ticket for him too.

There was a large group that ended up going.  To keep it organized so that they could keep track of the younger ones,  Shawn suggested that each teen take responsibility for certain children in the group.  Cara took responsibility for Skylar, Shawn for Aidan and Kenan, Kaylee for Joy and Angela, Niki for her sister and Devon.  Nikki’s boyfriend would just help out as needed.

Screenshot-126The monkeys were the first act.

Screenshot-124Skylar laughed and clapped at their antics.

Screenshot-125After a while Skylar got tired of watching the show.  Cara had expected it and rocked her to sleep.  She was fine after a short nap.

Screenshot-127They ate in the on-site restaurant after the show.  Cara set Skylar up in a booster seat at a table with the other girls.  Shawn sat at a table with the boys, and Kaylee and Cara sat together.

Screenshot-131Niki and Todd sat at a table alone catching up on what had happened since they had last been together.  Niki loved Todd’s suggestion.

“Why don’t you come to Anne Arbor and be my date for my prom like we planned before you moved here, and I can come to Santa Fe for your prom?  I want to make our relationship work, Niki.  I still love you, and I don’t care how far away you are.”

Screenshot-132” I’m glad to hear you say that.  I feel the same way.   I know my parents will let me go to your prom.  I can stay with my cousin.  I’m so excited!”

Screenshot-128Skylar felt like a big girl and chattered away.

Screenshot-129Joy and the other girls could understand most of what she said and thought she was adorable.  Deborah responded to Skylar’s questions and treated her like a big girl too.

Screenshot-130However, not even Skylar could keep Angela smiling for long.  She was still upset that her parents were separated and worried that they were going to get a divorce.

Screenshot-99-2“Do you have eyes on my daughter?”

Agent Pickler answered him.  “Yes, sir.”

“And my nephew?”

“Yes, sir.  He’s seated at another table.”

Screenshot-98-2“Great.  Keep me posted.”

Usually, Alex was able to switch off his emotions and just concentrate on doing what needed to be done.  However, this time, it wasn’t working out that way.  The lives of his own daughter and nephew were on the line.  Even when he’d gone to Africa after Alissa, he hadn’t felt this unsettled.  He’d just done what he had to do without any hesitation.

This case was different for him.  It involved defenseless children whom he loved.  He hadn’t known Aidan and Joy for long, but they had already worked their way into his heart.  He hoped that he wasn’t making any decision that would cause them to be harmed.  He’d never forgive himself, and his family would never forgive him either.

Agent Pickler was working undercover as a vender selling circus souvenirs.  Right after Agent Pickler spoke with Alex, she heard a mother yelling, calling to a child.   Her instinct made her go check it out.  The mother was upset.  Her son was missing.  Agent Pickler knew that the “perp” was responsible, and he was there at the site.

Meanwhile, a worker approached the Stallworth group and offered to give them a tour of the area where the animals were kept.   Shawn had promised the boys that they could play video games before they left the venue, and so they decided to split up their group.  Cara knew that Shawn wanted to see the animals too; and so she, Niki and Todd took the boys to the video games.  Shawn and Kaylee took the girls on the tour of the animal pens.

Screenshot-166While they had the house to themselves, Dale and Alissa unwound together in the hot tub.

Screenshot-167“I feel completely relaxed now.”

Screenshot-168“Yes, I do too.  I’m glad you insisted on putting in a hot tub when we were planning the house.”

Screenshot-134Niki and Todd sat on a couch together talking.  They were seated nearby Cara and the boys.

Screenshot-138Cara was playing a video game with her cousin, Devon.  Aidan and Kenan played Asteroids at another console.

Screenshot-141The circus worker took the others with him.  “This is where we keep some of the larger animals.  Don’t worry.   They’re tame.”  He stepped away from the gate after letting them inside.

Shawn and the girls went into the cage area.

Screenshot-142Something didn’t feel right to Shawn.

Screenshot-143This seemed like an area that the owners wouldn’t want the public to see.  Paint was peeling form the walls and the flooring was old and worn.  Although these were temporary holding pens, the pens did not seem up to code.  He wondered if the ASPCA knew the conditions in which the animals were kept here.  There was barely enough room for the animals to turn around, and there were no windows or other method of ventilation.

Screenshot-144Shawn handed Skylar to Kaylee.

“I want to get some pictures.”  He wanted to send them to the ASPCA.

Deborah asked Kaylee to take a picture of her in front of the cages, and Angela wanted one too.   Joy said that she didn’t like the way the animals were behaving.  They seemed sad to her.   Skylar wasn’t interested in looking at the animals.  So Kaylee put Sky down, and told Joy to keep her at the entrance. 

Screenshot-148The worker came back carrying a bird and suggested that he show it to Skylar. 

Screenshot-149Joy and Skylar walked over to him admiring the bird. 

Screenshot-150He put the bird on Joy’s shoulder and maneuvered himself between the pen’s entrance and the girls. 

Screenshot-152He swung the gate shut and locked Shawn and the others into the pen area.

“What the!   Let us out of here!”

The worker ignored Shawn and spoke with Joy.  His voice changed to one familiar to her.  It was the man from the park, but he had changed his appearance. 

Screenshot-153“If you come with me quietly, I won’t hurt the little girl.”

Shawn called out!  “Don’t do it Joy!”

Screenshot-151“You’d better not touch Skylar!”

“I guess that’s a yes.”

Screenshot-157He warned Shawn and the others not to call anyone.   Then he scooped Joy up into his arms and strode away carrying her.   Skylar saw how scared Joy was and started after them!  She was planning to hit the man to help Joy!

“You bad man!  Let go my Joy!”

Joy told her to stay back!  Shawn and Kaylee called to Skylar!

Screenshot-155“No Skylar!  Come back over to us.”

Screenshot-158Skylar turned around and went back to Shawn.  She didn’t understand what was going on.

Screenshot-211Noah and Sharlee spent their afternoon together too.  A couple of days after he’d returned home from the hospital, he’d reminded Sharlee that some parts of his body were still completely operational.  They had experimented and found positions that were comfortable for him and pleasurable for them both.  Sharlee started to get up and head to the shower, but Noah held onto her.

Screenshot-213“Wait Babe!  Let’s just lay here for a while.  This is nice.”

Sharlee smiled.  “Yeah, it is.”

“Laying out there on that cliff, I did a lot of thinking.”

“About what?”

Screenshot-215“You and Skylar mostly.  Thinking about you both kept me from giving up.  Did you think that I had left you or was cheating on you?”

“When you were so busy and wouldn’t tell me what was going on, I admit that I briefly had a passing thought that you might be cheating.  It was only for a moment though because I trusted you.  I do trust you completely Noah, and I knew that whatever you were doing it wasn’t that.  I knew that you would never leave me or Skylar that way.”

Noah hugged her more tightly.  “No, I will never cheat on you, Sharlee, and I know you won’t cheat on me either.  This is gonna sound corny, but I’m saying it anyway.  There is no one anywhere with whom I have or could experience the special things that I’ve experienced with you.  I’m not going anywhere!”

Noah’s words made Sharlee so emotional that she couldn’t speak.

“I know you feel the same way, Babe.”  He paused.

“So did Christian come by while I was missing?”

Sharlee was irritated.  She moved to face him.

Screenshot-212“He called, but I didn’t talk with him.  You know what?  I’m sick of people, including Christian, assuming that if we break up or something happens to you, I would be with him!   People act as though I wouldn’t have any other choices.  I know that if somehow we aren’t together, getting another man will not be my main priority.   Our children will be my first concern and then my career.  I don’t need anyone else.”

Sharlee mumbled angrily under her breath.  Noah laughed at her reaction.

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“It’s just that-,”  Sharlee paused.  “I think that after you’ve found your soulmate, anyone else just won’t measure up.  No other relationship can be as special and fulfilling.   My Mom found that out when she married, Alex.  I think it would be the same for me.  No one can ever take your place in my heart, Noah.”

As they were talking, the phone rang, and Noah quickly answered it.  It was Cara.  Sharlee saw Noah’s expression tighten, and he told Cara that they were on their way.

______________

I know I did it to you all again.  I left you hanging, and I’m sorry.  The good news is that the remaining part of this chapter will be posted tomorrow night! 


22 thoughts on “Alissa: Chapter One Hundred and Sixty

  1. OMG OMG!!! This was so so so GOOD. Such a cliffhanger!!! Thanks so much for posting, the wait was worth it 🙂 . I can’t believe that man just took Joy so easily, I thought the perp had been caught?? It’s a bit suspicious what he wants with Joy specifically, because if he was just aiming at abducting children he could have easily taken Skylar. But then again, other kids have gone missing so its really a mystery, I feel like it has something to do with Alex. like maybe Alex aggravated the perp sometime in his career as an agent and he wants to get back at his family. Anyway, please post soon, I can’t wait to know what happens next 🙂

    • Thank you Layla! 🙂 I’m so glad you thought the wait was worth it! ❤

      Skylar is out of his preferential age range for children. Alex's team wanted to trick the "perp" into thinking that they believed that they had caught the person who had committed the "perp's" crimes. They wanted him to think that he wasn't their suspect. They thought that they had taken enough precautions at the circus venue to keep Joy and the other children safe if the "perp" tried anything there. However, the manager neglected to inform them of the lack of cameras in the animal holding area. 😦

      Alex's team did become too confident in their ability to catch the "perp." They should have involved the local police at the very least, but they were afraid that too many lawmen would spook the "perp." We'll see in the next chapter why he fixated on Joy.

  2. Sky is such a sweet little fighter. She loves her family so much, she’d protect them.
    Maybe she’d make a good police officer for her family in the future.

    And I am scared about Joy.
    I am looking forward to the next chapter, but I’ll love this story no matter how many times you keep me hanging.

  3. OMG WHY? NO NONONONONONONO! Daisy you cant! Why? Good writing! Is it called a cliffhanger because it makes ME WANT TO SHOVE SOMEONE OF A CLIFF? UGGGHHHH! But good chapter!

  4. OMG! :O :O :O

    The perp storyline is even creepier now, because somehow I’ve ended up reading way too much lately about real-life kidnappings. I can’t wait to find out if this was all part of Alex’s plan, or if something went wrong. Also, where’s the little boy who went missing before Joy was kidnapped? Where’s that creep hiding him??

    This story just gets better and better. And yay, we get to find out the rest tomorrow night! 😀

  5. !!!!!
    I cannot even wait for the next part! I forgive you the cliffhanger Daises (I guess… 😉 haha) but so much tension. I had a bad feeling when all the kids ended up at the circus alone. As much credit as I want to give Alex, I feel like this was just boneheaded on his part. He’s right; Alissa would have never agreed!! I’m reserving any more comment for part two. I can’t wait to see how this plays out!

    • Thank you, Angie! ❤ I do feel bad about leaving you guys with such a big cliffhanger.

      Yeah, he this may not have been his best decision. Sometimes, it is better to let someone else handle cases that involve family. Alissa most definitely would not have agreed!

  6. Is this perp situation going to end in the last bit of the chapter? I don’t know how long I can handle the awfulness of it. It is a great story line though!
    Have a wonderful day!

    • Hi Dancerlove! It doesn’t end in this chapter, but the next chapter is posted now. 🙂

      Awww, I’m sorry to stress you out!

      You have a wonderful day too! ❤

  7. Hey Daisie!
    I hadn’t even noticed this chapter and i thought i was updated with everything!😂
    i love seeing my character in this book, it makes me so happy!!!
    also, i remember this storyline, i was so scared for everyone, you left me on edge

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