or Even Longer – Part 3

While the rest of his team was busy at the studio, Nicco had arrived at Connor’s home. He was currently sitting in the little sitting room, setting up the Agency’s tracing equipment. With a little luck, the kidnapper would call and they’d be able to trace it.

Ceinwyn was pacing nervously, carrying their little dog. Josiah seemed to sense her tension. He whined softly and nuzzled against her, as if seeking to comfort her. “Do you think he’ll call – whoever it is that’s taken Connor, I mean?” she asked.

“They usually do,” Nicco assured her. Although, that was assuming the kidnapping wasn’t the work of some deranged killer. That, however, didn’t sit right with Nicco. If the subject was intending to kill Connor, why kidnap him in such an elaborate way? Why not simply kill him at the studio and leave his body to be found when they came out? A small voice inside him said that deranged people didn’t think like that, but he squashed it. He refused to believe that Connor might be dead.

He had just finished hooking up the equipment when the telephone rang. Ceinwyn flinched and whirled to face Nicco.

He nodded. “Try not to let him know I’m here,” he said, his voice soft.

Ceinwyn took a steadying breath and then lifted the handset. “Hello?” she said. She nodded at the operator, then glanced at Nicco. “Cellular,” her lips said. After a moment, she said, “Who is this?”

Nicco settled headphones in place over his ears and frowned as the kidnapper spoke. “If you want to see your husband alive,” the strangely distorted voice said, “You’ll deliver 15,000 pieces to me by the end of the day.”

Frowning, Nicco signed to Ceinwyn that she should try to keep the man talking. His fingers danced over the keys of his computer, as he tried to get a trace on the cellular signal the man was using.

“Where?” Ceinwyn said, sounding upset. “Where do you want me to have money?”

“I’ll call again with the details,” the distorted voice said.

Ceinwyn nodded and then swallowed thickly. “I need to know that Connor’s all right,” she said, her voice firm.

There was a growl and the kidnapper said, “Talk to your wife.”

“Ceinwyn?” Connor’s voice said, through the line. “I’m scared!”

“Honey, you’ll be all right,” Ceinwyn said, as tears sprang into her eyes. Her hands clenched into fists as Connor tried to say something, only to be cut off by the dial tone. She sighed and set the handset back in its cradle. “Did you get the trace?” she asked, looking at Nicco.

“Not precisely,” Nicco said. A faint smile touched his lips as he added, “But I do have it narrowed down to a three block area.” He disconnected the headphones from her telephone, then hooked them into his computer. A moment later, he was connected with his team.

“Trenton,” he said, trying to maintain a professional air. “We got a call from the kidnapper. We were able to narrow the trace down to a three block area, near the Sunny Lakes Campgrounds.”

“Good job, Nic,” Trenton said. “Rowan and I will check that out. You maintain position there. The others are finishing up here and they’re going to take everything we found here over to the lab.”

“Got it,” Nicco said, nodding. He tugged the headphones off and smiled at Ceinwyn. “We’ll get him back.”

She nodded. “I have faith in you,” she said, her voice soft. Then, she sighed and shook her head. “If that… if he hurts so much as a hair on Connie’s head, I’ll see that he pays dearly!”

Nicco hid a smile. He was beginning to understand why Connor called her before doing anything. She was a frightful person, if she were crossed. However, it was clear that she also had a deep and abiding love for her husband.

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