Happy Ending Interrupted
Author's Notes: This is a continuation of An Unexpected Love. It will help if you read it, but I will try to fill-in the backstory as I go. This story focuses more on Danny's perspective, and will also involve a Missing Persons case later in the story. As a result, you'll see a lot more of the main WAT characters. This story may take a few chapters for the plot to become clear, but be patient. Hopefully, it will be worth it.
Spoilers – Risen, Clare De Lune, Legacy
Disclaimer – I’m just borrowing the wonderful WAT characters.
Danny Taylor and Kathryn Kelly took a very long and winding road to marriage. When they first met, they didn't like each other. Then one night they went out to dinner and ended up sleeping together. Kathryn fell in love instantly. While deep down Danny fell for Kathryn right away, he didn't allow her to really enter his heart until later. Then Danny's secrets and drinking tore them a part, but not before she became pregnant with his child. Danny got clean, and through parenting they built a strong friendship. When Kathryn tried to move on from Danny with another man, she found she couldn't because she still loved him and only him. She finally worked through her trust issues and now they were happily married with Michael, their eighteen-month old son.
As Danny watched Kathryn sleep one morning, he silently thanked God for his good fortune. He spent so many years struggling to find happiness, and then he almost lost everything when he started drinking again. Kathryn and Michael were his saviors. He couldn't help but reach out and touch her face while she slept. He didn't mean to wake her, but her eyes started to flutter as a smile crossed her lips.
"You're going to regret this when Michael wakes up," she said sleepily as she opened her eyes.
"I didn't mean to wake you. I was just watching you sleep," Danny said quietly.
"Oh…I'm sure it was fascinating," she replied rubbing her eyes.
"It was…you're beautiful," he said as leaned over and kissed her neck.
"I'm beginning to realize the real reason you woke me," she said as she felt Danny's hand travel up her t-shirt.
Danny smiled against her skin as he kissed a path down her body lingering on her stomach.
Kathryn giggled as his fingers traced over sensitive areas of her body. Then she said, "You know I think I've married someone completely insatiable. I guess I knew that before I agreed to this, but…"
Danny looked up at her. "I'll stop. We can go back to sleep for another thirty minutes if you want," he said as he started to move away from her.
"No. No. No," Kathryn pleaded as she lightly tugged his unruly hair to focus him back on kissing the hollow of her hip bone. "Keep going. Sleep is overrated."
Danny laughed, "I don't think I'm the only one who is insatiable in this relationship."
"Well…you bring it out in me," Kathryn sighed clutching her pillow as Danny continued down her body. Then she turned into her pillow as she started to moan in pleasure. She didn't want to wake Michael.
After they made love, Kathryn fell back asleep in Danny's arms. He just continued to watch her. Then he heard the distinct sound of Michael's babbling coming from the baby monitor. He slowly extricated himself from their tangle of limbs, pulled on his boxers, and went to Michael's room. "Good morning," he said to Michael as he watched him standing up in his crib.
As soon as Michael saw Danny, he smiled broadly and started flailing his arms because he wanted to be picked up. Danny picked him up with his blanket and sat with him in the rocking chair. Michael snuggled into Danny's bare chest. Along with waking up and seeing Kathryn's face, this was Danny's favorite part of the day. He knew he could face anything as long as he had them in his life.
Danny eventually took Michael to the kitchen for breakfast. He was watching Michael eat his waffle while making coffee when Kathryn came in wearing her robe. She walked over to Michael first and kissed him on the head. "Morning, baby. Did your Daddy beat me to your breakfast?" Then she walked over to Danny and put her arms around him resting her cheek on his bare back. "Why did you let me sleep so long?"
Danny turned around and pulled her close. "You were so concerned about getting sleep. I didn't want to wake you after I woke you earlier."
Kathryn smiled. "For the record, I'm really glad you woke me earlier. It was well worth it," she said as she rose up to kiss him.
Danny pulled away. "Can you take over here? I've got hit the shower, and head in to work. Do you have time to take Michael to your mother's?"
"Not really, I have court. If I have him ready when you're ready, can you take him?"
Danny hesitated but then said, "Sure."
"What is it? My parents?" Kathryn asked concerned.
Danny looked at her with downcast eyes.
"Danny, they love you."
"I don't think so. They love you. They definitely love Michael. Your father is OK with me – at least he finds me amusing, but your mother…she definitely hates me."
"That's not true, Danny. She just doesn't know you. You're not the easiest person to get to know. She's a very open person and incredibly nosey. You are a closed book and that drives her crazy, but she loves you because I love you. Now go take your shower. I'm going to clean up this mess, and I'll have him ready in ten minutes," Kathryn said watching Michael as he smeared syrup in his hair.
"I'll take your word for it," Danny said as he headed back to the bedroom.
Thirty minutes later, Danny walked up the steps to the Kelly house carrying Michael and a heavy diaper bag. To this day, he couldn't understand how such a little boy could need so much stuff. Kathryn always assured him that he needed it all. Before he could even knock on the door, Kathryn's mother opened it with a wide smile on her face. "Michael…sweetheart…Grandma's missed you."
As she reached out to take Michael from Danny, Michael hesitated clutching Danny tighter. "It's OK, buddy. I'll see you tonight," Danny said soothingly. He carefully handed Michael over to his grandmother. "He always gets this way after the weekend," Danny explained to Mrs. Kelly.
"I know. It's just a testament to the time the you and Kathryn spend with him."
Danny looked at her with a smile and replied, "Thanks, Mrs. Kelly. That's nice of you to say."
"Danny, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Maggie?"
"Sorry, it's force of habit," Danny said starting to wonder why she was being so nice to him.
"Say…do you have a second to talk?" Maggie asked.
"Um…," Danny replied looking at his watch.
"It will only take a minute. I know you have to get to work."
"Sure," he said as he walked in the door and put the diaper bag on the table. "What's up?"
"It's about Kathryn. I'm worried about her."
"Why are you worried?" asked Danny skeptically.
"I think she is doing too much. She is working so hard. She is a super-mother to Michael. And even though you are a good father…you can't be there all the time because of your job. Just last week, you were gone for three days. She was running around like chicken with her head cut off…preparing a case, taking care of Michael and the house. It's a lot of work."
"I know it's a lot of work, and I think we are doing a pretty good job. And we really appreciate your help with Michael. It's a lot easier for us to be away from him when we know he is with family."
"And I don't mind watching him at all. It's my greatest joy these days, but Kathryn is still stretching herself to thin. You have to have noticed?" asked Maggie.
Danny thought about their hectic schedules and how it was usually Kathryn who had to take care of Michael and the house. He did whatever he could, but when work called he had to go. "I've noticed that she does a lot. I don't know what we would do without her, but I don't think she is unhappy…if that is what you're saying. I mean I think she is happier now that we are together."
"Of course…of course Danny. I didn't mean to say that things were easier before. They weren't. She was just as busy…if not more. But I thought once you two were together that she would be able to take it easy…maybe even quit the DA's office."
Danny smirked slightly and shook his head. "You don't know how I wish she could, Maggie. I wish she could be a stay-at-home mom to Michael, but we can't afford it. Unfortunately, being a federal employee doesn't translate into a one-income household in Manhattan."
"She obviously hasn't talked to you."
"Talked to me….talked to me about what?"
"I don't mean to pry…honestly I don't…."
Danny smiled thinking of his earlier conversation with Kathryn. "It's OK…pry away."
"Her father offered her a good job at his company as a legal consultant. With the exception of a couple of meetings a week, she could work from home. She'd make roughly what she makes at the DA's office…and she wouldn't have to work an ounce of overtime. It would be the ideal job for her, but she turned him down without even thinking about it or talking to you, obviously."
"That's quite an offer," said Danny pensively.
"Her father isn't doing it as a favor. He genuinely needs to expand his legal department, and well…she's a lawyer. Would you talk to her?"
Danny hesitated but then said, "Of course. I'll definitely bring it up to her. But I can't promise anything. She needs to do whatever will make her happy. Thank you for telling me, Maggie."
"Kathryn will kill me for doing it, but I just don't think she wanted to bother you with it."
"Well, I will tell her to go easy on you. She'll be here this afternoon to pick up Michael," Danny said as he leaned down to kiss him on the forehead. "Thanks again."
Later in the day, Danny offered to go the courthouse to file some paperwork for a warrant in one of their open cases. On his way out the door, Samantha teased, "Someone must miss his wife to volunteer to make that trip."
"You have no idea…," replied Danny as he walked out the door with a sly smile.
Danny first looked for Kathryn in the courtroom, but the bailiff told him that court recessed ten minutes ago. He then went to her office, and knocked on the door.
"It's 3:00…and you are already done for the day? What's up with that?" Danny asked teasingly as he walked in to her office.
"Hey," she answered as she rose from her desk. "What are you doing here?"
Danny leaned down to kiss her and then locked his hands at the small of her back. "I was in the neighborhood, and thought I would catch you in action."
"I think the judge had a early golf game…so he let us go. I'm actually just finishing my notes, and then I was going to head out to pick up our son. You want to come play hooky with us?"
"I wish I could, but I have to get back," Danny said as he started to let go of her. Before he said goodbye, he remembered his conversation with Maggie. "Actually, do you have a second to talk?"
"Sure," Kathryn replied as she sat on the corner of her desk.
"I was…um…talking to your mother this morning…"
Kathryn interrupted, "You and my mother? Talking? What about?"
"She's worried about you. And after talking to her…so am I."
"Worried? Danny, I'm fine. I'm happier than I have ever been."
"Yeah, me too. But, maybe things could be even better if you weren't stretched so thin."
"Stretched so…?" Kathryn started thinking. "She told you about the my father's job offer. Unbelievable. Well, I told you she was nosey."
"I'm glad she told me. Why didn't you tell me?"
"If I would have considered it, then I definitely would have talked to you. But, I don't think it's a good option for me."
"It sounds like a pretty great option…work from home, good salary, legal consulting…." Danny trailed off.
"It's legal consulting for a Web design company. That sounds real challenging. That's not even my background. It's contracts and privacy issues."
"The law is the law, right? I mean you take out the scum of the earth that you deal with here…and it's not that different."
"But not as fulfilling…I mean take the case I'm working now. A twenty year old young woman goes out on a date, and her date doesn't take no for an answer. And I've got this guy dead to rights. I'm getting a conviction…I just know it. That's a good feeling."
"Like I said…scum of the earth. Kathryn, I would feel better if you didn't come in contact with murderers and rapists at all. If you work for your father, you wouldn't have to…and you could spend more time with Michael."
Kathryn stood up and crossed her arms. "More time with Michael? I think between the two us…I already spend more time with Michael. At least my job doesn't take me away from him for days at a time. At least, I can get away early a couple of days a week to see him before bed-time," she responded as her voice rose.
"That's not what I'm saying. I know you already spend more time with him. I just think…" Danny started defensively.
"Think what?" Kathryn interrupted. "I would never ask you to take a job that is anything less than what you are passionate about. I would never ask you to sacrifice that because I know how important your work is to you. And you talk about dealing with scum of the earth…Danny, I'm not tracking these guys down. I don't carry a gun. I'm not in any danger. You are. Two years ago – you almost died because of your job. But I know you would never give it up. It's part of who you are."
"I'd give up my job if it meant a better life for Michael," Danny countered also raising his voice.
"Oh please, Danny. You would not. If your fath…" Kathryn stopped herself before making the insensitive comparison.
But Danny responded, "If my father offered me a job? Kathryn, you have no idea how much it would mean to me to have the type of father who would do something like that. But I don't…and even if he was alive…he wouldn't be the type of father who cared."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean that."
"I know. Look…clearly you're not ready to give this up -- although I have know idea why," Danny said as he looked around the office. "And that's OK. I told your mother I would try. You're a great mother no matter what. I just worry about you."
"Well don't worry. I'm fine. Michael's fine. And we are good. So nothing else matters, but I do have one question for you."
"Am I a great wife, too?"
Danny smiled as he encircled her waist again. "You're the best wife, Mrs. Taylor," Danny replied as he kissed her again.
A week later, Danny and Kathryn were on their way to attend a charity function at the home of Kathryn's parents. As they walked along the sidewalk holding hands, Danny let out an obvious yawn.
"Geez, Danny, it's only 8:00. We have a long night ahead of us."
"Sorry, babe…I think I've gotten like twenty minutes of sleep in the last week," Danny replied wearily. He had worked on a tough case all week spending late nights at the office. They finally wrapped it up that afternoon fortunately with a happy ending.
"I shouldn't drag you to this. I just hate going to these things alone. If you want to leave…"
"No way. We haven't gone out in a long time. I'll be fine."
"Thank you. I know these things are a pain, but my parents insist I attend. And I feel like I owe them, you know. They are so great with Michael."
"I agree. I just never realized one couple could hold so many charity functions. I think this is the third one since we've been married. They must be trying to save the planet."
"Actually, tonight…they are just trying to save the music in public schools."
"Thank god…I was so worried," Danny replied sarcastically.
Kathryn playfully punched him in the arm as they continued their walk to her parent's house.
When they arrived at the party, Maggie immediately whisked Kathryn away to talk to some old friend of theirs. Danny headed straight for the food. He hadn't eaten all day. Her mother's parties were incredibly boring, but she definitely knew how to put on a good spread. Danny thought this as he put some food on his plate. Then Kathryn's father came over to say hello to him. Her father was always friendly to Danny, but Danny was never sure how to act around him. He usually ended up making jokes. After a short conversation, Kathryn's father had to leave Danny to greet a new guest. Danny finished his food and went in search of a drink. He went to the bar and asked for a mineral water. Just as the bartender handed him the glass, he heard a familiar voice.
"Danny, it's been a long time."
Danny turned around to see Evan Wyatt, the man Kathryn was seeing before they got back together. "Evan," Danny responded not sure what to say.
"I guess you won the big prize," Evan said sarcastically.
Danny noticed that Evan was slightly intoxicated. "Look…no hard feelings, man. I'm sorry for the way things went down, but Kathryn and I…we needed to be together…especially for Michael."
As Danny started to walk away, Evan said, "Michael…it wasn't about Michael. Just like I told your whore in my office that morning, it's all about her twisted attachment to you. You two get off on making each other jealous. You had no interest in her until I came around."
Danny turned around and looked down in Evan's face. "You should shut your mouth…because you don't know what you are talking about."
Evan laughed, "You're probably already getting bored with her. She is probably tired of you. Poor Michael…that kid is in for one screwed up life."
Danny moved even closer Evan and stared him down with a wild look in his dark eyes. "Say one more word…one more word…and you'll regret it you little piece of slime. You want the truth, Evan? The truth is…the truth is you just didn't do it for her. So she had to come back to me. You made her skin crawl. I should really thank you for making her see the light," Danny whispered as he started to see the fear in Evan's eyes.
Just as Danny finished, Kathryn approached them. "What's going on? People are staring at the two of you," she whispered.
Danny backed away and said, "Nothing…right, Ev? We just needed a clear a few things up."
Evan looked at Kathryn with contempt. "You made a huge mistake, Kathryn," he said as he quickly walked away.
"What the hell was that about?" Kathryn asked as she watched Evan leave the party.
"Nothing. Did you go see him after we got back together?" Danny accused.
"No…" Kathryn stopped as she noticed people were still watching him. "Let's go upstairs to talk about this." She took him upstairs and went to her old bedroom.
As they entered the room, she started, "I don't know why my mother invited him. What was she thinking?"
"I know what she was thinking. She wanted to let you know what a mistake you made with me."
"Whatever, Danny. I'm sure it's just because he works for my father. And that's another reason why I shouldn't work there. That guy hates me."
"No…I think it is me he hates. So when did you talk to him?" asked Danny suspiciously.
"Before I left for my parents cabin when I went away to think about us. I thought I owed him an apology."
"You didn't owe him a thing. What did he say?"
"Why are you interrogating me? What difference does it make now?"
"Because it does…"
"He was awful. He said awful things about us…about our relationship. He made us sound like selfish, immoral parents. It was upsetting, but I knew in my heart it wasn't true. It's just after he caught us together…I felt like…I felt like a bad person, you know?"
"No, I don't know. We belong together. I swear I'd like to beat the hell out of that guy."
"Well control yourself, Danny. The last thing we need is an assault charge against you even if it is for defending my honor," Kathryn said as she put her arms around him. She shivered as he nuzzled her neck and pulled her closer. "Not to change the subject, but what do you think of my bedroom? You know you are the first guy I've ever brought up here."
Danny relaxed a little and laughed as he looked around the feminine room. Her mother hadn't changed a thing since she moved out when she was eighteen. "It's very nice."
"Can you believe my mother? It's like a shrine. She's kept my brother and sister's rooms the same as well."
"I think it's kind of nice -- the thought of having the same room forever. I hope our kids can have the same thing."
"Our kids…that's a nice thought."
"I think so," Danny responded as he kissed her.
"But you know…we actually have to work on having more kids, Danny. It just won't happen magically. I don't think we've been together for a whole week. That has to be some kind of record for us."
"I haven't been home, or we've both been exhausted."
"Excuses, excuses, Agent Taylor. I remember a time when you used to be very creative in finding opportunities to seduce me."
"Are you testing me, baby? Did you say before that you never brought anyone up here?"
"Nope, no one. I never even kissed anyone in here before now. Kind of hot, isn't it?" she replied as she looked around the heavily decorated room.
Danny nodded. "I think I know a way for this evening to get much more entertaining," Danny said as he started to walk her towards the bed. "I think we need to christen your bedroom."
Kathryn bit her lip as a smile escaped her lips. "Danny, my mother is probably already looking for us."
"Are you afraid she'll catch us?" he asked with a seductive smile.
"As a matter of fact…" Kathryn started, but before she could finish Danny's lips covered hers in a passionate kiss. Before she could recover from the kiss, he laid her down on the bed. Then he started to move his hand up her thighs pushing up her dress while he kissed her neck and shoulders.
Removing as little clothing as possible, they had sex on her twin-size pink rose comforter. Kathryn wasn't sure what Danny did to her or if it was the excitement of possibly getting caught, but she had one of the most intense orgasms of her life. She started to get so loud that Danny had to cover her mouth with his hand. "Shhhhh.I thought you didn't want to get caught," he whispered breathlessly in her ear.
It took Kathryn several minutes to catch her breath as she laid on the small bed. Danny got up and started to straighten himself. Then helped her to her feet and steadied her as she fixed her dress and hair. Kathryn bit her lip as she smiled up at him. "God that was...that was amazing."
"Amazing, huh?" Danny answered. "I think I just found a way to make these charity events much more bearable. We better get back."
Before they left the bedroom, Kathryn arched up to kiss Danny again as he was about to open the door. He backed her into the door to deepen the kiss. Their encounter in the bedroom only seemed to heighten their desire for each other. It didn't seem like anything would get them back to the party until they heard a knock at the door. "Kathryn…Kathryn are you in there?" her mother called out as she started to open the door.
Danny quickly pulled Kathryn away from the door so she didn't get knocked over. When her mother entered the room, they looked like deer caught in headlights. "What are you two doing? I thought you left."
Kathryn responded with an embarrassed smile on her face. "Um…we just…I just wanted to show Danny my room."
"Yeah…I think it's really great that you've kept everything the same," Danny explained.
Her mother eyed them suspiciously. "Are you OK, Kathryn? You looked flushed," she said as she felt Kathryn's cheeks. "You're burning up, dear."
"Oh no…It's just a little warm in here. We should head back to the party. I need a drink."
She and Danny started to leave, when her mother asked, "Why did Evan Wyatt leave so suddenly? He didn't even say goodbye."
Danny looked at Kathryn and said, "I'll…uh…get you that drink. I'm going to head downstairs." He nodded and smiled at Maggie and then left.
"God, mother…why was Evan even here? It was very insensitive of you to invite him considering our history."
"He's worked for your father for ten years. Of course, I invited him. Why did he leave?"
"Well…probably because he is uncomfortable around me and Danny."
"And of course, you have to rub it in by sneaking up here. What were you and Danny doing in here?"
Kathryn couldn't help but smile. "Nothing…we just…Evan didn't see us come up here. And honestly, I don't care what he thinks. He's been quite rude to me and Danny."
"Can't you two keep your hands off each other for one evening?" Maggie asked as she surveyed the wrinkled comforter and Kathryn's giddy expression.
"Well…we are still newlyweds," Kathryn replied slightly embarrassed.
"Newlyweds with an eighteen-month old child. Honestly, Kathryn," her mother said disapprovingly.
"Mom…I can't help it. I'm so happy. I can't even believe I am telling you this, but Danny makes me feel things I never thought I could feel. It's…he's…incredible. And he really loves me. God…we've been so crazed all week, and tonight we just connected again. For the first time in my life, I don't care what people think. I don't care what Evan Wyatt thinks. I don't care if that whole room full of people down there heard us having sex. Because he loves me…that's all I need."
"Kathryn, it takes more than just physical attraction to make a relationship work. I'm still not convinced you and Danny have what it takes to make it."
"I wouldn't expect you to understand. You've always wanted me to settle for something safe. I couldn't do that. Things with Danny may not always be easy, but I know he loves me. We take care of each other. I don't know if I could live without him now…that's how much I need him."
"Be careful. That kind of love can be very dangerous," her mother said with concern.
"Someday you'll see…you'll see that I made the right choice," Kathryn concluded as she walked out the door.
Three days later, Danny was staking out an abandoned warehouse with Martin. They were waiting for their suspect to return so they could pick him up to interrogate him. "Man, this guy is never coming back here…I feel like we've been waiting all day," claimed an agitated Danny.
"We've been here 45 minutes," replied Martin.
"Still…it's a waste of time. He's not coming back here."
"Jack disagrees with you. So, we'll give it at least another hour."
Just after Martin replied, Danny's cell phone rang.
"Taylor," he answered.
"Hey. Is this a bad time?" asked Kathryn excitedly.
"Uh…not really…just having the most boring afternoon in history. I'm on a stakeout. What's up?"
"We got a guilty verdict in the Hanes case. He's going away for 7-10," Kathryn exclaimed. The Hanes case was the date rape case she'd been working on for weeks. She was advised not to prosecute because the case was hard to prove, but Kathryn found that he had a history of unreported violence against women. She convinced several women to testify against him.
"That's great, babe. I'm happy for you. We'll have to celebrate tonight."
"Thanks. I'm on my way to pick-up Michael. Call me later if you are going to be really late. I love you."
"You, too. Bye."
Danny put away his phone and continued staring at the warehouse. Martin, realizing Danny wouldn't volunteer any news, asked, "How's Kathryn? Sounds like she had good news."
"Oh yeah, she got a conviction in the Hanes date rape case. She worked really hard on it."
"That is good news. Does she ever lose a case?"
"Rarely. She knows her stuff," he answered. "As good as she is, sometimes I wish she could walk away from it."
"Yeah. I just worry about her and Michael," Danny admitted in a rare self-reflective moment. "Her father offered her a work-from-home job as a legal consultant with his Web company. It would be nice to know she is safe at home with our son rather than dealing with rapists on a daily basis."
"I can understand that. But, I can also understand her wanting to chart her own course. Nepotism isn't all it is cracked up to be," Martin said with a knowing glance.
"Yeah…I guess," Danny replied realizing that Martin knew all to well what it's like to work in his father's shadow. "And I don't want her to do anything less than what makes her happy. She thinks I would never give up this job, if I had the same opportunity."
"You wouldn't, would you?" Martin asked surprised.
"Sure I would…I think."
"Oh please, Danny. You live for this stuff. I mean not 'this stuff'," Martin said looking around the empty parking lot. "But the interrogations, reuniting families, helping people…I think that would be tough for you to leave behind."
"You think? Maybe you're right, but having Michael has really changed the way I feel about everything. It's been…amazing."
Martin nodded, "I can imagine."
They stopped talking when they saw a car drive up to the warehouse. Danny compared the picture with the man who exited the car. "That's our guy. Let's go."
They got out of their car with their guns drawn and apprehended the suspect. But when they interrogated him it turned out he didn't kidnap anyone. He told them that their missing person ran away. And sure enough, they found the missing man in a hotel in New Jersey. Danny was thankful. He rushed home vowing to come in early the next morning to finish his paperwork.
"Hey, beautiful," Danny said as he glided in the door and kissed her neck as she stood at the kitchen sink.
"Hi. I didn't expect you this early," she said quietly.
"We found our guy, so I hit the road. So what do you want to do to celebrate your big win?" he asked as he sat on the floor with Michael and pulled him in his lap.
"Oh…we don't have to do anything. You're probably tired, and…"
"I'm fine…and what?"
"You…um…you got a phone call this afternoon. She was going to call your cell, but I told her you were on a stakeout."
"Who?" he asked curiously.
"Sylvia…your nephew's mother. I was surprised she even had our number. I didn't realize you were in touch with them," she replied in a concerned tone.
"I'm not really…I just…um…I've helped them out a few times."
"You've helped them? Helped them how?"
"It's nothing…I probably don't even need to call her back," Danny responded slightly annoyed.
"How long?" Kathryn asked raising her voice.
"What?"he asked also raising his voice.
"How long have you been helping them out?" she almost shouted
"I don't know…what the hell difference does it make?" Danny yelled back. At the sound of Danny's loud voice, Michael started to cry. Danny immediately walked over to him and picked him up. "It's OK. It's OK, buddy. Daddy won't shout again."
Kathryn lowered her voice as she watched Danny with Michael. "It makes a difference because you haven't told me about it. We actually broke up over this before if you remember correctly."
"That was different," Danny said as he stroked Michael's hair.
"Because you didn't know about them at all. Now you know about them. It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that I communicate with them."
"It does come as a surprise. How often do you see them? And why don't they ever come here?" Kathryn asked remembering the time she saw Danny and Sylvia embracing.
"I've seen them…I don't know…once a month. One time I helped her find a place to live. Another time she needed money for Nicky's soccer camp. It's no big deal."
"Once a month? Once a month?" Kathryn's voice rose again. "I thought we weren't going to have any more secrets. I thought you promised to be open with me."
"I am open, and I'm not keeping secrets," he answered as he put Michael in his high chair and gave him some crackers.
"Then why wouldn't you say, 'Kathryn, I saw my brother's family today.' But you never said a word."
Danny took her gently by the arm and pulled her out into the living room. "I can't believe you are making a deal about this. It's not a secret. Do you tell me every person you come in contact with every day. You didn't tell me about your meeting with Evan."
"That's totally different," Kathry responded as she pulled her arm out of his grasp.
"We weren't married at the time. We weren't even back together. And this isn't just any person, Danny. That woman has come to depend on you for herself and her son."
"Is that what this is about? Do you think there is something going on with her? Give me a break and I would appreciate a little credit."
"I don't know this woman, but I know how I would feel if someone like you was my guardian angel…always there for me when I need him. I saw her that day at your apartment, Danny. You can't tell me that she doesn't have feelings for you. Otherwise, she would have moved on by now. It's been two years since your brother died."
"So now your saying you don't trust me?"
"I'm not saying that. I just…I just don't want there to be any secrets."
"Fine. I'm sorry if you feel I was keeping secrets. Next time, she calls me I'll be sure to report in with you first," Danny said as he walked back to the bedroom.
Kathryn sank into the couch and covered her face as tears stung her eyes. This is the part of Danny she still had a problem with. In the back of her mind, she always thought that more secrets would surface. He still didn't understand the importance of sharing everything, and he was relentlessly stubborn.
Danny stalked back to the bedroom and took off his suit. He decided to take a shower to wash the day away and clear his head. He didn't want to hurt Kathryn, but he also wanted to protect her from his brother's life. It bothered him that she would automatically assume that Sylvia had feelings for him, but truthfully, he had noticed that Sylvia was interested in him. Her hugs lingered longer than they should. She would often dissolve into tears willing him to hold her. He had to work to keep distance between them because she was always asking him to be more a part of Nicky's life. He would always be there for his nephew, but he couldn't be there for him every day. Danny knew he had to stay true to his own family, Kathryn and Michael. And Kathryn was right. Sylvia should have moved on by now. But no matter what, Danny knew he would never compromise his relationship with Kathryn. When he got out of the shower, he knew he owed her a more sincere apology. He had to work harder to be more open.
He walked into the kitchen and saw Michael eating dinner in his high chair. Kathryn was on the phone. Danny sat in a chair next to Michael. When Kathryn got off the phone, she said quietly, "I didn't feel like cooking. I ordered Chinese. I hope that's OK. It will be here in an hour."
"That's fine. Thanks," Danny answered as he helped Michael by tearing up his chicken strip. Then he stood up and walked towards her. "I am really sorry. I know you're right. It's just sometimes it's hard to talk about. My brother and his problems aren't your problems. I don't want you to worry about my nephew or his mother. But I shouldn't have kept it from you."
Kathryn bit her lip to hold back tears as she heard the sincerity in his voice. "You still don't get it, do you? We are in this together. Your life is my life. Your history is my history now. It's our history," she said as she looked at their son.
"It's not right. You shouldn't have to suffer the baggage of my past."
"That's not your call. That's what marriage is, baby. I love all of you. Not just who you are now…but who you were…and who you will become," Kathryn explained as she put her arms around him.
He held her tightly for a few minutes until Michael became restless for a lack of attention. Then he pulled away and kissed her on the forehead before addressing his son. "Hey, buddy…are you almost done? I'll start getting your bath ready."
And with that, they went through their nightly routine. They put Michael down, ate Chinese take-out and ended up falling asleep in each others' arms watching the evening news.
Note: I promise all of this is leading to the main plot. Thanks for all the helpful reviews!
A few days later, Danny was at the office doing paperwork with Samantha at the conference table. "Would you believe...I caught another error. We are going to have to chip in to give Martin typing lessons," Samantha joked.
"That's what you get for sweet-talking him into to completing your paperwork," replied Danny.
"Shut up, Danny...I did not. He volunteered."
Danny smirked, "I bet he volunteered."
"What does that mean?"
"Relax. I'm just kidding," Danny said but actually he knew that Martin had a crush on Samantha. He could see it every time Martin looked at her. But Danny knew that Samantha was in love with Jack. He did his best to stay out of the complicated dynamic in the office. He had enough to worry about in his own life, and he felt it was none of his business. He liked keeping his live private, so he didn't ask a lot of questions of his co-workers. Of course, that got hard after Kathryn and Michael came into his life. He couldn't help but want to share his happiness. And they were all so happy for him.
"This is going to take us forever," exclaimed Samantha.
"Well we better work faster. I've got to get out of here by 5."
"We have an interview at a preschool. They are actually interviewing us to see if they will accept Michael. It's the craziest thing I've ever heard. They are running a background check on us and everything. They are almost as thorough as we are. Pre-schools in Manhattan are big business, I guess."
"I've heard that. They are competitive and expensive," remarked Samantha.
"Yes, they are. Kathryn's parents actually set up an education trust fund for Michael when he was born. They want us to use it for this. I put up a fight at first, but then I thought who am I to take this away from him or Kathryn? I want him to have to best of everything, and if that means sucking it up and getting help...then so be it."
"I'm very impressed, Danny. You are actually like a real grown-up."
"I am finally, aren't I?," he replied pensively with a silly smile.
Samantha laughed as she went back to her paperwork. A few minutes later, Danny cell phone rang interrupting their work flow.
"Taylor," he answered.
"Oh my god, Danny...it's Shelly," a frantic voice called out on the other end. Danny recognized the voice of Shelly Simmons, Kathryn's paralegal and best friend from the DA's office. "Something happened...Kathryn...she...Oh my god...," she said crying hysterically.
"Shelly...Shelly...calm down. What happened? Where's Kathryn?" Danny asked frantically as Samantha looked on with concern.
A male voice then came on the line, "Mr. Taylor? Are you Kathryn's husband?"
"Yes...yes...who the hell is this?"
"This is Officer Ray Kline...I'm with the security detail here at the courthouse. Mr. Taylor, your wife...she was assaulted in her office this afternoon."
"What? How is she? Where is she?"
"She's going to be fine. They are loading her into the ambulance right now. Ms. Simmons is riding with her. She's regained consciousness. They are taking her to St.Vincent's..."
Danny didn't wait for more information. He shut his phone and got up to leave. Samantha got up too and said, "Wait...Danny...what happened?"
"It's Kathryn...she's hurt...I've got to get to her."
"OK...just stay calm. I'm going to drive you," Samantha ordered.
Danny didn't argue. He just nodded as they both headed out. On their way to the elavator, they passed Vivian. Danny stopped in his tracks as Samantha got the elevator. "Vivian...An officer Kline with courthouse security just called. He said that Kathryn was assaulted in her office..."
"Oh my god...Danny that is horrible."
"We are on our way to St. Vincents. Can you call him back or contact one of your NYPD sources and get some information on what happened?"
"Of course," she replied as Danny backed away and hopped on the elevator.
Danny and Samantha arrived at the St. Vincent's ER in record time. Just as they walked up to the information desk, Samantha noticed a gurney being wheeled in from the ambulance bay. "Danny, there she is."
Danny walked quickly over to the gurney as they were wheeling her to an exam room. As he approached Kathyrn and they made eye contact, she started to cry. "Danny..."
"Hey, baby," he said as he took her hand. He looked at her deeply bruised and bloodied face and neck, and tried not show his anger as he spoke to her. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure...I can't remember..."
The nurse interrupted, "Sir, you'll have to wait outside."
"No...I need him to stay. Please...I want him to stay. He's my husband."
Danny looked at the nurse and pleaded, "Can I just stay? I'll stay out of your way, I promise."
The nurse finally relented and then addressed Kathryn, "Sweetheart...let's get a gown on you."
The doctor then approached her. "Kathryn? I'm Dr. Garrett. It looks like you took quite a few punches. Can you follow this light?" she asked as she shined a light in Kathryn's eyes. Kathryn did as she was told. Then the doctor started to feel around her face and neck. "Possible mandular fracture...broken nose...let's call for a Plastics consult and order a face x-ray," the doctor ordered. "Do you feel any numbness...anything than might result from a neck injury?"
"No," Kathryn said as Danny helped the nurse put the gown on her and remove the remains of her blouse.
"How about your ribs...any soreness?" the doctor asked as she pressed Kathryn's stomach.
"Yes..." Kathryn winced in pain and started to cry again. She squeezed Danny's hand and shook with tears.
"Add a full panel on the x-rays."
"Is she going to be OK?" Danny asked the doctor.
"I think she'll be fine. We just need to take some x-rays to be sure, but she probably has a couple of cracked ribs. A plastic surgeon will come down and stitch her face and set her nose. She shouldn't have any scars. Let me just check a few more things."
The nurse then said, "Doctor, take a look this."
As the doctor talked to the nurse, Danny looked in Kathryn's eyes. "It's going to be OK. Can you tell me who did this?"
Before Kathryn could respond, the doctor asked, ""Kathryn, were you sexually assaulted?"
Danny looked at the doctor with shocked eyes, and then back to Kathryn. She returned his gaze as tears streamed down her face and said, "No...No...I wasn't...I..."
The doctor continued, "Did you lose consciousness?"
"Um...I think so...for a few minutes. One minute he was there, and the next Shelly was screaming for help. But I wasn't raped...I would know that. I was out of for a few minutes...I wasn't dead," she replied looking at Danny desparately.
"We notice some deep, inner thigh bruises. We'll need to do a rape kit."
"No...no...I wasn't raped. Don't make me...please," Kathryn pleaded.
The doctor looked at Danny for help, but the anger in him was boiling to a point he wasn't sure he could control. He finally calmed down enough to address Kathryn. "Listen...we have to know...OK? Look at me...it'll be OK. I'll be right here."
"Actually, sir...you should really wait outside during the exam," the nurse said.
"No, I need him here," Kathryn whispered as she clung to his hand. "Please..."
But Danny realized that the exam was extensive and she would be less emotional with him out of the room. So he said to her, "Listen, baby...I'm going to be right outside. I'm going to call your parents and check on Michael. I'll come right back. It's going to be OK."
Kathryn just nodded as he kissed her forehead.
When Danny walked out of the exam room, Samantha and Shelly were there. "How is she?" Shelly asked.
"They say she'll be OK...um...but they are still examining her. Samantha have you heard from Viv?"
"Shelly, what happened?" he asked desperately.
"I don't know. I walked into her office, and she was laying on the floor. There was blood all over her face and clothes. I thought...I thought she was dead..." Shelly started to cry.
Danny continued, "Do they have any idea who did this? Did she say anything?"
"The officer asked her after she regained consciousness, but she didn't know or couldn't remember. The officer said something about reviewing the security tapes from the hallway."
"Shelly, can you do me a favor? Can you call Kathryn's parents? I don't want them to hear this on the news, and I want to make sure Michael is OK."
"Of course. I'll do it right now," she said as she got up and walked away.
Samantha looked at Danny, "How are you doing?"
"I'm not sure," Danny said as his voice cracked. "Um...they...are doing rape kit right now."
"Oh my god."
"She doesn't remember it happening. Samantha...you have to call Viv for me....have her track down those security tapes. I have to find out who did this."
"Danny...let the police handle it."
"Like they handled the security at the courthouse?"
"You have to stay calm for Kathryn. She needs you."
"I knew she should have quit that job..."
Samantha just looked at him with concern as he mentally second-guessed himself.
Finally, the doctor stepped out of the exam room. Danny and Samantha stood up. "Mr. Taylor...um...I'd like to update you on your wife's condition," she said as she looked at Samantha.
"I'll go..." Samantha said.
"No..it's OK. Stay, Samantha. Go ahead, doctor."
"First, I need to ask you a personal question. We think Kathryn is still in shock. She had a hard time remembering details like what day it is. So I need to ask you. Have you had sexual intercourse with her in the last twenty-four hours?"
Danny nodded slightly uncomfortable. "Um...this morning."
"Did you use a condom?"
"No," he answered.
"OK...that would account for what we collected and the evidence of recent penetration. We didn't find any vaginal tearing, or any evidence of forcible intercourse. But we are thinking that the assailant may have attempted something. It looks like he tried to force her legs a part. Maybe he was interrupted before he could go any further. The techs are completing the x-rays now. Plastics is also in there. They'll be finished in a few minutes and then you can see her. She's been asking for you."
After the doctor walked away, Samantha took Danny's hand. "She's going to be OK."
"Yeah...I hope so," he whispered.
A few minutes later, NYPD detective Henry Davis approached them. "Hey, Danny...Samantha. I...uh...we are giving this the highest priority. Is Kathryn ready to talk yet?"
"The doctors are still working on her," Danny replied. "Have you looked at the security tapes yet?"
"I have three guys reviewing them right now, Danny. I was hoping Kathryn could shed some light on who we should focus on."
"She hasn't said anything...I don't think she knows or remembers. What I want to know is how the hell someone can get in her office, beat the hell out of her and get out without anyone seeing or hearing anything. Henry, that doesn't seem possible. What are you guys doing down there?" Danny said getting more and more agitated.
Samantha took hold of Danny's arm. "I'm sure they are doing everything they can."
"We are...absolutely. Look, we work with Kathryn all the time. She's like one of our own. We'll get this guy."
Danny nodded still annoyed.
"Listen, is there anyone you can think of? We are already looking at recent parollees, recent and old cases. Can you think of any one in her personal life...an old boyfriend, maybe."
"I don't think..., " Danny hesitated and shook his head. "She was dating someone before we got back together. His name is Evan Wyatt. He works for her father. He was pretty pissed when he found out we got back together. He's a jerk...but I don't think he is capable of hurting her like that."
Henry nodded, "We'll check it out."
The doctor finally came out and told them Kathryn was ready to see them. When Danny walked in with Henry, he saw that she looked a little better. She had small stitches on her swollen face, and her eyes were almost black. Danny took her hand and said, "Henry has some questions for you."
Kathryn nodded and said, "I don't remember very much."
"It's OK. We'll just walk through it step by step, and see what you do remember. You know the drill, Kathryn," stated Henry. "Was he in the office or did you let him in the office?"
"Um...I was coming back from the morning ADA meeting. I walked in my office, and left the door open. I knew something was wrong when I heard the door close behind me. He must have been in the office waiting. Um...as soon as I turned around, he came at me and grabbed my neck. He pulled me close to him, and told me he would break my neck if I screamed. I should have screamed right then. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't think he had a weapon."
"Don't do that. Don't second guess yourself," Henry said.
"You're doing good, baby. Keep going," added Danny as he squeezed her hand.
"Did you recognize him?" asked Henry.
"No...um...He seemed familiar, but I didn't recognize him."
"What did he look like?"
"5'9...maybe...he was about my height in heels. Light features...he was almost bald. Um...he was strong...muscular. After he grabbed me, he turned me around and pushed me face first onto the desk. He pinned me with his body...I couldn't move...that's how strong he was. He started to whisper in my ear, 'Don't make a sound.' 'I'm going to make you pay.' But he never said what I did. He never said why he was so angry with me."
"When did you lose consciousness?" asked Henry.
"I was groggy and bleeding pretty badly from my nose after he pushed me onto the desk. But, then he pulled me up my hair. He kept saying things in my ear. He called me a whore...other names. I did the only thing I could think of...I...uh...I tried to stamp my heel into his foot. I don't think I really hurt him, but I pissed him off more because he pushed me across the room. When I turned to steady myself, he punched me. That's when I went down. He got on top of me, and started hitting me over and over. I felt his knees digging into my ribs. I could't breathe. He was so angry. The look in his eyes...I was crying really hard...I think he was afraid someone would hear. He must of knocked me out somehow...The last thing I remember is seeing that look in his eyes....and then darkness."
"OK, Kathryn. You did great. I'm going to check in with my guys reviewing the security tapes...see if we can get a picture for you to look at. Get some rest," Henry finished with a concerned tone.
"Thanks," Danny said.
Henry just nodded and left the room.
After the detective walked out, Shelly poked her head in. "Do you mind if I step in for a second?"
"No, come in."
"How are you feeling, Kat?" Shelly addressed Kathryn.
"Hanging in there, I guess."
"I called your parents. You mother is on her way. I don't think I could have kept her away with a sledgehammer. Your dad is staying with Michael, and he is fine," she said as she glanced at Danny.
"Thanks for calling them," he said.
"I just wanted to see you, Kat. I'll let you get some rest," she stated. "Call me if you need anything...either of you."
"Thanks, Shel," Kathryn whispered.
After Shelly left the room, Danny turned back to Kathryn and lightly brushed a strand of hair our of her face. "You need to get some rest."
"Will you stay here with me?"
"I'm not going anywhere," he replied as he pulled up a chair.
She closed her eyes and slowly fell asleep. As Danny watched her, he couldn't help but wonder why this happened. Kathryn was the last person who should have to experience this. He hated to see the pain in her eyes and bruises on her face. And even though he was thankful she wasn't raped, he knew that experiencing that kind of violence would still change her forever. He blamed himself for not being able to protect her. His instinct was to go to the police station and find out who did this. But, she needed him here. He never felt so helpless before in his life.
Less than an hour later, they brought Kathryn to a private room. Danny stayed with her. The doctor told him that her x-rays didn’t show any broken bones. So they could send her home tomorrow after a night of observation. Kathryn was thankful for that. The nurse gave her something to sleep, and she drifted back to sleep.
Danny watched her sleep as Kathryn’s mother slipped in the room. She gently placed her hand on his shoulder jarring him from a deep thought. He turned around quickly and said, “Maggie…she’s going to be OK.” He stood up and put his arm around her as tears welled up in her eyes. She was clearly shocked at her daughter’s appearance.
“My poor baby. Who? Who would do such a thing?” she said as she took Kathryn’s hand.
“We don’t know. She couldn’t ID him.”
“You say she’ll be OK? Her face…her beautiful face…”
“She’ll be fine. She’ll just take time to heal.”
Danny interrupted, “She wasn’t raped, but he hurt her a lot…and said things. She’ll need time to get through this.”
“It’s that damn job. She should have quit when her father gave her the opportunity. She can be so stubborn.”
Danny wasn’t sure how to respond. Part of him agreed with Maggie, but he wanted to support Kathryn. Instead of responding, he asked, “Is Michael OK?”
“He’s fine. I told Jim that I would call him if it was OK to bring Michael, but looking at her…he shouldn’t see her like this.”
“No, he shouldn’t,” Danny agreed. “Listen, I’m going to check on a few things. Can you sit with her? If she wakes…just tell her I’m right outside.”
Danny walked out of the room, and was surprised to see Samantha still there. Jack had joined her. “I didn’t realize you were still here. You didn’t have to come, Jack.”
“I just wanted to see how Kathryn was doing. I’m sorry, Danny. I know this must be really hard for you,” Jack said sympathetically.
“Thanks. Thank you both for being here, but you don’t have to stay. We’ll be OK.”
“Martin was here earlier. We did send him home. Vivian wanted to come, but her husband had to teach a class tonight. She had to get home to Reggie,” Samantha said.
“Viv did get some information from NYPD,” Jack stated. “They found the tape of an unidentified man going into her office while she was in a meeting. The door closes after she walks in. He’s in there for ten minutes, and then walks out.”
“Unidentified?” Danny said impatiently.
“They were doing some facial recognition searches to see if they could ID him. I think the detective is bringing the picture here soon.”
“Can’t be soon enough. I have to find out who this bastard is,” Danny said angrily.
Samantha and Jack shared a concerned stare. They knew only too well what kind of temper Danny had.
“Relax, Danny. You have to let NYPD handle it. Your wife needs you now. Just focus on taking care of her,” Jack said quietly.
“This guy…whoever he is…hid in her office, took her by surprise and then slammed her face into a desk. Then said awful things her. When she tried to fight him, he punched her over and over again until she blacked out. God knows what else he would have done with her if he had more time. Did Samantha tell you…did she tell you they had to do a rape kit?”
Jack sighed, “Yeah…she told me.”
“Well then don’t tell me to relax. She’s my life, Jack and I’ll do whatever I have to do to protect her.” Danny wanted to say more. He wanted them to understand, but he knew they were just worried about him.
“I understand. Listen…you…uh…take as much time as you need. We’ll take off. Call me if you need anything.”
Samantha looked at Danny. “I can stay. I don’t have to be anywhere. If you need me to do anything.”
“No. Her mother’s here. Between the two of us, we’ll be fine. Thanks, Sam. I don’t know what I would have done without you today.”
Samantha raised up and kissed Danny lightly on the cheek before giving him a hug. “Take care. Tell Kathryn we are thinking of her. And call me if you need anything…help with Michael or whatever you need,” she whispered in his ear.
She finally let go and she and Jack walked away.
Danny sat down in the chair in the hall and ran a hand over his face and hair. He was exhausted. He just wanted to turn back time to the night before when he, Kathryn and Michael were safe at home. As he was trying to mentally prepare himself to return to her room, the detective, Henry, approached him. "Evening, Danny. Is she doing any better?"
"Yeah...um..the doctor says she can go home tomorrow. She's sleeping now."
"We know who did it," Henry said as he handed Danny a grainy security photo. "His name is Tom Hanes. Kathryn put away his brother recently..."
"The date rape case," Danny interrupted.
"Yeah...turns out this is one messed up family. The brother she put away, John Hanes...he's actually the sane one. Tom has actually been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 16. He did two years for aggravated assault a few years ago. I talked to his doctor about an hour ago. He told me they were abused as kids."
Danny shook his head. "Poor guy. My heart bleeds for him," Danny said with contempt. "Where the hell is he?"
"We have an APB out on him. We're staking out his apartment, his family's home and his doctor's office. He'll turn up."
"When you get him...I want five minutes with him, Henry," he said with a dead serious look.
"This isn't negotiable. I'll find a way with you or without you."
"Jack said you'd pull something like this. You're not going near him, son."
"This is none of Jack's business. And you can't tell me that if this was one of your guys, or your wife, you wouldn't want to do the same."
"This guy isn't worth your career or your family. You just need to focus on Kathryn. We'll make sure that Hanes is taken care of."
Danny sighed in frustration and stood up. "Thanks for stopping by. I should get back in there."
"Right...I call you tomorrow with an update. Good night."
Danny walked quietly into her room. Maggie fell asleep in the chair next to Kathryn's bed. Kathryn's eyes started to flutter open when Danny took her hand. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."
"When did my mother get here?"
"A couple of hours ago."
"Have you seen Michael? Is he OK?"
Danny nodded. "He's fine. He's with your dad. We'll see him tomorrow when I take you home."
"I don't know if I want him to see me like this."
"He'll be so happy to see you he won't even notice."
Kathryn tried to smile, but it hurt to much.
"They know who hurt you," he said quietly.
"Who?" she whispered.
"John Hane's brother."
"Oh my god. Did they arrest him?"
"Not yet, but they will. Don't worry."
Kathryn started to cry because of the pain and frustration she felt. "I keep wondering why me? I don't understand."
"I don't know, baby. But we'll get through it. You're safe now. I love you so much, and I'm not going to let anyone hurt you ever again."
She reach up to touch his cheek. "I love you, too."
After Kathryn fell back asleep, Danny woke up her mother and put her in a cab. They agreed to meet at his apartment after he brought Kathryn home.Then Danny spent the night in the chair next to her bed.
The next day, he took her home but before the left the hospital Henry called and said they arrested Hanes. Danny breathed a sigh of relief.
Kathryn was glad to be back in her own home. Then she was elated when her parents brought Michael home. As soon as Danny opened the door, Michael ran into his arms. Danny picked him up and brought him over to Kathryn on the couch. At first, Michael was confused by the bruises that covered her face, but just like Danny said, within seconds he forgot the bruises and lovingly put his arms around her.
Danny stayed home with Kathryn for a week after she got out of the hospital. He mostly just took care of Michael while she slept. At first, she seemed happy to be home and definitely happy to see Michael. But the happiness was eventually replaced by overwhelming fatigue and jumpiness. She couldn't sleep for more than a couple of hours without waking up in a panic. Not even knowing that Hanes was off the street helped her.
Shortly after being arrested, they transferred Hanes to a high security mental hospital. He was ordered to be under a doctor's care until they could bring the case to trial. This was good for Kathryn, but Danny was frustrated because it meant he couldn't get near Hanes. Part of him ached to avenge the assault on Kathryn.
After a week at home, Danny had to get back to work. Kathryn wasn't supposed to go back to work for at least another week but she ended up taking a few weeks off. Her mother came over during the day to help her with Michael. One morning, after Danny had been back to work a couple of weeks, Maggie arrived before Danny left for work.
Danny opened the door to Maggie holding Michael while talking on his cell phone. She took Michael from Danny after he let her in so he could focus on his phone call.
"Yeah…Yeah…no I can be there in a half hour. I'll start the canvassing right away. All right. Bye, Viv," Danny said as he finished his call. "Sorry about that Maggie. I…uh…it was work. I'm glad you're here. Kathryn isn't awake yet, and I have to get going."
"She isn't awake yet? It's 8 a.m."
"I know. I didn't want to wake her. She had a rough night. She can't seem to get enough sleep. I'm trying to convince her to go back to the doctor, but she swears she feels fine."
"Danny, I'm worried about her. I've never seen her like this before."
"I know. I'm worried, too. But I don't know what else to do. And to top it off, she is talking about going back to work next week."
"Oh dear god...what is that girl thinking?"
"I think she just wants to feel normal again. And going back to work is just a part of that. But I don't see how she can do it if she still feels like this. Listen, I'm sorry,
but I have to go. A woman went missing in Brooklyn this morning."
"It's OK. We can talk more later. I have things under control here," she said as she looked at Michael and smiled.
Danny leaned down and kissed Michael's forehead. "Have fun today, champ. Thanks, Maggie. And call me if you need anything."
"Say bye-bye to daddy," Maggie said as Michael waved goodbye.
Danny left and tried to focus on the case, but his mind kept drifting to Kathryn. It was like Hanes extinguished the light from her eyes. She had been in such pain, and she had been so exhausted that they had barely touched in weeks. He missed her terribly, and wanted to fix what was broken inside of her. But nothing he did seemed to help.
He got home late that evening after Michael had gone to bed. Kathryn had fallen asleep on the couch. He quietly sat down beside her and touched her cheek. "Hey," Danny said quietly.
Kathryn looked up at him with sleepy eyes and smiled sadly. "Hi."
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm OK," she replied in a small voice.
"Is your mom still here?"
"No, she left after Michael's dinner."
Danny nodded. "Have you eaten?"
"I'm not hungry, but she left some stuff in the oven if you are."
"No, I'm good. I'm ready to crash," he said as he looked at her expectantly. "Come on. Let me help you to bed." He held out his hand and helped her to her feet.
"How was work today?" she asked as they went to look in on Michael.
"Not that great. We are still looking for this woman. I have to go back in early tomorrow."
"I'm sorry," she whispered as they watched Michael sleep for a few moments. Kathryn looked on as Danny gently tucked the blanket under Michael's chin. Then they proceeded to the bedroom.
Kathryn slipped into bed while Danny undressed and took a quick shower. He came out of the bathroom and got into bed next to her. He quickly realized she had already fallen asleep. He smiled softly and kissed her forehead as he watched the steadiness of her breathing. Then he tried to get a few hours sleep before he had to return to work. He felt like he had just fallen asleep when he heard Kathryn start to cry. She was tossing and turning while crying "No" and "Stop." Danny gently took hold of her arms. He knew she was having another nightmare about Hanes. "Kathryn...Kathryn...wake up. You're safe, baby," he said softly.
Kathryn finally opened her eyes. While she was relieved it was only a dream, she started to cry more because she was so tired of reliving it over and over. Danny quickly pulled her into his arms and held her while whispering soothing words in her ear. This was as close as he could get to her, and usually she wouldn't let him hold after a nightmare. But this time was different. She was so tired of feeling scared and tired. Danny leaned over her to kiss her tears away. And then they looked into each others' eyes. He slowly ran his hand through her hair, and then started to kiss her gently.
At first, she responded to his kisses. She missed him, too. He slowly maneuvered himself so that he was on top of her while his arms supported his weight on either side of her. They kissed like that for a while, but then he started to move his hands over her body. This was usually where she would just surrender to him, but for some reason she couldn't relax. Instead of becoming aroused as he touched her, she became more and more tense.
"What's the matter, baby?" he whispered in her ear as he felt her tense beneath him.
"I'm sorry. I don't know. I just...I can't...I'm sorry," Kathryn said as she started to cry again.
"It's OK. It's OK. Don't cry," he pleaded as he rolled to his side and put his arm around her protectively. "We have all the time in the world."
She didn't say anything else. She just laid there wondering what could possibly be wrong with her that she couldn't let her husband make love to her.
A week later, Kathryn decided it was time for her to head back to work. She was sitting at her vanity table in her robe. Danny stepped out of the bathroom wearing a towel low around his hips. As he watched her put lotion on her legs, he asked, "Are you sure you are ready for this?"
She looked up at him, smiled slightly and shrugged, "I don't know." Then she stood up to go in to the bathroom. As she walked towards him, she heart skipped a beat. He could still make her melt just by looking at her. And seeing Danny just out of the shower with water glistening on his muscular chest and his hair sticking out every which way, she couldn't help but raise up and kiss him. "I think I forgot to say good morning."
He smiled as returned the quick kiss. "Good morning to you." After the kiss, she started to move past him, but he gently stopped her by putting his hand on the small of her back. "Not so fast..."
She felt a shiver run through her as he held her and looked down in her eyes. Without saying a word, he untied the sash of her robe and let it fall open. She bit her lip as she saw the desire in his eyes and felt the heat of his body. His hands started to move inside the robe...touching her stomach and lower back. He pressed their foreheads together and pulled her to him so he could feel her bare skin against his chest. Her heart was pounding as her breathing intensified. Just as he was about to kiss her passionately, she heard Michael from the baby monitor. He had just woken up and was babbliing. Kathryn started to pull away. "I should get him."
"Whoa...whoa...he'll be OK for a few minutes," Danny said reluctant to let this moment pass.
"No...I need to get him ready since we are both going to work today," she said sounding almost relieved as she re-tied her robe and left the room.
Danny sat down on the bed and ran a hand through his unruly hair. He started to wonder if things between he and Kathryn would ever get back to normal.
After Kathryn went back to work, Danny worried about her more and more. The first few days were incredibly hard on her. She would come home at night extremely tired and emotional. In the morning, she could barely get herself out of bed. He felt bad because he couldn't seem to help her. She felt bad because she couldn't make herself feel better. At the end of her first full week back, she came to see him at his office. The team greeted her warmly when she walked into the bullpen area. They hadn't seen her since the assault. After they all exchanged small talk, she asked Danny if they could talk. He guided her into one of the conference rooms.
"What's up?" Danny asked hesitantly.
"Well I have good news and some not so good news. What do you want hear first?"
"I could go for some good news right about now," Danny said. Part of him was terrified that she wanted to leave him.
"I gave my notice today. I'm going to finish out the week next week and then I am done with the DA's office," she said with a little sadness.
Danny looked at her confused. "Is that good news? When did you decide this?"
"I thought that it is what you wanted. I mean if I had listened to you a few months ago nothing bad would have happened to me."
"You shouldn't do this for me. And what happened to you isn't your fault," he said as he lightly stroked her arms.
"I'm not doing it for you. To be honest, I just can't face it anymore," she said as tears filled her eyes. "Before I used to feel this strength when I talked to a victim or a victim's family. I felt like nothing could touch me. I could be strong for them because I wasn't one of them. Well now, I am one of them. I know what they feel. And all I feel is weakness. I can't be strong for people when I feel like this. And I walk into that office and all I see is his face. And all I feel are his hands on me. I can't take it anymore. I can't breathe when I am there."
Kathryn started to break down as she told him how she felt. He slowly enveloped her in his arms as she finished pouring her heart out. He didn't say anything to her. He just held her until she was ready to talk again.
"I'm going to call my father and ask him about that consulting job. Something tells me it will still be open," she said as she smiled slightly.
"Are you sure?"
"No, but for now...this is for the best. I can't keep living like this. I can't put you and Michael through this anymore. The only way for me to get better is to move on. Which brings me to the not so good news."
Danny smirked and asked, "What is it?"
"Um...I ...uh...talked to the ADA handling my assault case. He said that Hane's attorney was pushing for a settlement. Hanes will commit to being in a maximum security mental hospital for at least six months. At that time, his doctor can petition the court for release if he shows improvement. And I'll have a permanent restraining order against him," she said reluctantly.
"Well, you didn't agree to it, did you? I mean you told the ADA you want the bastard prosecuted. Right?" Danny asked as his tone rose.
"It's the DA's perogative, Danny. Not mine."
"But he'll do what you want, Kathryn. If you want to testify against him...he'll let you."
"I don't want to testify."
"What?" Danny asked in frustration.
"I don't want to see him. I don't want to tell a courtroom what happened. I want all of this to go away so I can get back to normal...so we can get back to normal. I'm tired of feeling scared all the time."
"What about when he gets out in six months? What then?"
"Chances are he'd only do six months...a year tops...if we prosecuted. And then what? We'd face the same thing. Please Danny...let's just try to move on. OK?"
Danny wanted to argue. He wanted to face this guy in court. He wanted to see him do hard time for hurting Kathryn. But he also wanted to do what was best for Kathryn. So he finally relented. "Fine. We'll move on."
Kathryn smiled and kissed him lightly. "Thank you. I love you."
Danny looked in her eyes and touched her cheek. "I love you, too. Will you do me one favor so we can move on completely?"
"Go see your doctor and find out why you are still feeling so bad."
"I'm fine, Danny. I've just been worn out because of going back to work."
"No, it's been since before you went back. I'm worried about you. I'm not arguing about Hanes...and you know I want to. So you can't argue with me about this."
Kathryn smiled as he explained his logic. "I'll see if I can't stop by there today on my way home."
"Sounds good. I'll see you tonight."
"See you tonight," she said as she walked out to the elevators.
Danny got home that night just as Kathryn was putting Michael to sleep. He walked into Michael's room and watched as Kathryn read him a story. After she finished, he said, "Looks like I got here right in time."
Michael looked up with a big smile. "Daddy!"
Danny picked him up from Kathryn's lap and gave him him a big hug. Michael kissed him on his cheek and they laughed together. Then he laid him down in the crib as Kathryn looked on. When they walked out of the bedroom, Kathryn turned to him and put her arms around him. Then she kissed him. "How was your day?"
Danny looked down at her with a puzzled expression. She hadn't been like this with him since before the assault. "Um...it was fine. Are you OK?"
"Yeah...I'm really good," she replied as she took his hand and lead him into the living room.
"Clearly...you should quit your job more often," he said as he sat down on the couch.
She was standing in front of him with her robe on. Slowly, she removed the robe. She was wearing a black silk nightie. Then she straddled his lap and started to remove his tie as she kissed him deeply. Danny was a little shocked, but he kissed her back and helped her remove his shirt. Before they went any further, he had to ask, "I almost hate to interrupt this, but did you go to the doctor? And what kind of drug did she give you to prompt this?"
Kathryn laughed as she kissed his neck and the sensitive area behind his ear. "No drugs. I just have some more good news."
"Did she give you a clean bill of health?" he asked as he looked in her eyes.
"Yes...and then some," she said as she smiled.
"You lost me, baby. What's going on?"
"Everything's been so crazy...I didn't even realize. My doctor knew even before the test came back."
"The test? Are you...Are we..."
"We're going to have a baby. It's why I've been so tired. It's why my hormones have been haywire. I completely forgot how it felt the first time. Are you happy?" she asked hesitantly as she kissed him again..
Danny smiled. "Am I happy? Baby, I'm crazy happy. This is the best news," he said as he wrapped her in his arms.
The next few weeks could only be described as blissful for Kathryn and Danny. Finding out they were pregnant was truly the blessing they needed to move on from the horrible chapter in their marriage that started with her violent assault. They went out one night to celebrate privately. They weren't ready to tell anyone their good news so they just told Maggie they were going out on a date when the left Michael with her. They decided to go the Italian restaurant where they went to on their first so-called date.
As they sat at the quiet, candlelit table in the back of the restaurant, they couldn't seem to keep their hands off each other. The practically started kissing the moment they sat down. They were finally interrupted when the waitress came to their table. "Are you ready to order your drinks? Wine, perhaps?"
Kathryn laughed. "No wine. We're pregnant."
Danny smiled at her. "I thought we weren't telling people," he said. Then he turned to the waitress and said, "We'll just take a couple of club sodas. Thanks."
The waitress smiled and walked away.
"I had to tell someone, or I was going to explode."
He kissed her again as he rubbed small circles on the small of her back. "We can tell people whenever you're ready."
"I know. I just...I like that it's just us...for now."
"Maybe we'll tell my parents after our first appointment next week."
"Sounds good. I'm glad I'll be here for the first one this time," Danny said quietly, remembering that she was alone when she found out she was pregnant with Michael.
"God...things are so different this time. With Michael...I wasn't really happy until...until my second trimester." When she found out she was pregnant with Michael, Danny was drinking, and they had broken up after a hurtful argument. Kathryn actually considered having an abortion because she couldn't imagine having Danny's child on her own. But in the end, she couldn't do it. She was so thankful because now they were together and so happy and Michael was the light of their lives.
"Everything will be different this time because we are actually together. This time, I think we are having a little girl."
"Why do you think that?"
"I just have a feeling. A little girl with blonde hair and the bluest eyes...just like her mother. We'll have to lock her up until she is thirty," Danny said playfully serious.
"No way...we aren't having any double standards. We're going to empower her and make her feel like she can do anything. That is my dream for her."
"I'm all for empowering. I just don't want her to date until she is thirty."
Kathryn laughed. "What if we have another boy?"
"That would be good, too. Whatever it is -- I know we will be so happy. You, me, Michael, and whoever we are blessed with," he said as he kissed her again.
They ate dinner and for a couple of hours. Then after their walk home, they ended up making out against the wall of their apartment building entryway. They felt like teenagers instead of a married couple. Kathryn laughed as Danny kissed a path down her neck and pressed her gently against the wall. "This really does remind me of our first date," she said breathlessly as she remembered being in the same position with Danny just a few years ago.
Danny stopped for a second and looked in her eyes. "You mean when you totally made a pass at me?"
"Oh please, Danny. You kissed me first," she replied playfully.
"Only because I knew you wanted me to."
"Well, that's true. I did want you...and I still do...so much," she said as he started to kiss her again and moved his hands up and down her hips and thighs.
They finally made it back upstairs, and tried to restrain themselves as they said goodnight to Maggie. Danny walked Maggie downstairs to hail her a cab. As they waited, Maggie said, "Kathryn has seemed to turn the corner. I think her decision to quite the DA's office was the best thing."
Danny nodded. "I think so, too. I think she is finally getting back to normal. We are really happy."
"I can tell," Maggie said quietly. "I know I've been hesitant to support your relationship in the past, but I really appreciate and admire the way you handled yourself with Kathyrn the past few months."
Danny smirked still slightly annoyed that he had to keep proving himself to Maggie. "Well, I love her. I will always be here for her."
"Good. I hope so," Maggied responded as Danny finally hailed a cab for her and opened the door. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight. Thanks again, Maggie."
Danny headed back upstairs to finish his date with Kathryn.
A week later, Danny was at the office trying to finish up some paperwork before he had to leave to meet Kathryn at her doctor's office. Just as he was about to head out, Jack walked in quickly and addressed the team. "We have a missing six-year old in Queens. He was taken from a mall. We need to get over to the mall to start canvassing immediately."
Danny's heart sank. He started to speak up and tell Jack he couldn't go, but then he saw the picture of the innocent, little boy that Jack posted on the whiteboard. So he didn't say anything, and headed out with Samantha and Martin. On the way to the crime scene, he dialed Kathryn's cell number.
"Hello," she answered breathlessly.
"Hey, babe. It's me. Are you OK?" he asked.
"Oh yeah...I just had to chase a cab for about a block, but I just got in. I'm on my way to the doctor's office. Where are you?"
"On my way to a crime scene in Queens..."
"I'm sorry, baby. A six-year old is missing. I have to go." Kathryn was silent on the other end of the phone. Danny knew she was disappointed. "Maybe you can re-schedule. We can go in a couple of days."
"I should really go today, Danny. I'm already past my eighth week."
"I'm so sorry. Maybe you can call your mother or Shelly to be with you."
"Yeah, maybe," she said in a sad tone. "You better go. I'll...um...call you later."
"OK. Talk to you soon. I love you," he said sincerely.
"Me, too. Bye."
After he hung up, he felt awful. He had trouble focusing all day. Once they got to the scene, they quickly found out that it was a custody problem. The boy's father took him from the parking lot. Since the mother had physical custody, they still had to track the father down. But they were fairly sure the boy wasn't in any danger. The father was just angry at the mother for limiting his visitation. They finally found the boy and father later in the evening.
Danny rushed home after they wrapped up the case. He was concerned because he hadn't heard from Kathryn. The one time he tried to call her, she didn't answer her phone. He walked in the door and saw Maggie sitting on the couch.
"Hey, Maggie. What are you doing here?" he asked confused since it was 8 p.m. and her appointment was five hours ago.
"I was going to call you, but Kathryn insisted that I didn't..." she said sadly.
"What...what is it? What's wrong?"
"The doctor couldn't find a heartbeat today. She said that Kathryn had a miscarriage. They had to do a D and C. She isn't pregnant anymore. I'm sorry, Danny," Maggie said as tears filled her eyes.
"Where is she?"
"In the bedroom...the doctor said she should rest for the next couple of days," she said as Danny started to walk back to the bedroom.
He slowly opened the door. Kathryn was laying on the bed. Michael was snuggled next to her with his head resting on her breast. Danny sat in the chair next to their bed and watched her for a few minutes. Feeling his eyes on her, Kathryn opened her bloodshot eyes, but didn't say a word.
Danny started. "You should have called me."
"You couldn't have done anything," she whispered.
"I could have been here for you. I'm sorry."
Tears started to well up in her eyes. "I'm sorry...I don't know what happened. They couldn't tell me why."
"Baby, it's not your fault," he said taking her hand.
They didn't know what else to say to each other. Eventually, Danny picked up Michael and put him to bed. Then he undressed and got into bed next to her. As soon as he laid down, Kathryn turned to him and let him take her into his arms as they both cried for the death of their unborn child.
After the miscarriage, Kathryn plunged into a deep depression. She could barely get out of bed in the morning. Danny was also hurting, so he tried to focus on work. He had a couple of intense cases right after the miscarriage that took a lot of his time. He decided not to tell the team about the miscarriage. He hated the thought of them taking pity on him. He also started going to more AA meetings. After he and Kathryn got back together., he only went to one a week...just to remind him that he shouldn't screw up his life. But after the miscarriage, he found himself going two or three times a week. He didn't tell the people there what he was going through, but just being there helped him not turn to alcohol for comfort.
The distance between he and Kathryn grew day by day after they initially comforted each other that first night. They just stopped talking after that. Danny felt like she blamed him for not being there at the appointment. Kathryn felt like he blamed her for losing the baby. As they started to lose sight of each other, they started to fight. This was new for them because they hardly ever fought. And truly, it was Kathryn who would pick the fight. Danny would usually just walk away. He couldn't stand the thought of fighting with her and hated it when Michael heard him yell. She would usually get upset with him about the time he spent at his job. His defense was that he was the only one working. Then she would resent him for giving up her job. They seemed to fight about the same things over and over again, but they never talked about what was really bothering them – the death of their baby.
About a month after the miscarriage, Danny was at home on a Sunday. Kathryn and Michael had gone with her mother for a day of shopping. While things had been strained between he and Kathryn, that morning they managed to be at least friendly to each other.
Shortly after they left, there was a knock at his door. He opened the door and saw Sylvia Marquez, his nephew's mother. "Sylvia...hey...it's been a long time."
"I know. Sorry to just drop in, but you haven't been returning my calls. I was getting worried and so was Nicky."
"I'm sorry. Um...things have been crazy lately. Why don't you come in," he said hesitantly.
"I know you are busy. Nicky and I just got used to seeing you every once in a while," she said as she walked in to the apartment. "This is a nice place. Is your son here? I'd love to meet him."
"No, uh...he and Kathryn are shopping."
Sylvia nodded as she started to look at the pictures that lined their bookshelves. "Your son is beautiful. He looks a lot like Nicky at that age."
Danny smiled. "Where is Nicky today?" he asked surprised that she would come without him.
"My parent's house. He's had a cold lately. I didn't want to bring him out."
"Sorry to hear that," Danny said starting to feel slightly uncomfortable. "Did you need something? You didn't say in your messages."
"Um...well...mostly we just wanted to see you," she said as she walked toward him. "But also Nicky has a father/son thing at our church. He wanted to ask you to go with him." She put her hand on his chest as she spoke to him.
Danny took her hand from his chest and put it down. "Why don't you have him call me and give me the details. I'll see if I can make it," he said with a strained voice.
Sylvia smiled. "Are you happy, Danny? You don't look very happy."
"I'm fine, thanks."
"Your wife is very pretty. She looks like some kind of sorority girl. When you change your life...you really change it, don't you?"
"What are you talking about, Sylvia?" he asked annoyed.
"You were so scared to turn out like your brother that you changed your name, your life...you even have a pretty, white wife to complete the package. No one would ever wonder where you came from," she said sarcastically. Then she walked closer to him and put her hand on his cheek. "If you ever wanted a taste of your past, I'm here."
Danny took her hand away again and stepped away from her. "Sylvia...I'm married. I love my wife. And I didn't change myself because I was ashamed of who I was. I changed because I wanted a better life. You should want that for yourself and for Nicky. I married Kathryn because...because I can't imagine being with anyone else. It wasn't because of who she is...it's just because I love her."
"Well...isn't that sweet," she said with contempt.
"I think you should go. I'll be there for Nicky...no matter what, but nothing will ever happen between us."
Sylvia sighed and shook her head as she walked out the door.
Danny sat down and ran his hands over his face and hair. He sat back and closed his eyes. The meeting with Sylvia just reaffirmed that he needed to fix things with Kathryn. He couldn't let their pain and loss tear them a part. He worked too hard to lose it all now.
A few minutes after Sylvia left, he heard a key in the door. He was surprised to see Kathryn, Michael and her mother. They were supposed to be gone all day. "Hey, this is a surprise," he said as he stood up.
"Yeah, I bet," Kathryn said icily. "We just...uh...I forgot a sweater for Michael...and it's kind of cold out there.
"OK," he said. "Is there something wrong?"
"I don't know, is there? I saw Sylvia leave here as we were coming in. Her son wasn't with her. Does she usually stop by without him?" she asked sarcastically.
Danny looked at Maggie and then back to Kathryn. Then he shook his head. "Maggie, would you mind watching Michael for a second?" he asked. Then he took Kathryn's arm to lead her back to the bedroom.
She went with him, but not before she snatched her arm out of his grasp and spatted, "Don't touch me."
Danny shut the door and turned to her. "Baby, let me explain..."
Kathryn interrupted. "Don't...don't call me that. When you say that to me now...it makes me sick. And what can you explain? Explain what? Explain how your screwing your nephew's mother," she yelled.
Danny was shocked and getting angrier by the second. "Keep your voice down, Kathryn. Nothing is going on with her, I swear. She came here out of the blue. I didn't know she was coming," he pleaded.
"I won't keep my voice down. This is all a little too convenient. We have problems. We're not having sex...and all of a sudden there she is. I saw her face Danny. She looked right at me, and she look very...very satisfied."
"You're out of your fucking mind," Danny yelled not able to control his anger anymore. "I've never cheated on you...not ever. Don't take out your grief on me. I hurt too, Kathryn. How dare you accuse me of this."
"How dare I? How dare I? You haven't been talking to me Danny...you haven't been screwing me. It's simple math, Danny. I'm not here...and she was here."
"You need help, Kathryn. I can't help you...that's obvious. If you have that little trust me...I don't know if I want anything to do with you anymore," he yelled right before he walked out the door. He walked out to the living room and took Michael from Maggie. "Hey buddy. Daddy's got to go out for a while, but I'll be back." Danny returned Michael to Maggie and walked out as his son started to cry.
Danny wasn't sure where he was going when he left. Of course, he wanted to go to the nearest bar and drown all his feelings. But he didn't do that. It was really only Michael who kept him from drinking because he wasn't sure he could forgive Kathryn for thinking the worst of him. He ended up at an AA meeting. As usual, he didn't talk. He just listened to everyone else and reminded himself that as bad as things got with he and Kathryn there were always people who had it worse. He went home that evening and slept on the couch. In the morning, Kathryn stayed in bed while Danny got ready for work. Then Danny got Michael up and gave him breakfast. Before he left for work, he brought Michael in to Kathryn. She was still in bed, but she was awake. Danny just said, "I fed him breakfast." Then he kissed Michael as he set him on the bed. "I'll see you later, Michael." He walked out without saying anything else to Kathryn.
He was thankful to not have a case that morning. He sat at his desk completely distracted while pretending to read a report. Samantha walked up to him and perched on the end of his desk. "You know you've been reading the same page for thirty minutes," she said teasingly.
He looked at her, but didn't return the smile. "I just can't seem to focus today."
"Is everything OK?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," he replied trying to put on the happy face that he puts on when he doesn't want to reveal how he really feels.
"OK...well, if I can help...let me know."
"Thanks," he said quietly.
While he didn't want to talk to Samantha about his problems, his conversation with her did give him an idea. He got up from his desk and walked down to the next floor. His heart pounded as he stood outside Dr. Lisa Harris's office. She was sitting at her desk when he knocked on the door. "Dr. Harris?"
"Danny? What can I do for you? Is there a case..."
"Um...no it's not a case. Uh...do you have a minute?" he asked with hesitation.
"A while back, Samantha said that you helped her get through a tough time. I just...I just was hoping I could run something past you."
"Well, this is a surprise. Usually, I can't get you to take your yearly psyche evaluation seriously," she said with a slight smile.
"Yeah, I know. This isn't really my thing, but I don't know what else to do."
"Why don't you take a seat and start from the beginning?" she asked.
Danny closed the door and sat down. "Um...my wife...we had a miscarriage about a month ago."
"I'm sorry. She was assaulted recently also, wasn't she?"
"Yeah...We just got through that and we thought that the baby was like a sign...a sign that we were passed it. But then, there wasn't a baby."
"It sounds like you two have been through a lot of stress."
Danny nodded. "We can't seem to connect again. We keep fighting. She thinks...she actually thinks that I'm having an affair. I would never do that...never. Part of me is so angry at her...for not believing in me. But I don't want to give up on her, and I don't want her to give up on me."
"Well, you and I can talk about it, Danny but that's not what you need. You need to talk to her. You need to tell her that you aren't ready to give up. I'm going to give you the number of a very good marriage counselor. I would suggest that you ask your wife to meet you half way. Let this counselor mediate for you. Sometimes it's easier to talk about things when someone is there to control the emotions," she said as she handed him the counselor's card.
Danny took the card and then thanked Dr. Harris. He then called the counselor's office. Since he had Dr. Harris as a reference, the counselor agreed to see them the next day granted that Kathryn agreed to come with him. He decided to go home early to talk to her. Before he walked in the door, he took a deep breath. When he walked in he noticed two overnight bags by the door. He walked back to the bedroom where Kathryn was.
"What's with the bags?" he asked her coldly.
Kathryn, clearly surprised to see him, responded, "You're home early. I…uh…was going to leave you a note."
"No…don't do this, Kathryn. Don't leave," he started to plead.
"I can't do this anymore. I'm taking Michael to my parent's house. We're leaving as soon as he gets up from his nap," she said in a frightened tone hoping Danny wouldn't lose his temper.
He walked towards her and tried to touch her arms, but she backed away. He just looked at her and shook his head. "You shouldn't leave. This is Michael's home. I'll go -- if you don't want me here."
"Where will you go?"
"It doesn't matter…I'll figure something out. But you shouldn't leave."
Kathryn looked down as she tried to fight back tears. "OK…we'll stay."
"If I go, will you do me one favor? Please."
She looked at him skeptically. "What?"
"I talked to our department psychiatrist today, and she recommended this marriage counselor," he said as he handed her the card. "She's agreed to meet us tomorrow morning…first thing."
Kathryn was genuinely surprised. Danny was not the type to talk about his marriage or problems with a stranger. "You want us to see a marriage counselor? I never thought I would hear that coming out your mouth."
"I don't know if what we have is worth saving or not, especially if you have so little faith in me. But, for Michael, I'm willing try this."
Kathryn sighed, "OK…for Michael…I'll try, too."
Danny spent some time with Michael after he woke up from his nap. Then, he packed an overnight bag and left. He checked into the cheapest motel he could find. The next morning he met Kathryn at the counselor's office. The sat on opposite ends of the couch similar to their sleeping arrangements lately. They always used to be so connected physically. They always held hands or sat so close that they touched. Danny brought that out in Kathryn. But lately, they rarely ever touched at all.
The counselor asked them to talk about the history of their relationship. They told her how they met and fell in love. They told her about their problems – Danny's drinking and secrets and Kathryn's trust issues. They told her about Michael and finding their way back to each other. And finally they told her about the assault and miscarriage that haunted their marriage the past few months.
By the time they gave the counselor their history, their hour was basically up. She told them that she would look over her notes and prepare a plan for them to work through their issues over the next few weeks.
"So, that's it?" Danny asked.
"It's not a quick process, Danny. This is something you both have to commit to long-term," the counselor replied.
Kathryn interrupted, "Did you really think we could fix things in one hour?"
Danny just looked at her and smirked and then turned to the counselor. "Thanks. We'll see you next week."
She and Danny left the office and walked outside. The Danny addressed her. "Look, I know I said that I would leave, but we can't afford it, Kathryn. I can't afford to live in a motel since you're not working."
"Oh…so this is back to me…right."
"No…that's not what I meant. It's fine that you aren't working, but we can't afford living in two different places."
"Then Michael and I will go to my parents like I planned."
"No, absolutely not. We aren't taking him out of his home," he said emphatically remembering what it felt like to be moved around all the time as a child.
"Well then, what do you suggest?"
"Let me come home. I'll sleep on the couch just until we've seen this counselor thing through for a few weeks. I won't come near you…I promise. If we don't see any improvement, then I'll start looking for a more permanent place to move to."
"Do you really think counseling is going to help us?" she asked desperately.
"What choice do we have? Are you really ready to give up on us? Kathryn, we lost a baby. That shouldn't tear us a part. That should bring us closer together."
"You don't understand. You don't understand how it feels."
"That's not fair. I wanted that baby. You know that," Danny responded in a frustrated tone.
"I know," she said quietly as they sat down on a park bench. "But losing the baby…it wasn't your fault, Danny."
"It wasn't your fault, either. How can you think that?"
"I can't talk about this with you. It's too hard," she said as she started to get up, but Danny grabbed her arm.
"Don't…don't walk away from me. We have to talk about this. The one thing I did learn today during our session, was that there is way too much between us to throw it away."
Kathryn sat back down and stared off in the distance. She didn't want to look at him. "Do you know how close I came to killing Michael?"
"What?" Danny asked confused.
"I was going to have an abortion."
"I know, but you didn't. You couldn't go through with it."
"But I went to the appointment, and I was laying there on the table. I was seconds away from doing it, and for what? All for selfish reasons."
"That was my fault, Kathryn. It was my fault because of the way I treated you while I was drinking. And you didn't go through with it."
"But I look at Michael and I think of how close I came. I think I am being punished. First, Hanes hurts me and then I lose our baby. I don't understand why this is happening to me," she said as tears fell from her eyes.
"Bad things happen. Maybe you aren't used to them happening to you, but they happen all the time. I used to feel guilty about my parents and my brother. But I had to realize it wasn't my fault that they died. You helped me realize that, Kathryn. You're the one who kept telling me that we were in this together…no more secrets, right? Well you can't keep this from me. Don't hide your pain from me. Let me help you," he said as he took her hand.
At first, she was going to pull away, but then she looked in his eyes. She laced her finger with his and said, "You can forgive me?"
"For almost having an abortion? Or for the miscarriage? Kathryn, you have nothing to apologize for," he said as he searched her eyes.
"No…not that. Can you forgive me for accusing you of having an affair?" she asked quietly.
Danny looked away from her and sighed. "That depends…did you really think I was capable of doing that?"
Kathryn shook her head. "No, but I wanted you to feel guilty like I felt guilty. I wanted to hate you so I would stop hating myself. But I never really believed it. Just seeing her there…it was hard. I was more afraid that you confided in her," she said as her voice cracked with emotion.
"I didn't tell her anything. I promise. And truthfully, you were right about her. She did want more from me, but I told her that I loved you. And that you and Michael are my life."
They continued to hold hands as they looked down at the pavement. Then Kathryn asked, "Where do we go from here?"
"Let's just take it slow. I'll come back and sleep on the couch, just like I said. We'll continue to go to counseling and work through all this."
"OK," she agreed.
They stood up from the bench and faced each other. "I have to get to work," he said.
"I know. I'll…um…see you tonight," she said as she rose up and kissed his cheek. He gave her a chaste kiss on her forehead and then put her in a cab.
Danny returned home that evening. They tried to return to normal by eating dinner with Michael and giving him his bath. After they put him to bed, they sat on the couch and watched the news. Then they started to get ready for bed. They just had polite conversation for most of the evening. They wanted to shelter Michael from any discussion about their relationship.
Danny came out of the bathroom and took a pillow and blanket from the bed. Then he said, "Good night. See you in the morning."
Before he left the room, Kathryn called out, "Wait…"
Danny turned around and looked at her. "What is it?" he asked wearily.
Kathryn walked toward him and put her hand on his arm. "You don't have to sleep out there. For the last month, you've been sleeping in here while we've been fighting. You might as well continue."
"Are you sure? I don't mind the couch."
"I'm sure," she said as she lead him over to the bed.
They laid down on opposite sides of the bed, but they turned towards each other instead of turning away like they had been doing. "I've missed you," Danny whispered as he reached for her hand.
"I've missed you, too."
"I didn't think it was possible for us to drift so far from each other."
"It's my fault, Danny. I stopped talking. And I was afraid for you to touch me. I felt so guilty," she said sadly.
"I shouldn't always leave it up to you to do the talking. I focused on work and going to AA…and I should have reached out to you, too," he said as he inched closer to her and ran a hand through her hair.
At the feel of his hand, Kathryn closed the distance between them and they started to kiss. She forgot how good his lips felt on hers and how good the roughness of his stubble felt on her soft skin. Danny pulled her close to him as his hands found her bare skin under her t-shirt. As his hands traveled down her body, she finally had to find the willpower to pull away. "I wish we could make love, but we can't. I'm not supposed to until I go back for my check-up in two weeks," she said breathlessly
Danny looked in eyes as she lay beneath him. "Sorry, baby. I forgot. It's better if we wait. It's always too easy for us to fall back on sex, right?"
Kathryn looked at him with an amused expression. She liked hearing him call her "baby" again. "I can't believe you just made that observation. This counseling thing may really be good for you, Danny."
"You have know idea. I'll be out of control when I really get in touch with my feelings," he said as they both laughed.
Kathryn curled herself against his body and they both fell asleep thinking about how fortunate they were to find their way back to each other.
The next morning, Danny's cell phone rang at 4 a.m. It was Jack asking him to meet Martin in New Jersey. Local police had a report of a possible missing person sighting. He wanted Martin and Danny to check it out as soon as possible. Danny quietly got out of bed, and got ready to go without waking Kathryn. Instead of waking her, he left her a note by the bed saying, "Following up on a case in NJ. Call you later. I love you."
Danny and Martin spent all day in Garden Ridge, NJ looking for a teenager that went missing six months ago. She was spotted with a middle-aged man. They finally found her in an abandoned house with the man. They arrested the man, and returned her to her thankful family.
As Danny was about to leave the office to go home, Martin asked, "Hey…Sam and I were going to get a drink. You want to join us?"
"No, thanks. I have to get home."
"This is what happens when people get married. They are no fun anymore," Samantha said as she joined their conversation.
Danny smiled. "Sorry guys. But I already spend way too much time with you as it is. You go ahead…have fun…and I will see you both tomorrow," he said as he started to walk out the door.
Danny went home to their apartment anxious to see Michael and Kathryn. He walked in and was surprised to not find them there. She didn't even leave a note for him, which was very unusual, but he figured they must be out getting groceries or something. So, he took a quick shower and got dressed. Then he called Kathryn on her cell phone, but there was no answer. While he was in the bedroom making the call, he noticed one of her drawers open. He went over to it, and saw that most of the drawer was empty. Danny started to get a strange feeling. Something wasn't right. So, he called Kathryn's parents.
"Hello?" Maggie answered.
"Hey, Maggie. It's Danny. Listen, is Kathryn there?"
"She's not with you?" she asked surprised.
The nauseous feeling in Danny's stomach was getting worse and worse. "No, she isn't. I've been at work. Why would you think that?"
"She dropped Michael off here this morning. She said she had several errands to run, and she would pick him up tonight. When I didn't hear from her, I just assumed that she was with you."
"So you have Michael? He's OK?" he asked starting to get frantic.
"Of course. He's fine. He's just finishing his dinner. Where could Kathryn be?"
"I don't know, but I'm going to look for her. I'll…uh…call you as soon as I track her down. And please have her call me if you hear from her."
"Of course. Should I be worried, Danny?"
"No, Maggie. I'm sure it's nothing. She probably just went shopping and lost track of time," he said trying not to sound panicked.
After he got off the phone with Maggie, he called Shelly and a few more of her friends. No one heard from her. Then he walked downstairs and combed their neighborhood while continuing to call her cell phone. He couldn't find her and there was no answer. He called Maggie one more time, but she and Kathryn's father still hadn't heard anything. After two hours of trying to find her, he finally called the only other person he could think of.
"Malone," Jack answered.
"Jack, it's Danny. I…uh…I can't find Kathryn. I think she's missing."
At first, Jack tried to convince Danny to wait the requisite 24 hours to report Kathryn missing. He told Danny that Kathryn was probably out and lost track of time. But Danny begged him to just start the initial process of looking for her – check hospitals, her credit cards and morgues. Jack called Samantha to ask to her help out, and she immediately agreed. He decided to hold off on contacting Vivian or Martin until it was absolutely necessary.
Jack and Samantha met at Danny's apartment building.
"Anything?" Jack asked as he watched Samantha get out of a cab.
"I've been calling hospitals and morgues from my cell phone, since you called me. Nothing. No one that matches her description. I even called my contact at NYPD. Anything on her financials?" she asked as they started to walk up the stairs.
"She made an ATM withdrawal this morning…$100, but that's it. No other activity."
"A hundred bucks…that's probably just money to go shopping or something. When's the last time Danny saw her or spoke to her?"
"He left her a little after 4 this morning after I called about the Jersey sighting. She wasn't awake. He left her a note. He didn't talk to her for the rest of the day. He tried to call her once at home and once her cell, but she didn't answer. He says that she stopped by her mother's at around 11 a.m. and dropped off Michael. That's the last time anyone has seen her."
"That's only eight hours…hopefully, she just lost track of time, or maybe she is caught somewhere without cell coverage. Does Danny have any clue?" she asked.
"I don't know. Let's find out," Jack said as he knocked on Danny's door.
Danny opened the door while talking on his cell phone. He nodded hello, and then went back to his conversation. "So you haven't seen her? OK…OK…well if she calls, just…uh…let me know. Thanks. Bye."
He closed his phone and said, "Thanks for coming so quickly. I…uh…I don't know where she could be. This isn't like her."
"Have you looked around? Is there anything missing?" Samantha asked hesitantly.
"There was a drawer open in the bedroom. It looked like something was missing from there, but I'm not really sure. It could just be empty from doing laundry or something."
"Do you mind if I take a look? I might be able to notice something that a man wouldn't," Samantha asked.
"Of course not. It's right back there, " he replied as he pointed down the hall.
As Samantha headed to the bedroom, Jack asked, "Is Michael still with her parents?"
Danny nodded. "Yeah."
"Samantha checked the hospitals and morgues. She talked to a contact at NYPD. They are going to call her if they see anyone matching Kathryn's description. With the except of a hundred dollar ATM withdrawal at noon today, there is no other financial activity."
"Where was the withdrawal made?"
"175th and Lex."
"That's her parents neighborhood. And it is close to her father's business. But her father didn't say that he saw her today."
"Is there anything unusual about her withdrawing a hundred dollars?"
"No. If she planned on running errands like her mother said, she probably needed the cash for cab fare."
Jack nodded. "Danny, I'm assuming you called me because you want us to find her, right?"
"Well then I need to ask you some tough, personal questions," Jack stated seriously.
"I know," Danny replied quietly.
As Jack and Danny were speaking in the living room, Samantha was looking around in the bedroom. She noticed that this was much warmer than the studio he lived in before he got married. Pictures lined the dresser. The room definitely had a woman's touch. She picked up a picture of Danny and Kathryn holding Michael when he was just days old. Even though they weren't together at that time, Samantha could see the love they had for each other and Michael in their eyes.
She noticed the open drawer in the dresser. There was only a t-shirt left in the drawer. She opened the other drawers and noticed that Kathryn seemed to organize her clothes by type of clothing. All her socks were in one drawer, everyday underwear in another, and fancier undergarments in yet another. By a process of elimination, Samantha figured that the open drawer probably had t-shirts and sweat pants since she couldn't find them in any other drawer. She made a mental note to check the laundry room and ask Danny if Kathryn would have worked out somewhere today.
Then she checked the answering machine on the nightstand. She pressed play. "Hey, babe. It's me. I just wanted to check in. I'm still in Garden Ridge. Looks like it might be a late night. I'll call you later. I love you." Danny's message was the only message on the machine.
Then she looked in the closet. Both sides of the closet were immaculate. She knew Danny was a neat freak. Kathryn must be the same. On Kathryn's side of the closet, she noticed a small set of luggage. There appeared to be one piece of luggage missing in the set. Samantha's stomach tightened at the thought of Kathryn leaving Danny for some reason. She then went into the bathroom. She noticed the note that Danny left Kathryn that morning sticking on the mirror. The last line said, "I love you." Samantha smiled sadly at the thought of how nice it would be to wake up to that kind of note. Then she looked through Kathryn's make-up and hair products. It didn't look like there was anything missing.
Back in the living room, Jack started asking Danny questions about his relationship with Kathryn.
"How were you two doing lately?" Jacked asked.
"Honestly…we were kind of struggling. I didn't tell you guys, but we…um…we had a miscarriage about a month ago."
"I'm sorry. I had no idea."
"We didn't tell anyone except her parents. And truthfully, she and I really didn't talk about after it happened. So we kind of drifted from each other. We were fighting more than we usual. But, yesterday, she and I went to this marriage counselor. We decided to work through things. When I left her this morning, there was no animosity between us. We were clear on what we were doing to fix things," Danny said emphatically.
"Still…you two went through a lot in the last few months with the assault and miscarriage. That would drain any marriage."
Just as Jack finished his statement, Samantha walked in. "This is just an educated guess, but I would say the open drawer had t-shirts and sweats. I just did a process of elimination based on what I have in my drawers. Danny, did she work out somewhere?"
Danny shook his head. "No, she hates working out. She always says that a true New Yorker shouldn't have to work out," he said as he smiled slightly.
"That's a little strange. There's no laundry in the washer or dryer. And…" Samantha didn't want to finish.
"And what?" Danny asked.
"I think there is a piece of luggage missing from the closet. There's an open space. It looks like it could be an overnight bag. Does she usually have the full set on her side of the closet? " she said hesitantly.
Danny sighed. "Yes, but that doesn't mean anything."
"You're right. It probably doesn't mean anything. And I didn't notice anything missing from the bathroom like the things I would take if I were leaving," Samantha reassured.
Jack glanced over at Samantha, and she gave him a concerned stare. "Danny…."
Danny interrupted before Jack could start. "You think she left me. Don't you," he said as he sat down on the couch and ran a hand through his hair.
"I think it is the most likely possibility at this point," Jack replied.
Danny shook his head. "Maybe…maybe…she could leave me, but she could never leave Michael like that…not ever. And last night…last night…we really talked. We were on the same page. I know we were. She told me she didn't want to give up on us."
Jack looked over at Samantha and then back to Danny and responded, "Danny, sometimes in a marriage, you say things to appease the other person or maybe in that moment she felt like she could try again…but then she slept on it and decided…"
Danny interrupted again. "No. I can't believe that. She wouldn't leave like this…not without Michael."
"Maybe you're right. That's why we need to get over to her parent's house. We need to make sure they actually have Michael, and that they really haven't been in touch with Kathryn," Samantha said logically.
"OK…let's go," Danny said as he got up.
"Wait a second," Jack intervened. "You need to stay here with Samantha in case she calls. I'll call Viv and have her meet me at the Kelly's home and check things out. We'll call you as soon as we get there."
"I want to see Michael," Danny said starting to panic.
"We'll call you as soon as we see him, and we will bring him back to you." Jack said calmly. "Samantha – walk out with me. I want to go over a few things."
Samantha followed Jack out as she gave Danny a supportive look. "I'll be right back."
As they walked down the stairs, Jack continued, "Samantha – continue to check the hospitals and morgues. And call Martin. See if he can go to the office and start checking travel manifests."
"So you're mobilizing the whole team? Are we going to file a report with NYPD?"
"We can't yet. Part of me thinks that we're on the right track. She probably just took off, and in that case, maybe we can just give Danny piece of mind. But, I have this nagging feeling that something else is going on. So, let's just play this like we normally would. If we find anything or if we can't find her in 24 hours, then we will call NYPD," he said.
Samantha nodded. "What else do you want me to do here?"
"Continue your search of the apartment. And get Danny to talk more. He just told me that their marriage was in trouble. They recently had miscarriage. He says they were working it out," Jack said as he got in his car.
Samantha looked at Jack with surprise. "I had no idea, but I'll try to talk to him."
They said goodbye and Samantha went back inside the building. As she went up the stairs, she called Martin and filled him in. He agreed to go straight to the office.
As Samantha walked back into the apartment, Danny asked, "What did he say?"
"He wanted me to call Martin so he can start working from the office. And he told me to look around here and continue to talk to you. He also told me about the miscarriage. I'm sorry, Danny," she replied sadly.
Danny looked down. "Thanks. We were getting through it. It was hard on both of us, but we were turning the corner."
Samantha sat down next to Danny and took out a notepad. "I believe you. But, Danny, if she didn't leave you, then we have to assume the worst. Are you prepared for that?"
"No, I'm not," he whispered. "Part of me wishes that I could believe she left me. At least if that were the case, I would know she is safe."
"Do you have any idea who would want to hurt her or take her?"
"Well…there is Hanes…maybe they have another crazy relative who wants revenge. He is in some mental hospital upstate. And then there is probably a list as long as my arm of people she prosecuted and people I helped put away."
Samantha nodded. "What about men in her life? Former boyfriends or men who pursued her…before you."
"She didn't date a whole lot. But she was engaged to some Wall Street lawyer. His first name is Richard. I don't remember his last name. She left him at the alter two years before she met me. But, I don't think she's kept in touch with him. I don't know how bitter he would still be. It's been over four years."
Samantha took notes on her pad as Danny kept talking.
"Then there was Evan Wyatt. She started dating him when Michael was about nine months old. He works for her father. Her mother set it up. She and I…she was still scared…she didn't trust me. So she was trying to move on from me."
"Were they lovers?" Samantha asked hesitantly.
"No. It was hard for Kathryn. She couldn't sleep with someone she didn't love v . And I made it worse for her. The more I saw her with him…the more I pursued her. I was jealous, and the thought of her with him made me crazy. So, eventually, she and I slept together while she was still dating Evan."
"And he found out?"
"Yep. He walked in on us one night. He was pretty pissed. She and I saw him at one of her mother's charity function a few months ago. He was still angry. He made Kathryn feel like she and I had this dysfunctional relationship," he said while remembering their last encounter with Evan.
"Do you think he could be dangerous?"
"I don't know. I don't think so, but…"
"Not that I can think of."
"OK…well, I'll call Martin and give him these names. I'll have him do background checks on them."
"Do you mind if I take a closer look around here? Is that Kathryn's desk in the bedroom?"
"No, I don't mind and yes, that is Kathryn's desk," Danny replied showing strain in his voice.
"I know this is hard, and I don't want to invade your privacy. But, you know it's the only way to find her."
"I know," he said quietly.
The Kelly's Home
Vivian met Jack in front of the Kelly's home. "Any word?" asked Vivian.
"No. Nothing. We need to see if they are hiding something. They may know where she is."
"I take the mother and you take the father?" Viv asked as Jack rang the doorbell.
"Yeah," he replied as the Maggie Kelly opened the door. "Maggie Kelly? My name is Jack Malone, and this is Vivian Johnson. We are with the FBI. We are helping Danny search for Kathryn. Can we ask you a few questions?" Jack stated matter-of-factly.
"Oh my god. Then she is missing? Oh my poor baby…where could she be?" Maggie said sounding panicked.
"Mrs. Kelly, we don't know anything yet. She's been missing for less than 10 hours. We are just being cautious," Vivian answered. "Is Michael OK?"
"Yes…yes, he's fine. He went down at 8 o'clock. I was going to bring him back to Danny, but it got so late."
As Vivian and Jack walked in the opulent home, Vivian responded, "Do you mind if we go look in on him, and then you and I can talk about Kathryn?"
"Not at all. He is upstairs."
"Mrs. Kelly, is your husband here?" Jack asked.
"In his study…right through there. He's calling some friends of ours to see if they heard from Kathryn."
"I'll go talk to him," Jack said as he nodded to Vivian.
As Vivian and Maggie looked in on Michael, Vivian said, "He's a beautiful boy. They are a handful at this age, aren't they?"
"Michael is an angel. Two of my children experienced the terrible twos, but Kathryn didn't -- neither does her son. He is the light of our lives."
"You spend a lot of time with him?" she asked as they left the room and sat on a bench in the hallway.
"I used to…when Kathryn was working. I took care of him everyday. Now I just watch him when Kathryn needs to run errands or if she and Danny need to go out together. Of course, they haven't been going out much lately."
"Because of the miscarriage?" Vivian asked. Jack filled her in about Danny and Kathryn's troubles on the phone.
"Yes, that's part of it," Maggie replied. "They've had a very hard few months…"
"And?" Vivian prodded.
"It's nothing…I just keep racking my brain wondering how Kathryn could just leave…she would have to be desperate to leave Michael."
"Why would she be desperate?"
"I…I shouldn't…she didn't come out and tell me anything. She is very private about her life with Danny."
"What didn't she tell you?"
"A few days ago, Sunday I think, Kathryn and I were taking Michael shopping. Before we left, I could tell that things were strained between her and Danny. They barely said goodbye to one another. That was extremely unusual for them. Usually, you can't pry them a part. I asked her what was wrong, and she said nothing," Maggie said as she hesitated to go further.
"Then what happened?"
"She forgot a sweater for Michael and it was starting to get cold, so we went back to the apartment after only being gone for an hour or so. As we were walking in to the building, a attractive young woman was walking out. She looked right at Kathryn and smiled. Kathryn stopped dead in her tracks. I could see tears in her eyes."
"Who was the woman?"
"Well, I wasn't sure, and Kathyrn didn't say. But when we got upstairs, she and Danny started to fight about the woman. I think she said that the woman was the mother of Danny's nephew."
"His nephew? Danny doesn't have any family," Vivian said confused.
"Well, I didn't think so either. It was a surprise to me as well. Danny grabbed her arm to take her back to the bedroom so they could fight in private. That struck me as strange because I've never seen him treat Kathryn like that. She pulled her arm away, and then they had a loud argument in the bedroom."
"Could you hear them?"
"Every word. She accused him of having an affair. He denied it, and said she was out of her mind. She seemed pretty convinced that he was having an affair. He got so angry with her that he swore at her, and stormed out. After a few minutes, Kathryn came out of the room…clearly crying. She took Michael, and told me I could go. I asked her if she wanted to talk, but she said no. She said she wanted to be alone."
"Is this the first time you've seen them argue like that?"
"Yes. It's the first time I've witnessed it, but I know they have a tumultuous relationship."
"Why would you say that if you've never witnessed them argue like that before?" asked Viv.
"When Kathryn met Danny, I could see a change in her right away. I'd never seen her that happy before…like she was walking on air. You couldn't wipe the smile off of her face. Kathryn was always a more shy, reserved young woman. It was very evident that he had quite an effect on her."
"It sounds like she was very happy…"
"The problem with feeling that kind of happiness is the low that follows when things don't go as well. It was always very evident when things weren't going well between them. Kathryn would become so emotional and sad. And there relationship went through several of those ups and downs. Even when she tried to move on from him, she couldn't. I think he filled her with a kind of passion that she never knew before, and it overwhelmed her…maybe it overwhelms her still. The problem with that kind of love is that it can't be sustained…it burns and burns until there is nothing left."
"So you aren't happy that Danny and Kathryn are married?" asked Vivian skeptically.
"I didn't say that. I'm glad that they are together for Michael's sake. They are amazing parents. Danny is a better father that I ever thought he could be, and he was a rock through that whole ordeal with Hanes. But, when it comes down to the two of them…I don't know," Maggie said in an unsure tone.
"And Kathryn never talked to you about her suspicions about an affair?"
"No, as I said, when it came to their relationship…she was very private. I think privacy is very important to Danny. But she did ask if she and Michael could stay with us for a while. At first, she said they were coming a few nights ago. But then she called, and said that she decided to stay at the apartment. She changed her mind."
"Do you think he was having an affair?" Vivian asked feeling very uncomfortable asking personal questions about Danny.
"I honestly don't know Danny well enough to judge that. But that woman was at their apartment while we were gone for the day. And Kathryn was destroyed when she saw her."
"Do you know where Kathryn would go if she wanted to get away from Danny?"
"She wouldn't leave without Michael. And when I saw her today…she gave me no indication that she was leaving. But we've checked our cabin in upstate New York. We've called her friends. There is no sign of her," asked Maggie started to cry.
"We'll find her, Maggie," Vivian said reassuringly as she patted her hand.
Back at Kathryn and Danny's apartment, Samantha was looking through Kathryn's desk. She didn't find anything that told her where Kathryn might be. But she did come across Kathryn's journal. She sat there staring at it for at least five minutes. She felt like she would betray Danny by reading it. But it could be the key to finding out exactly where Kathryn was. So she opened it to the last entry. It was the past Monday evening:
Danny left tonight. I had our bags packed and ready to go, but he didn't want me to take Michael out of his home. So he is out there somewhere. God, I pray I haven't pushed him to drink again, but I don't know what else to do. I feel so horribly guilty about everything. What if I pushed him away…into her arms? What have I done? I want to talk to him, but everything I say comes out wrong. I want him to touch me again, but I don't know if I can let him make love to me now. I can feel him next to me at night, and I want him to take me in his arms again. I want to feel his warmth, but I don't deserve it. I can't take this anymore. The love I feel when we are happy only leads to the worst possible lonliness when we are a part. The pain is too much. And if he is sleeping with her or even finding comfort in her…I won't want to live anymore. I don't think I could let him touch me again if he has, and I don't think I could live without him next to me. How did we get to this place?
Tears filled Samantha's eyes as she read the desperate passage. Now she also had to consider that maybe Kathryn lost all hope. This passage was written by someone very lonely and depressed. She got up from the desk and went out into the living room. Danny was on the phone.
When he saw Samantha, he hung the phone. "I was trying her cell phone again."
Samantha sat on the couch and tried to find the strength to asked Danny a hard question. "I need to ask you a question."
He sat down beside her. "Ask away."
"Are you having an affair?"
Danny looked her, shook his head and sighed. "No…no way. Why would you ask me that?"
"Her journal…I read the last page. She thought you were."
"No…I mean…yes…she was afraid that I was. But, we talked about it. She knew that nothing happened. We were working everything out, Samantha. We went to a marriage counselor yesterday. Dr. Harris referred us to the counselor. We were going to be OK."
"Well she didn't write that in her journal. The passage I read…the last passage…was very negative. She sounded desperate."
Danny knew exactly where Samantha was going. "She would never kill herself for the same reason she wouldn't leave without Michael. She wouldn't…she couldn't do that to him. And she wouldn't do that to me, either. She knows what I've been through in my life. She wouldn't hurt me like that. She's not a selfish person. She was just overwhelmed by all the bad things that happened to her. And I wasn't there enough for her. But I wasn't cheating on her," Danny replied defensively.
Just as Danny finished, Samantha's cell phone rang. "Spade."
"Hey. It's Jack. Viv and I are done here with her parents. They don't where Kathryn is. Her father did say that his receptionist saw her at his office right before noon today. She apparently wanted to talk to her father about a job, but he was out of the office. Anything new there?"
"Um…," Samantha hesitated.
"Let's talk about it at the office. Meet me there as soon as you can. Let me talk to Danny."
Samantha handed the phone to Danny. "It's Jack."
"Is Michael OK?" Danny asked immediately.
"He's fine. He's sleeping like a baby. Her parents are as freaked out as you are. They don't know where she is. Call the police, Danny. Let's get a report filed. We'll continue to work on this. We are going to re-group at the office now."
"I'll meet you there."
"No. If you want us on this, you have to stay out of it. Do you understand? That is the only way Van Doren will let us stay involved, and I will probably have to fight her on it. But I'll do it provided you stay home. Viv is on her way to your place with Maggie and Michael. Stay with your son, Danny. Her father is staying at the Kelly's house in case she turns up there."
"You really aren't giving me a choice, are you?"
"No…this is the only way."
"You'll keep me informed?"
"Every step of the way, I promise."
"OK. I'll stay here. Thanks, Jack.
"Thank me when we find her, Danny. This will all work out…just have faith."
Vivian and Maggie arrived back at Danny's apartment. When Maggie walked in she gently handed a sleeping Michael over to Danny. Michael momentarily opened his eyes and smiled up at Danny as he layed him down in his bed. Danny just watched him for a few minutes as tears welled up in his eyes. He finally let the emotion of the day catch up to him. While looking at Michael in that moment, he knew that something horrible happened to Kathryn because she would never walk away from them voluntarily.
Danny pulled himself together before he joined Vivian and Maggie in the living room. "Thanks for bringing him home. I think I needed to see him," he said to a weary Maggie.
"He should be here. Kathryn will definitely want to see him as soon as she returns," Maggie replied.
Vivian watched the two panic-strickened people as they struggled to find more to say to each other. Vivian knew she had more work to do, so she addressed Danny. "Have you talked to any of your neighbors?"
"Um...I talked to the super. He monitors the front entrance security camera. We looked at the footage of Kathryn leaving at 10:30. We didn't see anything else."
"OK...well...I'm going to talk to a few people and see if anyone saw anything. I'll be back in a few minutes. Have you eaten anything, Danny?"
"No, but I'm fine."
Maggie then said, "Why don't I make some coffee, and see if I can heat something up."
Danny just nodded as Maggie headed to the kitchen and Vivian left the apartment.
After Viv left, Danny walked into the kitchen. "I'm sorry, Maggie. I don't know what's happened to her, but I'll do whatever I can to find her.
Maggie didn't reply. She just continued to prepare the coffee.
Danny continued. "I don't know what she said to you about us, but we were working it out. She didn't leave."
"I know she'd never leave without her son," Maggie whispered. "But, god help me...I wish she had left you."
Danny smirked. "Me, too. I just want her to be safe and unharmed."
"No...I mean I think she should have never have married you. I wish she would have had the strength to move on from you for good. Because I think whatever has happened to her is because she is with you," Maggie said as her emotions started to take over.
Danny started to feel anger rushing through his body. "You don't know what you are talking about. Kathryn is happy. She is happy with me and Michael."
"She's happy one minute and miserable the next. And the moment she can't give you what you want, you find it somewhere else. Kathryn has a fragile heart. She's never loved anyone like she loves you...and you take advantage of that," Maggied spatted.
"My relationship with Kathryn is none of your business. And that drives you crazy...the fact that she wanted to keep something just for herself. The fact that she wanted to chart her own course and not marry the first guy that would offer her a safe, boring existence. The fact that she wouldn't settle for some hen-pecked weasal like Evan Wyatt. And just because she did that...just because she chose me...you look at every negative thing like it is the end of the world. Have Kathryn and I had problems? Yes. Are we any different than any other couple? No. And we were working through them. We were trying fix what was broken," Danny said in exasperation.
"Can't you understand why I'm suspicious? She used to tell me everything...everything. And then she met you. And she stopped talking to me. She gets pregnant but you don't marry her. She barely tells me anything about you, and then all of the sudden you are back in her life and you're raising Michael together. Then out of the blue you get married, and I don't find out until weeks later. The daughter I used to know wouldn't be able to keep that from me. You changed her. Then I find out that you have a nephew...when you told me yourself that you didn't have any family. So how do you have a nephew? And who is his mother? Why was my daughter so threathened by her? I wouldn't ask you any of this...but I want to know what happened to my little girl...so I think I have the right to know," Maggie responded as she started to break down.
While Danny was still angry at all the questions, he started to soften when Maggie started to cry. "I had a brother...a very mess-up brother. He died shortly after I met Kathryn. I've continued to stay in touch with his son. Sylvia, his mother, was here that day...when Kathryn and I fought. But I swear I wasn't cheating on her. Kathryn knew that."
"She didn't seem to know it last Sunday."
As Danny and Maggie argued in the apartment, Vivian was talking to Mrs. Kopeckie, their next door neighbor. As she let Vivian into her apartment, she asked, "So something's happened to Kathryn?"
Vivian looked at her suspiciously. "I didn't say that. I just said I was investigating something in the building. How did you know that?"
"I've heard Danny on the phone all day. Oh...it's horrible. They are such a beautiful couple with that gorgeous little boy. I was so happy when they finally married. You hate to see a two people like that live in sin. And Danny...he's such a good man. He always helps me with my groceries. And he's never too busy to stop for a kind word. Kathryn...she's a sweety, too. Those two...they had a good thing."
Vivian smiled slightly as she realized she clearly found the busybody of the building. Mrs. Kopeckie's last statement intrigued her. "They had a good thing. What do you mean by that...and how did you know that Danny was on the phone all day?"
Mrs. Kopeckie gave Viv an embarrassed smile. "Well, I shouldn't say this...and I swear I've been meaning to tell the super about it," she said as she lead Viv back to her bedroom and opened the closet door. "You see that vent down there? Well, I think the drywall has rotted away. I can hear just about everything that goes on over there in their bedroom."
Viv gave her a slightly disgusted look. "How long have you lived next door to them?"
"Well Kathryn's lived there for five years, but I didn't really start to hear a whole lot until after she met Danny. She didn't really bring guys into her bedroom until him. She's a good girl like that."
"You've been meaning to tell the super for five years?"
"Hey...I'm just a lonely 72 year old woman. Their life is much more entertaining than mine."
Vivian just shook her head. "What did you mean that they had a good thing?"
"Well even before they were married, they were a sweet couple. Even when she tried dating what's his name, I knew she would end up with Danny. You just can't let someone like him get away. He's easy on the eyes...and on the heart if you know what I mean. Anyway...they were happy as clams, and then a couple of months ago...the fighting started. I couldn't really hear exactly what they were saying...although I'm pretty sure she thought he was stepping out on her. I don't think Danny would do such a thing, but what do I know. All I know is that all I used to hear out of the vent was the sound of...well...let's just say they had a very healthy relationship...and then all of a sudden...I stop hearing that, and instead there is silence and then fighting, silence and then fighting. So sad, really," Mrs. Kopeckie said as she folded her arms.
"Did you see or hear Kathryn today?"
"I heard her on the phone this morning around 9:30...I know because I was halfway through Regis and Kelly. Anyway, she said something about finding a job...or seeing about a job. That she had to reengage in life, and stop feeling so sorry for herself. That's about it...and I just remembered...last night...I finally heard them laugh again. It was late, and I was surprised to hear it. But I heard the distinct sound of Kathryn's giggle. It was cute. I thought maybe they finally patched things up...but I didn't hear anything else...you know like..."
Vivian interrupted. "I got it. Thanks for your time, Mrs. Kopeckie."
Vivian checked a few more apartments and then headed back in to Danny's apartment. When she entered, she noticed Maggie crying, and Danny pacing around angrily. "What's going on? Did you hear something?" she asked.
Danny replied, "No...nothing. Maggie just thinks that I must be responsible for this in some way."
"Nothing bad ever happened to her until she met you, Danny."
"I wasn't responsible for the Hanes thing, Maggie. That wasn't my fault. I didn't cause the miscarriage...and neither did she. Maybe if you didn't raise her in such a sheltered existence she would have been more prepared to handle things. Instead, she fell a part."
"So now, it's my fault," Maggie responded.
Vivian quickly intervened. "It's no one's fault. Look...we have to work together if we are going to find her. Maggie...Danny and I have to go over a few things. Why don't you go lie down for a few minutes. It's late and you must be exhausted."
Maggie just nodded and walked back to the bedroom.
"She is unbelievable. I think in the back of her mind, she actually thinks I could have done something to Kathryn. She's never understood our relationship."
"Well you didn't exactly take a traditional route to marriage. You know what it's like to have a child now. You would do anything to keep him safe. You worry about him all the time. Those feelings don't go away as they get older...you just have to learn to control them. Some parents are better at it than others."
Danny just nodded. He appreciated Viv's calming influence on him. Before she returned, he was about to storm out of the apartment, and that wouldn't have helped anyone. As he continued to calm down, he asked, "Anything from the neighbors?"
"No one saw her this morning. But, you need to call your super about Mrs. Kopeckie. There's a gaping hole in the vent in her bedroom closet. Let's just say she hears things that are none of her business," Viv replied with a knowing glance. "She heard Kathryn on the phone this morning. She was talking to someone about seeing about a job...maybe the job at her father's company? She mentioned wanting to reengage in life, and stop feeling sorry for herself."
"Well that would make sense since she ended up at her dad's office. But I don't know who she was talking to...I called her friends earlier...no one heard from her."
"I'll call Martin. He was running your phone records. We'll find that out easy enough. There's one more thing I need to asked you about."
"Let me guess...you want to know if I had an affair as well?" he asked in an annoyed tone.
"No...I know you are not cheating on your wife. I may not know that much about your personal life, but I know that you wouldn't do that -- especially when your wife was going through one of the most difficult things a woman can experience...losing a child. Your heart wouldn't let you hurt her like that. I know that like I know the back of my hand," Vivian said sincerely.
Danny was taken aback by Vivian's belief in him. "Thank you. You're the first person who hasn't questioned my faithfulness."
Vivian just smiled and said, "But I do need to know who the woman is, and why Kathryn would think that."
"Sylvia Marquez. Her son is Nicky Alvarez...my brother's son. Jack can fill you in on him...if you need to know. He and I weren't very close. After he died, I help them when I could. Kathryn saw us together one day back when we were still dating. I hadn't told her anything about my past...so she felt betrayed. I finally came clean with her...and I kept in touch with them, mostly for Nicky's sake. But, Sylvia...she always wanted more from me, and I think Kathryn sensed that."
"We are going to have to question Sylvia Marquez," Viv said solemnly.
"OK...why don't you get some coffee...since I know you won't sleep. I'm going to call all this in to Jack, and I'll see what progress they've made," she said as she smiled reassuringly.
After Vivian briefed Jack about Sylvia Marquez and the phone conversation overheard by Mrs. Kopeckie, Jack told Vivian to set up a phone trace on Danny's phone since there still could be a ransom demand. Although it was unlikely, they still had to consider it since her parent's were wealthy. Then he told Viv to go home and go straight back to Danny's in the morning.
After speaking to Viv, Jack went out to the bullpen area where Samantha and Martin were working. It was approaching midnight. Kathryn had been missing for over twelve hours.
"I just talked to Viv. We need to check out Sylvia Marquez, his nephew's mother. According to Vivian, her interest in Danny may have been more than just wanting a substitute father. Also, Martin – did you run their phone records? Viv says that Kathryn was on the phone at 10:30."
Martin nodded, "Yeah, she talked to a Dr. Rachel Wallace at 10:30. I looked her up. She's a marriage and family counselor. We'll need Danny's permission to talk to her, and even then, if Kathryn told her something in confidence, she may not be obliged to tell us."
"I'll call Danny and get permission, and then I'll talk to the counselor first thing tomorrow. What do have on her former boyfriends?" Jack said as he turned to Samantha.
"Richard Kendall – she was engaged to him five years ago and left him at the alter. By all accounts, he has moved on with his life. He married two years ago, and has a newborn daughter. I called him and he is coming in first thing in the morning. Bachelor #2 is Evan Wyatt – they dated about a year ago. He's my pick if this is a personal vendetta, but his alibi checks. He was in meetings pretty much all day. He won't come here, but I think I will pay him a visit tomorrow."
Martin then added, "We definitely need to pay him a visit. I talked to Regina Lesky, her father's receptionist, who was the last person to see Kathryn at the office. She said that she noticed Evan get on the elevator with Kathryn as she was leaving. She made note of it because she knew they had dated. Building security shows that Kathryn left the building alone, but we still need to find out what was said between those two. Also, security is sending us tapes of the elevator and the front entrance. We should have those in the morning."
Jack took a moment to process all the details and then gave out his orders. "OK…You two go see Wyatt first thing in the morning, and then come back here to meet with Kendall. I'll call Sylvia Marquez. If Wyatt seems shaky at all, let's bring him in and try to get search warrant. In the meantime, go home and get some rest. We will re-group in the morning."
Samantha and Martin looked at each other, and then Samantha responded, "Jack, we should just keep working. I mean…this is Danny's wife."
"If there were more we could do tonight, I would completely agree. But she hasn't been missing twenty-four hours yet, and they aren't any signs of foul play. Technically, we probably shouldn't have spent the time we already have, but at least we are more prepared now. Go see Wyatt first thing in the morning. We'll stay on her credit cards…we have a call in to all the hospitals and morgues…Viv is going back to Danny's first thing. All our bases are covered."
Samantha and Martin just nodded and walked away to prepare to leave. Jack walked back to his office and sat in his chair. He had a long day. He looked up and saw Martin head to the elevator. Then he closed his eyes to try and find the strength to go home.
"If you are going to make us leave, then you better go as well," Samantha said as she stood in his doorway.
He looked at her and gave her a slight smile. "I'm half-tempted to just stay on the couch. I don't think I have the energy."
Samantha walked in and sat in the chair across from him. "You know what makes all of this so hard?"
"What?" Jack asked.
"He finally found happiness. Danny finally found real peace and happiness in his life. For years, he came to this place everyday and put on a happy face, and most of the time, I really believed he was happy. But then he found Kathryn and Michael was born…and I realized we never really knew him at all. It's not fair, Jack. It's makes me think that there are no happy endings in life," she said as she glanced at him sadly.
Jack stood up and put a hand on her shoulder. "We don't know anything yet. Don't lose hope."
She leaned into his touch slightly as tears well up in her eyes, and then stood up quickly before she did something she would regret. "I should go. You should, too. I'll…uh…call you tomorrow after we talk to Wyatt."
"Sounds good. Come on. I'll walk you out."
Samantha met Martin at Evan Wyatt's office building at 8 a.m. Martin met with their security personnel earlier to go over the surveillance tape from the elevators.
"Morning," Samantha said as she approached Martin in the lobby. "Is Wyatt here?"
"Yeah. He got here ten minutes ago. He's in his office," replied Martin as they started toward to elevators. "The surveillance tape is interesting. He got on the elevator after Kathryn. It looks like they exchange some heated words, and then he grabbed her and pushed her against the wall."
"What?" Samantha asked shocked. "Why didn't security say something? I mean her father runs the business."
"Well there are about 12 businesses in this building. And no one even saw the exchange until they looked at the tape delays after we gave them a timeline."
"What happened after he grabbed her?" Samantha asked with concern.
"She kneed him in the groin, and the elevator doors open. She runs out, he takes moment to collect himself, and then gets off the elevator."
"Did he follow her?"
"It doesn't look like it. He didn't even leave the building, according to security. He had lunch in the cafeteria and then returned to a meeting," Martin replied.
"What about her? Do we see her leave?"
"Yeah…she walks out and heads east…then she disappears, " he said in a sad tone.
They exit the elevator and find Wyatt's office. The door is open, but Samantha knocks lightly.
"Evan Wyatt? Special Agents Spade and Fitzgerald. We are with the FBI," she said authoritatively.
"Is this about Kathryn? Should I have my lawyer here?" Evan asked.
Martin gave him a puzzled look. "I don't know…do you need a lawyer, Mr. Wyatt? We just have a few questions, but you certainly have the right to an attorney."
"I don't have anything to hide. So I don't need an attorney. And I want to go on record as saying I think it a waste of taxpayers' money to look for Kathryn when she probably just left her husband. But I guess since her husband is an FBI agent…no expense is spared. You're wasting your time. Those two were bound to fall a part," he said with contempt.
Martin and Samantha exchanged glances as they took seat across of Evan. Samantha started, "Mr. Wyatt, why don't you tell us about your relationship with Kathryn Taylor?"
"I met her a few years ago at an office Christmas party. Her mother thought we would make a good match. But she was completely distracted the whole time. She finally got a phone call in the middle of the party and left. I found out later that she was already dating Danny, but her mother didn't know about it. She was always at his beck and call. So I let it go, but her mother would occasionally make comments about how she didn't think it would last between them and sure enough…it didn't," he said with a smile.
"Well, they are married Mr. Wyatt. So obviously things worked out," Samantha said.
"Yes, I know. They are married now, but first…he knocked her up and then left her high and dry. So I tried again. And she seemed more receptive this time. She had Michael, and I guess she was trying to start a new chapter in her life…or so her mother said. So I agreed to go out with her."
"What was that like?" Martin asked.
"At first, it was nice. She seemed like a nice girl who had been through a hard time. So we were taking things slow because she wanted to. And then…and then I met Danny. He was there picking up Michael one night. I could see the panic in her eyes…and the jealousy in his."
"So how did you feel when they got back together?" asked Samantha.
"Well, I probably wouldn't have cared if she had been honest with me. But instead, she started screwing him while we were still dating."
"So you were angry?" asked Martin.
"Hell yes. I invested a lot of time into the relationship with her. And she runs back to this guy who treats her like dirt."
Samantha started to say something, but Martin interrupted her. He knew she was going to come to Danny's defense. "Did you see her yesterday?"
"Yes. I saw her here at the office. We ran into each other on the elevator."
"What happened? Did you talk?" Martin continued.
"Uh…nothing happened. We acknowledged each other, and that was it."
"Do you usually acknowledge someone by grabbing them and pushing them against a wall? We have a tape that shows you doing just that," Samantha said as Martin pulled out the security tape.
"Well…how resourceful. OK…we had words. And if you saw the whole tape, you saw that she more than defended herself."
"So what happened between you two?" Mark asked in a commanding tone.
"I asked her what brought her down here…"
Flashback to day before in elevator
Kathryn stepped onto the elevator and pushed the button for the lobby. Just as the doors were about to close, Evan breezed in. Kathryn rolled her eyes and moved to the back of the elevator.
"Well…well…what brings you to our neck of the woods?" Evan asked sarcastically.
"It's really none of your concern," she replied coldly.
"Don't tell me you are finally taking you father up on his job offer? Does that mean we'll get to see each other more often? Oh goody…how does Danny feel about you working with me?"
"I wouldn't be working with you. In fact, that would be my number one request…to work as far away from you as possible, Evan."
Evan walked closer to her and grabbed her arms. When she tried to shrug him away, he pushed her against the wall. "How dare you. How dare you act like I'm the bad guy in all this. I was good to you…but you preferred being treated like a whore. I figured maybe if I started treating you the way Danny treats you…then maybe I'll finally get lucky with you too."
"Let me go, you son of bitch."
"Oh come one…maybe you'd like to hook up with me now that you are married to someone else. That's what you like, isn't it? It excites you, doesn't it?" he said as he tried to kiss her.
Without saying another word, Kathryn kneed him as hard as she could in the groin and then ran off the elevator once it opened.
End of flashback
"You're still pretty bitter, aren't you?" asked Samantha.
"I'm tired of women who always want the unavailable guy…who always wants the guy who treats them like dirt. Danny only wanted her when he couldn't have her anymore, and she played right into his hands. They tried to say it was about their son, but I know better."
Martin glanced at Samantha as she looked at Evan with contempt. "Did you see Kathryn again yesterday?" he asked.
"No, I didn't leave the office until after six, and then I went straight home."
"Will you take a polygraph?"
"I don't think…"
Samantha interrupted. "Look if you have nothing to hide, then there shouldn't be a problem. You were the last person to see her yesterday and you had an argument. You're not looking very innocent right now, Mr. Wyatt."
"Fine. I'll take your polygraph."
"Great. Why don't you come to our office with us right now?" Martin asked.
As Martin and Samantha were interviewing Evan, Danny was still at his apartment. He hadn't slept all night. Maggie finally fell asleep in the bedroom. She and Michael were still asleep while Danny was trying to rest his eyes on the couch. Every time he closed his eyes he saw Kathryn's face. He tried to remember the last good time they had together. Things had been strained between them for so long. He finally remembered the morning the day before they lost the baby.
Early one morning, Danny stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel low around his hips as he watched Kathryn absentmindedly brush her teeth. He watched her for a good minute before he finally asked, "Where are you this morning?"
She looked up embarrassed and smiled as he stared at her with an amused expression through the mirror. Then she rinsed the toothpaste out of her mouth and replied, "I was thinking about re-decorating the nursery. And about where we are going to fit our growing family."
Danny walked toward her and locked his hands around her waist as he pulled her to him. He rested his hand on her tummy as she rested her back against his still-wet torso. And then he kissed her neck as she giggled. "Well…I've been meaning to talk to you about this. I don't know how to break this to you, baby, but we may have to move."
She turned around in his arms to face him with a confused expression. "Move…move where?"
"A lot of Manhattanites who have families find that they have to…you know…move to…"
Kathryn interrupted, "I can't even believe that you, Danny Taylor…Mr. New York City….would even suggest moving to…I can't even say it."
"Queens…Brooklyn…we could find a little house with a yard," he said as he let go of her and started to get ready to shave.
"You've must be joking," Kathryn said as she lifted herself up next to the sink so she could watch him. "I really can't imagine you mowing a lawn…or really doing anything related to home repair. We aren't burrough people, Danny. I was raised in Manhattan. I went to school here. I'm a city girl."
"I love it here, too. But we'll never be able to find a three-bedroom apartment in the city we can afford. It's not going to happen, my friend. You were lucky to find this place. And I'm pretty sure your parents helped you out with it at first."
"Yes…yes they did. I'm not ashamed to admit that. Maybe…maybe…I could get my parents to retire to Florida, and then we can take their house."
"Yeah, I'm sure that would go over real well. And in return, we'd have to sell our souls to your mother. I don't think so. I think we need to think more realistically," he said as he lathered shaving cream on his face.
"I don't want to be realistic if it means moving to Queens," she responded as she watched him shave with fluid, even strokes. Watching him shave was one of her favorite things. Her body tingled at the thought of kissing him afterward.
Danny laughed. "Come on. It wouldn't be that bad. And let's face it…we are going to need the room," he said as he lightly touched her stomach. He then finished shaving with a final stroke and splashed his face with water. As he toweled his face off, he stood directly in front of Kathryn as she moved to the edge of the counter so she could straddle his hips.
She looked up and touched his clean-shaven face. "After all this time, I still can't decide what I like better…stubble or this…actually both kind of turn me on," she said as she kissed him. He pulled her closer to his body and untied the sash of her robe. And then he slid his tongue inside her mouth to deepen the kiss as he let his hands wander under her robe.
After a few minutes of kissing and touching, Danny pulled away. "The FBI prefers I shave. And they also prefer that I be at work on time."
Kathryn groaned a little and said, "You know, pretty soon, I'll be sick as a dog in the morning. You better take advantage of this now."
"You're just trying to distract me because you don't want to talk about moving anymore," he said as he smiled and stepped away from her.
"No, that's not it," she said as she hopped off the counter and took his hand before he could walk out of the bathroom. He stopped and looked at her with an amused expression. "I just want you. I think you need another shower."
He smirked slightly as he watched her turn on the hot water and then turned back to him as she removed her robe. "Another shower?" he asked as he looked at her body.
"Yep," she said as she pulled him towards the shower. "I promise…I'll have you out in twenty minutes or less."
Danny gave up. He removed his towel, entered the shower with her, and then quickly took her in his arms as they stood under the spray of the hot water.
End of flashback
Danny opened his eyes when he heard a knock at the door. The memories of Kathryn were all around him. He got up from the couch and opened the door to find Vivian. She walked in and asked, "How are you this morning? You didn't sleep at all, did you?"
"I think I got a few minutes."
"Have you talked to Jack this morning," asked Vivian.
"Yeah, he called earlier. He wanted permission to talk to our marriage counselor. This is truly my worst nightmare," Danny said as he sat back down and held his head in his hands.
"We're going to find her, Danny," Vivian reassured.
"Don't handle me, Viv. I know your whole drill...what you do with families. The more time that passes, the more likely it is that we lost her. If we don't find her today, she is most likely gone."
Back at the FBI office, Jack spoke to Danny and Kathryn's marriage counselor on the phone.
"Dr. Wallace?" Jack asked after a voice said hello.
"Yes. This is Rachel Wallace. Who am I speaking with?" she asked.
"This is Special Agent Jack Malone. I work with Danny. Did you speak to him this morning?"
"Yes, I did. I'll answer any question you have to help find Kathryn," she said earnestly.
"Great. You spoke to the both of them the day before yesterday, correct?"
"Yes. They were my first appointment. Danny was very adamant that they get to see me as soon as possible, so I worked them in."
"How did they seem?"
"Well, there are a fair amount of tension between them. She seemed quite angry with him. He was very frustrated with her. It was clear they had lost their way with each other. I tried to talk them through their history. I find that if I can remind them of what first brought them together, then it helps them remember what they have together."
"Did it work?"
"Well it was the first session. I remember Danny was quite frustrated. He seemed to want a quick fix, but I told him it didn't work like that. They both agreed to come to another session."
"Did they seem happy when they left?" Jack asked skeptically.
"I wouldn't say happy, but they weren't angry with each other."
"Why did you call Kathryn at 10:30 yesterday?"
"Standard operating procedure. I always call to make sure the couple is OK after the first session. Often times, a lot of emotions are brought to the surface. I like to make sure that they are dealing with the emotions in a healthy way, especially when children are involved."
"And did Kathryn say they were handling it?"
"Yes. She said that they continued to talk after the session. They committed to following through with the therapy. She even said...um..."
"Look maybe this is too personal. I don't want to invade Kathryn's privacy."
"Look Dr. Wallace...if I can get a clear understanding that they were OK...that she didn't have a reason to leave, then I can focus more on what really may have happened to her," Jack said urgently.
"She said that they slept together the night before. She said that they didn't make love, but they did hold each other like they used to. She said they hadn't been that intimate with each other since before the miscarriage. She felt very good about the direction of their relationship. She also said she wanted to re-engage in life and stop feeling sorry for herself. She said that she planned on talking to her father about some job. She hoped that having some outside stimulation would help her feel better about herself. Agent Malone, if you are asking me if this was a woman who was thinking about leaving her husband, I would say definitely not. She seemed quite committed to staying with Danny," the doctor said convincingly.
"Thank you, Dr. Wallace. You've been very helpful."
Jack hung up the phone, and then dialed the number of the Crime Scene Unit team. "This is Malone. I need a full-scale canvass of the areas surrounding Kathryn Taylor's apartment and her father's business, Kelly Web Publishing. These were the last places she was seen. I also want a CSU team over to her apartment. I'll call Danny and tell him you are on the way," Jack ordered and then hung up the phone.
Just as he hung up the phone, Martin entered his office. "Jack, Wyatt is pretty adamant that nothing happed after the encounter in the elevator. We are polygraphing him now. Also...uh...I just received some disturbing news from the Curry Meadow Mental Facilty in Rockbridge."
"What?" Jack asked as his heart sank. Curry Meadows was the facility that Tom Hanes was sent to after he attacked Kathryn.
"Yesterday, the facility lost track of Hanes for four hours -- from 10 in the morning until 2 p.m.," Martin said somberly.
"You've got to be kidding me. I thought it was a high security facility."
"It is. But apparently, he got out of his room. They found him wandering the grounds yesterday afternoon. They didn't call NYPD because they didn't think he ever left the grounds, but..."
"Is it possible that he could have gotten down here, done something to Kathryn and gotten back?"
"It's an hour up there and an hour back. It's possible, but he would've needed help."
"Safely locked away in Attica."
"OK...head up there. See what you can find out. Things are looking worse and worse. Call me right after you talk to him."
"Got it," Martin said as he quickly left the office.
Jack sank in his chair and rubbed his eyes. If Hanes got to her then she was most likely dead. He slowly picked up the phone and dialed Danny's number.
After filling in Danny on the Hanes development, Jack met Samantha on the outside of the interview room. They were going to interview Richard Kendall, Kathryn's former fiance.
"Did you call Danny?" Samantha asked hesitantly. Martin told her about Hanes before he left.
"Yeah...I did. I don't know how much more of this he can take. Viv is trying to get him to focus on Michael, but...now he probably has images running through his head of what Hanes could have done to Kathryn."
"You had to tell him. He has to be prepared," Samantha said as she stroked Jack's arm.
Jack nodded appreciatively thankful for Samantha's affirmation. "How are we handling Kendall?"
"This is just covering our bases, really. He hasn't had contact with Kathryn in over five years."
"OK. Let's go," Jack said as they walked in the door.
"Mr. Kendall, thanks for coming in," Samantha said as she shook his hand. She and Jack took seats across from him. "I'm Agent Spade. We spoke on the phone. This is Agent Malone. We just have a few questions for you regarding Kathryn Taylor."
"No problem. I'll help in any way I can. It's strange though...Kathryn Taylor...I can hardly believe she is married with a child."
"You married as well, right? And you have a newborn daughter?" Samantha asked with a smile.
"Yes. Right. I guess we both finally moved on," Richard said as he returned the smile.
"How did you two meet?" Jack asked.
"Oh...let's see...Kathryn was in college...a sophmore I think. I was in law school. Our parents are Country Club aquaintences. My mother asked me to look her up since she was going to the same school I was. So I did. And we started dating," he answered matter-of-factly.
"And then you got engaged?" asked Samantha.
"Yes...well after we dated for two years. We...uh...took things rather slow. Kathryn was inexperienced to say the least. She hadn't really dated anyone before me. I actually found that rather refreshing. Usually, the girls I met in college had been around the block a few times."
Samantha glanced at Jack with an annoyed expression and then said, "So she was real marriage material?"
"I guess you could say that. She's beautiful, from a great family, smart and very kind. It was no-brainer to ask her to marry me."
"Were you surprised when she left you at the alter?" asked Jack.
"At first...very surprised and hurt......a little humiliated. But after a while, I started to realize she had gradually slipped away from me. If I had been more attentive, I would have known that she wasn't happy. I think she was trying to please her parents by being with me. Of course, I had hoped that she loved me as much as I loved her, but...," he replied with a far-off expression.
"Do you love her still?" asked Samantha pointedly.
Richard laughed as he tried to re-focus. "No. Those feelings are ancient history. She and I both moved on."
"How did you hear that she moved on?"
"My parents kept me informed. We were all pretty shocked when we found out she had a child out of wedlock. The Kathryn I knew...well she would have been mortified at the thought. She must have changed quite a bit after we broke up. According to her mother, the man she got involved with is from a very different world than ours. Kathryn probably wanted to rebel a little after walking the straight and narrow for so long. Getting involved with this man and getting pregnant...I guess she certainly did rebel."
Samantha shared another annoyed glance with Jack. She wanted to respond to Kendall, but before she could, Jack asked, "Did you ever try to contact her?"
"No. At one point, I thought about trying to re-connect with her...just to be friends. But, it just seemed easier to let things go. And she obviously had changed a lot from the innocent girl I knew. And then I met Meryl, and she and I married."
"That's right. You married a little over a year ago, correct?" Samantha asked.
"Yes. And now Meryl and I have a beautiful little "
"That's nice," Samantha responded. "So, Mr. Kendall, can you tell us where you were yesterday morning?"
"Oh...let's see...I was at the office. And then, I went to the Waldorf around noon for a lunch meeting."
"And after that?" Jack asked.
"Back to work around one, I guess. I did paperwork for most of the day. You can check with my secretary."
"We'll do that. Thanks for you time, Mr. Kendall." Jack said.
"If there is anything else I can do, please don't hesitate to call. Kathryn will always have a special place in my heart."
"We will. Thank you." Samantha responded as they got up and lead Kendall out of the room.
After they left him at the elevator, Jack asked, "Well, Ms. Skeptical, what do you think?"
"Why are you asking me like that?" Samantha asked with an amused expression.
"I can tell you don't like him."
"You know me too well, Jack. He seemed a little too perfect, and how dare he judge Kathryn or the choices she made. She met him when she was 19...of course she's going to change. I'll check his alibi. He's probably clean...but I still don't like him. I can tell why Kathryn probably felt suffocated by the thought of spending her life with him," she said knowingly.
"That's harsh, but do check the alibi. Then call Viv. I want you and her to meet with Sylvia Marquez ASAP," Jack said as he headed to his office. "I'm going to check on Wyatt's polygraph."
"Will do," she responded as she headed to her desk.
As Jack and the team continued to run down leads, Danny paced around his apartment in frustration. While Viv was there, she tried to calm him down after Jack told him about Hanes. The thought of Hanes hurting her again made Danny feel sick. He tried to distract himself by feeding Michael breakfast and then giving him a bath. Danny wondered if Michael knew that Kathryn was gone. He figured he had to know because she was usually with him everyday. Danny watched him as Michael played with Maggie on the floor of his room. Maggie was keeping him occupied while the CSU team combed their apartment. Vivian left shortly after the CSU team got there. She said she had to meet Samantha so they could interview Sylvia. Danny couldn't imagine what Sylvia would say to them.
He watched the CSU team take a part their bedroom. They took the took the linens off the bed and went through all the drawers. There was a layer of film over much of the room that indicated they dusted for fingerprints. Part of Danny thought it was a waste of time. Nothing happened to her in the apartment. He knew that she never got back to the apartment. But he didn't get in the way. If Jack wanted this, he was doing it for a reason. Danny then walked back to the living room room and continued to pace around impatiently. He hated feeling helpless. He should be out looking for her. She was now missing for over 24 hours. He stopped at a bookshelf that was lined with pictures. They were mostly of Michael. But there was one of the two of them on their wedding day. Kathryn bought a disposable camera from a street kiosk before they went into the courthouse. After the ceremony, she asked their witness to take a picture. Danny remembered finding a janitor to witness the ceremony for them. They didn't bring anyone with them except for Michael. He touched her face as he looked at the picture. There were tears in her eyes. He'd never known anyone who could cry as easily as Kathryn. She cried when she was happy, sad or angry. He always wanted to fix it when she cried. Fix whatever made her tears come. He wondered if she was crying right now.
As he thought about that, he suddenly had an overwhelming urge to go the office. He felt like he had to do it. He couldn't stay there any longer. He walked back to the Michael's room to tell Maggie. He had barely spoken to Maggie since their argument the night before. "Hey...um...I have to get out of here. Can you stay with Michael?"
"Where are you going?" she asked in a concerned tone.
"I have to look for her. I have to find her. I can't...I can't wait around here anymore. I just need to know that Michael is safe...I need to know that if I leave you won't let him out of your sight."
"Of course I'll stay with him. But, are you sure you should get involved?"
"I don't have any choice. I have to find her. After the CSU team leaves, I'll make sure an agent stays here. Please don't take Michael anywhere. OK?" Danny said half afraid to leave Michael with her for fear that she would try to take Michael from him.
"I won't take him anywhere, I promise. I just want you to find my little girl, Danny," she said as tears filled her eyes.
"I will," he said right before he kissed Michael and walked out the door.
Samantha and Vivian walked up to a run-down apartment building in Queens. They went to the third floor and knocked on the door. A boy answered the door after a few minutes. Samantha recognized the boy right away as Danny's nephew. He had the same sad, dark eyes as Danny. "Hi, Nicky. My name is Samantha and this is Vivian. We work with your uncle," she said as she smiled.
Nicky returned a broad grin to Samantha after she mentioned Danny. "You're FBI agents? Wow. Is Danny with you?"
"No. He's not with us. He's kind of busy right now. Nicky, is your mother home?" Vivian asked.
"Yes. Mom," Nicky yelled. "There's some people at the door."
As Sylvia Marquez came to the door, she said, "Don't yell, Nicky. It's rude, baby." Then she looked at Samantha and Vivian suspiciously.
"Mom, they work with Danny. They probably carry guns, too."
"Nicky...go to your room, and let us talk for a minute," Sylvia ordered as she looked at the two agents.
"But, mom...I want.."
"Nicky, go now," she almost yelled.
As Nicky stalked out of the room, Sylvia addressed Samantha and Vivian. "What's this about? Is Danny OK?"
Samantha and Vivian glanced at each other and then Vivian replied, "He's OK. May we come in for moment?"
"Of course. What is this about?" Sylvia asked.
"Danny's wife, Kathryn Taylor. She's missing," Samantha stated.
"His wife is missing? How ironic...I mean...when you think about his job and all," Sylvia said with a slight smile.
Vivian became a bit disturbed by Sylvia's casual response. "She's been missing for over 24 hours. Danny's quite concerned...as we all are."
Sylvia shrugged. "Well, she's not here. What does Danny think I did something to her or something?"
"Why would you ask that Sylvia? Should Danny have reason to suspect you?" Samantha asked as she and Vivian entered the apartment.
Sylvia laughed as she sat down and lit a cigarette. "No, he doesn't have any reason."
"Why did you go see him a few days ago?" Vivian asked.
"Nicky missed him. He used to come around every once in a while before he married her. But after they got together...he wasn't as available."
"But Nicky wasn't with you that day...," Vivian said suspiciously.
"Look...I just wanted to talk to him. I just wanted to see what was going on with him. He didn't seem too happy. I think there was trouble in paradise."
"Did you see Kathryn?" Samantha asked.
"I passed her on the way out. Now she really didn't seem happy to see me. I guess the prom queen has a jealous streak," Sylvia replied as she smiled again.
"Does she have a reason to be jealous?" Samantha asked.
Sylvia continued to smile as she took a long drag on her cigarette. "Not technically...no. But eventually, Danny will get tired of pampering the princess...and he'll want to stop living a lie. When he's ready, I'll be here for him. I figure I got a raw deal when I hooked up with Rafael. I fell for the wrong brother, and Nicky needs a father. And she is all wrong for him. She can't possibly satisfy someone like Danny."
"Why would you say Danny is living a lie?" asked Vivian.
Sylvia shrugged casually. "Do you know where Danny is from? He grew up the same way Raffi did...on the streets. Sure...he puts on a suit everyday and pretends to be white-bred with the pretty, white wife and legit job. But deep down...he will always be a latino kid from the streets...he can change his name, but he can't change that. He and Raffi grew up the hard way. His father was a drunk...he used to beat the hell out of Raffi and his mother, but Danny had it easier. I guess that's why he didn't turn out as screwed up as Raffi."
"You seem to really be depending on Danny eventually coming back to his roots. Maybe you decided to speed things up a bit? Where were you yesterday after 11 a.m.?" Samantha asked icily.
"I was working. I'm a nurse's aide down at Oaklawn Nursing Home. I worked the 7-7 shift. You can check it out." Sylvia replied in an annoyed tone.
"We will," Vivian responded. "Who lives here with you, Sylvia?"
"My brother and his wife and their two kids."
"We'll need to speak to your brother as well," Vivian said as she thought that Sylvia may have needed help if she wanted to get rid of Kathryn.
As Viv and Samantha continued to interview Sylvia, Martin called in to Jack to update him on the status of Tom Hanes.
"Malone," Jack answered quickly while walking to the Tech room to review video footage from Kathryn and Danny's neighborhood.
"Curry Meadows is a bust. There's no way Hanes could have gotten down there and gotten back. They found some surveillance tape of him on the grounds two hours after he was unaccounted for. I guess this is good news…"
"But we still don't have any good leads. We don't even have a definite time of disappearance. Are you on your way back?"
"Yeah, I'll be there in ten minutes. Any word from Sam and Viv?"
"Not yet, but the techs may have something now. I'll fill you in when you return. Before you come back to your desk, stop by the interview room. Wyatt's polygraph should be wrapping up. I'll try to meet you down there."
Jack hung up the phone and started to watch the grainy video footage from the bank across from Danny's apartment. "What are we looking at?"
"We've reviewed the last week before the DOD. We notice a black van that is parked right next to her building. It's there everyday like clockwork. The only time it leaves is when Kathryn leaves. The van left the same day she left her apartment at 11 a.m., and it hasn't returned," Ty the Tech replied.
"Do we have plates?"
"Yeah, but they are stolen. We've been able to zoom in on a security sticker. We are trying to track down where that sticker is from."
Just as Jack and Ty were rewinding the footage, a voice in the doorway asked, "Can you zoom in on the driver? Do we have a picture?"
Jack sighed heavily and turned around. "Danny, what the hell are you doing here?"
"I can't stay home anymore. I have to help," he answered with desperation in his voice and then he looked at Ty. "Any photo of the driver?"
"No," Ty replied. "Sorry. Uh…we couldn't get a good picture. But I'm sure we'll track the van. We are cross-checking it with video footage in the area of Kelly Web Publishing."
Danny nodded and then surveyed the rest of the monitors in the room. He zeroed in on the footage that showed Evan and Kathryn in the elevator at her father's company. The footage was paused on her face. "What's this?" Danny asked as he walked to the monitor and pressed play.
"Danny. Don't. You shouldn't...," Jack started. But Danny was already watching the alarming footage of Evan grabbing Kathryn and pushing her against the wall.
"What the hell is this, Jack? And where is Wyatt?" Danny asked in an angry raised voice.
"Danny…this is just one part of the investigation. Wyatt's alibi checks, but he did see her that morning at her father's office. You need to go wait in my office now."
"Are we polygraphing him? Maybe he had someone take her…someone in that van. He could be responsible. Did you interview him?"
"Samantha and Martin interviewed him this morning," Jack replied in a calm tone.
"What happened? What did he say?"
"Danny…go to my office now. I'll give you an update in a minute…OK?"
Danny hadn't taken his eyes off the footage of Kathryn and Wyatt. He watched as Kathryn ran off the elevator. Then he looked up at Jack and Ty and nodded. "I'll wait in your office."
Danny walked down the hall towards Jack's office, but didn't go in. Instead, he headed toward the stairs. He walked down one flight to the interview rooms. It didn't take him long to find Evan Wyatt sitting in one of the rooms. It looked like the polygrapher had just finished. There was an agent standing outside the room. "Hey, Riley," Danny said casually. "Do you have the results on this guy?"
"Uh…I don't know, Danny. The polygrapher just headed upstairs to update Jack. I'm just waiting to hear if we can cut this guy loose. Should you really be here? I mean I heard that this case is about your wife."
"It is, and I need five minutes with this guy," Danny said in a dead serious tone.
"Danny…man, I understand how you feel, but I can't let you go in there."
"Riley…just go get a cup of coffee. I won't hurt him. I just need to talk to him. You have a wife, don't you? Wouldn't you want to do anything to find her?"
The young agent looked at Danny as he stared at him with desperate eyes. "I'll be back in two minutes. Two minutes, Danny…that's it."
"Thanks," Danny said as he started to open the door. Wyatt was pacing back and forth. He looked up as soon as Danny entered.
"Stay away from me, Taylor. I don't know where Kathryn is…"
"Relax, Evan. Why are you so nervous…if you have nothing to hide…you don't have anything to worry about," Danny said as he approached Evan.
"This is all a waste of time. She probably just left you. You know that."
"What happened in the elevator, Evan?" asked Danny as he backed Evan into the wall.
"Nothing…nothing happened," Evan replied nervously.
"You grabbed her. You pushed her…and nothing happened," Danny said as he looked down at Evan. "What did you do with her? Where is she?"
"Look…I was pissed at her in the elevator, but I didn't do anything to your precious wife. Don't you get it, Danny? She left you. She's a whore…she's probably moved on to someone else."
As soon as Evan said the words, Danny snapped. He grabbed Evan and threw him across the room. And then he took hold of him again and slammed him against the table. "What did you do to her…you son of bitch…where is she? I'll kill you if you hurt her," he said as he started to reach for his gun. Before he could take it out of the holster, Martin and Riley were on him pulling him off Evan.
"Danny…what the hell are you doing?" Martin asked as Riley kept hold of Danny's arms. "Riley…take Danny upstairs to Jack's office."
Danny started to talk again, but Martin interrupted. "Don't argue, Danny. This isn't helping Kathryn."
Danny shrugged out of Riley's grasp and left the room.
As soon as Evan regained his composure, he said, "I want to file a report. I want that bastard in jail. I'll press charges."
Martin sighed in frustration. "You'll do no such thing, Mr. Wyatt. We have you on tape assaulting Kathryn Taylor. Whether you have anything to do with her disappearance or not -- if you mention what just happened to anyone, you'll be brought up on assault charges. Is that clear?"
"So he can just get away with this?"
"His wife is missing, Mr. Wyatt," Martin said quietly. "By the way, you are free to go. You passed the polygraph. But don't leave town." Then Martin walked out of the office.
Danny paced around Jack's office impatiently. He couldn't seem to calm himself down. He literally wanted to kill Evan Wyatt, and probably would have if Martin hadn't stopped him. And more than anything else at that moment, he wanted a drink. He wanted to stop thinking and just go numb because every time he closed his eyes he saw Kathryn's face. And she was crying. He remembered watching her sleep before he left that morning. She had a slight smile on her face. He finally sat down on the couch and buried his head in his hands. Just as he was about to lose it, Jack and Martin walked in.
"You're an idiot…you know that? Evan Wyatt passed the polygraph. He doesn't know where Kathryn is. And you almost killed him. Do you know what he could do to you…to your career?" Jack asked in a completely frustrated tone.
"I don't care. And just because he passed…doesn't mean he didn't do anything. He's the best lead. You've got nothing else. It's been over 30 hours, and you've still got nothing."
"Look...I know you are upset and scared...and you just want her back, but you know we are doing everything we can. Evan Wyatt didn't take Kathryn. And Martin just found out that Hanes wasn't responsible either. Our best lead is that black van, and we are all over it. Now you need to go home and take care of your son," Jack said in sympathetic tone.
Danny looked up at Jack and Martin and shook his head. "I can't go back there without her. I can't look at Michael knowing that his mother is out there somewhere...I have to find her."
Just as Danny finished talking, Samantha and Vivian entered Jack's office. "Hey. What's going on?" Samantha asked hesitantly as she looked from Jack to Danny.
"Wyatt passed the polygraph," Martin finally answered. "And Jack is trying to convince Danny to go home."
Danny stood up and addressed Samantha and Vivian. "What did you find at Sylvia's?"
"Uh...," Vivian hesitated as she looked at Jack.
"It's OK. What did you find?" Jack asked.
"Sylvia's alibi checks out. She definitely has motive, but she couldn't have done it on her own. We are bringing her brother in for questioning. There were no signs of Kathryn at her apartment," Samantha answered as she kept her eyes on Danny.
"Another dead end..." Danny whispered.
They all stood there in Jack's office not sure what to say next. Just as Jack was about to urge Danny to go home again, Ty stepped into the office. "Danny, you have a call coming in to your cell phone."
They all followed Danny to the Tech area. Danny picked up the phone. "Taylor...Taylor...who is this?" he asked.
"Danny...," replied a small voice.
"Kathryn? Baby, is that you?" Danny asked as the rest of the team looked on.
Danny waited for the voice on the other end to respond as Jack picked up the other line to listen in. "Kathryn…Kathryn…talk to me. Are you there?"
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry to have caused so much trouble," Kathryn said in a barely audible voice.
"Where are you, baby? Are you OK?" Danny asked desperately.
"I'm OK…I just…I can't do this anymore…I've explained everything in an e-mail…" she said and then the phone went dead.
"Kathryn…Kathryn…" Danny looked up and asked, "Did you get a trace?"
"No…not enough time," Ty replied.
Danny hung up the phone and rubbed his temples trying to make sense of what just happened. Jack, Vivian, Martin and Samantha looked on helplessly…not sure what to say.
"I need to check my e-mail," Danny said as he sat down at a computer and logged in. When his e-mail came up, he saw the e-mail from a generic e-mail account. He clicked on the e-mail and started to read:
I can't do this anymore. I've tried to make this work, but I'm not happy. And I can't tell you in person…because every time I try…you talk me out of it. There is a part of me that wants to love you, but the truth is…I don't love you anymore. And I haven't loved you for a long time. I was afraid to leave…afraid that you would be angry….afraid that you would start drinking again…and I would feel responsible.
Our love was never healthy, Danny. You must know this. I was rebelling against a life I thought I didn't want, and you wanted to do everything you could to create the family you never had. I got caught up in your energy and passion…but it isn't enough anymore.
So, the easiest thing is for me to just leave…leave you…leave everything. Don't try to look for me. I'm sorry for any trouble I caused you and the people you work with. That wasn't my intention. I just didn't know what else to do.
The next time you hear from me will be from my lawyer.
Danny sat staring at the computer screen reading and re-reading her words. He couldn't believe it. "I have to get out of here," he said as he stood up and walked out of the room.
Jack who had been reading over Danny's shoulder informed the others. "She left him."
"I can't believe it," Samantha said. "I can't believe that she would do this to him."
"And to her son…," added Vivian.
Martin then said, "I hate to say it…but it now makes sense. I mean…we didn't have any good leads. At least now he knows. He can stop worrying about her."
Jack was reading the e-mail over and over again. "Vivian…call Maggie Kelly. Let her know about the letter. Samantha and Martin, will you catch up with Danny? He shouldn't be alone right now."
Samantha and Martin nodded and walked out as Vivian dialed Danny's telephone number. Jack sat down at the computer and continued to read the letter. Ty looked up from the computer screen and asked, "Do you still want us to track the black van down?"
As he continued to read Kathryn's words, Jack responded, "I'm not sure."
Maggie answered the telephone at Danny's apartment. "Hello."
"Mrs. Kelly? This is Vivian Johnson."
"Have you found her?" Maggie asked hopefully.
"Not exactly. Danny received a brief phone from Kathryn. She instructed him to check his e-mail. We couldn't trace the call. In the e-mail, Kathryn says that she has left him. She doesn't want us to look for her," Vivian replied with sadness.
"That's not possible, Agent Johnson. Why hasn't she called me?"
"I don't know, Mrs. Kelly."
"I want to come down there. I want to read that letter."
"No…I have to see it for myself. Can the agent here drive me to your office?"
"Of course…if that is what you want."
"It is. I'll be there in fifteen minutes." Vivian closed her phone and addressed Jack. "Maggie Kelly is on her way here. She needs to see this for herself."
"OK. Let me know when she gets here," Jack said slightly distracted as he rose from the chair and headed back to his office.
As Jack and Vivian awaited Maggie's arrival, Danny did the only thing he could think of. He found the nearest bar. Instead of sitting at the bar, he found a table towards the back of the establishment. He didn't like people watching when he drank…especially when he wanted to get drunk. Normally, he used to drink alone in his apartment, but he couldn't go back there. He couldn't face Michael. More than anything, he wanted to stop feeling. He wanted to stop seeing her face. He didn't want to remember what she looked like the last night she spent with him because it was all a lie. Starting over, not giving up, loving each other…it was all a lie. Maybe he just wouldn't let himself see the truth. He wanted things to work so much that he pushed her too hard…he pushed her away.
A waitress approached his table. "Hey there. What can I get for you?"
"Tequila…and a beer," he said without making eye contact with her.
"Coming right up." She came back a minute later with the shot and beer. "Here you go. Drinking alone today?"
Danny just nodded as he looked at the alcohol sitting in front of him. When he still didn't look at the waitress, she just walked away.
In the meantime, Martin and Samantha were combing the area around the Federal building looking for Danny.
"He could be anywhere. He could have taken a cab back to his apartment for all we know," Martin said.
"He didn't go home. This has to be devastating for him, Martin. You should have heard him talking about her last night. He believed they were happy. He believed that she loved him. The thing is…she must be really messed up. I read her journal…and she said she loved him. But she also sounded very desperate…so maybe she was just trying to convince herself. I don't know…but he didn't go home. He wants to forget…forget about her…forget about the pain," Samantha said as she stopped in front of a bar a block from the Federal building.
"You think he wants to drink?" asked Martin.
"Yep. I'll try this one. Why don't you look across the street?"
"OK," Martin replied as he started to head toward the street.
Samantha entered the bar. She knew he was there. It was the closest bar to the office, and she knew Danny wouldn't be picky. She was surprised when she didn't see him sitting at the bar, but she slowly made her way towards the back.
Her breath caught as she found Danny sitting at a booth in the back. She watched as he sat there with the alcohol in front of him. He ran his hand over his face and hair. Samantha had never seen anyone so tortured before. Before she even realized what she was doing, she approached him. "It's not worth it, Danny."
He sighed and shook his head, but didn't look at her. "How do you know? I thought that staying clean would help me keep my family, but…it doesn't matter. She still left."
"You still have a family. You have…"
"Don't say it. Don't say his name. I can't think about him right now."
Samantha sat down across from Danny and tried to make eye contact with him. "You have to. You have to think about your son right now. You are all he has. He shouldn't have to suffer because of what has happened."
"Samantha…," Danny said as he finally looked up at her. "Don't do this. I don't need you or anyone to tell me how to deal with this. I just want to be alone."
"So that's it? This is how you are going to deal," she said as she looked at the tequila. "I don't accept that. You wanted our help to find Kathryn, but now you won't let us help you through this? That's not fair, Danny. And that's not how friendship works."
"We work together, Samantha. We're not friends…so let it go," Danny said icily.
When he said that, Samantha felt like he punched her in the stomach. She wasn't sure what to say, but she wasn't giving up. "Is this how you operate when you want to drink, Danny? I remember the last time when you started to pull away. I made excuses for you. I said you were just going through a tough time. But the truth was, you just didn't want anyone around to watch you self-destruct. Well, I won't let you push me away…not this time. You have too much at stake…and if she really doesn't love you…then she isn't worth it."
"Don't talk about her like that. I must have done something. I pushed her away. It has to be me…not her."
"How can you say that? You're still here. You're not abandoning anyone…yet," she said as she looked at the drink in front of him.
Danny started to wring his hands. He wanted the drink so bad. He wished Samantha would leave. He wished he were alone. He was so tired. He hadn't slept in two days. The last time he was asleep she was in his arms. How could so much change in so little time?
The waitress then came to the table and asked Samantha, "Can I get you something?"
"No, thank you," replied Samantha.
Before the waitress could leave, Danny asked, "Excuse me. Um…can you take this away? I'm…um…I'm done."
"You sure? You didn't drink any…"
"I'm sure…just take it."
The waitress cleared the table, and Danny stood up with Samantha. He put a few dollars on the table, and they walked out. When they got outside, Danny tried to take a deep breath to clear his head. Samantha then said, "I need to call, Martin. He's probably all the way uptown by now."
"He was looking, too?"
"Yes…we are all here for you, Danny."
Danny just nodded and then said, "I…uh…I need to go to a meeting."
"OK…do you want me to come? Is there one in the area?"
"Uh…yeah…there's one in that church over there. I'll go on my own. I'm OK now. But can you do me a favor?"
"Call Maggie. Tell her what's happened and find out if Michael is OK. Tell her that I'll be home soon to take care of him."
"Thanks," Danny said as he started to walk away. Samantha also started to walk back to the office as she dialed Martin's cell phone. She heard Martin answer, but then heard Danny call out her name. "Samantha?"
"Hang on a second, Martin," she said as she turned around.
"Thank you…for finding me. You are a good friend," Danny said as he looked at her. Then he turned and headed for the church.
Samantha just smiled sadly as she started to fill Martin in on finding Danny.
Back at the office, Vivian met Maggie at the elevator. She had Michael with her. "I thought that Danny might want to see Michael. Is he here?"
"No…he…um…he had a hard time after reading the e-mail. I think he just needed a few minutes to himself. But, I'm sure he'll be back soon," Vivian reassured even though she had no idea where Danny was or what he was doing.
Vivian led Maggie to Jack's office. "Mrs. Kelly…thanks for coming down," Jack said. "This little guy is getting very big."
"He seems to grow overnight," Maggie said as she looked at Michael and started to cry.
Vivian guided her to a seat on the couch and then said, "I'm going to take Michael down the hall to give you a few minutes."
Vivian left with Michael. Then Jack sat down next to Maggie. "This is a tape recording the of the conversation between Danny and Kathryn."
Jack watched as Maggie listened to her daughter's sad voice. Tears continued to fall from her eyes. Jack gave her his handkerchief. And then handed her a copy of the e-mail. Maggie shook her head as she read the e-mail.
"This doesn't make sense, Agent Malone. Where is Danny? I have to talk to Danny," Maggie said urgently.
"Wait here for moment," Jack said. Then he left the office and went into the bullpen area. Martin and Samantha had returned and were playing with Michael. "Did you find Danny?"
"Yes. I found him. He…uh…he went to an AA meeting. I was going to call him to let him know that Michael is here," Samantha replied.
"Call him. Get him back here. Mrs. Kelly needs to speak to him."
Samantha dialed Danny's phone number.
"Hello," he answered.
"Hey…sorry to interrupt."
"That's OK. We were just finishing up here…I just caught the tail end of a meeting."
"Kathryn's mother is here. She brought Michael down with her. Jack showed her the letter, and she needs to speak with you."
"I bet she does. She probably can't wait to blame me for driving her daughter away. I'll be there in 10 minutes. How's Michael?"
"He's perfect. Martin is teaching him how to throw a football."
"Good. I'll…uh…see you in a few."
Ten minutes later, Danny stepped off the elevator. Samantha brought Michael to the chair by the elevators in anticipation of his return. As soon as Michael saw his father, he sprinted into his arms. Danny exhaled as Michael put his arms around his neck and squeezed. He then sat down with him in a chair. “Hey buddy.”
Michael looked up at Danny and said, “Missed you…daddy. Where mommy?”
For the first time since he read the e-mail, tears filled Danny’s eyes. “I've missed you, too,” Danny said as he held Michael as close as he could.
Vivian didn’t want to interrupt, but she knew that Maggie was waiting to see Danny. “Danny…Mrs. Kelly is anxious to talk to you. She’s in Jack’s office.”
Danny sighed heavily and kissed Michael on the forehead. “You stay here. I’ll be right back. OK?”
He walked down the hall and entered Jack’s office. Maggie was sitting on the couch. He noticed that she was still crying. “Maggie…I know what you are going to say. And I’m sorry…I’m sorry that she left…I’m sorry for whatever I did to make her leave.”
Maggie stood up, walked over to Danny, and took his hand. “Danny…our girl is in trouble. There is no way she wrote that letter.”
Danny just looked at Maggie for a moment, and then to Jack hoping to get some kind of support. "Maggie…I...I...talked to her. She called…"
"I listened to the tape. But did you listen, Danny? Did you really listen?" Maggie asked as she searched his eyes. "It was her, but it wasn't. I don't think you're seeing this clearly, Danny. You're exhausted, you have eaten in days, and you want her to be OK…so you are willing to believe this. But she isn't OK. She would never write a letter like this," Maggie continued and then looked at Jack. "Agent Malone, you have to keep looking for her. Someone made her send that e-mail."
"Why Maggie? How are you so sure? You know that we were struggling. Hell…you told me yesterday that you wished she would leave me…you wished we never married in the first place. So, why wouldn't you believe this?" Danny asked.
"She would never doubt the love she has for you. She would never say that. Maybe I could have believed it if she said she loved you too much. A few months ago, you came to our house for a charity function…and I found you two in her bedroom. Do you remember?"
Danny remembered it well. Kathryn told him it was the night they concieved the baby they lost. "Yeah…you were pissed because Wyatt left early," he replied irritated at the thought of Wyatt.
"After you left, Kathryn and I talked about you. She told me that for the first time in her life she was truly happy. She told me how much she loved you. And I told her that she should be careful because loving someone that much can be dangerous. But she told me that one day I would see...I would see what you two really had. Honestly, to this day...I'm still not sure you're the right man for my daughter, but I know she loves you...and she would never write this letter," Maggie stated defiantly.
"I wish I could believe that..."
"You can...just read it again. Read it carefully. She says she hasn't loved you for a long time. Can you really believe that? Two months ago...you were having another baby together. You were happy. And Danny, she doesn't mention Michael once...not once. When she was thinking of staying at our house for a while...she was bringing Michael. There was no question. She wouldn't leave him...not ever. She also couldn't write this letter without mentioning him."
"Maybe if she felt desperate enough..."
"NO! That's not possible. And if you were looking at this clearly you would understand. Read the letter again, Danny. She loves you...she loves Michael...she would never leave you."
Danny walked over to Jack's desk and picked up a copy of the letter. He read it and re-read it. Part of him wanted to listen to Maggie, and he knew in his heart she was right. But if Kathryn didn't leave on her own...then someone took her...and Danny didn't want to face that either. He sat down on the couch, put the letter down, and put his head in his hands. "She's right, Jack. Kathryn didn't write this letter," he said quietly. "Someone has her...she's in trouble."
Maggie sighed and started to cry again as she sat next to Danny. He took her hand and squeezed it lightly as if silently thanking her for helping him see the light. He was so exhausted that he could barely see straight.
"I don't know how much longer Van Doren will let us work on this, Danny. We have the tape and the e-mail..." Jack started to say.
"But you also have the black van, right?" Danny asked as he looked up at Jack. "And we haven't heard back from Forensics on the apartment, right? There are still loose ends. And you talked to our marriage counselor. Viv said that the counselor told you what Kathryn said. Kathryn told her that we were trying again...and we were working on things. Why would she tell her that to the counselor if she didn't mean it? None of this makes sense."
Jack watched as Danny rubbed his eyes in frustration. "I'll make a deal with you, Danny. We'll give this 24 more hours to find a good lead on where she is...if you take Michael home and get some rest."
"No...Jack...I have to help..."
Maggie put her hand on Danny's shoulder and said, "Listen to him, Danny. You trust these people, don't you? Let them help us find her. Please..."
"OK," Danny whispered as Maggie started to break down.
As Danny, Michael and Maggie left the office, Jack, Martin, Samantha and Vivian filed into the bullpen to continue the search for Kathryn.
Jack and the rest of the team minus Danny took seats around the conference table. Jack rubbed his eyes as he tried to gather his thoughts on what they should do next. It was getting late in the day. They could probably only work for a few more hours before going home to start fresh in the morning. Samantha looked at Jack with concern as he sat there. She knew he was torn between wanting to help Danny find his wife and being realistic. They all wanted to bring Kathryn back to Danny, but knew there was only so much they could do if she didn't want to be found. Samantha decided to help Jack get focused. "We still haven't gotten the Forensics report back on Danny's apartment. Do you want me to follow up on that?" asked Samantha.
Jack looked up at Samantha and nodded appreciatively. "Yeah...uh...find out what the hold-up is and what they found. Martin, I'd like you to stay on the black van. Ty was trying to locate the owner. That's the best lead we have right now. Viv, follow up on the Sylvia Marquez angle. I know that you and Samantha talked to her, but she still has the best motive. If she had help, then she definitely could be involved. I'm going to follow up with NYPD, and see if they have any Jane Does that have turned up. Let's work these angles for a few more hours, and then start fresh in the morning. I know I'll have to face Van Doren tomorrow to see how much longer we can work on this."
"Do you think she will let us? I mean with the recording of Kathryn's voice and the e-mail...we don't have any signs of foul play yet," remarked Martin.
"I don't know. I've read that e-mail a hundred times. I don't know if it is the conviction of Kathryn's mother or what, but I'm starting to question the e-mail as well. Something doesn't sound right in it, but I can't put my finger on it. And it isn't just that she doesn't mention her son. It's something else," Jack said pensively as he tried to rack his brain.
"Well something has to turn up soon. Let's get started," Viv said as she rose from the table.
While the team continued to search, Danny made it back to the apartment. Maggie went back to her house to fill in Kathryn's father and get some sleep. Danny tried to put Kathryn out of his mind as he and Michael ate dinner. He tried to act as normal as possible for Michael's sake. He gave Michael his bath and then put him down for the night. He walked into the bedroom and stood in the doorway. The Forensics team stripped the sheets from the bed. He didn't have the energy to re-make the bed, and truly he didn't want to sleep in it without Kathryn anyway.
Instead of going straight to sleep, he decided to take a shower. As he walked into the bathroom, he was again struck by so many reminders of Kathryn. Her perfumes and lotions lined the counter next to the sink. He picked up the lotion that she used on her body right after she got out of the shower. It smelled fresh and clean...just like her. He looked in the mirror and saw Kathryn applying the lotion to her shoulders and arms. When he put the lotion down, she disappeared from the mirror. Danny put his hands down on the counter and beared down as he closed his eyes and let a few tears escape. He was literally aching for her. It wasn't a physical ache. It was in his heart.
He slowly undressed and stepped into the hot shower. The hot water beat down on his face and shoulders. Instead of driving thoughts of Kathryn away, more memories flooded his mind. He remembered shortly after they first started dating. He surprised her by stepping into the shower with her one morning. She was so embarrassed to stand in front of him without clothes on yet they had just spent the night before making love. Kathryn insisted to him that it was different because the lights were out when they were in bed. Danny always teased her about her modesty and told her she had a beautiful body, but she still insisted on wearing his old t-shirts to bed. Danny made it his personal mission to get her out of the t-shirts whenever possible and make her more comfortable with her body around him, and he succeeded even though sometimes he could still make her blush.
After Danny finished his shower, he dressed and then went out to the living room and laid down on the couch. He thought about calling Samantha or Martin to find out if they knew anything more, but he knew they would call if they had anything. So he just laid there and tried to will himself to sleep. He still wanted a drink. He knew that would help him sleep, but he also knew that would be the end for him. His mind continued to race with thoughts of Kathryn. He kept reliving their last week together. Trying to remember if he noticed the black van or anything else out of the ordinary. But he couldn't remember. At some point, Danny closed his eyes and eventually he started to drift off into a deep albeit restless sleep. It was the first time he had slept in almost two whole days.
As Danny finally slept, the team followed the various leads. Martin was in the Tech room with Ty reviewing parking security decals for various parking garages in the city. There were literally hundreds of them. They were comparing the decal from the black van. Finally after a couple of hours of looking, Martin called out, "I got it. Here it is. This is from a garage at 136th and Holden. Please tell me that garage just serves one building."
"Let me check," Ty responded. "136th and Holden...yep that garage is for employees who work in the AJ Sampson building."
"OK. Good. What businesses are in that building?"
"Hang on. I'm printing the list."
Martin stood up and walked over to the printer. He pulled the list off the printer. "OK...this isn't bad...about 25 businesses in the Sampson building. There is an account firm, stocks and bonds, law....here we go...."
"What is it?" asked Ty as he watched Martin read down the list.
"A private investigation and security firm called Jamison and Associates. That's fits, right? I mean a PI would use an unmarked black van for surveillance."
"And the van was parked outside their building everyday. It makes sense," Ty responded.
"Thanks for your help. I'm going to run this down," Martin said as he walked out of the office.
While Martin followed the PI lead, Samantha entered Jack's office to fill him in on the Forensics report. "Jack, you're going to find this interesting," Samantha said as she walked in the office and sat down. "Forensics didn't find any unusual prints or blood in the apartment, but they did find a strange set of footprints in the walk-in closet in the bedroom. There were fresh impressions in the carpet. The shoe size was smaller than Danny's but much larger than Kathryn's. Now, I noticed there was an overnight bag missing from the closet, and there was the open drawer in the bedroom...so maybe someone got in there and took the bag and clothes to make it look like she left."
"How did this person get in the apartment?"
"Well if someone abducted Kathryn before noon, there would have been plenty of time to use her key to gain access to the apartment before Danny got back."
"Yeah but noone heard or saw anyone go in that apartment. Viv talked to the neighbor, Mrs. Kopecki, who can apparently hear everything going on in their apartment, and she didn't hear anything after Kathryn left. And everyone was accounted for that entered the building through the front door with the security camera."
"Maybe I should talked to Mrs. Kopeckie again? Maybe she didn't remember something."
"That's a good idea. I'll go with you," Jack said as he stood up.
At the Sampson building, Martin rode up in the elevator to the PI's office. He called before he left to make sure the Mr. Jamison was still there since it was already after 9 p.m. He entered the office and started to call out since there was no receptionist in the small waiting area. "Mr. Jamison...Mr. Jamison..."
A older man in his early fifties walked out of the back office. "Agent Fitzgerald?"
"Yes. I'm Special Agent Martin Fitzgerald with the FBI. I have a few questions for you."
"Shoot," Walter Jamison said as he sat down in a chair.
Martin sat down across from him and pulled out picture of Kathryn. "Have you seen this woman before?"
Walter took the picture and studied it for a moment, then he looked up at Martin with a guilty expression. "Yeah...I've seen her. That's Kathryn Taylor."
Martin wasn't prepared for such a quick admission. "When did you see her last?"
"Two days ago...she went into her father's Web publishing company."
"So you were following her?" Martin asked.
"Yeah...I've...uh...been following her off and on for about two years," Walter said with slight hesitation.
After Jamison made the startling statement, Martin thought it best to bring him to the office for a formal interrogation. Jamison agreed to go with Martin. After Vivian called Jack to fill him in on the newest developement, she joined Martin in the interrogation room.
Jamison was sitting across from Martin and Vivian looking very nervous. Before they could ask a question, he blurted out, "Look I didn't do anything illegal, OK? I was paid to follow that girl, and that's all I did. I know my rights, but I don't have anything to hide."
Martin studied Jamison's nervous expression and then asked, "Who paid you to follow her?"
"I don't know. Two years ago, I got a call from a man about following Kathryn. He said he would pay me five grand if I took some pictures of her. I figure she was the man's wife or ex-wife. Anyway, he told me to drop the pictures off in a mailbox at an apartment building in Jersey. When I dropped the pictures off, there was an envelope of money. So every couple of months he would call and ask for more pictures. I would take them, drop them off, and pick up my money. I've never seen the man."
"What kind of pictures did you take?" asked Vivian.
"Just your basic surveillance pictures...walking around the city...going to and from work...on errands. I started to realize she wasn't the man's wife when I saw her more and more with the guy she eventually married...Taylor. So I wasn't sure what connection my client had with her. I figured maybe that baby was my guy's....and that maybe he wanted me to keeps tabs on the kid. I didn't know...I didn't ask questions."
"You didn't think it was strange? I mean...you were basically stalking her," asked Martin in a disgusted tone.
"Look...I didn't threaten her, and I kept my distance. She didn't even know I was there. Hell, her husband is one of you guys...and he never even knew I was there. I didn't bother them. I just got my pictures, and that's it. No harm done."
"No harm done? No harm done?" said Martin as he stood up and paced around the room. "She's missing, Mr. Jamison. She's been missing for almost two days."
Vivian glanced at Martin and then back to Jamison. "Tell us about the last time you saw her, Mr. Jamison."
"I followed her from her apartment to her father's company. Um...but I never saw her come out."
"Did you just miss her or..." Vivian started to ask.
"No...I got a call from my client. He called me off. He said he didn't need anymore pictures and that I should drop off what I had and pick up my money. So that's what I did. When I left, Kathryn was still in the office."
"Had he ever done that before?" asked Martin as he looked down. "Had he ever called you in the middle of surveillance to tell you to stop?"
"No. That was a first."
Vivian looked down as her heart started to sink. This was starting to sound more and more like a planned abduction.
While Martin and Vivian continued to talk to Jamison, Jack and Samantha entered Mrs. Kopeckie's apartment.
"Come in. Back so soon? I mean I just spoke to one of your people earlier. I have to say...you have to nicest group of people at the FBI. I mean...Danny is such a darling boy...and Agent Johnson from this morning...she couldn't have been more polite," Mrs Kopeckie said as she ushered them into her apartment.
"Thank you, Mrs. Kopeckie. We have a few more questions for you. Are you sure you didn't hear anything in Danny and Kathryn's apartment after she left that day?" asked Jack.
"No...I don't think so. Let me think...I was watching The View...and then...Oh you know what? It's possible I couldn't have heard anything because the exterminator came and was working back in my bedroom. So..."
"The exterminator? Did this exterminator go to every apartment on the floor? The super didn't mention that," remarked Samantha as she looked at Jack.
"Oh no...he just comes to my apartment. See I've got termites in my bedroom. A few months ago, I won this free termite inspection and this lovely man came over and found a problem in my bedroom. So, he agreed to help me with the problem for free if I didn't tell any of other tenants. He didn't want to make a habit of working for free...you know?"
"How many times has this exterminator been here in the last few months?" asked Jack.
"Oh...he comes once every couple of weeks. He's a really nice man to help me free of charge."
"Yeah...I'll bet. Mrs. Kopeckie, do you mind if Agent Spade and I take a look in your bedroom. We especially want to look at that vent in your closet...the one you told Agent Johnson had the rotting drywall."
"No, I don't mind. It's kind of a mess back there, but knock yourself out. Would you like me to make you some tea while you are back there?"
"That would be lovely. Thank you," replied Samantha with a smile.
Jack and Samantha entered the bedroom and Jack shut the door. "So how are there only termites in this one room? If you have them in one place, you have them everywhere." asked Jack.
"And why does he need to come every two weeks? And he doesn't charge anything? I on...something is strange," Samantha said as they walked into the closet. "There's the vent."
Jack leaned down and started to pull the vent out of wall. It came out easily. When he leaned in, he could see through into Danny and Kathryn's closet with his mini-flashlight. "Well, there definitely isn't any drywall blocking the area between the two vents, but there's no way a man could have gotten through this vent...unless he's a child."
Samantha stood back and looked up. She noticed that the ceiling of the closet was a drop ceiling. "Maybe he can't get through down there, but he could up here," she said as she pointed upwards.
Jack stood up. "Here...I'll boost you up," he said as he gave her the flashlight.
Samantha took it and stepped into Jack's clasped hand as she braced herself on the rod of the closet. She pushed up on the ceiling panel and poked her head through. As she turned on the flashlight, she said, "There's no drywall or dividing wall up here either." Then she pulled herself up on to one of the support beams.
"Be careful up there," Jack called out.
Samantha slowly edged her way over on the beam, and then pulled up on the ceiling panel over Danny and Kathryn's closet. Samantha's breath caught as she realized anyone could have crawled over and gained access to their apartment. She slowly backed up on the support beam and lowered herself back down. Jack guided her back down to the ground. "Are you OK?" he asked as she was still in his arms.
Samantha looked up at him with a concerned expression. "The closets are connected. This exterminator...whoever he have easily gotten into their apartment. Something awful has happened, Jack. I just know it."
Jack gave Samantha a supportive squeeze before he let her go. "Come on. Let's find out who this exterminator is."
Mrs. Kopeckie couldn't tell them the exterminator's name or any other information. Apparently, she was so happy to get something for free that she didn't care to ask for details. So Jack asked her to accompany them back to the office so she could work with a sketch artist. On their way back to the office, Vivian called Jack and gave him the details on Jamison. She told Jack that they were in the process of running his phone records to find out who his client is, and then they planned on going to the apartment building in New Jersey that served as the picture drop-off location. Jack told Vivian to wait until he got back, and they would all go to the New Jersey location.
When Jack and Samantha returned to the office with Mrs. Kopeckie, they first brought her by the interrogation room. "Do you recognize that man?" Jack asked as Mrs. Kopeckie looked throught the two-way mirror at Jamison.
"No...should he look familiar?"
"He's not your exterminator?" asked Jack suspiciously as Samantha stood next to him with her arms folded.
"Nope. That's not him."
"OK. Sam, would you take Mrs. Kopeckie to the sketch artist?"
"Sure," she replied as she took Mrs. Kopeckie's arm and guided her down the hall.
Jack watched for a few moments as Martin continued to talk to Jamison, and then he walked in the room. "Mr. Jamison, I'm Agent Malone. Have you ever been in Danny and Kathryn Taylor's apartment," he asked abruptly.
"Hell, no. I told you I didn't do anything illegal. Nothing," he said desperately as he looked at Martin. "Look...I knew that Taylor was an FBI agent. I knew I was taking a chance by just taking pictures. Whenever he was with Kathryn, I kept at a further distance. I never would have gone into their apartment."
"Did your client ever ask you to go into their apartment?" Jack asked.
Jamison looked down and shook his head as he rubbed his balding head. "Yeah, he asked me. It was right after Kathryn married Taylor. I followed them to the park one afternoon. They left the kid at home with the grandmother. They were having a...a...romantic picnic in the park. I was quite a ways away, but I had my telephoto lens. They were laughing and having a good time. Then they started kissing...they were in kind of a secluded area...so...I mean they didn't go all the way or anything...but still the photos were pretty intimate. So after my client saw those pictures, he wanted more. He asked me to go into their apartment and set up a video camera in their bedroom."
Jack and Martin glanced at each other and both shook their heads. "And you said no?" Martin asked.
"I said absolutely not. That's not my kind of thing. He even offered to double my fee and I still said no."
"You're a real saint," Jack said sarcastically. "How did he react when you said no."
"He was pissed. I didn't hear from him for a couple of months after that, but he eventually called again. I don't know if he ever found someone to go in their apartment."
The phone started to ring in the interrogation room. Jack rose and answered it. "Malone."
"The phone records are a dead end. This guy knows what he is doing. He's using a cloned phone every time," Vivian said on the end of the phone.
Jack sighed heavily. "Grab Samantha and meet us downstairs. We're taking a trip to New Jersey."
Danny and Kathryn were standing in the doorway of Michael's room watching him sleep. Kathryn leaned back into Danny's chest as he held her around her waist. "He looks so much like you when he sleeps. He's got that goofy little grin and everything. It must be genetic or something," she said as she turned around to face him. When she looked up into his eyes, he leaned down and kissed her softly. Then he took her took her by the hand and led her into the bedroom.
There was a slow song playing on the radio. He took her in his arms and they danced. She leaned against him allowing Danny to support her body with his arms. He pulled her as close as possible and whispered, "I love you" in her ear.
After a few moments she became restless in his arms. She quickly pushed him away. "No you don't. You don't love me. If you really loved me then you would find me. If you really loved me then you wouldn't have doubted that I was missing. Do you want to know what is happening to me? I'm dying, Danny. I'm going to die because you can't find me. You're too late," she screamed as she started to run for the door.
Before she could reach the door, Danny grabbed her arm. "Wait...," he said desperately but she just faded away into the darkness.
The next thing Danny knew he was running. He didn't know where he was or where he was running to, but he had to find her. There wasn't any time. She was dying. Then he started to hear her voice. She was calling his name and pleading with him to find her. "He's hurting me, Danny. Please find me." The words kept coming. There was a terror in her voice he had never heard before.
The sound of her voice led him to a patch of freshly turned soil. It looked like someone had just been buried. Her voice was coming from deep under the soil. He started to dig with his hands. He was digging and digging...trying to get her out as her voice continued through his head. And then he heard the ringing...high pitched ringing that was drowning out her voice. He couldn't hear her anymore. He could only hear the ringing...over and over and over.
Danny shot up and looked around his living room in a cold sweat. He couldn't catch his breath. He looked around the room hoping to see her, or to hear her voice, but he only heard the ring of his cell phone. "What?" he answered breathlessly.
"Danny? It's Jack. Are you OK?"
"I'm...uh...I don't know. I was sleeping...I guess. What's going on? Have you found her?"
"No, but we do have a pretty good lead. Danny, I want you to listen to me. You have to stay where you are and let us take care of this. I want to be honest with you, but if I can't trust that you will stay there then I can't tell you anything. Do you understand?"
Danny tried to take a couple of deep breaths. He rubbed his eyes and tried to concentrate on Jack's words. "Just tell me what is going on. I'll do whatever you want me to do."
"We traced the van to a PI. Someone has been having Kathryn followed off and on for the last two years. The PI has never seen the man who is paying him to do this. The PI drops off the photos at an apartment building in New Jersey and then he picks up the money. We couldn't trace his phone, so we are headed out to this apartment building to check it out."
"Photos? Someone is paying this PI to take photos of Kathryn....for two years. What the hell? I would have noticed. I would have..."
"Not necessarily. The PI uses a telephoto lens. He was extra careful when you were around Kathryn. And it wasn't all the time. It's been every couple of months."
"Who...who would do this? I don't understand, Jack."
"Probably, some sort of stalker. It could be someone she's prosecuted, or just somone who saw her and became infatuated. You know how this works, Danny. Whoever it is...they have a lot of money to burn on this. We are headed out there now. And there is one more thing..." Jack said hesitantly.
"What is it?" Danny asked wearily.
"Mrs. Kopeckie, your neighbor, is working with a sketch artist right now. She's been letting a bogus exterminator in her bedroom. We think that he used her apartment to gain access to your place. That's why the piece of luggage was missing. What we don't know is whether this stalker hired someone else to do it or did it himself. We know it wasn't the PI. We are close Danny. We are going to find her," Jack said hopefully.
"Call me as soon as you know anything else," Danny said quietly.
"I will. I promise. Just stay put."
When Jack hung up the phone, Vivian asked, "How did he take it?"
"I don't know. I don't know if I should have told him or not. He's just going to stress over this now."
"He was already doing that, Jack. It's better to keep him informed."
Jack just nodded as they followed Martin, Samantha, and Jamison to the apartment building.
After about twenty more minutes of driving, they pulled into a large commercial apartment complex. They parked in front of a bank of mailboxes. They all exited the cars, and Jamison said, "It's #52 but he's probably already picked up the latest pictures." He then handed Martin the key. Martin took the key and opened the mailbox using latex gloves.
"Nothing," he called out. "How do we find out what apartment this box goes to?"
"I'm on it," Samantha said, "We need to talk to an apartment manager. There is one on-site in apartment 3911D. It's late...so hopefully he or she is home sleeping." They got back in the cars and drove around until they found 3911D.
Samantha went up to the door and knocked. A wearing-looking young woman opened the door as Samantha flashed her badge. Jack looked on from the car as the woman brought a long list to the door. Samantha wrote down some information, and took a key from the woman. Then she came back to the cars. "The mailbox is for apartment 2206C. It right up the road here. The renter's name is Brian Reynolds. She says she has no idea who he is. She's never seen the tenant who lives there."
"OK...let's go," Jack said as they continued to drive to 2206C.
When they drove up to the dark apartment building, they all exited the cars except for Jamison. They quietly walked up to the door and drew their guns. Martin had a heavy-duty flashlight. Samantha put the key in the door and Jack called out, "FBI." And then they all entered the dark apartment. VIvian quickly searched for a light switch but couldn't find one. Martin dashed through the apartment to make sure no one was in there. Jack pulled out his small flashlight and turned it on to look for a lamp.
Martin came back into the main room, and called out, "Clear. There's noone back there."
"Where are the damn lights in this place?" Jack asked in exasperation as Samantha finally found a light switch in the kitchen.
When she hit it, they all took a few seconds to adjust their eyes. And then they all became overwhelmed as they looked at the walls in the apartment. The walls were covered floor to ceiling with pictures of Kathryn. Some of them were blown up. There were pictures of her outside the DA's office, her home, the grocery store...everywhere. There were pictures with her and Danny both and many with Michael. There was barely any blank wall space. They walked around the apartment in disbelief as they all put on latex gloves.
Samantha walked backed into the bedroom and gasped, "Oh my god."
Jack quickly followed. "What is it?"
Samantha covered her mouth as she looked at large photos of Kathryn and Danny. They were embracing and kissing, but in each photo Danny's face was marked out in bright red paint. "This is sick. Their whole life together, and it hasn't been theirs. This man has been with them the whole time." She then walked over and looked through a box on the bed. "He's definitely been in their apartment. There are earrings, her lingerie, a t-shirt..."
"Trophies...he's collecting things of hers to try to make up for not having her. I guess the trophies weren't enough," Jack said quietly.
"Guys, come take a look at this," Viv called out. She was standing in front of the wall in the living room. "These are old photos. Look...it's her college graduation...school dances...even the wedding she called off. This person has been in her life for a while or he somehow has access to original photos. These aren't copies."
"So, it's probably not someone she prosecuted. We are going to have to question her parents more thoroughly. It's got to be someone in her past," Jack said.
Martin came in from the kitchen. "I...uh...I found a digital video camera in the kitchen. He has a USB cable...so he may have uploaded something from the camera to a laptop maybe? I don't see a computer here. He did tell Jamison that he wanted him to put a camera in their apartment," Martin said in an uncomfortable tone.
"Is the footage still on the camera?" Viv asked.
"I don't know. I didn't want to be the one to look," Martin replied.
"I'll check it out. We need to know what he has one way or the other," Viv said as she went to the kitchen. She turned the camera's power on and looked at the playback display as she rewinded the camera. "It's not in their apartment," she called out. "It shows Danny and Kathryn outside an office building in Manhattan sitting on a park bench. It looks like it is fairly recent."
"OK...Martin call a crime scene team...get them out here ASAP. You coordinate with them here and talk to the neighbors. See if you can get a description of this guy. Viv and Sam, come back to office with me and let's bring that video camera with us. Hopefully, Mrs. Kopeckie has a good sketch for us."
Jack didn't call Danny to tell him about the pictures. He just wasn't sure if Danny could handle anymore bad news. Jack worried because now he knew that Kathryn was in the hands of someone who has been obsessed with her for a very long time. And he couldn't imagine anything more dangerous.
After they got back to the office, Samantha went to follow up on the sketch and Vivian brought Jamison to conference room and asked him to wait until they were sure he wasn't involved. Jack went into his office to start the process of documenting what they just witnessed in that apartment. As he sat in front of his computer still reeling from all the photos in the apartment, Samantha burst into the office with the sketch in hand. "Jack...you won't believe this. We know this guy."
Danny couldn't go back to sleep after Jack called earlier. His mind was racing. He found himself sitting in a chair in front of Michael's bed. Watching him was the only thing that calmed Danny down. Michael looked so peaceful. He had no idea what was going on. He had no idea that his mother might never come home. And Danny felt responsible because he didn't protect her. He couldn't find her. Danny thought he was responsible just like his father was responsible for his mother's death. Danny held his head in his hands as he considered the irony in that thought. A knock at the door stirred Danny from his thoughts.
Danny walked out to the living room and opened the door. Maggie and Kathryn's father, John, were standing at the door. "Hey," Danny said wearily wondering why they would come over in the middle of the night.
"Danny...Agent Malone called us. He asked us to meet him over here, but he didn't tell us anything. Do you know what this is about?" Maggie asked nervously.
Danny just looked at them as they walked through the door. He knew if it was good news then Jack wouldn't have waited to tell them. "I don't know. He hasn't called me, but I'm sure he'll be here soon. Can I...uh...can I get you anything?"
"I could use some coffee," John said as he sat down on the couch. John Kelly was a quiet reserved man. On the inside, he was as distraught and nervous about Kathryn as anyone, but for his wife's sake, he maintained a cool, calm demeanor.
"I'll make it, Danny," Maggie said as she went to the kitchen. "Were you able to get any rest?"
"A little," Danny answered.
"How about Michael? Did he eat well? Did he go down OK?"
"Yeah...he's fine. He has no idea..."
"It's bad, isn't it?" Maggie asked referring to Kathryn.
Danny rubbed his eyes. "Maggie...I..." Before Danny could answer, there was a knock at the door. John got up to answer it.
"Agent Malone, come in," John said.
"Mr. Kelly. Thanks for coming over so soon. I thought it would be easier to tell you all this at the same time."
Danny and Maggie then walked out from the kitchen. Danny made eye contact with Jack and then looked down. He was terrified at the thought of what Jack was going to say.
"Please tell us what is going on Agent Malone," Maggie pleaded.
"Let's sit down," Jack said calmly.
And Danny knew what he was doing. He had seen Jack do it dozens of times. Jack was preparing...preparing them for the worst. Danny could see it in his eyes. If Maggie and John weren't there, then Danny just would have forced Jack to give it to him straight. But that was precisely why Jack asked them to be there. Jack knew that Danny wouldn't lose his cool in front of them. This was the game Jack played. He knew how to handle people. He knew what he needed to do to get them through the hardest time of their lives. As many times as Danny watched Jack do it and marveled at how well he did it, he never thought he be on the receiving end of it.
Maggie and John sat on the couch as Danny and Jack sat opposite of each other. Danny just stared at the floor. He was afraid to make eye contact with Jack. "We traced a black van that had been following Kathryn to a private investigator. This PI had been following Kathryn on and off for two years."
"Following her? What..." Maggie started, but her husband put his hand over hers as if silently telling her to let Jack finish.
"Someone paid this PI to take photos of Kathryn. We found an apartment that belongs to this man. The apartment was covered floor to ceiling with the photos of Kathryn. This man is obsessed with her...with her life. There were photos of her alone and with Danny and Michael. There were also older photos from when she was younger."
Danny rubbed his face in frustration as he thought about what Jack was saying. Finally, he just had to ask, "Where is she, Jack? What happened to her?"
"We still don't know, but we know who has her. We know who the man is," Jack replied as he handed the sketch to Maggie and John.
"Oh my god. This can't be...this can't be. He wouldn't..." Maggie said.
"Who...Who is it?" Danny asked as he looked at the sketch.
"Richard Kendall," John answered in a barely audible voice. "The man Kathryn was going to marry."
"I can't believe it. It must be a mistake. Richard Kendall hasn't spoken to Kathryn in years. John and I just saw him at the country club a few weeks ago. He has a new wife and baby. He's not the type to become obsessed…this is ridiculous," Maggie stated defiantly.
"Your neighbor, Mrs. Kopeckie, positively identified him as the man who has been using her apartment to gain entrance to your bedroom," Jack said as he watched Danny.
Danny stood up and started pacing the room as Maggie continued, "Their bedroom? You think that Richard has been breaking into their apartment?"
"Yes," Jacked replied as he continued to study Danny. "We found several of Kathryn's personal items in the apartment…jewelry, lingerie and other articles of clothing."
"She thought she was losing it," Danny finally said. "She told me she couldn't find certain things. I thought she was just scattered because of all the stress. But he was here…he was in our home. How could I not have known that?"
Maggie then stood and went to Danny. "There has to be a mistake. There just has to be. Richard Kendall wouldn't…"
"Maggie…stop it. Just stop it," John finally said. "The FBI doesn't just pick random suspects. If they say it is Kendall, then it is Kendall. We barely know him, Maggie."
"That's not true. We've known him for years. He was going to marry our daughter, John."
"I know. And she was so tortured on her wedding day because she didn't want to disappoint us. She was going to go through with marrying someone she didn't love because you planned the wedding of the century. She was only with him because she thought he was a part of some plan that we wanted for her. But we never really knew him, and neither did she. And to be honest, I never really liked him," John said as he looked at Jack.
"Why not?" Jack asked.
"He always acted like Kathryn was some sort of prize. When she wanted to go to law school, he tried to talk her out of it. I thought he was a bit controlling with her, but then I didn't think I would ever think any man was good enough for her…so I never pushed it," he replied as he glanced at Danny. "I just wanted her to be happy. But I was relieved when she called it off with Kendall. I thought she was better off going to law school and being on her own for a while."
"You've never told me that," Maggie said with surprise.
"Yes, I did. You just never listened, Maggie."
Maggie sat down stunned at all she was learning. Then Jacked continued. "Another reason I think it is Kendall is because of the e-mail. I read that e-mail over and over again because something didn't sound right in it. This morning when I interviewed Kendall, he said that Kathryn rebelled against the life she thought you wanted for her," he said as he looked at John and Maggie. "The e-mail has almost the same words that Kendall used."
John stood up and looked at Jack and then Danny. "What do we do now? Do we arrest him? How do we knew he hasn't…"
Danny looked down as he heard the desperation in John's voice. Danny knew it was possible and maybe even probable that Kathryn was already gone. And even if she wasn't, he didn't want to think about what Kendall may have done to her.
"I have an agent sitting outside his house. We know he is in there right now. We are working on deep background. We need to find out as much about him as possible before I can take another step. Obviously, we hope that he leads us to her, so it's important that he not know we are on to him."
"When you talked to him this morning, did he have an alibi?" Danny asked as his mind automatically started going down a list of questions he would ask in any normal missing person's case.
"He did. And Samantha checked it out. His secretary confirmed that he was in his office for most of the day. He says he went to a lunch meeting at noon. We are bringing the secretary back in, and we'll re-verify the lunch meeting."
"He could be working with someone else…someone besides the PI?" Danny added.
"Possibly, but then why would he take the chance to come into your apartment. Why wouldn't the partner do all the dirty work? There are still a lot of things to consider. On that note, I should really get back."
"There has to be something…something I can do. I can come to the office and help with background or…" Danny pleaded.
"Your place is here, Danny," Jack said as he stood up. "You can't do anything that might tip off Kendall. Is that understood?"
"Yes," Danny replied quietly. "Just call us as soon as you know anything."
"I will," Jack responded as he reached the door. "You'll hear from me soon."
Danny sat down on the couch next to Maggie. She hadn't said a word in quite a while. "They are going to do everything they can to find her. There's no one else I would want looking for her than the people that I work with. They are the best," Danny reassured.
"All this time, I wanted this to be your fault," Maggie finally said as she looked at Danny. "I thought that somehow you brought this on…that it had to be someone connected to your life….your past. And it's actually my fault."
"Kathryn didn't want to go out with him…with Richard. She called me the day after she met him and said that she didn't want to go out with him. But I…I made her do it. I told her that she would embarrass me if she didn't. She was so scared…so unsure of herself, and I manipulated her. She was my little girl, and I wanted her to have the perfect life…or my version of the perfect life. I pushed her into the relationship with Richard. I was so angry with her when she called off the wedding. John didn't let me show her how angry I was, but I felt like she betrayed me by giving it all up. That's why she kept her relationship with you a secret for so long. That's why she didn't want me to know anything about you…because she was afraid I would ruin it for her."
"You couldn't have known that Kendall was capable of this. Maggie…to be honest…I thought the same thing you did. I thought someone in my life had to be involved. This isn't the time to blame yourself. We just have to have hope that they find her and bring her back to us. If it weren't for you Maggie, we wouldn't even be looking for her," Danny said as he touched her shoulder.
Maggie looked at Danny as tears fell from her eyes. "You have no reason to comfort me, Danny. I've done nothing but doubt you all this time."
"And all you've done is love our daughter," John said quietly. "I know I've never said it, but I for one, am glad that she has you. I remember the first time I saw her face light up when she talked about you, and I thought this is what I want for her. I wanted her to feel that way forever. You're a good man, Danny. And you've taken good care our daughter and our grandson. We should never doubt you."
"Thank you. That means a lot to me," Danny responded slightly uncomfortable with John's show of feelings. "How about that coffee? I'll get it. It's going to be a long night."
Jack returned to the office to find Samantha and Vivian in a flurry of activity especially considering it was two in the morning. "Anything new?" Jack asked as he walked into the bullpen.
"Yes, but first, tell us how Danny is doing?" asked Vivian.
"He is handling it better than I he has any right to. I think it helped that Kathryn's parents were there. He stayed strong for them."
"Well, I've been doing deep background on Kendall. You're going to find this interesting. Kendall married Meryl Whitney a year ago. They got married in a small ceremony two weeks after Danny and Kathryn got married. Nine months to the day they got married….they had a child. Now take a look at this," Vivian said as she handed Jack a photo. "It's Meryl Whitney Kendall. Look at her hair, her face….hell….she's even the same height as Kathryn. It's disturbing how much they look a like."
"Kendall married Meryl after Kathryn wasn't available anymore. He was trying to substitute for Kathryn. Maybe he was waiting for Kathryn to become completely available, but then she never did because she married Danny. And then eventually, the substitute wasn't good enough," Jack said as his mind raced with possibilities.
"I spoke to the secretary again. I don't know if it was the late hour or what, but she admitted that Kendall has a private entrance to his office. He could have left and returned without being seen, but she says that she did see him leave at noon for the lunch meeting. And we know he was at the Waldorf for lunch because we saw security video. So, I think he did it before noon. He grabbed her…maybe he drugged her…and then stashed her somewhere until he was done with work. We didn't talk to him until the next morning…that gave him plenty of time to…I don't even want to think about it," Samantha said as she closed her eyes and shook her head.
"Have we heard from Martin?" asked Jack.
"Yes. He called from Kendall's house. There hasn't been any movement since he saw Kendall enter the house around 11," replied Vivian.
Jack stood there and tried to put together all the pieces in his mind. Part of him thought that they should wait it out with Kendall, and eventually he would lead them to Kathryn. But what if Kendall was done with her, and she was dying or already dead.
"What else do we have on Kendall's background? Does he have a record or any old complaints against him?" Jack asked.
"Nothing. He's squeaky clean," Vivian replied.
Jack sighed. "Was Martin able to get anyone to identify him at the apartment building?"
"Yes. Everyone he showed the picture to recognized Kendall as the man who goes in and out of that apartment. He's definitely our guy, Jack." Samantha responded.
"Then I don't think we have a choice. We have to get a warrant to search his house and office. And bring him in for questioning. We can't wait anymore. Hell…she could be in his house for all we know."
Both Viv and Samantha nodded in agreement.
"Viv…wake up a judge. Get a warrant and then have a crime scene team meet us. Sam, let's go meet Martin at Kendall's home."
Viv picked up the phone as Samantha followed Jack out of the office.
An hour later, Jack, Martin and Samantha were waiting outside Kendall's house waiting for Jack's cell phone to ring. All three should have been extremely tired, but they were running on a nervous energy. Samantha jumped slightly at the shrill sound of Jack's cell phone. "Malone."
"Jack, we got it. We got the warrant. I'm headed over to Kendall's office now. A crime scene team is headed over to you," Viv said.
"Great. Thanks," Jack said and then hung up the phone. "We got it. Let's go. I'll talk to Kendall. You two start searching the house."
They all drew their guns as they approached the door, and then Jack rang the doorbell. After a few moments, the front porch light turned on as Kendall opened the door.
"Mr. Kendall, put your hands in the air and step back from the door," ordered Jack. "We have a warrant to search your house to investigate the disappearance of Kathryn Taylor."
Richard Kendall, a tall man in his mid-thirties with light brown hair, put his hands up and stepped away. "Whoa…whoa…what the hell is going on? I told you earlier…I don't know anything about Kathryn."
Jack, Martin and Samantha all entered the house. When they saw that Kendall wasn't armed, they put away their guns. "Yeah? Well you and I are going to talk about that while they search your house. Let's sit down."
Before Samantha left the room, she asked, "Mr. Kendall, where are your wife and daughter?"
"Uh…they are visiting her parents in Nantucket. They aren't here. Thank god…Meryl would be quite alarmed by this display."
"I bet she would," Samantha commented as she left the room.
"Where were you yesterday at 11 a.m.?" Jack asked.
"As I said earlier, I was in my office."
"You didn't leave out of your private office entrance?"
"No, I didn't," Kendall replied surprised that Jack knew about the entrance.
"Did anyone see you in your office? Your secretary says she didn't see you."
"I was alone doing paper work. That is not unusual, Agent Malone."
"Do you employ a private investigator, Mr. Kendall?"
"No, what on earth would I need a private investigator for?"
Jack laughed slightly and shook his head. "You are good, Mr. Kendall. I almost believe you and I know you are lying. How about Mrs. Kopeckie? She lives in Kathryn Taylor's apartment building. Do you know her?"
"This is ridiculous. Should I call my lawyer here? What are you accusing me of?"
"You have every right to an attorney, Mr. Kendall, but at this point, we are just talking. I just want to clear a few things up. That is all."
"I've never been in Kathryn's apartment building," Kendall replied tersely.
"OK…how about an apartment complex in New Jersey. Does that ring a bell?" Jack asked in an annoyed tone.
"Well, they know you there, and so does Mrs. Kopeckie," Jack said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out the sketch. "Are you going to continue to lie to me and tell me this isn't you?"
Richard took the sketched and glanced at it. "This could be anyone. I have one of those average faces, Agent Malone."
"Do you want to know what we found in that apartment in New Jersey?"
"Sure. Why not? I have nothing else better to do," Kendall said sarcastically.
"Some sick bastard put pictures up all over of Kathryn…from floor to ceiling. You want to know what we think of men who do things like that…men who become obsessed? They are weak, impotent men who can only get it up if they are in a fantasy…because they can't handle the real thing. You couldn't please Kathryn when you had her in the flesh so you spent the last five years fantasizing about her….until you just couldn't take it anymore," Jack said as he stared down Richard.
Richard broke from Jack's stare and looked at his feet. Then he started to laugh. "You are really off-base, Agent Malone. Kathryn and I had a good relationship with a healthy sex life, but it didn't work out. We've both moved on. I have a wife now and a beautiful daughter. Is it my fault that she left left her husband and child? Obviously, her husband was the one who couldn't satisfy her."
"Let's talk about your wife, Meryl, for a moment. Two years ago, her driver's license photo showed a plain looking young woman with brown hair and green eyes. I barely recognized her in her wedding photo…the blonde hair and blue contacts. Does Meryl know that she is Kathryn's replacement?"
"Who's the sick bastard now? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, Agent Malone."
Jack paused for a moment. Kendall wasn't going to be easy to break. Just as he was about to ask another question, Martin interrupted. "Jack."
"Don't go anywhere," Jack said as he rose and walked out to the foyer. "What do you got?"
"We just checked the trunk of his car. We found this stuck in the corner," Martin said as he held up a vintage, platinum locket on a long chain.
"Is it Kathryn's?"
Martin didn't answer. He just opened up the locket with his gloved hands to show two small pictures: one of Michael and one of Danny.
Back at Danny's apartment, Danny found himself pacing from room to room. He'd watch Michael for a while then he would walk to the kitchen and living room. Maggie and John had both fallen asleep on the couch. Danny was truly touched by what her parents said to him earlier. He had been waiting to hear it for a long time, but he knew that it wasn't really true. He hadn't taken care of Kathryn. If he would have, then she would be here. He would have know that someone was following her. He would have known she was in danger. Danny felt like such a failure.
Danny went in to the bathroom to splash cold water on his face. As he was toweling off his face, he saw Kathryn in the bathtub. He knew it wasn't real. It was just another memory flashing through his mind. He remembered one night right after they got married. Kathryn had an especially hard day at work. She lost a very tough case. He told her to relax and take a bath while he put Michael down for the night.
Danny walked into the bathroom and watched Kathryn for a few moments. The steam and bubbles surrounded her as she lay in the tub with her eyes closed. Danny was about to walk out and leave her alone when she opened her eyes.
"Where are you going?" Kathryn asked.
"I was just going to let you relax...alone. I'll clean up the kitchen."
"The kitchen can wait. Why don't you join me? I don't want to be alone," she responded quietly.
Kathryn was just the opposite of Danny. When Danny had a hard case, he wanted to get away. He didn't want to talk about it. He wanted to be alone. When Kathryn was having a hard day, she wanted Danny. So he undressed and sank into the hot bath with her. He layed at the other end of the tub and started to massage her feet. "Are you going to be OK?"
"I guess. I just hate losing. It's not right. That jerk is going to hurt someone again...and there's nothing I can do," she replied as she tilted her head back to enjoy the foot massage.
"I'm sorry. I know it's frustrating."
"At least it's easier now. It's easier to deal with because it isn't my whole life anymore," she said as Danny pulled her legs gently so she was closer to him. "I can come home and look at Michael...everything else just falls away. I know as long as I have you and Michael, nothing else matters."
Danny nodded and smiled. "I know the feeling," he responded as they were just inches from each other now with her legs wrapped around his body.
Kathryn lightly wet his hair and started to play with it, as he kissed her neck lightly. "What are you doing?" he asked as she continued to run her fingers through his hair.
"Your hair...It's like I can create a piece of art of something," Kathryn replied as she put some bubbles on his head and giggled at the sight.
"Don't make fun of my hair. It has a mind of its own. You know I'm sensitve about that," he said as he smiled with mock embarrassment.
She laughed and they started to kiss. "I love your hair...every last crazy strand and I love you more than life, Danny Taylor."
Danny pulled her even closer and replied, "I love you too, baby."
Danny ended up sitting on the floor of the bathroom just staring off into space. All he could remember were the good memories. All the bad stuff between them was gone. He just wanted her back. He needed her back. He promised himself he would never make her sad again if she just came back to him. Just then, his cell phone rang.
"Hello," Danny answered quickly.
"Danny, it's Jack. We...uh...just arrested Kendall."
Jack heard Danny sigh heavily before asking, "What did you find?"
"Kathryn's locket...in the trunk of Kendall's car."
"I gave that to her for her first Mother's Day. She never takes it off," Danny whispered to himself more than Jack. "Did you...uh...did you find any blood?"
"The CSU team is looking for that. I have Kendall in an interrogation room. He's denying everything right now, but I'll get him to talk," Jack replied knowing that Danny was fully aware of how dire the situation was. "Are Kathryn's parents still with you?"
"Um...yeah...they fell asleep. I'll tell them about this when they wake up."
"Actually, as much as I don't want to do this, I need you to come down here. Kendall had some video of you and Kathryn, and we need you to tell us exactly when it was shot so I can figure out exactly when Kendall set this in motion. There has to be a reason he did this now." And then Jack added, "But that's it, Danny. You come down, watch the tape, and go home. Got it?"
"Yeah, I got it. I'll be there in twenty minutes," Danny said as he hung up the phone.
After Jack hung up the phone, he headed down to the interrogation room. He watched Kendall through the two-way mirror for a minute. The man looked completely unphased like he didn't have a care in the world. Then Jack stepped into the room. "Is your lawyer on his way, Mr. Kendall?"
"No. I didn't call him. I have nothing to hide, Agent Malone," Richard replied cooly.
"Nothing to hide, huh? Hmmmm. That's interesting," Jack said as he took a seat. "If you have nothing to hide, then what to you make of this?" Jack took a plastic bag out of his pocket. Richard looked at the open locket inside the bag.
"I've never seen that before in my life."
"Really? Are you sure about that? Because we found it in the trunk of your car. How did Kathryn's locket get there, Richard?"
Richard looked down and shook his head. "This is...unbelievable. I knew I never should have gotten involved with her again. I knew it was mistake."
Jack looked at Richard with a surprised expression as he made the admission. "What was a mistake?"
"Look...I ran into her that morning. She made me swear not to tell anyone. She was very depressed and frantic to get out of town. So I helped her. The locket must of come off when we were taking her overnight bag out of the trunk. Or, maybe she just threw it away. She seemed very intent on leaving her life behind. She was a very unhappy woman," Richard said emphatically.
"You ran into her? And she, all of sudden, asked you for help to leave town? Do you think I am stupid, Kendall?"
"I don't know. Are you? She was desperate. She said she couldn't trust anyone else. And that it must of been some kind of karma that we ran into each other that day...because she needed someone to trust. She needed my help."
"Where did she go?"
"I don't know. I gave her some money and took her to the airport. I didn't see her after that."
"What time did you do this?"
"Around 11 that morning."
"You're a damn liar, Kendall. You couldn't have run into Kathryn, taken her to the airport and gotten back to your meeting at the Waldorf by noon."
"I saw her at 11, and then we agreed to meet after my meeting. That's when I took her to the airport."
Jack stood up quickly and started to pace the room. He was becoming angrier and angrier by the second. "OK...this is good story, Kendall. Will you take a polygraph?"
Richard looked down and thought for moment. Then he finally shook his head. "No...no way. You people want to protect Taylor. You'll do anything to set me up to take the fall for this. I wouldn't trust your polygraph as far as I could throw it."
"No...I figured you wouldn't," Jack said in an irritated tone. "I'll be right back."
Jack walked out of the room and slammed the door shut. He told the agent standing outside to keep an eye on Kendall and then headed back upstairs. Vivian and Danny were in his office. Danny was watching the video footage of he and Kathryn. They looked up as Jack walked in.
"This was the day before she went missing," Danny said quietly. "We are outside our marriage counselor's office."
Vivian watched as Danny kept rewinding the footage of he and Kathryn sitting on the park bench. Kathryn gets up to walk away and Danny takes her hand. She sits back down and they talk for a few minutes. Kathryn is crying as she and Danny talk. Then they get up and Danny hails a cab for her. They embrace and then she kisses him on the cheek. Before she gets in the cab, he kisses on the forehead and strokes her arms protectively. After he watched it three times, Vivian put her hand over Danny's and said, "That's enough. Let's turn it off."
"This is where we decided to try again. Before that morning, she wanted me to move out. But we talked and she told me how guilty she felt about the miscarriage. She thought it was her fault. I told her it wasn't. We agreed to keep working things out, and that I would stay at the apartment. We were going to be OK," Danny said quietly.
"So, Kendall sees this...and realizes he needs to make his move. Up until that point, he was hoping that you two would separate. But then he sees this, and realizes that's not going to happen. And he can't wait anymore," Jack said as he worked the details in his mind.
Danny nodded in agreement. "What's he been saying? Did you confront him with her locket?"
"Now he says that he did see her that morning, and she asked him to help her leave town. I know he's lying. I asked him to take a polygraph, but he refused. I'm going to head back in there, but I'd like to hear what the CSU team found in that car."
"I'll call over there and get an update," Vivian volunteered. "His office is clean. I think he kept his whole obsession in that apartment."
As Vivian started to dial her cell phone, Jack addressed Danny. "You've been a lot of help. You should probably head on home. Try to get some...."
"Rest? You think I can sleep now? You have to let me stay here, Jack. I'll stay out of the way. I just need to be here as soon as you find out what happened. Don't make me go home. I'm going crazy there, Jack. All I see is her face when I'm there. She's all around me...her scent...everything is there," Danny said desperately.
Jack looked at Danny and saw the anquish in his face. It was so unlike how Danny usually looked. For years, Jack could always count on Danny to make situations lighter. Danny always seemed relaxed even in the most stressful situations. Even when Danny would lose his cool, he would just as quickly regain his composure. Jack knew it was all an act. He knew that deep down Danny had demons -- but on the surface you would never know it. It's what made him a good agent...and what made him one of the most popular among his co-workers. He could make just about anyone smile...even Jack...who often carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. In that moment, Jack was struck by how unfair this all was. What Samantha said earlier about no happy endings was ringing in his ears. If anyone deserved a happy ending after a tough life, it was Danny. Life truly wasn't fair.
"You can stay here in my office. But that's it. If you do anything to get in the way, I'm sending you home."
"Thanks, Jack," Danny replied.
Vivian closed her phone and turned back to them. "They...uh...found blood in the trunk. I'm sorry, Danny. They are rushing the blood and DNA analysis for confirmation. They also found mud in the trunk and on the tires. They are trying to determine where he would have driven. Samantha and Martin are on their way back now."
Danny didn't say a word. He just sat there looking down at his feet.
Jack finally said, "I'm going to take another run at Kendall. Viv...why don't you join me. Danny..."
"I know...I know...stay put. I got it, Jack," Danny interrupted as he still didn't make eye contact.
Vivan and Jacked entered the interrogation room and sat across from Richard Kendall.
"Welcome back. Where's the blonde from this morning? She was more my type. I could probably be more open with her," Richard said referring to the first time Jack and Samantha interviewed him.
Vivian and Jack exchanged glances, and then Jack responded, "Sorry. She's not available. We will have to do."
And then Vivian said, "We found blood in the trunk of your car, Mr. Kendall. Where did it come from?"
"I don't know. Maybe you guys planted it there."
Jack was getting tired of Kendall's mouth. He was tired of playing games. "Where is she? Where's Kathryn?"
"I told you...I dropped her off at the airport."
"What about the pictures, the video, all of her personal items in that apartment. What were you doing with all those things?" Vivian asked.
"I don't know what you are talking about. They aren't mine. I don't have an apartment."
"You know...we have enough evidence against you right now to bring you up on kidnapping charges. We don't need Kathryn to do it. You'll go away for a very long time, but if you cooperate with us...if we get Kathryn back...a deal could be made. Maybe you just got caught up in the moment. She represented something to you that you couldn't have anymore...and you couldn't handle it. So you snapped...and you took her. You could probably afford a very good doctor to testify on your behalf. If we get her back, you could avoid a long sentence. Think about it, Richard," Jack pleaded.
Richard paused and thought for a few moments. Right before their eyes, he turned from calm and cool to evil and dangerous. "Where's Danny right now?" Richard asked with a sinister grin..
"Why?" Jack replied.
"I didn't plan on you guys putting all this together so soon. I give you a lot of credit...tracking Jamison's van. That idiot. It just shows you can never trust anyone to do something right. If Jamison hadn't been so stupid, I would have had more time. It's really not fair...after I planned everything so well," Richard said matter-of-factly.
"What was your plan?" Viv asked as she started to feel sick from what she was hearing from Kendall.
"Telling either of you isn't part of the plan. Don't take it personally, but I need to speak with Danny. He's the only one I'll talk to."
"That's not possible. You'll have to tell us. Tell us where Kathryn is," Jack demanded.
Richard laughed sinisterly. "You guys have been so smart up until right now. Don't blow it. I'm holding all the cards here. I know exactly where my Kathryn is...and I will only tell Danny. That's been my plan all along."
Jack just stared at Richard for a few moments. He wasn't sure what to do. He knew that Kendall wanted to destroy Danny. He could see it in Kendall's eyes. Could he really put Danny through that? Did he have a choice? If they didn't play Kendall's game, then they would never know where Kathryn was.
"Would you excuse us for a second?" Jack said as he and Vivian rose from their chairs.
"No problem. I'm not going anywhere, but I could use a latte or even a coffee would do," Kendall said as Jack and Vivian left the room.
"We can't put Danny in there, Jack. We can't do it," Vivian said as soon as he shut the door.
"Do we have a choice? He's not going to tell us."
"Well then we will track the evidence. We'll look at the evidence in his car. We'll find receipts. We'll do whatever we have to so we can find her without Kendall."
"That could be days...weeks, Viv. We can't wait that long. What if she is still alive? What if she is bleeding to death as we speak?"
Vivian looked down and sighed as she followed Jack back to his office. Danny was still in there.Martin and Samantha had returned from Kendall's house and were sitting with him.
"Did the CSU team get anything more from the car or the house?" Jack asked hopefully.
"They are still analyzing it. But we didn't find anything that tells us where he has been. He's covered his tracks well," Martin replied.
"Sam, did you get a hold of Kendall's wife in Nantucket?" Jack continued as he avoided eye contact with Danny.
"No. I contacted the locals up there. They are going to the house to locate them. I haven't heard back yet," she replied as she looked at Jack with concern. He looked very distracted and at his wit's end.
"OK...well stay on that. I think she may be able to help us. Martin and Viv...stay on the Forensics. Danny...uh...Kendall wants to talk to you. He just admitted to taking her. He says he's been planning it for a long time, and he'll only tell you where she is. I don't think this is a good idea, but I don't think we have any choice," Jack stated as he saw the looks of uneasiness in Martin, Viv and Sam's eyes.
Danny stood up quickly. "Let's go."
"Wait a second. I'm going to insist that I be in there with you. You have to stay calm, Danny...no matter what he says. He wants to get a reaction out of you. He wants to hurt you. All of this may be a rouse...but we have to know one way or another. Are you sure you are up for this?"
"I want her back. I'll do whatever I have to do to make that happen," Danny said as he started for the door.
"Let's go," Jack said as he followed Danny out the door.
"This is a bad idea. Chances are...she is already gone. Kendall is going to torture Danny...for what? Only to lead him to her body," Martin said after they left the room.
"Martin...don't say that. We have to stay positive. We have to believe that we will find her alive," Samantha responded.
"Martin's right. She probably is already gone, but Danny needs to know one way or another. Not knowing...not finding her at all would be a lifetime of torture," Vivian said as she walked out of the office.
Danny and Jack made their way downstairs and opened the door to the interrogation room. Kendall looked up as soon as Danny entered. "Danny...we finally meet. I feel like I already know you. Agent Malone...I said I wanted to talk to Danny alone."
"There's no chance in hell I am leaving, Kendall. So just forget that I am here," Jack said as he took a seat in the corner of the room. Jack was worried Danny might go off on Kendall, and he couldn't let that happen.
"Fair enough. I guess giving Danny and I a chance to talk is good enough," Richard replied as he watched Danny take the seat across from him.
"Where is she, Kendall?" Danny asked quietly.
"Not so fast, Agent Taylor. I'm leading this interrogation...not you. You always have to be in control, right? Well not this time. You'll know where my Kathryn is when I want you know where she is...and not a moment sooner," Richard replied as he smiled at Danny. "Now...where to begin...at the beginning would be best...I guess. Did Kathryn tell you how we met?"
Danny cocked his head in aggravation. He hated playing these games, but he didn't have a choice. "I don't remember. I don't think so."
"We met at college...but I was aware of her way before then. She was an angel back then...so innocent and pure. I first saw her when she was fifteen years old. She was at the pool at our country club. She had a on a light blue bathing suit. She didn't flaunt her body like all those other little whores there. She was demure...but there were moments when you would see the woman inside of her. I knew in that moment that I wanted her, but I was twenty-two and I didn't think I could get away with taking her at such a young age. Even if she was willing...it would have been illegal. And I had a future to think of...so I waited and I watched her. I didn't really feel an urgency in claiming her because she was such a good girl. She didn't waste her time dating boys with raging hormones. Her mother said she was too shy. And then fate stepped in and sent her to the college I was attending. I knew at that moment that we were meant to be together," Richard said emphatically.
Danny sighed impatiently. Finding out that Kendall was obsessed with Kathryn when she was fifteen completely disturbed Danny, but none of that mattered now. He just wanted Kendall to tell him where she was. "Is this really necessary?" Danny asked. "Do I really have to know the whole history of your sick obsession?"
Richard looked at Danny with agitation. "I could stop talking right now and you would never know where she is. Could you live with that? Could you tell your bastard son that you had the chance to find his mother, but blew it because you are an impatient asshole? And for the record, you don't want to call me sick, Taylor. Because you and I are more alike than you think. And I don't think you would ever consider yourself 'sick'."
"You and I are nothing alike."
Richard laughed. "You have no idea, but you will know...if you just shut up for once and listen. Are you going to keep interrupting or do you want to find my Kathryn?"
"That's what I thought. She wasn't very willing at first. She didn't want to go out with me. I think she was afraid...afraid to get in over her head. I was older...more experienced, and that frightened her. But eventually she went out with me, and we started dating. I was crazy about her. And I wanted her more than anything, but she played hard to get. She told me she wanted to wait until she got married. It made me crazy. So I had to get creative."
Danny didn't want to hear anymore. He wanted this to end. He wanted to put his gun in Kendall's mouth and pull the trigger, but he wanted to find Kathryn more...so he kept listening. Jack kept his eyes on Danny the whole time. He couldn't imagine the pain and frustration Danny must have felt.
Kendall continued. "It was her nineteenth birthday. You should have seen her back then, Danny. She's still beautiful now, but back then...there was part of her that was still this little girl with innocence in her eyes. Her parents threw her a birthday party, and I started to give her glass after glass of champagne. As the party wound down, I promised her mother I would get Kathryn home safe. Her mother loves me. I know you have trouble with Mrs. Kelly, but she always liked me. See I'm one of them, Danny, and you're not. It makes a difference. They would never accept some like you for their daughter...someone who was so ashamed of where he came from that he changed his name. Anyway, back to my Kathryn, she was a bit tipsy...dare I say drunk...so she was much more relaxed than usual. But it still wasn't easy. She didn't give up her virginity without a little fight, but that was OK...I liked it like that. She cried for me, Danny. Did she cry the first time you were inside of her?"
Danny didn't respond. He just raked his hands over his face as he tried to remain calm. He remembered Kathryn telling him that she never enjoyed sex with Richard, but she never said that he hurt her.
"See that's the first thing that links us, Danny. We've both kissed her...touched her. We've both been inside of her."
"We aren't linked, Kendall. I've never hurt her," Danny whispered.
"Well, my Kathryn didn't think that I hurt her either. She didn't really remember her first time. She woke up next to me, and I told her that we made love. She was upset, at first, but I convinced her that she was willing and that the pain and blood were normal for her first time. She was so naive. I don't think her mother ever told her anything about sex. And everything started to fall into place after that. I asked her to marry me, and she said yes. Her mother planned a big wedding. I thought that all of my dreams were going to come true. And then I made a colossal mistake. I should have just let her go to law school without a fight, but I didn't want her out in the world like that. I wanted her to belong to me. I wanted her home with me. So I got a little angry when she applied to law school. And that's when she started to slip away. So stupid of me. On our wedding day, when she didn't walk down that aisle, I wanted to kill her. That night I dreamed of strangling her. But then I had a realization, if I could get her once...then if I was patient...I would get her again."
"So I watched as she went to law school, and started at the DA's office. And just like when she was a teenager, she didn't waste her time with meaningless relationships. Time and time again, I would watch men bring her home...and she would leave them at the door. I felt like she was waiting for me without even knowing it...that is...until I saw her with you," he said with a frown. "I didn't follow Kathryn all the time back then. I did have a life, and I hadn't thought of getting a PI yet. So I just followed her sporadically. One night, I watched her leave work, and I followed her to this outdoor cafe. She stood in front of the restaurant clearly waiting for someone. And then there you were. You came up behind her, kissed her neck and put your arms around her. Then she turned around and kissed you. The way you looked at her and the way you touched her...I knew...I knew in that moment that you already slept with her. And in that moment, I wanted to kill you. I didn't care who you were or how it happened. I just wanted you dead, and out of my Kathryn's bed."
"So why didn't you do it? Why didn't you try to kill me back then?"
"That's a good question. First, I found out you were FBI...and I figured it might not be as easy as I thought to take you out. And second, I realized pretty quickly that you were going to screw up the relationship on your own. I mean...you two...would break up and then make up...and break up again. I remember Kathryn's mother telling my mother that Kathryn was involved with someone who either made her incredibly happy or incredibly sad. She didn't think it would last. So I held out hope. And then you made it really easy for me and started to drink. You are one mean bastard when you drink, Taylor. I knew my Kathryn wouldn't put up with that. Of course, then you went and knocked her up...which was a stroke of brilliance, my friend. If I had just been a little more industrious around the time of our wedding, and gotten Kathryn pregnant...she would never have walked out on me. I have to tell you...when I found out Kathryn was pregnant...I wanted that bastard dead more that anything. I would watch Kathryn and wish that she would fall down a flight of stairs. But it didn't happen, and she ended up forgiving you. See I think deep down, Kathryn just pitied you...that's why she always came back to you...because she saw poor, little orphan Danny...and her heart wouldn't let you go because you didn't have anyone else."
"Kendall...are you going to wrap this up sometime soon? I still don't see the point of this," Danny said as he became more and more angry.
"The point? The point is that you need to know what brought us here together. You need to know what you took from me. She was mine, Danny. And I was willing to do whatever I could to get her back. That's the same way you feel right now, isn't it? You'd do anything to see her again...to touch her again. That's how I've felt for the last eight years, Danny. Welcome to my world. You've felt this before, haven't you? You felt like this when she was with that jerkoff Wyatt. You were so jealous that you couldn't see straight. You couldn't stand the thought of another man touching her. I know exactly how you feel, Danny. You feel what I feel...that's what links us."
"What do you want to hear? That you're right? That we are alike? Then...yes...Richard...we are alike. We've both loved the same woman. We both wanted her. We both did whatever we had to do to get her," Danny yelled as he started to feel the bile rising in his throat. He knew it was a lie. He would never hurt Kathryn even if it meant letting her go. But he was willing to say anything to Kendall to get this over with.
Richard started to laughed almost uncontrollably. Danny watched him in desperation...his eyes wild with worry and anger. Then Richard finally said, "When I saw you on that park bench that morning, I knew I had to make my move. All this time, I tried to subsitute for Kathryn. I tried to live vicariously through you. I would watch you kiss her. I would watch you touch her, and I would imagine it was me. And then I saw your marriage fall a part after you let Hanes beat her up and she miscarried your baby, and I thought I had waited long enough and finally she would dump your sorry ass. She finally would stop feeling sorry for you. But then there you were again...on that park bench convincing her to try again. And Kathryn, stupid Kathryn, fell for it. She is still so naive. I couldn't wait any longer. I had to take her. So I had Jamison follow her the next morning."
Flashback to Day of Disappearance:
Kathryn walked out of her father's office building still upset from her encounter with Evan Wyatt. She turned the corner to look for cab when she ran directly into Richard Kendall. At first Kathryn was a bit disoriented. "I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going."
"Kathryn? Kathryn Kelly? Is that you?" Richard said as he kept hold of her arms.
"Richard? Oh my gosh...how are you? It's been a long time," she replied as she gave him an uncomfortable half hug.
"I'm great...just great. Actually, I should probably say Kathryn Taylor. My mother tells me you are married now with a beautiful son. Congratulations."
"Thank you. Yes, he is beautiful...I have to say. How about you? Are you married? Kids?"
"Yes...I married last year, and we have a three month old daughter."
"Good for you, Richard. I'm really happy for you. I'm glad you have the family you always wanted."
"Well...it was good to see you. Are you OK, Kath? You look a little frazzled."
"Oh...yes...I'm fine. I just ran into someone I didn't want to see a few minutes ago. But I am fine now."
"Well...maybe...if you have time for lunch, we could grab a bite?"
"I'm sorry. Maybe some other time? I have to get home. I have to pick up my son from my mother's..."
"Well she just lives a few blocks from here, right?"
"Yes. She's not far...I'll just grab a cab."
"Nonsense, my car is right here. I can drop you off. I'm headed in that direction, and it gives me a great opportunity to show you the newest baby pictures. What do you say?"
Kathryn hesitated for a moment, and finally replied, "Sure, that sounds great." Then she followed Richard to the car and got in.
End of Flashback.
"It was just that easy. She's still so trusting. She had no idea. When she was looking at the pictures of my daughter, I injected her with a tranquilizer. She was out like a little light. I put her in the trunk and left her in the parking garage while I went to my meeting at the Waldorf. Then I drove her to a remote location after work, so we could get reacquainted. When she woke up, she was quite surprised. But today, she agreed to call you and then I helped her send that e-mail."
"Please tell me where she is, Richard. You have a child now. Would you want your child to grow up without her mother?" Danny asked desperately.
"Are you begging, Danny? I bet you've never begged for anything in your life. You have too much foolish pride."
Danny shook his head. "I'm begging you, Richard. Tell me where she is."
"My parents have a house in the Hamptons. I took my Kathryn there once a long time ago. I thought she'd be happier to go back there, but I don't think she appreciated it. She's turned into quite a fighter, Danny..."
Danny didn't wait for Kendall to finish. He stood up and walked out with Jack. Jack opened his phone as they walked down the hall, "I need a location on for the Kendall family vacation home in the Hamptons."
Within minutes, they had an address. Jack and Danny drove quickly to the affluent area on Long Island. Martin, Samantha and Vivian all followed in a separate car. It was almost dawn. The sun was starting to break over the ocean as they drove up to the large home. As soon as Danny exited the car, he started to call out for her. "Kathryn....Kathryn...."
The whole team fanned out and started to search for her. Jack and Vivian went into the house calling Kathryn's name. For some reason, Danny didn't think she was inside. He went into the backyard, and looked in a storage shed. He called her name over and over again until finally he saw it. A patch of freshly turned soil...just like in his dream. He sank to his knees and started to dig. Martin and Samantha joined him as they exchanged horrified glances. Finally, they hit a large, plastic container in the shallow grave. As Danny opened the lid, he started to sob when he saw the pale, lifeless body.
Danny pulled the body out of the box and cradled her in his arms as he tears streamed down his face. “No…god…no…please,” he cried.
And then he really looked at her face…it wasn’t Kathryn. She looked like Kathryn, but it wasn’t her. Danny let the body go from his arms as he fell back stunned. “It’s not…”
“Danny…it’s Meryl Kendall…Richard’s wife,” Samantha said as she knelt next him and grasped his shoulder. “It’s not Kathryn.”
“He killed…he killed his wife,” Martin said as he stood there shocked.
“The baby…where’s the baby?” Samantha said quickly as she checked the container. “Not here.”
Jack and Vivian approached them. Vivian let out a small gasp when she saw Danny sitting next to the dead body. He was just staring at it almost completely in shock.
Jack dialed his phone. “We need a coroner and crime scene team at the Kendall home in Long Island now.”
“Vivian…we need to find this woman’s parents. Hopefully, they have the baby. Samantha and Martin…let’s continue the search of this place,” Jack ordered trying to maintain composure. And then he walked toward Danny. He looked completely broken as he looked at his dirt-stained hands. “Danny…Danny…come on…let’s get you out of here.”
Danny shrugged Jack away and jumped to his feet. “No…I have to find her. She has to be here.”
“She’s not here. Kendall played us, Danny.”
“Then, we have to talk to him again. We have to make him tell us…”
“I’ll talk to him this time. I’m going to take you home.”
And then Danny’s cell phone rang. He opened it and said, “What?”
“Danny, it’s Agent Riley. I’ve been watching Kendall. He just insisted that I call you. He wants to talk to you.”
“Put him on.”
As soon as Kendall got on the line, he asked, “Didn't quite find what were looking for, did you Danny boy?”
“You sick son of a bitch. How could you….”
Kendall interrupted. “How could I what? Kill Meryl? Well, she served her purpose, and I was through with her. Once I had the real thing, I didn’t need Kathryn’s replacement anymore. Maybe I should have kept her alive for you. We could have just traded,” he replied in sick amusement.
“Where’s your daughter? Is she safe?” Danny asked as he thought of the helpless baby.
Kendall sighed heavily. “Danny…Danny…Danny…you’re always on the job aren’t you? Don’t worry…my family is now completely in tact. I have my beautiful wife, Kathryn and our daughter. Everything is perfect now.”
“But you don’t really have them. You are going to jail, Kendall. You have to tell us where they are. You are sick, man. You need help. I can help you. Just tell me where they are?”
“Yes, you can help me. And, in turn, I will help you.”
“I want you to pick me up, and then I will take you to Kathryn. We have to do this alone…just you and me. Malone can’t be there. You will see that she is happy now, and we are fine…and then you will help us leave the country. If you don’t help, I will kill Kathryn. You have to let her go, Danny. If you let her go…you let her live.”
Danny looked at Jack as he received the instructions. He was afraid Jack wouldn’t go for it, but he would have to convince him. “We are on our way,” Danny said before he closed the phone. “We have to get back to the office. Kendall is going to take me to her.”
“You’re out of your mind. He won’t take you to her, Danny. You can’t trust him.”
“I don’t trust him, but I know he hasn’t killed her yet. This is the only way. I have to play the game, Jack. I have to do exactly what he says, and that means going with him alone.”
“I won’t let you do it. I won’t release Kendall from custody. We’ll follow the evidence to find Kathryn.”
“You won’t release him? How could you…? What if this was someone you loved? What if it was one of your daughters? What if it was Samantha?” Danny asked Jack with a knowing look. “You would do whatever you could to save them even if it meant risking your life. You’ve done it before, Jack. You can’t stop me from doing this. You can’t…,” Danny pleaded as he emotions ranged from anger to despair.
Jack’s resolve to protect Danny diminished as Danny pleaded his case. Danny wouldn’t have any life left if he didn’t do whatever he could to save Kathryn. Deep down, Jack knew that better than anyone. “We’ll track the car using GPS. We’ll be less than ten minutes behind you, Danny. That’s the only way I’ll allow it.”
“Agreed…let’s go,” Danny replied as he and Jack headed toward the car.
An hour later, Jack brought Kendall down to the parking garage where Danny was waiting by the car. “Ready for a little trip, Danny? I, for one, couldn’t be more ready,” Kendall said as he stared into Danny’s weary eyes. “The cuffs need to come off, Agent Malone.”
“That wasn’t a part of the deal,” Jack replied.
“There is no deal, Agent Malone. This is just how it has to be…unless you want Danny to search for Kathryn for the rest of his miserable life.”
“No cuffs, Jack,” Danny said quietly.
Jack removed the cuffs, and then Richard got in the passenger seat.
“Be careful, Danny.”
“I will. Thank you, Jack,” Danny said sincerely. And then he added, "If anything happens...."
"I'll make sure he is taken care of," Jack said knowing that Danny was thinking of Michael. Then he watched as Danny got in the car.
“Before we go, I need you to do two things. First, throw your cell phone out the window,” Richard ordered. Danny took out his phone and tossed it out the window. “Second, I need your gun.”
Danny looked over at Richard and shook his head. “You’re crazy? There’s no way…”
“Do you want to see Kathryn or not? We can end this right now, Danny. I’ll miss Kathryn, but knowing that you aren’t with her either will be enough of a comfort.”
Danny sighed as he unholstered his gun and handed it to Richard knowing that he could be signing his death sentence.
“Good boy. Now we are ready to go.”
At first, Danny drove in relative silence with the exception of getting a few directions from Richard. After Richard directed him to the freeway, Danny finally asked, “Where are we headed?”
“North,” Kendall replied sarcastically. “You’ll know more when you need to know more, and not a moment sooner.”
Danny shook his head in annoyance, but kept his eyes on the road.
“This makes you crazy, doesn’t it? Not being in control…not knowing what is going on,” Kendall said as he smiled. “Observing people is a funny thing. You probably already know this because of your job, but you can find out so much by just watching people. You and I never met before today, and yet, I feel like I know you better than I know most people. You try to hide who you really are, but I know what really makes you tick.”
Danny didn’t really want to engage with Kendall. He didn’t care to hear about all Kendall had observed while watching Kathryn for all that time, but he knew that was the best way to gain an advantage in the situation. So, he answered, “I doubt that. I doubt that you could really know anything by looking at some pictures.”
“It was so much more than the pictures, Danny. It was the way you looked at her, the way you touched her, the way you controlled her…”
“I never controlled her, Kendall,” Danny responded quickly wanting to distance himself as far as he could from Kendall.
“Sure you did. Kathryn has a way about her…a vulnerability…an innocence. It makes men like us want her. We want to possess her.”
“You’re wrong,” Danny whispered.
“Am I? You just don’t want to see that we are alike.”
“I’m in love with her. I’m not obsessed with her.”
Kendall laughed at that, and then replied, “There’s a fine line between love and obsession. You can’t tell me that when you screw her that you don’t like the feel of controlling what is inside of her.”
Danny didn’t respond.
“I’ll take your silence as agreeance.”
“No. I don’t agree, but I’m not going give you what you want. You want me to tell you what it’s like with her because when you were with her you never really had her,” Danny said as he couldn’t contain his anger anymore. “You had to get her drunk to sleep with her. You raped her. And then you needed her mother to convince her to stay with you. She never wanted you, Kendall. She told me that. She told me that she never loved you. She told me that she was only with you to make her parents happy...and that makes you a crazy, obsessed freak.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Danny saw Kendall swing the gun in his direction. He tried to turn his head, but the butt of the gun connected with the side of his jaw within seconds. The car swerved into the next lane before Danny regained control, and pulled over to the side. Blood was spurting out of his lip. Before he could recover, Kendall swungthe gun again -- this time underDanny's eye. He desperately wanted to retaliate. He wanted to hit back, but he couldn't.
“You are in no position to question me, Taylor. I should kill you right now,” Richard said as he raised the gun to Danny’s temple. “I could drive the rest of the way on my own, pick Kathryn up, and get to Canada before they find your body.”
Danny silently berated himself for opening his big mouth. He couldn’t let it end like this. “She’ll never go with you without a fight, Kendall. She won’t go with you unless she knows that I will take care of Michael. You know that…that’s why you are bringing me to her.”
Richard lowered the gun and replied, “Right. Michael is really the wrench in this whole plan, isn’t he? I know that Kathryn won’t want to leave without him. I actually thought about taking him, too. I thought it was the only way, but he looks so much like you. I couldn’t look at that little bastard’s face every day and know that he was a product of your time with Kathryn.”
“I’ll convince her. I’ll convince her to go with you, Richard. I just want her to be OK. I don’t want to see her get hurt, OK?” Danny said as he thought he would say anything just to get to her.
“OK. Let’s keep driving.”
Danny put the car back in gear and pulled back on to the freeway while holding a napkin against the bleeding wounds on his face. He and Kendall drove in silence for another half an hour until Richard directed him to get off the freeway. They were in upstate New York heading into mountains.
Richard directed Danny down a secluded dirt road to an isolated cabin at the base of a mountain. As Danny put the car in park, Richard pointed the gun at Danny's temple again. "Here are the rules. When we go in there...you don't touch her. You don't talk to her until I tell you to talk to her. And if you try anything...anything...I'll shoot her right in front of you. And then after you watch her die...I'll shoot you, and then your precious son will be an orphan just like you. Now put these on one of your wrists," Richard said as he handed Danny a pair of handcuffs.
"What's this?" Danny asked as he took the cuffs.
"My insurance that you won't try to be a hero. Put them on now," Richard said as he tapped the gun against Danny's head. "One more thing...you're going to tell her that you don't love her anymore. And that she is better off with me. Understood?"
"Yeah...understood," Danny said quietly as his mind raced of what he could do to overtake Richard.
"OK...get out of the car, and put your hands up as you walk to the door."
Danny did as he was told and walked up to the door.
"Open the door," Richard ordered.
Danny walked through the door into a sparsely furnished living room. Richard came in behind him and closed the door. "Where is she?" Danny asked.
"Door on the left," Richard said.
Danny walked toward the door, and turned the knob. "It's locked."
"Right. I'll get that," Richard said as he put the gun to the back of Danny's head, and unlocked the door with his free hand. "Open it."
Danny took a quiet breath as he opened the door. And there she was sitting on the edge of the bed with her head in her hands. When she saw him, her face momentarily lit up. She pushed up off the bed to run to him, but then she saw the wounds on his face and the desperate look in his eyes. Then she saw Kendall coming in right behind him with the gun.
"Stay where you are, Kathryn, or I put a bullet in his head," Richard said coldly.
Kathryn stopped dead in her tracks. Danny's intense eyes told her to keep her distance. While her brain told her to listen, her heart wanted her to run to him because she never thought she would see him again. Tears fell from her eyes as she watched him helplessly as Richard attached the other cuff to the pipe on the other side of the room.
Danny silently winced as he saw Kathryn's tears. Seeing her again was almost too much for him to handle. He truly thought she was dead. And now that he was cuffed and couldn't overtake Kendall, he wasn't sure how he was going to get them out of this.
"What...What are you going to do?" Kathryn asked as she looked at Kendall with confusion.
"Well, Danny has something he wants to say to you. And then you and I, along with little Mara, are going to started our new life together. How are my girls doing?" Richard said as he walked toward the crib that Danny hadn't even noticed was there yet.
"Mara needs her mother, Richard. She's sleeping now, but she misses her mommy. This...this will never work."
"You're her mommy now, Kathryn. All she needs is you. And it looks like you are doing a fine job," he said as he looked at the sleeping baby.
"I'm not her mother, Richard."
"But you are...Danny can attest to that. He found Meryl's body earlier today. She had an unfortunate accident...I'm sorry to say."
Kathryn looked at Danny as fear overcame her. She was scared because she realized that if Richard killed his wife, he was capable of anything. She was scared because she was fairly certain that Richard planned on killing Danny to complete his crazy fantasy.
Richard continued, "Danny read your e-mail yesterday. And although it might be hard at first, he agrees...your relationship must come to an end."
"No...," Kathryn said as she shook her head and started to walk toward them again.
"No...Kathryn...don't," Danny pleaded. "He's right. You were right in your e-mail. We should never have been together in the first place. We're all wrong for each other. You belong with Richard."
"Danny..." Kathryn said as her mind swirled with confusion.
"I know you're concerned about Michael, but he'll be fine. I'll take care of him...you know that. I'm setting you free, so you can start your life with Richard. The life you should have started a long time ago," Danny said as tried to sound sincere for Richard's benefit, but his heart ached as he watched the confusion and hurt in Kathryn's eyes.
Kathryn didn't respond. She just sat back down and put her head in her hands.
"I know this will take some time to process, darling, but it's for the best," Richard added. "We belong together. Deep down, you know that."
Danny couldn't look at Kathryn anymore so he looked down at his feet. Just as Richard was about to continue his plea, his cell phone rang. "Hello," he answered. "Yes...Yes...I have the papers ready. Let me call you back in a minute. I need to locate them."
Richard hung up the phone. "I have some business to take care of to prepare for our trip. I'll be right outside this door. Don't go anywhere," he said as he looked at Danny and smiled. Then he closed the door and locked it.
As soon as he closed the door, Kathryn stood up and ran to Danny. She threw her arms around him as he held her for a moment. He wanted so much to just get lost in this moment and hold her forever, but he knew he couldn't. "Kathryn...Kathryn...we can't. You have to sit down, baby. If he sees us like this, he'll kill us."
Kathryn started to step away as she held his face for a few more moments. Then she sat back down. "What are we going to do?" she asked.
"Jack's ten minutes behind us. They'll set up a perimeter outside and will wait for some kind of signal from me. I didn't anticipate the handcuffs. This makes getting the gun away a little harder."
Kathryn just nodded and finally had to ask, "Is Michael...is he OK? Richard said he would hurt him if..."
"He's fine. He's with your parents and they have an agent with him. He misses you."
Kathryn smiled slightly as she started to cry again. "Are you OK? You look like you're hurt."
"I'm fine. It's nothing...just a scratch. How about you? Did he...did he hurt you?" Danny asked as he feared the answer considering the things he heard Kendall saying earlier.
Kathryn shook her head. "No...he...uh...brought me up here when I was unconscious. When I woke up, the baby was here. He told me that he wouldn't hurt me as long as I took care of the baby. So that's what I've been doing."
"Is she really OK?"
"Yeah, she's doing well," Kathryn answered. "Danny...I was so scared. When I made that phone call...he said he would kill Michael if I tried anything. I couldn't say anything. I was so afraid that you would believe..."
Danny looked down as he remembered that for a few hours he did believe that she left him. "It's OK...you did fine. You're alive...that is what is important. We're going to get out of here, but he has to think that you are OK with leaving. If you fight him, he will shoot us."
"What should I do?"
"The key to the cuffs is in his left jacket pocket. You need to try to get that key. Maybe if he takes his jacket off...I can distract him and you can go for the key."
"OK," Kathryn answered with hesitation. Just as she was about to ask for further direction, Kendall re-entered the room.
"Are we getting reacquainted? I hope not too much...since this reunion is going to be a short one."
Kathryn's mind was racing with how she could help Danny. She decided she had to take a chance. "I think you're right, Richard. I think seeing Danny again has sealed the deal for me. It's time for me to move on."
Richard looked at her skeptically. "What do you mean, Kathryn?"
"I mean that I'm tired of always struggling. I'm tired of never knowing where I stand. When I was with you, everything was so clear. There was no drama. I was too young to appreciate it, Richard. You've made me see that I made a huge mistake when I left you at the alter. How can you ever forgive me?" Kathryn asked as she walked toward him.
"I've already forgiven you for that, my darling. But how can I really believe you?"
"Richard...you never gave me another chance. You never pursued me after I left you. I didn't know how strongly you felt...until now. I mean...you did all of this...for me. I...I can't even put into words how it makes me feel," she said as she stood inches from Richard.
Danny watched as he worried about what Kathryn was trying to do. He was afraid Richard wouldn't buy it.
But Richard was buying it. At least he wanted to believe it as he lightly touched Kathryn's face. "I did do it all for you. You have know idea how much I have done for you," he said as he leaned down to kiss her.
But Kathryn backed away. "Not here. Let's go out there," she said as she motioned toward the living room.
"No way. I've been watching you with him for a long time. If you really believe in us, then it won't bother you that he is here," Richard said as he nodded toward Danny.
Without hesitating, Kathryn stepped toward Richard and kissed him on the lips. He put his hand on the base of her neck to pull her even closer to force a deeper kiss. She felt his tongue invade her mouth as his hand moved down her body. Kathryn did her best not to gag as Danny looked at the floor hating that Kathryn had to get close to Kendall. After a few moments passed, Kathryn finally pulled away and said, "Does that prove that I believe in us?"
"It's a start," Kendall replied as he kept a firm grip on her body.
"As long as I know that Michael is taken care of, then we can start our lives together. I'm sorry that I doubted us. I just never knew how you really felt."
Kendall finally released his grip as he nodded. "Good girl. I knew that we were destined to be together. No hard feelings, Danny?" he said as he turned to Danny.
Danny didn't respond. He just kept looking at his feet.
"Danny boy doesn't like to lose," Kendall said with a sarcastic grin.
"I know, but he lost me a long time ago. Actually, he never really had me. It just took you to help me realize it, Richard," she said as she also looked at Danny. "But I do need to know that I can trust him...that I can trust Danny will care of Michael. You will, won't you?" Kathryn started to walk toward Danny. "You won't go off the deep end again, will you?"
"No, I won't. I'll take care of him," Danny said coldly.
"Good," Kathryn said as she grabbed a baby bottle from the table next to Danny and then turned back to Richard. "Richard, I ran out of clean bottles a couple of hours ago. Do you mind if I go to the kitchen and sterilize this one? Mara will be up soon and she'll be very hungry."
"Of course. We'll both go. I think Danny will be OK without us for a few minutes," he said smugly as he lead Kathryn out of the room.
After Richard and Kathryn left the room, Danny looked down at the table. Kathryn slipped the key under a stack of diapers. He quietly reached over and grabbed the key. Within seconds, he had himself unlocked.
As Kathryn walked out the door, Richard was right on her heels. He closed the door behind them. She hoped that he would leave the door open since Danny was handcuffed. She walked toward the kitchen area as she felt his eyes on her. The baby bottle was clean, but she had to find a way to get the key to Danny. In the kitchen, she found a pot to heat water in to sterilize the bottle. After she turned on the stove, she moved to the sink to wash the bottle. Richard didn't say a word to her, but she could feel his eyes on her. And then all of the sudden, he was right behind her. Her breath caught as she felt his body press up against hers pinning her to the counter. He started to kiss her neck as his hands found their way under her blouse.
Kathryn started to feel ill. She wasn't sure she could maintain the charade. She wanted to cry out and kick him, but knew if she did that Danny would die. So, she tried to talk to him. "Richard, this isn't the time for this. I'm really tired, and I haven't showered. I just...I just think we should wait," she said nervously.
"But I want you now," he whispered in her ear as he pushed himself even closer to her. "I've waited far too long."
Kathryn closed her eyes and racked her brain to find a way out of what was about to happen when she heard a high-pitched cry from the other room. She finally let out her breath as she exclaimed, "Mara...she's awake. She's going to be very hungry."
Richard sighed and stepped away from her in frustration.
"I'll...uh...go tend to her," Kathryn said as she dipped the bottle in the boiling water and then wrapped it in a towel. Richard followed her back to the room. Kathryn wasn't sure what Danny was going to do now that he was out of the cuffs. Richard unlocked the door and then opened it for her. She looked at Danny with a surprised expression because he was still cuffed to the pipe. She hoped that he found the key. She went over to the baby and picked her up. "It's OK, sweety. I'll get your bottle ready," she said as she opened a can of formula and poured it in the bottle. Then she sat on the bed to feed the baby.
Danny had fully intended on jumping Kendall as soon as he walked through the door, but then the baby started to cry. Danny worried that something might happen to the baby, so he put cuff back on, but didn't click it locked. He just stood there waiting for his opportunity. He watched Richard take a seat next to Kathryn and put his hand on her back as she fed the baby. He wasn't sure how patient he could be. He hated watching what was happening because he could see how scared Kathryn was by looking in her eyes.
She finished feeding the baby and changed her diaper. Then she laid her back down in the crib and turned on the mobile. Thankfully, Mara was a pretty quiet baby when she was fed and changed. As she laid the baby down, Richard said, "See...I told you that you are her mother now. I can see that she loves you already."
"She's a beautiful baby, Richard," Kathryn replied quietly as she walked to the opposite side of the room as far away from the baby as possible. She knew that if Danny did unlock the cuffs, that he would make his move now that the baby was out of the way.
"You're beautiful, my darling Kathryn," he said as he walked up to her and put his arms around her. Then Kathryn turned slightly so that Richard's back was to Danny.
As soon as he saw Richard touch her again, Danny knew he couldn't take it anymore. The adrenaline rushed through him as he removed the cuff and rushed toward them. Before Richard even knew what happened, Danny grabbed him by the neck and pulled him off Kathryn. As he reach for the gun in Richard's pocket, he yelled, "Get the baby and get out of here."
Kathryn ran to the baby and picked her up, as Danny struggled to get the gun from Kendall. Then she ran out of the room.
Richard got an arm free and elbowed Danny in the ribs. And then he reached for the gun, but Danny was able to recover fast enough to reach for the gun at the same time. They struggled for control of gun, and then Danny punched Richard in the jaw. As Richard stumbled back, the gun flew out of both of their hands. Instead of going for the gun, Danny started to hit Richard over and over again. He wanted to kill him with his bare hands for hurting Kathryn. He couldn't help himself. Everytime Richard would look at him, Danny would connect with his face causing blood to spurt from Richard's nose and lip. Richard was on his knees by this point taking punch after punch. Then Danny finally started to back away to find the gun. He only turned his back a second, but it was long enough for Richard to lunge forward and tackle Danny from behind. Danny hit the floor hard and was slightly dazed. Richard stood up and started to kick Danny in the ribs instead of going for the gun.
Instead of getting out like Danny told her, Kathryn put Mara in her car seat and then set her in a closet. Kathryn had to make sure Danny was OK, so she re-entered the room to find a bloody, beaten Richard kicking Danny. Richard didn't see her come back in the room, and he didn't see her pick up the gun behind him. But he did hear her when she screamed out, "Stop it...Stop it...or I swear to God I will kill you."
Richard stopped and looked at her, then he smiled a sinister smile. "I doubt you even know how to use that, little girl."
Kathryn took a step back and aimed as she squeezed the trigger. The bullet whizzed past Richard's head as he ducked down. "Don't test me. I will kill you."
Richard stepped away from Danny, and then Danny slowly rose to his feet as Jack and the team rushed through the door with their guns drawn. "Freeze...FBI...," they all shouted.
But Kathryn didn't put the gun down. She kept it trained on Richard as he continued to smile at her.
Then Jack called out, "Kathryn...Kathryn...put the gun down. You're safe now."
Kathryn ignored Jack's plea as she kept her eyes on Kendall as tears streamed down her face. "I'm should kill you..."
"Yes...you should, my darling Kathryn. That would be a fitting end. If we can't be together, then you should be the one to take my life...for I have no life without you," Richard replied as he stared at her.
"Don't do it," Danny said weakly. "It's not worth it. It's over now. Put the gun down."
Then Kathryn looked at Danny. She saw the concern and hurt in his eyes. "Danny...he...he watched me...he watched us...all this time. He was always there. We'll never be free of him unless he is gone."
"That's right, Kathryn. No matter where they put me...I'll always be with you. I've been with you since you were just a girl, and you played right into my hands. We will always be linked," Richard said as Kathryn's eyes return to him.
"Shut up, Kendall," Danny shouted. And then he addressed Kathryn in a quiet tone. "He was never with us, Kathryn. You aren't linked to him.He couldn't take what we have. And he never will. But if you kill him...it will haunt you forever. Don't do that to yourself. Don't to that to us, baby. He's not worth it."
Jack, Viv, Martin and Samantha kept their guns raised even though they knew they wouldn't shoot Kathryn if she took Kendall out.
Kathryn sobbed as she struggled with listening to her husband and wanting to be free of Kendall forever. She finally looked at Danny again as he started to walk towards her. "He's not worth it. He can't hurt you anymore. Let me take you home to Michael. You're safe now," he said gently as she lowered the gun and collapsed in his arms.
Martin and Vivian went straight to Kendall and pushed him against the wall. Martin cuffed him and Viv read him his rights. Then Danny looked up at Jack and Samantha as he held Kathryn. "Thanks. You were right on time."
"We would have come in sooner, but we couldn't get a good read of where you were in this place," Jack said.
"Where's the baby?" Samantha asked not knowing if she was still alive.
Kathryn answered without looking up fromDanny's arms. "The closet...in the living room. I was trying to hide her in case he came out of this room." Samantha and Jack immediately headed out to the living room.
"Yeah, I thought I told you to take her and run," Danny said as he tightened his grip on her thinking he never wanted to let her go.
"I couldn't leave you. I promised myself that if I ever saw you again that I would never leave you," she responded as she looked up at him.
Then Danny kissed her lightly. "I never thought I would see you again. I didn't know what I was going to do without you," he said as he looked in her eyes.
"Take me home," she said as she kissed him again.
Danny desperately wanted to just take Kathryn home just like she asked him to, but they had to go to the hospital and complete their statements about what happened. After they finished up at the hospital, they went to the FBI office to make their statements. Jack and Samantha greeted them as they entered Jack's office.
"What did the doctor say?" Samantha asked Danny as he and Kathryn sat down on the sofa.
"Just a couple of cracked ribs and a busted lip. I'll be good as new in a couple of weeks."
"He'll be good as new if he takes it easy for a couple of weeks," Kathryn corrected.
"Well, that can be arranged. I think Danny's earned a nice, long vacation," Jack replied.
"You get no arguments from me. I don't want to let you out of my sight anytime in the near future," Danny said as he looked at Kathryn and smiled.
"I know you two want to get home. But first, Danny, you and I need to go over what happened in the car ride and in the cabin. Kathryn, Samantha is going to take your statement."
"Is there a reason we can't stay together?" Kathryn asked meekly as she looked from Jack to Danny.
"It's just procedure. You know how this works, Kathryn...in case we have to testify in court."
"Of course," Kathryn replied shaking her head. "My mind isn't...I was an ADA for four years...you would think I could remember that."
"You've been through a lot. We'll take it slow. You'll be fine," Samantha said as she walked toward the door.
Kathryn rose from the sofa, and looked at Danny as he stood with her. She smiled slightly as he gently squeezed her arm and kissed her forehead. "It's almost over, and then we'll go home. I'll be right here," he whispered reassuringly.
Kathryn just turned and walked out with Samantha.
"Can I get you water or coffee?" Samantha asked as they walked out to the conference table in the bullpen.
"No, I'm fine," Kathryn answered. "Do you know how the baby is? Is she OK?"
"They EMTs checked her out at the scene. Mara was fine. You took very good care of her. A social worker brought her to Meryl's parents."
"I've gotten so caught up in what happened to me...and Danny...that I didn't think about her. That poor woman...I can't imagine what she must have gone through. And then he just killed her...I don't understand," Kathryn said as her eyes filled with tears.
"Her parents said she was pretty unhappy with him...with Kendall. Her mother tried to get her to leave him, especially after he made her change her appearance, but then she got pregnant. So she stayed. It was a tragic situation," Samantha responded.
"I feel so responsible. If I wouldn't have been so naive...if I would have been more aware...then maybe I could have stopped this. I...just..."
"Kathryn...Kendall is...he's evil. And none of this is your fault because all of this is unfathomable. You couldn't have known," Samantha said as she touched Kathryn's arm. "Now I know this is hard, but you're going to have to walk me through what happened between the time you left your father's office until we found you in the cabin."
Kathryn nodded. "I...uh...I was really upset after I saw Evan in the elevator. So I was kind of frazzled, you know. I wasn't focused on where I was going. And then I ran into him...into Richard. And it seemed like some crazy coincidence. He talked about his daughter and wife. I hadn't seen him in years. I didn't really think it was strange. But then he asked if I needed a lift instead of getting a cab to my mother's. And for a moment, I thought...I thought...God, I barely know this man anymore. I hesitated to go with him, but instead of listening to that voice inside my head, I said yes...because I didn't want to seem rude. Isn't that ridiculous?"
"You'd be surprised how many women don't listen to their intuition so they won't seem rude. It's not that ridiculous. What happened once you got in the car?"
"He pulled out some pictures of the baby. And I started to look at them. And then...he must of injected me with something...because I don't remember anything after that...until he woke me up on the bed in the cabin."
"What did he say?"
"I was pretty disoriented, but I remember he said that he wouldn't hurt me if I cooperated. And that he needed me to take care of Mara. When I started to question him about why he took me, he said that we were destined to be together and that I shouldn't fight it. He told me that he watched me from the time I was fifteen. He told me that he had watched me ever since that moment...and that he was always with me even after I left him. And then he pulled out the cell phone, and told me that I had to call Danny and tell him that I wasn't coming back," she said weakly as she cried.
"You're doing fine, Kathryn. Keep going."
"I didn't want to make the call, but he told me that he had a partner watching Danny and Michael. And that if I didn't call Danny at this exact time, that his partner would kill Michael. I didn't know what else to do. I had to make the call, and I had to say exactly what he told me to say."
"Of course you did. You didn't have a choice."
"After I made the call, he left me alone in the cabin with Mara. He told me that as long as I took good care of her, that I would stay alive as would Danny and Michael. So that's what I did. I didn't see him again until he came back with Danny."
"I know you told the EMTs that you weren't hurt, but I need to make sure that nothing happened, Kathryn. Did he do anything to you in that cabin?"
Kathryn shook her head. "No...he...uh...left me alone. When he came back with Danny, I had to...I let him kiss me. I had to make him think that I was OK with leaving. I had to help Danny...so I let him touch me," Kathryn said as she held her head and rubbed her eyes. "And Danny was right there...he had to watch. I didn't know what else to do. I had to find some way to get the key to him to so he could unlock the cuffs."
"You are very brave, Kathryn. And Danny loves you very much. You two will get through this."
Kathryn nodded and then continued. "I slipped Danny the key, and then as soon as I distracted Richard...Danny overtook him. I got the baby and ran out, but I didn't leave. I put the baby in the closet, and then I went back to the room. Richard was kicking Danny. So, I got the gun and told him to stop. Then I fired the gun. You know what happened after that."
"Right. OK. You did well. I think I have what..."
"Samantha...can I ask you a question?"
"How did you know? How did you find out it was Richard?"
"Danny didn't tell you?"
"No...he...uh...told me that I shouldn't worry about because it's over now. But I need to know. I need to know what happened."
Samantha understood that Danny wanted to protect his wife, but she also agreed with Kathryn. She did need to know so she could move on with her life. "Mrs. Kopeckie, your next door neighbor, worked with a sketch artist. We identified Kendall using the sketch."
"My neighbor? How did she know him?"
Samantha hesitated but then continued. "He gained access to your apartment through her closet. He pretended to be an exterminator."
"He was in our home? Oh god...did he...did he watch me...us?"
"We don't think so. We think he was only there when you were gone. He took things of yours as...as...trophies. And then after he took you, he took a suitcase and some of your clothes to make it look like you left. He did have a private investigator take pictures of you and Danny. We found an apartment where he kept them."
"He told me that. He told me that he watched me," Kathryn said as she rubbed her eyes.
Just then Danny approached them. "How are we doing?"
Kathryn looked up as she wiped tears from her eyes. "Fine. Are we done, Samantha? I really want to see Michael," she said as she stood.
“We’re done. Thank you, Kathryn.”
Kathryn just nodded and looked to Danny to lead her out of the office. He gave Samantha a worried nod before he walked out.
Kathryn took at deep breath as she and Danny got into the cab to go home. “You OK?” Danny asked as he noticed that Kathryn was preoccupied.
“I’m just anxious to see Michael. I…I really thought I would never see him or you again,” she replied quietly.
“He’ll be crazy happy to see you. He had no idea what was going on, but he missed you terribly.”
Kathryn smiled as Danny took her hand. But then her smiled turned to tears once again.
“What is it, baby? What’s wrong?”
“This is all my fault, Danny. How could I have been so stupid? I mean I never felt right about my relationship with Richard. But I stayed with him. He was my first…. How could have let him touch me?”
“He manipulated you from the moment he met you. He found out everything he could about you, and then used it to get closer to you. You were just a kid, Kathryn. You were just trying to do what you thought your parents wanted. But you didn’t marry him. You realized it was mistake. And as far as sleeping with him…Kathryn…he got you drunk. He told me…he told me that you didn’t want to do it. You wanted to wait until you got married.You just don't remember how it happened. He…heforced you,” Danny said hesitantly not sure if this was what she needed to hear or not.
Kathryn put her head in her hands as Danny gently rubbed her back. “I knew something was wrong. I knew that time and every time after that. But I always thought it was me…that I was doing something wrong. Part of the reason why I stayed with him was because he wasmy first. So stupid…,” she said as she shook her head.
The cab pulled up to their building and they stepped out of it. “Listen…all of this…is going to take time to process. What you’ve been through…what we’ve been through…it’s been a nightmare. But it’s over, and we’ll be OK. I love you so much, Kathryn,” he said as he put his arms around her.
She let herself collapse into his warmembrace and realized that she never felt safer that she did at that moment. “I love you, too.”
Danny finally pulled away. “Let’s go see Michael. Your parents are probably watching us right now literally dying to see you.”
Kathryn smiled as took Danny’s hand as they walked up the stairs.
Danny opened the door to the apartment and let the Kathryn in. As soon as she stepped in the door, Michael looked up from his coloring book on the floor. "Mommy!" he said as he stood and ran towards her. Kathryn opened her arms and then engulfed him in a hug as soon as she could.
Maggie started to cry as soon as she saw Kathryn, but she gave her daughter a few moments to be with her son. "How is she?" she whispered to Danny as he approached Maggie and John.
"She's gonna be fine. She's been through an ordeal, but she'll be fine. Thank you both...for being so amazing through all of this. Knowing that Michael was with you made it easier for me to focus on finding her," Danny said sincerely.
"Are you OK, Danny? You've been hurt...," John inquired with concern.
"It's not serious. Just a few bruises. I'll heal."
"What's going to happened to that evil bastard?" John asked.
Danny shook his head. "Hopefully, he goes away for long time. We have him on kidnapping and murder charges. But right now, I think we should just focus on helping Kathryn."
"Of course. We can definitely do that," Maggie said as she gave Danny a hug. "Thank you...thank you for finding our girl."
Danny just smiled and then looked at Kathryn as she seemed determined not to let Michael go. And then Maggie approached Kathryn. Kathryn smiled at her as tears streamed downboth theirfaces. Maggie and John put their arms around Kathryn and Michael. "Darling...we were so scared. I'm so sorry...," Maggie started.
"Mom...don't...it's OK," Kathryn interrupted knowing that her mother felt guilty about her role in bringing Richard into her life. "The important thing is that you took such good care of Michael through all of this. We can't thank you enough for that."
"We know you both must be exhausted. You probably just want to sleep. Michael is fed and ready for bed. So we'll just leave you two...," John said.
"We can't leave yet...we just saw her...," Maggie said.
"Maggie...we can come back in the morning. Kathryn and Danny need some time alone with their son," John said as he gave Kathryn another hug and then shook Danny's hand.
"Can I just have one moment alone with my daughter before we leave?" Maggie pleaded.
"Sure," Danny said. "Come on, John. I'll walk you down."
As Danny and Kathryn's father walked out, Maggie turned to Kathryn. "I just wanted to tell you..."
"Mom...I know you feel bad about Richard...but you couldn't have known," Kathryn said as she continued to hold Michael.
"You're right. I do feel incredibly reponsible. I pushed you into that relationship with him, and I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for that. But that's not what I wanted to say."
"What is it?" Kathryn asked wearily.
"A few months ago, you told me that one day I would see that you made the right choice. And I just want you to know that I see that now. The love Danny has for you...it's breathtaking. I shouldn't have doubted the love you have for each other. He's a good man, sweetheart. I know you've know that all along. I'm just sorry it took this for me to see it."
"Thank you for saying that, Mom. It means a lot."
"I don't know what I would have done if I would have lost you. I don't know what any of us would have done. I love you, sweetheart," Maggie said as she hugged Kathryn tightly.
"I love you, too."
"OK...I'll go. But, I'm coming back in the morning."
"I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you again," Kathryn said as she opened the door and her mother walked out.
And then Kathryn walked over to the couch and sat down with Michael snuggled in her arms. She never thought she would feel this again. A few moments later, Danny came back in and sat down next to her. "Are you hungry? Do you want me to fix you something?" he asked as he put his arm around her and put his other hand on Michael's back.
"No. I just want to take a very hot shower, and then I want to sleep for about hundred years right next to you and Michael."
"That sounds just about perfect," Danny answered.
After they both took showers, they found themselves laying in bed with Michael asleep snuggled between them. They just layed there staring into each others' eyes as Danny played with her hair. "Do you remember where we were before all this started?" Kathryn whispered.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean we were starting over again. We were working through things. All of that anger and pettiness...mostly on my part...seems so silly now."
"So...what? You don't want go to the marriage counselor again?" Danny asked.
"I don't know. All I know is that I've never loved you more than I do at this moment. And I don't think anything could change that. When I saw you walk through that door today...I've never felt that way before in my life. And I think about all the stuff that I let bother me before...and it all seems so ridiculous now."
"It wasn't so ridiculous, baby. I think we need to continue the counseling not only for old stuff, but especially after everything that's happened. We shouldn't try to deal with this on our own. It won't work. And I don't want to lose you ever again...for any reason."
"Agreed," she replied as they leaned into to each other for a kiss. Then they both smiled as they looked down at Michael taking took slow, steady breaths with a slight grin on his face..
Finally, Danny watched as Kathryn slowly drifted off to sleep. He didn't want to take his eyes off of her, but exhaustion started to take its toll. Before he allowed himself to sleep, he thought about all of the hard times in his life and how nothing ever came easy to him. He had always resented that in the past, but now, he realized that everything that happened made him appreciate this moment even more. He hoped that this was the happy ending that he dreamed of his whole life.