“Are you all ready?” Detective Darren questioned Allan and Jeremy.
They both nodded.
“Allan, you’re going to turn all the evidence that points to Ernest as the abductor of Purity to the police department,” Darren instructed.
Allan rolled his eyes. “Yeah. You didn’t stop reminding me all night.” He did the lace of his black, dynamic sneakers. “Hold on, how will they believe me? No one knows she’s missing, it wasn’t announced.”
“Yeah,” Jeremy said, giving thought to what Allan had just mentioned. “People don’t know anything about it. How does he get to convince them? Something has to be done, if not all our efforts goes down the drain.” Worry etched all over his face. He couldn’t fail. He hated failure. He’d never fail, not himself, not Aaron Theodore and especially not Purity. She needed to be rescued, to be saved. “Tell us, what do we do?”
Darren could understand their concern. Especially that of Jeremy. “Now, you’re both talking like detectives,” he tried lightening up the mood. Detecting from the stares he recieved, he knew they were in no mood for a joke. “Okay. Fine. There’s no need to worry. Allan, when you get to the station, ask for Myles. He’s a superintendent.”
“Myles?” Allan repeated, obviously confused. “Why do I need to find him?”
Darren turned to Jeremy, looking him in the eye, “I’m sorry, Jeremy. I couldn’t keep this to myself. I had to tell someone. Especially when a time like this comes. Just get to him, give him all the evidence and there’ll be an arrest warrant for Ernest Turner. You’ll come to the venue after that, with him.”
Jeremy wanted to get angry at Darren. He did not keep his promise of telling no one about Purity’s disappearence. But on a second thought, he stopped himself. Darren did it for their benefit. They needed such help now. “Thank you, Darren.”
Allan smiled at Darren. “Nice job, bro. We’re gonna finish this today.”
Darren nodded. “Make sure you get there. Be careful. Dont’t see any officer other than Myles. He knows you’ll be coming. He’ll handle the rest,” he intstructed, slowly, to make sure Allan caught every bit of what he said. He knew the kind of person Allan was – he didn’t like being told what to do.
“Alright, Detective. I promise to do all you’ve asked of me. I will be faithful,” he swore and saluted Darren and flashed a funny smile. He knew he had to do this. He had to carry out Darren’s orders. Purity’s life depended on him doing so.
Darren smiled back and returned his salute. He soon started laughing.
Allan joined him.
Jeremy was also laughing. An important quest lay ahead of them. It wouldn’t be all bad if they had a little bit of fun before they go conquering. He had no idea what would happen next. He just had to cherish the moment they were having. He took a step forward. “Come here,” he invited his friends to move closer to him.
Darren and Allan exchanged inquisitive glances. They had no idea what Jeremy was up to, but they knew he couldn’t harm them. They trotted to him.
He had a reassuring smile on his face. “I…. um….,” he cleared his throat. “I wanna say thank you to you two. Without your help, I wouldn’t even have the vigor to search for my fiancee. You’re like my brothers, brothers I never had. I’m glad I have friends like you, trusted friends that I can rely on and tell everything. Thank you so very much for your help.”
“I couldn’t call myself a human when my very successful billionaire has some problems, and I can’t help. Its my duty – as a friend, I’m a detective, remember?” Darren grinned. He was so happy he was useful.
“Yeah,” Jeremy answered. “Its your d–n job.”
“Ahem!” Allan got their attention. “Jeremy, you still haven’t told us what you read in that book.” He faced Darren, “See, he’s hiding things from us.”
Jeremy and Darren shook their heads.
“Its private,” Jeremy repeated his words of the previous night.
Allan snorted. “Whatever. Just hug me.”
They all went for a big hug. Just as they used to – back in the old days.
“I’m glad I helped, Jeremy,” Allan confessed, beaming. “Lets not sober up, its time for action.”
“I can’t breathe,” Darren complained, “Let me out.”
They all left eachother, nervously. It was what they hated – being caught wrapped up in each other’s arms. It was really embarrassing.
“Um, yeah?” Jeremy answered, trying to sound normal.
The two friends just looked sideways.
“My prayer’s been answered,” Darren muttered.
“Tricia Cayson is here,” the maid stated what she came for.
“Just exactly what I needed. Get her,” he firmly commanded.
The maid swiftly moved to action.
“What are you planning to do?” Allan queried.
Jeremy smiled coyly. “Just sit back and watch.”
Tricia neatly arranged her hair. She had a sly smile on her lips. She slowly let her eyes access her whole body. Sensing her dress was still in order, she concluded that she was perfectly dressed for Jeremy and him alone. She couldn’t wait to see him. There was something new about her.
“You may come in, miss,” the young maid interrupted her thoughts.
Tricia raised her eyes and let them run over the pretty blonde standing before her. She was probably in her mid-twenties, dressed in the servant’s uniform. She was bowing slightly before her – sign of respect. Tricia smiled to herself in contentment. This kind of act she loved every bit of it. Her heart leapt with joy as she was going to recieve such polite treatment daily. She just couldn’t wait to be his wife.
“Hey, what’s your name?” she asked, mildly.
“Its…. er…… um,” Rosa stuttered. She had never been asked what her name was by any visitor. Not even the fiancee of Mr. Broderick. It really came as a surprise to her. “Rosa.” the name finally passed through her lips.
Tricia nodded in response and smiled back at her. “Lovely name. Just like you.” She’d do that, wouldn’t she?
“Thanks, ma’am. He’s in-”
“Don’t worry,” Tricia cut in. “I know where to find him.”
Tricia breathed deeply and breezed past Rosa into the living room confidently. She was so sure of herself. No one was going to stop her or bring her joy to a halt.
As seconds rolled by, she found herself standing right before the eyes of her prince charming. She let her gaze hold his, smiling innocently. She welcomed his eyes running all over her body, as she never stopped gazing at him. That curious look on his face coupled with uncertainty got her rejoicing within her. She felt like a star. He was staring like he wasn’t sure who she was. He was simply speechless. She kept her good work.
“Purity?” he blurted out, utterly baffled.
Hearing him call her that, made her heart lurch. He finally called her that name. She was going to become her.
What was going on? He had sent his friends into the house and was prepared to confront her. Someone else had appeared before him. Her hairdo, her make up and even her dressing, it all reminded him of Purity. She did look like her, the similarities were clear. It got him looking at her without a blink. He was totally confused. Her unending smiles sent more conflicting emotions into him. “Purity?” he called the second time, shambling to meet the woman.
She kept still, facing him. She wasn’t to utter a sound. She’d let him trot to meet her. He has to come for her.
Jeremy let out a breath. This wasn’t Purity. It was obviously not Purity. She’d never act like that. He felt stupid having called her ‘Purity’. If she had changed her hair style and outfit just to puzzle him, she had actually succeeded. She was such an annoying she-devil who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He kept trudging to meet her. On getting to her, he snorted, “Tricia, I’m very sorry to have called you the name of my fiancee.”
Her smile, her countenance changed into disappointment twisted with jealousy and bitterness. She felt daunted. “That name belongs to me alone. And I am your fiancee!” she retorted angrily.
He laughed contemptously, irritating her more and more. “Is that why you took her away? So you can take her place?” He fed his eyes once more. His angry look revealed the depth of how disgusting she was to him. He was disgusted by her stupidity. She didn’t act matured, more like a sensless child. “You went too far. You’re all dressed up like her, you think I’ll look at you again? You’re incorrigible,” he angrily gave her a piece of his mind.
She felt foolish. There was this desire. The surging urge to hit him. She couldn’t do that. She’d never hit the man she loved. No matter what he said, she was infallible and will always be. Bracing up, she gazed at him the same way he’d been looking at her. “What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense. You’re trying to get me worked up. It won’t happen.” She edged past him. Got to a couch and slid into it. She was trying to calm her racing heart and nervous body.
Jeremy followed her, “Don”t you dare. Why did you do it?” he barked.
She rolled her eyes rudely. “Do what!” she fired.
Her got out his cellphone and showed her a picture on it. “Please, explain this.”
Sighting the picture weakened her. She stiffened and let her mouth drop. This was bad, really bad. He finally got to see it. That wasn’t of concern to her. He had absolutely nothing to prove with that picture. Only that it reminded her of the slap she got from that witch. It got her angrier, she so much wanted to have her revenge. She was going to get it – take Jeremy away from her.
“Its….” she tried to find the right words to use, “What does it look like to you? Its a picture,” she stood up and fearlessly faced him, “A picture,” she repeated, placing more emphasis on her words.
“From what I can remember, you and Purity are not friends. You have not met her before. Tell me what this is about,” he firmly demanded.
It was happening again. Her head suddenly began spinning. It was gonna fall apart. She heard voices in her head. It was not she talking. They were speaking to her.
‘Let him call you Purity.’
‘Its your right to be his Purity.’
‘You deserve to be his wife.’
It was getting too much. She couldn’t take it anymore. She wasn’t going to bear it. It wasn’t her favourite thing – to listen to so many voices at the same time. It was simply unbearable.
She shut her eyes, positioned both hands on her ears, covering them. She had to stop hearing those things. They were going to drive her crazy. Make her batty. “Shut up!” she yelled, hysterically. “I know! You don’t have to remind me. Stop it!”
Jeremy scrutinized her fuzzily. “Are you okay?”
That seemed to do the trick. The voiced stopped abruptly. She gazed at Jeremy, spitefully, “So what? What if you don’t know anything? Talk to her, I don’t go around telling people about pictures.” She folded her arms.
Jeremy exhaled deeply. It was of no use speaking to her. She’d never admit to her crime neither was she going to reveal the truth. Ernest had warned her not to. She willingly obeyed. “Keep it all to yourself. I’m outta here.”
“No!” she shouted. “You can’t leave me here. You… are my future husband. I’m leaving with you.” She was determined to do so. Then, they’d never return.
Jeremy ignored her. He wasn’t quite sure if the Tricia he once had a relationship was before his very eyes. She was different – dressed up, disguising herself as another woman. It was unlike her to be so desperate. She was simply strange. Very unlike her. He sighed once more and turned his back on her.
“Don’t you dare snub me,” she warned. “I need you.” The voices – they were gonna come back. Torment her if she didn’t do anything. It was fuzzy to her why she heard those things. They make her do things she never wanted to do. “Jeremy, please,” she implored.
He looked at her over his shoulder. “What you’re telling me to do is impossible. Move on with your life,” he admonished.
Tricia shook her head. “I. . . I . . . can’t,” she stammered, her hands trembling. “They’ll come back. They’ll……,” she muttered incoherent words, filled with anxiety.
His interest was pricked. He cocked a brow. “Who’ll come back?” he asked, turning to face her. “Who?” he repeated.
She met his gaze. All her confidence was drowning away from her. She could feel it slipping out of her fingers. “The….the,” she stopped. It wouldn’t be right to tell him anything.
In a jiffy, she dropped to the ground. “Make me yours,” she whispered. “Let me be yours. Become mine. Jeremy, I can never live without you. Please,” she bowed her head. “Forget about her. I’ll always be here for you. Let me become her,” she begged, desperately.
Jeremy held a scorn on his face. He looked at her with disgust. “You’re pathetic.” He shuffled out of the living room. “This isn’t Tricia Cayson,” he thought to himself.
“The doctor, right?” the officer on casual wear said to Allan, seated across him. His eyes were buried on the papaers he held.
“Yes, I am.” Allan answered. “And I guess you’re Myles. Detective Myles.”
Myles smirked, raising his head to have a clearer view of this doctor. “You are late.”
“It wasn’t easy getting here nor finding you,” Allan said, rubbing his forehead.
“Hmm.” Detective Myles scoffed. “Quite a good evidence you’ve got here.”
Allan sighed. “Common, lets get going. I don’t want any of my friends in trouble.”
“They are already in trouble. I bet Darren can take care of himself. How about lover boy?”
“I dind’t come here for you to give me a lecture.” Allan retorted, feeling snaky.
“Then why are you here?” Myles asked, frowning.
“Following the instructions of a detective,” he shot up a brow and made a face.
“Alright, alright,” Myles lifted his hands up. “Lets get to business.”
“Are you sure this is it?” Jeremy asked,his heartbeat trippling.He couldn’t see any building.The street was oddly quiet and looking really old.If he had been told that such a street existed in New York city,he’d never believe.Seeing one for himself convinced him of that.
Darren killed the engine of the vehicle and turned to face his friend.”My tracker says it is. I’m sure.”He scanned his surrounding for a while,”Pretty scary,right?”
Jeremy inhaled and exhaled deeply.”More scary to her.She must be scared to death to be kept in a place like this.Ernest’s really insane.”
“Save your strength for what we’re gonna face,”Darren advised, pulling a door open.
“Wait,”Jeremy stopped him.”I don’t see the place or wherever she is.Why don’t we drive around?Till we get to see a building or something.”
Darren chuckled.”Don’t tell me you’re scared.”He closed the door.
Jeremy swallowed hard.”I don’t think so. It’ll be quick.Was just suggesting though.”
“Listen,there’s only one building on this street.And I think he’s here. If he is,she is with him.Lets walk,not to draw his attention.”He patted Jeremy on the shoulder, “We can defend ourselves,”he smiled reassuringly.
Jeremy responded with a nod. There was no backing down.He was ready to fight for his princess and get her back.The hour had arrived.He unfastened his seat belt,pushed the door open and climbed down,slamming it behind him.An eerie feeling crept into him, when the wind blew across his face.He was uncomfortable and did not like what he was feeling.”Are you sure the car’s safe here?”he whispered to Darren.
“Don’t have an answer to that. It probably is,”Darren responded,making sure the car was securely locked.”There’s tight security.’”
“Where are we headed to?”
“Over there,”Darren pointed right ahead of them.Nothing exactly that could give them the urge to go on was in view.Just grasses, overgrown bushes by the corner of the street and their shadows lingered.
“Don’t tell me she’s been in a bush?”Jeremy asked,furious.It’d be more than hell for Ernest if that was actually true.
“Lets just go.Keep your voice down,”Darren instructed.
Jeremy sighed.”Don’t you feel nervous? Uncanny? Its what I’m feeling.”
It was normal.He had also felt that way – that was a long time ago.”I understand what you feel.Try not to think about it.”
They continued their walk in absolute silence.Being careful, their eyes roved about,searching for the sign of someone,anyone.
Jeremy kept his head straight up, trying to send those uneasy feelings back to where they came from.
“We’re right here,”Darren announced excitedly.
Jeremy turned his head to the right.There was a house.It was abandoned.It had a mail box entirely hidden by tall grass.Its driveway was overgrown.It had bushes and brambles up against the door and windows.It had weeds in the gutters and green slime on the walls,and a cracked foundation pierced by creeper tendrils ticker than his wrist.A shiver ran down his spine.His Purity couldn’t be here.
The grim and gloomy building was the worst excuse for a house he’d ever seen;it was more like a long-abandoned prison or insane assylum rather than once a glamorous house.The doors and windows were covered with a thick layer dust that looked like it had been untouched for years.The windows of the house looked back at him with the eyes of an empty soul,along with the grand door at the entry way to the house.That seemed to give him the impression that it was a gateway to hell.
They got past the bushy surroundings to the door at the entry.Darren turned it and it creaked open, moving a centimeter at a time. It could move faster but the wood of the door had grown moldy and soft with water and neglect.They made it into the house.A thick coating of dust and mold coats everything.They stopped tentatively as there were already several dark holes where floorboards have snapped,weak from mold and pressured downwards by the weight of the gigantic dust bunnies that have formed.Cobwebs brushed their faces as they stepped deeper into the house.A shiver ran down their spines.Its really difficult to tell,wierd but there was something unbelievably spooky about that place.
As they walked further into the house, scanning the place, they got to a second door.Darren turned it open;the rotting door creaked open slowly.Echoing footsteps invaded the silence that hung like a cloak around the house.A thick carpet of dust clung to every object,the rays of light chinning through the shattered glass window catching on the particles suspeneded in the stagnant air.They moved deliberately,dust billowing into clouds as they passed.He continued to move through the house,kicking up more dust until it was difficult to see through the billions of air that now swirled into the air.Then they came to a third door,faded green paint curling with age,brass handles almost consumed by a thick network of cobwebs.They exchanged curious glances.Darren using his eye,prompted Jeremy to go on.He took a deep breath,reaching out, he turned it.
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The wooden door flung open, without a knock. That sent Supt Cayson’s head upwards, towards the direction of the door. He frowned. He hated being rudely interrupted. He got ready to lash the offender with angry words.
A female figure bounced in.
The frown on his face soon disappeared and was replaced with a look of amazement and worry. What was she doing here? She just bursted in. It was strange of her to do that. She looked worried and nervous. She seldomly visit him at work – only when there was trouble. He stood up hastily. “What is wrong? Are you okay?” he inquired, pushing himself to meet her.
Tricia lazily staggered towards her dad. She had just been humilated – the worst ever. It had never happened, ever. She’d played the fool, pleading for a man to have affection for her. Her emotions propelled her to act that way, she wasn’t thinking straight. That was that, nothing could be done about it. All she needed at that instant was comfort. Comfort from the only person she knew loved her, cared for her and was willing to risk anything for her safety and happiness. That one person was David Cayson – her papa.
David warmly welcomed his daughter into his arms. He held her affectionatley, gently giving her pats at intervals on her back. She was sobbing, this time. He had no idea what was bothering her, what put her in that situation and made her cry. It was what he could not comprehend at that instance; however, he was willing to bring her comfort, consolation and soother her. He was ready to do away with all negative feelings surging through her.
“Calm down, my darling, calm down,” he spoke calmly, hoping it’d take some of her anxiety away.
Tricia was not able to bottle up what she felt anymore. It took her by surprise when she broke into tears in her father’s arms – she was hardly moved to tears. It felt nice expressing her innermost feelings that way. She tried to control it, tried to stop the tears from falling. They didn’t relent, it kept running down her cheeks more and more; especially as she recalled how Jeremy walked out on her. He took no pity. He didn’t feel sorry for her. Neither did he endeavour to understand her feelings. Her viewed her as a pathetic human being. What wrong had she done just to need someone like she’d never done before? The most shameful part of the scenerio was the fact that Jeremy had his house servants throw her out of the house. It was simply unbelievable. She was treated like a commoner, a nobody. They dared laid their disgusting hands on her. It was a pitiable situation.
Her sobbing increased to the next level as those events invaded her thoughts. She wondered why Jeremy had deemed her fit to recieve such cheeky treatment. She was filled with despair, anger and grief. Despair towards having any lasting relationship with Jeremy or any other man. Anger towards Jeremy for abandoning her and treating her like unwanted garbage. Grieving herself, her loss for not being his Purity. She hadn’t got what she needed.
“Tricia,” David whispered.
d–n it! she thought. Why did he have to call her that? She wants to be called Purity, not Tricia. Wouldn’t anyone just listen and grant her request? Was it that difficult? “Father,” she croaked, “Is anything wrong with me?”
“I don’t understand you, my dear,” David replied, confused.
“Why do men reject me? I’m not called Purity, is that the reason?” she asked, clinging unto her father.
There was something defintely going on with Tricia. Why was she suddenly obsessed with that name? And who on earth was the guy that rejected her? What was happening in her life? “My love, no guy rejeceted you. You’re soon to be married. Jeremy, right?” he smiled, there was warmth in his voice. He wanted her to feel it.
“Hell no! He’s not!” she screamed, breaking free from her father’s grip. She held his gaze, “I’m not getting married to him.”
“What? What is it you’re saying? I saw your engagement ring, you…” he sighed, coming his hair with a hand. “You showed it to me. He can’t end things with you.”
“I lied,” she bluntly confessed, looking away.
David found her revelation shocking and incomprehensible. What did she mean by that? The whole thing was a lie? Was that why Jeremy never made it to dinner? Who lies about being engaged to a man? He couldn’t believe his daughter had turned into a liar.
A tap on his door dragged him out of his thinking. He turned to it. He stared curiously at the two men standing by it. He was in no mood for any troubles. “Yes?”
“There’s an urgent matter at hand,” Myles reported.
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