Chapter 43

"It was Juan, wasn't it?" Gina asked quietly, as she handed Simone the clothing which had just been thrown inside the room.

"Yeah," Simone said, replacing the shredded rags with fresh ones.

"Why can't he leave you alone?" Gina asked angrily. Of all the guards, past and present, Juan had been the worst. His obsession with Simone was sick and sadistic. Gina hated him.

"I'm his favorite," Simone answered quietly. She dressed herself carefully, conscious of the bruises and the pain she felt with every move she made.

"That's not funny," Gina said, moving to help Simone tie up her shoes.

"I'm not laughing," Simone replied. "He's one sick bastard, all right."

"Now, that's an understatement," Gina said.

"Tell me about it," Simone agreed. "He mentioned Tommy."

Gina stiffened. Something in Simone's tone warned her that there might be something amiss. She quietly asked, "What did he say? Is Tommy okay?"

"He knows that Tommy is gone. He taunted me with it. I'm worried. Tommy grew up in here. He's not fully aware of how the outside world works," Simone said, as she gently lowered herself to the floor, her back resting against the wall.

"Tommy will be fine. You taught him well. If there's one thing I know about your son, it's that he's strong. He's also smart and resourceful," Gina said, moving to sit beside her.

"I hope so. I've felt guilty for sending him out there, but I had to. They would have killed him. Juan would have definitely."

"You did the right thing. I was worried that he may not have made it out, but I'm sure Juan would have said something to you. If only to torture you," Gina said.

"Yeah, that's true, but I still can't help but hope that Tommy is safe," she said quietly.

They sat quietly for a few moments. Each woman lost in her thoughts and their hope that Tommy would be able to follow through with the plan, and somehow get them out of the there.

"Gina, I want you to promise me something," Simone said, looking intently at her friend.

"Of course, anything."

"If I don’t make it out, you'll tell Tommy how much I loved him and that I want him to be happy," Simone said.

"Simone, you'll tell him those things yourself…" Gina began but stopped when Simone grabbed her arm.

"Promise me," Simone repeated.

"I promise."


"This is where Justus Ward lives," Tommy said, as they entered the building.

"Yeah, he works with Jason. They live across the hall from each other," Lucky explained.

"What do you mean? How does Justus work with Jason?" Tommy asked.

"He's his lawyer," Lucky replied.

"His lawyer? Jason won't help us. We're wasting time. Let's go," Tommy said, turning to leave.

"Wait, man. I thought you were serious about this," Lucky said, turning to face Tommy.

"I am. That's why I refuse to waste time here. Are you coming or not?" Tommy asked, irritated. Having spoken with Justus, he had reservations about working with anyone associated with him.

"Where are you going? You can't go back to that neighborhood. Lucky's right about dealing with those people. You don't know them. Here, Lucky knows both Jason and Justus," Lizzie said, hoping to convince her cousin to give Jason a chance.

"I don't trust Justus," Tommy said. He actually hated him, but he decided to keep that to himself. His reasons were his own and they had nothing to do with either Lizzie or Lucky.

"Why not?" Lucky asked, interested. Tommy seemed to run on instinct like he did. If Tommy had a good enough reason, maybe they should look elsewhere for help.

"I went to him before and he turned me away. He didn’t believe me," Tommy replied.

"He believes you now. He told Gram, remember? Besides, he thinks his cousin may have been taken by the same people who took you and your mom," Lizzie said.

"What do you say, Tommy? It's your call," Lucky said.

Tommy nodded. If Jason proved to be untrustworthy, they could always leave. No matter what he would find a way to bring his mother back.


Jason hung up the telephone and turned to Justus. He said, "Everything's been finalized. We're moving in tonight."

"Good, but what about the blind spots you mentioned. I thought we had decided to speak with Tommy first. Get his input before we made any moves," Justus replied.

"My men are good. We can work through the blind spots. Besides, the sooner we get Keesha out of there, the better," Jason replied, rubbing his temples, as he hoped that another headache wasn’t about to start.

"You're right about that. God knows what she's been through since she's been there. I don’t want her to spend another night there," Justus said, removing his cell phone from his jacket.

"Who are you calling?" Jason asked.

"AJ," Justus answered, punching in AJ's telephone number.

"No," Jason said quietly.

"Come on, Jason. She's his girlfriend. I can't leave him out of this," Justus replied.

"I'm serious, Justus. I don't want him involved," Jason said stubbornly.

"Don't you think you're taking what happened with Michael a little too far?" Justus asked, irritated.

"This has nothing to do with Michael," Jason said quietly.

"What are your reasons for excluding him? I think he has a right to know what's going on."

"My reasons are my own and I won't discuss it further. AJ will not be involved with any of this," Jason said, as he reached for the aspirin bottle.

The opening of the front door prevented Justus from making another comment.

"Who is it, Reynaldo?" Jason asked, after swallowing the aspirin and water.

"Lucky Spencer, Elizabeth Webber, and Tommy Hardy," Reynaldo said.

Neither Jason nor Justus could hardly believe Reynaldo's words.

Jason nodded and said, "Let them in."

Chapter 44

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