Lost Love Ė Ch 5
A few months had past since John and Angie had decided to work on a relationship. During that time, they had started Ďdatingí. They went out and spent quality time together. They got to know each other, the people theyíd become in the time that they were apart. While they were growing together, they had not discussed their future or Ďgetting a baby like MJí. They were taking it day by day.
Theyíd had some heated discussions about how to handle life issues, like how to handle certain things with Dani and Evangeline going back to work. They had talked and since Evangeline was a former attorney, she had agreed to work as a counselor at the community center. Some of the kids were in trouble with the juvenile system. She had needed something to help pass the time since she wasnít teaching music presently and they had finally agreed on Dani attending pre-school for 5 hours each day.
One good thing that John and Evangeline had found was that they still respected each other; each others opinions, each others concerns, and each others feelings about topics. On occasion, John would bounce theories off Evangeline about a case. She would get his opinion about one of the kids she was helping at the community center. On all counts, they were a team.
Even though they made a great team, when Evangeline received the first anonymous note on her car outside the community center, sheíd kept it from John. She didnít want him to worry or to start giving orders right away. She didnít ignore the note, but she didnít give it a lot of credence either. The note had only said ĎYouíre going to get whatís coming to youí. She was careful with it, in case it needed to be dusted for fingerprints. She did take the time to go to the police department. She knew that John was at home with Dani that afternoon. He had picked her up from a play date with Jaime Vega. So she wouldnít be running into him at the station.
She did sit down with Antonio, who was now Chief of Detectives. She gave him the note and explained to him that she didnít want the information shared with anyone, including John. Sheíd been around him, John and the FBI long enough to be able to scope out an area and determine if she was being followed as well as check for anything suspicious. If she felt it was anything other than a prank, sheíd be the first to report it and get some help. What she didnít want was to panic the family or put Johnís back up. She wanted the opportunity to handle it herself, as she thought it was nothing. If it turned out that it was something, she would go to the authorities as quickly as possible. Sheíd been through too much in the past, to put her family in danger.
When sheíd gotten the second note a few days later, she grew more wary. It was a notch more threatening. It said, ĎIím coming for you.í That had scared her. The note had been left on the desk that she occupied at the community center. This could mean any number of things. The thing it most likely meant was that the person that left it was someone that sheíd met recently. She asked around the community center to see who had seen someone near the desk where she worked and found that it could have been anyone. Andrea, another counselor at the center, had used the desk the day before and the letter hadnít been there. Nobody had seen anyone or anything.
That afternoon she went back to the police station to check in with Antonio and ran into John. When he saw her, his face lit.
"Hey, what are you doing here?" he asked pecking her on the lips.
"Iím here to see Antonio," she replied quietly.
"About what?" he asked with a frown.
She sighed, "I got a threatening note today at the community center."
"This is the second one Iíve received in a weekís time. So Iím here to talk to Antonio."
"What do you mean the second one youíve received? Why didnít you tell me about this?"
"Because I didnít want you to worry. I made Antonio promise not to tell you about the first note."
"Antonio knew. What is this? Youíre keeping secrets from me again," John voice was lowered which meant he was pretty pissed.
"John, I didnít tell you about the first note, because I know how you are. Yes, I made a decision not to tell you. I made that decision because as I said before I didnít want you to worry. I wasnít worried; I thought it was just a prank. When I got the second note today, I knew that you would have to be told. I didnít think that first note was important enough to make you worry. You worry enough as it is."
"You didnít think that your life was important enough for me to worry," John said through clenched teeth.
"John, youíre over reacting. I didnít think my life was in any danger. For all I knew, the note could have been put on the wrong car. Anything?"
"What if something happened to you or Dani for that matter, because you decided not to tell me this?"
"John, nothing is going to happen to Dani. I would never let that happen. I would never put her in danger."
"You could have by not telling me what was going on. If someone is after you, they could try to get to you through Dani or the family. Youíre a defense attorney. You know how the game works."
"I havenít been a defense attorney in years, but yes I do know how the game works and I was more worried about someone trying to get to you if you started investigating this. I know you and how you wonít let things go. I didnít want you to get hurt."
"You should have told me what was going on. You canít keep facing things on your own. Thatís over. Contrary to popular belief, you arenít Wonder Woman. We face things together from now on. Got it?"
"Okay you win. Now you know whatís going on. What do we do about it?"
John sighed and rubbed his hand over his hair with his eyes closed. Evangeline stood there waiting for him to speak. When he opened his eyes, looking at her, she continued to stand there without saying a word.
"We need to go touch base with Antonio and I need to see both of these notes."
Antonio frowned at the second note while John looked at the first. The notes were escalating and it appeared that the perpetrator knew Evangelineís schedule at the community center, based on the fact that the perp put the note on the desk that day. Or the perp could have been following her.
"Have you noticed any strange people around?" Antonio asked.
"No, Iíve been watching. I know how to check for a tail. I havenít been followed by car. I havenít noticed anything strange. A couple of times Iíve felt like someone might be watching me, but there hasnít been anyone suspicious around."
"Someone could have been following her without her knowing," John said to Antonio, "or itís someone who works at the center since both notes have popped up there."
"Iím sitting right here John. Donít talk about me like Iím invisible."
"I apologize. The notes are escalating. We need to make sure that you have protection."
"No. Iíve had protection for as long as I can remember. I donít ever want that again."
"Angie. This is not negotiable. Weíre talking about our familyís protection here."
"John, do you really think Iím in danger?" She asked with sincerity in her eyes.
"Yes, I do," he replied in kind, "and because of that, we need to check out the people at the community center and your former clients."
"Do you have any idea how much work itís going to take to check on former clients?" she asked.
"That many clients, huh?" He said with a smile.
"Well, yes, but thatís not what Iím talking about. Itís been 4 years and I donít have those files anymore. When the FBI put me in custody, they destroyed all my files. The only way to find out is to go to the court and check for the attorney of record. Iím not sure that the information is computerized, so weíd have to check the files, not only in Llanview, but in D.C. too. There is no way to do any of this easily. The thing I can do is check my legal journal and get the names of the clients. You could potentially run them through the police computer. That wonít necessarily mean weíll get the right person. You know, it could be someone with the same name or they could have changed their name."
"Okay, thatís not gonna work. Weíd never get anywhere."
"So, I need to keep doing what Iím doing."
"What does that mean?"
"It means I need to be out in the open to catch whoever is doing this."
"No! Youíre not doing that. You have a 3-year old daughter to raise. You are not putting yourself or her in danger like that."
"No! Youíre not doing it. Thatís final."
Evangeline took a deep breath and made eye contact with Antonio with an eyebrow raised, as if to say, this is why I didnít want him to know.
"John, Evangeline being out in the open may be the only way to catch this guy," Antonio said quietly.
"What? How can you even consider putting her out there?"
"John, I know how you feel about this."
"No, I donít think you do," he said to Antonio and then the Evangeline he said, "we need to talk about this at home."
"Antonio, I may be back. Iím not sure yet."
"Take your time. Iím here for the rest of the day. Iíll have the lab run this new note for fingerprints and see if we can get anything."
"Good, let me know what you come up with," he said before taking Evangelineís hand and leading her from the station.
She had walked to the community center, so the ride back to his condo was quiet. He was determined to protect her and she was determined to protect her family by finding out who was after her and catching them.
John knew that it would be easier to find this person if Evangeline was out in the open, but he didnít like it. He wanted her safe with him and he wasnít sure how to get that. She was looking out the window and he knew what she was thinking. She had always been one to take on a challenge head-on instead of allowing someone else to do the work, but this time had to be different. They had a little girl. She had to come first.
He knew he was finding reasons other than the real one. He didnít know if heíd make it if something happened to her. In the time that sheíd come back to him, he had grown to love her more than heíd ever thought possible. He couldnít lose her, but he couldnít control her either.
She, like their daughter, was pretty independent and liked living according to her own set of rules; even when those rules put her in danger. He could remember the whole RJ investigation. That had been a mess, but nothing heíd said or did would make her let it go. That was what had led her to the information on the Santis and look where that had gotten them. They would have to compromise in this case. He was aware of it even if he didnít like it.
She didnít want to fight with John, but she knew that she was going to have to be out there to get this guy to make a move. What she didnít want was for John or Dani to get caught in the crossfire. She had been going over in her mind, the potential clients that would have tried to come after her and she couldnít come up with one.
The FBI had told her that the Santis were no more, but could it be a straggler from the organization that was after her now? She wouldnít put it past them. She thought back to the dream sheíd had months ago, maybe subconsciously she knew something was going to happen. Well the dream wasnít going to come true. She wasnít letting anything happen to John.
"John, I have to help get whoever might be after me. You know this could still be about someone else. Maybe I got both notes by mistake."
"Maybe, but I doubt it."
"What are we going to do?"
"Well, at least you asked the right question. We are going to find out who this is and put them away."
"Well, what youíre not going to do is go out alone. Iíll drop you at the community center and pick you up. Thereís also Dani. Weíve got to keep a close eye on her. Sheís becoming more independent by the day. We are going to also have to tell the family. Shannon is at the community center with you, but everyone else could catch some fall out. They have to be told."
"I hate this. The reason Dani is so independent is because she wasnít allowed to just do and now for the first time in her life, she can just be and grow and explore. At least she could until this," Evangeline said with tears in her eyes, "Iím responsible for this. Now the family has to be on the watch for someone that is after me. This is just great."
"Hey, stop being so hard on yourself. This is not your fault. We need to find the nut whoís doing this. Then we go back to our lives."
"I hope youíre right."
They went home and tried to relax. They called the McBain family over to the condo and had a family meeting. After John briefed the family on the situation, Eve moved to the sofa beside Evangeline and took her hand. Evangeline was extremely moved by the concern that the McBain family had for her. Sheíd been concerned that they would be angry at the disruption in their lives. Theyíd surprised her and it surprised her that they truly thought of her as one of them. She really had a family.
"Well, what are we going to do about Dani?" Michael asked. His niece and MJ were upstairs in her room. The adults could hear the two of them talking over the baby monitor. MJ was babbling and Dani was telling him stories. If the situation wasnít serious, they all would have been laughing.
"Well, Iím not sure. She needs to be with someone during the time that she isnít at school."
"Iíll take her in the afternoons, if Evangeline is still at the center," Eve said and then turned to Evangeline, "Are you going to continue at the center?"
Evangeline looked up at John who stood near the fireplace, "I plan to, but Iím going to play it by ear. I donít want to put anyone at the center in danger; especially Shannon since people tend to think of us as family."
"Donít worry about me Evangeline. Iíll be fine."
"I know that Shannon. Iím going to make sure of it."
"Look, nothing going to happen to anyone. Weíre going to catch whoeverís doing this. And no one in this family is going to get hurt," John said. Then he cocked his head, he didnít hear anything. "Iím going to check on the kids," he said walking out of the room.
"Van, how are you doing with this?" asked Michael.
"Iím fine. Itís your brother Iím worried about," replied Evangeline.
"Heís worried about you. Thatís all. Heíll be okay."
"I hope so. I need him to be okay. Heís pretty upset that I want to stay in the open to catch this guy," replied Evangeline.
"Are you sure itís a guy?"
Evangeline had a perplexed look on her face at that comment. She then said, "You know, Iím not. I made the assumption that itís a guy because of the tone of the notes, but it could very well be a woman."
"But what woman would do something like this?"
"A very angry one," John said coming back into the room with both children.
"Mommy? When can we get a baby like MJ?" asked Dani.
"Dani, I donít know," Evangeline said over the chuckles that went around the room.
"Well, I want one for Christmas."
"Thank you for sharing that."
In that moment, MJ cried out and that distracted Dani enough to get away from that conversation. Eve looked at Evangeline and said with a smile, "You know sheís not going to forget that."
"Yes, I know, but Iím not responding to it."
"I donít think youíll need to. I figure itís only a matter of time. Anyone in their right mind can see that you and John are very much in love. Iím so happy for the both of you."
"Thanks, but I donít know how this new development will change us. We have been getting closer, but we really havenít had to deal with any other obstacles. I donít know if this will be good or bad."
"I can tell youíve been getting closer. The two of you can hardly be in a room without touching each other or following each other with your eyes. That is pretty special. I remember what that was like."
"With Johnís father?" Evangeline asked.
Eve just nodded.
"Youíll find it again. He will come."
"I hope so, but in the meantime, I love the fact that my sons have found it and I have grandchildren. Things canít get much better than that."
"What are you two so chummy about over here?" asked John as he moved to the sofa between the two women. He placed an arm around each of them.
"Weíre talking about you," said his mother.
"Oh, well I know that has to be good," he said with a smirk.
"Eve, heís so humble, too," Evangeline said.
John was so glad to see his mother and the love of his life so close. He had a feeling they were going to need each other before this threat was removed from their lives. His only goal was to make sure that they all lived through it. This was one time he couldnít fail.
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