Lost Love Ė Ch 6
After a few weeks with no threats, Evangeline let her guard down. John was still driving her to work, but she was convinced that the whole note thing had been a prank; some kids or something trying to scare her. She was really enjoying her time at the community center. She was in the process of planning a seminar to promote the youth planning for the future. She wanted to help the high schoolers put together a plan for what they wanted their life to look like. She was really excited about the event. Shannon had been helping her with the planning. Marcie and Michael were both speaking at the event to provide the youth with some information on their careers. John was also coming by. The event was still a month away, but Evangeline wanted everything planned and taken care of.
Today, sheíd told John that she would actually pick Dani up from pre-school and meet him at the station. He would then leave; take Evangeline and Dani home; and then go back to work if necessary. Evangeline called him before leaving the center. John had been adamant since heíd become aware of the Ďthreatsí, that Van let him know where she was at all times. She knew he did it because he loved her, but that was getting on her nerves. She would do it however. He worried enough already.
When she arrived at the school, she signed in to go to Daniís room and pick her up. Dani was playing with a little boy about her age with red hair and freckles. She looked up as her mother walked through the door. She said something to the little boy, picked up a stuffed dog and ran to her mother. Van caught Dani just as she leaped into her motherís arms. She wrapped her little arms around her mother and squeezed tight.
"Mommy, look what I got today."
"What is this?"
"I see that. Where did he come from?" Evangeline asked as she set the little girl on her feet.
"I donít know. Ms. Wallace brought him to me. She put a letter for you in my backpack."
"Well, where is your backpack?í
"Iíll go get it. Whereís Daddy?" Dani said as she went to the wall to retrieve the back pack with her mother on her heels.
"Heís at work. Weíre walking to the station to meet him."
"Okay," Dani said, "Hereís the letter."
Evangeline took the letter from Dani, which had her name on it, and opened the envelope. When she pulled out the card, she gasped. It read, ĎI can get to her even if I canít get to you.í The card fell from her hand, as she grabbed Dani and hugged her. She took multiple deep breaths as Dani squirmed in her arms.
"Mommy, youíre hugging too tight."
"Iím sorry sweetie. I just love you very, very much."
"I know that."
Evangeline picked up the card and slid it back into the envelope. She took Dani by the hand and held on to her as they walked to the main office. As she walked in to the office, Ms. Wallace smiled at her.
"Dani, why donít you sit right here with your dog while I talk to Ms. Wallace?"
"I see you got your card," said Ms. Wallace.
"Yes, I just got it from Dani. Who brought it here?" Evangeline asked as she watched Dani through the window.
"The gift shop. It was so funny. They told me that they were delivering the doggie to Danielle so that she would have a chance to play with it throughout the day. They said it was from your mother. They asked that I give the card to you so that you and Danielle could share the gift so to speak."
"What did they look like?"
"Just an average guy. 5í11í, brown hair, brown eyes. Sorry. Why?"
Evangeline looked to see that Dani was distracted. She then turned back to Ms. Wallace. "My mother is dead."
"What? Well, why?"
"I donít know. But I ask that you donít accept any other gifts for her here, unless I or her father specifically talk to you about them. Also, only 5 people are on the list to have access to Dani, we need to follow that to the letter."
"We do Ms. Williamson. Iím so sorry that I didnít check with you, but it was an actual gift shop. I even had to sign for the dog and card. "
"Whatís the name of the shop?"
"Little Touches. I think it might have been from the one on the Square. I donít remember seeing the address. I checked the dog multiple times to make sure that there was nothing that would hurt Dani."
"Thank you. I donít want to scare you, but I have to make sure that Dani is protected."
"I understand perfectly. Thatís why we are so big on security and making sure that the children are kept inside or inside the fence in the playground."
"I know and I do thank you for taking care of my little girl. If anything suspicious happens, please call me immediately. I or Daniís father will be here right away. I hope to see you tomorrow," Evangeline said as she walked out the door.
"Come on, Dani. We need to go meet Daddy."
The whole way to the station, Evangeline was looking over her shoulder. She didnít know who had threatened her daughter, but now she knew that they were after her; that was no longer a question. What was she going to do about it? When she told John, he was going to be furious. She knew that he was frustrated with her, because she was determined that they would have a life not dictated by the fear that something could happen. How could she explain to him that her stubbornness had indeed put her daughter in danger?
Youíre scared. Good. I have you right where I want you. You are going to pay for all Iíve lost.
John was frustrated. Heíd been attempting to find anything he could on whoever had sent Evangeline the notes and nothing was turning up. He was at a stand still and he couldnít stand it. Evangeline was acting like nothing had happened. She hadnít received another note in the past two weeks and he thought she was getting comfortable. He needed her to keep her guard up. What was he supposed to do? He had to protect his family.
He wanted her to stop working at the community center and stay home with Dani. She had been adamant about this not changing their lives too much, but he had a feeling that before it was over a lot would be changed. He had been working hard to express his concern to her, but she was so damned independent and right now he just needed her to trust his judgment.
When she walked into the station, she saw John sitting at his desk. Dani was talking about her day and talking to her new dog, whom she had named Spot. She was wearing her backpack and dressed in blue jeans and a red t-shirt. She looked adorable. She was growing up so fast, and Evangeline was so scared.
John had obviously noticed them come in, as he had moved to open his door. When Dani saw him, she ran to him for a hug. She wrapped her arms around his legs and looked up at him.
"Hi, Daddy," she smiled.
"Hi, Pumpkin," he said in return. Dani could always put a smile on his face.
"Daddy?" she said gesturing for him to bend down.
"What?" he asked when he was at her level.
"Look what I got," she said showing him the doggie, while wrapping her arm around his neck.
"A dog? Where did he come from? Did Mommy get him for you?"
"Uh uh. Somebody brought him to me at school."
"They did?" John said, looking at Evangeline. She just shook her head. He could see that she was shaken up. Now all he had to do was find out why. Dani was telling him about her day and he needed to talk to her mother. He looked at one of the officers in the bullpen and gestured to Dani. When the officer nodded, he said, "Dani, why donít you go with Officer Timms to get an ice cream sandwich?"
"Yippee," she said running off with the officer.
As soon as she was out of the office, Evangeline walked into his arms. He didnít know what had happened, but he knew it couldnít be good. He drew her into his office and sat down on the corner of his desk, with her standing between his legs. He leaned back with his arm still around her waist. Her hair was covering her eyes and he pushed it back. He was shocked to see her eyes filled with tears.
"Angie, what is going on?"
Instead of answering him, she passed him the note that she was still carrying in her hand. She held the envelope while he pulled the note free. As he read the note, the color drained from his face.
"Is that where the dog came from?"
"Yes," Evangeline whispered. She went on to divulge the information that Ms. Wallace had given her. John called on of the officers into his office to start an investigation on the latest note. When John finished dishing out orders, the officer was on his way to interview the employees at the gift shop and canvas the area. He wanted a description of the person that had sent the package to his daughter. This was a case that he would be handling himself.
Antonio was out of town and wouldnít be back for at least a week. With the fall of the Santi empire and the jailing of Tico Santi, Jessica was now free from the self-imposed prison sheíd found herself in when sheíd married Tico. Antonio had never stopped loving her, even though sheíd married his brother. Since Evangeline had been back, Antonio had also learned he was a father. Heíd thought Jessicaís child was his nephew, but heíd just found out that he was his son. As a result of that information, heíd left Sonja, who heíd been in a relationship with. He and Jessica had recently reunited, and they were spending time together to see if what theyíd lost could be restored.
John pulled Evangeline to him and kissed her softly, "Nothing is going to happen to Dani."
"I know. I wonít let it."
"There you go again with the ĎIí. We wonít let it. You keep forgetting that youíre not on your own any more. Stop reacting as if you are. We are in this together."
"John, this is my fault. All of it. Iím reminded yet again, that in trying to do the right thing, Iíve endangered the lives of the people I love the most. This can not continue. I wonít do this to you or to Dani."
"What are you talking about?"
"Iíll leave. Iíll just leave. That way whoever is after me wonít have you or Dani as a target."
"Angie, stop it. I can take care of myself. Iím a big boy. You are not going to leave. Dani and I both need you here."
"John, Iím a danger to you and Dani. I canít stay."
"Evangeline, stop it," he said in a lower voice, that she knew meant that he was furious, but she wasnít in the mood to heed the warning.
"No, I wonít. What are we going to do? We have no idea whoís behind this. Are we just going to wait on them to make a move?"
"If necessary, but you arenít going anywhere."
"John, I donít need your permission to leave," she said with a tilt of her head. He was in no mood for that from her right now. He grabbed her. He kissed her hard before she could say anything. The kiss was so full of passion that she could only lean into his arms. He savored the kiss and then leaned his forehead against hers.
"Youíre not leaving me again. Got it?"
"Yes," she responded breathlessly.
"I donít want to hear you say it again. Youíre here and this is where you are staying."
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