Part 12

John stood staring at the empty bed. It had been over
twenty four hours since Evangeline had checked herself
out of the Llanview hospital. She was now deemed
officially missing. None of her friends or family had
heard from her. It was as if she had simply vanished.
He was working on no sleep and lots of bad coffee, for
all he knew he could be blowing this whole thing way
out of proportion. They had parted in the midst of an
argument both angry and tired. But they had had much
worse, and somehow they always found there way back.
That wasnít the case this time. This time there was no
phone call, no stopping in at the station, no happy
reconciliation.

Nora had encouraged him not to worry, maybe she needed
more time. But nobody knew better than he that no
matter what came out of his mouth she knew how he
truly felt, and she would never pull something like
this. After everything he had been thru with Caitlin
and Natalie, and his motherÖshe would never put him
through that again. Never.

John strolled about the empty hospital room for the
umpteenth time. It felt stupid being in here when she
could be out there, anywhere. But this was the last
place anyone had seen her; this was the only place he
could run to for clues on her whereabouts. He had had
the room closed off under the pretence that it may be
the scene of a crime, if anything did in fact happen
to Evangeline this was the last physical place they
could tie her to, so here he would begin. He zoned out
completely as he ran his hand gently across the pillow
she had lay on. Such a simple gesture invoked strong
visions of her lying there in that very spot mere
hours ago. I should have said what I mean to say. But
he hadnít, and that fact only compounded his worry,
that she might be in trouble, alone and hurt somewhere
out there, not knowing what truly was in his heart.

"John," Michael had quietly entered the room, wanting
John to have as much of that moment to himself. He
didnít share Johnís concerns. To him whole thing was
simple. She was trying to get away from John. But
Michael knew that when his brother had a hunch, rarely
was he ever wrong. But he had to believe that in this
instant John was way off. But that had been before
the man in the ER had started screaming, yelling about
an accident, yelling about a cab, about the woman
whose body had never been found.

"What," John didnít turn around, his voice sounded
angry at the intrusion.

"John, I know you probably want to be alone right now
but- John I think you need to hear this." Something in
Michaelís voice made him turn around. It was then that
John saw what knew to be fear in his brotherís eyes.

"What is it?" Michael simply answered by turning away,
indicating to his brother to follow suite. A few doors
down, Michael opened the door to another hospital
room. Behind him John watched as he approached the man
in bad. An average height middle aged man lay pale and
bruised hooked to an IV, he was in bad shape.

"Bernie," Michael half whispered as he stood over the
man, behind him John stood at the door. Waiting for
the signal that it was ok to come in.
The manís eyes instantly fluttered open.
"DocÖ" he spoke softly. "Did you find her?" Michael
simply shook his head.

"No, nothing yet. Bernie, this is my brotherÖ" he
beckoned John over. "Heís a cop, heís here to help.
Bernie I want you to tell him everything you told me."

Bernie looked up form one face to another. John shot
his brother a questioning look. He noticed how tired
and sullen the man looked. The stubble that played
across his chin, made him look older, all in all he
seemed sickly and a blatant waste of time.

"Excuse usÖ" John clutched Michael upper arm, moving
away from the bed as he did so.

"Mikey, I donít have time for thisÖ"

"John, just hear what he has to sayÖplease."

Michael didnít wait for another protest as he returned
to his patient.

"Címon Bernie, tell John what you told me." John made
no move back towards the bed as Bernie began to speak.

"Well, uh- I was just telling the Doc here, how I
drive a cab. You know one of those yellow checker
cabs." John rolled his eyes. "Well Iím uh-driving down
the freeway tonight, and this jackass cuts me off as
Iím heading over the bridge. So I-uh, I slam on my
brakes and the next thing I know Iím spinning on the
ice and Iím flying over the railing. I must have
passed out or something coz next thing I know I wake
up here. That guy could have killed us!"

John walked over to the bed, fed up and no wanting to
hear another word.

"Look Mr.-Bernie. Iíll have one of my officers look
into this thing for you. Now if youíll excuse me-"

"Tell him the rest," Michael cut in, "about the
woman."

"What woman?" John turned to Michael who turned to the
cab driver. Bernie cleared his throat before
continuing.

"I had uh-picked up this lady. She had called for a
cab. Picked her up right outside the hospital. She
didnít talk to much, seemed kinda down, so I didnít
push it, you know. But she was there she saw the whole
thing, but when I woke up she was gone."

"Tell him what she looked like." Michael urged him to
continue.

"Black girl, tall, she talked nice, she was a real
looker thatís for sure. I was taking her to her place
uptown." John looked across at Michael as he started
to see what made his brother so anxious; his heartbeat
drummed in his ears as he let what he was hearing sink
in.

"Bernie, you didnít happen to get a name did you?"
John questioned as he fished inside his jacket pocket
for his wallet. Bernie shook his head as John pulled
at the photograph, it had been taken a while ago, when
Evangeline had made him sit in one of those booths at
a fair and they had gotten their pictures taken.
"Bernie, is this the woman you picked up?" he held the
pictures up for the cabbie to see, wanting so badly
for the answer to be no.

Bernieís squinted, before his eyes doubled in size.

"Thatís her man, how did you know! Thatís her, I
picked her up sometime in the morning." He seemed
excited. John leaned in closer.

"Ok, Bernie. This is really important, are you sure it
was her? Was she brought here with you?"

"Thatís just it," Michael sighed, "When the troopers
found the cab, Bernie was the only one there. They
searched the site but she wasnít there, and none of
the other hospitals reported anyone being brought in
with her description."

"That doesnít mean anything!" John shot back suddenly,
"I want a full search of that crash site, sheís out
there off the highway somewhere Mikey, and Iím gonna
find her."

"But thatís what I was trying to tell those idiot
troopers when I they picked me up. Sheís not out
there!" Bernie seemed flustered; he was trying to sit
up.

"What?" John turned back to him.

"Relax Bernie, what do you mean, she gotta be out
there." Michael made an attempt to relax him back
against the pillows.

"No you gotta listen! Right before I passed out I saw
him. This guy, he came outta nowhere. It was like he
had been waiting for us all along. All I remember is
the door opening and this guy, tall guy he just picked
her up like she was nothing. Then he just turned
around and walked away like it was nothing man.
Freaked me out!"

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Evangeline was trying hard not to cry. She has been
dreaming againÖabout John. It had seemed so real, but
the reality of her situation had come back to her the
moment she opened her eyes.

She was in that room again, staring up at the bland
ceiling. But this time she noticed something
different, a video camera. Evangeline sat up with
incredible difficulty. She felt even worse then
before. The grogginess she had felt before seemed to
have tripled and was suddenly coupled with nausea.
She felt her stomach churn and instinctively she moved
to the edge of the bed ready to hurl. Her sides hurt
as she threw up, but there was nothing really to
expel, there was nothing in her stomach. She hadnít
eaten anything since before the night if the gala and
she felt weak and sick and helpless.

Moments later she lay back onto the bed, brushing away
the sweat that tricked down the side of her forehead.
As she did so, she noticed the band aide that had been
placed in the area on the back of her elbow.
Evangeline traced a finger over it, feeling the tears
sting her eyes as she realized it was a puncture
wound.

Clutching her stomach she finally got up, her eyes
focused on the camera as she studied the space around
her for some sign of where she was and what was
happening. She wanted to cry but she couldnít bring
herself to crumble in front of whoever had done this
terrible thing to her, she wouldnít let them see her
breakdown. But the emptiness of the room scared her;
there was no connection to the outside, nothing
personal about the space. Just a cold distancing
feeling of nothingness.

"John, where are you?" the thought of him, the image
of his face comforted her. She whispered his name to
herself over and over and over till finally she was
yelling it. She wouldnít cry but she could certainly
get angry. Evangeline didnít know what she was doing
till her fists were banging painfully against the cold
steel door that separated her from whatever was behind
it.

"HELP! HELP ME!" she was yelling and screaming
anything and everything, anything was better than the
silence of the unknown.

As the sound of the door latch sounded Evangeline
immediately stopped her frantic attempts. She backed
away slowly as the door opened, nursing her bruised
fists as she did so. Evangeline stared at the pale
brunette standing in front of her, eyeing her with
caution. She remembered, Celia.

"Ah, your awake I see," she smiled sweetly, stepping
into the room as the door closed behind her. She
carried in front of her a glass of milk and a glass
plate with what looked like a sandwich and an apple.
The woman was still smiling as she laid the food on
the bedside table, turning to look at Evangeline who
had backed herself into a corner.

"Thought Iíd bring you something to eat." She smiled
again.

"Who are you?" Evangeline finally spoke. "I know you.
Who are you and what are you doing to me."

"Hush now", the woman moved to the door now turning to
leave. "All your questions will be answered soon." Her
voice sounded sincere, soothing but right now
Evangeline was buying that. On a whim her had moved to
the glass of milk on the table. Once in her hand she
hesitated for only a second before hurling the glass
towards the woman. The glass missed the womanís head
by mere inches, shattering into a million pieces as
the milk was sprayed everywhere.

The woman stopped dead in her tracks, before turning.
The sweet smile was now replaced by an incredible
rage. Evangeline watched in horror as the woman lunged
towards her, aiming for her face. Evangeline moved
just in time as the woman landed on the bed and before
she could recoup Evangeline was already at the door.
Thrusting it open she felt her knees go week as Dr.
Steven Haver stared down at her.

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"Iíll kill her!" Celia charged towards her but as she
swung at her captive, Evangeline ducked before landing
a powerful right cross on Celiaís chin. The punch
didnít impede her much as she quickly turned back to
Evangeline ready to administer a powerful blow.

"Enough!"

The sound of Haverís voice made Evangeline shiver, and
as she moved away from him, she found herself in yet
another corner, watching and waiting for their next
move.

"Clean this up, Iíll take care of her." The moment she
heard the words Evangeline tried to run. But there was
nowhere to go. Steven Haverís tall frame closed in on
her, his fingers biting painfully into her upper arms.
She hadnít seen the syringe till he pulled out of
pocket, removing the cap with his mouth as one arm
pinned her against the wall.

Evangeline started to scream as the needle was plunged
into her neck, feeling whatever was being pumped into
her blood stream as it washed through her body. Her
mouth was still open but she wasnít screaming anymore.
The last bit of strength left her body as she
collapsed into his arms.

"Please John," she whispered, "please."

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