Kevin was worried.
He couldn’t stop thinking about Brian all alone in a cold, dreary prison cell. He didn’t belong in such a place, but the bastard who was being so heartless did.
Then of course there was Nick. He had been taken into the operating theatre for emergency treatment just as Brian left and he had still bee in there two hours later. Kevin had to prevent his vision clouding with tears as he drove along the dark streets.
He knew that he had promised Brian to ‘guard’ Nick, but it had been unbearable at the hospital. Howie had almost freaked completely when they heard a woman’s screams from the corridor as the doctors broke the news to her about her dead relative. Howie’s huge heart had been unable to bear such grief and he had broken into tears himself.
Kevin had left Nick in AJ and Howie’s caring hands while he went to check on Brian. He could see from his cousin’s painful eyes that he blamed himself for Nick’s attack.
He pulled up outside of the police station and wiped his eyes one last time. For a moment he glanced down at his cell phone, but no text message had appeared and he had missed no calls. That meant that there was no news on Nick’s condition. It was neither good nor bad news.
Slowly he clambered out of the car and shivered slightly as a cold, winter wind blew harshly at his exposed face. He wrapped his black coat about him and then dashed up the steps to the police station.
“Can I help you?” the man at the desk asked politely.
“Yeah, my cousin is staying here under police protection and I was wondering if I could see him. Could I speak to Sergeant Peters please about this matter?”
“He just got in,” the man informed him. “I’ll let him know you’re here. What’s your name sir?”
The man frowned for a moment. “You know, I’ve heard that name before but I can’t think where…”
Kevin smiled tiredly. “I’m sure you’ll think of it.”
“I’ll call Peters. Would you like to take a seat?”
Kevin nodded and stiffly sat down upon one of the plastic chairs. He yawned and massaged his tense neck for a moment as he thought of Brian. Brian couldn’t cope with being in a prison cell, even for protection. The thought of Brian sat in a cold stone walled prison with his wide blue eyes gazing fearfully about his terrible surroundings plagued his mind and all he wanted to do was to reach out to him and convince him that he wasn’t alone in his situation, Kevin was here to help things get better. And as far as Kevin was concerned, nobody would get near Brian if he was with him.
“Mr. Richardson?” a voice asked.
“Peters!” Kevin replied, smiling in relief at the sight of the familiar police officer. “I just came to see how Brian was doing.” His words were rushed and anxious as his mind fought to push him forward to rescue Brian from his nightmare.
“He’s not even been here a night yet,” Peters said. “Are you that worried we’ve got him on the bread and water?”
“It’s not that,” Kevin said. “I know you’ll treat him well, but I know that he was terrified of going to jail. I think he’ll be really scared about this. I thought I’d come down and see him. It’s his first night here and… I don’t want him to be alone.”
Peters glanced at the digital watch on his arm. “It’s very late… or should I say very early. He’ll probably be asleep.”
“I just want to sit with him in case he wakes up. I don’t want him to think he’s alone.”
“He didn’t want to go in there,” Peters said. “He was convinced we were locking him up for being a criminal. I think he’d like for you to stay. Follow me.”
Kevin smiled gratefully. For some unknown reason, he was worried about Brian. There was an awful feeling squatting in the pit of his stomach and it was making him feel sicker with each step. He slowly followed Peters through a set of double doors and down the empty corridors.
“Where is everyone?” he asked, unnerved by the deathly silence around him.
“In the office,” peters replied. “This shift is generally much quieter so we have less men in. Besides, this is only a small station.”
Kevin frowned slightly at the words. “Are you sure Brian will be safe here?”
“No one has the keys except Fren and I,” Peters reassured him.
Kevin still felt a little uncertain as the empty corridors that were filled with unbearable silence. It was so empty… so cold… poor Brian.
“Down here,” Peters said as he opened a door which led to a flight of steps. There’s no one in here except Brian.”
“I shouldn’t have let him come alone,” Kevin murmured.
“We’re looking after him. We’ve given him a few books and some music and we made the bed up nice and comfy for him.”
“I know, but he was dreading you arresting him. This will just scare him.”
Peters sighed slightly. “I know this situation isn’t easy for him, but hopefully it will all be over soon and he can go home.”
“I hope so.”
They reached the bottom of the steps and Kevin found himself in an aisle of prison cells. Each one had stone walls with a barred door to keep a prisoner from escaping. There was no window and only a small, hard bed and a tiny bench to sit upon. How could Brian survive in here?
“Brian?” Kevin called anxiously. He suddenly realised how hard his heat was palpitating in his chest and his legs were turning weaker with each step beat.
“He’s probably asleep,” Peters said. He rounded on one of the cells and then froze abruptly.
In that second, Kevin knew his instinct had been right. Something was wrong.
Peters opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Kevin peered over his shoulder in fear, dreading what he might see. His cousin was too innocent to cope with prison cells and murderers…
Brian wasn’t there.
“Where is he?” Kevin said frantically. He peered closer into the cell as if somehow his cousin had hidden himself, but there was nowhere to hide. Brian was gone.
Peters looked confused. “I – I don’t know. I don’t where he is.”
“What do you mean? How could he just walk out of here! You said this place was safe!” Kevin snapped. “Where is my little cousin?”
Peters was completely lost for words. He turned and stared about the aisle of prison cells but there was no Brian. “Brian!” he called urgently. “He couldn’t have got out of here!” he said as he turned to Kevin.
“So what happened to him? Where is he?”
Peters placed a hand to his forehead and Kevin could see the strain upon his face as he fought to keep control of the situation. “Fren,” he said eventually. “When I got called out, Fren said he would check on him regularly. Maybe he’s with him.”
Immediately Peters began to stride down the aisle and Kevin quickly followed him, his body beginning to tremble as uncertainty started to take a hold on him with numbing fingers that crept throughout his body.
Both men dashed up the steps and then Peters turned to the right and began to jog hurriedly. Kevin sensed the officer’s panic and he knew that Peters suspected something terrible had happened, just like Kevin did.
Peters hardly stopped as he reached a door with the words ‘Joseph Fren’ upon it. He knocked on the door and then strode straight into the office.
“Joe, do you know where Brian is?” Peters asked as he flung the door to Fren’s office open, but he fell into stunned silence at the sight that met him.
Fren looked up, his face paling as he saw the two men in the doorway. Kevin’s eyes glided about the room and then they fell upon the bag on Fren’s desk which the officer was rapidly shoving all of his belongings into. A Few photo frames poked out of the edge of the bag as well as a few clothes. On the floor was a closed suitcase with a big, white bulging envelope on top of it.
“W – what…?” Peters stared at his partner in shock.
“What the hell are you doing? Where’s my cousin!” Kevin demanded.
“I… I…” Fren’s eyes darted about his office and then his hand suddenly shot out across his desk to reach the gun at the far end.
“Not so fast!” Kevin shrieked as he snatched the gun from the desk just before Fren’s bony fingers could seize hold of the deadly weapon.
Fren glanced at him with a glimmer of hatred in his dark eyes. Greedily he stared at the gun in Kevin’s hands and his lips thinned even more.
“Fren, what’s going on?” Peters asked quietly. He glanced down at the suitcase and bag that Fren had been packing.
Fren glared at Kevin. “Give me the gun.”
“No, where’s Brian?” Kevin said icily.
“Where is he, Joe?” Peters repeated.
Fren’s thin lips remained firmly sealed, but then he sprang forward and tried to knock the gun from Kevin’s hands. Kevin quickly held the gun above his head to keep it away from Fren as the officer flew at him with his fist raised. Kevin instinctively lashed out and his balled hand connected with Fren’s face. Fren gave a scream of pain as he fell back down to the floor, a stream of blood trickling from his nose. Kevin handed the gun to Peters and then leant down to pin Fren’s arms back above his head before he could try and attack again.
“Where is Brian!” Kevin snapped.
Fren groaned as the blood dribbled own his face and he glared up at Kevin with undisguised hatred. He tired to push upwards on Kevin’s hands, but he was stronger and kept Fren at his mercy.
Peters extended one hand and plucked the envelope from Fren’s suitcase. Kevin turned his head and saw him unfold the flap and his eyes widened as he saw hundreds and hundreds of fifty dollar bills inside. Peters pulled out another smaller envelope. “Plane ticket,” he said. “To Hawaii. Thinking of going on vacation?” He glanced down at Fren
“Something like that,” Fren muttered.
“Where’s Brian? Who did you sell him out to?” Peters said. “You’ll lose your job over this!”
“Where is Brian?” Kevin snarled, his anger rising as his stomach filled with more and more nausea at the thought of what could have happened to his cousin.
“Mr. Richardson. Let him up,” Peters ordered. “Let him speak. He’s not going anywhere.” He held the gun in his hands and pointed it at Fren.
Kevin glared once more into Fren’s dark eyes and then reluctantly released the officer’s ands. Fren immediately sat up and covered his bleeding nose with his hands while Kevin stood up to stand beside Peters.
“Now, what happened to Brian?” Peters asked.
Fren remained stubbornly silent and his eyes drifted to his money packet which Peters had placed down upon the desk.
“Damn it Joe, how could you do this? How could you betray us all? He was innocent and you sold him! Where is Brian?” Peters repeated.
Fren’s eyes continued to gaze at his money and then he glanced towards the door, but he knew he was caught. “All right, you’ve caught me, but I won’t tell you where he is unless you let me go.”
Peters laughed. “Ha! You’re not going anywhere. You’re a disgrace and I’m not letting you walk out of this place. You’re going down for a long time.”
“If you try and arrest me then you’ll never find Brian,” Fren hissed. “By the time you do, he’ll be dead.”
Kevin gasped at the cold certainty within Fren’s voice and he nervously glanced at Peters. His eyes were growing wet as his mind began to think of the thousands of torturous things someone could be doing to Brian. Thanks to Fren, Brian’s stalker finally had his hands on the one he had wanted.
Peters gritted his teeth slightly. “What do you mean?”
“My friend is going to kill him.”
“Who has him? The stalker?” Kevin whispered, thinking of the malicious letters and notes Brian had received.
Fren nodded. “Let me go and I will tell you more.”
Kevin suddenly found his body moving towards Fren and he seized the light haired man by the collar of his shirt. “Tell us where my cousin is!” he snapped.
Fren smirked slightly, realising that he had the power. “Be nicer or I won’t say a word and your cousin will die!”
“Mr. Richardson!” Peters said. “Release him now! We will find your cousin!”
Kevin’s eyes burrowed into Fren’s face and he only wished that he could pound the information out of him. People like Fren should not be allowed to get away with this. They should not be allowed to give away the lives of innocent people for their dirty money.
He glanced behind him at Peters and then slowly released Fren and stepped back. Fren watched him back away and then straightened his shirt up smugly.
“All right Joe, I’ll let you get away but only because I’m determined to find Brian alive. If I could I would gladly see your ass rot in jail,” Peters spat. “Where is the Backstreet Boy? I’m assuming someone came to collect him from you?”
Fren nodded and then his eyes drifted back down to his bags. “I want to talk outside. When you’ve got your information, you go get Brian and let me go. I don’t trust you in here not to try and lock me up.”
“I’m a man of my word,” Peters said insulted.
“I don’t care.”
Fren nodded and picked up his bag and suitcase. He went to take his money and plane ticket form the table, but Kevin snatched it away. “You get this when you’ve told us where Brian is.”
Peters motioned for Fren to lead the way and Kevin followed him, watching the officer’s movements very carefully in case he decided to try anything to escape. Fren briefly turned for one moment and then nodded towards the fire exit on their right.
“Go ahead,” Peters replied, his gun still held in his hands.
Peters pushed the doors open and led them all down a small flight of steps which brought them down into the car lot. He shivered slightly and then turned to Kevin and Peters.
“I swear if Brian’s not alive when we get to him…” Peters threatened as he glared hatefully at Fren.
Kevin had to fight to prevent the tears from brimming over in his eyes. He was itching to move and do something to save Brian, but he couldn’t until the weasel Fren decided to give them the information…. And it sounded as if they might be too late already.
“You gotta hurry,” Fren said quickly. “If you hurry, you can save him.”
“Who took him?” Kevin asked, wanting to know the name of the one who had tortured them all for so long.
Peters’ fingers tightened on his gun. “Nice try Fren, but Liam Baker is dead. We have his body. He couldn’t have took him.”
“No, you don’t have Liam’s body. It belonged to Adam, Liam’s twin brother.”
“He has a twin?” Peters asked.
Fren nodded. “Adam Baker. They worked as a team to commit crimes which is why they were so good at it and they didn’t let anybody know there was two of them. When one of them was on the run, they would both allow themselves to be seen in different states to confuse the police. It was the perfect plan. One day they needed some cash and Liam had seen Brian that day. He thought it would be fun to kill a popstar as well as take all his money.”
“Go on,” Kevin whispered frailly.
Freb took a deep breath. “They arrived at his house and Adam went in while Liam waited in the van. Liam saw Brian come home and a little later on he saw Brian leave. He went in to find his brother, but Adam was dead.”
“Thye actually wanted to kill him?” Kevin asked.
“Why not? When the Baker brothers feel like killing someone, it happens. Brian was the only one to ever escape. Liam doesn’t care if Brian killed Adam in self-defense, he just wants revenge. In his eyes, Brian is the murderer and him and Adam did nothing wrong.”
“He’s going to kill him isn’t he?” Kevin said, his lips beginning to tremble.
The word was cold and felt like a stone as it hit Kevin’s heart, making a huge great rip that erupted with pain. Brian…
“All right, where have they gone?” Peters asked urgently.
“They left about ten minutes ago and Liam was taking him to the woods about sixteen miles from here. You know the ones, just outside of town? Where the railway line goes?”
Peters nodded. “Right.”
“There’s a train coming along that line at 2.27,” Fren said.
“They’re getting on the train?” Kevina sked.
Fren shook his head and gazed at Kevin. “No, there’s no station there so the train won’t be stopping. There’s only a railway bridge there.”
Kevin didn’t understand it at first and then he felt the nausea rising in his throat and he had to swallow it back as the sob sprang up his throat with the realisation that hit his mind. “Oh god…”
Peters glanced at his watch. “We got about twenty five minutes,” he whispered.
“I told you now give me my money,” Fren said.
Kevin flung Fren’s envelope at him and the officer gladly received it. He wanted to turn, seize the gun and fire a bullet through the vile man’s head as he thought of Brian, but he refused to allow them to be held up anymore. They had to hurry. Twenty five minutes to save Brian’s life…
Peters pocketed his gun and the grabbed Kevin’s arm while Fren rushed away down the street.
“Come on, we have to hurry if we want to save him.