CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT
Kevin ran his hands through his hair as they waited at the police station. Harsen had made a few calls and then dashed of to Brian’s house to check the security cameras. He hadn’t let the other Backstreet Boys come and Kevin felt so hopeless…
Nick sat in his seat with his head in his hands. Kevin knew that he was trying to hide his tears. Nick didn’t like people to see when he was upset. Howie sat beside him, an arm around his friend.
“He’s been ages!” AJ said, breaking the silence.
“Only an hour actually,” Howie said calmly. “And these things are bound to take time.”
“But it’s taking too long!” AJ complained.
“AJ, we’re all worried here,” Kevin replied. “And it’s making us tense. They’ll find him.”
“And if the cameras weren’t on? What then?” AJK said, voicing Kevin’s worse fear.
“You know what, AJ?” Kevin said, standing up. “I don’t know! I don’t know what we’re gonna do and it’s killing me not knowing! You think I’m not worried? It’s my baby cousin that’s missing!” Tears came to Kevin’s eyes. His baby cousin. He was alone with a child to look after and probably half scared to death.
AJ hung his head. “I – I’m sorry, Kev. I – I just - ”
“It’s okay, AJ. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have shouted at you,” Kevin apologised, rubbing his eyes.
“Guys,” Howie said gently. “We’re all tense and worried. Let’s try not to panic until Harsen gets back.” He patted Nick on the shoulder and then Kevin understood that their arguments were upsetting Nick even more.
Kevin nodded and sat back down again. Suddenly, Harsen burst through the door. Kevin looked up and held his breath.
“They were on!” Harsen said triumphantly. “And we’re in luck because they filmed everything!”
“Does it show who took Brian and Sammy?” AJ asked.
“Yes. Two men arrived at the house and broke in through the back. Later, they come out dragging Brian and Sammy with them. We can’t see the license plate on the van, but we can see the kidnappers faces. They looked familiar so I did a bit of checking up. They’re called Carl James and Dustin Mason. They were arrested two years ago in connection with a murder. There was another man, Pete Simmons with them. All were released on lack of evidence.”
The boys listened intensely, desperate to hear something that would help them to find their friend.
Harsen continued. “I researched Carl and Dustin. They’ve been in prison several times for small offences, but there’s nothing there that would help us. Research of Pete, however, did turn up something interesting. He was involved in a case four and a half years ago, and you’ll never guess what for, he was fighting for custody of his son, Sammy Brooks. He was refused due to an involvement with drugs a few years before that and Sammy was handed over to his mother. Pete didn’t like the final decision and tried to kidnap Sammy shortly afterwards.”
“Sounds like he would have a motive for kidnapping Sammy. Do you know where he is?” Kevin asked, feeling a flicker of hope burning inside of him.
“We’ve got an address and we’ll send some people out there tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow may be too late!” Nick shouted, standing up. “Pete was connected with murder and it doesn’t take a great deal of brains to work out he’s dangerous! How do you think he’s gonna react when he finds that Brian has been playing dad to his own son?”
Harsen hesitated. “I’ll send someone out as soon as I can.”
Harsen marched determinedly up to the faded door of Pete’s dingy apartment and knocked. He wasn’t surprised to get no reply.
“Pete Simmons? Open up, this is the police. We need to speak with you,” he called.
“I don’t think he’s in,” Harsen’s partner, Muir said.
“We’ll do this the hard way then,” Harsen said. He gestured for Muir to stand back and then kicked the door open.
The apartment was dark and the floor was cluttered with junk. There was a huge porn poster on the wall but it had been slashed through the middle.
Muir flicked the light switch and a dull bulb lit up with a faint glow, illuminating the dump that was Pete’s house. Trash littered the floor – food cans, half eaten dinners and empty potato crisp packets.
Cuboards and drawers were empty. A few clothes were on the floor.
“Looks like he’s packed off somewhere,” Muir commented. “The kid and the Backstreet Boy won’t be here.”
Harsen agreed but continued to look around the apartment. There was a scribbled note by the phone. It was an address of some kind – Brian’s address.
“Look at this,” Muir said. He picked up a crumpled piece of paper up off of the floor. “It’s a title deed. A warehouse up north. Might be worth checking it out.”
“Yeah, definitely. “See if you can find anything else.”
Harsen moved across into the bedroom and turned the light on. He could hardly believe what he was saying.
“Ronnie,” he called to Muir.
Muir entered the room. “Are those what I think they are?”
Harsen bent down. The floor was covered in magazine and newspaper cuttings. All of them were about the Backstreet Boys. Pinned to the wall was a picture cut from a newspaper of Sammy and Brian. Brian’s face, however, had been slashed through. All of the articles on the floor featured pictures of the Backstreet Boys – most of them were interviews with Brian in them. On every single picture, Brian’s face had been viciously ripped.
Muir picked a knife up from the bedside table. It looked as if Pete had used it to slash through every picture of Brian he could find. Pete definitely was not happy with him.
“Oh shit,” Muir said. “We’ve gotta find them quick.”