The words Mike had just vocalized resonated in Matt’s head and clutched at his heart.   “What?” he said in a barely audible whisper, his eyes burning from the threat of tears. 


“Yes, Matt,” the older man asserted with a nod of his head, “Bobby has Ellen.   I don’t exactly how it happened, but what I do know is that he showed up at the hospital and he left with her.   I called Ellen’s apartment and when she answered I asked her some questions.   Through some veiled responses, she disclosed that Bobby with her and he had a gun.”


Questions swam in Matt’s head.   How did Bobby know about Ellen and how did he find out his location in the first place?  He’d have to answer those questions later.  Right now he had to get Ellen away from his brother before he…  Matt shook the thought from his head.  “Bobby knows that I know he has Ellen.”


“No, he doesn’t.   Ellen never let on that she was talking to me.  She pretended I was Alice.”

“Trust me, Mike, he knows.   Bobby was waiting for that call.   Neither you nor Ellen had any reason to think he would, but he’s my brother and I know how that warped mind of his works.”  Matt picked up the handle of the telephone and punched in seven numbers.


“Who are you calling?”  Mike asked.


“Ellen,” Matt answered.



The phone in Ellen’s apartment rang.  Bobby immediately jumped from his chair and waved the gun at Ellen for her to answer.   “I think that’s the call I’ve been waiting for.  Go on, answer it.”


“You answer it!” Ellen snarled.


Bobby grabbed a handful of hair and placed the gun at her temple.  “Don’t push me,” he warned.  “I don’t want to hurt you, but I’ll do it.  Now answer the damn phone.”  He pushed her toward the table where the cordless phone rested.

Tears streamed down Ellen’s cheek as she shot daggers Bobby’s way.   With shaky hands she answered the phone on the third ring.  “Hello.”


He heard the fear in her voice from that simple phone greeting.  “Ellen it’s me, it’s Matt,” he said.   “Everything is going to be--”


Bobby read the change in Ellen’s expression and knew that was indeed the call he was expecting.  He grabbed the phone from her hand as he kept the gun pointed at her.  “I knew this call was coming.   How are things going, Eric?”


Matt’s face burned with anger.  “Let her go, Bobby.   This is between you and me.”


“I’ll be more than happy to let her go, in exchange for you.  It’s obvious she means a great deal to you.  Not that I blame you,” he said with a lecherous grin in Ellen’s direction.   “I think she means so much to you that you’re willing to give your life for her.  That’s why I have her.  Is my assumption correct.”


Matt withdrew a breath.  “Where do you want to meet, Bobby?” was his reply.


“I knew you’d see things my way.  Twenty minutes, the Blakeston Warehouse on the docks.  Come alone,” he warned.  “If I even get a hint that someone is with you or you did something foolish like call the cops, I will kill her.   You know I mean it.”  That said, Bobby ended the call and walked over to Ellen.   “Dry your tears, baby, there’s some good news.   You’re about to see Matt, too bad it’s going to be for the last time,” he cackled, evilly.



“What did he say?” Mike readily asked after Matt hung up the phone.


“He wants to meet in twenty minutes at the Blakeston Warehouse,” Matt explained.

“The Blakeston?  That’s a block away.  How are we gonna handle this?”

We aren’t, I am.   He wants to meet me alone and he will.  He vowed to kill Ellen if he even thought someone was with me, so I’m going alone.”


“Matt, he might still kill Ellen and he will kill you, too. You can’t go alone.”

Matt knew that was true, but for Bobby, Ellen was his bargaining chip which meant she was more valuable to him alive than dead.    Matt planned to make sure she stayed that way.  “I can, and I will!”


“I can stay outta the way.  Bobby will never know I’m there.  You’re going to need backup.”


“I have backup,” Matt said pulling out a gun from his jacket.


“Where did you get that?”  Mike questioned in surprised.


“I always had it.  My experience has taught me to always be prepared,” he said as he checked the gun’s bullets.


Mike pulled up a chair and took a seat in an attempt to reason with Matt.   “You have to let me help you.  Matt, I won’t let you go alone.”

“Dammit, Mike, you can’t go!” Matt growled.  


He could tell Mike wasn’t listening.   He didn’t have time to argue and the older man had left him with no alternative.    “Forgive me,” he said.  In the next moment Matt took the butt of the gun and brought it crashing against the side of Mike’s head.   


The older man fell to the floor in a heap.  After retrieving and pocketing Mike’s gun, keys, and cell phone, Matt pulled the phone line from the jack.   “I’m sorry,” Matt said to his unconscious friend after checking his vitals.   “You’ll have a monster headache when you wake up, but you didn’t give me much choice.”


Matt made his way out of the warehouse and locked the door behind him.  “Hold on, Ellen.  I’m coming.”