Chapter 1: The Past Has Come Back
“Drop the gun,” a man sneered behind him. Tim could feel the metal from the man’s gun pressed against his neck. Tim closed his eyes, clenching his jaw briefly…shit. Reaching forward, he slowly cleared his weapon. The brass bullet pinged against the ground before he tossed the gun to the floor. “Move,” the man behind him commanded grabbing hold of Tim’s collar and pushing him back towards the middle of the warehouse.
Tim let the man push him back to the open middle of the warehouse. His eyes were continuously scanning the area for Lucy. They had split up to clear the place quicker and he prayed that she saw this and was able to call for backup or get out before they found her. He was helpless with the pistol pressed against the back of his head. There was no way to warn her without getting himself killed in the process.
He was forced to his knees once in the middle of the warehouse, the gun still grim against the back of his head. His eyes swept over the half dozen Italian mobsters in front of him. The murder that they were assigned was a cold case that was recently reopened because of new evidence that led them to the warehouse, straight into a trap. “Where is your partner,” one asked stepping forward.
“I don’t have a partner,” Tim replied sharply, never breaking contact with the man.
The dark-headed man smiled slightly as he squatted down to Tim’s eye level. “I’d hope you told us before we find them. I would hate to have to hurt the poor soul because you lied Sergeant Bradford.”
Tim tried to remain calm. His eyes remained locked on the brown-eyed man squatted in front of him. Until a scream echoed through the warehouse followed by the sound of a brief struggle. Tim’s eyes snapped towards the direction of the sound immediately. The hand on his collar tightened reminding him that he could not go save her. “Mhmm,” the man hummed seeing the immediate concern cross Tim’s face. “That’s what I thought,” he said, Tim could hear the sinister smile in his voice.
A few agonizing minutes later, a ruffled Lucy was thrust from the darkness that surrounded them. A gun was pressed against the back of her head as Lucy was forced to her knees across from him. “Well, it seems we have everyone here now. Let’s play a game.”
Neither of them said a word as the leader walked between them, blabbering nonsense that was lost on their ears; they just stared at each other. Tim’s eyes would break away from hers briefly before settling on Lucy across from him. He could tell that she was putting on a brave face, but he knew her well enough to know that behind that stoic front, she was just as afraid as he was. There was nowhere for them to go. A gun was pressed against the back of both of their heads with a trigger-happy man just itching for a reason to pull the trigger.
“Are you listening to what I am saying Sergeant Bradford,” the man asked squatting in front of him again.
Slowly, Tim’s eyes shifted away from Lucy onto the man before him. He could see the sinister smile spread across the man’s face. “Let her go,” he said gruffly.
“Ha,” the man laughed shortly. “Why would I do that?”
“I can get you whatever you need. You don’t need her. She does not deserve this. Just let her go, please. Don’t hurt her.”
The man before him tilted his head slightly. A knowing look in his eyes and an arrogant smirk on his face as he stared back at Tim. He turned briefly to peek at Lucy over his shoulder before looking back at Tim. “Huh, you don’t say,” he teased aloud. “Are you in love Sergeant,” he teased whispering in Tim’s ear.
Tim’s jaw clenched as the man whispered in his ear. His eyes locked on Lucy’s concerned face over the man’s shoulder. “Let her go,” Tim answered quietly.
The man laughed breathlessly in his ear before pulling away. The man grinned at him before standing to his feet. Slowly, he walked over to Lucy. The hand on his collar jerked him back when Tim made a quick movement forward. “You stay right there Sergeant Bradford, I’ll be back shortly,” the man quipped over his shoulder.
“Well aren’t you just lovely,” the boss exclaimed once he was in front of Lucy. He smiled at the slight look of panic that lingered on her face. “Don’t worry Officer Chen or can I call you Lucy, we aren’t going to harm you. In fact, we will be letting you go rather shortly. There are just a few things that we need to go over with your partner before he can join you.”
“What do you mean,” Lucy asked timidly.
“Well Lucy, you see…your partner over there has put several of my colleagues in Pelican Bay. We just want to have a little chat,” he replied giving her a wink and a small smirk. “We will see you later Lucy,” the man said turning his back and walking away from her.
All his eyes saw was blackness as a black sack was pulled over his head. Two arms hooked under his as they hauled Tim to his feet and started to pull him backward. He started to fight when he heard Lucy’s scream as they dragged him away from her. “No! No,” he yelled as he struggled, but the captors held him tight.
Lucy’s screams faded as they dragged Tim outside. He heard the sound of a van door being thrown open before he was tossed recklessly onto the floor. “We are going to have so much fun, Tim,” the man mocked. “I just know it.”
The butt of the gun to the back of his head had Tim fading into the darkness. He prayed, he hoped that they did not hurt Lucy. It had been years since he had any run-ins with the mob. Years that he should have been looking out, waiting for their next move, but he got content. He had barely survived the last time, he just prayed that they kept their word and left Lucy out of it. He could never live with himself if they did something to her because of him.
Chapter 2: We're Just Getting Started
WARNING!! There is physical violence in this chapter! If you are uncomfortable with this please do not continue. There is nothing too heavy, but just a forewarning.
Kudos and comments are appreciated! On the bright side, everything is looking up from here!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Lucy shot up in her seat when the driver's side door was jerked open. Her eyes instantly landed on the concerned look on Angela’s face. She had to blink away the second Angela that danced in her vision. She did not remember walking back to the car. The last thing she could recall through the haze that clouded her memories was Tim’s protest as the mysterious group of criminals that drug him out of the warehouse.
“Lucy, what happened,” Angela asked as Lucy started to slide out of the car.
Lucy’s hand pressed against the cool steel of the back door to keep herself from tipping over. Her head was swimming. Her memories were in pieces. Everything felt wrong. “I don’t know,” she whispered squinting at Angela in the late evening sun.
“Lucy, where is Tim,” she asked tensely.
She was back in the warehouse in an instant. She was on her knees across from Tim. The man gloating as he walked between them. Then he was gone, being dragged away. Lucy could still hear his yells ringing in her ears, but all she could see was darkness. She woke up in the patrol car, completely unscathed, the only thing missing was her partner. “I don’t…I don’t know. They took him.”
“Who? Come on Lucy, who took Tim?”
Lucy shakes her head slowly. “I don’t know. It was a trap,” she exclaimed. “They knew him, they knew we were coming.”
The quick look that Harper and Angela shared did not go unnoticed by Lucy. There was more to the situation than what they were saying. “What are you two hiding,” Lucy asked, the anger starting to boil over in her gut. Tim’s life was in danger. They needed to find him fast and pray he is still breathing when they do.
Lucy rode back to the precinct with Angela and Jackson. She would catch Angela’s worried eyes look at her in the mirror before looking away to focus on the road. She knew there was more to the story than what she was being told.
Angela wanted to get Lucy back to the station quickly to get her to sit down with a sketch artist so they could put out a BOLO on the man as quickly as possible. Lucy wanted answers, but every time she tried, she was shot down. Angela wanted more information before she started to assume the worst, but she already was. She had been in this situation before. She knew who was behind this, but she wanted to hold onto the hope that she could be wrong.
The group was gathered in the roll call room going over everything that Lucy was able to tell them. Everything that was said that could give them a clue to who had taken Tim.
The sketch artist handed Angela the picture of the man that Lucy described. Her eyes locked on the picture of the man that would always haunt her memories. He should have been rotting in prison alongside his brothers, but there was not enough evidence to tie him to the family’s crimes. Even just looking at the sketch in her hand a chill ran up her spine. “Are you sure this is who you saw,” she asked not taking her eyes off the sketch in her hands.
Angela nods slowly. “We need to find him, now,” she says starting to make her way out of the room.
“Who is it,” Lucy asks pushing herself out of her chair. “What are you not telling us? He’s my partner,” she stressed. “What are you hiding,” she asked unable to stop the volume of her voice from rising.
Angela paused in the doorway. Slowly, she pulled the door closed before turning back to the group. Her eyes landed on Nyla before shifting towards Lucy. “If it’s who I hope it isn’t, something bad has already happened,” she stated grimly.
“I had only been with the department for a few years when it happened. Tim and I were friends. He hated undercover work, but in this case, he was the only one that fit the bill for it. So, he went in. Tim was undercover within the D’Angelo crime family,” she paused as audible gasps resonated through the room.
Jackson’s own eyes were blown wide. He had heard the story from his dad, but never the name of the officer. The officer was kidnapped and tortured for days before the LAPD was able to find him. Never did he think that Tim would wind up being the officer from that story.
John and Lucy just looked at her confused. Before signing up for the academy, neither had any reason to listen to stories about the LAPD. John was in Pennsylvania; Lucy was in college. Neither knew they were going to be where they are now.
“We were so close to taking the whole family down, but someone tipped them off before we could,” she started to explain again. “Tim was not able to get out in time. They took him down to an abandoned warehouse down at the docks. They were going to kill him, they almost did,” she added softly. “We did not have any leads, the whole family just vanished like ghosts. An informant close to the family gave us their location, surprisingly. We got there just in time. Three of the highest-ranking D’Angelo family member were arrested. Two were sentenced to twenty-five to life, with little chance of ever being free again. We could not get enough evidence to stick on one, Tony D’Angelo, he got seven years. Recently he was paroled, good behavior, believe it or not. That’s who has Tim. The D’Angelo family has Tim.”
Tim’s head dropping to the side stirred him awake. The area around him illuminated by a dim light. His legs were stretched out on the concrete in front of him. His best guess was that he was in a basement somewhere.
His hands were bound tightly around the pole behind his back. His wrists flex against the plastic zip ties trying to get the binds to budge or snap, but the plastic barely moves from how tight it is pulled against his skin. The plastic only dug deeper into his wrists. If only he could pull enough and make his wrist bleed, maybe he could get lucky and slip his hands free from the binds.
He could hear the footsteps as people moved around upstairs. Chairs screeched across the floor as they were pushed back. Tim’s own head was pounding from being whacked in the head rendering him unconscious when he was thrown in the back of the van.
Tim should have been trying to formulate a plan to escape or anything that could help him survive, but his thoughts drifted towards Lucy. He wondered where she was if she was okay. Her screams still echoed in his head from when he was drug out of the warehouse. He tried to break away, but his captors held him tight as they forced him away. He hoped that she was not going to be subject to the same type of hell that he was about to go through. He knew first-hand what the D’Angelo family was capable of and he never wanted to imagine Lucy in this position. Instead of focusing on the darkness looming over his shoulder, Tim distracted his thoughts by remembering the light that she brought to his life.
Just the slightest thought of her little smug smirk had the corners of his mouth moving upwards. He wanted to say he hated the look Lucy would give him when she knew she was right about something, but he couldn’t, not anymore. He knew from that first day in rollcall that she was going to be different from the rest of the rookies that he had trained. Typically, when he trained rookies, he was cold and impersonal, only caring about getting them to the finish line before starting the cycle over again. Lucy was different. In everything she did, she was different. She was not afraid to challenge him, to give him some of his own shit back. He wanted her to be a part of his future if he even had a future. Tim almost laughed at how it took his current predicament to let himself finally realize his true feelings for her.
His thoughts were interrupted when a door upstairs opened, and footsteps started down the wooden stairs. Tim’s eyes followed the man from the warehouse as he walked across the concrete floor to grab a chair and pulled it so that he could sit in front of him. “My, my, my... Mr. Bradford, it is so wonderful to see you again,” the man said smiling down at him.
Tim did not say a word as he stared back at Tony D’Angelo. The man should still be behind bars, but the lack of evidence prevented that. He had spent nearly four months undercover before his cover was blown. In his short time within the family, he knew that Tony had been the brains behind the operation, hardly getting his hands dirty.
“You know Timothy, it’s been a while since we last chatted,” Tony started still smiling looking down at him. “How have you been? What, no answer,” he said after a minute of Tim’s silence. “I’m genially interested in your time while I was away.”
“You say that like you care,” Tim said dryly.
D’Angelo cracked a small smirk as he scooted to the edge of the chair he was sitting in. “I know we left things off on the wrong foot, but Tim we were pals before you decided to betray my trust.”
“I was just doing my job.”
“And a mighty fine job you did Tim. The perfect plant that hid right under our noses. Gathering intel and reporting back to the cops, almost undetected. Would have been for your true identity being discovered. My brothers and I,” he started pushing himself up out of the chair, “We had plenty of time to discuss what would happen if we ever happened to see each other again. They wanted to seek the revenge they think they deserve and were cheated out of. Make it quick, dump the body, and move on. However, I wanted to make your last few days on earth as painful and slow as possible. I’ll let you guess who won that argument.”
Tim’s eyes stayed locked on Tony standing over him now. He could not stop the tiny smile from crossing his features. Deep down he knew that his team was going to find him, that Lucy was going to find him. He could endure the pain, the torture, and the suffering, he had done it before he could do it again. He just had to hold on to that hope that they were coming, she was coming for him.
D’Angelo’s hands grabbed the front of his white undershirt hauling Tim to his feet. His hands pulled against the metal pole behind him causing the plastic binds to dig deeper into his wrists as Tim winced. “How about we get started?”
He saw the first punch coming but did not register the hit until he was looking at the sidewall of the basement instead of D’Angelo in front of him. Tim blinked slowly before turning his head back towards Tony. The second, third, fourth punch came just the same as the first. Tim kept looking back at Tony challenging him in his own way. He could feel the bruise and the swelling already forming on the left side of his face. “Is that all you got,” Tim cracked spitting a blob of blood to the floor.
“We’re only getting started Tim, you should know that by now,” Tony said continuing to smile at him.
Two other men joined them in the basement not long afterward. One of them carrying a sledgehammer and the other carrying a stick of bamboo almost as thick as his wrist. He would not have to wait long to see what they planned to do with those. “My brothers, Joey and Marc, send their regards,” Tony smiles stepping back as the man carrying the bamboo stepped towards Tim.
Tim recognized the man from the first time and he was the one that held the gun to the back of Lucy’s head. He saw the man rear back to start his swing and Tim tensed. It stung as the bamboo slammed against his gut. Only a wince escaped him as the second hit came. He could handle this pain. If his father was good for anything it was teaching him how to endure pain. They attacked his front for a while. Hit after hit, sting after sting, Tim knew that there would be an abundance of bruising whether he lived or not. They would find his body battered with bruises either way. It was not until they moved to the area they could hit on his back did groans start to escape him.
Tony stepped forward back into his main view after what felt like hours. His body was stinging. His wrists were burning. “I’m going to enjoy this next part, Tim,” Tony ribbed taking the sledgehammer from the goon standing off to the side.
“Please no,” Tim pleaded as Tony stepped towards him. He did not need a broken rib or sternum that could puncture a lung. “Please.”
“Begging already? You were much stronger last time,” Tony said cheekily as he smiled at his hostage.
“You didn’t have a sledgehammer either aimed at my chest either,” Tim snarked.
Tony laughed as he reared the sledgehammer back. “Who said this was for your chest,” he asked as he started to swing the hammer down.
Tim could not stop the cry from escaping him as the sledgehammer plowed into the side of his knee. He felt the bones breaking instantly from the impact. He dropped instantly. His hands burned in the binds around them as he slid down the pole behind him. His head leaned back against the pole giving the men the satisfaction of seeing the pain they caused.
Again, hands grabbed the front of his white undershirt as the goons hauled him to his feet. His breathing was heavy as he tried to shift the weight away from his right leg to the other. “Did that hurt? Imagine the pain you caused my FAMILY,” Tony yelled swinging the hammer down against Tim’s knee ignoring Tim’s yells in the process. He dropped to the floor crashing against his messed-up knee. He wanted to pass out. He had been shot, he had been beaten, but neither hardly compared to feeling his bones breaking and the tendons being destroyed. He pulled desperately as the binds trying to get free so that he could protect his knee, try to alleviate some of the pain, but it was fruitless.
He looked up at Tony standing in front of him, his eyes full of evil. He tried to move just a bit so that he was not pressed against his knee, but the movement only caused white lights to flash across his eyes. “Get him up,” Tony demanded before hands grabbed the front of his shirt again hauling him to his feet. He barely stood on one foot with one of the minions holding up against the pole so he would not fall back down.
“Stop,” Tim yelled, the anguish clear in his voice as Tony reared the sledgehammer back ready to strike again.
Tony’s laughter bounced off the concrete walls of the basement at Tim’s pleas. He relaxed, the dreaded hammer falling to his side as he did. “Pain lets you know you’re still alive Timothy, enjoy it while you still can,” he said venomously suddenly sobering up. He reared the hammer back again before sending it full force into Tim’s knee again.
Tim’s cries echoed through the basement as he collapsed to the ground again. The plastic binds around his hands were the only thing that kept him from doubling completely over. Metal hitting concrete pinged around the basement. Tim looked up at Tony again. “Enjoy the pain Sergeant, it won’t last long,” Tony said shortly stepping over Tim’s battered form towards the stairs. “We will be back shortly.”
Tim watched the trio leave the basement before letting out his first true cry of pain as he tried to move just enough so he could slip his leg out from underneath him. He wanted to cry, for tears to fall, but he was broke of that a long time ago. His dad told him that crying was for pussies, that crying was a sign of weakness. Tim knew his father was wrong, crying makes you human, but still, he could not let the tears escape. Instead, he ground his teeth as he forced his leg to move. Shots of pain fired in every direction as he did so, he almost wished he could have died right there at that moment, but D’Angelo had plans.
He had plans for him. Plans for more suffering, more torture, more pain. Slowly, Tim’s eyes started to slide closed as pain radiated through his body. God how he wished that Lucy would magically appear, that she would bring the calvary and save him, but for all he knew Lucy was dead and he would soon join her. He started to wonder if he had done enough good things in his life to live in eternal peace or if he was destined to live within the flames that would burn for the rest of eternity. Death and what would come next for him was the last thing that crossed his mind as Tim let the darkness take over him.
Tim is a fighter! Once again, everything is on the upside from here! Let me know what you think!
Why does Angela keep looking at Harper?!? What are they hiding?
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Chapter 3: Look Who's Here
All mistakes and errors are my own. Not beta read.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Two days had passed, and they still had no leads. Forty-eight grueling hours later, Tim was still missing. Lucy was starting to lose her mind, hell she had already lost it. Tim was her partner. She was supposed to have his back, help keep him safe, and she failed. She should have known that something was off about the call and demanded that they stayed together instead of splitting up. She wanted to believe that she could have prevented this, but there was also the possibility that they both could have met their ends right there in the middle of the warehouse.
Everyone was calling in favors. Favors from higher-ups, favors from feds, favors from informants, favors from anybody and everyone yet there was nothing. It was almost as if Tim and the men from the warehouse had disappeared into thin air. Everyone was looking. Every eye that the department could spare was out on the streets looking for any sign. One of their own was missing and in extreme danger.
Lucy had not slept. Every time she closed her eyes, she was back in the warehouse except this time they did not drag Tim away from her, they pulled the trigger. Blood splattered across her face and Lucy jerked awake. She could not sleep without the alternative haunting her dreams, so she decided to drink cup after cup of steaming black coffee to keep her awake.
Lucy was on her second cup of coffee for the day when she was joined by Harper, Lopez, Jackson, Nolan, and Grey in the rollcall room. Everyone except Lucy had left at nearly one in the morning to get a few hours of sleep and shower before their search started again.
Hours later, there were still no leads. They were combing through every little detail that they could for the second and third time, yet still nothing. Each passing minute was another chance that they would not find Tim until it too late. Lucy could not let those thoughts invade her mind. They would find him. She knows he’s still alive, he’s still fighting. She can feel it.
“If they were going to kill him, they would have already done it,” Angela huffed angrily slamming a folder down on a nearby table after another lead that led nowhere.
“How we do know they haven’t,” Harper asked causing every eye in the room flicker her way. “As bad as I don’t want to say it, we might be searching for a body. We’re not talking about people that give away lollipops and puppies, it’s the mob,” she added taking in the looks of disbelief from everyone around her.
“He’s not dead,” Lucy says breaking between two.
Harper’s hands settled on her belt as she turned towards the younger woman. “I’m not saying he is, but Officer Chen you need to accept the reality that that is a possibility. I want to find him alive just as much as everyone else, but we need to realize that it is a possibility we won’t.”
“Tim is NOT dead,” Lucy yelled slamming her cup of coffee on the table beside her causing the Styrofoam cup to break and coffee to leak everywhere. “He’s not dead. I know he’s alive,” she says softly briskly walking out of the room unable to stop the tears from finally falling from her eyes.
All eyes in the room widened in shock as Lucy left the room. Jackson scurried after his friend trying to hopefully give her some type of comfort. Angela’s stone-cold eyes met Nyla’s. They didn’t want to think that Tim was dead, but after forty-eight hours with no sign of life, they had to realize that it was a possibility.
Coldwater hitting him caused Tim to jerk awake. His whole body was throbbing now. The pain in his leg was still there, but he could barely feel anything below his knee. They had him suspended from the ceiling with metal chains that were biting into his already wrecked wrist from the plastic binds they had around them earlier. His arms and shoulders were burning in pain as he dangled off the ground just enough to keep the toes of his boots from scraping the concrete floor. The chains rattled as Tim swung around being startled awake.
“Ah so you aren’t dead yet,” D’Angelo said appearing in his vision. “Don’t worry, we will change that soon enough,” he said smiling sinisterly at his captive.
Tim jerks again causing the chains rattle. A laugh echoes around the room as his bruised and broken body swayed in the middle of the room. One of D’Angelo’s gremlins stepped forward punching Tim in the face once again. Tim’s white undershirt long ago turned red, strained with his blood from the knife slashes across his front and back. More than once they took a whip to his back further tearing the cuts and causing blood to continue to seep from his wounds. Dried streaks of blood trailed down his nose and the corners of his mouth from the countless punches he had already received from the beatings he had endured.
His tired eyes locked on D’Angelo’s back as the man picked through his knife collection on a backbench. They had hardly let him sleep. After Tony destroyed his knee with the sledgehammer, they only left him alone for a few hours before stringing him up ready to start the second phase of their plan.
“Is it not beautiful how one’s past always come back to haunt them,” Tony said turning back towards him, a sparkling clean knife twirling in his fingers. “You had to know that it would end this way. We didn’t get to finish what we started last time Timothy, now we will,” he said walking closer to Tim as he continued to smile.
“So, you’re not the forgiving type,” Tim questioned with laughing softly.
D’Angelo laughed standing in front of him. “I am glad to see that you have not lost your sense of humor, Tim. Almost as if you still believe you’ll be getting out of here.”
Tim chuckles looking down, shaking his head. “No. I’ve made my peace. It’s that you still think I’m afraid of you, hate to break it to you Tony, but I’m not. Never have been.”
Fire flared in Tony’s eyes as he plunged the knife forward. Tim’s scream bounced off the walks as D’Angelo thrust the knife into his abdomen. “Not so funny now is it,” he growls lowly in Tim’s face. He pulls the knife out covered in Tim’s blood just as quickly as he pressed it in.
Tim shook in anger. The chains around his wrist vibrating as he did so. “Son of a bitch,” he pants as the fire reignites in his side. His screams are torn from him again as Tony cut through his flesh again only inches away from the last entry point before he slowly starts to pull it out relishing the way that Tim gasped in pain at the intrusion.
“How do you think Lucy will respond when we do the same thing to her,” D’Angelo taunted. “Who do you think she’ll call out for when we do this to her? With you not here to save her, who will she cry out for? Huh?”
“Stay away from her,” Tim growled meeting Tony’s eyes.
D’Angelo smirked up at him. “Or maybe we will bring Ms. Chen here and do this to her right in front of you. Let her cry out for you, but you’d be a little tied up, unable to get to her. Those cries would be the last thing you hear.”
Tim tried to kick, swing, anything that would let him hit Tony, but he could not. “Leave Lucy out of this,” he snarled.
“Like you left Marc’s girlfriend out of your investigation? How many times did you sleep with her to get information to report back to your supervisor? She was the love of my brother’s life and you used her to get what you needed to separate them forever.”
“Who,” Tim asked shaking his head confused. “I didn’t…I didn’t sleep with anyone.”
“You’re a liar,” Tony yelled grabbing Tim by the chin forcing him to look at him in the eyes. “Chrystal? She left my brother before they could finish the trial. All because of you,” he snarled pushing Tim’s face out of his hand.
Tim could not stop the chuckle from escaping his lips as D’Angelo turned away from him. Of course, Chrystal. “You think this is funny,” Tony snapped whipping around to face him. “Marc loved her, and you took her away from him.”
Tim shook his head unable to prevent a small smile from crossing his face. “You can’t blame me for your mistakes. Chrystal wanted to leave your brother way before I came around.”
“You know,” D’Angelo said stepping back closer to him, “There was one question you never answered back at the warehouse. Are you in love with Lucy?”
Tim swallowed heavily as he looked at Tony. His eyes saying more than his words ever could. “Leave her out of this.”
“Ha, I knew it. That was easy to admit, wasn’t it? Don’t worry Tim, I am a man of my word, unlike you. Once we are done with you, we’re disappearing. Your body will be the only thing we leave behind if they ever find it. Now, I made you a promise several years ago. So why don’t you just hang out a bit, bleed a little more, and we’ll see how close to the end we are in a few hours,” Tony said gently patting Tim’s bruised cheek before the group of minions and the leader left the basement.
Tim’s head hung down in exhaustion. He knew he had already lost a lot of blood based on the small puddle that pooled under his feet and the red color that saturated his shirt. He did not know how much longer he could hold on. He knew they were coming for him, he just hoped they could get there before it was too late. Chrystal was the missing piece that he did not realize was missing. She would put the pieces together. He hoped that Harper figured it out soon.
“We have a location,” Angela said rushing through the door of the glass room. Everyone sprang to their feet. Files were slammed closed as officers quickly gathered around for more information. A quick briefing later, officers scrambled out of the room to get their equipment and to their cars.
“Officer Chen,” Grey called just as Lucy was just about to exit the room, “hang back for a moment.”
Lucy stepped aside and let the other officers leave the room before she turned back towards the lieutenant. “I know what you’re going to say,” she started before Grey had a chance to. “I can’t just sit around on my hands waiting while everyone else goes looking for him. He’s my partner. If you’re going to order me to stay here, I’m sorry sir but you’ll have to reprimand me later.”
Grey’s head tilted slightly to the side as Lucy talked. “Are you done?” Lucy nodded her head, a bit of her newfound courage fleeing out the door as he stared her down. “What I was going to say was, be safe out there. Emotions will be high, for good reasons, but don’t let those emotions take over. I know Tim means a lot to you, so keep your head clear. There is already one cop in danger, we don’t need another.”
Lucy nodded her head meekly mumbling a ‘yes sir’. “Ride with Lopez, you’ll get there quicker,” Grey said a tint of playfulness to his voice. Again, Lucy nodded her head before finally turning and heading towards the garage bay to catch Angela before she peeled out of the station.
The wheels squealed as the convoy of police cars come to a halt outside of the suspected house. Lucy and Angela climbed out of the car quickly. Both now, like everyone else, wore an extra vest over their uniforms. It was extra protection they needed because no one knew what they were storming into or when the bullets would start flying. Angela grabbed the shotgun and racked a bullet into the chamber quickly, she was ready for a fight.
Lucy was second in line when SWAT knocked the front door off the hinges. The occupants inside the house scrambled, clearly not expecting their front door to be busted in without notice. Lucy grabbed one of the men sitting on the living room couch and hauled him to his feet. “Where is he,” she seethed dangerously low.
“I don’t know. I don’t know who you are talking about,” the man yelled frightened as Lucy held him close.
“Where is D’Angelo?!”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen or talked to D’Angelo in years. I don’t know,” the man continued to persist.
“Lucy, let him go,” she heard Harper’s voice in her ear. “Let him go. There’s nothing here,” Harper said unable to hide the disappointment in her voice.
Lucy let go of the shirt balled up in her wrist and the terrified man before her backed away as quickly as possible into the hands of an awaiting officer. Lucy shook her head angrily briskly walking out of the house. She was halfway down the porch steps when Lopez and Harper came following after her. “Chen,” Harper called but Lucy ignored her and kept walking back towards the car. Just like every other lead they got, it was a dead-end, minutes that they could have used to find Tim’s actual location wasted. They were running out of time. Each passing minute was a chance that they would actually be searching for a body.
Lucy jerked around when hands landed on her shoulder about midway to the car. “Listen I know you’re angry, we all are. We want to find Tim, but we have to be smart about how we do it,” Angela said as soon as Lucy turned towards the pair. “We can’t let our emotions control our actions.”
“When we were undercover, Tim didn’t know I was a cop,” Harper started as Lucy’s face scrunched into one of confusion. “I played the role of Marc’s girlfriend. It took longer than I wanted it to, but we got Tim out. There was someone within the department giving intel to the D’Angelo’s. They knew there was one cop, but not two.”
“Wait,” Lucy says shaking her head before looking at the two older officers in front of her. “You were undercover within the D’Angelo family with Tim,” she questioned as Harper nodded. “You let them do that to him for two days before you did something to help. They could have killed him and now they probably will,” Lucy berated until Harper cut her off.
“I had to be smart. As soon as there was word that a cop was inside the family, everyone went into lockdown. Marc picked me up from the beauty salon with four other guys. I thought they were on to me, but when we got back to his house, he started throwing our clothes into bags. Someone had sold Tim out. If I started poking around, they would have had questions. If I would have rushed it, we both would have been killed.”
“I know where he is. I know where they are holding Tim,” Harper said looking at Angela's wide eyes.
“Marc’s old house. It was their father’s house before he died. When all the brothers went to jail, the house started to rot. It’s the one place no one would think to look.”
Lucy was the first person behind the SWAT when the blasted through the door. She could hear a brief struggle coming from the living room as she cleared the rest of the first floor of the house. Angela and Harper climbed the stairs to the second only to return minutes later emptied handed. There was no sign of Tim on either floor.
Angela stormed into the living room grabbing ahold of a bound and bloodied Tony. “Where is he,” she asked with a growl.
Tony chuckled looking back into the fire flaring in Angela’s eyes. “Your friend is dead,” he provoked. Tony’s eyes shifted away from Angela to land on Lucy standing to the side. “It’s a pleasure to see you again Lucy,” he said with a teasing smile.
“We have something! Medics,” they heard some of the SWAT guys call as they finished clearing the lower half of the house. A series of medic calls rang through the house as the paramedics rushed into the house as quickly as possible pushing their gurney into the kitchen before grabbing their longboard and running down the stairs.
“Stay here,” Angela commanded Lucy before briskly following the medics down the stairs to the basement.
Lucy walked over to the gurney that was left in the kitchen just beside the open-door leaving D’Angelo and his goons under the watchful eyes of Jackson and John. She stood just at the top of the stairs trying to hear everything that was said. Lucy wanted to go down there and see him, but the fear in Angela’s eyes was enough to keep her standing at the top of the stairs. What is he was dead? How could she live with herself?
She heard the sounds of metal clinging against concrete followed by hushed urges for easiness. She heard a rough voice that was different from all the rest and her heart skipped a beat. Was he talking? Was he alive? Murmurs about his knee had barely reached her ear before being followed by a short cry of pain. Seconds crept by slowly and Lucy was just about to rush down the stairs when the medics coming back up the stairs filled her vision.
Lucy stepped back giving them enough room to put the board on the gurney. She could not take her eyes off the form strapped to the backboard that now laid on the bed. If they had not used wipes to clear some of the blood off his face, she wasn’t sure she would have recognized him. His knee was braced heavily with extra support to prevent any unnecessary jostling. There was no way she would ever be able to imagine what he had been through.
Lucy was in a stuck in a gaze staring at his tattered blood-soaked shirt and broken form that she almost missed the slight brushing against her finger. A tear escaped her eye as Lucy interlocked her index finger around his. Another tear escaped her as a tiny grin crossed his face as he tugged gently against her finger. “Look who decided to show up,” she heard him say softly as his eyes cracked open just enough to see her. “About time,” he said as his eyes slid closed. His finger still wrapped around hers. His grip never faltering as they started to roll him out of the house, Lucy right beside him.
His grip on her finger never loosened as they rolled him out of the house towards the waiting ambulance. Lucy looked down at Tim, who had been through absolute hell for the second time, yet there was a tiny smile on his face that told her everything was going to be okay. He was going to be okay.
Aye! Back at it again! Tim is okay, well he's going to be! One more chapter left and I think you can all figure out what is coming! All comments and kudos are appreciated! More soon!!!
Lucy stood beside Angela trying to focus on Grace talking to them about Tim’s surgery, but her eyes kept flickering to her former training officer asleep in the hospital bed. Bandages were wrapped wound her torso from the slashes and stabs that he had endured. His leg was propped on a stack of pillows to elevate it as softly as possible. Multiple IVs ran from his arms as they tried to replenish the fluids that he had lost during the last two days.
She managed to catch just bits of what Grace was saying, but her focus was on Tim. Dehydrated. Significant blood loss. They had to a total knee replacement because there were only remnants of his knee left after D’Angelo was done. Most importantly, he was going to be okay. He was going to heal; he was going to be Tim again eventually.
“I have a few more patients to check on, but I will be back soon. If you have any more questions or if he wakes up, call me,” Grace says giving the pair a smile.
Lucy and Angela mutter their thanks as Grace walks away. Angela joins Lucy in looking through the blinds at Tim’s form in the hospital bed. “This was the second time I’ve been afraid that I would actually lose him,” Angela admitted softly. “He’s my family. Losing him would be like losing one of my brothers,” she says wiping a stray tear from her cheek. “Are you going to sit with him for a while?”
Lucy nodded her head slowly before making herself look over at Angela beside her. “Yeah, I want to be here when he wakes up.”
Angela let out a deep breath looking away from the window and turning towards Lucy. Lucy was surprised when Angela pulled her into her arms giving her a tight hug. “You’re good for him, Lucy. Never forget that,” she said softly in Lucy’s ear. “Okay, Wesley is waiting for me at home. If anything changes call me,” she said letting go of Lucy.
“I will,” Lucy promised as the woman started to walk away. She watched Angela walk down the hallway until she disappeared around the corner, then Lucy turned her attention back to the man in the room. She took a deep breath and let it out ever so slowly before moving to the door. Slowly, she pushed the door open and closed it behind her trying to make a little sound as possible. He needed to rest.
Lucy sat beside his bed in silence for while just watching the rise and fall of his chest. She could still feel his finger wrapped around hers from earlier. If she were not so scared that she would wake him up, she would have slipped her finger back around his. His touchback at the house told her that he was going to be okay, but Tim always had that effect on her.
She scrolled through her phone for a while. Checking her social media and answer the dozen or so messages on her phone wanting to know about Tim. After a while of doing that, she got bored. She grabbed the outdated magazine off the bedside table and started to flip mindlessly through the pages. She could still see Tim over the edge of the magazine and more than once she got herself ignoring the picture-filled pages and staring at him. Huffing with annoyance, Lucy plopped the magazine back down on the bedside table.
She sighed as she sat forward in the uncomfortable hospital chair. “I finally understand what you felt like when I was missing,” she admitted to Tim’s sleeping form in front of her. “I didn’t…but now I do. I was so scared that we wouldn’t find you in time. Scared that I would never get to tell you how I feel because I’ve never felt like this before about anyone,” she said softly. “There are so many layers that make you who you. I never would have thought I could feel this way about you. We’ve been through so much and I don’t know would have survived it if it wasn’t for you.”
A sad smile tugs at her lips as she looks down at him. The bruises on his chest were even uglier against the white bandage that covered his lower torso where the main stabs had been. Small band-aids were on the left side of his face covering the small line of stitches they had done to close the wound. Gently Lucy rubbed his arm before patting his shoulder before she settled back in her chair beside his bedside. It was a waiting game.
“Done already,” Tim asked, his voice raspy, his eyes still closed.
Lucy shot up in her chair surprised. “You’re awake,” she exclaimed. “How long have you been awake?”
A grin pulls at his bruised face. His eyes slid opened as he turned his head slightly to look at her beside him. “Somewhere between the door opening and the magazine being plopped on the table.”
Lucy’s eyes went wide as saucers as she looked back at him. “So…you heard…everything,” she draws out slowly.
Tim swallowed trying to hide the pain from his face as he looked at her. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
Lucy could not stop the look of relief that crossed her face. She had already embarrassed herself in front of her superior officer. His best friend already knew that she had feelings for him, she didn’t need the rest of the precinct to start talking even though Tim did hold onto her finger as they wheeled him out of the house and she did not make an attempt to let go either. Maybe he was so messed up that he grabbed for her just because she was there or maybe he did not realize who he was reaching for.
Nothing was just ever a coincidence when it came to Tim Bradford. Everything he did had a reason behind it. He was a man of action. His actions were how he explained himself when his words were not enough.
Tim turned his hand upwards holding it up for Lucy. Slowly, her cold hand filled his warm one. Tim’s fingers wrapped around her hand giving it a gently squeeze. Lucy slid out of her chair, one hand in his and the other pressed against the bed as she leaned over him.
She looked down at Tim’s tired blue eyes before she started to lean down. Their lips brushed against each other’s for a moment before Tim lifted his head off the pillows finally pressing his lips to hers for the first time. They broke apart seconds later, Lucy’s stayed hovered above him for a minute longer. Tim smiled up at her matching Lucy’s nervous grin above him.
He shifted slowly, careful not to jostle his leg too much. He patted the spot beside him. “You sure,” Lucy asked hesitantly.
Tim patted the bed beside him again. Lucy let go of his hand and slowly climbed on the small bed beside him. She was careful not to cause him any more pain than he was already in. Maybe he was too high on pain killers to realize what he was doing, but as his arms draped around Lucy’s shoulder and he pulled her into him, all her concerns about someone walking in went out the window.
They both found each other in the end when it mattered the most.
All errors are my own. Comments and kudos are appreciated!!
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