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Dead Men Tell No Tales
Casey had made her way around the outside of the house. She'd been unable to see into the windows of what she'd assumed were two other bedrooms. Using her gift as much as possible, she had determined that Cassie was not in the house. Which brought a surge of panic. If she wasn't here, then where the hell was she?
When the front door of the modest ranch house opened, she ducked down behind the thick juniper bushes that ran across the front of the brick home. Watched as two shadows stood on the porch. Only the glowing ends of their cigarettes gave her an idea of their exact location. She heard the click of a cellphone closing.
"Well, all hell is breaking loose in DC," a male voice said.
"I thought Kinsey said they'd keep quiet about this," the woman's voice replied.
"He was wrong."
"Shit! You know that bastard will leave us blowing in the wind over this…and he's made damned sure he can't be linked to us," the woman hissed. "So what do we do?"
"We're going to disappear." The man with the scar on his face growled. He'd wanted a piece of the slender blonde woman. Wouldn't have minded being the first to put it to the teenager. Now it was a risk they didn't dare take.
"What about our…uh…guests?"
"Leave 'em. Kinsey will be here in a couple of days. Let him deal with them. Call Whitman. Tell him to meet us out front. I'll go get Lloyd."
Like rats deserting a sinking ship, Casey smirked. Well, that was good news for her and Cassie!
A A A A A A
Cassie carefully opened the door. Scanned the room. She could only see one man. He had his back to her. There was a magazine on the desk in front of him and…was he doing what it looked like? Oh, gross! He's jerking off! For just a few seconds she watched, having never seen male genitalia, except in the diagrams in her health book. His hand was beginning to move faster. His other hand pushed his pants down farther, began to fondle his scrotum. That's what it looks like hard? Weird!
When the man's cellphone began to ring, she nearly jumped out of her skin. She slipped back into the operating room, held the door open just a crack. The man answered the phone, but the hand on his cock never stopped moving. That is just totally disgusting! She wondered briefly if any of the boys who had called her had been doing…that…while they were talking to her. She was no stranger to masturbation. She'd experimented a bit. Had found her mother's 'stash' of toys. Had even been brave enough to ask about them. The ensuing conversation had been a bit freaky, but at least she understood that her feelings were normal, and that there was nothing wrong or 'dirty' about calming the urges that sometimes overwhelmed her.
"Yeah?…What about the kid?…ah, hell, I was hoping to sample that little…yeah, yeah, yeah, don't have a shit fit. I’m on my way…what? Oh, okay. So the other bitch is still in the house?…Yeah, tough shit, huh?…Yeah, I'll be waiting." The man closed the phone. Leaned back farther in the chair. "Oh, hell, just one little taste…one poke or two," he muttered. He got to his feet, his hand still around his cock.
Cassie knew exactly what the man planned to do. For one second she panicked, considered getting back on the table. Something told her that to do so would put her in a very vulnerable position. She waited until the man walked passed her.
"What the fuck!" He whirled around. Saw the terrified teenager standing beside the open door. "Come on, sweetie, you don't want me to have to hurt you. Don't fight it, and I'll just leave you here. I won't even tie you back down, I promise."
"Yeah, right," she murmured. She swung her arm at him when he reached for her, slicing his hand and halfway up his arm. The man screamed.
"You goddamned little bitch! I'll kill you!"
When the man lunged for her, she instinctively raised both arms. The scalpel was still in her hand. His hands closed around her arms. She fought against him, trying to break free from his grasp as he pulled her closer. The scalpel pushed into his chest, all the way to her trembling fingers. His eyes went wide, he shoved her away, stared down at his chest, and the blood that darkened his shirt. Cassie felt tears well up in her eyes as the reality of what she had done settled into her brain.
The man tried to pull the surgical instrument from his chest as he sank to his knees. "Goddamned little bitch!" he gasped. "Just wanted a taste…" He fell forward. His body twitched several times, and a low moan escaped his lips.
Tears streaming down her cheeks, her hands covered with blood, Cassie raced out the door, stared around the room, trying to find the exit. Hide, I have to hide! They'll be coming for him! When she dashed out the door, she took enough time to look around, and then began to run toward the back of the building. She looked frantically for somewhere to hide. Found an old shed. Opened the rusty door and slipped inside, sank to her knees, gasping for breath, trying not to cry out loud.
A A A A A A
The black SUV spun out of the driveway, heading down the country lane at breakneck speed. Casey stood up. She could barely make out the dark shape of what appeared to be a building in the distance. She frowned. Watched as the taillights grew brighter when the vehicle was close to that building. Was that where they were holding Cassie?
She made a quick sweep of the house. Obviously this was someone's home. She didn't have time to do a thorough investigation. She locked the front door, slipped out through the garage and left that back door unlocked. When she found Cassie, she'd bring her back, they'd get something to eat, and then decide what to do. If Kinsey was due to arrive in a couple of days…and all hell was breaking loose…Daniel! That’s what was going on! Daniel had raised the alarm, she was sure of it!
Poking in the back of her head brought her to a standstill. With a sigh, she closed her eyes.
"Well, I wondered if you'd remember me," the old woman huffed.
Casey found herself in a dark room, lit only by a single, incandescent bulb. It offered only enough light to see the old seer standing in front of her. "Is Cassie all right?"
"Scared to death, but fine. Those who took you are fleeing even now. But the price of her freedom has been high," the old woman warned. "She's hiding. Only your voice will bring her out."
"Okay. Is Daniel all right?"
"His heart is breaking, Sunshine. You must let him know that you are safe. But you must not do so directly. There is one to whom you can speak, if only for a short time."
Tank! She could call Tank! "Thanks, Miss Eloise! Please, can you…will you help him?"
The old woman smiled gently. "I'll do what I can."
"Tell him I love him, please?"
The old woman smiled again, and disappeared.
She opened her eyes and headed for the road in front of the house. She ran as fast as her legs would take her toward that building.
A A A A A A
"Sonovabitch!" the first man hissed.
The woman looked around. "He must have let her loose to fuck her. Stupid jerk, always thinking with his cock!"
"What do we do?" the second man asked nervously.
"Did either of you touch anything?" the first man asked, running his finger up and down the scar on his cheek.
His companions shook their heads. "His prints are all over in here. Let him take the rap. Let's go."
Without a backward glance the three left the operating room. The room was so dimly lit…just a single light above the desk on the far side of the room…that Scarface failed to notice that he and his minions had managed to step in the blood of their fallen colleague. And that they left very clear, precise shoe prints on the tile floor as they left.
Cassie had heard the sound of the vehicle when it pulled up next to the building. She had waited, shaking so hard that she had curled into a ball on the hard ground, praying silently that she wouldn't be discovered. She managed to sit up when the vehicle pulled away. It was leaving rather quickly from the way it sounded. She sat there - shaking, crying - terrified that if she moved from the rusted shed she would be captured again.
Casey was about to open the door of the building. The sign proclaimed it to be the Haroldson Medical Clinic. Another sign announced that it was closed until further notice. Her fingers were inches from the door when that little voice told her to leave it alone. She began to pace. Decided to see if there was another way in.
The shed was dilapidated. She never would have given it a second glance had she not heard the soft sniffle. "Cassie? Cassie, honey, are you okay?"
"It's okay, Cass, they're gone. Something happened in DC and they took off," Casey said softly.
The door opened slowly. "Are you really alone?"
"I'm really alone, sweetheart."
Cassie flew out of the shed and into the arms of the startled young seer. "I was so scared, and I didn't mean to, but he was going to…he wanted to…and I had the scalpel because I needed a weapon, and I cut him…and then he grabbed me, and I didn't mean to, I really didn't, but…but …" the young woman sobbed.
"Shh, it's okay," she murmured, holding the trembling young woman tightly. Evidently Cassie had killed the man inside before he could rape her. That was a very good thing. She would be traumatized by what had happened. Not a good thing. But for now, she needed to determine where they were, and get in touch with Tank. "There's a house just about a mile from here. Think you can make it?"
The teenager nodded. "I can make it."
"Okay. Cassie, we can't just call your mom or Daniel. I don't know why, not yet. But I do know that much. We have to hide, honey. I know someone who can help us."
"The guy in that town where you went?"
Casey smiled. "He's the one. But we can't go there. Chances are Kinsey will look there. But Tank can help us find a place to hide, and let Janet and Daniel know we're okay."
"Did they…did they…hurt…you?"
"No, honey. I was tied up the whole time. Well, until I managed to get untied," Casey replied, forcing a smile. "Are you okay?"
"He didn't hurt me. There were leather straps on the operating table. I just kept tugging against them. Mom always complains that leather restraints have to be checked every twenty minutes, because a patient can work them loose if they keep pulling on them. She says they're softer than plastic, but have too much give to them."
She couldn't help but giggle. "Well, it's a good thing that that goon didn't know that!"
"Um…is it wrong for me to be hungry?"
"Of course not! Why would it be…" she stopped. "What you did was self defense, Cassie. Never forget what he wanted to do to you…what he would have done to you had you not defended yourself," she said firmly, softly. "Hold that in your heart. Remember how he looked when he was reaching for you."
Cassie nodded. "I was so scared!"
"You did everything right, Cassie. You managed to get free. You protected yourself. Then you stayed hidden until the threat was past. You did great, sweetie."
"I miss Mom."
"I know, honey. I miss Daniel."
They were silent for the rest of the walk to the house, clinging to one another in the darkness. The sound of a coyote in the distance urged them to move faster.
Casey turned on the kitchen light. "See what you can find while I call Tank," she instructed. Noticed the dried blood on the teenager's hands. "C'mere, honey." She told Cassie about Tank and his tattoos while she quickly and thoroughly scrubbed the young woman's hands, standing so that young woman couldn't see the red that swirled down the drain with the water.
Cassie stared at her clean hands for a minute. Shuddered, then began to open cupboard doors in search of food.
She watched for a few seconds, then located the telephone. Dialed for information. Got the number to the tiny trailer behind the tavern that Tank called home.
Five hundred miles away the man who had been Casey's friend during her separation from Daniel sat up in his bed. His heart began to pound at the sound of her soft voice. He could hear a hint of fear there. Closed his eyes and forced the memory of how happy she had looked when her doctor had arrived into his mind, to replace images of her as they had shot pool together. "Casey?"
"Tank, no time. Just call Daniel. We're in the phone book. Let him know that I'm okay, that…um…we're okay. Tell him I'll get another message to him as soon as I can. Not safe. Please, Tank?"
"No problem, Casey." Before he could say more, the connection was cut.
Casey turned to look at Cassie. "Tank will let them know. So, what did you find?"
"Not much in the cupboard. There are a couple of macaroni and cheese dinners in the freezer, and some sausage in the refrigerator," the teenager replied.
"Good." Casey checked the date on the meat. It had been purchased the day before. Apparently this…visit…had been carefully planned. She searched for coffee, and found a jar of the instant variety. She sat about fixing a quick meal. She and Cassie had to get away from this house as soon as possible. The farther, the better. No doubt Kinsey wouldn't hesitate to look for them when he found them missing.
A A A A A A
Daniel jerked when his cellphone began to ring. Hoped against hope to hear that soft voice tell him she was all right. "Doctor Jackson."
"She called. She's okay," Tank said. "She said they're both okay, but still in danger. She said she'd get another message to you as soon as possible."
It was damned near impossible not to react to the news. He closed his eyes. "Yeah, that's great. Just keep me posted." He closed his phone. When he felt he had himself completely under control, he opened his eyes again. Glanced at Janet, nodded slightly.
The detective wasn't in the room. Jack stood up, stretched, walked to the door to lean on it. "Danny?"
Daniel gave a small smile. "She just checked in. We'll hear more later."
Janet closed her eyes, whispered a prayer of thanks.
Faces remained covered with carefully arranged scowls and frowns, no one watching would ever be able to tell that this group had just received the best news they could have heard. Daniel followed Detective Jennings to the podium that had been set up. Portrayed himself perfectly as the worried…terrified…husband of one of the missing women. Janet cried, begged for information that would bring her daughter home safely.
A A A A A A
In his kitchen, watching the early morning news, Kinsey hissed with anger. He hadn't thought that SG-1 would dare to make a sound about the two missing women! No one seemed interested in what the two doctors did for a living - what kind of doctors they were; nor did anyone seem interested in the 'family members' who stood silently behind them. Senator Shepperd repeated his comments that the citizens of Washington, DC would not allow such brazen activities to occur on their city streets, and that everything that could be done to locate the women was being done. He then asked for any possible witnesses to step forward. And offered a reward of ten thousand dollars for information that led to the safe return of Casey Jackson and Cassie Fraiser. Kinsey glared at the television. He had very carefully selected every member of his staff. He would let them believe that he was secretly looking for the women himself, in an attempt to best Senator Shepperd. They would cover for him as long as he needed, making it seem that he was still in the city.
A A A A A A
Daniel dropped down onto the bed. Pulled the pillow she had used into his arms, curled around it and went to sleep.
He had never seen a lake so calm, or grass so green. There were a few trees scattered around, tall oaks with branches that seemed to stretch out forever. The wide leaves provided welcome shade from the hot sun that beat down.
He sat down beside one of the tree trunks, leaned back, and waited. He wasn't sure what…or whom…he was waiting for, only that he was to wait. He closed his eyes, listened to the soft sounds of birdsong that filled the air around him. Felt a soft caress. Smiled at the familiar touch.
"Love you, Stud Muffin."
"Love you too, Angel," he replied. Opened his eyes, surprised to find himself alone. He frowned, climbed to his feet and walked to the edge of the water. Looked down and saw Casey smiling at him. "Love you," he whispered.
She smiled that beautiful smile. Blew him a kiss the way she did when he got off of the elevator at level eighteen. Then disappeared.
He sat up on the bed, breathing hard. Then smiled. Thanks, Miss Eloise, he thought briefly. Without a doubt the dream had been a message. Letting him know that Casey was indeed all right, and that she loved him. He settled back down on the bed; fell into deep, restful sleep.
A A A A A A
Casey put the last dish away. She had insisted that they at least clean up the mess their meal had caused. She drank one last cup of coffee. She had searched the house, found a small .38 revolver and a box of ammunition. A mason jar hidden in the back of the pantry cupboard held nearly two hundred dollars. She wrote out an I.O.U., and stuffed it into the jar. She wrote down the name and address that appeared on several bills that were stuck in a basket on the desk in the living room, assuming that Terrance Haroldson was the owner of the house, and the nearby clinic. She would pay back every cent she had taken, and see to it that his gun was returned as well. For now she and Cassie needed both if they were to escape Kinsey's wrath.
Cassie had turned on the television while Casey had been snooping around, and discovered her face on every news network or program. "Casey! Come quick!"
"Shit!" the young seer cursed. "Okay, we're going to have to be very careful." She did another search of the house, found a baseball cap that the teenager could wear, and a Stetson that would stay in place if she put her hair up inside it. "Put this on. Pull your hair back into a ponytail first. Did they give a description of what we were wearing?"
"Yeah, they did."
Two flannel shirts came out of the master bedroom closet. "This is going to get hot, but we're just going to have to suffer. And we have to avoid being seen," Casey told the young woman.
"We're going to walk all the way to…where are we going?"
"I don't know yet. And no, we aren't. We're going to have to…borrow…a car."
"Steal a car?" Cassie squealed.
"Borrow," Casey insisted. "I'll make certain that the owner is compensated fully."
Cassie had no doubt that the seer would do exactly that. She knew that Jack and Sam and Teal'c, and of course Daniel, trusted Casey. The seer was one of her mother's best friends. She would put her trust into the woman as well. If she couldn't trust Casey, who could she trust?
The sun was just peeking over the horizon when the two women left the house, checking to make sure it was securely locked. They had an idea which way town was. Cheyenne, Wyoming was not more than fifty miles away. Casey was honest with Cassie, told her it was going to be a very long, hot walk. And that they would have to wait until cover of darkness to even start looking for a vehicle.
A A A A A A
Harry Maybourne's plane had just landed in Cheyenne. He rented a car, using the government ID that Jack had managed to get for him. He flirted with the woman behind the counter, making certain that she forgot to fully check his credentials. When he was far enough from the airport, he stopped at a fast food restaurant, ordered a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. Left his wig and jacket in the dumpster in back of the establishment.
He listened to the news, grinned as he thought about how angry Kinsey had to be. Without a doubt that man would be showing up at the same ranch he was headed to now. He watched as two people…looked like two young cowboys, jumped into the ditch as he approached. Wondered briefly why they had felt a need to hide. Grinned wider when he thought that just maybe those boys were hiding from an angry father or two.
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