Fit to be Chai-ed
“Hansen.” The line was quiet for a moment, and then a whisper.
“Det – Erik? It’s Anna. You can find me with a cell signal, right?”
He frowned, his pulse racing. “Where are you? Are you okay? What hap–”
“I don’t have time – they’re coming back. I’ll leave this on so you can track it, but hurry! It’s you they want, not–”
The line went dead, and Erik shouted her name as he heard the faint sound of a whimper fading away.
“Damn it!” He hesitated for a second, not wanting to sever the connection but knowing he had to. Disconnecting the call, he punched a number in and waited impatiently for Cal Monte, lab geek to pick up.
“I don’t have a lot of time to explain,” he said, straddling his bike again and placing the key in the ignition. “You need to trace the cell phone number I’m sending you right away. I’ll be at the station in ten minutes.”
Without giving him a chance to respond, Erik hung up and texted Cal the number Anna had called from. Sliding the phone back into his pocket, he roared away from the curb, burning rubber as he squealed around the corner and onto a main through-fare. Convincing the captain wasn’t going to be easy, but he’d need backup, and lots of it.
When he walked into the precinct, Captain Myers was waiting by his desk with Cal.
“Sounds like we need to talk,” Myers said, taking the paper Cal tried to hand Erik. “What’s going on?”
“Thanks,” Erik told Cal. The tech nodded, raising his eyebrows before he hurried off. Turning to the Captain, Erik figured the direct approach would be best at this point.
“I recruited a civilian to help test that lead we had…”
“You did what? Of all the–”
Erik held up a hand. “I know. Believe me. But he’s got her now, and she called and Cal traced the number. We need to go in now if we want to catch this guy. I need back–”
Captain Myers shook his head. “We’re not going anywhere until I have more information. Do you know it’s the Chai killer? How do you know she’s not just some chick with a fantasy trying to get a cop to rescue her? Did you see her get snatched?”
Erik exhaled slowly. “I’m pretty sure it’s him, since that’s who we were looking for in the first place. Anna’s an accountant – she’s too practical for fantasy games. And no, I didn’t see it happen, but I heard her voice. She was scared, Captain – she wasn’t playing. She said something about him wanting me.”
The captain shook his head. “I’m still not sure I believe this is anything more than a hoax. I’ll send Daniels and Smith to check it out. You can hand over your badge and your gun for doing something so colossally stupid like putting a civilian in harm’s way. You’re suspended until I can figure out how to deal with it.” He held out his hand, palm up, his expression stern.
Erik wanted to argue, but he wanted to get to Anna more. With quick, efficient movements he handed his gun and badge over, stepping close enough to peek at the address on the report from Cal.
“Whatever,” he said, backing away. “I’ll find her myself.”
“Don’t you dare go near that warehouse,” Myers yelled as Erik strode towards the door. “That’s an order!”
Erik half-waved over his shoulder, shoving through the front door. He could hear the Captain shouting more orders as he got on his bike, the sound muted when he fired up the engine. No way was he leaving Anna to fend for herself with two newbie detectives on the case. If her captors wanted him, they’d get him.
He pulled out into traffic and hit the throttle, heading towards the warehouse district. He just hoped he wouldn’t be too late.
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