Chapter Twenty-Three ~
"I'm over here," Jude said warily. Jackson shined the light toward the voice he'd heard and it landed on Jude’s handsome face, which was now black with coal dust.
"When I heard the door opening up I tried to find a place to hide. I thought it was him."
"Nope, Amos knocked him out with some sleepy medicine, I would guess." Jackson gave a quirky grin. "I didn't know what we were going to do, but I was bound and determined we weren't going to leave you here," Jackson said loyally.
"Thank you, man, I owe you one," Jude said. "Let's get out of this hole..."
"You go on up, I have to explore the whole area. I need to know where this tunnel goes," Jackson said. He sighed with such tiredness Jude felt a stab of sympathy for him.
"Man, I think I busted my arm in the fall. It hurts like the dickens." Jude rubbed his arm as he got up and followed his friend.
At Jackson's look of enquiry Jude asked, "What? I'm going with you. This monster meant to chop me up into pieces."
"You're hurt, and you can't even shoot a gun. You're right-handed aren't you?"
"I love how observant you are, my friend. I'm left-handed, and yes, I'm in pain. I’m sure someone up there will have something for it.” He grimaced in pain.
"Jude, I know you want in on this, but it's obvious your arm’s broke." Jackson pulled his phone out and called Shepherd Adams. "Could you call an ambulance for my friend down here? He's got a busted arm and a determined mind."
"I sure can. Is he okay other than a broken arm?" The pastor asked him.
"Yep, except for the anger he's shooting my way he looks pretty healthy."
"Okay, I'll tell everyone else. Do you want me to send someone down there to help him up?" Shep asked.
"Nah, I have a feeling there's a door down here somewhere. I can't see Kenny only having one route of escape, and besides, I want to search every inch of this building."
"You're probably right. I'll go outside and look around while the guys scour the upstairs," Shepherd said authoritatively.
"I bet you were a good agent," Jackson complimented.
"I think I was. Well, at least until I was paralyzed, anyway," He said.
"What's Kenny doing right now?" Jackson asked.
"He still isn't awake. He's lying on the floor, out like a light," Shepherd answered.
"Okay, I'm gonna look around, I'll see you in a few." Jackson ended the call.
Kenny Wilson's brother lay on the floor, pretending to be unconscious. It was pretty easy because the nitwits were so busy tearing his hiding place apart they scarcely gave him a glance. He needed to think of a way out of this, but he was drawing a blank. Fury like he'd never known swept through him and threatened to overtake him. How dare they truss him up like a Christmas turkey? The bald one that always wore a ball cap walked over toward him and Kenny shut his obsidian eyes. He couldn't let them see he was awake. There was still a chance out of this, he just had to find it.
Suddenly, the killer felt a hand on his arm. The bald man was crouching next to him.
"I know you're awake you evil monster. There's no way I'm letting you develop an escape plan." He felt another needle in his neck, and then nothing.
"I just pumped the monster full again. He was already awake," Amos said to the room at large.
"Make sure you don't over-dose him, Amos. We can't afford to kill him before he goes to trial," Jude said with a wince from behind the much shorter man. He'd come up from the pit downstairs through a door that opened to the outside. Jackson was still looking for anything of interest he could find down there, but Jude had been drawn up here because of the pain. He was hoping one of his buddies would have some kind of pain reliever. "You wouldn't happen to have anything for pain, would you?" He asked.
When Amos stood up and got his first good look at Jude's arm, he groaned in horror. "Man, that arm is twisted almost backward. You need to get to the hospital..." He was cut-off by the sounds of the ambulance as it screeched to a halt out front. The sirens went silent, but the lights flashed red as two EMTs came into the store. They both looked down at Kenny curiously, but to their credit they didn't ask any questions. Jackson had tied him up with twist-ties, his ever favorite method of restraint. He was still out cold.
"Come on, we'll get you something for pain," The first EMT said. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and a kind look.
"I'm coming, just point the way. I need something before I throw up. If I have to look at it one more time that's what is gonna happen," Jude said as he followed the man into the back of the ambulance.
"I must say you banged it up pretty good,” Jackson called after him as he emerged from the basement. I'll be going to the hospital with you. Scott and Shepherd can escort the prisoner to jail." He rushed his steps to reach the ambulance.
"I'll call from the hospital," Jackson hollered as the second EMT shut the ambulance doors.
When the man turned around, Jude was astonished. "No way man, what's going on? How can you possibly be in here?" His gaze fell to the IV running into his vein. The EMT had given him something for pain, or had he? "Did you drug me, man?" Jude asked in a slurred voice.
Jackson looked at the two other people in the ambulance in surprise. "Who are you?"
"You know who I am, Mr. Masters. I'm surprised you two are so trusting. I was beginning to think my plan might not work," He said with an evil smirk.
"What plan are you talking about?" He asked, confused. He couldn't seem to get the thought straight in his head. "Did you drug me? How did you do it?"
"It was easy. Remember when I shut the ambulance doors I 'bumped' into you?" He had a look of amused accomplishment on his face.
"Yeah I do, why?"
"It wasn't an innocent bump, that's what. I've had that ready for days, just in case I needed to use it," Kenny Wilson said with a smirking laugh of mirth.
"What is it you plan on doing to us?" Jackson asked.
"Well, I didn't really plan on doing anything to you. I really just planned to take Jude, but you had to stick your nose in, and now you'll suffer the same fate he does," Kenny said with an almost sad-looking frown.
"That isn't an answer. What is it you have against Jude, anyway?" Jackson asked.
"I'm going to kill you. I have to put him out of my misery. I've lived in the shadow of his rejection for way too long. I don't like myself right now, and I know that'll change once he's gone." Kenny said.
"Where did you get that kind of logic, out of a cereal box?" Jackson asked. "That makes about as much sense as selling ice cream cones to Eskimos."
"Why are you being so mean?" The killer screeched as he poked another needle into Jackson's arm. The other EMT had already been knocked out and he lay dozing heavily against the back door.
Jackson grabbed his arm and tried to pinch it, like that would somehow keep the medicine from knocking him out. "You are an evil man..." Jackson said as he fell into a deep stupor.
"Timothy, turn right up here. I want to get off Redwood Road." Kenny said as he pulled out his phone and texted a message to Justy Sanders. 'I have your boyfriend. If you want to see him while he's still in one piece I suggest you sneak out and meet me at the West Jordan Park behind the police station.' He finished the text and pushed send, and then waited for her to return it.
'I'll be there in thirty minutes, please don't hurt him,' was the answer. Justy had been lying in bed at the mansion. She was trying to get some rest while the men were out. She'd hopped up like a scalded dog when the text had come through, and she already had her white running shoes on and was headed down the veranda staircase that opened to the back garage.