“We gotta do something, those cops aren’t doing shit.” AJ shouted as the meeting wound down. The boys were now deciding what to do as a group now that Nick had been gone for a few days. “Jay, the police are doing all they can.” Howie said calmly, mostly to make himself feel better. Despite the information they had given to Officer Jacobs, no leads had been found…Nick was still missing.
“This is bullshit. We shouldn’t be sitting here on our asses.” AJ said, sitting down.
“He’s right, Howie. I think we should do some investigating on our own.” Brian agreed. He had been planning to visit Nick’s house and look for any hint as to where he could be. He knew Nick was kidnapped, they all did. However, the police was convinced that Nick was simply in hiding due to Lauren’s murder.
“Brian, its a bad idea for us to go snooping. Don’t you watch mystery movies?” Howie said, shaking his head at them.
“Scooby Doo doesn’t count, D.” AJ snapped as Howie scowled.
“I don’t care, Howie. Nick is in trouble…the police aren’t doing anything and he could be hurt somewhere. We have to try. I can’t just sit here and wait. AJ and I are going to see if we can find some clues at his house.” Brian said. The next morning they drove to Nick’s house, which was in Tampa.
“How are we gonna get in? He probably locked the doors before he left the other day. Won’t the alarms go off?” AJ said, puffing on his third cigarette.
“You shouldn’t be smoking.” Brian scolded him as AJ blew smoke in his face by accident.
“It calms me down. I’m worried about him, B. That girl seemed like trouble. What the fuck was he thinking messing around like that?” AJ protested. He tossed the cigarette and stomped it out with his foot.
“He got his bad habits from you.” Brian whispered, investigating the keypad on the door of Nick’s house.
“How so? Nick’s an adult. He screws up plenty without my help.” AJ said. Brian shook his head and began punching in numbers.
“I don’t see the point in this, Brian. What could he possibly have left behind here….”
“Bingo.” Brian said happily as the keypad chimed. He opened the door and walked into the empty house.
“How do you do that?” AJ asked in amazement, following him inside…the chains on his pants rattling as he closed the door behind him.
“Nick is not very good at secrets, he never picks complicated passwords. He used his birthyear as the password.” Brian chuckled. They searched the house, it was just as Nick had left it the day he went missing.
“I told you this was a waste of time.” AJ said impatiently. It was then that they saw the light on Nick’s answering machine beeping. Glancing over at each other, Brian walked over and pressed the play button.
“Nick….its Lucy. I don’t know why you hung up on me before….but I can’t let this go on anymore. You and I belong together. I’m gonna change your mind if its the last thing I do. I love you…”
“Shut it off…that girl makes me sick.” AJ said, making a face.
“Wait. There is noise in the background. She was driving. Do you know where they found Nick’s car?” Brian asked, an idea forming in his head.
“Somewhere in the woods.” AJ shrugged. Brian played the recording again and they heard the sound of wind going through a car window.
“My guess is that she was following him to see if he would come back here.” Brian said, crossing his arms as he thought.
“If she was following him, why would she leave the message?” AJ asked, feeling uneasy about being in the house.
“To scare him, probably. I fail to understand the female mind, its a scary place.” Brian chuckled.
“This makes absolutely no sense. What kind of person does shit like this? She murdered Lauren…what if she murders Nick too?” AJ whispered shakily.
“AJ…I just thought of something. Remember we saw on the news about that lady who died in Orlando? They found a body in someones basement. What if this was connected?”
“That’s a wild coincidence. Fucking hell. You think Lucy killed both of them?” AJ said, his eyes wide. He really wanted to leave, everything was giving him the shivers.
“They said the daughter went missing. It was big news because…she was a fan of ours! That’s it, AJ! Her name was Valerie Harrington. It was all over our fanclub how the girl went missing just after she met us. I remember fans tweeting me about her.” Brian exclaimed.
“Holy shit. Nick is in trouble….we gotta tell the police.” AJ said as they ran out of the house with the tape from Nick’s answering machine.
“AJ…I hate to say it but we might have to rescue him ourselves. You’re right about the cops, they aren’t doing crap.” Brian told him. The two of them got into Brian’s car, but he did not start it.
“Do you hear that?” AJ asked, raising a pierced eyebrow at him. He thought he heard faint screaming, but decided it was his imagination.
“No, I don’t. Come on. We gotta tell Howie what we found out.” Brian said as he put the car into drive and they sped off, wondering how this was going to play out now that they knew who had kidnapped Nick. They just had to figure out how to get him back before it was too late.