Chapter 23

 

Across town at FBI field office three months later, Agent Closson, Jay's supervisor, approached Jay who was sitting at his desk looking over reports. "Williams, I need to see you in my office." Jay got up and followed him into his office. "Sit down." Jay complied. "I understand you are looking into the disappearance of Kyle Matthews. According to my information, he's just a school teacher. Have the locals asked for our assistance?"

 

"No, they haven't."

 

"So why are we wasting our resources looking into the disappearance of a lowlife, subversive faggot? We should be thanking whoever snatched him. Hopefully his slimy body will wash up on some shore somewhere."

 

Easy, Jayson, don't lose your cool. He fumed. "Kyle is the son of Robert and Angelica Matthews, whose investigations, in conjunction with our own investigations, brought down the entire Cimmera crime family organization. His disappearance could be related. Someone connected to them might be out for revenge."

 

"Possibly, but that's not our concern. No one is going to care about one less faggot. Consider the case closed as of now. I have a more important case regarding the apparent suicide of a convenience store cashier."

 

Jay's boiling point was reached and exceeded. "Actually, there is someone who does care. Me."

 

Closson snorted. "Why would you care about that disgusting piece of trash?"

 

Jay totally lost it then. "THAT PIECE OF TRASH AS YOU CALL HIM, WHICH YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO SO, HAS BEEN MY BOYFRIEND FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS. I LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANYONE OR ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD. I WILL NOT GIVE UP SEARCHING FOR HIM." So much for my coming out plan, Jay thought to himself and going to EEO to request a transfer first.

 

Closson glared at him. "I'll give you five seconds to retract that last statement." Jay remained silent. "Very well, it's too bad. You were an exceptional field agent with a lot of promise. However, I will not tolerate faggots in this department. Give me your badge and your weapon. You're fired and your security clearance is hereby revoked, effective immediately."

 

"Ah, you can't do that. It's against the FBI non-discrimination policy."

 

"POLICY BE DAMNED! YOU'RE DONE, FAGGOT! FIRED! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY OFFICE. CARROLL!"

 

Agent Carroll poked her head in. "Yes?"

 

"Escort this lowlife faggot ex-agent out of the building. He is not to even stop to take a shit."

 

"Yes sir" She responded reluctantly.

 

Jay rose to his feet. "This isn't over. Not by a long shot." He said having a great deal of difficulty keeping is voice level. He calmly accompanied Agent Carroll out.

 

"Jayson, what happened?"

 

"He fired me because I refused to drop the Kyle Matthews missing persons investigation when he ordered me to.

 

"Why would he order you to drop a missing persons investigation?"

 

"Because Kyle Matthews is gay."

 

"That asshole!"

 

I might as well go for broke. "It's not the fact that I refused to drop the investigation. It's because of the reason why I wouldn't drop it. I'm gay and Kyle has been my boyfriend for over five years.

 

"He fired you because you're gay? He can't do that. It's against the non-discrimination policy. I'm not escorting you out of the building. I'm taking you to EEO."

 

"You can't, Kris. If Closson finds out, he'll fire you for insubordination."

 

"Like I give a shit. I'm your friend, Jay, and I'm sticking by you. You taught me the ropes, and I'm not going to abandon you. Besides, he said you couldn't stop to take a shit, He never said you couldn't go to EEO, and if I recall correctly, he never said when you were to be escorted out." She snickered.

 

"You heard all that?"

 

"Jay, they probably heard it all the way to California."

 

Jay put his hand on her shoulder and said "I owe you, Kris, more than I can ever repay." He was surprised when she turned and pulled him into a hug.

 

"Just consider me your number one fag hag." She said as she released him.

 

"Gee, I've ever had a fag hag before."

 

"Well you've got one now." She sighed. "Why are all the hot, sensitive and caring guys gay?"

 

"I don't know, just lucky I guess."

 

They arrived at the Equal Employment Opportunity office. "Well, here goes nothing." They walked in and approached the receptionist.

 

"May I help you?"

 

"I'm Jayson Williams, and this is Special Agent Kris Carroll. I need to talk with someone about a possible wrongful termination."

 

"I see. Do you have an appointment?"

 

"No. I wasn't aware that I needed one."

 

"You don't, but if you don't have one, you may have a wait on your hands. Let me see if there` is an investigator available to talk with you. Have a seat. I'll just be a moment." She went down the hall and came back a minute later with another person.

 

"Mr. Williams, I'm Investigator Franks. How can I be of service?"

 

"I need to talk with someone about being wrongfully terminated."

 

"I see. And you are?" She turned to Kris.

 

"Special Agent Kris Carroll. I'm a witness to the termination."

 

"Okay, if the two of you will come with me, please?" The investigator led them down the hall to her office. "Please, have a seat." Instead of sitting behind her desk, she grabbed a pad and pen and took a chair opposite Jay and Kris. "Before we begin, there is one thing I must say. Anything said in this office is privileged, confidential information, so please speak freely, and don't withhold anything. I would like to tape this session, for further review, if that is all right with you."

 

"Whatever you think is best."

 

She got out a tape recorder. "Once I turn it on, I will ask you for your permission to tape our conversation, so your consent will be on record." She turned the tape recorder on. "This is Investigator Joanne Franks, sitting here with Mr. Jayson Williams and Special Agent Kris Carroll. Today is August fourth, and it is two-thirty in the afternoon. Mr. Williams, Special Agent Carroll, do you both willingly consent to having this interview recorded for further review if necessary?"

 

"I, Jayson Williams, do willingly consent to having this interview and any future conversations recorded."

 

"I, Special Agent Kris Carroll, do willingly consent to having this interview and any future conversations recorded." Jay suppressed a giggle at Kris's repetition of his words.

 

"Now Mr. Williams, I assume you are the person who feels wrongfully terminated?"

 

"Yes ma'am."

 

She turned to Kris. "And you, Special Agent Carroll, are a witness to the termination."

 

"Yes, I am."

 

"Mr. Williams, why don't you start at the beginning? From what position were you terminated, and how did the termination come about?"

 

"I was a senior field agent with the organized crime unit. Many years ago, I was assigned to help investigate the disappearance of two high-profile federal lawyers, Robert and Angelica Matthews. Eventually, throughout the course of the investigation, we were able to gather enough evidence which, combined with the evidence gathered by the Matthews', was sufficient to bring down the Cimmera crime family."

 

"I heard about that, excellent work."

 

"Thanks. Anyway, for the past four months I've been looking into the disappearance of the Matthews' son, Kyle, who has disappeared, so far without a trace. I believe he may have taken against his will by someone connected with the Cimmera family out for revenge. Today I was called into Supervisory Agent Hick's office and was told to discontinue the investigation because the victim was, to use his exact words, a lowlife, subversive faggot. When I explained the possible connection to the Cimmera organization, he told me that no one cared that there was one less faggot, and that he had a more important case for me involving the suicide of a convenience store clerk."

 

"Since when does the FBI investigate suicides of convenience store clerks? It seems to me that those types of cases are for the local police department to investigate."

 

"You would think. He also said that we should be thankful to the person responsible for his disappearance and that hopefully his slimy body would wash up on some shore." The investigator's expression turned very grim when she heard that. "Anyway, I told him that there was someone who cared about Kyle. Me. When he asked me why I would, and again I'm using his words, care about that disgusting piece of trash. I told him the truth, that Kyle has been my boyfriend for the last five years. It was then that he fired me, insisting that he would not tolerate faggots in his department."

 

"In light of the FBI's non-discrimination policy, that is a very serious accusation. Agent Carroll, did you hear this conversation?"

 

"Not all of it, Investigator. I most definitely did hear him fire Jayson and I most definitely did hear him state that he would not tolerate faggots in his department."

 

"Is there anyone else who might have heard it?

"The way he yelled, it wouldn't surprise me if the whole squad room heard it. May I add something?"

 

"Is it relevant?"

 

"Absolutely."

 

"Then by all means, please do."

 

"He called me into his office, and told me to `escort this lowlife faggot ex-agent out of the building'. Those were his exact words. Also, what Jayson didn't tell you is that when he told Closson that firing him because he was gay went against the non-discrimination policy, Closson responded, policy be damned."

 

"I see. Special Agent Williams" Jay gave her a startled look at the use of his former title. "I will need you to fill out this complaint form. As a witness, Special Agent Carroll, I will also need you to fill out a complaint form. Once you have done so, I will open an investigation into your complaint. Since this is a wrongful termination complaint based upon apparent violation of the Bureau's non-discrimination policy" she raised her hand to forestall any argument from Jay over the use of the word `apparent' "human resources will be notified to disregard any termination notice and to place you on a paid leave of absence with no loss of accruals pending the outcome of this investigation. Should the results of the investigation be in your favor, you will be placed back on active duty in a different department or field office, if you so desire. Should the results of the investigation be not in your favor, your termination will be effective immediately upon the conclusion of the investigation. Is that understood?"

 

"Yes ma'am."

 

"Good. Now, Agent Carroll, can you provide me with a list of names of all agents present in the squad room at the time of the incident?"

 

"Yes ma'am. If you have a piece of paper, I'll write them down while it's still fresh in my mind." The Investigator gave Kris her pad.

 

"Now Agent Williams, throughout the course of the investigation, you are not to talk with any representative from any public media, nor should you discuss anything in a public place. In fact, it would be in your best interest not to discuss it at all. You should also avoid any contact with Supervisory Agent Closson, and should not come to this building or any other field office."

 

"What if he comes after me?" His facial expression and tone of voice made it clear that he considered it a very real possibility.

 

"Should that happen, notify me as soon as possible. If he becomes violent towards you, by all means notify the Police. Now unless you have anything further to add, or any questions, I think we're done here for now. Get these complaints filled out and I will get the investigation started." She rose, causing Jay and Kris to immediately stand. "Here's my card in case you need to get in touch with me. Otherwise, I will be in touch when and as necessary." She looked at Jay with a compassionate expression. "I sincerely hope you find your boyfriend soon and that he will be alive and unharmed." She held out her hand to him.

 

Jay shook her hand. "Thank you, Investigator, and let me thank you in advance for all of your help."

 

"You're welcome, Jayson. That's what I'm here for."

 

As Jay and Kris walked towards the entrance of the building they discussed the investigation into Kyle's disappearance. "I'm scared, Kris. He's been gone too long. There were no ransom demands."

 

"Could he simply have been in an accident and have some form of amnesia or something?"

 

"No, his jeep, bicycle and roller blades were in the garage. The house was a mess, which tells me that he struggled with his kidnapper. He always kept the house immaculate because, as he always said, `you never know when someone might stop by'. He has a lot of friends and family who were always dropping by. The strange thing is they would always call first. There was no sign of any forced entry and he wouldn't willingly let a stranger in the house unless it was an electrician or plumber or that sort of person. Besides, he would know they were coming and would check their IDs. Even though he's an excellent swimmer, he wouldn't go swimming by himself. It just doesn't make any sense." Jay's frustration was very much in evidence.

 

"The answer is out there somewhere, and I hope you find it soon. Kyle sounds like a very special person, and I'd like to meet him someday."

 

"He is, very special. He's my entire life. You will meet him someday, if I have anything to do with it. Thanks for all of your support. I really appreciate it."

 

"Hey, that's what fag hags are for! Here's my number, call me if you need anything, and keep me informed. I'll do whatever I can to keep his case open and I'll see what I can find out."

 

"Please be careful. I don't want you to get into any trouble."

 

"I won't. See you later."

 

"Bye, Kris."

 

Two weeks later, Jay received a phone call from Investigator Franks requesting him to meet her in her office at two pm the following afternoon. Ten minutes before the appointed time, he entered the building and approached the security checkpoint desk. "Hi, I'm Jayson Williams. I have a two o'clock appointment with Investigator Franks." He said to the unfamiliar security guard.

 

"One moment please." The guard checked lists on first one clipboard, then the other. "Yes, I have your appointment right here. However, you are on the do not admit roster per Supervisory Agent Closson. I'm sorry Mr. Williams, but you are not allowed in the building. I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

 

"We'll see about that." Jay got out his phone and the card he was given. Momentarily, she came on the line. "Investigator Franks? Special Agent Williams here." He gave the security guard a cold look to see if he caught Jay's title. "It would appear that, per request of Agent Closson, I'm not allowed in the building, and at the moment am being surrounded by security with the obvious intent to remove me physically from the premises. Yes, ma'am. I'll wait for you outside." Glaring at the security guard at the desk he turned and walked out of the building and across the street, where he was joined momentarily.

 

"Hello, Jayson. Please come with me." She led him back into the building up to the security desk. "Do you know who I am?"

 

"No ma'am."

 

She showed him her ID. "I'm Special Investigator Franks, EEO. I wish to see the memorandum from Supervisory Agent Closson regarding Special Agent Williams." He located the memo and handed it to her. She quickly read it. "I will take this with me. Please give me an unrestricted visitor's badge."

 

"I can't do that, ma'am."

 

"Why not?"

 

"The memo."

 

"What memo?"

 

"The memo you are holding in your hand."

 

"Are you familiar with the organizational structure of this Bureau?"

 

"Yes ma'am."

 

"Then you know that, as a Special Investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity office, I have the authority to countermand this memo?"

 

The guard swallowed nervously. "Yes ma'am."

 

"Then give me the badge I requested."

 

"But" the guard began.

 

"DO IT!"

 

"Yes ma'am." The guard replied meekly as he handed over the badge.

 

She escorted Jay not to her office, but to a conference room. Scanning the room as he entered, he noticed the Bureau Field Director, the Director of Human Resources, Kris and several others whom he saw from time to time in passing, but didn't know who they were. He guessed, correctly, that they were unit supervisors. He took a seat next to Kris who immediately pressed her leg up against his in a gesture meant to convey both support and comfort. Investigator Franks stood up and began to address the room.

 

"Two weeks ago, Special Agents Williams and Carroll came to me about the possible wrongful termination of Agent Williams and a possible violation of the FBI non-discrimination policy. A thorough investigation was conducted by my office and the findings are in the reports in front of each of you. To summarize, Agent Williams was in fact wrongfully terminated in violation of the Bureau's non-discrimination policy. There wasn't just a violation of the policy, but a knowing, willful and gross violation. Agent Williams' rights were intentionally violated. In addition to what is contained in the findings, new evidence of Supervisor Closson' bigotry and misconduct surfaced just a few minutes ago. When I scheduled this meeting, I sent notice down to Security informing them to expect Agent Williams, to provide him with a security badge and escort him to my office. When Agent Williams arrived, he was denied access to the building. He called me and I went downstairs to the Security desk where I was informed of a memorandum stating that Agent Williams was to be denied access to the building. I have that memorandum here. Let me read part of it to you. `Former Special Agent Jayson Williams is to be denied access to this building at all times. He is a sexual deviant and a sexual predator and must not be allowed access to the male personnel employed here. It is for their protection.' In addition to his full and immediate reinstatement, I recommend Special Agent Williams be transferred to another unit or field office."

 

One of the other people raised their hand. "I have an immediate opening in Hate Crimes. I'm familiar with Agent Williams' service record and would love to have him join us." Several others stated similar sentiments.

 

"Agent Williams, what are your feelings in this matter?"

 

"First, let me express my appreciation to you and your staff, Investigator Franks. I love being an FBI agent. It's all I've ever wanted to do. Being part of the organized crime unit has been interesting, but it's not enough. With all due respect and appreciation to the other unit supervisors assembled here, I would absolutely love to be a part of Hate Crimes. I really think I can make a difference there, should I be reinstated."

 

"Agent Williams aren't you the one who cracked the Matthews murder case that brought down the Cimmera crime family?" the Director asked.

 

"Yes sir. I had helped with that particular investigation."

 

"It's my understanding that you followed up on a supposedly cold lead no one else could be bothered with, and it was that lead that cracked the case.

 

Jayson paused for a moment. It was not in his nature to take credit for a team effort, but what the Director had said was true. No one else wanted to investigate the cold lead. "Yes sir."

 

He took a moment to scan the report in front of him. "Well, if EEO hadn't recommended reinstatement, I would have done it anyway. We can't afford to lose talented, dedicated agents such as you. Welcome back, Special Agent Williams."

 

"Thank you, Director."

 

Investigator Franks spoke up. "I have another recommendation. My initial recommendation was that Supervisor Closson be reprimanded for his conduct and be required to take sensitivity and diversity training. I rescind that recommendation in light of this memo." She held up the memo from Closson. "Instead, I recommend that Supervisor Closson be terminated for his willful and gross violation of policy."

 

The Director turned to the Director of Human Resources. "Mrs. Morris, please file whatever paperwork is required to reinstate Special Agent Williams to full duty and a transfer to the Bias and Hate Crimes unit, both effective immediately. I want him to receive six months' pay as punitive damages for what he was put through. Lastly, Elmer Closson is to be terminated, effective immediately for conduct unbecoming a unit supervisor, knowing and willful violation of the non-discrimination policy and harassment."

 

"No problem, Director. Consider it done."

 

"Thank you everyone for coming. I appreciate you taking the time out from your busy schedules to put this matter to rest." Investigator Franks said. As everyone filed out of the room, she grabbed Jayson. "Have you had any luck finding your missing boyfriend?"

 

Jay looked at Kris who shook her head sadly. "No, ma'am" he replied in a trembling voice.

 

"Well, my door is always open if you need someone to talk to."

 

"Thank you, but you've done more than enough for me. I can't thank you enough for getting me reinstated and transferred."

 

"You're more than welcome. I'm glad I could help. If there's one thing I can't stand, its bigotry. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but know this; no one else will ever have to endure what you did. The Director is making an example of Closson, and anyone who shares his bigotry will think twice about acting on it. Enjoy your new assignment." She left the room.

 

"Agent Williams, do you have a moment?"

 

"I have to find out where the Bias and Hate Crimes squad room is and report to the unit supervisor there for assignment."

 

"I'm the unit supervisor. Jack Jamison." He held out his hand to Jay, who shook it.

 

"Please to meet you, sir."

 

"Call me Jack. Anyway, I'm very happy to have you on my team. Our squad room is on the seventh floor. You'll be partnered with Special Agent Erik Hunter. I'll take you up there and introduce you to him."

 

"No need for introductions. I went through the FBI Academy with him. He's one of my closest friends."

 

"Great. That will make your transition a lot easier. As far as reporting in, consider it done. Take the rest of today and tomorrow off to take care of whatever paperwork HR needs you to do and I'll see you on Monday at eight. I would like to talk with you about the Matthews case. I'm curious to know why you decided to follow that cold lead and how it cracked the case. I also want to be brought up to speed on the Kyle Matthews investigation, which I understand is what brought on this debacle."

 

"That won't take long. There was no sign of forced entry, forensics didn't find any clues and there's been no ransom demand. The investigation is completely stalled. I need to be up front with you about it. Kyle Matthews has been my boyfriend for over five years. We live together." Jay cringed internally. So now I find out how my new boss feels about me being gay. I'm out and I never want to go back into the closet. I want Kyle and me to be able to show our love for each other in public. If he has a problem with that, it's best to find out now.

 

"That does create one problem. Because he's your boyfriend you are emotionally involved. Your objectivity and judgment could be compromised. This could ultimately create a situation, however inadvertently, where the perpetrator or perpetrators could walk, and we definitely don't want that. Worst case scenario, it could cost your boyfriend his life, or you yours, and those are senseless tragedies we need to do everything in our power to prevent. You need to remove yourself from the investigation for the good of the investigation. Surely you understand what's at stake here from working with the organized crime unit. You know what these people are capable of."

 

Jay breathed a sigh of relief. He's obviously okay with me being gay and in a relationship with Kyle. "But" Jay began.

 

"I'm sure that it's going to be hard for you, to stand idly by and let someone else take over the investigation. I understand your need to find him. I promise you that you will be kept in the loop. Have a good weekend, and I'll see you Monday morning."

 

Jay's shoulders drooped. "I understand. Thank you, sir, I mean Jack. I'll see you Monday morning."

 

When they were alone, Jay sank down into a chair tears flowing down his cheeks. Kris sat next to him and put an arm around his shoulder. "Hey, what's all this? You've been reinstated, you're getting a huge chunk of change, that asshole Closson is gone and you've got an awesome new assignment."

 

"I know, Kris. It's just that I need to find Kyle. I need to hold him, to hear his voice..."

 

She started rubbing his back. "I'm going to submit a request to take over the investigation, and when I do find him, I promise you'll be there when we go get him. You have my word. You will be there. Now, you get along home and make yourself pretty. I'm taking you out to celebrate."

 

He laughed a mirthless laugh. "Okay."

 

Monday morning, Erik looked up as Jay walked into the Bias and Hate Crimes Unit squad room. Surprised to see him there, Erik greeted him. "Good morning, Jay. What brings you up here?"

 

"Hey, Erik, this is my new assignment. EEO had me transferred here. I filed a complaint against Closson after he fired me when I came out."

 

"Cool. I was told I was getting a new partner, but they wouldn't tell me who it was. So you're totally out now?"

 

"The only thing in my closet now is my clothes. Oh, check this out." Jay rummaged through his briefcase and took out some paperwork, handing it to Erik.

 

"What's this?"

 

"It's domestic partner registration paperwork. Once Kyle signs it, we'll legally be domestic partners. It's what he always wanted, for us to be a real out couple. No more hiding."

 

"Jay, you said this was what Kyle wanted. Are you sure YOU want to do this?"

 

"Absolutely" Jay responded without hesitation. "In fact, when we find him, I'm going to ask him to marry me. Would you be my best man?"

 

"I would be honored to. But first we have to find him."

 

"I just wish I knew where to look. I've been wracking my brain for the last four months trying to remember something - anything - about where I was held, sounds, smells, etc. but there's nothing. I even had the Bureau shrink put me under hypnosis to see if there was anything in my subconscious that might give us some type of clue as to where I was held. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I've never felt so fucking helpless in my life..." Jay's voice trailed off.

 

"Jay, we've been friends since our academy days, and I hate to be the one to bring this up, but in light of the threat made against Kyle by that scum bag and the length of time he's been missing, we have to face the very real possibility that we may never find him."

 

"Believe me, it's been in the back of my mind since he disappeared, but I have to believe that he's still alive and that we'll find him. Besides, I believe his abductor is only after sex. There's been no ransom note."

 

"True, but...." Whatever Erik was about to say was lost as the phone rang, interrupting him. "Hate crimes, Hunter. Bring him up. Thanks." He hung the phone up and turned to Jay. "Tommy Adams is here. He says he has some information that might help us find Kyle."

 

"I wonder what that might be." replied Jay, who nearly pounced on Tommy as soon as he was escorted through the door. "If what you have to tell us helps us find Kyle, I'll be indebted to you for the rest of my life." Jay exclaimed, giving Tommy a fierce hug before escorting him to a chair next to his desk. "What's the information you have?"

 

"I don't know if this will help or not, but Kim gave him a new cell phone for his birthday. Is there any way you can put a trace on it, like Abby did on last week's NCIS episode? I don't know why it never occurred to be to mention it until now."

 

"We've already tried that. Either he's in a dead zone or it's turned off."

 

"But I thought that GPS worked everywhere, whether the phone was on or off."

 

"Wait a minute. Tommy, are you telling me that his phone has a GPS chip in it?"

 

"Yeah it does."

 

Jay grabbed him and gave him a quick, grateful kiss on the cheek. "You may have just saved his life." He grabbed for the phone, but Erik was already on it. "Mark, this is Erik in Hate Crimes. I need a priority GPS track on a cell phone. What's the number, Tommy?"

 

"555-7984."

 

Erik repeated the number. "Please call me as soon as you have something. Thanks."

 

The three of them made small talk while they waited. About ten minutes later, the phone rang. "Hate Crimes, Hunter. Great work. What's the address? Got it. Thanks." He hung up. "It worked! We've found him!"

 

As Jay raced towards the door, Erik intercepted him. "Jay, I understand you have an overwhelming need to rescue him, but we have to be careful. If we go in there full tilt with lights and sirens, we may spook the perp. He might kill Kyle. Lord only knows what he's capable of, and whether or not he has any weapons. We have to be smart about this. We don't want to give him any opportunity to get away or kill Kyle. He's eluded the authorities this long, so he's obviously not stupid. If we want Kyle back alive, safe and sound, and bring that ass-wipe to justice, we can't afford to make mistakes."

 

Jay stepped back from the door and sighed. "You're right, of course. It's just..." his voice trailed off as he was unable to continue because he was sobbing so hard.

 

"I know, buddy. I know." Erik said softly as he pulled him into a strong embrace. Other members of the unit gathered around to offer him comfort. "We'll do everything by the book to make sure the perp doesn't walk."

 

Jay nodded then gave Tommy a big hug. "I don't know how I'll ever be able to thank you." He whispered.

 

"I'm just glad I could help. Now go get him and bring him home." Tommy said. His eyes were moist with the emotion of having his prayers answered.

 

Jay got out his cell phone and called Kris. "Kris, we've found him. We've found Kyle." He told her in a voice choked with emotion. "We're on our way to get him." A short time later Jay, Erik, Kris, Jack and several local police officers arrived at the empty building where Kyle was being held. Unconscious from several severe beatings, dehydration and malnutrition, Kyle barely woke to the sound of an outer door being forced open, shouting and gunfire. The door to the room where he was imprisoned opened suddenly. "KYLE!!!!!!" Jay screamed, crying tears of relief as he gathered Kyle into his arms. "Kyle, talk to me." But there was no response. Kyle had lapsed back into unconsciousness.

 

On the way to the hospital, Jay pulled out his cell phone and called Tommy. "We've got him, Tommy. He's alive! We're on the way to the hospital now to have him checked out." He could hear Tommy sobbing. "He'll be okay. He looks very thin and pale, but he's alive. Can you call everyone and let them know? Don't call Kim. I'm going to stop by the Pediatrics wing and tell her in person. We owe you big time, my friend. If it hadn't been for you we never would have traced his phone. God knows if we ever would have found him in time. Thank you just isn't enough."

 

"Finding him...alive is more...than enough...thanks. " Tommy said through his sobs of relief. His closest and dearest friend, no his brother, was found and is alive. After a few moments he was able to pull himself together. "Thanks for letting me know. I'll call everyone." They hung up.

 

A few minutes later Jay walked into the Pediatrics wing and approached the nurse's station. He flashed his ID to the nurse there. I'm Special Agent Jayson Williams, FBI. Could you page Doctor Garrett for me please? I need to speak with her about an urgent matter.

 

"Jay? What are you doing here?" Kim said, coming up behind him. He turned and saw the tears flowing down his cheeks. "Oh, God. It's Kyle, isn't it? He's...my brother's..." Tears fell as she feared the worst. She couldn't give voice to the thought that he might be dead. Please, God, let him not be dead.

 

"We found him, Kim. We got to him in time. He's alive and in one piece. He's downstairs in the E.R. being checked over." He held out his arms to her and she rushed into them. They clung to each other crying tears of joy and relief.

 

She turned to the nurse who had come from behind the desk and was watching them intently. "Go." The nurse told her. "I'll page you if anything comes up that we can't handle. I'm so glad your brother has been found." The two women hugged briefly as Kim took off for the E.R. calling Bryan on her way to fill him in.

 

As Jay entered the waiting room he was greeting with hugs from all of their friends and Kyle's family. The small waiting room was filled to overflowing. Tragically, history had indeed repeated itself.