Author’s Note: I would suggest reading this chapter from the main legacy Not So Ordinary Life first before reading this chapter to get the most out of it.
After everyone let their hotel room Alex turned to Lexi “I want you to take the boys and go home.”
“Alex no,” she protested “I want to be here with you…”
“And I want you someplace safe,” Alex interrupted her “please it’s bad enough watching Caleb and Drew living this nightmare. I don’t want to have to worry about you too.” He stroked her long beautiful purple hair “I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I left you in a dangerous situation and something happened to you.”
“Alex what if something happens in Sunlit Tides?” she asked him gently holding his face in her palms “life is full of what ifs and very few guarantees. Don’t ask me to leave you here to deal with this all on your own.”
Moaning slightly he leaned his forehead on hers “I worry about you and the kids being so close to the kidnapper…”
“But he called,” she looked intently at him “said he wanted to bring Andrew home, right?”
Nodding he sighed “yes he did but what if it’s a trick? What if this is just a ruse to get our guards down? What if….”
“Shhh,” she put a hand up to cover his mouth “anything is possible but you’ll drive yourself crazy thinking about all the what ifs.”
“I know but you and the boys mean he world to me,” he pulled her close “I don’t want anything to happen to you…ever.”
“I feel the same way about you,” she snuggled into him “I’ll go and stay with Tayla and the kids. I’m sure she could use some help.”
His mouth sought hers and they met in a mutual desire to feel each other. To be close before they parted. “I’m going to miss you,” he said pulling away from her.
“I feel the same way,” she tried to smile but if faltered and faded away “it’s not like we’ll never see each other again. We’re still in the same town.”
“I know” he pulled her close deriving comfort from the feel of her body pressed against his. “I never want to let you go,” he breathed deeply filling his senses with her scent. Her softness and the way she almost purred in his arms “I love you.”
“I love you too,” she took a step back reluctant to leave the safety of his arms “I’m just a phone call away. A fifteen minute drive.”
“And every minute we’re apart will feel like an eternity,” he told her as he watched her gather her things.
He helped her with the boys putting them in their car seats “be good for mommy,” he instructed them. They nodded their heads vigorously in response. Turning to Lexi he pulled her into an embrace whispering in her ear “I wish we were going home.”
“We will together,” she told him “this will be over and one day it’ll be a bad memory.”
“I have one too many of those,” he said choking on his words.
She ran her hands through his chocolate brown hair “I know Alex I know but you’re not alone.”
The corners of his mouth lifted “I know.” He pulled her close “don’t ever leave me Lexi.” His words more of a plea then he intended.
“I won’t,” she murmured squeezing him tight.
He stepped away from the van watching as she drove from the parking lot. His heart beating fast as if he wasn’t ever going to see them again. Maybe she sensed it too when she rolled down her window and called out to him “Alex I love you too” before she turned into traffic and was gone.
Alex spent a restless night alone in the hotel room. He woke at the slightest noise. What once felt safe was suddenly full of hidden dangers. Not only did the kidnapper know his hotel and designate his room as the meeting place but Alex had also developed a fear of being alone in hotel rooms. Ever since Ron attacked him he had been reluctant to travel alone. So far he had been able to avoid it. If he had to travel without Lexi either Zac or Caleb were able to come along. The unease he felt now kept him lying awake listening to every noise inside and outside the room.
Turning he moaned aloud that is was already past midnight and he hadn’t slept at all. Maybe if he turned the TV on it would distract him. Flipping through the channels stopping on a movie where hotel guests were being hunted and killed. With a sense of foreboding he turned the TV off worse off than he was before. With images of death in his head he shuffled to the outside door double checking the locks. He should have let Lexi stay the night but the thought that meeting the kidnapper her was a trap prompted him to want her some place safe.
He went into the bathroom making sure the door was propped open so as not to be surprised if someone broke into his room. He could feel the tremors starting to turn his insides to jelly. Maybe a hot shower would help him relax he thought as he undressed. As the hot water cascaded over his head and the stream permeated his muscles he started to relax. What was that? His mind shouted at him as he thought he heard something outside his room. Shaking he turned off the shower while the foreign sound repeated shooting adrenaline through his body. He stood shivering in the shower stall while someone tried to get into his hotel room.
Heart beating fast he stumbled from the shower. Grabbing a towel he wrapped it around his waist. Looking around the small bath he searched for his phone. He always brought it with him into the bath. Except this time he must have left it on the side table by the bed. He hadn’t planned on taking a shower. The pounding on the door matched the pounding in his heart.
With horrified fascination he watched as the door began to open. Without conscious thought he slammed the bathroom door shut locking it behind him. He stepped from the door as someone began to pound on it. He put his hands to his ears trying to block out the sound. “Alex are you alright?” Ambrose called from the other side of the door.
Startled Alex groped for words “Ambrose is that you?”
“I’m certainly not the bogey man” Ambrose called through the closed door “why don’t you come out here so we can talk like civilized people.”
“Um,” Alex looked around the bath trying to collect himself “give me a sec…I was in the shower.”
Ambrose looked up at him a few minutes later from the chair he was sitting in “can’t sleep.”
Running a hand through his damp hair Alex nodded “what are you doing here?” he asked the pink haired male puzzled.
Shrugging Ambrose tossed the magazine he was thumbing through aside “Lexi was worried about you and since I couldn’t sleep either I said I’d come over and check on you.”
Alex sighed sitting on the edge of the bed “I hate hotel rooms…”
“With reason so I’m told,” Ambrose assured him “if it’s alright with you I’d like to get some sleep before that guy comes with Andrew…”
“Yeah ok,” relieved that he wasn’t being bombarded with questions. This time when the lights went out Alex relaxed into his pillow. Closing his eyes he was about to fall asleep when he asked “how did you get in?”
Chuckling a little Ambrose help up a card “Lexi gave me her key.”
“Oh” Alex breathed a sigh of relief “did you double lock the door?”
“Yes but if you want me to double check I can,” Ambrose offered his voice muffled as he drifted nearer to sleep.
“No that’s ok I’ll do it,” Alex said switching the light on heading towards the door. Maybe one day this fear would loosen it’s grip on him.
When he got back to his bed Ambrose murmured “good night ” from the other bed. Smiling Alex switched the light off “good night and thanks for coming.” He closed his eyes and slipped into sleep.
Despite lack of sleep Alex woke early. Yawning he looked over at Ambrose who was beginning to stretch and yawn. “Hopefully the guy is on the up and up and brings Andrew today. I’d hate to see what would happen to a guy like you in jail.”
“I don’t really want to find out myself,” Ambrose agreed giving him a rueful grin “I will if I have to but if we can get Andrew back without releasing a monster I’m all for it.”
“That’s how I feel too” he watched Ambrose while he made the beds “I wonder if the kidnapper…” his voice faded while he contemplated his words.
“You wonder what?” Ambrose asked looking at him with interest.
“I wonder if the kidnapper is related” he got up and gazed out the window. “A few years ago Drew received a diary that Patricia wrote in the mail. She made mention of having had children while she was with the drug cartel.”
“You think this guy might be what? Your half brother?” Ambrosed asked.
“It’s possible. He certainly hates Patricia as much as we do…”
“He might be but it doesn’t mean we can trust him. Look at what he’s done to Caleb and Drew.”
“I know but if he is our brother we need to help him get his sister back.” Alex said turning towards the door as someone knocked. “If it’s the maid I’ll just ask for some fresh towels.” He opened the door to find a young dark haired man staring at him.
“Uncle Alex,” Andrew cried wrapping his arms around his waist.
The man was about to bolt when Ambrose grabbed him pinning him to the wall “not so fast.”
“You said no police,” the kidnapper stuttered.
“Please Uncle Ambrose let him go,” Andrew pleaded.
“We will once we have some answers “Alex assured his nephew “I want to know who you are,” Alex continued after they had closed the door.
Shrugging the young man looked at his feet “I’m an idiot for trusting you. I should have just called the police informing them where they could find the boy.”
“No” Andrew asserted himself into the conversation “they’re just upset because of what you did. I know they will help you.” Turning this his Uncles “please let him explain. If you heard his sisters screams you’d understand why he did what he did.”
Alex knelt in front of the boy “I promise we’ll listen and we’ll do what we can to help.” He looked up at the man who was a few years younger then him “tell me is Patricia your mother?”
He saw the hatred in the man’s eyes as he replied “yes that bitch has been nothing but a continued source of pain and misery for me and my family.”
“That she has,” Alex agreed “she’s my mother too. She has the same affect on us. The woman is misery personified.”
“I thought she loved her family here,” the young man spoke confusion in his voice and manner.
“No she despised us,” Alex shrugged “we had our dad and step mom” his face clouded over “at least we did until she came back and killed them.”
“I’m sorry” the kidnapper mumbled “I never meant to bring you more misery. I just wanted to save my sister.”
Alex put a hand on the younger man’s shoulder “don’t give up hope yet. Together we might be able to find a way.”
“You’re going to help me?” the man asked in bewilderment “even after what I’ve done?”
“We don’t turn our backs on family,” Ambrose told him who had been silent during the exchange.