aradescent

Chapter 13

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

The sunlight peeked through the blinds in an attempt to welcome a day that wasn’t welcomed.  The house was quiet expect for clattering of pans downstairs in the kitchen.  Jessica was rolled up in her blanket, trying to remain oblivious to anything happening around her.  She stretched her legs and threw the blanket off of her.  Cade was cooking her breakfast.  Again.

 

She stretched her arms and reached for her robe that was hanging over the bathroom door before making her way down the stairs.  She walked past Delilah’s room without stopping.  For the past two weeks the door had been closed.  Jessica hadn’t done so much as glimpse behind the door.

 

Two weeks.  That’s how long Delilah had been gone.  Two weeks since some guy in a black Tahoe had taken her from the elementary school.  No one had really taken notice because according to Delilah’s teacher she and everyone else that day had thought the man was Delilah’s father.  It had taken Jessica everything she had not to get in that woman’s face.  She had told everyone, principal included, that Delilah’s father was deceased.  She had only her and Monica on the pick up list which meant no one else was allowed to pick her up.

 

“Good morning beautiful.”  Cade greeted her, placing a kiss upon her cheek.

 

She smiled weakly, sitting down at one end of the dining table.  “I didn’t sleep at all.”

 

Cade nodded.  He moved about the kitchen preparing eggs, bacon, and biscuits.  “I know, you kicked me a few times.  I debated on sleeping on the couch.”

 

Jessica hung her head.  “I’m sorry.”

 

Cade moved toward her and pulled her up to look at him.  “I told you I didn’t care how much time you needed, I was going to be here for you.  You have nothing to be sorry for.”

 

Jessica shrugged trying at all costs to avoid his eye contact.  How could he be so collected when she was falling apart with every minute that passed?  “I just want her found.”  She wiggled out of his grasp and sat back down at the table.

 

Not knowing where her daughter was killed her.  She didn’t have a clue what was happening to her.  For the past two weeks she had used every avenue she could including fliers, newspaper ads, and radio stations.  The local news station had even done an interview on her where she had offered everything she had.  It would mean she would have to sell her house and dip into the money she had saved up but she didn’t care.  Delilah was worth so much more than that, she would gladly support whoever took her for the rest of his life if it meant Delilah would be home safe with her.

 

Cade kissed the top of her head and went back to cooking.  “I know you do.”

 

“I’m going to take a shower.”  Jessica stated shoving the plate that Cade sat in front of her away.

 

Jessica had taken a few days off unable to focus at work and today was her first day back.  She had to spend some time with one of the new clients which also happened to be Jen’s friend.

 

She took a quick shower, kissed Cade goodbye and took off in the car to Diana’s photography building to get all the information she needed.  Diana was the first one to greet her.  She looked tired and surprised to see Jessica.

 

“I told you to take three weeks.”  Diana said dryly.

 

“I know.  I don’t listen.”  Jessica responded.  She sat down at the desk she’d been assigned to and started sorting through papers.  “Do you have that girl’s folder?”

 

Diana disappeared in her office, reappearing after banging together a few cabinet drawers.  She handed Jessica a yellow folder with the name Cassia Hayes written in marker across the top.  “Here.”

 

Cassia Hayes was one of Jen’s friends and Jessica’s new client.  She wanted her wedding plans to start right after Delilah had gone missing but upon receiving the news she had promised to wait until Jessica had returned to work.

 

Diana wasn’t good with words.  Jessica found this out quickly when she had called her right after she discovered her daughter was missing.  Diana gave an awkward sorry and could say no more.  She told her to take three weeks off, but Jessica felt she didn’t even want to give her that much time.  Diana had no family of her own that Jessica knew of.  No children and certainly no man in her life.  Or woman for that matter.  Diana talked about photography and weddings.  Nothing more.

 

Jessica took the folder to her office and went through it.  Cassia was 27 years old.  Her fiancé’s name was Chandler Heven.  There wasn’t much more that Jessica found out about her after staring at the file for a good thirty minutes.  Her mind was still on Delilah.

 

“Go home.”

 

Jessica jumped at the sound of Diana’s voice.  The folder nearly escaped from her hands.  “I can’t.”  Jessica sighed.  “I’ve taken enough time off.”

 

Diana grumbled something incoherent beneath her breath.  She crossed her arms and stared a moment at Jessica before finally deciding she wasn’t going to cave.  Truth be told she really didn’t want Jessica to leave.  She had too much riding on the upcoming wedding.  She had received phone call after phone call, all clients who wanted Jessica as their photographer.  Elliot had kept his word and so far she hadn’t heard anything of the photographs taken at Jen’s wedding.

 

Jessica noticed Diana’s frustration but shrugged it off.  She had to stay focused and it wasn’t an easy task.  She dialed Cassia’s number and agreed to meet her in a coffee shop in town to talk about her file.

 

Cassia was tall with dark olive skin and silky black hair that fell to her shoulders.  She walked with such grace that even Jessica knew why her fiancé had proposed to her.

 

“Hi, I’m Cassia.”  The woman spoke with a thick British accent.  She offered her hand in which Jessica took with her own.  The woman’s hands were chilling unlike her looks.

 

“Jessica.  So, first off I wanted to go over some of the shots you want at the wedding and then possibly the rehearsal.  We’ll save the bride and groom shots for later.  I don’t want to overwhelm you.”

 

Cassia waved her hand in Jessica’s direction.  “No, no.  Jen said you were the best so whatever you think I can handle I probably can.”

 

Jessica shrugged.  She was already running behind with this particular wedding.  She felt like a wedding planner.  Because she literally had to spend just as much time with the bride, if not more, than the wedding planner herself.  It made it easier to connect with the bride and get just the right shots which made Jessica’s job easier.

 

Jessica listened as Cassia talked about her fiancé and her dream wedding and some of the shots she wanted.  Her wedding was going to be in a chapel and the reception was going to be at his parents house.

 

Jessica finished with Cassia around four that afternoon.  She threw everything together into Cassia’s file and went back to the office to clear everything with Diana.

 

“Elliot called for you.”  Diana said not five minutes after Jessica sat down at her desk.

 

Jessica’s expression filled with hope.  Elliot promised to only contact her if he had any leads on the case.  Jessica picked up the phone and dialed his number.

 

“Elliot please.”

 

“This is Elliot.”

 

“Elliot, it’s Jessica.  I was returning your call.”  Jessica couldn’t help but let the excitement build up.  She tried to push it down in case the news she received wasn’t what she expected.

 

She heard his sigh on the other end.  “Jessica, I hate to tell you this but they’ve found a body of a young girl down by the ocean.  She matches Delilah’s description.  I need you to come to the morgue to identify the body.”

 

Jessica crumbled, letting the phone fall down.  He didn’t waste any time getting to the terrible news.  She cupped her hands over her face and rocked back and forth.

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