Jack left and Ella was even more concerned now that she knew there was a missing baby. She was also quite worried about her own family issues. As her dad was safe and sound in the hospital, she wondered what had happened to cause his poisoning. Of course she was suspicious of her mother. However, she thought that she knew more than most about the core of what motivated her mother. It didn’t seem likely that she would go to this much trouble no matter how angry she may be with their father. She simply didn’t have enough to gain from his death nor did she really seem to care enough to go to the trouble of poisoning, let alone killing him. It didn’t matter though. Veronica would still be under suspicion.
It was getting late in the day and she thought she should go visit the estate to give her mother some support and then she could catch up with Bella. Ella didn’t know that she’d moved in with Denny and hadn’t had time to talk to her after their father was admitted to the hospital. She also didn’t realize the police had been already been investigating the estate and that her family’s story was headlining the news now. As she thought about her mother, she entered the parking garage to get her car. She was pulling her keys from her purse and before she knew what happened she had been knocked out cold.
As she slowly awakened, she opened her eyes to find her wrists tied down to the arms of a dining room chair, her feet tied together and tape over her mouth. She began to get her senses back, and while she had trouble focusing she could see a blurry figure. It looked like a man with a long beard, sunglasses and a fedora on his head. She could feel him caressing her hand. Her head was pounding.
“Ella, Ella, Ella…finally you join us. You’ve been out for a long time. I am sorry about the pain you must be suffering right now but you and I need to have a little chat.” He spoke softly and kindly still caressing her right hand. “Your hands are so important aren’t they? These are the instruments with which you save people. You must have done a very good job on Cole’s surgery, don’t you think? I’m sure you would agree.”
Ella was so confused she didn’t know what to think. She tried to just focus on what he was saying. She could see that the beard was fake and he was just trying to disguise his appearance. As she glanced around a bit, it was dark but she could see she’d been here before. She had just been here, in fact. This was Cole’s house.
He smiled and held her hand with just a bit of force. “Well my dear, you have a decision to make. Cole’s spent enough time sleeping. You did a good job on his operation so let’s bring him back to the real world. I give you the choice, either your father or Cole. What is the choice you ask? Well, they are both in the hospital and we have access to either one. It’s your decision. Give us Cole or give us your father. No, wait; you aren’t giving us one or the other. What I mean is that we will take either Cole or your father.” He rose from his chair and explained further. “I’ve seen the news. The police are looking at your mother as the suspect in your father’s poisoning. How about that? We could finish off your father and send your mother to jail at the same time to take the blame. Hmmm, that would be sad, wouldn’t it? Or you can simply take Cole out the coma so that we can talk to him. That’s all. We don’t want to hurt him. We just need to know where the baby is? We need to know what he knows…if anything. It’s really very simple. No harm will come to Cole but time is of the essence.”
Ella understood exactly what he was saying. He was quite well spoken and polite for a thug. She felt stupid for coming to this house, for getting involved, and for not realizing sooner that she would be a part of this criminal mission. She had compromised her integrity and her role as a physician by agreeing to leave him the coma in the first place. Now this consequence was her own fault she thought.
She agreed to take Cole out of the coma and the man left her, telling her she would be free within the hour. At exactly one hour, Dr. Michaels came to the house to find her. He cut off the ropes and she told him what happened. Of course, the kidnappers knew he would be there, knew when he would be there and knew that she would talk to him.
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