Shit. They have the girls. They have Abigail.

Amy is hysterical by the time I hang up the phone. We’ve been listening to static for almost two minutes.

Dialing Simon quickly, I shout as soon as he answers, “I’m fifteen minutes out! What’s the situation?”

“Give me a second, Andrew. The hit team is in a fire fight against our guys outside of the school.”

I try to be patient, I really do. But five minutes in I start yelling at Simon that I need information.

“They’ve blasted through our guys. Hurry up and get to the school, Andrew. We need you on the ground. Lucifer is on his way with Johnathan. They’ve taken one of the girls, it’s not sure who. The other has been hurt. Get there now. I’ll contact you with more information if I can get it.”

Fuck me. They took Evie and hurt Abigail. Shit

My hand must be crushing Amy as I grip it with my fears of not being able to protect my girls.

For her part, Amy is sitting there in shock. No words are escaping her mouth as she just opens and closes it.

When we finally get to the school, police cars and firetrucks have us blocked out. I call Johnathan though and he has our car escorted inside the taped-off area.

We come to a halt in front of an ambulance.

Looking over to the Amy, I say, “It’s okay, baby. We’ll be okay.”

Getting out of the car, we both race to the ambulance. My heart is thudding in my chest as I think of only this morning when Abigail said she loved me before jumping out of the car.

She’s been doing that for a few days now. Every morning I drop her off and she says, “Love you, Daddy.”

She’s accepted me into her world, and for once in my life I feel like I might actually have a heart and soul after all.

As we round the back of the ambulance, I see Johnathan standing next to a very angry looking Lucifer. Anger shouldn’t be his only reaction; he should be murderous if someone took his Evelyn, right?

The little girl laying on the stretcher is beneath a blanket, her little red princess slippers peeking out from underneath it.

Red slippers. Abigail wore yellow ones today.

Ivan.

Turning back to face Amy, I wrap her tightly in my arms.

Holding her as tight as I can, I say, “Baby, that’s not Abby.”

“What… what do you mean? They took Evie, not my Abigail!” she screams at me.

Then, without me being able to hold her tight enough, she spins around to see a bruised and battered Evie curled up on the stretcher.

There’s a loud scream of pure terror that ends just as fast as it begun. Amy goes limp in my arms and her eyes roll back into her head as she passes out.

Carefully sweeping her up into my arms, I walk over to the EMTs.

“Help,” I whisper.

Johnathan has been taking care of Amy in the ambulance. She woke up and has gone into a silent shock. When I ask him to escort her home and to watch over her, he doesn’t even bat an eye.

Nodding his head, he helps her to his black Expedition.

Johnathan seems to be in a state of his own. I know the man liked Abigail, and it’s obvious from the look on his face that her being taken is weighing heavily on him.

I walk over to Lucifer.

He pulls away from a sobbing Evelyn long enough to say, “They took Abigail. From what I can tell, they had no interest in Evelyn. When she tried to stop them they beat her up pretty good. They asked for Abigail.”

Nodding my head, I say, “I’ll get with the police and start questioning some of the staff. Where’s Paul?”

“He went down throwing his body over the girls. That’s where most of the blood on Evelyn came from.”

Fuck. They fucking took Abigail. It’s fucking Ivan, the fucking ghost who’s come back to haunt us.

Growling at Lucifer, I say, “It was fucking Ivan.”

“That’s my guess, as well. Ask around here quickly. I’m having Simon work on where he went. We will get what we need soon.”

I look long and hard at Lucifer. Long and hard. We could have had Ivan; this could have been avoided. My daughter’s life is in jeopardy because of his bad fucking decision.

“We’re going to need to talk, Lucifer. This shouldn’t have fucking happened.”

Nodding his head, he says, “Agreed. But for the time being we must focus all of our efforts on fixing the current situation.”

Walking away from him, I head to the police officers who are corralling the teachers hanging around the school entrance. There is a mixture of our armed men, the police, and staff there.

An officer is shouting loudly, “All teachers, please keep your students in their rooms. Soon, we’ll allow the parents to collect their children. Please report if any student is missing from your class. Now please head back to your rooms. Keep the children calm.”

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