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Don’t Think I’m Not

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Don’t Think I’m Not
by Lar

     
Chapter 27

The days passed, slowly, each one slipping silently into the other one. Hank spent the rest of the week searching for Gwen. He used his FBI badge to obtain flight records, boat departures. He looked in the whole New England area, and had FBI agents abroad check out Lonovich’s overseas operations. All with no luck.

Everyday he would slip away just a little more. It seemed as though everywhere he looked he was farther away from finding her. Luis watched as his best friend self-destructed, and felt like there was nothing he could do. If Hank didn’t find Gwen soon, Hank would loose the will to live, Luis was sure of that.

Sam also watched his brother loose the fire in his eyes and the smile off his face. For as long as Sam could remember, Hank had almost always been smiling, now nothing could bring a smile to his face.

But Hank wasn’t the only one dealing with Gwen’s disappearance. Adriana was also having a difficult time. Between dealing with a very hostile Wagner, who had backed out of his deal, and worrying about her friend, she had caused herself to pass out from exhaustion. The morale at the office was very low, as everyone was depressed at the prospect of loosing one of their newest lawyer. In her short time there, Gwen had made plenty of friends, and each and everyone of those friends knew that the longer it took to find her, the less of a chance there was for her to be alright.

But worst of all, the lengthy time it was taking to find Gwen was affecting Gwen the most. After the first day of no one coming to get her, she started to become recluse. She stayed in her small room, never leaving. She stopped eating, and truly believed that no one cared for her, and no one loved her. The men noticed her behavior, but didn’t make nothing of it. They figured she’d die anyway, so what’s the point in making a big deal about her behavior. The only man that showed any compassion was the blond hair man who untied her ropes the first night. He visited her everyday, trying to get her to eat, talk, show some bit of life. She began looking forward to his visits, even though he made no promises and offered no hope.

The three of them suffered in their own, private, misery. Hoping against hope that something would break, something would give, something would reunite them.



Hank walked down the familiar path of the wharf. He had began walking down walkway at least once a day, always getting a feeling that the key clue was right under his nose. Reaching the end of the pier, he stopped and looked out over the ocean. A vast purple line arose in the distance, and he could barely see what was left of the setting sun. As he scanned the harbor, he noted the same number of boats. Most were small fishing boats, a few yachts, and one older commercial freighter.

‘Freighter?’ Hank thought, tilting his head sideways. ‘Since when has another freighter besides the Crane one came into harbor? That one is definitely not a Crane freighter.’ Hank furrowed his brow and began jogging down the pier. He broke out to a full run when he reached the wharf and stopped only when he reached the harbor master’s small shack. He panted as he waited for the chubby, sixty year old, harbor master to appear.

"Hank Bennett, what can I do to help you by boy?" He asked, his breath reeking of garlic, and his yellow stained teeth shining in the dimming light.

"Hi Phil, I need to know who registered that freighter?" Hank asked quickly. He watched as the old man waddled over to a dusty book and pulled it to the window. Slowly he flipped it open and scrolled his finger down it.

"It’s registered under Carlson Industries." Phil answered.

"Carlson." Hank said aloud, searching his memory. Finally it clicked. "Thanks Phil, I owe ya!" Hank called over his shoulder as he sprinted down to the pier. He reached the end and searched for the nearest boat to take. A small yellow life boat caught his eye, and he quickly hopped in it without thinking about anyone else. He didn’t even here the man yelling at him as he revved the engine and pulled away.



"Hey Todd." Gwen smiled weakly as her blond friend entered her room, carrying a small food tray with him.

"Hi Gwen. How are you?" Todd asked, watching as she stared at her feet.

"Normal." Gwen shortly replied.

"I know the food’s not great, but you really need to eat." Todd stated, setting the tray down on the bed between her and him.

"What’s the point?" Gwen snapped. "It’s not like it’s a proper last meal."

"You shouldn’t say that. You never know what’ll happen." Todd meekly replied.

"Bull. I know what’s gonna happen. I’m gonna die. No one cares." Gwen replied, allowing a small tear to escape her eye.

Todd sat there in silence, not knowing what to say. He knew she was right, but he didn’t want to see her give up her hope. That was the last thing he wanted to happen. Unable to face her, he got up and walked away from her, leaving her in her silent misery.



"Sam I’m worried. Hank’s never acted this way before." Luis commented, sitting down on the corner of Sam’s desk.

"He’s emotionally attached to the case. Gwen means a lot to him." Sam sighed.

"I think he’s in love with her. Sheridan said something a while ago, but I never took it to heart. But now that this is going on, I can see it. The hurt in his eyes because he can’t find her." Luis stated.

"I’ve noticed that too. Do you really think it’s love?" Sam asked, a puzzled look on his face.

"Remember when I thought Sher was dead? It’s that same look, I know, I recognize it." Luis sighed.

"If you say so. I hope he finds her." Sam remarked.

"I do too." Luis replied.



Adriana sighed and checked her watch again. It was only six o’clock, and yet it felt like eleven. Maybe that was because she had received about six hours sleep in the past forty-eight hours. She stood up weakly and walked to the coffee pot, pouring herself a hefty cup.

"Long day?" Keith said from the door, making her jump and spill some of her coffee on the hardwood floor.

"God Keith, could you make me jump any higher? Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" Adriana snapped, reaching for the paper towels near the coffee pot and bending down. She began to soak up the liquid when Keith placed his hand over hers.

"Go home. You are doing no good here. Just go home, let Justin pamper you." Keith said, looking into her eyes.

"I can’t. I gotta work on the-"

"The case can wait. There’s not much more you can do. Just hope really, hope and pray." Keith looked down and took the paper towel from her. "Go home Adriana. Do it for Gwen." He watched as tears came to her eyes. Gently she got up and walked away, grabbing her coat and sprinting out the door. She drove off and didn’t even realize she was home until she entered her house. She hazily walked up the stairs and into her bedroom, ready to sleep and escape reality.

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