Gloria had waited years for this moment. She was about to give Barbie the shock of her life. In Gloria’s opinion, it would have been better if the disclosure didn’t have to involve Brad, but now that it did, she knew Tom should be there, too. More than anyone, Tom deserved to be told the truth, but there wasn’t time for that. She and Barbie had to be on that airplane to Ireland in three days.
Brad hated it when things got confusing. He was used to order in his life. He also hated that Gloria held all of the cards at the moment. She knew who took Jamie and Annie and the men she had hired were the only ones who knew where they were. She said the man couldn’t be reached until morning.
Gloria had excused herself and gone to her room. Brad and Barbie stayed in the kitchen near the phone.
“Do you have any idea, Barbie, why Gloria would want to take you to Ireland?”
“No, but did you hear her say that I knew someone who lived there? Who could that be?”
Brad didn’t respond. He got up from the table and walked over to a large window and looked out at the moonlit sky. It was getting close to midnight. How much longer would he have to wait before he saw Jamie again. He wondered if she was frightened. He had to smile at that thought. It took a lot to scare Jamie. Besides, she had Annie with her. Surely they would be okay until morning when he could talk to Gloria’s “kidnapper of dogs.” Apparently abducting Jamie was an accident.
“Go get some sleep,” he said to his sister. “It sounds like on top of everything else, we’re going to get an earful from Gloria tomorrow.”
Barbie got up from the table and used her cane to navigate her way to the bedroom. She’s as confused as I am, Brad thought.
Jamie and Barbie were the two people he cared most about in his life, and he felt he had let them both down. Two hours later, he was still staring out the window when he saw Annie coming up the driveway.
When Jamie woke up and saw that Annie was missing, she first thought that someone must have been there to let her out, but then she saw the open window and knew Annie had jumped out and gone for help. What should she do? She was fully awake now, and waiting around inside the cabin didn’t seem to be an option. Jamie knew that Annie wouldn’t let her down, but it might take some time to get help and then figure out a way to get them to come here.
Jamie opened the door to go outside and the darkness she met convinced her that leaving the cabin before daylight was really not an option, either.
It was finally starting to get light outside when she heard a car drive up. Thinking Annie had found help, she flung the door open and there stood the man Gloria had hired to take Annie. He appeared to be alone.
“Are you here to take me back?” she asked.
“I don’t think that would be a very smart thing for me to do.” Jamie saw him pull out a syringe like the one he had used to sedate Annie. He grabbed her by the arm, but before he could complete his task, a beautiful dog came roaring toward him and knocked the syringe out of his hand. Arf grabbed it and at the same time became his fiercest self. The wide-eyed man backed up and fell over a tree stump.
Jamie shot into action and jumped into the running car, whipped it around, and leaned over to open the passenger side while Arf jumped in. He still had the syringe between his teeth.
“Drop that thing, Arf,” Jamie said. “I don’t need another sleeping dog on my hands. Now how do we get out of here?
***I’m a therapy dog. I know how to show directions with my paw. This way, Jamie.
Brad was quick to get to the door and when he opened it, Annie came limping in.
“Annie! You made it back, but you’re hurt. What happened, girl and where is Jamie?”
Annie whined as she laid down on the floor and started licking her paws. Brad got a bowl of cool water and sat it down beside her.
“Annie, is Jamie okay? Is she still back at the cabin those men took you to?”
Annie raised her head and made kind if a low growl sound. Brad wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Annie laid her head back down and he took that as a sign that Jamie wasn’t in immediate danger.
After checking all of her poor paws as best he could, Brad determined Annie had run for miles to get there.
“You rest for a few minutes girl, and then I’ll put you in the truck and maybe we can figure out a way for you to help me find Jamie.”
Brad was coaxing Annie to wake up when Gloria walked into the kitchen. “I’ll try to call Hal,” she said before noticing Annie. “How did she get here?”
“She walked and from the looks of her paws, that cabin is several miles from here. Hurry and call your guy before we go to find Jamie.”
“There is no answer,” Gloria said after two tries. She was following Brad out to his truck when they saw a car flying around the corner.
“That’s Hal’s car!” She said.
“Yes, but it isn’t him driving. It’s Jamie and Arf is with her.” The car screeched to a stop right behind Brad’s truck and he ran to hug Jamie and knelt to ruffle Arf’s head, but he had spotted Annie and was headed her way.
A little while later, after they had all caught up on what had happened, Brad walked over and stood behind Barbie. He put his hand on his sister’s shoulder as he faced Gloria.
“Start talking,” he demanded.