Trials: Part Thirty Seven

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Jude stood in his kitchen with Deven, Arte, Zoey, and Mr. Rodriguez. The pizza was set to get here soon, and he was starting to get hungry. Everything had gone off about as well as he’d hoped, and Arte’s injury was only minor. They figured out what Zoey’s salt can do, they took care of the impostor, and now they should be allowed some degree of freedom again.

Arte tapped Jude on the shoulder, and gestured for him to follow her into the den. He obliged.

“Hey, Jude, have you heard anything from Daniels?”

“Nope. I’m guessing he’s probably worked out that we got rid of the bugs by now, huh?”

“Definitely. I’m worried about how much else he’s worked out, but Paul said it would be fine to send her, right? You trust him, right?” Arte looked really worried.

“With my life. He’s never been wrong before.” He nodded.

“Alright.” Arte nodded and sighed. “You’re probably right. I’m just worrying too much.”

Jude was about to say something, but his phone began to ring. He looked down, and saw it was Mr. Smith.

Arte moved in close so she could hear.

Jude picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“Jude, I’ve had some of my men look into something, and I think Vanessa has gone missing.” He sounded more panicked than Jude had heard him since Vanessa got put in the hospital last year.

Jude’s heart sank. “What? What do you mean?”

“The hotel’s records say she checked in, but she was never even there. The driver was supposed to be keeping tabs on her, but he must have been sending me fake info.”

“What can I do?”

“I want you to see if you can get in touch with Paul. See if he can find her. I’ll pay for his flight back, just get him here.”

“I’ll call him, and let you know what he says. Anything else?”

“That’s it for now. Thank you Jude.”

Jude hung up, and was about to dial Paul when the doorbell rang. Jude swore, and started to move, but Arte went to get it. He called Paul, and the phone began to ring.

Jude heard a voice he recognized, coming from the front door. He turned around, and it was Daniels. Jude was standing a ways away, but he could definitely make out that the guy looked pissed. He made his way over, and handed the phone to Arte.

“Wait do you want me to…” Arte trailed off, before taking the phone and heading into the living room.

Jude turned to Agent Daniels. “Why don’t we step outside?”

“Works for me.” His stern expression didn’t waver.

Jude stepped out into the driveway. “So, did you need something?”

“Cut the shit, Jude. I know that was Arte and the neighbor girl at the mall.”

Jude’s heart sank. They hadn’t been careful enough. Had Paul been wrong? He didn’t let his doubts break his equally serious expression. “Alright, yeah. It was us, but so what? We got the bad guy, and no civilians got hurt.”

“When I took you on, one of the only terms was that you cease vigilante action, and that was exactly what you did!”

“What do you mean, ‘one of your only terms’? Or ‘took you on’ for that matter?” Jude scoffed. “You arrested me, and put me on house arrest!”

“Because you’re a danger, Jude! How did you even know about the attack in the mall before it happened? Do you realize what this looks like? I should have you all arrested!”

“Are you suggesting we worked with the impostor?”

“I’m not having this conversation.” Daniels shook his head. “Nobody is to leave this house. We’re putting a monitor on the girl, then we’re going to figure out what to do with you.”

“You put one hand on her, and watch what happens.” Jude’s eyes began to glow. He couldn’t believe Daniels for threatening to do this to a child, and he couldn’t believe himself for approving this plan. What did it matter if her dad was okay with it? Why would Paul let this happen?

“We’ll just see about that.” Daniels turned around and stepped into a black van.

Jude swore and ran back inside.

Arte was waiting for him at the doorway, and he noticed Deven and Zoey leaning around the corner, looking in. “What happened?” She handed him his phone back.

Jude leaned against the wall and sighed. He tried to keep from shaking. “Give me a second, did Paul pick up?”

“Yeah.” Arte nodded. She pulled up a list on her phone. “He evidently already knew about Vanessa, and was already coming back, but he didn’t know where she was. He said to make sure Mr. Smith personally drove him here from the airport, for some reason?” She shook her head. “Jude, are you sure this guy’s alright? He’s being really cryptic and leaving out details.”

“I’m not so sure how I feel about him right now.” Jude shook his head and sighed. He leaned in and whispered. “Daniels wants to put a monitor on Zoey, and says we’re all stuck here, and that we should be arrested for collaborating with the impostor.”

“What!?” Arte’s eyes went wide. “He found out? Shit!”

“I’ll tell Mr. Rodriguez what’s happened in a second, I just need a second to get my head straight…” Jude had a headache now, and went to take a seat on the couch. This was all his mess. He couldn’t pin this on Paul, there was no way he could’ve seen how this would play out. He had gotten desperate, and stupid, and he’d ruined a girls life. He put his face in his hands. He was just so tired of all of this.

Jude felt a heavy hand on his back. He looked up to see Deven smiling down at him.

“It’s okay, Jude. The good guys always win.”

 


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(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)

Finally started writing on season 3 again (approaching halfway done, and it’s shaping up to be considerably longer than 1 and 2). As per usual (so it feels like now), sorry for the delay. Thanksgiving had me messed up, but I should’ve scheduled this beforehand like someone who possessed planning skills. Oopsies. At least I’m actually working on season 3.

 

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