About: Chad, but Kevin, Scotty and Jason will pop up as well.
Rate: Mmmnot sure yet.
Disclaimer: The usual blah-blah....
Summary: Something happens to Chad and it ‘ain’t purdy’…. Idea given to me by Darkestboy in 2012, though it didn't quite end up as I had expected. :) References made to Alex Grodin, who's the main character in Happy now? and Last Christmas, though you don't really need to have read them to follow this one.
Warning: Deals with non-consensual sex and touches upon the subject of incest, without going too much into detail, but if these are triggers for you, don't read it.
“Well, here they are.” Dane Kane hands Scotty a box that has a few of Chad’s belongings in it. “I hope they find him soon. I hate the fact that we don’t know if he’s alright or not. I miss him on the set as well. He’s not the best actor ever, but he brings just that extra joy. He’s gets along with everybody…”
“I noticed that no one really knows…?” Scotty asks carefully.
“I didn’t want to alarm anyone. For all we know, they will find Chad five minutes from now and we would have created panic for no reason. Right now we can work around Chad. Most of his work is done… The rest is to be shot in a studio in Los Angeles…”
“I temporarily replaced the woman who serves the coffee and tea and such….?”
“Shirley. I know. Thanks for your help, by the way. Nothing gets these guys more upset than not having coffee or other beverages on time. Food is one thing, but coffee is sacred.” Dane smiles. There’s gratitude on his face and Scotty nods.
“What happened to Shirley? Did she call in sick?”
“We don’t know. She just didn’t show up.”
“Did she dislike Chad?”
“No, she idolized him…”
“I know I’m asking a lot, but … do you think I could get her address or phone-number? Maybe she saw something that day that Chad disappeared. If she’s so focused on him, she might have seen something…” Scotty tries. Dane hesitates for about two seconds.
“Sure, why not. I’ll ask my assistant to get you the address. Shirl doesn’t have a phone, I believe...”
From a distance and standing on a little hill, Jason can overlook the searches made by the police. They search every bush, every ditch, every hole and it’s all done methodically and thoroughly.
“What do you think?” He asks Kevin. “Should we alert the media?”
“I don’t know yet. If the sheriff thinks it might not be a good idea, then maybe it isn’t…” Kevin seems hesitant too. “I don’t know. I think he’s never had a case like this and that he doesn’t really know what to do?”
“Think I should I get myself someone else to do his job?”
“You might offend sheriff Wallis and you don’t want to do that. It might work against you. At the same time… I wonder if he knows what he’s doing… He seems to stick to the idea that Chad abandoned his car and left on his own accord… And he’s not considering other options.”
“To be honest, I don’t want to consider them either.” Jason sighs.
“I know, babe, but … It’s unusual for Chad to not be in touch with you. Even if he’d be wounded, he’d call you... But the car wasn’t involved in an accident or anything. He just left if at the side of the road.”
“So you think he was kidnapped?” Jason asks straight out.
“I can’t think of any other reason to leave a perfectly well running car behind, with the keys in the ignition. I don’t believe he just wandered off into the dessert for a stroll…”
“I was afraid you’d said that…” Jason answers.
“Still nothing?” Scotty asks over the phone. Kevin shakes his head, then realizes that Scotty can’t see him.
“No.” He answers therefore. “They’ve covered quite some terrain and .. I have to say it… they are meticulous and careful and really do their job as good as they can.”
“Will you tell Jason that I got Chad’s belongings?”
“I will. Are you going back to the hotel?”
“Not yet. I want to look around a bit. I’d only be in your way, and that of the police. I’m going to check on someone.”
Scotty puts Shirley’s address in the GPS and explains to Kevin:
“I got the name of a woman who was a fan of Chad, but she disappeared from the set as suddenly as he did, though she called in sick. I’m going over to her place, see if she knows something.
Maybe she saw something. Strangers hanging around Chad. Chad talking some unknown person. Maybe he said something to her. I’m grasping at straws here, I know, but what can be the harm in talking to someone who does the catering?” Scotty smiles.
“Be careful.” Kevin warns.
“I will be.”
“Perhaps I should tell the police about this lost or missing woman..?”
“Don’t. Maybe she’s just sick, no reason to send the police on her for being sick.” Scotty laughs softly. Kevin smiles too and he decides to agree with Scotty.
Shirley searched for every snippet of information she could find on Chad Barry. At the library she surfed for information on the internet. She hired his movies at the local video-store. She found old gossip-magazines and tore out interviews with him. She catalogued them by date, and slowly she got a review of his life.
She was slightly annoyed that she couldn’t get older seasons of ‘Tempest Bay’, but she was also satisfied with his newer work. She could stare at Chad’s face all day, if it hadn’t been for the fact that the animals needed her. She did however get un-stuck somewhat. She cleaned up her house, dreaming of the if/when moment that Chad would see it.
He would love the place. He would see what a good woman she was. He would be so impressed with her. He would love her. He would cherish her. He would …. and then she would sigh and smile and get on with her work. No time to lose herself in day-dreams too much…
Of course, he was a just a day-dream. Not even she could think that there could be more. She couldn’t go to Hollywood, he would never come to her village. That is until she read that Chad would be making a western-movie and they were filming close enough for her to get involved.
She had no idea at first how she could get closer to Chad, but then the girl who did the catering broke her foot and Shirley took her chance. She offered to do it instead. Dane Kane was more than happy with her request and soon enough she was pouring coffee for Chad in person.
Oh, his smile when he said ‘thank you’ to her… it made her weak in the knees. His warm voice put butterflies in her stomach. She would have paid any price to let her fingers run through his hair, but she had to keep her distance. She hadn’t really planned anything, until she overheard him complain that it was hell to get to his hotel at the other side of town.
She knew another way to get there, so she gathered all her nerves and told him about it. He had actually listened to her. He had actually tried it. And the next day he had thanked her… He had spoken! To her! He had listened! To her!... Shirley had felt like she could fly. She had felt respected. He had acknowledged her existence!
She had no idea when the thought of kidnap had occurred to her. He had gotten a call from his husband and he had looked sad. She had remembered that she had heard once that people could change if you took them away from the negative influences in their lives. It had worked for Mickey, so why not for Chad?
Chad’s husband seemed like a negative influence. Every time that Chad put down his phone, after talking to Jason, he looked sad and distracted. That could not be love. Chad obviously missed something in his life. And that something was a good woman, who could love him and show him the way back to a life filled with love and happiness…
“Very well then..” Chad heard Shirley say, before she carefully removes the tape on his eyes. “A bit of fresh air.” She unties him briefly only to tie him up again, hands bound together. He can feel her strong body against his as she lifts him up and she puts him in a wheel-chair.
The chair is a remnant from the last days of her mother’s life, when her mother had gotten weaker and weaker. It’s old and rusty, but with a bit of oil in the right places, it still works. She ties up his legs together as tightly as she can and another rope around his waist prevents him from getting up.
He’s naked from the waist down, only wearing his t-shirt on his upper-body. The chair is cold and uncomfortable. She throws a blanket over his legs to hide his nakedness. Tightly bound and stuck to the chair, she rolls him out the door of the small room and through a long dark corridor, right to the porch where she puts him in the sunlight.
He feels like an old man, rolled out to sit in the sun in front of the nursing home. All he has to do is leave his teeth in a glass… Chad closes his eyes and he lets the soft breeze take away his bad thoughts. He then concentrates on his surroundings. Shirley hadn’t lied when she had said that no one would hear him scream.
Even from here he can see that there are no houses or farms in the immediate surroundings. All there is, is a large piece of land with a fence around it. The road seems to go nowhere, even though logically he knows it should go someplace. He can’t see a car, truck or anything else, but that could be in the shed. Maybe…. Oh, this is hopeless.
Shirley comes back with a tray of coffee and tea. She ties one of Chad’s hands to the armrest, leaving the other one free for him to take his drink. She’s about ready to pour something warm, when a cloud dust appears.
“What the…?” Shirley wonders. The car gets closer and Chad’s heart starts to beat faster. Could this be the help he had prayed for?
“Don’t know who that is, don’t recognize the car, but one word out of you and I’ll shoot that person dead and bury him behind the shed with the others.” Shirley places a shut-gun behind Chad and instinctively he knows she will use it if is she feels threatened. As the car pulls up even closer to them, he can see who’s behind the wheel. Chad gasps. It’s Scotty!