Chapter 2 continued (3) The Girl Within

I shot him a wary look, “If you haven’t noticed, the economy isn’t exactly booming right now.”  I hadn’t sold a single piece in weeks.  It was the reason I had been willing to let the lady on the phone delay me so long.  I had described several items in detail, hoping to entice her to come into the shop.
The sheriff looked outside.  “Looks like the feds are here.  If you’ll excuse me-”
I motioned with my hand for him to go.  I replayed our conversation mentally.  Was I wrong?  Had Chris decided he’d had enough?  Daniel could be a handful.  Would he have fought against him in a moment of toddler fury, bumping his nose or head like the sheriff suggested?  I shook my head.  It was ridiculous to even consider.  No matter how angry Chris might be, he’d never make me worry about Daniel’s safety.  He would have left a message or note, I felt sure of that.  Yet, anyone kidnapping the two sounded just as crazy to me.  There was an exclusive neighborhood less than five miles away.  The development was new and the gates and security cameras were not installed yet even though several homes were occupied.  If I knew that, surely a would be kidnapper would too.  I could hardly see them passing those families by in order to target us.

Gut wrenching fear twisted through me.  Who had my baby?  Would I ever see him again?  I remembered Daniel grabbing my lower legs as I had left that morning.  “Bye, Mama,” he’d said as he giggled.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I struggled not to succumb to my emotions as I saw a man in a suit and a woman in a white blouse and dark pants enter through my front door.  The FBI, I thought.
Later, I could remember little of my conversation with them.  They had asked about my relationship with Chris but in a much more subtle way than the sheriff had.  They walked me through what to do if the phone rang.  I nodded numbly but had trouble focusing on what they were telling me.  I repeated the steps back in my head.  I didn’t want to mess anything up that might let the kidnappers get away.  I still couldn’t understand why we would be targeted.
“It may have been an unplanned crime of opportunity,” the female agent had said.  She’d told me her name but I couldn’t remember it.
That made me feel even more scared.  If the kidnappers were novices, had they panicked and hurt Chris or Daniel?  My fear must have plainly showed.  Next page



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