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Lost and Found Baby

Written by Hope White

Chapter Eighteen

Luke was not giving up the baby. Not as long as he was alive.

I’m sorry, Katy. He hoped he’d live to say it to her face, to make her understand how sorry he was for everything: for Steven’s death, for abandoning her, for failing to protect this child.

At least Katy was alive.

The sedan turned down a heavily wooded drive and parked a few hundred feet from a scenic overlook. He considered his options.

The driver got out of the car and the dome light came on. The bearded guy in his mid-forties sitting next to Luke held out a piece of paper. “All we need is your signature.”

It was an official form relinquishing custody of the child.

Right, Luke was listed as the father on the birth certificate. “Forget it,” he said.

“Was hoping you’d say that.”

The driver opened the back door and reached for Isabella. Luke turned his back to him, cradling the child securely against his chest.

“Let her go, McKinnon,” the bearded guy said.

Silence, then something pinched the back of Luke’s neck.

Luke glared over his shoulder at the driver. “What was that?”

The guy smiled and nodded at his partner. “Two minutes.”

Two minutes for what?

“Why do you want the baby?” Luke said.

“I don’t want it,” the bearded guy said. “Her parents do.”

“Sara?”

“No, the adoptive parents.”

“Sara will never sign over custody.”

“She already has.”

“I don’t believe…you.” Luke’s head started to spin and his arm muscles grew weak.

“This is perfect. The crazed army veteran kidnaps a child, his enemies track him down and kill them both.”

Luke glanced at Isabella.

“No, we’re not going to really kill the baby,” the guy said, reading Luke’s thoughts.

Luke vaguely sensed another car pull up beside them. “Do it,” the bearded guy said.

Luke struggled to stay conscious, to fight them off. His muscles felt like pudding.

And then, suddenly, Isabella was gone. A gaping hole filled his chest.

“Put him behind the wheel.”

Luke struggled to think. Had to defend himself.

Save the child.

Unyielding hands gripped his jacket. He fought back, struggling to grab something, anything that could help police identify the kidnappers. Something smacked him in the face. Stars shot across his vision.

Please, God. And here, in the end, he was finally able to reach out to the Lord one last time, but not for himself.

Please protect Katy and baby Isabella.

He was shoved behind the steering wheel. A car door slammed. The car jerked forward, then stopped, then jerked again.

Then there was nothing. A peaceful silence.

Another jolt and the vehicle was careening, tumbling…

“Get down!” Gunfire pelted the Humvee.

He was back in Iraq, taking fire. Pinned in the vehicle. Helpless.

He gripped his machine gun, yanked the door handle. Jammed.

An explosion rocked the truck. He kicked open the door and tumbled out…

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About the author

I was born and raised in the midwest and migrated to the Pacific north...

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Hope White

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