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Lost and Found Baby

Written by Hope White

Chapter Nineteen

Even though they’d cleared up the grand-theft-auto accusation at the scene, it wasn’t quick enough for Katy to catch up to the kidnappers.

It had been a long hour, filled with frustration and self-blame. If she’d done something differently, would Luke and Isabella be safe?

As she headed back to the McKinnon farm hoping the perps had left a clue behind, her phone rang. A blocked number.

“Shepard,” she answered.

“It’s Sergeant Whalen.”

“You okay, sir?”

“Checked myself out of the hospital. Heard you left Deputy Cooper handcuffed at the safe house.”

“Yes, sir. Something felt off.”

“Cooper admitted to Sergeant Griffy that he’d dated Sara Platt. That’s how she knew about the safe house. After they broke up, she disappeared and Cooper thought she was punishing him.”

“I suspect that’s when she met Kevin, who was hired to romance her and get her pregnant. It’s a baby-smuggling ring, sir.”

A call came through the radio. The sedan Luke and Isabella were taken in had been spotted entering River Rock State Park.

“Sir—”

“I heard it. Meet me there.”

Racing to the scene, she worried about what she’d find once she got there. She knew they wouldn’t hurt the child, but Luke? He was a complication in their plans.

“I can’t lose him,” she whispered.

By the time she reached River Rock State Park, emergency and rescue vehicles were already on-site, as was Sergeant Whalen. His arm was in a sling and he leaned on a crutch for balance.

Approaching him, she scanned the area, but didn’t see the perp’s sedan.

“Tire tracks lead down there.” He pointed down the mountainside.

She fought back the visceral emotions bubbling up in her chest.

“Found the car!” a rescue worker shouted from below. “No passengers! Probably thrown on impact!”

Silence, deafening silence. Seconds felt like hours, and as each second passed, the cloud of grief threatened to extinguish all hope.

“Katy?” a voice echoed from the darkness below. “Katy Ann? Where are you?”

Not waiting for permission from her sergeant, she practically dived down the side of the mountain in search of the source.

In search of Luke.

The ground was wet. She didn’t care. Rocks and branches dug through her jacket. She didn’t feel it.

She spotted Luke’s brown wool jacket.

“It’s Luke McKinnon!” she called to rescue personnel.

When she got to him, Luke was trying to climb up.

“Stop, just relax,” she said, worried about his bruised and bloody appearance. She coaxed him safely onto a ledge and held him in her arms.

“The baby,” he said.

“They think she was thrown from the car.”

“No. They took her.” He handed her a leather wallet.

“What’s this?”

“Took it off…one of the guys.” He looked up at her with such raw emotion in his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find Isabella.”

“About everything else.”

“It’s okay.” She brushed hair off his forehead, tempted to kiss him there.

“I love you, Katy Ann.” With a sigh, his eyelids drifted shut.

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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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