Not sure if this is where or how I will start book 4. I’m kind of playing around with it for now. I promised I’d get you all started on our Relentless Chase 4 journey. For those who follow me will get a chance to watch the story unfold before your very eyes. I already have a lot of tricks up my sleeve… This is the unedited version…
Lately, some challenging situations have occurred. However, let’s go back to before Bella was born. Sydney no longer visited the grocery store where our son was kidnapped. The grocery store was a place she and Caden spent time bonding. I’ve only ever gone on one of these trips and she had it all mapped out the second she arrived in the store. Sydney pushed the cart straight over to the fruit. She picked up a shiny red apple, flashing it in Caden’s face. He kicked, swung his arms, and, smiled up at her. I quickly realized I was there more so as her comfort and a look out. Sydney would glance over at me and smirk. I sensed her uneasiness.
First, I placed my hand on the small of her back sweeping it up her back to her left shoulder. Then I decided to stand behind her massaging her shoulders. “Baby, it’s ok. I’m here. I want you and Caden to enjoy your shopping trip.” I whispered in her ear.
“If you’d like, we can come to the grocery store as a family every Saturday.”
“No, not every Saturday. It’s too crowded. The days I like to grocery shop are Tuesday and Wednesday. You can’t come with us because you’ll be at work.”
“Sydney, you are right when we return from Seattle I’ll be back in the office. Until then I can accompany you both while we are there. Once we return we can make arrangements.”
“No!” she spat.
“Just do what you said you would do. Protect us.” Her eyes were filled with worry.
“Are you carrying?”
I snapped my blazer open a bit revealing my 9mm Glock.
Sydney smiled. “Good me too.”
My eyes followed her hand. “Where?”
“On my hip. I have it hidden beneath my sling bag.” She flashed her Glock.
“Do you think it would come to that?”
“Sebastian, I don’t know but if it ever happens again I’m ready.”
My eyes widened with concern.
“Baby, don’t worry. I’m highly trained.”
Just when you think you fully have your life back. You come to the realization that you don’t.
I did what she asked, made her feel safe. I wanted her to enjoy her shopping experience with our little boy. Instead of walking next to them. I kept my distance, scanned the aisles looking for anyone who may be suspicious. A lady backed up against our cart as she peeped up at the top self in front of her.
“Excuse me Miss. Can you please step aside?”
She glanced at me. A smile quickly curled her lips. “Sure. The magazine pictures don’t do you justice. You are even more handsome in person.”
I smiled. “Thank you, ma’am. You have a nice day.”
Sydney glanced back at me. “Sebastian, sunglasses, and, a cap may keep people from staring at you everywhere we go.”
“You’re right Sweetheart.”
The more contracts I work on in California. The more I’m in the media.
By the time we reached our truck I was sweating bullets. I felt exceedingly comfortable on my last mission with the CIA then I do now. Sydney placed Caden into his car seat while I loaded the groceries inside the trunk. Upon climbing into the driver’s seat, I noticed Sydney was buckled in the back seat next to Caden. I glanced over my shoulder. “Sydney, are you coming up front?”
“No, I’m fine back here,” she smiled.
I knew the answer before the words fell from her lips. Why did I pretend everything was normal when it wasn’t? Maybe over time she’ll relax. Yeah, that is the lie I told myself. Behind the walls of our home Sydney was vibrant and tons of fun. We would sit up some nights and just talk.
A couple of weeks have gone by since our grocery trip. Sydney sat in arms-length on the couch, legs folded beneath her sipping a glass of apple cranberry juice. My eyes rested on the beautiful view of the Seattle mountains.
“Sebastian, what was your favorite game as a small child?”
I ran my hand over my face, embarrassed of the answer to come.
Slowly my eyes landed on hers. “I played with my basketball hoop when I was six. It was obsessive.”
“What was bad about that?”
“I carried that dirty little nerf basketball that came with the hoop, everywhere. It was so bad my brother buried it in the back yard because he was tired of seeing the ball. My mom and dad looked everywhere for it. That was the most traumatizing part of my childhood. I would go to school then come home and climb into bed. I guess Seth felt bad so he dug up my ball, washed it off and gave it back to me. My mother and father were upset. I couldn’t wrap my little mind around him allowing me to walk around sad for two whole weeks.
In turn my parents put him on punishment for two weeks.”
Her eyes widened. “Gosh, someone still seems a little bitter.”
I burst into laughter. “Yeah, maybe a little bit.”
“What about you?” I asked before taking a sip of my vodka.
“My mom, brother, and, I was at the mall shopping. My brother thought it was a good time to behave like a big boy and remain in the game store looking at games. I was five and my brother was eight years old. My mother and I made it down to the other end of the mall before we realized Kevin was missing. We freaked out. My mother tracked down a mall cop to assist in finding Kevin. The cop conversed with a fellow officer on his walkie. They said they found him.
My mother exhaled, finally loosening the grip on my hand. She thanked the officer before we ran down the corridor toward a well know department store. My brother stood next to a Jewelry attendant. Just as the attendant was about to ask my brother was she his mother, he ran clutching her waist tight.
“I’m sorry,” my brother cried.
My mother scolded my brother but not harshly, in a loving way. I think she was just happy she found him.
Sydney smiled at the memory as she took another sip of her cranberry juice.
I snaked my arm around her waist, pulling her closer.
My nose gently massaged along her earlobe. “How about you take Caden on your run tomorrow morning then to the mall? I have a video conference the first half of the day. Later, we can get into some family activities.”
Sydney pulled back, glaring into my eyes. “You have a problem with us hanging out in the back yard?”
“No…yes. Baby, you have to leave the subdivision…. with Caden at some point. It just feels like you don’t feel safe anywhere anymore.”
She yanked back from my grip sucking her teeth. “I don’t. We have you to thank for that right?”
My face instantly reddened. I was ticked.
The baby cried on que. She didn’t wait for my response. Sydney slammed her glass on the coffee table, then disappeared up the stairs never looking back. Leaning forward, my elbows dropped on my knees as my fingers intermingled with my black curly locks.
Should I go upstairs and confront Sydney while she is taking care of Caden? Or should I wait? Maybe I should give her a little more time. Nope to stubborn. I hopped up the stairs 2 at a time, charged down the hall like a raging bull toward our son’s room. The second I hit the doorway, I was paralyzed. Sydney stood in front of the crib holding our son in her arms, kissing his fat cheeks. I observed their side view, instantly turning to mush.
Her smile was bright. “I’m so happy I have you little man. I’ll kill anyone who tries to hurt you. You are mommies handsome baby! Yeah, you are.” She bounced him up and down, then rocked him.
Caden’s face lit up as he stared at his mother. I began backing away.
“I meant what I said Sebastian.”
Our eyes met.
“I will kill anyone.” Her eyes were ominous.
Stepping forward I turned my attention to Caden massaging the top of his head.
My serious eyes moved to hers. “Then it’s best you stick to the back yard with Caden. I wouldn’t want you getting trigger happy while in the company of our son,” I spit.
Her eyebrows bunched together, just as she began to speak. I placed my index finger over her lips.
“Don’t say another word. I wouldn’t want you to say something else hurtful you can’t take back.”
I kissed Caden’s forehead before walking away.
I’m fully aware the kidnapping of our son is my fault. If Stephanie wasn’t my girlfriend we wouldn’t have this problem. Is Sydney always going to hold what happened over my head? Sitting at the bar in the Hyatt hotel, sipping on top shelf Vodka was just what I needed. My focus remained on the highlights of the baseball game I watched from underneath my low baseball cap. I’ve been forced to keep sunglasses and hats in my truck to keep me disguised. I don’t understand how Jacob lives like this every day. I wish Jacob was here maybe I will call him later.
A woman sat down to my left.
“How’s it going? Looks like you’re having a rough night?”
I paused, staring back at myself in the mirror behind the bar. “You have no idea.”
The remaining contents in my glass hit the back of my throat.
Slamming my glass on the bar, I motioned for the Bartender to bring me another drink. I had no intentions on conversing with this woman.
“Would you like to talk about what’s going on in your life?”
I laughed. My eyes fell on the woman. “No.”
She has long blonde hair, blue eyes, and long legs. My average weakness.
While watching sports highlights I continued, sipping my drink.
“Fine I’ll start. My father passed away yesterday. I am having a hard time coping.”
My eyes saddened a bit, glancing her way. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you.” She fiddled with her glass.
“Bartender check please!”
“You’re leaving? she asked.
“Yes, I’m going up to my room.”
Her eyes turned dark. “Would you like some company?”
I held my left hand up. “I’m a happily married man,” I said rising to my feet.
I tossed a $50 bill on the bar.
She toyed with the tiny yellow straw between her lips. “This is what happily married looks like. I think I will pass. One second humor me Mr. Johansen.”
I removed my baseball cap, running my fingers through my dark curly hair. “I guess I don’t need this if you were able to recognize me.”
She grinned. “It’s hard not to recognize a sexy man. So, you never play around Mr. Johansen?”
“Only with my beautiful wife Sydney Johansen.”
“She is beautiful. Lucky woman. I’m doing the story on you and your wife for the Seattle magazine Life Styles. Valarie Skover.” She placed her hand out toward me.
“It’s nice to meet you,” I replied, shaking her hand.
She dropped her head back in laughter. “The look on your face when you thought I was hitting on you.”
I knew she was hitting on me. She would have taken it as far as I would have allowed.
I smirked. No words at first. “You had the upper hand this evening. You knew what I looked like. Well I guess my wife and I will see you next week.”
“Yes, see you then Mr. Johansen.”
Standing at the window in my hotel room overlooking Seattle, was relaxing. An extra laptop I kept hidden in the secret compartment in my Range Rover is serving as my back up tonight. I chose to drink at the hotel bar in case I had too much to drink, I could just sleep here. I’m in the same room I was in the last time I stayed here. It holds sentimental value. No matter how mad I am with Sydney, I will always make sure my family is safe. Caden was sleeping in his bed, while Sydney sat in our bed watching tv. I checked all the cameras throughout the house and on the grounds. The best cause of action should have been having a car service take me home. Instead of watching my family on surveillance cameras. I’m sobering up now maybe I should just drive home. I hate sleeping without my wife by myside. I laid in bed fully clothed, watching my family as I dosed off to sleep.
“Click.” My eyes slowly opened to the soft sound. Sydney laid our son in the Lotus play yard, peeled off her sweater, kicked off her shoes, then climbed into bed next to me.
“Shush. Don’t wake him. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
She laid her head upon my shoulder, grazing her knee against my dick, as she ran her fingers up my shirt, twirling her fingers in my chest hair.
“I’m exhausted,” she whispered, dozing off, snoring.
I can’t even stay mad at her. She bruised my heart, but she was telling the truth. I brought danger into our lives even if I didn’t see it coming.