The next morning Nikki lay in her bed. She had been awake for a while but did not want to face everyone. “I am not letting you off that easy,” she said to herself. She was referring to the fact that Jody and Jeremy had lied to her all these years that Jeremy was her father.
She looked over at her night stand. She saw the acceptance letter from Julliard. “Mom needs to hurry up and give me that bone marrow transplant so I don’t lose my place at school.”
She then picked up her phone, and saw the missed calls from Calvin. “And Calvin you are just going to have to accept that I am going to Julliard.”
She then noticed she had a text from Matthew. “Can I see you tonight?” She read. “Maybe I was wrong about breaking up with you?” She wondered to herself.
In the living room, Jeremy sat on the sofa going through picture albums. As Jody and Beth came sit next to him each carrying coffee mugs.
“I spoke to Miles last night,” Beth announced. “He should be here the day after tomorrow.”
“That’s wonderful,” Jody said. “It’s nice to get some good news for a change.”
“I hope it is good news,” Beth stated. “I’m hoping I can make peace between him and Adam. By the way, did Adam come by last night? He told me he might come see Nikki.”
“I don’t think he did,” Jody answered.
Jeremy wasn’t paying attention to the conversation.
“You have been immersed in those albums ever since I arrived,” Beth noted.
“How can I not be with everything going on with Nikki?” He asked. Jeremy held up a picture of Nikki right after she was born. “I loved her the second I laid eyes on her. It didn’t matter if she didn’t have my DNA.”
“I know,” Jody said as she hugged him.
“And I did the best I could,” Jeremy told him.
“You were a great father,” Beth stated.
Jeremy continued to flip through the albums and pointed out pictures. “When she learned how to ride a bike. When she had chicken pox. The father/daughter dance when she was a freshman. Her first date. Whatever happened to that guy?”
“I don’t know,” Jody said. “But I do recall you not wanting to let her leave the house with him.”
“It was always hard to let her go, the older she got,” Jeremy stated. “But I wouldn’t change any of it for a moment.”
“Me either,” Jody agreed. “We were so happy. We need to get back to that.”
“In my heart, she was and always will be my daughter,” Jeremy said as he started to cry. “And I am scared when are going to lose her, and she will never know how I feel.”
Jody hugged him harder and started to cry as well. “She knows how you feel. I know she does.”
“If I could change it, I would,” Jeremy told her. “I never wanted to hurt her. I would never do that. I hurt when she hurts. She has to know that.”
In the back of the room, Nikki was standing, she had heard the whole conversation. All the things Jeremy said has said touched her. She stood there shaking but tears finally started to come down her face.
Her crying was heard by everyone sitting on the sofa as they turned to look. Everyone was silent waiting to hear what Nikki was going to say.
Nikki finally ran over the sofa and hugged Jeremy. “I do know daddy,” she finally said. “I’m so sorry.”
“No,” Jeremy replied. “We are so sorry we should have told you sooner. We never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you.”
“I know,” Nikki told him.
Beth sat looking at the exchange between all of them as she herself started to cry.
At the Monticello PD, Calvin walked into the empty squad room, and sat down at his desk.
“You are here early too,” an officer said as he passed by him.
“What do you mean?” Calvin inquired.
“The chief is in here office already,” the officer informed Calvin as left the squad room.
“Well, I am off the clock right now,” Calvin whispered to himself. “So she can’t tell me anything if I am working on my father’s case.” He opened the drawer to his desk and took out a folder. As he opened it, the clerk with the pointed ears entered the squad room.
“Oh good, detective Stoner you are here,” the clerk said. “I came by here looking for you yesterday.”
“What can I do for you?” Calvin asked.
“I wanted to thank you again for catching my mugger,” the clerk answered him.
“I was just doing my job,” Calvin replied.
“I wanted to show you my appreciation,” the clerk told him as he took a manila envelope from under her arm.
“What is that?” Calvin questioned him.
“It is supposed to be a sealed juvenile record,” the clerk answered as he handed it to Calvin. “But I have my sources. I know you were looking for it. I hope it can help you.” After he spoke the clerk left the squad room.
Calvin opened the envelope with anticipation. He skimmed through the folder on William Church. “Shop lifting, vandalism, I could see why Mr. Church would want this sealed.” Then something in the folder caught Calvin’s eye and her froze. He read the statement again and again. “The arresting officer reported that William Thomas Church was a member of the street gang the Gallahads.”
He dropped the folder on his desk. “He was a member of the Gallahads,” he whispered. “His middle name is Thomas. He is the Tommy we have been looking for all this time. That son of a bitch killed my father.”
Calvin ran out the squad room without talking to anyone.
Things are the district attorney’s office were quiet considering it was an election day. Laurie and Suzanne were sitting at their desks and Nathan was in his office. Victor had not arrived yet.
Laurie could tell something was bothering Nathan.
“Excuse me a second,” she said to Suzanne.
Laurie walked over to Nathan’s office and stood by the open door. “Do you want to talk about it?’
“Talk about what?” Nathan asked her.
“About whatever it is that is bothering you,” Laurie replied. “It does help to talk about things.”
Nathan sat there silent for a second, and did not respond.
“I assume it is about Didi,” Laurie told him.
“Is it that obvious?” Nathan questioned her as Laurie sat down.
“What happened?” Laurie inquired.
“I gave her a surprise visit during lunch yesterday,” Nathan started to say.
“I remember,” Laurie stated.
“Well, I was the one who got the surprise,” Nathan informed her. “I walked in on her in the arms of another man.”
“I can’t believe that Nathan, who was it?” Laurie asked.
“An ex-boyfriend of hers, Julius Newcomb,” Nathan answered.
“So you saw them kissing?” Laurie questioned him.
“No,” Nathan responded.
“Did she have her arms around him?” Laurie inquired.
“No,” Nathan replied.
“Did she tell him that she loved him?” Laurie asked.
“No, of course not,” Nathan stated.
“So what where they doing?” Laurie questioned.
“They were hugging,” Nathan told her.
“And?” Laurie inquired.
“That was it,” Nathan said.
“Well, what did she say when you asked her about it?” Laurie asked.
“I didn’t ask her about it, I just left,” Nathan answered her.
Laurie stood up and let out a fake laugh. “So you really didn’t see anything happen between them?”
“I know that man is after her,” Nathan told Laurie.
“And what does Didi want?” Laurie asked.
Nathan paused for a moment and thought. “She loves me,” he finally responded.
“Then why didn’t you give her the opportunity to explain?” Laurie questioned him. “You have been complaining that she won’t talk to you because you let Calvin found out about the two of you. Aren’t you doing the same thing to her now?”
Nathan paused for a moment and then smiled. “You know you are right. Victor is lucky to have you for a mother.”
“Thank you,” Laurie told him as Victor entered the District Attorney’s office slamming the door.
“Can you believe this?” He yelled as he held up the newspaper. “An escort accuses him of being a client, and then she turns up dead. And he is still leading me in the polls by 2 points.”
“Calm down,” Laurie said to him as she left Nathan’s office. “I saw that this morning. And with the margin of error, you are tied or could be leading him.”
The news didn’t do much to change Victor’s tone.
“You grandparents wanted to know if you wanted to watch the results at their house tonight,” Laurie informed him. “We could have your victory party there. You never booked a place.”
“When this election started I was running unopposed,” Victor reminded her. “I didn’t think I would need a place or a major campaign headquarters. And we don’t know if it is going to be a victory celebration.”
“You need to stop talking like that,” Laurie said to him. “What do you want me to tell them?”
“Yeah, sure,” Victor finally replied.
“Would you like to come over?” She asked as she looked at Nathan. “And you too Suzanne,” she told her as she turned to look at her.
“Thank you,” Suzanne responded. “But I am not sure what my plans are tonight. Would you excuse me a second?” Suzanne proceeded to leave the office and head for the ladies’ room.
“I would like to, thank you,” Nathan replied as he left his office.
“Your welcome,” Laurie told him.
“Of course, Didi will probably be with the James Swift campaign,” Nathan thought to himself.
In the Ladies Room, Suzanne pulled out her phone and called James.
At the law office, Julia, James, and Deborah arrived with his bodyguards to discover hardly anyone there.
“Please stay by the door,” James told the guards as he and the women entered.
They found Katherine there by herself.
“Mr. Church isn’t here?” James asked.
“No, he’s not,” Katherine replied.
“What is up with him?” James asked. “I haven’t heard from him since last night, and he is not responding to my calls this morning.”
“That is so unlike him,” Deborah noted.
Katherine just shook her head at the mention of his name.
“He said he had a plan to handle the Sabrina Shaw situation, maybe that is what he is doing,” Julia stated.
“I saw on the news that she got hit by a bus,” Katherine told them.
“Yes, and just after she admitted to the police that she was lying about James,” Julia informed her.
“Really?” Katherine asked. “So that is kind of good news?”
“No,” James replied. “She didn’t say that on the record.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Swift,” Katherine said. “Isn’t Mr. Scott joining us today?’
“He should be here later,” Julia answered her. “He is running late. My mother didn’t get much sleep last night.” As she was speaking Bryan entered the office.
“Oh, good, is your father with you?” James questioned him.
“No, he texted me and told me to take a cab,” Bryan answered him. “He said he would meet me here because he was handling the Sabrina situation. You mean he is not here?”
“No,” a frustrated James responded.
“And we still have all those signs in Julia’s car, he wanted us to put out before the polls opened,” Bryan told them.
“I gave them to my brother Gordon to take care of,” James informed him.
“What in the hell is your father up to?” James inquired.
“He has never acted like this before,” Bryan stated as James’s cell phone began to ring.
“Be careful when you answer it,” Katherine told him. “Since that women died last night, the phone has been ringing non-stop this morning again.”
“Thank you,” James replied. “But this is my private number.” James looked at the caller ID.
“Who is it?” Julia asked.
“Your second favorite red head,” James responded sarcastically.
“You mean Suzanne?” Julia questioned him. “Why on earth does she keep calling?”
“I don’t know,” James replied as Julia took the phone from his hand.
“James Swift’s phone,” Julia stated as she answered it.
A surprised Suzanne was silent on the other end of the phone.
“What do you want Suzanne?” Julia asked.
“Um, I was just wondering how James was feeling?” Suzanne inquired.
“He’s doing much better thank you,” Julia replied in an unfriendly tone.
“And I was wondered about how he was handling things after I saw that women got killed last night,” Suzanne stated.
“Well, we appreciate your concern,” Julia stated. “But we have work to do.” As she speaking James took the phone from her.
“You don’t have to be that mean,” James said to her.
“I was not being mean,” Julia replied. “What are you going to do? Invite her to the victory party at the mansion tonight?”
“Suzanne this is James,” James said as he put the phone to his ear.
“Oh James, it is so nice to hear your voice,” Suzanne told him.
“Yes, I appreciate your concern, but I need to go now,” James stated. “It is a busy day here with the election and all.” James then hung up the phone before Suzanne could say anything else.
Julia still was not pleased with the way he handled it as he looked at her.
“Now what is going on with Mr. Church?” James asked changing the subject.
Katherine appeared uneasy when she heard his name mentioned and Deborah noticed.
“Katherine is there something you want to tell us?” Deborah inquired.
“What do you mean?” Katherine questioned her.
“Did Mr. Church do something to you?” Deborah asked as Bryan took notice of the conversation.
“No,” Katherine responded.
“You have been acting weird lately ever time his name is mentioned,” Deborah stated.
Katherine was silent and Bryan was not happy about the allegation.
“Katherine if you need to say something please do,” James told her.
“Alright,” Katherine responded. “I didn’t want to say about anything because I didn’t think Mr. Church could really be involved in anything like that.”
“Like what?” James inquired.
“Yes, like what?” Bryan repeated.
“That old case about that police officer’s murder,” Katherine informed them.
“What?” A shocked Deborah asked.
“She doesn’t know what she is talking about,” Bryan said.
“I think she does, and I think you do to,” Deborah told Bryan.
“Please continue,” James said to Katherine.
“The other day when I went to make Mr. Scott a fresh pot of coffee,” Katherine started to say.
“Yes, I recall,” Deborah stated.
“Mr. Church was in kitchen washing out her shirt,” Katherine informed them.
“He had coffee spilt on it, I remember,” Deborah stated.
“Yes,” Katherine replied. “So I could see his wrist. He had the tattoo of the squiggly letter ’G’ in a circle on his wrist.”
“The symbol for that street gang the Gallahads,” James stated.
“The same one Bryan has on him,” Deborah mentioned. “You are not going to tell me you didn’t know about this?”
“He can’t help you,” Bryan responded.
“Well, see about that,” Deborah responded. “My former partner was murdered almost 30 years ago by a member of the Gallahads, and this is the first real break in years.”
“He doesn’t know anything about it,” Bryan stated. “I asked him about it.”
“You can both tell that to the police,” Deborah responded.
“What are you doing?” Bryan asked.
“I’m letting the chief of police know,” Deborah answered him. “I have new information on a murder investigation.”
Bryan just shook his head back and forth.
“The police should be coming here anyway today to talk to the maintenance men,” Deborah mentioned.
“Maintenance men?” Katherine inquired.
“Yes,” Julia responded. “We got stuck in the elevator again last night.”
“Again, how horrible,” Katherine stated as Didi entered the office.
“Oh, Didi nice of you to join us today,” James said to her.
“Thank you,” she replied. “For a second there I didn’t think the guards would let me in, but then they recognized me. I am surprised to see you here though. How are you feeling?”
“Much better,” James responded. “And I had to be here, it’s election day.”
“Well, I am here to help you in any way I can,” Didi told them. “And I am not the only help you are getting today. I saw Draper pull into the garage as I entered the elevator.”
“Your father is such a nice man,” Katherine said to Julia. “You are so lucky to have him.”
“I know,” Julia replied.
“And he is not alone,” Didi told them. “I saw your mother with him.”
Katherine’s demeanor changed when Didi mentioned April, but no one noticed.
Back at the Rhodes house, Nikki was preparing to leave for the foundation.
“Please don’t try to overdo it,” Jody told her. “You need to take care of yourself.”
“I do,” Nikki replied. “I will be fine once you give me your bone marrow.”
Jody and Jeremy who were still sitting on the sofa froze when Nikki said that.
“Nikki, why don’t you come have a seat back over here?” Jeremy asked her.
Beth, who was sitting adjacent to them, got up from the sofa. “I think I am going to call and check on Adam,” she stated as she left the room.
“What is it?” A confused Nikki inquired as she sat down.
“There is something else we have to tell you,” Jody informed her.
Nikki was silent for a second. Her tone changed to fear. “What is it?” She repeated.
Jody and Jeremy looked at each other trying to decide who was going to answer her.
“Well?” Nikki questioned them.
“We need to tell you something, and I don’t want to upset you,” Jody stated.
“What is it?” Nikki repeated.
“Your mother was not a bone marrow match for you,” Jeremy informed her.
A shocked Nikki sat there in silence. “What does that mean?”
“It means we have to find Preacher Emerson, your biological father,” Jeremy explained. “He must be a bone marrow match to you.”
“And how are we going to do that?” An excited Nikki shouted as she stood up from the sofa. “What if we can’t find him?”
“Nikki, please calm down,” Jody said to her. “The Whitneys are trying to track him down. They will find him.”
“How long will that take?” Nikki asked.
“We do have time,” Jeremy told her. “The doctor can treat your symptoms for a while.”
“For how long?” Nikki inquired. “Until I get too bad and die?’
“Nikki, don’t talk like that,” Jeremy said to her. “You are going to be alright. You are going to get through this. The Whitneys will find Preacher.”
“And what if he doesn’t want to be a bone marrow donor for me?” Nikki questioned them.
Jody and Jeremy looked at each other. “Of course, he will,” Jody told her.
Nikki stood up from the sofa and walked away from them. She clinched her fist.
“What is it?” Jody asked.
“I guess you get you get your wish,” she responded.
“What?” A confused Jody inquired.
“This means I can’t leave,” she replied. “I will have to give up my spot at Julliard.”
“I never wanted you to have to give that up,” Jody said to her.
“Of course not,” Jeremy agreed.
“Excuse me,” Nikki told them as she headed back to her room.
“She will get over it,” Jeremy said to Jody.
“But she is right about something,” Jody stated.
“What is that?” Jeremy asked.
“What if Preacher doesn’t want to be a donor for her?” Jody responded.
“Of course he will,” Jeremy told her. “The Whitneys will find him, and of course he will.”
At the Whitney mansion, Sky was in his study looking at the baby picture. “You are only a few months younger than Charlotte,” he mumbled. “I always wonder what you are up to?”
“Sky!” Raven shouted from the other room.
Sky went to put the picture in a book on the bookshelf but the picture fell out as he put the book back on the shelf.
“Where are you?” Raven asked.
“I’m in here,” Sky answered as he opened the door to the study.
“What are you doing?” She inquired. “It’s election day, and that prostitute’s death could cost James the election.”
“I heard from the chief,” Sky informed her. “She was murdered. They have surveillance footage that show she was pushed.”
“Probably by the person that hired her to tell those lies about James,” Raven stated.
“But they can’t tell who it is,” Sky stated.
“Dam it,” Raven shouted. “What are we going to do?”
“I spoke to James to see how William Church wanted to handle things, but he hasn’t heard from him this morning.”
“With the money we are paying him, and he can’t even return a phone call,” Raven said.
“James is still leading in the polls,” Gordon told them as he and Broomhilda headed for the door.
“We have a lot of campaign signs we are going to put up today,” Broomhilda informed them. “That should help him with the election.”
“I need to speak to you about another case before you leave,” Sky told Gordon.
“Sure, I assume you mean about Preacher Emerson,” Gordon said.
“Yes, have you been able to find any information on him?” Sky asked.
“No,” Gordon replied. “I can’t find any trace of him anywhere. He has no carbon footprint. He has no social media accounts. Just like when I tried to find information on Norman Garrison from the Golden Eagle Corporation. Could the two of them be connected?”
“No,” Sky responded.
“I can’t even find any tax returns on him ever,” Gordon mentioned.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” Raven whispered. “He wasn’t the kind of man to pay taxes.”
“Do you think he is still alive?” Gordon asked. “Though I couldn’t find a death certificate anywhere.”
As they were speaking, Raven walked away from them into the study. “He has to still be alive,” she said. “For Nikki’s sake, he has to be. That poor child.” She sat down at Sky’s desk. As she sat down, she caught sight of the picture on the floor.
“What is that?” She asked as she picked it up and looked at it. A look of confusion came across her face. “Why are you so familiar?”
She stood up and continued to look at the picture. “This is the same picture Lyle has in his phone.”
At the police station, Mae walked into the squad room to see Chris standing at the murder board.
“Good morning,” Chris said to her.
“Good morning,” Mae replied as her cell phone rang. She noticed Dr. Hughes’s office on the caller ID.
Chris assumed it was Dr. Hughes from the expression on Mae’s face. “Remember what I told you,” Chris stated. “You are making progress. Don’t stop now.”
Mae paused for a second. And then answered the phone. “Dr. Hughes, this is Mae. I have been meaning to call you,” she stated as she sat down at her desk.
Guthrie and Matthew walked in on and took notice of the murder board. On the left side of the board was Julia’s landlord, Curtis Reardon. His picture had been up there for a while. But on the right side, Chris had added Sabrina Shaw.
“Why is Sabrina Shaw up there?” Matthew asked.
“Because she was murdered,” Chris informed them. “We have surveillance footage that shows she was pushed in front of that bus.”
“By who?” Matthew inquired.
“We can’t make it out,” Chris answered. “It is just a shadowy figure. But I have officers trying to collect other security footage from around the area.”
Darn,” Guthrie stated as he pounded his fist on Calvin’s desk. “James can’t catch a break.” As he hit the desk, the folder the clerk left Calvin fell to the floor. Guthrie knelt down to pick it up.
“Do you think the two murders are connected?” Mae asked as she hung up her phone.
“I’m not ruling anything out,” Chris told her. “My gut tells me they are. And we have hit a road block in the Curtis Reardon investigation. But Julia and James connect them together.” As Chris was speaking her cell phone rang.” “It’s Deborah Saxon,” she announced as she answered it.
“Is Julia okay?” Mae asked. “We have to go over there and talk to the maintenance people about them being stuck in the elevator last night.”
“And where is Calvin?” Matthew inquired.
“Shshshsh…” Chris told them.
Matthew and Mae just looked at each other confused.
“Is she sure?” Chris asked into the phone.
“Oh my,” Guthrie exclaimed as he stood up from the floor holding the folder.
“Thank you,” Chris told Deborah as she hung up the phone.
“Chief,” Guthrie started to say but Chris cut him off.
“Let me say this,” Chris said to him. “We just got a break in the murder of Calvin’s father. William Church was a member of the street gang the Gallahads back then.”
“Really?” Matthew asked. “He doesn’t seem like the type.
“We can talk to him when we go over to the towers to talk to the maintenance crew,” Mae told them.
“No, you can’t because he is not there,” Chris informed me. “Deborah said he hasn’t shown up yet.”
“And that is not all,” Guthrie announced. “This is his juvenile record in this folder. His middle name is Thomas.”
“Like the Tommy that killed Calvin,” Chris whispered. “Where did you get that folder?”
“It was on Calvin’s desk,” Guthrie replied.
“Where is Calvin now?” Chris asked as an officer walked passed the squad room.
“I was working dispatch earlier,” the officer told Chris. “He asked me for the address of William Church.”
“We have to get over to William Church’s house now,” Chris told them as they all ran out of the squad room.
The four of them headed over to William Church’s house. Chris was in her car with Guthrie while Mae and Matthew followed in another car.
Chris was silent. Chris recalled how she had followed Louis Van Dine into the building with the same M. Hatter Sign from Wonderland Lane all those years ago. She was then knocked unconscious. When she came through, she had heard Alicia, Louis, and Louis’s henchman, Tommy talking. She decided to go for her gun which was on a nearby table. As she went for the gun, she heard Alicia tell Louis to do something. Then she heard gunshots. She froze for a moment because she wasn’t sure what had happened. She was not shot, and she had not fired her gun yet. When she turned around, she saw Alicia Van Dine from behind running out of the building. Louis Van Dine was lying on the floor in front of her with a gun clinched in his hand. He was dead. He had been shot. She heard a voice from behind her yell to ask if she was okay. When she turned around it was her partner detective Calvin Stoner Sr. He had come in after her. He had killed Van Dine before Louis could kill her. She started to say that she was okay but before she can finish there was more gunfire. She took cover behind some boxes. She looked forward and could see an arm holding a gun behind some crates. It was Tommy. She couldn’t see his face. But she could see the tattoo with the squiggly letter ‘g’ in the circle. She called for him to surrender. He replied that he never would. He continued to fire. Then he stopped and started to speak to her. “Detective, we keep going at it like this, and you may be able to capture me,” he said. “Or you could let me go and try to save your partner.” She recalled seeing Calvin laying on the ground covered in blood.
“You are finally going to pay for this Tommy,” she mumbled. “You are finally going to pay for killing Calvin.”
“Did you say something, Chief?” Guthrie asked as they pulled up to William house.
“Nothing,” Chris responded.
Guthrie took notice of a car already parked in front of William’s house. “That’s Calvin’s car,” he announced.
“I was afraid of that,” Chris whispered as she got out of the car as Mae and Matthew pulled up on side of them.
As the three of them walked to the front door, the door opened and Calvin exited.
“I heard you pull up,” Calvin informed them.
As they got closer to the door, they could look into the house. They could see the living room and someone lying on the coach.
“Is that Mr. Church?” Mae asked.
“Yes,” Calvin replied. “And he’s dead.”