Week 279 – Panic never got you anywhere

So much for finding Ariel being the easy part.

Rock raked his fingers through his short cropped brown hair. He should have done more that night. Now he feared Ariel was gone forever.

Three weeks.

Three weeks had passed since she’d been snatched off the streets right in front of him. He had stupidly-arrogantly-believed he’d be able to find her, that he’d ride in on his white horse and become her savior, that in saving her life he’d have a chance at winning her heart back.

Stupid.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Ariel could be gone forever and once again her pain was his fault.

Panic threatened to drown him but he shoved it down. Panic never got you anywhere, that had become his mantra these last three weeks. Every time he felt it choking him he reminded himself that keeping a clear head was Ariel’s only chance.

It wasn’t like they’d made no progress. They’d found the van that had been used in the abduction, tracked the men who had taken her, but Ariel had been sold, and so far they had no leads on who had bought her.

“Rock.” He looked up from his laptop to see Tank grinning at him.

Hope fluttered in his chest. “Yeah?”

“I have good news and bad news.”

That hope dimmed. “Yeah?”

“Good news is we may have a lead on who bought Ariel.”

Hope flared inside him this time with the force of a tornado. What could possibly be bad news after that? “And?”

Tank’s grin faded. “And we’ve heard of the man before.”

While they didn’t exclusively work human trafficking cases, he and his team had worked enough of them to know several major players. Right now there was one name topping his list, the only one he could think of that would have that look on his friend’s face.

If that was who had bought Ariel then winning her heart back wouldn’t be his biggest problem, there might be nothing left of the woman he loved but an empty shell of a person after the man who bought her was through with her.

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