Eye of the AbductorBy: Elaine Meece
I dedicate this book to my husband, Geoffrey and daughters, Valencia, Alicia, Francesca for their help and support. A special thanks to Valencia who read it countless times while line editing and searching for problems.
I also want to include a special thanks to Dee Julian, author of Promise Me and The Macgregor's Daughter, for being such a wonderful critique partner and friend.
I want to thank these special guys for giving me tidbits of information, Ernie Lancaster, retired captain of the Memphis Police Department, Mike Ball of the Bartlett Police Department, Baron Wilkes, attorney, and Bartlett Fire Department Paramedics. Also, I appreciate Gavin Anderson’s help with the formatting.
They had so much.
She had so little.
What court would ever grant her custody of her son over her in-laws? They wouldn't give him back without a very expensive court battle. One she couldn't afford.
Behind the tinted glass of Jill's car, Allison Davenport stared at the two-story colonial home where her son had spent most of his life.
He'd be almost four now, no longer the chubby infant with the toothless grin who'd been physically torn from her arms.
Her chest ached with anxiety.
"Nathan is mine. I want him back."
"Just don't do anything stupid. Be patient," Jill said.
A dark sedan pulled into the driveway, and Allison's pulse quickened. “That’s Dorothy. Do you see Nathan?”
“In back,” Jill replied.
Allison caught a glimpse of his head before the car pulled inside the garage. When the automatic door closed, she was deluged with disappointment. “I’d hoped to see his face.”
As Jill was about to drive away, the front door of the house opened, and Dorothy strolled toward the mailbox. Behind her ran a blonde haired little boy, kicking up the October leaves.
Allison’s heart soared like a kite on a windy day. Desire to cuddle and kiss him overwhelmed her. She swallowed the ache in her throat but couldn't hold back the tears. She wiped her eyes. “Oh, Jill. He’s adorable.”
“We’d better leave. A parked car might make her suspicious. She knows you're off probation and free to leave Kansas.”
“Just a few more minutes.” She sucked in a sharp breath, fighting her emotions. Love, anger, joy, and a sense of loss. "I left Dad with ten letters addressed to Nathan. Each month he mails one."
"I'm sure she tears them up."
"No doubt, but as long as she sees the Kansas postmark, she won't suspect I'm living less than five miles away."
Once Dorothy and Nathan went inside, Jill swerved away from the curb and drove out of the upscale Bartlett neighborhood. “You’ll get him back.”
“I hope and pray you're right.” She had to be strong. Tears wouldn’t get Nathan back. “This is the first time I’ve seen him since my sentencing. He doesn’t even know who I am. I've lost so much time with him.”
“Once you get him back, you’ll make it up. Things will work out." Jill glanced both ways and turned right, then drove up Stage Road. “Be positive. This is the new you. You're Allison Davenport now. Paige Wilson is history.”
“I hate to break it to you, but my luck hasn't changed.” Her thoughts returned to her son, and she sighed. “I just hope he’s mine again before he starts kindergarten.”
“He will be. But you can’t come back here. Stay away until you’re ready to take them to court."
That was Plan A. And if it didn’t work, there was Plan B. Abduct him. Allison didn't want to do it, but if it was the only way she and her son could be together, she'd consider it.
Jill wasn’t aware of the backup plan. No doubt she’d try to talk her out of it.
"Too bad you can't prove Rob lied just so his mother could get Nathan.”
"Rob's dead, and she'll take her dirty little secret to her grave."
Jill turned into the two-story brick apartment building with stairs on the outside leading to the second floor.
A black SUV with dark tinted windows turned in behind them. Impulses of fear darted through Allison. Did someone already know she was back? Had the SUV been following them?
The vehicle drove past them. Relief settled over her. She had to stop being so jittery.