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from Desires of the Heart by Tiffany Doran

Copyright © 2017–2020 Tiffany Doran

Chapter 21
Without a Trace

They all walked back to the security office to pull all the camera recordings from the day so far to see if any had images of Katie on it and see what could've possibly happened to her. "Here's this morning's footage guys." Frank said, "Let's see what's on here." Randy and Buck gathered around Frank who had pulled up a chair and sat down to go through the footage. They scanned through what seemed to be hundreds of images. At last...there she was. "Wow," Buck exclaimed. "She is so gorgeous, I have missed seeing her smile." Frank sighed. "Yeah, she definitely caught me off guard, I wasn't expecting to see her this morning." Frank said. Randy stood up from where he was leaning on the back of the chair. He couldn't believe she was actually here. His beautiful daughter had finally come home. He had no doubts that she was preparing a lot if she wanted to surprise them. He envisioned her gathering flowers, then going through the store aisle by aisle picking the finest cuisine to fix for dinner. Maybe picking up some peach tea and wine for them to drink. Randy took a ragged breath. He just wanted to hold her. He has missed her so much and now...she was gone. "Here she is walking back to the flowers to see Violet." Frank spoke up. In the corner of the camera, there seemed to be a shadow looming, a glimmer of something. It was only there for a brief second. Buck tilted his head to the side. "Did you guys see that?" He asked leaning closer. "Let's replay that piece in slow motion." Randy said. Frank rewound the tape to where she was walking to the flowers and started it over this time, replaying it in slow motion. "There!" Buck yelled. "Did you see it?" Frank played it again and again. It was just so hard to tell if it was a glitch or an actual silhouette of a person. "I tell you what, let's go forward with the rest of the film, if it turns out to be anything, it may show up in the camera again." Randy and Buck's hearts were racing. They played through where Frank brought her coffee and muffin and stood chatting for a minute. Then, they went through where she had called him back. "This is where she told me not to tell you guys she was here because it was a surprise." Frank said pointing at the screen.

They watched Katie turn back around and continue the conversation between she and Violet. Violet walked away in this next clip and they stood watching Katie as she went through book of flower arrangements. Then, the shadow appeared again. They saw a tall thin man in a black shirt walk up towards her. Randy was struggling. He wanted to reach through screen and grab the man before he could get to her. "That's the same frame of a man we saw on our front porch!" Randy told Frank. Buck was angry and trembling. They watched him as he grabbed her. "Bastard!" Buck seethed angrily. "He's got her boss." he went on as he clinched his fists in a rage. They watched him walk her through the back of the store and through the employees only door. "Where does that door lead, Frank?" Randy asked. Frank leaned back in the chair. "Nowhere really, our stock is back there and then the emergency exit." Frank went on. "Wouldn't you hear if that door opened though?" Buck asked Frank. "Well, years ago, we would have yeah, but our delivery drivers kept going out of it since it was the only door so we took the alarm off." Frank said. "So, the fact of the matter is," Randy said, "is that my daughter could be anywhere right now!"

Matt paced back and forth on the deck at their home. He wanted so badly to hear her voice. He wanted to talk to her and tell her that he was sorry for the way he acted and that for her, he would change, he would do anything to be with her. Katie didn't want him to c...

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