The Plot Thickens

Liz’s point of view

I was woken up by people coming into my room. I opened my eyes and saw nurses wheeling a patient in.
“Well Liz, it looks like you’re going to have a roommate for a while,” said one of the nurses smiling at me.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“It’s me,” said a familiar voice from the bed and moments later Nick’s blond head became visible.
“Nick!” I exclaimed happily.
“Yep,” he said grinning. He was put on the bed next to mine and a few minutes later we were left alone in the room.
“I see you finally got out of ICU,” I commented turning to face him.
“Yeah, thankfully, that place was depressing,” said Nick groaning.
“Oh, and like this entire place isn’t?” I asked gesturing around the room.
“Good point, but at least we’re in the same room,” he said and smiled, I couldn’t help but smile back.
“Hey you two,” said Brian coming into the room. After him came AJ, Howie, Kevin, and two men in police uniforms.
“Hey yourself,” I said.
“What’s up?” said Nick looking at his band mates.
“We’ve got some…uh…news,” said Kevin with a serious expression.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Liz, Nick, this is Officer Smith and Officer Tyner,” introduced Kevin. The two officers nodded to Nick and me in greeting. “They’ve been assigned to your case,” informed us Kevin and Nick and I looked at him confused.
“What case?” asked Nick.
“Your kidnapping case,” replied Officer Smith.
“But I thought it was over, I mean, Liz is here, safe with us,” said Nick.
“Liz might be here, but the kidnapper got away, with the money,” replied Officer Tyner.
“There’s more,” said Officer Smith.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Well, you’re not the first case that we’ve had like this. The guy that kidnapped you goes by the name of ‘Double Murderer’. He kidnaps one person, then asks for ransom, and when he has his money, he shoots the supposed rescuer, and by then the kidnapped person is very weak, so he just leaves them both for dead,” said Officer Smith. Both Nick and I drew in sharp breaths when we heard this information. “You two are the first people who have survived.”
“Oh my God, but wait a minute, if both of us were alive before the kidnapper left, wouldn’t he have known it just by feeling for a pulse?” questioned Nick.
“No he wouldn’t,” stated Officer Tyner. “When the ambulance arrived, neither you nor Liz had a pulse. Nick, you were in cardiac arrest and Liz, you were in respiratory arrest. You were both revived at the hospital,” he explained.
“Yes, if your friends hadn’t been there to find you, there’s no way that either one of you would be alive right now,” said Officer Smith. Both Nick and me realized that we owed the guys our lives.
“And I’ve got more news,” said the doctor coming into the room.
“What is it?” asked Brian.
“Liz, we found a strange substance in your blood at the time when you were brought in. We couldn’t figure out what it was, but now we know. Tell me, did you drink or eat anything while you were kidnapped?” asked the doctor.
“No I didn’t,” I replied.
“Oh, may I see your arms?” requested the doctor. I shrugged and held out my arms, not knowing where he was going with that. “Nothing,” he said after looking at my arms. “Turn your head to the left please,” he said and I did as I was told. He looked at my neck closely and then touched an area a few inches below my jaw line. “Here it is, a puncture mark,” he said.
“Puncture mark?” I echoed. “From what?” I asked.
“It appears that you have been injected with a poison,” explained the doctor. “It’s the kind of poison that disguises itself as respiratory failure and no one would notice it unless they know what to look for,” he added. He then turned to the police officers. “That’s why all of your victims died from respiratory arrest,” he said.
“Did any of this get into the papers?” asked Nick suddenly.
“Afraid so Nick,” said AJ and showed Nick and me the newspaper he was holding. The headline was ‘DOUBLE MURDERER STRIKES AGAIN: BACKSTREET BOY AND GIRLFRIEND IN CRITICAL CONDITION’. The paper was dated two days ago.
“Reporters are everywhere,” said Kevin. “We had to go through the back entrance to get here and there were even reporters there,” he added.
“Oh man,” groaned Nick. “This isn’t good,” he said.
“Isn’t good is an understatement,” said Brian dryly.
“So this means that the kidnapper knows that Nick and me are alive,” I observed and the police officers nodded.
“Yes, that is why you’re being put under twenty-four hour guard while in this hospital,” said Officer Smith.
“What about when we go home?” asked Nick.
“You two live in the same house?” asked Officer Tyner.
“Yeah, I’m staying with Nick this summer,” I replied.
“That’s good, it’ll be easier to keep an eye on you if you’re both in one place,” said Officer Tyner.
“Do you think the kidnapper will try to finish what he started?” I asked.
“We don’t know, but if he does, we’ll be ready for him,” replied Officer Smith. I looked at Nick with fear in my eyes and saw fear in his eyes too.
“So what do we do in the meantime?” I asked turning back to the officers.
“Well, your doctor said that both of you will have to stay in the hospital for another week so you’ll be secure here. As for when you go home, we’ll have a patrol car near the house at all times and we’ll have officers on your property too,” replied Officer Smith.
“Oh and Nick, I suggest you change your security password,” said Officer Tyner to Nick, who nodded in understanding. “And just to be on the safe side, please don’t tell anyone the new number except Liz,” he added and Nick nodded again.
“All right, our business is done here for now, we will be back the minute we know something new,” said Officer Tyner and then both officers exited the room.
“Guys, do you think it’s a good idea for both of you to go back to Nick’s house?” asked Howie after the officers left. “I mean the kidnapper knows where Nick lives, wouldn’t it be easier for him to catch you if you’re in the same place and together?”
“I don’t know,” said Nick and then looked at me. “What do you think?” he asked.
“I don’t know either, I mean where else would we stay?” I asked shrugging.
“Well, Nick could stay with me and Liz, you can stay with Kevin,” suggested Brian.
“Do you think that’ll be better?” I asked uncertainly. I really didn’t want to be away from Nick, especially since things were becoming dangerous.
“Liz, I know that you and Nick do not want to be apart since you finally got together, but we’re only trying to keep you two safe,” said AJ gently.
I looked at Nick and he nodded slightly. “Okay, I guess you guys are right,” I said.
“Yeah, it’s probably better that way,” agreed Nick. “We’ll just have to tell the officers about it,” he added.
“I’ll go call Officer Smith,” volunteered Howie and left to make the phone call. He came back a few minutes later. “Officer Smith thinks it’s a great idea and he’s totally for it,” he informed everyone.
“So are there really that many reporters outside?” asked Nick changing the subject.
AJ nodded. “Take a look for yourself,” he said and pointed at the window. Nick carefully got up and looked outside. There was a huge crowd of reporters near the hospital. There must’ve been about twenty of them, all standing with microphones and cameras reporting on whatever they could come up with.
“Well, at least they’re not in the hospital,” said Nick and got back into his bed.
“They’re trying to get in,” said Brian and walked over to a chair and sat down. “The hospital had to bring in extra security just to keep them out,” he stated.
“Maybe they’ll get sick of this story and move on to something else,” said Nick hopefully.
“Doubt it Nicky,” said Kevin shaking his head. “They made a huge deal out of the last time this ‘double murderer’ struck, now he got a celebrity, I don’t know when they’re gonna give up, but I know it’s not gonna be soon,” he added and sat down also.
“Wait a minute,” I said taking the newspaper into my hands again. “Did they refer to me as Nick’s girlfriend?” I asked and looked at the headline again.
Nick grinned. “Is that so bad?” he asked.
“Well considering the fact that I wasn’t your girlfriend when this whole thing started…I guess not,” I said and put down the paper.
“Just out of curiosity, are you my girlfriend?” asked Nick looking at me.
I pretended to think it over. “Well I mean it all depends on this and that…” I said trailing off and grinning.
“Liz!” Nick exclaimed.
I laughed. “Of course I’m your girlfriend,” I said, but I did enjoy that look of confusion on his face.

Nick’s point of view

A few hours later the guys had left and Liz fell asleep. I couldn’t sleep. I was lying in my bed and thinking about everything that has happened. How did everything get so complicated? I didn’t know. But I did know that I was going to do whatever necessary to keep Liz safe. I turned my head and looked at Liz’s sleeping form; yes, I loved her a lot. I had no doubt in my mind about that fact. I sighed and went back to staring at the ceiling. I knew that there were two security officers just outside the room but somehow that knowledge didn’t make me feel any safer. There was a person out there who had kidnapped Liz and tried to kill both her, and me, and he knew that he didn’t succeed. The question that haunted me was, if he wanted to finish what he started, when would he strike again?


“Rise and shine,” said the nurse waking me up.
I groaned and opened my eyes squinting at her. “Can’t I at least get some sleep while I’m in the hospital?” I whined and she laughed.
“You need to eat breakfast, besides, there’s some mail for you here,” she said and set down two large overflowing bags of mail next to my bed.
I raised one of my eyebrows. “This is for me?” I asked looking at the bags.
“Yep, from your adoring fans,” she replied grinning and pushed the breakfast tray towards me. “Now eat, you’ll need your strength to read all the mail.”
“Oh I can’t wait,” I said sarcastically but I was happy on the inside, that was a lot of mail that I got. Of course I would’ve been much happier getting it without the whole getting shot part.
“Wow Nick, who knew you had so many fans?” asked Liz jokingly from the other bed.
I laughed and rolled my eyes at her. “I hope you know that you’re helping me read all this stuff after breakfast,” I warned and Liz looked shocked.
“Moi?” she asked in French and laughed.
“Very funny,” I said and looked at the food in front of me. Frankly, the food looked like someone already ate it. My appetite went right down the drain. “Uh, Liz, does this food look okay to you?” I asked looking at her.
She had the same expression of disgust on her face as I imagined that I had. “Sure it looks fine, if it’s supposed to make you want to puke,” she said wrinkling her nose and pushing the tray away from her carefully. “You think we could get the guys to bring us some real food? Cause if they won’t be able to, we’ll starve to death in this place,” she said.
“I’m gonna make sure they bring us some food,” I said determinedly and pushed the tray as far away from me as possible. I then grabbed the first bag of mail and lifted it onto my bed. “Get over here,” I said to Liz and waved for her to come sit on my bed. “We’re gonna open my mail now,” I added grinning. Liz laughed and sat down next to me.
“Oh look at this one,” said Liz holding up a ‘get well soon’ card. She scooted closer to me and showed me the written message: ‘Nick, I really hope that you can get better soon because I need you healthy when we get married.’
I started cracking up. “That’s very interesting, considering the fact that I don’t even know the girl,” I said and was about to move on to another card when Liz started to laugh even harder. “What?” I asked.
“I never said that it was from a girl!” she exclaimed and started laughing so hard she almost slipped off the bed.
“WHAT?” I yelled and grabbed the card from her. Liz was right, the card was signed ‘Love, Steve’. “Okay see, this is the strange, and sometimes scary, side of being famous,” I said and moved onto the next letter. Liz was still cracking up.
“Oh man, this is just so funny,” she said trying to catch her breath.
“Oh yeah, ha ha,” I said grinning at her. “Look at this one,” I said holding up another card. It said: ‘Dear Nick, I really enjoy the music that you and the rest of the Backstreet Boys bring into this world. It’s gotten me through some very hard times. I hope that you recover soon and I wish you the best of luck with your girlfriend.’ It was signed, ‘Your fan, Kim.’ “See, now these are the kinds of letters that me and the guys get our strength from,” I commented and set the card down in a separate pile that I was going to answer personally.
“Wow, that was so nice of the girl, she sounded like a great person,” said Liz and I nodded.
“Yeah, she’s one of the many fans that respect us as human beings, and as people with lives of our own,” I said seriously.
“That’s wonderful,” said Liz and we then moved on to more letters.
About an hour later Liz held up one letter and I saw her frown. “What is it?” I asked.
“This one has no return address,” she replied.
“Oh, well, let’s see what it says,” I said and took the letter out of her hands and opened it. There was a single white piece of paper, folded in half, in the envelope. I unfolded it and gasped.
“Nick what’s wrong?” Liz asked worriedly. I wordlessly handed the paper to her and saw her face go pale. There was only one line of text on the paper, it said: ‘I’M GOING TO FINISH WHAT I STARTED, AND YOU CAN BET IT’LL BE SOONER THAN LATER.’

chapter 11 chapter 13