“Jaime!” Steve called. “Have you seen my other slipper?”
“No I haven’t.” Jaime replied. “Harrison have you seen Daddy’s other slipper?” Jaime asked their seven-year-old son sitting at the table coloring.
“No but I’ll go look for it.” Harrison jumped down from the table and headed off in search of his dad’s slipper.
“NOOOO Teddy!” Harrison cried as he chased his dog through the living room. Teddy had Steve’s slipper in his mouth.
Harrison struggled to get the chewed up slipper out of Teddy’s mouth. “I’m sorry daddy.” Harrison cried as he held the mangled slipper in his hand.
“That’s the third pair in a month.” Steve grumbled.
“I just don’t know what to do.” Jaime sighed. “Everything that dog comes into contact with he destroys. He got my new wallet last week. I mean we’ve had him for a year now. You would think he would grow out of the chewing phase.”
“Yea I know.” Steve took the slipper from Harrison and looked at it. He looked up at Jaime. “You said he got your wallet?”
“Not the one I gave you for your birthday?” Steve held his mangled slipper in one hand and the dog in the other.
“Yes the one you gave me for my birthday.” Jaime sighed.
“That was very expensive.” Steve noted.
“I know it was. I mean we always had poodles when I was a kid. They never acted like this.” Jaime picked up the mail from the counter and began thumbing through the Dog’s Life Magazine. “I don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t either Jaime.” Steve set the dog on the floor. He tossed him his other slipper. “Here! You might just as well have both.”
“Huh, this is interesting.” Jaime referred to the article she was reading.
“What’s that?” Steve asked.
“Remember when we first got Teddy and Rudy mentioned that since he came from a pet shop he might be a puppy mill puppy?”
Steve nodded. “I sort of remember that.” Steve sat next to her at the kitchen table.
“Well here, read this.” Jaime thrust the article at him.
Steve took the article from her. “Boy that sounds like Teddy alright especially the destructive part.” Steve noted.
“Read what else it says.” Jaime started crying. “It goes on to say that the pups are kept in horrible conditions. Up to four dogs crammed into one kennel. And the mother dogs are breed every time they go into heat. They don’t even have time to ‘nurse’ their puppies. It says that sometimes the pups are taken from their mother before they are eight weeks old.”
“That’s awful.” Steve agreed. “Does it say why? I mean why are they taken from their mothers when they are so young?”
“They want the pet stores to have them when they are cute and cuddly” Jaime tried to sniff back the tears. Even Steve’s eyes were moist.
“Do you think that Teddy was from a puppy mill?”
“I don’t know. But it gives you an address of a person who will check the background of the kennel where Teddy came from.”
“How much do they charge?” Steve wondered.
“It’s a free service.” Jaime told him.
“Ok then why not.” Steve gave the go ahead.
A week later, Jaime got a large envelope in the mail.
“What’s that?” Steve pointed.
“I think it’s the results from the person who was going to do the background check on where Teddy came from.”
“I’m interested. What does it say?”
Jaime began crying as she read the background the kennel their son’s dog had come from.
“Oh Steve this is horrible.” Jaime cried. She was so upset she could hardly speak. “No wonder he has problems.”
Steve read the report. “Wow! They had over 200 dogs at one time and over 150 puppies.”
“Keep reading.” Jaime pointed.
“Dog mess piled up in cages. Wait! I thought that you gave dogs shots for distemper why did they have puppies dying from distemper?”
“Because the puppies never saw a vet.” Jaime sobbed.
“So what do we do for him?” Steve wondered.
“Well we have to stop the destructive behavior and they suggest obedience training.” Jaime continued to read from the report.
“Well we’ll find someone who does that.” Steve agreed. “Maybe Rudy can help us.”
“I hope so.” Jaime continued to cry.
A few days later Rudy gave them the name and number of a great dog trainer. He actually trained dogs for movies and TV.
Steve and Jaime went everyday to the training classes. Soon Teddy was doing quite well all except for the destructive behavior that is.
“I just don’t know Jaime.” Steve spoke softly as to not wake the kids. “I’m afraid that if Teddy doesn’t straighten up soon we’re going to have to get rid of him.”
“I know. He always seems to want my stuff to…”
“And very expensive stuff too I might add.” Steve interrupted.
“Tell me about it.” Jaime took he new wallet and set it on a high shelf where Teddy couldn’t get hold of it. “I’m just afraid that if we get rid of him Harrison will be devastated.
“He’ll get over it. We can try again when he’s a little older.” Steve continued.
“Well I’m not sure.” Jaime opened her son’s bedroom door and peeked in on the two of them. Harrison was sound asleep with the dog curled up in his kennel.
“Well I suppose we better call it a night. The kids are asleep. Maybe we should do what the trainer said. Just keep him busy. Maybe I’ll start taking him for his walks. I move a little faster than Harrison.”
“Well whatever we do, we need to do soon. They adore one another.” Jaime reminded.
“Yea I know. Maybe that will help if it doesn’t then we can think of getting rid of him.” Steve added.
The next morning they had just woke up when the phone rang. Steve picked it up.
“Steve glad you answered” Oscar’s voice came over the phone. “I have some news for you.”
“What’s that?” Steve asked.
“A couple of old friends of yours broke out of prison last night.”
“Yea, who might that be?”
“Stanley Bacon and John Hopper” Oscar informed him. “The warden just called me. I have available people on it trying to round them up. But in the meantime try to lay low…”
“You know me Oscar I want in on the action.” Steve laughed.
At the mention of Oscar’s name Jaime set the magazine she was reading down and stepped closer to Steve. “What’s the problem?”
“Just a second Oscar” he turned to Jaime. “Bacon and Hopper escaped from prison last night.” He told her.
“What are you going to do?” Jaime feared mostly for her children. She knew she and Steve could handle Bacon and Hopper if they had to.
“I don’t know. Let me finish talking to Oscar.” Steve finished his conversation while Jaime went upstairs to check on the kids.
“Ok Oscar you let me know if there is anything I can do on my end.” Steve watched as Jaime walked up the steps.
“I mean it Steve” Oscar warned. “I want you and Jaime to both just lay low.”
“We’ll try. But you know my family comes first.” Steve explained.
“I realize that.” Oscar sighed.
“You know I can’t just let this drop.” Steve continued.
“I wish now that I hadn’t told you.” Oscar went on. “Look I’ll keep you up to date on all that’s going on.”
“I’ll hold you to that.” The two hung up and Steve headed for the steps to see if Jaime was coming.
“Are they ok?” Steve stood at the bottom of the stairs.
“They’re fine. Harrison is playing with the dog and Kristi is sleeping.”
“That’s a relief.” Steve noted. “I don’t want them to go out of the house at all, unless they are with one of us.”
“I agree.” Jaime sighed. “But how do we keep Harrison inside?”
“We’ll think of something. Maybe I’ll give Oscar a call back and see about some extra security for the kids.”
“I think that’s a good idea.”
Steve got on the phone and placed the call to Oscar. “Yes Steve?” Oscar spoke when he picked up his private line.
“Oscar I think we could use some additional security for the kids. I mean if Bacon or Hopper try anything with us we can handle ourselves, but I’m not so sure of the kids.”
“I’ll get right on it Steve. I’ll have someone there within the hour.” Oscar promised. “In the meantime keep the kids close. They could use them to get to you.”
“That’s what we’re afraid of.” Steve stated.
“Ok pal. Just hang tight. I’ll send someone right over.” Oscar assured.
Rudy was sitting on the other side of Oscar’s desk when he hung up from talking to Steve. “What was that all about?”
“That was Steve…”
“I gathered that. What’s the problem?” Rudy wondered.
“He’s worried about the kids what with Bacon and Hopper on the loose.” Oscar reached for the phone to find an agent to guard the Austin children.
“I don’t blame him. Who are you calling?” Rudy watched as he dialed the phone.
“I guess Russ.” Oscar put up his hand to indicate that Russ had picked up the phone. “Russ? It’s Oscar I have a job for you….”
An hour later Russ was standing on the Austin’s front porch and Jaime was letting him into the house.
“I appreciate this Russ. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to the kids.” Steve greeted.
“I understand. Don’t worry I’ll watch over the kids.” Russ assured.
“Great. Harrison wants to go to the park.” Jaime began “But Kristi is sleeping and I really don’t want to wake her.”
“No problem. I’ll take him.” Russ and Harrison headed out the door and down the street.
While Jaime sat down with some school papers she needed to grade.
“Jaime? Remember what I said last night about walking Teddy?”
Jaime nodded engrossed in what she was doing.
“Well I think I’ll take him on a walk he won’t soon forget. I’ll make it so he’s so tired he won’t chew anything.”
“That sounds like a good idea.” Jaime was still more interested in what she was doing to pay much attention to what Steve was saying.
Steve snapped the leash onto Teddy’s collar and the two headed down the street. “Ok ‘Teds’ just try to keep up with me.” Steve started walking briskly up the street.
At a hotel in Georgetown John Hopper and Stanley Bacon sat talking. “Are you sure this ultrasound thing of yours will work?” Hopper demanded.
“I’m positive. You know the same man sent both of us to prison. With or without the project I plan to take Austin down.”
“I can’t argue with you there. That is the one thing I dream about every night is getting even with that man.”
“Same here” Bacon agreed.
“Were you able to get your project out of ‘moth balls’ so to speak.?”
“I’ve had friends on the outside working on just that for several months now. Of course at the time I figured I would be the only one.”
“Well you aren’t you have a very eager partner.” Hopper smiled.
“I prefer to work alone, but then on the other hand you might prove to be a big help. Also keep in mind that it was my people responsible for getting you out of prison. It just so happens I took pity on you and had you come along.” Bacon reminded.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Hopper sighed.
“Very good, now my people should be here in an hour or so with the project, then we use it to get Austin.”
At the OSI Rudy watched the expression on Oscar’s face turn from confusion to concern and then to anger. “What the heck do you mean the ultrasound project is missing?!!”
“I’m sorry sir.” The voice on the other end tried to remain calm. “We just checked our inventory as we do every day. Bacon’s ultrasound project has simply vanished.” He
waited for several moments waiting for Oscar’s wrath to come over the phone line but it didn’t.
“Ok I understand.” Oscar’s voice was much calmer now. “If you’ll excuse me there is another phone call I must place right now.”
Rudy watched as Oscar lifted the receiver and dialed. It took several rings but Jaime finally answered.
“Jaime? It’s Oscar. Let me speak to Steve.”
“He’s not here Oscar he just took the dog for a walk…wait that’s him coming in now…Steve oh poor Teddy.” She looked down at the exhausted puppy.
“I told you he’d be to tired to chew on anything…who’s on the phone?”
“It’s Oscar.” She handed it to him.
“Yes Oscar?” Steve asked.
“More up dates” Oscar began. “Bacon’s ultrasound project is missing.”
“Well at least we know what we’re up against.” Steve muttered. “Thanks for keeping me informed.”
“I’m on top it pal. Just hang in there.” Oscar assured.
“Keep me posted.” Steve reminded.
“I will.” Oscar hung up and turned to Rudy. “I suppose you gathered?”
Rudy nodded. “Bacon’s ultrasound project is missing.”
“I’m sure Bacon’s behind it’s theft.” Oscar scowled.
“You know Steve. I’ve been reading the Dog’s life magazine they have some very interesting games and tricks you can do with you dog. It might help keep Teddy’s mind active.”
“That’s what we want. I tell you if he eats one more slipper. I’m going to use said slipper to kick him out onto the street. By the way did Russ get back with Harrison?
Jaime nodded. “Yea about ten minutes before you came in. I know they weren’t there long but Russ thought he saw someone and wanted to get Harrison home.”
“Better safe than sorry I guess.” Steve muttered.
“That’s what I thought. Here let’s try one of those games. It’s called ‘seek’ how it’s played is one of us goes and hides and Teddy tries to find us.”
“Sounds interesting” Steve noted. “Get the kids. I’ll be the first to hide.”
A few minutes later Jaime had everyone gathered in the living room. “Ok Steve the article says you are to hide someplace while I hold the dog here…”
“What are we doing Mommy?” Harrison asked.
“We’re trying to teach Teddy a new trick.” Jaime explained. “Daddy is going to go hide and Teddy here is going to try and find him.”
“Cool!” Harrison exclaimed. “Think he can do it?”
“We’re going to see.” Steve smiled. “Ok here I go.” Steve stepped out of the living room and crept up the back stairs and hid in Kristi’s closet.
“Ok Teddy.” Jaime stated once Steve whispered he was hidden. She held Steve’s slipper up for Teddy to sniff. “Ok boy. Seek find Steve.”
Teddy sniffed the slipper and headed off in the same direction Steve had gone. Jaime and the kids followed as Teddy headed up the back stairs. They watched as he made his way down the hall toward Kristi’s room.
“is Daddy in there?” Harrison asked.
“I don’t know.” Jaime smiled. “Let’s go see.” The stepped into Kristi’s room just as Teddy began scratching on the closet door.
Steve opened it up. “Well I guess you found me huh boy.” Steve gave the pup a pat on the head. “That’s a good boy.”
“I’m next…I’m next!” Harrison squealed in delight.
They ran through it several times but Teddy found Steve the easiest and the fastest every time.
“I think he likes that game.” Harrison noted.
“I do to.” Steve agreed “it’s kind of fun.” He glanced down at his watch. “Say buddy it’s getting late and you have school in the morning.”
“Ok daddy.” Harrison left his parents and headed up to bed.
Bacon and Hopper had been parked outside of Steve’s house for the better part of an hour. “When do we move?” Hopper sounded agitated.
“We have to get Austin alone.” Bacon smiled. “He’ll go out in the morning or something like that. Don’t worry we’ll have him by this time tomorrow.”
“I hope so. What are we going to do with him once we get him?” Hopper asked.
“Why kill him of course but only after we use the ultrasound machine on his family and friends while he watches.” Bacon smiled.
The next morning Steve was up early. He called Oscar to see if there had been any developments over night.
“None that I’m aware of right now” Oscar informed “I’ll do some checking though.”
“I’d appreciate that. I’m going to take Harrison to school…Russ will be there won’t he.”
“He’ll be there.” Oscar assured.
Steve and Harrison headed out to the driveway and got in the car. “Ok sport. I’ll take you to school then I’ll come back and take Teddy for his walk.”
“Ok Daddy.” Harrison settled in for the short ride to school. Steve wasn’t aware that Bacon and Hopper were right behind him.
After dropping Harrison off Steve headed back home he got out of the car and was just starting for the house when Hopper approached him. “Well, well Austin we meet again.”
“Hopper? What do you want?” Steve sneered.
“I guess you could say revenge.” Hopper snorted. He drew a gun and aimed it for the front window. “I certainly hope you daughter isn’t anywhere near the window.” He warned. “I’d hate to see anything happen to her.”
“Me to” Steve muttered. “What do you want?”
“Just come with us.” Hopper ordered.
“Yea sure ok” Steve got into the car and Bacon sped off before anyone knew what was happening…
Jaime continued to busy herself around the house. She fed Kristi and did the breakfast dishes. Only when the phone rang did she glance at the clock.
‘Steve should have been home a long time ago.’ She noted to herself as she lifted the receiver. “Hello” She spoke.
“Jaime? It’s Oscar let me speak to Steve.”
“Oscar am I glad it’s you. Steve isn’t here. He took Harrison to school about an hour ago he should have been home long ago.”
“You sit tight. I’m on my way.” Oscar slammed down the phone and grabbed his coat. “Rudy come on we’re going over to Steve’s.” He barked startling Rudy who had just come in the door.
“Why are we going over to Steve’s?” Rudy asked as they waited for the elevator.
“I have a feeling Steve is missing.” Oscar spoke as they both stepped into the elevator car that would carry them to street level.
“Missing…what do you mean missing?” Rudy stammered.
“I just spoke to Jaime. She told me that Steve was long over due from dropping Harrison off at school.” Oscar reported.
Once in the parking lot Oscar and Rudy jumped into Oscar’s car and they sped to Steve’s. “Maybe he’s here by now.” Rudy stated as the climbed the steps of the front porch.
“You may be right. His car is in the drive.” Oscar noted.
They didn’t ring the bell they just walked in. Jaime greeted them. “I just took Kristi over to the neighbors. She’ll watch her while we’re busy.”
“Well at least that’s taken care of.” Rudy sighed. “So Steve still isn’t back?”
“No he’s not. I noticed the car after we spoke.” Jaime cried. “What do we do? I called the school. Harrison is in class where he belongs. I told them to not release him to anyone but me or Russ.”
“Good thinking.” Rudy quipped.
“I also advised them to keep him in from recess.” Jaime finished.
“Even better idea.” Oscar mumbled.
“That’s what I thought. Now let’s get down to business. Just what is going on?” Jaime demanded.
“As I told Steve” Oscar began. “Our old friends Stanley Bacon and John Hopper escaped from prison.”
“I don’t know if I’m familiar with either.” Jaime told him.
“Stanley Bacon designed an ultrasound wave machine a few years back. He used it on a small community. It rendered them all unconscious. Steve investigated. Bacon was sent to prison and the ultrasound wave machine was booked into evidence. It is now missing.”
“And this Hopper?” Jaime wondered.
“He is a hit man. He was hired to kill a DA a few years ago. Once again Steve intervened. And Hopper too was sent to prison….”
“Ok…now that you mention it I do remember Steve saying something about it.”
“This ultrasound wave machine is it dangerous?” Jaime pressed.
“It’s very dangerous Jaime. And so is the man who know how to use it.” Oscar pointed out.
“Well then. I guess I better get busy and try to not only rescue my husband but destroy the machine as well.”
“I couldn’t have said it better myself.” Oscar chuckled.
“Where do I start?” Jaime wondered.
“I don’t have a clue.” Oscar sighed. “I just don’t have a clue.”
They sat around the house most of the morning trying to decide what if any direction to take.
“Maybe Steve will contact us.” Jaime assumed.
“That’s a very big maybe.” Oscar snorted. “I’m telling you I just don’t know how to proceed on this one. I usually have at least one clue to go on.”
Jaime sighed “I suppose you’re right…but what else do we have?”
“Then I guess we just wait.” Rudy slumped down on the couch.
By noon they hadn’t heard anything. They all jumped when the phone rang. Jaime grabbed it. “Steve?” She asked.
“No Mrs. Austin.” The voice came over the line. “This is Ella Fitch. The principal at Harrison’s school…”
“Oh yes Mrs. Fitch is there a problem…is Harrison alright?”
“Yes and no. He’s fine…but well some of the kids were messing around at the noon recess and Harrison fell into a puddle of water on the playground. I’m afraid he’s drenched. Can you come get him he’ll need clean clothes…”
“What if I just bring him…”
“I’m afraid the puddle was more than water. It was pretty muddy…Well you get the picture…
“Yes I think I do. I’ll be right there.” Jaime hung up and turned to Rudy and Oscar. I’ll be right back.”
“I think we got the idea.” Rudy smiled.
A few minutes later Jaime arrived back at the house with the seven year old in tow. “Now young man” she smiled. “You march right upstairs and get into the tub.” She turned back to Oscar and Rudy. “There is really no point in him going back after this.”
“I agree.” Rudy and Oscar nodded.
They were still talking when Harrison came down the stairs with clean clothes on. “Mommy, where’s daddy?” He asked.
“He’ out for a bit” Jaime lied.
Harrison looked at her. “I don’t believe you. Where is he?”
“That’s quite enough of that mister.” Jaime scolded. “Your sister is over at Kim’s I will call and tell her you are on your way as well.”
“Not till I see my daddy.” Harrison looked from Rudy to Oscar and then back to Jaime. “I know that when uncle Rudy and uncle Oscar are here that there is trouble…”
“That’s pretty perceptive for a seven year old huh?” Rudy observed.
“He is his father’s son.” Jaime admitted.
“That’s true.” Oscar agreed.
“You let us worry about it…ok?” Jaime tried again to push him off but Harrison had none of it.
“You tell me what’s wrong” He demanded. His blue eyes flashed at all of them.
“I see he’s stubborn just like Steve too.” Rudy laughed.
“Look Harrison we just don’t know where your daddy is right now.” Jaime tried to soothe it.
“I know maybe Teddy could…”
“Oh honey that’s just a game we play in the house.” Jaime was trying to go next door.
“Here Teddy!!” Harrison called “Come on boy!”
Teddy came running from the kitchen he again had Steve’s chewed up slipper in his mouth.
“Oh Teddy…not again” Jaime exclaimed. “Harrison you take him out to the garage and then go to your room and start your homework.
Harrison and Teddy headed for the garage. Harrison held tight to Steve’s slipper. “OK Teddy. Find daddy.”
He slipped Teddy’s leash on him and after Teddy sniffed the slipper he began to sniff the ground. He led Harrison down the driveway where Steve’s car was parked.
Harrison held tight to Teddy’s leash as the two started down the street…
Teddy led Harrison across the street and stopped. “Come on Teddy.” Harrison urged “Find daddy.” He implored.
Teddy sniffed around the area where the car had been parked. Then he again took off Harrison clutching tightly to his leash.
“Hey Teddy slow down” Harrison pleaded. He had to run to keep up with the dog.”
Inside the house Jaime, Rudy and Oscar were plotting their next move. “Will you two excuse me for a minute?” Jaime stood and headed in the direction he son had only a few minutes before.
“Of course what’s the trouble?” Rudy wondered.
“Harrison should have been back by now.” Jaime moved into the kitchen and stepped out into the garage. She looked for Harrison and then noticed that the dog was also missing. She quickly dashed back into the house. “Rudy! Oscar!” She called.
At the sound of the distress in her voice the two men ran to meet her as she came through the kitchen. “Jaime what is it? What’s wrong?” Oscar asked.
“Now Harrison is missing he’s not in the garage or the yard. The dog is gone too.” She cried.
“They can’t be to far.” Rudy noted. “Maybe Harrison took him for a walk around the block. I’ll go this way Oscar. You go the other we’ll see if we can’t head him off.”
Jaime stood at the end of the driveway listening to see if she could hear her son talking to the dog. ‘Maybe he ran off and Harrison is trying to catch him.’ she thought.
Oscar and Rudy met midway around the block. “You didn’t see him?” Rudy asked.
Oscar shook his head. “No. You don’t think Hopper and Bacon came back do you?”
“No I don’t think that. What I think is that Harrison went looking for Steve.” Rudy added.
“That’s what I was thinking myself. We better go tell Jaime. We’ll get in the car and go look for him. He can’t be too far.”
As they rounded the corner they could see Jaime craning her neck to see if her son was with the two men. She knew he wouldn’t be though.
“Rudy seems to think that Harrison took off looking for Steve.” Oscar put his arm around Jaime. We’re going to get in the car and go look.”
At an abandoned shoe store downtown Bacon and Hopper stood over Steve who was sitting in a chair in the back room where the stock of shoes used to be stored.
“I’m so happy to see that you want to cooperate with us.” Hopper sneered.
“For the moment anyway” Steve snarled back.
“What’s that supposed to mean.” Bacon shot him a glance.
“You threatened my family!” Steve shouted. “That’s the only reason I’m here…but now that I am…” Steve rose so he could inflict bodily harm to this two adversaries But Bacon was quicker. He grabbed the remote to the ultrasound machine. Steve grabbed his head in agony and fell to the floor.
“What now?” Hopper asked.
Bacon thought for several moments. “How about money we could write our own ticket.”
“What do you mean?” Hopper wondered.
“Well we have the ultrasound machine. We have the man who could stop us from utilizing it I say we call Goldman and give him our demands or else we will unleash it onto the entire city.”
“How much do we ask for?” Hopper wondered.
“I’m looking at 20 million dollars for both Austin and the machine. Then after we get the money we kill Austin of course.”
“I like that idea.” Hopper agreed.
“I thought you would.” Bacon smiled. “Now we just keep this on him till after the transaction then we kill him.”
“Are you going to call Goldman?” Hopper sounded anxious.
“Right now I’ll give you odds he’s at Austin’s house. You better turn that off while we make the call. I don’t want to render Goldman unconscious till we get the money.”
Hopper reached over and flipped off the machine while Bacon dialed Steve’s phone number.
The three had just come back from looking for Harrison and Teddy. Jaime was crying.
“Don’t worry Jaime. We’ll find him.” Rudy assured.
“I don’t know “ Jaime continued to cry. “I’m afraid Hopper and Bacon have him. You know ever since the kids were born Steve and I have done everything we could to protect them from our enemies but now…” Her words were cut off by the phone ringing. She quickly grabbed it “Steve is that you?” she cried into the phone.
“Not hardly” Bacon sneered. “This is Stanley Bacon. Let me talk to Goldman. I’m sure he’s there.”
“It’s Bacon.” Jaime handed the phone to Oscar.
“What is it Bacon?” Oscar scowled. “Where’s Steve Austin?”
“He’s right here…he’s taking a little nap. If you ever want to see him and the ultrasound machine you’ll deliver 20 million dollars to the bridge on Old Creek Road by 6:00 or Austin dies and I take the machine and turn it on the entire city.”
“Twenty million?” Oscar questioned.
“You heard me. Twenty million or else.” Bacon slammed the phone down.
Oscar turned to Russ who was set up in the living room in case Steve or his abductors phoned to trace the call. “Anything?” he asked.
Russ shook his head ‘Sorry Oscar it wasn’t long enough.”
“So we’re still at square one huh?” Oscar shouted. “they want twenty million dollars or…”
“I head the conversation.” Jaime spoke. “You’re not going to pay it are you?”
“Of course not we need to find Steve.” Oscar sighed.
“Come on Teddy.” Harrison panted let me rest for a minute.” Teddy wouldn’t stop then he stopped right in front of the shoe store. He put his paws on the door and began scratching and whining.
“What is it boy?” Harrison asked. “Is this where daddy is?”
Teddy continued to scratch at the door.
Harrison pulled on his leash “I don’t see daddy in there.” He scolded. “Come on Teddy!”
But Teddy wasn’t about to give up. He dragged Harrison around to the back in the alley. Harrison peeked in the dirty window. This time he did see his father. “Ok boy let’s go call mom, and uncles Rudy and Oscar.
He walked around to the front to the store and spied a pay phone just across the street.
Aren’t you going to turn that machine back on?” Hopper wondered. “Austin could come around at any second.
“I’d rather do it this way.” Bacon injected a clear liquid into Steve’s left arm “There that ought to keep him our till this is over.”
Harrison reached the payphone. He lifted the receiver and pulled a dime out of his pocket. Steve and Jaime had taught Harrison from the age of two how to dial their home phone number He was also required to keep a dime in his pocket at all times in case he needed to use a payphone.
Everyone at the house jumped when the phone rang. Jaime grabbed it. “Steve?” she called
“No mommy it’s me.” Harrison’s tiny voice came over the line.
“Harrison where are you.” Jaime fought the urge to reach through the phone line and give the boy a good sound spanking.
“I found daddy.” Harrison told her.
“Where are you?” Jaime asked.
“Somewhere down town.” Harrison. “I’m at a payphone the number is 201-555-1234”
“You stay right there and if you see a police man you stay with him understand.” Jaime ordered.
“Ok mommy. I’ll wait right here.” Harrison sat down on the curb. A gust of wind blew in and blew dust into his eyes. He dropped Teddy’s leash and rubbed his eyes.
The minute his leash was dropped Teddy shot off back across the street. “NO! Teddy wait for me!” Harrison chased after him.
Teddy ran around to the back of the store once again. Once they were stopped Harrison grabbed the leash.
“Now you be quiet.” Harrison warned. Slowly Harrison turned the door knob he was surprised to find the door open.
Before he went in Harrison again peeked through the dirty window. Bacon and Hopper were nowhere to be seen so he opened the door and slipped inside.
Teddy dashed over to where Steve lay in his drug induced sleep he began licking Steve’s face. Steve started to slowly come around.
Harrison ran over to Steve. “Are you ok daddy?” he asked.
“Yea little buddy I think so.” He looked around “Where’s mommy?”
“She’s on her way. So are uncle Rudy and Uncle Oscar.” Harrison explained how Teddy has led him here.
Steve patted Teddy on the head. “Good Dog.” He praised.
Seeing that his master was going to be fine Teddy began exploring the storeroom.
Hearing voices from the back Bacon and Hopper headed for the sore room. “what the devil?” Bacon shouted. Seeing the boy and Steve conscious he reached for the remote to the ultrasound wave machine but it wasn’t on the bench where he had left it.
“Ok Austin. Where’s the remote?” Bacon shouted.
“I don’t have your remote.” Steve pushed Harrison behind him
“Give it to me now!!” Bacon shouted drawing his gun “or the boy gets it.”
At that moment Teddy dropped something out of his mouth at Bacon’s feet. “The remote thanks boy.” Bacon reached down to pick it up “He ruined it!” Bacon cried. “It’s all chewed up!!”
“Welcome to the club.” Steve snickered.
“That’s ok I’ll just turn it on from the machine.” He headed toward it.
Oscar’s car screeched to a halt at the curb where the pay phone sat. “Well that’s the phone Harrison used.” Oscar glanced at the address the operator had given him. Then he looked up and began looking frantically for Steve and Jaime’s only son.
“I don’t see him.” Jaime cried. “You don’t suppose…where could they be?”
Rudy turned to Jaime. “Do you hear anything?”
Jaime tuned in her ear. “Yes it’s coming from there. I don’t know if it’s what we’re looking for or not but someone is calling for help.”
Oscar, Rudy, Jaime and Russ walked across the street and walked into the storeroom. They had chuckle at the sight.
Steve and Harrison were also trying to hold back their laughter.
Teddy had hold of Bacon’s right pants leg the left one had already been ripped up the seam. Teddy went from Bacon to Hopper. Biting their hands and tearing at their pant’s legs and their shirts biting holes in them.
Bacon in trying to get away from the small dog ran into the ultrasound wave machine and it went crashing to the floor.
“Help!!! Help!!! The two men continued to cry.
Steve turned to Oscar “What do you say boss should I help them?”
“I think you better before they charge us with police brutality.” Oscar had tears running down his face from laughing so hard.
“Teddy!” Steve shouted. “Teddy come!!”
Teddy let go of Bacon’s pants leg and walked over to his master. “Good boy Teddy.” Steve praised. “That was a good dog.”
Russ and Oscar rounded up Bacon and Hopper then called the police to have them taken back to jail.
Rudy bent over the smashed ultrasound wave machine. “Well it’s ruined now. He held the chewed up remote in his hand. “That dog.” He laughed.
“Hey Teddy” Oscar bent down to scratch Teddy behind the ear. “What say boy. You want to come to work for me?”
Teddy licked him in the face.
“I’ll take that as a definite maybe.” Oscar laughed.
Steve gathered up his wife, his son and his dog and they left the building.
“Well I guess we won’t be getting rid of Teddy anytime soon.” Jaime held tight to his leash.
“You can say that again. I mean now he’s an official OSI agent.” Steve laughed. He lifted Harrison up and put him on his shoulders. “You and I have to have a little talk about running off and not telling mommy or me where you’re going” Steve scolded.
“I know daddy I’m sorry.” Harrison apologized. “I won’t do it again.”
“See that you don’t.” They all piled into Oscar’s car for the short ride back to Steve’s Jaime ran to the neighbors and picked up Kristi. And they all walked into the house.
“Well.” Oscar exclaimed. “I guess that’s the end of Bacon’s ultrasound wave machine.” He glanced at his watch. “I suppose Rudy and I better get going. I’ll call you soon huh.”
“Not to soon. Only if you have a mission for Teddy” Steve laughed.
“I’ll remember that.” Oscar and Rudy left and Jaime got dinner started while Steve played in the backyard with his son and Teddy.