Note: Thank you to Slshadowfox for beta reading!
Sorry for the lateness of this chapter! I’ve had a busy week. Next chapter will be out soon, I promise! The response to the last chapter completely blew me away, thanks for reviewing everyone!
“This is insane!” Jack roared. “How can he just take over someone’s identity like that?”
“This guy is more than just crazy,” Bridge added. “He needs to be locked up for good.”
Z nodded. “I agree with you. I can’t believe all this started just from two dates with the guy. Poor Syd, I can’t imagine what she’s going through.”
“Kat, tell us what you know about this man,” Cruger demanded.
“He’s educated. He likes photography and has an eye for it, which means he’s been doing it for awhile,” Kat listed all the things she knew, “He had a wife named Susan once, but we don’t know anything about her. He’s probably sociopathic; he’s been stalking Sydney since they’ve met and seems to confuse her with his wife. They look a lot alike, and he’s even called her by his wife’s name. He’s probably been in trouble with the law before and has experience in hiding from the police.”
Jack whistled under his breath. “At least things can’t get any worse.”
Suddenly there were noises heard coming from the hallway. If one listened closely, it sounded like a very pissed off woman shouting. Heavy footsteps were heard and a minute later, the doors slid open and a woman ran into the room, breathless and her hair falling out of her ponytail. She looked tired, like she hadn’t slept in days; her eyes showed that she was worried. She looked around the Command Centre for a moment and spotted Cruger, immediately approaching him with an angry expression on her face.
“Where is he?” She shouted, “Where is Sky?”
The doors slid open again a minute later and a man rushed in. It took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting, once it did; Wes hurried to his wife’s side. “Jen honey, calm down. We’re not going to get any answers if you keep yelling at him.”
Jen huffed, but kept the stern expression on her face. “I want to know where my son is,” the former pink ranger demanded, “We’ve been calling his cell phone for the last three days. He and Sydney were supposed to have dinner with us on Sunday night and Sky never called to cancel and that’s not like him.”
Wes placed his hands on Jen’s shoulders. “Forgive my wife for yelling Commander. We’re just worried.”
Cruger cringed slightly under Jen’s glare. As did Kat and all the other rangers.
Z elbowed Jack slightly in the ribs. “And you said it couldn’t get any worse,” she muttered under her breath. “It looks like Mrs. Collins is going to murder Cruger.”
Cruger gazed at Wes and Jen. “There’s been a situation.”
“What kind of situation?” Jen demanded.
“Syd has a stalker,” Jack stated bluntly. “This guy is psycho, and right now, Sky and Syd are in hiding.”
Wes and Jen’s eyes widened at the red ranger’s brief statement.
“What do you mean?” Wes asked calmly.
Cruger kept silent, not knowing how to start.
Jen’s eyes narrowed. “You better tell us what’s going on right now.”
Knowing they would be searching for him, Jake had driven south for a few hours before he checked into a run-down inn right off the highway, the kind of place where customers could pay in cash and no identification was necessary.
Now he was lying on the bed, his hands entwined behind his head, staring up at the ceiling. ‘They can look,’ he thought, ‘but they won’t be able to find me.’
He wondered if the rangers had learned that he wasn’t really Jake Hemmington. Even if they had, it wouldn’t matter. They couldn’t connect him to Hemmington’s disappearance or learn his former identity. The hard part had been finding the right person, a man without a family. Searching through all the professional association lists by using the internet had been so time consuming, but he had stayed at it, all his searching had eventually led him to Jake Hemmington. He had been on the run from the law, moving from place to place, and it was in Sandburg Town that he finally found the right man.
Ironically, Jake Hemmington had been born in Lorraine City -like he was. He’d watched the real Jake Hemmington as he watched Sydney now. He learned that Jake was short and was becoming bald, obviously gay, and that he spent most of his time alone. Occasionally, Hemmington worked late at the office, and one night he watched Jake move toward his car in a darkened parking lot, head down as he sorted through the keys.
Hemmington didn’t hear him approach, and he placed a gun to Hemmington’s head.
“Do exactly what I want,” he had whispered, “and I’ll let you live.”
Obviously it had been a lie, but the lie had served its purpose. Hemmington had done everything that he had asked him to do and had answered all of his questions. Jake had gone to the bank and had packed a suitcase as he asked. Jake had even allowed himself to be tied and blindfolded, in hope that his cooperation would be rewarded with his life.
He had driven them to the mountains and told him to lie down on the side of the road. He remembered the begging and the whimpering and how Jake started crying once he heard the unmistakable click of a gun being loaded. He laughed at the man’s weakness. Had he been in that situation, he would have fought or tried to get away, but Hemmington was weak and four hours later was buried in an unmarked grave that would never be discovered.
Without anyone pressing the search, he’d known that Hemmington’s file would be buried in the pile of other missing persons and forgotten. As long as Jake Hemmington was missing and not dead, the identity was easy to assume. He had trained himself to not answer his real name, and when he spoke it now, it sounded foreign.
He had taken care of the real Jake Hemmington, just like he had taken care of his mother and father. And the boys in the foster home. And Susan.
Now it was time to take care of Sky.
The Command Centre was busy with activity. After hearing the full story, Wes had immediately contacted Eric at Silver Hills and informed him of the situation. The former Quantum Ranger had promised to spread the word about the man who posed as Jake Hemmington around. Jen had called Adrian and Melanie Drew to inform them of the situation, horrified, the Drew family had promised to be there as soon as they could.
Now, two hours later, Adrian and Melanie Drew had arrived. Adrian had immediately done everything he thought he could do. He hired the best bodyguards, tripling the security around the Academy. He hired workmen to check the security of every window, ordering more lasers, everything he thought that could be an asset. Cruger had stated that it was all unnecessary, but Adrian was adamant. He had everything money could buy, but all he really cared about was keeping his daughter and her boyfriend safe. Unfortunately, the only person who really knew the pink and blue rangers’ whereabouts was Jack, and the red ranger was keeping it all under wraps.
While all this was going on, Melanie Drew sat on one of the stools in the corner, staring blankly into space, ignoring the flurry of activity that was going on around her. It was her fault. Her daughter was in danger and it was her fault. She had been the one that kept pushing, setting up Sydney on all these blind dates, just to keep their name well known in the high class society. She had been the one delighted, when she ran into Jake Hemmington and had happily given the man her daughter’s phone number.
She was a terrible mother. What kind of person would set their own daughter up with an insane person that was on the run from the law? And on top of that, she felt horribly guilty. The moment she had seen Jen and Wes, she knew she had made terrible accusations about Sky Tate Collins. Sometimes it was hard to believe just how incredibly shallow and selfish she was. Wes and Jen Collins were no strangers to the media- Wes was wealthy and was also famous for being the Red Time Force Ranger. The minute she heard that Sky was Wes’s son, she knew just how deeply Sydney cared for Sky Tate -no, Sky Tate Collins. She had seen the rangers on television many times, had seen Sky in action, Melanie knew that the feelings between the blue and pink rangers were real.
Melanie had always known Sydney hated their lifestyle. The endless parties, the numerous appearances -her daughter couldn’t stand it. But it was the only world Melanie had ever known, had been taught to know -she didn’t know how to react to her daughter’s lifestyle. And now… now… her pride and joy was in danger. If she had just trusted her daughter’s judgment -then maybe none of this would’ve happened.
The blonde woman looked around her. Up ahead, she saw her husband working closely with Wes Collins. She wished that she had listened to Adrian more. She wished she had seen what her husband had. That Sydney was strong and could take care of herself. She wished she hadn’t been so critical about her daughter’s relationship with Sky Tate. She wished…
“Penny for your thoughts?”
Melanie looked up and saw a pair of warm brown eyes that were filled with worry like her own. Jen Collins sat down next to her and offered her a tired smile.
“I don’t think a penny can cover it,” the blonde woman finally replied.
“What’s on your mind?”
Melanie didn’t know what it was, but there was something about the woman next to her that was extremely comforting. “I’m a horrible mother,” she began.
Jen raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
“I forced Sydney to date a man that I knew nothing about all I cared about was the fact that he was wealthy. And because of that, he’s now stalking her,” tears began to well up in Melanie’s eyes. “Sydney is in danger because of me, and the man she loves is in danger as well, trying to protect her. “
Jen placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder. “I’m sure Sydney understands that you just want what’s best for her, after all, you’re a mother, and mothers always want what’s best for their children.”
“Why are you being so kind?” Melanie’s blue eyes were filled with surprise. “I judged your son harshly. I thought he wasn’t good enough for my daughter. Everything I said was based on what I saw in a single photograph from a newspaper clipping.”
Jen shrugged. “Because, my son loves your daughter and your daughter loves my son. That is enough reason for me to try and get along with you.” And with that Jen stood up from her spot and headed over to where Wes was, ready to help in any way she could.
Melanie watched as the former pink time force ranger walked away, a feeling indescribable washing over her.
Night had fallen, crickets chirped and the moon was glowing brightly in the distance. The fireplace roared with life, flames dancing as it burned the wood.
Syd sat on the couch, absentmindedly playing with the necklace around her neck. Sky came from the kitchen, into the living room and sat next to Syd, handing her a glass of warm milk. Syd gave a small smile, accepting the glass and took a sip. She then set the glass down on the table and leaned into Sky’s embrace as he placed an arm around her.
“Are you feeling better?” Sky asked after several moments of silence.
“I won’t let anything happen to you Syd, not if I have anything to say about it.”
The pink ranger smiled, hearing his promise. “Thank you.” Her hands went to her neck again, and she started fiddling with the gem that hung from the chain.
“Huh,” Sky said a moment later, his voice filled with wonder.
Syd lifted her head from his shoulder. Her blue eyes looked up at him questioningly. “What’s wrong?”
The blue ranger had a grin on his face. “You’re wearing the necklace.”
She looked down. It was the necklace she had received for her birthday so long ago. To this day, she still didn’t know who sent it. She frowned. “Yeah, so? I haven’t taken it off since I got it for my birthday.”
“Why don’t you wear the bracelet and the earrings?”
As he asked the question, Syd could only stare at Sky as the realization hit her. No one, besides Z, had known that she had received more gifts. “You… you… it… how did… you…” She sputtered.
The blue ranger was amused. “Did you like the music box? There was one shaped as a teddy bear, but I figured you would like the star shaped one better.”
“You were the secret admirer?” Syd finally burst out.
“Who’d you think it was?” he retorted, grinning.
At second later, his oxygen supply had been cut off as Syd leapt at him. But Sky wasn’t complaining -he rather liked having her lips on his.
Five minutes later, they parted, each breathing heavily.
“Wow…” Sky blinked. “That was… wow.”
The pink ranger giggled, wrapping her arms around him. Looking into his eyes, her expression turned serious. “I love you Sky.”
His eyes lit up with joy and he wrapped his arms tighter around her waist. “I love you too Syd.”
Throughout the evening, SPD was busy with events.
A photograph of ‘Jake Hemmington’ had been sent out to the nearest cities so that everyone would be aware that a dangerous man out on the loose.
Around 1:30am, it was reported that a gold colored Toyota car had been stolen.
At 2:45am, it was reported that a black car had been left in the supermarket parking lot for the last twenty-four hours.
Everyone was too busy to notice any of these reports.
The following morning was sunny and bright. Jake woke and showered, then hopped back into the stolen Toyota. An hour later, after buying a cup of coffee and a few magazines, he pulled into New Tech City, feeling as if he had come home.
With his new disguise, his darker hair, his tan, and his glasses, he didn’t recognize himself when he looked in the rearview mirror. Wearing blue jeans and a white wife beater, he looked like any other family man heading toward the park for the weekend.
He headed towards the bench that was placed directly off to the side of the small park. It gave him full view of the SPD Academy and still gave him enough time to get to his car if need be. Now all he had to do was wait for one of the rangers to come out. And he would wait all day if he had too; one of the rangers was going to lead him to where Sky and Sydney was.
When Z approached Bridge’s desk, she thought he looked as tired as she felt.
“Anything?” she asked.
Bridge looked up, shaking his head and yawning. “Nothing. What about you?”
“Not much, I keep hitting one dead end after the other.”
Bridge fell silent, thinking. Without new information, there was nothing they could do to catch this guy. Was he still in town? Bridge was willing to bet he wasn’t. What would he do next? Bridge could only wonder. Was he still after Syd? Probably.
The problem was that this man had become Jake Hemmington. There was nothing personal in the house, with the exception of his clothes, his cameras, and his photographs of Susan. And the pictures told the green ranger nothing, except that he was an excellent photographer. Those pictures could’ve been taken anywhere, and because Jake developed them, there wasn’t a lab they could trace him back to…
Bridge’s thoughts suddenly froze as he felt an answer come to him.
Pictures that were taken anywhere at any time?
Excellent at photography?
Expensive camera gear?
His own lab to develop them?
‘Okay so this isn’t a hobby for him,’ hethought. Alright, he already knew that. The green ranger stared at the stack of photos of Susan in front of him. ‘This is something that he’s been doing for a long time. Years, even.’
It was a long shot but…
But what if he had the cameras for awhile?
If that was the case, then it meant…
This man might’ve been using the cameras long before he became Jake Hemmington.
Z looked at him curiously when she saw the expression on his face. “What is it Bridge?”
“Z,” Bridge suddenly spoke. “Where are Jake’s cameras?”
The yellow ranger looked surprised. “The cameras? They’re in the evidence room.”
He jumped up from his chair and started toward the evidence room.
“Where are you going?”
“I think I found a way to figure out who this guy is,” Bridge called.
A moment later, Z was struggling to keep up with him.
Two minutes later, Bridge signed out all of Jake’s photography gear.
“What are you doing?” Z asked as she watched him.
“The cameras,” Bridge explained, “the lenses. This stuff is expensive right? The pictures could’ve been taken at anytime, even with these cameras, right?”
“Sure,” Z shrugged, looking confused. “So what?”
“Don’t you see?” The green ranger asked. “What if he’s had these cameras all along?”
Then it dawned on her. “The serial numbers on the cameras.”
Bridge pointed at her. “Exactly, it would’ve had to have been registered somewhere in order for him to buy the cameras.”
“Bridge, you’re a genius!” The yellow ranger cheered.
Minutes later, they had the list of serial numbers they needed. They spilt the information, each taking half and got to work.
Z sat down at her own desk and called her half of the numbers. She called information and received phone numbers for the camera manufacturers, then dialed the first one. After she explained that she needed to verify the name and address of the owner, the person on the other end typed in the serial number.
“It belongs to a Jake Hemmington…”
Z hung up and tried the next one. And the next one. And the next. On her fifth call, however, a different name was offered.
“The camera is registered to a Jordan Drover of Lorraine City, just outside of New Tech City. Do you need the address?”
Z’s hands were shaking as she wrote down the information.
Kat looked over the list. “Are you sure this is him?”
“The name was registered on four different pieces of equipment, and according to their records, it had never been reported as stolen,” Z answered.
“That name showed up on my half the list as well,” Bridge added. “I’m willing to bet this is our guy.”
“Alright,” Kat nodded, sitting down at her desk. She reached for the phone and called Detective Noah Anderson in Lorraine City. Within minutes, he was able to give her the information Kat needed.
“Jordan Drover is wanted for questioning in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Drover, four years ago,” he said.
Knowing that staying in one place would make people suspicious, Jake grabbed his things and moved from one bench to another.
He wondered what the rangers were doing inside, but then again, it didn’t really matter. He had learned long ago to be patient, and after glancing toward the windows, he raised the newspaper in front of him again. He had read every article a few times now, some more than that. He knew when and where movies were playing, he knew that the community center was offering free dance classes for seniors, but the paper shielded his face from curious people around him.
He wasn’t worried about being discovered. He knew they were looking for him, but no one would think to look for him here. Even if anyone did, between the newspaper and his altered appearance, he was certain that no one would recognize him.
It was only a matter of time now.
An hour later, with pages will coming through the fax machine from Lorraine City regarding Susan’s disappearance, Kat sat at her desk, preparing herself for the call she knew she had to make. After she had dialed, a female voice picked up on the other end.
“Is this Lily Holden?”
“Yes, who is this?”
“This is Kat Manx. I’m calling from the SPD Academy in New Tech City.”
“New Tech City?”
“It’s located just outside of Lorraine City,” Kat said. “I was wondering if you had a moment to talk.”
“I don’t know anyone in New Tech City.”
“I’m calling about your sister, Susan.”
There was a long silence at the other end. “Have you found her?” The woman’s voice was weak, as if expecting the worst.
“I’m sorry, but no, we haven’t. But I was wondering if there’s anything you could tell me about Jordan Drover.”
At the sound of his name, Kat heard Lily Holden draw a sharp breath. “Why?”
“Because we’re looking for him.”
“Because of Susan?”
Kat wondered how much to say. “No,” she said finally, “he’s wanted in connection with something else.”
There was another long pause. “He killed someone, didn’t he?” Lily said automatically. “He killed someone in New Tech City.”
Kat hesitated. “Is there anything you can tell me about him?”
“He’s crazy,” Lily said. The woman’s voice shook, but she kept calm, as if she was doing her best to stay in control. “Everyone was afraid of him, including Susan. He’s dangerous, violent… and he’s smart. Susan tried to get away from him once. He used to beat her. She went to the supermarket one night for groceries and we never saw her again. Everyone knew he did it, but they never found her.”
Lily then began to cry. “It’s been so hard…you don’t know what it’s like… to not know… I mean to not be certain… I know she’s gone, but still, there’s like this tiny hope that you cling on to… You try to move on, and then something happens that makes it all real again…”
Kat listened to the sobbing on the other end, sympathy washing over her. “What was he like in the beginning of their relationship?” she asked gently after a moment.
“What does it matter? He did whatever you think he did. He’s evil… he’s horrible… he’s a nutcase…”
“Please,” Kat said, “We need all the information we can get.”
“And you think this’ll help? It won’t. We’ve been looking for him for years. We hired private investigators; we made sure the police stayed on the case…” Lily Holden trailed off. “He’s insane.”
“He’s here,” Kat said, “And we want to make sure he doesn’t get away. Please, can you tell me what he was like?”
Lily left out a soft sigh, as if she was trying to calm down. “It was just like you’d expect -he was charming and handsome and pursued Susan until she fell head over heels for him. He seemed nice at first and we all liked him. They eloped after dating for eight months, and after they were married, things changed. He became possessive, and he didn’t like it when Susan called us. Pretty soon, she rarely left the house, but on the few occasions we did see her, we saw bruises. Of course, we tried to talk some sense into her, but it took a long time before she listened to us.”
“When you say that Susan tried to run away once… what did you mean by that?”
“She finally accepted that she had to. For a couple of days, he acted as if nothing had happened. He tried to get us to tell him where she went, but of course we wouldn’t tell him anything. We knew what was going on by then. Susan went to Peyton Town, a place where she could start over, but he hunted her down. I don’t know how he did it, but he found her and brought her back. She stayed with him a couple of weeks, until my mom and I finally went over there and dragged her back. She moved in with our parents and she even seemed to be doing better for awhile. And then one night, Susan went to the supermarket and we never saw her again.”
After hanging up, Kat sat, thinking about the phone call, and the words Lily had used still ringing in her ears.
He hunted her down.
After sorting through the information, Kat went to see Cruger and the rangers. Wes, Jen, Adrian and Melanie stood by closely, waiting to hear what the cat alien had to say. Cruger took a moment to glance at the pile of papers that Kat had handed to him. When he finished, he met her eyes.
“Are you sure about this?”
“Alright, Kat, Bridge and Z excellent work.”
“What do we do now sir?” Jack piped up.
Kat cleared her throat. “Until we find him, I think it’s best if we send one of the rangers and RIC to stay with Sky and Syd. If what we learned about Jordan is true, then you know what he’s capable of doing and what he’s likely to do next.”
Commander Cruger nodded and fixed Jack with a steady gaze. “Do you think you can handle it Cadet Landors?”
Jack saluted. “Yes sir!”
A few minutes later, Kat and the remaining rangers left the Academy and piled into one of the SPD vehicles.
No one noticed the stolen Toyota when it pulled into the traffic behind them.
She didn’t know what to do.
Normally, Jen Collins was a fast thinker and acted on her gut instinct, but this time things were different. This time she was helpless. This time she wasn’t dealing with pathetic monsters, stupid spells, and she wasn’t fighting Ransik. This time it was a human being, a living, breathing (crazy) human being.
A crazy human being that was after her son.
‘Please stay safe, Sky,’ the former pink ranger prayed as she glanced around the SPD Command Centre. Wes was currently on the phone, probably with Eric, trying to figure out what to do next. Adrian Drew was next to him, listening to Wes’s side of the conversation, preparing to help any way he could.
Her eyes then fell on Melanie Drew. Sydney’s mother wasn’t looking like her usual glamorous self. Jen wasn’t one to pity, but in all honesty, she felt sorry for this woman. She was a mother, and no matter what, a mother would always have a connection with their children.
It looked like Melanie Drew was finally getting over her conceited self at last.
Before Jen could go over to her, Wes appeared next to her. The former red ranger gathered Jen into his arms and gave her a hug. “How are you doing?”
“I’ve been better,” she replied, breathing in her husband’s scent.
“We’ll get him back,” Wes promised. “We’ll get him and Syd back and put this psychotic man behind bars.”
Jen only buried her face into her husband’s shoulder.
“His name is Jordan Drover,” Kat began, “The real Jake Hemmington has been missing for three years.”
Syd stared at Kat. “I don’t understand.”
They were seated at the kitchen table of the beach house. Sky and Syd sat on one side of the table, Kat sat across from them. Jack, Bridge and Z were standing around them.
Sky reached for Syd’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “How is that possible?” Sky asked.
“The real Jake Hemmington wasn’t married, and he had no relatives to speak of. There was no one to notice if his social security number was back in use. And because he was considered missing -not deceased- there was nothing to raise any alarms.”
It was Sky’s turn to stare. “You think Jordan Drover killed him.” It was more of a statement than a question.
Kat paused. “Yes.”
Syd let out a shaky breath and looked out the window, suddenly numb and feeling cold. On the beach, she saw an elderly couple stop in front of the house. The man bent over and picked up a seashell, then put it in a plastic pail before moving on. ‘How can something so horrible be happening, when there is so much love and joy out there in the world?’ Syd thought.
The pink ranger turned her attention back toward Kat. “So who is Jordan Drover?” she asked. “And how do you know that’s his real name?”
“Bridge and Z discovered who he was by looking up the registered serial numbers in the cameras. The cameras were the only link to his past, and once we knew who he was and where he was from, we were able to learn the rest easily,” Kat replied. “Jordan was raised in Lorraine City as an only child. His father was an alcoholic and his mother was a house wife. There was more than one accusation of abuse in their home -the police had investigated half a dozen incidents over the years- until his father passed away. I talked to one of the detectives on that case. The detective is retired now, but he remembered the events well. He said that Mr. Drover had committed suicide, but because they couldn’t prove anything, they let it go. But he suspected the kid had closed the garage door and turned on the engine back on after his father had passed out.”
As she listened, Syd felt her stomach lurch. “And the mother?”
“Died less than a year later of drug overdose. Again, it was ruled as a suicide.”
There was a silence in the kitchen and Kat let the unspoken accusation hang for a moment before continuing on. “He spent the next few years in foster care. His juvenile records are locked so we can’t say what else he may have done. He went to college for a few years, graduated, met Susan and got married.”
“What happened to Susan?” Sky asked.
“Susan has been missing for a few years now,” Kat said. “The last time anyone saw her was at the supermarket. A witness remembered seeing Jordan Drover’s car in the parking lot that night, but no one saw what happened to her. Jordan vanished the same night she disappeared.”
“You mean he killed her,” Sky said flatly.
“That’s what Susan’s family believes.”
“Oh god,” Syd moaned. “I can’t believe this. It’s one nightmare after the other.”
“It’s disturbing,” Bridge spoke up finally. “At his house, we found hundreds of pictures of you taped to his walls.”
“There was even one of Sky with darts thrown at it,” Jack added.
“Why me?” Syd asked. “Why did he choose me?”
“Well, we don’t know with any certainty,” Kat said, “but let me show you something.”
Sky breathed in sharply. ‘There’s more? What now?’
Kat pulled out a single photograph and slid it across the table. Sky and Syd looked at it, and then slowly raised their eyes again.
“A real close resemblance isn’t it? This is Susan.”
“She looks a lot like me,” Syd breathed. “I think she could probably even pass as my younger sister or something.”
“When I first saw the picture, I actually thought it was you,” Z said, then pointed at the picture. “Look at this.”
Goosebumps rose on Syd’s skin as she looked at what Z was pointing too. Hanging from the woman’s neck was the locket that Jake… Jordan, whoever… had given Syd.
“Susan Drover,” Syd whispered. “S.D.”
Next to her, Syd heard Sky inhale sharply.
“I know this is hard,” Kat said gently, “but there is another reason why we’re here. Because of all this, we would like to have Jack and RIC stay with you two for a few days.”
“Here at the house?” Syd asked.
“I think that’s a really good idea,” Sky said.
Jack went out to the car and was getting the overnight bag he had packed when he saw Z scanning the homes along the beach.
“Is it always so quiet out here?”
“I guess so,” Jack replied.
The yellow rangers studied the homes again. Only a few houses had cars parked in the driveway. Down the road, she spotted a gold colored Toyota parked in one of the driveways - something a teenager would drive. It was quiet, maybe too quiet, but Z supposed that it was better for Sky and Syd to stay here, rather than in the city.
“So you’ll be staying awake all night?” Z asked.
“Yeah,” Jack replied, dragging the bag up the steps. “I’ll get some sleep early in the morning. You guys will keep me posted on what’s going on right?”
The red ranger nodded. “Alright, be careful Z.”
Z hugged the man she considered her brother. “I will. And you better stay safe!”
“I’ll do my best.”
That night, Syd couldn’t sleep.
Outside, she could hear the sounds of the ocean waves as they lapped along the shore in a steady rhythm. Next to her, Sky was sleeping soundly, his arm wrapped around her waist. Quietly, she detached Sky’s arm from her waist and got out of bed. She walked over toward the window and made sure it was locked tightly before looking out. Looking down below, she could see Jack circling the house, making sure that no one was there. Turning from the window, Syd cast a glance at the weapons lying on the night table next to their bed. Her blaster was within reaching distance, as was Sky’s. There was a small pile of iron metals next to her blaster, ready for use. And if she really needed it, she would be able to morph and access her Deltamax Striker.
The pink ranger was glad that Jack was there. Not only was the red ranger strong, he also provided them with more weapons in case Jake did find them.
From his spot, Jake watched as the red ranger walked around in front of the beach house. He was a little more than annoyed that Jack Landors had decided to stay with them, but he knew that no ranger could stop him. Neither could Sky or that hideous looking robotic dog. He and Sydney were meant for each other, and he would overcome any obstacles to their ultimate happiness. Everything else was an inconvenience, no more challenging than changing his appearance or stealing a car. Or having to start over again.
He wondered where they would end up after leaving New Tech City. He could imagine Sydney enjoying Paris, the fashion capital of the world, or New York City, where they could enjoy new weather productions every season. Or even Australia.
‘It would be wonderful’, he thought. ‘Magical’.
‘Sleep well,’ a malicious smile came to his face, ‘because tomorrow night, it begins.’
Jenee: Hun, you’re awesome. You always manage to make me laugh every time we chat. Go Buffy and Faith:)
Arrowned: Your comment made me laugh out loud! I hope your mother wasn’t to terrible grumpy after you woke her up:)
Funky in Fishnet: Thanks for your compliments! Hope you enjoy this chapter :)
Thank you to everyone else who reviewed. You guys rock!