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Unfinished Business

Guest JaguarEmpress

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Type of Story: Ongoing Fiction

Rating: T

Main Characters: Sally, Drew, Amanda, Peter but a full cast.

Genre: Drama

Warnings: SC, VD

Summary: Story about Peter's return and life afterwards. His relationships with Sally and Amanda.

Sally sat at her table correcting papers while Colleen entertained Pippa. The day was hot and muggy and Pippa was being fussy. Leah brought over some scones and tea. " Looks like we are going to have a heat wave. "

Colleen sighed. " My bowling is never as good in hot weather. It drains my energy right out of me. " She was more determined then ever to take the first place bowling award away Madge. Leah patted her arm.

A figure watched Sally from another table, he was slightly build with brownish hair. His brown eyes followed her every move. Leah passed his table. " Do you need anything else? " He shook his head.

Sally groaned as she stretched. " Colleen are sure you are okay with watching Pippa for me tonight? She has been so grouchy lately. "

" Don't you worry, me and Ms Pippa are going to have lots of fun together. " Colleen blew her a kiss. " Go to your teacher's meeting and just relax. You have been working yourself ragged. "

Sally smiled. " It has been very busy. Taking on extra classes now that we have less teachers. But soon the holidays will start and I will be able to catch up. " Pippa blew bubbles at them.

Sally walked to the school for her meeting, the sun had set and it the moon was half full. She knew the way and felt safe. The man waited a few minutes before following her out. He walked softly behind her matching her step for step. Sally came to the side of the building there was little lighting since the door light had burnt out, and hadn't been replaced yet. As she reached for the door handle a hand came over her mouth. Sally struggled but the man was too strong and soon she felt dizzy and unable to remain conscious.

The man quietly dragged her to a nearby van parked in the shadows. Another figure opened the door and helped carry Sally's still body inside. Once they settled her in the van the man got in and started to drive away. The second person threw something out the window and it landed near the walkway. The driver crackled with glee. One down, one more to go.

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Brad paced back and forth waiting for Sally. He had greeted the teachers and had already started his plea to the school board to find money to rehire the fired teachers. Sally was supposed to be there backing him up. Dan checked his watch. " Sal is so punctual, maybe she has car trouble. "

Brad shook his head. " She said she was going to walk. " He was getting nervous, as vice principle she needed to be more responsible. " She is already 20 minutes late. The board is asking about her. "

Dan made a call to the diner. After speaking for a few minutes he told Brad. " Leah said she left 40 minutes ago to get here early to prepare. " Dan was worried.

" 40 minutes ago. She should have been here by now. " Brad was nervous only for a different reason now. " Where could she be? I don't like this Dan. "

Dan didn't either. " I'll call the station. "

In a small town on the other side of the country. A man sat watching the waves crashing at his feet. His surf board was lying on the ground near him. Another man was talking to him. " It is time you know. "

" Time for what? You keep saying that. " The seated man ran a frustrated hand thru his wet hair. " Always time with you. "

The second man laughed. " Well I don't have much time. Though you would think I would. " He turned to watch the ocean. " It is time to finish business. "

James frowned. He didn't have any unfinished business. He only had his surfing. The other man sighed. " I know it has been great here for you. No responsiblities, no problems, no past. But now it is time to wake up from your dream. "

" Dream? I am not dreaming. Having some serious hallucinations maybe but not dreaming. " James snorted.

The other man had been haunting him for a couple of days now. Telling him it was time and that James was needed somewhere else. " The only people who need me are my surfing students. "

The second man smiled, the wind lightly tossing his brown hair around. " They need you. And you need them. You need to go home. "

James tossed some sand at him, he watched it go thru the man and land a few feet away. " I am home and you are the result of some illness I didn't know I had. "

The ghost chuckled. " You wish. "

" Just leave me alone. " James grabbed his board and headed for the water. " I am not going anywhere. "

The ghost followed him. " Then neither am I. "

" You will once I get the proper medication. " James muttered.

The man shook his head. " I am going to haunt you, until you do what I tell you. So you better get used to me hanging around. " He stood behind James on the surf board. " See I can go where ever you go. "

Frustrated James turned and swung at the man only to overbalance himself and fall into the water. He swore at the ghost. " Hmmm. Such language. And you eat with that mouth? "

" What do you want? " James yelled. People on the beach stared. " Great now they think I am insane too. "

" You need to go home. " The ghost whispered before he vanished.

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Everyone was talking and making suggestions. Alf, Morag and Tony were looking at a map of Summer Bay. Ric and Lucas were packing food into packs. Beth and Mattie were making flyers.

Colleen and Cassie sang a cute kiddie song to Pippa, while Leah and Irene kept making sandwiches and drinks for the search crew.

Dan and Jack were discussing leads. Jack shook his head. " The note made no sense. "

Lara agreed. " Catch me if you can before your precious teacher pays for her crimes. "

" What crimes? Sal has no enemies. " Dan was getting stressed. They had been looking for Sally for 2 days now.

Lara suggested. " A student who didn't like their grades? A fired teacher who's class she now covers? "

" I don't know. No one stands out. " He ran a hand thru his hair kicking a chair. No one even noticed.

Outside Martha and Macca were putting up flyers and handing them to people, asking if they had seen Sally.

" I can't believe this. I feel so helpless. " Martha was fighting back tears. " Poor Pippa. " Macca hugged her.

" We'll find her. "

Martha was scared. " And what if the person who took her hurts her. " She hugged herself. " What if.. " She couldn't finish. Macca held her. " We will find her. Jack will find her. "

Sally woke up in her small cell. She had no cot just the floor to sleep on. She was cold and hungry. Her capturers never spoke only gestured. She sat up and hugged her knees to her chest. Her poor Pippa, was she wondering if momma left her too. One of the men came to her door and threw a picture at her. It was of Drew. She didn't understand what it meant.

Drew was running to clear his head. It was all messed up. Amanda and Bell, Sally missing, Dan and Leah freaking out. The boys were scared all the time. He ran around a corner into someone. " Oh man, I am so sorry. " He said sincerely. He made to go around when something stung him in the arm. He saw a needle in the man's hand. " What the... " He started to fall. He was so tired of people knocking him out. The man dragged him to the van. And like before the second man helped him. They threw a new note on to the sidewalk and drove away.

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Drew woke up in a stinky cold cell. He was stretched out on the floor. He felt sick and saw a pail nearby and threw up. He layed back down and fell asleep.

Sally heard him throw up and wondered why they were chosen.

James read the paper again for the 5th time. A school teacher had gone missing on her way to a school meeting . There was a note but no real leads. The ghost sat nearby. " I told you they need you. " James threw the paper at him. It flew across the room. " I don't know these people, I can't help. "

The ghost frowned. " You need to find her fast. Time is running out. "

" I can't find her. Let the police handle it, that's why they get paid. " James was getting stressed out. The damn ghost wouldn't leave him alone.

Leah saw Jack walking up to the door. " Do you have news? Did you find find Sal? "She ran to let him in.

Jack sadly shook his head. " Afraid not. We have a new missing person, we think it was the same person. "

" Someone else, oh my lord. Who? "

" Drew. I am so sorry Leah. " Jack spoke softly.

" Drew, he's not missing, he went out for a run. " Leah was confused and scared.

" We have a note they left behind. "

" What does it say? "

" Catch me if you can before the son pays for his father's crimes. " Jack held her as she started to crumble. " Who ever took Drew did it because of Peter. Why they took Sally we don't know. Clearly it is someone that holds them both responsible for some offense. "

Dan came running up the walk. " Lara just phoned me. " He took Leah from Jack. " Who is it? "

Jack could only shake his head. " We can't get a handle on it. If it was just because of Peter maybe, but Sal too. " He didn't know what to say. " I can't figure out the connection. "

Dan frowned. " They have no real connection. "

The capturers opened Drew's cell. One of them sat down on a stool while the other held a gun to keep Drew in line. The seated man spoke with a voice box. " Well Mr. Baker, let's see if you really are your father's son. " The man stood up and kicked Drew in the stomach. He doubled over. Sally yelled from her cell for them to stop. The second man banged on her door. Drew laid gasping for breath. " Pity your father the great Detective Peter Baker is dead. I would have enjoyed watching him suffer over your fate. " Drew stared at him.

" What does he have to do with this? "

" Everything. He is the reason my life is a living nightmare, so now your's will be. "

" Why Sally? " Drew was trying hard to figure out who he was dealing with.

" The school teacher keeps getting in my way. Always interferring in business that she shouldn't. "

Drew stalled for more time as he saw the boot lift again. " She has a baby at home. You can't rob her daughter of her only parent. "

The man laughed coldly. " I can and I will. She should have thought about that before she opened her big mouth. " The kick was hard but Drew was ready and it didn't hurt as much, he told himself.

" That is just the beginning Baker. " The man left and walked into Sally's cell. Drew heard a loud smacking sound and Sally cry out. Then he heard another and another.

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Sally laid on the floor trying not to cry, she felt the blood in her mouth. The man had only hit her mouth over and over. Drew asked her if she was okay but her mouth was to swollen for her to speak. Sally grunted to let him know she was still there. Drew sighed with relief, for some scary moments he really thought he was going to hear alot more than just hitting. He felt helpless, he didn't care what they did to him, he had no one. His dad was dead, a father who was a stranger anyway, a mom who couldn't get rid of him fast enough. Hell he even had half siblings he never met. No cared if he lived or died, but Sally was loved by everyone. He had to get them out of this mess.

Dan sat staring at a picture of Drew and Peter. Leah came over and hugged him. " We will find them. We will. " She had been crying and her voice was rough. Dan gave her the picture.

" Colleen had it done at the computer photo shop. When she asked me if I had a good picture of Peter I thought it was for the plaque. Then she asked for a picture of Drew. I had no idea she was going to have them combine the pictures to look like one. It was suppose to be a birthday gift for Drew. " He choked up. " A picture of them together so he could have one. After I told her Drew didn't have any pictures of them together, she decided to do it. "

Leah smiled. " That's our Colleen. She may say the wrong things at the worst times but she always knows what we need. " She held it up. " It is a great picture. You can't even tell it was made from two separate photos. "

Brad and Rachael talked quietly while Martha and Jack slept. " I swear I thought I was going to have to give Jack a sedative. " Rachael joked. " He is so determined to find them. Martha told me Lara called her to tell her Jack had fallen asleep in at Peter's desk while reading old files. "

Brad chuckled sadly. " He is trying to channel Peter's spirit I quess. " Macca stirred in the chair he was half sleeping in. " I quess all big brothers want to protect their sisters. "

Rachael smiled. " He hasn't left Martha's side since Sal went missing. He even signed her up for self defense classes. Alf was impressed. "

Brad patted her head. " It's a big brother's job to protect his little sister. Or get someone to show her how to defend herself. "Rachael swatted his hand away. He knew how much that annoyed her.

" And it is the sister's job to ask how her brother is doing. So how are you doing? You haven't said. "

" I'm fine. " He pretended he didn't know what she meant.

" Brad I know you blame yourself. Sally walked to the meeting because she planned on riding home with you. If she hadn't she might still be safe with us. " She spoke softly but firmly. " The police think the people were going to take her anyway. This was a carefully planned aduction. Nothing you did or didn't do would have mattered. "

Brad nodded but it didn't stop the pain, he had failed another loved one. First Emily and now one of his closest friends. And Pippa he added, he failed Sally's little girl by failing Sally.

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James sat eating some cold pizza and drinking a beer. The ghost was rambling on and on about time and unfinished business. James wished he had a mute button for chatterbox ghosts.

" Really what is so great about this life? " The ghost asked him.

" Freedom! No responsiblities. " James threw his crust thru the ghost to the trash. " Just me, myself and I. "

" No responsibilities? " The ghost was disbelieving.

" Well just my surf students and rent for my room at this flea bag motel. " James laughed. It felt great to be free. " I can come and go as I please, no one counting on me, or to disappoint. "

" The teacher and the cop's son are counting on you. " The ghost paced the small room. " Their capturers are counting on you not being there to help. Or anyone being able to save them. "

James stood up angry. " Why me? They are total strangers to me. "

" But their capturers aren't. You know them. You can save these people. "

James flung himself on the bed. " I can't save them. I can't even save myself. " He layed on his back staring at the ceiling. " Did you noticed it is two colors, off white and dirty white? "

" Enough of the self pity party! " The ghost actually tried to hit him.

" Hey, watch it Ghostman! " James jumped up. " I don't know anything that could help them. Or did you forget that. "

" It is there in your memory, you just need to go to Summer Bay. Once there things will start to fall into place. You need to trust yourself. "

James snorted. He was the last person he could trust, or that anyone could trust.

Sally sat up and slipped some of the soup the man gave her. It was cold but good. The man spoke thru the voice box. " I need you alive for alittle while longer. " The man then cut a piece of her hair off. He put it in a sealed baggie, she noticed he had one for Drew too. The man crackled as he walked away.

A few hours later Sophie signed for a small brown package at the station. She gace it to the shift supervisor to open. He swore out loud. " Call Jack and Lara back. "

Jack could only stare at the baggies with hair in them and the note with them. The lab confirmed they belonged to Sal and Drew.

" We have to find them. They are being tortured. "

Lara shook her head. " We don't know that. They could just be trying to scare us. "

McGrath agreed. " Panicked cops don't think straight. "

A couple of officers walked in. " We did a sweep of Baker's old apartment and found nothing. "

Jack banged his fist on the front desk. " Who is doing this? " The note fell on the floor. One of the officers picked it up and read it. " Catch me before they lose more than just their hair. " It had blood on it.

McGrath told them. " Lab confirmed it matches both victims. We haven't said anything yet to the families. I want to keep this part of the investigating quiet. I don't want the little Fletcher girl hearing that her momma is being hurt. That is an order. "

" Yes sir. "

Dan was racking his brain, nothing made sense. Who did both Peter and Sally know that hated them so much? Wanted to hurt her and Peter's son? Amanda had the boys and Pippa over for a big slumber party. Colleen and Madge were there helping her. Poor Pippa she thought her momma was away on a business trip. Pippa sr was on her back to the Bay, maybe they would have Sal home by then. He threw a pillow across the room. Damn Peter for dying.

Leah and Irene stood outside watching him thru the window. Irene shook her head. " I can't wrap my brain around Drew's mother not wanting to be here. Her son has been kidnapped for crike's sake. "

" She said Drew was an adult and could take care of himself. " Leah was still boiling mad. " She was so cold. He was nothing to her. " She had let the woman have it over the phone.

" Well it makes sense why Drew has that chip on his shoulder, his own mum doesn't care about him. "

" I know. " Leah sighed. " I wish Peter had forced a relationship with Drew. It is probably what he wanted and by staying away like Drew asked Peter only made it worse. "

Irene hugged her. " Ya but you and Dan forced one and that counts now. "

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