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Just Before Dawn chapter 4 (standard:mystery, 5159 words)
Author: Sarah SpenserAdded: Mar 07 2005Views/Reads: 2026/1262Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This chapter picks up with the birdnapping of Allison's cockatoo Scarlet!. Read on and see the interesting twist that happens!

4. Nights of Passion 

Allison was inconsolable, when Connor arrived, she was sitting in the
middle of the floor rocking back and forth. He surveyed the damage to 
her apartment, and whatever it was the thief was looking for, he hadn't 
found it. Connor could tell just by the way the drawers had been pulled 
apart. This was the work of an angry man. Or at least he thought so, he 
heard Allison's sobs and snapped back into regular mode. His cop mode 
had a tendency to overtake him in these sorts of situations. He went 
over and sat next to her. He put his arm around her and whispered to 
her soothingly. “Allie, it's going to be fine, sweetness. We'll find 
Scarlet.” “I ... I hope so! I love him, Connor!. He helped me get 
through Mom's death!. Who would do such a thing? “ the question was 
retorical and he decided not to answer. They both knew it was probably 
Renson, but he would have the forensics team confirm that. She 
continued to sob as Connor held her and stroked her hair. “Allie, 
sweetness, it's going to be all right. I promise you.” He said kissing 
her lightly on the lips. Connor could see the fear in her eyes and 
wished he could be more of a comfort to her. “Where do you think I 
should start looking? Sitting here isn't going to do any good. I have 
to get out there and search.” “Well, why don't you start at the nearest 
animal shelter.” “Good idea. I think I have some pictures of Scarlet in 
my wallet. I'll go over to Photomat and have them print some fliers.” 
“Do you want me to come with you?” Connor asked not wanting to pry. She 
nodded and headed for the bedroom. 

Mark knew he shouldn't have grabbed that bird. He was turning out to be
a real pain. He had already gotten bitten three times, and the damn 
animal was squawking incessantly. It was almost like he knew that Mark 
was truly evil. He wouldn't stay in the carrier that Mark had purchased 
only a day earlier. In desperation, he let him fly around his house. 
This disturbed Marmalade, who tried to snatch him at every opportunity. 
In order to put an end to their ongoing feud, Mark locked Marmalade in 
his bedroom and watched Scarlet. He flipped on the TV and watched some 
dull afternoon talk shows. Nothing was ever interesting, except trying 
to murder Allison Shure. Now that held his attention, capturing Scarlet 
was the first step in his plan to bring her down. He tried to picture 
her, what would she be doing? Posting flyers? Sobbing hysterically? He 
wondered, he had never seen her cry, and tried to picture it in his 
mind. But as he saw her face, her luminous smile, he knew that he was 
secretly in love with her. This would make his plan much harder. 

Allison visited every shelter within a five mile radius. She distributed
flyers, giving Scarlet's description to everyone that would listen. She 
had even asked Connor to put an APB out on him. He had laughed at her 
suggestion, but had asked a few of his buddies to keep a look out. She 
spent the rest of the evening canvassing the neighborhood, and giving 
more flyers out. She was heartsick and no matter what Connor did, it 
didn't seem to help. Lynn and Jack had phoned in an attempt to comfort 
her, but they all knew what Scarlet meant to her. He had helped her 
through the most trying period in her life, and she would never be able 
to repay him for that. She always said that Scarlet was her first 
child, and that she loved him with all her heart. 

Connor wanted to stay with Allie that night, he proposed the idea as he
sat at the kitchen table. He was watching her, she was bent over the 
stove, stirring tomato soup. Her hair cascaded down to her shoulders, 
and her figure was more radiant in the moonlight. But he felt her 
sadness, he was still struck by how much they were linked. It was like 
all the missing pieces of the puzzle were complete whenever they were 
together. “I think I should stay with you tonight. Is that okay, 
sweetheart?” “It doesn't matter. Whatever.” She said sullenly as she 
poured the soup into bowls. “Renson might come back, and next time he 
might kill you.” “He took Scarlet! It doesn't get any worse!. He's my 
baby! He loves me unconditionally, and now Mark broke into my apartment 
and took him.” “I know, sweetness. It must be aweful, but I don't want 
you getting hurt.” She turned to face him, and Connor could see tears 
glistening in her eyes. “He's already hurt me, Connor. He took one of 
the things I value most. He took Scarlet, my precious bird!” she 
dissolved into tears as she sat beside him. He spent the rest of the 
night holding her and soothing her tears. 

All she could do was stare at Scarlet's cage, her eyes fixed on the
flecks of blood, and she prayed that he wasn't injured. Connor sat next 
to her on the sofa just holding her hand. He took her in his arms and 

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