Jessie was able to go home a few minutes later. The plan was to go back to the penthouse with the Mathews family and. . . make a plan. It wasn't a very good plan, as Topanga had pointed out, but it was the only thing they could come up with.
They walked into the lobby, where before she could even blink, Tony was hugging her.
"Jessie I'm so sorry I heard about Zuri and I know what you're going through and-"
"Whoa, calm down, Tony," Jessie said, pulling away from her ex boyfriend.
"I'm sorry, Jessie, but-"
Jessie was fighting back the tears. "It's fine, Tony. We're going to get her back."
He seemed to have just realized that Cory, Topanga, Riley, and Maya were watching. "Who are these people?"
"These are the Matthews. They're helping us find Zuri and their son, Auggie. Cory, Topanga, this is Tony."
"Oh. Well, nice to meet ya!" Tony said, trying to sound cheery.
"Okay, enough with the introductions," Emma interrupted. Cory nodded.
"She's right. We need to start planning to get the kids back."
The large group crammed into the elevator. There was a loud sound.
"LUKE!" The Ross' yelled at the same time Luke yelled 'Bertram!"
"Don't try to blame that on me!" Bertram protested. Luke grinned.
The doors opened, and they all stumbled into the penthouse, plugging their noses.
"Ew," Maya grumbled. "That was disgusting!"
Emma looked mad. "Luke, couldn't you have waited until we were out of the elevator?"
"Yeah," Maya agreed. "I almost died in there!"
The freckle-face boy was grinning. Emma rolled her eyes.
"So what's the plan?" Jessie asked. Riley's phone beeped. She took it out, to see a text from Lucas.
"It's a text from Lucas!" she said.
Riley, where r u? R u ok? I'm so sorry about Auggie.
She began to type out a reply. The entire Ross family watched her.
"He wants to know if I'm okay," she informed them.
I guess I'm okay. But not really.
"Who's Lucas?" Emma asked. Maya nudged Riley.
"This boy from Texas who Riley really likes," she told Emma. Riley's face turned red.
"Ooh, Riley has a crush," Emma teased.
"Alright, girls, enough talk about him," Cory interrupted her before she could go on. "We have to concentrate on making a plan, not girl talk."
"Cory's right," Jessie agreed, backing him up. "We have to find Zuri and Auggie before it's too late.
Riley raised her hand.
"Riley, sweetie, you don't have to raise your hand. We're not in school," Cory told his daughter.
"What if it's already too late?" she asked softly.
"Don't think like that!" Maya cried. Riley buried her face into her hands.
"How can I not?" she asked. She felt someone put their arm around her. She looked up to see Jessie.
"We-we have to stay optimistic," Jessie told her, fighting back tears. "Yes, there's a chance it's too late, but there's also a chance that it's not too late.
"Jessie's right," Ravi piped up. "We have to think about the good things, not the bad. Right, Mrs. Kipling?"
The giant Asian Water Monitor had slithered into the room. She let out a hiss, scaring Riley out of her shoes.
"Eek!" she screamed. "A monster!"
Ravi glared at her. "This is not a monster, that is Mrs. Kipling!"
"What's her first name?" Maya asked.
"She does not have one!" the little Indian boy cried, sounding offended. Maya rolled her eyes.
They began to discuss a plan. But they just couldn't think of one.
Riley's phone rang.
"Who is it?" Cory asked, seeing a confused look on Riley's face.
"I-I-I don't know!" Riley stammered. Cory snatched the phone out of her hand, putting it on speaker before answering the call. A deep, masculine voice came in.
"Riley Matthews?" the voice asked.
"Who are you?" Cory roared.
"Ah, Cory, even better!"
"Who are you? How do you know my name?" Cory yelled.
"Calm down, sir. Yelling is no way to get your son back," the man on the phone barked.
"He has Auggie and Zuri!" Jessie cried.
"I can hear you, Jessie," the man growled.
"Mommy, Daddy!" a voice cried.
"Auggie!" Cory yelled.
"Help me!" Auggie whimpered before letting out a pained scream.
"Don't worry, Bubba! We're going to find you!
" Help!" an unfamiliar, female voice cried. Jessie and the Ross kids all leaned forward.
"Zuri!" they all exclaimed.
The man gave a vicious laugh. "You want your precious children back? Hah, how sweet."
"Give them back!" Riley shrieked, tears streaming down her face. The man cackled.
"Will do, little lady. But under one condition," he paused.
"How much?" Jessie cried. "We'll pay anything!"
"Anything, you say? Okay then. Bring $15,000 dollars to the Empire State Building by tomorrow evening or the kids die."
He hung up. Jessie looked at both of the families.
"Fifteen thousand dollars! How are we going to get that much money?" she cried.
"I don't know," Topanga whispered. "My son is going to die. . ."
"No!" Riley cried. Surprised, all heads turned to face her.
"Riley?" Maya asked, surprised at Riley's sudden outburst. This wasn't very Riley-like.
"No!" Riley repeated. "You're losing hope! I won't stand for it! I won't!"
"Riley," Jessie soothed.
"You need to calm down, sweetie," Cory said, rubbing his daughter's back.
"Calm down? Calm down? My little brother has been kidnapped and you eexpect me to calm down?"
"Riles, please, listen to me," Maya whispered. Her blue eyes were brimming with tears, threatening to spill over.
"What?" Riley said icily.
"I know what you're going through," Maya told her. "But don't take it out on us!"
"How could you possibly know what I'm going through?" Riley cried. "You don't have a brother!"
Riley's words stung. They rang in Maya's head. She took a deep breath, and did a very un-Maya-like thing to do.
She let the tears flow.
"Riley," she said calmly. "I-I've always said that you are li-like a sister to me. Doesn't that mean that Auggie is like my brother?"
"Maya," Riley whispered, hugging her. "I-I'm so sorry. . ."