Chapter 10


Tyler had never been in this situation before with a girl. They were alone. They were (knowingly) holding hands. Was this it? Was this the moment?

He leaned into Emma's face, closed his eyes, and his lips gently touched hers. The sensation was intoxicating. Every part of his body tingled with happiness. This is what a good kiss felt like.

Heart slowing, happiness glowing, he gently placed a hand on Emma's cheek. He could tell she was enjoying this as much as he was. Way to go Tyler! He thought.

But of course, in his moment of love and bliss, someone had to ruin it.

"Check this alley," someone said. Tyler and Emma pulled away and caught their breath. Beams from flashlights slid across the alley floor, crawling closer to them.

"Emma, run!" he whispered.


"Emma, I care too much about you to let you get in trouble. Now go!" With a heavy heart, Tyler pushed Emma into the smaller back alley with Mrs. Kipling, where she fell into a mud puddle.

"HEY!" a gruff man yelled. The beam of light was on Tyler now. "Put your hands up!" Tyler did as told. "Are you alone?"

Tyler looked to the right into the narrow back alley. There was no one there. Not even Mrs. Kipling. Will I ever see her again? He thought. Is she mad at me for pushing her? I just want to protect her.

"Answer the question!" the police officer yelled.

"…yes." Tyler said.


"Nonono. There must be a mistake!" Jessie protectively put her arms around Zuri, Ravi and Luke.

As Jessie attempted to explain the situation (without much luck, anyways), Zuri slipped away to the bus driver's seat. A man was trying to persuade the driver to pull her over to have Jessie and Ravi arrested.

"Hey!" she said. "Mr. Driver! I'll give you $100 cold hard cash, right now if you only let us off the bus, and close the door." She then whispered. She slipped a $100 bill out of her glove, and gave it to him.

The bus swerved violently to the right. Zuri tumbled into a seat. Others fell either into their seats or into the aisle. She quickly recovered and pointed to the open door.

"Jessie!" she yelled, and bolted down the steps onto the sidewalk.

Jessie grabbed Ravi and Luke's hands and ran after Zuri, jumping over the people on the floor.

"Avery!" If you want your dog, come with us!" Luke yelled.

"No! Bad idea!" Jessie said as they descended down the steps. "Last thing we need is for a girl on Amber Alert found with us again!"

When they came off the bus, Zuri was pointing to a nearby hospital.

"In here!" she yelled, and took off. Ravi tore after her.

Jessie was about to run, but she noticed that Luke was still looking at the bus. Avery jumped out, the bus doors closed, and it began to drive off.

But a few seconds after it began moving, the back emergency door opened, and the same man jumped out whom had failed in his attempt to stop the bus and get Jessie arrested.

He tumbled onto the road, causing many cars to beep several times and screech to a halt.

"Oh-no." Jessie breathed. She grabbed Luke's arm, and sped into the hospital entrance.

She didn't quite know who she was running from. She was already in enough trouble, and didn't need a missing girl connected to her tracks, so she was trying to get away from Avery…And that man sure was determined to be Mr. Hero and save Avery while arresting Jessie. She needed to avoid him, too.

They bolted past the Emergency Check-in desk and into a hallway on the right. Where's Zuri and Ravi? Jessie thought. Great. Don't tell me they're missing now.

Suddenly, she and Luke were pulled into a room. Zuri closed back the curtain.

"There you guys are." Zuri chirped, and then skipped over to sit on the hospital bed. "Old people like you are slow."

Ravi rolled his eyes. "I do have to admit, life on the run is exhilarating! Besides, I've always wished to be WANTED for kidnapping! This is so fun!"

Jessie peeked through the curtain. "Yeah? I'd like to hear you say that again when we're both in prison in 2 years."

"Fine. I take it back." Ravi said, and plopped down in a chair. "As long as no one else comes in and discovers that we're here, we should be able to rest for a few minutes."

Jessie jumped as the curtains slid open. A nurse with a clipboard and a brunette bob was standing before her. She had a look of confusion and also appeared as startled as the children and Jessie were. At lease she didn't appear to recognize them.

"Um…" she turned to Jessie. "Ma'am? Did you sign in at the front desk?"

"Uh…yes!" Jessie grasped the opportunity to use her seemingly superior acting skills. She walked behind the hospital bed and put both her hands on Zuri's shoulders. "My name is…B-Bessie, and my kids and I have been here for 2 hours! This service! It's outrageous!"

"Alright, ma'am," the nurse said with a look of annoyance. "I'll go check the list for your record." She left and closed the curtain.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand scene!" Jessie sang, and bowed. "That should buy us some time. Let's get out of here before that man on the bus finds us."

The curtain opened again and Avery stepped in. Jessie ran a hand through her hair.

"Look." Avery said. "I know you don't want me here because you could get in even more trouble, but…I really need to get Stan. And my sister. You're the only ones that can help me. Please? We've gotten this far, and there's no point in stopping now!"

Luke nodded in agreement and stood next to Avery, putting an arm around her. "Yeah, Jessie. I agree."

"Me too." Ravi said, joining Luke and Avery at the front of the room He looked at Avery. "I know what it's like to want to find your pet. In fact, we still don't know the whereabouts of my pet. I want to do whatever I can to help another person closely bonded to an animal."

Zuri slid off the bed and stood next to Ravi. "I agree, Bessie. You're already gonna get arrested, so what is it to you if we spend a few more hours with this girl?"

"Thanks." Jessie said sarcastically. Although, Zuri had a valid point. Supposedly kid-napping the girl and then running away would look worse than supposedly kid-napping her, helping her reunite with her sister and pet, then shoo-ing her off Jessie's tracks. At this point, there was nothing to lose.

Jessie sighed. "Fine." She shifted the curtains and peeked out the window into the hallway. The same man that jumped out of the bus was frantically talking to the lady at the front desk.

His brown-haired comb over was drooping over his face, and his forehead and nose were shiny and beaded with sweat. His white dressy shirt was halfway unbuttoned and had sweat stains, and as he talked on, he tugged at his loose tie.

Jessie squinted. Did his shirt have tire tracks on it? She shook her head and waved away the question.

"Uh-oh." She groaned, not turning away from the window. "That man who's out to get me and Ravi is here…and looks like he's tattle-taling."

Ravi's heart sped up. "What are we gonna do?" he asked.

At the front desk, the nurse behind the computer kept shaking her head at the man. Looks like she was arguing with him. Then, she got up and slowly pushed him backwards, and eventually into a chair. While her mouth was moving a lot. She gestured all the waiting patients.

Ha! She's making him wait after all the injured patients! Jessie thought. She turned to the kids.

"Alright, we only have a few minutes to find a closet and get disguises to get the heck outta here!" she announced. "Keep your heads down!"

And with that, Jessie took a deep breath and speed walked out of the room. She stared at her feet, hoping for a closet door to come soon.

Sure enough, after 20 feet of walking, she spotted a closet to the right. She swung the door open and ushered the kids in. After closing it, Zuri flipped the light switch on.

Several tall racks of blankets, mouth masks, and other doctors' tools stretched to the ceiling. In the very back sat 2 wheel chairs.

As if on instinct, Zuri, Ravi and Luke began touching stuff. For once, Jessie didn't smack their hands. Instead, she took an outfit of plain blue scrubs, and began putting them on over her clothes.

"What are you guys doing?!" Avery cried. "We can't just…just steal all these things!"

Zuri shoved a patient's gown into Avery's arms. "If you ever wanna see that mutt again, I suggest you put this on."

Avery didn't hesitate.

After she had the gown on, Jessie pushed her into a wheelchair and put a mouth mask on her.

Zuri wandered towards the back of the closet and picked up a heated blanket. She hugged it close, and then something caught her eye. There was a box of stuffed bears wearing cheerleader uniforms for the New York Giants. She took one.

"Chubby the Bear will love you!" she said, then stuck the little cheerleader under her arm also.

"Hurry up, Zuri! We have to go!" Luke called.

Zuri ran over to Jessie, who pinned a patient's gown on her. When she was done, Zuri jumped onto the wheelchair with Avery.

"Let's roll, pun intended!" Luke said.

Jessie pushed the wheelchair out of the room and Luke and Ravi followed. She merged into the hallway next to none other than the bus jumper man. He looked even more deranged and sweaty from close-up. Luckily though, he didn't even pay the kids a glance.

Jessie turned around and put her finger over her lips to signal to Ravi and Luke to stay quiet. The air was silent, and she wanted to keep it that way.

Sounds broke out from behind them. Paramedics barreled through the hallway with a stretcher, yelling a people to move.

Most people flattened against the wall, but that man out to get Jessie didn't notice the commotion, and almost got his leg taken off by the stretcher. And for a split second, where it stood in-between the kids and the man, he recognized Jessie's face under her surgical mask.

As the commotion passed, the man pointed at Jessie and the kids.

"Hey!" he yelled.

"Hey yourself!" Jessie taunted, and sprinted for the elevators.

Zuri put her arms up. "Wheeeeeeeeee!" she wailed.

The elevator with the Paramedics in it had the doors already closing, so Jessie frantically looked for an open one.

"Bingo!" she said, and ushered the kids into an elevator with a lady in it. The red lights above the doors blinked the number 5.

The man was doubled over out of breath, and clearly too far away to make it through the closing elevator doors, so he looked at the number above it, and darted towards the stairs.

"Shoot! He's on our trial!" Jessie whispered to herself.

"Then, we have to make sure we're not there when he gets to the 5th level!" Ravi said, and punched the level 2 button.

The capsule began to shift upwards. Jessie woke up her phone and looked at the time. It was 10:34. She shook her head in disbelief. It was scary not knowing where she and the kids were going to be sleeping that night. The county jail, or the comfort of the penthouse.

The elevator doors opened. Jessie pushed the wheelchair cautiously through the hallway. There was no sight of that man.

"Let's go here!" Luke said. He was at a back door. He opened it and let the wheelchair, Jessie and Ravi through.

Down below on the ground floor was a huge garden full of flowers that were every color of the rainbow. The bushes of flowers went about 6 feet high and made simple maze patterns around smooth cobblestone pathways.

Up above, each floor (Jessie counted 10 floors) made a square balcony encasing the garden on the ground. Many people stood on several different floors, enjoying the garden from above, while very few did from ground level.

Suddenly, pandemonium on the 5th floor. Bus jumper man was talking to a large group of muscular men, who began shouting at Jessie and the kids.

"Not again!" Ravi groaned. Now, being on the run was getting annoying.

"Abandon ship!" Jessie said. Zuri and Avery jumped out of the wheelchair and bolted after Jessie, Ravi and Luke.