Timing – 18 February 2004

“Could you just…please check for me? One last time?”

Her best friend’s heartbroken voice echoing in her ears, Elizabeth Webber-Lansing stepped out of her car and pulled her jacket more tightly around her protruding belly.

Emily was back at Wyndemere but unable to let go of the possibility that Nikolas had been found or was still trying to get out. She’d begged Elizabeth to check just one more time and Elizabeth—the memory of the night Lucky died in a fire all too vivid in her mind—couldn’t bear to refuse her.

The ruins of the once luxurious hotel were still standing up to about the tenth floor. She knew that plans were already being made to tear it down but it ripped at her to know Nikolas’s body might never be recovered.

As she approached the entrance to the building, she heard raised voices. She rounded the corner and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of Detective Andrew Capelli holding a gun on Jason.

“It’s called a preemptive measure, Morgan,” Capelli hissed. “Take you out before you can take me out.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jason remarked stiffly. “You handcuffed me to a pipe to die. Seems to me you already had your shot.”

“And you won’t get a chance to retaliate,” Capelli declared. He cocked back the hammer.

Elizabeth took a few steps back and took a deep breath. “Hello?” she called. “Is anyone here?”

Capelli whirled around and Jason used the opportunity to tackle him the ground. But Capelli kept control of the gun and Jason ended up on the ground.

“What’s going on here?” Elizabeth demanded.

“Elizabeth, get out of here!” Jason ordered.

“Detective Capelli?” Elizabeth asked, ignoring Jason’s words. She crossed her arms tightly. “Are you in the middle of an arrest?”

“Yes, Mrs. Lansing, so please vacate the premises,” Capelli said, keeping his foot on Jason’s chest.

“Why are you arresting him?”

“This is official police business,” Capelli replied coldly. “Please leave.”

Continuing to ignore the request to leave, Elizabeth strode towards them and stood on the other side of Jason. “So you routinely shoot suspects who are unarmed?” she demanded.

“Mrs. Landing, why do you give a damn about a criminal who’s tried to kill your own husband numerous times?” Capelli said scathingly.

“And who are you to decide who lives and dies?” Elizabeth challenged. “I’m not leaving until you do. So step back.”

“I don’t think so.” He raised the gun to her face. “You either leave or I make you leave.”

Her skin drained of color but she didn’t blink. “If you shoot me, you’re going to find it a little more difficult to get away with that than you will if you shoot Jason. Because my husband will find out and you will pay for it.”

“What makes you think they’ll find your bodies? Maybe I’ll write your spouses a nice note telling them how you ran away together.”

With Capelli’s attention and gun firmly on Elizabeth, Jason used the opportunity to knock him off balance, the gun flying in the air.

Jason tackled him and held him to the ground. He contemplated pulling his gun from his waist but with Elizabeth standing right behind him, he wouldn’t put her in the position to having to see that. “Call the police, Elizabeth,” he directed.

“They’re already on their way,” Elizabeth said in a shaky voice. “I called Ric on my cell and he’s been listening in the whole time.” She removed the phone from her pocket. “Ric?”

“We’re en route, Elizabeth,” Ric told her. “Can Jason hold him down for another five minutes?”

“They’ll be here in five minutes, can you hold him until then?” Elizabeth asked.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah,” Elizabeth repeated. “I’ll see you then.” She closed the phone and put it back in her pocket.

“Why didn’t you leave when I told you to?” Jason demanded, his arm pressed firmly into Capelli’s windpipe.

Elizabeth snorted. “Yeah, walk away when someone’s got a gun on you. Dream on.”

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