New Adult and College Novella Series
Part 4 of the Chase Me Billionaire Romance Series
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
Chase Part 4
First edition. June 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Chloe Grey.
All rights Reserved.
Written by Chloe Grey.
~ What is love, if there’s no dream to chase? ~
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Chase didn’t stick around at the police station. He chickened out, and it was so busy, the officer didn’t even notice he had left. He hurried home. Some sleep would help—after he kept looking for Meaghan.
In the end, he didn’t get a wink of sleep overnight. Meaghan never came home. She hadn’t answered her phone and she was nowhere to be found. He had already checked everywhere, and throughout the night, he went back to every possible place she could be, for a second and third time. He even went on campus, but she hadn’t been there either. He was frantic.
The only place left to check was with Meaghan’s friend Debbie. Chase didn’t have her phone number, so he waited outside the restaurant for it to open. He hoped she was working this morning. While he was waiting, he phoned his mother. There wasn’t any more time to wait and speak with her in person.
She picked up right away. “Good morning, son.”
“Hi Mom. I’m sorry for calling so early. I need your help.”
“What’s the matter, Chase?”
“Meaghan is missing. And I think someone at the auto shop had something to do with it.”
“Missing? Are you sure?” She asked. He could hear the concern in her voice.
“I’m positive, mom. She’s gone. I’ve checked everywhere. And she’s not answering her phone.”
“Where was the last place you saw her?”
“At the apartment yesterday. But I’ve checked everywhere, and I’ve gone on campus. I went back to where she worked at the restaurant. I even walked through the parks nearby.”
“Is her car missing?”
“No. It’s downstairs. Mom, I need to know something. Do you know everything about the auto shop?”
“It’s one of Yuri’s businesses,” she said. “And what do you mean by everything? What is it about the auto shop, Chase?”
“It was raided by police two nights ago, mom. It’s a chop shop at night.”
His mother fell silent for a moment. “Are you sure?” She finally asked.
“I’m positive. I didn’t know about this for sure until I had to work a shift late one night. Well, they’re not just stealing cars to resell them or their parts. There also using the luxury cars they steal to transport drugs, and maybe weapons to.”
“I…I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know.”
“I figured something like this. David was managing the shop that night, and he mentioned someone above him runs the chop shop operation. I still don’t know who that is.”
“I didn’t know anything about this, Chase. You have to believe me. I’m so sorry you were put in the middle of it. This sounds so dangerous.”
“What about Yuri? Does he know? Is the chop shop his business, Mom?”
“I don’t believe so,” she answered. “He funds a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
“But doesn’t he own that office on the second floor?”
“He’s there maybe once or twice a week.”
“Mom, do you have a way to reach him? I think you need to ask.”
“Yes. I’ll phone him right after our call.”
“I need you to call him now, Mom. Because the truth is, David has threatened to do something to Meaghan if I tell the police the truth. And now she’s missing. If she doesn’t turn up this morning, I’m going to the police. I’ll have no choice. She had nothing to do with this.”
“Oh my God. Okay, son. I’ll call him now, and phone you right back.”
Chase hung up and waited. How could she not know whether her husband was involved with the chop shop? He shook his head. He couldn’t blame her. It wasn’t much different from how he had kept his suspicions about working at the chop shop from Meaghan.
His mother called back within a few minutes.
“Mom? What did he say?”
“Yuri has nothing to do with it. He was just as shocked as I was.”
“Did he say who runs the shop for him?”
“Yes. You need to phone John Brewer. He owns a few restaurants close to where you live.”
She gave Chase the man’s number. “You need to be careful, Chase. If he doesn’t know anything, or is not being forthcoming, you definitely need to go to the police. Tell them everything you know. I’ll arrange my flight back to San Diego right away. You shouldn’t be going through this alone.”
“Thank you, Mom. I feel I’m in over my head. I’m going to phone John Brewer now. I’ll keep you posted on what the police says.”
“Take good care of yourself, Chase,” she said.
Chase hung up and phoned John Brewer. There was no answer. It would still be an hour before the restaurant opened, so he went back home to check for Meaghan again. He had to do something right away, and it seemed the universe was in agreement with his intentions.
Meaghan had a drink of water and tried to make sense of what had happened. It was all she could do not to reach a state of total panic. She couldn’t stop thinking about what Chase might be doing. Was he talking to the police? Had he gone back to the shop as if nothing happened? Was he looking for her right now? All she wanted was to get out of this place as a start.
Jeff turned out to be a big surprise. He had come on to her a few times, and made it clear he was interested in dating her, but kidnapping? And doing it for the sake of protecting the chop shop where Chase worked? There was no way she could have anticipated this.
What had her feeling the most betrayal was the fact that Chase’s mother may have had something to do with it. After all, her husband owned the place. And Chase had mentioned she may have visited the shop to watch him, before he had finally reached out and met her in person. What on earth could Marsha be involved in, to end up married to a possible criminal?
As she thought of how Chase misled her for a while, she realized Marsha could very well be in the same boat. Or maybe both she and her husband were out of the loop, although that was doubtful. How could someone own a place and not know what’s going on under their roof? There were so many questions, and Meaghan was certain she was not getting any answers while she was locked up down here.
No matter what, the second she could get out from Jeff’s makeshift basement prison, she would go to the police herself. She didn’t know anything, but she was sure she could convince Chase to tell them everything. The police could keep them safe, or at least they could try. Anything would be better than this. And hopefully Chase would go along with it. If she had to, she would tell them what happened here, and make sure they knew it was someone from the chop shop who locked her up to keep Chase quiet.
She shook her head in disbelief. This could not be happening. The very thought of seeking protection from the police was terrifying. No, the thought of sitting in the dark in a cold, damp basement—that was beyond terrifying. What would happen if someone other than Jeff came back? What were they going to do to her? And above all, what was their plan after Chase cooperated? She couldn’t be sure they’d let her go.
Shuddering at the thought, Meaghan planned. Eventually, Jeff would be back. She would be ready. She would fight her way out if she had to. And after reporting him, she would have to convince Chase to leave San Diego. If he wasn’t willing, she would leave on her own. She couldn’t be a part of whatever had happened at the shop.
She kept telling herself she was going to be okay, and after getting out of here, she could decide what to do with the rest of her life.
Meaghan was not at home when Chase checked again. And there was no sign she had been there while he was gone. He tried her number again. It still went to voice mail. This was the last straw. John Brewer didn’t answer the phone when Chase tried again, either.
When someone knocked on the door, Chase had a gut feeling he knew who it was. How could he not? For a split second, he hoped it may have been Meaghan, but the overriding feeling was it had to be the police. He answered the door, and his instinct was confirmed. The two men stood outside, dressed in plain clothes. Both men gave Chase a once over before shaking their heads in unison.
One held up a San Diego Police Department badge. He was a few inches taller than Chase, and slender with blond, curly hair. The other man appeared to be in charge. He was not as tall, but with a muscular build like Chase. He wore glasses and had short, straight brown hair.
“Chase West?” said the lead man.
“Yes. I’m Chase.”
He held up his badge. This had to be serious. He was from the FBI. “I’m Special Agent William Franks of the FBI, and this is Detective Mark Beam of the San Diego Police. Would you come with us, please?”
“Can you tell me if this is about the raid at Fast Auto Shop?”
“Am I under arrest?”
“No. We’d like to ask you some questions,” Agent Franks said.
“Okay. While I’m there, I’d like to report a missing person. I think it’s related to the raid.”
“Who’s missing?” Detective Beam asked.
“My girlfriend. Meaghan Connors. I believe she’s in danger. I’ve already received threats that if I talk to you, she won’t be safe. And now she’s gone.”
The two men looked at each other. “How long has she been gone?” Detective Beam asked.
“Have you filed a report?”
“I was going to do that this morning if her friend at work didn’t know where she was.”
Agent Franks spoke up. “Let’s get over to the precinct. You can file a missing persons report first, and then we’ll go over our questions.”
“Thanks.” Chase locked up and followed the two offices down to their SDPD patrol car. “How long is this going to take?”
One of the officers opened the back door and Chase got in. “It all depends on how much you know, and how much you tell us.”
“I just want to keep looking for her after you get the information you need.”
“Fair enough,” Agent Franks answered.
Breathing deeply, Chase tried to work out how soon they would help him find Meaghan. He would tell them anything they wanted to know, but he wanted their focus to be on her disappearance. With all this uncertainty floating through his mind, the drive to the police station seemed like it was never-ending. He needed to find out if John Brewer knew anything. He had planned to phone David as well. This could not go on the back burner. He had to find Meaghan.
After what felt like hours, they arrived at the station. As he got out of the car, he saw David and Oliver leaving. They must have been picked up earlier for questioning. They both looked at Chase and nodded. He was certain neither of them would have told the police anything.
“Don’t let either of them, or anyone else, intimidate you into staying silent,” Special Agent Franks said as they walked to the front doors. “If they’ve taken Meaghan, you need our help.”
Chase nodded and followed the officers inside. “I won’t. I had already intended to come to you after I realized they probably took Meaghan. Can’t you question those men who just left? They may know where she is.”
“They weren’t cooperative,” Franks told him. “And we pushed hard. They won’t help.” He turned to Detective Beam. “At least not voluntarily. But we have an answer to that.”
There was no doubt in Chase’s mind someone associated with the chop shop would hurt Meaghan if he cooperated with the police. Of course, the SDPD and FBI would say they could protect him. They would do their best to keep him and Meaghan safe, but that didn’t mean they would be home free. There were risks no matter what he did.
The SDPD officer turned to him when they made it to the doors of an interview room. “Would you like something to drink?”
“A coffee would be nice. Do I need a lawyer?”
“For now this is just an informal chat. You’re listed as an employee at Fast Auto. We need someone like you to talk about what goes on there at night. But first, let’s get the missing persons report out of the way.”
“Thank you,” Chase answered, relieved. “I appreciate that.”
The SDPD detective brought a desk sergeant to take the report, and Chase provided a picture of Meaghan he had in his wallet.