During the ride down on the elevator, Joanna reminisced on the relationship with Sagar. She pondered on how and when the incidents with her precious daughter could have taken place without her knowledge. She was a motivational speaker and a life coach. This sometimes interfered with the amount of time that she spent with her kids as she often traveled world wide for speaking engagements and television appearances. She tried to envision any time that her daughter seemed scared or insecure around Sagar. She couldn’t think of any. This infuriated her even more than ever, as she wanted to pinpoint the exact moment she failed as a mother. The elevator dinged indicating that they had reached the ground floor. The security team walked Joanna out into the parking lot. “Mrs. Magneil, I want you to understand that you are not allowed on these premises again until after your daughter has been treated by the hospital.” Joanna looked at the security guard solemnly and shook her head. She reached into her purse and pulled out her Versace shades and covered her swollen eyes before sliding back into the car. Rolling up the window, she looked over to her driver and stated, “take me home, please.” Puzzled, her assistant looked up from the tablet she had been looking at. “Jo, where is Abigail?” Joanna said nothing. The driver rolled up the partition and pulled out of the hospital parking lot. As they drove, Joanna was in a daze. How could I not know what is going on with Sagar, how could I allow my little girl to be in a situation where she felt alone?Her thoughts were interrupted by a text from Ontel, her childhood friend that had been working for her for about 8 months now. “Mr. Colton’s school has been notified that he will be coming home. We will wait for you to arrive before we pick him up.” Knowing what DCF had told her about her children, she started to text him that that wouldn’t be a need to pick him up as he was probably being picked up from school at that moment by them. However, she just texted a defeated OK and dropped her phone back in her purse.
When they finally pulled up to the driveway of her beautiful 2 story ranch home, Joanna looked over to her assistant and grabbed her hand. “Thank you so much for all of your help. I will need you to clear my schedule for the rest of the week and I will be in touch.” Puzzled, Stacey begin to protest. “But what about Colton? Should I pick him up from his afterschool program?” Joanna reached for the door and opened it without saying a word. Slamming the door, she went to the intercom to gain entrance into her home. She pushed the button and the nanny answered. “Yes?” Joanna paused and then stated, “Hey it’s me can you send someone to pick me up?” Her home was immaculate and the driveway was about 2 miles. “Of course, Mrs. Magneil. We have been expecting your arrival. Ontel is on his way. Within minutes, Ontel came to the gate and picked her up in a golf cart. A look of concern crossed her face, as he usually picked her up in the Escalade. His carmel skin glistened as she noticed that he too, looked distressed. Fear flooded her mind as she realized that maybe something was going on at the house too. “Ontel, what’s wrong?” She asked. “Ms. Magneil, did you notice the baby ducks near the lake?” She shook her head and stepped back. “what do you mean?” He looked at her with the most serious look that she had ever seen and stated, “If you haven’t, you need to get in the golf cart and see them.” He looked over his shoulder and she glanced back, realizing that the car with Stacey inside had not pulled off yet. He looked back as Joanna was moving her head to see what he was looking at. “Jo, just get in.” Something inside of her told her to listen and she slid into the warm seat of the golf cart. They pulled off in the direction of the lake on their property. Finally seeing the brake lights release from the car she had been in previously, she looked over at Ontel whose usually rugged handsome face was stern and almost scary. “Ontel,” she started. He put up his hand as to silence her as he looked in the rearview mirror of the golf cart. He waited until the car was out of eyesight and then he pulled the golf cart over.He looked at her and without saying a word, motioned for her purse. Puzzled, she pulled back. “It’s a nice day, ” he stated as he pulled her purse out of her hands. She attempted to yank it back but was unable to overpower him. “Mr. Colton is going to be coming to the house immediately after school today.” She was confused. He pulled her phone out and lifted it up. Before she could say a word, he threw it out ahead and smashed it. He then ran it over with the golf cart. Snatching off her new smartwatch, he did the same. “WHAT IS GOING ON!!!???” Joanna yelled at the top of her lungs. “That was a thousand dollar phone and a 600 dollar watch!!” He pulled off as she was yelling. Her head jerked as the speed picked up in the cart. “Ms. Magneil, I need you to understand that you can trust me.” They begin to go past the picnic table and jetski area and finally arrived to the lake. He pulled up next to the beautiful blue water. “Take off your shades.” Guarded, Joanna placed her hand on the shades and extended her arm out in back of her with them in hand. “If you throw them, I am going to throw you in the water.” He smiled, breaking the anger between them in an instant. “Jo, I just need to see them.” She looked at him an hesitated then slowly handed them to him. He looked them over, feeling every inch of the shades and holding them up towards the sun as if he was examining them. “They look fine.” She narrowed her eyes and looked at him angrily again. “What is the difference between them and my watch and phone? Do you know how much that is going to cost me to replace them?” He looked around and then climbed out of the cart. She jumped out and went around the front of the cart, glaring at him with pure hatred. “What is going on? Why would you throw my phone and watch away? Are you crazy?” She shoved him with the last sentence. He stepped back then looked her in the eye. “Jo, I am the most sane person you know.” He pointed back towards the house. “You don’t know it, but even those closest to you are against you. What I am about to tell you is going to not only save your life, but it will get Mrs. Abigail and Mr. Colton out of danger as well.” She froze when he mentioned the kids being in trouble. She shrugged her shoulders in defeat. “Abigail has already told me about Sagar, I guess everyone here has been informed about it too.” She finally begin to cry at the thought of her daughter being alone and wondered about her son. At 13 Colton was a beautiful young man with a gift of empathy that amazed her. There were times in her single life where she would be stressed out about something or worried, he would always know. Often, he would fix her a cup of tea with honey and cream and bring it to her. “Every little thing is gonna be alright” He would sing this silly little song that made her laugh every time she heard it from him. As she thought of him singing it now, she cried even harder. Ontel stepped closer and she could smell Louis Vutton cologne he was wearing. He took out a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her. “Jo, I know you’re scared and confused. I can’t imagine how you feel finding out that your boyfriend has been running something as horrible as a sex traffic ring.” Just hearing those words, Joanna felt a bolt of guilt fill her heart. She shook harder. Ontel gently hugged her then pulled her close to him as she let every bit of pain she had pour out in tears. “I’m so scared.” She admitted it to him and even to herself. She realized every one of her deepest fears was being made manifest in her life in a single day. She tried to grasp her composure but it was lost in the tears. Ontel held her a few moments longer then whispered… “I have more to tell you.” Joanna stepped back then lifted the handkerchief to her eyes again. “How about you start with why you broke my phone and my watch” He looked her in the eye and stated, “Ms. Magneil, I have reason to believe that all of this is a set up, and I couldn’t risk you having surveillance equipment that could record our conversation. Now Joanna was truly confused. “What do you mean? I just talked to the police about Sagar. Why would they be surveillancing me?” He looked around and then spoke again. “You don’t understand. The situation is not as it appears. Abigail is now more in danger than she ever was before, so is Colton and so are you.” Chills ran up her spine as he stated the words. She stood there puzzled for a second then stated “What do you mean?” she couldn’t imagine how anything could any worse. Her children were gone, the love of her life was accused of abusing one of them, and because of that she was unable to see them. This didn’t make any sense. Ontel continued, “The man that you have been in love with, do you think that he would leave any potential witnesses behind? With the police notified about his behavior and you roaming around potentially speaking to others about his accusations, do you think that you are safe?” Joanna paused, as she had never thought of it that way. Was Sagar capable of murder? Ontel looked at her in the eyes and stated, “we have to go Ms. Magneil.” He walked over to the bathroom area and went behind the building. She stood there processing all of the information he had given her in such a short time. All of a sudden, she saw a beautiful black Lincoln Navigator come from behind the building. Ontel unlocked the doors as he got closer. Should she get in? Her heart raced. What if Ontel was in fact working for Sagar and was trying to hurt her?