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Title: Unraveling, Chapter 16
Author: dragontatt
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Neither Shelter nor Without a Trace belong to me. No profit is being made from this work of fiction, and no disrespect is intended.
Word Count: 1138




By the time Danny got back from the apartment Jeff shared with his mother – the same charming Mrs. Moore Martin had enjoyed morning coffee with a lifetime ago – Martin was on the phone.

He was leaning rather insolently against the bedroom wall, long legs crossed at the ankles, when Danny burst into the room, triumphantly brandishing a small piece of paper. But Martin just rolled his eyes before waggling his free fingers in a complicated gesture that Danny took to mean, ‘you call Tony’s emergency number, I’m busy right now.’

Danny slowly backed out of the bedroom, not taking his eyes off of Martin, and his jaw might have dropped a tiny bit when Martin blew out an exasperated breath, jutted out one hip out even further and made an obscene gesture at the phone he’d just pulled away from his ear. Martin noticed Danny’s wide-eyed stare, and glared at him before raising the phone again. “Yeah, I’m still here,” he drawled.

Danny stared a second longer, wondering briefly who this man was and what he’d done to Martin, before lifting his own phone and dialing the number that Jeff said he thought was Tony’s sister in LA. After a few rings, a young woman answered in a rather breathless voice, “Hello?”

Danny turned on one heel, took two steps down the hall and said, “Hello, this is Special Agent Danny Taylor, from the FBI? I’m calling in regards to Tony Williams, you’re listed as his emergency contact on his lease. Who is this please?”

“I’m his sister Ashley. Ashley Williams. Is there something wrong, or are you just trying to find him, too?”

“What do you mean, find him too? Who else has been looking for your brother?” What the hell? Last thing we need is more people involved in this fiasco.

“A guy came by the house earlier, his name was Shaun. He said his boyfriend was missing and he thought Tony might be involved somehow.”

Danny closed his eyes and held back a sigh. “Yes ma’am, so do we. We’re currently working on the assumption that Tony and his roommate Wes kidnapped a young man named Zach Taylor, however I didn’t realize that Shaun was searching on his own.”

“Oh yes, he just left a few minutes ago. I gave him Tony and Gerry’s cell numbers, but I don’t know much more than that.”

“Who’s Jerry?”

“Gerry is Tony’s girlfriend, it’s short for Geraldine, I guess.”

“Oh, okay. I’m going to need those numbers too.”

Danny turned and peered into the bedroom behind him. Martin was still on the phone, still frustrated but he when he looked at Danny’s thumbs up, he said in a quick, authoritative voice, “Listen, I have to go. If you really wanna bitch about this, call my boss,” and then he hung up the phone, arm flopping down by his side in apparent exhaustion.

“You get anything?” Martin asked hopefully, pushing away from the wall by pressing one shoe firmly against the baseboard.

“I’ve got Tony’s sister on the phone, she’s giving us Tony’s cell number, and the girlfriend’s too. She also said that a man named Shaun came by her house just a few minutes ago, trying to find out where her brother is.” Danny tilted one eyebrow at Martin while still holding the phone against his ear.

“Oh, fuck me,” Martin said wearily. He lifted his phone, scrolling quickly through a few screens before tapping his thumb once. He listened a few seconds before shaking his head. “It’s going straight to his voice mail.”

He tapped the screen again, and brought the phone to his ear once more. He said over his shoulder to Danny, “He left a message earlier, but I didn’t have time to listen.”

A few seconds went by and then Martin said, “Damn it, I’m pretty sure I told Shaun to stay home and watch Cody, not to try and track down Jeannie’s friends.”

Danny had just opened his mouth to reply when a voice spoke in his ear, “You still there, Agent Taylor?”

He turned away quickly, replying, “Yes, I’m here.”

“Sorry it took me so long, but I was out by the mailbox when you called and I had to walk all the way back up the driveway. There was something else though, something I told Shaun right before he left, if you’re interested.”

“Yes, please.” Danny’s jaw clenched in anticipation.

“Well, it’s just that Shaun had asked if there was anyplace I thought Tony might go, you know, if he were in trouble or whatever. Because he’s certainly not welcome here, you know.” Her voice was indignant, but the silence in her pause sounded uncertain.

“Yes, of course,” Danny said soothingly. He was an old pro at soothing ruffled nerves.

“Well, when we were little, my grandfather had a cabin in the mountains, up near the Oregon border, and Tony used to love that place. My parents sold it after my grandpa died, but I don’t think Tony ever forgot about it. I wasn’t even sure where it was, but I called my mother to ask her, but all she could remember was the town name - Alturas. Alturas, California. “

“And you told this to Shaun?”

“Yes, I did. But the thing is, right after he left, my mother called back. She’d remembered something else. I tried to wave him down, but he must not have seen me.”

“What was it your mother remembered, Miss Williams?” Danny turned and met Martin’s gaze – his blue eyes sparkled with eagerness, and Danny smiled in triumph as he listened closely.

--

After leaving the lush, green neighborhoods of Bel-Air for the traffic and noise of Hollywood proper, it still took Shaun a good ten minutes to find a payphone – people hardly used payphones anymore, but luckily you could usually find them in a strip mall or near a convenience store. The first two he found were both broken – the second one looked like it had been drenched in something flammable and deliberately set ablaze – but finally he found one outside of a combination hair dresser/shoe-repair shop that worked and seemed safe enough.

He leaned gratefully against the wall where he could keep a wary eye on the parking lot, and glanced down at the papers he held in his hand. One was the slip with Tony and Gerry’s cell phone numbers on it, but he wasn’t sure calling them again so soon after Ashley had would do any good. The other paper was his list from the car, the information he’d gotten about Tony from his sister, including the name ‘Alturas.’ He stared a minute longer, hesitating and then raised his hand to dial ‘0,’ and in a moment when the operator spoke, he said, “I’d like to make a collect call, please.”

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