The One Hour Challenge part II
The private plane hangers. Disembarking from the plane, Monica is the first one off. Groaning she reaches for her sunglasses. "Who can stand all this sunshine." She grumbles.
"The sun was shining back in Port Charles too, Monica." Alan says from behind her.
"It's just different out here. Brighter."
"Can you two move it along so the rest of us can get out of the plane?" Edward grouses. "I haven't seen my granddaughter in six months and you people are dilly dallying."
"Who's fault is that, old man?" Ned retorts. "Your fingerprints were all over this boarding school idea."
"And a damn fine one it was too. Got her out of town away from the press, and testifying against that hoodlum, Smith. Emily might have put up a fuss but she saw the wisdom of the decision soon enough."
Alexis takes Ned's hand and bites her tongue. It hadn't been seeing the wisdom of the decision that had kept Em in California. It had been the phone call from Zander. And that Emily was totally peeved at her family and her feeling abandoned by the Q's. She and Ned had tried to call Em last night to make some post graduation celebration plans and hadn't been able to connect with her. Em's voice mail had kept picking up. Maybe she'd been hanging around Luke Spencer too much but she had a really bad feeling about this.
"Lets get this show on the road." Ned suggests. "The traffic in LA is iffy on the best day and I don't want to be late for the ceremony."
They all make their way down the stairs to the waiting limo, the five of them pack into the back. The trip to St Catherines is smooth the only issue being parking at the end with the large number of parents mulling around with their progeny. Ned who had been out to visit, leads the procession to Emily's dorm room. He knocks on the door and there is no answer. "Em?"
"She knew we were coming." Alan frowns. He reaches for the door and turns the knob surprised to find it unlocked. He is the first one through the door and sees the emptied room.
A leggy blonde dressed in a gown and carrying her cap is exiting and sees the crowd next door. "Oh are you Emily's family? She left a note for you." The blonde goes back into her room and grabs an envelope. Before the family can detain her she hands them the note and keeps moving down the stairs to the ceremony.
Monica rips open the envelope. "Oh my god. No!"
"What, What is it?!" Edward tries to grab the note but Alan gets there before him.
"I thought she understood." Alan mutters as he scans through the note. The note falls through his nerveless fingers. Edward snatches it up.
He curses as he reads the note as well. "This is unexceptable. We need answers. We need to talk to the head master now!" Edward roars. Crushing the note in his hand he goes back down the stairs accousting the first person he sees in a graduation gown. "Where is the administration building?" Alan and Monica stand right behind Edward and stalk off after him after getting directions.
Ned and Alexis follow but at a little distance. "You knew this was going to happen." Ned tells Alexis.
"I had a feeling." Alexis admits. She bites her lip. "You did to. You've been afraid of this ever since she was put on the plane. It's one of the reasons you flew out after her."
"She was calm about it, Alexis. Okay, maybe too calm."
Alexis takes Ned's hand. Her other hand comes around to grip around his elbow. "I can tell you this now, I think. I was afraid too, afraid she'd run away. I had Zander call her, from jail, with my cell phone back when this all happened. Emily knew the only reason Zander was holding back on taking the deal was fear of her being hurt by Sorel. Zander agreed to take the deal if Emily stayed in California out of Sorel's reach."
"Where is Zander?" Ned stops in his tracks.
"I have no idea." Alexis replies. "I mean it. I don't. The last time I saw Zander was when he was transferred into the Witness Protection Program."
"So he could be anywhere, under any name." Ned groans. "And since he talked to Emily, he knows exactly where she is-- even if she doesn't know where he is or rather was." Both fall silent as they near Edward, Alan and Monica. They have the headmaster surrounded.
"Where is my daughter?"
"What kind of place are you running here?"
"We sent her here so she'd be safe." All three of the Elder Quartermaines are bombarding the head master.
Alexis reaches into her pocket and grabs the whistle that hadn't been far from her since before her marriage into this looney bin. She blows on it once. Silencing the Q's and getting the Headmaster a little relief. "As you have probably assertained we have been to Emily Bowen-Quartermaine's room and she isn't there, her things aren't there. We are seeking information. <b>Uninterrupted</b> information." Alexis glares at Edward. He was usually the prime offender.
The headmaster hustles them to his office so that other families won't be distressed by the scene. Reaching into his file cabinent he pulls out a file. "Emily finished her finals. Finished with honors." He begins. "Yes, there is a note from her indicating that she had college interviews on the east coast and was going to have to leave right after finals."
"And you didn't call us?" Monica yelps.
"College interviews are an acceptable reason for missing graduation. Emily is over eighteen, an adult. There's no reason to believe there was any deception. Had I any knowledge of deception I would have called of course but we are not a jail. There would have been no way to stop her."
"When did she leave?" Ned asks quietly.
"She turned her keys in two days ago."
"Oh my god. My baby." Monica covers her mouth to hold back the fear, hold back the sob. Alan reaches out to wrap an arm around her.
Edward pops up out of his seat. "I want the police called."
"Why?" Alexis retorts. "The headmaster is right. Emily is over eighteen; she is an adult. She can do anything she wants now and the police aren't going to stop her. She hasn't broken any laws."
"Well what do you suggest then?"
"Can I see the note?" Ned takes it from Edward. He reads through it. "She says she'll contact you at home. I suggest you go home, all of you."
"And what are you going to do." Alan asks.
Ned looks over at Alexis who nods in silent agreement. "Alexis and I will stay out here. Do a little checking around talk to Emily's friends see if she gave any indication of what she had planned."
"It was planned, wasn't it." Monica realizes. "I thought she'd adjusted to being out here but that isn't true, it was never true, she just started planning her..."
"Escape." Alan fills the word in.
Edwards rises to his feet. "Find her, Ned. And bring her home." He slaps Ned on the arm in encouragement.
"Otherwise Grandmother will kill you."
"Well there is that too." Edward frowns. "But she doesn't know what she's gotten herself into. Emily is too gentle and sweet for her own good. Who knows what scoundral could be taking advantage of her caring nature."
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