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Author's Chapter Notes:
Back again! It sure has been awhile. But I was looking over the old draft of Sydney and the series and realized that there was a lot I could do so I decided to start again and sees where she takes us this time.

That being said, there are a lot of similarities but I'm hoping that the differences make it fun too. I hope you all enjoy this!
2005- Santa Barbara

“Look, I’ve called in dozens of tips. Okay? Just check it out.” Shawn couldn’t believe the predicament he’d gotten himself into this time. Actually, he could believe it and was surprised that he hadn’t seen it coming.

“I did. I checked out a whole lot of stuff. Like…Oh! You’re currently unemployed. Never held a job for more than six months. And, you have a criminal record.” The head detective, Shawn had a feeling he’d seen him somewhere before, apparently was feeling the need to prove himself. Maybe to the lady detective who was sitting next to him.

“I was eighteen.”

“Eighteen? Oh, well that makes it okay. Let me just scratch this out.” The detective’s face was full of sarcasm.

“I borrowed a car-“

“You stole a car.”

“-to impress a girl. “ Shawn finished his sentence.

“Look, forgive us Mr. Spencer if this seems farfetched.” At least his partner was being somewhat reasonable.

“ Would it help at all if I told you that she had a bit of a reputation and that I was “O” for… high school? …Okay, fine. There were extenuating circumstances. The arresting officer was my father. He was trying to teach me a lesson.”

“Did ya learn it?” The detective learned in waiting for his answer.

~~~~~

Present Day


The car drove past a sign on Interstate 5 that announced to the driver that she was just five miles outside of Santa Barbara.

“Almost there, Chipper. You excited?” She looked in the rearview mirror at the white rabbit in the cage. His nose twitched in response and a grin broke out on her face. A grin, those were coming more and more often these days.

Letting out a sigh, she cranked the radio and couldn’t help but laugh when Dreamer’s latest single came on. Some parts of her past she would never be able to fully hide from, but it would be those parts that helped her remember.

“Incoming call, Alex Taylor.” An automated voice rang out, cutting down the volume of the radio.

“Answer.” A sigh escaped her lips as she heard the click of the calling picking up.

“Almost there, kid?”

“Last road sign said five miles. GPS says I’m about a ten minutes from my hotel.”

“Beachfront?”

She laughed. “I’m in California, in November, what do you think?”

That earned her a chuckle from Alex. “Are you sure about this?”

“As sure as I’m ever going to be.”

“Sydney, it’s not too late to come back.”

“It was too late the day Mom died.”

“That wasn’t your fault.”

“Wasn’t it?”

“You couldn’t have stopped that.”

Sydney pounded a fist on the steering wheel. “I could and should have.”

Silence filled the car for a moment as both seemed to be lost in their thoughts. “Will you ever come back?”

“Not like before.” Sydney ran a hand through her hair. “I can’t. I need to do this Alex. I need to meet him, need to figure things out, need to figure out who I am because who I thought I was isn’t enough anymore.”

“You sound older than you are.”

“I have for a long time.” Sydney felt a smile grow. “That’s going to be the trick of pulling this off.”

“Your plan is crazy.”

“My life is crazy.”

Silence followed and Sydney could picture Alex shrugging. “You know I can’t see you shrug.”

That earned her another chuckle. “Take care of yourself and keep in touch.”
“Will do, you too. Tell Janice and Kelsey that I say hi.”

“I will. Talk to you later, Syd.”

“Later Al.”

The phone clicked and was replaced with the radio again but Sydney was lost in her thoughts. Was she doing the right thing? What other choice did she have?

A sign on the side of the road welcomed her to Santa Barbara, California and the lights of the city spread out in front of her.

“In two miles, take exit 179C towards oceanfront.” The automated voice cut in.

She left the Interstate behind and made her way onto a beachfront road and with a push of a button, the roof came down leaving her to breath in the salt air.

She could get used to this.

~~~~~


California Correctional Facility

The screens in front of the guards flickered between the few dozen cells that made up that particular block. Cells, to hallways, to the deserted common areas - thanks to lights out which was a half hour ago. Both guards had their hands firmly on their coffee mugs and one eye on the clock waiting for the shift change that would happen in just a few minutes.

A cell appeared on the screen and both men watched the new guy struggle to fall asleep, shifting at every little noise.

“New guy.”

“Where’s he from?”

The guard on the left looked down at an open notebook. “Santa Barbara. Most of this block is. Though we’ve got a federal case here too.”

“Well, whatever they are doing down there, they can keep it up.”

The one on the right held up his mug. “I’ll drink to that.”

The mugs clinked and both men took a sip before turning back to the screens. “Too bad it’s just coffee.”

“Shame.”

Both men laughed but it was quickly cut off as the room was bathed in red and a siren started to sound.

“What’s going on?” The man on the left grabbed a walkie-talkie but received nothing but static.

The next thing he knew was something colliding with the back of his head before everything went black.
Chapter End Notes:
Hope you guys enjoyed it! I'll see you Thursday for the next installment as the adventure begins.


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