“Come on you son of a bitch,” Mark muttered under his breath as all he heard was dial tone.
He winced as Carey’s voicemail came up.
“Care where are you?” he asked between his teeth, “fucking Mike’s got me down at the station and he’s not going to let me go unless you get your ass down here!”
He hung up in frustration before quickly dialling Emma’s number, glad that he’d taken the time to learn it.
“Hello?” she answered apprehensively.
“Em it’s Mark,” he ignored the people walking around him, “is Care there?”
“No he went out a while ago. Why? What’s wrong?”
“Mike’s got me here at the station downtown. I need someone to get down here and get me out.”
“The car. Long story. But I need the car towed, they just left it on the street.”
“I’m on it. Where is it?”
She wrote down the address when he relayed it, working out in her head where it was. She knew she wouldn’t be able to get there herself.
“I’ll let Care know when he gets back.”
“Thanks,” Mark finally looked over his shoulder to the waiting officer, “hope I see at least one of you soon.”
“Hold tight Mark.”
As soon as Emma ended the call she tried calling her husband. When it went through to voicemail she tried again. After the third time she grunted as she gave up, before deciding to call her friend Rachel instead.
“Hey, any chance you could come over and Ellie-sit for a little while? Mark’s gotten himself in trouble and Care’s not answering his phone.”
“What has Mark done now?”
“I think he’s in trouble for stealing his own car.”
“I knew that Camaro would raise some eyebrows…”
“So are you free?”
“Sure. I’ll be there soon.”
“Thanks,” Emma quickly ended the call, and after checking on Ellie in her crib began the rush to get herself ready.
She was out the door as soon as Rachel arrived and made her way straight to the garage, but she stopped in her tracks when she saw her husband’s SUV still sitting in the driveway.
“Carey Miller,” the shorter man handed Russo the California driver’s license from his wallet, “he’s a Miller.”
Russo studied it carefully before eyeing Carey again. Carey hadn’t taken his eyes off him. After a quick hand signal the larger man that was holding Carey’s shirt quickly ripped the tape from his mouth. Carey yelped when part of his lip went with it.
“What relation are you to Marcus and Colin?” Russo demanded, not giving him time to recover.
“I’m Mark’s brother,” Carey’s voice shook, “I’m not… we’re not technically related to Colin.”
“But you know who he is,” the shorter man stated.
“I know who he was,” Carey confirmed, wondering just how much he should admit to.
His eyes darted to the shorter man as he heard a phone vibrating. When he took it from his pocket Carey realised it was his again. The man ignored the call and put it back.
“And do you know who I am?” Russo asked with interest.
Carey hesitated, but nodded nervously.
“Good. Then you know why you’re here.”
“I don’t, I swear,” Carey shook his head, “I never had anything to do with anything! I don’t know what Mark’s doing!”
“My boys saw you two together yesterday,” Russo was calm, in stark contrast to Carey, “they thought Colin had returned from the dead. Marcus told us he was Colin’s brother. Now you tell me neither of you are related. Who am I to believe?”
“It’s complicated,” Carey’s brow furrowed.
“Un-complicate it,” the larger man insisted, making Carey jump when he spoke.
Carey paused, his heart well and truly racing.
“Mark told you about the scientists, right?” he checked, looking between them.
“We’re clones,” he blurted, “we were made in a lab. There’s more of us but… we’re the only ones in LA right now.”
“Clones,” the shorter man frowned, looking to Russo for guidance.
“Explains a lot,” the larger one didn’t seem surprised at all.
“How old are you?” Russo frowned.
“34,” Carey wondered why he was asking.
“Sounds about right,” the larger one shrugged, “what should we do?”
Russo sighed to himself, looking Carey up and down. He was struggling to stay balanced on his feet already.
“You are Mark’s twin, yes?” he presumed, “you grew up with him?”
“I did,” Carey agreed.
“Then we continue as planned,” Russo gave his men a nod, “take a seat, Carey Miller.”
He jumped again as the larger man took a better hold of his shoulders so that he could drag him over to a nearby metal chair. He landed hard on it before quickly adjusting his weight. The larger man stood behind him with his hands on his shoulders as the shorter one began to untie his ankles.
“What are you going to do?” Carey’s eyes were still on Russo, “I said I didn’t know anything!”
“This is no longer about you, Carey,” Russo assured with a smile, “this is about your brother. You’re going to help us teach him a lesson in loyalty.”
“What does that mean?” he flinched as his ankles were tightly tied to the legs of the chair instead.
“All in good time,” Russo mused, watching on.
“Mark! Are you okay?!” Emma spotted him and made her way over.
“I’m fine,” he frowned from inside the cell, “where’s Care?”
“He’s not answering his phone,” she admitted with obvious worry, “I thought I’d better come down here myself in case you ended up stuck overnight.”
“Well… thanks. But I’m not sure they want to let me go,” Mark’s voice lowered, “they’re trying to pin me for ID fraud because I look like Colin.”
Emma paused at that, her mind working.
“What have you told them?” she asked.
“Just that we know him but we’re not related. I told them he gave me his car and I just haven’t transferred the papers yet.”
“It’s Mrs now,” Emma scolded the officer over her shoulder, “I’ll be with you in a second.”
“I don’t know what you can do,” Mark looked dismal.
“Don’t worry. I have an idea,” she gave him a wink before turning to follow Price.
She took a deep breath as she hoped it would work.
“Please, take a seat.”
“Is this really about you people thinking Mark was pretending to be Colin?” she demanded, still standing but putting a hand on the seat.
“You’re going to tell me you know Colin?” Price smirked.
“I do,” she insisted, “in fact, I could call him right now.”
“We tried calling Miss, and there was no answer.”
“Mrs,” she reiterated, showing off her rings, “let me save you some time and paperwork. Not that you deserve it.”
She dug her cell phone out of her handbag and quickly looked through for Natalie’s number. Praying internally that she’d both pick up and play along, she hit dial.
“Emma? Is everything okay?” she answered almost right away.
“Hey… not really,” she replied, “I’m here with Mark down at the LAPD, they think Mark has committed ID fraud and basically stolen Colin’s car. They’re saying they couldn’t get hold of Colin so… could I talk to him please?”
There was a confused pause on the line.
“Colin… as in the one that died?”
“Yes sure,” Emma shrugged, forcing herself to sound casual.
“Ah… Tay’s in the shower but I can try and get him for you?”
“That’d be great.”
“How long is this going to take?” Price demanded, Emma holding up a hand to stop him as she waited.
Natalie made her way through to the ensuite where she could still hear the shower running. Gritting her teeth awkwardly, she opened the door.
“Tay? We have a situation that needs your attention,” she called out.
There was a pause before the water shut off. She quickly handed him a towel when he opened the door.
“What is it?” he frowned, seeing the phone in her hand.
“It’s Emma, I think Mark’s been arrested,” she kept her voice down, “she needs ‘Colin’ to confirm that Mark didn’t steal his car or something.”
“What?” Taylor frowned, “why would… you know what? I’m not gonna ask.”
He quickly dried his face and shoulders off before wrapping the towel around his waist and taking the phone.
“Emma?” he confirmed.
“Hi Colin,” she smiled sweetly, “could you please talk to these gentlemen and get them to let Mark the Hell go?”
“I’ll try,” Taylor confirmed, wiping some steam from the bathroom mirror as Natalie stood back.
Emma held the phone out to Price. He was giving her a suspicious look, but he took the phone nonetheless.
“This is Officer Jeffrey Price with the LAPD, who am I speaking to?”
“Who are you speaking to?” Taylor fell back into the act surprisingly easy, “this is Colin Reis. I’m going to want your badge number.”
“I’ll just get that for you…” Price frowned before quickly reciting it.
Emma was watching with raised brows.
“Why are you interrupting my vacation?” Taylor demanded once he’d finished.
“We pulled over an individual earlier today who was driving a 2015 Camaro registered in your name,” Price had lost his authoritative tone already.
“Mark Miller,” Taylor finished for him, “I gave him that car.”
“You did?” Price was still surprised.
“Yes. We’re going to finalise the transfer papers when I get back,” Taylor insisted, “nothing better have happened to that car.”
“I don’t believe anything has, Sir,” Price looked sheepish, “just one other thing Mr Reis…”
“How do I know I’m not talking to Carey Miller?”
Taylor paused and grit his teeth.
“Excuse me?” he said between them, counting on the delay.
“It’s just that you all look and sound alike, how do I know you’re not Miller?”
“Switch it to video mode,” Emma suggested.
Taylor grimaced when he overheard it. But quickly figuring a way to make it work, he indicated for Natalie to come closer. He could hear Price fumbling with the phone before getting the video request on screen.
He pulled Natalie in to his side before accepting.
“Are you happy now?” he demanded, brow raised, “can I get back to my… busy evening?”
Natalie brushed some hair out of her face and chewed her bottom lip, playing along.
“Of course. Sorry Mr Reis,” Price was taken aback at the sight, “I’m sorry to interrupt.”
“Bother me again and I’ll have you fired,” Taylor insisted, “now, is Mark walking out of there or not?”
“He is,” Price promised.
Taylor hung up and dropped the phone onto the bathroom vanity. Natalie broke into a laugh.
“Okay that was fun but I really don’t want to do it again,” she mused.
“Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything else,” he shook his head, “obviously if I was Carey I wouldn’t be with another woman so…”
“It’s okay, I get it,” Natalie took the phone back, “I just hope it works.”
Price handed Emma her phone back, his face red.
“I just need you to sign a release form and he’s free to go,” he kept his eyes down before moving to print one off.
“Thank you,” she looked nothing but smug.
He set the form down on the desk and she quickly signed it before he led her back toward the holding cell.
“Miller!” he called out as he ordered the guard to unlock it, “you’re out! Again…”
Mark stood from where he’d sat on the bench and made his way to the door. He didn’t say a word as he walked out, but he eyed Price with contempt.
“Let’s get out of here,” Emma tapped him on the arm before turning on her heel.
Mark grabbed his things from the guard before following her outside. He waited until they were out of earshot from the doors before asking.
“So… what did you do?”
“I called Colin,” she mused, unlocking her car, “aka Taylor. He vouched for you.”
“He did?” Mark paused, scratching his arm.
“Yeah,” she stopped with him, “why? Surprised?”
“A little,” he admitted before moving to get into the car.
She smirked to herself before throwing her handbag in the back and getting into the driver’s seat. Mark already had his phone out and was dialling Carey again.
“Trying Care?” she guessed, “his car was still in the driveway when I left, but he only went to get some food. He could have walked but… I don’t know why he won’t answer.”
“Something’s wrong,” Mark was frowning as another call went unanswered.
“Don’t say that,” Emma didn’t bother starting the car.
“I just have this feeling,” Mark gulped slightly, “come on Care, where the fuck-“
He cut off when his phone rang. Seeing Carey’s name on the caller ID he quickly answered.
“Care?! Where are you?!” he demanded.
“Marcus Miller, I presume?”
His blood ran cold at the sound of the voice, and his eyes shot to Emma. The look on his face made her sick to her stomach.
“What is it?” she barely got out.
“Russo,” he breathed.