I nodded and took a deep breath. Having calmed down slightly, I asked Hannah, “Where are you now? Send me your address, and I’ll come over right away.”

“OK!’

After we’d ended the call, I found Ashton looking at me anxiously. “What’s going on?”

“I think Hannah’s going into labor. There’s no one with her right now, so I’m going over,” I said, already making a beeline to my wardrobe to change.

When I had finished, I saw Ashton waiting for me at the door with his car keys in hand.

I was startled but had no time to question him. We immediately got into the car and headed off towards the address Hannah had given.

On the way, I began dialing John. None of my calls were successful.

“Why isn’t John picking up?” I fretted.

Ashton continued driving, his eyes fixed serenely on the road. “Don’t get all flustered yet.”

I knew that I had to compose myself but couldn’t keep my hands from shaking. Hannah’s baby was only seven or eight months old. How can she suddenly be going into labor? Something must have gone wrong.

It was precisely at this crucial moment that John had chosen to go missing.

I considered briefly and decided to give Louis a call. It was quiet on his end of the line. Louis’ rich voice came through clearly. “Scarlett, what’s up?”

“Uncle Louis, where’s John? I think Hannah’s going into labor now. Can you reach him?” I asked hurriedly.

Louis paused, then said, “I’ll look into it. How’s Hannah doing?”

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