A bride-to-be disappears before her wedding.
The wedding of Navy SEAL Charles Buchanan and socialite Ashleigh Crimson begins and the bride is nowhere to be found. Did the bride leave on her own, or did something else happen? And will the groom find his bride-to-be?
Chapter 1 - The Bride's POV
Ashleigh Crimson couldn't be happier to be marrying the love of her life, Charles Buchanan, a Navy SEAL officer. But there was one thing Ashleigh still couldn't get over...that he would be away for long periods while on duty with his SEAL Team.
Charles and Ashleigh had long talks about his SEAL duty and although she understood his duty to the mission, she couldn't help but worry about his safety.
Ashleigh's mother came in to see how her daughter was doing the night before her wedding. Her mother was always understanding of her daughter and Ashleigh knew she could go to her mother with any problem she had. Her mother never judged her for a decision Ashleigh made, even when her mother knew it was made in haste, like Ashleigh's mother knew her wedding to Charles was.
Ashleigh's mother didn't like the fact that her daughter would be alone for long periods of time while Charles was on duty. But she didn't persuade Ashleigh from going through with the wedding.
Ashleigh finished her foot soak, pedicure and manicure and got ready for bed. She wanted to be well rested when she walked down the aisle to start her new life as a bride to a Navy SEAL.
The next morning, Ashleigh's mother came into her daughter's room to wake her for her wedding. . .but Ashleigh wasn't in her bed.
Mrs. Crimson searched the house and called Ashleigh's friends, but Ashleigh was nowhere to be found.
Mrs. Crimson wondered if Ashleigh had come to her senses and decided against marrying Charles.
Chapter 2 - The Groom's POV
Charles was saddened when Asheigh's mother broke the news that Ashleigh could not be found. An extensive search was started but leads were coming up cold. Ashleigh had simply vanished without a trace.
Charles refused to believe that Ashleigh left on her own, as Ashleigh's mother had tried to get Charles to believe. He knew Ashleigh wanted to marry him as much as he wanted to marry her. No, it just wasn't plausible that Ashleigh left on her own. He was sure of it. Something else was going on...meaning, someone took her against her will. And Charles thought that maybe he might know who did.
Despite Charles being the prime suspect in Ashleigh's disappearance, he drove to the police station to tell the police his suspicions.
But when Charles tried to voice his suspicions, the police interrogated him. After failing to give an alibi for the time Ashleigh disappeared, Charles was booked on suspicion of abduction and placed in a cell.
When Ashleigh's mother heard who had been charged in her daughter's disappearance, she was secretly happy. She knew that Charles had to have something to do with it. She didn't really trust the guy. She even failed to post his bail to have him out so he could look for Ashleigh's abductor.
Charles sat in his cell, unable to do anything to find Ashleigh.
Another officer, believed Charles' story and decided to look up friends of Ashleigh, and came up with her bestie, Catherine Jorgenson.
Chapter 3 - The Bestie's POV
Catherine Jorgenson, Ashleigh's best friend since practically birth, raised as sisters by their mothers, who were inseparable as well. The two girls grew up together, went to school together, hung out with the same people. To the world, the girls were soul-sisters.
The Ashleigh and Catherine's friendship changed when the girls began middle school and their classmates invited Ashleigh to their parties. Catherine felt left out of the loop. Ashleigh was the prettier of the two...Catherine the mousier one and nerdish too.
Before middle school, the two girls talked of books and tv shows they liked. But when middle school came, Ashleigh was often invited to parties and Catherine was not. Their classmates didn't care for the nerdish girl. She cramped their style, so to speak.
To Catherine, Ashleigh had it all. Friends. Popularity. And all the boys were crazy about her. No boy ever dated Catherine. In fact, they all mocked her. Ashleigh, wanting to please her new friends, went along with the name-calling, despite feeling guilty for going along with it.
Catherine was reading one of her romance books when the doorbell rang. It was an officer from the police station here to ask her some questions about Ashleigh Crimson.
Chapter 4 - The Interrogation
After the officer spoke with Catherine about Ashleigh's disappearance, the officer was sure Catherine had something to do with Ashleigh's disappearance. He went to see Charles to see if he knew about Catherine Jorgenson.
Happy that someone knew there was something more to Ashleigh's disappearance, Charles gave the officer everything he could remember about what Ashleigh told him about Catherine.
With the description of what Charles told the officer, he was sure that Catherine was behind the disappearance. It was perfect. The best friend...jealous of her friend's success. Her wedding. And what did Catherine have. Nothing. No one. To Catherine, Ashleigh was all she had and she was leaving her to get married. They would have no friendship after the wedding. It would be just like middle school and high school. Everyone shunning her, including Ashleigh, just to fit in with the crowd.
Surveillance was set up to watch Catherine's movements to see where she may have taken Ashleigh. But either the officer was wrong, or Catherine was on to them...because his surveillance didn't find anything incriminating involving Catherine.
Chapter 5 - The Search for the Bride
The hunt was on for the Ashleigh, but leads were getting cold when exhaustive efforts to find her came up cold. Until....
The officer on the case, Det. Frank Chase, got a surprising lead while he was searching Catherine's Facebook profile.
Det. Chase found pictures of what appeared to be Ashleigh in some dungeon lying on the dingy floor. The only problem...the location could not be determined.
Det. Chase downloaded the photos onto his flash drive and took the pictures and took them to the police department's IT guy, Seamus O'Riley, who was a techie at this kind of stuff. If he couldn't find the location, no one could.
Now all Det. Chase had to do was wait...
1 hour...that was all it took for Seamus to find the location...and it wasn't what Det. Chase expected. Seamus told Det. Chase that Ashleigh was in a Shady Hills here in the same city and even more daunting was that it looked as if Ashleigh's parents had put her there...
Det. Chase headed over to Ashleigh's parents to get to the bottom of it.
"Mrs. Crimson, I may have located your daughter?" Det. Chase said when Ashleigh's mother opened the front door to him.
"Oh, thank heavens, that's great news." Mrs. Crimson said, sounding relieved.
"Cut the crap! You knew where she was this whole time?!" Det. Chase accused.
"Whatever are you talking about?" she asked, defending herself.
"You had your daughter committed!" Det. Chase said angrily. "Did you disapprove of your daughter's engagement, you had her committed to keep her from marrying her fiance?!"
"I don't know what you're implying, but I never had my daughter committed!"
"So you didn't have Ashleigh put into Shady Hills?"
"No I did not!" Mrs. Crimson asked. "Is that where she is?"
"We got a tip that is where she is?"
"Well, I don't have any idea how she got there?"
"Well, you and your husband's name came up as the ones who put her there?"
"Well, obviously we've been set up by the one real culprit who did it? My guess is, it's that witch, Catherine, Ashleigh's best friend!" Mrs. Crimson accused.
"Well, thank you, Mrs. Crimson for your honesty." Det. Chase told her. "We'll look into this and find a way to get your daughter out, since it seems it was under false pretentions."
Det. Chase headed back to PD headquarters to come up with a game plan to get Ashleigh out of Shady Hills.
Chapter 6 - The Betrayal
Catherine came to see Ashleigh in Shady Hills to give her some news. She was springing her from Shady Hills. Catherine had heard that Det. Chase was onto where Ashleigh was and knew she had to get Ashleigh out before Det. Chase got her out.
Then she thought of her family's home and the basement that was designed as dungeon. She could bring Ashleigh here and no one would be the wiser. Then she could put her plan in motion.
"Catherine, please! Let me out of here!" Ashleigh pleaded. "For Charles' sake!"
"Don't worry. I'm here to help you." Catherine said as she jabbed Ashleigh with a needle.
Ashleigh woke up to find she was in a new prison, Catherine's family's home basement.
"Catherine, what did you do to me?"
"I got you out of that asylum."
"And into another prison?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, are you missing your fiance?"
"Catherine, why are you doing this? Haven't we been friends since childhood?"
"I'm sorry, are we? Friends? Besties?" Catherine chided her.
"What are are you talking about?"
"Would a friend betray her bestie by sleeping with her guy?"
"What?! I never slept...." Ashleigh began to say, but Catherine cut her off.
"You slept with him! Stephan!"
"Stephan?! Your boyfriend in high school?"
"Yes. I caught you together!"
Ashleigh flashed back to their senior year and remember that day. But Catherine got it all wrong. Ashleigh was only congratulating him with an embrace after he confessed to wanting to propose to Catherine. But Catherine's jealousy and insecurities ruined the proposal and Stephan was killed in a car accident when he tried to go after Catherine, who had taken off in her car. Catherine has blamed Ashleigh ever since that horrible night.
"Catherine, he was planning to propose to you. I was only..."
"Save your damn excuses, Ash! I know you wanted my boyfriend!"
"You have it all wrong?!"
"Well, too bad you're locked in here. No will be able to save you now."
"What are you planning?"
"I will be comforting poor Charles. I will be marrying him!"
"Catherine! Please! Let me out!"
But Ashleigh's pleas fell on deaf ears as Catherine started to leave, "Sorry, Ash, but karma's a bitch!"
Desperate and hopeless, Ashleigh fell on her tiny bed and cried. How was she going to get out of here?
Catherine went back to town and began her plot to seduce Charles to become his wife...a Navy SEALs wife!
Chapter 7 - The Seduction
Secure in the notion that Ashleigh was locked away forever, Catherine found her way to Charles apartment to begin her seduction.
"Hello? May I help you?" Charles asked Catherine, who was bringing dinner to him.
"Yes. I'm Catherine Jorgensen. I'm Ashleigh's best friend." Catherine introduced herself to Charles.
"I see you brought dinner. Please come in." Charles said, inviting her in. "I haven't felt like eating since Ashleigh's disappearance."
"I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I thought some dinner might cheer you up." Catherine said, putting on her best sympathetic performance.
"Well, it was nice of you to think of me." Charles said. "Would you care to join me?"
"I'd love to."
"I don't care to be alone and your company is a refreshing change of pace."
Catherine and Charles sat down to dinner as they ate the dinner she made: lasagna and a tossed salad--Ashleigh's favorite. This was going to be easy to seduce Charles.
After dinner Charles poured the two of them a glass of wine as the two of them sat on the sofa. They reminisced the times they shared with Ashleigh, leading the two of them to kissing and nearly making out. But Charles stopped himself before things went too far--to Catherine's dismay.
"I'm sorry. I can't."
"Hey, I understand." Catherine said. "I'll be on my way."
But as Catherine started to get her things, she tripped on Charles' stairs on his front porch. Feeling guilty for Catherine's accident, he invited her to stay in his spare room. He helped her back inside and to the spare bedroom.
After Charles left her alone, Catherine smiled to herself, "This was going to be so easy." Then she rubbed her uninjured ankle.
Chapter 8: The Escape
Just as Catherine was making headway in her plot to seduce Charles, Ashleigh learned that she would not be given a release from Shady Hills, and knowing that Catherine had managed to make Ashleigh's doctors think she was insane and beyond hope of ever being sane again, Ashleigh knew she had to find a way to escape and get back to Charles and her family before Catherine had a chance to go through with her plan and steal Charles and become his wife.
Ashleigh saw her chance when an aide accidentally left the activities door unlocked, giving Ashleigh, as well as another patient, the chance to leave Shady Hills unescorted.
Ashleigh kissed the ground happy to be free of that place that she was trapped in. Now Ashleigh had to get back home and back to Charles. But it would be a rough three days of hitch hiking 1000 miles to get back home.
Meanwhile, Catherine was making dinner for Charles when he arrived home exhausted from working at the office.
"Wow! You must have slaved all day to make this meal?" Charles said, as he took a bite of Catherine's Tilapia Tacos.
"What can I say? I knew you'd be hungry and I thought I'd earn my keep by making dinner." Catherine lied to make Charles indebted to her, knowing she had laced the tacos with drugs that would render Charles conscious enough to get him to do her will.
But just as Charles and Catherine were sitting down to enjoy dinner, Catherine got a call from Shady Hills, "I'm sorry, Charles, but I need to take this in the other room. Feel free to start without me."
"Don't mind if I do." Charles said as he dug into the Tilapia Tacos and placed three on his plate along with some salsa to go along with the tacos.
"What do you mean she's escaped?!" Catherine whispered angrily so Charles wouldn't hear her rage.
"Ma'am, Miss Crimson's gone and so has another patient along with her."
"Well, thanks for letting me know." Catherine told the nurse.
Catherine had to rush her plans to marry Charles because now that Ashleigh had managed to escape, she knew it would be a matter of time before Ashleigh came back.
Chapter 9: The Wedding
"Charles." Catherine said when she came back to the dining room to find that Charles had passed out from eating the tacos that were laced with drugs. "Well, ain't this my lucky day?!"
Catherine smiled as she put the next plot into play.
Fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rang...it was the minister she had called to perform the wedding for Catherine and Charles.
A heavily-sedated Charles and Catherine were married before the minister in a wedding with just the three of them. It didn't matter since Catherine intended the wedding to be a very private affair any way.
She needed to be Charles' bride before Ashleigh managed to get back now that she had escaped the hospital.
Meanwhile, about 500 miles away, Ashleigh tired, but intent on continuing her hitch hike to get home before Catherine did what she knew she do...marry her fianc
But Ashleigh was too late to get back to town as Catherine had managed to marry Charles in his heavily-sedated state, despite the fact that he was lucid enough to consent.
Chapter 10: The Confrontation
Catherine woke in bed beside her "groom", but a confused Charles wondered why Catherine was in his bed? Catherine flashed the wedding ring that was on her left third finger and was horrified to learn that they were husband and wife!
"How did this happen?" Charles questioned his "bride."
"You don't remember the wedding?" Catherine asked him. "I'm saddened you don't remember!"
"I was engaged to Ashleigh? So why is I'm now married to you?"
"Ashleigh? Who's that?" Catherine feigned ignorance. "Have you been cheating on me?"
But Charles didn't get the chance to answer when Ashleigh entered the front door. Not seeing Charles, she went up to their bedroom to discover her "best" friend in her bed with Charles.
"Say it didn't happen?" Ashleigh asked each of them.
"What? That I'm not Charles wife?" Catherine said as she flashed Ashleigh the ring on her finger.
"You bitch!" Ashleigh yelled as she fought with Catherine over her plot to take Charles from her. "You were always jealous of what I had! You just had to make sure you had him first!"
"The marriage was consensual."
"Oh, really?" Ashleigh questioned her friend, as she glanced at a confused Charles. "Then why does the groom look confused as to what is happening?"
"A night of great sex?" Catherine taunted her friend.
"You consummated this sham of a marriage?!" Ashleigh said as she slapped Catherine.
"What can I say, it was passionate lovemaking!" Catherine continued taunting.
"So great, I don't remember it, nor the wedding!" Charles chimed in, as Ashleigh realized how Catherine managed to do what she did.
"So, you did it! You drugged him in order to marry my fianc!"
"It's legal." Catherine said, holding the certificate for both to see.
As Catherine relished in her revenge against Ashleigh by marrying her fianc Charles promised Ashleigh he would find a way out of this mess. But little did they both know, Catherine intended to make it impossible to keep that promise!!