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Chapter 17

            Before Nick could take two steps toward the door, Dottie whirls around and says, "No, scratch that. You guys take care of Amy. I'll find Brian."  Before they can stop her, she's out the door running down the hallway.  She hears the elevator doors closing and runs to it finding he's heading downstairs.

            Muttering under her breath, she hits the fire exit door at a dead run and makes it to the first floor just as Brian steps off the elevator. Oblivious to the people milling around the hotel, Dottie pounces on him. Pushing him against the wall, she practically screams, "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

            Brian looks at her completely shocked. He says, "Just leave me alone, D. That bitch is going to haunt me forever."

            Becoming acutely aware of the stares they are getting, Dottie grabs his arms and whispers fiercely, "If you ever hurt my friend again, you'll be the one haunting people because I will kill you, do you understand me?"

            He looks at her completely stunned and says, "What?"

            She steps back and says, "In your hurry to exit you managed to push her to the floor."

            He shakes his head and says, "No, that's not possible."

            Dottie says, "Brian, no one blames you. Not even AJ, even though he's letting his mouth get ahead of his brain.  I need you to let me figure out how Glenna did this.  Will you help me and take care of Amy while I do that?"

            He says, "Of course I will. I have to find Amy. Apologize, somehow."

            She sighs and says, "Go.  She's still in Jenn's room with the rest of them. And ignore AJ, ok?"

            Brian for the first time notices the strain on Dottie's features and says, "Are you ok?"

            Fighting back the tears, she says, "No.  No I'm not. I'm tired of this shit following me around and creeping into my life."

            He says, "Dottie, none of us would ever think it was you."

            She sighs and says, "I know Brian. But I wouldn't blame you if you did."  Before he can say anything else, she says, "Go check on Amy.  Have Jenn meet me in mine and Nick's room, ok?"

            He says, "D, we really don't think..."

            She stops him and say, "I know.  And I thank you. I just need some time to sort things out and figure out how she's doing it.  Just tell Jenn to give me a few minutes before she shows up, ok?"

            As they are riding up in the elevator, he says, "Nick won't wait. He'll come and find you first."

            She gives him a watery smile and says, "I know.  I'll figure it out Brian. I won't let her get away with this."

            He hugs her before stepping off and says, "I trust you, D. I know you'll figure it out."

            As the door close again and the elevator starts to climb, Dottie grabs the railing and closes her eyes.  She's determined this time that she will not let her fears win. Her boys need her.  NICK needs her. 

            Once in their room, she grabs her laptop and lets it boot up. While she's waiting, she goes into the bathroom and washes her face.  Staring at her reflection, she can see she's changed.  The stress is doing her in.  When she hears the door to the room open, she grabs a towel and dries her face, walking out to find Nick waiting for her.

            She falls into his arms and he says, "It's ok, D. You know we trust you."

            She breathes in his scent, tangling her fist into the front of his shirt.  She says, "I know that Nick. And believe me, it means everything to me."  Pulling back away from him, she looks up at him and says, "Is Amy ok?"

            He nods and says, "She wasn't hurt, I think more shocked than anything. We all were." Before she can say anything, he says, "D, you don't know Glenna like we do. She is a class-A bitch and she really did a number on Brian. He finally got her out of his life and this had to happen.  I know it sucks for Amy to have to deal with it too, but you don't know some of the shit she pulled on Brian. He would never intentionally hurt Amy. He loves her."

            She says, "I know that Nick.  A blind man could see they love each other.  I just hate that they both are stuck in the middle of this. Jenn and I are going to fix this.  I promise."

            He smiles down at her and says, "I know you will. And we're all going to help if you need us to."

            Stretching up, she pulls his lips down to hers for a heart stopping kiss. When Nick lifts his head from hers he says, "I love you D. You're everything to me. Don't you ever forget that, ok?"

            She smiles at him and says, "I won't." A knock at the door shatters the mood. 

Nick goes to answer it as Dottie sits down at the desk.   Jenn walks in and says, "Nick, why don't you go hang with the guys in AJ's room. Brian and Amy went back to their room to talk."

Dottie says, "Is everything ok?"

Jenn says, "I think so. Brian is really pissed at himself for ever bringing Glenna into our lives. We tried to tell him it's not his fault."

Nick says, "Of course it's not. We didn't realize till the end what a money hungry bitch she was.  None of this is his fault."

Dottie says, "Nicky, go tell him that and make sure Amy is ok. And tell them not to worry. I'm going to fix this."

He leans down and kisses the top of her head saying, "I know you will, Babe. I love you."

After he leaves, Dottie looks at Jenn and says, "Did you figure out which account was being drained?"

She says, "Yeah, the expense account for tour emergencies."

Dottie nods and says, "OK, so first we have to figure out how the money was accessed."

Jenn says, "That's easy, the only way it can be accessed is with debit cards. I have one to pay for tour emergencies and all the guys have one in case they get stuck somewhere and need money to get a bus fixed or something."

Dottie says, "Do the drivers have access? To pay for gas or whatever?"

Jenn says, "Absolutely not. If the buses have to be fueled, each driver has a specific gas card to pay for it. This account is supposed to be used just for bus repairs and emergencies while we're on the road.  We put money in it when the tour first starts and then when it's over, we put the account on hold until the next tour. We've done this for years.  New cards are issued every time the account is re-activated."

"And Glenna would know this because she toured with them," Dottie says. "First we have to get in touch with the bank and find out how many cards are issued on the account."

After 2 hours of digging through records and talking to dozens of people, Jenn and Dottie figure out a sixth card was issued on the account.  After Jenn hangs up with yet another person from the bank, she says, "Seems like Brian reported a lost card and had it replaced.  All Glenna needed was his social security number and the answer to the security questions, which apparently as his ex wife, she would know his mother's maiden name, his father's middle name, and the name of the first school he went to. She requested the card online so they didn't have any reason to believe it wasn't Brian. If something had happened to Brian's bus, he wouldn't be able to use his card to get it fixed. It was de-activated."

Dottie sighs and says, "Poor Brian.  Now we have to figure out why she did this. I'm going to run a background check on Glenna.  Let's see what we can come up with."

Thirty minutes later, Dottie is completely sick to her stomach and Jenn is pacing around the room yelling like a mad woman.  Dottie sends a text to Nick that simply says, "Bring everyone to our room now. We think we figured it out."

She stares at the computer screen in horror at what she found.  Glenna's first husband's name...Jake Johnson. The man that had sent Dottie to prison.

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