**Note: The events in the beginning of this chapter take place at about the same time as the events in Chapter 10!!**
Nikolas checked his watch again, it had been 20 minutes since Autumn had gone outside for some air, and he had an uneasy feeling. Why wasn't she back yet, It was all his fault he decided, if he hadn't have upset her with the toast, she would be in his arms dancing like everyone else was now doing. He went over and tapped Lucky on the arm. "Sorry to interupt you guys, but Autumn hasn't come back in yet, and I'm worried." Nikolas said pacing towards the diner door. "Why don't you go outside and see if you can find her on the docks?" Elizabeth said. "Yeah, I'm sure she's just sitting on one of the benches looking out towards Wyndemere or something," Lucky said. Nikolas walked outside and looked around the docks, concern starting to show on his face. She wasn't out there anywhere. He burst into Kelly's a few minutes later, out of breath and scared to death, "She's not out there anywhere, we have to go find her, what if something happened!" Nikolas said, in a panic.
Lucky and Elizabeth stopped dancing, remembering what tonight was, and that Tom was free. "Oh, god no, Lucky we have to find her," Elizabeth said, starting to cry. "You girls stay here, we will go find her," Lucky said. "NO I am not sitting here helpless when a friend needs help," Elizabeth said. "Ok, fine let's hurry guys, please?" Nikolas said, a new round of panicked thoughts filling his mind.
They started walking along the docks, but they did not see her anywhere. Then they came to the entrance to the park. Nikolas started walking faster, with everyone else right behind him. They prayed that they would be wrong and history had not repeated itself tonight. They got to the bench and started to breathe a sigh of relief because they did not see anything when they heard a whispered nearly silent moaning sound coming from the bushes. Nikolas managed to climb through a small opening. He saw Autumn's body, broken, nearly naked, and bleeding, laying in the snow. Her eyes were open but she didn't see him as he crouched down to check her pulse.
"Stay here girls, I don't think you want to see what Nikolas found in there," Lucky said, mostly for Elizabeth who had started panicking, seeing her own rape flash before her eyes. Lucky then crawled through the bushes and saw Nikolas sitting on the ground sobbing quietly, and Autumn laying there. "Nikolas, we need to get her help, give me your cell phone, I will call the ambulance," Lucky said concerned because Autumn was so pale and still. "Lucky, I can't find a pulse...she's dead Lucky, I think she's dead," Nikolas sobbed. Lucky called Zander over to try to console Nikolas, while he leaned over Autumn and found at last a very weak pulse. She was still alive, but for how long?
The ambulance got there finally, along with Lt. Det. Taggert, and the once again police commisioner Mac. They started canvasing the park for evidence, and Taggert talked to Emily and Elizabeth as they stood huddled together sobbing. Elizabeth was almost hysterical remembering her own rape in this spot 4 years ago tonight. "Now the bastard did it again," she muttered to herself.
"Can I ride in the ambulance with her?" Nikolas said. "Sorry, only family," Frank Scanlon said. "She doesn't have any family, please can I ride with her?" Nikolas said, tears streaming down his face, "She's practically my fiancee." he continued. "Okay, get in and hurry, we have to get moving," he said shutting the door as the drove away towards GH. "We need to go to the hospital," Emily said to Zander, "Can somebody call Reginald for me? He will get us there," she finished, sobbing onto Zander's shoulder. Mac took the cell phone from Emily and called up Reginald, explaining a little bit of what had happened, which he already knew because Alan and Monica had been paged to the hospital to care for Autumn.
Lucky, Elizabeth, Zander, and Emily rode to the hospital in silence, except for the occasional sound of sniffles and sobs escaping from one of the girls. The guys too were crying, tears rolling down their cheeks. It would be a miracle if Autumn survived this, she was practically dead. Once again Lucky had been there and helped to pull one of his friends out of the snow and cold after she was attacked, but that didn't make it any easier. He grabbed the cell phone and called his parents to tell them what had happened. He figured his mother should be here for Nikolas, and his father was fond of Autumn, even though she was still a little leery of Luke. "Mom, get Dad and come to GH, Nikolas needs you." Lucky said. "Oh my god, did something happen to Nikolas?" Laura said, and Luke grabbed their coats and the car keys in 2 seconds flat. "Not to Nikolas, but something happened to Autumn, and Nikolas rode in the ambulance with her, Mom....she was raped, in the park, the same place Elizabeth was raped." Lucky said crying again. "We will be right there Lucky, for all of you." Laura said hanging up the phone. "We need to get to GH right now Luke, the kids need us, both of us," Laura said. "Well then what are we waiting for darlin?" Luke said, and they left to support the teens.
"It's serious, we are repairing the dislocated hip, and the other broken bones, she needed 200 stitches for her wrists, neck, stomach, and side, and about another 500 more on her back and face. She needs blood and lots of it, and she isn't responding to us at all." Alan said. "We will all donate if we can, what blood type is she?" Nikolas said. "She is AB+, the only one who matches her is Emily." Karen said. "Well then I will donate, lead the way doc," Emily said.
They sat there all night until they had finished the multiple surgeries to repair the damage Tom had done. He had not only stolen her soul, but had almost succeded in stealing her life as well. The boys vowed that if he was found he would not live long enough to think about hurting anyone ever again. And to make sure that happened Lucky called Sonny and asked him for a favor, to kill Tom the first chance that Sonny got. After Sonny heard what Tom had done now, he agreed to make sure he was never heard from again.