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Tom, the sheriff and Skye's cousin, was tired of making the drive down this mountain. Tired of leaving Tricia, tired of walking through that door and tired of seeing these three men, if that's what you wanted to call them. There'd been a significant portion of those on Cole's Mountain that had pushed for the death penalty to be enforced on the day Wade and Dylan Cole had dragged these men back. Tom couldn't say that he hadn't considered it.

The Cole brothers had pushed for getting this thing done. Tom had seen that it'd taken everything Dylan had to bring them back alive, especially since he'd been bringing Skye back half-dead.

There was a long list of charges against the three men. Not only what they had done to Jesse and Skye, not the least of which was the attempted murder against her, but also what they had bragged about that day. As they had hunted down and taunted Skye and Jesse, they had bragged about almost every crime a person could commit. Tom had reckoned that was a good enough confession for him. He only hoped a judge would feel the same way. 

The doc had only half patched up Tony, mainly because he hadn't expected him to live more than a few miles down the road, let alone the whole way. But he'd made it. Now Tony rotted in the jail along with the other two, the orneriest one in there. He was mean and sneaky. The sheriff was careful to never turn his back on him.

Tom gathered up the meals from the back seat of his cruiser and went through the front door of the Colton jail. His deputy sat in a chair, feet up on the desk and a book in his hand. Tom tried to rotate the men, so this lonely post wouldn't be so bad. The deputy told him all had been quiet and waved him in.

There was no question in his mind that this was probably the stupidest situation he had been in. Him making this trip down off the mountain nearly every day, but the jail, the only controlled place to keep these animals, was here.

People kept asking him if he wanted them dead--if he knew they deserved death? Oh yes, many times over. But Tom was a lawman and as such, had sworn to uphold the law. More than that he believed in it. And police chief or not, he was not going to just up and kill people without the proper procedure until he knew, without a doubt, that there was no proper procedure to be had.

So he'd been on the radio to all the towns in the area and finally located a judge. What's more, a judge that was willing to travel to Colton. The judge had added this trial to his circuit, but it seemed he had a few other stops on the way. Everyone just had to be patient. It was just a matter of time before these men got the judgment they deserved.

Tom entered the cell area and scanned it. Tony rose immediately, limping to the bars closest to Tom. "Coward! Keeping us in here! Be a man, fight me!

As Tom passed, Tony reached through the bars as far as he could trying to get hold of the sheriff, but Tom was careful to stay out of harm's way.

Calvin whined his usual excuses. "I'm not a bad man. I just got caught up with bad people. I can mend my ways. I was a sales guy before the world went to crap. I'm not a bad guy!" Calvin wasn't kidding anyone. Tom knew that the man would be up to all the same evil tricks if he ever got out of here.

Pete was quiet, as usual. The regular confused expression on his face. Tom always wondered what part of this he was confused about. Was he confused he was in jail? Or confused that murder was a punishable offense?

The sheriff gritted his teeth as he picked up the usual mess they'd made. It had become their ritual to throw dishes including any leftover food out of their large cell and onto the block wall across from it. Tom had solved part of the problem by serving everything on paper plates and cutting their rations. Still, they did what they could.

As he exited their area, Tom grumbled to himself that this would all be over soon. Then he headed over to Frankie's side of the jail.

Frankie was in cells that were initially used for short time holds, because Tom had been afraid that Calvin, Tony, and Pete would tear him limb from limb for turning on them. So Frankie had a cell upgrade. A room all to himself with a barred window to the outside. But that window was becoming a problem for Tom.

On occasion, Dylan or Wade came down to Colton and would bring Jesse. At least two of those times and Tom suspected more, Jesse had visited his father. Tom had shooed the boy off, but he'd been willing to bet that Jesse was tight-lipped about the visits to anyone at home.

Tom cornered Jesse once he got back to the mountain and told the boy he had a week to tell Skye what was going on. Jesse stood his ground, reminding Tom that Frankie was his father. The boy said that he knew his dad was the lowest kind of human when he was drinking, but he was okay when he was not. And that if he wanted to talk to his father, no one was going to stop him.

And what the boy said was true. Being the sheriff, he knew drunk Frankie versus sober. Unfortunately, up to now, he'd been mostly drunk. When Frankie was drunk, he often ended up in trouble. When he wasn't drinking, he went about his life as quiet as you please.

As little respect as Tom had for Frankie, the man had saved Skye at the risk of himself. No one disputed that. It was why those men in the other cell would kill him if they had a chance. Frankie didn't belong in this jail, not for that. Tom didn't know what to do with him, but Frankie, it seemed, had his own ideas.

A/N: Thanks for reading The Captured! Please vote if you enjoyed the chapter. :)

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