Kai and Paisley make love for the first time. They are interrupted by a text from one of Brill’s men. Someone is outside. Unfortunately, the men are injured. After the police arrive, Kai goes out to help.
“Put his towel on that head,” Kai told the officer before going over to look at Clevon.
There was a hole in the other man’s chest. It bubbled with each breath, seeping blood in a slow, but steady stream. Taking more towels, Kai pressed them over the wound, putting as much pressure as he could, on the wound.
Brill pulled up seconds later.
“He’s a friend,” Kai said. “These are his employees.”
The police officer respectfully asked Brill to wait until Sergeant O’Neill could give her okay. Anxious, but quiet, Brill waited. The Sergeant allowed him through, but not the men with him. Kai wasn’t surprised to see them get back in the car and take off. Brill squatted by Clevon.
“Is he okay?”
“Chest wound. Truck should be here in a second.”
They could hear sirens. Kai breathed a sigh of relief when his friends stopped a few feet away. He reported the injuries, officially turning the wounded men over to Cherise.
“You live here now?” she asked as she assessed Clevon.
“You’re gonna get chilly without your shirt,” she remarked casually. “Give me a hand!” she called.
Greg trotted over with a gurney. They got Clevon loaded up and took him to the hospital. Ottis was awake and lucid. Brill called for a car to take him to the hospital.
“How did they get the drop on you?” Brill asked Ottis.
“We saw someone go around back and I followed. I didn’t see anything, but someone tackled me, slamming me into the wall. I clipped my head on the siding. Clevon was out front. He yelled and I ran around the other side, but he was down. I tripped on the sidewalk and fell, hit my damn head again. I’m sorry, Brill, Kai. I let y’all down.”
“No, you didn’t. You helped me keep Paisley safe. I’m gonna go check on her. You’re going to need stitches, but let them check you for a concussion.”
“You bet, Doc,” Ottis said, saluting.
Brill helped his friend up and took him to the waiting car. The Sergeant O’Neill walked over to Kai.
“Yes, ma’am.” He stood slowly, towering over her.
“You keep some interesting company, Mr. Marcelo.”
“Brill’s legit now, ma’am.”
“I know that. I’m curious, why is he watching your apartment?”
“Can we go in and have a seat? I’m a little chilly.”
“Sure. Got any coffee?”
“I’ll make us a pot.”
When they got inside, Paisley was talking to a uniformed female officer. She hopped up when Kai came in, throwing herself at him.
“Are you hurt? You’re all bloody! Kai!”
“I’m okay. This isn’t my blood. Why don’t you make us some coffee. I’m gonna wash.” He hadn’t realized what a mess he was. He’d have liked a shower, but didn’t want to take the time. Instead, he filled the sink in the bathroom with hot water and scrubbed off what he could from his hands, arms and chest.
The coffee was done when he came out. He picked up his shirt from the floor and put it on. Paisley brought him coffee, along with the two police officers.
“Why were Brill and his men watching your place?” Sergeant O’Neill repeated.
Paisley couldn’t speak. Her eyes widened and she hunched near Kai. He told the officers about Ralph, and his abuse. He mentioned that Brill’s men had seen someone lurking about.
“And you didn’t call the police, why?”
“Nothing against the police,” Kai replied. “But in stalking cases, you can’t do a lot until there’s been an actual crime. Maybe it was a bad call on my part, but I made it. This has Paisley spooked enough, ma’am. She felt better knowing that Brill’s men were keeping an eye.”
Sergeant O’Neill nodded. “I see where you’re coming from. What was the plan if they caught someone?”
“To call you, ma’am. We had no intention of taking this into our own hands, Sergeant O’Neill.”
She nodded, but Kai could tell she didn’t fully believe him. He didn’t let that bother him. He was telling the truth. Sergeant O’Neill opened her mouth to ask something else when her radio crackled.
“Suspect has entered a convenience store on the corner of Park and US-1,” the man said. “Advise?”
“Wait for backup and move in.”
“There are three of us here already, Sarge.”
“I’m on my way. Proceed with caution.”
Sergeant O’Neill rose to go. She hurled orders as she trotted to her car. The other officer stayed with Paisley and Kai, closing the ruined door.
“Have you got somewhere else you can stay?” she asked.
“Yes, Officer Warren,” Paisley replied. “We can go to Kai’s parents’ house.”
“Pack a bag. I’ll see you over there. This isn’t safe.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes