Brill’s men get hurt while watching the apartment. Fortunately, they both live. The police corner someone not far away.
Paisley dashed to her room. Kai wasn’t sure whether to follow her or stay with the officer. He decided that Paisley could pack on her own and cleaned up the coffee things. A couple of Brill’s men approached the cordoned off area. Kai identified them as friends. Officer Warren allowed them in.
“We have some things to close up the door,” one of the men said. “The super said he’d get a new door on tomorrow.”
“Thanks for that,” Kai said. “I had no idea who to call.”
“He’s known to us,” the man said with a smirk, leaving them to draw their own conclusions.
Paisley came back with her bag, trembling. Kai held her close, nearly carrying her to the Jeep. Accompanied by Officer Warren, they went to his mother’s house. All was silent and dark, though the outside lights came on when they pulled up in the driveway.
“Would you like me to come in with you?” Warren asked.
“No, we’ll be fine here,” Kai replied. “We don’t want to wake the family.”
“I’ll wait out here until you get inside,” Warren promised. “I can’t stay, but I’ll be sure to have the officer on patrol swing by from time to time.”
“Thank you.” Paisley hugged her.
Kai shook her hand. He unlocked the house, opening the door. The alarm didn’t beep, which was strange. His mother was fanatic about setting the alarm. He stepped inside, turning on the light. The first thing he saw was Cody’s bruised face. The next thing that greeted him was Ralph, holding a gun to his mother’s head.
Paisley screamed. Kai pushed her back out the door, but Ralph aimed the weapon at him.
“Bring her in,” he commanded. “Or Mommy Dearest catches a bullet.”
“Where are Tempy and Brad?” Kai asked Cody.
“Not here,” Cody said calmly.
“You okay?” Kai asked, giving his brother a cursory, visual check as he stepped forward.
“Had worse,” Cody replied.
“Close the door,” Ralph said.
Kai kept Paisley behind him. He stepped out of the doorway and slammed the door loudly. Paisley squeaked with fear. She clung to Kai, terrified.
“Come here, you bitch,” Ralph commanded.
Paisley cowered behind Kai.
“Come here, or this nice lady’s gonna be missing something important—like her brain,” Ralph bellowed. “Now!”
Shivering, Paisley stepped from behind Kai. “So, you finally caught up with me. Took you longer than I thought. I guess Daddy’s connections can’t do everything.”
“My connections now. Dad passed in a tragic accident.” Ralph snorted. “You didn’t really think you could get away from me, did you? When I own someone, I own them until death do us part. And I figure, for you, that’s about five more minutes.”
“What’s wrong with you?” Paisley screamed, dashing across the living room. “Why do you have to torment me? What did I ever do to deserve this?”
Ralph stared at her, unsure how to react. He pressed the gun against Nina’s throat. She stiffened, shaking with suppressed rage.
“I love you, Paisley. I’ve always loved you,” he explained, as if it were the most logical thing in the world. “I keep the things I love close to me. I protect them.”
“You don’t love me. You abused me. Held me prisoner. You tried to kill me, you freak! You killed my parents. You took everything away from me! You’re sick, Ralph. I don’t know where you went wrong, but you are in so many ways. And now, what are you going to do? Take these people away from me, too?”
“I want to keep you safe. I love you. Now, come over here and kiss me.”
“No! Not anymore. I’m not your plaything anymore!”
“But you’re pure and fragile, don’t you understand? I had to protect you and keep you pure. I couldn’t let the world touch you. I couldn’t let other men near you because they would spoil your purity. They’d want to take it from you.”
“You tried to take it from me, you sick bastard! You tried to rape me!”
“No. No! I wanted your purity. I wanted to share it with you. So you could make me pure again.”
“You’re sick, Ralph. That’s not how it works.”
“Not another step, cowboy,” Ralph said to Kai, who had eased a few steps closer to Cody. He focused on Kai, then cut his eyes at Paisley. “He stole your purity, didn’t he! He sullied you!”
The gun swiveled to aim at Kai. Instead of stopping, Kai moved closer to Cody, hands away from his sides, palms facing Ralph.
“It’s too late, buddy. She’s mine now. She gave me what she never gave to you. Paisley’s mine, body and soul. You can’t have her purity, because I took it away.”
Ralph’s hand trembled and his finger tightened on the trigger. “No! You’re lying! You’re a liar!” His hand shook as he aimed at Kai. He wiped his face with the other hand, raising it from Nina’s shoulder.
Taking the moment of freedom, Nina pushed Ralph’s hand up. He pulled the trigger, shooting a hole in the ceiling. The door popped open and Officer Warren was there, her weapon trained on Ralph.
Kai jumped forward, pushing his mother out of the way as he made a grab for Ralph’s gun. He missed, but Paisley knocked it from Ralph’s grasp. She punched her ex-fiance in the nose, then hammered him in the nuts with her other hand. He doubled over, groaning for mercy.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes