Chapter 29: Chapter 29

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 72

Alex reluctantly watched Kate’s form vanish down the stairs and into the dim light illuminated from the bar. She felt as though so much more had been exposed without a single word uttered. The visual of Kate’s deep physical wounds hit hard and Alex grasped the severity of the poorly timed revelation. She had seen photos in the case files, but they were nothing to the actual sight. She wanted to remain at a respectful distance, but she knew it wasn’t possible. Alex needed to hear Kate’s point of view of what she felt was going on. Her rational thinking wanted to keep it simple; an empty threat from Caleb to stop their investigating. If it was Caleb, but Damian’s sudden appearance and Luke’s suggestion that Jeremy was a danger only pushed her thoughts to once again be convoluted. Her gut nagged at her that it was something more, but she couldn’t put a finger on what it was. It all began to feel reminiscent of trying to recover Tyler’s case breaking epiphany. It was right in front of her, but no matter how hard she tried her mind refused to finish connecting the dots. The accident was all it took for her to lose and never regain the information. She had always taken pride in the almost eidetic memory she held, and the one time it meant more than a suspect's face, witness statement, or crime scene detail, it failed her.

A slow and steady rapping that began to hit the roof, walls, and windows pulled Alex from her thoughts. The unexpected rain would normally be a soothing sound, but it did little to ease her angst. She slowly and precisely moved to the stairs. She was fully aware that it had only been hours since witnessing the result of the assault at the cemetery and her confronting Caleb, but as much as she knew Kate wanted solitude Alex was done letting it fester inside her. She was going to pull it out of her and they were going to face the demon.

 Her bruised ribs and still throbbing head continued to protest her actions so she took each wooden step with care. After she took the last step that led into the bar, she centered her attention on Kate, who sat with her hand barely touching a tumbler. She had a distant focus and hadn’t noticed Alex’s approach as her eyes remained fixed on a bead of condensation that ran its way done the glass and across her thumb. It wasn’t until her shadow cast across the bar that Kate looked up. Her once sparkling green eyes flashed with what Alex expected to see as pain and worry but they instead showed a familiar fiery intensity.

 Alex began to apologize for her intrusion of privacy, but Kate raised her hand to stop her.

 “What happened with Caleb?” she asked instead.

 “What?”

 “Caleb, when you went to see him. What did he have to say?”

 “You’re looking at what he had to say.”

 Kate’s tossed her an unsatisfied look and dropped her head again.

“I still think it’s a bluff,” Alex said. She wanted to encourage dialogue and tried to speak to Kate’s concerns, “Starting to ask questions again must have him nervous and destroying the gravestones would be all that is needed to stop whatever he thinks we’re doing.”

“I killed his brother, Alex, and accused his nephew of murder,” Kate said before taking another swallow of her drink. 

 With that statement, everything came rushing back and both fell silent. Alex’s stomach tensed again. She didn’t know what to say.

 “Then there’s this.” Kate lifted the box but her words were muffled by a pounding on the door. With the sudden interruption, Kate jumped up and gestured for Alex to stay where she was. She stared at the double doors without moving towards them at first. Her hand instinctively went to her hip and lingered where her holster usually sat. Realizing she didn’t have a gun she reached around the bar and removed the one attached underneath. With it in hand, she slowly approached the door.

 Alex tilted her head to try and see who could be interrupting them. She moved forward when she heard the annoyance in a man’s voice.

 “Is everything okay?” Alex called over.

 The door was widened and as Kate moved inward a rain-soaked man walked through.

He was juggling two crates and complaining about the badly timed storm. “I have shit ton of deliveries, and you gals make it hard this far out.”

 Kate apologized and grabbed a crate. She followed his movement to the bar and set her’s next to his.

 She turned to face the middle-aged man and then nodded her head towards the door. “Is there any more, Paul?”

 “Just a few.”

 “Okay.”

 “I’ll help,” Alex offered, but Kate stopped her.

“No, you need to rest.” Kate moved into the office and emerged with a heavy raincoat. As she walked to the door she slipped her arms through the long sleeves. “It won’t take us long to unload his truck.”

 Alex intercepted Kate and pulled her to the side out of earshot. “Things are too weird right now. We can’t trust anyone.”

 “I agree something’s off, but it’s Paul. He owes you too much to mess up that relationship, and you’re in no shape to be lifting or carrying boxes,” Kate countered.

 “Okay, but I’m still helping.” Alex didn’t wait for a response before she ducked into the dark downpour.

***

By the time they had gotten the last crate inside the rain had reduced to a slight drizzle. Kate still pulled her collar up as she walked Paul to his truck. As much as she wanted to slam the door to the bar and bolt it she figured eyes were on them. If Caleb was really behind the recent events she knew they needed to act unfazed and go about business as usual.

 “Thanks for making the time,” Kate said as she helped pull down the sliding door of the truck.“You should come by this weekend for a few.”

 Paul’s scowl lessened at the offer and nodded towards the bar. “It’s an insane batch, I won’t say no to that.”

 “It’s a date then.” Kate smiled and shook the man’s hand. He waved back to Alex, who hovered in the doorframe, and then climbed into the cab.

 Kate watched the retreating truck briefly before she turned to head back in. She suddenly realized that Rontu wasn’t with them. He usually reveled in the rain and was never far from her.

 “Have you seen Rontu?” Kate asked looking around.

 Alex took a few steps out into the misty evening and whistled for the dog before she turned back into the bar. Kate listened for his collar or bark, but there was nothing. Concern swelled and she did a slow three-sixty to try and see into the dark for her companion. The only light was the exposed bulb above the bar’s door. She watched the misty drizzle dance and flutter in its milky glow but her concentration was on listening. Remembering what Damian had done to him last time she picked up her pace to get inside to see if he just preferred the warmth of his bed. As she neared Alex reemerged. A strange look had overcome her and she staggered forward.

 “He-” Was all she said before she collapsed to one knee.

 Kate sprinted forward and caught her as she fell. Unsure of what was happening she eased her weight slowly to the drenched ground. She saw consciousness leave at the same time the beast pounced from the darkness. His form fully engulfed her and with the collision Kate released Alex. In an instant she found her body sandwiched between the cold unforgiving ground and the immovable object holding her down. After the initial shock from the impact lifted her instincts to fight kicked in and she squirmed under his weight. He struggled to keep her still and she managed to free an arm. With the newfound freedom she didn’t hesitate to bring her elbow back up and into his nose. He yelped in pain, and she used that moment to pull her leg up and create leverage off his waist and twisted to fully free herself. Anticipating her move he grabbed her ankle and pulled her back down. She moved with his action to add another blow, but her counter-attack was halted when he struck out and connected cleanly with her cheekbone. The impact bounced her head off the puddled ground. The stunning jolt blurred her vision and caused tears to overwhelm her eyes. Fighting defeat she continued to shift her weight to try and create enough space to free herself from the crushing mass on top of her. She struggled for a chance to get to the weapon that was digging painfully into her back, but his position had changed to fully restrain. She couldn't see around him, she couldn't move, and she couldn't breathe. A forced whimper of pain escaped her as he adjusted and reached for something. A sudden sting brought her back to his gleaming eyes. Familiar eyes that made her blood run cold. They were the last sight before she was sent whirling into a void of darkness.

 

 


Submitted: November 04, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Kathrynmp. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Mystery and Crime Books

Boosted Content from Other Authors

Short Story / Non-Fiction

Poem / Poetry

Book / Mystery and Crime

Writing Contest / Flash Fiction

Other Content by Kathrynmp

Book / Mystery and Crime

Book / Mystery and Crime

Short Story / Mystery and Crime