“He’s getting too close,” the man spoke harshly into the phone. “Get rid of him.”
“It’s too risky and too soon since the last one,” the woman replied moving from the room so she would not be overheard by her husband or children.
A menacing laugh reached her ears “don’t presume to tell me my business little girl. I own you just as I owned your father before you.”
Her lips thinned as she listened to the man. He didn’t have to remind her that her life wasn’t her own. She knew that when she dumped her highschool sweetheart on his bidding. A test to prove her loyalty to him. It was less loyalty and more fear than anything else. She should have refused then and taken the consequences. Looking into the living room where the kids were watching cartoons she knew if she had they would not be here. She would have been dead and so would they. She had found out she was pregnant a week before the man gave her the loyalty test, they had been the deciding factor. Keep her boyfriend and die disloyal or dump her love and stay alive so they could live. They had their fathers eyes and everyday she’s reminded of her choice, the regret and the fear her husband would find out. With effort she brought her mind back to the man “whose the target?”
“A police officer.” Her sharp intake of breath caught the man’s attention “do you have a problem with that?”
“No, none,” she responded closing her eyes. She hated what her life had become. She had been shocked when she saw Shon in Bridgeport and her biggest fear had been of her husband running into him. One look and her husband would know. She wouldn’t be able to deny it. The eyes were a dead giveaway and her husband would know who the twins father really was. This assignment would eliminate the possibility of that ever happening. A smile spread across her face, the assignment would be easy a relief an answer to her problem of keeping her secret. This assignment was going to be a pleasure.
Terrell’s birthday was a somber occasion. Shon missed having all the family, uncles, aunts and grandparents there like they had been for Robbie’s first birthday. He forced a smile to his lips knowing that Evelyn was struggling as much as he was. He looked towards her and she smiled back at him while tears swam in her eyes. He knew she was thinking of happier birthdays shared in their tiny house in Barnacle Bay, how he wished they could go back there. Shaking his head to rid himself of his useless thoughts. Thoughts of how that house was now empty, ransacked by men searching for Robert and his family. He had continued his search despite Evelyn asking him to quit and he was getting close he could feel it. He wanted so much to be able to tell Robert it was safe, to bring his family home.
Getting ready for bed that night Evelyn entered the room “Shon?”
Looking up “yeah babe?”
Sitting on the edge of the bed “next year can we plan a party with lots of people?”
Smiling he nodded “yeah we can. I’m sorry for insisting Terrell’s birthday just be us this year. It didn’t go over very well did it?”
Shaking her head she looked away as a tear slipped down her cheek. “I miss my family. I miss the way things were before we moved.” Looking at Shon she swallowed hard “I want to go home.”
Shon drew her close “ah babe I know your homesick, so am I. We’ll get used to it just give it time.”
Sniffling she nodded “I know but the homesickness never goes away. It hurts so much to be so far away.”
“Do you want to move back?” Shon asked pulling her back to look her in the face.
“Yes, no, maybe,” she sighed “I don’t know. I like my job. I’m starting to make friends.” Looking away from his concerned face “it’s just tonight I realized the kids were growing up without any close ties with the family and it scares me .”
Kissing her gently “I know I felt the same way. Maybe moving here wasn’t the best idea.” Shon shifted beside her looking away “we can move back to Barnacle Bay if you want.”
Moving closer, she snuggled into him “thanks for offering but we moved here for a reason. We ignored that threat once before and almost lost everything.” Shaking her head entwining her hands with Shons “no we can’t just move every time I’m homesick.”
Shon held her half listening to her convince herself of why they had to stay here. He wondered if he should tell her about Windi. Would she feel that Windi was another threat? As he held Evelyn in his arms he just couldn’t bring himself to tell her and add another concern to her list of worries. He could handle Windi. Evelyn didn’t need to know anything about their confrontation.
Shon was busy researching the mystery man on his computer at work. He was getting close, he could taste it, he had a feeling he knew who this man was. He had a vague feeling of deja vu when he met the man in Aurora Skies with Robert it was frustrating him that he couldn’t pen a name to him. It was someone from his past, if he could only dredge up that memory. Reaching for the phone it began to ring before he could dial “Hello?”
“Officer Olivia?” a muffled female voice asked.
“Yes, who is this?” Shon asked vaguely recognizing the voice on the other end.
“Don’t ask questions,” came the tart reply “I have information you need regarding the DeCarlo murder.”
His mind switching instantly to the case he and his partner had been working on of a young mother brutally murdered and left in an alley way behind a dive bar. He completely forgot his vague unease over the somewhat familiar voice. “What information?”
“I can’t talk now,” came her whispered response. “Meet me here.”
Shon grabbed his notebook and a pen to jot down the address and time. A click in his ear told him his would be informant disconnected. Approaching his lieutenant “sir I just received a call from a woman who claims to know something about the DeCarlo case. She wouldn’t talk on the phone, insisted I meet her.”
“Could be a set up,” the lieutenant rubbed his chin. “Where’s the meet to be held?”
“At a park,” Shon said picking up on the lieutenants unease.
“I don’t like it,” his lieutenant voiced “if we’re right and this DeCarlo woman was bumped off because of her connection with the drug cartel you could be walking into a trap.”
“We won’t know unless I go. It could be legit and if it is it’ll be the first time we’ll have something we can use.”
“Wear a wire and be sure to stay within sight of your partner.”
Shon and his partner Bianca Rubble arrived early at the appointed meet place. He sat on the designated bench alert to the people coming and going around him. After waiting for well past the appointed time Shon got up and signaled his partner that the meet was a bust. Crossing the street Shon looked up in time to see a car speeding towards him, running he attempted to get out of its path. It swerved towards him, his attempts to get out-of-the-way failed. It smashed into him sending him flying over the car and onto the pavement. He landed with a bone crunching thud on his side, his arm pinned beneath him. Pain screeched through his entire body as he heard people shouting and doors slamming all around him. His partner yelling into the radio “Officer down. Send an ambulance to this location.” She kneeled beside him “Shon? Did you see the driver?”
Fighting for breath as his lungs labored to force air through his body. Head pounding he tried to remember the vague impression of the driver. She was … “female …. blond ….” he squeezed out past clenched teeth. Bianca patted his shoulder sending shudders through his body, he wanted to ask her to stop but couldn’t manage to form the words. Fighting the darkness that threatened to swallow him, his eye lids fluttered and finally closed.
“Shon! Open your eyes. You have to stay awake.” Bianca yelled at him. Blinking his eyes slowly opened blankly staring as his vision grew dim. Wetting his lips “Evie, tell her I lo ….”
“Shon! Shon? Open your eyes. Open your eyes and you can tell her yourself.” Bianca demanded frantic that he not lose consciousness. Vaguely he heard sirens in the distance. A moment later he felt hands lifting him up and a sensation of being carried. Drifting in and out of consciousness, sirens wailing around him. He tried to piece together what was happening. Sirens? An ambulance? Evie? Panic shot through him as he struggled to open his eyes. A voice above him “he’s awake.” Something waved in front of his eyes and a disembodied voice asking “how many fingers do you see?”
Fingers? Those were fingers? Could of fooled him, he had no idea what was waving in front of him. Pain shot through his side as if his insides were being ripped apart. Screaming in pain as the voices garbled together as if they were speaking a foreign language. Shon’s world resolved into a swirling pit of unbearable pain.
The next thing he knew he was being wheeled down a well-lit hallway. People on either side of him as they ran along side and flourescent lights passing by above his head. He moaned as they bumped into swinging doors where they stopped to transfer him to a table reawakening the intolerable pain.
“Shon, honey can you hear me?” a familiar voice pleaded with him.
With a massive effort Shon lifted an eyelid and let it fall back into place. What the heck? Did someone glue his eyes shut? He struggled to open his eyes as the voice continued to plead with him. “Shon please open your eyes.” Evelyn looked up at the nurse coming in to check his vitals “Why hasn’t he woken up yet?”
Smiling the nurse soothed “give him time Mrs Olivia. He just came out of surgery.”
“I know,” Evelyn’s voice rose “but the doctors said he should be awake by now. Is something wrong? What aren’t you telling me?”
“It takes time to recover from major surgery. The head trauma doesn’t help either.” Patting her shoulder the nurse continued “just keep talking to him. Sooner or later he’ll wake up. It’s only a matter of time.”
Nodding Evelyn looked past the nurse towards the door where a man was entering. “Dad,” Evelyn sighed in relief. Getting up she ran into his outstretched arms as she burst into tears. “How did you get here so quick?”
“Sometimes notoriety comes in handy when you need something fast.” William smiled at her. “I was able to get a direct flight here, hopped into a cab and came straight to the hospital.”
“I’m so glad you’re here,” she squeezed him tight.
“How is he?” William asked once she released him.
“He hasn’t woken up yet and it’s been five hours since he came out of surgery.” She turned back towards Shon, sitting in the chair beside his bed.
Pulling up another chair, William took her hand in his “Evelyn he’s going to be alright.”
Looking at her father Evelyn shook her head “no he’s not. If he was he’d be awake by now.” Her lip quivered as she fought to remain calm.
Turning her head to face him William said “Honey you have to stop saying things like that. You have to be positive, for your sake as well as for the boys.”
“I don’t know how,” she mumbled “I’m so scared Dad.”
“I know baby girl,” William stood pulling her to her feet. “You need to go home. Get some rest.”
Shaking her head in protest Evelyn attempted to sit back down. William pulled her gently but firmly away and directed her towards the door. “Go home. Comfort your babies. They need you right now.”
“You’re right,” Evelyn acknowledged giving in. “You’ll stay?” William nodded “and you’ll call as soon as he’s awake?”
“I will” William smiled “that officer over there will drive you home.” He pointed towards an officer waiting by the elevator doors.
Evelyn looked at the officer then back to her Dad “you were sent in her to convince me to go home weren’t you?”
“Yes,” William nodded “you have two little boys who are scared and upset and a distraught officer out of her element trying to comfort them. They need their mother.”
“But …” Evelyn began glancing back at Shon biting her lip torn between being there for her husband and her kids.
“Go” William pointed towards the elevator. “Evie your sons need you more than Shon does at the moment. I’ll be here. I’ll call you as soon as he’s awake. I promise.” William hugged her tight then pushed her gently towards the waiting officer. She looked back once more than squared his shoulders and walked towards the elevator.