Kevin looked at his watch impatiently.
“Is it important, Mr Perkins? I was about to visit him.”
Mr Perkins nodded, stepping into the hallway to emphasise his point. He looked serious, and Kevin could feel that he was.
“Ok, come on in and we’ll talk about it.
“Seventeen Million?” Kevin gasped. Perkins nodded.
“We caught up with them at the airport, trying to smuggle it out in their hand luggage. It was all stolen and marked.”
Kevin was having trouble taking in this information. Seventeen Million dollars worth of jewellery? Was Brian really involved in that?
“They’ve all been arrested, and are expected to be sentenced shortly. They described Brian to a T, even down to his accent.”
Poor Brian. It always shone through when he was nervous.
“What does that mean?”
Mr Perkins placed his folder onto the table. “It means that there is more evidence against Brian, meaning a tighter case.”
Kevin’s heart sank. He had been hoping for good news.
“They said that they worked blindly. They didn’t know who they dealt with, not as a name anyhow. All they knew was that they were collecting a car, and that the jewels would be inside. Believe it or not, it came from a diverted e-mail. It could be from anywhere within the State.”
“So there would be no way of tracing it to the guy who was using Brian as his little puppet?”
Perkins shook his head. “I’m afraid not.”
This just got better and better. Now, not only was Brian accused of dealing in ‘dirty money’, he was also accused of dealing in stolen jewellery worth 17 MILLION DOLLARS!
“But there is one good thing.”
Kevin raised an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? What’s that” It had a sarcastic tone to it.
“Well, they still have the car in their possession, and if I’m not mistaken, cars have registration numbers, and if that is the case, it can be traced to an owner and a forwarding address. As long as the car was not stolen or hired, it’d give us an address.”
“Are you looking into it?” he asked hopefully.
“Of course”, Perkins said matter of factly.
He was exploring every option.
Howie was in the shower as the phone rang. His machine was playing up, and it wasn’t picking up. Stupid piece of crap. It wasn’t worth the $49 he’d spent on it last year.
“Pick up, Julio boy. Pick up.”
Billy impatiently sat in his car, relishing in the fear that he would hear in Latino boy’s voice when he told him in no uncertain terms what he was going to do to that beautiful baby boy’s face when he got out of the hospital.
“I know you’re in there, kiddo”.
It rang and rang, until he forced himself to hang up; frustrated. “Dammit!”
He’d learned lately that words spoke so much more loudly than actions, and a few little anonymous calls were enough to make anyone freak out.
His cell rang almost straight away.
The cloudiness of his eyes became more apparent as the anger welled in them. They glowed, almost red.
“What do you mean, they’ve been caught? What the fuck? What about our money? Stupid fucking Danish assholes. It was a simple operation. Just pick up the fucking jewels and get them across the border, and our guys would hand us the money.”
Suddenly, all thoughts of Howie were gone. He started up his engine, and sped away.
He couldn’t bear to look at the flowers that sat next to his bed, but what could he do? He couldn’t move them. Hell, he couldn’t even move himself.
What had he meant? He wasn’t finished with him? Or his boys?
Oh God, is he going to hurt the guys? He wanted to protect them; wanted to tell them, but he couldn’t speak. He wanted to tell Kevin to get them all the Hell away from here, but how was he going to do it?
He’d be here soon. He had to think fast, but in his drugged, foggy mind, it was hard to process information at more than a snail’s pace.
CHAPTER THIRTY ONE
Kevin took a deep breath. This was going to be so hard, looking at his cousin, lying so helpless and so vulnerable.
“I’m so sorry, Brian. I should’ve understood when all of this happened, but I didn’t . I was kind of blinded by family pride, and I’m sorry for that.”
Brian squeezed his cousin’s hand in a physical show of understanding.
I’m sorry too, Kev. Sorry I let you down.
“But promise me one thing. Promise me that no matter what happens, you will never do this again. I don’t think I could forgive myself if you did. I’m the big brother. I’m meant to take care of you guys…”
You take on too much, Kevvy. Give yourself a break.
Kevin wandered, deep in thought, until a sharp squeeze from Brian brought him back to earth with a thud. “What is it, pal?”
Brian averted his gaze to the flowers. Maybe this was a way of drawing his attention to them. Kevin looked confused.
“What? The flowers? They’re beautiful, Brian.”
Look at them, for God’s sake. Look at the note.
He continued with his frenzied eye movement, until Kevin picked them up. Still confused, he picked up the tiny card,looking to Brian for confirmation.
“You want me to read it?”
He nodded like a man possessed.
Yes yes yes yes “To my sweet blooded sweet. I’ll see you soon…”, Kevin read, and Brian recoiled.
“That’s kind of seductive. Where did you get these? Did one of the nurses bring them?” He smiled. God, he had a way with women, this kid. They just fell at his…
He looked into Brian’s eyes, and could see only one thing. Fear. Something inside of him snapped.
“Was it….”, another realisation, “Oh God…were they here?”
The tear which befell Brian’s eye was enough of a silent ‘yes’ for Kevin.
“Oh I’m so sorry…”
He looked at his cousin, unable to move and unable to make a sound, and he realised how helpless he must have felt. To be unable to protect his self from this crazy bastard must have been unimaginable.
“Did he hurt you?” he asked, voice panicked. Brian shook his head.
“What did he say?” Kevin asked, before realising his mistake. “Oh fuck, you can’t tell me.”
Brian had a thought. He began tapping profusely with his right hand. Would Kevin understand?
“Um, you want to write it?”
Brian nodded, wanting to burst with relief. At least he would be able to warn him…
“Just a second. I’ll go find something.”
Billy drove around in search of something, or someone, who could relieve his tension. He needed to get rid of all the pent up anger before he exploded. Otherwise, he’d just get himself into trouble, and he didn’t need that right now.
“Fucking idiots”, he repeated like a mantra.
She was standing on the corner of Jefferson Creek, red skirted and smoking a cigarette. They started early these days. Normally, they didn’t come out until after midnight. Like vampires, searching for prey and offering their body as a reward for whatever they caught. It was amazing. For such dirty little whores, they were so elegant in their line of work.
He pulled up alongside her.
“Hey baby”, she whispered seductively. “You want me to show you a good time?”
Hell yes, he thought, and opened his passenger door. Not in the way she thought, however, but he would teach her a lesson.
Maybe she’d even get her act together. Maybe he was doing her a favour.
CHAPTER THIRTY TWO
“Take your time, Brian”
His concentration was waivering as he held the pen between his shaky fingers, feeling as though his strengh were ebbing away with every moment he held it.
“Just relax. You’re still pretty messed up from that light sedative they gave you awhile back.”
Don’t I know it, Kevin.
He couldn’t help but let his mind wander over the events of the day. It had been a long one. Waking up in here, still alive, Billy’s little appearance, and now this? He was tired, and he just wanted to sleep, but the thought of Billy, with something in his eyes that resembled sadness, standing over his bed…it was enough to make him want to be physically sick…only he would probably choke to death if he did.
“You’re doing ok”, he whispered.
Brian tried to control his unsteady hand the best he could, due to the fact that the doctor had not approved the removal of his restraints, but he was finding it difficult. It was so hot…
God, get yourself together, Littrell. Billy could be anywhere right now…
He managed something…although God knows what it was.
Kevin read the paper, and his face contorted into hurt. “You want me to leave?”
The note read, in tragic little letters, ‘Get Out’.
Brian shook his head vigorously.
No, No, No…stupid Brian.
Brian tapped a little more, wanting to clear up Kevin’s misjudgement. Kevin obliged and turned the paper over.
When Brian finished, his eyes closed from exhaustion.
“Maybe we should stop, Brian”, Kevin added, worried. Nonetheless, he looked upon the note.
“Get out of Town”.
Brian nodded. “Brian, what do you mean? Leave town? Leave you on your own when there is someone out there who wants to fuck you over?”
Brian closed his eyes, which Kevin had concluded meant ‘yes.’
“But why? Why do you want us to leave you?”
Using his last burst of energy, Brian wrote one final word, before practically falling unconscious in his bed.
“You want to show me a good time….Brian?” Billy yelled.
The girl looked at him, confusion in her eyes, but finally acceptance.
“Oh right. Brian. Sure, whatever makes you happy, baby…”
Billy sat up from the bed in which they were lying, naked, and slapped the girl viciously across the face. She gasped, not expecting it, but she maintained her composure.
“He does not make me fucking happy. You got that?”
The prostitute nodded. “Yeah. Jesus….”
Billy settled down a little, before looking at his nails, somewhat nervous. He’d been with prostitutes before, but not since….not since….it happened. He had to get it out of his system before it tore him apart.
“You said you do all kinds of things?” he asked curiously.
“Sure. Anything you want.”
He pushed her onto her front, and climbed on top of her, and was surprised to hear her laugh.
“Ooh, you like that, baby? I like it, too…”
Billy grabbed her by the hair, causing her to yelp, his eyes clouded over, hooding the dark pupils.
“Don’t fight. It’s so much easier when you don’t fight…” he said, his voice gravely, as he relieved all of his pain; all of his suffering, into this one filthy girl who nobody would miss.
“You fucking like this, Brian?” he yelled to her as she screamed. He continued regardless, feeling powerful in his payback, shouting the name of the person who gave him all of this anger…