CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
Kevin slept on Brian’s words.
‘Get out of town. Danger.’
He had ordered extra security, and checked the guys into a hotel until he could speak to Brian properly. He was kind of spaced out at the moment, but he’d be off the respirator by morning, and he’d be able to communicate more clearly. He was damned hard work at the moment, but with what was going on, Kevin didn’t want to take any chances.
All of this shit in a matter of days…Unbelievable.
He was sharing a room with Nick that night; Nick normally sharing with Brian and not wanting to be alone. He was worried. It was understandable; they all were, but he was especially close to Brian. The past few days had hit him really badly.
The hospital had checked their security cameras to see if anything could be made out, but they were grainy. It could’ve been Michael Jackson for all the good the footage did. They’d contacted the police, who’d been put on alert, but they thought they had a firm case against Brian. They didn’t want to be deviating from their course of investigation, which had pissed Kevin right off, but there was nothing he could do about it.
He thought of Brian. Gently, meek, mild little Brian, who had yesterday felt the need to kill himself, and had probably left himself on lifelong medication and an alcohol ban due to the damage to his liver which, whilst not life threatening, would be causing him some problems in his diet and such, not to mention the pain it was causing him right now.
He’d never be able to escape this…
He thought of when they were kids, and he used to torment the living daylights out of him. He was so sensitive to that kind of thing. How was he coping with this?
He’d probably crack a joke of it eventually, but now? Now he was a broken man, with all of his morals and his beliefs shattered on the floor in front of him…and he didn’t even have the freedom to pick up their pieces.
“How are you feeling, honey?” Jackie said, holding her son’s hand in her own.
“Better”, he croaked, his voice sore from the respirator that had since been replaced with a nasal cannula. “But can I have these removed yet?”
He motioned to the straps which tortured him so much. He wanted his mother to hold him, but he couldn’t hold her back. He wanted to feel her in his arms, emanating love and warmth, but he wasn’t allowed to.
“Baby, the doc says they have to stay until you’ve been evaluated. I’m sorry, honey. It’s procedure.”
Brian’s shoulders slumped, dejected.
“The guys booked into a hotel last night because of your note.”
Brian panicked. “Make sure they stay there…”
Harold placed his hand over his sons chest. “Shh, son, it’s ok. They are going to until they can sort a few things out. “
“You make sure you take Eddie wherever you go, ok?”
He was referring to his bodyguard; the one who was seated in the waiting room; the one who Kevin had ordered to attend his aunt and uncle.
“Sure we will, but do you mind telling us what’s going on?”
“Yeah, Brian, I’d like to know that, too.”
A young voice in the doorway. Nick.
“Frack…”, Brian croaked, so happy to see him yet so guilty for what he had put him through.
“Frick…last time I saw you, you were dead.”
Brian’s face froze at Nick’s words. His voice was filled with humour to mask the pain that was underlying. He always covered up his anxiety with a smile, which was probably why he was so moody. Pent up bad feeling coming out in bad ways…
“I…Im sorry”, Brian said, sounding utterly ashamed. Nick kicked himself for being so tactless.
“Hey buddy, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I’m just….glad you’re ok.”
He kissed Brian on the head, as a little brother would his elder sibling. “It’s ok.”
Brian nodded his head, his tears not putting in an appearance after all.
“Now, you were saying?”
“Nick, it’s Billy. Billy Fernandez.”
Nick looked at him, confusion written all over his face.
“What, Billy the psycho who kicked your butt? He was an asshole, Brian.”
“Nick, please. He knew everything about you guys…where you lived, what you did. Nicky he”, he coughed, causing his mother go gasp, “he tapped your phone.”
He had Nicky’s attention, now. “What?”
Brian nodded. “And the other guys, too. Nick, he had his guys follow you around so they could make a move on you if I stepped out of line. He said that I was going to get him his contacts back, and help him regain his reputation…”
“The jewellery. Brian, why didn’t you tell us sooner?”
So much for holding back the tears. “Because I never had the chance. He was watching me….constantly…..and I didn’t want you to act differently in case he hurt you. He said he was going to cut your throat, Nicky, and I couldn’t let him do that.”
Nick’s heart skipped a beat as he heard the threats this awful man had been making to Brian, who had been visibly shaken for awhile. Nick had known that something was wrong, but this?
“Is it because he got sent away?”
Brian nodded. “Something changed him, Nicky. Made him…cold. He was crazy before, but he’s worse now. He broke into my house and he…he thought I was unconscious and he…told me things.”
Nick covered his mouth. “What did he tell you?”
Brian’s pale face paled even further as he remembered.
CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR
"And you have an address for that?" Mr Perkins asked.
"Yes, I have a pen and paper", he replied to the person on the end of the phone.
"224 South End Drive?...Thank you."
He put the phone down and smiled. "Gotchya."
He just hoped that it wasn't a dead end. It was the only lead they had. He picked up the phone and called Mr Richardson.
Billy was frantic.
"You deserved it.Brian", he shouted, "..or Chastity, or whatever the fuck your name was."
He looked at her, lying on the bed, face down with her arm bent at an awkward angle. She was blue tinged, with her hair covering her face. Rigor Mortis made her look like an over-sized, barely movable Barbie doll, with blonde hair streaked with black, roots showing
"You deserved it", he repeated, covering her with the sheet which was wrapped around her legs, as she had writhed against his strong hands the previous night.
He felt better for it then, but now? Now he felt sick. What the Hell had he done?
"You fucking did this to me! You made me what I am, you fucking freak."
He yelled himself hoarse, before slumping down the the floor, completely sickened by what he saw.
Had he really been fuelled with that much anger?
CHAPTER THIRTY FIVE
Perkins sat down with Kevin.
“Mr Richardson; the police are doing their jobs. I can’t allow you to risk everything by charging down there like a bull in a china shop.”
Kevin felt his fists clench; his breathing catch in his throat.
“They think he did it, that ‘s why they’re taking their time. They don’t WANT to change the course of their investigation because it’s funny. A cutesy little Backstreet Boy in the slammer. How funny is that?”
Perkins sensed the kid’s anger. He had a right to feel that way because, admittedly, the police department were set in their ways, but they were on their way round to that address as they spoke. Who knows what they might find?
“So what are you expecting?” Kevin asked, calming down.
“Well, we’re expecting to haul in a suspect. If there’s nobody home, we can acquire a search warrant, and that goes for incooperation, also. Either way, we’re going to have a good going over that property; see what we can come up with.”
Kevin nodded. “I suppose that sounds fair…”
“In the meantime, I want you to speak to Brian. See how much he can remember…myself not being family, well, you understand…?”
“Sure, Mr Perkins. I’ll see what I can do.”
“Shit, shit, shit!”
Billy was panicking, now. It wasn’t a game anymore. He’d taken it too far, but he couldn’t help it. The memory of it; the gruesome memory; it had been enough to drive him to this. Didn’t that show how fucked up it all was?
He picked up his telephone, staring intently at the body in his bed, looking so small beneath the sheets. So small and so still. He nervously twiddled with the phone wire.
“Pick up, you damn bastard” he yelled to the person yet to answer.
‘Brian’ had not breathed for 8 hours, now, and she was starting to smell. He thought they didn’t do that for months, but he was obviously mistaken, because there was an unmistakable hum coming from that side of the room.
Distracted, he took awhile to register the voice on the other end of the line.
“Marlo”, he whispered. “I think we have a problem.”
Brian lay back in his bed. He felt truly awful. Sick, nauseous, cramped…not to mention in pain from his stomach. Self inflicted, of course…
He’d been alone for the past hour or so, his family and friends leaving to give him some time with his doctors. He’d been allowed out of bed to attend a meeting with a psychiatrist named Dr Banbury, but as soon as he returned, he was tied down again. It had felt so good to be out of those things, but he understood this hospital’s policy. He did, in fact, attempt suicide a couple of days before. How could he expect them to trust him not to do it again?
“Situations such as these do bring out extreme actions”, Banbury told him, “but there are other ways of dealing with such problems. To turn to suicide is a desperate measure. My job is to assess your state of mind.”
Good luck to him.
“Mr Littrell?” the nurse said, meekly. He turned to her, his bright blue eyes standing out against his pale, somewhat yellow tinged skin. Liver damage…
“Yes?” he croaked, adding a little cough to clear his raw throat.
“This letter just arrived for you.”
A letter? From who? Did anyone know he was here? He looked down at his form and smiled sadly. The young nurse picked up on what he was thinking. She didn’t have to be a mindreader to do this.
“You want me to read it to you? I can do that.”
Brian looked up. “Could you?”
She pulled up a chair next to him, and opened the blue envelope carefully, so as not to rip the letter inside. It was a small note, typed.
“Oh, it’s a poem.”
Brian swallowed hard. “What does it say?”
The nurse cleared her throat. “Here goes…”
“I saw you getting frightened,
I saw you getting scared,
I watched you in your darkest hour,
Now isnt’ that absurd?
I touched you in your blackness,
I smelt you in your pain,
There’s nothing now that I’d love
Than to smell that fear again.
You fucked me with your lawyers,
And this I know you see
But now I fuck you night and day,
The way that they fucked me.”
Her voice had paused at every harsh word, but she had continued. It was his letter. He had a right as a human being to know what it had said. Looking up, she saw that he was shaking like a leaf.
“What does it mean?” she asked, genuinely concerned.
“Nothing”, he lied. He didn’t want to go into it with a stranger. He didn’t trust anyone but his own family. For all he knew, this could be one of Billy’s disciples…
“Well, Mr Littrell, you look terrified. Look at your heart-rate. It’s shot up. I think maybe I should…”
“NO!”, Brian yelled. “Don’t give me anything for it. I’ll be fine.”
She looked concerned. “I’m going to send Dr Chantler in. See what he says.”
Brian lay back. Had Billy been here again?
“What in God’s name did you do?” Marlo, a big, brooding Italian asked, lifting the garbage-bag convered body out of the trunk of his people-carrier.
“Firstly, I did nothing in GOD’S NAME”, he said, emphasising his point, “and second of all, this wasn’t supposed to happen.”
Marlo frowned. “So you just killed her by mistake, is that right? That’s why she’s bruised from head to foot with a broken arm, and oh, not to mention the fact that she’s dead.?”
Billy shushed him as they carried the body deep into the woodland. It was deserted here. He knew that, because the HQ had never been discovered.
“And why did we have to stop off at the hospital? Do you want to draw more attention to yourself?”
Billy frowned. “Marlo, you dropped the fucking thing off. Don’t you think attention was drawn to YOU rather than ME?”
Marlo thought for a second, then realised that Billy was right. “Fuck”, he muttered.
“Just help me hide the body, and you can be on your way.”
Billy forced the bravado. He hoped that Brian realised what he’d drove him to. He hoped he realised that now, the stakes were higher. In his blind ignorance, Billy wondered if Brian would be expecting it when he struck next.