He was worried, hide nor hair had been heard from Isidora, so he stopped by the last place she volunteered. Perhaps he was letting his obsessive need to see her get the better of him, but she had been coming around since she first announced her presence at Anson’s home. The building before him he had only heard of from an old news story, he’d never imagined having to go inside. Opening the door, he let himself inside and saw a room full of young children eating breakfast, some talking, probably telling jokes by the grins on their faces. Xavier looked around for Isidora, instead another woman appeared from the kitchen, carrying a small tray of muffins toward a basket.
“Good morning sir, how can I help you?”
“Morning. I’m looking for Isidora Torres.” Immediately the woman’s face frowned and suspicion filled her eyes.
“Who are you?”
“I’ve never seen you before. You’re a cop aren’t you?
“Detective. I’m here because she’s been missing a couple of days. Do you know where she is?”
“I don’t have anything to say to you.”
“Isn’t Isidora your friend? Don’t you care that she hasn’t turned up yet?”
“It isn’t uncommon for her not to come in.” She turned away leaving him frustrated. Why was it everywhere he went, he was blocked by a brick wall? No one wanted to give him any information on Isidora once they found out he was a detective. This sure was one tight-lipped neighborhood. Leaving the same way he came, he reached in his jacket pocket for his ringing cellphone.
“Where are you Xavier?”
“Chief, what’s going on? Something sounds urgent.”
“I overheard a conversation from a few of the rookies about Ms. Torres. She assaulted you?”
“She did, but I’m fine. I’m trying to track her down. I’m a little worried about her disappearance. It could be nothing but still.”
“How do you know that woman?”
“It’s sort of long story.”
“I’d rather you not get yourself tangled up with Ms. Torres, but officer Conrad is beyond ecstatic she’s been’s apprehended. I don’t like it one bit.”
“What are you talking about What happened?”
“From what I overheard, Ms. Torres allegedly tried to kill a couple she had previously adopted kids from.”
“Wait, what? I can’t believe that.”
“Come back to the station, I’ll explain everything then.”
“Just tell me where she is.”
“Get your ass back here, that’s an order.” Chief Canterbury was never this short with him no matter the circumstance. Something had to be up, something he wouldn’t want to hear. Making full use of the empty streets, he found himself at the station and standing in front of his bosses desk. “You got here awful fast.”
“What’s going on, Chief?”
“What’s your relationship with Isidora Torres?”
“What does that have to do with anything, sir?”
“Answer the question.”
Xavier sighed, hunched over in deep thought. He himself had no clue what their relationship was. If his superior were to ask Isidora, she’d reply they didn’t have one. “It’s complicated.”
“It’s complicated. Our relationship is in its infancy or in her words, it’s nonexistent.”
“Are you or aren’t you dating this woman?”
“Not officially. Like I said, it’s complicated.”
“I don’t want you getting any closer to her than you already have. You let her off for assaulting you. That isn’t your usual behavior. Don’t let your dick do the thinking for you.”
“I’m no idiot and Isidora isn’t an easy lay. Where is she?” he demanded.
“You’re the best at what you do and I need you here to do your job. I don’t want to give you any information concerning her but I have a feeling something isn’t quite right with her arrest. Officer Conrad said she’s been in holding for three days, and apparently her rights have been violated. Detective Richard Black hasn’t let this information leak to the public or else we’d have a war on our hands.”
“Black has her!? Isidora will not turn out like…” Xavier would have considered himself even-tempered but not when Isidora’s life was in danger. His arch nemesis would not make an example of his woman! He stormed out of the office heading toward the front of the building with his Chief hot on his heels.
“Calm down Xavier.”
“If Black so much as touched a hair on Isidora’s head, I’ll kill him.”
“Detective Laurent!” Canterbury bellowed, causing all the officers to stand at attention. “You uphold the law-”
“Screw that. You can have this badge!” he tossed his blue and gold badge to the ground along with his gun and sprinted out of the building. Never had Canterbury seen this side of Xavier. He had tried selfishly to keep him on a leash even though he knew Xavier was beyond ready to give up his title as detective. This he was certain, just pushed him over the edge and there was nothing he could do about it.
He felt free, freer than had in the last five years. He had thrown his whole life away for a woman he hadn’t once gone on a date with. Crazy, but worth it. If it hadn’t been her, he would have eventually gotten around to turning in his badge within the next two weeks. Now his focus was getting Isidora released, and what did Chief mean by having a war on their hands? Now that he could think clearly, he replayed their conversation wondering why Chief didn’t want him getting closer to Isidora. He supposed it didn’t matter now. A half an hour later, he marched up concrete steps and into a different police station Black ran.
“Can I help you sir?”
“Where’s Richard Black?”
“Who are you?”
“It’s okay. Detective Laurent and I are well acquainted.”
“Where is Isidora?”
“Ms. Torres? What’s it to you?”
“On whose order’s? Your’s?”
“You got that right.”
“How’d you even know she was here?”
“Doesn’t matter. Let me see her.”
“I don’t allow visitors.”
“You don’t have authority to violate her rights. She’s been held here for three days for a crime she was alleged to have committed. What about the people she supposedly stabbed, what did they have to say?”
“They haven’t woken from surgery. They are lucky to be alive. Why are you taking up for a criminal?”
“She’s not a criminal.”
“Don’t you know she has a record? You don’t know the horrible acts she’s committed against this department and now that I’ve got her, I’m going to make sure she gets what she deserves.”
“You are not judge, jury, and executioner. You’ve already condemned her before all the facts are on the table. That’s not how things are done.”
“You do you job and I’ll do mine.” Before Black had a chance to brush Xavier away, he was caught by the neck of his shirt. He twisted a ball of Black’s shirt around his fist nearly cutting off his windpipe.
“You let her out or you’re going to die by my hands this instant.” he threatened.
“I can have you arrested.” he struggled to say.
“Not before I kill you.” A group of police officers broke in between them, keeping perfect distance Xavier. Black rubbed his throat, settling his breathing back to normal.
“You’re going to pay, dearly.”
“Not before you do Detective Black. We meet again.”
“It must be my lucky day.”
“I understand you’ve been holding my client against her will and you didn’t allow her to contact me. That is a basic violation of her rights. Let’s not go through the rigamarole, release my client.”
“I don’t think you understand the situation-”
“No, it’s you who doesn’t understand. Think of this as saving your life and the lives of these police officers, if you don’t release my client, there won’t be enough left of you, your officers or this building to identify. I received a threatening letter I was to deliver to you and no, I have no idea who it’s from. I’d advise you to take this seriously. He pulled the letter from his briefcase and handed it over to Black.
As he scanned over the letter, he looked back at Isidora’s lawyer. “I don’t scare easily.”
“Have it your way. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And you, I suggest you follow me.” Xavier followed him from the precinct and down the stairs.
“You’re not going to just leave her there?”
“Trust me, you don’t want to be in there in the next fifteen minutes.”
“What did the letter say?”
“Better yet, who are you?”
“Is that so? Aren’t you a cop?”
“I’ll advise you again, don’t to say that where people can hear you.”
“How much do you know about Isidora?”
“Honestly, not much.”
“Then why are you fighting for her?”
“Because I like her.”
“But you don’t know anything about her.”
“So what? Doesn’t change how I feel.”
“Don’t get tangled up with her. I’m telling you for your own safety.”
“Why does everyone keep telling me that?”
“Don’t get me wrong, Isidora is not a bad person, she’s had many run-ins with Black and the police. Things haven’t always ended well.”
“What exactly has gone on?” Before the question could be answered a bullet shattered the glass doors to the entrance of the precinct. Both men instinctively ducked for cover as Xavier reach for his gun. Of all the times he could have tossed his gun, why did it have to be this day?
“Sit this one out.”
“Someone is shooting at the department. I can’t just turn a blind eye.”
“You’re going to get yourself killed, and for what?”
“Isidora is in there!”
“She’ll be fine. I promise.”
“So you know whose doing this?”
“I don’t. It could be anyone.” More shots were fired, this time in rapid succession. Engines revved and tires skidded to a stop. Car doors opened and men in black outfits unloaded on the building. Xavier was within four feet of the assailant and knew he had no chance of living if he tried anything foolish. The spray of bullets raining down on that building seemed to go on for an eternity before silence rang in his ears. He almost couldn’t believe this attacked happened in broad daylight.
By no means was he afraid, he’d been caught in between a hailstorm of bullets trying to take down murderers who didn’t want give up peacefully. One of the shooters turned and looked at him for a brief second and disappeared. He and the lawyer stayed safe tucked behind a car as cars sped off. As Xavier tried to stand, the lawyer grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back to the concrete.
“It’s not over unless Black releases Isidora. He’s got a ten minute reprieve before the next assault.”
“Are you kidding me? What was in that letter?”
“In short, everyone in that building is going to die unless they do the right thing. This is pay back for all of the things that department has done to her and a few other people.”
“Does Isidora know who might be doing this?”
“If she does, she’s not going to tell.” The lawyer checked his watch, five more minutes until the next wave of vengeance. He’s been witness to a lot of crazy things in his life, but this takes the cake. “Do you still want to get involved with her after seeing this?”
“I’m not afraid and I have nothing to hide. I care about her and I’m going to do everything I can to protect her.”
“As you can see, she’s got all the protection she needs.” He just wanted this to be over so he could get back to his job. He didn’t particularly like what Black has done to her and quite honestly, he’s getting what he deserves. As a lawyer he shouldn’t think that way, bias, but as a weak human being, he wanted justice whether it was inside the courtroom or out. A blast rocked him from his thoughts. The left side of the building had a gaping hole and the next explosion sounded like it came from the rear.
Police officers scattered from the building like ants from water. They heard the detective’s voice call out for Xavier to come get Isidora. Peeking over the car, he scanned the street and saw nothing but black uniforms moving erratically. Whomever the attackers were, they should have been close enough to hear Black’s demand so Xavier assumed it was safe to move in. Climbing the steps one by one, he inched closer and saw Black’s face turned upside down, he definitely wasn’t a happy man right now.
“Take her and get out!” A terrified cop led them to the back right of the building and opened her cell then took off.
“Isidora?” He walked in but she didn’t respond. Her legs were tucked under her and sweat beaded around her forehead. Blood stained her hands and clothes and she was barely breathing. “Isidora?” he shook her again.
“She needs to get to a hospital right now.” the lawyer added.
Xavier scooped her up with a worried expression etched into his face. The lawyer knew what was wrong with her but now wasn’t the time for questions. Crunching on broken glass and blasted rock, they exited what was left of the building and started for the nearest hospital.
Next part here: Full Circle
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