Unkindest Cut of All

Chapter 15

When he got home after leaving work and going out for a beer with his partner so that she could talk to him about her relationship with Walsh, as well as express her concerns about his wellbeing, Cole found his fiancée in bed asleep, just as he expected her to be at a little after four o'clock. A part of him wanted to get in beside her and just fall asleep, as he was exhausted, but his own fear about allowing his brother to get rid of Walsh was wearing on his conscience. The part of him that had found God was torturing his other half. So instead, Cole walked out into the living room of his apartment and turned on the television quietly in hopes that the distraction would quiet his mind.

He knew that he should turn himself in and take whatever punishment he'd have coming to him in order to save Walsh, a man, who didn't turn him in because he believed in him, but he wasn't the only one going to pay for his actions if he did. Cole not only worried about what would happen to his brother, but he also feared how this would affect his relationship with his fiancée, as well as his relationship with his partner. He would lose them both and he would lose his badge. Could he really live with being responsible for the death of another cop and friend?

After a few minutes of staring at the TV, his phone suddenly began to ring and as he looked at the caller ID, he saw that it was Tommy, then quickly answered it as he asked, "Tommy, what's going on? Do you not know what time it is?"

His brother shouted, "That frickin' detective escaped! He's going to destroy us both if you don't get down here now and help me finish him off before he talks!"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down!" Cole cried out fearfully as he quickly got up from his spot on the couch, grabbed his jacket from where he dropped it, pulled it on, and left his apartment once again. "What happened? He's sick and badly hurt from a knife wound in his stomach. How on earth did you let him escape? I thought you had a handle on this!"

"I don't know how he escaped, all right!" Tommy angrily responded. "But he did and somehow made it back to his diner, where I was about to kill his partner, but…"

Cole suddenly interrupted, "Wait a minute, you tried to do what? Are you insane? You're going too far. I was willing to go along with helping you cover up Walsh's death, as long as you were willing to do all of the hard work, but I can't be responsible for any more. Letting Walsh down alone is killing me. You can't kill his partner too."

His brother replied, "We don't have a choice anymore, Henry. He managed to save her, but I know he took a bullet somewhere and that he's been rushed to the hospital. What I don't know is if he managed to tell her anything about me, or that you're involved. Either way, we have to get rid of them both. Are you ready to lose everything? Because that is what's going to happen, just like I've told you a dozen times now. I suggest you man up and do what is necessary, or you'll no longer have to worry about just your frickin' conscience. You'll have to worry about a needle being injected into your arm or a shank to your gut. The inmates don't like cops, who get put on the inside."

"All right, all right!" Cole shouted angrily, caving in under the pressure. "Where are you right now?"

"I'm getting myself patched up right now by one of those sleazy doctors without an actual medical degree in some place I heard about while I was inside," Tommy answered, as he suddenly shouted out at someone wherever he was at. "Detective Walsh frickin' shot me when I was about to kill his partner! It's nothing, but it still hurts like hell. Get over here now. I'll text you the address."

Tommy hung up on him by the time Cole reached his car and started the ignition. Cole put down the phone and just sat there as he wondered how this whole thing managed to spin out of control so fast. After a few minutes, he suddenly slammed his fist up against the steering wheel and began to drive toward the address that his brother had sent him on his phone. It was then that his phone began to ring once again and he quickly answered it as soon as he saw that it was his partner, no doubt calling him about Walsh being found and rushed to the hospital.

He quickly asked, "Allison, is everything okay?"

She sounded afraid as she responded, "Henry, I need you to pick me up and take me to the hospital right away. Walsh has been found, but Shraeger told Sergeant Brown that he's hurt really bad. I don't know any more than that, but he wants us all there as soon as we can."

"Ah… I'm on my way," Cole replied, then hung up.

As soon as he did, Cole realized that he'd have to call his brother back and explain to him that he's been given orders to head to the hospital, so he'd have to find his own way back to the hotel where he's been staying. As they spoke again, Cole told Tommy he'd try to find out all he could about Walsh's escape and if he had managed to tell his partner anything important. Then, he hung up and drove toward Beaumont's apartment to pick her up, as her car was currently in the shop after being rear ended the other day by a group of punks out for a joyride in a stolen car. As he drove, Cole worked to push down the knot that had formed in the pit of his stomach and then softly prayed for forgiveness for everything that he had done so far and was about to do until his partner stepped into his car.

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