Reading Between the Lines

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Chapter 18

Pain blurred my sense of time as I continued laying on the floor. Every time I thought I had the energy; I would attempt to lift my head off the ground. My vision would grow fuzzy and I would have to put my head back down. The entire time Ethan stood at the entryway of the living room, occasionally glancing between me and the outside, a sinister look in his eyes the entire time. I had never been the type to pray to god, but I prayed that Samuel got here quickly because I was not sure how much longer I was going to make it.

What seemed like a few minutes later, tires screeched as they pulled to a stop. A small grew on Ethan’s face as his eyes fell to outside. “Look who's finally here.” There was the sound of rushing footsteps then the door bursting open as it hit the wall behind it.

Samuel rushed into the house, charging towards Ethan in the process. The second Samuel saw me lying on the floor, he stopped in his tracks.

“What the fuck have you done to her?!” Samuel bellowed, his eyes remaining focused on me.

“I already told you that I hurt her, I don’t know why it’s such a shock to you.” Ethan shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. “Detective Rhodes, Samuel if I may, let’s talk- “

“No. I’m not fucking saying anything to you until you let me help Cassandra.”

“What makes you think I’d let you help her?”

“Because if you don’t let me help her, not only will you get jack shit from me, but you’ll have a dead body on your hands.” He responded harshly as he already began stepping close towards me. “If you don’t find me a towel, I swear to fucking god I will rip you limb from fucking limb and not think twice about it.”

Fear struck Ethan’s eyes as he darted towards a different part of the house. The second he was gone, Samuel rushed towards me on the ground.

“Holt shit,” Samuel spoke, his voice cracking. He raised a shaky hand to brush away hair that had fallen in my face. “How are you doing?”

“I’ve been better.” I turned my head from the blaring lights shining down from above me. “God, I feel like shit.”

“That’s what happens when you have a gaping wound in your temple.” I turned to face Samuel to see tears falling down his face. Samuel leaned forward, his head hanging over my body.

“I’m going to get you out of this Cassandra.” He placed his lips against my forehead before pulling away. As he pulled away, Ethan entered the room, tossing a towel in Samuel’s direction.

He got the towel with one hand and then with the other, gently lifted my head off the ground to place the towel underneath the wound. Samuel made sure my head was comfortably resting against the towel before standing up from the ground. “What is it you want?”

“After what’s happened today, I’ll probably have charges brought against me. You’re going to make sure those charges don’t stick.”

“You do know I’m just a Detective, right? It is not my call whether charges stick or not. Even if I did, you have killed two people Ethan! You have beaten Cassandra to a bloody mess on the floor! What in your right mind thinks that I would want to help you after you’ve harmed the woman I love?” Samuel yelled out, gesturing wildly with his hands as he approached Ethan.

Even with Samuel bursting at the seams with rage, Ethan remained collected. “I killed Crenshaw and Detective Wilde because I was protecting Cassandra. She is the way she is right now because I was protecting her from you. I will do whatever it takes to protect her as will you.”

“Do you seriously think a psychotic motherfucker such as yourself is ever going to have a chance with her?! You’re the one who put her in the position she’s in!” At that comment, Ethan pulled his gun out and began pointing at Samuel. He was just as quick as Samuel pulled his service pistol out from behind his back and pointing it at Ethan.

“You’re really starting to test my patience Detective.” Ethan ground out between his teeth.

“Welcome to the fucking club buddy.” The two men stared each other down, their barrels pointed at each other.

Ethan’s finger tightened on the trigger, ready to pull it. He didn’t get the chance as Samuel pointed the barrel towards Ethan’s knee and pulled the trigger. A bang rang throughout the air as the bullet darted towards Ethan. His screams filled the air as the bullet tore through his muscles and bones.

Ethan’s body fell to the floor with a thud, the gun clattering to the ground. After kicking the gun away from Ethan, Samuel secured his pistol and rushed over towards me, pulling out his phone in the process.

“Is he going to die?” I groaned out, finally getting the energy to lift my head off the ground.

“No. His knee will be fucked for the rest of his life, but he won’t die.” With his eyes focused on me, Samuel dialed a number then put the phone to his ear. “Detective Samuel Rhodes, badge number 13. I am at the Gilbert Residence with two wounded. One with a gunshot wound to the knee, the other with an open gash on the temple. Origins are unknown. I need EMS here asap.” He stayed on the phone for a few moments longer before hanging up, tossing it to the side.

“Think you can stand?” Samuel asked, his hand resting on my back. After much groaning, I was able to stand up from the ground. When my knees buckled, Samuel’s arm wrapped itself securely around my waist, pulling me closer towards him. He did his best to shield my vision from Ethan’s screaming and writhing form as he moved around on the floor.

When the blinding light hit my eyes as I stepped outside, I felt my vision start to go black. Maybe it is because an undetermined amount of blood had left my body. Maybe it is because my body knew I was safe and no longer in danger, but I felt myself slip from consciousness. Samuel’s arms yanking my body upwards was not enough to keep myself from losing consciousness and falling towards the ground.

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