I quickly try to fill John in on the details.
“Wait a minute.” John said. “Could you please slow it to a slow walk. I am just waking up.”
I sat on the edge of the bed with the cordless phone to my ear. I inhale slowly.
“As I said, I have a video tape with Richard Langston and Mitchell making love. Towards the end of the tape Richard and Mitchell were talking about the bust and all the evidence that they took. And because Mitchell was going to confess, I have no doubt that Richard killed him. After Minna and I were leaving our office building the other day, a black van nearly mowed her down. We didn’t call the police right away because I didn’t know who to trust and my instincts were right, it seems Matthew’s involved in all of this.”
“I don’t get it. How do you know all this?”
“Bare with me John. I’m just getting this together as I’m telling you. After Minna and I looked at the tape together I dropped her back at the office. I called the police station looking for you, but you weren’t there, so I asked Matthew if he could send someone over to make sure Minna got home safely. He was the only person I spoke with. The next thing I know, Minna rings me sounding extremely uptight telling me that she needed the tapes. She tried to tell me that somehow Matthew was involved. But before she could even finish, the phone was snatched from her and Richard got on the line. He threatened to kill her if I don’t come to some address by 2:00. John I really don’t know what to do. He’s already killed two people, run over my father, who knows what he’s going to do now.”
“Trevor, calm down. We’re gonna get this bastard, trust me. The first thing we need to do is get some back up.”
“No!!” I exclaimed. “That’s the first thing he’ll think I’ll do. I’m gonna have to do this myself.”
“Trevor, you’re gonna get killed. At least let me come with you. It’ll be just like old times.”
I thought about it for a few seconds. Then I figured that my options were extremely slim and that I would need all the help I could get.
“Okay, you’re right. I don’t have much time though. I don’t even know where Treeline Road is at anyway.”
“We can figure it out when I get there. I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes.”
I hung up the phone and started to pace the room. “Trevor, get a grip.” I said to myself. I sat on the bed to try to calm my edged nerves. The first thing I decided to do was to figure out where in the hell was this address. I concluded that it had to be in the immediate area. So I rushed downstairs to grab a map out from the utility drawer. I spread the map out on the kitchen counter and intently pored over it. After two minutes, I found the road and realized it was only a ten minute drive from my house.
I tapped my head with my finger trying to piece a plan together. Since they were so close, I’m almost certain they would have me watched. I ran to the phone to try and reach John on his car phone. I quickly dialed his number and fortunately he was still in his car.
“John how close are you?”
“I’m just around the corner why?” “Don’t come in the complex.”
“Why, what the hell is going on Trevor?”
“John, they’re probably casing my house. Who knows what they’ll do to Minna if they find out you’re coming here. Park in the back of the lot of the Seven Eleven around the block. In about five minutes, I’m going to drive up and park right in front of the store. No one should be there this time of night. I’ll go in and buy a pack of cigarettes. Then I’ll drive out the lot and just wait about a couple of seconds. I’m sure they’ll have someone following me. Just trail whoever it is.”
“Alright. Keep me on your car phone.”
I raced upstairs, taking the steps two by two. I grabbed Honey and placed her in my back holster. I placed the bullets in my satchel and snatched my keys off the dresser. As I bolted down the stairs, I nearly forgot the tape and the box of letters. I grabbed them both and then rushed out the door.
I backed out of the parking space slowly and began to make my way to the Seven Eleven. As I enter the parking lot, I can see John’s Honda Civic to the right of me. I parked in front of the convenience store as I had planned and walked in. I quickly bought a pack of Newports and walked out. I jumped back in my jeep and left the parking lot. I looked at the clock on the dashboard and then in my rearview mirror. It only took the black van that nearly killed Minna three minutes to pull in behind me.
I picked up the cellular phone and dialed John’s car phone number.
“Trevor, I’m about two car paces behind the van. What do you wanna do?”
“I don’t know yet. But one thing’s for sure, we gotta get him out the way before we get to this place.”
“We could always try the maneuver we did with the Senator Murphy case.” “Sounds like a plan to me. Give me another fifteen minutes.”
“Just remember, I have Yolanda’s car. She’ll be one pissed bitch if I bring her car back all fucked up.”
“Don’t worry. If we do this right, the only thing I’ll have to replace is her front bumper.”
Ten minutes pass before I felt I could put this plan to work. “Alright John, I’m gonna make this right.”
“I’m ready whenever you are.”
I quickly sped up and made an abrupt right turn. The van followed suit. I then put on the brake causing the van to jerk to a stop. John followed the van ramming it from behind. I jumped out of the jeep and pulled Honey from my holster. I ran up to the door and jerked it open. The impact from John’s collision had forced the head of the driver to hit the steering wheel with such force, he was unconscious. John rushes to my side with his gun in both hands. I grabbed the sandy blond hair of the driver and pulled his head backwards. And just as I thought, it was Matthew. His face was covered with blood.
“You better get your handcuffs, so he doesn’t cause anymore problems.” I say to John. “I still can’t believe Matthew was involved in all this shit,” John says, as he cuffs Matthew to the steering wheel.
“Money can make people do some stupid shit. With that thought, who knows what we’ll be facing when we get there.”
After making sure there was no way Matthew could get free, John and I made our way to the address Richard gave me. We both parked two blocks away from the two-family home and started to walk in the direction of the dark area.
I quickly looked at my watch and looked at John. “Listen, John, Richard is no dummy. He probably knows that I’m not corning alone. So I’m gonna do the unexpected and just go right up to the front door and knock. I don’t know what this motherfucker’s got planned, but no matter what, I want him to pay for this shit. So, if I don’t make it, I made a copy of the tape and I want you to indict his ass.”
“Don’t talk stupid, Trevor. You were one of the best officers we ever had on the force.
With the both of us back on the case, Richard doesn’t have a chance in hell.”
“I appreciate that, John. But I’m serious, I’m gonna go in alone. Just make sure if I don’t get him, you do.”
“No doubt, buddy.”
As John waits in the bushes, I walked up the front porch and knocked on the door. I looked in the window and everything was pitch black. I couldn’t see a thing. I knocked on the door again, this time a little harder. The door opened slowly from the impact of my fist. My mind was saturated with confusion, doubt and helplessness. I wanted to pull out my gun, but was unsure of the situation I was walking into. I stepped in slowly, trying not to make much noise.
In the dense darkness I slowly groped the wall for a light switch. I finally found the switch in what must have been the living room. As the light came on, I was slightly blinded. My eyes adjusted slowly to the light and I gave the room a quick look. The room was completely empty except for a piece of paper on the mantle. I rushed over to the fireplace and picked up the paper to read it.
Please be so kind as to join us in the master bedroom.
I crumpled the paper and threw it to the floor. Why was this asshole playing with me? My nerves were causing my stomach to get queasy. With the tape and letters in hand, I take each step of the stairway cautiously. I make it to the second floor and wonder which one was the master bedroom. The light from the living room didn’t give the hallway much illumination, so I walked close to the wall as I pushed each bedroom door open, like some television game show. It was the last door that caught my breath in mid-gasp. At the foot of a huge king-sized bed was Marcus. He was totally naked except for a rope, which tied his wrists and feet behind his back and a handkerchief that was stuffed in his mouth. As Marcus saw me peer through the door his eyes swung frantically, seemingly trying to draw my attention, but I couldn’t make out exactly what he was trying to say. Before I could move to come to Marcus’ aid, my eyes flew directly towards a movement on the bed. Like something out of a Stephen King movie Minna was laid out like an image of Christ on a cross. With her arms spread and handcuffed to the headboard, her legs were tied together by some rope. Her mouth was covered too with a handkerchief. Minna had nothing on except for her dark green bra and panties. I immediately dropped the articles I carried with me and rushed to her side.
“Now all of the players are here,” came a piercing voice from the dark.
Before I could tum around, something hard landed on my head causing me to tumble onto the bed. For a few moments I was unable to hold onto consciousness. When I came to I could feel my feet being tied together. I didn’t move, trying not to let Richard become aware that I was conscious. Not realizing that I would awaken so quickly, Richard failed to tie my hands first. With all my force I could muster, I sat up quickly and brought my hands together on each side of Richard’s head, applying as much air pressure as I could into his ears. Richard fell back onto the floor as he howled in pain. I tried to get up, but the knock to my head had affected me more than I thought, and I tripped to the floor with him.
Richard was able to recover faster than I could and he quickly got up and brought his foot to my abdomen. Writhing in pain, I inched away from him with my feel still tied.
Richard quickly stood over me with a pipe in his hand. “Now, now where do you think, you’re going? The party’s just started,” he said.
He grabbed my shirt and brought my face to his. The kick to my stomach brought blood to my mouth.
“Is that all you’ve got, motherfucker?” I said as I spit the blood out from my mouth.
Richard dragged me over to a chair where he practically threw me in. He then started to bring the pipe and to my head again and for some reason he stopped. “No, I think I’ll let you witness this.”
He grabbed my arms and pulled them to the back of the chair, where he tied them tightly. “Now that we’re all here, let’s get this party started.”
He walked over to Marcus, who looked extremely frightened. Before Richard could place a hand on him, I spoke up.
“You know Richard, you’re one stupid fuck. What makes you think that I really brought the stuff you wanted.”
Richard turn ed around quickly. “Because, Trevor, I have your placed bugged, okay? How else do you think I knew that you were making a copy of the tape? And I was always one step ahead of you. Who’s the stupid fuck now?”
The energy started to drain out of me. It seemed like he had everything figured out.
Then I remembered that he doesn’t know what happened to Matthew. And since I’ve got him talking, maybe I could keep him talking.
“Tell me, Richard, why didn’t you just kill me and gotten it over with?” Richard sits down in a chair opposite me and looks at me squarely.
“You know, you’re a talkative little shit. That’s okay, cause it won’t be long before I shut you up for good. Hmm, why didn’t I just kill you? Yeah, admittedly it would’ve been a lot easier. But I wanted to see your little black ass squirm. It was perfect. First, I kill your lover, then frame you for it, then hurt everyone that mattered to you. It was perfect. Until you got so fucking inquisitive. But, I will admit, it was funny as hell seeing you blame Matthew, then blame John and then find out it was actually Matthew who was involved in all of it. Speaking of that, where in the hell is he?”
“Oh that piece of shit? I got rid of him before I came over. You just can’t get good help nowadays, can you?.” I said sarcastically. “I still don’t get it though, why pick me? I never did anything to bother you.”
A dark cloud circles Richard’s face. “You’re right, you just don’t get it. You weren’t the only one in love with Mitchell. But you were the one that had his heart. The only way I could keep him was if I kept him in drugs. But after you made him go to detox, I thought I’d lost him forever. But I knew he couldn’t give it up. And after Internal Affairs broke up my goddamn ed coke ring, we were gonna take the money and run. But Mitchell couldn’t stop loving you and got a conscience, he was just about to ruin everything, but I made sure that he wouldn’t.”
“So you killed Mitchell and Raymond.”
“Aren’t you fucking listening? Ya’ damned right I killed them both. I wasn’t gonna let love put me in jail. Killing Mitchell was easy. Give him some crack and he’ll trust you like he trusted his momma. And after I found out you were going over to pay Raymond a house call, I figured I would kill two birds with one stone. Ruin you and your father and get rid of a possible motor-mouth.”
“You know, you’re a sick motherfucker. What are we supposed to do, feel sorry for your demented ass? It’s no fucking wonder Mitchell couldn’t stand your ass. I mean, look at you, what in the hell would he want with a deranged bastard like you for?”
I could feel Marcus and Minna staring at me with disbelief. But, I knew exactly what I was doing. Richard had a bad temper and I knew from experience that his anger blinded him. As he slowly makes his way over to me, I try to position myself for action. Richard places the pipe between my legs as he bends over fixing his face directly in front of mine.
“It’s gonna be one helluva pleasure beating the shit out of you. I want to see you take your very last breath. When your body can’t take anymore and heaves its final gasp of life.”
As he raises the pipe above my head, I immediately push the chair back with my feet causing my feet to meet with his genitals. Richard howls in pain as he bends over and falls to my right. Unable to regain my footing, the chair falls back, knocking the wind out of me. I bend my knees enough to place my feet on the seat of the chair. Pushing with all my weight, I was able to slide my hands free from the back of the chair. As I try to wiggle my bound hands free, the pain from my back reminds me that Honey was still in her place. In the most awkward position, I was able to grab my gun out of its holster.
I try to maneuver my way in Richard’s direction. But Richard was able to rise in a bent stance and starts to stumble towards me. I shot two bullets in Richard’s direction, but to no avail. Richard kept stumbling forward with the pipe in his hand.
“Concentrate, Trevor.” I told myself as I look over my shoulder and try to aim again. But as I look over my shoulder, I can’t see Richard. “Where in the hell are you?” I muttered under my breath.
The next thing I knew my head exploded with pain as Richard’s foot made contact with it. As much as the temptation to just lie here and allow the darkness overcome me, the demon in me that doesn’t believe in giving up takes over.
Richard tried once again to kick me in the head, but I quickly rolled out of his way. With all the power that I had left, I continued to roll towards the far wall and tried to quickly stand up. The pain in my head was immense, but I stood my ground with my back up against the wall. While standing, I was able to loosen the ropes that bound my hands just enough to free them. I then immediately pulled out Honey from my holster and drew it directly at Richard’s head. We both stood quietly looking at each other. The blood from my head wounds was blinding me, and as I lifted my hand to wipe the blood away, Richard made his move. He pounced on my like a rabbit, but he wasn’t quick enough. I swiftly moved to the side to avoid the assault directly, but not before Richard was able to knock the gun from my hands. Honey scattered across the floor.
With nothing to protect myself, I began to feel helpless as the pain in my head grew more and more intense. But the same persistent demon that didn’t give up now wanted nothing more than to taste blood. All the anger, aggravation and pain that I accumulated over the years seemed to surface all at once like a ball of fire. As I threw myself directly in Richard’s path I was overcome with such uncontrollable rage. A rage had never felt before.
Richard saw me leap towards him and at that moment he pulls out a knife from his back pocket. There was nothing I could to avoid being stabbed. I couldn’t stop my assault, but even if I could have, I didn’t want to. I knew this was the only chance I was going to get. Though I succeeded to twist my body slightly, Richard still managed to pierce me through my shoulder. I screamed out from the pain. The steel from the knife felt like hot lava as it made contact with the bone in my shoulder. But that still didn’t stop me. It was as if that same pain fueled me forward. As I crashed into Richard we both fell onto the floor. With the knife still stuck into my shoulder, my fingers found Richard’s throat, I could feel my hands gripping his white neck closing off all air. Feeling Richard struggling as his life force was drained gave me a high. The sensation was better than anything I had ever felt before. It was better than any sex, drug or alcohol.
I felt like I was watching myself in a slow moving picture, where there was nothing else in the world except me and this wonderful sensation. I couldn’t stop.
My grip got tighter and stronger as Richard’s face turned red, then blue and finally almost black. I kept squeezing harder and harder. Then as if God himself reached down from the heavens to stop me, everything around grew dark. My grasp on Richard’s neck eased as I fell off him onto the floor. Just as I was about to pass out, I heard a crash come from the door and what seemed like a million footsteps running towards me.