In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories

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Chapter Twenty-One

Delvecchio later identified the body of Luther Janetti as they were putting him in the coroner’s wagon. The police questioned both of us and seemed to be satisfied with the story. They didn’t ask too many questions since it was obvious that we both needed medical attention. Detective Waylen turned out to be pretty nice. He told me he would follow up with me later to get the rest of the story and that no formal charges would be filed against either Delvecchio or myself for the murder of Charlie AKA Harley Buck. Rita Gofski-Janetti showed up at the hospital and when she realized that we had not only found Luther but that Charlie had been killed, they had to take her up to see a counselor. She was devastated. I never did find out how she got my name or why she had decided to have me investigate. I guess sometimes, that’s the way it goes.

When I walked out of the emergency room, I saw the jeep parked in the pick-up zone. Norm jumped out and ran over to me. He put both hands on my face and said, “You okay?”

I nodded and he leaned down to kiss me. He picked me up and carried me over the jeep. He opened the door and set me down in the passenger seat. After making sure I was in, he shut the door, walked around to the driver’s side and got in.

“Sorry about dinner,” I said.

“No problem,” he said, “I just wish I had been there to help you.”

“I wish you had, too,” I said, with a smile, “It was pretty scary.”

“Looks like I’m gonna have to keep my eye on you,” he said, placing a hand on my knee.

“Looks that way,” I said. As we drove toward my apartment, I laid my head back on the seat and closed my eyes. I drifted in and out of consciousness on the twenty-minute drive. When we finally arrived at my building, Norm came around and scooped me up out of the passenger side and carried me to the apartment.

He let me sleep while he sat there on the couch and watched TV. When I woke up, I saw that he had ordered a pizza. It was about eleven and I was still groggy. He reached over and brushed my hair out of my eyes. “You want something to eat?” he asked.

“Sure, is that pizza?” I asked.

“Yep, sure is,” he said. He got up and walked over to the table, scooped up two slices and a couple of napkins and handed me one.

He went back in and grabbed a cold can of Coke and brought it to me.

“Thanks,” I said.

There was a knock at the door and Norm looked at me inquisitively. I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. I had no idea who would be here at this hour. He started towards the door and I set my food down as I remembered that there was still one person out there who I might not want to see.

I got up with some effort and tried to get to the door before Norm. He had just put his hand on the chain, and I grabbed him. I put my finger to my lips to signal him to be quiet. I pointed my thumb and finger like a gun and pointed to my purse indicating that I needed him to get my gun. He reached in and pulled out the Ruger, handing it to me quickly. The knock came again, this time louder. I looked out the peephole and there stood the creepy guy. Just as I was about to tell Norm to get back, the son of a bitch stepped back and came running at the door. He bashed his way through knocking me to the ground and sending my gun flying across the room.

Norm tried to get over to me, but the guy kicked him in the ribs and pushed him over to the side. He reached down and grabbed me by the hair, dragging me to my feet.

“Where’s Charlie?” he growled. He had a gun pointed at my temple.

I winced in pain as he nearly pulled my scalp off.

“I don’t know,” I cried, “I haven’t seen him.”

“You’re lying, bitch,” he said angrily.

“I swear, I swear,” I said, “I haven’t seen him all day.” I hoped this guy didn’t watch the local news.

He reared back and smacked me across the jaw. Norm was apparently faking injury while he inched his way towards my gun. I saw him roll to one side and hold his gut, his face contorted as he acted like he was in great pain. He shot me a wink when the creep wasn’t looking. He had the gun. All I had to do was distract the man and Norm could get a good shot at him.

“Hey,” I yelped, “You’re hurting me.” The guy turned to look at me and Norm took aim. He fired the gun and the bullet clipped the guy in the side of the neck. Blood spurted everywhere and the man fumbled for his composure.

“Damn it,” he said, as he stumbled backward. Norm fired again, catching him this time in the forehead. He fell to the floor, unconscious.

“Good shot,” I said.

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