“Well this has turned into one hell of a mess,” Isaac muttered to himself fighting the urge to pull out a cigarette while at the front of his home. “What was that crazy bastard even doing?”
“It’s not something Duke is unknown for doing.” Claude said as he leaned against the wall near the front door. “He’s done it before so he’s bound to do it again to a greater affect.”
“First-hand experience I take it,” but Claude didn’t respond, Isaac let out a breath. “Still, if we go by Charla and even Alex’s word, Duke looked as though he intended to harm Nina. So, my niece had more then enough probable cause to apprehend him. Though dislocating his shoulder would have been seen as excessive.”
“Says the man who looked ready to tare that man’s limbs off when you heard that he grabbed Nina.” Claude spoke with a rather deadpan tone. “Not that anyone would blame you for it. She’s your daughter after all.”
“Damn straight, but in any case, looks like we’ll have to charge him for attempted assault. Among other things, plus if that little prick tries anything again I might just lose my badge.”
“Then you’d better make it loud and clear to him.” Claude said before changing the subject. “How’s Nina?”
“From what she says, she’s okay, but I can tell she’s rather shaken up by the whole thing. I think I might keep her home tomorrow from school just to play it safe.”
Isaac paused, his brows furrowing into a frown. “She hasn’t really said anything. In fact, she didn’t say anything at all when Duke was taken away. Before I could even ask if she was okay she just went up to her room with her friend behind her.”
Claude didn’t respond as he took out his notebook and wrote something down before finally speaking. “Why not give her some time? Maybe she just wants to sort out her thoughts?”
When they had entered the bedroom, and closed the door Alex quickly grabbed the scruff of the shirt and shoved the person against the wall. “What the hell did you do?” Alex demanded. “You could have broken his damn arm, what were you thinking?”
“I reacted on instinct, I saw the creep looking at her and moved, that’s all.”
“But you didn’t have to go that far!”
“Wouldn’t you have done the same?” Alex stilled at the coldness of this person’s voice before hazel green eyes looked up at her filled with rage. “If I wasn’t here you would have done something similar, maybe try punching him in the face or something like that? I didn’t break his arm; the man is right handed so I dislocated it. He’ll be fine in a few days.”
“Then why did you step on his left hand?”
“To send a message, to make it clear to him that if I wanted I could have broken his arm, if I wanted I could have broken his hand, or if I wanted I could end his career. People like him never truly take anything of worth until you show it to them, so I did just that. I showed him, plain and simple.”
So I was right… Alex moved away and shook her head. “Charla wouldn’t do that.”
“How do you know?” When Alex looked back the person continued with a voice that held no forms of emotion. “How do you know she wouldn’t do the same thing or worse to a person like that? How much of her life do you know of besides knowing of my existence? People like him never sit well with her. Reminds her too much of him to make her think rationally.”
The person glanced off to the side before changing the topic. “It’s probably why I came out, too many things crowding inside her head. Though this is a first, the pain of a memory can bring out the worst of someone if they aren’t careful. When you were speaking to Charla I can only assume that something had made her react.”
Alex recalled the look of pain on Charla’s face before she had blacked out, and how she had looked as though she was fighting something internally during the whole day.
“Don’t blame yourself for something you can’t control.” Alex looked at the person as if they had just read her thoughts. “Doing so won’t do you any good. And it won’t for her either, she’s been through enough crap when she lived in the damned city. I don’t want her to think that she’ll need to deal with anything else besides living.”
“Then why do all that?”
With an unamused stare a response was given. “I just told you why.”
“Not about Duke!” she looked at this person with a level stare. “There’s been something I’ve been meaning to ask you, you specifically.”
But before Alex could say what she wanted there was a knock on the door and a slightly concerned Nina opened the door peaking inside. “Um, my Dad said he wanted to talk to you Charla, can you come down stairs?”
“Sure, I’ll be there in a moment.”
“And…” Nina looked to Alex. “My Dad’s partner, wanted to speak with you Alex.”
“Huh?” Alex said unable to hide her confusion. “Why me?”
Nina shrugged. “I don’t know, he just wanted me to tell you that. Oh, and he’s walking you home after what happened.”
Oh son of a… “Seriously? He doesn’t need to go that far.”
“Says the girl who panicked when I woke up on the floor.”
“Hey!” Alex pointed angrily in the air. “That’s completely different from this and you freaking know it!” with a sigh she pushed her hair out of her face. “Fine, fine I get it. I’ll be there right away. Thanks Nina.” When Nina headed back to her own room Alex added. “But this by no means we’re done with this conversation.”
With a slight arched brow, a question was asked. “You’re not going to ask now?”
“No point, too many people around. Plus, I think Charla would rather want it to be a private conversation. Don’t you think so?”
A shrug. “Your choice, not like my answer would change.” And with that they headed down the stairs and split ways, Alex heading outside where Claude was waiting while the other headed into the living room where Isaac gave a look of concern.
However, the next day Charla didn’t show for class, the rain was falling heavily making the whole sky look as if it were almost night. During the brake, Alex merely stared at the empty desk that was Charla’s seat, maybe she felt too embarrassed to come to school after what happened? No, she wouldn’t be like that, if anything Charla would be concerned and want to speak to Alex privately about the events of what happened. Any normal person would want to look for answers when they couldn’t remember certain events.
But the fact that Charla wasn’t even responding to texts made Alex a little worried, the girl would at least respond when able but it had been almost a whole day and nothing.
Maybe I should head over to… no, Claude told me not too…
“It’d be for the best to not go over to Charla’s home for a little bit.” Claude told her as he walked a reluctant Alex home. “At least until the whole thing with Duke has calmed down.”
But Alex could tell just by looking at the man’s face that Duke relenting wouldn’t happen any time soon.
“Alex, someone wants to speak with you.” one of her classmates spoke up drawing her attention. “It’s a girl from another grade.”
Alex looked at her classmate with confusion. “Why?”
The girl looked just as puzzled. “No idea, but she says she wants to talk to you so…” she trailed off then added. “Want me to tell her to come back?”
Alex looked to the door where she saw a girl with deep blue eyes and long blonde hair, and seeing her expression she could tell this chick wouldn’t take no for an answer. “No, it’s fine, thanks.” She then got up and went to the door. She eyed the girl with arms folded across her chest before speaking. “So… who are you and what do you want?” she said while eyeing the girl down since she was somewhat smaller then Charla. But seemed to have a rather haughty attitude.
Stacy stared at the girl, she looked like a punk. How this Charla Liebert got on with this weirdo was beyond her, but that wasn’t the point at the moment. “Hi, you’re a friend of Charla’s, right? I was wondering if you could tell me where she lives?”
Blue eyes narrowed. “Why?”
“Well you seemed like the best person to ask and your homeroom teacher seems… unhelpful, so I thought to ask you…”
“That’s not what I meant.” Alex said cutting the girl off. “Why do you want to know where she lives? You just want to meet her right?”
“Then just wait,” she said cutting her off again. “Right now, she’s going through some things. It’s why she’s not here. So just wait until she comes back.”
Stacy looked at her with confusion. “Huh? Wait what do you…”
“I said piss off before I make you!” Alex snapped. “Take a hint, and just drop it for now. Constantly asking won’t change anything.”
Stacy opened her mouth to speak only to stop when a familiar voice spoke. “So, she really isn’t here.” She turned to see Mordecai before looking to Alex. “Any idea when she might come to school?”
Alex relaxed slightly and shook her head. “No, and I can’t really go more into it. But that’s what your brother said so, take it or leave it.”
His eyes narrowed in concern. “I see, well when you hear that she might come back. Let met know.”
Alex glanced to Stacy who seemed all but flabbergasted before looking back to Mordecai. “Sure, I can do that. But only if she wants.”
With merely a nod Mordecai went to leave as Stacy still looked between the two before glaring at Alex then running off to catch up to Mordecai.
“Mordecai!” she grasped his arm to make him stop walking. “What the heck was that about?” she demanded.
“What?” he said looking at her as she looked at him with a frown. “You know that I’ve known her for years, so why are you even asking?”
She frowned. “Aren’t you going to try and check on her? I mean your worried about her right?” Mordecai merely looked at her and as if realizing something Stacy then added with a laugh. “But I mean for all we know she’s probably skipping, to avoid personal drama and crap. It’s nothing new, besides we city girls tend to do that so who cares?”
He merely shook his head and continued on down the hall with Stacy chasing after him.
When school ended, the rain continued to fall heavily, showing no signs of letting up, Alex had sent a text to Charla during the lunchbreak but received no response, Charla might have been busy with her niece or for all she knew Charla wasn’t back yet.
She sighed, there really wasn’t much she could do, but then became distracted when she heard some students talking about a man who seemed to be loitering outside the school’s front gate. Where the class was, Alex could easily look out the window to see who it might have been, only to then see Will run off. She wondered why but the received her answer when she looked out the window herself and saw the man that made her feel sick to her stomach.
“We should go after Will,” Jason offered.
“Already had that in mind.” She said before the two ran off to catch up to Will who skidded to a stop just a few feet away from the gate’s entrance.
“What are you doing here?!” Will demanded as the pouring rain continued to fall as Alex and Jason just managed to catch up to him.
“Why I’m here isn’t any of your concern, so do me a favor and…” he stopped midsentence when he saw Alex. “So, you were here, guess my intel was wrong, from what I know you’d normally ditch school altogether.”
Alex sent him a leveled glare. “How the hell did you get away from the cops?”
He scoffed. “Money can do wonders to give those bastards the slip. Idiots cops are all the same, be it the big city or some crappy little town like this.”
But Alex on the other hand remained silent, looking at his arm that was in a sling before looking to how far he was from the gate before saying. “I’m surprised you’re even able to get around this town without being spotted considering word will be going out that you almost assaulted a kid.”
“You did what!?” Will demanded before looking to Alex. “Is that what you meant this morning?”
Alex glanced to Will, this morning she told Will that she had a run-in with his cousin, and that he may end up hearing rumors of what he did recently, she could have told him flat out, and she would have, but this was a school, and just talking about certain incidents would spread like a damn wild fire, and that was the last thing she wanted to put her friend through. “Yeah, it was my intention to go into more detail while at your place but… you know.” She then looked back to Duke. “Charla isn’t here, you probably wanted to try and threaten her right? But you can’t even get near the house…”
The glare the man gave was scathing, but it wasn’t anything new to Alex. She had given and as well as been on the receiving end of those types of glares much of her life. It didn’t change anything when coming from this scumbag.
“You should just cut your losses and leave this town.” Alex said. “God knows it’s a mercy you don’t damn well deserve.”
He scoffed. “And why the hell should I listen to a kid?”
“Because you’re the idiot who came to the school looking for her. I’m not sure if you remember but we tend to look out for those we care about.” She let out a menacing growl in her voice as her eyes narrowed. “And if you mess with those we care about there isn’t anything that will stop us from returning it ten-fold.”
“You should be more then familiar with that.” Will said suddenly drawing Duke’s attention. “After all, what uncle Tom did in reaction to you pushing that girl to killing herself should be more then enough of a reminder.”
Anger filled him, so now just because he was backed by this poor excuse of friends made the little shit think he had the stones to now stand up to him after all this time of being submissive? Ignoring the border, he stormed over and grabbed Will by the scruff of his shirt with his left hand, since the injury that the Liebert bitch did to his right arm and hand would take a while to heal fully. “And who the fuck do you think you are?”
Will eyed him fully, showing no signs of backing down. “Better then you, now and forever more.”
“What is going on here?” Alex and Jason turned to see Ms. Clark quickly striding over to them as a vast majority of students began to accumulate, dressed in a dark brown penciled skirt and black long-sleeved blouse as her hair remained in a clip while Mr. Rockwell kept trying to shield her from the rain with an umbrella but it seemed to do little to nothing with how quickly she moved, as if ignoring the rain entirely. “What do you think your doing to one of our students?” she demanded to Duke. “Unhand that boy immediately!”
Duke dropped Will and then kept all his attention on the teacher that stood before him casting an angry stare. His gaze went up and down her body, lingering in places that made Ms. Clark even angrier.
“What business do you have here?” she demanded.
“Business?” he repeated. “I’m here because one of your students did this to me. So, I came to have a talk with her.”
Ms. Clark’s brows narrowed further. She didn’t like the tone that he was using, and giving a quick glance to Alex Maxwell, it didn’t much to figure out who this man was probably talking about. Sure, you are. “I’m sorry sir, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave. This is school property and you can’t loiter in or around the premises. If you do not comply and leave without causing an incident I will have no other choice but to call the police. That is if someone already hasn’t done so.”
“Which I have,” Mr. Rockwell stated. “I heard complaints from several students that a man with your description has been bothering classmates in the vicinity. What’s more the police seem to be very interested after some type of recent incident.”
Duke grit his teeth in anger, he knew the chances of getting to that little bitch would be slim, yet the sheer devotion for one damn kid was disgusting. He looked back to Alex. “You know I can’t believe your even friends with her, do you even know what she’s done?”
“Not really, I only know bits and pieces. But truth is I don’t really care, I know she’s gone through shit. And people like you, do nothing but make it worse.”
His arrogant smile returned. “You might, if I told you that she might have killed someone.”
Alex narrowed her eyes, he purposely said that part louder to garner attention. Rumors could ruin a person, but Charla had dealt with enough of that shit from her other school. And the way people treated her the whole time she was there. “Oh says the pot calling a kettle black.” She retorted. “If your going to talk about shit like that then why not bring up the things you did?” her smile widened when she saw his anger return. “Because if we’re talking about people dying, well, you’ve killed someone too. And the whole town fuck’n knows it. You have your own shit to deal with, so why not leave it at that?”
“That’s enough,” Ms. Clark spoke as she then stepped in between Alex and Duke, who had taken a threatening step forward. “And you, sir, as I said it would be best for you to leave. Unless you wish to be hauled off in handcuffs, the police should be here shortly.”
But the man seemed to have reached his breaking point as he leaned in close, only a few inches away from her face. “And what are you going to do to stop me?”
“I am telling you to leave,” she said again, not backing down. “I will stop you if you try to harm one of my students.”
He tried to shove her away. “And what could someone like you do to me?”
But in that moment Ms. Clark had grabbed his left wrist and forced him to fall face first in the ground with only the slight movement of distorting his balance.
Those who watched were too stunned for words as Ms. Clark looked down at him with cold eyes. “Leave, this is your final warning.”
To both Will’s and Alex’s surprise, the man actually did. He quickly got up and left the school grounds without so much as another word, did Ms. Clark’s actions shake him that much?
“Honestly, people these days…” Ms. Clark said as she took out a cloth to clean her glasses of the raindrops that remained. “They have no integrity, where dose he thinks this is, America? I take my job seriously into protecting my students from such people.” She sighed again. “Mr. Rockwell,” Ms. Clark spoke his name in a commanding tone. “I’ll be contacting the police to inform them of this incident, please remain out here until the rest of the students have left for the day. We don’t want that man coming back any time soon.”
Ms. Clark looked to Alex. “Miss Maxwell, I will need to speak to you later, could you please remain a bit longer?”
“Uh… yeah sure. I’ll just wait outside your office.”
With a nod, Ms. Clark quickly went back into the school as Mr. Rockwell called out to the students that had formed a crowd to go home before they got sick, unless they wanted to run five laps in the rain, which the students that were there promptly left for home.
Reaching her office Ms. Clark leaned against the door when she entered and sighed before looking at her hands, hands that were slightly shaking. It’s been a long time since I had to do that… she thought. But, that man, I have a feeling if he isn’t caught soon. Something dreadful might happen.
She shook her head, now wasn’t the time for such thoughts. The police, she needed to call the police and inform them of the recent events. But even as she called, she secretly hoped that things wouldn’t escalate, even more so when it came to that girl and the horrible things that she had to deal with.