Adam stormed out of the art store and back to his own, but before he was able to enter his cell rang. He looked at the ID, and it showed caller unknown. He thought of letting it go to voicemail but needed a distraction. He pressed to receive the caller.
“Hello,” he said.
“Adam,” said Patrick in almost a whisper. Adam turned to see if A.J. was behind him and thankfully saw no sight of his ex-lover.
“Where are you?”
“Do you believe them?” Patrick asked still above a whisper.
“The cops,” he snapped back. “Do you believe them?”
“Did Detective Cutter come see you?”
“He did, thankfully my father was out, and he didn’t have to listen to his lies.”
“So you’re saying they’re not true?”
He was silent for a moment then answered.
“I want to explain my side to you and only you.”
“But aren’t you with Cutter going back to the police station for questioning?”
“He tired—but I ran.”
“You what? Patrick that wasn’t a good idea.”
“Adam I want to hire you. I need you to prove my innocence the police will never believe me, they already think I’m guilty.”
“If you’re not then your lawyer…”
“No Adam I don’t want my father’s money saving me I didn’t plot Gavin’s death. I’m scared, and the killer is still out there.” His voice quivered in Adam’s ear. Adam’s stomach knotted thinking of the police arresting Patrick and accusing him of murder. He was not going to let that happen.
“Okay, where are you?” said Adam.
“Are you going to help me?”
“You won’t turn me into the police?”
“How can I do that to a client?”
“Adam—I promise—I will explain everything.”
“Just tell me where you are?”
“I have a place down on the docks overlooking the river.”
“The new condos?”
“Yeah, No one knows about it but my parents, my mother’s Butler, and now you.”
“What’s the address?”
It’s on Dock thirteen. The one on the far end corner. The door code is…”
“Wait are you sure you want to give that to me?”
“I trust you, Adam, you saved my life twice. 2142, I’ll be waiting.” The line disconnect.
Adam needed to tell Justin what was happening so if A.J. or Artie came by he’d be able to give a reasonable excuse to keep them from being suspicious. As he tried to enter, he was once again stopped in his tracks by Detective Artie Cutter’s voice.
“Potter, a word,” he shouted from his car window pulling up beside him. Adam didn’t turn as he hated the sound of Cutter’s voice shouting his name. He listened to the car door slam and his footsteps behind him before turning around. “I suppose A.J. told you?” Artie grinned.
“Yeah, he did. So if you don’t mind I have a business to run.”
“And it’s all thanks to you. Wow, your boyfriend didn’t take it very well.”
“He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Oh, I hear you, who would want to be connected to a whore.”
“You’re out of line detective.”
“I’m out of line? No, your boyfriend ran off as I was about to take him in for questioning.”
“What does that has to do with me?”
“He was with you last night wasn’t he?”
“He was sleeping on my couch.”
“Yeah, I’m sure he was but why not go home to his family’s nice safe villa where he had armed men watching him?”
“They weren’t much help when he gave you the slip.”
“Has he gotten in contact with you since last night?”
“No. Are we done?”
“No. if you’re hiding him you will lose your badge.”
“You should lose yours for losing a suspect.”
“Don’t worry we’ll find him and charge him with murder in the first degree.”
“Wow, you and A.J. so sound like a couple.”
“Yeah, we do think alike. Unlike you and Patrick.”
“Watch it, Artie.”
“And now your next conquest is wanted for murder. That’s 0 and 2 Potter.”
“Fuck off Artie.” Adam turned to enter his building, but Cutter wasn’t done with him as he grabbed his arm and twisted him to face him.
“A.J. made the right choice by leaving you. You’re nothing but damaged goods that have a death wish.”
“Let go of my arm Artie,” hiss Adam.
“Anyone you touch turns to poison. So it’s no wonder that that girly whore wanted to shack up with you. He needed a new pimp.”
Adam wasn’t sure when it happened, but detective Artie Cutter wasn’t in his line of sight or holding his arm. That is until he looked down and saw him holding his nose that was hemorrhaging blood onto his stylish suit.
“Adam,” shouted A.J., who rushed over and dropped down beside his partner in both respects. Artie whose head was still spinning started to hear A.J.’s voice asking if he was alright. He removed his hand from his nose and saw it covered in his blood. He glared up at Adam, who was giving him an icy stare that cautioned Artie about his next move.
Adam stepped back as two uniformed cops appeared and helped Artie to his feet.
“What the hell Adam, why did you hit him?” demanded A.J. handing Artie a few tissues.
“Why am I under surveillance?”
“You weren’t,” said Artie, through a held nose. “We were watching Valdez.”
“Then I suggest you get back to your investigation and leave me out of it.”
“Adam, he stayed the night with you,” began A.J. “Did he say anything that could lead us to him?”
“Why would he tell me anything?”
“Because you saved his life twice.”
“Doesn’t mean he’d told me his life story. Besides we were both tired and just wanted to sleep. This morning his father showed up and took him home.”
“Oh really,” began Artie but A.J. stopped him from continuing by gripping his arm.
“Fine Adam, but if he gets in contact with you or comes to see you please tell him, to prove his innocence—it’s best to turn his self into the police.”
“If I see him I will. Now if you all would excuse me I have to go. Goodbye.” Adam entered his building knowing their eyes were on his back. He decided to take the elevator up as to not draw any more attention of his urgency to get upstairs.
He leaned against the rising steel and wood wondering what he’s gotten himself into with Patrick. The door opened onto his floor, and a black figure rushed him grasping his larger hands around his throat lifting him off his feet and slamming his back against the wall.
The hands cut off the air to Adam’s windpipe as his feet dangled off the floor. His eyes stared at the harlequin’s mask with a blue-eyed killer underneath.
“You’re in my way you son-of-a-bitch. Patrick’s mine and no one else’s, especially you,” his grainy voice torn at Adam’s throbbing eardrums. As he felt his sight fading. When a sudden bang caused the killer to drop Adam to the floor of the elevator leaving him there.