Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nick walked out into the cool night air. His chest felt tight and he couldn’t breathe. His son was gone.
Seconds felt like hours and Nick was doing more harm than good. Terrorizing the maid and contaminating the scene. “Nick you need to back off and let them do their job.”
Nick shook his head and stepped back into the house.
Jack hated himself for doing it but he sucker punched Nick and caught him before he hit the floor. “Somebody take him out to the car for me.” The room grew quiet.
“I know you all know what you’re doing but this is one of our own,” Jack said looking from man to man. They nodded and went back to work. Two cops stepped up and walked the groggy Nick to Jack’s car. Jack kneaded the ice pack and headed out to the car.
Nick grabbed the ice pack angrily from his hand. “You get one of those a lifetime.” Nick glared at him like a cat after a bath. The look of betrayal in Nick’s eyes stung him.
Jack slid in behind the steering wheel. “You didn’t leave me a choice.”
“He’s gone Jack and Kathy…”
“We need you Nick. Don’t shut down on me now.”
It didn’t take long for the media to get wind they descended on the hospital like ants at a picnic. They whisked them off to a private lounge away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi
Nick paced back and forth nervously. “I gave that figurine to Angel. This doesn’t make nay sense. Angel wouldn’t do this she couldn’t.”
“Hell hath no fury…”Jack interjected.
“Why now why after all this time. She killed Carlos to protect me why steal Nicky and hurt Kathy?”
“You never told me she killed Carlos.” Jack looked angrily at Nick.
“You didn’t need to know. Christ Jack if I would have known how old she was. I never would have touched her.”
“I saw her Nick. I never would have guessed. You were just trying to do the right thing when you sent her home.”
“She couldn’t have done this. I thought I was doing it for her but maybe I did it for me out of guilt or shame. I don‘t know. She couldn‘t have,” Nick muttered. “When are we going to hear something?” He ran his hand nervously through his hair.
“You were pretty screwed up after that one. I’d never seen you like that.”
“Too much coke, too much booze, too much blood. If Kathy hadn’t come along and put me in the spot light I don’t know what would have happened to me. I guess I would have kept going until someone or something killed me.”
“Hey you’ve been clean and sober ever since.”
Nick never had the luxury of rehab. He spent a month with Jack detoxing. He frightened himself as much as he frightened Jack. He knew enough not to go though that again.
“If anything happens to her,” he said clenching his fists. Just a taste to stop the pain. Even after all these years it called to him; a siren’s song of death. It never ends that simply. He wasn’t sure he could stop again if he ever started.
“You’ve got too many people depending on you to screw up now. We got the best people working on it. I don‘t think this was about money, Nick.”
“I know I don’t think she’d hurt Nicky she wasn’t like that.”
“People change Nick it’s been along time.”
A cop knocked on the door. “This is from the sketch artist. She’s very beautiful.”
Nick shook his head staring at the picture. It was his Angel. “Yeah, beautiful,” Nick repeated lost in time and lost in memories. She’d lost that innocent child like quality. She was still so young to have had such a difficult life. Could it have been so cruel it turned her into a stone-cold killer? Part of him doubted that, maybe the most important part his heart. She had killed once to protect him would she kill again to extract her revenge? He always hated the fact she had to live with the same kind of guilt, the kind that could only come with the taking of a life. Self preservation and guilt made strange bedfellows. Instincts demanding you survive and conscience always wondering if you deserved to. Did the fact you were able to take a life negate your right to survive. It was a dilemma that no doubt plagued mankind since the first life was taken. Nick could only hope one day there would be no need for someone like him. Someone who could kill. A cold shiver shot through him, maybe he needed to worry.

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