Here is some more of God's Beauty!!
~ Chapter Nine ~
He moved down the alley quiet as he could, searching for a place to hide, or get away. The two bumbling cops were hot on his trail. He was surprised at their persistence.
Up ahead there was a tall wooden gate blocking the end of his path. His heart raced, not used to the physical activity. What to do… Run. The word popped into his mind, but he couldn’t comply. There was nowhere to go. Inside his head, he imagined he heard laughter. The voices were ecstatic with his plight. He whispered, “Shut-up,” before twisting to the left and throwing himself in an open window.
An old lady sat in an armchair talking on the phone. He heard her scream, “Maria, a man just came through my window,” but kept running, looking for a door or another window. He grunted in triumph as he spotted a door. He skidded to a halt long enough to twist the knob and pull it open. Sticking his head out, he looked both ways. All clear. He jumped outside and broke into a fast run. After a few minutes he was sure he’d lost the idiot cops. He slowed to a stop, bent over and held his side. “This doesn’t change things.”
“Oh but it does, Harry.”
“How is that, Adam?”
“Because the Casanova must die now. You saw him. He came in and stole her away. We can’t have that.”
“But we don’t kill people, Adam.”
“We don’t? Apparently you don’t remember Markstown.”
“Shut-up! We agreed never to talk about that. It was an accident.” Harry’s head swiveled this way and that as he spoke. Dizziness engulfed him. He took a few deep breaths. “You’re not going to entice me with that temptation anymore. She wouldn’t quit screaming. There was nothing else I could do but cover her mouth. It isn’t my fault she quit breathing.”
“Harry, Harry. Is that what you tell yourself? Is that how you sleep at night?”
Harry swallowed. “Yes.”
“You’re lying to yourself. I felt the way you watched as she realized she was going to die. It excited you. You were practically drooling.”
“Liar!!” Harry turned away and fell to the ground. His side hurt and he was having trouble breathing.
But Adam was still there. Inside his head. “Stop being a wimp. You know you liked it. We should go home and take care of that new girl. If we’re going to bring Arianna back you know she’ll have to go. You’ve spoiled the girl.”
“I don’t want to…kill her.”
“Why not? Nobody’ll miss her anyway. She’s a whiner. And loud.”
Harry sat up, grabbed his head and rocked back and forth. “Stop it Adam. I mean it. I banish you to silence.”
Adam laughed uproariously. “You’re funny, kid.”
Harry felt Adam’s sudden anger. “No! You can’t banish me. I AM you.”
Harry shrugged his shoulders, gave his head a quick twist and stood up. “I just did.”
He straightened his clothes, brushed off his pants and looked around to see if he’d garnered any attention. “Good. Not a soul in sight.” He rushed toward home.
Justin stood up, still cradling Arianna in his arms. “He’s gone now. I’m going to take you back to your room.”
Arianna’s father barked, “No you’re not. Put her down right now.”
Arianna tightened her arms around his neck.
Justin adjusted her slight frame in his arms. “Why not?”
“I think I’ve made myself clear about that. We don’t need you here.”
Arianna surprised him by pulling her head from his chest where it rested. She screamed, “Stop it Daddy! It’s enough. I want him here and if you don’t, you can leave.”
Her father stopped his advance of the two and just stared at her. “But Peanut, we don’t need him. You’re not in a good emotional state. Your character judgment is obviously lacking.”
Justin felt his anger rise to the surface and fought to keep it under control, but it was hard. Why did the guy have such a problem with him, anyway? He’d saved his daughter. More than once now. He waited until father and daughter stopped arguing to slide in with an apology. “I’m sorry, sir. I mean you no disrespect, but Arianna is an adult.”
As her father pulled out his cell phone he said, “Arianna, don’t speak to me that way. I’m your father.”
“I know that, and I do respect you, but my mind’s made up. Justin stays. If you say anything else about him, it’ll be you who goes.”
The words must’ve tired her because she laid her head back against his chest and said no more. Her father looked at him with such hate Justin shrank away.
Cell phone half way to his face he said, “This is not over.” He shoved the phone back in his pocket and walked away.
Arianna’s mother hadn’t said anything up to that point, but as she passed she whispered, “I’m glad my daughter has someone she can trust.”
Justin was surprised but tried not to show it. The fact she’d whispered told him she didn’t want her husband to know she approved. Oh well. Some people were weak that way. He replied, “Thanks,” In a whisper of his own.
Arianna reached up and pulled her in for a hug with surprisingly strong arms considering how weak she’d seemed only moments ago. “Thanks Mom.”
A policeman followed them into the room. He’d been watching from a few steps away. Justin thought it was nice he’d given them a few moments of privacy.
As soon as everyone entered the room the cop shut the door and asked, “Can anyone tell me what happened?”
“I’m not sure. When I got here the two cops from earlier were fighting with a man on the floor. I couldn’t see Arianna so I searched all over. I found her on the floor beside the bed and I grabbed her. I didn’t know what to do so I ran out the door looking for a place to hide. I had just came even with the nurses’ station.” He laid Arianna in the bed and continued, “When the nurse saw me and knocked us to the floor. I mean, I don’t blame her. She didn’t know I was the good guy. Anyway, we were on the floor behind her desk when the bad guy got loose and came out the door looking for Arianna.”
The nurse broke in, “Then the guy got loose from the policeman somehow and came out into the hall screaming for Arianna. We were terrified, but afraid to move in case he saw us.”
Justin shook his head. “Yeah, and then the two cops ran out, chasing him. He tripped them up and took off down the hallway. That’s all I saw.”
The policeman nodded at Justin then looked at the nurse. “Is that how you saw it?”
She shook her head. “Yep.”
The policeman wrote something on the pad of paper in his hand and Justin took the moment to stretch his neck. His eye caught movement so his glance trained on it. Arianna’s father had his hand in his suit pocket and his fingers were moving. Was he texting someone? If so, why was he doing it in his pocket? At that moment, cold green eyes full of hate captured his.
What was going on? Why did the man hate him so much? He’d saved his daughter not once, but twice. The suspicion he’d been trying to put at the back of his mind went full-blown. He’d just become a suspect in Justin’s mind. But a suspect of what? The idea that popped into his mind was almost as scary as the look the man had just given him.