The next day, which was the stipulated day of the meet, Jo called her mother.
“Jo, how are you?” Ruth asked when she answered.
“I'm okay, mum.”
“Are you sure? I'm so worried about you. The life of a fugitive is not for a young woman such as you.” Ruth said worriedly.
Jo rushed to comfort her mother, “Don't worry mum, it'll be over soon.”
Her news was received by Ruth with a spell of silence. Jo wondered if her mother was still on the line.
“Hello, mum. Did you hear what I just said?” Jo asked.
“Yes. I did. What do you mean it'll all be over soon? What are you planning to do?” Ruth asked curiously.
“I'm planning to present the cops with evidence of my innocence.” Jo said, not bothering with the details.
“How are you going to do that?” Ruth asked.
Jo pinched the bridge of her nose. Her mothe
Ash squinted his eyes so he could see properly in the semi-darkness. The only stream of light was coming in through the door and some half open windows. He felt like going to open the windows all the way, but decided against it. He didn't want to make the cops think he had something up his sleeve. He pulled out his pistol and trained it at the door.Jo followed suit, and in that position, they waited for their contact, or Hatter, whichever came for them first. Ash hoped to high heaven it was their cop contact or contacts who would arrive first, so they'd be able to help uncover the mystery that was the Hatter.Jo was so tightly wound she feared she might fire at any sound she heard. The only sound in the room was their simultaneous inhalation and exhalation. Sweat beaded her forehead, but she didn't move to wipe it off. One little distraction could mean their lives.They tensed when they heard footsteps carefully approach them. Ash made a motion for Jo to get be
• •Damian smiled at Ash and Jo, "I'll need you to hand over your weapons."Jo and Ash stilled."What for?" Jo asked."Because I don't trust you two. Come on, put them on the ground and kick them towards me." Damian ordered."Hatter could come by at a minute. If we hand over our guns, we'll be sitting ducks." Ash said."Don't worry, the policemen outside are armed to the teeth. You won't be harmed." Damian assured them.Jo frowned and looked at him suspiciously."Either you comply or I'll call the deal off. I'll have you two arrested,and just wait until the lieutenant finds out you raised a false alarm." Damian threatened."It's no false alarm." Ash argued."Prove it. We're doing things my way. Do as I asked." Damian said in a steel voice.Ash and Jo exchanged looks of resignation and threw their guns to the floor. They kicked them towards him. Damian stooped and picked them up, stuffing the
After twenty minutes which seemed like a millennium to Ash, Lester's car finally jerked to a stop in front of a residential building. Children were playing on the sidewalk, and some homeless people sat around with tins, begging for money.Ash regarded Lester suspiciously as he held Jo close, "What the hell are we doing here? I asked you to get us to the charity clinic!"Lester didn't seem fazed, "The clinic is in that building."He got out of the car and opened the door for Ash who carried Jo out. People gathered to watch, and Lester called a five year old girl to show them the particular flat where the clinic was situated.The girl stuck her tongue out at him, "I ain't helping no copper. It'll ruin my cred.""Hey!" Ash commanded the girl's attention, "Do I look like a cop to you?!" He asked harshly.The girl shook her head and looked cowed. Ash didn't like raising his voice on children, but he needed the girl to understand how
Jo felt a huge ache in her head when she came to. Her mouth felt like it had been stuffed with cotton and she still felt woozy. She cracked open her eyes and felt a moment of panic before she realized where she was. When her eyes were able to make out the people in the room, she recognized Sia, and her longtime assistant Liv.The first word that came out of her mouth was, "Ash."Sia placed her hand in hers and shook her head."Where is he?" Jo asked, getting hysterical. "I heard his voice when I was coming out of the drugs, or was that a dream?""No. He was here." Sia answered."Then where is he?" Jo asked, trying to sit up. Sia placed her hands on her shoulders and gently pushed her back to a lying position."He left." Sia replied."Did he say when he was coming back?" Jo asked hopefully."No.""For how long have I been here?" Jo asked."Two days." Sia answered, dreading the next question."W
20Lieutenant Ted Baines was disappointed in himself. How could he not have seen what was right under his nose? Due to his implicit bias, he'd thought those two gangsters were the culprits, not knowing it was one of his own men.He hated it when men who swore to serve and protect, did a one-eighty and became what they were supposed to fight. Damian of all people, too.Baines who'd always thought himself to be a good judge of character, couldn't believe he'd sorely misjudged him. His only consolation was that he wasn't the only one. Damian had fooled them all.From the information had been able to gather, Baines learned that Matteo had begun to suspect Damian, and had planted the cameras in the building to catch him in the act.Then he'd confronted Damian who responded by shooting him dead. Then, when Damian had asked to be given time to console his partner's widow, he'd actually gone back to the crime scene and watched what was on the
At last, Baines spoke, “How am I sure this is real, not some fabrication?”Ash spread his hands on the table, “You're a lieutenant. I'm pretty sure you'll find the same things I showed you, if you got your people to look hard enough.”Baines regarded him closely, “What's in it for you?”“If you're asking if I'm doing this for some reward or favor or something, the answer is no. Josiah's one of the bastards whose operations put Ganghaven in such a desolate state. He needs to pay for the lives he's ruined.” Ash said. He'd told Baines the truth, but not all of it. Back in Sia's clinic he'd vowed to eliminate all threats to her, both actual and perceived. One of those, was his father.Josiah, in order to get back at Ash could kidnap, maim or worse, kill Jo. In order to prevent that from happening, Ash had decided that his father must be in a place where it would be impossible to do that; jail.
Jo forced a smile on her face as she opened the door to usher Andrea and Sia in. She was still living like a hermit in her mother's house, and she didn't want to diagnose what that said about her. She was making progress, she told herself, she was going to make a conversation with her friends even if it killed her.Andrea and Sia noticed her staring into space.“Yo! Earth to Jo!” Andrea said, snapping her to the present.“You okay? We could come back later, if you wanted.” Sia said, leading Jo to the nearest chair.Jo allowed herself to be led and when she sat down, she said, “No. I invited you here. We're going to do this.”“Ok. But there's no pressure,” Andrea said, turning on the television. There was a boring news broadcast going on, so they paid the television no mind.“How's your injury?” Sia asked, switching to physician mode.Jo raised her blouse up and let Sia examin
Ash heaved a sigh of relief when he saw Capo.“It's good to see you, boss.” Capo said with a grin.“You too, my man.” Ash said bringing in Capo for a hug. He didn't think he could explain how much he'd missed his second-in-command. Capo was his loyal confidante and adviser, who had never let him down. He felt so free with him.Too bad he couldn't say the same for the vultures under him at Greenwood Holdings. They were sycophants who only wanted to be friends with him so he could give them something in return.“How's business?” Capo asked.Aah grimaced. Even with his degree, running a company the size of Greenwood Holdings was difficult, “It's coming along. Yours?”“We've shut down most of the business your old man was running, which leads me to ask; after we finish the task, what next? Do we disband and look for other things to do?” Capo asked.Ash shook his hea