For the story so far
Matt looked at Sam. “No wonder you never have any decent relationships. It’s called communicating. You do it by opening your mouth and allowing words to come out.” Matt thumped Sam on the upper arm.
“What didn’t you tell me,” I turned to Sam.
“The stalker revisited your house last night.”
“You have a new baby, why were you staking out my house?” I demanded of Matt.
“I wasn’t staking it out, I installed a better monitoring system. It was triggered around 0200, but by the time I got there, no one was there. There had been no more damage. I told Sam this morning.” Both of us glared at Sam.
“Sam’s brother and his partner are on the way,” I stated bluntly.
“On their way here,” Matt asked.
“Here, 20 minutes. Flew into LAX this morning.” That was Sam talking, all business no words.
“I want to see my nephew and Beth,” I stated. I was so over soldier types. Okay so Beth was an ex-soldier too but she wasn’t an idiot like Sam and my brother.
Matt grinned and pointed me upstairs. “He’s a bit wrinkled but pretty cool. We’ll be up soon. I got to catch Sam up on the business.”
Business my arse, they wanted to talk about me behind my back. For the moment, though, I had a nephew to meet.
I paused just inside the doorway so I could hear what they had to say.
“I don’t want her going back to the townhouse.” I heard Matt state emphatically. “It was a wreck. All her clothes were shredded. Shredded for fuck sake, what sort of a fucker are we dealing with?”
“Unfortunately if we try and stop her, she is just going to do it anyway.”
Thank god Sam understood what I was trying to say earlier. “I’ll take her over when my brother gets here. He can come with us. He’s ex SBS.”
“Indy,” Beth called from the upstairs. “Is that you, I thought you were blocked in.”
I ran lightly up the stairs.
“Well, the good news is we are not anymore. The bad news is that Sam’s brother and lover are on the way here.”
“Here,” Beth looked tired and panicky, nice to see her get rattled over something. She was normally a superhuman.
“Yep, but they won’t be here long. Now, where is this adorable baby? Shouldn’t you be sitting down or something?”
“Don’t you start with me,” Beth ordered grumpily. “It’s bad enough your brother has been worse than, I don’t even know what. Stupid man.”
Beth hovered as I picked up little Samuel Tyler. He was wrinkled, and there were tiny little spots on his face but he was pretty darned cute.
“What has been happening with you,” Beth asked me when I was seated in her rocking chair.
“I have a stalker.”
“Yep, we took little Sammy out for a drive to your house last night so Matt could install a decent alarm system. Seriously Indy, you need to speak to your brother about this shit.”
“Don’t you start,” I warned her.
“Indy, I have just given, fu,” the word died on her lips, “birth,” Beth continued. “I am more than capable of taking a newborn for a drive. All he does is sleep at the moment anyway. Your house is trashed. You are going to need new everything. I’m talking everything here Indy, undies, shoes, clothes, toothbrush. You don’t want anything that has been in that house. This Stalker is beyond whacked.”
I was in Sam’s car, driving through the streets. Alastair and Roman were in the back, refusing point blankly to stay at Matt’s house.
“No way kitten,” Alastair had cried when I suggested they stay and get some shut-eye. “Got to beat the jet lag and this is just the thing.”
Romy hadn’t been much better. “Sweetpea, I do love a good stalking,” he had said which had earnt glares from Matt and Sam and laughter from Beth and I. Baby Sam had slept through the whole interchange.
Matt was following in his own car.
My neighborhood looked normal. Each square duplex still existed. No trees down, just a few extra leaves on the road. Obviously, the storm hadn’t reached this far.
It wasn’t a glamorous area, but it wasn’t the slums either. Lower income families lived here, double incomes, a few quiet single types. It was close enough to manufacturing hubs to guarantee employment and far enough away from the city to avoid the party all night types. I liked the area.
We drove down my street and Sam’s warmth seeped into me from his hand resting, reassuring, on my leg.
A police car sat outside my townhouse. That was the first thing I noticed and I felt a shiver run up my spine, old habits, perhaps, fear perhaps. I did not know. Then I saw the crime scene tape. It was just like in those crime shows.
“Shit,” I cried.
“It’ll be okay, Sweetpea,” one of the Brits in the back stated as they placed a hand on my shoulder.
Sam pulled the car up behind the police. None of this made sense to me.
“We can come back another day,” Samuel said.
I got out of the car and a police officer did as well.
“Good morning, I am Officer Cracken, you are?”
“The Owner,” I responded. “Indiana Meredith”
“When you have had a look, you need to file a report at the police station,” he stated bored, like he was done with the job, another street, another day, another break-in.
“I’ll be down today or tomorrow. I need to get this over and done with.” I walked through the low gate.
My two pot plants that framed the front door had been hacked. They had just been about to flower and all the buds had been cut off, the branches split. This was one nasty shit. I’d just started feeling confident to try my hand at some gardening. Lord knows the unit had very little in the way of gardens. It was low maintenance landscaping at its simplest. Not a flowering plant in sight. The units existed with paving and a row of straggly hedge plants that didn’t have the energy to flower or grow much.
“Fucking stalker,” a tear gathered in my eye.
Alastair stepped up to me and gave me a hug. Rom stood on the other side of him. Sam was silent, focused. I wouldn’t want to be the person who had done this to me.
“We’re going inside,” Matt said. “Come in when ready, but remember. It’s not pretty in there.” The two men walked confidently into the house and I could image them clearing it as per those stupid TV shows.
“Sweetpea, it isn’t going to get any better. The best thing to do is to get in there, find out if there is anything worth salvaging and clean it up. The rest can be dumped,” Alastair said.
“You sound like you’ve been through this before,” I replied, pleased to think about something else, no matter if it was only for a moment.
“Sweetpea, I was a gay green beret. It wasn’t my team that was a problem, it was the old man. He’s got a following and he has some nasty SOBs working with him. That’s how I met Rom. In, collect, clean and out,” Alastair stated calmly.
“Your own father,” it was my turn to be shocked now.
“Let’s just say that Sammy boy looks golden in his eyes compared to me.”
“We’ll send Sammy off for whatever you need. He looks like he needs to calm down,” Rom changed the conversation.
“For a man who hasn’t seen your brother for a few years, you know him pretty well,” I replied. Alastair just smiled. And then he pushed me up the step, under the tape, and into the house.