In the last episode: Mark Masters is escorted back to his home to retrieve for Sunni’s and his assailants the contents of the safe. When his escorts, Bud and Buck realize Mark only has a ledger, Blake orders them to return with the ledger and Mark. Returning with Mark is a change in the original plan. Mark tries to take advantage of this change when they return to the De La Croix’s by attacking Blake. His attempt fails resulting in his being hog-tied once again and left face down on the floor nearly unconscious.
Lying flat on his face on the cool, hardwood library floor, his feet and hands bound together behind his back, Mark is still trying to maintain consciousness. He can see Blake’s mouth moving and can barely make out the muffled words. It appears, too, although the image is not completely clear, that he presses a revolver deep into Sunni’s flesh just above her heart and he tugs a handful of her hair so hard it causes her head to snap backwards unnaturally.
“Do you understand you tan smear?” Blake addressing Mark jerks Sunni’s head back farther and digs the revolver deeper into the flesh under her chin.
Although Mark didn’t comprehend clearly each word, he recognizes the savage actions, so he confirms understanding.
“Good,” Blake pushes Sunni’s head forward so hard it nearly topples her forward enough that the back legs of the chair pop up off the floor before crashing back down.
Blake stands, engages a round into the revolver, points it at Mark and fires. Splinters of the hardwood fly up towards Mark’s face.
“This next one,” Blake engages another round into the chamber, “won’t miss.”
Blake aims the weapon carefully at the back of Mark’s head and then stops distracted by noises down the hall outside the library. He gestures for Bud to check the hallway. Bud starts out but before he gets too far, he raises his hands and slowly backs back into the library.
Blake raises his weapon towards the doorway. Mark is unable to see what is going on from his limited perspective on the floor.
“Drop your weapon or I will be forced to shoot,” Mark hears a slightly familiar voice.
When he looks up at Blake, he can see Blake is still aiming at the doorway. Mark struggles to try and move but Buck’s hog-tying has him rendered nearly motionless.
Suddenly, a shot is fired, then another. The second shot encourages Blake to aim again at Mark.
“I’ll shoot him if you don’t drop your weapon, officer.”
Mark now connects “officer” with the voice. It’s Lt. Sherman.
Another shot is fired. Then, Mark hears Blake yelp followed split seconds later by a metallic clatter against hardwood.
“Just leave the weapon there and surrender. I’m not alone. I brought several officers with me.”
Blake hesitates for about three ticks of the clock, but then slowly and carefully raises his hands. Mark cannot see who, but someone rushes toward him and Sunni. Whoever begins to loosen the ropes from Mark’s hands and feet. He can also see a uniformed officer untying Sunni’s bindings.
“Celia! They have Celia and may hurt her,” Sunni frantically cries as the officer frees her from her bondage.
“I’m right here, Sunni,” Celia steps into the library when Mark stands to his feet.
Mark watches as Sunni runs and embraces Celia the moment she is loosened from the chair.
“How did you escape? Who and where?” Sunni has Celia fully wrapped in her arms.
“I was never a captive,” Celia starts to put more distance between her and Sunni.
Sunni remains silent. Mark senses that the reason for Sunni’s speechlessness is similar to his. This explanation better be good.
Celia explains that after J.T. was arrested she came directly to the station. The sergeant at the desk told her it would take awhile before she could see J.T., so she came home to fix a bite to eat.
She decided to eat out in the garden. She tells how she called Sunni to tell her that she would not be able to see J.T. and asked Sunni to come home.
“You sounded frantic when you called me,” Sunni reminds Celia still grasping Celia.
“Did I? I don’t know why unless I was still in shock and worrying over J.T.”
Mark feels uncomfortable with this explanation so far, especially this frantic call portion. Then, he remembers that he only has Sunni’s word that Celia was frantic.
Uniformed officers having handcuffed them escort the three perpetrators out. Lt. Sherman and Detective Madison stay and quietly listen as Celia tells her story.
Celia then tells how she heard someone drive up the driveway to the front of the house. When she went to check, she saw four men in the vehicle. She did not recognize any of them.
“When the car pulled away three of them stayed and entered through the front door without knocking or ringing,” Celia grabs Sunni’s wrists in her hands.
Sunni looks at Mark. To Mark Sunni shares a look of doubt and confusion.
“I panicked. I left through the garden to the garage where I parked my car and headed back to the police station.”
“I guess that’s where I come in,” Lt. Sherman stands with his hands on his hips which pulls his suit coat open exposing his gun and holster.
“When I arrived at the station, Steve, er, Lt. Sherman was talking with the Mendozas,” Celia releases her grip of Sunni’s wrists.
Celia tries to pull away from Sunni who has yet to withdraw her grasp of Celia’s arms. Mark watches as the two sisters communicate telepathically with the expressions on their face. Sunni turns away when Detective Madison steps in holding the ledger in her hand.
“What are you going to do with that?” Sunni removes her clasp of Celia to address Detective Madison.
“It’s police evidence for now,” Detective Madison pokes the ledger into a clear plastic bag.
“Evidence of what? What are you arresting these three for?” Sunni turns to Steve Sherman.
“Unlawful restraint,” Lt. Sherman then points to Mark’s bruising and bleeding face, “and assault.”
“How does that,” Sunni jabs a forefinger towards the ledger in Detective Madison’s hand, “help to prove either of those charges?”
“Motive,” Detective Madison replies instantly.
“Well, as you can see, I convinced Steve that there was trouble at my home,”Celia finishes her explanation, “when we arrived I saw your car and figured you were in danger.”
“When you saw the three enter without knocking, why didn’t you just dial 9-1-1?” Mark wonders as he tries to accept Celia’s account.
“You need to attend to that wound,” Detective Madison points out the blood clotting on the side of Mark’s face.
Mark becomes light headed and experiences a sensation as if his surroundings begin to spin. His eyes roll back in his head and his knees buckle. Suddenly, all is darkness.
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at email@example.com.