Protecting What's Not Mine Chapter Five
A Glimpse Inside
"Hey boss we got a body." David heard through the phone. He had set up all night just staring at the book Marie handed him. So many excuses not to open yet and at the same time so many fears of if he didn't. CSI Wyatt was waiting for him at a small bar just outside the district.
“What do we have Wyatt?” looking around anxiously, feeling something out of sorts. Wyatt couldn’t help but notice his boss on edge. “Hey boss, you okay?” David hesitated to talk. “Later Wyatt, give me the run down on what happen here.” Wyatt didn’t argue and did what he as he was told. “According to the bar owner the victim came in around eight o’clock this evening, started out with a couple beers, watching the fight, and flirting with one of the waitresses. Around ten o’clock he started hitting the whiskey, gets a little more vocal, and a little more aggressive with the waitress. Bar owner gave him a warning to settle down or leave. After that he proceeded to stir up a game of pool, accusing the other player of stealing his money and threw a punch. The bar owner finally had enough and tossed him out.” David looked at the inside of the bar; it looked like a mess for a business that had been closed for over an hour. “Wyatt tell me what’s wrong with this picture? Most businesses even bars clean up after hours. This place looks like a fight exploded after closing. We got broken glass, pool sticks, and couple of chairs. Why would you leave this for your customers to trample over? No, this had to have happened after closing. Where is the bar owner?”
David and Wyatt looked around and he was no longer among them. “We got a runner. What do we know about him?” As Wyatt scrabbled through his notes looking for the bar owner’s information David finally came across the eerie feeling that kept creeping up the back of his neck. Marie’s ex-boyfriend; standing amongst the crowd. He stared David up and down trying to intimidate him. Problem was though he had drill sergeants a hell of a lot scarier in the Marines. But he knew he shouldn’t excuse the attempt. “Hey boss I got it. He lives a couple miles east off Jack Crews Rd.” Once again Wyatt noticed a distraction in his boss. “Hey David, let’s go get this bastard.” David nodded and hit the lights and the gas.
Once they were away from the crime scene David pulled over and started looking for bugs in his truck. He knew he was being paranoid but he wasn’t willing to take any chances that could lead that asshole to Marie and the baby. Sure enough being a paranoid freak paid off. Not one but two bugs; one hooked to his GPS and the other in his radio. He pulled over a passing motorist and asked if they were familiar with the area and with luck they just happened to be tourist on their way back to good ole California. He planted the bugs in the car and let them continue on their way. David was back in the truck in a flash and back in the game. “Okay what do we know about this guy?” David asked. “Well his name is Earl Cartwright, Forty-Seven, dishonorable discharge from the army for sexual misconduct when he was twenty-five, in and out of trouble until he was about thirty; mostly small stuff; public intoxication, speeding, couple domestic assault claims but nothing that the D.A. could get to stick. After that he opens a bar and stays out of trouble until tonight.” David listened closely. “He was Army. What was his MOS?” Wyatt picked up the phone and put in a call back to the lab. “Lexi, I need some information on Earl Cartwright. We need to know what his MOS was in the Army.” Buzzz Buzzz! Wyatt’s phone sounds off. “Lexi – combat engineer specializing in explosives.” David hit the brakes and slid the truck to a stop.
They were more than halfway down the driveway and he knew that if they pulled into the yard they were going to be blown sky high. “Look here kid, you’re going to take my truck and back it up all the way to the highway. Do not get off the road. I can about guarantee his has this place rigged. Call Lexi and get SWAT out here. DO NOT COME BACK! Stay back there where it’s safe. Do you understand?” David didn’t want him playing hero he already knew what that would cause and he didn’t want that on his list of shit he done wrong. “But I could help you.” Wyatt argued. “No! You will get yourself blown up. I will handle this alone. Just get SWAT here.” Wyatt nodded “Fine but when this is all over you owe me an explanation of what the hell is going on with you. Deal?” David chuckled at the kid for his persistence “Okay kid, you got a deal.”
Detective David Mitchel left the mind of his daily job and entered the mind of his former self; Sergeant Mitchel; who also specialized in explosives amongst other tactical operations. David made his way down the dirt drive softly and slowly; his mind completely focused on walking away from this alive. Buzzzz buzzzz, buzz buzz. “Whoever you are I will have to call you back” David listen to his phone go off another three times before it finally stopped. He managed to make it to the front yard before all hell broke loose; Earl was waiting for the cops but he didn’t count on it being such an easy target; or so he thought. “So you’re the poor dumb soul that drew the short straw. Son you need to turn around and do yourself a favor. I don’t particularly want to the title of cop killer but I certainly not above it either.” David listened to the cockiness in Earl’s voice.
“Earl, you may be right. However only one of us is going to walk away from this alive and I prefer it be both of us simply for the fact I’m too tired and I don’t feel like the paperwork. So let’s make this easy and call it a tie. Come on out here nice and easy, hands in the air, and no surprises. What do ya say?” Laughter echoed through the front yard as Earl thought this as a lame attempt to negotiate. David knew at that point this was about to end badly.
“Boy, you have got to be the worst negotiator I have ever seen in my life. Tell me something before I light your silly ass up; exactly what your job description is? I’m sure there was something better suited for you than what you are doing now; super model, teacher, hell even a fry cook.” David shook his head and grinned.
“You’re actually right Earl. You see my job isn’t a negotiator. My job is to get the bad guy dead or alive. And you know what I will take the extra paperwork.” Earl didn’t see it coming as David during the entire conversation had been inching closer and closer; never leaving his exact angle.
“Boy, you are standing in a live mine field. If you make it to me before your ass is blown sky high I will let you take me out of here in those silver bracelets but I’m betting you’re not that good.” David went quiet.
Earl was growing ever more cocky thinking David was caught on one of his mines. He actually stepped out onto his front porch like a moron. “You still out there boy or did you go running back?” Earl giggled.
“Hey Earl.” David called out from behind him. Earl turned in surprise just in time to catch the butt end of his rifle. “Knock Knock asshole.” David reached in his pocket and pulled out his phone. Damn, five missed calls from Marie. Panic came over David. He called Wyatt to give the clear. SWATT came in and disarmed the mines so CSI could process the scene. “Wyatt you’re in charge. I got to go.” Wyatt wasn’t letting him off the hook that easy though. “Hold on, you made me a promise. Lexi has this covered, you owe me an explanation.” Wyatt jumped into the truck and locked the door behind him. David shook his head in frustration but the kid was right. “Fine let’s go.” David explained the situation of Marie and the baby as he drove like a bat out of hell to the cabin. He also told him about the book that Marie gave him. “Dude, are you serious? This lunatic has been coming into the station asking all kinds of questions.” This wasn’t news to David but it certainly pissed him off.
The cabin was dark. Of course it would be it was after two in the morning. Marie was more than likely asleep. She had been more tired lately since the baby was growing and taking a lot of her energy. Her uncle tried to convince to just stay home and relax but she refused. She was determined to work so she could give the baby everything he/she would need. Wyatt curiosity got to him. “Hey boss, How far along is your girl?” David shot him a look that had everything that told Wyatt to choose his next set of words carefully. “She’s fifteen weeks. Why?” Wyatt sat there and evaluated the situation. “Well you could always say the baby is yours. She got here first then found out she was pregnant. You can claim that you and she have been a couple since she arrived and say the baby is yours.” David never thought of it like that. She was already in Las Vegas for two weeks prior to finding out she was pregnant. This could work until a DNA test was brought into question. David called Marie’s phone hoping she wasn’t asleep. “Hello” her voice came across groggy. “Hey, I’m outside.” David always gave her a heads up before walking up to the house. The house lights came on and Marie came out of the house with worry on her face. She hadn’t seen David much since she gave him the book and she was horrified by the things she knew was in it. “Hey” David spoke quietly as he knew what was running through her mind. “I haven’t looked at it yet. We haven’t caught a break long enough for me to stop.” Relief filled her face. “So what brings you all the way out here this morning then?” She knew it had to do with the missed calls but she wanted to hear his excuse. “Well we had a case close by and I thought I would just surprise you.” David cleared his throat. She giggled “Is that your final answer? Are you sure it had nothing to do with the five missed calls from earlier tonight?” He knew he was caught. “Okay, I was freaking out. What happened?” She couldn’t help but bust out laughing. “Come inside I want to show you something.” But before she got to the door she stopped and turned. “Oh, who is your little friend hiding behind you?” David had completely forgot about Wyatt. “Marie this is CSI Wyatt, Wyatt this is Marie.” As they entered the cabin David looked around and noticed her uncle wasn’t there. “Marie, where is Mike?” She looked at him oddly. “He said he was working late tonight. He needed to catch up paperwork and he said something about doing some deep cleaning. I offered to help but he said he needed some alone time.”
David shrugged it off and decided to let his guard down some. “So what did you want to show me?” He asked Marie as she walked out of the kitchen with what looked to be a large bowl of pickles, fruit, and salad dressing. “Ummm what are you eating? And please tell me you’re not putting ranch dressing on watermelon.” David looked and felt a little green. “Yea, I guess I am.” She smiled “Oh, get over yourself. Come sit down I wanna show you something.” David set next to her as she ate some of her pickles and waited a moment. Suddenly Marie’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. She reached out for David’s hand and placed it on her growing belly.
David’s eyes grew wide as little bumps and waves moved beneath his palm and fingers; and without knowledge to himself the happiest smile came across his face. “This is so wild. Oh wow!” David couldn’t put into words what he was feeling but he knew he never wanted it to end. “I want to claim the baby as mine.” His mouth opened before his brain was in gear. Wyatt’s mouth hit the floor. Marie was in complete shock. “Hear me out please. If I say the baby’s mine then we may actually be able to convince your ex that she is and he will leave and we can raise her.” Both Wyatt and Marie continued to be flabbergasted by David but Marie managed to compose herself and speak. “David, first of all. I would love nothing more than the baby to be yours, but the simple fact is the math doesn’t lie; neither does DNA for that matter. Second, he will never leave us alone until he is behind bars or we’re dead. And finally, what makes you think it’s a girl?” She couldn’t help but look at him sweetly. David blushed and shrugged his shoulders. “Just call it a Daddy’s Hunch.” Wyatt could no longer hold it in and busted out laughing hysterically. It was an infectious laugh before they knew it Marie and David were laughing just as hard.
Sunrise came and Wyatt needed to get home and David had paperwork to finish up. After their good-byes David went back to his apartment and picked up a fresh change of clothes and Marie’s book. He finished his work, showered, and locked his office door behind him and laid down on his couch. He continued to stare at the book before finally pushing forward and opening the cover. At first it read like any other diary.
I finally moved in and things seem to be going good. He’s extremely picky though. Not sure if this is going to work out. I made lunch and he through it in the garbage because the mayo wasn’t cold enough and I didn’t have it on a plate. Maybe I’m just being too sensitive.” David kept reading and started seeing the progression of violence.
I was locked in the bathroom for almost 6 hours today. He told me I need to wear my hair up and make-up should be to his approval. I have never been one to wear make-up but he says I need it. After he let me out he wanted me to strip and have sex with him. I refused. Needless to say his true colors are falling out. I have a black eye and possible a broken wrist. I have to get out of here.”
David turned the page to find a pencil drawing of what happened. She drew the attack and it wasn’t a cartoon type of drawing it was very detailed and very much real life drawing. He flipped through the book only to find more drawing and how much more damage was done. David was full of angry and pain. It was nauseating. Before he realized what he was doing he was driving back to the cabin.
Marie was sitting on the porch when he arrived. The smile she had on her face quickly faded when she seen the tears rolling down his face as he pulled her back into the house. “Turn around.” It was clear to her that he was not asking. She turned. David gently lifted the back of her shirt to discover the hundreds on scars across her back from where she had been whipped for her refusal to have sex with her ex. “I am going to kill that bastard the next time I see him.” That’s when David looked up to notice Marie was shaking. He never took into consideration what was running through her mind. “Marie, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I would never hurt you and nobody will ever hurt you again.” He tilted her face up. “Look at me please. I can’t explain what’s running through me right now. But I do know this. I have never been more certain than the fact that I am without a doubt in love with you and I want nothing more than the chance to be the one this baby calls daddy. Will you give me that chance?”