In last week’s episode of Suzie’s House, Sean, who had previously offered Ben a ride, crawled out onto the roof next to Cindy’s apartment to get Ben’s attention. Drew, who was standing next to Ben, pulled his gun and said “Halt! You’re under arrest!”
Halt? Of all the idiotic things to say, why did that have to come out of his mouth? Drew put the gun away. He wasn’t about to shoot into the neighbor’s apartment, particularly when so many people were hanging out the window. The man on the roof must have realized it, because he completely blew Drew off, scrambling through the window from the roof of the apartment like a squirrel fleeing a cat.
Drew wasn’t particularly concerned about him anyway. It was the other man, the one who helped the guy on the roof back into the apartment that Drew wanted to arrest. He was the man who shot Vin. Drew would never forget those cold gray eyes.
Ignoring the screams and general commotion from the apartment, Drew charged for the front door. God, what he wouldn’t do for some back up now. He didn’t dare call Vin, who was napping in the living room, and didn’t have anything set up with the local authorities.
The dark of the hall and stairs of the neighbor’s place almost blinded him after the brightness of the outdoors. He pounded up the steps, one hand on the railing. He’d made it to the first landing when the two men came pelting down.
They were like peas in a pod. Both red haired. Both lean of build and of medium height. Their facial features from slight, thin nose to sharp chin matched. They must have been within a year or two of age. If they weren’t brothers, then they were cousins.
Drew pulled his gun. He’d have to be careful. No telling how thin the walls might be or whether or not someone might be standing behind them. “Stop right there.”
They blew him off. He cocked the gun as loudly as he could, but the men didn’t even pause. They were half a second away from him and clearly had no intention of stopping.
He pulled the trigger.
The man in front, the one who had offered Ben a ride, grabbed his arm with a yelp as he crashed into Drew. The other, the one Drew had been aiming for, thrust a fist into Drew’s solar plexus as the two of them swept past. Drew gulped a ragged breath. He turned in time to see the two men go out the door with Ben caught between them.
What had the boy been thinking?! He must have followed Drew into the converted house. Now he was a hostage.
Drew dashed out the door to see the two men trying to wrestle Suzie’s son into a silver Jeep several doors down. As much as Ben flopped around Drew didn’t dare shoot at them. He holstered the gun and ran toward them.
Both men were bleeding – one from the arm and the other from the leg. They looked up at Drew at the same time, looking like a pair of hunting dogs. One reached into the back of the jeep while the other gave Ben a vicious punch. Ben doubled over, then fell to his knees.
Drew decked the one who had punched Ben. The man fell against the other, who was bringing something out of the back seat. A gun? No, a bat. Drew put an arm up to deflect it, but Ben bumped him while straightening up.
The bat came around in a gleaming silver arc. He thought at first it would hit either Ben or the other man, both of whom were in the middle. The man swinging it stepped to the side as it flew. Somehow it came up behind Drew, whacking him hard in the back of the head.
“Ben,” Drew said by way of apology. He’d let the boy down. He knew he was next to useless because he could already see the black of unconsciousness closing in on him. By the time the name left his lips, the darkness had swallowed him.
This is Suzie’s House 46: Peas in a Pod