Deeks groaned as he lay down on an old sofa in what had been the main lobby of the Buckaroo Casino. Kensi had insisted he take the couch and had removed the dust-covered sheet. It was dirty and lumpy but it was better than nothing. She found a folding chair for herself and moved it next to him. Dim light filtered in from an old street lamp as Eric paced back and forth, pausing every so often to look out one of the front windows that was only partially boarded up.
“You trying to walk a hole in the floor Beale?” Deeks kept his eyes closed as Kensi gently rubbed his head.
“No. I’m just worried about Nell. I asked for proof and we left before I got it. I hope she’s alright.” He stopped long enough to take a better look at something in the distance, then continued to pace.
“She’s probably called in SWAT, HRT and LVPD along with every other acronym you can think of and is on her way here leading the charge.” Deeks opened his eyes to look at Kensi, letting her know he was worried too.
“I hope you’re right.”
Kensi took the cue from Deeks and attempted to distract Eric. “So, tell me about Phin. How did you get mixed up with him?”
“I’m not mixed up with him. I never was. He’s one of those guys who is always getting into trouble and if you’re within fifty feet of him you get in trouble too. We were college roommates for one semester, then I asked to be moved somewhere else. I couldn’t take his schemes and bullying anymore.”
“Can you do what he wants you to do?” Kensi stood and began walking the perimeter of the room with the flashlight, checking for exits and items that might come in handy.
Eric followed her progress with his eyes as he answered her question. “Yes. But it would take a lot of time and we don’t know how much Nell has.”
Kensi stopped at the front window and watched the horizon. “You did good refusing to help him unless he helped Nell. Do you think he has any idea who you work for?”
“Not a clue. If he did he would have mentioned it by now.” He moved to stand beside her to look outside. “How long do you think we have before he finds out we’re gone?”
She looked at her watch then back outside. “Not long. And this is probably one of the first places he’ll look. I have a feeling that Dear Old Mom and Phin have been arguing and fighting about things for years. We need to find a better place to hide until that trucker arrives.”
“But where?” Eric shrugged and looked totally overwhelmed.
Kensi looked over at Deeks and sighed. “Eric, keep an eye out but don’t get too close to this window. I’m going to look around for a place and will be back as soon as I can.” She moved back to Deeks and kissed him lightly on the forehead. “If Phin finds us, can you fight off his goons if necessary?”
He grinned and tried to hide his pain. “I can probably trick those dumb asses without lifting a finger. Don’t worry about us. Just figure out how we can escape this hellhole of a town.” He brushed the hair away from her cheek and whispered, “Hurry. They’re probably already looking for us.”
She nodded then kissed him before she carefully made her way through the darkened casino with the flashlight.
“You did what?” Phin shouted as he glared at Lorraine in disbelief.
She calmly sat in the lounge and filed her blood red nails. “You never had a clue about how to treat people. Same as your stupid father.”
“Don’t talk about my father like that,” he roared at her. “Where are they?”
Phin took a step toward his mother but stopped when Buzz moved toward him. “You’re lying. No one has been in or out of town except the guys you sent to take care of the girl and I know they aren’t with them.”
Lorraine just looked up at him with a sad smile on her face. “I’m tired Phin. Tired of the schemes that never work and mostly tired of the company we always seem to keep.”
He ignored her and asked, “Where are the guys you sent to pick her up? They should have been back by now. Don’t tell me they couldn’t handle that one little job…”
Lorraine stood suddenly with her eyes blazing. “Don’t even think about insulting the competence of my men! Look at those bumbling fools you keep around! They’re the reason you’re in this situation in the first place!” She walked toward her son and shoved her finger in his chest. “Don’t make me angry Phin. You won’t like it.”
He looked at Buzz then back at his mother as the vein in his temple visibly throbbed. He turned and stomped out of the room without looking back. Outside the old brothel, he found Angela and her brothers waiting on the front porch.
He began ordering them around as usual. “Start searching the town. She let them go but they couldn’t have gone far.”
Angela stared at Phin but didn’t make a move which caused Horace and Jasper to do the same.
“I said, start searching!” he yelled at the three siblings. “I have a better idea,” she said as she glanced at a couple of Lorraine’s men standing near the end of the driveway. “Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll find out where she hid them.”
Phin watched as she sauntered down the gravel path toward his mother’s bodyguards. “You’ve got two minutes then we do it my way!”
Eric had been taking quick peeks out the window but had seen and heard nothing so far. Deeks had managed to sit up for a short period of time but had quickly lain back down. He was pretty sure at least one if not more of his ribs were broken. Conversation had been minimal between the two, each worried about getting away and thinking about Nell.
They both looked up when they heard a muted scraping noise just down the hallway. Deeks put his finger to his lips and motioned for Eric to get down low. He squatted immediately and slowly moved out of the light pool from the window.
“They’ve got to be here somewhere,” Deeks heard Jasper whisper hoarsely as they moved with the grace of water buffalo through the debris of the old casino.
He listened and waited until he was sure one of them was standing directly behind the couch. He suddenly reached up with all of his strength, grabbed an arm and yanked the person attached to it across the entire sofa and into the floor on his back with a thud.
He heard a low groan then silence.
From a short distance away he heard Horace whisper, “Jasper? Did you fall? Where are you?”
“Over here,” Deeks whispered and couldn’t believe his luck when Horace walked to almost the exact same spot. He reached up, grabbed his arm and slammed him into the floor next to his idiot brother.
Deeks sat up as Eric stood and walked over to the unconscious men.
“Way to go Deeks! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he said through gritted teeth as he held his side. He quickly looked around, sensing they weren’t alone.
“Yes, way to go Deeks.”
He heard Phin’s unmistakable voice coming from the shadows. A loud click of a hammer being cocked on a pistol caused him to freeze. Eric looked around frantically but saw no one.
Slowly, Phin appeared from the darkness with the gun in his hand. “Where’s the girl?” He looked around and was obviously disturbed to find her absent.
“She hitchhiked a ride out of town. Police should be here anytime.” Deeks was hoping she was in a really great hiding place.
Phin laughed and shook his head. “No she didn’t. She’s here somewhere.” He walked over to the brothers and pushed each one of them with his foot to make sure they were still breathing. “I see you got the best of my men again. What did you say you do for a living?”
“I’m a male stripper,” Deeks said with a grin. “You’d be surprised how often I have to fight off other men.”
Phin shrugged then walked over to Eric and pointed toward the couch. He hurried over and sat beside Deeks. Phin continued to walk as he kept the gun pointed at them.
He looked at Eric and said, “I told you I would hurt your friends if you tried to escape.”
“And I told you I wouldn’t help you unless you helped Nell. I’m still waiting on photographic proof and technically, we didn’t try to escape. Lorraine let us go,” Eric said as he fidgeted.
Phin continued his walk and stopped behind the couch. “I guess I’m going to have to show you how serious I am, Eric.”
Just as Deeks was about to turn around, he heard a loud commotion, then a gunshot.
Plaster rained down on them as the bullet hit the ceiling and Deeks and Eric slid to the floor. Deeks crawled around to the back of the sofa to see Kensi taking down Phin as only Kensi could. He was face down on the floor and she was sitting on his back, pulling his arms up so high he was literally screaming like a little girl.
“Shut up!” Kensi yelled at him, annoyed. “Where is Nell? Did you take her to a hospital?”
Phin whimpered and whined, “I don’t know.”
Kensi pulled his arms up higher and he screamed, “Stop, stop, really…. I don’t know. We sent men… but they haven’t come back yet.” His breathing was heavy and his whimpers were pathetic.
Deeks stood up and checked on the two idiots who were still out cold. He turned back toward Kensi and was just about to look for the gun Phin had dropped when he saw another shadow appear in the darkness.
“Look out Kens!” Deeks warned, but Angela had found the gun first. She hit Kensi with the butt of it and she slumped quietly to the floor. Deeks raced toward her but stopped in his tracks when a bullet whizzed by his ear.
Phin jumped up rubbing his arms and glaring at Kensi. “Little bitch!” he screamed. “Shoot her!”
He turned to Angela then pointed at Kensi.
“No. We still need her.” Angela said confidently, keeping the gun pointed at Deeks.
Phin was about to argue when he heard groaning and movement from the floor near the sofa. He walked around and yelled at Jasper and Horace. “Take the girl to the truck!”
When they moved slowly to get up, he yelled again, “Now, you morons!”
They stumbled to Kensi and clumsily hefted her off the floor and over Jasper’s shoulder.
“No!” Deeks shouted as he charged towards them. Horace turned and placed a solid punch to his face that he wasn’t able to dodge. Deeks fell to the floor and Eric looked shell shocked.
Phin calmly walked over and stood over him. “Not so tough now, are you pretty boy. She goes with them, and you go with me. If you want to see her again, in one piece, I suggest you do as I say!”
“Are we clear?” Phin asked, looking toward Eric.
Neither one replied.
“I can make sure she’s in more than one piece if you prefer.” He grinned as he turned toward Deeks.
“No, no, we get it,” Deeks hurriedly replied. He looked at Eric who was obviously resigned to the fact that he was going to have to do what Phin wanted, and slowly got up, holding his ribs as he moved in front of Phin with Eric following obediently. They walked out the way they came in. No need for handcuffs. No need for a weapon.
Phin currently held all the cards and the threat against Kensi was the only weapon he needed and he knew it.
To Be Continued…
Karen S. (Kadiedid) is a contributor at wikiDeeks.com
Follow her on Twitter: @KDHS01
Thanks to Lindy AKA Sweet Lu for the wonderful feature image.