by Jericho Steele
When the door opened, Phin was slightly displeased to find Deeks dozing against his mother’s shoulder.
“Mother…” He used a gentle tone, but he needed her out of the way of the messy business this was about to become. “…I think I’ve found a use for you after all.”
“Really?” The shift in his demeanor caught her off guard, especially after their last encounter.
“My business with Mr. Beale is complete and it’s time to bring this deal to a close.” Phin nodded to David who was keeping a keen eye on the room.
“What do you mean?” Lorraine held her breath, hoping this was about to be over.
Phin put on the best poker face he had. “The red-head is in the hospital, Beale has kept up his part… and I’m sorry, it wasn’t supposed to be this complicated.”
It was too good to be true, but regardless of everything he’d done, Phineas was still her boy. “Okay… okay. How do we clean this up?”
“First off, we get pretty boy and his girl out of here.”
Lorraine face morphed into one of fear. “But he’s injured…”
“I know mom, but we can’t keep them here any longer.” Phin swallowed down the urge to simply shoot Deeks on the spot. “I’m going to have Jasper and Horace drop them off a few miles outside of town.”
Deeks’ ears perked up at the possibility of reuniting with his partner, letting out a soft grunt as he blinked his eyes. “What? What happened? Did I pass out?”
“Shhhh… honey, you just dozed off for a minute or two.” Lorraine let her hand drop to his shoulder.
Phin cleared his throat, redirecting her attention back to him. “Mom, I need you to go and pull the car around.”
“But what if… “
He cut her off gently. “The longer this takes, the longer it will be before he gets the care he needs.”
It made sense, but it still made her ache thinking that this might be the last she would see of the man whose eyes were the color of the sea. “Okay… okay…”
Turning to the other man in the room, Phin inclined his head toward their captive. “Horace and Jasper are here to collect our guest… help him to his feet but make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.”
David wrapped one arm around Deeks, fisting his fingers into the fabric of his shirt to keep him immobilized. “On your feet, pretty boy.”
Just as Lorraine left, Jasper and Horace came around the corner at the end of the hallway. When the coast was clear, Phin turned to the men, his entire countenance changing in an instant from the meek son to the cold-hearted monster he was. “Boys, this is going to be your last chance to redeem yourselves from the way you have utterly screwed up every other mission I have sent you on.”
Jasper shot his brother a warning look, but Horace was too oblivious to notice.
“Now, this is what you’re going to do.” As he zipped tied Deeks’ hands in front of him, Phin glanced up and down the hallway once more to ensure that they were alone before he spoke again. “When my mother brings the car around, take lover boy out to Route 17.”
“But there’s nothing out there for miles…” Jasper cocked his head at the order, unsure of his boss’s intent.
“So, you just want us to drive him out there and leave him?” Horace asked, his mind hurrying to catch up.
“Yes… but with one little condition.” The man’s lips curled into a grin.
Jasper looked over at Horace, his eyes brightening at the chance to maybe have some fun using the blonde as a human punching bag. “And what condition is that?”
“After you drop him off…” Phin’s lips morphed into an evil sneer. “…I want you to put a bullet in the back of his skull.”
Kensi slipped into the shadow behind the door just as the doorknob rattled and slowly began to turn. The floor lamp held in both her hands in a grip that would allow her to swing her improvised weapon from a variety of angles.
Angela didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary as she pushed the door open, confidant that the brunette was probably huddled on the bed. When the light from the hallway illuminated the majority of the room and the bed was completely empty, it was too late for her at that point. Something solid struck her low across her abdomen and when she hunched over in pain, another sledgehammer of white-pain crashed into the back of her skull.
As Angela’s unconscious body fell face first onto the shag carpet, Kensi was on her in a flash, using the lamp cord to hog-tie the woman’s ankles and wrists together. Ripping away a piece of the woman’s shirt, she shoved a wad of the material into the woman’s mouth, using what was left to tie the gag in place. A quick search of the woman’s clothes turned up a set of car keys, a pack of gum, and to her great surprise and relief, a small semi-automatic handgun and one extra magazine.
Kensi heaved the woman up onto her hip before flipping her unceremoniously onto the bed. She snatched up one corner of the comforter and tucked it tightly around the body so that if anyone opened the door, they wouldn’t be able to tell who it was without getting closer.
Satisfied with her work, Kensi crept to the door, the lamp-stand still in her hand and the handgun tucked into the small of her back. There was a key still in the doorknob and she quickly locked the room behind her, happy to leave Phin’s female accomplice alone in the dark. As she entered the hallway, it was empty, bordered by rooms that matched the one she just vacated.
Creeping silently to the end of the hall, Kensi turned the corner and found a door that revealed an empty porch. After scanning the area, she stepped down onto the ground, heading toward the black Escalade with Angela’s keys in her hands.
As the SUV’s engine roared to life, Kensi debated making a run for town and calling reinforcements, but that might leave Deeks and Eric alone with a man who was quickly losing control over his simple little plan. If she came back with help only to find that she was too late to save them, she’d never be able to live with the fact that she’d lost a close friend and the only man she’d ever truly loved. As scenario after scenario played out in her head, another vehicle appeared at the end of the street, heading away from the dusty town.
As the driver’s side of the car came into view, she recognized a flustered Jasper who was apparently having another discussion with his brother who was sitting in the passenger seat. They were so engrossed, that neither paid her any attention and simply passed on by.
Kensi paused at the end of the street, waiting a few seconds to allow the brothers a little more distance before pulling out. She was intending to head back to the ranch house where she figured Deeks and Eric were being held, but just as she started to turn the steering wheel, a blonde figure stepped out of the dark and opened the passenger-side door.
The pistol was out and pointed directly at Lorraine’s midsection before she even made it into the seat. With a dismissive glance down at the weapon, she pointed toward the direction of where Jasper and Horace’s vehicle had vanished into the night. “You can shoot me now…” Her bleached hair danced across her slightly wrinkled cheeks as she nodded toward the gun pointed at her. “…but if you want to save your boyfriend, I’d wait a little longer.”
Without moving the weapon from her intended target, Kensi felt her throat tighten even as she spoke. “They have Deeks?”
“Yeah, Sweet Thing… Phin thinks he’s slick but he has the poker face of a five-year old. He sent dumb and dumber to take care of pretty boy and if we don’t hurry… they might actually get something right tonight.”
Kensi kept the gun trained on her unexpected guest as she spun the wheel hard to the left, making a quick U-turn, loose gravel slinging out behind the accelerating vehicle.
“I take it you took care of the trollop?” Lorraine busied herself with adjusting her ‘assets’ as the wilderness sped by.
Kensi didn’t even glance over, her eyes fixed on the taillights in the distance. “She’s tied up back in the room they had me in.” Kensi still had the lights off, the full moon more than adequate for her to keep it between the ditches. She was about to ask the other woman why she was helping them against her own son when the older female spoke up.
“He loves you, you know that, right?”
Kensi’s foot almost slipped off the accelerator pedal. “Who… what?”
Lorraine shook her head, her blonde tresses dancing against her shoulders. “Pretty boy… Deeks… Marty.” She patted her left side, frustrated at leaving her cigarettes behind in her office.
Kensi’s hand tightened on the wheel. “Yeah… well then… why can’t he stop flirting with every female he meets?”
Lorraine shook her head gently. “Oh Honey… I’ve been dealing with men all my life and let me tell you, that one doesn’t mean anything by it.“
This time, the look Kensi sent her way should have killed the woman. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Wow… you are a firecracker.” Lorraine glanced over, catching something behind the anger in Kensi’s eyes, something like shame. “Hold on a sec… does something usually happen between the two of you before he flirts?”
“Noooo…” Kensi’s answer was too emphatic, giving away the fact that there was more to the story.
For a woman of her sordid background, Loraine shifted easily into the kind mother that was buried deep inside. “Think about what you two were doing before it happened.”
Kensi’s foot was moving to the brake pedal so she could stop and throw the hussy out into the night, when it hit her; the conversation that they were having about that horrible toga-show that Deeks had insisted was the best thing since sliced bread.
“We were talking about a show.”
Lorraine nodded, following along. “Was it any good?”
Kensi rolled her eyes. “The worst.”
“But he liked it, right?”
“I don’t see how! It was stupid… the acting was stiff, the dancing moves absolutely ludicrous, and the costumes… I mean who would be caught dead in outfits like that?” Kensi took a breath, confident that the other woman would soon see her point. “The entire thing was completely stupid!”
There was a breathless pause, and then Loraine spoke. “But… he liked it.”
Kensi could still hear Deeks’ boisterous laughter at the happenings on the stage, the way he kept pointing out the subtle jokes that she must have missed, and the way his eyes lit up like a little child at the silly antics of the performers that seemed intent on being as over-the-top as they could.
“He… he loved it.” Kensi felt the cold pang of guilt slipping into her chest. “He laughed so hard… he was crying.”
“And all you did was make fun of it…”
If she had reached over and slapped her, Lorraine couldn’t have surprised Kensi anymore. It dawned on the agent that by making fun of something that had apparently meant a great deal to Deeks, she had, in essence, been making fun of him as well. The words slipped out before she realized she’d even thought of them. “…And him. I was making fun of him.”
“And he reacted, tried to make you appreciate him.”
Kensi cocked her head to the side. “By flirting with another woman?”
Lorraine’s smile was cool as ice. “How do you normally react when he does that?”
“I get pissed… tell him to knock it off… that he’s with me… “
“In other words, you fight for him… claim him as your own.” The older woman nodded in understanding. “Maybe that’s why he flirted… make you appreciate him.”
Kensi’s mind reeled with the woman’s statement. Was that what she had done? Made Deeks feel like she didn’t appreciate him and his quirky sense of humor? No. It was one of the reasons why she loved him so much, but had she been doing a good job of expressing that? Maybe not. Maybe she had more damage control to do than she first thought.
“This is as good a spot as any.” Jasper brought the car to a stop when they had traveled far enough into the wilderness to prevent anyone from finding the body before it had been picked clean by the desert.
“A spot for what?” Horace looked over the car’s roof as they exited.
“For what Phin sent us out here to do.”
Horace had allowed his mind to wander back to the pretty brunette that they’d left over in the brothel. Maybe she’d be a little more compliant if she knew her boyfriend wasn’t coming to rescue her, but he was drawing a blank as to what their last instructions had been. “Annnnnddd… what was that?”
Jasper shot his brother a scathing look. “To shoot him, you big dummy!”
“I told you before… don’t call me a dummy!” The cords in his neck muscles bulged as he turned toward his brother.
“Well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… then it’s a duck.”
Horace’s anger faded as he spun around, his eyes scanning the area immediately around the car. “Duck? What duck? I don’t see any duck!”
Jasper raked his hand over his face. “Oh, for the love of… you’re kidding right?”
“You’re the one who mentioned a duck.”
“You’re the duck, you idiot!”
Horace’s expression was one of a man who had no earthly idea what the conversation was even about any more. “I told ya, I’m not a…”
A loud thumping from the rear of the car interrupted and then they heard a muffled voice calling out to them.
“Hey guys… this is a really stimulating conversation, but it’s getting late and if I’m not back by curfew, I won’t get any supper.” Deeks had heard the two brothers arguing and he was coming up with another comment when the trunk lid lifted. “One question guys… did your parents have any children that lived?”
Before Jasper could stop him, Horace answered proudly. “Yeah… me, my brother and our sister.”
When the big man reached in and snatched the detective out by his shirt, Deeks couldn’t help himself. “Then tell me… is she a good kisser?”
Horace looked perplexed… again… while Jasper simply looked pissed. “You know, at first I really didn’t think I wanted to kill any of you and your friends, but right now, I’m beginning to think that I’m going to enjoy this.” He reached over and tugged on Deeks’ bound hands, forcing him to his knees. “Horace, I’ll do it… give me the gun.”
“Gun? What gun?”
Jasper looked over at his brother. “What gun? The gun… you know, the one we’re supposed to shoot pretty boy with.”
Horace simply shrugged his shoulders. “You never said anything about bringing a gun.”
The older brother looked like he was literally about to explode. “I didn’t think I had to… Phin told us to put a bullet in his head… how the hell are we supposed to do that if we don’t have a gun!!!”
The younger sibling shrugged his wide shoulders. “I thought he was speaking metaphorically.”
“Metaphorically? You don’t even know what that means!”
Horace folded his arms across his thick chest. “It means a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally…”
“Shut the hell up!” Jasper moved into his brother’s personal space.
Horace returned the favor. “No… you shut up!”
“Make me, ya big lug!”
“I may be a lug but at least I know what a metaphor is!” Horace squared his body, ready to make a charge.
“I know what a metaphor is!”
“Of course you know what a metaphor is… I just told you!”
“I swear, if you weren’t my little brother I’d kill you!”
“With what? You forgot the gun!”
“I didn’t forget the gun… you forgot…” Jasper let out a primal yell before turning back to Deeks. “… aww, never mind. I’ll handle this myself.” He moved quickly to the trunk and flipped up the mat that covered the spare tire. When he turned back, he had a nasty looking tire iron clenched in his hand. “I guess we’ll have to do this the hard way.”
Jasper was drawing the improvised weapon back over his shoulder when a familiar female called out to him.
“Hold up Jasper… there’s been a change in plans.”
Both men turned in the direction of the voice at the same time, their faces a little surprised. Jasper let the tire iron drop to his side but he kept a firm grip, just in case. “Lorraine, what are you doing out here?”
“Phin’s changed his mind. He thinks we might need pretty boy for a little while longer.” She moved easily, keeping the boys focus on her as she circled around Deeks. “Besides, he’s just so cute.”
Jasper closed his eyes for a moment, the leer the woman was aiming at the man on the ground turning his stomach. “But he told us to bring him out here and get rid of him.”
“Annnnd… he sent me to stop you because he’s not sure if the Beale kid did all that he was supposed to do.” Lorraine made sure her movements held the attention of the brothers.
Jasper glanced over at Horace who simply shrugged his shoulders and when the older brother turned back to face her, he still looked skeptical. “I don’t know… maybe I should give him a call.”
Lorraine cocked her head to the side, looking past them for a second before smirking back at them. “Go ahead. Do it… now.”
That confused Jasper. “Yeah, that’s what I meant.”
“What the hell’s wrong with you woman…” He was tugging his phone out of his pocket with his free hand, shaking his head. “…crazy.” That was his last thought before he was knocked unconscious by Kensi’s vicious kick to the back of his head. She’d been able to approach the little group completely unnoticed, thanks in part to Lorraine’s distraction.
Horace muttered a quick epitaph before Kensi performed a quick forward roll, snatched up the tire iron that Jasper had dropped on his trip into the dirt and struck him across his left temple. He landed with a ‘thump’ next to his brother’s prone body.
The scene was pretty surreal until Deeks spoke up. “Now, there’s my Wonder Woman.”
Kensi turned to him, her face flushed. “Well, someone had to come out here and save you.” As soon as she freed him, her partner’s arms enveloped her in a crushing hug. She hesitated for only a moment before she relaxed into him, nuzzling into the crook of his neck.
“Okay, okay you two… break it up.” Lorraine’s impatient voice broke the spell and they turned to see her standing over the two brothers who were out cold. “If Phin sent these idiots out here to finish you off, your friend might have reached the end of his usefulness and time is running out.”
The detective gestured toward the men on the ground. “You got this?”
Lorraine gave him a dismissive wave of her hand. “Please… I’ve handled men a lot worse than these two.”
They were turning away, heading back to where the Escalade was parked, when they stopped and called back to the woman who had helped them.
“Lorraine?” Kensi spoke first.
The older woman looked up, her face a mask of sadness and regret. “Yeah?”
This time Deeks responded. “Thank you… I don’t know what to say.”
A spark fired in Lorraine’s eyes. “Go… save your friend and then get the hell out of here.”
“You sure you’ll be okay?”
She gave them a simple wave of her hand. “Go on, you love birds… time’s a wasting.”
They each gave her a firm nod before turning to make their way to the waiting vehicle. Without discussing it, Kensi climbed behind the wheel as Deeks pulled himself into the passenger seat.
“You know…” He winced as he finally clicked his seatbelt. “…when this is all over, we’re going to need a vacation from our vacation.”
Kensi let out a hard chuckle. “You got that right… and anywhere but Vegas. I think I’ve had enough of this town for a while.”
Deeks picked up on something hidden in her meaning, she hadn’t intended for it to come out like that, but it seemed there was something weighing on him as well. When he spoke to her, his voice was low and sincere.
“I’m sorry Kens.”
She waved him off. “None of this was your fault Deeks… we just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong ti-“
“That’s not what I meant.”
The shift in her expression told him that he didn’t need to elaborate. Kensi was about to tell him that it was okay, no big deal, when he beat her to it.
“I… I have you… and I still… flirt…” He spoke the word as if it tasted bad in his mouth. The emotion bubbling out with his confession caused her chest to constrict. “…and I’m ashamed of myself.”
“No Kens, don’t say it isn’t a big deal and don’t let me get away with it.” He was shaking his head. “I have you and that’s more than I could have ever hoped for in this life. I’m sorry… can you forgive me?”
Kensi wiped away the traitorous tear that had somehow slipped down her cheek. “There’s nothing to forgive.”
“But I… “
“No buts…” She gave him that look that left no room for argument. “…and I have to ask you to forgive me as well.”
Deeks looked totally confused. “Forgive you? For what?”
“I think I know why you did it.”
This didn’t help Deeks at all. “Then please explain it to me because I feel like a heel.”
“You’re not a heel…” She was serious, then a smile formed on her lips. “…well, not all of the time anyway.”
She reached over and covered his hand with hers, her heart soaring when he tenderly intertwined their fingers. “I think it’s your way of pushing me.”
“Pushing you to do what?”
Kensi swallowed her pride, honest with herself for what she needed to say. “To show you how much I appreciate you.”
“I know you do.”
She shook her head. “But sometimes, I suck at showing it… and I’m sorry… can you forgive me?”
His face split into a smile the size of Texas and before she had a chance to stop him, he leaned across the center console and was kissing her. It took her a moment to ensure they weren’t about to drive off the road, and then she was kissing him back. They broke apart as soon as they felt the vehicle starting to drift and they needed to breathe, Kensi working the wheel with one hand to get them back on track, softly pushing him back to his seat with the other. “Okay, no more kissing like that while I’m driving down a dark, desert road.”
Deeks’ smirk was as clear as day. “Spoil-sport.”
Kensi patted his arm as her hand slipped down to his. “Later, Lover… right now we gotta save Eric.”
To Be Continued….
Randy (Jericho Steele) is a contributor for wikiDeeks.
You can also find more of his great stories on FanFiction.net.
Thanks to Lindy AKA Sweet Lu for the wonderful feature image.