07 – Get Outta That Garden!

Red’s giggling and pawing over me the entire ride. She may not be drunk, but she’s had alcohol and her inhibitions seem to have been left at the bar.

I try to ignore her, but my dick reminds me she’s fucking hot and wants me.

We get to the safe house without any issue.

Helping Red up the stairs and into her room, I get her shoes off her, followed by her jacket as she plays the ‘too drunk to take care of myself’ card.

“I can do it, Thatcher,” she teases.

“Uh huh, then do it. And it’s Joe.”

“Thatcher! Joe makes ya sound like a feckin’ cop.”

“I am a feckin’ cop.”

“Doesn’t mean ya have to sound like one.”

“You’re drunker than I thought.” I raise my brow as if to say I don’t believe she’s drunk at all.

“Yer brother’s hot.”

I roll my eyes. Of course she would think Billy’s hot. All the girls do. “Sleep it off, Red.”

My hands are full of her things when she grabs my shirt collar and yanks me forward, forcing me into an awkward kiss.

I give in just long enough to dip her onto the bed, letting her things fall to the floor. Her lips are sweet and she’s flush in her drunkenness.

Her pout is the cutest damn thing when I pull away. I’m too much of a big damn hero to fuck her while she’s the only one drunk.

“Awe, c’mon Thatcher.”


“You said Joe a minute ago.”

“Well, you didn’t like Joe, so how about my last name?”

“Hrmm. Say it while naked?”

I smirk and shake my head. “Maybe tomorrow, Red.”

Her drunken rendition of the song, Tomorrow, as she curls into the pillows reminds me she’s much younger than I am.

Once sure she’s not going to bolt, or vomit, or whatever other shit drunk girls do, I inspect the rest of the house.

After, I head back downstairs, hoping there’s ice cold beer in the fridge. I really could use that drink those assholes denied me at the bar.

The fridge illuminates the kitchen to reveal Root Beer.

“Asshole feds,” I mutter and snatch a bottle, popping the top on the counter.

Not bothering with the lights, I flop into the recliner in the living room. The sun’s setting and casting shadows across the room.

The large swig of soda does nothing to help my sour mood. “Fuck me.” Billy was right about one thing. Red’s got it bad for me. My head’s all messed up when it comes to Elle. Which then makes me miss Lori.

I can see her sweet smile and soft eyes looking up at me. She was the one. Sassy little thing that worked the diner on my beat. I took her to Hope-Marie’s graduation. She said yes in the bouncy castle. A month later, she was dead. Murdered in the diner her father left her and her rotten brother.

I growl and take another swig of the Root Beer. The last image I have of her is the surprised look as she laid in a pool of her own blood.

Her death is how I got my detective badge. Which leads me back to Elle.

I don’t get why she lost her shit like today.

Unless she’s fucking that prick?

No. She doesn’t like him, either. She said as much.

Did she really think I’d fuck Red?

Yeah. Sure. I fucked everything that walked after Lori. But after I hooked up with Elle, I’ve been a one-woman man. Besides, I asked her to move in with me. She should know what that means.

She always wants me to talk to her. When I talk to her, she doesn’t want to talk to me. I push the issue and she screams at me. Now, I’m the asshole sitting here alone in the dark, trying to get drunk off of damn Root Beer.

The kitchen door handle jiggles.

I look to the ceiling, silently asking why I can’t catch a break and stand up. I chug the rest of the drink and pull my pistol. No sense leaving a glass bottle behind. I ease to the wall as the sound of the door being forced open echoes in the kitchen.

I listen for footsteps to get a count of our visitors. There’s no way in hell these assholes followed me from anywhere. That’s why I gave up my baby for that piece of shit truck. Which means there’s still a fucking rat somewhere.

I struggle to keep my breathing steady with all the adrenaline pumping through my root-beer-filled veins. As soon as the gun clears the threshold into the living room, I break the glass bottle over his wrist.

The gun hits the floor, and the bastard leaps back, yelping.

I pivot around to come into full view and pull the trigger twice to shoot him in the chest. This also wins me the information that there are two more assholes training their weapons on me.

I can get shot, or dodge. I choose to kiss the floor toward the stairs.

Bullets whiz over my head and rip through the wall.

“KCPD! Drop your weapons!” Just in case I have to explain myself later. I damn well know that’s not about to happen. These assholes broke into what is supposed to be an empty house armed to the teeth. The only thing I imagine they plan to drop is Red and me.

I scramble up the stairs, firing a two more shots when they pop around the corner. I’ve got enough left.

“Thatcher?” Red’s sleepy slurred voice comes from her doorway.

I walk backwards toward her, keeping my pistol trained on the stairs. When she doesn’t move from the doorway, I shove her back into the room and squeeze another round off at the asshole who pops his head up enough for me to see.

“What the fuck?”

We don’t have time for her to get her shoes and shit back on. I kick her door closed and lock it. Then I take her by the forearm and march her to the window.

“Ow! Hey you’re—!”

“Shh!” I cut her off, using my pistol. “Out the window. Don’t argue,” I whisper.

The quick thundering sound of boots coming down the hallway makes her eyes go wide, and she nods, fumbling to get the window open.

“Fuck,” I mutter and move her aside to open the window. With a hard kick, the screen goes flying. I motion for her to go first.

She gets halfway through the window when the door rattles.

I point the gun at the door and fire two more shots.

Red hesitates and I plant my boot on her ass to shove her the rest of the way through. I’m thankful there’s a roof on the other side. It would’ve been awkward if I sent her tumbling to the ground.

“Arsehole!” “Just go,” I whisper shout at her. She scrambles and I turn squeezing into the window too small for me. Those assholes don’t know when to give up and open fire, spraying bullets into the room.

I let gravity take over as I roll down the shingles. It’ll only be about an eight-foot drop at the end. I catch the gutter and the cheap ass tin slows my ride the rest of the way down enough I don’t hurt myself too much. Everything hurts.

How Red got down unscathed is a miracle. But she helps me up and we bolt for the truck we had parked around the corner. I wasn’t so dumb as to park the damn thing in the driveway.

Securing Red first, I hop into the driver’s side and we take off. For the next several miles, I keep checking the mirrors. Once satisfied we aren’t being followed, I know where I’m going and none of those assholes will find us.