* * * *
Tony sat in the car with Noah, wishing he would drive faster. It didn’t matter that Noah was already exceeding the speed limit. They had been at the station finishing up paperwork when Alana called. All he knew was that Alicia was having a major panic attack. She knew Novak was behind bars. They had been texting back and forth all evening.
“I don’t get it, Noah. What is she scared of?” Tony asked, trying to slow his racing heart down. The last thing Alicia needed was for him to run in there all scared. He had to at least appear calm to get to the bottom of what was wrong.
“She remembered something, but Alana can’t get a word out of her. She said Alicia woke up sobbing and scared to death.” Noah looked just as worried as he felt. He finally reached his block and pulled into the driveway. It was late in the evening but a lot of lights were on in the houses on the block. They both ran up the porch steps. Noah reached the front door first, but the door was locked.
“Alana, it’s me,” Noah said loudly.
Alana opened the door, looking frightened. Her brown ey
es were wide. Tony was behind Noah, but he spotted Alicia sitting on the couch hugging a pillow close to her body. Her eyes were red and swollen.
She looked up and dropped the pillow. Before he could even reach her, she threw herself into his arms and started crying. He rubbed her back with his hands and went back to the couch, carrying her.
He sat down with her on his lap. She had her hands on his shoulders and she was holding on tight. “Tell us what you remembered, baby.”
She inhaled loudly and let out a breath. When she finally spoke, her voice was wobbly and he knew she was having a hard time holding it together. “I still can’t believe it. I tried denying it but I know it’s true. I finally saw the shadowy figure running through my head. He finally caught me. The moon was bright.”
Tony felt his body tense up. It had to be bad for her to react this way. If it was one of Novak’s flunkies, she would just tell them. She looked at him with such a sorrowful look that he felt his own heart clench for what she was feeling.
“I saw John. He was the one chasing me that night.”
Tony heard everyone gasp loudly. He tried hard not to react yet. He wanted to know all the details before he hunted the man down and killed him. John was an ass, for sure, but a drug dealer? That shocked the hell out of him. He looked at Noah and Noah looked stunned by her words.
Alicia sniffed and looked down at her hands. “I barely remember the car accident. I woke up in some house tied to a bed. I think it was Novak’s. I heard Janice and Novak arguing across the room. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I was in so much pain I could hardly keep a thought in my head. I saw John sitting at the foot of the bed. I was confused and asked him why he was there. My head was pounding and I hurt everywhere.”
Tony was relieved her injuries had been from the accident and not John or Novak.
She stopped for a minute and he thought she was not going to continue. Then she started speaking again. Her voice was choppy and it was obvious she was about to lose control.
“John said we were in an accident and he thought my shoulder had been dislocated and my head was bleeding. He untied my hands and looked at my wrists. He looked so upset. He said Novak should never have treated me so roughly. I didn’t know who Novak was at that time. I recognized him as Janice’s man. That’s all. John got up and pulled Novak into another room, and I heard them arguing. Janice was beat-up and crying. She said Novak was going to kill us both and that she was sorry I got involved in her mess. I was terrified.”
“Jesus,” Noah muttered, hugging his wife. They sat on the loveseat and listened with horror.
“She said we had to get away while they were distracted. I was in shock. How could John be involved in all this? Janice was in a panic and she tried to pull me off the bed. I was still feeling dizzy and I fell to the ground on my shoulder. I remember screaming and everything going black. My head hit the corner of the nightstand.”
Tony kissed her cheek softly. Alicia leaned her head on his shoulder. “It was all my fault Janice died. When I woke up, she was gone and I knew Novak had killed her. I could tell by John’s expression he was scared of Novak and didn’t agree with Janice’s death. He looked at me as if saying he was sorry. I knew in that moment I was not going home.”
“It wasn’t your fault.” Alana got up and knelt on the floor next to him. She grabbed her sister’s hand. “You were in pain and dizzy. You wouldn’t have been able to run in your condition. Novak and John are to blame for all of this. Janice did not deserve to die over drugs.”
“She’s right,” Tony said firmly. “Novak and John are responsible for all of this, Alicia. Novak killed Janice and dumped her body in a park like a piece of trash. She did not deserve that. John could have come to us. I don’t like him, but Noah and I would have protected him.”
“How did you get away?” Noah wanted to know. Tony looked at his boss and knew he was feeling the same way as him. He looked like he wanted to kill John.
“When I came to, I was back on the bed and only John was there. I asked where Janice was, and he said Janice was a nuisance and that Novak took care of her. I started screaming at him. He held me down until I stopped. His phone rang and he went into another room to answer it. I climbed out the window. I can barely remember the rest. It is all vague, like a dream. I remember hearing my name and running. I looked back and remembered seeing John, but I ran. The rest is hazy. I don’t remember being found or taken to the hospital,” she said. She closed her eyes and Tony could hear her breathing even out. He laid her back on the couch and stood up, covering her with a blanket.
He turned to look at Noah. “Do we kill John right now? Because I am willing to handle it.”
Noah sighed and looked at him. “I would love to, but he will suffer more in a cell. I can’t say I am sorry, either, because I have hated him for hurting Alicia. I will gladly arrest his ass.”
Alana sat on the loveseat, looking at her sister solemnly. “Call Ray, Noah. He will come over and say with us. I’m afraid to be here alone.”
Noah sat next to her and took her hand. He nodded. “I will, love. I would never leave you, Alicia, or our son unprotected. I will have him and Drake here in fifteen minutes. I think Tony should be with me when we arrest John for his part in all of this mess.”
He got up to use the phone in the kitchen. Tony pulled out his cell and texted Matt. He needed his brother to come with them. He wasn’t afraid of John, but Matt would prevent Tony from killing the bastard.