So I guess I shouldn’t have left off last night where I did, but I was tired.
You didn’t really think I was going to die, were you? That’d be boring.
The bomb went off as soon as I entered the door, but it was a puff of smoke, a loud bang and then fizzled out. I was jerked back by the Sheriff and hauled down to the stairs. That’s when my head caught up and I started running on my own, right out the door. We made it to the squad car and the Sheriff pushed me inside. He got in on the other side and backed the car out of my lot and in to the road with his lights on. He blocked off the road with his car while calling in the bomb.
That’s when I started laughing.
I guess it must have been the shock that made me laugh. I just couldn’t believe that Steve could be that stupid.
“Why’s the bitch laughing? Didn’t she discover my gift?”
That only made me laugh harder.
“You’re going away, Steve. That’s attempted murder, what you put in my shop.”
Steve made choking noises and I shook my head. I felt sorry for him before. Now that he had tried and failed to take my life, I wanted his head. I got out of the car and walked around to the back of the unit and sat on the trunk. I figured it was the best place to be, because I couldn’t stand to be in that car with Steve for another minute. Pulling my cell phone out of my back pocket, I called Ben.
“I was just thinking about you.” He answered.
“I hope I was naked and enjoying it.” I could feel him blush on the other end of the line.
“As a matter of fact, you were. Want to try it tonight?”
“Yes. After a cheap bottle of wine and take out from The Fish Place.”
“Steve came in to the shop.”
I heard Ben swear in Arabic and smiled. “I love you too, but there’s more.”
“He tried to assault me with a monkey wrench.”
More swearing. I do love that man.
“Then he tried to blow me up.”
There was silence on the phone, then “I’m on my way,” and the line went dead. He was well and truly pissed. I feared a little for what he might do to Steve when he got here. I brooded over the thoughts when the Sheriff interrupted my thoughts.
“We need to get you out of here.”
“Ben’s coming. Do you mind if he takes me to the station?” I looked back at him.
“No, that will save up my guys for crowd control. I called in the State Police. They’ll fix your place up, Marlowe.”
“If the bomb doesn’t go off first, you mean.”
“You’re taking this a lot better than I thought you would.”
“Oh, I fully intend to have his father’s balls by the time my lawyer is done with him.” I saw the Sheriff flinch and smiled.
“That was a little uncalled for, Marlowe.”
“But no less than honest, Eric. I’m tired of his son being the town asshole and everyone just puts up with him because his daddy owns half the town. He knew his son was supposed to stay away from me and did he do anything about getting him help? No. I bet it was a stern ‘don’t do it again’ and a pat on the fucking head.”
The Sheriff stayed silent while I ranted. “Be careful, Marlowe. His daddy has friends in high places and you just got here.”
“His daddy doesn’t know who I’m related to, Eric, but I’ll take your warning. I’ll be careful. All my contact will be through my lawyer. I promise.”
I saw Ben’s care pull up and I smiled. “Here’s my ride. Would you mind getting my bag when this is over? I’d really like to have my things back right away.”
“I’ll even had someone lock up for you when it’s all done.”
I kissed his cheek. “Thanks, Eric. We’ll go get something to eat and go to the station, is that all right?”
“You might as well, there won’t be anyone to take your statement until later.”
I nodded and ran for Ben. After everything that happened today, I just wanted him in my arms. We collided together about half way. Ben started babbling in Arabic again and I smiled.
“Whoa, slower. I’m still learning.”
“I said ‘my heart. my love.'” Ben said as he pulled me close and pressed kisses in to my hair. “Don’t you ever do anything like that again.”
“I wasn’t planning on doing it the first time, but okay.” I dug my fingers in to his dress shirt and hung on. “I love you.”
“I love you too. Can we go? I don’t want to look at him.”
“Yeah, we can go. Let’s go to Grandma. I’m hungry and she’ll want to know what’s going on.”
Ben didn’t say anything, just led me away while keeping me anchored to his side. Getting in to the car after he opened my door, I pulled out my cell phone and called Miles and Mark. I told them both what happened and where we’d be.
After I’d made my calls and put down my phone, I found my hands shaking. Seeing them, Ben plucked up my left hand and kissed it before entwining my fingers with his.
“Try to hold it in until we get to Grandma’s.” He said.
I nodded but I could feel the tears slipping already. The shaking got worse by the time we got to The Fish Place. When I saw Grandma Murphy come out of the backdoor and heading for the car, I burst in to tears. Ben and Grandma Murphy helped me get out of the car after parking and up the back steps where her apartment was located. I was a sobbing mess by the time they got me to the sofa in her living room. They let me cry until my head ached and then made me lie down in Grandma Murphy’s guest bedroom.
I woke when it was dark out to find my head buried into Ben’s chest while he slept next to me. His shoes were off and he was snoring. Smiling, I snuggled closer to him and just lay there with him. I must have fallen back asleep again because he was shaking me awake.
“Habibi, you need to wake up.”
I smiled and pulled him down for a kiss. “Ahebbouka.”
Ben laughed. “So you were paying attention when I told you how to say it.”
“Of course I was.” I said as I rolled out of bed and stretched. “How long was I out?”
“A little over four hours. The Sheriff called. He’s ready for you to come in to give your statement on what happened.” Ben said as he hugged me. “Enta Habib Alby W Hayaty Ya Habibi.”
I smiled. That one was my favorite. I kissed him softly. “Let’s go. I don’t want to be there all night.”
It took us an hour to make it to the station so I could give my statement because Grandma Murphy insisted on feeding us first. We were home by midnight and in bed together, freshly clean, by one-thirty in the morning after assuring Miles and Mark that I was okay.
I was told by the Sheriff that I couldn’t go in to my shop for a couple of days, so I decided to take the rest of the week off. There was the full moon to prepare for and Ben’s parents impending visit.
As I was drifting off, I vowed to say in bed until at least noon because I deserved it.