Love & Hate – Chapter 8: Gathered Around the Hospital Bed

Chapter 8 by Matt Wall

“Where have you been?” Irna asked.

Billy was surprised to see that he was the last member of Bobby’s immediate family, that made it to the hospital. Before he could get a good look at Bobby, both Irna and Sky, ran into his arms. “Sorry, I came as soon as I heard.”

“Not quite quick enough, though.” Ed ran his tongue along his teeth.

Billy looked at his brother, lying in bed. He didn’t look as bad as they made it sound on the phone. His face was bruised, and he had a black eye, but he had seen Bobby in worse shape before. “What happened to him?”

The room was silent for a moment. 

“He got beat up,” Ed said. “He probably owed someone money or something.”

Billy became pale. He remembered that Bobby came to him earlier, asking him for money.

Ed smiled when he saw Billy’s face. “It’s okay. Don’t take it so hard. He asked your mother for money today, as well.”

At the police station, a bloodthirsty Al Jackson, stormed into Chief Tim Dean’s office. “Where is he?”

Tim looked up from his paperwork. “Don’t knock. Come on in.”

“Damn it, Tim! Where is he?”

“Al, you need to just take a moment…”

“I want him, now.”

Tim rubbed his hand across his mouth in frustration. “Sit down. Please.”

Al stared at him for a long second before succumbing and taking the seat. “Just tell me he’s in custody.”

“I can’t tell you that. I’m sorry.”

“Why not?”

“I didn’t arrest him.” Tim lifted his hands up. “He had an alibi. I don’t know if I believe it, but he had one.”

“Then why didn’t you bring him in?”

Tim sighed. “I don’t tell you how to do your job. I expect the same in return.”

“He’ll run!”

“No, he won’t. We have a couple plain clothes keeping an eye on him. He’s not going anywhere.”

Al was beside himself. He could feel the veins that were pulsating on his forehead and neck. “Can I ask what your plan is then?”

“Brody had his run ins with us when he was younger, but he’s a good kid. If he did it, he will either get nervous and slip up, or he will feel enough guilt that he’ll come in on his own.”

“That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard, and I’m a defense attorney!” 

“I have some people looking into Allie Newton’s whereabouts last night. That’s who gave him the alibi. If she’s lying, I can bring Brody in. Please believe me, I’m taking care of this.”

Al’s eyes filled with angry tears. “I can’t.”

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