Mikey and Gerard meet a client
“About time too!” he snapped.
“What?” Gerard gasped in reply. “It’s not my fault!”
“I wasn’t talking to you, Gee,” he replied in a kinder voice as he glanced briefly at Gerard. “I was talking to him!”
Gerard glanced in the direction of Mikey’s livid glare only to see Detective Briggs following him into the waiting area where Mikey had been for the previous forty minutes.
“Don’t think I’m going to let this go, Briggs. You’ve held us here for no reason for an hour and a half, denied Gerard medical treatment and questioned him while in pain from a gunshot wound inflicted by one of your officers.”
“Like, I said, Way, I remember it differently. I recall that it was one of your guys that shot him.”
“Our guys?” Mikey scowled. “All right, I warned you, now I’m going to push for harassment charges too. When the bullet is found to be one of yours, there won’t be much you can do to argue.”
“Ah, well, they dug the bullet out of the wall okay, but somehow it seems to have gone missing.”
“Missing?” Mikey repeated, unimpressed by the statement.
“Rest assured,” Briggs continued with a self-satisfied smirk, “I have all available men searching for it.”
“You mean, no one,” Mikey replied with a deep mistrustful frown.
Briggs shrugged casually. “It’s a busy station.”
Mikey took a deep breath and let it out slowly; he would not let this man make him lose his temper. Continuing to stare for a few long moments, he finally gave in to the need to look after his injured older brother.
“Come on, Gee, let’s get that looked at,” he said finally.
“I’ll see you around, I’m sure,” Briggs added as Mikey steered Gerard towards the entrance.
“Let it go, Mikes,” Gerard offered. “He’s just trying to get under your skin.”
“It’s working,” Mikey whispered in return.
Outside the station, Mikey sighed heavily as he realised they were in need of a cab. Angered by Detective Briggs’ treatment of them, Mikey wanted nothing more than to leave the station in a hurry. But once outside, he realised that they had no means of transportation.
“Know any cab numbers?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Gerard nodded, “a couple, but we’re going to have to find a phone booth first.”
Mikey sighed and nodded. They had left their cell phones with Frank so that it all appeared genuine – it would be difficult to convince the police that they had been kidnapped or were hostages yet still have their phones with them.
“Come on,” Gerard nodded up the street, “this way.”
The brothers set off in what they hoped was the right direction, each crossing their arms across their chest to guard against the cold, both wishing they were wearing warmer clothes.
It was a particularly gloomy day with a pale grey sky. What would normally be a very fine rain had become a dusting of ice crystals that hung in the air stinging their cheeks as they walked. Both knew they would have to get inside soon, if only to a coffee shop.
“He still thinks we’re guilty, you know,” Gerard finally commented as they had walked for a few minutes in silence.
“Yeah,” Mikey nodded, “I know. I don’t think he even believes I was kidnapped. It’s ironic that almost everything we said happened actually did and I don’t know what he’s latched onto, because it all sounds quite plausible.
“I don’t know about that,” Gerard replied glancing at Mikey as he hugged his arms in an attempt to warm up.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“He asked me why you were blindfolded and I wasn’t. I couldn’t think of an answer and I…” Gerard paused as he saw the smirk on Mikey’s face. “What?”
“I’m sorry about that, Gee,” Mikey chuckled. “That was quite a significant question and we knew he’d asked that. But also knew it had to sound like a natural answer, so we didn’t mention it to you.”
“We?” Gerard asked turning an exasperated pout towards his brother.
“Me and Frank,” Mikey replied with an expression that begged forgiveness. “I’m sorry Gee, it was important that it didn’t sound rehearsed.”
“I panicked!” Gerard moved his arm long enough from the self-hug to swipe Mikey’s before replacing it in his battle against the bitterly cold early evening.
Mikey stared thoughtfully at him. “But you didn’t act panicked, did you?”
“No,” he sighed. “I tried to look puzzled. I think I…”
Both brothers pulled up sharp as a car left the road and, screeching to a halt, blocked their path. Their first instinct was to assume it was the police having listened in on some sort of bug concealed on them, but the men who stepped from the car neither seemed like, nor identified themselves as police. Alerted by a feeling of danger, Mikey turned pulling Gerard with him only to see two heavily set men standing behind them, blocking their retreat. There seemed little they could do but wait and remain alert.
“You’re not in a hurry are you?” a tall, well-built man with short dark brown hair stepped from the car and rounding it, approached them casually as if this was a most natural event.
“Who are you?” Mikey asked, unimpressed, or at least trying to appear unimpressed by the man’s grand and unorthodox entrance.
He waved his hand as if to refuse to reply.
“We’ll not worry about that for the time being. First, you will tell me where I can find Frank Iero. We have a little business to discuss.”
Mikey opened his mouth to speak but was cut off before even a word had escaped his lips.
“Brooke!” the voice growled.
Glancing back, Mikey saw Bob push his way through the two men who had blocked their exit.
“Bob Bryar,” the man who had accosted them said by way of a greeting.
Bob nodded vaguely towards the man before standing between him and the two brothers.
“You leave our guys alone,” he ordered. “If you want to speak to anyone, you speak to Frank.”
“I was just discussing that with them.”
“Really?” Bob replied, his tone deep with mistrust. Turning to Mikey and Gerard, he asked: “Is that right?”
“Yeah,” Gerard answered. “He wanted to see Frank.”
“What were his exact words?” Bob asked suspiciously.
“He asked where he could find him,” Gerard replied, uncertain of the significance.
“Where to find him, Brooke? You know that’s not how we do business. What are you trying to pull?”
“I have an angry client with a missing piece of merchandise,” he explained loosely.
“Yeah, well you tell your client it’s off the market,” Bob replied, pointedly.
“I can’t do that!” Brooke gasped at the response. “You don’t know who it is!”
“I don’t care who it is, we don’t have it. Now you and your thugs stay well away and if you want to talk to Frank, you go through the usual channels.”
“I don’t want to talk to him, I want to…”
Bob thrust a hand toward the man standing in front of him. Cut short and standing stiffly, the man appeared to tremble slightly before crumpling to the floor as Bob moved his hand away.
“Anyone else want to argue with me?” Bob asked, smiling as the men backed away. “Come on, let’s go.”
Mikey and Gerard followed Bob as he walked briskly down the street; Gerard struggling to keep up as he limped behind.
“What was that?” Mikey finally asked as they turned a corner.
“Taser,” Bob replied as he pulled his phone from his pocket.
“And who was that?” Gerard asked as Bob pressed a speed dial on the phone.
Gerard exhaled; suddenly his job at the bank hadn’t seemed so bad after all.