The Final Murder: Part 6
Socks. Socks. I could've sworn Trowa brought more than three pairs for Kitty. He's always getting them dirty. Hmm. Let's see here: shorts, boxers...that shirt's not his...toothbrush, toothpaste, fake spider, soap...what else am I forgetting? Well, it really doesn't matter. It's not like Wufei lives light-years away.
"Almost done packing?"
I turned to see Sally leaning on the doorframe. "I think so. Kitty keeps throwing his stuff around and I have no idea where most of it is. I bet half of his clothes are buried in your backyard."
She laughed. "Don't worry about it. As soon as we step on anything we'll let you know."
"No problem. Oh! Wufei just called. He and Trowa are on their way back from your house."
I glanced at my watch. "It took them two hours just to check on the pets?"
"Well, one of the mice went missing this morning, and the snake was looking a little plump. So they decided to go to the pet store and get another mouse to replace it. Trowa said Kitty would've noticed one was gone."
"Yeah, he would," I said, running my hand down my face. That was the fourth mouse that ‘disappeared' since we got ‘Bob.' "Hopefully, he won't notice it's not the same mouse."
"He might," she said as she turned and walked away. "He's a smart kid."
Alone again, I went back to stuffing my son's suitcase. After I got everything packed, I unpacked it to redo it again. My agitation was building by leaps and bounds, and I couldn't soothe it at all. We have been here five days. That wasn't the problem. Sally and Wufei did everything they could for us, and I was grateful. But I wanted to go home. I was tired of the police asking me the same questions over and over again. They repeatedly combed through my house even though Heero told them point blank how the guy got in and where he had been. I was irritated that politicians and other business affiliates kept calling here at all hours of the day and night, harassing Wufei about my whereabouts. I was astounded that these ‘reputable' reporters stalked Sally and the girls as they went grocery shopping and did other favors for me.
Worse yet, I was hot. Not temperature hot, but sexually hot. My face was flushed, my pulse was racing and the cold shower did not do any type of good. My jeans kept getting tighter and it wouldn't be long before the baggy shirt I was wearing would be useless. The noise downstairs seemed to make it worse. Here I was, hard enough to poke a hole in the wall in a house full of people. Sounded like everyone was here too: Sally, Hilde, Iria, Catherine, Relena, Dorothy, Heero, Duo, and Lady Une. Kitty was supposed to be taking his nap which, thanks to Duo, I knew he wasn't, and Wufei and Trowa were on their way. Okay. So that meant when Trowa got back, I'll probably have about three minutes in the bathroom with him to take care of business.
"Hey Quatre, you hungry? Duo's thinking about barbequing some burgers...say, are you alright? You look really red."
I forget often that Hilde used to be a soldier. Her attitude was so happy-go-lucky that it always slipped my mind. But I have had rude awakenings like this where she would come up behind me so quietly I wouldn't even sense her presence. In other words, I nearly jumped sky high and screamed like a girl. "Yeah, burgers sound good. And I'm fine. I've just been moving around a lot looking for Kitty's toys."
"Oh, okay." She turned to leave, but stopped. "Oh yeah, I saw in yesterday's paper that there's a carnival tonight on Pyramid street. Figured you and Trowa could take the baby, plus you two need a time-out yourselves."
A carnival? Yeah, that would be fun. I hoped that they had the ‘Tilt-A-Whirl.' I loved that ride. "Thanks Hilde. That sounds pretty good."
"Sure thing. Hey, why don't you come downstairs? You've been cooped up in here too long." Without waiting for my answer, she grabbed my wrist and pulled me out of the room and down the stairs. Ahh! I did NOT want to go down there. Duo and I haven't talked since that night, and I didn't think we...well...he was ready to say anything yet. As much as I wanted to be supportive and patient, I couldn't help getting peeved. Avoiding the matter was not going to solve it.
Damn she's strong! Thank goodness my life didn't depend on getting loose.
It turned out everyone was here. Zechs and Noin were even here, evidently back from Mars. After they each made me promise to contact them if I needed anything, I was pretty much left alone to sit in the corner and watch everyone else. Sally and Noin were in the kitchen making side dishes while Duo and Heero argued about how high the flame should be. Zechs and Hilde were chasing Kitty around the living room as Catherine scolded them for running in the house. Relena and Dorothy were on their cell phones, probably talking to each other, and Iria was on the other side of the room, taking apart something that looked a lot like a microwave. Lastly, Lady Une was on the vidphone, chewing somebody a new one. Peace and quiet? What's that?
Just when Catherine was about to shriek like a banshee because Kitty stepped on her foot, Wufei and Trowa arrived. The chaos stilled for a millisecond before starting again, this time with Wufei joining Heero and Duo in their argument. Trowa, stepping over Zechs because he had been ‘shot,' came over to kiss me on the nose. Grabbing him by his collar, I said the only thing I could think of. "Sex. Bathroom. Now."
Being the perfect husband he was, Trowa easily pulled me to my feet and we quickly left the living room for the bliss the bathroom would bring. Entering the hallway, my eyes widened in horror as in slow motion, I saw Wufei enter the bathroom with a magazine in his hand.
This couldn't be happening! This could not be happening! What are we supposed to do?! I am about to die! We can't do it in one of the bedrooms! That's just out. They'll find us in one of the bedrooms...the crawlspace! We can do it in the crawlspace! "Trowa, hurry!" Without giving him any time to think, I pulled him after me and stuffed him into the crawlspace. It was a challenge but we succeeded, and instead of three minutes I got five.
"Okay, let's make sure we have everything," I said to Kitty as I buckled his seatbelt.
Once I was sure he was situated, I handed him the first plushy. "Here's Bugs Bunny."
"His name is Bob, Daddy."
"Fine, Bob. Now here's Tweedy."
"And Marvin the Martian."
Trowa opened the other side of the door and dumped the rest of the plushies on the backseat. Once we made sure we had all of the prizes (all named Bob of course), Trowa and I piled into the SUV and left the carnival. I was grateful that Hilde suggested we go. It has been a while since the three of us could spend family time together, and it was nice that we did something each of us enjoyed. I especially had a ball cleaning out the booths. I love to see the vendors' jaws drop. They thought that just because I was rich I couldn't throw a ball or shoot a gun. If they knew I was a gundam pilot they'd probably drop dead.
"That was fun," Trowa said as we pulled out of the parking lot.
"Yeah, it was." As we got on the highway we both lapsed into silence, enjoying the night breeze as it blew through our hair. I twisted around to check on Kitty and found him sound asleep, his mouth hanging slightly open as he held loosely onto the Taz plushy. I heard Trowa chuckle as he glanced at Kitty through the rearview mirror. What I would've given for a camera just then. "You know what?" Trowa turned his head slightly in my direction, indicating he was listening. "I'm going to start taking more time off. Just because I'm the head of WEI doesn't mean I have to live there."
"That would be great," Trowa said, giving me a look so tender that I was almost brought to tears.
"Have you felt like I've been neglecting you and Kitty?"
"No," he said firmly. That made me feel somewhat better. "But we still miss you, and want you around more."
"So be it. Your wish is my command!" I clapped my hands together twice, as if doing that would automatically make it happen. As far as I was concerned, it did. Trowa only shook his head at me, thinking something that brought a smile to his face even though he didn't mention what it was. Hopefully he was thinking about our little ‘experiment' in the crawlspace. Not the most comfortable thing about, but it had some great perks, especially since I was on top.
"What are you smiling about?" he asked me instead.
"Oh, just about something that would probably give Wufei a fatal nose bleed if he ever knew."
"Ah. Right. That." His smile got wider. "I'll tell him tomorrow."
"Make sure you record it. Sally would never forgive us."
"Do we have any blank CD's?"
"I'm sure we do. There might be some in-"
The rest of my sentence was cut off as we were rear-ended. Hard. Kitty jerked awake with a shout and Trowa managed to regain control of the SUV. As he tried to slow down and pull over we were rear-ended again, this time even harder.
"What the hell?!" Trowa shouted.
"Ah!" I covered my eyes with my forearm, and used my other hand to knock the rearview mirror out of alignment. "They've turned their brights on!"
"Hold on everybody!" Trowa floored it, and I couldn't help but be afraid as we gained speed. The wind pressure was so great it sucked out two of the plushies, and my hair was torn free of its ponytail, whipping around and making it difficult to see. Kitty held onto Taz tight, and even though he didn't scream I could see the tears run down his cheeks in the moonlight. I feared the worst when they hit us again, and we were forced into the oncoming lane before Trowa got it back under control. The next time they hit us, the rear window cracked. Kitty heard it and looked at me with eyes so full of fear, I swore on my life that I would kill these people personally for frightening him.
Laying my seat down, I turned on my side and slid some of the way out from my seatbelt. I didn't dare to unbuckle it. Reaching out, I held Kitty still with one hand as I tried to unbuckle him. Another hit snapped my head around, which resulted in a sting and the taste of blood in my mouth. "Quatre, hold onto my wrist and don't let go!" I shouted above the wind.
He nodded, releasing the plushy (which flew and smacked me in the face) and did just as he was told. Unbuckling him, I quickly yanked him into my seat and buckled him in with me just as we were hit again. This time the window broke. Righting my seat, I held onto my son as tightly as I could while I watched how fast the scenery sped past us. I could see on the speedometer that the point was struggling past one hundred and ten miles. I was certain we were going faster than that. Whoever this was had us playing a dangerous game.
"Quatre!" Trowa screamed. "A curve! Goes left!"
At this speed we'll tip over, and I think that's what he was trying to tell me. So I turned with my back towards my window and curled my body into a ball around Kitty. We were hit again, but his time there was a snap and my seat fell back, laying both me and Kitty down like we were in a bed. "Quatre!"
"We're fine Trowa!" I shouted as I repositioned myself around my son. "Hang onto me Quatre!" I felt his little fists hold on tighter to my shirt.
"Here we go!" Trowa called and stomped on the brakes. This time when we were hit our SUV crumpled slightly. The sound of the screeching tires drowned out the wind as we were violently pushed forward from the force of the collision. As Trowa tried to turn with the curve we tipped over, and I could feel the heat along my back as we slid along the ground. I could see that Trowa's upper body was dangling down over us, but before I could do anything he reached down and put his arm around my back. Bracing his other hand on the roof of the car he pulled me up towards him, away from the sparks. Fortunately this didn't last long. Just as we stopped against a guardrail, I got a glimpse of a black truck speeding past us before disappearing around the rest of the curve. Then silence fell.
I want to say that we were shell shocked for a minute or so. It could've been longer. All of the noise from the wind and being hit was still ringing in my ears, causing my head to feel full. Sally spent a week trying to get my neck muscles back in order, and here I wrecked them again. No, this wasn't my fault but that was irrelevant. She was going to chew me out anyway.
"Quatre, are you hurt?" Trowa freed himself from where he was hanging lopsided. He landed on my door, squatted down and ran his fingers over my face while unbuckling my seatbelt.
"No. I'm okay."
He sighed, which was something he rarely did, and kissed me gently. "You taste like blood."
"I think I bit the inside of my cheek. It's nothing serious."
"Hn." He then turned his attention to our son, who was shaking like a leaf in my arms. "Kitty?"
"Are they gone?" he asked in a tiny voice.
"Yes, they're gone." He ran his hand over the baby's hair. "You don't have to be afraid anymore. It's safe now."
"Yes we do," I said, sticking my nose in his windblown hair. "They drove away."
"Why did they do that?"
"I don't know son," Trowa said, kissing him on his forehead. "But I promise we'll find out and punish them." Digging around in the mess that used to be a Honda Passport, Trowa found our cell phone and I had him call Zechs. Once that was done, we decided that getting out through the doors was still better than climbing over broken glass. So he pushed the driver side door open and climbed out of the car to stand on its side. I passed Kitty to him and he helped me out, before we jumped down and made camp about ten feet from the road. Thank goodness Tweedy's head was so big. It was enough for Trowa and I to share as a pillow.
After about fifteen minutes Zechs came flying to our rescue, with Noin and Sally in tow. The police arrived shortly thereafter, and they began taking information on what happened and what the other vehicle looked like. As Trowa talked to them, I only sat in a daze in Wufei's Montero, trying to get the full feeling out of my head. I knew without a doubt that they were Hrncir's people starting more trouble for me. But this time around they endangered my son and my husband, and that was completely unacceptable! If they had a problem with me, then fine. Deal with me. They should have left everyone else out of this. It's too late for that though, now that they've pissed me off-
I jumped. "Yeah Zechs?"
He was resting his forearms on the door, looking at my son with adoration on his face. He and Noin wanted to have a child, but they were too busy with the Preventers to plan for it right now. "How is he?"
I adjusted my hold on him so that Zechs could see his face more clearly. He was sound asleep again, his mouth open a crack with a slight snore. His hair was a complete bird's nest, and I was sure mine wasn't any better. "He'll be okay. All the noise and excitement just scared him. He may have to play with Duo for two whole days to recover."
Zechs chuckled at that. "If that's what it would take then I will personally clear Duo's schedule." He gave me a cold look. "This was intentional you know."
I feigned innocence. Or tried to I should say. "I would hope so. I'd hate to think that someone chased us twenty miles at over one hundred miles an hour, then ran us into the ground all by accident."
"That's not what I meant and you know it. Someone is purposely targeting you. Do you have many enemies? Or know of people who want to hurt you?"
I released a deep breath. My head was going to explode. "Zechs, there are people out there who would love nothing more than to hurt me and I don't even know of their existence."
He nodded. "You're right. Dumb question." He sighed. "Trowa asked Sally and Noin to take you and Kitty home. I'm staying with him to do what we need to do to catch these guys. Stay home and get some sleep. We'll see you in a few."
I didn't like the idea of going home and leaving Trowa to deal with all of this, but I was too tired to argue. "Alright."
Zechs brushed the bangs out of my son's face and walked back to the accident scene. Trowa came to the car and gave us kisses before heading back to the scene as well. When Sally and Noin got in the car, I was so emotionally and physically drained that I didn't even acknowledge their presence. I just let the motion of the car lull me to sleep. And even in sleep I wasn't getting any peace. I kept having a nightmare of the accident, but it was being twisted into something I didn't understand. When I looked at the backseat to reach my son, the back of the car was missing. Kitty was levitated between the headlights of the truck and shrouded in black, calling to me with Heero's voice to follow him. But when the headlights blinked, I realized that they were not lights, but Krahe's eyes.