Through Thick And Through Thin

Chapter Thirty-Five

"Kevin!" A.J. shouted, spotting the familiar tall figure ahead of him and running to catch up with him. "Kev, wait up!"

"Hurry, he's heading back towards the car!" Kevin shouted, beckoning towards A.J. After a moment of hard running, A.J. caught up with him, and when they turned a corner together, they spotted Carlos running towards the apartment. "Hey! Carlos!" Kevin yelled.

Carlos quickened his pace and didn't turn around, but Kevin and A.J. were still gaining on him.

Kevin dug in his coat pocket for the gun and tossed it to A.J., who almost dropped it. "I'll hit him, you pull the gun on him!" Kevin planned as they reached the door to the apartment and hurried inside. Leaving A.J. slightly behind him, Kevin sprinted as fast as he could towards Carlos and managed to grab him by the back of the shirt and throw him against the wall. Carlos recovered quickly, turning around and socking Kevin in the right eye. Kevin swore loudly and swung blindly at his opponent, holding his eye with one hand. Carlos easily blocked the punches and kicked Kevin in the stomach. Kevin let out a wheeze and backed away. Carlos smirked and started towards the door, but Kevin smiled slyly and miraculously recovered all of a sudden. He grabbed Carlos' shoulder and spun him around before taking him by the collar of his shirt and slamming him hard against the wall.

"The gun, A.J.!" Kevin yelled.

A.J. ran up and, with slightly shaking hands, held the gun up to the side of Carlos' head. He let out a frightened whimper, making both A.J. and Kevin chuckle.

"Please don't hurt me, I didn't mean to--"

Kevin slapped him hard across the face, his ring drawing blood on Carlos' cheek. "That's for messing with my girlfriend and my little sister," he muttered, glaring irately at him. "A.J., give me the gun," he commanded, holding out one hand.

A.J. carefully handed the gun to Kevin, who rested the cool metal barrel against Carlos' forehead. "Is there a phone in this joint?" Kevin asked menacingly.

Carlos squeezed his eyes shut and nodded. "Down the hall and to the left," he said timidly.

"Go call the cops," Kevin ordered A.J., who nodded and went off to find the phone.

* * *

"So where are Miss Barnette and Miss Richardson?" one of the cops was asking Kevin and A.J. about fifteen minutes later. Carlos and Thomas had already been arrested and taken to the station for questioning.

Kevin and A.J. exchanged a glance. "They're back in the alley. We didn't want them to get hurt," Kevin explained.

"All right, we'll go find them," the cop decided.

"It's kind of hard to find your way around back there. Why don't we show you?" A.J. suggested.

"That would work," the cop agreed.

A few minutes later, Kevin and A.J. were leading the cop, whose name was Officer Wells, and two others through the now familiar alley. They turned a corner, placing them in the alley where Katie and Linz had been left alone. A.J. squinted, trying to see where they were in the dim light.

"Katie? We're back," he called, frowning when she didn't respond. "Katie? Kevin, what--"

"Look," Kevin interrupted, pointing.

A.J. squinted harder, and, after a moment, he saw that Katie had fallen asleep with her back to the wall and her head on Linz's shoulder. His face softened, and he couldn't stop the wide smile from spreading across his face. He looked up at Kevin and saw that he was smiling just as broadly.

"We're really lucky, you know that, Kev?" he whispered.

Kevin nodded and smiled at him. "I know."

" grab yours and I'll grab mine?" A.J. planned.

Kevin chuckled. "All right."

They walked forward before the cops could, and A.J. carefully scooped up Katie, who shifted and sighed a little bit in her sleep, making A.J. laugh when she mumbled something unintelligible. Kevin picked Linz up, grimacing when she didn't react.

"He got her with the chloroform, like I said, so..." Kevin looked to the cops.

"We should get her to the hospital," Officer Wells said.

"But...she's going to be fine. She's breathing and everything, and she's not hurt. Please, can I just take her home, and I'll bring her to the hospital in the morning? She needs some rest," Kevin coaxed.

Officer Wells sighed. "Well...all right. You'll have to bring her down to the station in the morning as well, though. We need to question her. Same with Miss Richardson," he informed A.J., who nodded.

"I would wake her up now, but she's probably exhausted, and--" A.J. began.

Officer Wells shook his head. "No, no, she would probably be too tired to give us the answers we need anyway. Just make sure that you bring her by tomorrow."

A.J. nodded. "Thank you so much," he said gratefully.

"You're welcome," Officer Wells acknowledged. "And now, if you'll come with me, some of my boys can drive you back home."

A.J. and Kevin both nodded and followed Officer Wells back towards the building, where the police cars were waiting.

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