Long Road To Ruin

He kills them all without remorse, but very much with reason.

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5. Fight

“Stay here,” Jasper whispered. He took a few steps and causally leaned up against the desk near Hastings, making sure to shift his coat so that the butt of his gun was visible. He watched the other man closely as he looked down, a very evident look of fear flooding into his eyes.

“You’re a cop?” William mumbled. “Well, what are you doing here?”

“I’m just here because my friend over there is hurt and needs someone to look at her,” said Jasper coolly, nodding to Emma who was standing behind him. She touched his hand and held it.

“Hurt, huh? What’d she do? Looks okay to me.”

“She was attacked,” said Jasper calmly. “She caught the man in the face with a metal pipe.”

William’s good eye shifted to Emma and he frowned at her. “Huh,” he said. “Well, that’s lucky for her you were around, Detective. Now if you’ll excuse me…”

“Hold on a moment, please, Mr. Hastings.” Jasper said as he caressed the silver gun at his hip. “I really think you should come with me down to the station.”

“What the fuck for?”

Jasper grinned darkly and leaned in. “Because, man, you’re the prime suspect in a murder investigation, and now it looks like attempted murder and assault at that.”

Hastings just stared at him, and then suddenly, he began to laugh. “That’s rich, Mr. Delaney.”

“Detective,” Jasper hissed.

“I’m not going anywhere with you because I didn’t touch that bitch.”

“Mr. Hastings,” muttered Jasper, “I will ask you to watch your language as there are children here. You’ll come with me quietly or I will call for back up. Trust me, you don’t want that.” He smiled.

Emma closed her eyes and took a breath, relieved. It wasn’t until she sidestepped Jasper did she feel a rough hand grab her, lifting her, her feet dragging as the person moved back. She was startled when she felt something cold against her neck.

“Don’t you fucking move,” he sneered, holding the gun against her jaw now. “Now, Mr. Delaney, give me your gun.”

Jasper started at him incredulously. He was about to reply with something smart but he knew that wasn’t exactly the best idea. Instead, he slid his own gun from his belt and handed it over; William’s eyes grew hard as he put his own gun away and stuck Jasper’s underneath Emma’s chin.

“What did you want my gun for?”

An eerie smile flitted across his face and he said, “Simple. Your gun is in my hand, and if I shoot her, and I will, you’re going to get arrested.”

Jasper nodded once and brushed his hands through his brown hair, his blue eyes narrowed. “That’s very impressive, Mr. Hastings. You should be a cop.”

He sneered. “Don’t be a dick, Detective.”

“I have no intent to dick you around,” Jasper snarled. “But don’t you think it would be stupid to shoot a girl in front of a cop and many, many witnesses?” He kept his eyes on the scared receptionist, and smiled tenderly.

“Then I’ll have to get rid of some, won’t I?” William asked as he fired the gun near the doors. The glass shattered and flew everywhere. As Jasper ducked, he could hear the screams, and he knew that those people were badly hurt, or worse.

“You fucking bitch,” Hastings hissed, taking a hold on Emma’s hair as she tried to get away. He smashed her in the face with the butt of the gun. “Hold the fuck still!”

Jasper had raised his head only slightly, but the damage was done; several people by the doors were on the ground, each had pieces of glass embedded in their skin. He couldn’t save them now, he knew. His main focus was Emma and the madman holding her.

Her face was bloody as she looked helplessly at Jasper, her eyes terrified.

“You don’t want to do that,” Jasper said, rising. He held a gun in his hand. “Any good cop would have a spare weapon, you dumbass fuck.”

“I’ll kill her I swear,” he snapped.

“Go ahead,” challenged Jasper. “It’s what you wanted to do, isn’t it?”

Emma’s eyes widened and she twisted so that she could sink her teeth into William’s hand. He howled and tossed her into Jasper, who caught her swiftly, and he fired the gun.

The receptionist collapsed.

“You mother fucker!” He hissed. “You fucked with me.”

Jasper simply smiled coolly, pushed Emma behind him, and fired.

One bullet lodged itself in William’s right arm. The gun he held dropped to the floor and soon enough came Hastings. He screamed and grasped his arm.

Jasper stood, his eyes dark, and his face grim. “Get used to life on the inside because you’re never leaving.” He hoisted the attacker by his bad arm, then grabbed his phone and dialed. “Justine, it’s me. I got him. We’re at the hospital half a mile from the bar. I need backup. I’ll explain everything later.”

Hastings groaned.

Jasper twisted his arm and slipped the handcuffs on. “William Hastings, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.”

Once they heard the sirens wailing, Jasper sighed with relief.

Justine was the first one through the automatic doors, her expression strange. She stepped around the bodies and came to Jasper’s side.

“I’m all right,” he said before she could ask. “This is Emma, and she needs someone to look at her shoulder.”

“Hi, Emma. I’m Detective Collins.”

Samuel Hale had entered, looked around, and swore. His eyes fell on Jasper and he frowned. “Jesus Christ, Delaney, what the fuck happened?”

Justine winced as her partner growled low.

“What do you think happened, Hale?” Jasper said roughly, shoving the cuffed man forward. “Put this bastard in squad car. Justine and Emma are with me.”

He turned his now cold blue eyes on Justine’s hazel one’s and bit his lip.

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