Chapter 17

Chapter 17

A Chapter by Emi

Chapter 17


“I still can’t believe he asked you about birth control.”

“Katie that was three days ago give it a rest.”

Sundays were usually pretty quiet and although that meant fewer tips it was welcome after a long week. Tony was keeping his distance since Thursday, Gwen had made it clear what he had interrupted and she was not pleased. The other waitresses learned something new every time she argued with Tony. Gwen was subtle in her anger, never once did she raise her voice, but he still cowered. The one thing Gwen always enjoyed was it didn’t matter that she was a Hex. Tony knew from the start and definitely wasn’t afraid of her powers. The only reason people would think otherwise is because she’s the one person who could fight with him and not get penalised. Of course, Kate preferred to pester Marco, they were an excellent match for each other.

“Pardon me for feeling insulted when people assume unsupervised teens are hormone crazed sex maniacs,” Kate said huffily.

“Oh hush, I’m sure that’s not what they intended,” Gwen said loading her tray. “They just wanted to make sure if we were doing anything we were being safe.”

“Do you ever get mad at people?” Kate grumbled leaning against the counter.

“Other than you?” Gwen asked smartly. “Who do you think?”

Kate nodded, stupid of her really. Gwen giggled and carried her full tray out of the kitchen. She reached the table, passed out the dishes and was about to leave when an unsettling scent reached her nose. It wasn’t the smell of an aura, she was sure of that, unfortunately that only made the situation worse. She walked to the waiting area as the door opened and a man in a heavy leather bomber jacket entered. Gwen’s heart sank, the smell was coming from him, but she had been right, it was secondary. Before Kate could greet him, the man pulled a revolver from inside his jacket and fired into the ceiling. The restaurant was filled with screams and the customers dove under their tables. Gwen stood firmly on the edge of the waiting area while poor Kate was frozen in terror. The gunman turned his weapon on Kate who turned as white as a sheet.

“Give me the money,” he growled flatly.

Gwen ignored her better judgement and stepped forward.

“She’s new, she doesn’t know how to work the register,” Gwen said showing no emotion.

He switched his attention to her, even with a gun pointed at her, Gwen didn’t flinch.

“You do it, then,” he said gesturing.

She crossed her arms moodily, making it clear she wasn’t intimidated.

“I don’t think so, buddy,” she said toughly.

“What?” he said stunned.

“I may not own this place, but it’s my restaurant and I’m not about to let you rob it, savvy?” she said almost mockingly.

The man seemed to comprehend that she wasn’t afraid of him and his beady eyes narrowed.

“You’re going to stop me, are you?” he asked darkly.

“That’s the plan,” she said calmly. “You see robbery is one thing, murder is another so I think I’m pretty safe.”

The man tried, unsuccessfully, to hide his surprise, grown men have run screaming from a gun and yet here she was, a petite teenage girl, barely batting an eye. He wasn’t about to show weakness. He fired again striking a lamp on the wall, intentionally missing her. Distracted by the mini explosion of glass the man didn’t realize she had vanished and reappeared behind him. He started to look around and Gwen’s whole body radiated a bright white light that filled the room. He spun toward her and Gwen slugged him in the jaw. Normally she didn’t fight regular people, but desperate times, and anyway it worked he was out cold before he hit the floor. The light died and Gwen kicked the revolver out of his reach just to be safe.

“Kate, call 911,” Gwen instructed breathlessly.

Kate stared at her and didn’t move. Gwen looked her friend in the eye, wordlessly conveying her message. Yes she knew the risks, but this guy was dangerous, they couldn’t just let him go. Kate’s posture eased and she picked up the phone.

“Zach!” Julie yelled, running from her room at top speed. “Zach!”

“What?!” he called back as he reached the second floor.

“I just heard something over the scanner,” she gasped stopping in front of him.

“Where’d you get a scanner?” Zach interrupted frowning.

“From school, but . . .”

“You stole a scanner from the academy?”

“Zach listen, a call went out reporting an armed robbery attempt at Antonio’s restaurant, suspect still on location,” Julie relayed quickly.

Zach’s blood ran cold.

“Where?” he whispered, there had to be another Antonio’s in a city this size.

His sister gulped painfully before answering, “Flagler.”

Zach went numb, he and Julie were the only ones home, even if he ran it was a long way to the restaurant. He stumbled down the stairs in shock, he had to get to Gwen.

“Wait!” Julie said following him. “You can’t just . . .”

Zach turned on her, if she thought he would stay home and wait after she told him Gwen was in trouble she was sadly mistaken.

“I’ll drive you,” Julie said gently.

He was taken aback.

“What?” he asked.

“I know you hate my driving, but considering you need to get there now . . .” she said.

She was trying to help, they may butt heads a lot even for siblings still Julie understood how much Gwen meant to him. Zach nodded.

“Grab your shoes,” she said, then hurried to get her keys.

He jumped into his sneakers and was out by the car in three seconds flat. Julie was right behind him, she slammed the door shut, but didn’t bother to lock it, rarely a necessity for a family of cops. They slid into the car and drove off. The drive would only take a few minutes, however Zach couldn’t help bouncing impatiently on the balls of his feet.

“I’m sure she’s fine,” Julie said supportively. “The report didn’t mention any injuries.”

“Right,” he mumbled.

Honestly if a doctor were to notice how quickly she healed there could be trouble, so even if Gwen was hurt she wouldn’t say a word out of fear. He was more concerned whether Gwen had used her powers or worse, been seen. There was no guarantee the customers would keep her secret, even if the danger had passed Gwen had to be horrified. They turned onto Flagler, one unit was driving away and three others were parked outside the restaurant. Only two officers were visible, the others must be inside. Julie stopped on the side of the road and Zach charged out of his seat.

He sped past the outdoor unis’ and when the one at the door tried to stop him he growled, “Beat it, Goldberg.”

Two steps inside and he saw her. She was speaking to a female officer and not surprisingly looked frazzled. Her hair was up in a simple alligator clip, but several strands had fallen loose and she was gripping her torso, her nails digging into her arms.

“Gwen,” he breathed.

Gwen spun, her eyes wide, there were so many scents and so much going on she hadn’t noticed him. Her lips curled into a wide smile, she immediately left the officer’s side and hurried toward him. Zach opened his arms and she leapt into them, hugging him close.

“Thank God you’re all right,” he said pinning her to his chest.

“I’m so happy to see you,” Gwen said, her voice tight. “How did you know?”

“Sis, uh, borrowed a scanner, she heard the call go out,” he said feeling her warmth through his thin T-shirt. “She gave me a ride and is probably explaining my behaviour to the officers.”

“Excuse me?”

The abandoned officer stepped forward from the spot by the wall where Gwen had left her, eager to resume her questioning, but paused when she recognized Zach.

“Officer Nollan,” he said loosening his grip so Gwen could look over. “I see you’ve met my girlfriend.”

Any surprise Officer Nollan felt was well hidden, she didn’t miss a beat.

“We call her the hero,” Nollan said lightly. “She singlehandedly took down the gunman.”

Zach gazed at Gwen shocked, Julie hadn’t said anything about a firearm.

“From what I’ve gathered one punch did the trick,” she added.

“Carrying trays around all the time really builds the upper body strength,” Gwen joked nervously.

“I’m sure it does,” Nollan said, not noticing the change in her voice. “Anyhow, Gwen I have some questions to ask, do you want us to call your parents?”

Gwen had to fight bursts of laughter, she had no clue.

“Don’t bother, they wouldn’t be much help,” she said with a small smile, then tensed. “Zach can stay, right?”

“Of course I can,” he said firmly.

“That won’t be a problem,” Officer Nollan said kindly.

They stepped away from the door toward the back wall so they wouldn’t be bothered by the other staff and customers’ interviews.

“Okay, I know how it started,” she said taking out her notepad. “The perp entered the building, fired into the ceiling, then pointed the weapon at Miss Masterson which is when you stepped into the picture.”

Gwen nodded and she continued, “You told him she couldn’t work the register, but is that true?”

“No, I only said it so he’d leave Kate alone,” Gwen admitted.

“And it worked, he turned on you,” Nollan stated, Gwen nodded again. “Then after he fired another warning shot you struck him, is that the whole story?”

“I think so,” Gwen replied.

“Had you ever seen him before?” Nollan asked her pencil at the ready.

“No, but I don’t believe he was staking out the place,” Gwen said leaning closer to Zach.

“What makes you say that?”

“He would have called my bluff if he was,” said Gwen simply.

“True,” said Nollan making a note. “So he robs at random.”

“Not all thieves are smart,” Zach commented.

“No question there,” Nollan said still staring at her pad. “Is there any reason you can think of for him to choose this restaurant?”

Gwen shook her head slowly.

“I don’t remember this place ever being robbed, ‘course it’s not exactly something Tony would go around telling people,” Gwen said with a shrug.

“Tony, he’s the owner, right?”

“Yes, he took the day off,” Gwen said. “Something about his wife wanting to reupholster the living room set.”

“What timing,” Nollan remarked.

“He’s not going to be happy, but since nothing was taken he’ll get over it soon enough,” Gwen said tiredly.

“Are you okay, Gwen?” Nollan asked noticing her tone.

“Yes, I’m fine it’s just . . . been a more stressful day than I was expecting,” Gwen said rubbing her forehead.

“I can imagine,” Nollan said closing her notepad. “I think that’s all the info we need, why don’t you head home, we’ll call you if anything comes up.”

“Great, thanks,” Gwen said relieved, there were too many officers here for her liking.

They started to leave, but when they reached the counter Gwen stopped.

“Hang on,” she said softly.

Zach stood patiently as Gwen walked over to Kate standing against the wall by the kitchen.

“Hey, everything all right?” she asked.

“Yeah, I called my folks, Dad’s on his way,” Kate said quietly.

“Want me to wait with you till he gets here, I don’t mind?” Gwen suggested.

“That’s okay, you look bushed, go home,” said Kate shaking her head. “Oh and Gwen, good work, thanks.”

Gwen gave her a big hug.

“Any time,” she said.

She returned to Zach’s side, they left the building and found Julie speaking to an officer.

“There you are,” she said turning her back on the officer.

“Hi Julie,” Gwen said calmly. “Are you sure you’re okay with giving me a ride?”

“No problem, I wouldn’t want you two walking,” Julie replied showing them to the car.

Gwen and Zach climbed into the backseat and Julie took her place up front. She started the car silently, but a few seconds into the drive she couldn’t hold back the burning comments any longer.

“You’re tougher than I thought,” Julie said staring at them in the rear view mirror. “Taking out a gunman with one punch.”

“I . . . I’m sure it was all luck,” Gwen said grabbing Zach’s hand.

“Wish I had that kind of luck,” Julie mumbled.

“I’d rather not talk about it if you don’t mind,” Gwen said timidly, grateful that Zach squeezed her hand supportively.

“Of course, I’m sorry Gwen, I’m just glad everything’s okay,” Julie said sympathetically.

Julie didn’t say a word until they reached Corona and asked Gwen to point out her building. She stopped by the front door and Gwen thanked her as she shuffled out of the backseat. Zach followed, closing the door behind them, then leaned in the passenger side window.

“I don’t know if Mom and Dad have heard, can you talk to them when they get off?” he asked.

“Sure thing, any idea when you’ll be home?” Julie replied both hands on the wheel.

Zach shook his head.

“Okay, see you later,” Julie said.

They waved good-bye as the car pulled away, and then Zach walked Gwen inside. They entered the elevator and ascended toward the tenth floor.

“How bad was it?” he asked as they waited.

Gwen sighed, she knew what he meant.

“I’m not sure,” she said. “I transported when he fired the second time and used a simple flash to blind him before I took him down, all the customers were under their tables. They may have seen the light, but it’s hard to tell if they noticed where it originated.”

The door opened and they exited the elevator in silence as they each tried to steady their shaken nerves. Once inside her apartment Gwen turned on the lights leaning against the wall as she pulled off her long boots. Zach could see the weariness in her eyes, it wasn’t the type he usually noticed after a long day. Her eyes’ warmth had dwindled to embers and hinted at feelings of both sadness and hope that whatever the outcome it would suit everyone involved. This was different from her dealings with Hexes, this thug had no excuses for what he did tonight and it clearly didn’t sit well with her. She dropped her boots by the door and rubbed her forehead with a sigh. Zach came up beside her and swiftly pulled her into his arms. Her tension eased slightly under his warmth, but she was still on edge.

“You did what you had to do,” he said in her ear. “He was a danger to everyone in the restaurant.”

Gwen was silent for a moment, she turned her face up to him.

“I didn’t expect so many officers to show,” she said quietly. “I suppose it makes sense, what with a gun involved and so many people, but . . .”

“It was more than you could take all at once especially when you’re unsure what anyone saw,” Zach soothed.

Gwen rubbed her cheek against his chest.

“How long can you stay?” she asked.

“As long as you need me,” he said with a smile.

© 2014 Emi

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Great chapter, I was not expecting a robbery. Wonderful:) 100!

Posted 9 Years Ago

the kiss I knew it would come eventually. yes nice chapter and the appropriate awkwardness

Posted 11 Years Ago

hahahah zach's dad is funny. wow. that would be so awkward. overall a good chapter. too bad they were interrupted

Posted 11 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on May 10, 2010
Last Updated on January 23, 2014
Tags: Urban Fantasy, Superpowers, Romance



Windsor, Canada

I've been writing since I was thirteen, it started with poetry since it was the only way for me to express my feelings at the time but since then I've moved into novels. I've been working hard on .. more..

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