Man Of Steel(9)

By: Jordan Silver

The only other issue we had was over money. She made good money at her practice and had an independent streak a mile wide. That didn’t really fit into my ideal so we butted heads there for a hot minute until she figured out she could have more fun playing the market with her money than arguing with me about it.

I liked knowing that when my woman put on something new that it was my money that had bought it. Or when she went out with her girls it was her man footing the bill. She got around that shit by spoiling my kid but that was okay. As long as I got my way we were cool.

I had to put her out of my mind and focus on the shit I had to do tonight. It had been a few weeks since we’d started on this particular job and things were coming to a head soon. Shit had gone down that I wasn’t too pleased about and I knew from experience that coming into the stretch usually put assholes in a panic and made them do stupid shit.

Chapter 7

The boys were already mounted up and waiting when I rode up to our designated meeting place. With just a slight nod of acknowledgment, I went to the head of the crew and waited until they formed in line behind me and we headed out of town under cover of night.

In the next town over was a little nine year old girl who’d barely survived the barbaric attentions of a two hundred and fifty pound pedophilic piece a shit who’d raped, battered, slit her throat and left her for dead. As an ex-cop I understood that the powers that be frowned on vigilante justice, as a father, if I’d caught the motherfucker before the law did he would be dead already.

Stephanie was now one of us; anyone who could survive that shit had to have steel running under their skin with a healthy rod of it in their spine. Her mother had sounded the alarm a few weeks ago when it was coming on time for the trial. Our little warrior was having nightmares about her personal boogieman coming to get her in the dark. Can’t have that shit, can’t let him take not so much as another second away from that precious child, so every night for the past two weeks we’ve been standing guard outside her home.

One crew took up night duty and another relieves us in the morning to escort her to school. Until the trial is over, she won’t be alone, and if she still needs us after that, well that’s what the fuck we do, we don’t leave until the job’s done.

We pulled up outside the ranch style house in the little cul de sac. Every light in the house was on and I could see someone peeping through the curtains at the window. My heart hitched in my chest that one so young could know such fear. There was no justice in that, nothing good at all about this fucked up situation. No matter what anyone does or says from now on, this will be a part of her. It’s my job and my crew’s job to see it doesn’t become what defines her.

As a cop my job would’ve already been done, unless the D.A. chose to call me to give evidence or something, I wouldn’t be involved in this side of things. I wouldn’t know of her fears in the night, or see her mom’s worry. I liked this way better, this way I get to see the job through from beginning to end.

There were twelve of us who alighted from our bikes and removed helmets before heading towards the front door. We had a routine worked out by now. Each case is different; each woman or child has his or her own unique needs. Whatever it takes to make them feel secure is what we offer.

Stephanie’s mother Donna opened the door just as we reached it and ushered us in. “How is she tonight?” We stood around the living room, which is where we usually started our nightly ritual. After getting a rundown of the day’s events from Donna I headed back to the room where Stephanie slept with her mom these days, too afraid to be in her own bed alone.

She was sitting up in the middle of the bed, wide-eyed and alert. There were still some faded bruises around her face and the sight of the dark ugly puckered flesh around her neck where the monster had cut into her made me see red. The only draw back to having a conscience is that it keeps me from exacting vengeance the way I see fit.

I have no qualms about bashing a motherfucker’s head in, but I won’t cross the line into murder. That’s a stand that I’ve been battling with for the longest time. Sometimes it seems that might be the only answer. But I know if I ever went down that road that I would be fucking up a lot of people’s lives. So I won’t be that selfish, no matter the satisfaction I might derive from ending one of these fuckers.

“Good evening Ms. Stephanie how’re we doing this evening?” I kept my distance so as not to scare her. She was still a little skittish around men though she’d come a long way with the guys and I in the last few weeks. Still I knew to wait for a sign from her that it was okay to move closer. She must always feel like she’s in control, that she was the one calling the shots. That was part of rebuilding her confidence and her general sense of safety, something that was going to take years to achieve.

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