By Janet Brayden
Jake Styles, chief investigator for the Prosecuting Attorney's office in Honolulu, shakily hung up the phone after calling for back up. His face pale, hair mussed, shirt half un-tucked and smudged and jeans streaked with grease, he'd just been assaulted by an employee of Fitzroy Tool and Die.
Seemingly appearing out of nowhere the man had tackled Jake before the detective could brace himself. Jake had been thrown over the desk he was standing at – hard. Then the man had picked him up as if he were a child and thrown him over another desk. When Jake attempted to pull his gun on him the man had simply smacked it out of Jake's hand and slammed him, head first, into a file cabinet. That hadn't been enough though. The man had then proceeded to slam Jake headfirst into another piece of furniture in the room, slammed his knee into Jake's face and thrown him toward a storage cabinet. That Jake had been able to protect his face this time was truly a miracle in his opinion.
The younger man had ducked the next blow – a potentially killing one – and overcome his assailant. When three other men rushed into the room, seemingly intent on finishing the job, the shaken investigator had dived and scrambled to get his hands on his gun. Shaky and weak he had held it in his left hand, forced the men to drop their weapons and held them all at bay. Bracing himself on the file cabinets behind him he had pushed himself to his feet and made the call.
Five minutes later three squad cars with uniformed officers appeared at the warehouse and took the assailants into custody.
"Jake? Are you okay, bruddah?" the big Hawaiian officer asked him.
"Fine," Jake mumbled. "I'm fine."
"You don't look so good," the officer said. "What happened?"
"Guy tackled me, threw me over the desk…slammed me into the file cabinet," Jake managed to explain.
"You better sit down," he was told. "I'm calling an ambulance. Your arm may be broken."
"No, it's not broken," Jake mumbled. "I don't need an ambulance."
"I think you do and Mr. McCabe would agree," the officer said.
"I don't need…" Jake tried again but he didn't get far. His already pale face seemed to go a few shades whiter than it already was and his eyes rolled up into his head. His fellow officer caught him before he hit the floor.
The phone on J.L. McCabe's desk rang as he and his assistant, Derek Mitchell, were discussing their current case which involved a plane crash that had taken the life of a senator. McCabe was on edge over the case and the implication that his own son, Daniel, was somehow involved. The look on McCabe's face told Derek that the call was serious.
"When? Well how is he?" McCabe wanted answers and he wanted them now.
Derek watched the older man's face carefully for any clue to what the news was. It wasn't good whatever it was – not if the frown on McCabe's face was any indication.
"I'll be there within half an hour," the Prosecuting Attorney told the other party just before he hung up the phone.
"Mr. McCabe? What is it?" Derek asked.
"It's Jake. He's in the hospital!"
"What happened?" Derek asked as he and his boss rose from their seats.
"He had a run in with an employee at the Fitzroy Tool and Die Company," McCabe explained. "It doesn't sound too serious but he appears to be banged up some."
"Is he going to be okay?"
Derek and Jake were quite close and the younger man was concerned. It wasn't easy to get Jake to go to a hospital for treatment. J.L. had had to force the issue with his chief investigator on more than one occasion.
"I think so, the officer on the phone said he appears to be more shaken up than anything. We'll know better once we get there and see for ourselves." The older man's frown deepened, "He'd better be cooperating. I'm tired of him being a difficult patient. He's going to make himself sick one of these days and then I'll kill him!"
Derek suppressed a grin. J.L. and Jake were always going at each other. It was generally wise to keep one's mouth shut or else you risked being caught in the middle.
The pair arrived, in Derek's car, at the hospital about the time Jake was being brought back from Radiology.
"Doctor? How is he?" McCabe asked when Jake was settled in a treatment room again.
"I can talk for myself!" a now alert Jake complained.
"I want the whole truth – not your version of it," J.L. told him as Derek grinned.
"He's pretty banged up. He's got a mild concussion and his arm was banged up pretty good. He's going to have to keep it in a sling for a few days."
"When can he go home?" Derek asked.
"As soon as the paperwork is signed," the doctor replied. "He really ought to go home and go straight to bed."
"No!" Jake exclaimed. "No way. I'm gonna go home and change and go to the office."
"Now Jake, if the doctor thinks you should go home and rest then that's what you ought to do," J.L. told the man who was like a son to him.
"I can rest later," Jake insisted.
"Mr. Styles, I want you to go home and rest for at least one day," the doctor said.
"I can rest later," Jake stubbornly insisted. "We've got a case to finish. Derek can do the driving if that makes you feel better but I'm gonna go home and change and go back to work."
And thus it was because not even J.L. McCabe could get Jake to rest when his adrenalin was flowing and his need to finish what he had started kicked in. Derek drove him home where Jake changed his clothes and allowed Derek to help him get the sling the doctor insisted on him wearing in place. Then they went back to the office where the trap would be sprung that would leave J.L. McCabe with a broken heart and wishing that the man he thought of as a son was his son while his real son was taken away to prison.