So I'm back and ready to go. Had a ball in Adelaide, met Donnie Wahlberg and the concert was a blast. But now we're back in business.
We hope you enjoy the new instalment :)
At 5am, Brandt woke from his restless slumber and stretched out on the hard sofa. Checking the clock, he sat up slowly, ready to take over from the Turner twins on 'Danny Watch' (as the Andies had so kindly labelled it). He hoped that Benji would be able to tell him what Evan wanted the previous night when he saw him; with any luck the new information may help bring this all to a close. He stumbled across the room and made his way through the door, rubbing the last bits of sleep from his eyes as he went.
"Morning, William." The neat-haired Turner nodded as the agent walked into the room and Brandt smiled.
"What time did Benji get back?" Brandt asked. There were a few moments of silence as both twins stared at him before he realised. "Sorry, I meant Nicholas." He saw the name click in their minds and had to give a small laugh.
"Oh, sorry, he ain't got back yet." The curly haired twin replied, walking off to get some sleep. The other twin followed and gave another nod before the pair disappeared.
Odd… Brandt thought as he made his way across the room to where Danny was sleeping. As he sat down on the nearby chair, he felt a slightly uneasy churning in his stomach, however tried to push it aside. Benji was able to take care of himself. Lifting his feet to rest them on the desk, he grabbed his phone to check his emails only a few moments of quiet passing before a slight shuffling next to him made him jump. He turned to see Danny opening his eyes and offered the sergeant a smile.
"Oh, mornin' William." Danny smiled back and shifted a bit so that he could sit up. Before he could say another word, a yawn broke through and he lifted his arms to stretch out his stiff muscles. "Where's Nicholas?"
"Uh, he had to pop out last night to see one of the met sergeants who had been watching out for you."
"Ain't he back yet?" Danny's voice was starting to fill with the same worry that Brandt felt.
"No. But I'm sure he's fine. You said it yourself, he took down a whole group of murderers; I'm pretty sure he can face anything." Danny nodded and swung his legs over the edge of the sofa.
"So." Danny shrugged his shoulders awkwardly. "What's Benji like? Is he just like Nicholas was?"
"Well-" Brandt was cut off by the door bursting open and both men turned to see the Andies rushing in.
"What is it?" Danny asked, getting to his feet. Brandt followed and they waited for the detectives to explain.
"Staker just found a body out by the castle. We've just been up there checking on it and found this." Wainwright explained as he handed over what looked like a wallet. Brandt was pretty sure that they weren't supposed to be handling evidence like that, but right now, his nerves were beating down any common sense. He looked at the item that was now in Danny's hands and as the sergeant opened it, his heart dropped a few hundred feet.
The wallet belonged to Sergeant Evan Fell.
"Sergeant Fell?" Danny asked, turning to Brandt. He immediately noticed the wide eyed look the analyst was wearing and he began to worry. "What is it?"
"That is the met officer that Benji went to meet last night." He spoke with only one emotion in his voice. That was terror. What had happened? Had they been ambushed during their meeting? Had the gang members killed Benji too? Or did they take him during the attack? How did they know he was alive? So many questions ran through Brandt's mind and from the look on Danny's face, he could tell that the sergeant was sharing his thoughts.
"Do we know how long the officer has been dead for?" Danny asked the logical question, prompting an eager nod from Brandt as they practically shook in their spots.
"We can't be sure, but the coroner at the castle reckoned about twenty four hours." Cartwright replied before the two made their way back to their office.
"Wait, twenty four hours?" Brandt whipped his head around to Danny. "That means he must have been killed before Benji got the text…" Both of them immediately knew what that meant, but it was the sergeant who voiced it.
"It was a trap." His voice cracked a bit as he spoke, displaying the true worry that each man felt. Danny turned to Brandt with fear pouring from his eyes. "Did Nicholas tell you where he was going?"
Brandt nodded. "The church."
A not so gentle slap to the face was what caused Benji to stir. He could feel the warmth of the sun beating down on his face as he tried to gather his thoughts. He was at the church. He was there to meet Evan. Then… black.
Immediately, he knew it had been a trap. He should have listened to Brandt. However, if they had him now, that meant that they weren't out trying to kill Danny. Brandt would probably kill him for thinking that, but he didn't care. He decided to open his eyes and, once they had adjusted to the bright light, he realised that all he could see above him was sky. He was lying on a hard surface and his wrists had been tied in a painfully tight manner in front of him. He blinked a few times and a man came into focus.
"Well, well. If it isn't Nicholas Angel." The man smirked evilly. "I heard you had a knack for returning from the dead, but this just takes the cake." He laughed as Benji continued to look around. After a few seconds of analysing, he realised that he was lying on the roof of the church. At least he hadn't taken him far. Maybe if Brandt realised that he was missing, he might choose to look at the church first. He suddenly had a thought. If Danny found out what was going on, he would want to go with Brandt. He knew the sergeant well enough to know that for sure. That way, he would be potentially putting himself in harm's way; not what Benji wanted. He tried to sit up, feeling completely vulnerable while lying down, but when he made the attempt, his head swam viciously. Maybe not.
"How did you know I was alive?" he asked, trying to mask his fear despite every word grating against the walls of his throat.
"Please." the man scoffed. "You shoot up my car, kill my buddy & think I won't see you? Although, I must say, I didn't recognise the other bloke with you and Butterman. Who was that?" Benji kept his lips glued shut. Brandt had dragged himself into this mess far enough; he wasn't about to make things worse for him. "No?" the man taunted, playing with the gun in his hands. He waited for a few more moments and when Benji still refused to answer, he stood up and closed the gap in three strides. Gripping Benji's jacket tightly in his hands, he yanked the man up into a sitting position and pushed his back against the wall. The strength of the brick connecting with his spine caused a surge of pain to rush through him and the wind was viciously forced from his body. He gasped a little bit before feeling a hand wrap around his throat, effectively lifting his chin so that he had to look directly into his captor's eyes. "How are you alive? Hmm?" He squeezed a bit tighter. "I put two bullets in your chest that day. I heard you'd been killed. So how the fuck can you be here right now?" Despite the grip on his throat, Benji managed a slightly spiteful smirk.
"You need to work on your aim." While the retort gave him an ounce of satisfaction, it only lasted a few seconds before the man's foot connected with his stomach. On impact, he began to cough, his body instinctively keeling over so that he was back on his side. Another kick to the stomach left him once again gasping for breath. The man stepped backwards and perched himself on the wall nearby, staring Benji down as he did.
The agent lay there wondering if this was it. He figured it was almost poetic justice; he had cheated death so many times in this village that maybe this was just his time. Looking back, he had been attacked by Michael in his hotel room, 'stabbed' by Danny at the castle, shot by the Reverend in the square and then the explosion at the station. The little voice in his head was taunting him about it.
"Basically, I'd say your nine lives are up, Nicholas."
He let out a sigh and rolled onto his back. He wanted to just close his eyes and drift off to sleep, however he knew that his captor wouldn't let him. His head ached something chronic and every now and then he would have to blink away black spots. He really didn't feel like he had a chance in hell of surviving this. But suddenly, he was struck with an idea. Maybe there was something positive that he could bring from his unavoidable fate.
"How about we make a deal?"
Well, hope that was worth the extra wait :)
Much love x