Lauren decided that her idea to see Doc's body was a bad one. She squinted against the night as she watched Murphy climbed the fire escape to the city morgue. Looking up and down the small alleyway she stood in, Lauren's nerves began to put her on edge.
"Psst." Lauren raised her head to see Murphy motioning for her to start up. Taking hold of the cold bar above her head, she pulled herself up on the ladder.
Once she reached the first set of stairs, Lauren paused. Voices grew louder as they made their way down the alley. She flattened her back against the brick wall and froze. The two men below passed without notice. Letting the breath she held out with a whoosh, Lauren looked up to see Murphy grinning.
"Shut up." She whispered to him harshly. Murphy shook his head and disappeared. Lauren made quick of the metal flight of stairs until Murphy helped her up onto the roof.
"Took ya long enough." The corner of his mouth twitched in amusement. Lauren rolled her eyes.
"What now?" She asked as she glanced around the bare surface of the roof.
Tilting his head at the door that led into the building, Murphy pulled a pistol from the back of his pants and cocked it.
Lauren's hands shot up as she shook her head, "No, we can't just break in there. You need to keep a low profile remember?"
Murphy looked about in search of something before reaching down and taking hold of a broken pipe. Wedging it in the lock, he pushed down until it broke open. Opening the door, Murphy made a dramatic sweeping motion with his hand. "Ladies first."
"Of course ladies first," Lauren mumbled. "It's my ass that will get caught first that way." She ignored Murphy's chuckle following behind her as she edged her way down the pitch black stairwell. "I'm going to break my neck." She complained.
When she hit the bottom, she was standing at the far end of a very long hallway. All the lights were off except one that shone around the doorframe at the very end. It looked like a scene from a horror flick, which cause Lauren to hesitate.
Murphy bumped into her from behind, "Why did ya stop?" He whispered in her ear.
"I'm freaked out." She whispered back.
"Whooo…" Murphy teased as Lauren began walking. Unable to see, she chose to pick up the pace. When she reached the door, her hand paused just before touching the knob.
"Yeah, I'm about to leave." A man's voice rose from the other side. "Tell her to do her homework or she's grounded." A hand snaked over Lauren's mouth before she was pulled against a hard body.
"Shhh." Murphy whispered.
"Alright, I love you. Bye." The man's voice neared as Murphy pulled Lauren back into a room and closed the door. Placing his hands against the wall on either side of her head, Murphy trapped her beneath him as they listened to the footsteps in the hallway outside the door.
Their faces inches apart, Lauren couldn't help but take in the deep, masculine scent that was Murphy. He smelled of cigarettes and faint cologne, both of which made her want to lean closer and taste his skin.
Murphy groaned. "What?" She asked.
"Nothin', he's gone. Come on." Murphy grabbed her hand and pulled her out into the hall. When they entered the morgue, Lauren was overcome with a feeling of concern.
"I can't touch anything but Doc." When Murphy flicked on the lights and turned to her with question across his face, she realized she had said it aloud. "There are too many of them." She explained. "All of which have stories to tell; things that need to be set right." She walked the freezers in search of the one they had come for. "I can't help them all."
"I understand, you don't have'ta explain yerself." Lauren was grateful for Murphy's understanding. As much as she'd like to help every lost soul in the world, she didn't have the ability or means to. It wasn't her place.
"Murphy." She stopped in front of the label that read Doc's name. Murphy stopped at her side and took a deep breath. "You okay?" He sent her a sad look before gripping the handle and pulling out the long freezer table.
A body lay motionless upon metal encased in a black bag that zipped from head to toe. Lauren pretended not to see the shaking of Murphy's hand as he pulled the zipper down revealing Doc's pale face. With a whimper, Murphy gripped the edge of the table and bowed his head. He took hold of the rosary that hung around his neck and prayed. Lauren bowed her head as well. When they finished, Murphy crossed himself and kissed Doc's cold forehead.
His blue eyes lifted, "You ready?" She only nodded in response before allowing Murphy to take place behind her in case she fell. With a steady hand, she placed a hand on Doc's cheek.
Screams. They echoed through the deserted bar, before falling silent. In the back, a shadowed figure stood above a bloodied body. Using Doc's tattered shirt, he wiped his blade clean before returning it to its place on his hip. Walking over to a table, he poured himself a shot before downing it quickly.
The florescent light buzzed from the ceiling as the man turned his head as if to listen for something. His blonde hair was cut short as his profile came into view. A scar stretched down from his temple to jaw with a tattoo of a wolf circling- about to eat its tail inked on his neck. Turning away, the wolf man left without another glance back at the innocent man he had just murdered.
Murphy tucked a strand of hair behind her ear just as Lauren inhaled sharply from her vision. "Ya good?" He asked as he turned her to face him.
She ran her fingers down the side of Murphy's face as she remembered the details of the man that murdered Doc. "I'm fine." She looked over her shoulder at the dead body on the table. "The guy had a scar down the side of his face." She traced the exact spot on her own cheek stopping with her hand on her neck. "And a wolf tattoo; here."
Murphy left her to make sure Doc was properly returned into the freezer. Leaning against the closed door, he looked over at her, "Would you recognize him again?" He asked.
Lauren nodded as Murphy pushed off the metal freezer. Taking hold of her upper arm, he led her towards the door. "Connor is gonna fuckin' flip."
"Where the fuck did the both of ye go?" Connor's voice was angry. Murphy crossed his arms across his chest as his brother ranted and raved about them leaving him out of the mission. "I wanted to go!"
Lauren covered her mouth with the back of her hand. Connor glared at her from where he stood at the bar.
"Ya think this is funny do ya?" He asked her. She choked on a laugh until Connor grabbed the beer tap and aimed it at her.
"Don't you dare!" She warn as she threw her hands up to shield her face.
"Think ya can laugh at me do ya?" Connor squeezed the handle sending beer at her.
Lauren screamed and ran to hide behind Murphy, who tackled Connor before she reached him. They wrestled before completely forgetting about the beer tap.
Lauren snuck over and took hold of the handle before clearing her throat. Both brothers froze and looked up at her. Pointing the nozzle at them, Lauren grinned mischievously. "Pay back's a bitch." She doused Connor and Murphy in beer as they scrambled to gain their footing.
"Oh no ya don't!" Murphy picked Lauren up and threw her over his shoulder as Connor pried the sprayer from her hand.
"I'll show ya to pull one over on the MacManus brothers!" She squealed with laughter as Connor proceeded to drench her and Murphy in beer. Soon, all three were sprawled out on the bar floor laughing.
"So what did ya find out then?" Connor asked as he pulled his clinging shirt away from his chest.
Murphy frowned. "She saw more on the guy we're lookin' for." He mimicked her movements of tracing his face. "A scar and a tattoo. Can't be too hard ta find 'em now."
"Can ya draw the tattoo?" Connor asked. Lauren stood and steadied herself before walking over to the bar. Grabbing a napkin and pen, she recopied the tattoo in her vision to the best of her abilities.
Handing it to Connor she shrugged, "I'm no artist but that was the jist of it." Connor sat up and examined the drawing before rubbing his chin.
"Romeo should be gettin' back from the errand his uncle made 'em run soon. We'll ask him." Murphy edged closer to his brother and looked at the napkin.
"Aye, but doesn't that look familiar." He pointed at it before leaning back on his hands.
"It does, just can't remember from where." Connor agreed.
"What did Romeo's uncle have ta say when ya'll met with him?" Murphy asked.
"Do'ya mean before or after he rung Rome a new one fer not helpin' out more with the family business?" Connor hooted and smacked his knee. "Should've seen 'em, all squirmin' and shit."
Murphy laughed at the picture Connor painted for them as Lauren grabbed a mop and began soaking up the beer.
"A waste of beer if ya ask me." Lauren narrowed her eyes at Connor's solemn voice. He winked before turning to Murphy, "His uncle wouldn't tell us nothin' til Romeo finished his errand." Groaning as he got to his feet, Connor helped his brother up. "It's all on our boy."
Murphy grabbed a rag and began wiping down the bar. "Lord help us all." Connor's laughter could be heard from the other room.
"Ding dong bitches, ding dong!" Romeo hollered as he pushed through the front door arms full.
Murphy and Connor cheered as Romeo walked over and deposited his bags on the counter. Craning his neck to look into the bag, he pulled out a case of beer and packs of cigarettes. Both brothers caught a pack when Romeo tossed it to them.
"Now for the grand résistance," Romeo dug into the second bag and pulled out to large pistols. "Boom!" Connor and Murphy were on their feet and at Romeo's side in a flash.
"Damn, isn't she a beaut…" Connor turned the pistol over in his hands.
"Ya fuckin' came through didn't ya Rome?" Murphy's cigarette bobbed in between his lips as he spoke.
"Don't I always?" Both brothers voiced their agreement as Romeo pulled out a couple more handguns. "Now, I have the big shit comin', but from what I hear it's top of the line." He grinned when the brothers patted him on the back.
Lauren kept silent as she watched the men arm themselves. She struggled against the angst of worry for their well being. She knew they were the best at what they did and that they had God on their side, but she still worried about the evil she witnessed earlier. That man was overcome with it.
"Annnnd this is for you my lady." Romeo bowed and held out a small revolver to her. Lauren snapped out of her thoughts and looked to Murphy before taking the gun into her hands. The onyx colored metal felt like ice as she turned her hand over and back again. After a few moments, the silence of the room pulled her attention back up to the faces that watched her.
"Ya alright love?" Murphy spoke low as he stepped up at her side. Lauren met his concerned gaze. Smiling, she nodded before tucking the revolver in the rear waistband of her pants.
"That settles it boy-o's." Connor spoke with authority. "Let's go hand down da Lord's swift judgement."