This chapter is dedicated to Beca18 who was a great chat partner this week across all my stories. Thanks so much for your reads, comments & votes XD
10 - Declaring War On A New Front
A couple of hours later, I was awoken by the melody of an incoming call on my phone. Disoriented, I fumbled around on my nightstand before finding my cell.
"Hello." My voice was still thick from my sleep.
"Rena, it's Patrice." The words were barely audible between heavy sobs.
It took me a second to comprehend who was on the other end of the line but by the time the realization settled in, the hairs on my neck stood straight up like soldiers. "Patrice! What's wrong?"
A moan of despair resonated through the receiver. "It's my dad. He beat me real bad and I think he broke my wrist. It hurts so much and I don't know what to do."
I glanced at Noah who was sleeping tightly in his crib before checking the clock on the nightstand. It was only 9 o'clock. "Where are you now?"
"At home. My mom and dad are fighting. It's bad, Rena."
When I strained my ear, I could hear muffled voices in the background, undoubtedly Marcus and his wife screaming at each other. Then there was a loud shriek from Chantal before total silence was transmitted over the airwaves - he had to have put his foot down.
For a second, an iron claw got a hold of my lungs and squeezed the air out in agonizing slowness. I clutched my hand over my mouth to prevent a yelp. Not even a year ago, that had been me. Chantal's scream vibrated in my ears, mixing together with my memories of Brent's angry voice. The scars from my burns throbbed all over my body.
I focused on my breathing and the terrible moment passed. "Hold on, Patrice."
The phone landed on the nightstand before I slipped out of the bed. Hopefully, my dad was not at work and could help me figure out what to do.
When I poked my head into the living room, two sets of eyes greeted me. Kade was stretched out on the couch and my dad sat in the chair, both watching a basketball game. They were both huge Bulls fans though my father wasn't watching the games as frequently as he did during Michael Jordan's times.
When they saw my face, my father hit the mute button.
"What's wrong?" Kade asked. "You're pale as a ghost. Are you feeling alright?"
I bit my lip. "Patrice is on the phone. Marcus beat her real bad and she is hurt. I don't know what to tell her."
My father rose to his feet with that cop face - the one he always had when he felt he needed to interfere in someone's life in an official capacity. I knew his words before they even sprung from his lips.
"Let me call down to the station and they'll send a patrol car."
Kade stopped him. "Marcus lives in Winnetka and that's out of your jurisdiction. My mom said he is real chummy with the major and as Deputy State's Attorney, he knows pretty much every senior member on the police force in the greater Chicago area. There is a rumor that he'll run for State's Attorney in a couple of years and knowing him, he will likely win. No one wants to piss him off."
I glare at him. "So are you telling me he can just beat his family and get away with it?"
Kade sighed. "It's complicated Rena. Guys in law enforcement stick together and as one of the main prosecutors in the state, Marcus is part of the club. Even those cops who don't approve look the other way and if they ever made an arrest, he would wiggle his way out of an official charge. My mom tried for years to get to him but he is just so damn well connected."
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