Chapter 27

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With every step he took forward, an image of him being shot dead kept coming to mind. Since it was possibly his last walk, he counted each step, from when he revealed himself at the corner where Zane was currently hiding, to his current position, about ninety feet from the Enforcers. He was on step eight when he locked eyes with one of the guarding Enforcers. The woman hadn’t made out Nole’s identity yet, which was fortunate, but it was only a matter of time before someone had.

They hadn’t paid him any mind until step twenty, when he was about seventy feet from the entrance of the station. The female guard approached him, baton hanging from her waste band and gun holstered on her belt.

“No one is allowed on the premises,” she informed him when he was within earshot. “I’m going to have to ask you…” her voice trailed off after getting a closer look at him. In an instant, her baton was withdrawn and pointed his way. “Get on your knees!” she ordered, getting the attention of the other Enforcers.

Hesitantly, Nole lowered himself to his knees. A few other Enforcers began crowding around him to make sure the lead guard wasn’t mistaken. The disbelief painted their faces. Nole imagined the questions they must have been asking themselves: He just surrendered out of the blue? Has he gone crazy? Has his conscience caught up with him?

Another guard instructed him to put his hands on his head slowly. Flicking his eyes at the Enforcers maintaining their position, Nole knew his current actions wouldn’t be enough to give Zane an opening. I have to do more, he urged himself as he rose to his feet.

“On your knees!” the female Enforcer repeated after his blatant disobedience. One of the hands she kept on the baton made its way to her holster. Biting his lip, he changed tactics.

“I have vital information pertaining to the investigation,” he bargained desperately. “I know who the real murderer of Dr. Murphy Maddox is.” The Enforcers grew silent briefly, but the woman instructed him to get on his knees once more, completely disinterested in his attempt to negotiate.

Maintaining his stance, Nole made his last ditch effort.

“Chief Caswell is working with the Pents. He hired them to go after the Paras. They framed the Paras for the fountain vandalism,” he rambled the information fervently, but none of them seemed intrigued. “He’s going to murder two innocent-”

“On your knees, criminal!” the other Enforcer interrupted. Nole couldn’t tell whether they were in on the Chief’s schemes or is they just didn’t believe him. The latter was the most likely; after all, he himself had no credibility as an alleged murderer.

The options were narrowing. As the seconds passed, the angry looks on the Enforcers’ faces intensified. A few more inched their hands to their holsters. Nole’s mouth became dry. He knew if he ran, he would be shot on the spot, and then Zane would be stuck on the outside. Nothing’s working, he thought franticly. He knew what Zane would do in that situation, but he couldn’t bring himself to do the same; not to mention that he’d have absolutely no credibility after that.

“Rookies!” a piercing voice bellowed. “Lower your weapons!”

His breathing steadied upon hearing the command. Not daring to move, Nole searched for his savior amongst the group of Enforcers surrounding him. A single set of footsteps tramped against the concrete until an individual appeared.

“Captain Hadley, ma’am,” the female guard greeted, “the suspect came onto the grounds of his own accord and refused to follow orders.”

Blonde side swept bangs hung loosely over her eyebrows and just above her light brown eyes. It was somewhat difficult for Nole to discern her expression. The rest of her hair was pulled back into a tight bun, accentuating her strong jawline. Her full lips were pursed, neither smiling nor frowning.

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