39- take care of him

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10 hours earlier....

"They're not going to let us go with just money, are they?" I directed the question at Tyler as I stood in the bathroom door of our hotel room, wearing my typical outfit of jeans and a sweatshirt while looking at him with concern.

"I don't think so." Tyler was sitting on the bed, also dressed but deep in thought. It didn't take a lot to realize that the plan we had set up was flawed, mostly because his uncles couldn't be trusted.

I'd been playing around with different backup plans in my head since we made the deal, but none of them stuck. There was no way to truly win this situation, no way that I could think of at least. Either we go and they might kill us, or we bring the cops and go to jail. The second option definitely seemed better, but we were still hesitant.

"The cops are already after us, Tyler. We should just bring them in on this." I reasoned.

Tyler didn't say anything for a while. It hadn't been the first time he considered it, that much I knew. Each time though, he shot it down by reminding me what happened to the last guy that tried.

"We're screwed if we go to that meeting anyway. They're not gonna let us leave. We might as well trap them while we have the chance."

That's what finally got his attention. His head snapped over to look at me with more anger than I had seen in a while. "You're not going."

I rolled my eyes before walking over, standing directly in front of him while he stayed on the bed. He was sitting on the edge with his legs hanging over the side, so I put my body between his knees. In response, he placed his warm hands on my waist and glared up at me, though I couldn't ignored the compassion hidden behind his irises.

"I can't let you go in there alone." I muttered, my voice soft as I draped my hands over his shoulders.

"But if you go in there, I don't know if I can protect you."

"Tyler, I know this meeting is going to go south. You know it too, cause there's no amount of money that would get them to leave you alone." I told him, my eyes penetrating into his. "Our only options are to run or to get the cops on our side. Which do you want?"

Half of Tyler's mouth slid up into a smile as he looked up at me. "You know I'd love to just run away to Barbados with you, right?"

"Yes." I smiled briefly before it faded. "But we both know that we can't."

Tyler agreed, so I pulled out my phone and dialed the anonymous tip line. His hands didn't move from my waist as I waited for an answer, and I reveled in his touch even as my nerves threatened to send my heart into overdrive. Somehow, despite everything, he managed to keep me calm.

"Hi, I know who is responsible for the string of crimes in East Boston." I reported when I got the operator.

I told them about Mark and Paul, how they had been keeping blackmailing Tyler and I for the past couple of months. I informed her that these men were responsible for several crimes that had happened around East Boston and that we had a meeting set up with them, one that we were sure would turn up badly. It took some convincing but eventually, a plan was set. A police unit would be sitting outside of Tyler's apartment waiting for the uncles to show.

It was the perfect plan, one that I was sure couldn't go wrong.

Except it did, since the cops took too long.

**************

The wooden bench was cold and hard, the unforgiving material bruising my tailbone as I sat there for hours on end. My hands were clasped together as I watched the police officers hurrying around the precinct, my heart pounding at a normal rate despite the horror I had just witnessed.

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