Xavier Cold

Page 60


“Make your move, bitch,” Bishop taunts.
My chest raises and then falls as I ask God to protect my family.
The sound of glass crashing jerks all of our attention behind Bishop, police with the words S.W.A.T. written across the back of their black uniforms storm through the windows. “Everyone get on the ground!”
I grab Anna’s hand and pull her down with me. In these situations it’s best to comply even if you aren’t the person doing anything wrong.
“What’s happening,” She cries as cops over to us.
An officer kneels beside me and removes his helmet and glasses. “You all right, X? Anna?”
I raise my chin up to spot Cole wearing black tactical gear. “What in the hell’s going on Cole?”
He reaches down and helps both Anna and then myself up off the concrete floor. “I’ve been working on busting Bishop for years. When he kidnapped Anna, it was the last piece we needed to take him down.”
I glance over to where officers are cuffing Bishop, Kai along with his goons. “Federico Bishop, you are formally charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, assault, racketeering, felon in possession of a firearm, drug possession . . .” The list of things he’s being charged with seems to be never ending.
Something tells me Bishop and Kai won’t be getting out of prison anytime soon. That should make this neighborhood a hell of a lot safer for everyone in it, including Anna and I.
Anna clings to me, and I kiss the top of her head. “You all right?”
She nods. “I’m okay.”
Cole’s radio squawks. “Code ten, fifty-four at house fire located on 1020 Sycamore.”
Cole’s gaze flicks to me. “Why the fuck is there a dead body in your place, X?”
My eyes widen. “What?”
“That’s what that code means. Was there anyone in that house other than you and Anna when it caught fire?”
“No,” Anna speaks up. “Kai had the two guys that were just in here with him set the fire after they knocked Xavier out.”
“There was no one in there when I was there,” I confirm.
Cole raises his eyebrows. “Then I suggest you get your ass over there and see what’s going on. I’ll handle all this.”
“You sure?”
He nods. “I’ll even walk you out.”
“Thanks, man. I owe you one.” I shake his hand.
“I’ll remember that when I need people to testify against Bishop.”
“Abso-fucking-lutely count me in on that shit,” I tell him. “I’ll do all that I can to help.”
Anna and I race back to Grandmother’s house and I park my bike and rush under the yellow police caution tape.
“You there! Stop right there,” one of the officers order.
I point toward the house, where smoke still rolls out of front door but the visible flames are long gone. “This is my house. I own it.”
The heavy-set cop motions me toward him. “Shit man, what happened to your face?”
I wave him off. “It’s nothing.”
Gauging by his reaction, I look pretty rough. I will probably feel this shit in the morning, but for now, my adrenaline is pumping so hard, I don’t feel much pain at all.
He shrugs and then says, “Follow me.” He leads us over to a tall, skinny man wearing a suit, standing next to an open trunk on a police cruiser. “Detective Greyson, this is the homeowner.”
The lanky detective with sandy blond hair gives me the once over and then flips out a notepad without asking about my injuries. “Name?”
“Xavier Cold.”
His eyes jerk to me and he eyes me suspiciously. “Age?”
“Twenty-eight.” I lift one eyebrow. “What’s this have to do with anything?”
Detective Greyson sighs. “The fire did not completely destroy the upstairs of the house. During the firefighter’s sweep of the house, they entered a bedroom that was padlocked from the outside. A body was located in the closet of that room, behind a false wall. From the looks of things, the body had been there for quite some time, making it unidentifiable. Ironically, the body did have identification. The name on the I.D. was Xavier Cold.”
My head jerks back. “What? It had my name on it?”
“Not exactly.” He reaches into his trunk, pulls out a plastic baggie labeled evidence, and holds it up for my inspection. Inside the clear plastic, is the state I.D. he’s talking about. There, staring back at me might as well be my own reflection. A man with long dark hair, crystal blue eyes, and a smirk is a man named Xavier Cold, born in nineteen sixty-eight.
“Oh, my God,” Anna murmurs next to me, seeing exactly what I see. “Is that your father?”
I bite my lower lip. “Looks that way. I never knew his name or saw his picture. Mom always said he ran off.”
“We also found a diary in the same closet.” He holds another baggie up. “We found this page especially incriminating, so we left it open as we put it in the bag because it clearly tells us who killed this man. Can you tell me if Irma Winslow had any mental health problems?”
“Who is Irma Winslow?” Anna asks.
“That’s the name inscribed inside the diary,” Detective Greyson says.
“She was also my grandmother,” I confirm for her and then turn to address the Detective. “She was an evil bitch, but I don’t know of any diagnosed problems.”
“Well . . .” he trails off. “If you ever had any question if she did or not, check out what’s written here.” He points to the open pages and I lean in to read the scribbled mess.
Today was the day. I ended him God, just like you said to do. I couldn’t allow the evil monster to take away my Gina, so I stopped him.
The only problem is his evil seed is already implanted in my daughter and I have to figure out a way to get rid of his spawn. Gina won’t believe me when I tell her about all this. She doesn’t believe that Satan tried to take her away from me, but I do.
I blow a slow breath between pursed lips as the things she’s written sinks in.
“Heavy shit, right? If it’s you that she’s referring to in this insane rambling, you’re lucky you’re still here.” The cop pulls the baggie away and puts them both back into a box labeled as evidence. “The coroner will be able to give us an approximation of how long the victim has been deceased and the cause of death, but I’m guessing this man has been in that closet for a long, long time.”