LaToya sat in her car, the tears streaming down her face. She was extremely frightened and visibly shaken.
"Ma'am. The ambulance is on the way. I need you to please be still until they get here."
LaToya heard someone speaking, but the words were not registering. Her head was pounding and she could feel a large bead of sweat rolling down the side of her face. Only it wasn't sweating. It was blood.
She had just been robbed at gunpoint, right in her own salon. She struggled hard and viciously fought the intruder off. In the end, he cold-cocked her with the butt of the gun and took off with over 200k from her safe. Shania had forgotten to take the deposit to the bank the day before, so there was triple the amount that should have been there.
LaToya didn't believe in coincidences. But right now she was struggling to regain her focus. She slumped back into her car seat where this passerby had found her, door wide open, bleeding from a head wound onto the very expensive leather in her car's interior. She could barely make out the faint wailing of sirens as she lost consciousness for the 3rd time in less than 30 minutes. As she faded it crossed her mind that she could very well die right here in the middle of the street with the clothes on her back. Not even a proper identification. It was slung over the mugger's shoulder, in her DKNY bag, the two bank deposit bags tucked securely inside.
"You did what?!"
James swung around on his heels to face the person speaking to him. Throwing a pink DKNY purse, stained with blood, on the floor in anger.
"What did you want me to do, man? She was fighting me like a dude in the street! That bitch put in work!"
The young man was apparently quite nervous as he tried to explain to his boss why he had not done the mission as he asked.
"I don't give a fuck if she was beating your ass like Kimbo Slice was knocking mother fuckers out in the hood! You do what the fuck I tell you and that's it!"
James was furious. Tyrell was supposed to simply snatch the deposit bag and keep it moving. He never told jit to go inside the store, point a gun at LaTonya and for damn sure not try to kill her! This was his meal ticket and if Tyrell did anything to jeopardize his big payout before he was ready, he would pay with his life.
"Get the fuck out of my office, you stupid clown! And take this hot ass bag with you."
James dumped out the deposit bags on the floor and threw LaTonya's purse at Tyrell's feet.
This was certainly not very deacon-like. Whew, chile. should one of his constituents happened to have heard this story first hand, they would question their ears.
Pacing his office floor, James didn't know what to do. LaTonya hadn't called him obviously, and calling her right now would seem suspicious, especially if...
He let his thoughts trail off. No, the boy was not that stupid. It's crazy that all the time he was in the church, and acting like a Deacon, he never prayed...until that very moment.
He was going to have to get rid of Shania. When she put two and two together about all of his questions on the deposit days, then causing her to miss the deposit he knew she had to make so there was double for Tyrell to take during the set-up robbery, it was all going to come crashing down. Especially with Paul's untrustworthy and unpredictable ass. He had to call the boss.
He started sweating at the thought of having to call him. He did not take drama and disruptions to his cash flow lightly and there would be hell to pay, starting with him.
Head down in defeat, James walked over to his desk and collapsed in his chair as if his bones have been snatched from his body. He picked up the phone and dialed the number and waited with bated breath as the other end rang
"What is it?"
The deep voice bellowed. If he didn't know the man personally, he would have bet his entire life savings he was using one of those dramatic voice changers, for a sinister effect.
"Pastor. We have a problem at the church. Can you come in when you get a chance?"
James didn't recognize his own voice.
There was a moment of silence before the line disconnected. It felt as if his heart disconnected from his body at that same moment. Dread started from the tips of his toes and made it's way up his body. He leaned back in his chair and thought about his escape plan...
---------------------------At the Hospital----------------------------------
"Can you describe what he was wearing? Any visible tattoos or marks?"
The police detective and his female partner were in the hospital room questioning LaToya while the details were still fresh in her mind, at least what she could remember. The doctors wanted to keep her, but she was refusing.
Her daughter was at the shop with some of the crew boarding the place up, and she did not feel safe. She couldn't shake that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach about Shania and this mysterious new man of hers, who was apparently putting his hands on her. Despite her own pain, her motherly instincts would not be ignored.
"Can we pick this up tomorrow? The patient needs her rest."
Good save by the Doctor. LaTonya's head fell back on the pillow from exhaustion, fear and a strong sense of foreboding. She had to find out what was happening. None of this was going on before her daughter started dating this...
She sat up straight in her bed. NONE OF THIS HAPPENED UNTIL SHE STARTED DATING JAMES.
Should she tell the police about her situation? Shania's? She wanted to help them get this resolved, but she didn't know what to do.
"Detectives?" She called after them as the doctor did his perfunctory tests on her eyes' sensitivity to light. Her head was tightly wrapped in bandage and throbbing.
"Look into Deacon James Ball."
The look the two Detectives exchanged was unmistakable. She knew she had made the right decision.
"Thank you, ma'am. We appreciate you helping us with our investigation. We'll come to your home when you get checked out of here tomorrow to follow up. Maybe more will have come to you."
He turned and walked away as his female partner spoke for the first time. She must be new.
"Stay safe, Mrs. Smith".
~TO BE CONTINUED~