“Oh shit!” Flint said suddenly. He let Kendra’s hand go and jumped up from the bench.
“What is it?” she asked in alarm.
A police car slid quietly into the driveway and stopped. Two police officers stepped out of the car and walked down the hill toward the house. Flint’s heart leaped into his throat.
Jesus Christ! Please don’t let them be here for Kendra.
His worst fucking nightmare was coming true.
Flint hurried outside to greet the officers, with Kendra following right behind him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jesse moving their way, too. Flint suspected Jesse was probably thinking the exact same thing he was, along with the rest of the crew. That the police had found out about the Liberators. He only hoped to God they didn’t know about Kendra’s involvement.
Flint put on his calmest, most professional lawyer face. “Evening officers,” he said politely. “What’s going on? Is there a problem? We might’ve gotten a little loud with the music, but we’ll turn it down if someone called in a complaint. We’re about ready to send everyone home anyway. We’ll call it a night.”
By this time, a crowd had come out of the house and gathered silently behind him. No one said a word. Miraculously, even the drunk guys seemed to have sobered up instantly. Amazing how the sudden appearance of the police could do that.
“We’re not here about the party,” the officer replied. “We’re here looking for Jesse Mason,” he said.
Jesse stepped forward beside Flint. “I’m Jesse Mason,” he replied. “What can I do for you?”
The second officer pulled out a pair of handcuffs from his back pocket. “Jesse Mason, you’re under arrest for the murder of Leah Andrews.”
“What???” Flint and Jesse both yelled in shock at the same time. In every scenario either could have imagined, being arrested for Leah’s murder wasn’t one of them.
The officer pulled Jesse’s hands behind his back and slipped on the handcuffs. “You have the right to remain silent,” he began. “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
“This is crazy!” Jesse yelled. “I would never hurt Leah in a million years. It was those goddamned Liberators. They killed her! Not me. Motherfuckers!” Jesse struggled with the police officer.
“Jesse!” Flint warned. “Goddammit! Be quiet!”
“You have the right to an attorney,” the officer continued as if he didn’t hear Jesse. “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
“Fuck no! I don’t wish to speak to you.”
Flint moved toward Jesse, and the officer held up his hand to stop him.
“Back away, son,” he ordered. “Unless you want cuffs on you, too.” He waved at the crowd of bikers gathered around. “And that goes for the rest of you. We don’t want any trouble. Let us do our job and we’ll all be fine.”
“I’m Flint Mason, his attorney,” Flint continued. “I’ll be representing him.” He turned to Jesse. “And as your attorney, I’m telling you to behave and shut the fuck up. I’ll take care of this.”
The police officer looked Flint up and down, taking in his leather boots and tattoos. “You expect us to believe you’re his lawyer?” he asked incredulously before shrugging. “Don’t guess it matters one way or the other to us if he’s fool enough to hire somebody like you as his attorney. Guess those online schools are also churning out lawyers these days.”
“Jesse?” Flint said again, ignoring the officer’s insults. “You listening?”
Jesse took a deep breath to calm down and nodded back at him, letting him know he understood. He wouldn’t be talking to the police. Not a word without Flint there by his side to guide him through the interrogation process. He wasn’t stupid, just angry as hell.
“Alright, let’s go,” the officer said, leading Jesse up the hill to the police car.
“I’ll be right behind you!” Flint called out. “I’ll meet you at the police station.”
Flint whirled around to grab his keys from inside the house and saw Kendra’s stunned expression. For a split second, he had been so caught up with Jesse’s arrest that he had completely forgotten about her and the fact that she didn’t have a clue about him being a lawyer. She would think he’d lied to her, which wasn’t exactly true unless she counted it as a lie of omission. Knowing her, she might consider that every bit as bad.
He needed time to explain his actions and the reasons why he hadn’t told her everything. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time. Not even five minutes at the moment. Jesse didn’t deserve to spend one more minute in jail than was absolutely necessary and he would do everything he knew how to get him out as soon as possible.
With it being so late in the evening, Jesse would probably have to spend at least the night in jail. Flint would need to contact the bail bondsman and make sure he was on standby if he could get Jesse’s bail set at a reasonable amount when he went before the judge in the morning. Of course, with a murder charge, that would be unlikely. His mind whirled with all the things he needed to do and think of as Jesse’s lawyer. No matter what, he couldn’t fuck this up.
“Kendra.” Her name came out as an anguished plea. “Wait a second.”
Her eyes were wide with confusion and mistrust. “You’re his attorney?” she asked. “What the hell does that mean? How is that possible? I don’t understand. You work at the tattoo parlor, right?”
Flint felt like the earth was shifting underneath him. First Jesse, now Kendra. Everything was going to hell. He should’ve known the warm, happy feeling was too good to last.
“It’s a long story and one that needs some time to tell,” he said. “Can you trust me enough to wait until I can explain it all to you before jumping to conclusions?”
She threw up her hands and looked away. “I don’t even know what to say.”
To Flint’s surprise, Sam stepped up beside her. “Kendra will be fine here with me. I’ll make sure she gets home safe and sound. You need to go and take care of Jesse. He needs you. I’ll take care of your girl. Don’t worry.”
Flint reached up and squeezed Sam’s shoulder. He knew this was Sam’s way of offering an olive branch and making peace with him. It meant more to him than his younger brother would ever know.
Flint let out a long breath. “Okay,” he said. “Can you make sure one of the crew follows her home? I need to get to the police station before Jesse loses his temper again and starts talking. They’ll use every tactic they know to make him lose his cool. And with Jesse, it doesn’t take much for him to go off anyway. I’d better hurry. Thanks, Sam.”
He grabbed Kendra quickly and kissed her firmly on the lips. “I’ll make this right,” he said. “I’ll call you as soon as I can.”