tagNon-EroticThe Long Road Back Ch. 12

The Long Road Back Ch. 12


Saturday, January 18th Hawk's POV

I couldn't believe I just walked out of the police station while the woman I loved was sitting in a jail cell charged with murder. I looked over at Crystal's mom. "Don't worry dear. We'll get her out somehow."

I just nodded. My mind went back to earlier that day. Everything had been going great. Everybody who had been invited to my birthday party had shown up. Suzanne and Robert bought me shirts, JoAnne and Jeff bought me a book I had been wanting. Amy and Jericho got me a couple of movies. John had even given me a present, a picture of me, Crystal and John together that he had drawn himself.

The present I prized the most was the one from Crystal. It was a clock in the shape of a hawk. When I first opened it, I wanted to scold her. I knew how much the clock had cost. I had been eying it the week before. But then I reconsidered, Crystal must really love me to spend that much money on me.

The last month had been perfect. Crystal and I had been getting along great. She still sometimes got that faraway look in her eyes but the times it happened were fewer and fewer. When the cops showed up, saying Crystal was under arrest for murder. I couldn't believe my ears. There was no way. I wanted to throttle the cop that dared put his hands on the woman I love. I wanted to grab Crystal and run away.

Instead, I stood there watching as she was pulled from the house. I stood there in a daze the house was in chaos but I didn't hear any of it. I didn't hear Amy crying out that there had to be a mistake. I didn't hear John at the window, screaming for his mom. I didn't hear JoAnne calling her lawyer. I didn't hear any of this.

I just stood there staring at the door. Suddenly I felt a hand on my arm. Turning I looked at JoAnne. "Hawk, Crystal needs you to be strong. You can't fall apart on me now. We need to go down to the police station. Find out what the deal is."

I nodded. Grabbing my car keys off the coffee table I looked at Suzanne. She was holding a struggling John. "Take care of him." She nodded. I took John from her arms, holding him close.

"Daddy, where's mama going?" He cried trying to struggle out of my arms.

I just held him closer. "Mama had to go away for a while. But she will be home soon."

John stopped struggling to get away. Instead he looked into my eyes. "Did mama go on vacation?"

I forced a smile. JoAnne was right, I had to be strong. "Yes son, mama went on vacation. I need to go somewhere with Grandma, so I need you to listen to Aunt Suzanne and Uncle Robert and daddy's friends. Okay?"

He hugged me. "Okay daddy." I kissed his cheek then set him on his feet. As he moved over by Amy, I laughed at his words. "When mama comes home I hope she brings me a present."

15 minutes later, JoAnne and I were standing at the front desk at the police station arguing with the officer behind the counter. "What do you mean I can't see my wife?" I barked for the third time.

The officer looked like he was trying to control his temper. "Look sir, I have told you three times. The only person you wife can see right now is either whoever is bailing her out or her lawyer. Since it is..." He looked at the clock. "5:00 on a Saturday night I don't expect you will be bailing her out tonight. Go home. She will be fine. You can come see her tomorrow or Monday."

It took all my willpower not to wrap my hands around his throat. "Come on Hawk. Let's go. We will just have to hope Mr. Wallace can get her out on bail." JoAnne touched my arm.

"I am not leaving here without seeing her." I growled.

The officer I had been talking to, turned away to deal with someone else. Just then I saw a guard coming out of the locked area where the cells were. I looked at JoAnne who nodded then took off running, grabbing the gate before it could shut. The officer there grabbed my arm but I just shook him off then took off down the hallway looking for Crystal. "Hey, you can't be in here. We have procedures." The officer at the gate had followed me.

"I don't care about your procedures. I'm not leaving until I see my wife." I continued down the hall, looking at every cell until I found Crystal's. "Crystal..." I said leaning against the bars.

I watched as she came to me. When she wrapped her arms around me I grabbed a hold of her tightly. My arms slipped through the bars so I could hold her. I kissed her forehead. "Hawk, oh Hawk." She cried moving closer to the bars. I wanted to scream and break down the bars that separated us.

"Shhhhhh....It's okay baby," I crooned, stroking her back as I kissed her hair, her eyes, then finally her lips. Finally I pulled back looking her in the eye. "Are you okay? They didn't hurt you did they?"

She shook her head. "No I'm fine, just scared." She reached out for me again.

I gathered her into my arms holding her tightly. "Don't worry baby. We are working on getting you out of here."

"Mr. Wallace is on his way."

I looked over at JoAnne then looked back to Crystal. For a moment I had forgotten the other woman was there.

. "Mr. Wallace? As in Derek Wallace, the lawyer who handled you and dad's divorce?" Crystal asked.

Mom nodded. "He is also a good friend of the family. He does everything from political law down to criminal law. Where ever he can get his money. If anyone can get you out of here he can."

She nodded. "Amy said you called someone as you and Hawk left the house. She didn't know who though."

I pulled her close to me again, afraid to let her go. "Mom called Mr. Wallace as soon as they took you out of the house. He said he would check into what the DA has on you then get down here as soon as possible. He's going to talk to the DA and see if we can't get you out on bail."

Just then voices came down the hall. "Alright you two, we have visitor rooms, your not supposed to be here by the cells. I'm going to have to ask you to leave." I tore my eyes away from Crystal.

Glaring at the warden, I instinctively tightened my arms around her. "I'm not leaving my wife.

The warden looked at me, saw the determination on my face and cracked a smile. "I'm sorry son but there isn't anything you can do for her right now. Her lawyer is waiting to see her." He reached up and put a hand on my shoulder, it took all my control not to shake it off. "If she is truly innocent, her lawyer will get her out of here. But I have to ask you guys to leave. You can either leave quietly on your own or I can have you escorted out." His eyes took on a dark glare. "Unless of course you would like to share a cell with your wife."

I felt Crystal's hand on my chest. Pulling my eyes away from the warden I looked at her. "Go home Hawk. Our son doesn't need both his parents in jail."

She was right, I knew she was but the thought of leaving her just tore me in two. "I can't just leave you here." I heard my voice crack.

Reaching up, she put her hand on my face. I closed my eyes, holding her hand there while I inhaled her scent. Crystal always had a scent that was just her. She always smelled like lemons and roses. "There's nothing you can do. I'm innocent, you know that. Mr. Wallace knows that. He will get me out of here. You need to let him do his job."

I opened my eyes. "I love you." I whispered. Then leaning forward I kissed her gently before pulling away. I put my arm around JoAnne's shoulders. She leaned against me as if she couldn't hold herself up. I led her back down the hallway.

"I love you to." I turned back to look at her, I smiled softly, at her words. Lifting my hand, I waved once then led mom out of the police station.

Once we were back in the car, JoAnne laid her head against the back of the seat, closing her eyes.

* * *

I woke up Sunday morning with my head pounding. "How much did I drink last night?" I asked sitting up gingerly.

"Well, let's see. You went through about half the bottle of JD that Robert brought for your birthday as a joke. Plus three six packs. You were pretty wasted last night Hawk." I felt a warm cup pushed into my hand. Opening my eyes slowly, I looked up at Amy. She was standing in front of the couch where I had passed out.

"JD?" I tried to think as I took a small sip of the hot coffee. "That's right. Robert knows I don't drink anymore. I haven't for quite a while. He handed it to me saying that if I ever decided to have a drink again that he wanted the first one to be on him."

I didn't remember much from the night before. JoAnne and I had returned from the police station. We told everyone what the cops said. Then I told mom and Jeff to take John to their place until we got Crystal home. I had expected an argument. Instead, they said their goodbyes, John gave me a hug, and then they left. Okay got that much. What happened next? I shook my head just a bit trying to clear it and moaned.

"Don't do that Hawk. It's not going to help your head." I smiled weakly up at Amy.

After JoAnne and Jeff left, I remembered opening the JD bottle. Jericho had said something about going to the store. I took a long swig from the bottle, and then proceeded to drink myself into oblivion. "Did Robert and Suzanne finally leave?" I asked suddenly remembering they had been there most of the night.

"They are in crashed on your bed."

I laughed which made my head throb even more. Holding it with one hand, I looked down at my coffee cup. "You guys should have put them in John's bed. You and Jericho need more room."

Amy laughed. I looked at her, watching as she slowly lowered herself to the couch beside me. "Don't worry, even with my big belly, Jericho and I can fit on a twin bed. Believe me, we've slept on worse."

I just nodded my head very slowly then took another drink of my coffee. "What time is it?"

"A little after 9." Just then the doorbell rang.

"OH GOD." I moaned as the ringing went straight through my head.

"I'll get it." I watched Amy pull herself up then went back to looking at my cup.

All was quiet for about 30 seconds. Then I heard a loud, male voice. "Where is Crystal? What is this about her being arrested for murder? She wouldn't hurt a fly."

I heard Amy respond quietly but couldn't make out her words. Then the male voice started again. "I don't care who hears me. I want to know where Crystal is."

I heard Amy speaking quietly again then suddenly she called out "Hey." That made me look up.

A man I would say in his early to mid 20's push his way past Amy into the house. He was of medium build with sandy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes. He eyed me a minute then looked around the room. "Where's Crystal?" He asked looking back at me.

Setting the coffee cup down on the coffee table, I slowly stood up. "Crystal is in jail. Who the hell are you and what are you doing busting into my house at 9:00 in the morning?"

He scrutinized me for a minute then seemed to come to a decision. "Um...I'm Terry...Terry Wilson. I was Crystal's boyfriend back in high school." He swallowed awkwardly. "Are you Crystal's husband?"

I shook my head, ignoring the pain that went through it. "Not exactly, or I should say, not yet."

He looked at me quizzically for a minute then his face broke into a half smile. "She said no...or you haven't asked yet?"

I wasn't sure if I liked this guy. He seemed to readily able to read people. Picking up my coffee cup, I took a small drink then looked at him. "I haven't asked yet."


I looked at him again. "Is there a particular reason you are here?"

That got his attention. "I...I uh...I came to help Crystal. I know she didn't kill that girl. Sheila was trouble and I'm not sorry she's dead, but I know Crystal didn't do it."

"How do you even know about it?" I turned to look at Amy since she was the one who asked the question.

Terry looked at her. "It was on the news last night."

"Bad news travels fast." I said sitting back down on the couch.

Just then I heard a voice coming from the doorway to my bedroom. I turned to look at Robert and Suzanne standing there. "Terry...Terry Wilson? Is that you? What are you doing here?" Robert asked.

Terry smiled at him. "Hey Robert."

"He's come to help prove Crystal's innocence." I said not looking at them but at my cup.

Just then I heard Robert chuckle. "How's your head this morning Hawk?"

I glared at my brother in law. "Hurts like hell. What did you let me drink so much last night for?"

Suzanne stepped in front of Robert. "Don't blame us. We tried three different times to get that bottle away from you. When you growled at us the last time we gave up. When you passed out, I pried it out of your fingers."

I looked at her through half closed eyes, and then took another drink of my coffee. "We have to get Crystal out of jail." I said to no one in particular.

"Mom called last night." Robert said sitting down on the couch next to me. "I guess Mr. Wallace called her. Crystal is stuck where she is until the arraignment tomorrow. Also we have another problem. According to Mr. Wallace, we are looking at $25,000 bail."

I looked at him. "$25,000?" He nodded his head solemnly.

Putting the coffee cup down, I buried my head in my hands. "Where are we going to come up with that kind of money? Between Crystal and me we only have a little over $5,000 saved up."

I felt Robert's hand on my shoulder. "I don't know buddy. We don't have that kind of money and I know that mom doesn't. When dad left he left us each 10,000. He told mom that she wouldn't see another cent from him. She tried to argue in court but it didn't go much further. The judge agreed to dad paying child support but that's it. As it is, I don't know if he ever paid child support on Crystal when she went into foster care or not."

"Wow...$25,000. I have a little money saved up but nowhere near that much." I looked over at Terry. He was pacing in front of the coffee table. Who was this man from Crystal's past? Why had he shown up suddenly so willing to help us help her? What did he want?"

"I'm sure that Crystal would be glad you are here to help anyway, Terry." I heard Robert say. I looked at him then looked back to Terry.

Terry had stopped pacing and was standing sideways looking at Robert. "Yea well, I don't know about that. We didn't exactly break up as the best of friends."

I looked at him for a minute then shrugged my shoulders. I wouldn't worry about him right now. We had to concentrate on how to prove Crystal was innocent. "If we can't get Crystal out of jail then we need to find out who killed Sheila." I looked around the room. Everybody was nodding. "Okay, here's what we're going to do. I'm going to go take a shower, and then Robert, Terry and I are going to go ask some questions." I turned to look at Amy and Suzanne. "Suzanne, you start making some phone calls, see if you can figure out who might hate Sheila enough to kill her." Suzanne nodded. She had lived here long enough to get the local gossip pretty quick.

"What can I do?" Amy asked.

I looked at my childhood friend. "I need you to call Nancy and Andrew. See if they can come up. We're going to need all the support we can get." She nodded then waddled towards the bedroom. "Where's Jericho?"

Amy turned back to look at me. "He went to the store. He should be back in a little while."

I just nodded then headed towards the bathroom my face full of determination.

By the end of the day, my determination had turned into frustration. We were no closer to finding out who killed Sheila then we had been this morning. Terry, Robert and I had prowled Sheila's neighborhood. Talking to anyone we could find. It turned out that Sheila had a lot of enemies. She had run with a gang for a while before she left town. We tried to talk to her mother, but she just slammed the door in our faces.

We talked to Sheila's neighbor; she told us the same thing she had told the police. I shivered when she described the woman she saw. She had the same build and hair color as Crystal. "A woman with the same build and hair color as Crystal?" Robert asked later that night as we sat at the house.

"Sounds like a frame up job to me." Suzanne replied snuggling into Robert's shoulder.

"Yea but who would want to frame Crystal? And why?" I looked at Terry. I wanted to know the same thing. Suddenly I looked over at my sister and brother in law.

"Who's watching the baby?" I asked trying to smother a yawn.

"Our next door neighbor; when we explained the situation to her, she told us to take all the time we needed that Rose would be just fine." I nodded again trying to stifle a yawn. Robert looked at me. "Hawk, go to bed. There isn't anything else we can do tonight. You need to be rested for the arraignment tomorrow."

I looked at him then slowly nodded. "Um...You and Suzanne can crash in John's room, Amy and Jericho can crash here on the couch." I looked over at Terry. "Are you staying?"

He looked at me for a minute. "I don't know. I mean it is kind of late to drive home and I would like to see Crystal if you can somehow get her out of jail." He looked down at the floor. "But at the same time, I know you don't want me here."

I heard Robert start to protest but I quickly cut him off. "Your right, I don't want you here." Terry looked up at me. "I don't know why you have suddenly decided to make amends with Crystal after seven years." He opened his mouth to say something then quickly closed it. I continued as if he hadn't opened his mouth. "I mean if you have it in your head to try to win her back..."

Terry suddenly put up his hand. "No...No...No, You've got it all wrong. That isn't why I'm here." He blushed a bright red. "You see...Um...I'm gay."

That blew the wind out of my sails big time. "You're what?"

"I'm gay." Terry's face was about as red as a tomato. "That is why Crystal and I broke up. I discovered that I was gay while I was dating her."

I looked over at Robert, his face showed as much shock as I'm sure mine did. "Oh." Was all I could think to say.

Terry chuckled. "Yea, I've got a boyfriend, Mitch. We live together." He cleared his throat. "Anyway, when I told him that I wanted to try to help Crystal and that I wanted to try to make amends with her, he told me to go for it." His blush increased. "He's a really great guy."

I suddenly smiled. I wasn't sure I knew how to smile anymore. "I would like to meet him sometime."

Terry looked at me in surprise. "Really?"

I nodded. "I've got to meet the guy who turned you away from a woman like Crystal."

Terry's face turned even brighter. "No...It's not like...Um..." Finally he mumbled something about him and Mitch hadn't been together that long. "We've only been together a couple of years."

Walking over, I put my hand on his shoulder. "Terry, I was kidding." He looked up at me. "If you want to stay that's fine. Although the only place left is in bed with me." I looked at him.

He suddenly put up his hands. "I promise to keep my hands to myself. Not only are you not my type, but I am a one man guy."

I nodded solemnly, said goodnight to everyone then led the way to my bedroom. Closing the door behind Terry and I, I moved over to my side of the bed, stripped down to my under shorts then crawled under the covers. I turned off the light after Terry climbed into bed. I noticed he kept as close to the edge as he dared. "I won't bite." I said.

"I know, I...." He sighed. "Goodnight Hawk."

"Goodnight." I did notice that he seemed to relax after that.

It wasn't long before I heard Terry snoring softly. Sleep for me didn't come as easily though. I was exhausted. Today had been a very frustrating day. Last night I had had an excuse, I had passed out. Tonight my mind was clear. I lay back on my pillow with my hands behind my head looking up at the mirror above the bed. This was the first time Crystal and I had slept apart since we got together. I stared up at the ceiling for a while, thinking about Crystal alone in her cell. I was wondering if she was having as much trouble sleeping as I was. Finally as the sun started to rise, I fell into a deep sleep.

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