Dwayne eased his way into the hall and slid along the wall till he could see the sofa. The kid had to be right behind it waiting for him. He reached down and picked up a book from a table he could reach and threw the book just over the top of the sofa. His ploy worked. Derek jumped up pointing his gun at the door.
Dwayne stepped out into the open pointing at Derek’s head.
“Drop it kid. I’ll paint the wall with your brains if that gun ain’t on the floor in two seconds.”
Derek dropped the gun and stood there trembling.
“Where’s your mother? Tell me right now.”
“I sent her away. I knew you were coming.”
He closed the distance between them in two strides and got Derek in a headlock and put the gun to his head, pushing him forward.
“Come out, come out wherever you are Lorraine. It’s party time.”
He dragged Derek from room to room searching and finally had to accept she wasn’t there. He pulled Derek back into the living room and threw him on the floor.
“Here’s how it’s gonna go down asshole. You’re gonna get your mother on the phone and tell her you need her here right away, and if you tip her off she’s gonna hear the sound of you getting a bullet in the head. You got that?”
Derek felt all of the hate he had experienced over the years well up in him. He looked Dwayne in the eye and shook his head.
“Fuck you, asshole. She’s long gone. You lose.”
Lorraine’s boyfriend Ed braced himself against the hallway wall and brought his gun up to his chest. It was now or never and he hadn’t set this up to fail. He stepped into the living room with his pistol pointed at Dwayne’s back. He cocked it so Dwayne would hear.
“Freeze Dwayne. It’s all over.”
The shock was more than Dwayne could handle. He turned to fire. As he did Derek let his rage take over and sprung from the floor in one fluid motion drawing the knife from the back of waistband as he did. He plunged the knife in Dwayne’s back and pulled it out, a pool of dark red forming on the back of Dwayne’s shirt.
Dwayne opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. He dropped the gun and turned to face Derek. Derek’s face was a mask of seething hatred as he lifted the knife above his head and stabbed Dwayne over and over, blood flying everywhere, painting his face and hands. Dwayne staggered around the room staring in disbelief and then collapsed on the floor.
Ed stood rooted to the spot transfixed by what had he was seeing, his gun still pointing into space in Derek’s general direction.
“You should probably put that thing down now Ed, I don’t think you need it anymore.”
Ed came out his trance and lowered the gun.
“What the hell are you doing here? I thought you guys were in Vegas?”
Ed stared at the blood soaked body on the floor and marvelled at Derek’s calm demeanour.
“No, son. We got a tip off that Dwayne had found you guys again. I guess you didn’t know it but I used to be a detective. I told her it was time to stop running. I would take him out of the picture and we could make it look like self-defence. Looks like we won’t have to now. It really was self-defence.”
He could read the question in Derek’s eyes.
“She’s safe, son. I’ve got her in a motel in Phoenix. We can go get her and then call the police.”
Derek felt the weight of events of the last ten minutes hit him with full force and collapsed on the sofa.
“Well, I guess it turned out to be an elegant solution after all.”