Emily's nervous smile had dropped when she realized the man before her didn't seem too keen on refreshing her memory on just who he was. Truly she couldn't seem to find any memories of the handsome albino, had she written about him once? Maybe she'd gotten him in trouble- it wouldn't be the first time her work shed light on a criminal. "Listen I really don't know who you are so-"
Deciding to be a bit daring Emily moved to take one big step away from him, at least to soothe the feeling of being trapped under his hard stare. The man scoffed, almost amused she'd try to step away so confidently. He grabbed her upper hard tightly, easily pulling her back to him. Finally, her smile began to drop. "I- listen, if this is about those kids then I-I'll drop it okay? Just leave me and sister alone...please."
"I'm sure someone would love to hear that, but it's not me." The man deadpanned, "you stole something very important from me, and I'm here to get it back."
"Stole- I don't steal! I may occasionally trespass, but stealing is a no for me!" Emily crossed her arms, "you have the wrong girl Mr. Whatever your name is."
Suddenly the man moved to pull something out, a small yellow notepad with a cat print stuck on the cover. Emily's eyes lit up at the sight, she'd lost that weeks ago. "This is yours" he stated, "you left it in my car after you broke into it."
"I didn't break into a car- I don't even know how to, you think these noodle arms could break anything?" The man scoffed with the slightest chuckle in his voice, "besides, why would I want to steal from you?" He looked at her up and down, then around the shabby establishment. Internally judging her current messy appearance and the fact that she'd walked here just to do laundry. "Well...I guess I could see why you'd think I would" Emily frowned, "but I swear I didn't. I lost this notepad a few weeks ago while looking into…"
Emily's voice trailed off as her attention was torn from him, her eyes trailing to the large panel windows at the front of the building. A car had stopped outside. "What are you looking at?" The albino demanded, his patience was beginning to dwindle. He narrowed his eyes, trying to decipher what was happening outside.
"Is that your-"
"Shit, get down!"
Emily didn't have any time to question him before the window shattered and a rain of bullets struck the interior. She hadn't seen where the man dove too, but she ducked down for a second before using the cover of the washing machines to crawl towards the front counter. It felt like it lasted forever as bullets hit the walls and machines, it was loud and Emily sat behind the counter with her head tucked between her knees and hands over her ear. Seconds passed before the car screeched off, but only after one person walked in. Emily slowly regained some of her composure as the person walked around the store- looking for the bodies she presumed. Their boots crunched under the glass that scattered the ground. Surely they had to be looking for the man right? Or...maybe they were with the same man that had threatened Lily last night. Had they decided just to off her instead of giving her the option to quit her searching? It would make sense she supposed. They'd want to tie up any loose ends that could be problems.
Emily had forgotten about the albino man at this point. The person was stepping closer to where she was hiding, so she sprung up to run into the back of the building. She didn't check, but she assumed the masked person would be running after her, so she looked erratically around, spotting the door of the back exit. She threw it open and stepped into the back alleyway. It was dark now, especially back here. Not waiting for the person to find her Emily ran out of the alley, looking up and down the main street in a panic. No one was out now, everyone had locked themselves inside at the familiar sound of gunfire.
Emily scrambled to run the opposite way as the albino man came from the front of the store. She didn't even bother to try any of the other shops around, she knew they were all locked tight. No one was going to come out now, maybe someone would call the police at best. He chased her down to the riverside, where a few old docks sat in the water, and boats were docked to float lazily at the edge. Emily ran down the old wood stairs leading down to it, jumping to skip the last few she looked around for anywhere to hide. There was one light illuminating the center of the small fishing spot, a few old crates stacked to the side among other things. Emily stepped onto the dock and into one of the smaller boats. She sunk into it, yanking an old tarp over herself to hide.
She couldn't see what was happening, but she assumed the albino had been the one to come down here to check for her. After a minute he stepped onto the dock farthest from her to check out the boats. Tears burned in the corners of her eyes, how the was she going to get out of this mess? She slapped a hand over her mouth and flinched when a gunshot ran through the air, someone fell to the ground and a car could be heard driving off on the road above. Emily waited a few seconds before slowly beginning to move to the bat's edge and peek out, no one was standing around now. She picked herself up and looked around as the trap crinkled to the ground, crawling out of the boat she paled.
The albino man was laying on the dock, a pool of crimson spreading around him and stayed in his clothes. She couldn't tell where the gunshot was or if he was even breathing still. "O-oh my god." Emily stumbled off of the dock, hesitating as she inched closer to him, afraid to see if he was still alive or not.
Slowly she trembled and kneeled next to him. Blood soaked through his clothing, it looked like it was everywhere and Emily flinched when her knee slipped into the puddle surrounding him. "Can you...hear me?" She asked he didn't say anything so she reached to check its pulse. "Thank god you're not dead." She sighed heavily before beginning to panic once again. "What do I do? Call an ambulance? Leave him here?" Emily stared down at him, looking at his face that was screwed in pain. She frowned, he must've had a family. He was someone's son, how could she leave him here to die?"
"Don't call an ambulance" the albino managed to grit out, his eyes shut tightly as he clutched at his wound.
"Who am I supposed to call!?" Emily cried. She fumbled to get her phone out and think. SHe couldn't go to Lily for this, her dad was out of the country at the moment- she didn't have many other friends that could help- Brooklyn!
"Brooklyn I need help right now!" She cried into the phone once her friend picked up. "There was a guy with a gun and this other guy with a gun and this guy got shot by the other one- who wanted to shoot me but got him instead and now he's bleeding here and I can't call an ambulance, I don't know what to do- I- Brooklyn there's so much blood!"
"I- Emily, calm down." Brooklyn soothed on the other line, "listen I'm tied up right now, but I know someone who can help you out. I'll send him over, just text me your location."
"Okay" Emily breathed, "okay, I'll wait here and just take care of him? I- just send him over right now!"
The rest of the night felt like some weird fever dream. A timid boy arrived, called himself Oliver, and requested she help get the man to the car. They drove to a building not far from where they had been and inside Emily was faced with a slew of new faces. A small underground doctor resided there, the Oliver kid had been working under him or something, Email couldn't remember. She'd fallen asleep in the corner not long after the albino man disappeared with the doctor.
She woke up the next day to Brooklyn shaking her. Slowly she pried her eyes open and offered a half-smile to Brooklyn, who only deepened her frown. The room was empty now, it was a tad run down with a few chairs and sofa's, a desk where a young woman was typing away. A door led upstairs to where the doctor had taken the man. "Brooklyn-"
Emily's eyes widened as Brooklyn's grabbed her by the collar to tug her closer to her face. "What the hell were you doing hanging around with Kirron Hope?" She hissed, eyes narrowed and tone hard.
"Kirron Hope? You mean that man-"
"Don't play dumb, you tell me why you were with him last night this instant. This isn't some game Emily, I don't care what your excuse is. You shouldn't be around these kinds of men."
"Brooklyn…" Emily's eyes appeared hurt, "I'm not doing anything with them...that Kirron guy approached me and it was all over a misunderstanding- why? Is it dangerous?"
Brooklyn scoffed and let go of Emily, dragging a hand through her hair and looking around. "I'm sorry, I don't know a lot about the guy, I just know he's trouble. Okay?"
Emily nodded and stood up, "I think I just want to go home now" she murmured.
"Yeah, of course, let me talk to Willow and Oliver before I go, Willow doesn't work for free you know?" Emily nodded and followed Brooklyn back, heading upstairs. A few rooms were shut off, patient's Emily supposed. Doctors like these were common around the city. Most were usually self-taught, working to help the community at an affordable price. Many criminals and gangs frequented them as well. Willow was a tad different, being a trained doctor and having worked in a hospital for many years. That's about all Emily had learned to from him last night, but she felt grateful she hadn't had to leave that man there to die- even if he'd intimidated her. Brooklyn disappeared into his office and Emily was left to wait in the hall. She walked around aimlessly, spotting that Oliver boy from last night playing with a puppy in a separate room. She smiled and waved before wandering off.
"Hey!" Emily stopped in her tracks at the familiar voice. She took a big step backward, and peeked into the room, her nerves beginning to drum up again. Kirron Hope was staring her down from where he'd sat up in his bed. He gestured her over and Emily looked around before stepping inside. He looked fine, all the blood had been sashed away and he was bandaged up. He looked tired though, disheveled and aggravated. "They said you have my stuff." He stated. Emily took a moment to process, but perked up and went for her bag.
"Yeah, they gave it to me to hold onto last night- here." Emily held his wallet, phone, and keys to him. He took them, flipping through his wallet to make sure everything as still there. He huffed upon discovering his phone was dead and tossed them to the side. Emily looked ready to duck out of there and forget about him.
"You did this for me?" He asked, though his tone was pretty flat.
"Yes?" She answered apprehensively.
Kirron sighed, "well, I guess I should thank you." Emily nodded and waited for him to say more, but he remained stoney as he stared back at her.
"You're not going to say thank you, are you?"
"Okay well, nice meeting you-"
"Hey, we still have things to discuss!" He snapped, stopping the blonde in her tracks as she moved to turn away.
"Come on man, I just want to go home." Emily almost whined but ended up taking a seat beside him. "I already told you I didn't steal from you."
"Well, who did? They had your notepad, so you must know them."
Emily laughed nervously, "actually...I lost that notepad a few weeks ago at the shipping docks." She rubbed the back of her neck, "I was checking some tips out, but ran into this group of people- having a meeting or something I guess. I panicked when the heard me and ran, I think I dropped it."
"Can you tell me anything about them?" He pressed.
"Not really...but…" Emily trailed off, hesitating to tell him anything more. "I got a few pictures and some recordings before they chased me off...I could show you them if that will help at all?"
"Okay- Okay that sounds promising." Kirron ran a hand through his hair before turning to her again, "What's your name?"
He hummed, "I take it you already know who I am, now give me your phone."
Emily narrowed her eyes but handed it over anyway. He pushed her to unlock it before taking it back, typing away for a second. "What are you doing?"
"Text this number at noon tomorrow, we'll meet again. Bring the pictures an anything that could help."
"You're just giving me your number?"
"What? Of course not, that's just a temporary one. I'm not stupid." He rolled his eyes, handing her phone back. His eyes flicked to the doorway, where Brooklyn had quietly leaned against the door frame to watch skeptically.
"I think we should go now, Emily."
"Uh, yeah. I'm exhausted. Oh, before I go...what did they take from you?" Emily watched Kirron debate to himself on what to tell her.
"Just something important" he brushed her off, his fingers tracing over his wrist before he turned to Brooklyn with narrowed eyes, "need something?"
"No" she scoffed, moving to grab Emily's hand and pull her away.
They left after that. Emily tiredly trying to keep up with Brooklyn as they headed for the nearest bus stop. It was cloudy out, the air a bit muggy. Emily felt horrible in every sense. She longed for a shower, blood still stained her jeans and shoes, her hair was a mess and bags had begun to form under her eyes. Mentally she was drained, between Kirron and those other guys last night she just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep forever. At least it didn't seem like Kirron wanted to hurt her anymore, but those other people meant business.
"I can't stop you from doing anything, but just be careful okay?" Brooklyn looked back to her with a frown, "a lot of bad things can happen- I just know Kirron Hope's trouble, and you already have death threats from whoever you're investigating. I don't want you to get hurt."
"I know" Emily sighed, "I'm in over my head, but I don't want to stop, but...I need help."
"I know, don't worry, I'll find someone. Try to stay home until then, don't go off alone either."
Emily nodded, "I have work tomorrow."
"I'll have Dean take you."
"Okay" Emily didn't want that guy anywhere near her, but she was too tired to object.
They got home, Lily was still at work, and Brooklyn left shortly after. Emily showered and laid down to snuggle with her cat for a bit. She stared blankly at the wall, looking over the articles and notes she'd put him. She thought back to Kirron for a moment, feeling a bit nervous about meeting him again tomorrow, but she supposed avoiding him was the worst option.
Emily sat up in bed as she thought more about Kirron and ran through the events of last night. "Kirron Hope" she murmured to herself before getting up to grab her laptop. "Maybe I can use you" she smiled before diving into a little investigation of her own.