Page 37 of Just Me

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Cami felt astounded that her plan, with Connor’s help, had worked. Rowan had been lured to his front door by the message. He hadn’t seemed to think he was in any danger, and Cami felt sure that he’d intended to shout at the guards for messing up and activating the alarm.

But now he was face-to-face with them.

His face changed instantly. Looking angry, he made as if to slam the door, but like a flash of lightning, Connor got his foot inside.

“Rowan Andrews? FBI here. We need to speak to you. Urgently,” he insisted.

Rowan glared at them both. “I have nothing to say to you,” he said firmly.

“You know why we’re here?” Connor said.

“No idea. And you’re wasting your time if you think there’s anything I can tell you,” Rowan said. “I’m not going anywhere with you. Now get your foot out of my door. This is private property.”

“Mr. Andrews, you need to come with us to provide information we need.” Connor stood his ground, but Cami saw, with a flash of worry, that there wasn’t going to be much he could do if Rowan kept digging in his heels.

“I’m going nowhere,” Rowan insisted.

“Aren’t you interested in helping?” Cami said. She saw his focus swivel to her angrily. Hoping to push her point, she stepped forward. “I mean, you’re so involved in social causes. The amount of times you’ve said that you want to help society is all over the internet. And now, you don’t want to come with us?”

His face was darkening with anger, but she wasn’t going to stop now.

“Don’t you think it’s hypocritical not to help the police? What would the media say if they found out you’d refused?”

“Don’t you dare threaten me!” he shouted, and she saw that her baiting had pushed him past the point of fury. And the next moment, he did something Cami really hadn’t expected.

His hand lashed out at her and caught her with a glancing blow on the side of the head.

With a cry of surprise, Cami reeled back, stumbling down on one knee.

And like a flash of lightning, Connor lunged forward, grabbed Rowan’s arm, and jerked it down.

“You just assaulted a law enforcement officer. There weren’t grounds to bring you in before this. But now, there are.”

Rowan tried to yank his arm away. And the next moment, Cami gasped as he and Connor were actually grappling with each other. Rowan punched out and Connor ducked. Connor made a grab for his arm and Rowan wrenched away. With an angry yell, he kicked out and Connor staggered back. For a moment, she thought Rowan might actually get the upper hand. She heard fists thudding into flesh, the grunting and cursing as Rowan fought to take control. She stepped back hurriedly, feeling way out of her depth here and wanting to get away from this fight, because she didn’t want another backhander like the one he’d given her. The whole side of her head was burning.

Then again, she might have to try and help if Rowan started beating up her investigation partner! She didn’t want him to end up hurt.

But then, Connor dove forward, lashing out strongly. He got Rowan in a headlock, and they both staggered out onto the steps. Cami quickly retreated again, watching in growing anxiety, because this was seriously brutal. These guys were not playing. They were out to hurt each other, badly, and she had no idea what she could do, or how she could be effective, other than keeping out of their way. She really wasn’t a fighter. She had no idea how Connor was managing to be so brutally effective. Now he was attacking Rowan, punching hard. Fists slammed into flesh.

Connor was still struggling to get the better of Rowan in this fight. Rowan had the weight advantage, and a rage and frustration that made him more dangerous.

Cami gasped as he wrenched away from Connor again, this time breaking free from his grasp.

But then Connor was on him again, grabbing his hands from behind, wrenching his arms behind his back, and slamming his shoulder into the door again so hard that the other man cried out in pain and rage.

With strength that she hadn’t expected, Connor flipped Rowan around, dropping him heavily to the driveway.

The other man’s face was a mask of fury. He struggled and thrashed, but he couldn’t break Connor’s hold. Connor put a knee on his back and handcuffed him as Cami stared, wide-eyed and reluctantly admiring what it had taken to best this big, aggressive man in a one-on-one physical fight.

“You’re under arrest. Now, you’re coming with us, one way or another,” Connor said, his voice firm and hard.

Rowan glared at him.

“You people have no idea who you’re dealing with,” he said, clearly furious. There was a distinct note of threat in his voice that chilled Cami. Suddenly, she wondered how Connor could sleep at night if he had to deal with these situations on a daily basis. Wasn’t he scared someone might try and take revenge?

“We’re dealing with a man who assaulted a law enforcement officer,” Connor said. “That’s already a crime. As for other offenses, that’s what we’re going to find out in questioning.”


Tags: Blake Pierce Mystery
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