Saturday 1:00 – Evan’s Apartment
Evan’s car was there so Ryan knew Evan must be too. Ryan walked up to his apartment and banged on the door. He realized, as he was waiting, that he’d never been in Evan’s apartment before. Evan had always come to his. When there was no response, he banged again and yelled. “Connor! Open up! I know you’re in there.”
“Go away,” he called, his voice rough.
Ryan banged again. “Not happening, let me in!”
Finally, the door opened and Ryan was even more shocked at Evan’s appearance than before. “Ryan,” slurred Evan, “where’s Reagan, she can’t be here, gotta leave.” He looked around to see if anyone was watching, or maybe looking for Reagan. Ryan had no idea which, but he looked paranoid.
“She’s not here,” said Ryan and muscled his way into the apartment.
“Fuck!” said Evan and clumsily attempted to throw the can of beer he had been drinking at the wall. It hit the floor instead, with a dissatisfying tinkle as it rolled and came to rest against the baseboard. Evan flopped down onto the bed.
Ryan couldn’t believe his eyes. There were empty beer cans and bottles scattered around the tiny, sparsely furnished apartment. “What the fuck happened in here?” he asked.
“Get out Ryan … don’t tell Reagan how bad … I gave that bitch everything I owned to get her away from you,” he said. Then with an exaggerated flourish, he added. “You’re welcome. Why are you here?”
“You’re drunk,” growled Ryan, “I’m going to sober you up, then we’re getting to the bottom of this shit. You’re disgusting. Get your ass up and get in the shower.” Ryan yanked his arm to get him moving.
When they walked into the bathroom, he was even more shocked. “Evan, what the hell is this shit?”
“Maid’s day off,” he said and shrugged.
Ryan reached in and turned on the shower. He made sure it was cold. “Strip out of those filthy clothes and get in.”
Evan obeyed and stepped in.
“Goddamnit! Fuck! You asshole!” he swore, no longer sounding drunk as the icy water hit his skin.
“Wash off and you can get out,” commanded Ryan.
He stuck his head under the spray and continued swearing. In only a minute stepped out. “Give me a fucking towel, I’m freezing.”
“Feeling better?” asked Ryan.
Evan glared at him. “Where’s Reagan?” he asked. At least he sounded lucid.
Ryan threw him a towel. “At her house. She wanted to come and I said no.”
“Thank fuck,” said Evan, “You’re a good friend, Ryan.”
He was still half drunk. “Cut the shit or I’m putting you back in the shower.”
Ryan handed him a glass of water. “Drink.”
“No!” refused Evan.
“It’s water fuckhead. Drink it. It’ll help sober you up. Then find some clean clothes while I make coffee.”
“What’s in it?”
Ryan looked at Evan differently. “What the hell happened to you?” he asked.
“It’s complicated,” he said still staring at the water.
That made Ryan furious. He shoved Evan up against the refrigerator. “‘It’s complicated’ isn’t going to cut it. We’re going to go sit down and you’re going to start telling the truth.”
“Okay! Let me go.”
Ryan reluctantly let him go. “Get dressed and get your ass back in here,” said Ryan, fed up with his bullshit.
Ryan made coffee and a minute later Evan walked in and plopped down at the table. “Ryan, where’s Reagan?” he asked. He sounded worried.
“I told you. At home.”
“Your mother’s insane. She’s not safe.”
“Tell me something I don’t know. And Reagan’s fine. Sit your ass down and drink and start making sense.”
“Your mother…it’s her. Well, and my stupidity.”
“What the fuck she’s got to do with this shit storm?”
“I’ll tell you, I have proof. But, you can’t tell Reagan. Not yet. Not until it’s safe. And it’s going to destroy her. It’s on my phone. They’re disgusting. It was yesterday. But before you look, please, let me explain about Mari.
“I thought she was lying when she said she was going after you, because you never said anything … not until the night of Taylor’s party, but you left with Rosa. I gave her everything. I have a copy of the signed divorce papers. All I have left now is my car and my clothes. It was worth it to get her out of my life.”
“That’s just a pile of bullshit,” said Ryan, “Reagan said you told her you two were getting back together. I had a conversation with Bel and she said differently. She was still trying to get me to take her out.”
“Lying bitch! She said if I gave her the fucking penthouse she’d leave you alone.”
“Focus asshole. Why did you tell Reagan you two were getting back together?”
“I never told Reagan about Mari because I thought we had an agreement months ago. But then, she decided she wanted to reconcile, so she didn’t sign the papers. Instead, she came looking for me and saw me with your sister at the club. That’s when she went after you. When I saw her at the gym I told her to leave. I thought she had. If I’d given her everything to begin with, we wouldn’t be here.”
“I’m not sure I followed any of that shit. Look at me Evan. Why did you lie to Reagan? Or even tell me about Maribel, when you were pretty sure she was going to disappear? Nothing you’re mumbling about makes any goddamn sense. And how does my mother … wait … she found out and forced your hand.”
Evan looked away before he spoke. “She did more than that. Ryan, I’m sorry she’s your mother, but she makes Mari look like a goddamned saint. She’s dangerous. She knows I don’t want her living with your sister. She bleeding her dry. She found out about Maribel and told me to leave or she’d tell Reagan. I told her no. But her friend had a gun…. “
“Wait, what friend?”
“I don’t know her name and she never even spoke. They drugged me because I said no.”
Ryan’s blood ran cold. “Evan. What did she do?”
“I can’t … going to be sick.” Evan got up and ran to the bathroom.
While he dry heaved into the toilet, Ryan opened up the pictures on Evan’s phone. He almost lost the contents of his stomach as well. Knowing that his mother had done this disgusted him.
Evan finally walked back in and Ryan turned to him. “You have to go to the police with this,” he said.
“How? It looks like I raped her and took pictures as a fucking souvenir. They’re on my cell phone. No one will believe they staged it. Ryan I don’t remember any of it. For all I know, I may have, I don’t know. But that’s what she wanted. All I remember is that chick pointing the gun at my head and Avery telling me to drink. She said they would just as soon kill me and claim self defense. Ryan, I believed them.”
“I need to get Reagan out of there. I’ll bring her back to my apartment,” said Ryan.
“You believe me?” asked Evan, apparently shocked.
“My mom has a screw loose. I believe you. But we need help.”
“Ryan, she’ll kill me if she thinks I told you,” said Evan getting nervous.
“I think I know who to call. He’s one of Reagan’s old boyfriends. He works for the security firm that does C&M security. He’s in town to meet with Ami and Noah.”
“You mean BASE? I know some of the guys there. Who is it?”
“His name is Archer Kendall.”
“Shit, he runs the security and investigations division. I’ve never talked to him, but I know the name,” said Evan. “You said he’s here to meet with Ami? That’s strange. Usually the account manager assigned to the contract is who meets with clients, not the big guy.”
“Well, sounds like we’re in luck then. He must be good. I just need to figure out how to reach him.”
“Let me,” said Evan. He picked up his phone and found someone in his contacts and dialed. “Hey Carlton, Evan Connor, C&M. I understand Kendall’s in town and wanted to take him to dinner. Can I get a number?”
“Thanks. And I have a couple more homeowners to send your way.”
“Son of a bitch,” said Ryan.
“You should call,” said Evan, “He won’t want to talk to me about Reagan.”
Ryan pulled out his own phone and called Archer.
“Hey Archer … Ryan Murdock. Reagan told me you were in town. ”
“Ryan? I’m not here to make trouble. Can you hold on a minute? I just got an urgent call on my other line. I’ll call you right back.”
“Well fuck. I got blown off,” said Ryan irritated now.
“He sounded intense,” said
“He always did. Never understood what Reagan saw in him.”
Ryan jumped when his phone rang. “This is Ryan.”
“Where are you?” asked Archer.
“With Evan Connor, in his apartment.”
“Is Reagan with you?”
“No, she’s at her house curled up in her bed, crying her eyes out.” Ryan glared at Evan.
“She’s not there.”
“Why are you looking for her?” asked Ryan.
“We got a ransom note. She’s missing.”
“What? Reagan’s missing and there’s a note? What’s going on? I just left her about 2 1/2 hours ago.” Ryan looked at Evan and he looked sicker than before.
“Reagan’s been kidnapped Ryan. Your father, grandfather and aunt all received phone calls requesting ransom approximately 30 minutes ago. We’ve got everyone except you and your mother at a safe house until we figure it out. We were looking for you. We believe Evan Connor might also be involved. I’m sending someone to pick you both up. Ryan, he may be dangerous.”
“He’s not involved. I’ve been with him the last two hours. But, he might know something that will help. Bring us to you.”
“Okay. We don’t have much time. They’ll be there shortly. Don’t leave.”
“Ryan. The Gun Lady, she’s itching to use that gun,” said Evan.
“Holy shit Evan. What’s happening?” asked Ryan.