“Oh, hell. Now what,” Dean said in shock as they turned the corner onto his street. Ahead of them, in front of his building, were several police cars as well as two television news trucks.
Kirby quickly pulled the car to the curb. He took out his phone, making a call. After talking briefly and listening to the person on the other end he hung up. “It seems not everyone was happy about your TV appearance and they don’t mind defacing private property to make their point. Of course they didn’t stick around to see how you’d react.”
“Which will be badly, I take it,” Dean growled as he opened the car door.
“Hold on. You’re going nowhere. I’ll drive us by your building slowly enough so we can see what they did, but we are not stopping.”
“Kirby, I’m not a coward.”
“No shit, and that’s the problem. You go up there, you’re going to be interrogated by the reporters who are just waiting for you to show up. You’ll probably go off on whoever did this, it’ll hit the news, and that will put you more in their sights than you already are. Trust me on this Dean and let’s do it my way.”
“I… all right.” Dean’s face was tight with anger. “You’re the expert.”
“In this, yes I am, and give me your phone, please.”
With a frown Dean handed it over, asking, “Why?”
“Some of those calls you got could have been from the people who did this.” Kirby set it on the console and pulled back onto the street. As promised he drove slowly past the building.
“God,” Dean whispered as he saw the slurs which had been sprayed across the front doors and the walls beside them.
“Not nice people,” Kirby agreed, his gut clenching in rage.
“That’s a bit of an understatement.” Dean sighed. “I suppose I’ll have to look for a new place to live now. You better believe my landlord’s not going to want me staying on here.”
“We’ll face that problem tomorrow. For now I’m taking you to a hotel.”
“Four star one?” Dean asked with a slight grin.
“No, you nut. Although…” Kirby tapped a finger on the steering wheel. “Yeah, that might not be such a bad idea. One of the better ones would have more security.”
“I’m all for that, as long as it includes no one telling anyone I’m there.”
“We’ll let them know what happened to your apartment building. That should keep them quiet. Kidding,” Kirby added when Dean frowned at him. He made a turn onto the main avenue through the city, heading into the heart of the downtown area. “This one should work,” he said a few minutes later.
As they entered the hotel Kirby said, “You sign in. I want to have a few words with security.” He scanned the lobby as Dean crossed it to the check-in desk, saw the man he wanted and went to talk to him. By the time he was finished, so was Dean. Kirby beckoned him over, introducing him to the night head of security. Then they went up to Dean’s room.
“Wait here,” Kirby said when they got inside. He made a quick but thorough survey of the room and bathroom, deeming them both fine, then came back to Dean. “You are not to leave the room until either I or Reid comes to get you. You are not to make any phone calls. You are not to open the door to anyone. You are not to order anything from room service.”
“Do I have permission to shower and watch TV?” Dean asked tightly.
Kirby grinned suddenly. “Yeah, but no porn. Look, I’m sorry if that all came off wrong but I don’t want anything happening to you.”
“I know. I get that. I shouldn’t have taken it the way I did.”
“We’re both tired and tense. Get some sleep and I’ll see you sometime tomorrow. Okay?”
“Yes. You get some sleep, too. You look like hell.”
“Well you do. Go. I’ll be just fine.”
“No porn, got it.”
They both laughed, albeit tiredly, before Kirby left.