Dean knew he was tempting fate, but he really wanted to stop by his place to get his own clothes and his car. He told the cabdriver to pull in behind the building to let him off. Everything looked fine, no signs that Jones or any other CVA members had been back there, so he paid the driver then let himself into the building by the back door.
When he got to the lobby one of his neighbors was getting off the elevator. She stopped, looking at him for a second before asking with some concern, “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. Pissed…” he waved a hand at the front doors which still bore faint traces of spray paint, “but fine.”
“You didn’t deserve that. Honestly, some people need lessons in civility or something. I hope they catch them and string them up by their balls.”
Dean snorted out a laugh, picturing it. “I guess it might be suitable punishment.”
“Just be careful, okay,” she said as she headed out of the building.
“Planning on it,” he told her retreating figure.
He’d just stepped into the elevator when he heard the building manager call his name. He waited until the man came up to him, certain he was going to tell him he had to move out.
“I have a message for you from the building owner. He said, and I sort of quote, ‘Those bastards are not going to drive away one of my tenants’.”
Dean heaved a sigh of relief. “Tell him thank you, and that I’ll pay for the cleanup.”
The manager shook his head. “All ready taken care of. The company I called to clean off the spray paint said they would do it for free. It seems you’ve made a bit of a name for yourself. A good one as far as a lot of people are concerned.” He chuckled. “I also sent a couple of reporters off with a flea in their ear. Told them if they wanted to talk to you, they could make appointments like normal people.”
Dean laughed, looking at the short, white-haired and very feisty manager. “Somehow I’m not at all surprised you did that. Thank you.”
“Any time. Now I’ll let you go. I suspect you have business to take care of. I know I do.”
As the man walked away Dean smiled. No matter what happened in the future, he knew he’d done the right thing by going public on the television show. With that thought he stepped back into the elevator and pushed the button for his floor.
* * * *
Damn it, Dean, where the hell are you? Kirby slammed the receiver down, earning him a startled look from Reid. With a shake of his head he set back to work again. But he couldn’t help worrying. It was noon and Dean still hadn’t shown up at the theater.