Del tells me, “When he was hitting me, I felt the hook give a couple of times, so I pulled on it and it moved some more but not enough. I did the only thing I could think of. Jumped up, tucked my legs in and let my full weight hang on it. Fuck it hurt when it came free and I fell on the floor. I think I passed out for a bit. But I came to again, found my shirt and shorts. I managed to put them on and then crawled to the door. He must have thought he had nothing to worry about 'cause it was unlocked.”
“You crawled out of there?” I look at him.
“I was able to stand up, barely, once I knew I was free. Made my way out of the building and got lucky. There was a cab going by and he stopped for me.” Del chuckles. “He spread his jacket on the seat so it wouldn’t get bloody. He said he could replace the jacket easier than the seat’s upholstery. He was nice really. Didn’t ask questions other than if I wanted to go to the hospital. I told him to bring me home. He helped me inside and wouldn’t take any money. Not that I had any, so that was just as well. When he left I collapsed again and crawled to where you found me.”
For the first time in forever I'm angry at someone other than me. Angry at him. The bastard that did this to Del.
“You’re going to stay here,” I tell Del.
“No. I’m okay, Trev. I hurt like hell still but I’ll be all right. I can’t stay here.” He looks around. “This ain’t exactly a suite,” he says, laughing.
“You’re staying. Don’t argue. I think the man who did this to you was here earlier.”
He’s shaking again. I give his hands a squeeze. “I’ll take care of him for you. Do you know where he took you?”
He shakes his head. Then says, “The cabbie might, but I don’t know. And how would you find him anyway?”
I smile. “I have my ways.” Stroking his hair then. “You take your pills and sleep some more. And Del, I’m not leaving 'til you swear to me you’ll stay right here 'til I get back.”
After a minute. “I swear,” he says softly. “Trev, I need the bathroom.”
I help him there. Leave him. Give him his pills when he comes out. Watch as he takes them. He lies on the bed. I cover him with the sheet. He lifts a hand. Touches my cheek. “Thank you.” Whispered.
I nod. Wait 'til he’s asleep.
Leave to search for a bastard. A human one this time.