Tad turned to see two young street kids standing, watching. “Be my guest,” he told them. They took him at his word, kicking and pounding on Daws as if he was a hunk of meat that needed tenderizing.
Suddenly a spotlight lit the alley. Roy looked up to see two officers getting out of a patrol car. One of them shouted for every to freeze, his hand on the butt of his gun. The two street kids turned and ran, vanishing into the darkness at the far end of the alley.
Roy got up, stepping away from the punk. Tad joined him, one hand wrapped around his other wrist, which throbbed painfully.
The patrol officers came up, looking down at Daws and the punk. One of them smiled tightly. “I take it they attacked the two of you.”
“Yes sir,” Tad replied, shuddering.
“Hurt?” the other one asked, noting how Tad what holding his wrist. Tad nodded. The officer immediately called for an ambulance while his partner knelt to check the two toughs on the ground. He looked up; saying, “Call in to let them know we’ve got Daws, finally,” and then he cuffed him and the other punk.
“I’ll need ID from both of you,” the standing office said to Tad and Roy.
“I…don’t have any,” Roy told him, glancing fearfully at Tad.
“I don’t either,” Tad said. “We left our ID at my place.”
“Yes, sir.” Tad sighed in relief when he heard an ambulance siren and seconds later saw it pull into the alley behind the patrol car. For the moment the officer’s questioning was on hold.
It didn’t take long for the EMTs to determine that Daws and his partner both needed to be transported to the hospital. One of the EMTs examined Tad’s wrists, deeming them badly sprained but not broken. When he suggested that Tad go to the hospital, Tad vehemently shook his head. The EMT muttered something about street kids that Tad chose to ignore, and then wrapped his wrists with elastic bandages.
By then the two punks had been loaded into the ambulance. One of the officers jumped in the back to watch them and the ambulance took off. The other officer told Tad and Roy that they’d have to come down to the station house with him. Tad could tell that Roy was about to take off running when he heard that and put an arm around his shoulders, telling him it would be all right. Roy hesitated before he nodded. “Promise?” he whispered.
“Promise,” Tad replied, hoping it was one he could keep.