Monday, November 9, 2009
Mac pulled up to the scene and jammed on her handbrake. She grabbed her satchel and tucked it under her arm, reachedf for the tray of coffees and bag of donuts and stepped out of the car slamming the door. The swarm of media was spilling out onto the pavement, christ it was like a circus. The silent lights of the ambulance flashed, thank god it was stationary. He had to be ok.
She balanced the trays and made her way through the crowds over to the police cordon was, and where two officers guarded the entrance way to the studio. Perfect. Joe Gregio and Tony McNorton who she knew from her days at the precinct were standing watch. “Hey boys” she grinned waving the coffees like a waitress in front of them. Time for some bribery.
Joe who was six foot seven crossed his arms. “Cooper what do you want?”
“Hey Mac.” Tony grinned reaching for a coffee off her tray but she pulled it back.
“Uh uh, I need to get in there and talk to a client I was working for.” She flashed them a big grin. “So can you let me in?”
“Cooper we haven’t got that sort of clearance.” That was bullshit, and she knew it.
“Come on Joe, I need to see him it’s important.” Ok so she wanted to see if he was ok, he was in something that was way over his head. Sure he’d probably have strange groupies, but she was sure none would have tried to mow him down.
He rolled his eyes and plucked the coffee from the tray and held his hand out, “Gimme the loot.”
She laughed and handed the bag to them. “Thanks guys, knew I could count on you.”
“Don’t draw attention to yourself, NOTHING!” Joe warned rummaging thorugh the bag.
“Yeah, yeah,” she spun around and swung open the door in time for a air splitting wolf whistle behind her.
“Looking good!” Tony bellowed.
“Quit looking at my ass!” She turned around where she was met by Jon, and a familiar tall dark haired man. “Hell,” she exclaimed looking at Jon who looked a little worse for wear.
"What are you doing here, McKenzie?" Jon looked over her shoulder at the cops obviously oggling her then back to her shielded eyes. He frowned at his own reflection and the annoying white gauze square taped to his temple and scalp.
She tugged off her glasses, tucking them into her jacket pocket. "I saw it on the news and the minute I did, I knew why." She nodded to the guy, "Are you both ok?" She asked seriously, pointing to his head. Christ, he could of been seriously hurt. She knew now more than ever she'd done the right thing coming down.
He waved her concern away. "I'm fine, I'm fine." He took her hand and pulled her inside the dark studio. "Richie Sambora, this is McKenzie." He sighed. "I used Miss Cooper for some personal inquiries on the Soul issue we talked about."
Richie nodded and held out a hand. "Call me Richie. I was outside when the car tried to use Jonny for target practice."
Jon winced. "Dammit, Richie." He watched Kenzie's eyes go flat and hard.
She gripped Richie's hand and shook it forcefully. "Pleased to meet you Richie".
Richie motioned for everyone to go down the hall. "Why don't we go back here where we can talk. Miss Cooper can tell us what's on her mind."
Jon nodded. "Yeah, the shot the paramedic gave me is starting to take effect."
"Sounds good." She followed them down the hall, taking notice that Jon was in sweat pants and a tight tee-shirt that was stained with sweat and drops of blood. "I hope you don't take this lightly, any one of you could of been seriously injured out there today, hell killed."
Richie nodded, instantly contrite. "Of course we know that, Darlin’. If we didn't joke about the crazy things that happen in our lives we'd have been six feet under long ago."
Jon shrugged. "We've been in worse situations."
She blinked, worse situations my ass. Jesus, what the hell kind of stuff did they get into that could be worse?
Her eyes narrowed at Jon. "What one of your groupies come after you with an AK-47?"
Jon sat down. "There was no gun, McKenzie." His head head lowered as the Darvocet swam through his veins. "Jesus, the media must have gone nuts with that story already."
"Yes they have, that's how I found out." She placed her satchel down and squeezed into a chair. Jon's blue eyes were cloudy and his whole body was slouched forward. They had no idea what sort of people they were dealing with here. She'd seen it on the force, and it wasn't pretty. "Well, I came down to see you and also make you an offer." She folded her arms and leaned back.
Jon looked up, closing his eyes for a second. Damn, I wish I'd said no to the drug for the aches and pains. "What kind of offer?"
"In my experience, these things just don't go away overnight if you ignore them. I've had dealings with gangs when I worked on the force, and once they start to make waves, there is usually only one way it ends."
Jon's eyes widened. "What? They want to kill me for not hiring the kid?"
She shook her head, "hard to say but they may be using this opportunity to send a message to others. It's been done before. You, your family and," she looked over at Richie. "Are at risk." She leaned forward and clasped her hands, "so that's why I'm offering my services as an undercover bodyguard, just until we see how this plays out."
"What?" He swallowed against the surge of nausea and dizziness as the drug settled against his empty belly. "I'm not going to have a troop of people following me around. I'm not one of the Brittany's and I refuse to become one."
"Jonny, listen to her, man." Richie clamped a hand on Jon's shoulder. "She might have a point."
The certainity and confidence she was used to seeing in those eyes, was so not there. She crouched down in front of him, so thier eyes met. "I'm professional as they come, and there's just one of me."
Jon shook his head. "I've never needed that kind of protection before and I'm not going to start now."
Richie frowned, leaned back on the half wall that divided the rooms.
“Jon, listen to me. I'm not proposing you get an entourage. I know that's the last thing you need right now. Especially in all your dealings on the political scene right now. I'm offering you one on one protection here." He didn't hold her gaze for long, the drugs making him distracted. "I'm fully trained here, ex marine, cop you name it. I can do it. You're in good hands."
"I'm not having some chick protect me," the drugs leaving his good sense far behind. Jon tried to shut his mouth, but it was too late.
At her closed off face, he tried to backtrack. "Wait, Kenzie."
"No, you've made your point. I didn't take you for a chavenist Jon," she ignored the fact he'd called her Kenzie, she so didn't need to go down that path right now.
"It's fine Jon. If you want to become a target. Who am I to stop you?" She wanted to shake him, but knew she couldn't push it.
"Did they say anything to you from the car? Yell anything?"
Jon sighed. He knew he'd fucked up, but he couldn't pull it back. He wouldn't pull it back at this point. He couldn't have this woman protect him. He was all for women's rights in every avenue, but he couldn't have this woman around him 24/7 after she'd pulverized his balls just a few days prior. Call him prideful, call him studpid. He'd find another way. He cleared his throat. “Think about your actions, Rich Man,” he said quietly.
"Look, guys. No one's going to win any side of this argument. Why don't we all sleep on it and look at it tomorrow with some perspective." Richie nodded at Jon. "And when Jon can think like a human, not someone high on Darvocet."
Mac nodded "Right, good idea." She rubbed her face with her hands. Richie was right, Jon wasn't in the clearest of mind frame now and hell if he was on Darvocet he certainly wouldn't be. She couldn't force the issue with him and now wasn't the time. The way he'd disregarded it so easily still had her pissed. Like she couldn't handle it. And that was something she was used to from her life in this man-orientated career but she expected more from him. God knows why. She glanced back over her shoulder at him, rubbing his temples and looking though he was about to drop she sighed collecting her case.
"You're right Richie. I'm not needed here," she slapped her business card down on the table. "Call me when they start to threaten the lives of your kids." Damn, she hadn't meant that to come out of her mouth. She spun on her heel pausing at the door, her fingers curling around it. She wanted to say more. She wanted to tell him that she cared, but what was the use. He was just another stubborn male.
"Good day Richie, nice to meet you."
"McKenzie--" She turned around to him, but he just shut his mouth and swallowed. "Thank you for taking the time to come down and..." he trailed off. "Just thanks." Her green eyes seemed to grow sad just before she turned back around.
MacKenzie kept walking and didn't look back until the crisp city air hit her face. Part of her wanted to go back in there and throttle Jon for being so casual about the situation but she had to realize he probably wasn't thinking straight and he was a man who didn't take too kindly to be told what he needed. Well if he has any sense he'll at least get his own security on it, I just hope they don't waste too much time as god knows when those kids would strike again. She waved to Joe and Tony before returning to her car and popping the door open.
As much as she could deny it all she wanted. There was something different than him just being a client. Maybe she just saw herself in him too much, drived determined and knowing what he wanted. That was probably it. She roared her iginition into life and pulled back out into the deep downtown traffic, and made route for the beach giving one last thought to the man she left back in the studio praying he'd see some sense tommorrow. That's all you can do Mac, can't force your help on others.
Richie palmed the card and stuffed it in his jeans pocket. "C'mon Jon. I'll get you home.”
He snagged his jacket and shook the pocket for his keys. "Jon, why don't you call Mike to have someone check in on Dot and the kids."
Jon's belly quivered and the nausea threatened to spew. God, not his kids. “Why don't you just let me call my driver, I'll go stay with Dot and the kid--"
"I don't think that's a good idea, Jon. Not until you know more."
Jon sighed, the need to go to his family and to fix everything was overwhelming, but he knew Richie was right. Until he knew more, it was just good conscious to stay away from them and not lead them to his family.
"All right, let's just get out of here." Richie pushed Jon gently ahead of him and outside to where a police cruiser was stationed.
"I'm here to take Mr. Bon Jovi home," said the officer.
Jon looked back at Richie. "You get yourself home. We've all had a long night. Nothing's going to happen with one fo New York's finest taking me home."
"If you're sure."
"Ok, call me if you need me."
Jon nodded and rested his hand on his shoulder. "I will, thanks man."
Richie went to go and turned, "you were right about one thing though Jon."
Jon raised his eyebrow, "oh?"
Jon half snorted, "go home old man."