●●●●● (Excerpt provided by author) ●●●●●
Kole's jaw tightened. Danathought he'd take that as his cue to run away - which was something she knew hewas good at - but he didn't leave. Heshifted his stance, causing some of the broken glass from her screen door tocrackle beneath his shoes.
"Who shot up your house?" he asked.
Kole's voice was deep and domineering. Once again Dana's body reacted to him. This time a spattering of goose bumpsblossomed on her forearms. She hatedthat he still had the power to do that to her.
"I don't know," she said, maintaining as much frustration asshe could muster. "What's it to you?"
Kole brought a large hand up and rubbed his mouth, as if hewas blocking the response he wanted to give her. Instead he asked, "You really wanna do thisnow?"
"Do what, Kole?"
"Keep up this old-ass argument. Do this seem like the best time for that?"
Honestly Dana thought everytime was the best time to keep up her grievances with this man. But he had a point. The police were gone, and the biggest gang inthe city had her and Tariq on their hit list.This wasn't a good time to argue with her asshole neighbor.
"Yeah, I got some trouble," she conceded. "You still haven't said what's it to you."
"I'm trying to help you," Kole replied, "if you give me achance."
"Oh yeah? How you gon'help me?"
"Well, for starters, maybe you could tell me who shot up yourhouse - and why."
"The police already know who did it," Dana told him. "They working on it. What makes you think you can do anything theycan't do?"
"I don't know for sure if I can," Kole admitted. "But the police can only do so much. Like, where they at right now? You out here totally unprotected, and theysomewhere eating donuts and shit. I'mstanding right here offering to protect you.So it looks like I'm already doing more than them."
●●●●● © Keith Thomas Walker ●●●●●