Chapter Eleven: Mal
I Know a Guy
"You're kidding right?" Kaden asked eventually. Mal wanted to lean over the table and close the man's mouth, it seemed to have permanently opened as Mal had told Kaden about his last couple of weeks.
Kaden still stared unblinkingly.
Mal snapped his fingers in front of Kaden's face, his companion finally seemed to snap out of it.
Kaden shook his head then finally spoke, "What are you planning on doing about it?"
"I need to find the ones responsible for killing my sister. The police assigned to the case don't seem to be in any hurry to actually do any police work, so I'm going to have to give it a try. Problem is, I have absolutely no idea where to start."
Mal sighed and ran his hands through his hair, wincing as the pain in his chest flared momentarily. Gritting his teeth he took the band out, letting his hair down for a minuted before he roughly did it up again. He sat back against the padded bench seat trying to get comfortable and downed the last of his milkshake.
When Mal looked at his companion again, Kaden was staring at his with a strange expression.
"What?" he asked.
"I might be able to offer some help," Kaden said after a minute.
"Why would you do that?" Mal eyed the other man suspiciously. He didn't know Kaden from Jack.
Hell, the man could be a serial killer for all he knew. The tale he told Mal earlier could've been a complete load of shit. But Mal didn't think so. He wanted to believe that what Kaden had told him was the truth. Mal wanted to be able to trust this man.
He stared at Kaden and took in the man sitting in front of him, his first impression of Kaden when he'd seen him in the parking lot had been the man was downright pretty. Now, though, after being able to look at the man in the light of the café he had to revise his initial thought. The man was stunning. What Mal had originally categorised as just dark eyes, were, in fact, a dark grey, an almost silver colour which caught the light at odd times and seemed to shine. His lips were soft and full, and Mal wanted to taste them. If this had been any other night and Mal and Kaden had met out at a club, there was no doubt in Mal's mind that he would have Kaden under him by the end of the night begging for Mal to devour him.
Hell, Mal had high hopes they might still end up there. It just wasn’t going to be tonight.
"You helped me when you didn’t have to. Why wouldn't I want to return the favour if I can?"
"Not many people still think like that, you know." Mal watched Kaden, but the man seemed genuine to him. Nothing rang any bells to Mal.
"I know, I wish it were different. But this is the world we live in, and there's only so much you can do to change the opinions of the people around you."
"You really think you can help me?"
"I don't know, but I'm willing to give it a try."
Mal started at Kaden for a minute longer before nodding. "What did you have in mind?"
"I know a guy."
Mal raised his eyebrows and stared at Kaden, "You know a guy?"
Kaden nodded, his grin splitting his face. "Oh God, that was awesome. I've always wanted to say that, sound like a real badass, like they do in the movies, all mysterious and shit." Kaden started chuckling, and Mal couldn't help but join in.
Debbie, their waitress, came back over to them and picked up their empty plates. "I hope everything was okay with your meals?" she asked them as she stacked the plates and cutlery, they gathered their empty drink cups as well.
"Everything was delicious, thank you," Mal said.
"The pancakes were awesome," Kaden added.
Debbie smiled. "Let me know if I can get you anything else. We have some lovely cakes and pies for dessert if you’re interested.
Mal patted his stomach appreciatively, "That sounds so good, but that breakfast filled me right up. I seriously doubt I could eat another bite." Kaden nodded in agreement.
Debbie laughed "Well, if you change your mind, or simply want some more drinks just give me a holla." She then turned and headed back to the kitchen carting away all their dirty dishes with her.
"Right, where were we?" Mal paused for a moment. "That's right. You know a guy."
Kaden beamed at Mal. The grin practically lit up Kaden's face with the pure joy of it, Mal had to shake his head as he grinned along to. This was starting to sound like a B-grade movie plot.
"We'll he's really brother-in-law, but I know a guy, sounded so much better, don't you think?"
Mal snorted then grinned. "How is your brother-in-law going to be able to help me?"
Kaden seemed to think about that for a minute. "I don't know if he can help. He's a cop, obviously not on your case from the sound of the two detectives you told me about. But hopefully, if I asked him, then he might be able to have a look at the file and point us in the right direction."
"Us?" Mal asked, one eyebrow arched.
"Sure, if you think I'm going to let you do this alone you have another thing coming."
Mal furrowed his brows at Kaden. The man simply folded his arms across his chest and stared back at Mal.
"Why do you want to help me?" he asked after a full minute of silence as they'd both started at one another unblinkingly.
"Because I can, and no one should have to do something like this on their own."
Mal swallowed the sudden lump in his throat and nodded in acknowledgment. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now, where are you staying tonight as I won't be able to call Zack until the morning."
Mal blinked. He hadn't even thought of where he was going to spend the night. He didn't want to head back to base until he'd sorted out his life. He'd packed a bag this morning with a couple of changes of clothes and jumped on his bike.
Kaden must have seen his 'Oh shit' moment and felt sorry for him.
"Come on then," Kaden stood. "You can crash at my place."
"No, I couldn't do that. I'll take you home and then find a cheap hotel around here somewhere for a few days."
"Don't be ridiculous. I don't bite… unless you ask me really nicely" Kaden waggled his brows as he waited for Mal to stand up. Mal just shook his head as he gingerly made his way out of the booth and back to his feet. "You can crash on the couch until we hear back from Zack, save your coin, you've got no idea what's in store for the future."
Mal had to admit the man made sense. They headed for the front counter where Debbie was already ringing up their bill.
Mal handed over his credit card which Debbie scanned and then had Mal sign for. "Thank you once again," Mal said as he stuffed his wallet in his back pocket.
"Come back anytime boys."
Mal smiled as he and Kaden walked back outside to the bike.
"So," Mal paused for a moment then jumped with both feet, hoping he wasn't making a mistake in trusting this man he hardly knew. "Where to?"
Kaden beamed at him then told Mal his address. They climbed onto the bike and Mal drove as Kaden directed.