Chapter Fifteen: Mal
Some Answers Only Lead to More Questions
"Mal?" Mal looked at him. "That was my brother-in-law. He had the information we were looking for." Mal sat up straight and stared at the other man. Finally, they might be getting somewhere.
"What did he say?" Mal asked, hope lacing his words.
"There was print, left on your sister's body, along with some hair. Apparently they were buried deep. Someone didn't want them to be found. The reason it took so long was Greg had to wait for the results to come back.”
"Why is he giving us the information and not going after this guy himself?"
Kaden smiled grimly. "There are rules about detectives interfering in others’ cases. He could get in serious trouble. He trusts we'll do the right thing and bring this guy in so he can face charges." Mal snorted, the last thing he wanted was this guy given over to the detectives who had so totally mishandled his sister's case. As much as he wanted to end the scumbag's life, Mal had never killed anyone in cold blood. That wasn't to say he hadn't taken a life because he had, but not since he'd gotten out of the Army, and the last thing Mal wanted was to be looked up behind bars and unable to follow this through to the end.
"Who is this guy and does your brother-in-law know where we can find him?" Mal asked.
Kaden watched him for several seconds before he must have seen what he was looking for. He nodded and started to speak. "The guy's name in Micky Hale, apparently his rap sheet's as long as a frickin' book. He's supposed to hang out at a place down in St Kilda called the Dog's Tavern.
"I know right." Kaden agreed. "So, are we going to go and see if we can find him?"
"I am, but you're not coming with me." There was no way Mal was going to put Kaden in danger like that.
"What the hell do you mean I'm not coming with you? Of course I am. I told you I was with you when we met and I meant it. I'm going to help you until we find the ones responsible for Anya's death."
Mal glared at the man. "We have no idea how dangerous this Mickey guy is.Who knows what he's capable of."
"I know." Kaden continued to glare at him.
"What do you mean, you know."
"Greg told me his rap sheet states he's human, so there are no extra powers or heebee jeebee things we need to look out for. Plus I think you’re forgetting I'm a shifter, I'm a hell of a long stronger than I look."
"Anyway, I know where you're going, so if you don't take me with you then I'll just follow along behind you." Kaden poked his tongue out and placed his hands on his hips and he stared defiantly at Mal.
Mal couldn't help it. His lips twitched. The man was just so adorable. He wanted to step forward and kiss Kaden. But he held back, they had things to take care of first.
"Fine you can come with me." Mal half expected Kaden to fist pump the air, but instead he just turned and headed to the bedroom. "What are you doing?"
"Well I'll hardly be taken seriously if I rock up wearing this, will I?" Kaden asked as he looked down at his denim cut-offs and sweat-soaked shirt. Mal couldn't disagree.
He followed Kaden into the bedroom as he needed to change his shirt and grab his weapons. His knives went into the boot holsters, one also went down his spine, and his guns were placed in their holster as well before he shrugged on his jacket.
His chest still ached like a bitch, but after a couple of days of good rest he could at least move without showing the pain on his face.
Mal slung his bag of goodies over his shoulder and waited for Kaden. Kaden was ready not long after. He stood and eyed Mal up and down, the heat in the man's eyes wasn't to be missed.
"Do you think we should take a car?" Kaden asked. Mal thought about it for a second. As much as he loved riding his bike, it wasn't really very practical in this case. If Mal was supposed to deliver this Hale guy to the cops to deal with he couldn't do that on a bike with Kaden riding behind him. Unless of course he dragged Hale along behind them. Now that thought had some merit to it. Mal sighed, he wasn't that type of guy unfortunately.
"Yeah, that would be good. Where are we going to get one though?" Mal asked with Kaden.
Kaden grinned at him, “My neighbour sometimes lets me borrow hers, in exchange I help her carry her groceries and take her trash out. Let me go see if I can use it.”
Mal paced the living room as he waited for Kaden to return, he was itching to get on with this and the delay, even though it was only short, frustrated him.
“We’re in luck,” Kaden said as he dangled the keys from his fingers when he walked back through the door. Mal sighed in relief.
They made their way to the parking lot and Kaden pointed his neighbour’s car. It wasn't anything fancy, just an old Toyota Corolla. Mal thought it could have been worse. At least it wasn't a hatchback. He barely fit in the car as it was, any smaller and he would be in serious trouble. Sometimes he hated being so damn tall.
"Can you pull into a shopping centre somewhere. I need to run in and grab a cheap phone," Mal asked.
"Sure." Kaden indicated and at the first opportunity he pulled into the underground car park of a massive shopping centre.
"I shouldn't be long," Mal reassured as he climbed out of the car.
"No worries. I'll wait here for you." Mal nodded and headed inside.
What he really needed was recording device, but he figured a cheap phone would work just as well. Mal contemplated not going back to Kaden, and just going after Hale by himself, but he knew Kaden would figure it out sooner rather than later and just come after him, like he said he would.
Purchase complete Mal headed back to the car and Kaden.
He saw the relief on Kaden's expression as soon as the man saw Mal walking his way, he quickly schooled his features though. Mal didn't say anything as he climbed back in the car and they took off again to St. Kilda.
The Dog's Tavern looked like your typical run down pub when they entered. There were several people seated on stools at the bar and a couple more in booths along the walls. The bartender stood behind the bar polishing glasses.
Mal headed for an empty booth while Kaden went to the bar to grab them a couple of beers. He glanced around the bar, making sure to catalogue every person in there. According to the description Kaden's brother-in-law had given, Hale wasn't here yet. Mal settled into the booth to wait.
He pulled out the new phone and fiddled with it, making sure he knew how it worked when the time came for him to use it.
Kaden came back with his drink and they settled into silence as they drank and glanced around the pub continuously.
People came and quickly left again once they saw the inside of the place. Mal could only assume that the few people who stayed were die hard regulars.
They ended up waiting and hour and a half before someone matching Hale's description finally showed up.
Mal glanced at Kaden who nodded.
Hale went straight for the bar, chatting with the bartender. Mal slid out of the booth and walked casually to the bar. When he was beside Hale he pulled his gun and shoved it in Hale's side.
"You can come with me nice and easy or we can do this the hard way." Mal said.
Hale tried to spin around, "What the fuck, Man."
"Hard way it is." Mal grabbed the back of Hale's head and slammed it down on the bar. The man screamed as his nose broke and blood sprayed eveywhere. Mal fisted Hale by the hair and pulled his head up once again.
"You ready to come nice and easy yet?"
Hale spat blood at Mal. Mal slammed his head back down on the bar. "Now that wasn't very nice."
Mal held him there, but now pointed his gun at the bartender who was heading for the phone hanging on the back wall to his right.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Mal said. "You so much as touch that phone or any other, and I'll come back and break every one of your fingers."
Kaden stood behind him, keeping an eye on Mal's back. The bartender stopped in his tracks and slowly nodded at Mal.
"Good. Now, I'll be taking this piece of shit with me. Remember what I said."
Mal, pulled Hale up who immediately took a swing at Mal. Mal ducked easily enough, changed the grip on his gun and hit Hale over the head with the butt of it. The man slumped immediately to the floor.
"Why do they always chose the hard way?' he asked Kaden with a sigh.
Kaden grinned at him. "Fuck if I know."
Mal frowned down at the lump of asshole on the ground, he gave him a kick to see if he moved. After receiving nothing back he growled and picked the man up, throwing him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Mal holstered his weapon and strode out of the bar, he wasn't about to hang around to find out if anyone else called the cops or not. He doubted it considering the type of bar they were in. He didn't think that clientele were the type to rely on cops in their time of need.
Mal walked down the sidewalk, Kaden hurrying along at his side. They made it to the car without anyone bothering them. Kaden opened the back door and unceremoniously dumped Hale in the back seat, if Hale's head made contact with the roof on his way in Mal wasn't about to cry over it.
"Pass my bag?" he asked Kaden.
Kaden handed Mal his bag, which he opened and fished out a roll of duct tape. Mal shoved Hale onto his stomach and dragged his arms behind his back, he proceeded to tape his hands together, wrapping the duct tape around his wrists several timed so he couldn't get free. Zip ties were all well and good but people could get out of them far too easily for Mal's liking. Satisfied with his work he shoved the tape roll back in his bag and stood up. He flicked the child locks on the door before slamming it closed.
Kaden made sure to get the child lock on the drivers side when he walked around and climbed into the car. "Where to?" Kaden asked him.
"Let’s just get out of here for now. Head back to the city, I'll let you know where to pull off." Kaden nodded, started the car and they got away from the Dog's Tavern before anyone could stop them.
Dark had fallen while they'd been waiting in the pub. Mal directed Kaden to pull off at a park he knew. Not many people used it during the night so it should be nice and secluded.
From the groans coming from the back seat Mal thought Hale was coming around. Kaden parked the car and Mal climbed out. Not wanting to get kicked the second he opened the door, Mal walked around the other side of the car and opened the door at Hale's head. He reached in and grabbed the man under the arm and dragged him out of the car.
Hale flailed and cursed as he was dumped on the gravel of the car park.
"What the fuck do you want?" The man looked like shit, his nose was obviously broken, blood covered the entire lower half of his face.
Mal grimaced "Sorry about the car, I’ll pay to have it cleaned," Mal said to Kaden instead of answering Hale.
Kaden shrugged. "It's old, it's probably seen worse through the years as well. We’ll clean it up as best we can before returning it. Hopefully Mrs. Webber won’t notice."
Mal nodded. It was ridiculous what went on in the back seat of cars sometimes.
He turned his attention to Hale, who had propped himself up against the side of the car.
"Now, as for you, I want answers."
"Wrong answer," Mal said as he punched Hale in the jaw.
Hale cried out, spitting more blood on the ground and he leaned sideways.
"Let's try that again." Mal reached into his pocket, pulled out the new phone and set it to record, then handed it to Kaden to hold. "Now, why were you hired to kill Anya Demir?"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Hale said, but Mal could see the slight tightening of his eyes, heard the smallest catch of breath. Hale knew exactly what he was talking about.
Mal pulled his knife from his back sheath and showed it to Hale, the long sharp blade glinted in the moonlight.
"Now, let's see if you know how to tell the truth…"
An hour later Kaden pulled them up outside the police station his brother-in-law worked at as Mal shoved a fully duct taped Hale out the back door. He'd taped the phone to his chest and written "play me" on it. Kaden then sped off down the street.
Right now he had the people responsible for ordering the hit on his sister to track down, and a journey to undertake. It looked like he would be needing some more time off work. If, when he got back, he found out Hale hadn't been charged for the murder of his sister then Mal would take matters into his own hands. For now he had to believe in their judicial system and that Hal would get what was coming to him. Mal knew he was walking a very fine line himself, but he couldn’t stop yet, not when he was finally getting somewhere.
Kaden slowed the car to normal speed as they got further from the station and pointed them in the direction of his apartment.
Mal had a hell of a lot to do and not much time to do it in. He had to get back to base, because there was only one way he was going to be able to get to Europe and that was with Nidhogg. Somehow he doubted his superiors would be happy with Mal taking his dragon. He'd just have to face the consequences when he got back. This was so much bigger than he could have ever imagined.