As soon as the man quit jerking, she patted down the inside and outside of his calves.
Son of a bitch. There was a hard lump on the outside of his right boot that could be only one thing.
The air rushed from her lungs.
Luckily, the cops showed up before she took a whack at this psycho f**ker. They yelled, “Identify yourself and your weapons!”
“Liberty Masterson, Devin McClain’s personal security. I am armed with a stun gun. Mr. McClain is unarmed.”
The cop—a woman close to her age—hustled into Liberty’s space while the other cop moved toward Devin. “I’m Officer Mahoney. What’s going on?”
Liberty gave her the basics, ending with “I used the stun gun on him after he admitted he was armed. I believe the gun is in the outside of his right boot.”
Officer Mahoney nudged the man’s hip until he rolled onto his back. Then she peered in his face. “Emil Chartes.”
“You know him?”
“Local loudmouth. Been picked up on drunk and disorderly several times. Domestic disturbance too. His ex-wife took out a restraining order, which means carrying a concealed weapon puts him in a parole violation.” She removed the gun and dropped it into a plastic bag.
What a big f**king mess.
Liberty ran her hand across her jaw and glanced over at Devin. The other cop was taking Devin’s statement.
Then she watched as Officer Mahoney spun around and pointed her gun at someone. “Hands up and don’t take another step!”
She spun around and recognized the interloper. “It’s okay. That’s Reg, our bus driver. I’m sure he saw you guys pulling in with the red and blues flashing and got concerned.”
Officer Mahoney lowered her gun.
Liberty said, “Everything is all right, Reg. We’ll give you the rundown when we’re done here.”
“Okay, Miss Liberty.” He backed away very slowly.
“I assume Mr. McClain is pressing assault charges?” Officer Mahoney asked, pulling out her cuffs.
“Absolutely. Will we need to come to the station to file a report?”
“Nah. We can do it here.” She rolled the attacker on his belly and yanked his arms behind his back to cuff him. “I’ll take your statement once I have him secured in the car.”
She jerked him to his feet—none too gently—and hauled him to the back of the cop car. She returned with a clipboard. “All right. Let’s hear it from the top.”
Liberty relayed the events and waited for Officer Mahoney to ask the same question that’d been kicking around in her head.
“So this attack was based on alleged events that happened three years ago between Mr. McClain and Mr. Chartes’s former wife?”
“You’ll have to ask Mr. McClain for specific details on that. I wasn’t in his employ during the time in question.”
“I’m guessing you were in the military,” the cop stated.
“Got it on the first try.”
Officer Mahoney smiled. “I spent eight years in the marines. Like recognizes like. As far as I’m concerned, you’re done here.”
“I have a few calls to make, but after the evening’s events, you can understand why I will remain very close to Mr. McClain during your interview.”
“Understood.” Officer Mahoney looked up from her clipboard. “So you’re a bodyguard, huh?”
“Officially, yes. To the world at large? I’m his personal assistant.”
“Ah. I get it. I say more power to you. You’ve given me a real boost tonight. I fight to prove every damn day that I’m tough enough to do this job. Maybe when the day comes I’m sick of fighting it, I’ll remember there are other options.”
Liberty kept an eye on Devin and the two cops as she pulled out her phone to call Garrett.
An hour later, Devin broke out his secret stash of whiskey after he shut the door to his bedroom. He knocked back two mouthfuls before he sat on the bed.
He tried to sip, but it was more of a guzzle-until-he-passed-out kind of night.
When the booze hit him, he was able to breathe fully for the first time since that cocksucker had come at him with that spiked club.
And he’d just stood there. Not because he trusted Liberty to do her job, but because he’d frozen in fear.
What kind of man did that make him?
A f**king pu**y. A pathetic loser.
It wasn’t fear for himself that’d turned him into a statue. But fear for her.
Liberty could’ve died for him tonight.
That she’d handled the situation—almost too well—scared the crap out of him. Because she’d do it again tomorrow. And the day after that. Put herself in the line of fire for him.
What made his life worth more than hers?
He tipped the bottle and drank, thoughts running around and around in his brain like a damn mouse in a maze.
Obviously, the dude who’d come after him was off his meds because Devin had never played this venue before. But it made him sick to think that the man’s ex-wife had somehow convinced her husband that she’d f**ked Devin McClain. What kind of crazy person did shit like that?
This isn’t the first time this has happened to you. And it probably won’t be the last.
It was one thing if people wanted to take shots at him for something he’d done, but Liberty shouldn’t be in that line of fire.