The cop, Kerry, rescued me after only a few minutes. “I’ll do what I can.”
“She’s one of those who believes all violence is wrong and suspends the victim with the bully. I think the school admin are more reasonable.”
“It wasn’t on school grounds, either.”
We’d only gone a block away. She’d argued that she needed to talk to me off the street. The teacher, who’s name I now recalled as Blount, was satisfied by being able to imagine that I’d been arrested. I hadn’t, of course, but who was going to tell her that?
“That might help, but a lot of people saw it. Thanks for grabbing the bat.”
I grinned. “Just be careful. He’ll come and get it.”
“A baseball bat?”
I let it lie; she clearly wasn’t ready to know the truth.
“So, you do know him?”
“It’s the second time he’s attacked me, and the first time one of his buddies murdered four people.”
“Crap. What did you do to deserve it?”
“I’m not sure,” I lied. If she was still seeing a baseball bat, she certainly didn’t need to know about the politics of the Nine Realms. “But they’re determined to beat the crap out of me or worse.”
I shook my head. “You’ve seen how I can handle myself. Besides, I can always hang out with Mike.”
She grinned. “He’s a good cop. Wasn’t he your foster father?”
“Briefly, before I got myself emancipated. Wasn’t over him…I didn’t trust the system.”
“It’s practically a pipeline to prison. Not so much for you.”
Kerry had plenty of melanin, although she wasn’t as dark-skinned as Kanesha. “Not so much for me, no, but it’s still not a good place to be. I’m happy to be out of it.”
“Well. Do you want me to drive you home?”
That offer I was quite willing to take. They probably wouldn’t mess with a squad car.
Probably. And if any of my neighbors asked I could…tell them a somewhat edited version of the truth. They’d respect me for saying I kicked the guy’s butt.
I did wish I could take the hammer, though. I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave it in police hands.
As Kerry drove me home I pulled out my phone, then decided to call Mike after I’d got back to the apartment. Even if she had left her partner asking more questions at the school.
She wasn’t ready and I had to respect that.