Black Nightingale- The Prey That Hunts Back
Chapter 4: Hidden Feelings
“Help! Help me!” I scream aloud. I could easily finish him off. But then he wouldn’t be brought to justice. This…this can easily be deemed self-defense. I could hear some nearby sirens. Why this city hasn’t been under total surveillance since these attacks started, is beyond me. Yet another fail on our law enforcement’s part. Protect and serve, my ass.
“Help me, over here, please!” I say waving my hands and running out into the street. I see the gleaming lights of a cop car.
The car comes to a speeding halt, blue and red lights swirling. The siren shuts as the car doors whip open.
“Luna? Is that you? What the hell happened? Are you ok?” Greg says rushing from the car. He and his partner run over. Ok to be clear….Greg is one of the good cops. And yes, I do believe in good cops. There are a lot of them. But there are also a lot of bad cops too. And those are the ones you have to watch out for. The ones that turn a blind eye to everyday crime. If Greg was in charge the world would be a safer place for women and for all.
“Oh my god, Greg, thank God it’s you! I was coming back from a party, and I heard screaming so I went to go see if I could help. It was the Black Hawk. He tried to…he tried to kill me,” I say as I fall into his arms. Greg wraps his arms around me tightly. Tenderly. Even in my fake hysteria he was a source of comfort. After all, I mean I did just stab a man. The adrenaline is real.
“Oh my god, Nev,” Greg says his eyes glued to me. Fear etched across his face.
“Greg, Greg…I…I stabbed him,” I say shakily, The Black Hawk’s blood all over my hands. “He lunged at me with that creepy rake tool and I just stabbed him. I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do.” My eyes welling up with tears, my body trembling. Gasps for breath. Thank you Professor Julie James for the college acting lessons. They paid off.
“Hey it’s ok. You’re ok. Where is he now?” Greg asks worried as his partner follows my gaze rushing toward the darkened alley way.
“Ok, Nev, stay here. Stay in the car, lock the doors. I’m gonna call for back up and head into the alley way.”
“What? You must be crazy! I’m not staying here alone. I’m coming with you,” I say as he gives me an angry glare.
I give him a glare right back. I’ll be damned if I sit back and wait.
He sighs, “Fine, but just stay behind me,” he says as he walks towards the alley, his flashlight and gun raised out in front of him.
“Gavin, over here,” his Partner calls.
Rushing over, all we see is a pool of blood where The Black Hawk once was.
“What? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” I say anger laced through my voice.
Gregory looks over at me, obviously confused.
He raises his walkie talkie, “This is officer Gavin, requesting back up to the alley way just off of Cloak Street and 6th Ave. We’ve had another Black Hawk attack. Victim was able to get away. But the Black Hawk is hindered with a stab wound, most likely on foot and armed.”
“Back up on its way,” the voice on the other end croaks.
“Let’s skim the avenue, see if we can track him. With that pool of blood, he’s gotta be leaving a trail,” Greg says.
Greg walks Nevina to her apartment door. His uniform jacket draped over her shoulders. He looks at her. His hands cupping her face, tenderly. His dark chocolate brown eyes deep with concern.
“Nev, are you sure you’re ok? I really wish you would have let me take you to the hospital to get checked out.”
“I’m okay. Greg. Really. He didn’t get to hurt me.”
“Swear to me?” he says looking at her.
“Pinky swear,” she says with a meek smile as she holds her pinky up. He smirks, wrapping his pinky around hers, and leaning in he kisses her hand, closing his eyes.
Don’t worry friends, the first thing I did when I got to the station was rid myself of that asshole’s disgusting toxic blood. I could tell the events of the night were weighing on him. I’ve always thought Greg was a softie. A heart too pure to deal with criminals on a daily basis. But that’s what makes him a good, and trustworthy cop. He cares. And in that kiss of my hand, I felt his fear. For me. I wish I could tell him not to worry. That I would be fine. That I’m the Black Nightingale. He doesn’t know about the prey that hunts back, but something tells me, he will. Soon. Especially after tonight’s events.
Greg sighs as he pulls Nevina into a hug. She lets out a sigh of relief, she hadn’t realized she was holding. Her arms wrap around him. He kisses the top of her head, breathing in her scent.
“Do you want me to stay with you tonight?” he asks.
“I think, I’ll be fine Greg, really. I mean your right next door too, if anything.”
“Nev…I get that you can take care of yourself, but this guy is still out there. And now he knows your face. I just…if he comes seeking his revenge, I don’t want you just at his will.”
“I am nor will I ever be…at his will,” I say pulling away from him.
“Nev, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that, this guy is a serial killer. He’s killed 6 women already. I just- I just want to make sure you’re safe. There’s strength in numbers, right?”
“I guess you’re right,” I say rolling my eyes and unlocking my apartment door, I step to the side, nodding for him to come in.
He smiles, “Thanks for humoring me, Luna,” he says with a smirk as he leans in placing a sweet kiss on my temple.
A lot of women might mistake this type of male affection as one of the romantic nature. But not me. With Greg, he’s been in my life forever. I’ve lived next door to him my whole life. Went to all the same schools, even college. Which is odd for best friends. And when we both got our own places we lucked out and found two in the same building. This man has seen me in braces, and head gear and all the other odd phases in between. Gregory Gavin is in no way attracted to Nevina Luna. Sure he’s good looking in the tall, dark and handsome kind of way. But I guess knowing him for so long, I’ve just never felt that way about him. We’re just friends, and I love him for it. Sure, we may flirt occasionally, but I assure you it’s all in good fun. It’s ironic, like we’re poking fun at the fact that people think that a man and a woman can’t be friends without there being some underlying hint of sexual attraction. Grow up people. If anything Greg sees me as his old childhood buddy.
I toss Greg’s police jacket on my couch as I click on the TV.
“I’m just gonna go take a shower, wash this day off me,” I say with a laugh.
“Yea of course,” he nods, “I’ll be here,” he says with a sweet smirk.
“K, uh, help yourself to a beer, or glass of wine. I have left over Chinese too,” I say pointing to the fridge.
“Oh bless your soul, I’m starving,” he says nodding.
“Go for it,” I say with a laugh, “I’ll be quick,” I say walking into my bathroom.
I turn on the shower, as I wait for it to warm up, I set to undressing.
“Hey do you want me to heat you up food too?” I hear Greg call as I step in the shower, “Yes please! I’m starving,” I call out as the water falls over my skin. Allowing it to relax my tense muscles.
Little did Nevina know, Greg had caught a glimpse of her undressing as he turned his head to ask her about the food. The incident instantly made him blush, as he turned away quickly. A smile finding its way on his face.
A few minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom, having scrubbed my entire body 5 times over. I was clean and refreshed and dressed in the coziest pajamas and fuzzy socks.
Greg had set up two trays, in front of the TV and a buffet of Chinese food.
“Ugh, thank you. You rock,” I say as he hands me a beer.
He smirks at me and plops down on the couch.
“Did you wanna take a shower too,” I ask.
“Um is that your way of telling me I reek?” he asks.
“Well, I mean…I did get Black Hawk blood all over you, so…” I say pointing to his shirt.
“Oh, shit, that’s right.” he says grossed out. “Sorry I didn’t even realize. I’m so damn exhausted.”
“I mean I’m just worried for you, you can shower tomorrow. Maybe just at least change your clothes. I should still have some of your clothes here from when your washing machine koncked out and you did your laundry here last week.” I say standing up.
“Oh that’d be so awesome,” he says standing up and following me.
“Here,” I say reaching into the bottom of my closet and tossing him some clothes. “You change, I’ll grab pillows and blankets for you.”
Greg and I sit, indulging in leftover Chinese takeout and beers. The news flashing a Special Report.
Both mine and Greg’s eyes meet. Curiosity peeking. I grab the remote, clicking the volume higher.
The newscaster is on the scene, near the alley way where the events took place.
Standing next to him is the young brunette girl that I had stumbled across earlier before my dance with darkness.
“I am here with this young woman who just had a brush with the killer himself. Miss what can you tell us about this man who has been terrorizing the New York City streets? ”
The woman is clearly exhausted, her eyes puffy and red, her body language one of fear and confusion.
“I…I was on my way home from work, I had to stay at the office late to finish up a project. I couldn’t get a cab this late at night so I was on my way to walking toward the train station. I wanted to get there quick so I took a short cut through the alley on the corner on Cloak Street and 6th Avenue. And that’s when I saw him. I just ran. And by chance I ran into this woman. She was so calm, confident. Like she knew what she was doing. Looking for him. It was odd. But she had this black bird-like mask on. Like a Nightingale or some kind of bird. She had this black leather, feathery outfit on. I don’t know maybe she was coming from a Halloween themed event or something. The city is always crawling with creatures this time of year. After we bumped into each other, she asked me where the Black Hawk was. At first I thought maybe she was an accomplice. But she said, she was a friend to women. And then she set off in the direction of the Black Hawk. I just ran. I was so scared. I feel so bad. I don’t know what else happened after that. But I knew I had to call the police. I hope the woman is okay. She saved my life.”
Uh oh. Shit. I think to myself. Here we go.
Greg looks at me. His eyes narrowing at me. His brow scrunching.
“Nev?” he says calmly.
I shut the tv off.
“Well, it’s getting late. I am exhausted. I think I’m gonna hit the hay. Night Gavin.” I say getting up and heading toward my bedroom.
“Nevina?” he says standing up from the couch his voice low. Stern. We usually call each other by nick names or by our last names. It’s something we’ve done since we were kids. When he says my full first name. I know something is up.
I turn slowly toward him.
“Where were you coming from tonight?” he asks.
“I went to a Halloween party.” I say shrugging.
“Who’s Halloween party?” he says poking around. His hands on his hips.
“A friend from work.” I say calmly. My eyes shifting to the side. Damn it, why is it so hard to lie to him.
“And you chose to walk home, alone, at midnight, through a dark alley?”
“Actually I was just waiting for my uber and then shit hit the fan. What’s with the third degree Greg?”
“That’s funny. An uber never showed up tonight.” He says his gaze turning into a puzzled glare.
“Well, considering I was fighting for my life, it probably came and went.” I say with a matter of fact tone.
“You’re the one, that woman is describing. You’re The Black Nightingale aren’t u?” He says.
“Greg as much as I would love to take the credit for helping that woman. She and I didn’t even cross paths.”
“And how else would you explain her spot on description of you?”
“A woman in all black on a night near Halloween….your right, so out of the ordinary,” I say laughing. “Besides she was traumatized she probably didn’t even know what she was saying.”
“You know Nev, I know you. And I saw what you had on tonight. It’s not something you would normally wear.”
“Yea. Hence….the Halloween Party.”
“And if not the Black Nightingale, what were you supposed to be dressed up as?”
“A sexy cat. Duh? I had taken my cat years off for a bit at the party, I must have Ieft them there.” I say touching my head in an attempt to check for them.
“Come on Nevina. Don’t lie to me. You come home at all hours. You’re always level 10 tired in the mornings. We’ve gotten a few reports from men about this Black Nightingale haunting the city streets. There has been a few blurry images of her that we were able to pull from neighboring cameras. Blurry or not, I’d know those legs anywhere. Besides you leave a trail of black feathers everywhere you go,” he says pulling a few from his jacket pocket and letting them fall gracefully to the floor landing at my feet.
“Ok then…arrest me,” I say holding out my wrists.
“Nev…” he says glaring at me.
“Don’t Nev me Greg, ok? If you are so sure that I’m The Black Nightingale. That I’ve been as you say- harassing men, then arrest me,” I say moving closer to him.
“I don’t want to,” he says his eyes burning into mine.
“But you have to, I mean your Mr. Perfect Policeman, right? You like to play by all the rules.”
Greg stares at me…a look I have never quite seen before.
“What are you waiting for?” for I say glaring up at him. Some type of tension hanging thick in the air. Our faces just inches apart. Greg sucks in a sharp breath. His eyes looking at me tenderly. I see something new in this flicker. A hidden secret perhaps? What is this newness? An odd feeling boiling in the pit of my stomach. I can’t tell if it frightens me or if I kinda like it.
Without thinking, Gregory grabs me and kisses me, his arms wrapping around my waist tightly.
I push him away instinctively, “What the hell was that?” I say confused wiping my lips.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that,” Greg says turning away and running his hand over his face.
“Greg…what was that?”
“I don’t know, I’m sorry.”
“You do know.”
“Nev…It’s just…I’ve…I’ve been in love with you for… a really long time.”
“You’re kidding?” I say dumbfounded, stepping back, in shock, my knees threatening to give out.
“No. Not kidding.” He says his tone lacking any trace of humor.
“How? Wh- When?” I stammer.
“All this flirting back and forth all these years and the fact that the thought never crossed your mind, is a telling sign. You obviously don’t feel the same, and I understand. I’ll just go.”
“No hey…Officer Gavin can you just slow your roll. This is all a lot. Ok can you just give me a second to process?”
Greg looks at her.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I guess I just never let my mind go there, ya know because we’re such good friends.”
“Look let’s just forget this ever happened.”
“Even the fact that you think I’m the Black Nightingale?”
“All of it,” he says “Good night Nev. Be. Careful,” he says looking at me with worry and a protective glare.
“I will, you don’t have to worry about me,” I say.
“I always do. Always will. You call me….if you need anything ok?”
“Thank you Greg,” I say with a small smile as he leaves.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*
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