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Quinn’s father was certainly on edge and though he heard the conversation, it was clear he wanted answers. Was Joshua really going to recant? Would he be willing to suffer years in prison for the safety of Quinn? He would do anything for her as he did love her truly. However Francisco has kidnapped Quinn. He thought the man would have some compassion for him. Knowing his power he wouldn’t even be in prison long and had just enough money to make sure he was comfortable and maintained while doing time. The freedom he was so willing to kill for wouldn’t be much different than he expected. Still Joshua wanted the make sure Quinn remained alive. She was carrying his child and that was important.
“You’re going back on the deal?” Her father asked him. Joshua sighed and handed over the phone before shaking his head.
“This is the plan. Do a press conference and let them know that I’m in custody for the murder. Once they see the news broadcast then they will let Quinn go. We will have to hideout then, once she’s in our presence and safe. Then arrest Francisco. I’ll still testify, I just don’t want them to kill Quinn.” He hadn’t meant to be so blunt and even the word [I kill] left a bitter taste in his mouth. Joshua tried to remain strong even though the distress on the officer’s face was enough to break his heart all over again. This wasn’t just about him losing his girlfriend and child, but a father who could possibly lose his daughter and first grandchild. A lot of people would be hurt by this. Joshua ran his hand through his hair then as though it would relieve any tension. He just hoped that they hadn’t harmed her. Quinn’s father nodded and proceeded out of the jail cell. The harsh clink made Joshua shudder. There were no other words that needed to be spoken.
He couldn’t sleep after that. All he could think about was Quinn. He hoped Francisco would be decent and keep his word.
It was the next day that her father set up a press conference with his fellow officers as they described the long and tumultuous work it took and how they finally had a suspect in custody who they planned to charge. Joshua’s name and picture was broadcasted. To thousands if not millions of people, right now he was considered a murderer. He could live with that title if it meant Quinn would remain out of harms way. This was by no means over. Once Francisco was in custody, it would mean that they had no second chance. It would be no apprehension in killing him and Quinn on sight. Her father had already began preparing them for witness protection, the feds coming in for assistance.
Names would be changed. Joshua would have to undergo a little bit of a makeover so he wasn’t as noticeable. That would be once he testified of course which meant they had to still watch their backs. Even worse they would have to move out of the state that for the last twenty-plus years he had called home. A whole new persona. A whole new life. While it was somewhat refreshing, he knew how hard this would be to explain to their child when born.
He just hoped Quinn would be received and she would be safe the next day as promised.
A couple of hours passed, or what she assumed was a couple of hours before her door was being opened and none other than the familiar face that she knew to be Francisco entered. Her initial reaction was to take a step back from him as she eyed up the two men behind him. They were big men, perhaps intended to intimidate which they certainly did because they were over twice the size if a small framed woman like her.
[I "You have ruined everything."] He said to her before looking to him men and nodded his head. The two of them walked around him and towards her, causing her to back up even more although there was no where to go. [I "As long as [b my] boy does as he asks and withdraws his statement from the police you will get out of here alive but not before we make sure you understand what happens to people who mess with me."]
Quinn wasn't the type of woman to beg and while she was scared, she wouldn't beg now either. Instead she would take whatever they gave her. [I "Make sure you avoid her stomach. We end up killing Joshua's kid and we have no chance of him doing what we want."] Her eyes flickered towards him.
[B "How did you...?"]
[I "He told Gio, I overheard him on the phone."] He nodded once more and there was no more talk then. Instead the men used their fists to 'teach her a lesson' leaving her bruised and bloody. The pain was unimaginable as it was unlike anything she had never experienced. She had never been in a fight, nor had she ever taken a beating and by professionals too...her face would be a mess, no doubt.
[I "You mess with me again, there will be a much worse consequence."
Joshua refrained turning to anger through it did spark a larger flame in him to hear him speak about Quinn in such a manner. He had to remain calm. He had to trust his gut and it was telling him that Quinn wasn’t dead. He wanted something – someone who was so important to him to change Joshua’s mind about testifying. Of course it was a good choice as Francisco noted that Quinn was the only one in his life that mattered so much, the only one Joshua would kill to protect. He hated that she was in this position. It was becoming even more of a better idea, as though it weren’t in the first place, that the both of them would start anew and away from his old neighborhood so that their child wasn’t wrapped up in this kind of world. He wanted better for his son or daughter. He didn’t want their lives on the line.
“Quinn has been nothing but faithful to me. Someone is setting me up and I’m not taking the fall,” Joshua said then and looked up at Quinn’s father who stared at him, anxious to know the fate of their daughter. Francisco wanted him to recant his statement. He would do anything to make sure Quinn was safe, but that would mean that he would be going to jail for a very long time. They’d both keep their life, but Joshua didn’t see much use of living if he would lose Quinn because he’d be behind bars. No more contact with her that would do much good. He couldn’t bear the thought of seeing his newborn through clear glass or only spare moments of time with them during visitation. How long would it take before he became a burden and Quinn just gave up on him?
If he lied about recanting, Joshua had to know that Quinn was safe. “I want Quinn first.” He said. Francisco was quiet then.
“Recant or she’s dead Joshua. You know I don’t play games. I want to see it first thing on tomorrow’s news. If all works out we’ll dump her at the station for [I daddy]. Don’t let me down Joshua.” Joshua hung his head in defeat then. That small tug of loyalty was tugging even harder then.
“I’ll recant.” He said and Quinn’s father opened his mouth to object but Joshua kept him quiet.
“That’s my guy. You know I’ll make sure you’re [taken] care of.” Joshua knew he meant handling his books while in prison and making sure he was [I comfortable] but it could also mean he had put a hit on Joshua. He’d go to jail and end up dead, Francisco a free man with no one who would stand up to him and put him behind bars.
“Can I at least talk to her? Please just tell her-“ Joshua quickly asked, desperation in his voice. What he was met with was a hard and cold click; the phone call had been ended. Joshua squeezes the phone tight in his hands then and sighed out.
Quinn didn’t even have any concept of time. She had no idea how long she had been here and she hadn’t really been given much company. Being pregnant didn’t help because she was experiencing morning sickness and being sick a lot but the guys who kept her there figured that it was nothing major, just due to her being in this situation. One even assumed she was making herself sick to gain sympathy but she wouldn’t tell them that she was pregnant because she didn’t know what that would change. She didn’t know if she was doing the right thing but for now her silence was protecting her unborn child.
[b “Can I get some water?”] She asked as she knocked on the door, knowing that there were two people stationed outside. [b “Please!”] She asked banging on the door once more. She was worried she wasn’t getting enough water or food to keep her baby alive and this was such a crucial time in her pregnancy.
[I “Alright! Christ stop your crying.”] He said and then she heard foot steps going away and coming back a few minutes later and she stepped back from the door when he opened it, taking the water and downing it quickly.
[b “When am I going to be told what is going on here?”] The door was slammed in her face then and she sighed heavily. She was scared and she could barely control her tears.
Meanwhile Francisco was on the phone to Joshua. [I “What makes you think I’m going to let you speak to her? The bitch cop daughter who made you betray us? Forget about her Josh, she’s as good as dead.”] His voice was cruel and he had every intention of killing to woman before the day was out but he would try to use her as leverage to make him quiet first. [I “Unless…you recount your statement…don’t testify.”]
“Two days.” Quinn’s father said and clearly was in distress. Joshua’s eyes looked toward the fist that slowly released and he could see the man felt defeated. He held no anger against him as Joshua would’ve acted the same way had he been on the outside and Quinn was taken. Though he figured he would be there to take a bullet to stop anyone from harming her.
“Two days?!” He yelled and Joshua’s mind began to run crazy then. They had to act quick. There was no telling what Francisco had in mind when it came to situations like these and especially if it was known that he planned to rat. “Phone! I need a phone!” Joshua demanded again and her father was flustered as he tried to grab the device from his pocket. Joshua tried to think to the most recent number, anyone he could call that would be of help. Gio was the first one time come to mind. The phone rang and rang and Joshua prayed for the first time in a while that they hadn’t harmed the man that had been like a second father to him. Second to Francisco who Joshua found wasn’t as loyal as he thought.
“Gio’s Pizzeria.” The familiar raspy voice soothes Joshua for a minute but he was then reminded of Quinn.
“Josh my boy I thought they got to you too! Cisco is on a rampage, three decked already.” Joshua knew this was coming, Francisco was killing anyone who could have any material to put him away. How ironical that the same cell that kept him caged was keeping him safe.
“I can’t say.” Gio responded and he could tell there was some fear in how he responded.
“Gio it’s about Quinn. Please they got her. She’s carrying my child. I can’t lose her.” Joshua was on the brink of crying then. He heard Gio sigh out.
“Hold on.” There was silence then. A defeating sense of silence before there was a click.
“How much do you love her?” Francisco’s voice was cold and he could hear the drag sound from the cigar he was most likely smoking. Joshua stood tall though, trying to keep his composure.
“I want to speak with her.” He wanted to know Quinn was alive, begged god in his mind that she was still alive.
Quinn had taken Charlie back to her home with her father and the time that passed seemed to drag and it had only been two nights without him. Her father kept her updated with how he was doing though and even though he didn't actually give a shit about Joshua, he was beginning to understand that she loved him and he would have to accept it.
On the morning of the second full day without him she got herself ready for work, feeding Charlie who seemed to be sad without Joshua around. When she was done just shot a text to her father tell him that there was food in the fridge for when he got home from work at that she would be home around 4 that afternoon. She wouldn't even make it to work that morning. At least, she wouldn't make it into the building.
The second she set foot out of her car she was surrounded by three men, all pointing concealed weapons at her. [I "Make this easy and get in the car."] What kind of position was she in to argue. She had, what she assumed to be, loaded guns pointed in her direction. Quinn had never been so scared in her life but she nodded and closed her car door and then followed them to their car where she was slid right next to a man she didnt recognise. She was expecting Francsico but then she already knew he didn't do his own dirty work. He looked to her and without saying a word to her directly, instructed the driver to make his way to whatever destination he had already agreed.
An hour later she ended up in some abandoned looking factory and was led to a room that had been made up like a bedroom although it didn't look the slightest bit comfortable. She was shoved inside and the door was locked. [I "We got the girl. Let the boss man know."]
Joshua wasn’t sure what to do with all that time. A week — week in prison without his girlfriend or even his dog. Shitty food and even shittier people. Not to mention the cops weren’t too friendly with him even if he [I technically] was on their side. To them he was just a scumbag who managed to find a loophole in the justice system. Joshua tried to stay occupied though, it’d only been three hours since seeing Quinn and he was losing his mind. He worried about her. Eventually Francisco or one of his goons would come searching for him and maybe even Quinn thinking that they would be together. He had to trust drag her father would be able to take care of them and Charlie was accustomed to Quinn. So much so that if she detected the slightest bit of danger she would let her know.
He was still in a lot of pain from his rib though and of course the cops weren’t concerned and Joshua wasn’t one to wind. In a time of stress he did what he always did: train. He had no equipment and no one to fight. No one to fight but himself.
[b [center _]]
It felt like eternity but it had only been two days. He was sleeping when he was dragged off the stuff cot, in the dark. He as shook violently, his mind trying to understand what was going on.
“Where is she?!” The words were yelled doubtlessly until he came to film consciousness and saw that it was Quinn’s father. He was furious and yet his eyes were red from tears and shone bright with sadness and desperation he could see under the dim lighting of the cell
“What?” He grumbled as he was thrown to the floor.
“Quinn! Where is my daughter? Where have they taken her?” Joshua was confused, the man ready to hit him as though he were to blame for his daughter’s disappearance. If all registered then. Quinn had been taken and it was likely by his gang under Francisco’s owners. Joshua was devastated the thought of her being in harm making him more alert. He came to a stand then.
“I – I don’t know.” He managed to stammer out. He has been locked up and since then not even a phone call from Francisco. Someone must have tipped him off, more than likely a cop. He had no cell mates after all. “How long has she been gone?” If it was longer than three days she would be dead. Unless they were using her as collateral. “I need a phone.” He said then.
The kiss was deep and intense and acted as another goodbye. She hated this but she knew that it would be worth it in the end. She looked to him with so much love before her father led her out of the office and took her to a more comfortable room, wanting her to be able to sit on a sofa and relax rather than sit in a stuffy office. She wasn't far along in her pregnancy at all but that didn't stop her father worrying about her comfort.
[I "If at any point you feel sick the bathroom is right there. Help yourself to anything in the vending machine. Use my badge and swipe it on the wireless bit on the front and it won't cost you a dime."] He looked to her for a moment, hands on both of her arms and sighed heavily. [I "God, I love you Quinn, that's why I freaked out yesterday. I'm always going to feel like way when it comes to any man but why...why did you have to fall in love with him?"]
[B "It wasn't a choice Dad, it just...happened. Please, you have to accept that."]
[I "Suppose I will have to try but he could go away for a long time Quinn. He can't be there for you."]
[B "Listen to what he has to say. Please."] He kissed her cheek and nodded and disappeared then for what felt like days. She distracted herself by reading magazines until fatigue took over and she fell asleep on the sofa. Apparently growing a human was tiring, even in the early stages of pregnancy.
She was awakened several hours later by her father who knelt beside her and tucked some hair behind her ear. [b "Is it over?"] She asked as she started to sit up.
[I "Almost. We have to detain him until the trial is over to stop the rest of the gang convincing him to change his story or not testify."] Although it hurt, she had been expecting this.
[b "We need to pick up Charlie, his dog. We have to look after her. Will you take me?"] He agreed of course, not wanting her to go to that part of town alone.
Joshua wanted the kiss with Quinn to last longer, his hand reaching up to gently cup her face as he deepened the kiss. He was disappointed when she pulled away, a pout befalling his lips. His brows furrowed; it was the first time he had ever felt scared. Joshua sighed out then, “I love you too.” He told her. He had to remind himself that Quinn and him would see each other again. This was going to work out. He came to a stand then, Quinn being escorted out by her father. He soon returned then, motioning for him to follow to an interrogation room. It was dimply it, only by a light above the table with an exposed bulb. He stared across at the mirror, a two way one no doubt. Her father motioned for him to take a seat.
The chair of course was uncomfortable, but what did he expect? Joshua cleared his throat then, his hands gripped tight together on top of the table. There was a recording device on the table along with a notepad and pen. The tools needed to record a confession. Did he think that he would be confessing to the murder? Despite being set up by whom he could only suspect to be Francisco. A man with much power to make hell of his life and even for Quinn. He was terrified for his life, but he wasn’t the selfish young womanizer he had been when Quinn met him. He was going to be a father his life didn’t just revolve around him anymore. Her father definitely looked more intimidating in this setting, different from the man he squared up with in Quinn’s classroom. He at least was willing to hear what Joshua had to say and that was saying a lot. His first question, though had nothing to do with the case.
“That night of the raid – Quinn was there wasn’t she?” Joshua raised a brow then before slowly nodding.
“I had her take my car and head to my place while there was so much commotion going on.” He admitted. Her father’s face softened for a moment then, as though he were appreciative of getting his daughter out of that position. “Look, I know I’m not the best guy, but Quinn has really changed me and I’m doing this for her. I don’t want her to be alone and I don’t want my child to be raised without a father. I want a deal,” he said to him. Her father raised a brow at him, surprised at how bold Joshua was to ask what with the charges he was facing. He placed his hand up and left the room then. It felt like an eternity before he came back. Joshua’s arms crossed over his chest then.
Her father had spoken with the DA and managed to work out a deal. He had to tell everything in regard to the murder as well as the other illicit activities that Francisco and the gang were a part in. In exchange for his testimony, he would be placed on four years of probation, the first six months being placed on house arrest. It took some time for Joshua to agree, trying to not think about what Francisco could do to him if he found out he snitched. All he had to do was think of Quinn though for some sense of courage.
“Let’s begin,” he simply said then before pressing the record button. Joshua relented at first, but finally took a deep breath and began to tell the tale of what happened. He admitted he helped dispose of the body and he admitted the gun they had found was his. It was hard to get through the crimes he was involved in – witness tampering and money laundering. Not to mention dealing drugs, though Joshua had refrained from that world when he began fighting. He also noted the things Francisco was a part of, how he had very high up people in his pocket.
Writing everything down came next. Once everything was done, Joshua sat back and surprisingly felt relief. “Alright Joshua. Thank you for your cooperation. As promised we do have a deal. You decide not to testify you’re looking at a lot of fed time. And I don’t want that for my daughter.” Joshua was quick to nod.
“So what I just get out of here now right?” He asked. Her father sighed out then and shook his head.
“Not exactly.” Joshua raised a brow then. “You see, we have to keep you sequestered so as not to be dissuaded from your fellow members or Francisco. You’re going to have to remain in jail until the trial which is scheduled for next week. Joshua’s mouth dropped, he was shocked and already thinking about Quinn. Being away from her that night was terrible, the week without her was worse and now another week in jail? Away from his girlfriend. He couldn’t go against this though. He had already agreed and confessed; he could go to federal prison. Joshua was conflicted. Following the instruction of the officer, he came to a stand where he was handcuffed and led to be booked. He didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye.
“Just tell Quinn I love her,” he asked of her father as he was walking to find his daughter.
Quinn kept hold of his hand the entire time he spoke and glanced between Joshua and her father as Joshua made the purpose of their visit clear. That seemed to get his attention then and she could tell that his father realised how much of a big deal this was. He was part of a gang and could give him invaluable information but he also had to know that he was putting himself in danger by doing that. The man's respect for Joshua increased slightly then, realising that he was doing this so he could step up and be a father to his child.
He had let go of her hand momentarily but took it once more when her father questioned why he was doing this. She smiled a little and then looked to her father, nodding slightly as she did.
[b "Okay Dad...but...please, listen to him. Know that I love him."] Her father stood and nodded before making his way to the door and held it open.
[i "Follow me. Quinn, I will see that someone comes to make you comfortable. Anything you need let them know okay? I know I didn't react well yesterday but if you are set on having this child I want to make sure you are okay."]
[b "I'm fine Dad."] She glanced towards Joshua and leaned over to kiss him. [b "It will be over soon and then we can figure out what to do next okay? Just know I love you."]
Joshua could tell that her father was still upset and he knew that it didn’t take just one night to get over finding out your daughter was dating a gang member. All he could do was make sure that he kept tight of Quinn’s hand to show that he was absolutely in love with her and had no intention of giving up on her. He followed then with Quinn to her father’s office, glad they hadn’t been led to an interrogation room as he was still trying to get over his nerves. Still it was cold and the sound of the door closing made him jump a little as it reminded him of the sound of the metal door on a cell closing. Joshua released his hold on Quinn’s hands to rest in his lap as he tried to work up the words. Her father had no patience and was asking why they were there.
He had no interest in a conversation relating to their relationship or even the pregnancy. Joshua brushed his hand through his hair then and cleared his throat. The chair was uncomfortable, the sound of the clock was making him mad and the way her father stared at him made him shudder. Joshua bit down on his bottom lip. He was ready to get out of there. But he looked over at Quinn then and knew that he needed to man up and do this.
“I wanted to talk about the murder,” he said then and the look on Quinn’s father’s face was priceless.
“You want to confess?” He asked then, leaning forward and obviously interested in the conversation now. Joshua shifted some and leaned forward, his head down and his arms drooping over his knees. “Look me in the eye son.” There was a somewhat calm tone then. His ears were burning and he looked up.
“I want to confess to my part in it and with hopes . . . help you solve this case.” He said then.
“And why would you do that?” He asked, obviously suspicious. Joshua looked at Quinn then, his eyes trailing to her stomach. He took her hand in his again.
“Because I made a promise and I plan to keep it.” Her father looked at their hands then and he was now the one to shift in his seat uncomfortably.
“I think it’s best we move rooms. Quinn, this might take a while.”
Quinn wouldn't accept a goodbye from him. She was completely and utterly dedicated to the fact that this would work and they would be together. Surely her father had to accept that she was pregnant with this man's child and that she [i loved] him? That had to count for something right? She looked up at him and shook her head, the threat of tears at the corner of her eyes. [b "You're not going anywhere Joshua. I love you too damn much."] She closed her eyes for a brief moment, feeling his hand against her cheek. They both had to be brave now and they mustered all the bravery they could to walk into that station, her hand gripping his tightly.
Once they had asked for him, it didn't take long for her father to appear, the other cops obviously knowing that this was his daughter. [i "Have you come to your senses?"] He asked as he glanced at their hands, shaking his head slightly. [i "If you are here to waste my time about trying to get me to accept this..."]
[b "Dad, can we go somewhere private? This is not about that."] He sighed but nodded, leading them to his office rather than an interrogation room although she knew that was where Joshua would end up. When they were inside she looked to Joshua. She didn't want to speak on his behalf.
[i "Well...What is it?"]
Joshua looked down at her then, closing his eyes as their lips finally parted and their foreheads rested against one another. He didn’t want to put negative energy into the atmosphere, believing that maybe with hope and some faith that things could go the way they wanted it to go. The truth was though that the unnerving feeling came with the possibility that things could go terribly wrong. It was almost like he was saying goodbye. He tried not to show any sign of weakness, didn’t want to scare Quinn at all. If she saw how much more hesitant he was, he feared she would really make him back down and that’s not something Joshua wanted to do. He could’ve left Quinn if he was coward enough, but Joshua was not going to do that. “I mean it’s sort of a goodbye,” he said to her then in a soft voice. “But I mean not like forever,” he said to her with a small chuckle of clearly filled with nervous energy. “Just know that I love you.” Joshua sighed then as he pulled away, his hand reaching up to caress her cheek then. “Come on let’s get inside.”
Joshua took her hand tighter then and began up the concrete steps toward the door of the jail. Going in now seemed to be worse than when he was dragged in that night of the raid and certainly didn’t feel like that night he walked out when Quinn bailed him out. They entered then, some people paying him no mind and some cops immediately noticing his appearance and raising a brow as to why he was there. He sighed out then, walking toward the counter and swallowed thickly before asking for Quinn’s father. He squeezed Quinn’s hand extra hard then. He was starting to think of just turning back around and not going through with this.
Quinn would probably never stop feeling guilty for what she was asking him to do but at this point she had to accept thay he had a choice and this was the path he had chosen. He wanted to do right by her and their child and she admired that, especially since he could have so easily walked away from her and left her to bring up the child alone. He loved her though and she loved him just as much. She glanced towards him as he spoke in response, his hand firstly finding her thigh and then her hand which he gripped tightly. His smile only made her feel even more guilty. Even though they both knew this was the right thing, neither could shake the feeling that this could change everything too.
[b "We'll get through this."] She repeated as if to prove they were on the same page. Once they were at the station she climbed out of the car and before they made it inside, Joshua pulled her in for a kiss. She moaned softly and when it was over she rested her forehead on his. [b "Why did that feel like you are saying goodbye?"
It was silent in the car during that moment of him trying to collect himself, before eventually he started the car. He had the radio volume on low, not really in the mood to listen to anything. It was Quinn’s remorseful soft voice that broke through the silent fog. She wanted to go back on her demand in which Joshua was to turn himself over. A part of him wanted to accept that she was going back on her decision. He wanted to just say fuck it, pack up what they could and all his cash and just go somewhere. Hell anywhere. He wanted them to start over and build the family they deserved. Joshua knew though that was even more unstable then the life he lived now. They couldn’t raise a family on the run and that was just going to get him into more trouble than he already was in. He sighed out and brushed his hand through his hair, gripping the steering wheel tight.
“I have to be responsible Quinn. If I am going to be a father then I have to be the best I can be and I’m not going to be a good dad if I’m locked up.” It was right that he was going against someone he had been loyal to for all his life, but this wasn’t just about him anymore. This was about Quinn and their unborn child. He reached his hand over to grip her thigh gently, before finding her hand and holding it in his hand. He gripped it tightly. “This is beyond me babe. I am doing this for us – us three.” He gave her a small smile, hoping it would install some sense of confidence inside of her.
“We’ll get through this and everything will work out.” He was mostly trying to convince himself, but he had to stay strong for her.
They were eventually at the police station, Joshua parking in front. He was glad to know he had given Quinn spare keys just in case. He got out of the car then, adjusting his jeans so they didn’t hang as low, cracking his knuckles out of a nervous habit. He walked over to her and extended his hand. It was a big thing for him to be turning himself in and even more so with the daughter of a cop. Joshua kissed Quinn then, a desperate kiss and yet still gentle with love.
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