Chapter One

Chapter 1: Genesis

 

September 5, 2014

 

Genesis let out a sigh and glanced at the time on the dashboard. 4:59. It was almost five o’clock in the morning and Genesis had been driving around all night. She lived in the coveted ‘City That Never Sleeps’ yet it had been awfully quiet. She only had one call to answer and it was for a minor domestic disturbance case, which the two parties decided to solve themselves. She hated being bored.

Genesis Battle was 29 and a New York City Police Officer. On most nights she liked her job. Maybe even loved it, especially in this city. There always seemed to be something going on. Tonight, however, there was nothing. She was bored and anxious at the same time.

She stared aimlessly out the window. She stared at her reflection in the side view mirror. Her normally bright green eyes looked dull and tired. Her mocha complexion looked pale. She couldn’t remember looking this tired before.

The way she looked coincided with the fact that she had a weird feeling. She didn’t know how to explain it. Her spirit felt uneasy. She felt like something was going to happen yet she couldn’t put her finger on it.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” she answered. She turned to look at the man sitting next to her driving.

Sergeant Chris Helms was a handsome man of 35. He had recently been promoted and Genesis couldn’t be more happy for him. She felt lucky that she got to continue to ride with him. She didn’t feel pressure because he was the boss, like many would. He was her friend and she was honored to be able to ride with him.

“You look like you were somewhere else,” Chris said with very clear concern in his voice.

“Just tired is all.” Genesis wasn’t sure if Chris would understand her if she told him what she was feeling. They were friends but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t think she was crazy.

Ten years ago, when she was 19, she became the sole guardian of her four younger sisters. She had put her dream of becoming a lawyer on hold when they needed her most. The college credits that she had acquired gave her the chance she needed to enroll in the police academy and she was partnered with Chris.

At the time it seemed like the best way to make enough money so that she could take care of her and her sisters. Now she had to admit that she actually liked the job. She worked the night shift while the older two were home with the younger two. That way she was able to be home when the younger two got out of school.

It wasn’t a perfect system but it worked for them. Over that time Chris had become a good friend of hers. Although he wanted more.

Chris’ phone chimed that he had a new text message.

With raising four girls she always found herself checking cellphones to ensure that everything was on the up and up. She felt like that was something a parent would do. It was such a habit that she couldn’t help but look over at Chris’ phone.

The moment she saw the image on his screen she regretted it.

“Seriously?”

“What?” Chris looked over to see what she was talking about. Realizing that she saw the picture, he locked his phone. “That’s what you get for being so damn nosey.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t expect you to be sexting.”

“Well, I need some entertainment. It’s dead tonight. Unless you were planning to entertain me.”

“In your dreams.”

“Always.”

Genesis laughed at the joke. She always laughed when he talked like that because she never believed that he was serious. She took their friendship very seriously and she believed he felt the same way.

“You’re 35 years old. I think it’s time to stop sexting.”

“Never.” He attempted to sound serious. Genesis hoped that he was not serious. There were so many other things he could be doing with his time.

“Whatever. Can you find someplace to stop? I have to use the bathroom.”

“I think there’s a bush around here somewhere.”

“I am not using the bathroom in a bush.”

“Okay Miss. High Maintenance,” he said jokingly.

Chris pulled into the parking lot of McDonalds on Flatbush Ave. It was his favorite place to eat so Genesis wasn’t surprised when he chose there to stop. She was sure that if she hadn’t said something about needing a bathroom he would have stopped there eventually.

He stopped the car by the front door and they both climbed out. They stepped up to the door and Chris knocked. The place was pretty much shut down except for the drive-thru.

They waited for someone to let them inside. Genesis peered through the glass, sure she saw someone moving in the back. She hoped someone was on their way to open the door.

She began pacing back and forth away from the door. She was sure she was going to have an accident if someone didn’t come to the door soon.

Chris knocked again and she stepped away from the door. Something made her turn and look towards the drive-thru.

She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

A man climbed out of the small window.

“Hey!” Genesis called out.

The man hit the ground and turned to look at her. Chris backed away from the door to see why Genesis had called out. The man turned and took off running in the opposite direction. An employee ran to the door and unlocked it. Chris ignored him and ran to the car.

Genesis didn’t know why but instead of getting in the car, she took off on foot after the guy.

The car was right there and it would have only taken a few seconds for her to get to it but the same feeling that told her to look at the drive-thru window was now telling her to run.

“Genesis!” Chris called out her name.

But she couldn’t stop.

She could hear the car door slam shut and the engine start up. The man had a little of a head start and Chris would probably catch him before she did.

Genesis made it to the street and chased after him. He was pretty fast. She couldn’t help but think that he had probably ran track in high school. Maybe he could have had a career as a cross-country runner.

The man sprinted down the street. She pushed herself with everything she had to keep up. It felt like her legs were going to give out from under her. It was taking everything that she had to keep up with him.

She felt like passing out but then the feeling quickly faded away. She suddenly had a surge of energy.

The man made it around the corner. Chris sped past her and he too made it around the corner. She knew he would get to him first. Why didn’t I get in the car?

She heard the shots before she made it around the corner. Chris swerved the car to avoid being hit. The front of the car crashed into a light pole.

She turned to find the man. He was standing, aiming the gun at the car. Genesis reached for her own gun but she wasn’t quick enough.

He turned the gun on her and fired two shots.

Genesis felt the bullets hit her. She was shot in the chest, the bullet narrowly missing her vest, and then in the right arm.

It felt like nothing she thought it would feel like. She had never been shot before but she expected to be in severe pain. Yet, she barely felt the bullets.

The man turned and continued running. She saw Chris jump out of the car and run towards her. She had two choices to make. Stay or go.

Without really thinking she chose the latter.

She could hear Chris yelling her name as she took off down the street.

She didn’t know how she was able to run after being shot twice but she was beginning to pick up speed. She was quickly closing the gap between them. He looked over his shoulder and surprise flashed across his face. She felt a little joy out of that.

He took his gun out and fired at her again. She was hit in the right leg. It slowed her down a bit.

He turned and ducked into an abandoned building. She ran in after him. She stopped right inside the entrance to see where he had gone. She could hear him and looked up. He was running up the stairs. Without a second thought, she took off after him. He fired the gun over the banister.

The bullet hit her in the left arm. She continued up the stairs after him.

The man stepped onto the landing of the third floor and she was right behind him. She reached out to grab his arm and was surprised when he spun around.

Before she had a second to react, she was punched in the face. She felt her head bob back. Instinct took over.

Genesis had never been in a fight before but she knew that she had to defend herself. She threw a punch as hard as she could.

Crack

The sound made her think that she had broken his jaw, but that was impossible.

He screamed out in agony. Genesis reached for her handcuffs. If he really did have a broken jaw she would have a lot to explain.

Distracted, she didn’t notice that he had regained most of his senses.

He backhanded her across the face.

Damn, that was a rookie move, Genesis.

She stumbled and almost fell down the stairs. She reached out and grabbed a hold of the railing to steady herself. The man moved towards her and all she could think about was getting him away from her. Genesis kicked out and he stumbled back.

Genesis moved farther onto the landing making sure that she was nowhere near the stairs. She couldn’t imagine taking that fall.

She was grateful that she didn’t fall but she needed to pay attention to the task at hand.

They stood on the landing fighting for what felt like hours to Genesis, but it may have only been minutes. He managed to back her against the banister and wrap his big beefy hands around her neck. It felt like her windpipe was being crushed. She punched and kicked with all of her might trying to get him off of her.

He wouldn’t let go.

As he pressed her against the banister, she could feel it loosening under their combined weight. She needed to get him off of her before they fell. Doing what girls did best, she scratched at his face and managed to scratch him across the eye.

He screamed out in pain. That didn’t make him let go. What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. He raised his fist and punched her three times in the face.

That was it. The banister couldn’t take anymore.

If she was going to fall, so was he.

She grabbed onto his shirt and they fell three stories crashing to the floor.

Genesis winced in pain as she opened her eyes. There was pain radiating through her entire body. She felt like she had been hit by a truck. But she was doing better than the other guy.

The man was lying not too far from Genesis in a crumpled mess. Genesis was on her back and the man was on his stomach. She wondered if he was still alive and then he started to stir.

“Freeze!”

She turned her head and saw Chris standing in the entrance to the building. His attention and gun were focused on the guy. He turned his attention to Genesis.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah.”

Chris turned his attention back to the man. Genesis followed his gaze.

“What about him?” she asked.

Chris walked cautiously over to him. He bent at the waist, never taking his gun off of him, and checked for a pulse.

“He’ll live.”

“Good.” Genesis remained where she was and focused on the man. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?”

The man let out a barely audible grunt. Genesis wasn’t sure if it was in response to her or not. She turned away and looked up at the ceiling. The pain in her body was beginning to subside. She knew that she shouldn’t be recovering so quickly.

Genesis was trying to figure out what was going on when two police officers entered the building with their guns drawn.

“We’re going to need two stretchers in here,” Chris said.

“You only need one. I’m fine,” Genesis objected. She started to sit up. Before she could object more, one of the officers left the building.

“Genesis don’t move,” Chris said.

“I’m fine. Really.” Genesis attempted to get up again.

“Genesis don’t make me pin you down,” Chris said.

I’d like to see you try. The instant Genesis had the thought she laid back down.

The other officer walked over to Chris with his gun trained on the man. Chris put his gun away and removed his handcuffs. He put them on the man and began to carefully search him.

Genesis watched him with her earlier thought running through her head. She wasn’t a violent person, not normally, but when Chris had threatened to pin her down, she had wanted him to just so she could prove he couldn’t. She felt oddly competitive.

Four paramedics and the other officer entered. They had two stretchers with them. Two of the paramedics walked over to Genesis and knelt beside her to check her over.

“I’m fine.”

“She fell from the third floor,” Chris interjected.

“Does he have ID on him?” Genesis asked, trying to change the subject.

“Yeah,” Chris said. He opened a wallet he was holding and took the ID out. “Name is Mark Washburn. He also had this bag of money and this gun.”

Chris mentioned the gun and stared at Genesis. She was sure that he was thinking about the man shooting at her and wondering if she had been shot. She was still trying to figure that one out. The paramedics try to get her onto the stretcher.

“What’s your name?”

“Mario.” The paramedic to her right responded.

“Listen Mario, I’m fine. You can go.”

Mark is loaded onto the second stretcher and carried from the building. The two officers follow behind.

“She’s going to Beth Israel,” Chris said.

“Can I at least walk?”

“No.” Chris responded.

Genesis wanted to argue with Chris about how she was capable of walking on her own two feet but she knew that it would do no good. He was her superior and if he said that she had to get on the stretcher and go to the hospital then that’s what she had to do.

Genesis scooted onto the stretcher and laid back. The paramedics picked her up and carried her from the building. She knew the trip was pointless but kept her mouth shut.

The ambulance came to a stop and Genesis realized that she must have closed her eyes and dozed off. Mario opened the doors and started to remove her and the stretcher.

“Mario, can we make a compromise?”

“What do you mean?”

“Since I’m sure you won’t let me walk can we do a wheelchair and not the stretcher?”

“Okay. Sure. Wait here,” he said and then disappeared into the hospital.

He returned with a wheelchair and helped Genesis out of the ambulance and into the chair. Mario wheeled her into the hospital and over to the desk.

The moment Genesis saw the petite Hispanic nurse behind the desk she realized where she was.

“Genesis. Are you okay?” The nurse asked.

“Hi Adrianna. Yeah, I’m fine. In fact I shouldn’t even be here.”

“She fell from the third floor in a building.”

She turned around to see Chris standing behind her. Where did he come from?

“Oh dear. Do you want me to call Isis?” Adrianna asked.

“No,” Genesis answered quickly. “Let’s just get me checked out and out of here.”

There was no way that she could let her younger sister know that she was in the ER.

“Okay, well let’s get you into a room,” Adrianna said. She stepped from behind the desk and over to Genesis.

“Do I have to fill anything out?”

“Nope. Isis has paperwork on file for all of you girls.” Adrianna said.

Isis is Genesis’ younger sister by two years. She worked at Beth Israel as a nurse in the Emergency Room. If she knew that Genesis was there she would freak out and Genesis couldn’t let that happen.

Adrianna pushed Genesis through a set of automatic doors that lead to the rest of the hospital.

She sat in the exam room growing impatient by the second. Not only was Isis a nurse at the hospital but she was also due for work any minute. The last thing she needed was for Isis to show up and find her there.

Just as Genesis was working up the nerve to leave the room and demand that someone see her, the door opened. In walked one of the most beautiful black men she believed she’d ever seen. He looked like an African God.

“Hi. I’m Dr. Alex Taylor. Sorry to keep you waiting,” he said and flashed his perfectly pearly whites at her.

“That’s okay,” she said. Her anger began melting away. She wanted to scold herself. Why do I always turn into a little schoolgirl whenever a cute man is near?

He looked down at the clipboard he was holding. Which she assumed was her chart.

“Well Officer Battle, I hear you took quite a fall,” he sat the chart down and sat on a stool. He moved the stool so that he was sitting directly in front of her.

She suddenly wished that she were in her uniform and not the mandatory hospital gown. She felt so exposed.

Dr. Taylor began examining her, she assumed, looking for broken bones or maybe a bullet wound. She wanted to tell him he wouldn’t find any but she kept her mouth shut. Every so often he asked her if she had any pain in the area he touched. She answered no every time.

“Lay back please,” he said.

She scooted back on the bed and laid back. Dr. Taylor began checking her abdomen.

“Any relation to Isis Battle?”

“Yes, she’s my sister.”

He glanced up and looked into her eyes. She wanted to shrink under his gaze. He continued with his exam.

“I can see it now. In the eyes,” he said absentmindedly.

“You’re kidding me right?”

“What?” he asked “Sit up please.” She did.

“My eyes are green. Isis’ eyes are blue. We do not have the same eyes.” She thought he was cute but clearly blind. Or maybe this was his weird way of trying to hit on her. Although they had different eye colors they shared many similarities he could have chosen from.

Genesis had green eyes while Isis’ eyes were blue, Jonah’s eyes were gray, Liberty’s eyes were hazel and Freedom had brown eyes but they were very light and stood out against her darker complexion. They all shared a full head of thick curly hair. Not all of them wore their curls. Genesis wore her hair straight for work, Freedom currently wore her hair in braids and Liberty kept her hair straight at all times. The hair, their full lips and their wide noses were all attributes they each shared.

Dr. Taylor had his pick of ways to point out their similarities. She didn’t understand why he would choose their eyes.

“Never said you guys had the same eyes,” he said. He was lightly touching around her neck. “You two share a look.”

“Oh.” Genesis felt like a complete idiot. “Sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. Believe it or not I am aware of Isis’ blue eyes,” he said. “I don’t think there is anything seriously wrong with you. You do have some bruising around your neck here and there is a large cut on the back of your neck.”

“I have bruises?” Genesis had been sure that there would be no evidence of her fight.

“Yes. I want to get you up to x-ray so that we can be certain that nothing is broken. I wouldn’t want your sister to come after me.”

“Okay.”

The mention of her sister made her glance up at the wall clock. 7:30.

“Is that time right?” Genesis asked, pointing to the clock..

Dr. Taylor turned to look at it.

“Yeah, it’s right.”

“Can we hurry all of this up?” She hadn’t realized that it had gotten so late.

“Don’t want to be here when your sister arrives?”

“No, I don’t.”

“I’ll send a nurse right in,” he said as he turned and left the room, taking her chart with him.

Genesis didn’t have to wait long. A nurse was in her room in a matter of seconds. She stitched up her neck and than carted her up to x-ray. Once the x-rays were finished, she was put back into her room to wait for Dr. Taylor.

Genesis continued to watch the clock while she waited for the results of her x-ray. She needed to be out of the hospital before Isis showed up.

Dr. Taylor came back into the room moments later.

“Your x-rays were clear. Aside from the bruising and cut on your neck, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with you. You are a lucky girl and you’re free to leave.”

He handed her papers to sign.

“Thank you.” Genesis signed the papers and handed them back. He gave her a copy.

“You better hurry,” he said before leaving the room. Genesis was pretty sure that he was laughing at her.

She looked up at the time. Crap. Genesis jumped down from the bed and began dressing.

Fully dressed in her uniform, she left the exam room and made her way to the exit. Genesis spotted Isis first. She seemed to be in her own world and not paying much attention. This may work in my favor. Genesis was kind of glad that Isis hadn’t listened when she had given her sisters the speech about being aware of their surroundings at all times.

Genesis pulled her long brown hair loose from its ponytail and let it fall over her face. It was the closest thing she had to a disguise. She had almost made it to the door when her name was called.

“Genie?”

Genesis stopped and slowly turned to face her sister.

“Hey Ice, what’s going on?”

“You tell me. What are you doing here?” Isis asked. She walked over to Genesis. Crap.

“Oh, I just had to see a doctor.” Genesis tried to inch slowly towards the door because Isis was giving her a quick once over.

“Are you hurt?”

“No, I’m fine.”

“What happened to your neck?” Double crap. This is why I was trying to get away.

Isis rarely missed anything and Genesis knew given the time she would notice the bruising on her neck.

“I’ll tell you at home.” Genesis tried to drop the conversation.

“Promise?”

“Yeah, I promise. I really have to go.” Genesis walked over to Chris who was waiting by the door.

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