Taking the cue, Muaire stood up and mumbled her condolences before going back up. As she walked by, the wind picked up the edge of her thigh-high top, exposing her green panties. The girl made no move to cover herself.
'Your friend?' Kosha said after she'd gone.
She shook her head from side to side. 'Nah.'
He cleared his throat. 'Once again, ma'am, I'd like to offer my-'
'Save it, please address the elephant in the room.'
'Sorry,' he said. 'So, what's your name and your brother's?'
'I'm Kanadaa Cailar and my brother is Ruugara Cailar.'
'Why did you think the . . . hand belongs to your brother?'
'Belonged,' she corrected. 'The signet ring and the long, varnished thumbnail.'
The detective jotted in his note. 'You think he's no longer alive?'
'No one could possibly survive that horrid dismemberment.'
He jotted more. 'What's your age difference?' he asked.
'Ruuga is - was two and a half years older than me and his birthday was the previous Saturday.'
'How old are you?'
She turned her face to him. 'Two and a half years younger than my brother,' she said calmly.
Kosha looked mortified as his eyes fell to her lush lips then looked away. 'What's your brother's age then?'
'Twenty three,' she said. 'How old are you?'
Detective Kosha did a double take. 'Um, I'm twenty one?'
Younger than I thought. She smirked.
Kosha's eyes fell to her lips again and as though suddenly realizing their proximity, he shuffled away a little.
'How did you discover the . . . hand?'
She sniffed back the tears that were threatening to resurface. 'I was going to get something in the kitchen when I thought I heard his car horn, you know, the sound is quite rare. Now I wonder if his car had actually been used to bring the hand.'
'What's the make of the car?'
'What work does he do?'
She thought, she could tell him what Ruuga told her, or she could tell him what she thought he did. Would she be protecting him or not? She looked away, deep in thought.
A shiny jet-black BMW pulled up into the parkway and Kanadaa gasped, standing up abruptly.
That was Ruuga's car!
Kosha stood up too. 'You okay?'
Oh shit, was it the people that killed him? Was it Ruuga? He couldn't possibly be alive, could-?
Her eyes almost popped out of her head when the automatic door of the car slid open and out came no other person than Ruuga, her one and only brother. Intact.
'Ruuga!' she screamed, and ran into his arms.
Ruuga couldn't begin to comprehend anything at all as he held on to his sister. He was just back from his long journey and was bone tired and all he wanted to do was fall onto his bed and sleep. But he couldn't with all this police cars around the complex. And police wasn't good news for him. What had happened, by the way? Did someone get shot? A yellow tape caught his eyes in the next storey and he was shocked to see the crime scene tape strung around verandahs including their own.
He pulled his clingy sister away from him. 'Hey, nuthead, what happened? Did someone die?'
Kanadaa raised her eyes to him and he noticed her tears were serious and soulful. His heart missed a bit. Or did the crime take place at their place?
'Oh fuck! What the hell happened, Kanadaa?'
She just broke down and cried more. He held her gently in his arms. A dude came up to them and flashed his badge.
'Detective Kosha Fanxi. May I ask who you are?'
Ruuga frowned. This was bad, very bad. He noticed two other men but in uniforms coming towards them.
'I'm Ruuga Cailar. What in hell happened here?'
The detective's face went white as shit and his eyes travelled to his sister's waist where he was holding her.
'What the fuck! Whatcha looking at, bloke?' His voice was suddenly dangerous.
Fanx shook his head, eyes wide. 'Over here,' he shouted to his colleagues in general, after recovering. 'I'd advice you come take pew, Mister Cailar. This is going to be a long day.'
Kanadaa had a death grip on her brother. 'Oh I thought you were dead. I thought the fucking hand was yours.'
Ruuga comforted her absently, his mind seemed to be elsewhere. No doubt letting all the facts he'd been laid sink in very well.
He was being set up. That he was sure of. Someone or some people had made an enemy of him and now wanted to ruin his life. For why else would they pull an heist like that? They knew he wasn't home yet, that his sister would see it and panick and call the police. They knew his life would become open to them as they asked him questions, they would monitor him and his sister and would eventually find him out and throw his ass in prison.
The three million bucks question was: who were they exactly?
He had to alert the organization as soon as possible, when the police left them alone. He shivered at the thought of them having being near his sister. Fuck, they could have harmed her if they wanted to.
'Yes?' He tore his gaze away from space to look at Kanadaa.
'Ruuga, you've got to stop what you're doing. They're gonna try to kill us next, I-'
'Shh.' He stopped her with a hand to her lips. 'It's okay. I've got things under control.' A lie.
'No! Just stop whatever you're doing already. I don't wanna lose you, Ruuga.'
'Shh,' he said again, not covering her mouth. 'Don't talk about that here.' He ran his fingers through her curly red hair and kissed her forehead. 'No harm is gonna come your way. My job is to protect you, I owe Pops that much.'
Kanadaa couldn't stop crying. He wasn't going to listen to her. He never did, he always believed he had things under control.
'Then lets leave this place. We should go somewhere where they'd never find us, maybe Daimein?'
He blinked twice. 'Sure.'
'Wow, after so many years of abandoning this house it still looks so much in good shape,' Kanadaa said, dumping her laptop bag on a covered sofa.
'So many years is just two years, nutcase. And you abandoned it, I didn't. I come here once in a while to chill off.' Ruuga pushed her out of the way as he entered.
Kanadaa regained her footing and frowned. 'You don't have any of your stuff here, do you?'
Ruuga looked sheepish. 'I might have left some here.' He shrugged.
'Are you fucking shitting me?' She removed her sneakers.
She huffed and threw a shoe at him. Although it was unexpected Ruuga caught it in midair with such accuracy that seemed impossible.
'I don't know how I survived two years living in the same house with you.'
'You've always lived with me, right from when you were born, Bambina.' He called her her childhood nickname. 'Nineteen good years.'
Her tone went soft. 'But Pops and Mom were there.'
They went silent at this statement, each wrapped up in his or her own thoughts. They still missed their parents, even though Ruuga pretended not to. They'd been taken away from them so suddenly it was a scarred shock on them now.
Ruuga broke the silence. 'Well, we're back at our old house, it's got bigger space.'
'Good to know. I never really liked the complex anyways.' She started towards the stairs.
'But you're gonna miss some friends,' Ruuga said, loosening his tie. 'What about Muaire?'
Her head whipped back to him. 'She's not my friend. An annoying bitch who lives to talk and fuck. How did you know her name?'
Ruuga rolled his eyes and started dragging a travel bag after her.
Kanadaa gasped. 'You didn't! What! You slept with her, eew!'
'It was just twice or thrice, nuthead.' His voice went cold and cutting. 'Now will you leave me alone?'
Kanadaa swallowed and quickly went for the stairs. Her brother rarely showed that side of his to her. In fact he hadn't for almost five years now. It must be the incidence bringing that out. She really needed to be extra careful.