Authors: Jordan Silver
“What are you talking about? I showed you my bruises and…”
“Yes but his fiancée was there and she swears that nothing happened, besides all that the captain has called us off I’m sorry.”
“Called you off what do you mean called you off, of my case?”
“Just this part until we can find out more. We’re still trying to find out who attacked you in your home and why.”
I wanted to rail and scream but that wouldn’t work in my favor. Up until now the cops have only seen the innocent little girl act, if I start acting like a crackpot now that would just defeat the purpose.
It seemed no matter what I did Jace was always just out of my reach, but wait… “Of course she would lie for him, she hates me, they both do and all because I didn’t want him anymore.” Cue the teary eyes.
“Look what he did to me.” Before I’d shown him the bruises I’d made on my arm, but these I was sure would get me better results. His eyes widened in anger when he got a look at my neck. I pulled the gown back in place and folded my hands in my lap.
“Why didn’t you show us those before? Look, I don’t know what happened over there. We were ready to take him in when this kid showed up…” He broke off and shook his head.
“What kid?” It better not be that Carissa bitch.
“This African American kid, they seemed pretty close, do you know who he is?”
“Track? What about him? He’s nobody what does he have to do with anything?” I understood his reaction. Track did have this way about him that was a bit forceful, but he hated my guts almost as much as I hate his so I never really got to know him.
He was one of the people who always wanted to take Jace away from me. And the way he looks at me, almost as if he could see right through me. Still, I didn’t see why the detective should be wary of him. He was just a troubled kid after all.
“I’m not sure, but he seemed to know…it doesn’t matter now. I’m gonna have to take pictures of your neck. I sure wish you had shown us those before. I’m pretty sure the captain wouldn’t have called us off no matter who that boy’s daddy is.”
“I didn’t tell you because, well, I thought the others were enough and I’m kinda embarrassed.” I played with the neckline of my soft gown and watched his eyes follow the action. I was almost tempted to cry rape but thought better of it. That shit would become too messy.
“You have nothing to be embarrassed about. If that boy attacked you then the fault is all his.” I knew this one was easy. I also knew he wasn’t supposed to be here without his partner but here he was. I can work with that. He’s kinda cute and his body ain’t half bad. Maybe…
t was crunch time. The others had left not too long ago after throwing around ideas of how to deal with the Mandy debacle and it was just her and I left.
My parents had gone off to one of dad’s Hollywood shindigs after I convinced them that I was okay. But now it was time to take her home. Something I was not looking forward to.
“I want to keep you baby.” I sounded like an obsessed stalker. I wrapped my arms around her tight as we laid across my bed fully clothed. She snorted into my chest before pulling her head back.
“What do you mean ‘keep me’? I’m already yours remember.” Her little face is so precious. How was it possible to love someone this much? The thought of taking her home and driving away without her made me sick to my stomach, but I knew my earlier plan to keep her here with me wouldn’t go over too well with her parents.
I’ve had more freedom in my life. We were from two different schools of thought I guess you can say. As far as I’m concerned the fact that she’s wearing my ring meant that the choice of whether we lived together now or not should be ours. But on farther thought I was pretty sure her father wouldn’t see it that way.
I find myself in a truly fucked up position. I like and respect her parents, they’ve not stood in our way in anything which is a minor miracle given the fact that things between us had escalated so quickly. Because of that respect I couldn’t just trample all over their wishes and I’m pretty sure without asking that they weren’t ready for her to move out from under their care.
“I don’t like being away from you. I think I might be obsessed.” I made light of my feelings to ease the band that was starting to tighten around my chest. This had nothing to do with her attack, or Mandy’s bullshit. This had to do with me not knowing how to handle her being out of my sight.
“Silly, it’s only while we sleep you’ll see me at school tomorrow, it won’t be that bad.” That’s what she thinks. I laid deep in thought for the next five minutes before coming to grips with reality.
“Fine, do you wanna go get something to eat or you want me to make something here before I take you home?” I looked down at her again. I’m always looking at her, horny toad.
She stretched her arms above her head and rolled over, her shirt pulling up to reveal her flat stomach. My dick took notice and I rearranged him in my jeans. Not that I wasn’t gonna jump her again before I took her home but I could at least feed her ass first.
“I’m not hungry, I’m full.” I dragged her up from the bed.
“Sian I watched you downstairs, you had a slice of apple and a carrot stick. You’re eating.”
“But I told you, I don’t want to eat too much now since I can’t really exercise.”
“And I told you that shit is dead. I read your medication labels, all that shit said take with a meal let’s go.”
“Do you always have to be such a bossy jerk?”
“Sucks to be you, hop on.” She grinned when I leaned over for her to climb onto my back.
I carted her downstairs like that and sat her short ass on the counter. She trapped me between her thighs when I moved to walk away, her arms coming around my neck, her head leaning against mine.
“What is it baby?” I like when she gets like this, all clingy and shit.
“Oh nothing I just wanna hold you for a minute.” I relaxed back into her and let her do her thing.
“Doesn’t it scare you?”
“Doesn’t what scare me?” I turned around so I could see her. I didn’t like the tone in her voice, like she had something heavy on her mind.
“Us, this, the way everything seemed to happen so fast. What if we don’t last?” I put my finger across her lips to stop her.
“That’s not gonna happen babe.”
“How can you be so sure?” I pulled her down and into my arms, holding her as close as humanly possible. “I know because I’ve had relationships before, and though they may all seem real at the time, not once have I ever seen my future as clearly as I do with you. Not once have I ever looked at someone and knew that they would be next to me for the rest of my life. My heart never tore a little at the thought of not having them there with me all the time. You’re the first, the only one to ever do that to me, and I’m smart enough to know what that shit means.”
She sniffed into my chest. “If you start that crying shit I’ma beat your ass.” I hate her fucking tears like poison. She grinned and my little threat seemed to stem the flow for now. I tapped her ass and sat her on a stool before going back to fixing her dinner.
She’s at it again. I heard the rumors around school the next day. How she’d tried to frame Jace and Sian. Why won’t she stop? Why couldn’t the adults see through her lies and schemes? I hate this feeling of impending doom, like there was a dark cloud hanging over everyone’s head and she was the one pulling the strings. I wish she’d died. Then everyone wouldn’t be so tense.
I’m a nervous wreck waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can’t eat, can’t sleep and I think my hair’s starting to fall out. I want to be angry, in fact I am. But I have to keep my anger well hidden because no one knows that I know. Mom has been so happy lately, like her old self again. But what will happen once Mandy gets out of the hospital? Will she leave my family alone? Somehow I don’t think so.
I won’t let her destroy us. I felt some of that hidden anger rise to the surface and burn a hole in my gut. I hate people like her. It’s not fair. She’s beautiful, blonde and rich. Why isn’t that enough for her? Why does she feel the need to hurt everyone around her? If she hadn’t so irreparably damaged my life I could actually feel sorry for her. It was obvious she had serious issues. But she’d gone too far, done too much, for me to spare her even a moment’s pity. Besides, there was no room left for any emotion other than hate.
“Hey you wait up.”
I heard Sian calling out to me as I made my way to class. I’ve been avoiding her lately. In fact it’s been a while since I’ve hung out with anyone. “Hey Sian, how’re you doing?”
“Forget that, why haven’t I seen you around, are you okay?” See, that’s the reason I’ve been avoiding her, she sees too much and I haven’t figured out yet how to answer any probing questions.
I live in constant fear of Mandy getting her memory back. If she’d even lost it in the first place. Some nights I lay awake in a cold sweat, imagining she really is this great big specter hanging over everyone, just waiting for the right moment to strike.
“Yeah I’m fine how about you? Where’s Jace?” I looked around surprised that he wasn’t here by her side. It was rare to see one without the other these days. Then I saw him leaning against the wall with her in his sights.
I like that, like the way he watches over her. Like my dad used to do with my mom when I was younger. The memory made me sad and I fought back the tears in front of my friend. That would only open up the door to more questions.
“Here’s Valerie’s address, don’t even think about copping out or I’ll come to your house and get you.” I took the piece of paper with the information and made my escape. “Okay thanks I gotta go.” I know she was watching me as I walked hurriedly away.
Dad was waiting for me in the parking lot and I waved as I made my way to his car. This is the way things used to be before he fell from grace. As I slid in beside him I mourned the fact that we had lost that, that easiness that had once existed between us.
“How was your day sweetheart?” I hated that his smile didn’t reach his eyes. Was he still missing her? I played along all the way on the ride home. Like my heart wasn’t broken, like I wasn’t disappointed in him. Like his actions hadn’t scarred me deeply and I can’t even tell him why.
etective Kiln here.”
“Hey detective I think we might’ve found something. We finished up the work you wanted done in the lab, thing is, it seems like both your cases dovetailed into each other.”
“I don’t understand, what do you mean?” I dropped the front legs of my chair and grabbed a pen.
“It was the same knife, unless you have two Unsubs out there using identical weapons, which isn’t impossible, but it would be one hell of a coincidence. The knife that was used on the Claiborne girl is the same one used in the Taylor incident.”
“You’re sure about this?” I rubbed the pain that had been brewing all day from between my eyes. “Yep, about ninety seven percent.”
Well that didn’t leave much of a window for error. I thanked the tech and hung up. “That was the lab, the results are in, it’s the same knife.”
Strom looked just as confused as I was. We’d been operating or at least I had, on the premise that the Sanders boy had done the Taylor girl. But at the time the Claiborne girl was being attacked twenty people swore they’d seen him on that bus.
“It could be a copycat, or someone trying to take the focus off of him.” I gave that some thought, it would be so easy to accept that. I didn’t like the kid or his dad. But unlike my predecessors on this case I wasn’t about to get thrown off so I kept my feelings to myself.
I’ve been working this town for five years and in all that time I’ve met some real pieces of work, but this family just rubs me the wrong fucking way. They thought their money and connections were a license to do whatever they wanted and get away with it, not on my watch.
As much as I disliked them, I didn’t see things playing out in that scenario. Besides if Chad Sanders had attacked the Taylor girl to throw the heat off his son she’d be dead.
“I don’t think so, plus the MO was different. The Claiborne girl didn’t have drugs in her system and she wasn’t shot.” Though it was obvious that whoever had attacked both girls wanted them dead, the Taylor attack seemed more personal.
We’d dusted her room for prints but there were too many to count and from her own words she had friends in and out all the time so there was no telling when the prints had been left.
I felt bad for her. I’d been sure that we’d have found something by now, but it was looking more and more like this person had covered their tracks very well. But because Sanders might be off the hook for the stabbing, those bruises she’d shown me tonight didn’t get there by themselves. Maybe I should have a little talk with the Claiborne girl’s parents and impress on them how serious an offense it is to give a false report to the police. There’s no way she could’ve been there when he attacked Taylor so viciously and not seen; unless she hadn’t been there. But even Mandy had confirmed that she was.
“So what do we do now? Wait for this hump to attack someone else? Do we really have a serial offender on our hands, going after teenaged girls?”
“Don’t say that shit too loud in this town Kiln, you’ll have a panic on your hands for sure. We’ll wait and see what the captain says and lets hope these were isolated incidents. Maybe we should have another look at their friends, the answer has to be there somewhere.”
“That’s just it. They don’t have the same friends as near as I can tell. In fact the only place their lives intercept is with Sanders. He picked up with the Claiborne girl as soon as Taylor dumped him.”
“You sure about that? From what I gathered from everyone I spoke to, he dumped Taylor last summer, weeks before the other girl showed up.” That didn’t sound right, maybe someone had got their lines crossed somewhere.
“Look, I’ve been doing a little digging into their backgrounds. Far as I can tell none of them have ever been in any real trouble before. I did find something in my search. I don’t know how important this is to the facts, but of all the players involved the Taylor girl is the only one with humble beginnings.”
“What does that mean?”
“It could be nothing but until her mother married that big shot they were living pretty close to the edge.”
“So what? Because she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth like the rest of them she’s somehow responsible?”
“I’m not saying that. Look, forget I said anything.”
He went back to reading over the papers on his desk and I sat there fuming in silence. Mandy Taylor may have come from humble beginnings but she was no more a criminal than the rest of them. I hate that about this town. No matter how hard you work to get the stench of poverty off of you they never let you forget.
Sanders will never have that problem the bastard. His family has been running things around here for a very long time. Now it seemed he and his new fling of the month had teamed up and decided to make this poor girl’s life miserable.
I didn’t like the fact that the Claiborne girl had been attacked either, but if she insisted on standing by Sanders with his bullshit lies then I’d have no choice but to take her down with him.
I’d done a run on the Track kid after coming back from the hospital and so far there was nothing in his background that gave me any answers. In fact it was quite the opposite. From what I could see he was a problem child always in some kind of trouble that made his old man send him off to be dealt with at least twice a year. So why the hell did the Captain call us off at his say-so? Or was someone else behind it?
I can’t help but remember the forceful way in which he spoke, as if he had some type of authority, which was a joke. If Sanders wasn’t the culprit, if he wasn’t good for the Taylor job then it was back to the drawing board. But I wasn’t writing him off that easily. “I guess tomorrow we start from scratch and take another look at the people around the two girls.” It was knock-off time anyway, time to go grab me a beer or two and put this mess behind me for another day.
For those of you who didn’t know, I post the installments of this series on my blog @jordansilver.net before posting the finished result on amazon