“It will stop in time and your sister will know in time.” My sister. Bethany. I need her to know. “Things are going according to plan.”
I comment, feeling hollow inside, “I just need her to know.”
“Go to sleep, Jennifer.” He knows the only person to call me Jennifer was my mother. I told him to stop, but all he says is that it’s my name.
“I feel guilty,” I confess to him as shivers run down my arms. I don’t know why. Maybe because there is no judgment from him, only truth and facts no matter how cold and callous they are.
“You should,” is his only answer.
“When will she know that I’m okay?” My eyes burn searching for him in the dark corner.
“That depends on something I can no longer predict.”
“On what?” I ask him, feeling a new pain run down the seam of my chest.
Some days, bad shit happens.
Some days you take a loss.
Other days, like today, the puzzle pieces to the overall bigger picture form and you can feel the bad shit and losses preparing to come. It’s like watching it all tumble around you.
It’s all I can think on the drive back home. That’s it falling, everything is going to fall and I’m not sure how to stop it.
As I turn right onto the long gravel road, I feel the vibrations in the car and remember the footage played for Seth and me in the back room after we took care of Luke Stevens.
Declan finally got hold of video from a coffee shop’s security feed of their parking lot that showed a section of the graveyard.
A young prick with a bandage covering half of his face snuck up on us and we had no fucking clue. He was right there, hiding behind the car and then at the windshield when the cop car came into view and I was focusing on that, rather than on him tucking a note in the wipers. He hid, crouched down by the wheel, but I should’ve seen his hand, I should have seen him walking up in the rearview by the tree line. I should have seen, but I didn’t.
Marcus may truly be building an army; an army of faceless men like this prick. An army I don’t have names for.
Seth’s taking care of the surveillance at the bridge Luke mentioned. We have eyes everywhere, watching and waiting. But in order to see what’s going on, something has to happen. Something has to fall. And I need names and faces to recognize.
The only one I have right now is Jenny Parks.
“Shit.” The curse falls from my mouth as I pull up to my driveway to the estate, seeing the cop car in plain view. Officer Walsh is standing off to the right of the yard, looking out into the woods.
Just what I fucking need.
It’s one thing after another. With the rise of adrenaline, my gaze instinctively goes to the second story window on the right, the curtains wide open, but Bethany nowhere to be found.
As I park the car and the faint music I wasn’t listening to shuts off, a thought passes through me: She wouldn’t have called him. There’s no way he’s here because of her.
With the car door opening, the bitter air hits me and it only makes the sweat on my skin feel hotter.
“Officer Walsh,” I call out, and my voice carries through the cold air. That’s all I say to greet him, walking steadily past the cars to the yard where he stays put. He rocks on his heels as I slip my keys into my pocket. “Anything I can help you with?” I ask when I’m close enough to him.
“Beautiful view,” he comments, taking his gaze back to the forest.
With the thin layer of snow and the white fog along the tree line, it’s eerily beautiful.
I don’t bother to comment, or to play with his niceties. If she called him, if she wanted to break me like that, get it over with. So I can deal with her and fix this shit.
She wouldn’t do that, I think as I swallow, shoving both my hands in my pockets. The moment I glance at the trees, Officer Walsh finally looks back at me.
“I thought maybe if I told you something, you could tell me something,” he says, and then clears his throat. A look crosses his face like he doesn’t know if he’s making the right move. Curiosity sneaks up on me and I give him a small nod as I say, “You first.”
“My last case in New York… I failed to save a girl. She’s all right now… but I didn’t protect her like I should’ve. It’s why I asked for reassignment. I failed her.”
He doesn’t look at me when he talks, so I take in every bit of his expression. Noting the sincerity in his voice. But wondering how good of a liar this prick is.