“You were close,” Officer Mitchell states, and I nod because we were, or I thought we were. “Can you tell me who this man is?” he asks, pulling out a picture of Aaron’s—Lane’s cousin, or at least the guy he told me was his cousin when he introduced me to him.

“Aaron…I mean Lane’s cousin Cody. He lives in Mississippi.”


“Did you ever overhear them talking?”

“Overhear them talking?” I ask, looking at a picture of Cody and Lane sitting in what looks like a bar. Lane is holding a bottle of his favorite beer in his hand, and Cody has a short, wide glass with dark liquid and ice on the bar top in front of him, his hand wrapped around it while he laughs at something.

“Overhear them talking about anything out of the ordinary?” he clarifies, and I shake my head.

“No.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Maybe if you told me exactly why I’m here, I could give you the information you’re looking for.”

“Lane Diago’s uncle is one of the biggest distributors of illegal narcotics in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina.”

“What?” I whisper as my eyes focus on one of the pictures of Lane and me standing outside my apartment. I was wearing a short, colorful summer dress and gold strappy sandals, and Lane had on a pair of black cargo shorts and a plain white tee. His head was bent toward mine, my hand was resting against his chest, and his was wrapped tight around my hip. It was our third date and our first kiss. I had waited forever to even go on a date with him, because I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I finally gave in to him, because he was so persistent. He asked me out every time we saw each other, and he was always dramatic in the way he did it, which I thought at the time was kind of cute.

“Did you ever see—”

“I never saw anything,” I cut him off. “Lane didn’t even smoke pot, and almost everyone I know smokes pot,” I whisper, pulling my eyes from the picture to look at him.

“You two were together a lot. You dropped him or picked him up from buyers.” He shifts through the stack of photos and pulls out one of me parked outside a house where I had been waiting for Lane. “My men saw you on more than one occasion.”

“To friends’ houses,” I tell him, suddenly finding it hard to breathe. “If he asked me to drop him off at a friend’s, pick him up, or to run him somewhere when we were going out, I would. But I never witnessed him doing anything illegal.”

“Do you understand you can go to prison if we find out you spent any of the money he earned from selling drugs on things for yourself?” Officer Plymouth asks, crossing his arms over his chest.

Laughing, I cover my face with my hands and lay my head on the table while I try to pull myself together. I probably shouldn’t be laughing right now but it’s either laugh or cry.

“What do you find funny about this?” Officer Plymouth asks, and I lift my head to look at him.

“I paid for us to do things more than once. He even asked me for gas money a couple of times. I never, not once, took money from him, not even for a coffee,” I tell him, and his eyes go to Officer Mitchell, who mutters, “Fuck.”

“He cheated on me a month ago, and I haven’t talked to him since then,” I tell him, and he shakes his head.

“We have time stamps for phone calls between the two of you over the last month.”

“Did you ever look at how long those calls lasted?” I ask, knowing that if he did, he would know we didn’t actually talk. “He called. He called over and over. Finally, I had to pick up to tell him to stop calling me. I didn’t want anything to do with him a month ago, and I sure as hell don’t want anything to do with him now.”

“Another fucking road block,” Officer Plymouth grumbles, and my head swings to him.

“I’m sorry. I swear that if I knew anything, I would help you out, but I don’t. Lane never told me anything, and I sure as hell didn’t see anything. If I had, I would have talked to my uncle about it.”

“You’re sure you didn’t see anything, hear anything?”

“I’m sure,” I tell him, wishing I did know something, not because I’m a rat, but because I know what drugs can do to people. I know not everyone dies from using drugs, not everyone’s life goes to shit from using them, but my roommate during my freshman year of college overdosed and died, and that was after she turned into a completely different person. Someone I didn’t like much. Someone I couldn’t trust. So, there’s no way I would ever protect anyone who is responsible for supplying those drugs, no matter how much I cared about them.

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