Lucifer quirks an eyebrow at me.

“My knuckle still gives me issues; these padded puppies help a bit. They also have a hard-outer shell for hitting people with.”

Stepping over to the bound man, I look to Simon. “Anything we need specifically, or is this just a general session to get anything we can?”

“Get the full plans of what was supposed to go down tomorrow. Anything else is a bonus at this time.”

Nodding my head, I rip the tape off the guy’s mouth.

“Talk now,” I say to him, “Tell me about the hit on the school tomorrow. This can go on for hours or it can be over quickly. Your choice.”

A mouth full of blood and spittle hits my face before I even have a chance to put a hand on him.

Guess that’s my cue to start the painful process.

There’s not a dry bone in my body by the time I make it into the kitchen. My boots make squishing sounds with each step I take.

Amy and Abigail are sitting there at the kitchen table getting ready to start in on cereal and toast.

When they look up at me though I feel like last night was only a dream.

Abigail beams a smile at me.

Amy looks up at me through her long, thick eyelashes and asks, “Are you okay?”

She doesn’t ask it like she would have a couple days ago. No, this time there’s tenderness in her voice.

“Yeah, let me get cleaned up. You guys in the mood for a big, hot breakfast?”

Abigail looks from me to her mom. Dropping her spoon into her barely-touched bowl of cereal, she asks, “May I have French toast?”

“You sure can, princess. Just let me get showered and dry.”

Giggling, Abigail says, “You look like you were in the shower already.”

“I bet I do.”

Heading out of the kitchen, I keep my hands partially hidden. Even with the gloves on they’re bruised with spots of blood.

Grabbing a garbage bag from the utility room, I move up to our bedroom. My shirt under my black jacket isn’t wet with only water. Towards the end of the questioning things got a little… bloody.

I don’t think either of my girls need to know about that part of my job.

Stripping away the wet layers of clothing, I dump each one into the garbage bag. Everything goes in. My jacket, my black cargo pants, and even my boots.

Nothing from tonight will stay with me. Not the clothes and not the blood.

Naked, I step into the shower.

The stinging hot water washes all the blood and grime down the drain, leaving no trace of the violence I inflicted.

15

Amy

Andrew left us alone all night. No guard to watch over us. No one to stop us. I could have left. I probably should have left.

But something held me back.

I want to tell myself I was too afraid to walk out the door because of Ivan. He was released yesterday and I know he’s out there, somewhere. Waiting.

But it wasn’t only Ivan. Something else is holding me here. Something that sits heavy in my chest. Something that continues to grow, like a cancer.

Instead of leaving or plotting an escape, I stayed up most of the night wondering where Andrew was.

What was he doing? Was he with Lucifer? Was he killing people?

Or was he with another woman?

I shouldn’t care, I shouldn’t, but I do. The mere thought of him with someone else makes me so angry I could cry.

I truly have no control of this situation. He can do whatever he wants, whoever he wants.

It’s not like we’re in a healthy relationship here.

I hated him for not telling me where he was going, or what he was doing. I hated him for making me feel this way. For making feel anything in the first place. It’s fucking insane.

Insane.

But as soon as he walked in the door, soaked to the bone and smelling faintly of blood, I didn’t want to know where he was or what he was doing.

And the sick, fucked-up part of me was glad he was finally home.

I’m in over my head here, and the water is only getting deeper.

Beside me, Abigail squirms in her chair, glancing towards the TV. Knowing she has French toast coming her way she’s no longer interested in the cereal.

“Go watch some TV,” I smile at her. “You’re excused from the table.”

She flashes me a bright smile and darts out of her chair.

I stand up and clean up the bowls of cereal. I take my time dumping them out and washing them by hand, waiting for Andrew to come back downstairs.

When he doesn’t, I decide to go up and check on him.

The smell of minty soap and steamy water greets me as I push open the bedroom door.

“Andrew?” I call out. “Are you okay?”

When he doesn’t answer, I decide I better check. Who knows what kind of shit he got up to last night.

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