All the Lies (Page 14)
“Saw it on some crime episode one time. The bad cop got rid of the good one by framing him with drugs. Figured it was a good possibility in a town like this, and I didn’t want to risk it.”
Elise steps onto the porch. “Hadley’s inside with a camera. She recorded the entire thing. Since Lana is staying here as well, she had the right to block their entry. She did good.”
Elise says this as though she’s surprised.
I cup Lana’s chin and tilt her head up before staring down at her eyes. “Don’t fuck with either of them. The last thing I need is a target painted on your back.”
“I wasn’t fucking with them. I was simply stating my rights as a citizen of the United States,” she says innocently. She even bats her fucking eyelashes, and Leonard snorts, turning away as his body shakes with silent laughter.
“I’m serious,” I tell her sternly.
She continues to bat those eyelashes over faux innocent eyes. “I’ll never just bend over and take it, SSA Bennett. Unless I’m bending over for you, of course.”
Leonard does lose it now, laughing as he walks away. I groan as her lips etch up in a smile. Lisa mutters something, surprising me with her presence as she steps away from the side of the cabin.
Lana battles a smile unsuccessfully, and I roll my eyes.
“Hadley, you’re staying here tonight. The rest of us have somewhere else to be. Keep your eyes open,” I tell her while tugging Lana against me.
“Always got my eyes open, Bennett,” Hadley quips as she stands and walks toward the door.
As she steps out, I push Lana against the wall and crush my lips to hers, shutting her up before she can talk more. She moans into my mouth, gripping my shirt to pull me closer.
And I decide my plans can wait.
Chance is a word void of sense; nothing can exist without a cause.
“Do you believe in coincidence?” I ask Jake as I prop my feet up on the dash of his car.
We’re lurking in the car, parked in the shadows, and watching the long line form for the one-night-only Sin House. You’d think people would realize this little one-night show gets more action than anything in town all year long. It should attest to the fact the sick people around here are dark and demented from years of oppression.
“Coincidences as big as ours?”
He sighs hard. “What’s this about, Lana? You’re seriously starting to worry me.”
I toy with the ends of my hair, staring down at it while we wait.
“Marcus always believed that nothing happened by chance. That everything was interweaved in fate’s plan, and that there was a purpose for everything.”
“What purpose is there in what happened ten years ago to your entire family and the only man I’ve ever loved?” He asks the question calmly, but he’s good at hiding his anger.
“I didn’t say it was a good purpose,” I tell him softly, reaching over to lace our fingers together.
He squeezes my hand and inhales deeply.
“If it hadn’t been our family, it would have been another,” I go on.
He lays his head back, staring down the end of his nose at the ever-growing line to the Sin House.
“What would Marcus say the reason was?” he asks, though his voice is rasp.
“You knew him just as well as I did. If not better. You tell me,” I go on, squeezing his hand this time.
His lips tense for a moment, then finally he speaks. “If he’d survived, you and I wouldn’t have had the anger to dig into the darkness and do what it took to reap revenge. If your father hadn’t been targeted, another man and his family would have been.”
“And not everyone has the ability to go dark enough to slice men’s cocks off several times and torture them for days without losing all sense of humanity,” I add with a shrug.
He laughs under his breath, shaking his head.
“Yes. He’d definitely point that out, and he’d say it almost just like that. He’d also say that no one would have the determination to see it through like you and me. He’d point out that I learned code for this very reason. That I learned tech for this very reason.”
My eyes settle on Logan as he walks by, looking around the line like he’s searching for someone or something. We’re perfectly hidden here amongst the other cars, and there’s a sensor to alert us if someone gets too close.
My bestie is awesomely paranoid like that.
“He’d tell us that Kyle Davenport might be the worst fucking person in the world and get away with it if I hadn’t been the one to survive and come back to collect his debt,” I say more seriously.
“And he’d say that the sheriff would get away with just as much, and no one would ever stand up to him,” he adds, the same serious tone.
“What would he say about Logan?” I ask as Logan lifts his phone, probably trying to find a teammate.
They’re waiting for Kyle, probably planning to watch him and see if anyone pays him any attention. I’ve already laid eyes on him. He’s right in the middle of the line, waiting his turn.
My stomach roils every time I see his face, so I refuse to keep looking. This will be the hardest one to find control. I’ll want to slice the flesh from his body over and over and over… Rage will be evident.
Unless I completely skin the fucker.
The haunted house is not really a house at all. It’s four large trailers that have holes cut in the fronts and backs, and they’re wedged together on the street, supported by blocks underneath. They’ll be wheeled back tomorrow, stored away until next year.
I doubt there will be a next year.
Kyle runs a hand through his dark hair, squeezing the ass of the girl with him who doesn’t look happy to be with him. He was too rough all those years ago when I stupidly dated him. I can only imagine he’s worse now, given the shiner on her eye.
Forcing my eyes away, I turn to Jake, waiting for him to answer. He looks lost in thought, and I start to think he never heard me.
“He’d say it was too coincidental not to mean something,” he finally answers, the words sounding almost reverent.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, what are the odds of you running into the lead FBI agent on your case? And falling for him? And him falling for you? Your paths were meant to cross, but he wasn’t meant to stop you, or he already would have. Even I, a man of pure science, cannot belittle what you have by labeling it with mere coincidence. Maybe he was meant to drag out your humanity the most right when you needed it.”
His eyes soften as he looks over at me.
“I’m sorry. I know each kill dulls you more. You got the worst end of this job. Just helping what little bit I have has seared pieces of my soul that I can’t get back.”
My lips purse as I resume watching Logan. “He makes me feel,” I say, though it’s something I’ve said many times before. “My soul actually feels restored with the kills as long as I have him afterwards.”
“He keeps you grounded and firmly attached to reality so you don’t end up like the profile.” He reaches over and squeezes my knee before kissing my cheek.
I give him a brittle smile as he presses his forehead against mine.
“He gives you a reason to want a future,” he adds quietly. “And through him, you found a piece of yourself you thought you’d lost. That’s given me hope for a future one day too, Lana. So maybe Marcus was right. Fate is a fucking cold-hearted bitch, but everything has a purpose.”
I snort and wipe away a tear, while he smirks and looks straight forward, leaning away from me. The lost, pained look in his gaze lets me know he’s thinking of all he and Marcus might have been, even though he says he never thinks of that.
Too many tears have fallen after I swore I’d never let another tear fall. I guess Jake is right about Logan bringing back out my humanity.
He can’t stop me from being a monster though.
If he was meant to stop me, he already would have, just like Jake said.
Kyle steps closer to the front of the line, and Chad Briggs moves with him. His second deputy accompanying him is Trevor Byron. Two more are stationed near the front, where the Sin House ends.
Those two will survive.
For tonight, anyway.
They’re on my kill list, but I think it’d be a little overly ambitious to try and take out five in one night. After all, I’m just one little girl.
Smirking, I watch as they get closer.
“Show time,” Jake tells me, handing me the wig/mask.
I’m already dressed in my jumpsuit. The padding will disguise my build and my weight. I pat my pocket, checking for the syringe. It’s still there.
Jake and I will have to tag team Kyle, to ensure Logan doesn’t catch me elbow-deep in his blood.
“Think you can get your car around there without anyone seeing?” I ask him.
“I think no one will say a word,” he taunts, arching an eyebrow.
“Let the sheep change shepherds,” I say as I get out of the car, tugging the mask on.
Everyone is dressed in so many costumes, that only a few even notice me as I pass by. I can’t hide my height, but after saving Logan last night, that doesn’t really matter anymore.