All the Lies (Page 21)
I pull my knife free from Lisa’s picture, then grab her picture—that I printed off from Hadley’s computer—and toss the annihilated photo into the trash, covering it with some other rubbish.
“That’s not creepy at all,” Hadley mutters.
“I torture and kill men. Being creepy should be a given.”
She studies me, and a frown creases her lips.
“You’re even colder than usual.”
“Usually I have more time with Logan after facing the worst side of me to do what needs to be done. Lisa was eager to interrupt that this morning, and it’s fortunate I have my killer on a leash. She pushed at all the wrong times. I need cooling down periods after going that dark. It’s how I keep my sanity. I’ve had to raise the timelines, losing a piece of myself with each kill.”
I follow her out, and considering the jammed up streets, we elect to walk, moving briskly down the sidewalk.
“I’m worried about you, Lana. You’re telling me you’re losing yourself and struggling with not murdering Lisa.”
I roll my eyes. “If I was going to kill her, I would have already done it while everyone was distracted with Kyle’s flayed body.”
She gags, and I smirk.
“Seriously. You’re normally not this cold and detached,” she says as we walk toward the town where the chaos I unleashed is fully at play.
I wanted to see the looks on their faces when they discovered Kyle, but knew it wasn’t smart to be present. Jake and I drove like hell to get back in time to hang the body, and I still haven’t slept.
“I’m almost done,” I say as I ignore the tremor in my hand.
Killing Kyle the way I did… Digging deep enough to give him the true torture he deserved over such a limited amount of time… A lot was taken out of me. I felt rushed, and I made him pay for it.
I don’t regret anything but not having more time to draw out his suffering.
“She’s a bitch, I know. But she doesn’t deserve any of your stabby urges.”
I hold my hands up innocently, absently listening to the sobs of the people I may or may not have scarred for life. As of this morning, they no longer fear the sheriff who has always protected his son. Now they fear the one person who can break the untouchable.
They belong to me now.
The flock have a new shepherd to fear. Baa, bitches.
“I’m not going to stab her. Promise.”
My emotions aren’t in check the way they normally are. They’re all over the place, and the memories I’ve controlled with each kill ran awry, stirring up all the feelings I iced so long ago. It’s killing me not to go for the endgame now. Not to hit the sheriff before the shock of his son wears off.
I want him to marinate in his grief for longer than a few moments though. I want him broken before I arrive for the next phase.
“You got sloppy with counter forensics. You should have dragged him.”
“I’d have been caught.”
“They know you have a partner.”
I grin over at her as she rolls her eyes, and I force the composure that normally comes with so much ease. It’s fractured right now, and I don’t have time to regroup before it’s time to bring out the arsenal.
I have to strike soon, just not too soon.
I pop a piece of gum into my mouth, and Hadley groans when she sees Lisa talking to Logan and Leonard.
“Please behave. This is a crime scene, and you can’t give me another one.” Her tone is joking, but also serious.
“I’ll be good,” I say with a dark smile, my eyes on Lisa as I picture what her screams would be like.
I really need to get my control back before I cut her a little.
That would be bad.
“Witnesses are all around,” Hadley says in a singsong voice.
I keep staring at Lisa as she tries to touch Logan. He wisely backs away, not letting her touch connect with his arm. His back is to me, but Lisa spots me, and a devious smile curves her lips.
Oh, I could so teach her a lesson.
Hadley starts getting worried again, stepping in front of me to cut off my vision.
“Don’t, Lana. I’m onboard with your crusade, but I’m not cool with petty cattiness.”
My eyebrows go up, but before I can speak, Lisa’s voice interrupts.
“It’s sad that she has to hurt the team by needing a constant babysitter,” Lisa says, because she’s stupid enough to provoke someone who could kick her ass for hours and never grow tired.
“Go. Away,” Hadley snaps, glaring at Lisa.
Lisa snickers as she starts walking by, and I spit my gum out. Because I’m an awesome aim, it lands right in the back of her hair, hitting hard enough to imbed in there real good.
Lisa gasps and grabs the back of her hair, whirling around with wide eyes that look ridiculous paired with that gaping mouth.
I grin and wag my fingers at her before walking again, moving toward Logan.
Hadley groans while running to catch up with me.
“Now that was petty,” I quip, grinning proudly.
Oddly, I don’t feel so stabby anymore. I doubt I could spit gum out at all my impending victims and feel free, but with Lisa, it seems to do the trick.
I should buy more gum.
“I can’t believe you did that,” Hadley hisses, but I can tell she’s biting back a smile that matches my immature one.
“Better than sending her roses from a serial killer.” I shrug, and Hadley’s smile vanishes.
“Too soon?” I ask, playing coy.
She flips me off and walks away just as Logan walks up, eyeing the interaction between us.
“You’re not Hadley’s friend until she flips you off at least twice,” he says, cupping my chin and tilting my head back.
“Then we must be besties because she uses that gesture quite often with me.”
He smiles, but I see the heaviness in his eyes and how weighted he feels. Kyle’s body was too much for him, and I knew it before I delivered it to the town.
He doesn’t understand.
Jake’s words try to climb into my head, but I ignore them, forcing myself to focus on the here and now.
“As soon as this case is over, I’m taking a long, overdue vacation and turning my phone off for at least a week. We’ll go somewhere they can’t find us,” he says, running his lips over mine.
I entertain the illusion, distancing myself from reality as I stay the Lana Myers he loves, and not the girl he’s chasing.
“I’ll take you up on that, SSA Bennett.”
He grins against my lips, but a loud shout has us breaking apart.
“My son is dead, and you’re making out with your girlfriend after they just cut down his body!” the sheriff shouts, outraged as he charges Logan full speed.
Two deputies charge us as well, but Logan’s fist shoots out, connecting with one face before he lands a hit to the sheriff’s stomach, halting the attack as the dickheaded man doubles over.
My instincts take over before I can refrain, and my hand flies up, slamming into the throat of the third man before his punch can land on me. He coughs and his eyes bug out, and Leonard tackles him to the ground, while Donny wrangles the other one back.
Leonard’s eyes meet mine, and for a brief moment, I panic. My movements were precise, showing far more experience than Lana Myers should have.
“Nice reflexes,” he says, giving me a tight smile as he cuffs the man on the ground.
Logan spins the sheriff, shoving him into a tree and cuffing his hands behind his back.
“Get your fucking hands off them!” Johnson shouts, charging toward us. “You can’t arrest the sheriff!”
“He attacked a federal agent,” Leonard says. “Just as they did.”
“I didn’t,” the one under him groans.
Leonard makes him cry out in pain as he tightens the cuffs more. “No, you tried to attack a defenseless woman.”
I really don’t like being called that. It’s rather insulting.
I turn around, walking away before Johnson pisses me off too much. Logan is one hell of a fucking trigger for me, because I want to blow Johnson’s head off even as he and Logan argue, their voices raising.
The war has started, and it’s not too long before Logan is sent away. We’ve guessed their every move. We’ve already hit checkmate, but they still think it’s the middle of the game.
I can’t blow it all by stabbing Johnson right between the eyes in the middle of the park full of badges and witnesses.
So I walk away. I count to ten. Then to two thousand. I jog. I run. I fucking meditate.
But the urge to kill those sons of bitches is still raw and raging inside me. I’m fighting to hold back my urges until the endgame. Right now it feels almost impossible.
For once, I’m worried about my sanity.
So I call the only person who cares enough to help talk me down.
“Talk me down,” I say to Jake, my heart thumping heavily. “Talk me down now.”
“Ducks have corkscrew penises,” he says as my footsteps pause. “Come on over. I’ll show you some pictures. Nasty little fuckers.”
I roll my eyes, finding myself smiling for no reason at all. “Do I want to know why you know about this?”
“I have a vast amount of useless, sometimes disturbing knowledge for purposes such as this. The more random, the better to throw you off your game with, my dear.”