All the Lies (Page 7)
My eyes catch Justin Hollis—a deputy on my list—walking briskly toward the basketball court near the back. It’s close to our cabin.
When he steps into the shadows, I cock my head.
I call Jake, putting him on speaker so I can still work the app, and start rewinding the screen, flipping to the next when he’s out of view, following his path through several cameras.
“What’s up?” Jake asks. “Diana faint?”
Diana’s eyes widen when she hears his voice. “Yeah, but she’s okay. Justin Hollis is squatting near my cabin. What’s up with that?”
He grows quiet for a minute. “I don’t know. I had to silence everything earlier. They came to check the cabins again, but didn’t come in this time. I just hid, and kept the windows covered. They peered through the one window that shows the kitchen but gives no visibility to everything else.”
“I’m trying to track his steps back, but it’s taking too long from my phone.”
“On it,” I hear him saying, and I wait impatiently, my eyes lifting to Diana’s again.
She looks as though her world has been turned upside down, and she clutches the bible in her hand. In her mind, there’s time to save me, to stop me from tarnishing the rest of my soul with the blood on my hands.
“Found it,” he says, then I hear the volume crank up in the background.
The phone is still on speaker, so Diana hears it as well.
“Sheriff said Diana, not them,” Justin is growling.
Chad Briggs has a smirk in his tone. “Killing Diana is like killing an ant. More ants are going to come into your house. But if you kill the queen…”
Justin doesn’t sound thrilled. “Kill the queen, and the ants disappear.”
Who the fuck is the queen?
My eyes flick up to see Diana’s wide, horrified gaze. Hearing they want her dead from my lips seems less impactful than hearing it straight from the jaws of the devils themselves.
“Sheriff ain’t gonna be happy about this,” Justin grumbles.
“Sheriff ain’t the only one at stake here. We all need to worry about these guys figuring out the truth. You think you’re ready for prison.”
“Sheriff can handle this. He’s handled all the other things,” Justin argues.
I wish I could see the video, examine their expressions, but I don’t want Jake to face-time me right now, because he’d have to pause all this.
“He ain’t ever handled someone who isn’t afraid of him. But if we take out their leader, the others will fall in line. They always do. You cut a head off a snake to end it. You don’t just cut off one rat from its food supply.”
My stomach plummets like a rocket as I slowly stand to my feet.
“How do we do this?” Justin asks, his voice more determined now that Chad has convinced him this is the answer to all their problems.
“Simple. Block off the road to the cabins. Wait at the courts. It’ll give you the element of surprise, and it’s just far enough away that the others will never hear or see you if they come back before you finish it.”
My heartbeat slams into my throat, and I grab my hood, jerking it over my head as I head toward the backdoor, taking long, quick strides. “They’re going after Logan,” I tell Jake, panic inching up my spine with paralyzing force.
“Look at camera thirteen,” he says quietly.
I pull up the app, and my feet lock into place as I see Logan being detoured by the roadblocks.
Almost immediately, I break into a sprint, tossing my phone into my back pocket, as I use every burst of speed inside me, my adrenaline making me run even faster.
The whole town will bleed if I’m too late.
The whole fucking town will scream for me.
It is the flash that appears; the thunderbolt will follow.
“I’ll run in and see if Craig has anything while you’re checking on—”
Donny’s words end on a grunt, and I turn around, confused as to why he just stopped talking. When I see him on the hard court, a little blood running from his mouth as he lies there unconscious, I grab for my gun too late.
Something hard slams into my head, and I fall forward, disoriented and dizzy, as I crash into the unforgiving pavement below me. My stomach pitches, and my head gains thirty pounds as I try to black out, fighting hard to stay conscious.
A blur of a man’s silhouette steps into my vision, the moonlight not favoring me enough to show me his face. At least not until he kneels down and smiles at me.
Deputy Justin Hollis.
“You boys just can’t learn to leave well enough alone, now can you?” he taunts, grabbing my gun from my hip.
Weakly, I try to fight for it, but my hands aren’t cooperating, and the world is still spinning around me. It feels like gravity has waged a war against my body, pinning me down.
As I struggle up to my hands and knees, Hollis laughs, kicking me in the stomach, sending me spiraling down on my back as my stomach heaves.
I shake my head as his laughter echoes back and forth in my mind, sounding like it’s coming from everywhere at once.
“Big bad Supervisory Special Agent Bennett. You don’t look so threatening to me. Even the sheriff was worried about you.”
The distinct sound of my gun being cocked registers, echoing from all over like his laughter. But before the gunshot can come, I hear a sharp intake of air and a pained yelp escape from him.
The gun falls, rattling somewhere in the distance, and my blurry eyes look up to see Hollis’s head snapping back as a figure clad in all black becomes a blurring fury of motion.
My head is too groggy, making the scene nothing but a distorted movie in front of me. The black-clad figure spins, shooting a foot out to the deputy’s chest. Hollis cries out, crashing to the ground. And the figure comes down on top of him, raining punches on his face.
Even the hands are clad in all black, so I can barely see what he’s doing.
Until he pulls out a knife, holding it at his side.
He leans forward, and I watch as his head comes down next to Hollis’s. Hollis cries out as the knife plunges into his side. And I see as the figure leans back up, staring down at him as he thrusts the knife inside Hollis’s chest while straddling him.
He twists the knife as Hollis screams, and I hear almost a delicate, feminine laughter floating through the air.
The knife stays in Hollis’s chest as the figure stands, and Hollis gurgles on blood, trying to speak. I sway on my side, trying to push back up before he can come for me.
But I see him bent over. He’s small. Very small. And as my vision clears just barely, I notice the small set of shoulders and very small frame.
Small. Small. Small.
That word just keeps replaying as the figure leans down and dips its finger into Hollis’s blood that is rushing from his chest. I can’t see what the figure is doing in its crouched position, but when it stands, it grabs the knife from Hollis’s chest, and then it throws it right into his groin.
One last pained sound escapes Hollis, and the unsub grabs the knife before walking away, disappearing from my sight.
I limply grab for my phone, struggling to form a grip around it when I finally find it. It falls to the ground, tumbling from my uncooperative fingers. My eyes close and open for who knows how long, before suddenly there’s a familiar face in front of me.
“Logan! He’s over here!” I hear her calling out, cupping my face.
“Run,” I whisper. “Run.”
Her face is barely visible through the blur, but I can smell her, feel her, and know it’s her by the way she touches me.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Lana says, checking something on my head.
“Here!” she shouts again to some echo in the distance.
“Logan!” Craig’s voice is barely recognizable through the veil of white noise surrounding me. “Get an ambulance out here now.”
“Donny!” someone shouts, but Lana never leaves my side.
My head is in her lap, and she’s barking out orders, asking me questions too fast for me to answer them.
My eyes finally close as she shouts my name one last time.
Too many thoughts are going through my mind as I play the scene on repeat, trying to piece it all together.
It’s not a man who just saved my life.
It wasn’t a beast at all.
It was a woman.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
“It couldn’t have been a woman,” Donny argues as I wince, sitting up from the ER bed.
He’s sitting down, holding an icepack to his own jaw. He was hit across the side of the face with the bat Hollis used to attack us.
“I agree with him,” Elise says on a sigh. “A woman would have gone for the gun. Not used the knife. And by the way, the sheriff is playing this like Hollis was acting on his own accord, and Johnson is backing him, saying they’d already discussed his possible discord with you being here. The director, of course, is saying it sounds like this is one man’s actions, and that we’re safe. He’s still trying to cover this up, even at the cost of our lives.”
She’s furious, and should be.
Lisa clutches my arm from my bedside, easing closer as she brushes her fingers over my cheek. “We’re going to find out if that’s the truth,” she promises.