Home > Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel #1)(15)

Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel #1)(15)
Author: R.L. Mathewson

He stopped himself from grinning. She told Chris he was a nice guy and to trust him. He already knew Chris was innocent. He knew the moment he stepped into the school and saw Mike. The scent of the girl’s blood was permeated in the boy’s skin. The little shit liked to hit girls.

“Detective Williams, if I could be of service?” Mason said.

This should be good. “Please do,” Ephraim said as he leaned against Madison’s desk.

“These are fine boys.” He gestured to the football players. “Not one of them has a black mark on their files and they’ve never been in trouble otherwise.”

“What the hell are you saying, Mason?” Chris demanded. Madison put a hand on his shoulder. If that boy hurt her, Ephraim would kill him. The boy looked up at Madison and nodded before he sat back down.

Mason held up his hands. “I’m not trying to point fingers here. I am just pointing out that these boys,” the football players, “are not involved in this. It’s just a misunderstanding.”

Ephraim leveled his eyes on Mason. The man obviously wanted to get in good with Mike’s parents. They were wealthy and connected. If memory served him correctly they were also on the school board. He was being led around by his wallet.

Chris jumped to his feet. “Look at her face! You call that a misunderstanding? He beat the shit out of her!”

“Sit down this instant!” Mason snapped, giving Chris a look of disgust.

“No! You’re talking about her like she’s nothing. Look what he did to her!” Chris yelled.

Ephraim ignored the little drama and focused on Mike’s reaction. He was chuckling and grinning like an idiot. His buddies were dumb enough to clap him on the back in front of Ephraim. That gave him an idea.

“Carol, I know you’re upset and you don’t feel comfortable telling me who did this. I have a favor to ask that won’t force you on the issue. Is that okay?”

She cast a look at her parents and nodded. “Good.” He looked at Chris. “Come here and sit in the front.” Chris looked to Madison. She encouraged him to go. Smart.

He looked back at Carol and pointed at Chris’ friends. “Now, from what I understand these five gentlemen became involved this morning. Do you mind if I allow them to leave? If one of them is involved just say no and you don’t have to say who it is. I’ll keep them here until I figure it out.”

“No,” the word came out on a rasp. She cleared her throat. “They can go.”

The boys noticeably relaxed and filed out of the room, wishing Chris luck. The football players stood up expectantly. “So, we can go too?”

“No,” Ephraim said flatly.

“What? That’s not fair.”

“Life isn’t fair. Get over it.” He looked back at Chris. “Chris, if memory serves me correctly you’re sixteen years old, correct?”

“Yeah.”

Ephraim nodded. He looked over the football players. They were all seniors. “Are any of you boys under the age of eighteen?” They shook their heads. “Good. Come up here and sit down, you too, Mike. You’re eighteen, right?”

He nodded. “Carol, unless you are going to tell me what I want to know now you and your parents will wait in the hall.”

“But we want to stay,” her mother protested.

“I’m sorry, but you need to leave.” When the mother opened her mouth to protest he held up his hand. “I’m sorry, but I want her out of here for a reason. I also have paperwork in the hall that I need you to fill out. Please,” he gestured towards the door. With a nudge from her husband they left.

Ephraim watched the boys intensely as he continued. “Mr. Mason, unless you are planning on staying on behalf of Chris who is the minor in the room I have to ask you to leave.”

“I’ll stay.” Mr. Mason moved to stand next to Madison.

“Miss. Soloman, I’m assuming you’re staying for Chris as well?”

“She doesn’t need to, I’ll handle this,” Mason said. Of course he would want her out of the room. She was the only one there to protect Chris.

“She stays,” Chris said firmly.

“I agree.” Ephraim nodded.

“Mike, your parents can leave. You are of age and I do not need them to question you. However, if you feel you need your lawyer then he can stay.”

“He stays,” Mike said firmly.

“Fine.”

Mike’s parents left without a protest. They trusted Mason and the lawyer to keep him out of trouble.

Ephraim casually made his way back to Madison’s chair. He sat down and watched the boys for several long moments. Chris looked pissed and kept staring at Mike like he wanted to attack the boy. Mike looked cocky and carefree. His friends looked a little anxious, but seemed to think that this was a joke.

“Miss. Soloman, would you please see if the officer in the hallway has some papers for me?” Ephraim asked. His eyes never left the boys.

“Sure.” She stepped out into the hall and returned a minute later holding a file. She brought the file to him.

“Thank you,” he murmured as he took the file. His fingers ran over hers, sending heat up her arm before he pulled the file away. She went back to the wall, but not before he opened the file on the desk. It held several blank pieces of paper, but no one would see that unless they were standing in front of the desk.

He made a show of looking down and nodding at the papers. “Good. They signed,” he said quietly.

“Who signed what?” Chris asked.

“Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin signed the release form for a rape exam,” Ephraim said, focusing his eyes on Mike. Mike fidgeted, twice. The girl was underage so he really didn't need her parent’s permission, but if it helped this to move along he would play it up.

“What?” one of the football players asked stunned.

Ephraim nodded. “Let’s cut the shit, gentlemen. I already know what we’re going to find. She confided in her mother that this was not just an assault, but a rape. In one hour I will have her on a table and examined and an hour after that I will have a warrant with all of your names on it.”

“You will be brought to the emergency room under custody where your mouths will be swabbed for DNA.” He paused to run his eyes over the boys. “In twenty four hours I will have a match. I will also have several accessories if my hunch is correct.”

“What do you mean?” another football player asked. He looked like he was about to cry.

“Exactly what I said. If it turns out that it was Chris he will be headed off to Juvenile hall where he’ll probably stay for a year. Not too bad. If it’s Mike, well since you are all over eighteen you are looking at prison.”

“That’s enough of that,” the lawyer snapped.

Ephraim’s calm façade didn’t change. “Your client is of age. I am explaining the possibility to him and his friends. The boys were involved in her attack this morning. I won’t have a hard time joining the rape charge to the assault if it turns out that Mike was the culprit.”

“She hasn’t talked and won’t talk so you have nothing,” Mike said.

Ephraim chuckled. “Is that what you think?”

“Yes.”

“She doesn’t have to talk. She’s fifteen years old. She isn’t old enough to consent to sex. If any se**n is found, the owner of that deposit will face rape charges.”

The boys looked back at Mike. He shook his head. Oh, the boy was a liar. Ephraim knew the boy raped her.

“How about it, gentlemen? Care to tell me anything or would you like to do a little time in prison.” He looked over the boys’ neat haircuts and fresh handsome faces and smiled. “You boys will brighten up the place. I bet you have five guys each the first day offering you protection…for a price of course.” He winked.

“You said she had sex with you! You didn’t say anything about rape,” one of the boys said, jumping to his feet. The threat of a gang rape was usually enough to scare young men into doing the right thing.

“Shut up, ass**le,” Mike hissed.

“No.” The boy stood up. “No, I’m not going to jail because you’re a prick.” He looked at Ephraim. “He hit her this morning. I can give you that much at least.”

“Go into the hall and give the officer a statement and thank you.” The boy nodded and rushed out. The rest of the boys got to their feet and followed, leaving Mike and Chris.

“Madison, I want you to take Chris and go into the hall.” He stood up and walked around the desk as he pulled out his cuffs. His eyes never left Mike.

“No, I’m staying. I want to see. That bastard has this coming.” Chris pulled away when Madison reached for him.

Enough was enough. He wanted Madison out of here. He looked at Chris, hoping a stern look would be enough. “Chris, I want you to-“

“Chris!” Madison screamed.

Ephraim turned his head in time to see Mike rush Chris with a large buck knife. “You little shit! This is your fault!”

Madison jumped in front of a very stunned Chris and pushed him back. Chris grabbed Madison and shoved her out of the way.

Ephraim reached out and grabbed Mike by the collar and yanked him back. Mike twirled around surprised by the sudden jolt. He collided into Ephraim. “Get her out of here now!” he yelled. Chris grabbed Madison and pulled her towards the door with a very frantic Mason on their heels.

He had Mike on his stomach and cuffed in less than a minute, leaving his lawyer utterly stunned. “I…I…I…” the lawyer rambled on.

“Good, very helpful thanks a lot,” Ephraim said sarcastically.

Mike tilted his head up and looked at Ephraim. “Oh shit….oh shit…I’m in so much trouble!”

Ephraim looked down at the black handle sticking out of his stomach. “Fuck,” he muttered. Just what he needed, a ride to the hospital for stitches he didn’t need just to make sure that this prick didn’t get away with it.

It also meant he had to put on a show. He couldn’t walk around like it was nothing. It wasn’t. It hurt like a bitch. The little shit. If the lawyer wasn’t in the room he would kill him.

Ephraim grabbed Mike by the arm. “Get up, ass**le. You’re under arrest.” He dragged Mike to the door and pushed him off onto another officer. Everyone’s eyes lowered to his stomach. He heard several gasps and a few “oh shits.”

He placed a hand over his stomach. “It’s fine. Just a little flesh wound,” he said though clenched teeth. At least he didn’t have to pretend how much it hurt.

Madison’s eyes widened and then rolled back. “Somebody catch her,” he said. She fell against Chris who did his best to lower her to the ground without hurting her. He would have caught her himself, but he was twenty feet away from her and people probably would have noticed him flashing to her. Sometimes it sucked to play human.

Chapter 9

“Stop squirming!” Mrs. Buckman snapped.

“You would squirm too if you had a mad woman trying to shove a bed pan under your ass! I told you that I can walk to the bathroom. I’m fine!”

Mrs. Buckman narrowed her eyes on him. “Fine.” She placed the offending bed pan under her arm, he didn’t want to know where she got it, and headed for the door. “Just so you know, I know the doctor ordered you to stay in that bed for a week so that’s exactly what you’ll be doing,” she threatened.

“Come on!” He threw his hands in the air.

“You heard me.”

“I can’t stay in bed for a week!” Ephraim said. The battle was lost and he knew it. Still he had to try.

She pointed at him. “You heard me.”

“Fine then, get the hell out of here and let me rest!”

She just pointed at him again before she left closing the door behind her. Her helpers were cowering in the hallway as they should be. He’d been screaming at everyone for the past week. They were scared of him and for good reason.

One whole week without blood. No, correction, one whole week stuck in the hospital with a healthy supply of blood and no way to get to it. It was pure hell, especially in his condition.

The little prick nicked both his heart and his lung with that knife. It would have been simple enough to handle. Three bags of blood would have been enough. Unfortunately, the rape charges against Mike were tricky enough without any testimony and they couldn’t press the battery charges since Carol still wasn’t talking. So, it fell on his shoulders to put the little prick away.

Attempted murder on a New Hampshire State Detective was no laughing matter. Mike was facing federal charges now. More importantly it would be a long time before he used his fist on another woman. That was the only reason Ephraim played along.

He had to pretend to be knocked out by the medication the doctors injected into his body when in reality that medicine was poison to him. Every single drop of medication had to be destroyed internally. The more they pumped in the weaker his blood ran until his veins were filled with nothing but poison. He reached that state four days ago.

That operating room was just a clean version of Nichols’ torture chamber. He had to force himself to remain limp while the poison burned his blood and the surgeons sliced him open. He felt every nick, every pull and prod. The pain was unreal. He didn’t know what was worse though, the medication or the surgery.

His only hope was a transfusion. New blood would have diluted the poison in his system. When that cocky surgeon announced that he wouldn’t require any transfusions because they'd stopped the bleeding he wanted to reach out and bitch slap him. He couldn’t. He had to pretend to be out. He was in so much pain that he began sweating.

   
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