Long Road To Ruin

He kills them all without remorse, but very much with reason.

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11. Betrayal

He clutched the badge between his fingers, a scowl plastered all over his face as he stepped forward. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a black shirt, and his gun sticking out of his back pocket. He tilted his head at the other officers and smirked slowly, cruelly.

“You’re going to enjoy this show,” he said bitterly. “Especially you,” he muttered to Jasper. “You’re going to wish you never fucked with me, because I’m going to kill your pretty little girlfriend in front of her and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“The hell I can’t!” shouted Jasper.

“Why would Bailey believe you?” hissed Sam. “You’re the cop that almost cost half your friends their lives years ago, and if William had kept his nerves in tact, he would have killed Justine that first time.”

“The first time?” Jasper said slowly. His eyes widened. “The case when Justine was only a secretary…” He looked around suddenly and he felt sick. “This is the warehouse,” he whispered hoarsely. “But Hastings died…”

An ugly smile pulled at the corners of Detective Hale’s mouth as he said, “Not then he didn’t. He was smart enough to wear a bulletproof vest. He did as I instructed and fell into the water when the gun went off, and he stayed there for a long time, just below the dock where no one could see him unless they stuck their head down. I was hiding, of course, and when you left I helped him up. He led those girls away. He pretended to be a cop, and I, well you know I didn’t have to pretend at all. I took Emma and strangled her after you saved her, and I made poor Steve Miller take his own life. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he would have done that anyway, if he found out that she was carrying someone else’s baby – mine. It was one night and I tried to keep my distance, like she asked, but when you know something like that you can’t stay away. Justine knows all about that, don’t you honey?” he called loudly.

Somewhere above them, Jasper heard the sounds of a machine starting, and then he saw the metal rail and ratchet lever hoist move overhead. The workers here would use them to ease the boxes and crates out of storage. He felt a wave of nausea hit at the fear of what would be coming out of that dark, empty opening. The distant clanking of a chain could be heard as things moved. He held his eyes to what came from the blackness, and he couldn’t help retching onto the floor.

One end of a thick chain was wrapped around  the hoist, and dangling from it, several feet in the air, was Justine; she was bound by the rope, her head lolling against her shoulders, eyes shut, and blood dripping down her face. She still had on the same clothes she had gone to sleep in; a red tank top and matching flannel pajama pants, her red hair matted with dirt.

“Please,” she said weakly, her voice tiny. She lifted her head slightly and opened her eyes. When she couldn’t feel the floor beneath her, she began to panic. “Let me down.”

“Not until you tell him your secret,” Sam said cold, staring up at the helpless cop, then over at the others. “Wouldn’t you like to hear her story?” he said to Jasper.

“No.”

“Oh, come on now,” Sam said as he stepped forward and gripped Jasper’s chin. “Don’t you want to know why she knew she would survive her first abduction?”

Jasper’s eyes widened and he swallowed thickly. He did not want to know.

“This is actually quite a story, and since you won’t tell it,” he eyed Justine as the machine stopped above them. “I will gladly take the stage once more. After all, they already know my tale.”

“Please,” she begged again. “Don’t.”

“Ah, yes, the same voice you used when you begged me not to tell the boys on the force your involvement with your own abduction,” he stared at her, his eyes hard. “You see,” he said coolly, “Miss. Collins here was only a secretary when she started at the station, and she needed some extra money, and she had incidentally and beneficially, heard me talking to Mr. Hastings about a robbery I wanted to commit with him. Oh, I assure you she had every intention of being a good little lapdog and going to Bailey with the news, but then she had a sudden change of heart. After we slept together that night-” He watched Jasper flinch and he smiled in satisfaction. “She promised that she would help me with whatever I needed done.”

“I’ll kill you,” Jasper whispered.

Sam turned his eyes on his colleague. “Temper, temper, Mr. Delaney. I’m not through. Now as I was saying, Justine wanted so badly to prove to her drunk of a mother that she was worth something, so she set up, and brilliantly I might add, the scheme that would have all of your falling all over yourselves to figure out. It was rather ingenious when she ruined her own desk and walked right out of the station and got into my car. That’s where your story begins,” he said and glared at Jasper. “You told me when it was over that you thought of her differently, but I can guess what you didn’t see her as was a lying, deceitful, manipulative backstabber, did you?”

“Why are you doing this?” Jasper asked. He looked back at Skeet for the first time since they had gotten there; he looked as terrified as Jasper felt.

“To hurt you,” said Sam icily. “To make you wish you had never gotten involved with her. She’s a terrible woman, Jasper.”

“Not too terrible for you,” muttered Skeet.

Sam smiled wickedly and looked at the other officer that was standing several feet from him. “You’re not from here, are you? If you were, you might have known not to get involved at all.”

Skeet stared at him.

“Things are going to get a lot more interesting.” Sam said, smirking.

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