Summer Kids

When Lucas Tweedle, leader of Left Hand Private Investigators, receives a box containing a film he hasn't seen in years, he is prompted on a road trip across miles and years. He has to save Eva Grey, the only girl that ever loved his teenage self.
She may be in the clutches of the Nemesis Crime Ring but the memories of the summer after college graduation haunt the both of them.

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31. INTERROGATION

 

CHAPTER THIRTY - INTERROGATION

LUCAS

 

The team watched Lloyd from behind the two way mirror of the police station. Lloyd was stern and quiet, an angry expression placed on his face. They had hardly any information on the man besides the fact that he was a highly influential member of the Crime Ring, contrary to the old evidence which suggested he was expendable.

“He’s going to be a tough nut to crack,” Farren murmured before entering the room.

Lloyd would have been trained for this for months, his leader telling him what to do if this near possibility became a reality. It hadn’t been a setup that was clear in the way that Lloyd had shouted expletives at the car as it drove off in a hurry. Something had gone wrong with the ransom and they had taken advantage of it.

Lloyd didn’t dare look at the mirror or at Farren as he entered, staring at the cuffs around his wrists. He had warned them about the NCR when he had first been sat down but beyond that not a word had escaped him. He didn’t tap his fingers or move a muscle, he was calm and restrained and Lucas had to wonder whether that was a natural inclination or if his training had instilled it in him.

Farren was rougher around the edges when he spoke to Lloyd, telling him that being quiet would only prolong his prison sentence. Again Lloyd didn’t open his mouth, and instead they pursed as though he knew what the private investigators were doing.

A file was placed on the table and Lucas wished that he was in there. But his team had voted against him, he was too involved in this and the meeting would only end with Lucas slamming the criminal into the metal table in his frustration. That was letting the NCR win and they couldn’t have that. 

“Talking may not be your style,” Farren began, “But that’s alright, in the folder in front of you is every victim of your organisation, every dead and kidnapped woman. Maybe your organisation killed them because they could, because they thought they were better than these women, maybe they ate them, cannibalism isn’t a far guess to make when it comes to you is it?”

Farren was goading him, scrutinizing for any signs that he was getting through to the man. Lloyd’s eyes narrowed slightly at the last comment, his mouth tightening and somewhere in his mind he forgot his training about body language.

Pop goes the weasel.

“It would make sense actually, women are sometimes viewed as being weaker, and it would have been easy to overcome them. Tell me, do you think God likes what you do?”

Lloyd’s jaw clenched, Lucas grinned from behind the glass.

“I know He does,” the words were grumbled into his hands but Lloyd had finally spoken.

“There we go, you finally have a voice I wouldn’t think a coward would have such a voice.”

 

LLOYD

 

He wanted to lunge across the table and punch the guy right in the throat, watch as he choked and spluttered, but he restrained himself. He had broken a rule, he blinked rapidly for a moment, forgetting himself and then he found himself again. Stoic stone, God does not like snitches. Victor was adamant on silence.

His training had mainly been physical, how to fight and overcome a women, how to overcome a man if they interrupted or betrayed the Family. They had also, to a lesser degree, been trained how to handle interrogations. Keep the body language and verbal responses on lock down, wait for extraction, goad them and play them at their own game if necessary.

“You should be afraid of us,” Lloyd looked dead into the man’s eyes with pride in his Family, no one would criticise them and what they were doing was for the good of humanity, the Second Homecoming, the test that would get them into Heaven.

Then he looked away at the ceiling, “You won’t feel it until we have your bones in our teeth,” he went along with the cannibalism side, trying to throw them off.

The man scoffed, what was his name again? He had introduced himself when he had come in but Lloyd hadn’t bothered to listen. He then pulled out another folder, flipping to the back and pushing it towards him. Lloyd was presented with photos of himself, black and white grainy security footage of him entering gym equipment stores and a grocery store.

The man pointed at the grocery store, pointing at a second one of him leaving and crossing the road. “This my favourite; this is the grocery store where Kate Monroe was last seen.” He flipped to the other folder and Lloyd was presented with a photograph of Victor’s third wife, “I can hazard a guess that you are involved with the kidnappings so your organisation isn’t as clever as you suspect. Who doesn’t get around lousy security cameras?”

They had done it before, but Victor trusted Lloyd with solo missions when necessary and when scouting for victims it was less suspicious if he went alone compared to going with the usual group.

Lloyd said nothing, he didn’t want to give anything else away.

The man looked at his watch, “You have six more minutes to say anything else before you get booked into a holding cell. It would help you if you opened your goddamn mouth.”

Lloyd’s hands clenched around the metal. God’s name was said in vain, something slightly blasphemous and he knew then that this man would not survive the Second Homecoming, no he would perish like everyone else.

As the man got up and left, tapping his watch as the time ran out, Lloyd opened his mouth being daring to try and lead the private eyes down the wrong road. “Kate met the same fate as all those other girls, but maybe we’ll switch tactics and pick a male this time.”

He smiled cruelly and the man shut the door when he left the room. Lloyd hated this but it was all Melanie’s fault. He had trained that girl, been kind of her and this was what he had gotten in return? Melanie had given him hope that women could be just as strong as men, if not more, but that was tarnished. When he got back to the compound he would deliver a punishment of his own, Victor be damned.

 

LUCAS

 

Farren exited the interrogation room with two folders under his arm and a halfway smile across his lips.

“Good job,” Lucas offered, taking the folders off of the man as they turned to face Lloyd from behind the mirror. The man was looking at the ceiling, resuming the position he had been in when he had first been placed there. “We got a bit more information there, didn’t we?”

“That we did,” Farren agreed, crossing his arms and looking at the rest of the team, “We may be looking at a sort of cult that’s turned into a crime ring. He mentioned how God liked what they were doing and he clenched his hands whenever I mentioned God.”

“Religious implications as well as motivations,” James muttered, “Just typical.”

“Did you also see the difference when he said Kate compared to ‘the girls’ Kate Monroe holds something important to him.” Farren continued, shaking his head at the man in the interrogation room.

“Women have a clear effect on him,” Shawna echoed, tapping her fingers against her lips as she stared at Lloyd.

“You’re thinking of being bait aren’t you?” Lucas sighed, noticing the look in her eyes, analysing Lloyd in a way that reduced him to numbers and statistics.

“Why not me?” Kayleigh muttered, pointing at herself and making Shawna turn to her.

“Look at us, who is he going to think of as weaker?” she compared her smart outfit to the tall high heels that Kayleigh wore, “I imagine that the more control he thinks he has the more open he will be. Then we will have more chance in getting information from him. We need more information, we still don’t really have a location or any implication of the NCR's size.”

Lucas sighed, he knew that sending Shawna in there was something they had to do but he couldn’t get past the fact that this was Mr. McClellan’s niece, the one that had been small and there from the start when he entered the scene. Shawna represented the start of it all, the bare bones of the company. He nodded towards her and Shawna’s hand left her lips, resting on her stomach instead.

“You’ll go in tomorrow but we will be watching and if there’s any trouble then you are pulled out immediately, you got that?” he ordered and Shawna nodded back to him.

“Now he seems confident in the NCR and I don’t doubt that they won’t try and come after him, after all he is an important member to them.” Lucas looked at Edward then, “I want you to make sure that this police station is advanced as it can be security wise. I want Lloyd monitored at all times, he might slip up when he thinks no one is watching him.”

Edward nodded and opened his laptop, his fingers tapping against the keyboard incessantly.

Lucas didn’t know whether there was a God up there but if the NCR believed that then hopefully Eva was being subjected to safe treatment under the eyes of God.

Then as the night wore on into daylight and beyond he began to second guess his notion of God. Another woman had been taken, right from her home like Eva had been and the crime ring was escalating, punishing them for capturing Lloyd. They had missed them by mere hours and Lucas had punched a wall before cursing the NCR for being a step ahead of them each and every time.

 

EVA

 

The Warehouses were objects of fear those days, representative of everything that the women had been through, but now another perspective had been added; one of hope. Naomi stormed towards them with strides full of purpose.

Her arms got blankets from a storage cupboard, woven by her fingers.

“Why the sudden change in tune?” Eva asked Naomi quietly, watching at the men at the doors.

“Because it’s time for change, I’ve had enough and the downtrodden character isn’t going to help anyone.” Naomi whispered about the death of Rebecca, and Eva felt sorry for the girl she had helped torture. Her life didn’t deserve to be that small. Naomi told her of having to shove the body into a freezer, having to listen about Victor’s plans for her and then what he did to Melanie. She had had enough, all wires snapping inside of her, at first it had expressed itself as hopelessness but Kate’s suggestion had transformed it into anger, anger that could be harnessed into action.

“But we need hope, we need togetherness for this to work,” Naomi whispered at last and together with arms full of blankets they walked down the cattle sheds. Their small hands pushed between bars and in the stillness of the action, interrupted by sniffles and shuffling bodies Naomi whispered their plans of rebellion to the women. She told them that the wives were with them, they would do anything to get them out, to avenge the fallen women and those who had been beaten and let down, and they would escape. They just had to have time and patience on their hands, and as barely there chatter swept through the Cattle Sheds Eva allowed a smile to form.

They were going to save everyone but most importantly they were going to save themselves.

The first time that Eva and Lucas kissed they were in a busy café, bursting with bodies and their tea cups rattled together as each newcomer coiled their way in. They were pressed close from across the table and Lucas was telling her about some embarrassing moment with his younger brother. Max Tweedle was small and sprightly and attached to Lucas’s hip when he could be. His parents wanted to have him tested for ADHD but Lucas didn’t care. Eva just enjoyed the firework in his eyes when he talked about his family showing a closeness that her family hadn’t had in a while, with her mother switching between liking Lucas when he was there and disliking him when he was not. There were some limits that her mother couldn’t cope with, especially with how close the two had become over that summer. She didn’t think that Lucas was good enough for her daughter in that regard. Her father was something else entirely and had been since she was sixteen.

She was the one that interjected his conversation and pressed her lips to his, a slight twist to her head providing the best angle. They kissed in a busy café and she made Lucas speechless with halted words and breath.

 

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