Authors: JC Coulton
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
SEIZED PART 2
First edition. March 26, 2015.
Copyright © 2015 JC Coulton.
Written by JC Coulton.
This series is dedicated to the men in blue, and to the one that got away...
~To stay alive she needs to learn to let go.~
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Seized Part 2
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What would you do to have a second chance with the one that got away?
It must be early afternoon when I wake up. There are no birds singing at my window, and I’m disorientated for a second before it all comes rushing back. I’m in Brooklyn. Nowhere near birds that chirp, or the friendly state of Iowa. And Detective Blake Anderson thinks I’m a liar.
His words last night were cutting, but worse was the look on his face. Betrayal. I didn’t mean to lie about using the phone; it just came out. He looked so angry when he busted in on me. I was only trying to help by making sure the lead I had was good. I’m a researcher; I’m all about finding evidence—that’s what I do best. I thought he knew that about me, but from the way he questioned me at dawn, it’s like he doesn’t trust me at all.
Now here I am. Everything seems so much worse. I turn and bury my head in the pillow. It’s
not the time for crying, but I can’t help feeling cut by his Jekyll and Hyde personality change. One minute I’m in his arms, and the next I’m being treated like a nasty suspect. It makes me think I don’t even know him. The truth is, we know nothing about each other, and we keep fumbling around like teenagers trying to reignite a high school crush. Not that the fire is out—far from it; I’ve never had hotter sex in my life.
I slide my tank top back on and peek into the hallway. Blake’s door is open and his bed is made. He went out and didn’t come home.
Of course not
! That man’s been a runner from the moment we met. People don’t change, and I’m expecting a cop meets bad boy meets alcoholic to cuddle me and tell me everything’s going to be ok. I’ve got to be dreaming. Clearly I am dreaming.
The clock on his bedside table says it’s past lunchtime. I’ve slept most of the morning. How that happened, I don’t know. Exhaustion, I guess. He’s put me through the wringer, though deep down, I’ve got to take some of the blame. My head hurts from crying. There’s nothing left to do now, except pull myself together.
I could kick myself for going to bed with him. One moment I’m all about being an independent woman, and the next I’m pining after a guy I already know isn’t emotionally available. This is why I stay single. Men can’t be trusted. If I wanted evidence of that, I sure got it.
Next time he’s being all intense with those eyes, I have to get away before I’m intoxicated. Not that he’ll ever do that again now—he obviously thinks I’m a liar. It felt as if he despises me this morning. The disappointment of that look is still like a ribbon of nausea in my gut. It’s wrapping itself around to my sense of self—telling me I fucked up again.
! I’m not going to punish myself for another second. I’m telling the truth, so I decide to try and forget it all. I need to take a bath. Why not, there’s nothing more I can do today. He’s probably locked me in. I’ve got no phone and no money. There’s nothing left to do, except pick up the pieces of my shattered ego and make a go of it. I’m nobody’s victim. Not anymore.
As the bath starts to fill, a shred of righteousness returns—he’s not the only one who has a reason to suspect something is up. He has an ulterior motive that puts April’s safety at risk. There’ll be a shit load of pressure to bring Jessup down, and who knows what side Blake’s really on. Cops make decisions for the greater good all the time. Hell, if I didn’t love April so much I’d understand.
The bath looks good. The water’s warm and inviting. I close the door and slip into the hot water. The relief is instant. I slide down and it covers my chest, deliciously dulling the tension and doubt. I soap myself up and close my eyes. The house is quiet, and although I remember April’s still gone and Blake still hates me, I feel better. There’s nothing like a hot bath to make the world a nicer place. I have to remember that no one else is going to look out for me, and I’ve got to keep doing it for myself.
I stare up at the molded curves of the ceiling, and notice Blake’s shaving cream and razor stacked neatly on the counter. The steam swirls into the fan and the heat clears my mind a little. There’s no way I’m going to be able to think my way out of this one, so I don’t bother. I already sent a message to my boss and told him what was happening so I’m not expected at work this week, but I wonder what’s going on in the office today.
It feels naughty to be in a bath relaxing when the rest of my colleagues are probably racing around, fighting for prime stories, kissing ass, and reporting their butts off. It’s not like I had any choice taking this time off, so I refuse to feel too guilty about work. I kick back, clear my mind, and wiggle my toes. Now it’s the time to enjoy myself.
Eventually the water starts to cool. I hop out and dry myself off. The mirror is steamy, but I get a muted view of my dripping wet hair. I don’t have any more clean clothes, so I decide to commandeer a pair of Blake’s gym pants and a t-shirt. I can’t help feeling like an intruder as I sneak down the hallway. He probably doesn’t want me looking through his stuff. Still, I feel more comfortable going into his room than to Brenda’s.
As expected, his clothes are super organized. They’re so neat and tidy, it’s ridiculous. Socks and t-shirts are lined up with military precision. I have to go without a bra, but it doesn’t matter. I have to admit that his clothes feel nice against my skin. They’re huge but soft after lots of washes, so I grab a hoody as well. I look like a kid playing dress up, but honestly, I love wearing a guy’s clothes—smelling them and owning a small part of them just for the day.
I look around his room and my sneaky genes are buzzing, telling me to check things out. I’ve already pushed past Blake’s limits. I decide there’ll be no more investigating for today—no more pushing Blake. It’s time for just me on the couch, a big warm blanket and some good food.
I dry off my hair and head downstairs. Their kitchen is full of the signs of family life. Sealed bowls of nuts sit on the counter beside the fridge, and the cupboards have a wide selection of kids’ and adult food. I dig into the yoghurt and some fruit, put some brown bread in the toaster, and turn on the kettle for some much needed coffee. I’m officially in comfort mode. All I need now is a back massage and a good book or some mindless TV.
I could feel guilty about this, but more than anything, right now I need an escape. So I push those stupid responsible thoughts out of my head and snuggle up in the corner of the couch, looking around the room. I haven’t done this in so long, it feels surreal. I haven’t even had a good sleep since April was taken. I’m exhausted and emotionally spent.
I start to wonder what Blake is up to now. He’s probably walking around, being all official, telling his boss I could know more about the kidnapping than I’m letting on—or worse, that I’m a suspect. He never would have considered anything so ludicrous if I hadn’t freaked out and told him I was calling Mom. I eat my toast and convince myself to try and forget everything.
I find one of Brenda’s magazines and start to flip through the pages. I’m relaxed on the couch now, and there’s nothing stopping me from going to sleep, so I close my eyes for just a second. I hear the front door open and I figure it’s Blake, so I stay put. I don’t want to talk to that guy right now anyway.
Instead I hear Brenda usher George into the room.
“So, let me repeat what you’ve said. You were just sitting in class, and you noticed your arm was broken. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds, George? The doctors who put your cast on at the hospital aren’t stupid either. Please, just tell me what happened. I’m your mother—you have to!”
This is awful. Terrible. I should sit up and tell them I’m in the room, but instead, I decide to pretend I’m asleep. It’s better if George thinks this conversation is only between him and his mother anyway; he’s obviously lying about something. He’s probably getting bullied. Poor little thing. I would have thought he was too good looking or too athletic for that. When I was at school, only the vulnerable looking kids were bullied.
But George is silent despite all of Brenda’s promptings. Brenda probably decides to give up the interrogation.
Her voice softens when she says, “Come here, honey. You don’t have to tell me now. Just get yourself comfy on the couch. Can you play Xbox with one hand?”
I know George is going to find me in a second, so I stretch my arms up and yawn noisily.
“Oh hi guys. Sorry, I didn’t know you were coming home now. Is everything okay?”
They both look a little startled but not unhappy to see me.
I continue and say, “Oh no George… What happened to your arm?”
“I got a blue cast,” he says, a little too proudly for a kid who’s withholding the reason why he got it. “I fell; it was an accident.”
I look at Brenda but she doesn’t ask him any further questions.
“Hey Carrie,” she says, and looks at me in a caring way that reminds me of April. “How are you doing?”
I wonder if she heard what happened in the middle of the night. If she did, she gives no indication that she knows anything.
“Ummm, I’m doing ok,” I answer and laugh before saying, “apart from the fact that I’m lounging on a stranger’s couch, wearing men’s clothes, on a work day—in a city that I wasn’t even meant to still be in.”
She laughs and I think again how cool she is.
“Do you mind if George shares the couch with you?”
“Of course,” I reply, and sit up, patting the spot next to me. “Are you both home for the day now?”
She shakes her head. She tells me she’ll be taking the late shift at the coffee shop, and George is going to a friend’s house for a sleepover.
“And you, young man, if I wasn’t working tonight, I would have already cancelled that sleepover—but Mrs. Riggins says she’s going to look after you, and make sure you’ve got Tylenol if it hurts.”
George doesn’t look too worried. I see he can, in fact, play video games with one hand, and has instantly disappeared into a game. He effectively blocks out the world and the words that his mother says directly to him, with the mental switch of a button. I start to think I need to start playing video games.
Brenda puts her bags down. “I’m going to get ready for work and have a shower.”
“Cool,” I say, and watch George play for a while, as Brenda pops her head in and out of the room.
“It’s steak for dinner tonight, Carrie.”
I call out thanks, but she’s so busy getting the both of them ready and out the door, I don’t think she hears me. They finally leave, and I’m fine being left alone again.