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.“Oh hey Mark, how’ve you been?” I speak directly to the cop I recognize as Aiden’s friend.We’ve met before, unfortunately.They aren’t responding.They’re looking around the room, and then at each other, clearly unnerved.Most people are a little shocked when they first see this comic.“I…I’m okay, thanks.” Mark is stunned.“We’ll be right back.” He exchanges a knowing look with the other cop.Mark backs out of my studio, still studying the panels.“That was weird; what’s going on? Did you do something?” I eye Aiden suspiciously.Aiden presses his lip into a thin line.“You are always assuming the worst about me –” He’s cut off by the other officer walking back into the studio.“Hey, Officer Simmons wants to talk to you for minute.” He nods toward Aiden.“Sure, no problem.” Aiden gives me a quizzical look.I shrug.The other cop stays inside with me.He is notably uncomfortable.I fill the awkward silence.“Do you like comics?”“Some.I like Superman, Spiderman, stuff like that.” He rocks back and forth on his heels and glances back at the door.“So, what’s going on? Did Aiden do something?” I’ve always wondered if Aiden is running from the law, and that’s why he never sticks around for very long.They’ve finally caught up with him.Of course I know that can’t be what it is.Aiden knows everyone in this town and could never hide out anywhere.I can hear Aiden and Mark’s voices start to elevate.I look toward the door.“I’m going to see what’s going on with them.”“Ma’am, please just stay put.” He moves in front of the doorway.I don’t like that at all; a wave of claustrophobia washes over me.“Seriously, what’s going on?” I demand.“It’ll only be a moment.They’ll be right back and we can explain everything.” His tone is nervous but firm.The room is sodden with discomfort.Who does he think he is? I need to busy myself with something.I’ll get my pens and ink cleaned up.The cop is watching my every move.I collect the last panel I drew before they came in.I am rather satisfied with how well it turned out.I admire the new technique I tried where I smudge the ink with my fingers, adding a really cool effect to the blood.After I hang the panel I head to the sink to wash the red ink from my pen and fingertips.I turn to the cop to break the silence.“I really love this stuff, but it’s a real pain in the ass to get out.My fingers will be stained for days.” I wiggle my fingers at him, searching for a crack in his stoic stance.His eyes widen, betraying his horror.Aiden and Mark return.Aiden is visibly pissed off.“Mark, I’ll bring her down; you don’t have to do this.”“Aiden, we’ve talked about it.When I called it in they said they needed her now.” Mark is hesitant; I can tell he’s sizing Aiden up.There’s no way he could take Aiden in a fair fight.Wait, what? “Whoa, what did you say?”Aiden puts a hand up to me without looking in my direction.“I’ll bring her down; I’ll let her get ready and we’ll meet you there.”“No, Aiden.She needs to come with us.” Mark is apologetic but unwavering.“So are you arresting her?” Aiden snaps, getting in his face.”Arresting who?” I think they are talking about me.“Aiden, it’s not that simple.They said they need her now, CSU is on the way here–”I cut Mark off right there.“Hey!” I yell, turning all eyes in the room on me.“What is going on?” I turn to Mark.“Mark, you’d better make damn sure you know what you’re doing.” Aiden moves even closer to Mark.“This is bullshit.”“I don’t want to arrest her.We just need to detain her for questioning,” Mark answers.Aiden comes and puts his hands on my shoulders.“Shay, the police want to question you about Gary and Alice.”“Yeah, I heard that.” The sarcasm was called for.“Why?” I break away from Aiden’s hold, walking around the drafting table toward Mark.The anxiety in the room doubles with each step I take toward the cops.“We will only arrest you if you don’t come with us.” Mark is trying calm me down, which is the most dangerous thing you can do to a pissed-off woman.“I have no problem answering your questions,” I say calmly.“I’ll be down at the station after I get dressed.” I’m trying so hard to be calm.I’ve seen those cop shows where the people ooze guilt and completely lose their mental bananas.I’m not going down like that.“For suspicion of murder,” Aiden says flatly as he turns me back around to face him.A nervous laugh rattles in my chest.“Murder? Who died?” Suddenly it dawns on me.“Is this some sick payback for beating you with the loofa last night? Because if it is, it’s not funny [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]