One Love - Lili St Germain

“I want my lawyer,” I repeat for the hundredth time.

There are two CIA agents in front of me, and they’re playing a very bad rendition of good cop / bad cop.

We’ve been at this for hours. Boss Bitch — Agent Dunn, as she’s since told me — on one side, and her completely dumb but cute male partner, Agent Brennan, on the other. In my head, to pass the hours, I’ve nicknamed them Agent Bitch and Agent Dumbass. I sit across from them, my hands in my lap, heavy metal cuffs weighing them down.

My throat is dry, my tongue parched. Agent Dumbass has a fresh can of Coke in front of him, and I can see the tiny beads of condensation running down the sides. I want it. I want to reach over and grab the can. I don’t even need to drink what’s inside. I’ll settle for the moisture making its lazy descent down the side of the bright red can and onto the dusty Formica table that separates me from them.

“Let’s try this again,” the female cop says, tucking a loose blonde hair behind her ear. The rest is up in a severe bun that reminds me of a matronly grandmother, even though this woman only looks about thirty. She’s got a slight southern inflection that reminds me of Elliot’s grandma.

I don’t reply, waiting for whatever it is she plans on doing next. Her next big thought, her latest overdone gesture, to try and convince me that I should spill all of my dirty secrets onto this table between us. So far she’s used threats against Jase, a plea deal that would grant me immunity, and long stretches of silence.

None of that will break me. I’ve been tortured by Dornan fucking Ross. This woman’s going to have to try a lot harder, or maybe get out some pliers and start yanking my teeth out of my mouth, before I’ll give her a single damned thing.

She snatches up a manila folder and opens it, handing a stack of photographs to Agent Brennan. “Stick these up,” she barks at him, and he moves slowly, ripping a section of sticky tack from a large ball of the stuff that must live permanently on the wall to my left. I watch, slightly interested at what he’s going to put up.

He doesn’t disappoint. As I watch him pin several 5x7 photographs to the wall, I can’t help but feel some sense of satisfaction for the lives that ended at my hands. I have to remain impassive though, so I tamp down the gloating grin that wants to spread across my face and settle for resting bitch face instead.

Dunn peeks at me from the corner of her eye, and I return her gaze impassively. She might think she can get under my skin, but I grew up in the Gypsy Brothers MC, for shit’s sake. I know how to hold out in front of a cop.

“Chad Ross,” Dunn says, smoothing her pants as she stands up and circles the table, coming to stand next to the photographs her partner is sticking up in a haphazard fashion. I wait for her to reach out and straighten them. Boom. Three seconds later, she does just that, making sure all of the photos line up.

“Chad Ross was poisoned,” she continues, tapping one manicured fingernail against the photo of his bloated death face.

“Looks nasty,” I reply.

“It’s a nasty way to die,” Dunn says, peering at me. “The killer added pure methamphetamine to an energy drink he later consumed. He was probably dead before he hit the ground.”

He wasn’t. He suffered. Thankfully.

“And you’re showing me this why?” I ask, studying my own nails, bitten down to the quick. I never was a girly girl. It’s not easy to keep your nails long when you’re constantly trying to claw your way back from death.

Dunn looks at me pointedly before jabbing her fingernail towards the second photo. Ahhh, yes. Maxi in all his naked, bloody glory. His face is a mess from the coke I shoved underneath his nose, the coke laced with strychnine that made blood gush from his nose like warm water from a faucet. I still remember the way his blood felt on my hands. How surreal everything was, bright and garish, as my skull burned with a small amount of the poisoned coke I’d snorted myself.

How I’d nearly died in my quest to kill him.

How it was so worth the risk to see the look on his smarmy