Sugar Free Page 41

I let my anger and frustration and anxiety out on her body. I let my fear and love and uncertainty drive the force of my thrusts into her, letting that delicious wet heat cradle me and soothe me. I fuck my misery out on her, burying my face into her shoulder and closing my eyes. I hear her panting against the lace in her mouth and her moans every time I drive deep.

This right here…never giving this up, and I’m not going to let Sela destroy this.

Pulling my head up, I find her staring at me, her eyes now completely soft, her spirit completely in the moment with me. I reach a hand up, pull the panties out, and place my lips against hers, all while I push in and out with the force of a battering ram. Little bursts of air pump from her mouth into mine every time I slam in, and her arms wrap around me tight as we kiss.

Never fucking giving this up.

It’s a quarter till five in the morning when I walk into the Sausalito Police Department. I left Beck sleeping soundly, utterly exhausted. I left him sleeping with the delusion that I’d be by his side when he woke up.

The only way I was going to be assured of slipping out of the condo was if I could get him into a deep and restful sleep. So after he fucked me in the closet, I urged him to take me to our bed where we kissed, and cuddled, and whispered sweet nothings. I let him make love to me, our eyes locked as we just rocked against each other. I let him extract promises that were nothing but lies while he tenderly fucked me.

“Promise me, Sela…you’ll give up this idea of turning yourself in.”

“I promise.”

“Swear it for me.”

“I swear it.”

“Swear it on your love for me.”

“I swear it on my love for you.”

We came together and it was so beautiful I almost started crying. Then Beck pulled me into his arms, satisfied that I was put back in my place for the time being, and we fell asleep.

Well, he fell asleep.

I feigned it.

I didn’t move a muscle and let him hold me for a few hours, memorizing the feel of his skin, his hair, the pace of his breathing…his scent. I inhaled against him deeply, committing it to my deep memory so I’d never lose it.

He never stirred once when I slipped out of bed and quietly put my clothes on.

By the fact he hasn’t called me on my phone means he’s still in our bed sleeping…probably with a contented smile on his face.

Chest pain…squeeze of regret.

I turn my phone off, so I won’t be tempted to answer it when he calls.

A uniformed cop sits at the curved reception desk and looks at me curiously when I walk in. “Can I help you?”

“Yes, I need to talk to Detective Denning or DeLatemer…either one.”

“Well, neither one of them are in yet,” he says with a smile. “They usually roll in around seven. You could come back…there’s a twenty-four hour McDonald’s about a mile away; you could go get some coffee or something.”

“I need you to call them,” I say firmly. “Tell them that Sela Halstead is here.”

He has no clue who I am and there’s no doubt it’s crazy that I’ve walked in here during the dark morning hours demanding he call in a detective.

A flash of irritation across his face. “Miss Halstead…I can’t—”

“Call one of them and tell them I’m here to confess to the murder of Jonathon Townsend,” I say softly and with such honesty he immediately turns to the computer in front of him.

He types a few things on the keyboard as he says, “Just a minute…let me look up their cell numbers.”

The cop finds them fast as he picks up the desk phone, and with his eyes pinned to me in disbelief the entire time, he calls Detective Denning. “Um…I’ve got a Sela Halstead at reception asking for you to come to the station. She said she wants to confess to the Jonathon Townsend murder.”

He listens for several moments and then hangs up the phone. Standing from the desk, he says, “Miss Halstead…follow me. I’m going to seat you in an interview room and Detective Denning is on her way in.”

I nod and follow the cop through a door that’s opened with a code he punches in, and then down to a large room with a conference table. He flicks on the light and points to a seat. “Can I get you some coffee?”

I shake my head. “No, thank you.”

“All right,” he says as he pulls a tiny card from his breast pocket and gives me a sheepish look as he nods toward it. “I don’t normally do this, but Detective Denning asked me to read your Miranda rights.”

I just nod, my tongue too thick with fear to say anything.

“You have the right to remain silent…”

“You understand, Miss Halstead,” Detective Denning says as she sits across from me with her arms folded over her chest and a pissy I-can’t-believe-you-woke-me-up-for-this-shit look, “this sounds like nothing more than an attempt by a desperate girlfriend to save her boyfriend.”

“I can understand that,” I say, wishing that she didn’t look so doubtful. “But when you hear my story, you’ll believe me.”

“Then let’s hear it,” she says with boredom before flicking a hand toward the top corner of the room. I see a camera there with a red light. “And this is being recorded.”

I nod, swallow, and then say, “Ten years ago, Jonathon Townsend raped me.”

That gets her attention, as I knew it would, and she sits up straight in her chair. “Go on.”

“At least I thought he did. I was sixteen, drugged at a party with Rohypnol, and raped by three men. I remember bits and pieces. A semen sample was taken from me but my attackers were never identified.”

She doesn’t offer me sympathy, but I expect it’s because she either doesn’t believe me or she doesn’t want to interrupt me.

“Almost a year ago, I was watching TV and I saw Jonathon Townsend on there, and I saw a tattoo he had of a red phoenix on his rib cage. I remember that tattoo…it was the exact one I remembered from my attack.”

“So you identified Mr. Townsend as your alleged rapist?” she asks.

“Yes,” I tell her. “I was convinced he was one of them. One of the others had the same tattoo on his wrist.”

“What did you do?”

“I planned to murder Mr. Townsend,” I tell her honestly. “It took me six months to get ready for it. I changed my hair color, had to let some facial piercings close up, worked out and lost some weight. Then I joined The Sugar Bowl and my intention was to meet Mr. Townsend, get him alone, and then I was going to shoot him after I induced him to tell me who my other attackers were.”

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