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27 - Eyes From The Past
As the guard ushers me down the hallway, I chew fiercely on my thumb nail until I tear deeply into my skin, wondering what they will have in store for me next. Deep down, I expect every dirty trick in the book after the stunt they pulled with Chantal.
When I walk into the interrogation room, Ryan is standing with the back to the door, staring out of the tiny window in the wall which is barred. No one could squeeze through it, so it is a total waste of money to even put them in – it is not surprising the prisons and jails are running short on funds.
"Sit down," he orders after the guard leaves the room.
I hesitate. He is not a Chicago cop and should not question me, especially not alone. My eyes dart to the two-way mirror on the wall, but I can't make out any movement behind it.
He motions to the chair. "Please, Rena. I just want to have a chat."
I fold my arms across my chest, holding his gaze. "I want my lawyer."
He strolls over to the table and plops into the second chair. "As Mr. Forrester explained to you, you're not entitled to an attorney." When he opens a file on the desk, his lips twist to a forced smile. "Come here, I want to show you something."
I shake my head. "I don't want to talk to you. Where's Detective Briar?"
Ryan cups his hands behind his head, leaning back into his chair. "He went home. He has a bunch of kids, you know, and they missed him." His eyes pierce into mine. "It's his daughter's birthday. She's two today, really cute girl."
My gaze drops – I wonder if I will be there for Noah's second birthday. "What do you want, Ryan?"
He points at the chair across from him. "Sit down and I'll tell you."
I glance at the mirror – it is to no avail. They will probably not take me back to my cell until he consents, so I might as well get it over with. I lower myself into the chair across from him, rolling back and forth on my heels.
A few photographs are placed in front of me in a neat row – they are all pictures of a toddler about Noah's age.
"That was Brent when he was a year and a half. Wasn't he adorable?"
I squint at the pictures. Brent is laughing on every one of them and they are all taken with either Charlotte or Ryan – Brent stumbling along the beach hand in hand with his mom, sitting on his dad's shoulders at the zoo while watching an elephant, petting a puppy in Charlotte's lab. His eyes sparkle with joy – I can't remember ever seeing him that happy when we were together.
"Why are you showing me this, Ryan?" I ask.
His fingers run across Brent's face in the picture. "I wanted you to see how happy he was growing up. Does he look abused to you?"
I snort. "I'm sure you didn't take pictures after you beat him up."
He sighs. "Rena, what Brent told you was a lie. He was a disturbed individual who made stuff up because he didn't want to face the consequences of his actions. I realize now how violent he was and I'm really sorry you had to go through this ordeal."
I stare at him, stunned by his audacity. Who does he think he can fool with his sappy story? He is the lying bastard, not Brent.
"Are you seriously claiming you never hit him?"
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