Chapter 28: Verdict

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Chapter 28

~Riley’s POV~

“Watch your step.” Nathan warned just as I was about to smash my foot against a protruding tree root. I paused briefly then stepped over the thing, quickening my pace so that I was once again walking directly behind him.

He didn’t seem like he was in a particularly good mood and even though you could never really tell with Nate, I had a feeling I was right this time. The way he and John had walked through the door looking more pissed off than I could ever remember either of them being had had me sweating bullets and this little ‘walk’ Nate had planned wasn’t helping the situation.

“Nate?”  I called uncertainly.

“Hmm?” he seemed to be deep in thought.

“Where are we going?” he glanced back briefly then continued on his way.

“We’re just walking.”

I bit my lip, looking around me at the thick trees, then up at the blue sky above us. It seemed so peaceful out here with the chirping birds and the natural scent of the woodland, opposing the apprehension roiling within me.

“Why do you look so worried?”

I tore my eyes from the sky and glanced back at Nate who had finally stopped not too far ahead. He was looking at me with those piercing intelligent eyes, his expression unreadable.

“Do I?” I replied with a nervous chuckle and his eyes narrowed.

They’d finally learned the truth.

 I could see it in just the way he looked at me and I swallowed hard, frozen in that very spot as I watched Nathan watch me. I’d worried it would come to this the moment they’d made plans to go see my mother and of course she wouldn’t have kept it to herself, she’d tell anyone who would listen how her deranged little boy killed his own father.

I looked away from Nate, my heart hammering. He had probably already decided I was guilty, even after all this and I didn’t think I was up to the task of convincing him otherwise, I’d spent most of my time in prison trying to do just that.

I lowered myself to the ground then, sitting with my back to a massive tree trunk, waiting for the accusations to fly.

He didn’t say anything right away, instead he watched me and waited and I watched him and waited.

“Is there something you need to tell me?” he finally broke the silence and I shook my head slowly.

“John and I had a conversation with your mother today and we learned something interesting while we were there.” He’d moved so that he was standing across from me.

I picked up a twig from the forest floor and snapped it in half, then I nodded because I didn’t know what else to do and whatever words I’d planned on letting out had lodged firmly into my throat.

“Riley we can’t help you if you lie to us and if this is the way it’s going to be from now on then we might as well give ourselves up now.”

I snapped the twig again and again and again until he reached over and pulled the pieces from my hands and then I had no choice but to look up at him.

I took a deep breath, fixing my gaze on his nose because I couldn’t meet his eyes. “What exactly did she tell you?” my voice was a little over a whisper.

Nate frowned, “Tell me what you’re hiding.” His voice was firm and his tone brooked no argument

“I didn’t kill anyone.” I said pitifully.

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