20 | True Motive

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TIRAN GAWKED AT ME

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TIRAN GAWKED AT ME. "Huh?" he said, confused before laughing. "W-what did I d-do?" He lost that cocky relaxed demeanor real fast.

I met his gaze head-on. "You've been lying to us from the very beginning."

"What?" he said, spluttering. "Me? Lying?"

"Yeah, what do you mean?" Gmie straightened out her freshly ironed silk blouse, shifting it back into place over her skater skirt. "You can't accuse people without proof."

My eyes connected with hers. "Oh, I do have proof." A spark lit between our gazes, a secret challenge forming between us. Whoever turned away first lost.

So, we squared off, silent. A minute passed before I almost caved, but Tini slipped out like a gentle breeze, hardening my gaze until Gmie became flustered and looked away.

I cleared my throat, turning back to Tiran. "You laugh when you lie or get nervous. I've noticed that about you over the past couple days. You did it again just now."

Tiran went to laugh again but stopped himself. "S-so what?"

"When we first arrived here and got our clues, you instantly started laughing, telling us that they were caffeine pills." I showed everyone a picture of the pills up close on my iPad before going to my google search. "They're not. They're roofies. They look alike, but the markings on top give it away."

Everyone leaned in, looking at the pictures of the two sets of pills.

I zoomed in so that they could see the tiny markings on top. "Tiran told us that he was a med student, which means the pills were probably easy to get."

Jerking back, Gmie squared her shoulders like she was a lawyer about to deliver a good argument. "Okay, so what? He sold roofies. People sell dangerous drugs all the time on the streets. Yaz would know. That's her neighborhood."

Yaz rose up from the recliner like a queen about to take action. "Look here, Betty Cooper, you're gonna keep my name out your mouth before I smack the shit out of you."

Demo turned toward Yaz, fist clenching. "You're not going to touch her. You have to go through me first." Perfect English.

"Ooh, look who knows how to speak now?" Yaz said before smirking. "Guess we have another liar in the bunch."

Demo froze, eyes circling the room. "Umm — I-I..."

Gmie came to her defense. "She never said she didn't speak English."

Yaz cocked her head, pushing her glasses up on her nose. "When we first met her, she said that she barely spoke English. That she could only understand it."

Some slight pinkness colored Demo's cheeks. "Okay, so I lied. I didn't know any of you yet, and I wanted to get a feel for all of you first."

"Why should I believe that? You lied before," Yaz said, eyeing her before turning to Gmie. "Especially when you protect this ignorant ass hoe."

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