House of V (Unraveled Series) (27 page)

BOOK: House of V (Unraveled Series)
9.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Jesus Christ,” Jeremy said with his hands up. His eyes were wide in panic and
his hands shook in the air. “I was only trying to help. I didn’t think that
having you here was going to be a problem.”

I wasn’t the problem. The man in
the fedora making his way out the back of the house was the problem, and I
didn’t even know his name. The sounds in the room silenced, the murmurs
stopping dead as everyone turned toward me. I began weaving through the gawkers
with my gun pulled tight to my chest as I chased after him. At once, the front
door flew open with a bang and a barrage of officers in black flew past me. A
hand pulled my arm down, leading the gun to the floor. I didn’t need to look at
him to know that Sanchez stood beside me.

he barked. “The place is surrounded. You’re all under arrest.”

Sanchez’s voice scattered them like
a gunshot. Half of the men stood with their hands up while a few dropped their
cups and turned to run. But another five officers moved in from the back and
surrounded the group of men on all sides. They huddled toward the middle like a
herd of cattle; it was nothing except a sea of black in the white living room.

“The back,” I yelled. “He went out
the back.”

“We got him.” An officer struggled
with the man in glasses as he forced him back into the living room with his
hands behind his back. I dodged through the group to face the man in glasses.

“What the hell is going on?” Jeremy
asked as handcuffs surrounded his own hands. “
did you do this?”

I didn’t respond, and instead
focused on the man in the glasses. My silence was answer enough for Jeremy and
the rest of the HP Chapter.

Jeremy choked as the sound of metal clanked through the living room while the
officers handcuffed the remaining individuals. “Guys, I’m sorry. I didn’t
- ”

“You have the right to remain
silent, anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of
law…” Sanchez began. I droned out the sound of the repeated phrases throughout
the room. I had already heard it yesterday from Sanchez; I didn’t need to hear
it again. Not fifteen times over.

I kept my eyes on the man in the
glasses, whose face had drained to a translucent white.

“You disappoint me,
Parker. This is how your father must have felt. It’s a
shame really, feeling this way when there is so much else left to do,” he said
as his arms were pulled behind his back.

“You sick bastard. You don’t know
me or the man that I couldn’t call a father,” I accused, slamming my finger
into his chest. “Where is she?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking
about,” he repeated again. I moved into him. My face was only inches away from
him, and I could feel his hot breath against my cheek.

“Get her off me. This crazy bitch
keeps asking me about some lady. I don’t know what the hell she is babbling
about.” He tried to scramble back, but I stayed with him. I would find out
where Sister Josephine was one way or the other. I wasn’t going to let him out
of my reach. I grabbed the collar of his shirt, wringing the cheap cotton hard
between my fingers.

“Tell me,” I said as I put the
barrel of my gun to his forehead. His eyes widened in fear and his mouth
opened, but nothing came out. Instead, he sputtered as I reached inside his
pocket and pulled out the list.

Sanchez interrupted, moving away from one of the members to wrap his arms
around me.

“He knows where she is. He took
her,” I yelled as the list dangled down near my thigh while Sanchez restrained
me. I jerked my body, however, his arms wrapped tighter, surprisingly hard, as
his Old Spice wafted through my nostrils. I felt the gun being pried from my
hand by another officer on the other side of me.

he warned. His voice was low and calm. “Don’t do this.”

I counted to five, relaxing my body
and closing my eyes before I said, “I’m fine. Please take your hands off me.”

“Can I trust you?” Sanchez asked in
my ear. I was fine, yet I wouldn’t be for long if Sanchez kept this trust crap

“I said,
.” I stared at the man in the glasses, but the fedora
disappeared into the sea of black. The sound of handcuffs had slowed and was
mostly coming to a stop as the members of the HP Chapter were lined up against
the wall and seated on the chairs and couch. Their stares pierced through me as
Sanchez restrained me, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was finding Sister

“He killed Fred Sullivan,” I said
as Sanchez’s hold began to loosen. I calmed my body until I was standing still.
I flipped up the list in front of Sanchez’s face. “He had the list.”

“We’ll interrogate him,” Sanchez
said. Just then, the lights flashed on to illuminate the whole room of officers
and arrested HP Chapter members. I squinted and stared at the huddled mess the
man in glasses had become on one of the wing-backed chairs. “We’ll find out how
he got the list and nail that bastard for the murder of Fred Sullivan. But he
says he doesn’t know anything about Sister Josephine…”

“He has to know,” I said, still
staring at the man. Sanchez followed my gaze to the man before he looked at me.
The corners of his eyes crinkled as he studied me.

“If he does, we’ll find out,” he
replied as he put his hands on his holster. “He already looks like he’s
Maybe a case of a crazed fan gone wrong.”

“We may not have much time. We
don’t know if Sister Josephine is in danger or hurt. I can start if you want
- ”
I took a step toward the man before I felt a pull on my

“We have it from here,
,” Sanchez said as he walked past me and into the
middle of the living room. He gave a loud whistle, prompting the silence and
attention of the entire room.

“Members of the HP Chapter, we will
begin brief questioning here before we determine whether or not to escort you
to the Appleton Police Station for further questioning. We are investigating a
serious crime and will need your full cooperation. It’s going to be a long
night, gentlemen,” Sanchez said before directing orders to his officers. “Agent
Allen and Officer Hobart will be conducting the questioning in the room located
off the kitchen. Please bring individuals one at a time.”

Agent Allen appeared in his khakis
and button down shirt with a gun knocking at his hip, and pulled the man in
glasses off the chair. He gave Sanchez a nod and pointed toward the back of the

“Where are you bringing him?” I
asked, catching up with Sanchez as he weaved his way through the black.

“In the back.
We’ve got this,
. I’m going to nail this bastard
and find out where Sister Josephine is. You have to trust me,” Sanchez said as
we walked. “And you’re not coming in, whether you like it or not. I will keep
you informed once we know more. In the meantime, settle in and see if anything
comes up in conversation out here.”

I stopped and my shoulders fell in
rejection as I turned back toward the other fourteen HP members with their
hands behind their backs. I wasn’t going to argue with Sanchez, but I
definitely didn’t want to be hanging around a group of men that had nothing
other than scathing hatred for me. I’d quickly turned from celebrity to scum of
the earth. As I walked back through the living room, I caught a few bitches
thrown my way. I let it bounce off me and stomped on it. These assholes weren’t
going to stop me.

I stormed through the front door
and into the darkness of the night, pacing on the sweeping front porch. The
lights glowed behind me, casting hazy shadows all around me. My boots thudded
against the planks just as I remembered from that day. I was
in this same exact spot, just moments before I’d killed Holston.

When I buried that bullet, I
thought that was it. I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with the demons he had
created anymore, yet here I was, trying to rectify everything he had done
wrong. I was still a pawn in his sick and twisted legacy, and despite this, I
knew I would play along until I found Sister Josephine.

I inhaled and felt the pull of the
microphone inside my shirt before I reached down the front of my shirt, pulled
it out, and placed it on the railing. I cursed myself for losing my temper with
the man in the glasses. I was close. I could smell it. Now I was here, outside
with no gun, no suspect and no real leads on the location of Sister Josephine.
I just hoped that Agent Allen and Sanchez didn’t screw it up.

Damn, I wanted to be in that
interrogation room.

I leaned forward against the
railing and looked out into the barrenness of the country landscape. It would
be peaceful if it wasn’t for the dozen police cars lined up on the road ahead
of me. I listened to the chattering of frogs and crickets all around me while I
thought of Ryan and the only place that I could remotely have called home. It
was long gone now.

I stayed outside for what felt like
an eternity, pacing back and forth until Officer Hobart appeared on the porch.
I had just pulled out my phone to call Delaney to let her know I was okay.
Instead, I shoved it back down into my pocket after checking the time. According
to my phone, I had only been outside for ten minutes.

“So did he confess?” I asked.

“Kevin Carpenter confessed to
killing Fred Sullivan,” Officer Hobart said as he leaned against the railing. “He’s
a bumbling fool in there. I think he got in over his head.”

“You said Kevin Carpenter?” I

“You recognize the name at all?”

“He’s the guy that bought Holston
Parker’s house in Appleton, but I don’t know him,” I said. The guy
a crazy fanatic. He had bought
Holston’s house and was now taking it upon himself to take care of the list.

“Did he tell you where Sister
Josephine is?” I pressed.

“Not yet. He claims he doesn’t know
anything about it.”

“Do you believe him?”

“I don’t know yet. They are still
working on him, although he finally asked for a lawyer,” Hobart said with a
shake of his head. “He just lost it in there within a matter of minutes. I
couldn’t believe it.”

“But no Sister

“Nothing yet.”
Hobart pushed himself off the railing. “I’m going to head back in there to
start talking to some of the other members. Sanchez just wanted you to know
about Carpenter.”

I nodded my head before turning my
back to the house again.

“You okay out here?” Hobart asked
from behind me.

“I’m fine,” I answered with a wave
of my hand, but I wasn’t fine. I was anything other than fine. Sister Josephine
was somewhere out there, and we weren’t any closer to finding her. We were
closing in on the twelve hour mark. I heard the front door swing shut as Hobart
left me alone again.

I trudged along the porch and
followed the rail around to the side of the house. I looked into the windows to
see the officers keeping a close eye on the HP members. The officers strolled
around the group of men. Most of them were now sitting on the ground.

The sound of a faint whisper echoed
through the window, disrupting the melodic hum of the night.

“Hey,” it called to me.

I bent down and peered inside, but
I didn’t see anyone near the window. I inched closer and saw the shoes of
someone sitting against the wall.

“Hey, you out there?” he whispered
again. Jeremy.

Officer Hobart shot a look across
the room toward me. I gave a quick nod and smiled through the window before I
backed against the siding of the house and slid to sit on the porch. Jeremy and
back to back, the house between us.

“Yeah,” I whispered back and
waited, listening to the muffled sounds of the men talking inside.

“You know you’re a real bitch for
doing this to us.”

“Yeah, I know.”


I didn’t respond.

“Is it really true that there is a
woman missing?”


“The guy in the
His name is Kevin Carpenter. Ring any bells?”


“He’s showed me the list before,
but I didn’t think he would do anything about it. He really is a big fan of
yours. All the guys here are - were, I should say. You were a vigilante in your
own right. Holston needed to pay for the mistakes that he made in the beginning
when he killed your two brothers,” he said.

I didn’t respond.

“I just never pegged Kevin as a
killer, you know?” Jeremy whispered. “As strange as he is, I don’t think he
would kill anyone. He’s a pretty normal guy, nice enough anyway.”

“That’s how they all are,” I said.
“Normal until you find out they have a crematory in their backyard. By the way,
he already confessed
if you haven’t heard.”

“I don’t know what the hell is
going on, but he definitely didn’t know who you were looking for. There has
never been any mention of a Sister Josephine before,” Jeremy whispered. “Not in
anything I’ve read or seen.”

“She’s a long-time friend that’s
missing. Holston apparently knew her when she was younger; they were at the
same orphanage. Some bastard is holding her hostage and wants me in exchange to
seek out his revenge,” I said, wondering what Sanchez might think of this
conversation. I was giving details and information to a stranger, but I was
desperate to find Sister Josephine.

Jeremy asked before he paused. More murmuring from inside the house buzzed
through the window. I waited, thinking about the real possibility that the
bumbling, fanatic Kevin Carpenter didn’t take Sister Josephine.

BOOK: House of V (Unraveled Series)
9.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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