“So you are the bitch they have been bickering with and wasting our fucking time.”
The woman who walked in my cell looked taken aback by my comment but quickly recovered. One of the many things I regretted about having control over my abilities was the fact everything was enhanced. I could hear, see, smell and taste things. I could hear their conversation and knew who was standing out there. The sound of the chair being dragged across the floor and being sat in made me look back at the woman known as Rahana. She was a Mason if not by blood in looks. The similar grey eyes looked back at me and I wondered how she was their cousin. “I would refrain from calling me a bitch. I have a very short temper, Lieutenant,” she remarked giving me a tight smile.
“And you haven’t seen mine,” I replied. She lost her smile then. Even though she came off cool and collected she was afraid. Whether it be of me or not I wasn’t sure. “So let’s skip the pleasantries.”
“Fine,” she leaned forward. “You are my big cousin’s mate. A decorated Assassin. A Mason that is being accused of desertion and murder. You have defenses up because you don’t know me but I am an unbiased Mason and your only hope—”
I chuckled causing her to trail off.
“You are laughable. This situation is laughable,” I giggled. “Do you honestly think you and those that believe they have a right to judge me can keep me here? Kill me? I turned myself in. If anyone is in control it’s me because it’s my story. If anything the Masons are under trial and I am your judge and jury.”
Rahana had the grace to look shocked. I folded my arms across my chest. We could tell them everything and hand over Andrew but that solves nothing. All it would do is clear the charges they pinned on us. I want the person who ordered my death and there’s only one person guilty of that right now.
Rahana swallowed hard and leaned forward, “The four people who came here with you that are accused won’t speak to us. You told them not to?”
“Explain the charge of murder,” I tossed back.
She tilted her head to the side. “You and your friends entered the Mason mansion on the night in question and killed over 200 assassins in your faction,” she said slowly.
My heart dropped to my stomach. The expression on my face must have changed Rahana’s because she looked genuinely concerned. I stood up and walked over to the nearest wall. We never went in the mansion. Andrew and those men were waiting for us outside. They killed those people, my people, before attempting to kill me. “Over 200 people,” I repeated.
“You killed them. You went into the mansion that night and butchered them,” Rahana pressed.
“No I didn’t.”
“Men, women and young assassins in training. My younger brother was among them, Justine!” She screamed. “You went in there and betrayed your people! Give me a reason!”
Breathe, I told myself. There were two sharp taps on the glass. I turned around slowly and pinned her with my gaze. I would not break my resolve in front of her and especially not the audience she had gathered. “I never entered the mansion that night,” I said calmly. “Devlin and Michelle will bare witness to that.”
“No different from the lies you have just told. You aren’t unbiased. Your brother’s murder had me pegged for the killer the moment you walked in here,” I frowned. “I would never harm a child. I have younger siblings of my own. I know loss. You clearly didn’t read my file. I couldn’t even fire a gun during my training much less kill over 200 people.”
Rahana leaned back in her seat looking at me in disbelief. A part of me felt sorry for her. She spent a year using me as the face of her brother’s murderer. I took my seat again, crossing my legs. The woman in front of me looked like she would break. “No one knew where you were,” she said. “Why did you come back to London?”
“I answered that.”
“The Masons are under a trial of your making. Why?”
I smiled. “Unfortunately you aren’t deserving of my anger and retribution,” I pointed at the glass. “Send one of them in.”
Rahana looked behind her as my cell door opened and in walked Carter. His blue eyes looked at me softly before glaring down at his cousin. He moved out of the doorway signaling for Rahana to leave. She did it without protest and when the door clicked shut he turned and looked at me. “I argued it should have been Joel to come in here,” I flinched but he went on. “But as someone who led the search for you since the beginning I want to know what you were running from.”
“Running? You think I was running away?” I asked.
Carter moved to sit in the chair across from me, tossing a file on the table and sitting down. I looked down at the file and started flipping through it. “Let’s say I believe you didn’t kill anyone. You have four witnesses that could clear you of that,” he rubbed his chin. “Explain leaving London. Explain traveling from place to place and attacking Cherine when she found you.”
I looked him in the eyes, “She was in my way.”
“Why did you leave? Thomas isn’t talking and Devlin told me specifically to ask you. Now what I do know is that Joel told you to go to the mansion and wait for us” Carter’s eyes softened. “You didn’t. You were gone and our people were slaughtered. What happened that night? So let’s start there.”
Why did I leave? They betrayed me first...
“I’ve been hearing the word betrayal but it was you all who betrayed me,” I answered softly. “The experiments. The lies. Lexi. You all swore to protect me and everything I loved and you lied!”
“Eric was wrong for that—”
"Eric?" I laughed standing up. I felt the rage building again. Pure, uncensored rage. “I looked at him like my father. If I had one he was who I would’ve wanted! I was so envious of you all. I hated being told I wasn’t a Mason and that night...I was taught just how much I wasn’t one of you. Mated or not.”
They were my family. I was here without Stephanie or Robert or Crystal. Pressing a hand to my chest I willed for the tears behind my eyes to not fall. The first half of that year I fell asleep in Devlin’s arms. Shaking in tears. We had dinners on Sundays. Vacations. We fought together and he wanted me dead. I walked over to the window looking at nothing. Seeing only my reflection but I felt them there. I knew they were looking at me. I saw Carter get up looking at me. “Justine. What happened to you?” He asked.
I ran a hand through my hair turning to look at him.
“That’s the mystery, isn’t it?” I replied. “You all will find out what happened but there’s a mystery of my own I want to solve. You help me and I will answer your questions. Each of my siblings will get to ask one question and it will lead you closer to knowing what happened in the year I’ve been gone. When you have all the facts you and the sorry excuse of a government we now have will decide if I am innocent or guilty.”
Carter just looked at me. Considering his options. I could also hear yelling behind the glass. I didn’t turn myself in to just hand them a case. They needed to play it by my rules. Carter moved closer to me. “I get one question.”
“You’re talking betrayal and a trial,” he frowned. “Why? What did Eric do?”
“I was ordered to be killed that night and the orders supposedly came from Eric.”
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