Reading Between the Lines

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Chapter 13

The tears had barely stopped when there was yet another knock on the door. At first, I wasn’t going to answer the door, but the incessant and urgent knocking made me rethink my decision. I didn’t bother wiping my eyes as I got off the couch and traveled to the door. Even as I grasped the doorknob the person on the other side continued to knock.

“Would you fucking knock it off already?” I growled out, swinging the door open with so much force that it bounced off the wall behind it.

Ethan stared at me, the wide-eyed expression on his face as he raised his hands up in surrender. “Woah, Easy their killer. It’s just me, Ethan. I heard about your mother and wanted to check in on you.” I understand this is a small town and all, but how is it EVERYONE knows about my mother’s situation?

“Thanks, but as you can see- “I gestured towards my face. “Now’s not exactly a good time.”

“Of course, I have to get into work anyway.” Ethan gave me a small smile before lowering his hands and walking down the steps. He had just gotten to the sidewalk when he suddenly turned towards me. “Give Detective Rhodes my condolences for me the next time you see him.”

I raised my eyebrow in confusion as I narrowed my gaze. “Condolences?”

Ethan’s facial expression changed to something I wasn’t able to detect as he looked up at me. After pausing briefly, he continued. “His Partner? Sara? I heard about it. One of my coworkers was the one who discovered her body.”

“God, that’s got to be rough. Alright, I’ll be sure to tell him that.” I turned my back on Ethan and walked back into the house. Just as I shut the front door behind me, I heard my cell phone go off in the email. The video!

I darted towards the living and snatched my phone off the coffee table. Sure enough, Michael had sent me an email entitled “The Video you Were Looking For”. I didn’t waste any time opening the email and downloading the attachment. Once the video was downloaded, I hit play, making sure the volume was turned up.

The video grainy, but I was able to make out Michael as he hunkered behind his cable van. The picture shook, my guess due to Michael’s nerves as he focused on a pacing figure. The figure was a man, wearing a pair of dark-colored jeans and a long-sleeved sweater. He walked the same path on the sidewalk, occasionally glancing up at what I noticed to be Crenshaw’s house.

There wasn’t any audio on the video so you couldn’t tell what the man was saying, but it looked like he was mumbling something to himself. Trying to convince himself to Kill Crenshaw maybe?

The video continued on for several more minutes, the man’s pacing growing more and more agitated. Eventually, the man glanced towards the direction of the camera. It was grainy and hard to make out any in-depth details, but I was able to make out enough details to tell it was Ethan’s face. The video went to black as Ethan’s eyes fixated on the direction of the camera.

“No, this can’t be. It can’t be Ethan.” I whispered to myself as I clutched my phone in my hand. There had to be a reason Ethan was pacing in front of Crenshaw’s house. Just because he is the guy in front of the house doesn’t mean he is the one that killed him, right? Sure, Ethan’s a little eccentric but a murderer?

Whatever this meant, I knew I had to take it to Samuel. It was only a matter of time until they got this video, especially with Sara’s death. With Ethan already on Samuel’s bad side, it would not be a good idea to keep this video from him.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn this video into Samuel without raising any suspicion on myself as to how I actually obtained the video.

When I reached the police department, I walked right past the desk sergeant and towards the direction of Samuel’s desk. Luckily, my mothers made me bring him stuff enough times that I remember where it is at.

As I approached his desk, I noticed Samuel sitting hunched over the desk. His hair, now neatly combed back into place, was the only thing about him that seemed together. Based on his knee bouncing underneath the desk, He was just as put together as he was back at my house.

“Sam, there’s something I have to show you!” I called out, getting the attention of several other officers sitting at their desks. He glanced up from the papers to look at me, a smirk breaking out onto his face.

“How did you get passed the desk sergeant?”

“He doesn’t know I’m here. Listen, I have a video I think you need to see.” Without his permission, I sat down in the metal chair directly next to his desk.

“Cassandra, I’m trying to get some sort of lead on Sara’s death. Whatever video you’re trying to show me is going to have to wait until there’s not a murdered on the loose- “

“Would you shut the fuck up? You can take a measly five minutes out of your time to watch this.” Once again, I did not wait for his permission as I leaned in towards him to play the video. Samuel muttered something under his breath but let me play the video.

He remained emotionless throughout the entire thing until the camera focused in on Ethan’s face. “How’d you get this video?” Sam asked, his voice rough with irritation.

“The guy who took the video, Michael sent it to me. I went to high school with the guy.” Just enough backstory to make it believable, but not too much to sound suspicious. Besides, what I said IS true. I did go to high school with him!

“And he sent this video to you because?” I shrugged my shoulders as I adjusted my position in the seat. Samuel stared at me like he didn’t believe me but didn’t push the issue any further.

“I’m going to run this video by my superiors, see if it’s enough to bring Ethan in for questioning.” When Samuel stood up from the desk, I followed suit.

He chuckled as he lightly pushed me back into a sitting position. “Oh, you’re not going anywhere.”

“What do you mean?”

“Cassandra, this guy just became the prime suspect in a murder investigation. This is the same guy that has been following you around. I’m not going to risk anything happening to you.”

“But- “

“No but’s Cassandra. Two people have already died during the course of this investigation and I am not going to have you be the third! You’re lucky I don’t put your ass in protective custody until the investigation had closed.” The harshness of Samuel’s voice took me back as I looked up at him with wide eyes.

I nodded my head, raising my own hands in surrender. “Alright, I’ll stay here.”

“Good. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” With my eyes facing forward, I did not see Samuel as he bent down, pressing his lips briefly to mine before pulling away to put his lips against my ear.

“Behave, Cassie, I mean it.” He whispered, kissing the side of my head before pulling away entirely, not looking back as he walked towards the entrance of the police. I sat there, dumbfounded at what had just taken place.

Shit. That just complicated everything a hell of a lot more.

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