“Look here and hold still.”
Evan squinted at the flash of the camera.
“Now turn to the side.”
The metal handcuff, making its mark on Evan’s wrist, made him wince.
“Now, come with me.”
Evan’s shoulder’s slumped as Amanda’s brother, Todd, lead him to the fingerprint station.
“Place your thumb here.”
A loud noise made them both turn to the front entrance as a haggard-looking drunk stumbled through the hallway with an officer on his heels.
“You don’t want to end up like that fool, do you?”
Evan turned to Todd with narrowed brows. “It’s not my life goal if that’s what you’re asking. But I won’t apologize for what I did.” Evan placed his thumb on the ink pad. “The asshole deserved it.”
“I’m not going to lie,” Todd said, “I wanted to kill him after you told me what he did to Amanda.”
Evan lowered his eyes with a frown. “Yeah, me too.”
“Well, you certainly tried.”
Evan continued placing each finger on the ink pad until they finished.
“Come on. I need to take you to the cell.”
Evan followed Todd down a short hallway to a row of cells surrounded by metal bars and concrete flooring. He stepped inside.
“I’ll get you out as soon as I can.” Todd shut the door behind Evan.
The loud clang of metal on metal made Evan shudder.
“Do you want me to call anyone for you?”
Evan glared at the cold, gray wall in front of him, thinking of Emma. She cannot find out about this.
Evan turned to Todd, catching his concerned stare through the thick metal bars. “No, thanks.”
“Yell if you need anything.” Todd turned to walk away.
“Wait,” Evan said, taking a step toward the bars. He grabbed them tightly, pressing his head into a bar and staring at the floor. “What time is it?”
Todd glanced at his watch. “Close to midnight.” He turned away again and then back to Evan. “You’ll see the judge for arraignment first thing in the morning at best.”
Once Todd was out of sight, Evan turned his back to the bars and leaned his head against the cold steel. He squeezed his fists tightly and then winced at the pain. Evan looked down to see that both sets of knuckles were bruised but no longer bloody. His first thought was how he would explain their bruised appearance to Emma. Guilt gnawed at his stomach, causing him to fall forward in pain. Next, he thought of his mother. She would be upset to find out what he had become; a sex-crazed addict who cheated on the love of his life. It was for that reason that he only called her once a month or so. That made him feel even guiltier.
His mind took him back to the last conversation he had had with her. He had asked for his grandma’s ring to propose to Emma. Fat chance that will happen if Emma finds out about this.
The best he had going for him now was his job, but he wouldn’t even have that anymore if he missed the 8 AM interview.
Evan straightened his posture and took a seat on the cold, hard bench in front of him. His mind wandered to the night at the mansion with Amanda. After he beat up the man who raped her, he slept on a different bench at the same police station. He would have killed the guy tonight if the girlfriend hadn’t been screaming so loudly while punching Evan’s back from behind.
I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I have too much at stake right now. His mind drifted to Emma. Why do I do this? I don’t want to lose her. I can’t lose her. She makes me sane when I’m with her. She’s so good to me, and I’m such a jerk. Evan rested his elbows on his knees while rubbing his forehead.
Todd standing on the other side of the bars, interrupted his thoughts. “You’re free to go.”
Evan raised himself from a crouched position and glanced toward the bars. It had only been ten minutes since Todd left, and told him he wouldn’t see the judge for arraignment until the following day. Finally, in a state of tired confusion, Evan responded, “okay.”
Todd opened the cell door and tossed a clear plastic bag at Evan. “Go ahead and take off the jumpsuit and just throw them on the floor and put your clothes back on.” He turned his back to Evan and waited.
Evan did as instructed. “I’m dressed.”
“Come on, man.”
Evan followed him to the lobby, defeated and confused. As he rounded the corner to the police station’s entry doors, Evan stopped in his tracks.
Waiting for him, with tear-stained cheeks and a look of concern, was Amanda.