The Cop Next Door

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Chapter 23

Dax

Due to a burglary, the San Sebastian Bernal police force was turned over to domestic affairs and because backup from the States wouldn’t be here for a few more hours. Tired of following orders that didn’t get me any closer to Jane, I continued the hunt on my own against my commanding officer’s instructions. I promised Jane that I wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her and I failed to keep that promise, but there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to find her. I was able to trace Smith’s car to the outskirts of town, but that’s where the trail ended, so I followed the only road he could’ve taken. I drove half an hour with no signs of life anywhere, no buildings or people, not even any animals. The next town wouldn’t be for another hour and my anxieties began to eat away at me. Pulling over on the side of the road, I pressed my forehead against the steering wheel and took deep breaths.

“You’re going to find her, you’re going to find her.” I repeated to myself over and over again, until a minuscule amount of my confidence came back. A sign claiming ‘private property’ peaked my interest and I turned down the long gravel driveway. I drove for several more minutes, finding an old, dingy house hidden behind a rock formation in the middle of no where. Miraculously, the yellow shit car was parked on the side of the house, half covered by a blue tarp. I reversed my car and parked on the road, radioing in my position before slipping my gun into the holster on my hip. Jane was coming out of this alive, even if it meant I wouldn’t. I walked the way back to the house, quietly making my way around the perimeter to look for other means of entrance beside the front door. Finding an unlocked cellar, I pulled the doors open and climbed down the rickety cement steps. The odor of mildew penetrated my senses, the pitch black darkness making it hard to stay quiet and undetectable. A swishing noise came from behind me and something hard was cracked over my head, causing my vision to go black.

I woke sometime later, my eyes blurring under the bright white florescence of the cellar, my wrists now locked with chains attached to the floor. None other than Dorian Smith himself stood in front of me, his head cocked to the side with a smug grin plastered on his face. I rolled my head around, my skull aching specifically around my crown from where I’d been hit. I pulled against the chains, my muscles straining against the hard metal with no luck. Dorian had me on my knees, shirtless and vulnerable.

“Welcome, Officer Rivera!” Dorian said giddily, a glint of metal in his hand twinkling in the light. I shook my head to clear my vision, realizing he had a knife. “I’ve waited some time for this moment. I’ve thought about it a lot over the past year in prison; should I use a gun? A knife? A rope to hang you up like the dog you are?” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Oh no, I want you to suffer. I want you to know exactly what I went through when I was locked up; the beatings, the starvation, plus a little more.”

“Please don’t do this,” I begged out of breath, “Please don’t hurt her.”

“Who? Jane?” Dorian laughed loudly, slapping his knee. “Why do you care about her, she’s your flavor of the week. Old news by tomorrow.”

“I love her.” He swallowed, the hot air causing droplets of sweat to cascade down my body.

“I don’t give a shit about how you feel,” Dorian flipped the knife, catching it by its handle. “Besides, I would never hurt my own daughter.” I looked up at him in confusion.

“Jane is not your daughter.”

“Oh, but she is my daughter, Detective. Maybe instead of trying to get in her pants, you could do your job.” Dorian spat, taking a step near me. “You see, before all of this, I was a professor at the university that Jane’s mother attended as a young adult. We had a brief affair, one in which we both claimed to love each other. That is, until that fucking idiot transferred from Chicago.” I watched as Dorian’s face twisted in jealousy and rage, his knuckles turning white around the handle of the blade. “He stole her from me and it wasn’t until months later that I learned she had been pregnant. She made the mistake of coming back to my classroom to collect her things before she graduated, which is when I saw her carrying my child. I was elated, assuming that since we were going to have a baby, it meant we were going to be married and finally start our life together like we had planned. But she took the opportunity to tell me she had already married the man Jane thinks to be her father and that Jane was not mine.”

“I don’t believe a word of this.” I spat, my arms straining against the metal of the chains.

“You don’t have to believe me, the documentation proves itself.” Dorian recovered a piece of paper from a file, holding it up for me to see. “I did some digging and found the childcare facility Jane was cared as a newborn and stole one of her diapers. I brought it to a lab and received the joyous news seventy-two hours later.” The document looked real, a stamp of approval at the top. “I made several attempts to contact Jane’s mother, to have a relationship with my daughter. All of which were denied. At one point, I threatened a custody battle, which they counter attacked with telling the judge I had presented explosive anger issues and had poor mental stability.”

“So, hypothetically, if all of this is true, what drove you to kill the Kingsley’s?” I asked, watching the wheels in his sadistic head turn.

“It was mostly an accident; I had entered their home in the middle of the night in attempt to tell Jane myself, since almost her whole childhood had passed with my absence. When I got to her bedroom, I realized she was gone and ended up tripping on her desk chair in the dark as I was leaving. They found me as I was climbing out of the window and I guess they saw an opportunity. The husband took his shotgun and aimed for my chest, but I quickly rolled back into the house. We fought over the gun and in the mix, it went off. Jane’s mother fell to the ground and it felt as though my heart had been ripped out - imagine losing the woman you love right before your eyes. I was so angry, I couldn’t be responsible for my actions. I ripped the gun away from him and shot him four times.” He paused, a faint smile on his mouth. “I still remember the way his warm blood splattered across my face.”

“You’re sick.” I shook my head, not sure of what to think.

“That may be so, but all of this could have been avoided if they just allowed me to see her in the first place. Now, I’m just making up some long overdue father time.” He stepped behind me and gently slid the sharp, cold metal against my throat, a small trickle of blood leaked down my neck. I groaned heavily, hearing him chuckle in my ear. “You’re a pathetic piece of shit. I would never let my daughter be with you.”

“Yeah, well your daughter calls me daddy, you’re third in line now.” I smirked at him, his face becoming red as he registered what I had said, earning me a blow across the face. Blood filled from my mouth and I spit it at him as he nursed his hand. My smart mouth wasn’t letting me come out of this alive.

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