It’d been over a week since I’d last spoken to her. I had no reason to be pissed; she was right, she’s got a boyfriend and I should respect that. But I couldn’t help but be a little distant. I was struggling enough with keeping something so big from her, living next to her, and stupidly being attracted to her. In an attempt to make myself feel better about the situation, I tried to convince myself that I was so unbelievably into her because I couldn’t have her. She’s untouchable.
But that wasn’t stopping me for whatever reason.
Every time I was near her, my self control withered away almost instantaneously. My usual resolved nature became something animalistic and territorial whenever I saw her near that skinny little blonde of a boyfriend. Being the honest person that I am, I am big enough to say I’m the jealous type. Considering Jane and I are not even together, there is something undoubtedly wrong with me.
I walked out of my house, swinging my key ring around my index finger as I whistled on the way to my car. The Camaro beeped when I unlocked it, echoing in the quietness of the early morning. From next door, Jane popped out of her house and hopped down the stairs dressed in a pair of black spandex shorts and a light blue athletic tank top. I sucked my lip between my teeth and shoved my sunglasses on to hide my wandering eyes. Upon seeing me, she gave an awkward wave and a sheepish smile. Nodding in response, I hopped into the driver’s seat and jolted the car to life. My foot, suddenly plagued with lead, forcibly pushed on the gas pedal and I pulled the shift into reverse. Shooting out of my driveway, I caught a glance of Jane in my review mirror and frowned, seeing the shocked expression on her face mold into hurt.
In hope of distracting myself, I blasted the radio through the speaker system and drummed my index fingers against the steering wheel. The short drive to work ended as I pulled into my assigned spot. Kicking the door closed, I shoved my keys into the pocket of my black jeans and walked into the station. The smell of disinfectant and coffee wafted my senses immediately. Officer Will Perez approached me, wearing yellow cleaning gloves up the length of his arms and holding a spray bottle filled with cleaning chemicals. Pulling the paper mask away from his face, he set the bottle down and stripped off the gloves.
“Knife fight on the boardwalk; Anderson brought the two in and put them in separate holding cells, but there was blood everywhere,” He pulled out a pack of gum and popped it into his mouth. “You just missed it.” Slapping him on the shoulder, I smiled sarcastically.
“Lucky me.” I made my way past reception and toward my desk, but not before Blake stopped me. The perky blonde had made it her top priority to try to sleep with me and despite her efforts, never made it in my pants. Feeling her skinny, manicured fingers grasp the bottom of my bicep made me sigh in annoyance.
“Good morning Chief Inspector.” She beamed, tugging me slightly in the direction of her desk. “I brought in doughnuts for everyone, why don’t you have one?”
“Morning, Blake and uh, no thanks.” I shrugged my arm out of her grip, “Any messages?” She scrambled to her desk and pulled a pink sticky note from her stationary.
“Just one from Director General Ellis.” She slid the note into my hand, giving it a gentle squeeze before making her way back to her desk. Rolling my eyes, I entered my office and shut the door behind me. I slid into my chair and looked down at the note, scribbled and dotted with small hearts.
Call me ASAP. -Director Ellis
Sighing softly with a little apprehension, I dialed my boss’s number and for the first time in all of my career, he answered immediately.
“Rivera, we’ve got a problem.” He spat into the phone and I grimaced, feeling my pulse quicken.
“What would be the problem, Sir.” I questioned, tapping my foot anxiously against the metal of my desk leg.
“Dorian Smith broke out of prison late last night.” My throat seized, my brain unable to formulate any words to respond. “He killed four guards and took another prisoner hostage to negotiate his escape. We have rescued the hostage, but Smith did manage to get away.” I stayed silent, still unable to process the information coming at me. “Rivera.”
“Yes, Sir.” I mumbled into the receiver, all of the blood draining from my face as Jane popped into my mind.
“I realize you are close to this case so I’m assigning you to head this project,” As Director Ellis continued to give me the run down of the situation, my eyes landed on the take-out bag from Jane’s bakery and my fingers clenched into fists. No matter what was going to happen, Jane was going to be safe, and that I was sure of.
An hour later, I was in uniform and driving down Ophelia Avenue with Officer Perez in the passenger seat. Silence encapsulated the car to no end, but that was the least of my worries. As we pulled into Jane and Vivian’s driveway, my heartbeat sped up erratically. Will gave me a sympathetic look as I took a deep breath and stepped out. We approached the door and I hesitated before knocking my knuckles against the wood.
“It’ll be okay, Dax. I’m sure she’ll understand.” Will stated, and as much as I needed to hear that, I said nothing. The door opened and her face lit up with excitement.
“Dax!” She threw her arms around my torso and hugged me tightly. “I’m sorry about last week, okay? Can we just go back to how it was before?” She pulled away with a sad smile on her face before noticing my demeanor. “Is everything okay?” She looked between Will and me.
“Ms. Kingsley, Officer Perez and I are here in reference to a case you were involved in last year.” I watched as her face began to pale.
“Jane, what’s going on?” Vivian appeared behind the small brunette, resting a hand on her shoulder.
“I don’t know.” She whispered.
“Ms. Kingsley,” I took a deep breath before finding the courage to say the words. “Dorian Smith escaped from Supermax late last evening and enforcement were unable to apprehend him.” Jane was silent for a long time.
“Jane, isn’t that-”
“The man who murdered my parents.” And before anyone could react, Jane knees gave out and she dropped to the ground unconscious.