I laughed, but Jackson’s expressions hadn’t changed. He was still having that intense look in his whiskey colored eyes. “Me? Marry you?”
His brows arched up. “Why not?”
“What type weed have you been smoking today?”
Ignoring my question, he dipped the spoon back into the lasagna and took another bite. “I do want to marry you, Riley. Just think about it. You wouldn’t have to worry about bills or about keeping a job for that matter.”
I laughed again. Because it was so funny. “And what about the police, Jackson? I don’t have to worry about that either? Should we live our life looking behind our backs? What would I tell ”our" future children? That their father is a psychotic killer?”
“Here I’m talking about marriage and you’re talking about future children.” He sniggered. “You have it all planned out ahead of you.”
I rubbed my temples in frustration, watching him gobble down half of the lasagne. “You have to let me go, Jack. The police are going to start looking for me, and you’re going to be in far more trouble than you think.”
He stopped eating like a caveman and patter his mouth with a towel, turning his full attention towards me. “You’ve been missing for the past forty-eight hours. Do you think the police and the Asylum authorities are sitting ducks? Obviously, they’ve torn down every other place they think they can find me.” He said, guzzling down an entire bottle of chilled water. “As for you, you can try begging and groveling at my feet. My decision won’t change. You are staying here with me. That’s final.”
I leaned closer and took his hands in mine. “If you keep me here, it’s going to be a double offense. Instead, we can go to the police together, you can confess your crimes and I’ll make sure you don’t get jail time. I’ll be your alibi. I won’t even mention the kidnapping. The most you would get is a few years in the mental facility.”
Jackson laughed, the kind of laugher that was downright mocking like I’d recited the best joke out of the joke book. “Riley, do you even know who I am?”
I swallowed. “I do know what they have all told me, the fact that I should be careful around you, that you’re not someone to be trusted.”
He smiled in the same devilish way. “Well, since you don’t know who I really am, I think I’d like to continue being your mystery man.”
That made me really curious and I kind of wished I’d listened to Maddy and googled him. I’d been too adamant to look at Jackson as anything but a patient assigned to me and now it was biting me in the ass.
“I’ll find out one way or the other.” I promised him.
He sniggered. “I hope you do, but I should also add that whatever you read online is hardly ever the truth.”
“Give me the television remote control.” I raised my hand towards him, palm up.
All the humor had left Jackson’s face, he stared at me expressionless.
From the corner of my eye, I saw the television remote lying on the couch, I lunged for it. Jackson was too late, the remote was already in my hand.
He stood at the side staring intently at me. “Riley, please.”
Before he could say anything, I switched on the huge television and continued to switch channels until I had the right one on.
“...Police have yet to discover who did the murder but they suspect Multi-Millionaire and psychotic killer Jackson Wolfe to be involved with it. Since the suspect, Jackson has escaped the asylum, it has been discovered that he had an accomplice...”
I felt the blood rushed to my ears, and I suspected to look as white as a sheet after getting one shock after the other.
Jackson was a Multi-Millionaire?
I let the thought slide and watched horrified as a blurred image of a nurse flashed on the screen. Her body was mutilated beyond recognization, her limps were brutally beaten.
The reporter continued. “The victim’s body was found in WoodVille’s old hospital wing by a ward boy who stumbled upon the gruesome scene. The police have refused to disclose any more details about the case but it has been speculated that Jackson Wolfe committed the murder before his escape.”
The camera zoomed into the wall of WoodVille asylum’s abandoned wing. The words were smeared in blood.
The Clock is ticking :)
Jackson snatched the remote out of my hands and switched off the tv. The room continued to bask in a dead silence. My hands were shaking, I threw an accusatory glare at Jackson. “Did you do it?”
“I didn’t want you to look at it because I knew you would misunderstand.”
“Did you kill Nurse Roxanne?!”
“You think I did it?” Jackson asked me.
I was frightened. My mind was in a state of shock. “It’s you. You killed her. She was your assigned nurse before me! And you got her killed!” I climbed to my feet, stumbled against the coffee table and backed away from him as far as possible.
“I didn’t do it, Riley.” He said with such conviction that anyone would believe him.
“Then who was it?!” I asked. “The ghost of Jeffrey Dahmer?” My hand flew to my mouth. “Oh my god. For a moment, I believed you when you said you were framed, but Roxy...”
“I’M BEING FRAMED!” He growled and pounded his hand against the glass coffee table so hard that it cracked in two. “Goddamnit Riley! I didn’t do it. I didn’t kill her!”
“Aaron told me that you manipulate people into thinking you’re innocent.” I said between crying. “I guess he was right all along. You’re a liar and a manipulator. You killed Roxy because she knew something about you that you feared she would tell everyone and so you killed her. It makes perfect sense.”
Jackson shook his head. “That’s exactly what the killer wants you to think. He’s targeting the people connected to me.”
“If that’s the case then there’s nothing for you to fear about. We will leave right now and go straight to the police. You will tell them the truth about how you didn’t kill her or David.” I reasoned with him. “Or we could go to Aaron and ask him for help. I know if we talked to Aaron he will help us.”
Jackson had an unreadable expression on this face. “I wish everything was that simple, Cotton-Candy, but it’s not.”
“You’re refusing that means you actually did it.” I said. “You’re guilty of all those crimes!”
“ENOUGH!” He snarled so loud that I flinched backward.
The sound of the crackling fireplace was the only sound in the room, I could hear my own breathing, and I hated how scared I was of him. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to believe that he wouldn’t hurt me but he had a scary look in his eyes.
“Aaron is hiding a lot of things that you’re not aware of.” He said finally. “He cannot be trusted.”
“You’re one to talk. Aaron is my friend, and I trust him more than I would trust you, Jackson.”
“How well do you even know him?” Jackson asked, his expressions challenging me for an answer.
“A couple of years.” I said.
“Here’s a question for you Riley. Was there anyone apart from me and Aaron who knew about your temporary suspension?”
“I don’t know...”
“How do you think the media got that information?”
My blood turned to ice.
Jackson nodded knowingly like he read my mind. “Aaron gave the information to the police. I guarantee you he even showed them the footage of you stealing that scalpel.”
“That doesn’t explain anything!” I said.
When I didn’t say anything, he continued. “Think about it. Aaron is betraying your trust. He’s framing you along with me.”
I’d confined myself in the bedroom at night. I’d been crying to myself, disturbed with the images of Roxy’s brutally murdered body. I wondered how Jackson could even do something like that.
My stomach growled and it was a clear indication I hadn’t eaten anything for hours. I didn’t care, it’s not like I even had an appetite for a sumptuous meal.
At half past one, there was a knock at the door and in walked Jackson, freshly showered dressed in a thermal t-shirt and pajama pants. His hair was still wet and the scent of his body wash entered my nostrils.
I dared to look at his face and then my gaze dropped to his hands. I half expected to see robes and a knife so he could carve me up, but thankfully he was only holding a tray filled with food.
“You haven’t eaten anything. I brought you peanut butter and jelly and some fruit. The leftover lasagna is still on the counter. If you prefer that, I’ll heat it up.”
“I don’t want anything. Take it away.” I said, turning back to the window to stare outside.
“I know you’re upset, but you need to eat.” He urged me.
I felt the bed dip and a soft caress of his hand in my hair. “Stop it! Stop doing that.”
“No matter what I tell you, you’re not going to believe me.”
I slapped his hand away. “Don’t touch me.”
He wasn’t listening, he inched closer and took my hand in his, caressing the back of my hand with his long fingers. “You know I wouldn’t hurt you, Riley. You have nothing to be scared about.”
“Did she beg or scream?” I asked.
“Roxy. Did she beg you not to kill her or was she just screaming while you cut her up?”
Jackson sighed and climbed to his feet. He placed the tray of food on the nightstand. His whiskey-brown eyes betraying no emotion. “If you still want to try escaping, I think you need some energy to run. Eat. Good night, Riley.”
Tears trickled down my face as I continued to stare out towards the darkened words. I sobbed silently, wishing that Jackson was telling the truth. That he hadn’t killed all those people.
Aaron’s words haunted me.
“There have been cases of Jackson getting people especially women to do exactly what he wants and you played right into his palm, Riley.”
I knew Aaron had been right. Jackson was capable of anything, he could have murdered all those people brutally with no sense of consequence or regret.
I placed my hand to my rapidly beating heart. I would be lying if I said I was feeling brave. He hadn’t hurt me yet, but he’d threatened to hurt my brother and he would do the same to me. Maybe Jackson planned to keep me around for a while longer, toy with my emotions.
And then eventually...
I took the tray of food from the nightstand. The orange, apple and pineapple was cut in thin slices along with PB&J sandwich.
I sniffed the sandwich incase he’d decided to drug me. I opened the sandwiches and checked the contents before taking small a bite.
I had to find a way out of here.