Shadows In The Dark

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“You’re killing people Anna! For money!” “I don’t do it for the money!” I snapped. "They're bad people and that's enough for me!"

Thriller / Romance
Chris Kelley
4.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Robbers are Assholes

I fucked up. And I don’t just mean your typical ‘oh-no-I-made-a-single-mistake-and-my-life-is-completely-ruined’ whiny bullshit. I mean I actually fucked up.

“Declan! Declan I’m sorry okay?” I groaned, knocking my head against the bars. “I’m a dumbass with a temper alright? Can we please just forget this ever happened?”

It was completely silent for a few moments, then I heard a heavy sigh and the squeak of a chair. I took a few steps back at the sound of footsteps, pausing when my legs hit the metal bench.

“Anna, this is the third time. I can’t keep letting you off the hook.”

The disappointment in his voice made me hang my head. “I know, I’m sorry,” I mumbled.

The Sheriff sighed, rubbing at the scruff on his jaw. “I let it go before because you just made threats but you actually punched him this time.”

“I know I did I’m sorry I just—”

“You can apologize all you want, that doesn’t change the fact that you assaulted my deputy. I know Max is a pain in the ass but he didn’t deserve a black eye and a broken nose.”

I stared, my eyebrows furrowing as my lips curled into a grimace. “I told him someone broke into my apartment and stole my stuff and he said ‘there’s no way, if someone had come into your place it’d be to take your pretty ass not your crappy TV’.”

He froze for a split second. Then his lips turned upwards in an awkward smile. “Yeah okay you can go”

“I would say this is unnecessary but I haven’t gone out to eat in months,” I laughed lightly.

He nodded. “I figured as much.” He motioned for me to sit down and ordered a soda for each of us. The waitress flashed the Sheriff a smile, turning on her heel to get our drinks.

“You know this is the kinda place you see in movies where the main character lives in a small town,” I remarked, glancing around pointedly at the outdated decor.

He sighed, leaning back against the booth. “This is a small town.”

“I know, the stereotype is just entertaining.”

“Wow alright,” he muttered, shaking his head.

We ordered food and chatted about what had happened in the few weeks that had passed since I was last at the police station. Turned out my punching the deputy was the most exciting event—except maybe a couple of kids starting a trash fire downtown.

The waitress returned with our food and a free milkshake for the Sheriff. She smiled at him then sauntered away without a word.

“I think she likes you,” I commented.

He snorted. “I think she’s being a kiss-ass because her boyfriend is sitting in one of my jail cells right now.”

“Really?” I raised an eyebrow at him but he just shrugged, glancing back to see if she was nearby.

It was quiet while we ate until Declan spoke again. “So what exactly happened that started the fight? You said someone broke into your apartment?”

I nodded. “I came home from work and the lock on my door was broken. Pretty much everything in my place is gone—all the electronics, some of my furniture, my notebooks, my money, my stuff for work—it’s just ridiculous.”

He sighed. “Well, considering your past I think I know who did it, and the last thing we need is to get involved with them; they cause enough problems already. Besides, I don’t have anyone that can check it out. Everyone went home as soon as the snow started, they didn’t want to get stuck at the station in this weather.”

I looked out the window. Big, fluffy snowflakes floated down from the dark clouds; the streetlights turned them yellow as they fell. The storm was only beginning but it was obvious it would be a blizzard by morning. “I really don’t think they did it.”

“Anna I—”

I cut him off with a shake of my head. “I know you don’t want to risk it by getting involved, it’s fine, I understand,” I muttered shortly. I wiped my mouth with the napkin and stood. “Thank you for the dinner Sheriff.” I smiled, pulling on my coat.

“Please be careful out there, don’t go looking for trouble, alright?”

“You got it.”

I snatched another fry from my plate before tugging my hood up and heading outside. I fished through my purse for a cigarette and my lighter. It took only a few drags to feel that familiar tingling in my mouth.

“You know smoking’ll kill you by the time you’re fifty,” a voice said beside me.

I turned to see a young man in a blue hoodie crouched with his back against the wall. “That’s kinda the point,” I replied, tossing the remaining stub into the snow. I shoved my freezing hands into the pockets of my jacket and trudged through the slush-covered parking lot. The wind blew my hair into my face, making me duck my head down to keep it out of my mouth.

I walked across the street, back to where my truck was sitting in front of the police station. The old Tacoma my parents got me when I graduated college was covered in several inches of snow already. After cleaning the windshield, I got inside, immediately pulling on my gloves and starting it. My breath came out in an icy white cloud. Why I decided to go to college in Michigan when I grew up in Miami was completely beyond me. I was definitely not built for cold weather.

My heater eventually started blowing warm air on my bare skin and I slowly regained feeling in my extremities. “At least I don’t have to get up early for work tomorrow,” I mumbled to myself as I drove through the blanketed streets.

There were very few cars on the road, only snow plows and cargo trucks. I expected nothing more at almost two in the morning.

I turned up my radio, then turned it off in annoyance when I couldn’t find a station playing decent music. Keeping my eyes on the road, I managed to find my phone in my purse and held down the home button. “Call Hayden,” I said and waited for it to dial.

“Hello?” A groggy voice answered.

“Hey Hayden, it’s Anna, sorry for waking you up.”

“Nah it’s cool. Is everything okay?” He asked, half-yawning.

“Someone got into my apartment,” I said.

“Wait seriously? Are you okay? You didn’t get hurt, did you?”

I smiled at the concern in his voice. “Yeah I’m fine, but whoever it was literally took everything: my furniture, tv, my bed, it’s just obnoxious.”

“Did you talk to the police?”

“Yeah but they think it was the Blood Kings so they’re refusing to get involved.”

“Yes because that’s exactly what rich and powerful gangs do, steal shitty stuff from shitty apartments,” Hayden chuckled.

I made a face. “That’s not funny. Now are you working tomorrow?”

“It was funny Anna. And no I’m not working so I’ll be over in five minutes or so,” he said.

“Okay thanks Hayden, bye.” I waited for him to say goodbye as well before hanging up.

I pulled up to my apartment complex and parked in the underground garage. I took a black bag out of my glove compartment before making sure my car was locked; the beep echoed through the garage.

The manager stopped me as I walked by the front desk in the lobby. He explained that the lock on my door was replaced and gave me a key to use. He also informed me that the security cameras had been tampered with and the footage from this morning was gone. There was nothing I could use to prove the theft actually happened.

I could feel a migraine starting to come on as I twisted my new key onto the ring for my car keys. I rubbed the back of my neck as I rode the elevator up to my floor and plodded to the end of the hall.

Just as I was putting my key in the lock, a hand grabbed my shoulder. I whipped around in panic and yanked my gun out of my purse. I had it aimed at the man’s head in seconds.

“Okay shit, that was a bad idea. Anna, you can put the gun down now,” Hayden said in panic, putting his hands up.

“Why the hell do you have a gun?” I heard a feminine voice ask and moved my gun to the woman beside him.

“Who the fuck are you?” I asked, turning the safety off.

“I’m Hayden’s girlfriend and a detective for the police department,” she said and pulled out a badge on a chain around her neck.

My lip curled in disgust. “What are you doing here?” I asked, dropping it to my side.

“I was staying at his place and heard about your apartment being robbed so I decided to come and help.”

I made a face before unlocking my apartment door. I stepped inside and flipped on the light. “Well I just came back from the station and they said they can’t help me,” I said, staring at the bare apartment.

They both walked in with wide eyes.

“Did you see them take anything?” The woman asked.

“Nope, I came home to this. When I got back from work the lock was broken. But I mean there’s no proof—well besides all of my missing stuff—that anyone had been in here, no one saw anything happen, the building manager said the security footage was erased. They didn’t leave anything behind either, not even fingerprints,” I mumbled in annoyance, shutting the door.

“You checked for fingerprints yourself?” The woman snorted.

I pursed my lips, glaring at her. I opened my mouth to tell her off but Hayden stepped between us. “Babe, Anna’s mom is a forensic analyst and her dad works with the FBI,” he said.

“So?” She scoffed.

“So I know how to check for fingerprints, my parents wanted me to follow in their footsteps so they taught me this stuff, despite the fact that I had no intention of studying anything of the kind in college,” I muttered, setting my purse on the counter and emptying the contents of the black bag.

“Really? Not following in their footsteps but you’re carrying more weapons than an FBI agent,” the woman remarked.

I looked up to see her eyeing the weapons I put onto the counter. I glanced back down at the 3 guns, then shrugged. “Who are you again?”

She looked at me with an offended frown. “Naomi Harper, now are you licensed to carry those?” She asked.

I rolled my eyes. “Of course, I’m not stupid,” I retorted.

“Hey babe why don’t you check around the place for any signs of a break-in that Anna might have missed?” Hayden suggested. She nodded, glancing at me before leaving the living room.

I whipped around. “Why did you bring her?” I demanded furiously.

“I’m sorry, she overheard our conversation and I couldn’t get her to stay at home,” he sighed.

“Does she know that we used to date?”

He shook his head. “No, she thinks you’re just a friend.”

“Okay now I have another question,” I said and he nodded for me to continue. “How the fuck could you date a cop? After all the shit we went through! Are you insane?” I hissed.

“Look I didn’t know she was a cop until after I asked her out, and if I broke up with her just because she was a cop then I’d have some explaining to do, don’t you think?” He shot back.

I made a frustrated noise and ran my hands through my hair. “This day just keeps getting better and better,” I growled, sarcasm dripping from my voice like venom.

“I will get her to leave, now calm down,” he said, putting a hand on my shoulder.

I instantly relaxed. I can’t do this anymore, I thought in defeat. “Thank you,” I murmured.

He nodded before disappearing after Naomi. Hayden walked back into the living room, the woman pressed up against his side. “You should get going babe before the snow gets too bad, you’ve got work tomorrow and I don’t want you to get in trouble,” he told her.

“Are you going to stay here?” She asked and he nodded.

“Yeah, I want to make sure Anna is okay and be here in case that guy comes back.” He shrugged nonchalantly.

She nodded and gave him a quick kiss before leaving.

I locked the door behind her, falling against it immediately. “I don’t like her,” I said firmly.

“I think the feeling is mutual.” He pulled off a backpack I didn’t notice before. Inside were several blankets and somehow a pillow.

“How did you fit all of that in there?” I asked as he pulled out several more items.

His eyebrows furrowed. “I have no idea. Do you have any food?”

I laughed. “Yeah but it’s either leftovers or something frozen.”

“Not even a little surprised. Unless you’ve suddenly learned to cook I’ll take whatever you’ve got in the freezer.”

“Pizza pocket thingies it is,” I decided, shuffling to my kitchen and digging through the freezer. I put a few in the microwave, frowning when my stomach started growling.

We ate and Hayden set up a makeshift bed with blankets and a pillow on the living room couch. I was sitting on the counter and Hayden was lying down when he finally spoke again. “Is it because she’s my girlfriend or because she’s a cop?”


“Do you not like Naomi because she’s my girlfriend or because she’s a cop?” He repeated, making me sigh.

“Both,” I admitted. “Plus she’s kind of a bitch.”

“Anna don’t forget, you’re the one who broke up with me,” Hayden said, throwing me a narrow glance.

“Yeah because I felt horrible about our situation. I was always working or at school and we never saw each other. Not to mention my side job put you in serious danger, so I wanted to give you a chance to be happy with someone else.”

He stood up with wide eyes. “Wait, what? Why didn’t you tell me that?”

“Because if I did then you wouldn’t want to break up and you deserve to be with someone who you can actually spend time with where you won’t have to constantly worry for your life,” I mumbled.

He shook his head, walking over to where I sat. “You should have told me before, but I’m glad you told me now,” he said, a smirk on his lips.

“Why?” I asked, my eyebrows scrunching together. I thought he was going to be pissed.

“Because now I don’t feel so guilty about doing this,” he said before pressing his lips onto mine.

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