A/N: Sorry for the delay! I meant to post this yesterday, but my sleep schedule is sort of controlled by my exhaustion right now. Anyway, here you go!!
“So, they probably eat people,” Dallas said as he slid into the cruiser.
“Technically, they probably eat the organs of people.”
Oh, my fucking God, Ed groaned.
“Is there a difference?” Dallas asked.
“Of course. Which part of the cow do you eat before you say you’ve eaten cow?” Bo asked.
Dallas cocked his head to the side before nodding. “Okay, that’s fair. I’ll side with you on that one.”
I’ll fucking kill you both.
Control yourself. You’re already getting your fucking hands on a victim tonight. That’s all you get.
Dallas cleared his throat. “So if these people really do eat the organs of their younger members, and if those members agreed to this, what the hell can we do?”
“Cults are complicated, especially in the sense of the law and the court systems, but killing another human being is still killing another human being,” Bo said. “There are degrees, of course, but cults of this type don’t really fall into one of them. Regardless of any of that, you can’t convince a child to allow you to kill them and then argue that you had permission. It doesn’t work that way. We continue as we have been. We look for the people who killed this man, who brainwashed him into this. The worst that happens is we never find them. The best is we get them locked forever. Somewhere in the middle is a DA offering them a deal for community service to testify against one of the other members. As long as we avoid the worst, we’ve succeeded.”
“Success does sound like a good idea.”
Bo chuckled softly. “Yes, it often does.”
“Onto the next old best friend?”
The blonde nodded. “Take the first left after you get back onto the road.”
The interview with Freya Thomas had been relatively mundane, though she had confirmed Robert’s third friend, Layla Torress, had been the one who told him about the cult. According to Freya, Layla had tried to talk her into the cult in high school too. Obviously, Layla had only been convincing enough for Robert.
Dallas had a good feeling that was because Robert had been a teenage boy confronted by a pretty girl.
It’s a shame how many pretty girls you robbed us of when you were still in school. Such a fucking prude, Ed said.
Dallas’s jaw clenched as he pulled into Layla’s driveway. His ‘prude’ status back in the day had everything to do with preventing Ed from murdering his classmates, especially the ones Dallas was fond of in any form.
“Ready to head on in, Bo?” Dallas asked.
After a moment, Bo shook his head. “Do you mind giving me a moment?”
“No. What’s up?”
“A moment… alone?” Bo asked, his gaze settled on something off in the distance.
“Not at all. Take your time.” Dallas pulled the keys from the ignition and climbed out of the car. Bo stayed in the passenger seat, face buried in his hands.
Aww, Tex. I think you pushed our poor little freak too far for one day. So many people, so much time out of the basement. Poor little guy.
Ed, I swear to God—
Oh, please. You hardly even believe there’s a God.
I believe there’s a God. I’m just certain he fucking hates me. Leave Bo out of your shit. I will not let you kidnap Spencer tonight. I-I would rather let him kill a girl than let you… satisfy yourself with another kill.
Ed cackled, the sound thundering in Dallas’s head. He squeezed his eyes shut, brow furrowed as he tried to force the noise out. Oh, Dallas. Come on, buddy. We both know you’d never purposely endanger a life just so you could prove a point to me. You’re still too busy clinging to the idea that you’re somehow one of the good guys.
“We have to prepare for the possibility that she may run, given the circumstances,” Bo said as he climbed out of the car. He closed the passenger door quieter than Dallas knew possible and tucked his hands behind his back. “If she does, what would you like me to do?”
“Long as she doesn’t have a weapon? Chase her. Unless I can grab her arm, there’s a good chance I’d need to jump her, and that’s probably not happening.”
Bo nodded. “Not without injuring yourself, yes.”
“You a good runner, Bo?”
Bo offered a small smile. “I would have been a heck of a sprinter if not for the older kids in track.”
“Good. Good that you’re a fine runner, anyway. The other part, well, fuck those kids.”
After a moment, Bo nodded. “Yes. Fuck them.”
Dallas snorted. “Come on. Let’s see if she runs or not.”
Dallas led the way to the front door, adjusting the strap of his sling as he walked. He hated the way the damn thing rested most of the time, but he was stuck with it for a good long while. He felt like he’d been damned to eternity with it.
“You gonna hang out at the bottom of the stairs?” Dallas asked.
Bo nodded, hands tucked behind his back. “Yes. If she happens to run, I will too. But until then, following you.”
Dallas rolled his eyes, the good corner of his mouth lifting. He knocked on the door.
I hope she runs, Ed said. It’d be HILARIOUS to watch the little blonde try to tackle someone, wouldn’t it? God, I’d love that.
Dallas looked back over at Bo. “What?”
“You… you told me to shut up.” Bo offered a smile. “I’m pretty used to and okay with that, but it’s usually when I’m talking.”
Ed cackled. Oh, Tex. You stupid idiot. Oh, God. Gold. I love it.
Dallas shook his head. “Sorry, Bo. N-not to you. I’ve just got, umm… You ever have to tell the little voice in your head to fuck off?”
“Oh.” Bo nodded. “Yes, I can’t blame you there. That voice can be a real monster sometimes.”
I can’t believe you saved that. Kinda disappointed. Wanted you to have to come clean about the whole serial killer in your head thing. Then we would have HAD to kill him. Damn, I would love that.
The door opening saved Dallas from being forced to figure out a response or an adequate apology. “Hello?”
“Hello, Layla. I’m Dallas Silver with the LAPD. I need to ask you a few questions that tie into our current investigation. You knew our victim, Robert Sawyer.”
Layla’s eyes searched Dallas’s face for a moment far too long. “Who?”
“Robert Sawyer. You went to school with him.”
“I went to school with a lot of people.” Her gaze darted over to Bo before settling on Dallas’s face again. “High school isn’t a time I go out of my way to remember. I don’t want to be one of those people who believes those were the best years of their life.”
“He was one of your best friends. I still remember my best friend from high school, and unlike you, I didn’t talk mine into joining a cult. So I think he might stick out in your memory.”
“We already have multiple accounts of that, Layla. We know it’s true, and we know you talked him into joining the cult. I can’t exactly arrest you for his murder, but I can certainly talk to you about the people who committed it.” Layla pulled a gun from the back of her waistband, and before Dallas could even think about grabbing his own, she held it to her own head and pulled the trigger.
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