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This is Love, Baby(8)

By:K. Webster

An ache forms in my chest. “No, I haven’t spoken to her.” It’s true. I haven’t heard her sweet voice. Her throaty giggle. The soft way she moans when I kiss her.

Stark lets out a sigh, almost seeming relieved at my words.

“The house appears to be lived in. No signs of a struggle or altercation. There’s nothing here,” Shilling says from behind me.

Stark nods and motions for me to follow her. “Mr. Thompson, we’d like you to come down to the station so we can ask you a few more questions.”

“So ask them now,” I bark out, trying not to seem so eager to get away from them.

Glancing down at my watch, I nearly cringe knowing these people are wasting my time.

“I’d rather do it up at the station. In my office. We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Just a few questions.”

“Questions about what?”

She frowns. “Gabriel Sharpe for one.”

I wince at hearing that asshole’s name. “I don’t know anything about that stupid fuck.” But my menacing growl does nothing to conceal my hatred for him.

“Well, that’s not all. I promise, we won’t keep you long. Like I said, the easy way.”

Our eyes meet and I challenge her. “And if I just leave?”

A soft chuckle leaves Shilling as Stark bristles at my question. “Then we do it the hard way. I have my partner here search your bag and if we find anything missing from this home, we’ll haul you in for trespassing and larceny. You could also be charged with aiding and abetting.”

“What?” I bellow out in disbelief. “Aiding and abetting with what?”

She crosses her arms over her chest and stares at me. “With aiding and abetting Baylee Winston in the attempted murder of Warren McPherson.”

I blink at her several times in shock. Surely this woman has lost her goddamned mind. “What the hell are you even talking about? Who the fuck is Warren McPherson? Baylee was kidnapped. Stolen. She’s not a murderer!”

Stark cocks a dark eyebrow and nods toward the squad car and my truck. “I know the story you’ve told me, and I’d like to believe you, Brandon. That’s why I want to get your statement at the station. We’ll need your help in bringing Baylee in. She’s a person of interest. Any information you might be able to provide will help us in our cause.”


“This is ridiculous.” I run my fingers through my hair again and curse.

“You can meet us there. How about that? We’ll talk, clear some things up, and then you can be on your way,” she tells me in a placating tone that reminds me of Lynn. Motherly and concerned. “I know you want her back. If she’s innocent, like you claim, we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

Rage bubbles inside of me.

Now that they think she tried to murder someone, they’re suddenly interested in where the fuck she went. Not for the near four months that I’ve been going crazy searching for her.

I want to strangle this woman and say, I fucking told you so.

I want to tell them everything I know about Tony Winston and his psycho best friend, Gabe Sharpe.

I want to tell them how Baylee wouldn’t hurt a soul. She’s an innocent. A motherfucking victim.

My phone buzzes in my pocket alerting me to a notification from the GPS app that’s tracking Gabe’s movement. I’ve already wasted too much time with these dumbass detectives when I should be stalking where Gabe’s taking her.

But I know they won’t get off my ass until I talk to them. Stark’s firm stare tells me so. I need to shake these guys off me so I can get to her. For a brief moment I consider telling her that I’m going after Gabe, but then I remember how much help she was before.

I don’t have time for their bureaucratic bullshit and red tape.

I need to get to her. And soon.

“Fine,” I concede with a huff. “I can’t stay more than an hour though. I promised my mother I’d be home for dinner.” My stomach grumbles as if to punish me for teasing it with a mention of my mother’s home cooking when I know I won’t be getting that shit anytime soon.

Stark nods and flashes me a warm smile. “You’re doing the right thing, kid. Thank you.”

Four hours.

For four goddamned hours I’ve sat here answering their questions.

When was the last time you saw Baylee Winston?

Do you know the current whereabouts of Gabriel Sharpe?

How would you describe Baylee? Was she ever violent?

Were Gabriel Sharpe and Baylee Winston collaborating to con the reclusive billionaire out of his life and money?

Where is Anthony Winston and why would he hide the fact that his daughter had gone missing?