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This is Love, Baby(9)

By:K. Webster

On and fucking on.

I evaded. Anything to get them off my back and hurry the hell up.

“Are we done here?” I demand for the millionth time, my patience wearing incredibly thin.

Stark, ever the calm one, raises a dark eyebrow at me. “Shilling just called your parents to let them know you’ve been located and are safe,” she says with a hint of smugness. “He also told them you’d be late for dinner. Although, they sounded a bit surprised to hear that you’d be joining them at all.”


“There’s also no reason for you to lie about going to your parents, unless you really don’t want anyone to know where you were actually headed. Where were you really going in such a hurry, Mr. Thompson?” she questions, suspicion evident in her voice.

“This is stupid. I was going to see a friend.” A growl rumbles in my chest. “Besides, I’m eighteen, Stark. There’s no reason for you to have called them. It’s none of their business.”

I flick my gaze to the clock above her head, wanting to slam my fist into the table. Another three hours or so and he’ll be back at the cabin. I think about the gun in my bag in the truck. How it will feel to shove the barrel into that asshole’s mouth and pull the trig—

“Detective,” a mousy woman with a greying mop of hair interrupts, peeking into the interrogation room. “Mr. Thompson is here to see his son.”

Rubbing a palm over my face, I groan at the feeling of dread spreading through my body. The last thing I want to do is be forced to face my father now, after all this time.

“He can wait until we finish up here,” Stark snaps.

“No,” the woman squeaks, “actually it can’t wait. He’s here with an attorney and is demanding to see him right away.”

Jesus fucking Christ. My father just has to go to the extreme. I could have handled this. I was almost done and on my way to find Baylee.

But now?

Now I’m going to look even guiltier. Spend even more time here. And possibly lose track of them.


“Fine,” Stark grumbles, “send them in.”

Seconds later the door swings open and my father storms in with a scowl painted on his face. I stand abruptly and glower at him.

“I had this handled,” I grit through my teeth. “They were just asking questions about Baylee. I was about to leave. I didn’t need a lawyer or my dad to come save me.”

My father approaches and looks down his nose at me. “You look like hell, Brandon. Are you on drugs?”

I can’t help but roll my eyes. Fucking typical. “Leave,” I seethe at him, fisting my hands at my sides.

He laughs at me before grabbing a fistful of my T-shirt. I know he’s pissed at my disappearing but he no longer has any influence or control over me.

“Okay, Mr. Thompson, that’s enough,” Stark snaps as she stands.

“Son,” he says, shaking his head, “you clearly can’t be left to deal with matters on your own. You only ever end up doing something stupid. You went and got yourself mixed up with that girl. You’re throwing your entire life away for her. Her hot-headed asshole father doesn’t even like you. She’s not worth—”


I snap. Blame it on the day of being poked at and forced into shit that I didn’t want to do after months of being ignored by the very people in this room. Rage overwhelms me and I nearly go blind with it. I can’t stop the rush of anger. Can’t stop where it takes my fist. I can’t evaluate the repercussions of my action until it’s too late.


The rest is a blur of chaos.

A blur of shouts.

A blur of force as I’m wrangled into cuffs by a fucking woman.

A blur of threats by my father. Warnings by his attorney. And my Miranda rights being read to me by Stark.

A blur that doesn’t fade until I’m sitting on a cold bench behind bars, beside a bunch of other criminals.

I’m so sorry, Baylee.

I’m so fucking sorry.

I SIT ON the shower floor with my chin on my kneecap as I hold my legs to my chest. The heat of the water does nothing to warm my frigid soul. I’m dying from the inside out. The past few hours have been permanently blocked from my mind. I won’t allow myself to dwell on what happened.

Because it will kill me…

My thoughts focus on War and hot, angry tears fill my eyes. I was his—all his—and Gabe took that away from me. A shudder ripples through me and I let out a sob. My wrists still burn from the rope and I lift them up to inspect them.

When I do, the dark veil lifts in my mind and the memories of only moments ago assault me worse than the act itself.