“Tasha?” Lily Evans called, wondering why her daughter was taking so long. When she didn’t get an answer she left the dining room and went to the door to see what was keeping her. She was met by a sight that had her convinced she definitely needed those glasses Doctor Atwood had recommended.
“What the hell is going on here?” she demanded grabbing her daughter’s arm as Officer Davidson tried to drag her away. Natasha stood staring in disbelief at the handcuffs on her wrists as if they would disappear if she looked at them long enough.
“Good evening Judge Evans,” Detective Henderson said maintaining his calm demeanor.
“It will be once you get these handcuffs off my daughter.” Lily held on to Natasha’s arm and her daughter finally jerked back to life at the contact.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that Your Honor. Your daughter is under arrest for the murder of Henry Bandieer,” Detective Henderson.
Lily’s face paled and her hold on Natasha’s arm slackened allowing the officer to easily drag her away to the car parked by their driveway.
Upon arrival at the station, Natasha was led to an interrogation room. Detective Carter and Officer Davidson left her with Detective Nathan Henderson while they went to take care of some paperwork. Natasha was practically hyperventilating from nervousness. Nathan watched her as she took deep breaths to calm herself.
“Are you okay?” he asked her. She looked aside and ignored him. What was she supposed to answer to that? As if anyone could be okay after being arrested for murder! Nathan smiled to himself in amusement as he watched her defiantly ignore him.
“Would you like some water?” Nathan tried again. Natasha looked longingly for a few seconds at the bottle of Pure pine mineral water on the table then looked aside in defiance.
“You don’t need a lawyer present to say you want water,” said the detective. Natasha maintained her silence.
“How about you nod for yes and shake your head for no then,” Nathan persisted and still Natasha didn’t move.
“Okay blink once for yes, twice for no. The less conspicuous your actions the less admissible they are in court,” Nathan teased. At this, Natasha smiled and finally the silence was broken.
“I am a little thirsty,” she admitted. Nathan got a cup and poured some water in for her then placed it on the table in front of her. She had a little difficulty picking the cup up since her hands were still handcuffed and some water spilled on the dress she was wearing. Nathan went to her and took off his jacket for her to use to soak up the water.
“Thank you,” she said as she dabbed at the water stain with the sleeve of the jacket, “I’m such a klutz.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s not you so much as the accessory on your hands,” said Nathan.
“Yeah,” Natasha said solemnly as she eyed the handcuffs. Nathan took pity on her and removed them.
“Better?” he asked once they were off.
“Yes, thank you so much,” Natasha said as she rubbed her wrists where the handcuffs had been cutting into them.
“You’re welcome Miss Evans,” Detective Henderson said smiling. Natasha couldn’t help but stare at the way his smile lit up his blue eyes. He had a boyish charm to him, which made her question how old he really was. If she could hazard a guess, she’d peg him at 28 which was only a few years older than her.
But how had he attained Detective status at such a young age, she wondered. He was certainly kind for someone of his status. Or maybe he was playing good cop to get her to relax and open up. She shuddered at the thought but before she could put more thought into it Detective Carter joined them again with another man in tow. He wore a tailor-made black suit without a thread out of place, matching in color with his neatly styled hair in a tight side-part with a subtle pompadour in the front. This was definitely a lawyer and much to Natasha’s delight, one she knew very well.
“Uncle David!” She couldn’t help her relieved outburst at seeing him there. He smiled reassuringly at her as he took a seat in the chair beside her.
“Sorry for the holdup Miss Evans. Now that your legal counsel is here, we may begin,” said Detective Carter, taking a seat across from them. Nathan remained standing.
“Get on with it then,” said David impatiently.
“Miss Evans, can you tell us the nature of your relationship with Maxwell Bandieer,” said Detective Carter.
“I’m sorry, I thought this was about Henry Bandieer,” David interrupted before Natasha could answer.
“It is,” Detective Carter said, his voice laced with a false patient tone.
“Then what does my client’s relationship with Max Bandieer have to do with that?” David asked.
“It has a significant amount of relevance,” Detective Carter said in as patient a manner as he could manage.
“How so?” David pursued.
“Mr Cohen. May I remind you that we are not in court and my partner is not a hostile witness that you need to cross examine. This will all go better for your client if she answers our questions,” said Nathan firmly. David reluctantly gestured for Natasha to answer them.
“Max and I dated for a couple of months but that’s over now,” she said sketchily.
“Do you have any reason to want to harm Max?” Detective Carter asked.
“Objection! That calls for self-incrimination,” David argued.
“What did I just say?” Nathan asked sternly.
“Withdrawn,” David said sarcastically. Detective Carter gestured for Natasha to respond.
“No, no reason,” Natasha gulped, looking down at her fingers. Nathan studied her, watching her body language in response to the questions. Looking at her, he could hardly see her hurting a fly, let alone committing murder but her behavior raised his suspicion that she was hiding something. And besides, didn’t someone say the pretty ones are the deadliest?
“What about his father?” Detective Carter asked.
“Uhhm his father?” Natasha asked.
“How well did you know him?” Detective Carter elaborated.
“Only by reputation. I had never met him,” said Natasha shakily. Detective Carter looked at her suspiciously and she twisted her fingers nervously.
“Have you ever been to his home?” Detective Carter asked.
“No,” Natasha answered quietly.
“That’s odd considering you and Max dated for a couple of months,” said Detective Carter skeptically.
“And the question there is?” David asked pointedly.
“Nothing,” Detective Carter asked writing something down in a notepad. “Where were you on the 8th of February?”
“Who remembers where they were or what they did on an exact day?” David asked incredulously.
“Where were you last Saturday Miss Evans?” Nathan asked before Detective Carter could make a snippy reply to David’s question.
“I was home with my mum. She didn’t go in to work that day because she was sick with the flu so I spent the whole day nursing her and at night I watched a movie with her and we both fell asleep on her bed till the next morning,” Natasha answered confidently.
“One last question Miss Evans. Do you own a gun?”
Natasha froze and her confidence faltered. She recovered from her shock quickly but not before Nathan picked up on it. There was definitely a story there.
“That’s an absurd question,” David said.
“Do you own a gun, yes or no Miss Evans?” Carter asked ignoring David.
“No,” Natasha said in a small voice. Carter looked at her, eyes narrowed but Natasha said nothing else. After a short moment of silence, Carter stood and gestured for Natasha and David to follow him. He took Natasha to a room with a one way mirror where three other girls all her height, complexion and hair color were standing. He told them to enter the room single file and stand by the wall then he left. A few minutes later he came back for Natasha and took her back to the interrogation room.
“We’re letting you go Miss Evans. But before you leave I want you to know that if anything you said today is nothing but the truth, we will find out and you will be locked up without a moment’s hesitation for obstruction of justice,” said Carter. Natasha nodded and got up to leave with David. She was halfway to the door when something Detective Carter had just said rang a bell.
“Nothing but the truth,” she murmured turning back to face the two detectives.
“What?” Detective Carter asked.
“Nothing but the truth,” she said more clearly. The two detectives and David all stared at her in confusion as a smile that was almost smug broke out on her face.
“I’m sorry Detectives but you can’t use anything I told you in this room today against me because no-one read me my rights when I was arrested,” Natasha said smiling widely like a Cheshire cat. Detective Carter stared at her in horror as he realized that she was right. In all the chaos of her arrest, no-one had remembered to follow protocol.
Nathan looked at her with a small hint of amusement and from the look on his face, Natasha could swear he was impressed. David shook his head at Detective Carter.
“Well thank you gentlemen for proving once again how completely useless you are at your job,” said David. Natasha refrained from doing a victory dance as she followed him out of the interrogation room.
“Good observation there,” David said to Natasha proudly, “You’ll make a great lawyer if you keep that up.”
“I learnt from the best,” Natasha said beaming up at him. They met Lily who was waiting anxiously in the lobby. She rushed right over to them when she caught sight of them and hugged Natasha in relief.
“What happened in there?” she asked still hugging her daughter tight.
“They asked her a bunch of questions and took her for a line-up then released her,” David replied.
“So that’s it then?” Lily asked.
“What on earth possessed them into arresting Natasha for murder anyway?” Lily asked again as they walked out of the station.
“I wanted to know that as well but they said they can’t divulge any information yet for the sake of the case,” David said.
“As long as they don’t come after my daughter again, I honestly don’t care.”
“But now that they have to retract the statement they took from me which has my alibi and everything, won’t they find a way to bring me in again?” Natasha asked David worriedly.
“No they won’t Tasha. Besides your alibi, you weren’t identified as the murderer in the line-up so they have no grounds to hold you for anything,” David replied.
Natasha breathed a sigh of relief and thanked him.
“I have to get back to preparing for court so I won’t be available tonight. We’ll talk about this tomorrow?” David said to Lily. She nodded and he bid them farewell as they got into their car and drove home.
When they got home, Natasha went straight to bed while her mother went into the study downstairs to get some work done. Natasha couldn’t fall asleep and she tossed and turned for almost an hour before she decided to go to the kitchen and get a snack.
The study where her mother was working was on the way to the kitchen and Natasha saw that the door was slightly open and the light was still on. Just as she was about to push it open wider and enter she heard her mother speak angrily and the words she said made her remain rooted on the spot.
“At this point, I might as well have killed Henry myself!” Lily hissed then she paused as if she was listening to something. Natasha realized then that she must be talking to someone on the phone.
“Natasha can never find out the truth about her father. Your carelessness almost unraveled everything today!” Lily practically yelled. Natasha’s breath caught in her throat and she pressed her ear closer to the door to hear better but ended up pushing it resulting in it making a loud noise.
Her mother heard the sound and Natasha could hear her footsteps coming towards the door so she ran as fast and as silently as she could back up the stairs and into her room, quietly closing the door behind her. She buried her head under the covers, struggling to catch her breath but her mother didn’t come to check on her. After a few minutes, Natasha was satisfied that she was in the clear and she mulled over what she had overheard, all hope of sleep gone.
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