A/N: I am pleased to announce that this story is a collaborated effort with the wonderful and talented The Little Wise Owl. We hope that you journey with us every Friday with our very own FugitiveWard.
Special thanks as well to our fabulous beta, the one and only Midnight Cougar!
And as always, we don't own Twilight.
WARNING: There will be numerous references to physical violence that ties in with the Suspense/Crime genre.
There's a sudden knock at the door. I'm startled, but perhaps I shouldn't be.
"Seattle Police," they identify themselves, "open up!"
I don't budge. The knocking becomes louder morphing into pounding, and I gather Tanya's lifeless body into my arms, feeling the unexpected need to protect her against whatever is waiting on the other side of that door.
"Seattle Police," they yell once more, "we're coming in!" With a loud thud, five police officers storm into the silence of mine and Tanya's apartment, effectively ruining the serenity of the moment.
"Sir, put your hands on the back of your head where we can see them!" one of the officers commands, their footsteps becoming louder as they cautiously approach.
"Get back!" I shout, recoiling against the wall behind me and pulling Tanya against my chest. The guitar string around her neck snags on the zipper of my leather jacket, effectively synching it tighter. I cry out in agony as her skin darkens with blood oozing from around the wire.
The calibers of their Colt .45s are pointed in my direction. Three fluorescent laser beams dance across my sweaty forehead. A definite kill shot. Suddenly I'm considering drawing the cable tighter; silently asking them to end the anguish that I'm in.
As soon as these thoughts infiltrate my mind, I'm immediately disgusted with myself. What have I done?
Tanya's flaccid body falls heavily to the floor as I release her. The sickening thud brings me back into focus on the reality of the moment.
"On your stomach now!" one officer shouts, while another officer drags Tanya's body out of my reach. Can't they see there's nothing left that I can do to her?
I hit the floor, my chest slamming violently against the hard surface. Tears descend down my cheeks and create small pools in the grooves of the wood. My arms are jerked harshly behind my back, my wrists quickly fastened together by a set of cold metal restraints.
It takes two officers to hoist me off of the floor, while another reads me my Miranda Rights. I'm in a haze, watching as the other two officers make notes and prod at Tanya's comatose body with the tips of their ink pens. The room spins and I think I'm going to be sick.
I'm heaved into the hallway, stumbling clumsily over my immobilized feet. Mrs. Webber, the old woman who lives next door, speaks enthusiastically to another officer that hadn't been in the apartment.
She points a wrinkly finger in my direction and says, "That's him." The officer nods and writes notes in a small steno pad, telling Mrs. Webber she'll need to come down to the station to make an official statement.
I'm shoved into the back of the black police cruiser; the metal bites sharply into my wrists as I land awkwardly on my side.
The booking process at the jail is a blur; I don't even mumble a word of resistance when asked to remove all of my clothes for a strip search.
"What's your name?" I'm asked, as Officer Yorkie pats a little too thoroughly between my legs. I shiver and swallow the bile rising in my throat.
"Cullen. Edward Cullen." I tell him, finally finding my voice and cringing at the feeling of his latex covered fingers against my skin.
"Not anymore," he says, shoving an orange jumpsuit in my direction.
"Inmate number 90515," he calls out and hits a button on the wall that opens the automatic steel door between us and hell. I'm pushed through it and before I can turn around, it's slammed shut. The resounding noise the door makes as it opens affectively notifies the other inmates of the fresh meat entering their market.
Another officer meets me there and roughly grabs a hold of the cuffs, leading me to my new purgatory.
"Murderer!" one inmate shouts, rattling the bars of his cell.
"Shut it, Pete! We're all here for the same reason," another inmate hisses from across the way. I keep my head down, avoiding making eye contact with any of the prisoners that have taken to their cell doors to watch my arrival.
We come to a stop about halfway down the corridor and the door is opened for me.
"Hey pretty boy," the man already inside the cell flirts. I fling my body around and attach my newly released hands around the steel bars.
"Get me out of here!" I holler at the officer who is now making his hasty retreat. A couple of the other inmates snicker at my vulnerability.
"Why don't you come over here and let papa take care of you?" my new roommate hints, swaying his hips as he walks towards me.
I eye him warily knowing I have to get the fuck out of here. Soon.
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