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All The Lies: Chapter 12

LANA

Clever tyrants are never punished.

—Voltaire


“You sure you’ll be able to sit in on this?” I ask Jake as I walk in, pulling my sweatshirt off.

“Waited too long, and I’m pissed off enough to handle the gore tonight, Lana. Just looking at him makes me want to kill him. I’ll be fine.”

“It’ll be the worst,” I remind him.

He rolls his shoulders back. “I’ll let you know if I need a break. But I doubt I will for this one.” His jaw tics, and I nod, looking idly at the selection of shiny knives that are just waiting to turn red.

“What vehicle did you drive?” Jake asks me randomly.

“The Lexus you parked at Lindy’s old house.”

“No one saw you?”

I shake my head to answer his question.

“Logan?” he asks.

“I’ll tell him I took the bus until I could call a cab.”

My eyes lift to his. “Why the third degree?”

He purses his lips. “They know you have a partner now. It’s just a matter of time before they unravel the whole thing, Lana.”

He holds up his phone as the cameras catch them all heading into the thick of the woods. Dogs are going crazy, but they won’t find anything. Everything was tossed into the water after I saturated the clothing and mask in bleach.

“We knew we couldn’t afford the time to leave behind fresh drag marks. It was inevitable they’d learn of a partnership,” I say casually, moving toward the viewing window.

Kyle is banging against the one-way glass that serves as a mirror from his perspective. In fact, the entire box he’s screaming inside is full of this glass, other than the ceiling, which is actually a mirror. The walls are bulletproof, practically impossible to break, despite his frantic punching and kicking.

His hand is a bloody mess from trying to punch through it, and I smirk. Maybe I know he hates small spaces and planned this beautiful killing spot two years ago. Maybe I built this underground tomb full of mirrors just for him.

Just for his death.

Jake already stripped him of his clothing, leaving him completely naked and vulnerable. The sight of Kyle’s naked body makes my stomach roil.

“Was Duke suspicious?” Jake asks as I flip on the intercom switch, allowing us to hear the endless threats spilling from the lips of my next victim.

He doesn’t know how empty those threats are.

“No. The police called him when they couldn’t reach me immediately, since he took it personally that the Boogeyman attacked after he let his guard down on his quest to a bigger, better case. His guilt-induced involvement actually helps us, because I had to see him, and he’s far more reliable as a witness to my whereabouts than any regular cop. He’s watching my house, convinced I’m inside right now.”

“And if he decides to knock and check up on you?”

“You’re showing signs of the paranoia we promised to discuss if either of us suffered from it,” I say, turning to face Jake. “Paranoia evokes recklessness.”

“That’s a logical question,” Jake says, clearing his face of all emotion, hiding the inner panic I know is there.

I turn down the intercom as Kyle threatens to tear a spine out.

“If he knocks and I don’t answer, he’ll call.” I wag my phone at him. “And I’ll answer. If he asks where I am, I’ll tell him I went for a run to clear my head. Which I did run right through the trails in the back of the woods. We’re two miles from my house. I can easily run right back. I bought that house for this reason, even though I only moved in not too long ago. You know all this already, so why the freak-out?”

He blows out a harsh breath as Kyle starts throwing himself against the glass in a desperate attempt to break it. He simply bounces off, not even making so much as a crack in the resilient surface.

“Sorry,” Jake finally says. “It’s just, things are starting to go wrong. First, Logan sees you, but doesn’t see your face by some miracle. Then you deliberately find him when you shouldn’t have been able to, and get him an ambulance. He suspects a woman, Lana. You told me that. And now they know you have a partner. It just feels like everything is going to end before we’re ready.”

I put a hand on his shoulder, giving him a sympathetic half smile. “I get it. But he could have died if I hadn’t saved him, and we ran the risk of the partner thing with no drag marks. It was the only way to get Kyle, though. Breaking into his house would have been twice as hard with all four deputies inside.”

He sighs harshly.

“If your life had been at risk, and Marcus was the one reaping revenge for me, he’d have sacrificed it all to save you. Just as you would have for him.”

His gaze softens, and he leans forward, kissing the top of my head. A brotherly show of affection. “If it was Marcus doing this, I’d still be at his side,” he whispers softly. “I’d be helping him. Can you say the same for Logan?”

My heart squeezes in my chest, and I fight back the emotion that tries to surface as I turn away, watching as Kyle staggers back from another failed attack on the glass.

“I should get in there and get started before he kills himself. That would suck all the fun out of this,” I say calmly.

As I turn to head toward the door, Jake calls after me. “I worry that when the time comes, Logan isn’t going to choose you the way you keep choosing him, Lana.”

I keep my back facing him as I stand in the doorway, trying not to let the words sink in.

“I worry that he’ll never understand and only see the fault and not the good. I worry he doesn’t truly love you enough to give you what I would give Marcus. And I worry that you’ll let him kill you before you fight to stay alive. Every day, I worry more. Because I love you like Marcus loved you. You’re my only family, Lana. You’re all I have. And Marcus might actually rise from the grave to kill me himself if I see this happening and do nothing about it.”

A small smile tries to form as a tear rolls down my cheek.

“Marcus would have chosen you over me,” I whisper hoarsely.

“I doubt that, Lana. And I’ve already failed you once. I failed you worse than I ever could have imagined.”

“You didn’t fail me, Jake,” I say without turning around. “We were failed by everyone else.”

I twist my head around so that our eyes meet, and add, “But you? You’re the hero in all the fairytales that doesn’t expect the heroine to put out.”

He bursts out laughing, and I flash a smile before walking away. The smile falls the second I’m not in sight, and I put a hand on my chest, fighting the pain I don’t want him to see.

So much we learned. So much we know. So much we have going on at once.

And all I can think about is what Logan will do if he learns the truth.

Once again pulling up a façade of composure, I push through the door, and the killer inside me emerges, turning my heart to ice and my nerves to steel.

Kyle doesn’t even notice me until the door shuts and seals with a lock, the sound echoing around us.

His murderous gaze swings to me, but then he falters, his eyebrows raising in confusion.

“The fucking feds? The fucking feds are responsible for this?!” he shouts. “I’ll have you all on a fucking platter when my father finds out about this.”

A dark grin slithers across my lips like a serpent’s ominous smile.

“Oh, the feds have nothing to do with this, Kyle. Don’t you remember me?” I ask, my tone light but taunting as I take a step to the right, moving idly through the mirrored room.

He cocks his head to the side.

“You’re that fed’s girlfriend. Surely he’s not stupid enough to piss me off and leave me all alone with someone so fragile.”

His eyes drop down my body, the look in his eyes all too familiar as his gaze sweeps over me, leering, contemplative, calculated. “You really don’t want to do this, SSA Bennett! You have no idea what I’m capable of!” he calls out. “Playing games with me will end badly,” he goes on.

A voice comes over the com, as Jake decides to play a part.

“Actually, the feds are hours away, Davenport. Hope you don’t expect Daddy to save you tonight.”

Kyle tenses, looking around. He recognizes Jake’s voice, yet hasn’t placed mine. Well, that’s just insulting.

“Jacob Denver?” Kyle asks, confused as he looks around. “The fucking hell do you think you’re doing?” he demands, slamming his fist against the glass.

“Helping me reap a debt that’s long overdue,” I answer, smirking when his dark glare returns to me.

He tilts his head, and he starts coming right at me. “You want to fucking play? Let me show you what a mistake that is,” he growls.

“Please try,” I mock.

He lunges suddenly, and I dart to the side, bringing my foot up just in time to connect with his stomach. He barely gives himself time to recover before he’s grappling for me again, but it’s like watching a child fight with a teenage bully—the teenage bully being me.

With quick succession, I deliver one blow after another, my fist colliding with his nose; my knee making contact with his ribs. His cry of pain is like sweet music to my demented ears.

As I spin, my foot comes around, catching him on the side of the face hard enough to cause blood to fly from his mouth. His body spirals around and he collides with the glass, leaving a bloody smear before dropping to the ground.

As he spits up his blood, he glares over at me.

“Who the fuck are you?”

The music starts playing through the com; my mother’s voice wafts over us, serenading this moment with past memories that have his eyes widening and his features paling.

That song is what the Scarlet Slayer has been tormenting the town with. He’s starting to figure things out slowly.

He scrambles back, crab-walking right into the wall where he has no more room to run.

“I’m the girl you thought you broke,” I say quietly, taking a step toward him as his body seizes in delicious fear. “I’m the girl you took too much from.” Another step from me, and a pained sound from him as he tries to stand, but falls back down in his haste. “I’m the girl you thought you killed.”

He finally gets to his feet, and my fist shoots out, connecting with his face over and over as he weakly tries to shield himself.

I finally grab his hair and slam his face into the glass, knowing Jake is on the other side and enjoying this like I am.

“I’m the girl who finally ends your reign of terror.”

“No,” he groans, wincing when I slam his face into the wall again. Then I grab his hair, jerking his head back, letting him see the bloody reflection of his face staring back at him.

“I’m going to let you watch every fucking second of it, just like you did for Marcus.”

He cries out in pain when I wrench his arm back hard enough to dislocate it from its socket, using just the right angle.

He turns and tries to hit me with his good hand, but it’s a pathetic swing that I dodge with too much ease.

“So weak,” I taunt. “All those women were hurt by such a weak man.”

His eyes darken, and a sick smile spreads over my lips as a knife slides to my feet, accompanied by the sound of the door shutting and sealing again.

“I think I’ll join you on this one,” Jake says as he nears.

Kyle dives for the knife, but I pick it up and kick him away, ignoring the burning tears trying to breach my eyes. I’ve envisioned this moment for so long, but he’s so much weaker than I remember.

I remember the strength he held us down with. His words coming back to me as Jake wrestles the screaming Kyle to the ground, restraining his arms just the way he held us restrained.

“Oh, you’re going to love this, baby. Just like you used to.”

I grab the knife, and I slam it down on one finger, listening to the ripe screams that follow. A shudder slithers through me, the high of revenge oozing through my veins with a tangible presence.

It takes a little effort, but the knife finally cracks through the fragile bone, and another bloodcurdling scream is released into the box.

Jake smirks as I hold up the first finger.

“Hold her down! Hold Marcus down too. This is going to be fun.”

“This is going to be fun,” I say, echoing his words from the past as I shove the finger into his mouth and hold my hand down as I clutch his nose. I straddle his body to hold him steadier, and listen as he gags and chokes on his own finger that I cut off mid-knuckle.

He fights it hard, but the instinct to swallow finally overrides all else, and I release him after his throat works painfully to take the finger down.

As soon as I release him, he vomits, turning his head to the side as tears run down his face.

“Don’t get sick, Victoria,” Kyle taunts as I retch, spilling my guts on the pavement, then forced to wallow in it as he holds me down for Lawrence to have his turn. “We’re just getting started.”

“Don’t get sick, Kyle. We’re just getting started,” I say, slicing through another finger, taking one more digit that once held me in place.

As he cries out, more memories assault me, and tears of pure hatred skid down my cheeks unexpectedly.

“The daughter of a whore and a fucking pussy. You see, I know your dad never had the balls to kill those women. I just don’t care. Now take it, Victoria. Take it and shut the hell up.”

“Take it!” I shout, slicing through another finger. “Take it and shut the hell up!”

Jake holds him down harder as I work through all ten fingers, then tie up the damage, preventing him from bleeding too much.

Kyle is a sobbing mess, but I wasn’t lying. We’re just getting started.

“Your turn, Tyler. Saddle up. It’s bareback and fun tonight,” Kyle goads, grabbing my naked crotch and then slapping it. “It’s getting a little worn out.”

“This is for me,” I hiss, slicing the blade down his torso, scooting back as he screams in agony. The slice is just shallow enough to burn like fire but not deep enough to bleed too much.

Another memory surfaces, one that has my heart being suffocated and squeezed to death.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Carlyle. But it seems like the damage done to your internal organs and the life saving measures they took at the hospital have prevented you from ever being able to have children. They were forced to perform an emergency hysterectomy.”

More tears cascade down my cheeks as I slice him to the side, slowly flaying a piece of flesh from his body like the monstrous pro I’ve become.

“This is for my father,” I tell him, carving another section.

“Your father was weak. He cried as my dad’s guys took turns. Oh, let me tell you everything they did and how your father cried like a little bitch.”

I peel back a square of flesh, removing it from his body. Barely any blood flows because of how perfectly executed it is, but he still screams and cries, because it burns like hell.

He’ll be skinned alive before I’m done.

“His ass is tighter than her cunt, if anyone wants a turn on that. He’s a fucking faggot, so he’s enjoying it,” Kyle says while laughing.

“Did you get shit on your dick?” Morgan taunts.

“Nah. Just needed to feel something that worn out whore can’t provide. She stopped being tight the first time I shoved my dick in her.”

Another piece of flesh is carved away, and Jake continues to restrain Kyle as my tears grow more fervent and feverish, burning my own flesh.

“I took your virginity a long time ago. It’s only right that I take this too,” Kyle says, flipping me to my stomach as I cry out, forcing the tears back as he pushes me up on my knees and spreads my butt cheeks.

“Please don’t!” I scream.

“Beg, whore. Won’t do you any good. No one cares.”

“Please stop!” Kyle cries out as I wave another square of flesh in front of his eyes.

“Beg, whore. Won’t do you any good,” I whisper darkly. “No one cares.”

His eyes try to shut, but I grab his jaw, forcing them to open and stare at the mirror above our heads.

“We have a long way to go,” I tell him calmly. “And you’re going to be awake for all of it, even if I have to sew your eyelids open. So you choose if that’s necessary or not.”

Tears pour from his eyes for a different reason than they fall from mine. Mine fall from ten years of anguish that I’ve suppressed. Ten years of hatred I’ve confined. Ten years of pain I’ve ignored.

This is the monster that led the charge, and he’ll die by my hands.

My tears fall for freedom.

They fall because he’ll no longer haunt my nightmares. I’ll lull myself to sleep with the memories of the screams he shares so freely.

“Don’t worry, Victoria. You won’t die yet,” Kyle says as he slides the small knife over my body, leaving behind a faint trail of blood. “We still have all night.”

My knife slides down as I climb off his body, and it nicks the limp flesh between his legs. Unlike Morgan, he’s not a sexual deviant. He’s just a sick son of a bitch who happens to have sociopathic tendencies.

He freezes, his eyes widening in horror, knowing what’s to come.

“Don’t worry, Kyle. I’m not ready for the grand finale just yet. We still have all night.”

“Now everyone will know you’re the whore. The whole town will see what you really are.”

“You’ll never get away with this!” my brother shouts, but Kyle ignores him, speaking to me as though I’m the one who shared those words.

“It’ll be like this never happened, Victoria. Because you don’t matter. And my father will still be the one they all fear, while you rot in your grave with your faggot brother and pussy father.”

I lower my voice as I stare into his wide, terrified eyes that are still streaming with unrelenting tears.

“But tomorrow? The whole town will see what you really are. A weak, pointless man they once feared. Now I’ll be what they fear. And your father’s turn is coming. Then the two of you will rot in your graves, while I walk away from all of this, knowing the better monster won the war.”

As another scream pierces the air, my tears slow down, the memories ebb, and the coldness only Logan can thaw washes over me with a choking hold.

Kyle Davenport won’t last the whole night.

But I’m damn sure going to try and take as long as possible.


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