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All The Lies: Chapter 6

LOGAN

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

—Voltaire


“It couldn’t have been a woman,” Donny argues as I wince, sitting up from the ER bed.

He’s sitting down, holding an icepack to his own jaw. He was hit across the side of the face with the bat Hollis used to attack us.

“I agree with him,” Elise says on a sigh. “A woman would have gone for the gun. Not used the knife. And by the way, the sheriff is playing this like Hollis was acting on his own accord, and Johnson is backing him, saying they’d already discussed his possible discord with you being here. The director, of course, is saying it sounds like this is one man’s actions, and that we’re safe. He’s still trying to cover this up, even at the cost of our lives.”

She’s furious, and should be.

Lisa clutches my arm from my bedside, easing closer as she brushes her fingers over my cheek. “We’re going to find out if that’s the truth,” she promises.

I jerk away from her touch, and look to the doorway where Lana is standing with Craig. Lisa’s hand falls away completely as Lana glares icy daggers at her, then her gaze softens as she meets my eyes.

She stays on the other side of the room, and my stomach tightens. She had to see all that. She’s probably been scared out of her mind.

Craig gauges our silence, and decides to break it. “Our Scarlet Slayer is who saved you,” Craig announces, freezing the blood in my veins.

Hadley stands, going to Lana as my girl’s gaze returns to Lisa. My still groggy head is struggling to keep up with everything going on.

As Hadley whispers into Lana’s ear, Craig’s words register.

“What?”

He nods. “It’s confirmed. He even left a message.”

He hands me his phone, zooming in on the image for me.

Touch him again, and I’ll burn the town to the ground with everyone still in it.

“He used the blood of Justin Hollis to write it,” Leonard says from the corner, studying me, his eyes flicking over to Lana, then back to me again.

“The fucking hell?” I ask, confused.

“He’s protective of us,” Craig says on a sigh. “First Hadley, now you and Donny.”

“In short, one of the deputies attacked you, and you were saved by a ruthless serial killer who gets off on being stabby,” Elise quips.

I look back at Lana, motioning for her to come to me. She looks hesitant at first, but she finally makes her way to me with slow, measured steps. As soon as she’s close enough, my arms go around her waist, and she shakes in my grip, her body trembling as she buries her face in my neck.

“You have to go home,” I say softly, squeezing her tighter. “If the sheriff is bold enough to come after me, he’ll come after you too.”

“Unlikely,” Leonard says, watching us with a curious expression. “She’s actually probably safer here than at home, where Johnson could use her against you. He’s not brilliant, but he’s smart enough to have figured out by now that your attachment is deep.”

And again, my job is putting her at risk.

Lana keeps her arms around me and her face in my neck, her grip tightly digging into my back.

She’d have been so much better off if I’d never come into her life.

It’s like we’ve been cursed from the very beginning.

“I need to go check on something,” Leonard says, walking out of the room.

“Could the rest of you give us a minute?” I ask, looking around at everyone.

“No,” Hadley says with a shrug. “It’s too dangerous. Deputy Director Collins may not see how things have escalated, but we do. We’re taking turns watching you.”

“Leonard just walked out alone,” I point out. “I doubt I’m the only target.”

“You’re the primary,” Hadley says immediately. “You’re the one with the power to stand up to Johnson. He outranks us all, but he’s even with you. Collins had to make a damn good case just to send you along and not let the director bulldoze this case completely.”

Hadley’s pissed. Lana is shaking. Everyone in here is on edge and uneasy.

A serial killer had to save me from a sheriff’s deputy. The world is officially upside down.

Lana kisses the side of my neck, a chaste show of affection as she blows out a long breath.

“And we’re in the sheriff’s hospital,” Lana says quietly.

“I’ve checked everything they’ve done before they’ve done it, just to make sure no nurse or doctor tries to do anything really fucking stupid,” Hadley says with a twisted smirk.

My head hurts.

A lot.

Lana pulls back, wiping her eyes quickly before I can see if there’s a tear there. She didn’t even cry the day after her attack by the Boogeyman.

She clears her throat as Leonard walks back in, and his eyes zero in on her face that is definitely blotchy with tears. I need out of here and time alone with her.

I stand, still feeling a little unsteady. Lana and Donny crash to my side, and they help keep me upright as Leonard walks out and comes back in with a wheelchair.

“Just until you get to the car,” Leonard says with a smile when I glare at him.

Not feeling quite up to arguing or leaning on my girlfriend all the way down, I reluctantly accept the chair. Leonard wheels me to the elevator. As soon as we emerge into the lobby, a SUV pulls up with Hadley behind the wheel.

I’m so loopy, that I don’t know how long it took her to get here or how she got by us.

We ride in relative silence back to the cabins, and Leonard deals with the calls from the hospital about us leaving too soon. No one argued leaving, considering it might have just been a matter of time before they took me out and made it look like an accident.

“Two per cabin. Take shifts staying awake,” Donny says, taking charge while I’m in and out of it, as we arrive at the cabin and start unloading from the SUV.

“I’ll stay with Lana and Logan,” Leonard inserts.

“I’ll stay with them,” Hadley argues.

Leonard points his finger at Hadley. “You stay with Elise. I’ll stay with them. Logan, sober, wouldn’t want you risking yourself, and as you pointed out, he’s the primary target.”

She starts to argue, but I cut her off. “Go with Elise,” I tell her.

She claps her lips shut, then looks to Lana. Something silent passes between them, and Hadley walks away, glaring at Leonard on her way by.

Leonard helps me inside, and Lana tries to help him. I force most of my weight onto Leonard.

“If he gets sick or starts talking funny, come find me immediately,” Leonard tells Lana as they put me to bed like a fucking baby.

“I will,” she says softly, her eyes distant as she runs her hand over my cheek.

“I’ll stay up until sunrise, then I’ll get some sleep. You stay in here with him, and yell if you need help.” He points at the windows in the room. “Two entry points from outside. Pay attention to them in case they get too bold. Don’t be afraid to use Logan’s gun.”             

He puts my gun down on the nightstand, and Lana studies it.

She nods absently, her hand still on me, as though she needs reassurance I haven’t disappeared.

“Keep me updated if any new information comes to light,” I tell Leonard before he walks out.

Lana curls up against me, putting her arm around my waist. Leonard’s eyes drop to her as she slides her leg around me too. I have no idea why he finds her so fascinating tonight.

“I will. Tomorrow, anyway. Not tonight. Your head needs some rest.”

As soon as he shuts the door, Lana exhales heavily, and I pounce.

“I’m sorry you had to get entangled in all this again. I want you to go somewhere safe,” I tell her, kissing the top of her head as she snuggles in even closer.

“No,” she states simply. “I’m not leaving you.”

“You have to. If you—”

“Either I stay here with you, or I find somewhere else to stay in town. Your choice,” she says firmly, a hint of anger in her tone.

“Lana, I just want to keep—”

“There’s no such thing as safe, Logan,” she says on a soft breath. “No such thing.”

I’m too out of it to continue arguing, and my eyes shut without my permission. I’ll argue tomorrow.


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