Ben sat inside a Police interrogation room for the second time in a year. How many times until I need to worry about this? But he couldn’t think beyond that as a burly man with a barrel for a chest walked in with two coffees. The clock on the wall read 0030, long after the SWAT team had saved them.
“How is Melody doing?” Ben asked.
“It’s nice to see you too Ben, would you like a coffee?”
Ben took the offered drink and closed his eyes as he took the first sip. For once, he didn’t care if the coffee tasted like sludge. A mirror framed like a window faced Ben. There was a bald spot on the officer’s head.
“Yes, I know it’s there. Sometimes you don’t want to give up. Anyway, you asked about Melody, but I want to get introductions out of the way. I’m Detective Daniels, and will lead the investigation in this case.”
Ben nodded. And I bet you’re worried I’m one of the crazies. Ben took another swig from his coffee and tried to fight the grimace. Though the attempt failed. Detective Daniels laughed.
“Yeah, it’s the last of the night pot. Sorry about that. We wanted to ask you a few questions about your altercation with the man Lionel Potts.”
“The big guy?”
“Yes, the big guy. Did you kill him?”
“Out of self-defense. He was going to make me cut up my girlfriend.”
Detective Daniels sipped on his coffee, grimaced, and set the coffee closer to the edge of the table. The detective took out a tablet. After a few swipes, he presented it to Ben. The frozen frame showed Ben standing next to Lionel while he held the knife. Detective Daniels played back the clip and paused it just before Ben slashed at Lionel’s face.
“Do you see where a jury might not agree with your self-defense claim?”
Sweat dripped down Ben’s back. Braxton warned you they might try this approach.
“Will anyone press charges?”
“Against the one person who tried to save a life? No. But you need to prepare yourself in case The Artist takes vengeance for losing his apprentices.”
Ben didn’t like how Detective Daniels sounded, but relaxed when he flipped the tablet over. Detective Daniels’ serious face tried to relax, but tension held at the corners of his eyes.
“How long ago did you meet Officer Lyle?”
“A year ago, why?”
“Did you meet with him any other times after that?”
“No, once again, why?”
“Did you know he was a victim of The Artist?”
“Yes, I did my research after last year.”
“Interested in The Artist’s work, were you?”
“I feel like I want a lawyer at this point.”
Braxton said not to ask for the lawyer, but Ben didn’t like the directions of the questioning.
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