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The Storm King by Brendan Duffy


The Storm King by Brendan Duffy

Author:Brendan Duffy
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: 2018-02-06T05:00:00+00:00


Twelve

When Nate returned to himself, he was sprawled across rough tiles of carpet and handcuffed to a desk.

Tom sat on the floor across from him, his back braced against a wall. He looked exhausted in his filthy uniform. His eyes were red, and his hair was slick across his forehead.

“He’s back,” Tom said.

“Are you all right?” The chief came around Nate’s side of the desk. The man’s voice rasped like it’d been scoured. “I called a doctor.”

“I’m fine,” Nate said.

“Tom said you’d be.” Chief Buck leaned against the wall. His face was gray yet flushed. “You have a temper on you, son.” He rubbed his neck. “Hell of a thing to see.”

“I’m sorry about—back there,” Nate said. He was almost certain he’d picked the chief up by his throat. “That wasn’t me. I don’t know where that came from. I guess I was upset. It’s been rough, the last day. I lost myself for a minute. After seeing those things, I just…I didn’t know where to put it all.”

The contents of the chief’s files were burned in his mind: those high school yearbook photos of the children they’d been, the files pregnant with the bare facts, stark and unyielding in blue ink and Times New Roman. The pure shock of Lucy’s remains. He knew how decomposition worked. But to actually see it.

He raped her then he killed her.

Adam Decker had been at the station. Nate had rushed him before his world dissolved into blood and shadow. But his old enemy had to be long gone by now. Nate’s stomach clenched at the idea of his escape, and it was a battle to keep his face free of anything but puzzlement and regret.

“What things?” Tom asked his dad.

“Maura Jeffers.” The chief’s eyes didn’t waver from Nate’s. “Another dead girl, and with Lucy’s funeral in just a couple hours. Brought back all that old pain, didn’t it?” he asked Nate.

The chief knew perfectly well that the news about Maura Jeffers wasn’t what had set Nate off. The man must still want to keep the files in the closet a secret from Tom.

Interesting.

“She was so young,” Nate said, deciding to play along. “It’s so senseless.”

The chief nodded to him. “Talked to Father Stephen. Church lost power, and the burial will be pushed to next week, but the Bennetts want to go ahead with the funeral. Might not be much of a crowd, but they want it done with. Can’t blame them, can you?”

“No, sir.”

“Hodges and Antonetti are on the Wharf, keeping the tourists away,” the chief told Tom. “It’s blocked off, but they caught a few taking pictures. One gust and they’d be in the drink and mush against the pilings. And I just got a call that a transformer went down at Goldfinch and Bobwhite.”

“I’ll cordon the block.” Tom stood and stretched his back.

Nate wondered how long his friend had been watching him. He wondered how long he’d drifted.

“I got it. You get this one home and dressed. And take a shower,” the chief told Nate.



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