"White Lies"

“What are you going to do with Bennett’s sister?”

Marc looked through the video monitor at Amber Bennett. She sat staring off into space, looking completely loss and alone in the interview room. She had been sitting like that since he’d left the room.

So far her story checked out. Neighbors had witnessed a man fitting her attacker’s description in the area and a quick dump on her phone confirmed that she’d received a call last night during the time she’d purported to have spoken to Austen Bennett. Apparently the call came from someone in Nevada. It was lead but Marc didn’t get too excited about it.

Since she wasn’t technically a suspect, he couldn’t hold her. And she wasn’t a witness so he couldn’t take her to a safe-house. It was obvious she was scared shitless, ready to do whatever her fugitive brother told her. But he couldn’t allow her to go on the run. He needed her. She was about to play a key part in his investigation.

As Marc thought about it, he knew there was only one thing he could do with her. He sighed.

“We can’t just hold her,” detective Garret Stone continued.

Marc turned to Garrett to let him see his exasperation. He’d had been doing this for twelve years. He didn’t need a rookie telling him that simple fact.

“I know that, Charlie.”

Marc usually called Garrett that when he said stupid shit like that. It didn’t help that the young detective vaguely resembled Charlie Brown, just with more hair, Marc thought absently.

Garratt went red and turned back to the monitor. “Well I think she’s telling the truth,” he said mildly. “We should cut her loose.”

“Oh, I will,” he said, then went back into the interview room where Amber waited.

She looked up when he entered the room and relief, quickly followed by wariness, crossed her face. He didn’t know what to make of that.

“Are you OK?”

She nodded. “Can I go now?”

“Yes and no.”

She leaned forward in her seat, anxious. “What do you mean?”

“Relax. You’re not being arrested.”

“Then why can’t I leave?”

“We still have to check out your story,” Marc lied. “And until we know what is really going on and who is after you, we’re putting you into protective custody.”

She was shaking her head before he finished his sentence. “No. I can’t do that. My brother is expecting me to–” She stopped abruptly and stared up at him with eyes as wide as a deer caught in headlights. Marc waited but she just looked at him, flustered.

“To what?”

“To… leave town,” she finished haltingly.

“And go where?” She was prime pickings for the scum out there. “You’re safer here, with police protection, than you are out there on your own.”

She looked down at the table for a long while before speaking again.

“Fine,” she whispered.

Marc relaxed. He took a chance on that bluff and was relieved he didn’t have to force the issue.

“I just need to get my bag. It’s still at my house.”

“I’ll have a female officer get what you need. Then I’ll take you to the safe-house.”

She simply nodded and said nothing else, completely lost in her thoughts. He didn’t like it. He walked out of the room and immediately met with a scandalized Garret.

“We don’t have authorization to take her to a safe-house,” he said, once again stating the obvious.

“I know.”

“Then where do you plan to take her?”

“To the safest house I know. Mine.”