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.His best friend had justconfessed to murdering a man and Aidan had feltlittle pinpricks of cold dread march their waydown his back.Sam s voice was cold and formal when hespoke. How do you know he s dead? I saw him, howled Baxter.Aidan looked up at Sam and froze at theexpression on the detective s face. Mr.Finch, I d like you to come down to thestation with me now and answer a few questions. No! Sam, that s not what he meant. Aidanswung a desperate look at Baxter. Bax, tell himthat s not what you meant.Baxter looked up through his tears. He s acop?  Yes.I told you that last night. Aidan wasbecoming frantic.No way would Baxter haveharmed anyone. Oh God, I m going to jail, Baxter wailedinto his cupped hands.THREE hours later, Aidan was still stubbornlysitting in Sam s office.He d called Baxter spartner to get him to arrange legal counsel, andSam had arranged for the departmental doctor tosee Baxter.The door slammed open, rattling theglass pane and making Aidan jump so high he slidoff the seat he d been perched on.He scrambled tohis feet and stared at Sam s stormy face. He s a bloody hysterical melodramaticqueen! the detective roared. Who? Not Baxter? His friend had beenhysterical the whole drive to the police station anduntil the doctor had given him a mild sedative, butAidan had never seen Baxter melodramatic and his  queenishness was always understated andsophisticated. Yes, Baxter. Sam s voice conveyed somuch disgust, Aidan took a stumbling stepbackward and almost fell over his chair.Samdidn t even notice.He stormed around his deskand threw himself into his chair so forcefully itrolled away from the desk and thumped into thewall behind.Aidan squeaked at the violenceemanating from the large man and slapped a handover his mouth to stop any other sounds comingout. The last three hours have been a total wasteof time.The whole time your bloody friend wasinsisting he was responsible for Turnbull s death,we could have been out looking for the killer.Butno, darling Baxter had to go into a meltdown afterseeing Turnbull s motorbike on a news report.He s done nothing but tie up resources that couldhave been used to actually catch a murderer.Walters, for he certainly wasn t the Sam Aidanthought he knew, punched keys on the keyboard in front of him.He glared at Aidan as he waited forthe system to load. Get him out of here.Aidan fled, not even bothering to pause longenough to close the door to Walters s office.Adozen steps into the bullpen and he pulled up short,unsure where to go to find Baxter. Over there, called one of the uniformedofficers near him.Aidan looked in the directionindicated to find Baxter standing next to a severe-faced man in a suit.He d never seen Baxter lookso destroyed.His friend s arms were wrappeddefensively around himself, his face was blotchywith tears, and when he raised his face to seeAidan walking toward him, his eyes held a shameand devastation that shocked Aidan.He walkedright up to Baxter and pulled him into a fierce hug,looking over his friend s shoulder to address theman next to him. Thank you for coming so quickly.I m sorryit was a waste of your time.The man shook his head. It s better to wastetime like this than the time that would be wasted if an innocent man was charged. He shrugged as ifto dispel any altruistic motive. Besides, I mgetting paid well. He grinned sheepishly. He hasmy card if I m needed again.Take him home.The ride home was silent.Baxter curled intohimself as much as he could with the seatbeltaround him, pressed against the door, as far fromAidan as he could get.He walked listlessly intothe house and dropped onto the couch.Aidanshoved his keys into his pocket and went into thekitchen to make tea, Baxter s panacea for all ills.He slid a sweetened, robust black tea in front ofBaxter before sitting in the seat across from him. Do you want to tell me what that was allabout?Baxter s gaze slid to Aidan s face, pausingjust long enough for Aidan to see abject misery.Healmost left his seat to hug Baxter again but stayedwhere he was. Baxter? This is why I don t fall in love. His speechwas watery and halting. This is what I become when it all falls apart. He reached for the tea,curling his hands around the tall mug, breathing inthe steam.Even that much seemed to calm him. Itried not to fall in love with him.I knew he didn twant a relationship like that; he just wanted tohook up sometimes.But we kept hooking up.Prettysoon it was every week, then twice a week, and Iwasn t seeing anyone else and then Doug said hewasn t either. Baxter sipped the tea. I thought wewere sliding into a relationship, and it scared me.So I slept with you to prove I wasn t serious abouthim. Baxter raised his devastated gaze again. Sorry, he mumbled. That was six months ago, Aidan exclaimed. You ve been going out with him that long? We never went out.Just hooked up at theclub or the bar. Baxter shrugged. Except for you,it s been about eight months since I had anyoneelse.Aidan gasped, myriad questions swirlingthrough his brain.He clamped his mouth closed onall of them until he knew he could keep to the topic. What happened last night? He realized you were the Aidan whose nameI said the other night.He thought I d been cheatingon him and told me he didn t want to see meanymore. Tears began tracing their way downBaxter s cheeks, glistening among the salt-driedtracks of earlier ones. I told him I never wanted aboyfriend anyway, and I wished he was dead [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]