ProfNigma Stories #10: Schneider’s Island #8

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ProfNigma Stories #10: Schneider’s Island #8iCarly/Victorious: Schneider’s Island #8 – Clang[Warning – there is no sex in this story, please don’t hate me for that, but I hope you enjoy it nevertheless]While most people had been in bed when the explosion happened, within a few minutes they all were outside of the inn, watching the add-on burn up as the deafening sound of sirens began to fill the air. There was no telling how much damage had been done, but many feared that pantry food would be their only supplements for the time being.Tori, Beck, Andre, and Sam all stood together on the steps, looking out to the blaze and praying that no one was inside there. They didn’t say a word to each other really, but news of the ‘took a boat back’ lie had made everyone uneasy, as all those that were missing were apparently much more than that. The four just banded together close, and hoped that they could remain safe until the boat came the next evening.Four men, and the sheriff, rushed out and actually made quick work of the flames, and within 20 minutes there was no fire left, only blackened walls and charred food all over the place.As Robert Singer looked down at what was left of the kitchen, he began to poke around at the trash and shrapnel from the explosion, and then he saw the bodies. Or one burned body, and one charred mess that was little more than a skeleton at this point.The thing about being the sheriff of a small town with few resources is that you have a lot more jobs. In addition to a cop, he was also the medical examiner in most cases, and the fire inspector, a job he had only performed six times in the nearly twenty years he had the title, and two of those were tonight.Singer crouched down, and took a look at the intact body, and from the look of things, the victim, the husky young guy who worked the catering for this wedding, seemed to have some major trauma, but the burns were not too severe, and were clearly post-mortem. The other body was a whole other story, and the identity would be more of a process of elimination than anything.As the sheriff headed out from the crime scene, he looked at the mass of people that were just standing around watching, searching for who was missing from who he spoke to the day before. His eyes, of course, met with Col. Shay’s who stared with a burning hatred at the middle aged officer. Singer also noticed that next to him stood his son, Spencer, who was holding his daughter tight, but there was no sign of Amy, which was a surprise since they seemed to have a completely happy marriage. Silently, Singer cursed as he prayed that the body inside wasn’t the ch*ld’s mother.There were a couple other people around them that he didn’t quite recognize, but he couldn’t exactly remember everything about everyone. Plus, there were still a few people trickling from the inn so it was hard to say.Spencer held tightly to his daughter, rocking her, as the ch*ld looked completely lost and sad, wondering where her mother was. As the scared father kissed his daughters forehead, he wanted to know the answer to that question as well. He felt pressure on his free hand, and looked to see Carly holding his hand tightly, silently assuring him that everything was going to be ok, which at this moment, and with his dad acting so weird, he really needed.* * *Also not present in the crowd were Jade and Freddie, who were just sitting side by side on his bed, and staring at the wall. He was trying desperately to find the words to break through to his love, but he could not fathom the magic phrase that fixes ‘both your parents are gone’.News had spread fast that there hadn’t been any boats in or out since they arrived, and the sudden realization that this wasn’t just a random murder, and that someone really was out there killing innocent guests shook both of them to their core. The difference was, that Freddie hadn’t actually lost anyone close to him, and Jade had lost two classmates and both of her parents.The brunette just stared at the wall with bloodshot eyes, unable to move or be affected by anything. Even when the loud noise happened down-stairs, Jade barely flinched, and wouldn’t dare move. Freddie knew that if something terrible had happened, he certainly didn’t want to leave Jade alone, so he sat with her, hoping to hear what exactly happened outside.”The sheriff,” Freddie said, standing and finally breaking the silence, “said that there’s going to be a boat coming tomorrow, and I think you should be on it.”Jade looked over at him for only a moment but spoke with her eyes.”I’m going to stay,” he said, taking a deep breath and starting to pace by the bed. “I’m going to make sure that your mom and dad’s arrangements are done, and whoever else might be around here. This is my fault for bringing everyone here, so I think I should be the one to help clean things up.”Jade gave a pleading look, her eyes somehow even redder than they were minutes ago.”As soon as everything is ok, I will be right back with you. I know you might not like it, but you can stay with Spencer, Carly, or even my mom. Seattle’s not that far, and I promise this is going to be ok.”The brunette just nodded and looked at the door and then back at him, signalling that he should just go, which hurt Freddie a lot.”We need to talk about the wedding,” he said, which prompted Jade to head to the bathroom, and shut and lock the door behind her, leaving Freddie as confused as ever, and feeling utterly lost.* * *Singer quickly dispatched everyone, informing them to go inside and to try and get some sl*ep, as tomorrow he would be getting everyone out and onto a boat. Which was great news for some to hear, but obviously a little late for several people.Two of the most relieved people with this development, despite losing loved ones, were Tori and Beck, who walked back upstairs together, and realizing that her s*ster was never going to share a room with her again, Tori just broke down, and Beck was able to get her to her room safely. It wasn’t like he wasn’t going through a real tragedy of his own. Kelly might have had a bad rap, but she didn’t deserve whatever happened to her, something that Beck really didn’t want to know. Still, in this moment, he was truly concerned for Tori and what she was going through, losing someone so close. He even wondered how Jade was coping with the fact that both of her parents were gone as well.”I’m sorry about Kelly, you know,” Tori said, tucking her hair behind hers which was her trademark nervous move. “I know I never really gave her a chance.””Yeah,” he said taking a deep sigh. “Trina was the same way. Both of them were just lost souls, I guess. I just hope whatever happened to them… maybe they’re at peace now.””I still haven’t given up hope…” Tori said quietly, staring down the hall.Beck swivelled around, unsure of whether or not to give her a dose of reality or to make her feel right to maintain hope. “Maybe you’re right.”Without any real warning, Tori began to sob and rushed Beck to hug him, whimpering softly into his shoulder. She didn’t even realize what she had done until she felt him patting her back softly.”Sorry…” she said, sniffling, praying that she didn’t leave a mark on her ex’s shirt. “After everything that happened with Jade, and Trina’s missing, and now that really nice caterer friend of Freddie’s… I’m just on edge.””It’s ok, Tori… really. I think we all are on edge with everything going on. But at least we will get a boat out of here tomorrow.”Tori pulled away and wouldn’t make eye contact with him. “I’ve been thinking and I… I’m sorry.””For what,” he said offering her a quizzical look, but she didn’t see it.”For everything,” she said, even more cryptically. “You know… the me and you thing, and everything that happened, and didn’t happen, and then the other stuff. I never really gave you a real chance.””Tori…” he started, trying to find his words and where this was going. “I was a real jerk that last year of high school when we were together and while I got better, I can’t really blame you for never trusting me after all that.””I know, but-“”It’s the past,” he said, reaching out and giving her a strong hug. “All that stuff is in the past and we can start anew now… as friends, of course.” Beck knew the phrasing was not quite right, and quickly amended his words.Tori wasn’t sure if they stood in the hallway for minutes or hours, but as they swayed ever so slowly embracing, she just knew she felt a lot better for the first time in what seemed like forever.* * *Sheriff Bobby Singer had spent the last two hours combing through the empty rooms looking for any clues as to the disappearance of the guests, hoping that there would be something that would signal where they would have gone, or more importantly, who could have done all this.Once he had checked out Tasha’s, Kelly’s, Gibby’s, Trina’s and The Wests’ rooms, with no real evidence to speak of, he moved on to Robbie’s dis-aster of a room. The grizzled middle aged man had barely taken three steps inside when he felt a presence at the door. Quickly turning, he came face to face with Freddie in the doorway.”Son, it’s nearly 1 in the morning… what are you doing?””Sir,” Freddie started, looking around the room himself as he stood there, “One of my best friends was just killed and the love of my life has lost both of her parents now. Obviously, I can’t sl*ep with all that going on.””Well, right now, you’re getting in the way of a police investigation, so you need to head back to your room, Mr… Benson.” The name seemed like it was made of cement as it passed his lips. The last thing Singer needed was something else to stress over like Freddie.”I can help, is my point.” Freddie said, stepping inside. “I knew Robbie. We’re… or we were… I don’t know… but we have a friendship history.””History or not, you-“The sheriff’s eyes suddenly caught something on the floor of the bedroom and squinted his eyes as he went to pick it up off the floor. Freddie quickly joined him, instantly identifying the item.”That’s part of a firecracker. Robbie was messing with them yesterday with Savanna. I didn’t really think anything of it at first. Savanna’s kinda mischievous and Robbie just wants to be liked… so a prank wasn’t a surprise for-“”You think he had anything to do with the a****l massacre at the church?”Freddie looked stunned. “How did you know about that?””Heard about a pile of a****l carcasses outside the church, just barely in the woods, and then while I was talking to people tonight, your… officiate, Sincoworth-“”Sikowitz… he’s a close friend of Jade’s. He helped me clean them out of there since we had the rehearsal to deal with.””And you didn’t think to mention any of that to me when we talked the last two times?” Singer said, giving an incredulous look. “Seems to me like if somebody’s out there killing a****ls to ruin your wedding, you might mention it when a person dies.””Look, it was a personal thing. I thought Robbie was harmless, but maybe I was wrong. I didn’t want to just throw him under the bus, especially since he claims he had nothing to do with it. He deserves the benefit of the doubt.””Then we can give him that once we find him and talk to him,” Singer said coldly, looking all through the room until he slipped into the bathroom. “You know about all this?”Freddie moved to join Singer at the bathroom door and looked across the counter at several pill bottles that lines the edge, along with a hand tow-el that was red with what looked like blood.”There ain’t enough blood on that towel to mean much,” Singer said, looking it over. “More likely that’s his and he cut himself or maybe got bit by one of the raccoons or something when he was-“”I’m still not ready to believe he’s guilty, Sheriff.” Freddie didn’t really canlı bahis know what to say here and he felt conflicted that essentially he was going to have to accept that Robbie was not as well as he had thought when he invited him. “I did think that Robbie had stopped taking his meds… or at least that’s what I heard.””Well, all these look up to date to me, so maybe you heard wrong. You have any idea what all of these are for?””Only a little,” Freddie said with a deep sigh. “I know he was struggling with schizophrenia and multiple personalities because he used to carry a puppet everywhere until he stopped. And he seemed to get worse after that. He was depressed a lot when we lived together in college so I’d imagine there would be some anti-depressant or mood stabilizer… but that’s a lot of pills.””Well, he doesn’t have them now so who knows what kinda problems he’s going to have now.” Singer stepped out from the bathroom and took another look at the room, checking under the bed, to pull out Robbie’s suitcase. “I need to know, since you insist on helping… Is the boy dangerous? I mean, could he have killed someone?””No…” Freddie said slowly, starting the response before all the thoughts fully reached his mind. “I don’t believe that he could do something… or anything like that. He’s unwell, but he’s not a killer.”Singer rifled through the suitcase, looking for any evidence when he felt a piece of hard plastic. He pulled it out to reveal a PearPhone, that was a bright purple. The sheriff looked at Freddie as if to ask whose this was, but Freddie just shook his head as the older man pawed through the phone to the contacts.”I don’t think this is Robbie’s but whoever’s this is, they certainly know you and most everyone else in your party,” he said, hitting the call button.Freddie only had to wait for a second before his phone began to vibrate, and Freddie showed the face to the sheriff.TRINA VEGA CALLING”I’d say this is pretty damning evidence for the boy,” Singer said, pulling a small bag from his pocket and putting the phone inside. “Looks like Robbie’s our killer…”Singer stepped out, leaving Freddie standing there, with a pensive look on his face. “Yeah,” he said quietly, “Looks like.”* * *The next morning, the inn was covered in workers that were tearing down and dismantling everything that had been set up for the wedding, and Carly Shay could do little more than watch. This was supposed to be her big thing. Her gift to Freddie- planning a dream wedding, and now all the work she had put into making this week spectacular was now heading to the garbage.She nearly cried as a centrepiece, she actually made by hand was carried off and tossed into a black plastic bag by some burly guy who could never appreciate its worth. With a heavy sigh, she turned and headed inside where she saw Freddie and Jade at the top of the steps arguing about something, which she couldn’t hear, but when she slammed the door in his face, the former web star knew that it wasn’t anything good.Freddie looked down the stairs and locked eyes with Carly, and just gave her a weak smile that barely hid his sadness and frustration over every-thing. He walked towards her, and then past her as if to motion that she should follow him outside onto the deck. For what seemed like an hour, they just stood next to each other, looking out over the yard, where workers were moving in and out.”They found Trina’s phone in Robbie’s room,” he said, finally breaking the silence.”Tori’s s*ster, Trina? Wow…” Carly said, just shaking her head in bewilderment. “So does that mean that he’s the…””I don’t know what it means, but I know that we need to find him and talk to him to get to the bottom of things. I still don’t think Robbie could have killed West and Gibby-“”And Amy…” Carly said, completely deadpan. “The sheriff came by this morning when I woke up and talked to Spencer. He’s pretty torn up about it, and he has no idea how to tell Savanna.””Wow… I feel so bad for him…” Freddie said. “I can’t imagine losing someone I love like that. I mean… I think we all accept that adults we know are probably going to pass before us, but to lose someone you’ve pledged your life to… that’s just awful.””I know…” Carly said, quietly as the two sat down and looked at what should have been a beautiful morning, but it had become anything but.”I invited him, you know.””What?” Carly said, sitting forward and looking back at him.”Robbie… it was my idea to invite him to the wedding.” Freddie’s eyes stayed fixed on a single spot in the grass as he spoke, his voice uneven and clearly fighting some emotions. “I knew he and Jade were friends in high school, and we were roommates that first year or so at school, and I just felt like he deserved an invite… I never imagined this.””Freddie… this isn’t your fault… you didn’t-“”I vouched for the guy who probably killed my future father in law and more people I guess… I’d say that means something.””But… Jade wouldn’t blame you for that… she knows you couldn’t have-“”But she does.” Freddie said, taking a deep breath. “She didn’t outright say it, but I could tell… When I talked to her this morning about what we found, she just gave me this look of just absolute hate and despair. I tried to talk to her… as you probably saw… but she just refused to talk to me.””Is there anything I can do?” Carly said, putting her hand over his, which finally got his attention.Freddie just smiled softly at his long-time friend and leaned over to hug her, before whispering, “I need to talk to you about something.”* * *Around 10am, Freddie could hear dogs outside the inn, and quickly rushed down to see what all the commotion was about. On the lawn were Singer and his two deputies, each equipped with a canine partner, as Singer passed a shirt that was instantly recognizable as Robbie’s around so that the dogs could get a scent. Freddie felt even more uneasy as the three of them began arming themselves with rifles.”Do you always use dogs and guns to track down suspects out here?” Freddie asked, in an almost accusatory way.”Look, k*d…” Singer said, crossing his arms. “I got a job to protect people around here. People on this island are scared. Your friend… or some-one around here… is bringing up a lot of bad memories that people on this island would rather forget.””And that gives the right to just hunt him down like an a****l?””We’re not going to shoot him unless he gives us a reason to… I’m not some monster, son. We just want to end this nightmare, and whether or not your friend there is to blame, a lot of evidence points to him, and I think you and your people would be happier knowing that he’s secure and not a threat.””Fine…” Freddie said, unable to really argue that idea, but still wanting to assert his authority in the situation. “But I’m coming with you guys. I feel partially to blame for what is happening here, and I might be able to confront him without any need for vi*lence. I know him, and I just want to talk to him. “”Then, get your shit together, k*d, and let’s go,” Singer muttered, rolling his eyes, knowing there was no talking Freddie out of it. “But you stay back and you don’t make a single move without my orders.””Yes, sir,” Freddie said confidently, taking off back to his room to do a quick change so he could move through the woods a bit easier. As his eyes ran across the tuxedo that was hanging up still, he couldn’t help but want to run to Jade’s room, even knowing that she didn’t want to see him. Finding his strength once more, he grabbed a couple things and headed out the door to the yard, nearly knocking Carly down on the stairs as he moved swiftly.* * *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCKOutside of Jade’s door, Carly was trying to hold onto a covered plate with both hands, using her foot to knock as well as she could.”Come in,” said a weak voice from the other side.The dark haired Seattle resident, juggled the plate for just a moment as she pushed open the door, earning a fast glance from Jade, who was sprawled on the bed, looking out the window, as she walked in. There was no hiding the intense anger and disappointment written across her face when she saw that it was just Carly.”I thought you could use some food,” she said softly, hoping not to anger the volatile former Goth if she could help it. “With the kitchen gone, we really just had packaged pastries and stuff.”Jade was completely unresponsive as Carly uncovered the plate and presented the breakfast to her. “Did you-“”When you first knocked…” Jade said, still refusing to look from the window, “…I thought it was my mom. She would do that move when she had groceries and I had locked the door for some reason. Sometimes it was just to be shitty k*d.””Jade… I’m sorry-“”No…” Jade said, finally moving to sit on the bed and face Carly. “It was a good feeling. Like my parents are still here… still with me, in a way.””Your mom might still be out there, Jade…” Carly tried, knowing it probably wasn’t true. “She-“”What time is it, Carly?” Jade said, coldly, clearly having a whole other direction planned for this conversation.”Umm…” Carly uttered, scrambling for her phone. “It’s almost 11. 10:51, to be exact.””My dad would be standing by the church door right now, you know? Waiting for me to come out, so he could walk me down the aisle.” Jade said, starting to sniffle. “He told me he always dreamed of doing that…”Carly started to speak, but it was abundantly obvious that Jade was gone once more.”Freddie told me about Robbie having Trina’s phone. I-“”I don’t care…” Jade said quietly shaking her head, clearly fighting back tears just as much as a tantrum. “I don’t care how long we’ve been friends, or how close he and Freddie might have been. I want them to catch him, flay him alive, and then I want to burn every inch of him before he dies.””Whoa… Jade… that’s… that’s probably a little-“”Did he kill your parents, Shay?” Jade nearly shouted through gritted teeth, a fire in her eyes once more. “Did he kill your best friend’s s*ster? Did he-“”No.” Carly said, firmly, standing her ground against the volatile Jade. “But someone murdered my s*ster in law, and while that’s not really com-parable, you should know you aren’t the only one who lost someone they cared about.”Jade sneered and prepared to tear the former web star apart, but instead shook her head and rolled her eyes.”Look, I can’t imagine what you’re feeling… and I’m sure Freddie told you, but I lost my mom a long time ago. Before I could even remember her, but Spencer always told me that talking to her, even if she wasn’t there, would make me feel better. I still talk to her when the chance arises be-cause it’s always been therap*utic for me. I think it could help you too, and-“”You’ll forgive me if you new wave schizophrenia doesn’t appeal to me, Carly,” Jade said, her words dripping with cynicism.”You can mock it all you want, but you should never lose your ability to feel your mom and dad, Jade. Tell him how you feel and I promise you, your dad will answer you in your heart.””Enough hippie-dippie bullshit, Shay… is there another reason you decided to come up here?””Actually, yeah…” Carly said, taking a seat by Jade. “I came here to help take care of you and make sure you’re ok.”Scoffing with a slight smile, and shaking her head, Jade laid back and turned the television on. “You should go and tell Freddie that this… what-ever it is that you’re doing here… isn’t going to do him any good.””We’ll see,” Carly said, getting comfortable, but not too close to Jade. “We’ll see.”* * *”So what exactly did you mean when you said that you felt ‘responsible’ for all this?”While the deputies were a few steps ahead, Singer and Freddie were in the back, moving slowly, paying close attention to their surroundings, not wanting to trigger any traps like Jade bahis siteleri and her dad did.”I invited Robbie for one thing,” Freddie said, running his hands through his hair in exasperation.”That’s it? You sent the k*d an invitation?””No…” Freddie was debating sharing any more than he had to. “I knew that Robbie was not doing too well. I knew he was having some real problems, and against Jade’s better judgment, I invited him to the wedding. I feel like I could have…should have, done more to help him.””You can’t be blaming yourself for all that coulda/woulda/shoulda bullcrap. From what I can tell about this k*d and his background, there’s been a lot of people who’ve had it way worse than Robbie, and still turned out just fine.””When you looked him up before coming here…” Freddie said, wondering how much prep Singer had actually done on Robbie before now, “did it show that he was hospitalized for trying to kill himself?””Yeah, actually. There was a blip about it. Wasn’t just one time either.””Yeah…” Freddie said, thinking of a couple instances where it had happened. “Well, did it mention that there was a girl with him when it happened freshman year?””No…” Singer said, almost stopping, and wondering if he had missed something in the file. “Though I don’t really know when freshman year was for you people. But there was no mention of a girl.””I didn’t think there would be…” Freddie said, sighing and worrying that this would make Robbie seem even more guilty. “At the end of our fresh-man year, Robbie had gotten really close to this emo girl named Beth, and I guess they decided to make some sort of suicide pact. I came back to the room after class, and I found the two of them passed out in the room.””And you think Robbie’s pissed because you saved them and-“”I saved Robbie,” Freddie said coldly. “Beth was too far gone and was dead before the EMT’s got to her. I think that’s just as much of a reason why he resented me as me coming to the rescue.””Shit…””Yeah… I had to tell Robbie’s f*mily and they put him in an institution for almost a year. Pretty sure he never forgave them, and he certainly hasn’t forgiven me. Maybe that’s why this happened.”* * *”Don’t get the wrong idea about this, Shay, but I’m kinda glad you came by today.””Aw, Jade… thanks. You-“”Whoa,” Jade said, throwing her hand up. “Relax… I’m not going to come onto you or anything. And I still think it’s weird that you came to my room today, but… I’m grateful, I guess. I might have needed it. I love Vega, and Cat too, but I think they are just so caught up in what’s going on, and I can’t blame them, but I can’t really talk to them either.””I came for Freddie,” Carly said, plainly. “You mean everything to him, and he just wants you to be ok.””I’m never going to be ok,” Jade said, with a loud exhale before turning over and away from Carly.The former web star just sat there, unsure of what to say now, and clearly bringing Freddie up was a real mistake. She spent the next few minutes desperately trying to find the words to make things better for Jade, but the former mean girl beat her to it.”Things are never going to be ok between Freddie and I,” she said, a quiver in her voice, signalling that her crying, absent for over an hour now, was about to return with a vengeance.* * *”She go down finally?”As he left his daughter’s room silently, Spencer looked over at his father on the couch, trying to prepare the best way to answer that question.”Yeah… but I can’t exactly keep this ‘mommy had to leave for a bit’ thing going. Savanna’s too smart for her own good, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to figure out that I’m full of it.””And are you ok?””Dad…” Spencer said, rolling his eyes and shaking his head, “Of course not. The sheriff seems to think that my wife, the woman that I married and planned to spend the rest of my life with, is that body they found in the kitchen. I want to tell him he’s full of shit and that Amy is right here and I… I just can’t. I can’t tell him he’s wrong. And the only thing that’s keeping me from going off the deep end is that I have to focus on how to tell Savanna. So, yeah… no… I’m not remotely ok.”By the end of his rant, Spencer was practically running around the den of the room, clearly starting to unravel. But the Colonel hadn’t moved a muscle beyond reading a book and drinking some coffee.”How can you be so calm, Dad?!” Spencer nearly shouted, but at the last moment, it became a rushed whisper. “Were you like this when mom died?!””Spence…” Shay said, taking a deep breath before putting the book back down. “Do you remember when your mother died… Or even how we lost her?”Spencer started to speak, but his mind had turned to mush, and memories began to hit him hard. He was on a boat, holding tight to his dad’s hand, while the young Air F*rce officer’s other hand was holding tight to a baby carrier. The image was burned deep into his mind because it was the first and only time he ever saw his dad cry. “I… don’t know. I can’t even picture mom really. I wish I could. Is there something I should know?””Your mother and I… and you and your s*ster were here. On this island… Stayed at this same place, actually.” Col. Shay looked all around the room, as if this was exactly where everything happened. “When… it happened. Your mom was out shopping and I left you two here to go find her. Singer was still just an officer at the time, but he was… a friend. I had to help him. But I wasn’t where I needed to be. I wasn’t with your mom.””No…” Spencer looked, eyes wide with absolute horror. “Mom was one of-“”They think she was one of the first.””Then why didn’t you tell me… or Carly for that matter?!” Spencer said, starting to get angry again. “Freddie looks to you like a father. He would have picked another place if you would have just-“”Just what, Spence?” Shay said, standing up to face his son. “Tell my son and daughter what really happened to their mother? That she was murdered and tossed in a furnace? Tell that boy out there, who was so happy to get married, that he couldn’t pick the place of his dream wedding be-cause his best friend’s mother was brutally killed here twenty years ago?””You have to tell Carly,” Spencer said, calm at first but his volume moving higher and higher with each passing moment. “She needs to know this. And it needs to come from you. If you don’t, I’ll-“”Daddy?”Spencer stopped short, and instantly ran to his daughter’s room, pausing for only a moment to look back at his father who wore a solemn glare. “If I find out that Amy is dead because you didn’t come clean about this and save everyone the trouble, I-“”Are you out there, Daddy?”Spencer wanted to grandstand his anger but he knew he was needed elsewhere, and right now, he knew someone here needed to act like a father.* * *”So what exactly is going to happen to Robbie when we find him, Sheriff?”Singer looked back at the young man and wondered if he should be forthcoming with the truth. “Well, we’re going to have to hold him for a day or so until the state police can come down, and they’ll probably interview him here before taking him to jail on the mainland.””Even if he’s innocent of all of this stuff?” Freddie asked, a quizzical look going across his face as if the Sheriff had already signed the execution orders.”If he’s innocent, that’s for a jury to decide after an investigation. But, for right now, people just want to be safe and I have a job to do to protect them. Your friend is our number one suspect, and that’s all there is to it.””But-“Freddie was instantly cut off as one of the deputies shouted across the woods that one of the dogs found something. The young groom saw some movement up ahead and took off from Singer to chase after it. He could see up ahead that it was definitely Robbie and that he was really running for his life from the dogs and the cops.Narrowly dodging a few fell branches and a hole, Freddie made a B-line straight for Robbie, using all of his strength and stamina to reach the awkward young man before the cops could. Maybe then, he could get a few seconds to talk before they got to him.Robbie slowed down clearly breathing hard, and Freddie used the opportunity, summoning a surge of energy and tackled Robbie to the ground.”Robbie!” Freddie shouted, smacking the curly haired guy’s face. “Why did you run? You understand how guilty you look right now? Why?!””Of course you don’t understand, Freddie, with your perfect fucking life. You don’t know what it’s like,” Robbie said cryptically, the side of his face bleeding from taking such a hard hit from the well-built groom.”I might not, but you could have just talked to me.””He’s going to be doing plenty of talking, I think,” Singer said, reaching the two of them, cuffs at the ready. “Running was crazy stupid, boy.””No…” Robbie said, as the sheriff and older deputy lifted him up and put the cuffs on him. “You’re going to be the stupid and the crazy ones when I get locked up and more people start dying just to prove my innocence.”* * *While the two junior officers hauled Robbie off to the station, Singer and Freddie returned to the inn, mostly to drop the young man off, but also to ease the concerns of all the folks that were uneasy and nervous from the wedding party.As the two got out of the vehicle, Freddie rushed inside the inn to check on Jade and see if she was doing ok, and more importantly in his mind, see if she was still mad with him. Singer gathered up some of the unused supplies he got from underneath the inn, and started to head towards the door as well when he felt a strong hand on his shoulder. The size, intensity, and breathing that accompanied the touch made their identity clear.”Steven…” Singer said, turning around slowly.”Bobby, we need to talk. Now.””Let’s do that, Steven…” Singer said, putting down the supplies, and looking the usually intimidating Colonel right in the eye. “Right here and now, or do you not want your f*mily to know what you did the last time you were here?””Fine…” Shay said, looking around at the people slowly moving around, clearly antsy to get off this island. “Let’s go talk by the truck.”The two men casually walked back to the truck, neither saying a word, nor even offering a glance to the other until they were far away from any prying eyes.”So what’s this all about, Steven? Come to get onto me for hunting down the ‘wrong man’?””No…” Shay said, rolling his eyes. “I don’t know that boy and I don’t want to. This is about the lie you told when things… happened.””Look, if this is about what happened with Sarah, I’m-“”You know damn well it isn’t, Bobby! Don’t you dare mention my wife’s name!” Shay had gone from intense too aggressive in under a second. “You fucked my wife, and now we all have to pay for it. Marissa, especially.”Steven…””Have you even talked to your ex-wife, Bobby? You sure did spend time with your son just now… does Freddie know?””No… and it needs to stay that way. He doesn’t-“”No, Bobby, you son of a fucking bitch, he does.” Shay’s face was turning red and poking Singer right in the chest. “You slept with Sarah. She had your k*d. You disappeared. And Marissa raised the ch*ld she so desperately wanted to have. Did you know she hasn’t told him? How could she? She dotes and has given that boy everything she possibly could except for a father, and that’s on you, Bobby.”The sheriff had grown silent and deadly calm, clearly embarrassed at his actions. “I thought this wasn’t about Sarah?””It’s not remotely…” Shay said, trailing off. “Well, in a way. You need to tell the people of this island the truth about the Slasher.””Why?” Singer said. “They feel safe knowing that he’s dead, and that’s fine by me.””Well, clearly, he’s not since he seems to be up and moving around, still murdering people, including my daughter-in-law. güvenilir bahis I saw West the same way you did, and there’s no question what that looks like. You just told people you had killed him because you’d look like the hero.””Well, you certainly weren’t going to take the credit for it, right Steven,” Singer fired back. “We both know what happened and I might have lied for the greater good but you were the one who got blood on your hands.”Shay’s eyes narrowed as he pressed Singer against the truck. “You and I both thought that man was guilty, and unlike you, who clearly never cared for another human being besides himself, I loved my wife and I wanted revenge.””And I let you take it.” Singer relaxed his shoulders a bit and took a deep breath. “It was… I guess, my way of trying to apologize. After I got sent here, I never thought I’d see you or your f*mily again. But you got to kill the man you believed murdered your f*mily, and he was a scumbag, but so what if he wasn’t guilty of the crime? His death, the murder you committed, saved this town from a lot of grief, Steven.””While the real Slasher just walked away free…””We don’t know that. We had a heavy storm that week… they could have drowned trying to escape to the mainland.””Whatever helps you sl*ep at night, Bobby.” The Colonel was now staring daggers at his former friend, his fist still balled so tight that his knuckles had been drained of all their colour as he stepped back, leaving the sheriff nowhere to go but into his truck. Singer hopped into the cab, and slowly drove off, silently cursing to himself for every moment and feeling of that conversation.* * *”Hey… you called?”Jade looked up from her bed at Tori, her eyes were still bloodshot and cheeks stained with the tear tracks that seemed like they flowed every hour on the hour. “Yeah.””Is there anything I can get you? Any-“”The wedding’s off,” Jade said coldly.”I think we all expected that,” Tori said, trying to sound as supportive as humanly possible. “That’s completely ok. We can fly back to LA, pick a new date, find a new place, and-“”No…” Jade said, with a heavy sigh and shook her head, never looking her former frenemy in the eye. “I mean, I can’t marry Freddie. Not here or anywhere. I cannot be with Freddie.””Like… ever?” Tori whispered, taking a seat next to the weeping former bride.”All I can see when I look at his face is my father, and whenever he speaks, I hear dad’s voice. Haunting me, because he never liked Freddie, and I told him to shut up and get over it. And he put… he put his doubts aside so I could be happy… and someone… Robbie… killed him.””I was going to tell you…” Tori said, putting her hand on Jade’s shoulder softly, but a jerk later, and it was clear that touching Jade was not ok. “Freddie and the sheriff are back. They caught Robbie apparently. He’s getting locked up right now.””Good. Wish I could pull the switch on him right now. Death penalty is too good for him.””Look, Jade… about this wedding. You don’t have to make any decisions right this second. You still have plenty of-“”No, Vega. I do… and I did.” Jade turned her head to stare into Tori’s soul, it almost seemed. “I will never, ever, be Mrs Freddie Benson.”* * *A few doors down from Jade, Savanna Shay was just waking up from her second nap of the day, and while she felt really rested, she really only cared about seeing her mommy. She climbed off her bed and went to the den where her dad and grandpa were, but there was no one around.The precocious little girl looked around the room and the bedrooms of their suite, and they were all empty. Scared to go outside, she headed back to her room, and happened to see a note on her bedside table. It was addressed to her, with very pretty writing.The young girl tore open the envelope and inside was a small card where someone had left a message for her. She excitedly tossed the note on the floor and ran from her bedroom to the main door and then out into the inn, full of slow moving people.* * *”Mind if I come in,” came a voice from the other side of Jade’s door.I’m certainly the popular one today, she thought, before calling out. “Yeah… come on in, Carly.”The dark haired former web star slipped into the room quietly, feeling terrible that Jade had seemingly not moved since she saw her last.”I heard that you’re ending things with Freddie. Calling the wedding and the relationship off.””Yeah,” Jade said, frustrated that Tori had managed to spill her business so quickly. “Just gotta figure out how to tell him.””Look,” Carly said, sitting down next to Jade, and looking the girl in her eyes, which were once a brilliant blue, now looked sickly with all the flushed and burning red around them. “I think we both know the obvious reason why you can’t just walk away from Freddie, but you shouldn’t have to either.””Obvious reason?””Yeah, but I’ll get to that in a minute.” the former web star cleared her throat. “Look, there’s something I should probably tell you, and I think it will make things a bit more clear, but I promise, I’m speaking entirely in the past.””Go on, Shay…””Ok… so, I used to be absolutely crazy about Freddie, and Sam’s jealousy aside, I couldn’t see a reason not to just go for it. But my dad… even though he wasn’t around, he always made it clear that Freddie could be a friend, but he could not ever be more than that. Even when I thought I loved him, after what he did to save me from getting hit by a truck, dad was furious when he found out I kissed him, and that we were dating. If Freddie hadn’t of backed off and let me breathe a bit, I might not have ever let him go.””Awesome…” Jade said sarcastically, eager for this conversation to be over. “Are you looking for my permission so you can go fuck him or marry him or whatever the fuck you’re getting at here?””Just hold on…” Carly said, trying to relax Jade so her point could be understood. “My dad likes Freddie but he haaaates the idea of me with him. That’s why I never told him about any of… the stuff we did years ago.””As if you could tell anyone…” Jade said, showing a slight smile. “We were like a walking porno back then.””Beside the point. The point is that I refused to follow my heart and be with the person I felt like I should have been with because my dad didn’t want me to. And I lost out, and I’ve had a lot to deal with in getting over it and moving on, but really, in my mind, you and Freddie belong together.””Shay, don’t do-“”Look at this picture,” Carly said, producing a photograph from her pocket. “I was planning to give you guys a whole scrapbook of memories with this being one of the first ones, but it got messed up… This survived though.”She handed Jade a picture from the summer of 2012, where the former Goth had her arms wrapped around Freddie as he kissed her on the cheek, a surprise moment before the flash that Jade still thought about to this day.”From the moment I saw that picture, I just knew… Freddie and Jade Benson would be the story to tell.””Carly, this is nice and all,” Jade said, a tear starting to run down her cheek again. “But I need more than just destiny or some speech about fathers to stay with Freddie.””A baby not a good enough reason?”Jade was stunned. Her eyes widened, unable to find even a sound, much less a word to what Carly had just said. After what felt like minutes, but was just a few seconds, she sputtered, “How… how did you know?””Freddie told me this morning,” she said calmly. “He knew you were not in a good place and if he couldn’t be here or around to look after you, he wanted me to do it. I haven’t, and I won’t, tell anyone.”Jade is furious that Freddie would just give out their secret to Carly without checking with her first, but he knew Carly far better than she did, so maybe she was a good secret keeper. “I’m pretty sure Tori knows,” Jade said taking a deep breath. “Neither of us told her, but the way she’s been acting, really makes me think she knows.””Look, Jade… I don’t know you well, but I know Freddie. He and I both know the struggles of growing up with only one parent. I mean, I basically did without both of mine for a while.””But look at Spencer… he had to play both roles but you turned out just fine… I guess.””Yeah…” Carly said, smiling and shaking her head. “But he never had ‘the talk’ with me, no matter how hard he tried. He was completely unprepared and if we ever have the chance, I should tell you the first period story… Spencer’s a sweetheart, and my br*ther, and the best guy I have ever met in my life, but an older br*ther, or even a single parent, is no replacement for having both. Your k*d… You and Freddie’s ch*ld… it shouldn’t have to find that out first-hand.”Jade took another look at the photograph, and saw the bright white smile across her face as she first realized what true love felt like. She lightly touched her cheek, and then smiled up at Carly.* * *Col. Steven Shay was cursing non-stop under his breath for Singer leaving, while all these supplies he had borrowed, bow lay all over the front of the inn. There were traps, tool boxes, rope, and all sorts of odds and ends. It took a good three trips, but Shay had almost brought all the stuff back down to the basement, and he quickly realized that he was working up a sweat. Must be getting old, he thought as he made his last trip down.The heat was certainly palpable in the basement as he moved around, looking for a free spot to put these old saws and ropes.In fact, he was so distracted that he didn’t notice a piece of fishing line across part of the walkway. He fell very fast and very hard, his face hitting the box of saws, one of which slashed his face as tried to brace his fall, and try as he might, he landed on his face, shattering his nose on impact.Shay turned over quickly, his vision blurred and from the way he had lost all sense of balance or bearing, he feared he might have sustained a concussion, feeling the gush from his nose, blood exploding everywhere. His left ankle felt like it was broken, or sprained at best, and tried to find something to assist him in standing with no luck.Above him, he saw a shape moving that was clearly a person, but they didn’t look like a person. Their face was not entirely right and their hand was enormous, like a crab claw. Knowing that sounded insane, he shook his head and really looked up, and stared at horror at the truth of the situation.The face was scarred, so he was right about that not looking right, but the crab claw was something far more serious. It was a bear trap. Opened and ready. One of the things he brought downstairs immediately, for safety reasons, where this person was obviously hiding and waiting.”I should have killed you first,” the voice said, causing Shay’s eyes to widen in surprise, but that was the last thing he did before the stranger turned the trap over and dropped it over Shay’s face.The death was messy, but instant as the trap clasped shut, crushing the Colonel’s head as the killer waited until the body stopped twitching before going to work on the next part of this plan.* * *Savanna had snuck her way downstairs, no one really noticing her moving in the crowd, and there was no sign of her dad or grandpa which was good.She checked the note again once she slipped into the ballroom area. The note, which was from her mom, had told her to not be seen and not to let them catch her because there was going to be a surprise. It also instructed her to go to the ballroom office, where Amy would be waiting.”Mom…” Savanna called out as she walked across the large banquet room. “Mommy? I came like you asked…”Seeing the white door marked Office, Savanna ran over to the door and opened it to see if there was anyone inside.”Moooommmmmmm?” Savanna called out, holding the word for as long as she could, before stepping into the room. “Are you in here?”Once she was completely inside, the Office door slammed shut, and locked tight with a loud thunk, as Savanna’s screams tried to make it through the soundproofed back room.”Mommy!”

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