Completely Consumed (Addicted To You, Book Eight)
Author:Covington, Lucy

“You can’t charge me with something I didn’t do,” I told him. “I’ve never done a single dose of any kind of illegal performance enhancing drug.”

 

“Justin,” he said, “you must know that everyone—I mean everyone—says that to us. Lance Armstrong denied it for a decade before he finally admitted it.”

 

“That doesn’t change the fact that I’m telling the truth. I’ve got nothing to hide.”

 

But then I thought about how Quarry had watched me shoot up yesterday. Sure, I hadn’t actually done the steroids—I’d switched it out to water. But Quarry didn’t know that, so he could possibly testify at some point against me.

 

The realization seeped into my bones.

 

“You okay, Brown?” Driscoll asked.

 

Nick Cairns was still staring at me, like a hawk watching a worm that it was about to snag. “You look really pale. Was it something I said?”

 

Suddenly, for no reason I could understand, I pictured Lindsay’s face. Just thinking about her calmed me down. For a brief moment, I wished that I’d let her stay here for this. It would have been nice to have someone to talk to afterwards. “I’m fine,”

 

I said, quickly regaining control of things.

 

“Let me grab you a glass of water,” Driscoll said.

 

“I’m fine,” I told him, more serious this time.

 

He went to move past me toward the kitchen and I blocked his path.

 

“What’s the problem?” he asked.

 

“I said we could talk. I didn’t give you permission to walk around my house.”

 

His forehead crinkled up as if he was surprised that I was behaving this way, but he dropped back a few steps. “Suit yourself, Brown. You seem pretty eager to be pissed off at the world.”

 

I turned back to Nick once more. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

 

We looked at one another for what felt like a long while. Maybe he sensed I was telling the truth. But then he just shrugged ever so slightly. “It doesn’t matter.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I mean, it doesn’t matter if you did anything wrong or not, Brown. You’re a part of the Slaughterhouse gym, and when we take it down, everyone’s going down with it.

 

Everyone.”

 

“So if I’m toast no matter what, then why even bother showing up to talk to me?”

 

I said.

 

Nick turned to the taller man and gave him a slight nod, as if it was his turn to step in. Agent Driscoll came forward once more.

 

“Listen to me,” he said, his voice softer than before. “We’re here because we know you’re relatively new to the group and you haven’t been compromised like some of the other guys.”

 

“Compromised?”

 

“You’re not as dirty as some of the others.”

 

I thought of the guys that I trained with—Jimbo’s face came to mind instantly.

 

Could he be dirty, could he be involved in some crazy drug ring? What else was Quarry even up to? I had no idea and didn’t want to find out. What I already knew was bad enough.

 

“If I’m clean, than shouldn’t you be trying to help me?” I said.

 

“We didn’t say you’re clean,” Nick chimed in. “Just that you’re not as dirty as the others.”

 

Driscoll scratched his cheek, watching me. “We do want to help you, Justin.”

 

I looked back at him, doubtful. “Doesn’t seem that way to me.”

 

“I know it doesn’t seem that way. But the truth is, we’re here to give you a chance that nobody else is likely to get.”

 

I waited for a long moment. “What kind of chance?”

 

“A chance to keep your reputation,” Nick said.

 

“A chance to be one of the good guys,” Driscoll added.

 

“Good guys?” I smirked.

 

“That’s right,” Driscoll replied. “We want you to work with us, tell us what Quarry’s doing, how he operates, help us collect more evidence. In exchange, you get guaranteed immunity.”

 

“You want me to rat out my friends and my coach and help you build a case against them? Do you know what that would do to my reputation in the world of MMA?” I laughed. “You can’t seriously think I’d be dumb enough to do that.”

 

“I think you’d be dumb not to seriously consider it,” Driscoll told me.

 

I watched his eyes, because I was used to figuring out a lot from looking a guy right in his eyes. As a fighter, I’d realized that the pre-fight stare down could tell you almost everything you needed to know about the opponent. It wasn’t so much that a weak opponent would look away—in fact, sometimes the weaker guys tried all the harder to stare you down.

 

It was an energy thing. You could just sense what kind of determination was there, how much fear, how much pure rage. Sometimes, I simply knew the dude was going to quit after I hurt him once or twice.

 

So I knew a few things about staring someone down.

 

And when I stared down Driscoll, I saw that he was telling me the truth—at least, the truth as he knew it. He wasn’t just trying to scare me into cooperating.

 

But that didn’t really change anything—did it?

 

“I can’t do that,” I said, but now I looked away, suddenly not sure of myself anymore. Could I do it? Would it be wrong to tell the truth about Quarry, if it saved me from getting in trouble for something I hadn’t done?

 

previous 1.. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ..46 next