Chapter 3: Encounter

It's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past always claws its way out. -Khaled Hosseini



I kept my eyes locked on the red Lamborghini in front. I'd been on Verena's tail since the past two hours. Fortunately she hadn't noticed me or my truck. I was starting to get frustrated now, she hadn't done anything out of the ordinary even once. I wasn't about to give up though, I was going to keep digging till I found something.

I knew that the town I lived in was peaceful, any sort of violence was out of the ordinary. Yet, as soon as Verena had moved here someone had been murdered. I didn't believe in coincidences. My gut told me that there was a lot more to this girl than what met the eye.

The Lamborghini in front abruptly swerved right. I cursed under my breath as I almost missed the turn. The car stopped in front of a building. The board in front read, "Firearms and Training Center ". I felt my curiosity spike up.

What was a girl like her doing at a shooting range?

Cautiously, I stepped out of my truck. I pulled the hood of my jacket over my head and followed her inside. She seemed to be familiar with her surroundings, like she'd been here before many times. My eyes never left her form as she confidently walked towards the shooting area. She dropped her duffel bag on the floor and to my surprise she picked up a rifle from the counter when she reached the range.

I watched from a safe distance. I observed her as she took aim, her form was perfect. She definitely knew what she was doing. I watched as she fired shot after shot, the bullets never missing the target.

This girl knew how to use a gun better than most men.

I watched as she shot at the target relentlessly, she was too absorbed in her actions to take notice of me. She had a determined look on her face, like nothing else in the world mattered. But what bothered me was the fact that every time a bullet hit the target a small smile would appear on her face, like she enjoyed the whole concept of it.

I knew what I had to do.

I didn't have a lot of time to do it.

Slowly I walked towards her duffel bag which she had placed a few feet away. She still hadn't taken any notice of me. After rummaging through the contents I finally found what I'd been looking for.

A key.


I drove to the Apartment Complex, to my relief the guard who approached me wasn't the same one who'd been there when I'd dropped Allison off.

"I'm here to book an apartment." I told the guard casually.

He seemed to believe me because he let me pass. As soon as I stepped inside I strode to the elevator and pressed the button for the eighteenth floor. The detective had told me that Verena lived in the apartment across from Allison's. I remembered that Allison's had been number-187.

I walked down the hall uncertainly until I reached the door labelled 187, the police tape wound across the door confirmed that it was in fact Allison's apartment. I tried the door to the one across from it, which I assumed was Verena's apartment, I wasn't surprised when it turned out to be locked. I took out the key which I had taken from her bag and tried it in the lock, to my great relief it fit. Finally, I unlocked the door and stepped inside.

The apartment was mostly bare, the only pieces of furniture seemed to be a huge black sofa and a flat screen television. The Polaroid pictures stuck to the wall confirmed that it was Verena's apartment.

"At least she hadn't been lying when she said she'd just moved in." I thought to as I eyed the stack of unpacked boxes.

"There's got to be something here. Some clue linking her to the murder." I muttered under my breath.

I made my way into what seemed to be her bedroom, besides a bed and a wardrobe the room was completely empty. I decided to start with the wardrobe, I rummaged through the contents quickly hoping to find any sort of evidence. 

Just as I was about to give up his eye caught something small and shiny.

It was a bullet!

I smiled in triumph. A bullet was definitely a crucial piece of evidence. If she had bullets she had a gun in here too, and if she had a gun she could have used it to kill Allison. Now I just had to focus on finding it. I placed the bullet in my pocket and continued with my search.

I had been so busy looking for the weapon that I didn't hear the sound of the door being yanked open.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" A familiar feminine voice demanded.

I froze. 

Slowly, I turned around and my eyes met with Verena's furious brown ones.

I glared at her evenly.

"I believe you killed Allison, I'm here so I can find evidence to prove that." I retorted, not bothering to hide my suspicions.

She looked completely bewildered at first but then her expression became stone cold, she let out a humorless chuckle.

"And what makes you think that?"

My voice trembled with anger as I spoke, "I don't think it's a coincidence that someone just happened to get murdered as soon as you moved here, that too in the apartment right across from yours. I've seen you with a gun, I know you're more than capable of using it to kill someone. Also, let me praise you for coming up with such a brilliant strategy. Telling the police I was the murderer, throwing them off your trail. Then again who wouldn't believe a helpless little college girl, right? Too bad I know who you really are."

"That's a really nice theory." Verena remarked sarcastically, "It's a pity you didn't find anything to prove it."

"How are you so sure I didn't find the weapon?" I challenged.

"Because..." She trailed of casually.

Before I had time to register what was going on she had reached into her bag and pulled out a gun.

"You didn't find it, because I have it right here."

My hands balled into fists.

This girl had no idea who she was dealing with.

"What's a pretty little girl like you doing with such a dangerous toy?" I taunted.

I could see a spark of anger ignite in her eyes at my words.

"Don't test me. I will shoot you!" She threatened.

I barked out a laugh not feeling threatened the slightest, "Go ahead and shoot me, sweetheart. Just like you shot Allison. Only, this time you won't get away with it."

"I can tell them it was self-defense. The hallway cameras have already caught you breaking in. The police will believe a helpless little college girlRight?" Verena countered back.

Oh she was good alright.

Too bad I was better.

I chuckled coldly, "I'm impressed Verena. You really think like a real murderer."

"Go to hell!" She spat out.

I could feel my lips curling into a smirk as I advanced towards her.

"Oh I will, sweetheart, and I'll make sure I drag you down there with me."

"Don't come any closer, or I'll shoot." She warned but even as she spoke she edged back slowly.

"Then shoot me." I responded smoothly as I took another step towards her.

Her feet seemed to move back on their own accord. She still had the gun trained in my direction but she her hands were starting to shake.

She was scared of me.

Good, she should be.

"I-I'm not afraid of you." She mumbled feebly as I kept moving towards her.

How adorable.

She was afraid alright. I could see the fear etched across her featured. I'd have felt sorry for her, if I had feelings that is.

"Oh really?" I mocked.

With that being said I lunged forward.

Before she could even contemplate what was happening I had yanked her arm back, forcing her to drop the gun. Suddenly she was pinned against my chest. I could feel her trembling lightly as she struggled uselessly against my strong hold.

"Let go of me!" She muttered through clenched teeth.

"I don't think so." I jeered as I tightened my grip.

"Now tell me, Verena. Is this the gun you used to kill Allison?" I demanded.

"I didn't kill her!" She spat out furiously.

"Sure you didn't."

"I didn't shoot her. You're really an idiot if you actually believe I did."

"You talk about the murder so casually, like it's no big deal. A normal girl would have been a quivering mess if someone had been killed in the apartment across from hers." I growled.

"Maybe I'm not one of those normal girls." She snapped back.

I could feel her body heaving against mine as she tried to catch her breath.

For a moment I was distracted by that. But I quickly cleared my head. Returning my focus on the situation.

I almost laughed when I realized what she'd said. I knew by now that this girl was far from normal.

"You're right, a normal girl wouldn't shoot someone." I mocked.

Verena sighed in agitation.

"Why don't you take a closer look at the gun?"

I scoffed but I eyed the gun which was now lying on the ground anyway.

What was she getting at?

"It's a Taser gun." She said, answering his unspoken question.


Verena let out a frustrated groan.

"It's a Taser gun! It doesn't really classify as a murder weapon, does it?

"You're lying." I said coolly.

"I'm not, you can check it if you don't believe me."

I debated about whether or not he should believe her. Finally I let her go and quickly darted towards the weapon. Sure enough, it was a Taser gun. I cursed under his breath as I clutched it in my hand.

"Where's the gun you used to kill her?" I shouted as he threw the gun across the room harshly. It collided with the wall before hitting the ground with a loud crash.

Verena eyed me warily. She massaged her arm which was obviously hurting, undoubtedly due to the tight grip I'd held her in earlier.

I had hurt her.

I felt a pang of guilt pierce through my heart at the thought. 

I had never hurt a girl before. 

I quickly shook the unfamiliar feeling away.

"Even if I did kill her, which I didn't. I wouldn't be stupid enough to hide the weapon here." She hissed.

I gave her a menacing glare.

"I'm going to prove that you killed her, one way or another. You better be very careful because I'll be watching you. I'll make sure you end up behind bars." I sneered.

"Get out!" She retorted evenly.

I didn't break my glare as I made my way towards the door.

"You're going to regret ever messing with me." I snarled as I walked past her.

I shut the door forcefully behind himself as I left.

Rage consumed me.

She was going to regret ever trying to pin this on me. I would make sure of it.

I was angry and I knew it was clouding my judgment. I could feel something bothering me in the back of my mind.

I'd been too harsh with her.

She was just a girl after all.

What if she was telling the truth?

But as soon as these thoughts entered my mind I quickly pushed them away.

Why was I sympathizing with her? I'd never really cared about anyone before, so why now?

Besides, she was the one who was trying to frame me of a crime I hadn't commit.

I knew she was hiding something and I was going to find out what it was, one way or another.

I curled my fingers around bullet in my pocket, the only useful thing which I had found in her apartment earlier.

She definitely wasn't as innocent as she looked.

All of my thoughts were once again consumed by her.

Who was Verena Dawson?

Why had she come here and what was she hiding?

I was going to find out.

As I drove away my eyes darted to the review mirror. I eyed the lavish complex shrinking behind me as I moved forward.

An unnerving feeling settled down in the pit of my stomach. 

For some reason I felt like this was far from over.

In fact, it had all just started.

Something was going to happen. Something bad.

And I couldn't shake off the notion that Verena and I were going to be the center of it all.

Whether we liked it or not.

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