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Confessions

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1.

They sit in the basement, Rob still smoking as he tells her word for word what Rosalind said to him. When he’s finished they sit in silence.

“I told O’Kelly you didn’t know,” he says finally.

“Did he believe you?”

“No, but he’ll pretend to.”

“Thank you,” she says. “What will happen to you?”

“There’ll be a disciplinary. O’Kelly said he would speak for me.”

“I can say something as well. A character reference...”

“No,” he says quickly. “You’ve done enough for me.”

“What did you want to tell me, on the phone?” she asks.

“That I was sorry.” He swallows. “And...”

“What?” she says gently.

“After Peter and Jamie disappeared, there were so many people who thought it was my fault, I started to believe it,” he says in a rush. “I never let myself get close to anyone, until you. You wormed your way in somehow, and I love you, so much, and when you got too close I was afraid that you’d disappear.”

She gets up and comes to stand in front of him.

“Hey,” she says, reaching out for him. “I’m not going anywhere.”

He falls into her arms and she kisses him through his tears.

“There’s something I need to tell you as well,” she says at last. “And you’ll probably want to run away when you hear it.”

He nods. “Tell me.”

“I’m pregnant. And Sam’s not the father, you are.”

He doesn’t ask how she knows. He looks shocked for a moment, then he says, “That’s great news,” and puts the cigarette out.

In the coming weeks he moves back in with his mother permanently and they have journalists camped outside her house most days. They get bricks through the window. He gets a pleading letter from Jamie’s mother begging him to finally tell her where her daughter is. Eventually it gets too much for his mother and she decides to go back to England, at which point he moves into Cassie’s flat. By the time baby Lexie arrives the press has almost lost interest.

...

2.

They sit at the same table where they sat with his mother, not too long ago. They make excruciating small talk about work and how his mum’s doing until she can’t stand it anymore.

“I went to England,” she blurts out. “I had an abortion.”

She watches this sink in. “Was it...” She nods. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

She doesn’t have to answer that. He lowers his head and says, “I’m sorry.”

She shrugs. “It takes two, Rob.”

“I know, but...” He’s struggling to find the right words. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Was it terrible?”

She shakes her head. “No, not terrible. Not really.” She unexpectedly feels close to tears. “They just gave me a pill.”

“Was anyone with you?”

“Sam looked after me, afterwards.”

He nods. “He’s a good guy.”

“Yeah, he is.”

He reaches out and takes her hand over the table.

“Are we okay, Maddox?”

She smiles. “We’re always okay.”

...

3.

It’s Sam who takes the call and immediately phones Cassie to let her know. A prisoner has made a confession. He’s been serving a life sentence for 20 years. He’s now up for parole and wants this offence taken into account, so he can’t be prosecuted for it in the future.

He claims it was his first offence. That seems unlikely, but he wasn’t a known offender when it happened. He was only young then.

It was Jamie he was interested in. The boys were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’d tied Peter up, threatening him with a knife, then turned his attention to Jamie. Adam had stumbled upon the scene. He hadn’t planned to kill anyone, but Jamie had screamed that she would tell and so he’d strangled her. Peter had broken free of his restraints and attacked him with the knife, so he’d had to kill him, too. Then he’d threatened Adam, slashing his t-shirt and warning him that if he told anyone what he’d seen he would come back and kill him. He’d left Adam clinging to the tree where Peter had been tied and screaming for his mother.

Then he’d taken the bodies in his car to somewhere far away and buried them. It could all be a fantasy, but he promises to lead them to the bodies. It breaks Cassie’s heart, hearing what Rob had witnessed, what he’d had to forget in order to stay sane, in order to survive.

After they’ve dug up the specified area and found the remains, Cassie volunteers to make the phone call.

“Rob, it’s me. I think we’ve found them.”

...

1.

Rob passes her the joint as they lie on his bed. They have to smoke it in here so his landlady doesn’t smell it.

“This is good stuff,” she says, inhaling. “Where’d you get it?”

“I have my contacts,” he says, taking it back.

“So do I,” she acknowledges. This leads to them talking about her undercover role and Johnstone, and she shows him her scar from where she was stabbed.

“I know he’ll come after me again some day,” she says, staring up at the ceiling. “It’s personal between me and Johnstone.”

“He stabbed you. That’s pretty personal.”

“It was more than that.” Maybe it’s just the drugs, but she feels the need to unburden herself. “I was sleeping with him.”

He doesn’t judge, but he does pass her the joint again.

“He made it clear what he wanted,” she says, puffing on it. “And I went along with it. Frank was basically my pimp.”

“Did he encourage it?”

“Not in so many words, but he said to do whatever it took.” She passes it back. “I don’t regret it,” she adds. “I got to put him away.”

“And nearly died for it.”

“I was disappointed not to die,” she says abruptly. “Since the crash, it feels like I’ve been living on borrowed time.”

“I know the feeling.”

“You know how I got through it, all those times with Johnstone? I pretended that it wasn’t really me. It was Lexie who was doing it.”

“Who’s Lexie?”

“My undercover name. Also my imaginary friend.” He cocks an eyebrow. “I made her up, after my parents died. She was my best friend. Whenever I did something I shouldn’t, I’d say ‘it wasn’t me, it was Lexie’. Used to drive my aunt mad.”

“I do that too. Sometimes I pretend that whatever happened in the woods happened to Adam, but not to me.”

“So you don’t think I’m mad?”

“That’s a requirement to work for Murder, isn’t it?” he says. They both start giggling uncontrollably.

They finish the joint and she ends up spending the night in his bed while he sleeps on the sofa.