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Scarlet slept soundly until I heard a car pull into the driveway. My head picked up, still drooping from sleep. It was definitely a vehicle pulling into our driveway, but I knew Mike hadn’t left for work and the last time mom had left the house was when she was required to be there for my police questioning.

I got up, slowly and tried not to disrupt Scarlet but she picked her head up, concerned. Then she tilted it as if listening.

“Do you know who it is?” I asked her, keeping my voice as close to a whisper as possible.

“It’s… the polizei?” she questioned.

“The police?” I pushed the curtain aside a crack, seeing Scarlet pull the sheets around her exposed skin in response.

It was, indeed, the police. Great. They probably wanted to question me for the fourth time about Josh.

Although… it was an oddly high number of officers for a mere questioning.

In any case, I started to get dressed, pulling on the first clothes available to me.

Scarlet watched me go through the process.

“I’m sorry if they’re still harassing you,” she said.

I waved her off. I was feeling okay today so despite getting ready to sit around in the police station for hours, I wasn’t having a panic attack.

What was the worst that could happen? Probably some juvie time, but to be honest, I had a feeling I’d more likely get sent to a psych ward for a while and then those records would be sealed when I turned eighteen in just a year and a half. That wasn’t a long time, in the grand scheme of things, to sacrifice for somebody I loved.

And I’d be ready for it. If Scarlet could work things out with her vampire… family, then I could work things out with my human problems. Everything would be all well and good and we could live happily ever after.

That was going to be my thought process for today. I’d try to keep everything on the positive side so I could focus on the important thing.

I knocked on Mike's door a couple times, and heard the resulting shuffling of his bedding as he got up.

“Everything okay?” he asked blearily. I still heard him getting himself together, grabbing clothes off the floor.

“The police are here,” I told him.

“Huh?” A couple seconds later he opened the door, giving me a brief view of his messy room before he shut it behind him. “Why?” he asked.

I shrugged, as a loud knock came from the door.

“Wait here,” he told me and went to answer it.

I didn’t hang back as much as he wanted me to, and eavesdropped on their conversation.

“We need to talk to Lexi,” one of the officers said. “Right away.”

“You’ve spoken to her several times now, what more could you need from her?” Mike protested.

“The situation changed and that’s all I can tell you right now.”

I heard the officer gently push past him to observe me peering at them from the hall.

“I’ll come,” I said, holding my hands up innocently.

He nodded while Mike frowned at me but turned back to get the car keys. “Am I allowed to accompany her?” he asked.

“Are you her legal guardian?” the officer questioned.

Mike frowned harder. At this point, he really should’ve been but paperwork was expensive and it wouldn’t matter for that much longer anyway.

He got Mom up, and she came with me in the back of a police car. I stared out the window during the drive, as she complained loudly of mistreatment of minors. Mike followed in our car and pulled into the visitor lot at the station.

I was put with Mom in an interrogation room, once again staring at the blank walls and floor and filthily sterile environment as they waited for a social worker to arrive.

I rubbed my face, my resolve starting to diminish as nothing happened.

When they finally did come back to talk to me, there was doubt on their faces.

It was a similar process to the last time. My information, and the questions. Constant questions about where I was and who I was with and if there was anybody that could verify that.

For a long time, I didn’t understand why they were so interested in last night until I had a break and looked at my phone and saw the news articles for today. There was an amber alert out for Josh. Which meant he was missing, but probably dead, if I understood the feeling in my gut.

I knew Scarlet hadn’t done anything to him, she’d been with me for most of yesterday and through the entire night. I hadn’t done anything to him and even if I had the opportunity, probably wouldn’t.

Several hours after they first got my alibi as being at the amusement park, they released me, able to verify that pretty substantially. Somebody had also evidently seen Josh getting hauled into the back of a van anyway, driven by a man so I wasn’t exactly matching up to that description.

So just like that, I was exonerated.

Officer LeBlanc was drinking coffee at the reception desk while chatting with Mike about something. It seemed like they were on better terms than the last time I was at the police station here.

Mike even looked relieved as he saw me and pulled me into a brotherly hug.

Officer LeBlanc gave me a friendly smile and a wave as Mom marched right past him, in a much more foul mood than usual.

Mike drove us home again. He glanced in the rearview mirror at me several times as he did so, that curious look on his face. 

“So uh… you really had nothing to do with Josh’s issues huh?” he asked me offhandedly.

LeBlanc must have told him my alibi checked out, that must’ve been why he was in such a better mood.

“I don’t interact with Josh if I can help it.”

Mike nodded and looked ahead. “Maybe now the police will leave you alone.”

I agreed. There was still a pit in my stomach as I knew Josh was probably scared somewhere. Or dead, it wasn’t clear yet what the motive for grabbing him was, and there was probably going to be a lot of panic around it and surely the police would want to question me again, but they probably wouldn’t be able to interrogate me. 

It was a relief at least.