Iniquity
By
Laura Ahmed

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Prologue
*******

"So who do we got here, the husband?" Lieutenant Patrick O'Grady asks as he entered the harshly lit quarters. He sips the lukewarm coffee as he looks through the two- way mirror into the interrogation room.

Beside him, Officer Lewis nods. "Richard Madison. We picked him up this afternoon." O'Grady continues to look at the man in the interrogation room. Funny, he didn't look like a killer. But then again, the cold-blooded ones never did. O'Grady takes one last sip of the weak coffee before crumbling the Styrofoam cup in his hands, tossing it onto the table at his side. "All right," he says to his partner, "let's get this thing started."

The man does not look up when the two officers enter. He keeps his eyes downcast, hands clasped firmly on the table in front of him, and does not let any emotion he may be feeling register on his face.

O'Grady pulls out a chair across from the man, straddling it backwards. He takes out a cigarette from his blazer pocket, strikes a match, and lights it. He has taken two long drags before he starts to speak. "So, Mr. Madison. You wanna tell me why you think you're here?" He waits a moment for the man to answer, but when it is obvious that Richard Madison has nothing to say, he turns back to his partner. "Well, lookit' here, Mickey. We got ourselves a difficult one tonight."

Officer Lewis smiles smugly; he knows the game they are about to play. "Looks like it."

O'Grady speaks with his head tilted, the cigarette still clamped between his lips. "Yeah..so why'd we haul his ass in here, Mickey? I mean, I'm sure the man is wondering, aren't you Richie-boy?"

Officer Lewis slams the folders he had been carrying onto the table, black-and- white coroner's snapshots spilling onto the wooden surface. O'Grady picks up a photograph, examining the picture of a blonde woman, eyes closed, dried blood caking the small bullet hole centred in the middle of her forehead. Her thin body is naked and pale, emphasizing the dark slash marks that mar her neck.

He lets a whoosh of air escape his lips and quirks an eyebrow towards the suspect sitting in front of him. "Now I wouldn't suppose you had anything to do with this, would you Richie-boy?"

The man does not speak. In fact, he does not give any indication that he has heard the officer at all. O'Grady feels his anger level rise another notch. He leans in closer to the man and sneers, "You wanna know what I think, Richie-boy? I think it was you." When still no reaction comes, O'Grady switches to a different tactic. "I wouldn't blame you though, to tell you the truth. I mean if I found out that my old woman was fucking around on me, I'd be pretty upset, too. So is that how it went, Richie- boy? C'mon now, you can tell me."

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The man was a fucking ice-statue.

"Your wife...she was a pretty little thing, wasn't she?"

Again, nothing.

"But I guess you knew that, huh? All those gentleman callers she had coming around? I suppose there had to be something about her that kept them coming back, huh?"

Finally, a flinch. Not much, but it was a start.

"A lot of people have their theories on what happened that night, Richie- boy. I know I have mine. But I wanna hear yours. What exactly went down three nights ago in that nice big penthouse you got?"

Great. They were back to the ice-statue.

O'Grady takes another drag of his cigarette, his shaking fingers showing his growing agitation. "You know, Richie-boy, I'm not a very patient man. I hurt people when I get mad. But I've made an exception for you so far, because I really wanna hear what you have to say. But I gotta tell you.. YOU ARE REALLY STARTING TO PISS ME OFF!" He throws the cigarette from his mouth onto the cement floor in a fit of his evident frustration.

He does not even need to look at the man to know what his reaction would be; nothing. O'Grady pounds his fist against the table so hard that even Officer Lewis jumps a little at the sudden intrusion. "I'm only going to say this once you bastard, so you better listen up. Did you or did you not kill Mrs. Clarissa Madison on September 17th of this year!?"

For the first time that night, the man looks up. "She was my wife," he finally says. His eyes are windows of emotion but his voice is disturbingly devoid of any feeling. "I loved her."