There's nothing like the live applause of an audience to get you out of a bad mood, that's what Kyle Evans thinks as he walks onto the theatre stage. He thinks about how the films he had done had not been as gratifying as the work he does live or the books he writes. Screams of 'I love you Kyle' ring through the crowd as he takes a bow and plasters a fake smile on his face. It was at these times when his acting skills were a god send. Sometimes he regrets his decision to go into film and make a name for himself, an image, and other times he knows it was the right thing to do. He only wished that it could've been like this but without the screaming girls… and sometimes boys.
The curtain drops and Kyle let his face fall. The other actors clap him on the back and congratulate him on a good show, but he knows what they are really thinking. Stupid boy in films decides he wants to do theatre; he's not made for this. Kyle hated those thoughts he knew were swirling around in their heads, he wished the actors could see past the fact that in film he got to mess up his lines and his moves because he could re-film it, he wished they could see that he was just as committed and determined as the rest of them.
He walks sluggishly back to his dressing room; he knows his presence will be needed again shortly to pull in more crowds, he feels used. He slowly uncorks a bottle of wine and takes a sip. At first the liquid burns its way down his throat but as he takes the next sip and the ones after that the liquid starts to sooth instead of burn. He hears knocking on his door. He stands and walks over to open it. His manager is stood there. The new comer glares at the bottle in Kyle's hand and swiftly ignores it stepping into the room.
"You did good out there tonight kid." Kyle winces at the word 'kid' but nods in appreciation, he can't bring himself to speak at the moment. "Brought in the crowds. I suspect a pay raise soon." The manager continues.
"I'm not interested in the money." Kyle speaks with a bitter tone. The manager laughs.
"Come on kid, everyone is interested in the money. Money makes the world go around." Kyle sighs in reply; he doesn't want an argument tonight.
"Whatever Damian, just leave me out of whatever scam you want to run next."
"Listen, kid. I do not run scams, I run businesses." Damian glares at Kyle as he speaks, the words rolling off his tongue laced with bitterness and loathing. Kyle takes another swig from the bottle and rolls his eyes. The words are synonymous in Damian's world.
Kyle heard sirens blaring outside, he doesn't move. The sound of feet pounding along the corridor getting closer and closer to his room doesn't make him move either; he is locked in a staring match with Damian that neither of them will back away from.
Kyle thinks the sirens have nothing to do with him; he has no reason to, until he hears the banging on the door. Both heads of the men in the room snap towards the door. Damian's dark locks fall into his eyes while Kyle's blonde hair stays messily spiked as he had it for his role. The men are sharp contrasts to each other, not just in their looks but in their personalities. Damian's dark hair and fairly pale skin made him intimidating and his muscular build did nothing to help this fact, along with the piercing blue eyes and his personality matched this sharp look as his mind was always on business and how to make the most money, while Kyle's blonde hair and tanned complexion made him look incredibly approachable and warm and he did not do that aura shame. He knew how to listen and respond well to people that needed it, if any of his friends or family needed advice, Kyle was the one they went to. But, despite all of that, Kyle had never been able to obtain a girl who didn't want to use him in one way or another.
The banging on the door gets louder and both men spring into action. Damian calls. "Who's there?" While Kyle moves any empty bottles and food packaging from the floor.
"Police! Open up, we have an arrest warrant for Kyle Evans." A strong male voice speaks from the other side of the closed door. Damian whirls around on his heel and storms at Kyle.
"What have you done?" He hisses viciously under his breath. Kyle looks dumbfounded; he has no more knowledge about any of this than Damian does. Kyle shakes his head, he has lost the ability to form coherent sentences. "Well?" Damian demands. The banging has increased.
"If this door isn't opened soon we will force it open, we will knock it down if we have to." The same voice from before threatens. Damian faces the door, as if the officer could see him.
"Just one minute officer, Mr. Evans is not quite decent." Damian's attention diverts back to Kyle. His voice is low when he says; "Go into the bathroom, wet you hair and change, quickly!" Kyle does as he is told and walks into the bathroom. Damian quickly hands him the clothes he forgot to take in, the clothes Kyle's coma like state caused him to forget.
In the bathroom Kyle can hear Damian let the officers into the room, he shudders, wondering why they could be here. He finds it best not to think about that and does as Damian told him. He thinks that adding a damp towel around his shoulders would help with the illusion. He can vaguely hear the hushed conversation they are having, but has trouble distinguishing the words. The only thing he can tell is that, from the pitch and volume of Damian's voice, it's not good. Fear and worry bubbles in Kyle's chest, he has never seen, or heard, Damian get mad about, or show emotions for, anything.
Kyle's pulse quickens as his heart rate increases. His vision starts to tunnel; he fears he is having a panic attack. He feels as if he is floating, an outsider viewing the situation on a screen. It's a strange feeling, he decides, not one he could ever have imagined and not one he thought he could ever describe or picture again.
He decides to brush his teeth and try to rid his breath of the stench of alcohol. He grabs his tooth brush from the pot to the side of the sink and covers it with toothpaste. The minty paste feels cold on his tongue and seems to burn his mouth, he never had liked mints, or mint flavoured anything. He runs the tap and spits. His hand reaches for a plastic cup from the pile. He places it under the running water and lets it fill to halfway. He moves his hand up to his mind and pours some of the water into his mouth. He swirls it around and spits it back out, he repeats this process another few times before placing the cup back down, but with his frazzled brain he doesn't remember to turn the tap back off.
There is knocking at the door, it's Damian. "Mr Evans!" He calls through the thick wood; it is the first thing Kyle has been able to hear clearly since this fiasco began. His head slowly turns towards the door as if afraid to answer, or even acknowledge what is going on. Kyle finds it strange that Damian is referring to him as 'Mr. Evans'. Even when Damian first started out as his manager it had been 'Kyle' and since then it has regressed to 'Kid' or similar, demeaning names. The situation seems to be too much for Kyle to process. He shakes his head and tries to concentrate, he needs to concentrate. "Mr. Evans." Damian's smooth, deep voice calls once again. "Are you almost finished? There are some police officers here to see you. Something about a girl named Thalia." Kyle freezes; his breathing hitches. That names rings alarm bells in his head. A vague image of a pretty girl with dark brown hair and grey eyes forms in his head but the image in blurry. He remembers that she had been at the opening night of this play; he remembered something about a large, very pink, poster in her hands. She had waited for him outside the stage doors, but he had been drinking and some of the details were a little blurry, but he did remember getting her a taxi ride home before he headed the same way himself looking forward to being able to collapse into bed. "Mr. Evans?" Damian does a good job at sounding worried about him, although, it's such a good job that it leads Kyle to wonder whether it is genuine. Kyle reaches to turn the tap off and realises he can use it as an excuse for not answering Damian.
"I'm sorry, water was running, what did you say?" Kyle tries to make his voice sound cool and natural, he's not quite sure if he pulls it off.
"There are some officers here to talk to you, can you hurry up please." Damian seems to be getting nervous about the situation and it shows in his voice.
"Yeah, just a minute." Kyle walks around the bathroom for effect. He reaches for the door handle with his left hand while using the towel around his shoulders to make it look like he was drying off his hair with his right.
Kyle looks up when he enters the room, he notices everything he hid away spread across the floor again. He almost winces and a brief look of fear flashes across his face. He almost stops breathing for a second but gets himself under control before it happens. He pastes on a smile and looks the officers in the eye, then makes himself look down, as if ashamed and embarrassed that he had walked out to meet them while drying his hair. He slowly lifts his head again and tries to shake the feeling of being an outsider looking in on the situation, it wasn't helping anything.
"What can I do for you guys?" Kyle asks with his slight South American twang lacing throughout his voice. It was the voice that not many people heard; he was always putting on accents for roles and barely ever accepted interview offers. This slight accent seemed to shock the three officers in the room. Two out of the three had daughters obsessed with the blonde haired actor and with all the re-runs of his two films they'd had to sit through and the few interviews he had done, they had never heard that voice before. The other just let everything flow over her, as if this was all completely normal.
"We're investigating the murder of Thalia Berry, Amy Low and Sapphire Jackson. Do any of these names ring a bell?" The man that had been speaking through the door said. Kyle ran a hand through his hair and let out a slow breath.
"Uh, yeah, the name Thalia... I never knew her last name. She came to the opening night. When I left I saw her waiting outside the stage doors, uh, black hair I think, maybe grey eyes? I didn't really pay much attention; if I'm honest she scared me a little. I signed her programme for her; she seemed a little off... drunk maybe? But honestly, I was a little intoxicated at the time so I could be wrong. I walked with her to the street and got her a taxi home; I gave her the cash to pay for it as well. I felt a little bad that I wasn't really at my best when she had waited for me so I tried to do what little I could to help her. That's the last I saw of her..." Kyle trails off and then what the officer had said previously hit him. "Wait, you said she was dead?" All three officers nodded in affirmation. Kyle let himself fall back into the chair that was behind him. "Whoa." He muttered.
"Yes, it's very sad. Do any of the other names ring a bell?" The female officer asks impatiently. Kyle shakes his head.
"No, sorry." The female officer shakes her head in annoyance and pulls handcuffs from her belt. She motions for Kyle to stand and turn around. He raises an eyebrow, incredulous.
"You," He spluttered. "You think I did this?" The female officer nodded, her short brown bob bouncing by her chin, her blue eye steely and cold, she snapped the hand cuffed around his wrists.
"Kyle Evans, we are placing you under arrest for the murder of Thalia Berry, Amy Low and Sapphire Jackson. You have the right to remain silent, but anything you say may be used against you in a court of law, you have to right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney the state will provide one for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?" Kyle nodded. "Let's go." The female officer finished. She pushed Kyle towards the door and started leading him out. The other two officers follow. Damian rushes to the door and watches.
"I'll follow you in the car Kid, I'll get you an attorney, prove you didn't do this. I know you innocent Kid." Damian calls after Kyle while he is being led out of the building.
Outside the streets are lined with people. Kyle comes out of the building first and cameras immediately start flashing. The female officer follows. There is a collective gasp from the crowd when they see the handcuffs holding Kyle's arms behind his back. The crowd is silent. Kyle takes two steps further and everyone screams. The camera flashes are twice as intense; Kyle wishes he could shield his eyes with his arms. He attempts to do that but finds the handcuffs in his way.
"Everybody move!" One of the male officers shouts. The crowd parts for them like the sea parted for Moses. The quartet easily moves through the gap made for them.
They reach the car. The female officer opens the door and pushed Kyle in. The door is slammed, almost hitting Kyle's shoulder. Kyle lets his head fall on the tinted glass window and watches as the hot breath he lets out causes fag to accumulate on the cold glass. He closes his eyes and pretends that this isn't happening but he can't make it seem real enough for him to believe, to lose himself in. He groans in annoyance and opens his eyes. He looks to the front of the car in just enough time to see the glare the female officer is giving him and one of the others muttering something to her that causes her to turn back around and watch the road in front of them.
Kyle wishes someone would tell him what is happening, why he is being accused, he prays for answers, but those answers don't come. The ride to the station is silent. They reach the station building and Kyle can't help but feel a little daunted by what might be inside.
This is only the first time that Kyle will be arrested for murder.