“Tell me again about the last time you saw her.”
“Seriously? I’ve told you at least a hundred times.”
“Then we’re gonna make it a hundred and one and a hundred and fifty if need be. Tell.”
Evan Mulraney sighed and ran a hand through his hair, the other hand loosely clasped around his tepid cup of police station coffee. Detective Don Belarus stood over him with his arms crossed, waiting for his story with a glare.
“In the morning, two days before Christmas. She got up and dressed before me and was on her way out the door to go shopping. I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. She came in to the bedroom to tell me where she was going and kiss me goodbye.”
“Why didn’t she just leave a note?”
“I don’t know.”
Belarus snorts. “You don’t know?”
“Cause she loved me.”
“Why are you such an asshole?”
The detective’s face didn’t change and he didn’t wait a beat before firing the next question.
“What did she go shopping for?”
“Wrapping paper. God, I’ve told you this over and over -”
“And over again, I know. Why did she just leave like that? Why didn’t she give you the option to come with her? Do you think she wanted to get away from you? That maybe she had someone she wanted to meet that morning?”
“No, I told you, she just let me sleep in. She knew I’d think it was an annoying chore. She was doing something nice for me.”
The detective smiled and barked a laugh.
“Oh, disappearing was her way of doing something nice for you, huh? Making it look like you did something to her right before Christmas, that’s love, oh yeah. That’s how I see it.”
“Look, are you going to arrest me or not? I’m really getting sick of being dragged down here practically every other goddamn day.”
“No Mulraney, you’re not under arrest. Yet.”
Evan stood up and walked out of the interrogation room. Today’s interview was over.
He strode out into the crowded cubical maze, full of cops. They called it the bullpen. Evan felt like a prize steer on the way to slaughter.
Pictures of his pretty wife’s face, in full color, bore down on him from the bulletin boards.
MISSING in bold, capital letters.
Hannah Mulraney. 27. 5’5, green eyes, dirty blond hair. Last seen December 23.
Every cop’s eye was on him as he made his way out, questioning him, every look a single thought:
What did you do to her?
Hannah, where are you, and why the hell did you do this to me?