With the snap of the lock on the handcuffs, Bryce felt as if he had turned a knife on himself and twisted it. He didn't know how he managed to recite the Miranda rights to her with the torment stabbing him in the chest. It might have been easier if she hadn't let her hair loose. He tried not to look at it. He tried to keep his eyes focused on his task, but the breeze tousled her hair and he could smell the soft scent from the tumbled curls teasing his nose.
It might have been easier if she hadn't worn that blue shirt. It seemed to deepen the blue of her eyes until he felt he was staring into the depths of the ocean and drowning.
"Why now? What has happened?" she asked in a plaintive tone that only made him feel more wretched and alone than he had ever felt in his life.
For a moment, he debated the wisdom of telling her. What good would it do? What procedural rule would he be breaking? Did it matter? At one time, she had been a friend--more than a friend.
"Jack's body has been found."
He heard her quick intake of breath. Was it an act?
Where you dumped it! His stomach roiled as he nudged her toward the patrol car.
She shrugged his hand off and stood her ground. Her frantic look cut at him. "Bryce? Where was Jack found?"
He clenched his jaw. "You are resisting arrest."
"No! No, please. Tell me." The desperation in her voice bordered on hysteria.
"Get in the car."
She cast one last imploring look at him with those huge blue eyes and he felt as if he was going under for the third time, about to take his last gulp of air. He pressed his lips tightly together, held his breath, and narrowed his eyes in his most intimidating manner. She lowered her head as her shoulders slumped in defeat.
He opened the door of the patrol car and placed his hand protectively over her head so she would not bump it on the frame. He did that for everyone he arrested, but this time his hand lingered there a moment longer than necessary as she stepped inside. When he drew his hand away, he clasped it together with his other hand as if he could save the warmth of her, the feel of her--forever. He hesitated as sorrow swirled through him and he knew he had to fight against it. Hardening his voice, he told her. "The crew of the Sally Mae was dredging offshore for clams today. The dredge brought up your luggage with Jack's body inside."
Her strangled cry seemed to echo over and over--or maybe the gulls wheeling overhead cried with her.