Bad Boy's Bridesmaid(253)

By: Sosie Frost



“The baby?”

Suzie reserved her judgement. She had a toddler with no daddy at home.

“Everything looks okay. The doctor wants to see you. He’ll be in shortly.”

“Maddox?”

Suzie didn’t want to answer that. “Chief Craig is here. He needs to get your statement.”

“Wait.”

Suzie bolted from the room. Damn it. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t think. A blue uniform immediately took her place. Chief Craig closed the door, and I tried to silence my coughing. Couldn’t. He didn’t look like he cared much.

“Josie…” Chief Craig’s tone spiked my heart rate. Unfortunately, he could hear it on the monitor. “I’ve already spoken with Mayor Rhys.”

“Chief…it wasn’t—”

“He explained that you two had a secret relationship.”

My lungs seized. The panic stuck inside the thick ash coating my chest. “Not true—”

“He also told us that Maddox was threatening both of you. Nolan said he worried for your safety, and that it was not unexpected that Maddox would attempt to break you two up.”

That smug look. Chief Craig didn’t believe a word Nolan told him, but it fit his own ends.

The chief lied. He tried to frame it on Maddox.

“Stop.”

“It’s okay. You don’t have to be afraid anymore. We know Maddox threatened you and your grandfather after he heard about your relationship with the mayor.”

“Why are you doing this?” I clenched my teeth. “Maddox told me about Chelsea. You’re blackmailing him.”

“Josie, I’m asking you to collaborate the mayor’s story. Do that, and we’ll ensure Maddox is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

This was a nightmare without waking. A layer of embers burned every hope and dream I ever had. It buried the town, soiled us all, and threatened to choke the life from Maddox.

I forced the words out. “Nolan kidnapped me. Nolan tried to hurt me. Nolan lit the match. Nolan attempted to murder us.”

Chief Craig’s eyebrows furrowed. His once familiar and reassuring face morphed into something sinister and unrecognizable.

“I understand this is a difficult time, Josie, but I need the truth. You have to remember what actually happened. Don’t protect Maddox. He can’t hurt you anymore.”

I cried soot and grime. “Granddad was your bowling partner. You have a wife and kids. How can you do this?”

“Tell me the truth, and I’ll keep him safe.” The chief leaned close. It was the first time I feared him, and the damn monitors proved it. “He’s unstable. I can’t be sure he won’t hurt himself in that cell.”

“Don’t you dare.”

He patted my hand. I yanked it away. “Do this, and we won’t ask anything more of you. We know you’re in a…delicate condition.”

His scowl disappeared the instant he turned the handle on my door. He greeted the nursing staff with a beaming smile and promised that he needed nothing further from me tonight.

Monster.

Was the entire town filled with monsters? Darkness and lies and hatred festered everywhere I looked, and the only hope I had that the world was good had been jailed once more for a crime he didn’t commit.

It couldn’t end this way. Chief Craig and Nolan conspired against Maddox. How was I supposed to fight the charges? I couldn’t tell the truth if no one was listening.

I sat up, clawing at the IV in my wrist. Tears rolled over my cheeks. They were about as useful as a low-calorie brownie. I could still fix this. I just had to get out of the hospital.

“Whoa!”

I panicked as Delta burst into the room, catching me with my hand in the cookie jar that was my escape. She dropped a teddy bear and slammed the door shut behind her.

“What the hell are you doing?” She nearly slapped me. “Get in that bed!”

“Delta, I need help.”

“You need to rest! You almost died tonight.”

“It wasn’t Maddox.” The coughing started to subside as adrenaline raged through me.

“Where have I heard that before?”

“I’m serious!”

Delta jerked a thumb over her shoulder. “You better tell the chief. Everyone is on a rampage thinking Maddox tried to kill you and Nolan.”

“You really think I was sleeping with Nolan? I’m carrying Maddox’s baby!”

“Yeah, that part sounded wrong to me.” Delta forced me into bed. “Look, I’ll help you. Just relax. None of this is good for you or the baby.”

“I need to…” I tripped over my own words. “I have no idea. I have to get Maddox out of jail before Chief Craig does something horrible.”

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