Authors: Emma Brown
The Madison Files
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
And above all – Enjoy
“The cops have him,” a man stated. He stood close to the door, afraid to approach the desk on the other side of the room, the desk where a man dressed almost too nicely sat. “I believe he’s been arrested; I didn’t see him come out of the station.” The man seated behind the wooden desk eyed the other man, no sound being uttered from his lips nor any hint of feeling beside suspicion. He always took what the others had to say with a grain of salt, always questioned their knowledge.
It was all he could do as a man of his position.
He finally looked away from him, glancing to the half blinded window near him and studied the cars as they traveled down the city streets. “I suppose you’re going to warn me that they’ll come for me next?” he asked. The other man quickly shook his head.
“N-No, sir. I have no thoughts one way or another on what Jasper will say or do in jail,” he answered. The second man chuckled and looked back to him, his elbows raising up his hands, which clasped in front of him.
“Jasper won’t go down alone, he won’t let that happen,” he muttered. “He won’t outright state that I was behind it, but he’ll let her know. And she’ll tell.” The first man stared at him, not entirely sure what he meant by everything. Everyone knew he’d had that ‘thing’ with the detective, but he wasn’t sure if he was saying Jasper would confess or not. “You’re dismissed,” he told the puzzled man.
He nodded and promptly left the room. The man still seated, turned his chair, facing opposite the placard that introduced him: Liam Amsel. He studied the large window he now faced. “Come what may, my little birdie,” he muttered with a dark chuckle.
Trent decided that it wouldn’t be safe for Madison to stay alone at her house. Now with the proof that Liam was involved and her past with him, she seemed vulnerable, even if she was at as much of a loss as the rest of them. Knowing now that Liam hadn’t been all he seemed to be made Trent think the man was capable of anything.
And the last person he wanted to see hurt was Madison. He’d already admitted to liking her and hoped all of his implications showed it was more than just a friend-to-friend or, still even deep, partner-to-partner relationship they were forming. Then there was the promise they could try for more once Liam was caught, once Madison fully got her closure, and he knew they would end up getting him in the end.
But he’d offered to stay at her place for the night, and as many night as needed until they caught the man. He didn’t think it would take long, but they had to find what his cover was now and how to get to it. He’d explained it all to her in his proposition to stay over, and to his relief, she’d agreed without hesitation.
He made sure she slept, but he himself stayed up. He’d borrowed one of the company computers and used what limited resources he could without having the company network. It wasn’t much that he found, but it was enough to get him started on a few leads. There was a law firm with a Liam Amsel listed, but the site wasn’t accessible to the public. He figured they could start there, ask to see the man. If it was the Liam they were after, however, he had a rather good out by working for a law firm.
It amused him as he saw the break of light flood through the uncovered windows of the guest bedroom. He decided then that it was time to close the computer and perhaps find something to eat. Somewhere in that time, apparently, Madison awoke, as she was in the kitchen pulling out ingredients and getting ready some coffee. He smirked a little and took a seat at the peninsula. “Morning there,” he greeted. She smiled some but didn’t turn around. Instead, she poured some coffee grounds into a coffee filter. She placed them in the coffee maker.
“Morning,” she responded. She finally turned to face him. “I noticed you didn’t sleep last night, or you were up earlier than the birds,” she stated. He paused, his brows raising slightly before he chuckled a bit more.
“No sleep,” he answered. His amusement faded and he looked to the ingredients she’d pulled out. “I wanted to do the best I could to find information for us.” She paused before turning to face her ingredients. He could have sworn he noticed a slight tremble in her hands as she reached for the cheese, but decided it best to press on with what he had anyway. As harsh as it was, she was going to have to deal with what was to come. “He works for a law firm now, so he’ll be easy to find but hard to bring in, more so than Jasper.”
It had actually been quite the other way in terms of finding Jasper. He was hard to find, a slippery snake, and even once in their grasp, he had a way out and fled, disappearing into some hidden hole. Liam, on the other hand, was right there in the open, like a British commander in the revolutionary war, parading himself out there for everyone to see with the temptation of bringing him down.
But there was the difficulty that the situation brought. Unlike the colonists, they couldn’t just shoot and break the current rules of war. They had to, instead, find a way through the law to bring him in.
“A lawyer?” Madison asked, obviously surprised by the answer. “Where did he get training in law?” She supposed, after she said it, that it was a stupid question. There was too much she didn’t know about him, despite having thought the only person she knew better than him was herself. It almost all made her question her knowledge of herself. Under normal circumstances, she never would have gotten caught up with a man like him.
Of course, had she known that, his ending probably would never have come to be with her.
She started preparing the food, trying to keep her hands steady as she thought of the man.
It made her jump when she felt a soft hand settle on her shoulder and she turned to face Trent.
“You shouldn’t startle a woman with a knife in her hand,” she joked before looking back to the food, not even pretending a smile.
Trent chuckled a little. “Perhaps I trust you too much,” he responded.
He shrugged slightly and leaned a bit further over her shoulder. “Making omelets?” he asked. She nodded a bit.
“I’m not big on sausage and pancakes, so I figured this would be suitable,” she answered. He nodded in response.
“I’m not opposed,” he answered and moved back again. He headed back to his seat and took to watching her again. He glanced around the area, realizing he hadn’t really taken in the layout of her home before. Sure, he knew where the rooms were and the basic setup of furniture, but he didn’t really know her tastes and style.
The room behind him, the living room, housed many potted plants. There was a miniature tree of sorts in the corner of the room, in a large pot; a small spider plant on an end table; and a hanging ivy near the doorway. A large television set sat on what appeared to be, an old record stand and drawer. The furniture surrounded it in three sides of a square with a coffee table neatly placed in the center, and a few pictures hung on the wall next to the television.
His attention returned to the kitchen when he heard the sound of a dish being set on the counter he sat at. “Any thoughts?” Madison asked. He stared at her a moment before realizing she was referring to his studying the living room. His shoulders rolled into a shrug and he scooted his plate a little closer, picking up the fork she’d set down with it.
“I think it feels lived in,” he answered. She made a small face and stared at him.
“Are you saying it’s messy?” she asked. She glanced passed him and to the room; everything seemed to be in its proper place. He chuckled some.
“No. I mean it feels like your home. It’s not bare or too cluttered,” he answered. She studied him before nodding slowly a bit.
“Good save,” she teased. He chuckled again and shook his head.
Madison stared up at the large building, one of the only ones in the city, and took a deep breath. So this was the building Liam had taken up residence as a lawyer in. She glanced to Trent, who waited for her at the door, before glancing up and then heading after him. She didn’t want to see Liam; she didn’t know how she would react. It was hard to trust her emotions to stay under control, but she also knew she was going to have to.
She followed Trent in, thanking him when he held the door for her, and watched him deal with the receptionist with ease. The woman seemed reluctant, and yet she ended up agreeing to let them go up to see Liam. She informed them that he was on the sixth floor and told them where to find the elevator. Madison again followed Trent, letting him handle the elevator and then following him through the halls to a door, where Liam’s name was etched into the glass.
They paused outside of it. Trent turned to face her and put his hands to her shoulders, staring her in the eyes. “You can stay out here if you wish,” he stated. She, at first, thought he was going to instruct her to stay here and just stand by in case something bad happened.
“No, I… need to see him,” she answered with a shake of her head. As much as she feared confronting him, she needed it, and she knew she needed it. He studied her a moment before giving a single nod and straightening again. They entered the room to see Liam leaning over his desk and a woman sitting near it, holding some papers. Both of them looked up, staring at Trent and Madison in the doorway. Liam slowly rose from his seat.
“Madison?” he asked. He eyed the woman a moment before shifting his attention to Trent. “And Trent, if I am correct.” His lips upturned into a minute smile. “To what do I owe this visit?” he asked. Trent stepped forward, a few steps into the office.
“We have a few questions to ask you. I trust you’ve kept up with the news?” he asked. Liam remained silent before motioning the other woman out of the room. Madison was forced to step up next to Trent to allow the woman her escape.
“I have, but what does any of it have to do with me?” Liam inquired. Trent smirked a bit and took a seat, not waiting to be offered. He ignored the small bit of annoyance the other man flashed at him.
“There was a series of murders. We found the culprit and he’s saying you hired him,” he answered. Liam’s brows rose as he took his seat once more.
“Is he now? And what might his name be? I’ll see if I’ve ever rubbed the man the wrong way,” he answered. Trent chuckled a little.
“We know you worked at a restaurant for a couple of years,” he stated. Liam shrugged and leaned back in his seat.
“I don’t see how that matters.” His gaze shifted to Madison, who he shot a smile to and motioned for her to sit before looking back to Trent. “I may have only worked at a restaurant, but it doesn’t mean a person cannot get to know the wrong people or rub the wrong people the wrong way. Until you give me a name, I have no way of adequately defending myself. Or is there more evidence you can use against me?”
Madison slowly took a seat where the other woman had been siting. She kept her hands in her lap and her body practically closed in on itself. “Um… well the victims had memos with large sums of money with your name on it…” she stated. He looked to her and chuckled some, shaking his head a bit.
“I’ve given some legal advice on the side to some people. Maybe I have some twisted stalker that wanted to get at me? Or a powerful and dangerous enemy.” He shrugged again and turned to face the long window behind him. Trent eyed him; he didn’t trust how calm the man was or how quickly his responses came out.
“Even so, this man is going to testify against you on the stand. We’ll need a statement from you,” he answered. Silence fell over the room after he spoke; Liam simply stared out the window, watching the cars on the road while Trent studied him and Madison studied her hands in her lap. Finally, Liam turned around again and looked to them.
“Very well. Does it have to be taken at the station or would it suffice to do so here?” he asked. Trent shrugged.
“Normally at the station but if that’s too much of a problem for you, then it’s perfectly fine to do it elsewhere. We aren’t prepared to do it here, however, so it would have to be at a later date,” he explained. Liam made a small face and glanced to his watch.
“Would it suffice to do it at the station once I’m done with work? If I run late, I’ll simply give you a call and reschedule.” Trent nodded a bit and stood up.
“Very well, Mister Amsel. I trust you can find the number for the station if you don’t have it. We will see you later,” he responded. He motioned for Madison to follow and waited until she was up and heading to the door. Liam turned his chair to watch them leave, keeping his eyes on them but failing to utter a single word. He waited for the door to close before sighing and looking to the phone. His gaze shifted to the door again as he lifted the phone to his ear and dialed for the front desk.
“What can I do for you, Mister Amsel?” the sweet voice of a woman greeted him.
“Cancel all my appointments for the day, will you, Rachel? Something has come up that I must attend to,” he responded. There was a silence for a moment.
“You want to cancel your six other appointments?” she asked. He sighed.
“That’s what I said,” he answered. Without another word, he hung up the phone and stood up, straightening the bottom of his jacket. He glanced back to the window and the cars trailing down the road, silently cursing Jasper.