Evie didn't seem like the type to go jumping into the arms of a stranger. Maybe she isn't the person I kissed anymore.
We ended up in the living room. Well, Otis was talking to Evie and I was smiling at Maddison as Natalie listened at the closed door.
"I take it there's no privacy anymore?" I asked, sitting down. Maddison had given up looking at me and was now staring out the window.
"No." Natalie replies quickly, winking at me. Then a look shot across her face; she was worried. "Are you stable?"
I looked to Maddison as if it was some sort of defensive measure but I was wrong; Natalie was talking to me. "What?"
"Mentally. Are you mentally stable?" she repeated. I nodded quickly. "So why is Otis asking Evie if you are?"
"What?" I jumped up from my seat and pressed my ear up against the door. I could feel Natalie beside me. She was so close. Too close.
I could just about make the two of them out. "Are you sure, Evie?"
"Yes!" she implored. I imagined some exaggerated hand gesture but maybe that wasn't exactly her style.
"There are two things you need to know about Archie Bolen." Otis murmured. "And you won't like this."
I pulled my ear away from the wood to look at Natalie. She screwed her face up, telling me she didn't know what he was about to say. I moved away from the door and stood beside Maddison, looking out onto the street. I could see Katy out there. "She's got a rather large secret." Maddison mumbled, looking at me. After a quick wink, I decided that talking to Maddison would be a bad idea so I sat down.
Natalie plonked herself down beside me, smiling. "What?" I asked, afraid.
"You are a man of mystery." she whispered. What was that supposed to mean? She didn't turn away from me, even when my gaze left her. We sat in silence for a while, waiting for something to happen. "Do you think she's alive?"
The question struck me off guard. "I hope so." I stuttered, unsure what else to say.
"That doesn't answer my question." she replied, holding her face up to mine.
"Yes." I said honestly. "I do. And I want to find her. There's something I need to tell her."
"What?" she asked, pulling away.
"I can only really say it to her." I drew the conversation to a close just before Evie rushed into the room. "Oh great. What have I done this time?"
She was near to tears. "Tell me it isn't true."
"It isn't true." I muttered straight away. "What isn't true?"
"The things Otis just told me." she sobbed.
"Well I don't know what they are." I stood up and approached her, planning on hugging away the tears but she just backed away. Natalie called Otis in as Maddison left to join Katy outside.
"What?" he asked, standing in the doorway.
"What two things does Evie need to know about me?" I asked bluntly.
"I'm not surprised that you were listening. Natalie does tend to have bad habits and you were never terribly strong were you?" he practically growled at me, his anger bubbling over. I half expected to see foam escaping from the edges of his mouth but sadly it wasn't to be.
"I'm sorry but do you know me?"
"I know of you." he replied, standing beside Evie.
"So what's so bad about me?" I questioned both him and myself. What had I done wrong?
"Did you do it?" Evie was still visibly upset and Busker seemed to be ready to pounce.
"I don't know what I'm being accused of here!" I yelled.
"Murder." Otis said softly. I looked at him in shock.
"What?" I asked Otis as I looked at Evie questioningly.
"You killed my sister." he said calmly, as if it was a normal statement. "She saw you at your gig."
"I've never performed to people. Never had a gig. Must have been someone else with the same name." I shook my head. Who the hell was he to accuse me of that?
"Don't you remember her? Don't you remember Valerie?" he exclaimed in anger.
That was when the memories came flooding back. They weren't exactly what Otis thought but it was close. I remembered Valerie, meeting her and talking to her but when she left me after my recital, she had definitely been alive. "She didn't call me back." I muttered to myself. "Thats how you knew my name and what I looked like! The message and the photo on her phone!" I was almost excited but then I remembered what was going on. "But I swear I didn't kill her."
"It's true." Natalie said confidently.
"Oh and why's that?" he screamed.
"Because I did." she whispered, grinning. "I killed Valerie and she deserved it."
"But what you said earlier?" I mumbled in shock.
"Wait 'til you hear what else he has to say. You'll love the next bit." Natalie winked at me flirtatiously as I turned back to the others, eager for answers.