“You two know each other?” Hart asked with a frown as he glanced between us.
Colton gave a tight shake of his head. “We went to high school together, but I haven’t seen her…” He lowered his arm. “I haven’t seen you in years.”
Oh, but I had seen him around town. Not often. At the grocery store once in a while. Once at the movies. I’d been with my friend and he had been with this statuesque blonde.
“I…” Swallowing hard, I glanced at Detective Hart. Off kilter from what had happened, I already felt like I was stuck in a dream. Or a nightmare. “I left for college and then moved to New York after I graduated. I’ve been back for about four years.”
Colton stepped around Hart and those blue eyes, framed by a heavy fringe of lashes, narrowed. “Are you okay?” His head jerked back toward the other detective. “Has she seen an EMT?”
“From what Officer Hun said, she was treated and refused to go to the hospital.”
That narrowed gaze landed on me sharply. “You need to get—”
“I’m fine.” How bad did my face look? I resisted the urge to glance at the one-way glass window. “Really, I am.”
“You were shot at,” Colton stated.
I flinched, unable to stop myself. Either the responding officer had filled him in or that info was in the file. “The bullet must’ve hit a nearby wall. It was chunks of brick.” Pausing, I wetted my lips. “It’s not…”
Colton’s gaze dipped to my mouth for a second too long for me to have completely imagined it. His eyes met mine quick enough as he slid into the seat closest to me on my left. “Have you called your husband?”
What the…? I blinked once and then twice. He knew I’d married? Granted, it wasn’t like it had been a secret or anything. Kevin and I…we’d gotten married right after graduation, during the summer, and by winter we had moved. Yes, we all went to school together, but I had been completely invisible to him.
Drawing in a shallow breath, I loosened my grip on the tissue as I refocused my thoughts. “Kevin passed away four years ago. It was a car accident.”
“Shit.” Colton straightened as the look in his steeling blue gaze softened. “I didn’t know.” He reached over, placing his large hand on my shoulder. The weight was shockingly comforting. “I’m sorry, Abby.”
“It’s…” It wasn’t exactly okay even though I’d long come to terms with the loss of Kevin. Some days it was still hard. Something small, like a certain scent or a song on the radio would remind me of him and how uncertain life could be. “Thank you.”
He squeezed gently and then lowered his hand, the tips of his fingers brushing the bare skin of my arm. “Okay. Let’s get this over so you can go home.”
Hart arched a brow as he eyed Colton. He took the seat across from me. “I know you’ve already given your statement to Officer Hun, but we’re going to want you to start from the beginning, okay?”
I nodded slowly. “I was leaving the bar Pixie’s and walking to my car. It was parked a couple of blocks away. Maybe three or four blocks. It was early. Maybe around eight-thirty. I was on a…a date, but the guy was a total douchebag.” My cheeks heated as my gaze darted to Colton. “I’m sorry. That’s not really important.”
Colton’s lips twitched. “Everything is important.”
I forced myself to take another slow, steady breath. “All right. I was walking to my car and I really wasn’t paying attention. That area of the city isn’t bad and so I wasn’t expecting anything to happen, you know? I was just walking and I saw my car up ahead. I was thinking about going home and reading this book,” I continued, knowing I was rambling again. “I heard someone groaning and it was like I had no control over my feet. I stopped and I looked to my right. There was an alley and that’s when I saw them.”
Extending an arm, Colton snatched up the file on the table and flipped it open. His brows burrowed together as he quickly scanned it. “You said you saw three people.”
“Yes. There was a man just standing there. He had…he had a scar on his face and bleached blond hair. The other man, the one with the gun, his head was shaven and he had a huge tattoo on his arm. I couldn’t make out what it looked like. It was too dark. I’m sorry.”
He glanced up at me, his gaze roaming over my face. “That’s okay. You told the officer you could recognize them, right?” When I nodded again, he smiled tightly. Not the big, warm smile I’d seen him throw around when we were teenagers. Not even a hint of it. “They’re compiling some mug shots of those who’ve met your description right now. So we’ll go over that in a few.” There was a pause as he sat back in the chair. “How many times did you hear the gun fire?”
“Once. No. Twice,” I said. Detective Hart was scribbling something down on a small notebook he must’ve had hidden somewhere. “He shot…he shot that man in the alley, and I dropped my keys like a dumbass. Oh!” I smacked my hand over my mouth. “I’m sorry.”
The blue hue of Colton’s eyes had lightened. “Honey, saying dumbass around here isn’t going to offend anyone.”
“No truer words ever spoken,” Hart added dryly.
The smile that curved up the corners of my lips felt weak and brittle. I’d also never in a million years thought I’d hear Colton call me honey. Hell, never in a million years did I think I’d be sitting in front of him.
I really needed to focus, but now it was a struggle. Adrenaline had long since faded and it was way past my normal bedtime of eleven-thirty. “Um, after I dropped the keys, the man with the gun, he turned to me. I saw him. He…he saw me.” My fingers tightened around the poor tissue as a slice of panic cut across my chest. “I turned and ran. He must’ve fired at me, but missed. The bullet hit a nearby building.” I raised my hand toward my cheek and then immediately dropped it back to my lap. “I kept running and that’s when I ran into the man.”
Detective Hart asked a few more questions. Did I notice if they had gotten in a car? No. Was a name even spoken? Not that I recalled. Did they say anything to the man they shot? I wasn’t sure. Eventually, he got up and left the room to retrieve some photos they wanted me to look at.
I was alone with Colton.
Any other time I probably would’ve been beside myself with nervousness, but at this point, I barely registered his presence. All I wanted to do was go home and forget this night.