“Because of the angels,” Dylan said. She nodded.
“Before I got involved, he was restrained. He was still a monster, still someone who should never be allowed near children, much less allowed to have one of his own, but he wasn’t hurting her physically.
That’s not much of a consolation for a little girl forced to stand on top of a cooler for hours, or made to sleep in the attic when her behavior wasn’t perfect like daddy wanted, but she’d have been alive.
But when I showed up? He thought she’d been talking to someone. He started beating her because she betrayed him. He actually tried to justify himself to me. Can you believe that?”
She stopped. No expression but the anger almost dripped from her.
“Excuse me?” Dylan said.
“I keep thinking if. What if I’d never gotten that first message? What if I hadn’t done anything? What if I’d done more? If.”
She rubbed at her wrists, looked away.
“Carcetti was an accident.”
“Maybe accident is the wrong word. I’m pretty sure it was. But I didn’t go there planning to kill him. I didn’t even plan to kill him when I pulled the trigger. I didn’t think about it. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I put the gun against his forehead and he begged and he pleaded and he tried to explain and I pulled the trigger. And then he was gone. As simple as that.”
“That doesn’t sound simple.”
“I guess it doesn’t. He was dead before I realized what had happened. Do you know that was the first time I’d ever fired my weapon off the range? Of course you do, that’s in the record. Something that simple, that quick, it changes everything.”
“So why the rest of them?”
“Now, that is not a simple thing. Even after I killed Carcetti, I didn’t plan on doing anything like that. You know what my first instinct was? To run. To get out of there, to get as much space between me and what…between me and him. So I could forget about it. Can you imagine that?”
This time Dylan looked away. He could imagine that. Very well.
“I got lucky. Nobody saw me coming or going. Nobody ever considered me a serious suspect. Truth is, Carcetti was a piece of shit and no one was inclined to look too hard at what happened to him. But I knew. What started to worry me was the angels.
There are no secrets anymore. I mean, I don’t have to tell you that. Eventually, the angels always tell the truth. I knew it was only a matter of time before somebody found out about me.”
“And you decided to take the law into your own hands? Pardon the cliché.”“I’ll pardon you if you pardon me,” she said with a smile, “No I didn’t decide to start killing them. The angels decided it that for me.”