“I ain’t like no pigs.”
“Clever. No matter, we seem to like you. We kept you real close after that aggravated assault charge.”
“I did my time for that. You can’t come here harassin’ me. I’ll sue you.”
“I’d like to see you try. Funny thing about aggravated assault is that it’s not a big jump to murder. So, do you want to make this easy on me and confess?”
Marcus had been paying more attention to Cassie and his dog than David, but when he heard the word murder, his head snapped up. “What the hell you talkin’ about? I didn’t kill anyone.”
“Then why’d you run?”
“I got weed on me, man. Check my pockets. But I swear to God I didn’t kill anyone.”
??Okay, okay. Calm down.” David searched one pocket, then the other. He pulled out a couple of joints. “Well, that part’s true at least.”
“All of it’s true.” Marcus hung his head. “I don’t want to go back to jail. Please. I’m sorry. You can keep it. I won’t tell anyone, I swear. I’ll get clean. I promise. This is my last day of smoking.”
Cassie patted Bear’s head one last time and stood up. “Oh, yeah, he sounds like a hardened criminal, doesn’t he?”
“Some people are good liars,” David said.
Marcus had tears in his eyes now. “Who do you think I killed? I swear, I don’t know them.”
“All right, all right, relax.” David wiped the back of his neck. “Answer some questions, and if I’m satisfied, I’ll take the cuffs off, okay? I’ll even let you keep the weed.”
Marcus blinked away his tears. “Really?”
“I’m not here for the weed.” David hoisted him to his feet. “Do you know a man named Robert Shapiro?”
“No. Never heard of him. Is he the dead guy?”
“Yeah, he’s the dead guy. We found him under a bridge last week, and we think you had something to do with it.”
“Why?” Marcus shook his head. “Wait, did you say last week? Man, I wasn’t even here last week. Been in Arizona for the last ten days. Just got home yesterday. You can check my bags. I ain’t even unpacked yet.”
“They inside?” David asked.
Marcus led the way while David kept a hand on his elbow. Cassie unhooked the chain from around Bear’s neck, and the dog bounced up and down, wanting to play.
“Come on, Bear. You get to come inside. We’ll see if mean old Marcus has any treats.”
The word treats sent the dog bounding forward, almost knocking Marcus over. The man yelled out something about not letting dogs in the house, but neither Bear nor Cassie cared what he had to say. David sat Marcus down on the couch and turned to Cassie.
“Keep an eye on him for a second?”
“Not a problem.”
She told Bear to sit, and he didn’t hesitate this time. She smiled at the incredulous look on Marcus’ face and then started searching for treats. Meanwhile, David made his way to the back of the house, undoubtedly searching for Marcus’ bedroom and his unopened luggage.
When he emerged a minute or two later, he had a mid-sized suitcase in his hands. “This it?”
“Check the tags, dude. You can see my return date.”