1 Chapter 1

Spyros stared at the cream-colored wall. He wanted to throw something, just to let out some of his rage, but they would be watching. They couldn’t see him coming undone, or that would make them more suspicious.

He had nothing to hide. The police thought otherwise. If they thought he had nothing to hide, Spyros wouldn’t be here right now.

Where were they? Spyros had been apprehended at home and arrested in front of the various families on the school run. There had been a lot of finger-pointing and Spyros had seen a few youngsters holding up their cameras to record it. He didn’t need that.

Not that he had a reputation to maintain. His family would say he was always going to end up in trouble. But the way he had been arrested was what made Spyros angry. It was unnecessary.

Now they were making him wait. To make him sweat it out. Spyros wasn’t going to give in to their tactics. He had heard the charges and they were outrageous. There was no way anyone was going to pin murders on him.

Although Spyros was tempted to murder the police officer who was making him wait.

Then the door suddenly opened, and a dark-haired man came into the room. One of the two who had arrested him in his home. Spyros glanced at him and started to look away. Then he found himself looking again. The officer was around his age, rugged with curly dark hair and dressed in a crisp-looking suit that looked as though it had come straight off the dry-cleaning rack. There were no creases in sight.

Spyros felt something hot and heavy twisting in his gut. And that knocked him off-balance. Whoa. What was that? He wasn’t actually considering this man to be attractive, was he?

It he was, his timing couldn’t have been worse.

“Mr Sipsis.” The officer approached the other side of the table, laying the file in his hands on the table-top. “My name is Detective Sergeant Barnett-Connelly.”

That voice. It was deep. Deep and gravelly. And it hit Spyros low in his belly. All of a sudden, his jeans were suddenly feeling very tight. Spyros gritted his teeth and shifted in his chair.

“I won’t shake your hand,” he growled.

Barnett-Connelly raised an eyebrow, his dark eyes glinting. Then he took a seat, reaching over to the tape recorder on the table between them, switching it on. There was a loud beep that made Spyros’ ears ring before it abruptly vanished.

“Interview commencing on Friday, first of December 2017, at 16:59 P.M.” Barnett-Connelly glanced at his watch. “Present are myself, Detective Sergeant Michael Barnett-Connelly, and Spyros Sipsis. Would you speak for the tape, Mr Sipsis.”

“Do you sound like that when you’re fucking your girl?”

The question came so fast that Spyros wasn’t aware of it happening. Barnett-Connelly’s eyes froze on his face. A slight flush crept across his cheeks. Then he cleared his throat and carried on.

“My colleague said you didn’t want a solicitor called for this interview. Do you want to keep with that decision not to have a lawyer present?”

“Yes. I’ve got nothing to hide.”

“Okay.” Barnett-Connelly opened the file. Spyros noticed that he had long, slim fingers. “Mr Sipsis, you know why you’re here. Five students from the University of Derby’s Buxton campus have been murdered. All of them were at Level 2 the night before their bodies were found.” He gave Spyros a hard look. “All on nights when you were working.”

Spyros already knew that. He had seen the news and had been questioned informally about it. He shrugged.

“That’s simply coincidence.”

“You served each one and spoke to them. We have it on CCTV.” Barnett-Connelly raised his eyebrows. “From the look of the CCTV footage, you were flirting with them.”

“That doesn’t mean I seduced them and then killed them.”

Spyros knew what he looked like. Six-feet-one of solid muscle, black hair and a number of tattoos on his arms down to his wrists, most of them on display in his T-shirt, with more poking through the neck. He had seen Barnett-Connelly looking at them, flickering his eyes over the intricate Celtic designs. Spyros knew he had to look like a bruiser, a punk who thought women fell at his feet

He was far from it.

“Can you give us an account for all your movements on the dates when the girls were murdered?” Barnett-Connelly asked. “You were provided with the dates earlier, were you not?”

“I was.” Spyros sighed. “I was at work on all of them.”

“What about the day after?”

“Three of them, I was at the gym. The fourth I was on the way down the M1 to Northampton. The fifth murder, I was at home.” Spyros smirked. “And before you say anything, I was alone when I was at home.”

“What about when you were on the M1?”

“Not in the car, but at the end of the journey. I went to meet some friends from university. Spent most of the week with them.”

Barnett-Connelly quirked an eyebrow.

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