They took him into Interview Three, a cell-like room with cinderblock walls painted a sickening shade of light green. Jackson pulled out a plastic and metal chair and said "Have a seat, Andrew."
The kid was looking around at the dingy room like he was inspecting an apartment he might want to rent.
"Wow, so this is where you interview the bad guys..." He took a deep breath. "What is that, ammonia?"
"Sit your ass down," said Turk. He kicked the chair, and it scraped across the cement floor and hit the kid in the leg.
"OK, you must be Bad Cop," said the kid, and he sat down.
"Who the fuck you calling a bad cop?" asked Turk. "I oughta kick your ass, you little shit."
"No, no, I mean like Good Cop/Bad Cop - you know, where one cop pretends to be nice, and the -"
"He knows what you meant," said Jackson wearily. He was a heavyset black man in his forties, and he had the air of man who had seen it all and was sick of it. He dropped into a chair across the little wooden table from the kid with a sigh. His partner remained standing. Turk had too much energy to sit for long, even at two in the morning.
Jackson watched the kid for a few seconds, trying to assess his mental state. Nervous, maybe a little excited, but not scared. Probably sober.
"OK, Andrew, listen carefully. You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to waive that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."
The kid smiled. "I understand my rights, Detective Jackson. And I don't want a lawyer."
Jackson nodded. "OK, that's good. You cooperate, tell us everything that happened, that's the best thing you can do for yourself, believe me." He started the tape recorder on the table and spoke the date and the time.
"State your name, age, and occupation."
"My name is Andrew Miller. I'm twenty-one years old, and I'm a full-time student at Landover."
Jackson nodded. The kid had Landover written all over him - the expensive casual clothes, the trendy haircut, the polite but condescending attitude. They had picked him up at an off-campus apartment after a woman had showed up at the station, said she had been raped, and given his name and address.
"Do you know a woman named Sarah Glassman?"
"Did you see her this evening?"
"Yes I did."
"Did you have sexual intercourse with Miss Glassman this evening?"
"Yes I did. Consensual sex."
Turk snorted. "Sure it was. Once you tied her up and gagged her, she didn't protest at all, right Miller?" He walked around the table and stood behind the kid, a menacing presence with his slicked-back hair and square jaw.
The kid craned his head around to follow Turk, and said "She didn't protest before or during, Detective. Only after."
Jackson glanced at Turk. So the kid wasn't going to deny the incident, that was a little unexpected. Most rapists denied everything at first, and didn't change their story until the physical evidence started rolling in. "We'll get to that in a minute, Andrew. I want to get some more background first. Is Sarah Glassman your girlfriend?"
"Not exactly. We're friends, though."
"Had you had sex with her previous to tonight?"
"How many times?"
The kid puffed out his cheeks, making an elaborate show of thinking about it, like he had so much sex it was hard to keep it all straight. Shit, he was a good-looking kid, maybe he did get it all the time.
"Maybe ten times or so. I can't remember for sure."
"Uh huh. But she isn't your girlfriend?"
The kid smiled sheepishly. "Well, you know how it is...not my steady girlfriend."
"Yeah, we know how it is," said Turk sarcastically. He was pacing around the room like tall, thin cat. "We just fuck 'em and leave em, right Roy?"
"OK, Turk, take it easy." Jackson turned back to the kid and said "So Sarah was a friend of yours who you occasionally had sex with, and tonight was one of those occasions."
"That's right. Is that a one-way mirror?" The kid pointed to the mirror, which had a suspicious greenish tint. "Looks kinda fake, you know?"
"Yes, it is," said Jackson. "There's no one on the other side right now." He gave the kid a long stare, wondering why he was so relaxed. He opened his notebook, and said "Miss Glassman claims that you broke into her apartment at around midnight. She woke up to find you standing over her bed. She started to scream, but you gagged her and then forced her to have sex."
"I didn't break in, I used a key. The rest of that is true."
Turk and Jackson exchanged a look. The kid was confessing, so they needed to play it cool and just keep him talking.
"You had a key to her apartment?" asked Jackson.
"She keeps one hidden by the front door. I saw her use it once, so I knew where it was."
"That's still breaking and entering, if you didn't have permission to use the key," pointed out Turk.
The kid shrugged. "OK, whatever."
Jackson shut off the tape recorder. "Now, the next thing I'm going to ask you is how much you had to drink before you went to Sarah Glassman's apartment. Before you answer, I want you to know that if you were drunk, that is a legitimate extenuating circumstance. I don't mean that it makes you innocent, I mean that a judge will take it into account when he sentences you."
"But I am innocent."
Turk said "Shit, Roy, I don't know why you're trying to cut this asshole any slack." He reached past Jackson and restarted the tape recorder.
Jackson shrugged, and said "How much did you have to drink tonight, Andrew?"
"Absolutely nothing" the kid said. "I wanted to be clearheaded so I wouldn't make any mistakes."
Jackson snapped his notebook shut. "All right, then. Why don't you just tell us what happened. Give us your side of the story." This was a subtle reminder that they already had Sarah Glassman's side of the story.
The kid shifted in his chair, took a deep breath, and said "Sure. But I don't know if you guys are going to buy it."
Turk laughed, a short sharp sound. "I was thinking the same thing."
"That's not really the best way to start out your story," pointed out Jackson.
The kid smiled briefly. "Yeah, I see what you mean. It's just that...OK, here's the deal: Sarah wanted me to rape her."
There was a moment of silence.
"Go on," said Jackson.
The kid looked back and forth between Jackson and Turk. "Sarah wanted me to rape her, so I did. That's it."
Turk said "Then why the fuck is she down the hall crying? Why the fuck did she call the police?"
Jackson put his hand on Turk's arm like a man restraining an overexcited dog, and said "Why do you think she wanted you to rape her?"
"She thought it would be exciting. She's a weird chick, that way. She's like, I don't know, addicted to danger or something. She says that adrenaline is an aphrodisiac."
"Adrenaline is an aphrodisiac," repeated Turk. "You're so full of shit, you tilt your head it'll start coming out your ears."
"Lemme get this straight," said Jackson. "You're saying you had this all arranged ahead of time, that she knew you were coming over to play a rape game with her tonight?"
The kid licked his lips, looking a little nervous for the first time. "No, not exactly."
Turk banged his fist on the table and said "So then you raped her, asshole."
The kid shook his head, looking scared now. "No, I told you, she wanted me to do it. I was supposed to sneak into her apartment some night, wake her up, and rape her. Or pretend to rape her, I mean. But I wasn't supposed to tell her ahead of time when it would be."
Jackson shook his head and said "Son, that's the flimsiest story I've ever heard. Maybe you do need a lawyer."
"Look, it'll be a lot more clear what happened if I start at the beginning and tell you how it is between me and Sarah, OK?"
"You do that," said Turk. "This should be real interesting."
The kid took a deep breath, looked around like he was trying to soak up the ambiance, and began.
"I met Sarah at a frat party a couple months ago. Well, actually I knew who she was before that, but I'd never really talked to her. Anyway, that night we danced a lot, got wasted, and slept together. The next morning I was worried that she might be pissed off, because she was so drunk when we had sex. I called her, and we talked about it, and it turned out it was cool, she wasn't pissed. She said the fact that I was concerned made me better that ninety-nine percent of the guys she knew. So after that we were friends.
"We didn't sleep together again for a while, but we used to hang out and talk a lot. We always ended up talking about sex. One night we were on the subject of fantasies, and Sarah told me she fantasized about bondage..."
He remembered how horny it made him when Sarah told him she wanted to be tied up. Of course, Sarah always made him horny. They were in the Orange Tree, a poorly-named establishment if there ever was one, sitting in the dim back room at a scarred old oak table with their regular crowd. As usual, he and Sarah were sitting next to each other and carrying on their own conversation, kept private by the loud background noise.
"Tied up?" he said. "Why?" He knew why of course, he could see the attraction, but he always played the role of the naif with Sarah.
"Danger," she said. "Adrenaline, fear...all that good stuff." She gave him a sidelong look. "You know what I'm talking about?"
He held the look, gazing into her brown eyes. "Yeah, I know what you mean."
"Do you really?" she asked.
.... There is more of this story ...