The Toy Taker

The Toy Taker by Luke Delaney

Book: The Toy Taker by Luke Delaney Read Free Book Online
Authors: Luke Delaney
Tags: Fiction, General, Thrillers
of trouble-makers.
    ‘No,’ Sean answered. ‘It’s a warning.’
    ‘Don’t patronize me. I know what it’s like to survive behind bars once they call you a sex offender. You bastards have put me away before, remember? But I survived all right, and I will again if I have to.’
    ‘But this time it’ll be child-abduction,’ Sean warned him. ‘You’ll be the scalp everyone’s looking to take.’
    ‘Only if you can prove it,’ McKenzie mocked, stopping Sean dead for a while.
    ‘OK,’ Sean continued after a few seconds, ‘let’s move on to something I can prove, and maybe we’ll come back to the missing boy. Earlier today when you were arrested in your flat there was something on your laptop – care to tell me what it was?’
    ‘You know what it was. But I told you – I just bought it second-hand. The stuff you saw was already on it.’
    ‘Come on, Mark,’ Sean gently encouraged, ‘we’ve already had a look at it and it’s clear the obscene images – the obscene images of children, Mark − were only downloaded seconds before we entered your flat. And seeing as how you were the only person there, it kind of means you had to be the one who downloaded them – doesn’t it?’
    ‘Must have been a glitch, or maybe someone downloaded it remotely from somewhere else.’
    ‘On to your laptop?’
    ‘It’s possible.’
    ‘Not with your previous it’s not,’ Sean told him. ‘Are you aware of Bad Character Evidence? Have you discussed it with your solicitor?’ McKenzie shrugged while Jackson briefly looked up to shake her head. ‘It means if you rely on a story like that then we can tell the jury all about your previous convictions for downloading other, similar pornography, not to mention your convictions for sexually assaulting children. I really don’t think that’s going to help your cause.’
    ‘You can’t prove anything.’
    ‘By the time the specialists at our computer laboratory have examined that laptop, I’ll be able to prove plenty.’
    ‘If you say so.’
    ‘You’re going back inside, Mark.’
    ‘I don’t think so.’
    McKenzie’s misplaced confidence was beginning to irritate him. ‘Well at least we’ve established one thing – that you’re a liar. A liar who, even when faced with the truth, still can’t be honest.’ McKenzie squirmed a little in his chair. ‘Everybody in this room knows you downloaded the child pornography yourself and everybody here knows you took the boy.’ Sally and Jackson now also shuffled uncomfortably in their chairs.
    ‘Like I said,’ McKenzie goaded him, ‘you can’t prove anything and you can’t save the boy. You’re too late.’
    ‘What do you mean?’ Sean asked, as calmly as he could. ‘What do you mean, I’m too late?’
    ‘That’s for me to know and you to find out.’
    ‘If you know something, you need to tell me.’
    McKenzie’s foot tapped fast and repeatedly as his excitement grew. ‘I don’t have to tell you anything.’
    Sean’s heart burnt with anger at McKenzie and fear for the missing boy, but he wouldn’t play McKenzie’s game any more – it was too easy for him to come up with sound-bite answers that might mean something or nothing. ‘Did it feel good?’ he began, ‘being alone in the street in the middle of the night? Quiet and cold, nothing but the sound of the leaves in the wind.’ McKenzie stopped tapping his foot and looked Sean in the eyes for almost the first time. ‘You’re good with locks, but it still must have taken a while to get the door open – were you scared someone would hear or see you, kneeling outside by the front door? It must have been difficult, working with gloves on, using those fine, small tools, but you had to wear them, because it was cold that night and you needed to stop your fingers from going numb, didn’t you?’ McKenzie squinted and frowned, his thin smile all but gone. ‘And when you finally stepped inside the house, the warmth hitting you in the face, the smell of

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