“It’s interesting to see what people think they’e entitled to,” she says, that strange lilt to her voice that has been scratching away at his brain since day one, “It’s not exactly their vulnerabilities, but it makes them just as easy to manipulate.” She smiles, then, a predator baring teeth which is such an obvious comparison that somehow he realizes what the problem is.
“You’re not Irish at all,” he accuses.
Her smile becomes genuinely amused, and when she speaks her accent rounds out, slows down, becomes thick and syrupy sweet like molasses, “I’m not the real Red, either.”
Reeling, he tries to find his bearings, tries to take in more of her to see what he had previously missed. Her hair, her clothes, any clue that he should have spotted much earlier that says ‘this isn’t the criminal mastermind you’re looking for’. But before he can complete a thought, a sharp blow to the back of his head sends him toppling to the ground.
He sees two matching pairs of shoes, two matching faces–but different clothes, different hair.
“Don’t worry,” the woman he thought was Red says, “she’s not Red either.”
The thing is, no one really knows who Red is besides, probably, Red and their small handful of trusted lieutenants. Authorities don’t even know Red’s gender, age, ethnicity. Admittedly, the Irish heritage was a reach–the lone survivor of the 22nd Precinct’s bombing remembering an accent on the other side of that disastrous phone call–but it was deemed significant enough to be even a possibility.
When he comes to, head aching, wrists and ankles tied to a chair, there are five unimpressed people standing in front of him and he is pretty sure none of them are Red. Well, two of them have self-confirmed as not being Red. For all he knows it’s a double-bluff.
“Detective Camilo,” one of them says, the woman he already spoke to, the others remaining silent. Maybe to keep their voices secret, though if they were worried about they also wouldn’t have shown him their faces.
This doesn’t bode well for him getting out alive.
“We understand you have a younger sister, is this true?” the woman asks, and Gavin tries to keep his pokerface, tries not to react to the obvious goading, but his hands clench into fists, the ropes bite into his skin at the way he tries to surge against his bindings.
“Tori is such a smart girl, such a big contributor to the community. I heard she’s studying to be a detective just like her big brother,” the woman continues, and Gavin can’t help himself.
“You stay away from her! Don’t you dare touch her!”
“Relax, Detective,” a different voice rings out, not one of the five in front of him, but someone behind him. Someone with an Irish accent, someone whose voice is suddenly so familiar that he knows without seeing that this was the person on the other end of that phone.
“No one’s going to hurt your baby sister,” the voice says, the accent flowing, completely at ease, yet somehow ratcheting up his fear more than talk of Tori did.
“What do you want?” He rasps out, sweat beginning to dampen his hairline.
“Nothing yet, Detective,” Red says, and a pat on Gavin’s shoulder causes him to flinch, “Actually I’ve something for your new precinct; consider it a gift.”
Two of the silent men in front of him step away from the crate they had been leaning on, and using crowbars, pry open the front.
Inside is a body. Alive, thankfully, but bound worse than he is–blindfolded and gagged on top of that. The main suspect for one of his other cases, a double homicide in his new precinct.
“Don’t go asking him questions about me, Detective,” Red says, with one final pat on his shoulder, “he doesn’t know what I look like, either.” At some signal, the five lieutenants move away, all of them vacating the warehouse, leaving Gavin and a probable murderer tied up.