Through Every Fault Of His Own

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jazz so incredibly furious with anyone. And it is quite surprising to see him try to confront anyone about anything.

He’s shaking, he’s so angry. Fists clenched in his blazer pockets, bright spots of red forming in his cheeks, eyes alight with unbridled danger… this is not the Jasper I know.

I think Dad’s actually quite worried. Maybe even scared. Of his eleven year old son, who up until now couldn’t even kill a tiny little bug without feeling horribly guilty.

Now, I’m almost convinced he could kill Dad, though I can’t quite think why.

“What is it?” Mum asks, looking almost as confused as I feel.

“I’ve worked it out,” Jasper says slowly, every syllable laden with an inferno of anger — and fear. “There’s nobody else. It has to be you.”

“You’re still on about this detective business?” Dad laughs, moving a hesitant step closer and grabbing Jazz’s shoulder. “I told you to stop, Jasper. I told you you wouldn’t like what you found.”

“I don’t. You’re not even wrong about that, and I hate you for it.”

“What… did you find, Jazz?” I asked, glancing at the half-open door where Charlie and Imogen were blatantly listening in on the conversation.

“I found Tori’s murderer, of course,” he sighed, giving me a strangely exasperated look. “What did you think I was looking for, Evie?”

“Your sister wasn’t murdered.”

“We both know you’re lying.”

“Are you trying to insinuate that I killed Tori?” Dad asked, voice carrying a genuine-sounding surprise.

Jasper didn’t answer.

“I would have had to have a very good reason to kill my own daughter, you know.”

“Since you’re cheating on Mum, and Tori knew full well that you were doing that, I’d say you had a pretty damn good reason for murdering her. And you had the perfect opportunity — you’re the only person who could have done it, unless you really want to tell me that Miss Hart did it.”

“So you admit someone else had the opportunity?”

“Miss Hart? Couldn’t say boo to a goose, and would have no reason to kill Tori. She hardly even knew her. But Tori could have ruined you, couldn’t she?”

It’s surreal.

This just isn’t… it doesn’t make sense.

“Well,” Mum says, snapping out of her brief daze. “Well. Andrew, what on Earth do you have to say for yourself now?”

“He’s insane!”

It was such a pathetic response that I couldn’t help laughing a bit. Jasper was accusing him of murder — and it sounded horribly real — but his big argument was that Jazz was crazy.

“I’m not even the first person to suggest it,” Jasper said quietly. “And I defended you. I told her that there was no way you could have done it, because you loved her. Love us all… I don’t know how I could have been so wrong.”

The smile that crept onto Dad’s face was horrific.

“Do you know how I first wanted to shut Tori up?”

Stop using that nickname.

You don’t get to call her Tori anymore.

Jasper nodded, but I knew he was lying.

“So you know how little I care for you.”

“Naturally. In case you’ve forgotten, I’ve got a scar to prove it.”

“You should be the one in that grave,” Dad spat, making Mum gasp and one of the twins scream outside.

“Then you should have just killed me.” The lack of fear in Jasper’s voice was almost as terrifying as what Dad was saying. “And then you could have kept this from crashing down, and you wouldn’t have had to hurt Adrian. Or Tori. I don’t understand why you didn’t take the easy way out, because you’ve lost everything now.”

“Because she would have known he killed you, wouldn’t she?”

I couldn’t help leaping in. Hearing things like that come out of anyone’s mouth, least of all my almost-twin’s… it made me feel ill. Especially in that done-with-it-all sort of voice.

“The motive is the same either way you slice it,” I continued, for lack of anything else to say. “Shut Tori up, because she knows what Dad’s been up to. But then Tori would have to be told that Dad’s willing to go as far as murdering his own kids to keep her quiet. And she’d inevitably turn him in, because we all know you adored each other.”

Dad practically snarled and moved his hand to Jasper’s throat.

And then he began to squeeze.

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