Aberly was quick to come inside at that point and he stood between Craven’s bedroom and the Detectives. “Let the boy get some rest, Detectives. You’re not going to accomplish anything but ending up hurting him further if you force him to resist your efforts. He doesn’t want medical attention and it’s within his rights to refuse. As I said he’s emancipated. I’ll ask the Doc to come to check him out in the morning, but it’s apparent he’s not in dire straits where he needs to be hospitalized.” Aberly had gotten a good view of Craven even in the darkened house. It was dimly lit with a gas lantern for some lighting, but Aberly’s night vision was much stronger than a human’s. So, he had a clear view of the bruising on Craven’s body from the baton beating. It was bad, but nothing life-threatening.
Both Maggie and Delaney sighed, but they backed out of the house allowing Aberly to usher them back outside, and when he closed the door Delaney shook his head. “Now that is a huge bundle of rage.” Aberly nodded. “I warned you. But I will have the doctor take a look at him tomorrow. He’s bruised up and hurting pretty bad, but as far as I could tell nothing to where he needed medical attention. I know Lance can be heavy-handed, but he wouldn’t have broken anything. He’d have been careful not to, no matter how angry he was with Craven.
Let me take you to Jarrel. I was going to release him in the morning, but might as well do it tonight since you’re here.” Aberly cleared his throat. “There’s something you need to know about Jarrel. I’m not sure that his brother really wants this to get out, but considering the circumstances, I think you should know. But please keep this to yourselves or at least be discrete.” Aberly then filled the detectives in on Jarrel’s upbringing with an abusive father and his delusions of his brother’s continuing abuse and his subsequent “hysterical injury” to himself.
“I checked him out carefully when I checked in on him, within an hour of his brother leaving and I saw no sign of actual abuse. Montavier says his therapist can back up his claims, and I felt Jarrel’s back to see if it was warm. If his brother had whipped him even with a rubber tubing as he claimed, there would have been warmth there, but it was cool. The thing is that Jarrel believes his delusions to be real and so the pain is real to him. His shrink calls it hysteria. So, I’m not sure if he’s gotten over it yet or not. Usually sleep is all he needs and he forgets the entire ordeal and is fine. So, chances are he’s not still exhibiting any signs of being in pain, other than having forced himself into that stress position. His muscles might be still a bit sore from that. Anyway, I just wanted to give you a heads up and to treat him with kid gloves. Don’t go bullying your way in there like you tried with Craven. He doesn’t have Craven’s rage, but he is insane and like I said… innocent.”
Delaney scowled at the bullying comment as he didn’t feel they had bullied Craven at all. The boy had been belligerent from the start without even giving them a chance.
“Wow! Nice home.” Maggie said as they pulled into the plantation driveway after having walked back to town and gotten their car; Aberly sitting in the back seat to accompany them. Aberly nodded. “Montavier modernized it, and before you set in on worrying about Jarrel being locked in a basement. It’s fully furnished with a bathroom and food and water. Montavier set it up for a place for Jarrel to… well, be Jarrel. Jonathan uses the upper part of the house for social events sometimes and Jarrel isn’t allowed to mess that up. So, the mad room is a place where Jarrel can color on the walls if he wants…”
Maggie interjected in surprise. “A basement? Isn’t that dangerous having no way out? What if a fire were to start?” Aberly spoke to assure her. “As I said the house is fully modernized, including an advanced fire prevention system, which sends a signal not only the City fire department, but also to the Sheriff’s office here in town, and to Jonathan Montavier. There’s no stove in the mad room; just microwave for heating up food. There’s food, but it’s the kind that doesn’t require cooking. Jonathan loves his brother from what I’ve been able to tell and would never put him in any undue danger, but there are simply times where Jarrel does need to be… well, restrained or at least confined for a time. He’s harmless in most part, but he doesn’t always have the sense not to hurt himself in some situations. He can become very determined sometimes.”
“But he was locked up to keep him from speaking to the authorities…” Aberly shook his head. “No, Jonathan locked him up, because he hadn’t called him the night before as he was supposed to and when Jonathan couldn’t find him at the home when he showed up after his all-night meeting, he panicked. Jarrel had been keeping watch over the boys at the clinic all night and had forgotten to report in. So, Jonathan had put him in the mad room as punishment to ensure he didn’t wander off again all night without him knowing where. It was merely a convenience that he was kept there in regards to the investigation, but that wasn’t the underlying reason for his being in the mad room, to begin with.”
Maggie frowned disapprovingly. “His brother shouldn’t be punishing him at all if he’s insane.” Aberly shrugged. “Even a young child needs discipline from time to time, Detective. As long as it’s not abusive.”
“You don’t consider being locked in a basement abusive?” Aberly raised an eyebrow. “How is that different than a child being sent to their room with the door locked for a time? As I said, it’s a fully finished basement. Not a typical basement. It has all the comforts of home. Jarrel does not suffer down there, Detective McGuire. From his perspective, it’s a safe haven for him. Granted he doesn’t always like being confined, but once he’s there he does know he’s in a safe place where he’s free to do whatever he wants without eliciting his brother’s anger.”
Delaney frowned. “I thought you said his brother isn’t abusive.”
Aberly nodded. “From what I can tell he isn’t physically abusive with Jarrel. It doesn’t, however, mean he never gets angry with his brother, but Jonathan mostly leaves Jarrel in the care of the town folk here. Most of them… Well, all of them are related in one way or another, outside myself. I simply own the land the town is built on. Montavier’s wife is a Carmichael. Again, another reason you really need to show a lot of discretion in this case.” Both detectives widened their eyes as they now understood the connection. Jonathan Montavier’s wife was related to a serial killer. If the media got a hold of that bit of information, the man would not be happy, any happier if they knew that his brother was mentally insane.