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The man placed the blade against his muscled chest;
with one quick motion, a cascade of crimson stained the steel intruder. Pain
never really meant much to him. It was actually an act of realization if anything. The new scar would join the others, in celebration of his next
conquest. His upper torso was riddled with the reminders of all his wonderful
victims. Today, while he was involved in his daily dose of fitness at Hensen’s Gym, he had acquired an
unlikely target. Her name was Shanna Wilks. A tall toned redhead; who
instructed the early bird yoga class. He was amazed by her blemish—free pearl
skin. She reminded him of a ceramic doll, sitting on the shelf of an exquisite
antique shop, more so, than something
Well, Shanna wouldn’t be that too much longer. He reached into his pocket removing a
metallic holder. Running his fingers along the ridges in the metal always
comforted him. This was his ritual. The monogrammed letters stared back at him, beckoning him to withdraw the
contents. The man removed a blank business card from it, careful not to drip
blood on it prematurely. The smooth texture of the paper was just perfect for
capturing each stroke, as he positioned the knife at such an angle, none of the
precious fluid was wasted. He glanced in the rearview mirror and smiled. Almost time. The sound of chimes filled
the car’s interior. He flipped open the console, and stared at the screen.
“Shit, what now?” Taking a deep breath, he answered the annoyance. “Detective
“Sir, sorry… I know it’s your day off, but we have
something you need to see,” a soft voice apologized.
“Lydia, what’s going on?”
“It’s him again sir. He left us another calling card.”
Must be talking about Jessica. Ah,
her blood was so sweet. “Where?” He playfully used his finger as a
pen, as he scribbled in mid-air. He knew
Lydia’s voice cracked. “2131 Providence Ave. Officer Davis and Beltz have the scene
I’m sure. “10-4, tell them I will be there in twenty. Clear on the other side of town,” he lied.
“Sure thing, sir.
He slammed the phone shut. Why does everyone
fuck with my time off? Glaring at the digital display of his watch, a
crooked smile passed his lips. No
worries, this won’t take long. He ran his thumb along the blade, closing
his eyes, as he captured the sweet life juice with his lips. Ah, better than the last. Detective
Creighton once again repositioned the glistening blade against the thin
cardboard, this time finishing his
signature free from interruption. Perfect,
Creighton gently blew on the card, not
wanting his creativity to be ruined by the natural way blood has the tendency
to flow. Satisfied with his work, Creighton stepped from the dark unmarked
cruiser. He weaved throughout a cluster of bushes and foliage, until reaching
his destination. Strapped between two saplings, was the torn body of a young
woman. The fresh carcass had already begun to attract the creatures of nature,
as they clawed through the flesh, taking prize possessions from their latest
meal. Creighton smelled the air, relishing the moment. Pamela Abens had been way too easy. The twenty-something
brunette simpleton, was a local whore, the town of Cutter’s Pass would not
miss. Creighton had taken advantage of that fact; watching her get wasted in
these woods on several occasions, and barely making it back to town. She had
done it again tonight, but this time she
was his. There would be no more apologies to her distraught parents for the gross error of judgment. Now, the earth would swallow her with welcome arms, and be a part of her for eternity.
Creighton knelt down and placed the card just below where her feet were
dangling. Always the same place, always…
Creighton glanced at his watch. Shit, gotta go! It was ironic to say the
least. Patrolmen waiting for him at the Providence location had no idea;
a murderer was coming to take over their crime scene. Quite ironic indeed…
“Hello, what is it?”
“Mr. Gelati, this is Anwar from the Technology department. Sir, you have an incoming call from one of your brothers.”
“Okay, which one wants money? It better not be Peter… I’m still paying for his pet therapy program.”
“Ah sir, it is Mr. Bater… sorry.”
Freaking wonderful! “No way, are you sure? Damn, send it through.”
”Gelati’s Scoop investigations, this is Gelati how can I help you?” Why not be nice? Could be a prank caller.
A nasal sounding voice filled the small earpiece. “Hello, my dearest brother. It’s Peter.”
Why couldn’t it be a telemarketer? “Okay, it’s been a while. Is this really you? I thought you were in solitary?”
“I occasionally find myself there.” Anyhow, yes, hmm… how do you know it’s me? I will play your game. Well, the last slut I killed was the splitting image of our mother. I wish she was still around… would love to get my hands on her—“
Gelati raised a hand to the phone. “Enough! I believe it’s you.”One sick bastard.”
“Why do you think I get daily treatments of electricity coursing through my veins? Look… the reason I called is, I missed my big brother, and needed some airwaves alone with you.
Why me? “Have they lowered your meds or have you just not taken them?”
“Not the issue. I have been on them, and I’m doing as well… you know…”
As pathetic killers can do? Gelati switched from sarcasm to compassion. “What’s really going on?”
Peter sighed. “Well, the doctor I spoke to today, showed me a newspaper. They are trying to keep me in touch with reality. For reasons, I have no clue… nor care” He paused. “But dear brother, I do have a tip for you though. A serial killer is loose somewhere close to you… and I am the one you need to catch him.”
One creepy guy. “How do you know that? I just got a call today asking for a consult with rural law enforcement.” He raised his voice. “Is there something else you aren’t telling? Why would your doctor all of a sudden just show you a newspaper? I sense psychotic episodes on the horizon.”
“You know me so well.”
“It wasn’t your doctor, who showed you the paper was it?”
Peter cackled. “Aw, let’s just say… the person that contacted you, made special considerations to have me in on the party, as well.” I have certain talents that you lack, so they inquired on a profile of the killer… of which, I have started to build.”
“And I thought you were just wasting away, constructing license plates for crotch rockets.”
Peter mimicked the sarcasm. “You would be surprised what I offer. Gelati heard the shuffling of papers in the background. “Hmm, dear brother… according to these pics of his handiwork, he enjoys blood…and when I say enjoy… I mean, he likes the feel of it all over his flesh. Probably even may sample some of it.”
That destroyed my appetite for the next few years. “I don’t have the pictures you apparently do.”
“No. You most certainly do not.” An eerie silence hovered over the line for several seconds. “You know what would be entertaining?”
The gas chamber? “If you could compare notes with slasher boy?”
“Touché, but no… What would be absolute divine was… if I was to come up to Cutter’s Pass, meet your savvy team of geeks and freaks, and offer you some insight.”
Damn guy, even knew where we were going. “You, free on the streets? I don’t know if I could live with myself, if you decided to play Son of Satan.”
“You could keep me under close watch. Promise, I would be a very obedient guest.”
Peter was a great profiler… never been obedient at anything though. Let me see what I can come up with. I will let you know in twelve hours.”
“Ah, dear brother. Just like when we were kids.”
Gelati wanted to end the call. He could only take so much of Peter. “Okay I will talk to your administrator; I’ll see what I can do. In the mean time, I need to check out this latest crime scene and get the technical team to film it.”
“Cool, why don’t’ you call Harold and Bartholomew in on this too, we may need the contingency of the family.”
Ah, the Brothers Grimm incarnate. Maybe, Harold may want in if we need him, but Bartholomew is unavailable for the next 3-5 years. Too many robberies ended his current freedom status.”
If this happens, I have to watch Peter real close… close indeed.
* * *
Providence Avenue was located on the southern edge of Cutter’s Pass, in an area; most of the city’s generous population would consider upscale. The majority of the architecture was modern, as each was accompanied with the necessary Mercedes and matching cookie cutter lawn. The lack of any uniqueness bordered on the edge of criminal. Reports of another murder, especially in this area, had onlookers filling the streets, itching to get a glimpse of the dead body. They were armed with smart phones and cameras, poised to get visual evidence, before the coroner carted it away. The local media had systematically joined in, not wanting to be second fiddle to the amateurs. KRRT had even set up a tented headquarters, and were aggressively seeking reaction from whoever they came in contact with.
The vultures smell blood. Detective Steve Creighton shook his head, as he pulled in behind the powdered blue patrol car. A uniformed officer, mid-twenties, and pale-skinned noticed him and pointed in the direction of the two responding officers.
Creighton disgustedly stared at the crowd. Pathetic, simply pathetic. His thoughts were interrupted by the soft voice of a shapely uniformed woman in her mid-thirties. Amanda Davis…
“Sir, the woman has been there for a few days…decomposing quickly.” She handed him a barrier mask and a set of latex gloves. “Cody is inside…with her.”
Amanda, nice dirty blonde. Maybe one day… “Officer Davis, who called it in?”
She wiped at her brow. “Nobody. One of her college girlfriends stopped over and…found her like this.”
Good, nobody saw me. “How about her parents?”
“The girlfriend says they are in Nappa Valley for three weeks. No other relatives in the area though.”
“I see, let’s take a look.”
Officer Davis led him to the steps of a three-story brick home. It was lined with large stained glass windows. The front door was constructed of cherry wood, and the knocker which normally would be made of brass, was entirely ivory. Off to the right, was a spiral staircase. Officer Davis pointed. “It’s the first door on the left.” Detective Creighton put a hand on her shoulder; an act of emotion, he usually never expressed. She remained behind, to assist the other uniforms in crowd control. When he reached the landing, the smell of spilled blood, and death assaulted his senses. It was fortunate for him, he was wearing the barrier mask, or everyone in the room would have noticed his inappropriate smile, and this more than likely, would have stirred up possible suspicion, not to mention a visit to the department’s crack psychologist. Focus, this is your crime scene. Clearing his throat, the room snapped to attention. The tall tanned surf guru turned cop, Cody Belz, approached him. “Hey, sir, this is one fucked up dealio.” Officer Belz cringed. “Sorry, slipped.”
Creighton waved him off. “No worries. What have we got?”
Officer Belz escorted him to a behemoth of a walk-in closet. The racks of designer clothes upstaged even the most prestigious vendors within a three state region. Creighton glared at the attire. Spoiled girl got what she deserved. The closet appeared to be larger than he remembered; he was becoming excited as Officer Belz pulled away several layers of clothing, exposing the naked headless body of Jessica Gorman.
Officer Belz turned away. “He took the head.”
Creighton tried to look surprised. “What in the fuck would he want with it?” The delivery service has it… hehe. “A collector maybe, sir?” Officer Belz cleared his throat.
“Makes sense, but if our guy killed her here, there should be more blood?
Officer Belz cocked his head. “You don’t think it happened here?”
“No, there’s another crime scene, and we need to find it.” Creighton bent down, inspecting the body. The piece of white thin paper was sitting at the feet of Jessica Gorman. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he pulled out a medium sized plastic baggie. “You see the writing here?” Creighton pointed to the signature.
Officer Belz leaned in. “Yes, this is the second one this month. Why sign it Forsaken?”
Can’t tell you all my secrets. “Your guess is good as mine-“A tap on his shoulder, forced him to whirl in the direction of the annoyance.
Officer Amanda Davis thrust a cell phone in his direction. “It’s the Chief. He needs to speak with you immediately.”
“Creighton there will be some special investigators I have called in to check out this scene. “You can relax, it’s not the feds. A private outfit, G.S.I. Highly recommended by the feebs.”
“G.S.I. what is that?” Unusual practice…hmm.
Chief Walt Prescott’s gravelly voice made him cringe, when he heard who was about to invade his private playground.
“Stands for Gelati Scoop Investigations…they have a crack team of investigators that usually get the job done. I called them in to consult on this. We don’t want any more murders in our town!”
They won’t stop me. “Relax sir, I have some good people here too… we will get it under control.The bastard will be in hand soon-“
“Listen, two murders is too damn many. You haven’t gotten a handle on it yet, what makes me think you can?” “Not much evidence, but the two calling cards are something.” You won’t be getting much more.
“Sir. You are actually—“
“I’m already getting serious heat from the Mayor and the Governor. The parents of our beheaded girl are friends of both, as well as heavy contributors to the campaigns. Results equal arrests, and convictions, not egos.”
Ego, ha-ha. “Okay, I will be a good soldier and play nice with the new kids.”
“See and everyone calls you a class A asshole. Two guys should be landing at the airport within the hour. I gotta call about a third one… should be joining them later. Name is Peter Bater. Keep a close eye on him; he’s a convicted killer.”
Not too smart to let him out. “Are you fucking kidding?”
“No, this Gelati has some pull with a lot of special people. Apparently, this killer assists with profiling, and has a decent track record.”
If he gets in the way… “It’s your party.”
“He has some ESP or some shit… not too sure.”
Could be interesting. “Roger that boss.”
“Trust these guys’ instincts, they have yet to fail on a case and usually come to quick resolutions. Their tech guys are top notch and they have far better resources than us. Let them poke around a bit and see what they uncover. Some fresh eyes per say.”
Maybe fresh meat instead. “My crime scene is their crime scene. I want to apprehend this killer as much as anyone.”
“Good, then let’s see what comes of it. Keep me in the loop on this.”
“Yes, boss., No problem.”
Creighton shoved the phone in his pocket, as he marveled at his work. The girl had fought him, and even landed a few blows herself. It was all in vain, but it was wonderfully rewarding. Her blood was fresh, more so, than the town’s whore hanging in the woods. The taste seemed to linger on his tongue, giving him unseen energy to deal with the arrival of the three-ring circus, coming to work with him. It should prove to be interesting, especially the profiler, if that’s indeed what he was. Creighton walked back through the closet, reached down, picking up his crime scene processing kit. Time to get to work.
* * *
The wheels of G.S.I. were turning at a feverous pace; the technicians were littered throughout the crime scene, checking out as much information as possible. A tall thin pale man wearing clothing from an era, well forgotten, tapped Gelati on the shoulder, as he slid under the yellow-taped perimeter. A ghoulish smirk filled his face; he bowed to the man responsible for his temporary freedom. “Can’t say I’m overly impressed… my dear Gelati. But who is that man over there?” Peter Bater pointed towards the muscular frame of Steve Creighton.
Now the party has officially started. “Pete, he is the lead investigator, why you ask?”
He motioned for Gelati to follow him. “The eyes never lie… and that man has some euphoria over what is going on here.”
Clairvoyant critiquing in the house. “Okay, I’ll play along. What do you see in his eyes, that has the radar on high alert?” Peter cocks his head. “Watch his expression, as he walks through the crime scene. The muscles in his face are straining, and expanding the surgical mask he is wearing.”
“Maybe he’s breathing hard. It’s pretty balmy in this place… and that body fucking reeks.”
Peter’s eyes bore through his youngest sibling. “I don’t patronize your techniques… give mine some respect.”
“Sorry, what are you thinking?”
Peter rubbed at his face. Do we have somewhere I can talk to you in private… without all these men in blue? They give me the creeps.”
I can venture to guess, what they think of you. “Actually, we do. The Police department is taking us there within the hour.”
Peter clapped his hands. “Very well. I will reserve my so-called ramblings until we can talk there.”
The accommodations the Cutter’s Pass Police Department had prepared were neither, comfortable or spacious. Hospitality was more of an afterthought, than anything else. Steve Creighton, lead detective of the killings, had created a makeshift office located in the basement of the main police station. The building was better off served as a training aid for mutual fire departments than to house anything of value worth losing. That being said, Gelati noticed, Creighton appeared to be edgy and appeared to be upset with various staff members. He even heard the professional investigator mumble something about the lone window in the room still wasn’t high enough for all of Gelati’s ensemble to leap to their deaths, should they develop cabin fever.
Peter Bater had been watching Creighton, but waited until the investigator left, before he again brought up the man behind his back. “I don’t like this too much Gelati. Darkness is on his mind, whether it is here or somewhere else. We need the geeks to dig into him and tear his profile apart. I just don’t have a good feeling about the man.”
A serial killer with feelings. News to me. “I agree Pete, but let’s keep that to ourselves for now and move ahead with this investigation. I don’t want to scare him off. I would like to draw him in and see if he makes a mistake.” He changed the subject.”What about this dead girl? Where do you think the head disappeared to?”
“My brother, it didn’t disappear…the killer has it hidden, and may do some questionable things to it, before we see it again.”
Not going there. “So where do you think it ends up?”
Peter tapped his foot against the concrete. “The power of mutilation is intoxicating and once he tires of his new toy, the killer will probably give it back. Drop it in a ditch or alley way… but sometimes… and I mean sometimes, he may increase suffering to the remaining family, and mail it back to them.
I had to fucking ask. “Okay you’re coming in loud and clear, brother.” Gelati pointed in the direction of the two pencil necks reviewing reels of video footage. “Hey guys, let’s get someone on the parents and keep tabs on electronic shipping information for any parcels in transit their known addresses. I would prefer not to have the parents receive the girl’s head in a package.” Should have a nice juicy fingerprint or two on it.” He a flashed a disgusted look at his brother.
One of the techs nodded, scribbling on a note pad. “I’m on it. Let me run a scan on residence ownership sale of record, just maybe they have a summer home listed.”
Peter opened the window, taking in a breath of fresh air.”This feels wonderful.” He turned to Gelati. “Look for anything from three days ago and forward.”
Through the encryption of various programs, it took longer than expected, but within a few hours, progress had been made and a discovery appeared close at hand.
“Sir, I found something!” A short pudgy lab tech, with a haphazard style of groomed hair, and a larger than life name tag, looked up from his laptop and waved at Gelati.
His eyes lit up, as he motioned to Peter. “Blaine, give me some good news.”
Blaine Herbstreet pointed to a row of numbers on the screen. “Take a look at this. Here is the digital shipping info for Unified Parcel Shipping. There is a package being scanned right now at the sort location, in the city, where our victim’s parents list a second home.”
Gelati rubbed his chin. “From here?”
The techie tapped at the keyboard, as his eyes lit up with delight. “Yep, approximately three days ago.”
Gelati scrambled to the floor, sorting through the clutter of papers. He plucked one from the ground, reading with reckless abandon. “Shit, it’s here.” Tapping at it, a smile crossed his face. “Guys, the toxicology report says…time of death is somewhere between seventy-two, and ninety-six hours. No doubt that’s our package.”
* * * * *
The hum of the air conditioner struggling to provide cool relief to Detective Creighton’s two-person office wakened him from a trance-like state. Peter Bater knows something. It was obvious, especially, when the man appeared to catch him smiling at the crime scene. Fuck me. The killer, part-time psychic investigator had some type of sixth sense, and may have to be dealt with. Creighton had gotten quite used to his extracurricular hobby, and wasn’t ready to retire, due to some wacko’s beady-eyed stare. He shuffled through stacks of crime photos and still needed to finish up with the narrative follow-up note on his latest victim. Don’t give too much away.
The door to the office flew open, as his co-worker, Detective Nicole Hollison burst through with an armful of plastic bags. “Hey, a little help here?” Silky red bangs covered her face. Nicole was a former model for a national tanning chain. After developing skin cancer, she decided another line of work was forthcoming. Several years in patrol, finally landed her a desk next to the department’s lead investigator.
Creighton pushed his massive frame away from the desk, and grabbed one of the bags. “How much food did you get?”
Nicole flashed a crooked smile. “Enough for us and your new friends.” She placed the bags on the desk, as she flipped away the hair from eyes.
Wonder why we never? “Just wonderful. The sooner we solve this, the quicker those guys can get back to whatever it is the hell they do.” Creighton ripped through the plastic.
Leaning in, Nicole winked at him. “Aw, the boss give you the Obi-wan we need their help crapolla?”
Creighton shook his head. “Of course. What else?”
Nicole folded her arms. “It’s crazy, a private organization and not the feds?
“No, shit! Don’t get me started.”
Nicole handed him one of the bags. “Well, go make nice and give those boys some food.”
I should shove it down Peter Bater’s throat. “Okay, I’m going-“
Nicole grabbed his arm. “I will come with you.”
Walking out the door almost proved to be hazardous, as the Police Chief, almost knocked them over. “Get your team together… another victim found in the woods.”
Nice, somebody found the slut. Creighton nodded. “Gotcha, do they know who it is?”
Walt Prescott wiped at his brow. “Local wildlife appears to have taken a toll on the body, so, no identification as of yet.”
Creighton tried not to smile. I can tell you, only cost you some blood. “I will grab Gelati’s team and head out.
Walt Prescott was known for his strong demeanor, even when the shit hit the fan, a blank expression was the standard. Today though was different; a look of sadness filled his face. “Steve, if you could get that Peter Bater to tell you something about this guy, do it. No more deaths Steve…no more.”
Creighton bit his lip, trying to mimic some of Walt Prescott’s emotions. “I won’t disappoint you.”
Chief Prescott gently touched his shoulder, as he walked away. I do hate being touched. Creighton waited until he was out of sight, before descending the stairwell. Placing an ear against the door of the temporary office belonging to Gelati and his merry men of mayhem, Creighton heard his killer counterpart talking with the team members, about someone in particular. Creighton’s eyes narrowed; his face reddened. The someone, Peter Bater was referring to…was him.
Creighton knew something was wrong. Why else would that fucking Gelati touch him like he was some long-lost friend coming home from a distant land. He rubbed at his skin, trying to remove an invisible virus, Gelati had enslaved upon him. It was time to be careful, but Peter Bater was now at the top of his list, and the thought of draining the man’s blood was almost unbearable for him to stay hidden.
Slowly opening the door to his apartment, the sweet aroma of a woman’s scent filled his nostrils. Not fucking now. He stepped into the room, eyes locked on his guest. She had coal-black hair, was scantily clad in the latest Victoria Secret fashion, and to top it off, laying seductively on his futon, holding a glass of his expensive Chablis. A mischievous grin filled her face. Tiffany LaMotte was all of twenty-three, but she didn’t act like the majority of someone her age. She was well aware how adults played; inviting for Creighton to pass the time, without attached strings. He had penciled her in for execution as well, but only when her usefulness was exhausted, and not a moment earlier. The sex was explosive. He returned the smile, removing his suit coat. “I see you found your way in… again.”
Tiffany licked her lips as she stood up, revealing more. “I did. Weird though… your door was unlocked.”
Huh? Unlocked? Creighton met her halfway, giving her a moist greeting. “Really? I must have forgotten, when I left this morning.” A wave of anxiousness flooded over him. Someone had been here…fucking Gelati.
Smiling, Tiffany nestled against him; his back went rigid. “You okay?”
Creighton backed away. “Hey Tiff, it’s been a long day. Another murder victim was found, not really in the mood.”
Seemingly hurt, she pushed the black hair away from her eyes. “Sorry. Just thought you wouldn’t mind…”
What did he really know about this woman? Just met her a few days ago. Looking into her eyes, he brushed his fingers along her cheek. “Can I take a rain check? Promise tomorrow, I will have a better mindset for you.”
Tiffany nodded. “I understand.” She turned away, collecting all her clothes. A forceful kiss later, and she was out the door. Creighton stared after her; until he heard the footsteps on the landing disappear. Focusing his attention on his apartment, Creighton began searching room by room, for any trace of an intruder. It wasn’t by chance; Steve Creighton was promoted to Lead Detective for Cutter’s Pass. The ability to find evidence was his specialty; within an hour, he found what he was looking for…
* * * * *
Pete and Harold were huddled in the backseat of the car, whispering so Gelati couldn’t listen in. A worried look passed over the husky Italian, as he stared into the empty eyes of his brother. “You aren’t going to do this guy like you did that executioner in Australia are you?”
“No, I have something much better in mind for him. Do you think our dear brother will turn his head again? I mean… I have been a good boy, turning you guys onto all his tricks thus far. I just want to do to him what should be done. Besides that, I will be saving the taxpayers hard-earned money, time and electricity. I mean why wait, when I can provide one stop shopping for this miserable bastard. He really shows very little originality in his crime scene, but the decapitation, was a little bit of an escalation.
Harold shook his head. “A little of an escalation?”
Peter laughed “I promise to unhinge this guy.” I can smell the need and desire on him. The problem for him is… my need is getting to be way larger than his. I want this pretty bad. Did you guys remember my tools to play with? If not, we need to make a few stops.”
“Pete, no bag of tricks.” He shrugged. “Gelati, was specific, when he said just you. No extra tools from your former profession. He was pretty adamant the Mayor and Chief of Police want this guy alive.
Peter raised a hand. “Improvising works for me… just for now, though.” Did you call Bart like I asked?”
“Yes I did.”
Peter pointed to his sleeping brother. “You didn’t tell him, right?”
“Of course I didn’t tell him, if that’s what you want to know, but I should. This is getting way more complex than I can handle. That is what he is for, putting the pieces together. When he wakes up, we need to let him in on this. A devilish grin started to form. “Just maybe, you will get a pat on the back.”
Peter snapped his fingers. “Hmmm, okay, you’re telling him! I will just smile a bit, and soak it all in. Give Bart a quick call just to confirm everything.”
“Good idea.” Harold reached down, grasping his cell phone. A few finger motions on the touch screen and the familiar voice of their middle brother greeted the two. ”Hey, you know what we talked about? We still good?”
“Yes, I am going to bring Gelati in on this… when he decides to wake up.”
“Okay Harold, do it… take this shit off my hands.”
“It’s settled then. I will call you back soon.” Harold shoved the phone roughly back onto its holder. Short lived relief quieted him.
Gelati opened his eyes, glaring at the conspirators. “Okay you two… what are you planning behind my back again?”
Peter folded his arms. “I have no idea what you mean, dear brother.” Sincerity was absent in his delivery.
Gelati snickered. “Did you think I was actually sleeping? Christ you are so predictable.”
Harold raised a hands in defense. “I am sorry. Peter had an idea and Bart and thought it could work.”
Gelati had actually dozed off, but he wasn’t going to share this little piece of information “Okay… what is it… spit it out. You are implementing a plan put together by a sociopath that kills without remorse. Gelati pounded his fists into the leather seat. He fucking lives in a mental institution… and Harold, my supposedly “smart” brother, you just go along with it without telling me?
Peter eyes widened, as Gelati’s voice reached a fearful octave. “Not too damn-well mention, Bart; our imprisoned brother is helping you. You have got to be kidding me? Why would I be able to sleep around you guys? Spit it the hell out, what is the damn plan?”
“The plan, my dear brother, is that Bart knows a mutual friend… girl that is, and sent her in Detective Creighton’s direction the other night… umm, without your approval of course.” Peter smirked.
Gelati almost came unglued from his seat. “What? You guys will get that woman killed.”
Harold put a hand out to stop Gelati’s advance. “Look, she was willing to help us.” He turned, looking out the window. “And I told her… you would give her some money”
Gelati’s hands went to his face. “Wonderful, how much?”
Harold smiled. We will talk about that later. But look, If Creighton tries to lay one hand on her; Peter will show him in, graphic terms… his imaginative techniques.”
Gelati rubbed his temples. I’m fucked. He bore into the two brothers “If she dies… this will eat us alive!”
Peter’s eyes gleamed. She won’t… I promise.”
Reluctantly, Gelati pushed a button on his laptop. “Call Bart, tell him to have this girl do what she does best, but… fucking be careful. If this bastard catches on, he will rip her apart, and we’re done!” Gelati’s eyes were fixated on the motionless red blip, afraid of what just might await the group.
Creighton had spent the early morning at work, obsessing over his new find; a partially torn blue post-it note with lipstick on it. It wasn’t the ordinary testing of a woman’s make-up that had him on edge. Not at all. It was the tacky way his new sexual partner had scrawled a phone number on it, carelessly leaving a majority of the digits legible, when she tossed it in the bathroom trash. He knew, Tiffany had men lined outside her door, and sex appeal oozed from every pour in her body, but that’s not what bothered him. Not by a long shot. The number on that paper belonged to one of Gelati’s people. Creighton had recognized the odd area code, when the Chief sent him contact lists for G.S.I. Fucking Gelati was baiting him.
Creighton had been cautious, with every kill, so even if Gelati was setting him up with the Chief, the evidence was light at best. He typed a few more paragraphs of his original report on Pamela Abens, but even just one abstract thought of her, made him thirsty for his favorite inhumane beverage. I need it now! Reaching into his jacket pocket, Creighton slipped out the vial of dark liquid. The black plastic cap made a rubbing sound, as it slowly opened. Intoxicating. The odor of Pamela Abens permeated his senses, like an animal who knows wounded prey is near. Each had its distinct flavor and Pamela’s had a tartness which was simply divine. Raising the glass tube up to his hungry mouth, a noise from outside the office door startled him, causing him to loosen his grip. He watched helplessly, as glass met ceramic tile, spilling all of his precious elixir.
Fuck! Creighton scrambled to the ground, but the door jiggled open, and Nicole Hollison stood there staring at him with condemning eyes. “What are you doing?”
Kill her, push her down the stairs. He looked up. “Damn sample for the crime lab, dropped.” Creighton rubbed his hands on his pants, smearing small patches of crimson.
“I thought the collection unit retrieved all the blood?”
I have to kill her. He feigned a smile. “Except this one. Gelati asked me to get him a sample.”
She cocked her head. “Gelati? Doesn’t he have people to do that for him?”
“Apparently, he wanted another.” Creighton shrugged. I would believe me.
“Since when, did you start helping him, without being told?”
Never. “I’m turning over a new leaf.” Creighton opened up his desk, removing several paper towels. Without another word, he started cleaning the mess. I need blood.
Nicole joined in, but was only on the floor for a few seconds, before she leaped to her feet. “What the fuck is on your face?”
Creighton scrunched his face together. “What are you talking about?”
“Your face! I think you have blood on it!”
Clumsy me. “Are you crazy?”
Nicole gawked at the floor, then back up at his face. “That is blood. No way in hell, that little vial could splatter that much. She unclipped her phone. “I’m calling—“
Creighton leaped to his feet, quickly yanking the phone from her. Powerful arms wrapped around Nicole’s windpipe, closing the airway within seconds. She tore her fingernails into the back of his hand. A snapping sound, followed by chunks of nails, mixed with rose polish fluttered to the ground. One violent jerk of her neck, and it was all over. Poor, Nicole… Dragging her to the front of the doorway, Creighton peered out into the narrow hallway. The lack of noise from other adjoining offices was a sign he needed to finish her. Hoisting her onto the ledge of the stairwell, he catapulted her thin torso downward. The sound of crunching bone, hitting the redwood stairs, told him, this would be most definitely a closed casket memorial. Creighton stared at her broken body, as it came to rest a few feet from the water cooler. Clean up quick!
Rushing back into the office, the compilation of blood, mixed with human tissue, almost stopped him in his tracks. Simply divine. Creighton managed to pull himself together, cleaning everything in sight. When he was satisfied, the area was sufficiently clean; he picked up the phone and dialed the Cutter’s Pass dispatcher. Lowering his voice, he pretended to cry. “This is Detective Creighton. My, God… something…has happened. Detective Hollison is injured. Looks like she fell-“A quick description of location and the sound of other department employees screaming when they stumbled onto the motionless corpse, convinced him enough time had passed. His face turned a dark shade of red; his teeth clenched in frustration, as he sighed. Nicole was only a phone call away, from ending his life. Several uniform officers poured through his office, trying to console him, but Creighton was more concerned about losing his blood. Hmm, the redhead from Hansen’s Gym does seem inviting…
* * * * *
Gelati tapped on his laptop. The digital display brightened; the familiar face of lab technician, Harlan Weik, filled the screen. His brow was wrinkled, his face full of t defeat. “Boss, we have a situation—“
Gelati turned up the speaker. “What’s going on?”
“Sir… I don’t know how to tell you this—”
“Spit it out, I know you wouldn’t call unless it was something big.”
“The Detective’s partner…she’s dead!
Gelati jettisoned a full can of soda across his hotel room. “What the hell happened?” Fire in his voice, told the technician, the time to break it gently was over. Harlan rubbed at his eyes. “Looks like she fell down those shitty stairs at the police office. Or someone may have pushed her.”
“Someone? That bastard, Creighton is the someone you mean?” “Not positive, but possibly.
“Seriously?” Of course it’s him. We were getting too close.
“You need to get back there pronto.”
Gelati’s stomach grew nauseous. Do I Let Peter take him out? He sighed. “We need to make a few stops for Peter. There are some items he needs.”
“Sir. I don’t understand?”
“Don’t worry, you keep him pegged with the GPS location device, I will handle the rest.”
“Yes, sir!” Harlan was well aware; this situation was now out of his hands.
“Harlan, we will get with the Chief of Police. You have done your part.”
Harlan’s face relaxed. “Thanks”
Gelati darkened the display. No more time to think. He yanked on the door to the adjoining room. Harold and Peter were examining photos from the Pamela Abens crime scene. Peter looked up, cocking his head. A sparkle in the killer’s eye started to form, as Gealti slowly approached. “Looks like our detective friend appears to have killed his partner. It’s time. No one else dies while we are here. Do we understand each other?” The lack of acknowledgement to his question was the only answer needed.
The mass hysteria at the Cutter’s Police departmental offices had only escalated, as the Emergency Medical Technicians had gone through the motions, utilizing all the tools at their disposal, to bring the young female detective back from the grave. That of course, was a failure, and without a qualified Medical Examiner’s final autopsy report, Creighton’s statement was for the time being, accepted by everyone, especially the Chief of Police.
He had snuck through the crevice of investigators, senior investigators, and several media outlets, realizing what he had to do. Hensen’s Gym was a ten minute drive from the police department. Shanna Wilks would soon be finishing the last of her personal training classes; there would be only one chance to take her, before making his final exit from the city. The façade had lasted several years, but alas, everything comes to an end. Parking the unmarked, Creighton moved through the darkness, until he was at the rear entrance of the fitness center. Shanna would have the security system in place, but the proximity card issued at the time of membership, provided anyone with twenty-four hour access. Creighton scanned the card against the reader, smiling as he heard the magnetic door locks disengage. He slipped inside, carefully inching his way to where Shanna usually ended her evening. Quiet and empty. Exactly, how Creighton liked it. Off to his right, steam rolled out from underneath glass double doors, which told him, she was in the sauna. A nightly ritual that would be her end.
Unzipping his suit jacket, Creighton pulled out the blank piece of cardboard. Time to create. One swift motion toward his belt, and the double edged blade was positioned to carry out his bidding. Pushing on the door, he felt the instant heat vapors, and recognized it was warmer than normal. More than one person here? He stripped off his jacket, placing it on the door handle. Cocking his head to one side, Creighton thought he had witnessed something moving. Time to play. Hesitating for a fraction of a second, proved to work to his advantage, the masked figure was too eager; the movement telegraphed, sending the assailant crashing headfirst into the sturdy glass. What the fuck? Creighton positioned himself above, as his lips burst wide open and a boastful laugh was expelled. “Well, looks like you came to me.” Creighton raised the blade high above his head; a powerful downward thrust into the man, caused an explosion of crimson to paint the surroundings…
* * * * *
“What’s taking them so long?” Gelati bit his lip, straining
To see the display, Harold and Harlan were monitoring. They were only a building away, but somehow Gelati knew that may not be close enough. Harold rested his hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Hey, the signal is weak, but we—”
Gelati peeked over Harold’s shoulder. “Peter’s GPS locator working?”
Harlan leaned in to pinpoint the eldest brother. His eyes scanned the screen, searching for the red blip. Removing the headset, he shot from his chair, pointing to the laptop. “Sir, something is wrong. I don’t have either of them here!”
I knew it… Gelati motioned at Harlan. “You, stay here. If they pop back up on the display, I need eyes on them.” Gelati grabbed his brother by the collar, yanking him towards the door of the small make-shift office. “Get on the horn to the Chief; tell him to send his people in… this goddamn minute!” Gelati patted at his waist, making sure his weapon was ready. I should have been with Peter.
They raced through the building, across the parking lot, meeting up with the several uniformed officers, also responding to the location. A burst of adrenalin propelled Gelati through the rear door of Hensen’s Gym. Thick balmy steam had completely engulfed the area, making visibility near impossible. Gelati eased his weapon from his holster, positioning it for confrontation. “Peter! Hey, you okay?” Silence greeted the group, as they stopped in their tracks, hoping something would give away the location of either.
Gelati’s portable radio squealed to life. The shaky voice of Harlan filled the small speaker. “Boss, we got a signal, but it’s moving away from you guys…and headed out of town! Gelati’s face was ashen. “Keep on them, we’re going—“
One of the uniformed officers grabbed his arm, pointing to the floor. The portable fell from his grasp, smashing to the wet tile, sending electronic innards in all directions. “No, please God…” His knees buckled, sending him to the floor. A few feet away, was a scene Gelati thought he would never witness. Face down, surrounded by pools of his own blood, was the motionless outline of Peter Bater. “Peter!” Inching next to him, Gelati knew it was too late. Fucking Creighton! Peter had underestimated the man, and this had cost him the ultimate price, his life. Gelati slumped over the body, as an ocean of tears exploded from him. There was no telling how long he stayed by Peter’s side, but didn’t move until the County Medical Examiner, tapped him on the shoulder. “Son, we need to take care of your brother.”
At least someone can, I couldn’t. He rose to his feet, collecting his jacket and damaged radio. Gelati had only taken a few steps, when the County Medical Examiner rushed to his side. “I think you need to see this!”
Turning to face his brother, the Medical Examiner pointed to a small piece of white paper that was underneath Peter. Gelati rushed to his side, snatching it from the floor. His eyes bore into the paper, as rage filled his face. Written on the front in what Gelati knew was blood, was the following phrase:
Only one is Forsaken!
Gelati bolted out the door, in the direction of his rental car. Steve Creighton had taken the life of Peter, and he would not rest, until Creighton was in the grave and rotting in hell. The GPS locator would unveil when the bastard did finally stop running, and Gelati would be there…waiting.