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Above Suspicion

Above Suspicion

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Above Suspicion

Length:
274 pages
3 hours
Released:
Nov 12, 2017
ISBN:
9781386436096
Format:
Book

Description

Detective Rick Baptiste moved to Bayou Black, Louisiana to get away from the senseless violence that seemed to plague the city of N’Awlins.  After years of working homicide in N'Awlins, Detective Baptiste saw how truly twisted the human mind can be.  Now that same evil seems to have infiltrated this peaceful town he has been calling home these last few months.  

At first it was just reports of young women going missing.  Now with the discovery of the latest victim's body he is convinced they are dealing with a killer who has no intentions of stopping. 

Who among the citizens of Bayou Black could be doing this?  The deaths of these young women are much later than when they were reported missing.  Where are they being held?  What makes him kill them after a certain period of time?  

And to make matters worse for Detective Baptiste the Assistant District Attorney Kathryn Bryant starts making demands on the case.  The woman is just as headstrong as she is beautiful. In his mind that's a dangerous combination.  If she is here it can only mean trouble.

Released:
Nov 12, 2017
ISBN:
9781386436096
Format:
Book

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Above Suspicion - Mary Theriot

www.maryreasontheriot.com

Prologue

Furious, Detective Rick Baptiste kept a tight grip on the steering wheel as he sped to the crime scene.  He ground his teeth as his gut clenched in dread.  He was once again coming face to face with a life that had been violently taken from this earth. 

He searched for the pack of cigarettes he kept hidden in his center console.  The gum had been working well, but the stress of possibly investigating another murder ate at him.  He couldn’t remember the last time he had to light a cigarette, but this would be one of those times.  It took a soulless bastard to maliciously kill another human being. 

After years of working homicide in New Orleans, Detective Baptiste witnessed how truly twisted the human mind could be.  He left New Orleans to get away from the senseless violence that plagued the city.  Now that same evil has infiltrated this peaceful town he has called home these last few months. 

With the discovery of the latest victim's body, he was convinced the killer had no intentions of stopping. The use of lye proved that he had knowledge of decomposition and the smells associated with it. Worse, even though he hid the body in the woods, it felt staged.

Baptiste wondered if the young woman was dead before the killer cocooned her in shrink wrap.  Or was the sick bastard demented enough to allow her to slowly suffocate to death? 

This creep had no plans on stopping. He would bet his next paycheck this guy was poised and ready to strike again.

Chapter 1

Sadie Ryan regretted her decision to jog at this time of the night.  She should have jumped on the treadmill or picked up a book since she couldn't sleep.  Instead, she thought the night air would ease some of the stress she has been under.  Insomnia seemed to be part of her nightly ritual lately. 

The air was thick with the impending summer.  Her skin was slick with sweat already.  The humidity remained heavy in the air, even at this late hour.  The dank smell of the marshland filled the air. It was eerily quiet, even the crickets were silent.  There was no traffic out on the road, and even the surrounding bayous were devoid of boaters. 

Up ahead, she thought she heard a rustling in the woods. She hoped she didn’t run into an alligator. Seriously, what was she doing out here? She should turn around and go home. She squinted into the night trying to see what made the rustling noise. Maybe it was a squirrel or something small. For a fleeting second, she swore she saw a shadow dart through the woods. It was almost as if something evil was looming out there in the darkness, waiting.  Now she was scared.

Her blood ran cold.  She peered at the writhing miasma of shadows, trying to see if someone or something was out there.  There was the outline of the dark figure again, watching and waiting.  The fine hairs on her forearms rose.  It had to be her imagination playing tricks with her.  She told herself that there was nothing threatening out here, only shadows in the darkness.  She looked around once more and the shadow had indeed disappeared. 

Inexplicably, her skin began to crawl.  Her paranoia went into overdrive.  A terrible fear, bordering on panic, gripped her.  She swore someone was watching her even though she could no longer make out the menacing shadow. 

Stop being silly, she chided herself.  You are reading way too many horror novels.  This was Bayou Black.  It had to be one of the dullest places to live.  Nothing happened around here.  The only problems the cops had were bored teenagers wanting to cause an upheaval by playing pranks on their friends and neighbors.  Your imagination is on overdrive.  Too little sleep, that’s all. 

The disseminated pale blue light cast by the street lights helped illuminate her way as she hurried back home. She didn’t want to wait around and discover who, if anyone, may be out there. It could be alligator poachers who didn’t want to be discovered breaking the law.  Some things it was best not to be nosey about in the bayou.

Since the recent hurricanes, only a few people still called this area home. Most of the residences around here had suffered their fair share of damage from the last hurricane.  Several residents decided they had enough and moved on, leaving their houses just as they were – damage and all.  This last hurricane had been a category four and caused more destruction than anyone had predicted.  Several of the residents not only wanted to move out of this area, but away from the Gulf Coast all together.  They were tired of the hurricanes and the destruction left in their wake. 

There were a few residents, though, that couldn’t part with their houses and became snowbirds.  They moved as far north as Alaska in the summer, and back to Louisiana for the winter, avoiding the snow. 

Bayou Black was a small secluded town at the tip of Louisiana. The town officials had decided a few years ago to build a walking trail between the main road and the marshlands. At the time, it sounded like a good use of unoccupied easement. The alligator and other wildlife had a different opinion though.  They didn’t appreciate their habitat being interfered with.  On several occasions, The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has been called out to remove an alligator protecting its domicile. 

HE MOVED RELENTLESSLY forward, getting ready to strike.  Tonight was the night of nights.  The beginning of everything that mattered.  He could barely catch his breath as he watched her.  The next phase of his life loomed before him. 

There was almost a full moon out tonight.  It looked serene, beautiful hanging up there in the dark sky.  In the distance a chorus of cicadas serenaded their lovers. 

Under the moon’s watchful eye, he watched as her perfect breasts bounced up and down as she ran.  She thought she was untouchable, especially with her unbearably haughty attitude.  But tonight he would change that.  Tonight, he would commit the perfect crime. 

He felt his heart pound inside of his chest.  Whump, whump, whump.  Blood rushed into his head.  Every muscle and tendon were stretched tight, and his stomach was clenched hard in eager anticipation.

The anticipation of what was about to happen gave him a perverse pleasure.  It was the thrill of the hunt that coursed through his body.  He savored the feeling rushing through his body.  He took a deep breath and felt a burning inside of his lungs. 

As she jogged closer to his hiding spot, he studied the young girl.  Soon it would be time for his reward; to take his new wife on their wedding night.  To bring her to the brink of sexual fulfillment over and over again. 

Chapter 2

I t was time.  He thought to himself.  This was the moment he has been waiting for.  He smiled to himself, knowing he would take another wife tonight.  He has been waiting for this moment.  His flock was increasing.  His dreams were coming to fruition. 

He fastened the last button on the elegant wedding gown that he placed on his new bride.  Soon she would waken.  Looking down at her sleeping, he noticed that she was a vision in white. 

He loved watching them sleep.  They always looked so helpless while resting.  While asleep they were the perfect woman; quiet, demure and above all, obedient.  For a brief second another image threatened his tumultuous feelings.  He pushed her image out of his mind.  Stop!  He refused to allow her memory to taint this day for him.  He hated the insidious way her memory lurked in his mind.  One of these days he would banish her from his mind forever. 

He gently caressed her face.  He ran his hands through her hair.  It was as soft as a rabbit’s fur and smelled like peaches and sunshine. 

He savored the feelings that plagued his body as he watched her.  He couldn’t wait much longer.  Desire coiled through his insides, making him feel alive. 

Finally, she started to wake.  This was the moment he has been waiting for, when she realized that she would be his bride.  He heard her moan.  Her mouth opened ever so slightly and her small, pink tongue moistened her lips, leaving them wet and glistening.  This simple move caused his blood to boil. 

A strand of brunette hair fell across her eye, tickling her cheek.  She tried to brush it away, but the restraints prevented the movement. 

As she woke up, groaning softly, she moved her head back and forth, ever so slightly.  This gentle movement caused her hair to fan across the pillow.  It was such a seductive movement.  He couldn’t wait to make her his.

The restraints jingled as she attempted to move her arm.  He kept one arm restrained to the bed.  He had to give them some freedom.  Besides, he was not worried about them escaping.  He had thoroughly planned this out to avoid any mistakes.  There was nothing they could use as a weapon around here.  He restrained each of his brides to a double size bed. 

Each bed had an old solid iron headboard.  It was heavy enough to help keep the bed secured in place and also unbreakable when his captives pulled on their restraints.  Just to ensure that none of his captives could pull the bed close to the door, each frame was bolted to the cement floor. 

The restraints were made of heat treated carbon steel.  The chain was approved by OSHA for overhead lifting, so there was no chance for any of these women to break free. 

Each of the beds was spread apart to keep the women from touching, but close enough that he could get the number of women he wanted in the room.  It was the perfect layout to keep his flock. 

The sparse bathroom offered the women privacy while tending to their personal hygiene.  There was no mirror anywhere in the room or bathroom.  He couldn’t take the chance that one of them would break the mirror and use the shard on either themselves or him.  When he made his plans, he ensured there was nothing sharp in the room.  The only time they were free from their bed was when he allowed them to use the bathroom. 

WOOZY, SADIE TRIED to clear the fog from her brain.  The last thing she remembered was jogging along the trail.  Everything after that was a blur.  She heard someone talking to her, It’s time to wake up sleepyhead.  Your groom is patiently waiting to marry you.  Fear built up inside her.  She forced her eyes open.  She remembered someone stopping her on the trail and talking to her.  Then there was a sudden jolt of pain before the blackness took over.

When he bent down and kissed her forehead; the knot in her stomach rolled.  She fought back the nausea.  Why hadn’t she stayed home?  If she hadn’t left the house, none of this would have happened.  Did anyone know she was missing?  Would anyone save her?

What did he have planned for her?  Was it rape or something worse?  The thought of someone raping her sent a chill through her body.  She tried not to imagine what else could happen. 

If he did rape her, her life would never be the same.  The life as she knew it would be over.  That was assuming he didn’t kill her.  Would she be able to look at a man the same way?  She couldn’t understand what she ever did to him to be treated  this way.  She knew this man.  She trusted him. 

Looking at her captor in a different light now, she never realized how big he was.  He was taller than her father, well over six feet.  She never realized how muscular he was, either.  She would not be able to fight him off.  His dark brown hair was almost black, with a hint of gray.  He must have recently shaved.  She could smell the overwhelming scent of his aftershave.  Had he meant to abduct her or was she in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Why her? 

She stared up at his face with wide, fearful eyes.  She swallowed hard, forcing the fear back down.  He was dressed in a tux.  Don’t worry, mon cher.  All brides have cold feet on their wedding day.

Wedding day?  What was he talking about? Looking down, she noticed she was wearing a white wedding gown.  What was going on? 

Again, she heard him talking, but found it hard to focus on what he was saying, Don’t worry, mon cher.  I’ll be gentle with you tonight. 

She looked around and noticed another woman in the room with her, restrained to a bed.  She was looking away, ignoring what was happening to her. 

Please help me.  Don’t let him do this to me!  Her pleas went unanswered. 

She tried to move and realized one of her arms was restrained to the bed.  He stroked her arm and explained, It’s for your own good.  I can’t have you running off on your wedding day.

This had to be some kind of sick and twisted dream.  This could not be real!

He picked up her unrestrained hand and placed the small gold band on her finger.  With this ring I thee wed. 

Looking down at her, he replied, This may not be the wedding of your dreams, mon cher, but we have said our vows before God and He is the only one we need to attest our love to.

This couldn’t be happening to her.  She heard him talking, Above all, you must remember to be obedient to me, your husband.

The words swirled through her brain as he kissed her.  He has candles lit, as if to create a romantic setting.  Soft music played in the background.  You are so perfect.  I am glad I chose you to be my next wife.

Wife, seriously?  What was he talking about?  She had no plans on marrying him.  They were not married, regardless of what he thought!  He was living in a delusional dream world!

I will love you forever.  Y’all will always be important to me, no matter how many other wives I bring into our flock.

The words floated around in her head.  Surely he couldn’t be serious? 

The skin on the back of her neck prickled with anxiety as he caressed her.  No, no, please don’t do this.

Don’t worry, mon cher.  There is nothing wrong with a husband making love to his wife.  You have nothing to be afraid of.

No!  This was not okay.  This was not what she wanted.  She begged silently, Please don’t rape me.

What was happening to her?  This had to be a nightmare. 

Please, I won’t say anything just let me go.

Why would I want to let you go?  You are my wife.  You only have to abide by my rules and everything will be okay.

She looked at him in confusion.  He went on to explain, You must do exactly as you are told. You will do as you are told, won’t you my love?

She nodded her head in agreement, all the while looking for a means of escape.  And she would escape, she told herself.  Then she would ensure that he was locked up for the rest of his life.  She didn’t want the death penalty – death would be too good for him.  No, he deserved to suffer.

HER RESPONSE WAS TOO quick.  She may be too eager to please him right now.  He would watch to make sure she was not trying to manipulate him.  She may be trying to lull him into a false sense of security.  He didn’t trust women.  They were conniving little bitches, it was in their blood.

Chapter 3

Baptiste was reviewing the night reports when his desk phone rang.  Preoccupied with what he was reading, he picked up the phone automatically Baptiste.

Detective, I have a concerned couple up here.  They haven’t heard from their daughter since last night.

Baptiste dreaded talking to the parents, especially with yet another missing girl.  What was up with these girls disappearing?

Baptiste waited as the dispatcher escorted the couple to his desk. He guessed the parents were in their mid-fifties.  Detective Baptiste?

Yes, please have a seat.

Mr. Ryan started, I’m not sure where to start.  Sadie was upset last night and couldn’t sleep.  She came home for a few days to think things through.  Sadie has jumped from job to job since she finished college.  When she saw a job offer in the paper a couple of weeks ago, she jumped on it.

Baptiste asked, Do you know what had upset her?

"She and her boyfriend had moved into a small apartment in New Orleans last year.  She thought things

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