In Death Series ============ Nora Roberts ============ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Chaos in Death =================== Chapter 1 He found life in death. And delight in the whirlwind of fear and fright. To hunt to steal the light the life the blood the soul. !ell he"d been born for it. It #ade hi# laugh to dan$e around the #adness of his $reating $ape swirling%and wasn"t that a wonderful tou$h%legs &i$&ing in a 'o(ful 'ig. )*en the sound of his own laughter deep and ri$h and free thrilled hi# #ade hi# laugh all the harder. He was ali*e. +And (ou"re not,+ He hopped s&ipped leaped o*er the three bodies he"d arranged on the floor. Tilting his head he grinned at his handiwor&. He"d laid the# out so the( sat%well slu#ped but that was dead for (ou%in a line against the wall. -itiful spe$i#ens reall( this trio of 'un&ies who"d barel( had the wit or the will to put up a fight. .ut /od &new a #an had to start so#ewhere. Still their fear was his now and their tears their $ries and pleas% all his. It tasted so deli$ious. He needed #ore of $ourse so #an( #ore. .ut he"d #ade a #ost e0$ellent start. No #ore pla(ing b( the rules no sir, No #ore 1r. /ood /u(. .oring gu(. He patted his own $hest. +I feel li&e a whole new #an.+ Chu$&ling he stowed the blood( s$alpel the *ials all the lo*el( spe$i#ens in his &it. And inspiration stru$&. Cli$h2d3 he as&ed hi#self his head tipping fro# side to side his glea#ing red e(es bulging with glee and #adness as he s$anned the roo# the bodies the walls. 1a(be #a(be but irresistible,

After dipping a glo*ed finger into a pool of $ongealing blood he $o#posed his #essage on the ding( wall. He had to dip ba$& into the well% ha-ha-ha%se*eral ti#es but the ti#e was well worth it. To who# it #a( $on$ern4 -lease ta&e out the trash. Don"t forget to re$($le properl(, 5h his bell( hurt fro# laughing. He pressed a hand to it nearl( snagging one of the long pointed nails that stabbed through the glo*e. Then found hi#self hesitating before signing his na#e. He &new his na#e. 5f $ourse of $ourse he did. 6or a #o#ent his glee teetered toward fur( his laughter toward guttural grunts. Then all righted again. He did another 7ui$& 'ig dipped his finger again. Than& (ou for (our attention to this #atter. Dr. Chaos. -erfe$t. Absentl( he su$&ed the blood and gri#e fro# his finger and read the #essage o*er twi$e. Ti#e to go he de$ided. Things to do. And he was absolutel( fa#ished. He pi$&ed up his &it lifted an ar# in salute. +Adieu #es a#is,+ 5n a last $a$&le of laughter he turned swirling the $ape%he 'ust lo*ed doing that%as he s&ipped to the ba$& roo# and $li#bed out the window. He $ouldn"t re#e#ber e*er ha*ing #ore fun. And $ouldn"t wait to do it all again.


9ieutenant )*e Dallas studied the s$ene. Cops saw it all but there was alwa(s so#ething new so#e fresh brutalit( e*en in the d(ing su##er of :;<; to stret$h the boundaries of all. The roo# stan& of blood%so #u$h blood%and death of fresh pu&e and piss. .lood soa&ed into one of the board-thin #attresses sho*ed into a $orner. 5ne of the three *i$ti#s had died there she thought. The #iddle one she $on$luded the bla$& #ale age as (et undeter#ined with #ultiple stab wounds and a #issing left ear. .eside )*e her partner breathed slowl( in and out through her teeth. +If (ou"re going to hurl -eabod( do it outside.+ +I"# not going to hurl.+ .ut it $a#e out as a plea rather than a state#ent.

)*e shifted her ga=e studied -eabod(. The short 'aunt( flipp( tail she"d pulled her dar& hair into loo&ed distin$tl( out of pla$e now that her s&in held a faint green $ast. -eabod("s dar& e(es slightl( unfo$used held their line of sight a few in$hes abo*e the bodies. +I 'ust need a #inute for e*er(thing to settle.+ +!hat was this pla$e3+ )*e as&ed. +It used to be retail spa$e.+ -eabod( still held her --C and her hand was stead( enough. +Apart#ents abo*e three le*els. Slated for rehab.+ -eabod( shut her e(es for a #o#ent. +6ind out who owns it how long it"s been shut down. Ta&e it outside. !e need the data + )*e said before -eabod( $ould ob'e$t. +/et the data.+ !ith a nod -eabod( slipped out the door to where the unifor#s responding to the nine-one-one had $ordoned off the sidewal&. !ith her hands and feet alread( sealed her re$order engaged )*e stepped around and o*er the debris of shattered bottles s$attered $lothes trash a bro&en $hair to the bodies. Her golden brown e(es weren"t unfo$used but $op flat. +Three *i$ti#s two #ale one fe#ale $arefull( arranged to sit ba$&s against the front wall. .la$& #ale $enter #ultiple stab wounds torso shoulders ar#s legs ne$& and fa$e. 9eft ear re#o*ed. Cau$asian fe#ale on the left appears to ha*e been strangled. 1i0ed-ra$e #ale right of $enter bludgeoned. 9eft e(e re#o*ed.+ Hell of a part( she thought and let out a breath that fluttered the bangs on her short $ap of brown hair. +Three #attresses so#e bedding $lothes #ini friggie batter( la#p two $hairs two tables. It appears all three *i$s flopped here. 1one( s$attered around what shows loo&s to be about a grand. So robber("s out. 6irst on s$ene as$ertained for$ed window rear of building street le*el. -robable point of entr(.+ She too& the fe#ale first hun&ered down on her long legs opened her field &it. +6e#ale also suffered blows to the fa$e &nees. Hard blow to the &nees + she #ur#ured. +-ipe bat board%ta&e her down%a $ouple pun$hes. 1anual strangulation.+ She ran the *i$ti#"s prints. +6e#ale is identified as >ennifer Darnell age twent(-four. Current address listed on !est Si0teenth. /ot a sheet in$luding 'u*ie. -ri#aril( illegals busts.+ -eabod( $a#e ba$& in. +The !hitwood /roup bought the propert( about se*en #onths ago + she said. +6ro# what I $an tell the building was $onde#ned a little o*er a (ear ago. -er#its for rehab pending.+ +5&a(. So the &iller or &illers too& his ear his e(e. Isn"t there a sa(ing% what is it3 Hear no e*il see no e*il . . .+ Carefull( )*e opened >ennifer Darnell"s #outh. +?eah spea& no e*il. He $ut out her tongue.+ +>esus.+

Shattered &nee$aps.+ +Cob( Ai0 age twent(-si0 + -eabod( told her. +?eah it $ould. Chaos #a( 'ust be a do$tor or at least ha*e #edi$al training. Chaos.ut he doesn"t use it on the others e0$ept for the re#o*al. Three distin$t #ethods of &illing.+ +Ai0 has si0t(. 5ne for ea$h *i$3+ +1a(be.+ .+ Struggling to find her own good stead( hand -eabod( opened her &it.+ +If there was onl( one wh( didn"t she run li&e hell when he"s stabbing the be'esus out of that gu( or beating the $rap out of Ai03+ +Too& her out blows to the &nees. +I bet (our ass he did.+ )*e fit on #i$rogoggles engaged their light to peer into the *i$ti#"s #outh. )nough for rape. Real funn( gu(. +She"s wearing a ninet(-da( $hip fro# /et Straight. Dr.+ )*e loo&ed around the roo#. .two. The #iddle gu(3 The &iller too& hi# out where he la(. . The &iller went at hi# first + she $ontinued.+ )*e lifted the $heap thin $hain around Darnell"s bruised ne$&. +1ostl( I thin& he li&es to 'o&e. Chaos. H## T5D two hundred thirt(.+ She sat ba$& on her heels tried to see it.+!or& see-no gu( -eabod(. +Ta&ing the bod( parts those parti$ular bod( parts do (ou thin& ritual3+ +-ossibl(.+ )*e $onsidered it while she used the gauges. +He"s the biggest of the three. T5D on Darnell two hundred thirt(-eight.+ -eabod( held up the $hip.+ +Ai0 T5D two hundred twent(. +Hear-no has thirt(. +Dr. He swit$hes to bludgeoning for the other #ale. !ilson .+ She loo&ed up at the #essage on the wall. She was either alread( dead or un$ons$ious when he too& her tongue and he had a good stead( hand. +No bruising bleeding tearing I $an see but the 1) will deter#ine se0ual assault. +Clean $ut neat and tid(. Dr. +There had to be two &illers #a(be three.ut onl( one ta&es $redit3+ As )*e had -eabod( studied the blood( #essage.ut (eah it $ould be #ore than one. That sa#e pre$ision surgi$al re#o*al on the ear. It"s a lot of wor& for one #an. +That"s what this is.+ +So he too& so#e ti#e with Darnell. .i$&ford + she said when she"d run his prints. !ith a nod )*e rose and #o*ed to the #iddle *i$ti#. Didn"t die first. @ses a &nife or a s$alpel. It $ould be the na#e of a group. +Age twent(.+ +He( bet (our own ass.+ )*e lifted the he# of the short nightshirt. He did what he wanted too& what he wanted now he"s telling us to $lean up the #ess. I need ID T5D.

+It loo&s li&e . Her puff( pale green e(es sta(ed dr( and fo$used on )*e.+ +?eah. +>en didn"t show up for wor&. +Chaos. +1a(be there"s #ore and I"*e #issed the#. The one off Canal. . +9et"s get the# bagged tagged and transported. I thin& the sa#e hand did the re#o*als an e0perien$ed hand stead(. . .ut this doesn"t loo& li&e tea#wor& + )*e said s$anning the roo# again. .+ +1issed that + -eabod( #uttered. .+Defensi*e wounds hands ar#s. She *olunteers on the brea&fast shift at /et Straight. +I need (ou to tell #e what happened + )*e began. Do (ou &now Dr.ut the #essage is 'o&e( whi$h reads $ontrol and intelle$t. 5ne stabs one beats one strangles. Ta&e it a $ouple wa(s.ut I"# onl( seeing one t(pe of blood( footprint and it"s too #u$h to swallow the( all wore the sa#e si=e and t(pe of shoe. Sa( three &illers one for ea$h *i$. 5r #a(be the others were #ore $areful. Could be the tea# 'ust went to town on the pla$e.+ 888 Batrina Chu hun$hed in the ba$& of the bla$&-and-white her fa$e white as death her e(es puff( fro# weeping.ut to )*e"s relief it loo&ed li&e Batrina had $ried herself out. The destru$tion of the s$ene is o*er the top and that reads rage. I want to tal& to the nine-one-one $aller.ut (ou don"t thin& so. I wor& at the free $lini$ on Canal. !e"*e got serious o*er&ill on the two #ales and #anual strangulation%whi$h is personal and inti#ate%on the fe#ale.+ +.+ +I thin& that"s an interesting gap of ti#e between T5Ds. 5ne of the unifor#s had gotten her so#e water.i$&ford put up a fight.+ +9ouise Di#atto"s $lini$3+ +?es. And she and Cob( and !il the( go to the #eeting after. . . Di#atto3+ . It $ould be #ore than one.+ +?ou wor&ed with her3+ +I"# her sponsor.+ She gestured to the #essage on the wall. Tea#wor&. Her throat $li$&ed on e*er( swallow. 5ne with a $ool head one 'ust batshit $ra=(.

ut she didn"t show up not to ser*e brea&fast not for the #eeting. And she started wor&ing at Sli$e%a pi==a 'oint%about two #onths ago. She ne*er #issed the #orning #eeting. I $ouldn"t see in the window. >en she wanted to get $lean sta( $lean. She"d help ser*e brea&fast ta&e in the #eeting then stud( for an hour or two%Arianna hoo&ed her up with an online business $ourse%then go to Sli$e if she had the lun$h shift go into the Center%the !hitwood Center%if she had the dinner shift. +She was happ(. +I"# an aide there. . The("re engaged. +I &now so#e people thin& on$e a 'un&ie but the( were tr(ing. Rosenthall said it would be o&a( for a few wee&s. +I thought #a(be the("d ta&en a slide.+ -ressing her lips together she shoo& her head. She was reall( wor&ing it (ou &now3 Reall( tr(ing hard. Nobod( was using the pla$e and she said Dr.+ +I ha*e her li*ing on !est Si0teenth.+ . She was happ(.+ +Dr.+ The $onne$tion see#ed to stead( her. !e hit it off.+ +!hitwood. >en $a#e into /et Straight a $ouple #onths ago and I offered to be her sponsor. 9ast night she told #e the( had nearl( two thousand in the rent &itt( so the( were going to start to loo& for one. The( started s7uatting here a $ouple wee&s ago. It happens. .ut I did thin& it so I $a#e b( on #( wa( to wor& to $he$& on her.+?eah. Rosenthall3+ +He and Dr. I &no$&ed. She"s a therapist. The( wanted to turn their li*es around. Rosenthall. . 1a(be three I guess. Di#atto donate ti#e to /et Straight. I went b( Sli$e last night for ta&eout and we tal&ed awhile. I didn"t want to thin& it.+ +Arianna. Cob( got a 'ob there deli*ering and !il was wor&ing as a sto$& bo( at the twent(-fourCse*en a $ouple blo$&s awa(. Neither did Cob( or !il. He and Arianna basi$all( fund the organi=ation. I got worried. Arianna and Dr. I saw. The( were $lean and tr(ing to sta( that wa(. I reall( trusted she"d tag #e if she got in a situation. .+ +Do (ou &now an(bod( who"d want to hurt her or Cob( or !il3+ +No. >en ne*er told #e about an( trouble not this &ind. She didn"t answer her "lin&. It"s boarded and grilled but >en ga*e #e a &e( so I opened it and . She was happ(.+ A tear lea&ed through after all. I"# stud(ing to be a nurse. She donates her ti#e too.+ +The( $ouldn"t pa( the rent.+ +!hat about people the( asso$iated with when the( were using3+ +I don"t &now. She got Cob( to $o#e in. The( were going to pool their #one( and rent a pla$e.

+ +It"s sad + -eabod( #ur#ured. The( weren"t *er( good at it + -eabod( added as she pi$&ed up one of the bro&en legs. And see so#ebod( repaired and painted this $hair. +And get what (ou $an on the Canal Street /et Straight.ut the *i$s the( &ept it $lean. +. The("re on their wa(.ag that for the sweepers.+ +/ood. I"# not finding an( Dlin&s. +It"s going to ta&e the# a while to sort through this #ess. +!e found this in the re$($ler out ba$&.+ +Dr. The &illers #ust not ha*e used it. The( had a good $han$e of #a&ing it too.+ +Beep $he$&ing. And the sweepers are on their wa(. It"s not dust( or dirt(. +>ust one3+ +So far sir.----------------------------------------Chapter : +Run Rosenthall and !hitwood + )*e told -eabod(.+ +Alread( on it. .+ +Beep on that too.+ She po&ed through a bit. No $ri#inal.ut the( tried.+ He held up the $lear prote$ti*e $oat $o*ered with blood li&e the ones she"d seen $ountless do$tors wearing.+ +9et"s go see if the do$tor"s in. He or the( didn"t $are about the #one(.+ +I #ean if (ou o*erloo& the blood and the #ess. .+ )*e wal&ed ba$& into the building. He spe$iali=es in $he#i$al addi$tions%and was gi*en a grant b( the !hitwood /roup for sa#e%$ause rehabilitation. >ust the &ill. +The( were (oung and tr(ing to reboot their li*es. An(thing pop fro# the $an*ass3+ +Not (et. The( &ept the floor $lean.+ +The( probabl( had the#%who doesn"t3%so the &iller probabl( too& the#.+ +9ieutenant3+ 5ne of the unifor#s stepped in. An(wa( it was $lean. +Credits $ash e*en loose $hange.+ +Suddenl( I 7uestion (our $leanliness standards. The floor"s $lean.+ +Ta&es the "lin&s but lea*es the s$rat$h. >ustin Rosenthall thirt(-eight. And if he too& the "lin&s he either had $onta$t with the# or thought the( tal&ed about hi# to ea$h other or so#eone else *ia "lin&. Rosenthall -eabod(. And when I $he$&ed out the bathroo# I guess it"s an e#plo(ee"s restroo# deal. He wor&s pri#aril( out of the !hitwood Center a fa$ilit( for the stud( of addi$tion with a health $enter and *isitor"s lodging atta$hed.+ .

So#ething $ould snap.+ +A surgeon. She"s thirt(-four a therapist again spe$iali=ing in addi$tions. If he"s so saintl( wh( didn"t he float the# a $ouple #onths" rent3+ +That"s a good 7uestion.e$ause dead"s the onl( wa( (ou $an pull it off.+ +It"s one I"# going to as& hi#. 5r the !hitwood /roup%headed b( her parents%is. Saint Studl( of Rosenthall.+ +Do (ou &now wh( the saints are all dead3+ +!h(3+ +. Swit$hed his fo$us after his sister"s death. And .+He"s *er( studl( + -eabod( added and $ontinued to wor& her handheld as the( wal&ed to the $ar. Honest Dallas fro# what I"# reading here the gu( sounds li&e a saint. 9i&e his sister li&e his fian$2e"s brother. A studl( saint. He was on tra$& to be$o#ing a topflight $ardia$ surgeon. He"s got the $onne$tion he"s got the s&ill and a$$ording to our sour$e he"s the one who ga*e the# the green light to s7uat there. No flash )*e noted no gloss%at least not on the e0terior%so the building sat $o#fortabl( in the old 1eatpa$&ing Distri$t. +5h listen to this. 9i*ing"s #ess( and e*er(one li*ing has so#e dirt( little se$ret. 5D"d. That"s wh( we ha*e 'obs. And reall( reall( ri$h. The !hitwood Center opened three (ears later. She #ade it to twent(-two before she 5D"d. She"s a loo&er. +I got lots of pops on gossip and so$iet( pages.+ -eabod( slid into the $ar as )*e too& the wheel. 6ro# the fluff pie$es I"# s&i##ing it loo&s li&e the( #et four (ears ago and were engaged last fall. . . +Has nu#erous awards for ser*i$e and inno*ations in his field. Not Roar&e ri$h + -eabod( said referring to )*e"s husband +but she"s up there. She was si0teen. Da( in and da( out seeing the# listening to the# treating the# hearing bullshit out of the#. . Rosenthall had a sister. /a*e that up + )*e $o##ented +to wor& with 'un&ies. He and Arianna are 7uite the ite#. Chase died at the age of nineteen. The wedding"s set for ne0t #onth billed as the wedding of the (ear. Donates ti#e to the Canal Street Clini$ /et Straight and others.+ 888 5ld ti#e-faded bri$& housed the !hitwood Center. oh she had a brother.+ +A dirt( little se$ret that has a renowned and studl( do$tor slaughtering three re$o*ering addi$ts3+ +So#ebod( did it.+ +C(ni$ alert.

+That sa(s "!e"re reall( ri$h philanthropists " + )*e $o##ented. The( passed people in lab $oats in street wear in sharp suits and in tattered pants.+ +5&a(. +The wor& the("*e done on the old building. How $an we help (ou toda(3+ )*e approa$hed the $ounter laid her badge on it.+ . !hite stone ben$hes offered seating bri$&ed paths wound in an in*itation to stroll.+ As )*e angled left the wo#an $ontinued. The( passed a nurse"s station and the waiting area a$ross fro# it. .+ +Stairs to the left ele*ators to the right. +?ou"ll want to ta&e the right $orridor go o*er the garden bree=ewa( then ta&e the first turn to the left.!ith -eabod( she wal&ed in the front entran$e. The lobb( area was large and 7uietl( furnished. 5ne of his interns or his assistant should be able to help (ou. It"s $o#fortable and it doesn"t shout "!e"re reall( ri$h philanthropists. +Is the do$tor e0pe$ting (ou3+ +I $ouldn"t sa(. Co#fortable $hairs si#ple art so#e plants ga*e off the at#osphere of a li*ing area rather than a waiting one despite the re$eption $ounter #anned b( two people.+ +It"s ni$e wor& + -eabod( said as the( started up.ut in a reall( prett( wa(. The #an earl( thirties $ontinued to wor& on his $o#p while the wo#an a few (ears (ounger with a prett( fa$e and earnestl( wel$o#ing e(es s#iled in their dire$tion.+ The wo#an didn"t so #u$h as blin& at the badge.+ +Than&s.+ +His offi$es are on the se$ond floor east. +. +!e need to spea& with Dr. )*e noted the se$urit( $a#eras and the $ard slots and pal# plates on so#e of the doors. Rosenthall.+ +I see.elow through treated glass a $entral fountain gurgled in a fantas( of flowering plants shrubs trees in riotous bloo#."+ 5n the se$ond floor the( wal&ed b( se*eral doors all dis$reetl( shut with their purposes or a do$tor"s na#e on a pla7ue. Bept its $hara$ter. +/ood #orning. Then the( $a#e to the garden bree=ewa(.

Rosenthall.+ She ai#ed her nose in the air before turning ba$& to her s$reen. +The do$tor"s lab assistant will $o#e out and ta&e (ou ba$&. 1o#ents later a side door opened.+ The wo#an didn"t loo& pleased b( the answer and re#inded )*e of Dr. Rosenthall"s in his lab this #orning.+ )*e held up her badge. +?es -a$h would (ou tell Dr. Than& (ou. +!e need to spea& with Dr.+ After another tap she spo&e to )*e.+ +Is there a proble#3+ +There al#ost alwa(s is. +And this has a lot #ore insisten$e than (ou be$ause it $an arrest (ou for interfering with a poli$e in*estigation. Rosenthall two poli$e offi$ers are here and insist on spea&ing with hi#. No the( won"t sa(.+ +I reall( #ust insist (ou ta&e us to his lab.+ . The wo#an behind the $ounter tapped her earpie$e turned awa( fro# the s#art s$reen where it loo&ed to )*e she"d been wor&ing on updating a $o#ple0 s$hedule. She tapped her earpie$e again. +Aer( well. He wore a standard white lab $oat o*er 'eans and a red Tshirt that as&ed +1( petri dish or (ours3+ +5ffi$ers3+ +9ieutenant Dallas and Dete$ti*e -eabod(.+ )*e tapped her badge. Then s$owled. The #an who $a#e out had deep brown s&in and large hea*(-lidded e(es nearl( as bla$& as his $rown of $url( hair. ?es. The do$tor will see (ou. 1ira"s ad#in.+ The words sounded as sour as the wo#an"s fa$e loo&ed. +Can I help (ou3+ +9ieutenant Dallas and Dete$ti*e -eabod(.+ +!here"s his lab3+ +I reall( #ust insist (ou tell #e (our business before I disturb the do$tor. +Dr.+ +I"ll $he$& with the do$tor.+ She waited a #o#ent staring holes through )*e. The dragon at the gates of the N?-SD"s shrin& and top profiler.The( #ade the left into a s#all blue and $rea# re$eption area.

. @# . +-a$hai /upta.+ The se$urit( blin&ed green in a$$eptan$e and the doors slid open into a large lab.+5h. His gilded #ane of hair glea#ed under the bright lights.+ He flashed a *er( white s#ile. +Sorr(. Rosenthall. He sported a short stub of a pon(tail and ragged s&ids. 1ore.+ His s#ile war#ed as he e0tended a hand.+ +To what3+ +To e*il. How is Roar&e3 I ha*en"t seen hi# in . 5f $ourse (ou"re Roar&e"s wife. . >ustin lifted the bea&er again slid it into a $ontainer sealed it set another gauge. +!hat"s he wor&ing on3+ she as&ed their guide. +If (ou"ll $o#e this wa(3+ Through the door was a #a=e a rabbit warren of roo#s off angled $orridors. it"s probabl( been a (ear. )*e heard a low beep. Aid-star handso#e poeti$all( pale he re#o*ed a bea&er fro# its heater with tongs and set it in a bath of water. . . 5nl( then did he step ba$& loo& o*er.+ There was an absent $har# in his s#ile in his #o*e#ents as he $rossed to the#. Sorr(.+ +>ustin. +The ti#ing"s $ru$ial. How $an I help (ou3+ .+ +He"s good. Through the thin $urtain of it )*e saw his e(es tawn( as a lion"s fi0 intentl( on so#e sort of gauge.+ At her raised e(ebrows -a$hai flushed shrugged. Strange e7uations and s(#bols held fro=en on one of the wall s$reens while so#ething bubbled blue in a heated bea&er. )*e felt a weird 'u0taposition as her friend 1a*is"s *oi$e wailed out about lo*e on the wild side o*er the pristine red and white roo#. This isn"t a so$ial $all Dr. ?ou"re the poli$e3+ +9ieutenant Dallas Dete$ti*e -eabod( N?-SD. +An antidote. Another lab $oat diligentl( wor&ed two $o#ps at a long white $ounter. A wo#an with short slee& red hair hun$hed o*er a #i$ros$ope while her foot tapped to 1a*is"s grinding beat. Stea# hissed and $urled.+ +Dallas. He wore a lab $oat li&e other #en wore a tu0 perfe$tl( fitted and so#ehow elegant. No of $ourse not. The lab assistant negotiated the# on flapping gel sandals. He paused at double steel doors swiped his $ard spo&e his na#e. In the $enter of it a#id the $oils of tubing the spar&ling ele$troni$s the bus( s$reens and the forest of test tubes bea&ers and spe$i#en dishes stood >ustin Rosenthall. +It"s ni$e to finall( #eet (ou.

+!hat happened3+ The lab rat with the stubb( pon(tail had turned and li&e the redhead wat$hed. +)arl( this #orning !ilson . I"# sorr( but how $an the( be #urdered3 I saw the# onl( (esterda(. +. !e had $offee. !hen did (ou see the# last3+ she as&ed -a$hai.ehind her -a$hai let out a strangled gasp as >ustin 'ust stared at her. The( onl( shi##ered #ore intensel( when >ustin laid a hand on his shoulder.i$&ford was stabbed to death Cob( Ai0 was bludgeoned to death and >ennifer Darnell was strangled. +1usi$ off + he ordered.+ His s#ile faded. The redhead $alled out a protest when 1a*is stopped wailing.+ +No neither do I + >ustin said.i$&ford.+ . It"s a hard road and there will be stu#bles but%+ +The( were #urdered earl( this #orning.+ >ustin rubbed his te#ple. +Are the( in trouble3 I $an assure (ou the("*e been wor&ing *er( hard against their addi$tions.+ +No. +There"s no #ista&e3+ +No. No. His lips tre#bled and tears $ontinued to swar# those hea*(-lidded e(es.+ +?ou were friends3+ +?es.+?ou &now >ennifer Darnell Cob( Ai0 !ilson .+ +!hen3+ +-a$h + >ustin repeated gentl(. +!hat3 Sorr( what3+ +The( were #urdered between two and two-fort( this #orning in the building where the( were s7uatting.+ . +Not now 1arti.+ +?es.+ +Dead3 1urdered3 All3+ +How3+ -a$hai too& )*e"s ar# then 7ui$&l( released it. !e%I%I don"t understand. !e ha*e $offee al#ost e*er( da(.efore >en and Cob( went to wor& after !il got off. +-a$h let"s sit down. His e(es were li7uid on(0 swi##ing under in&( lashes.

ut wh( for /od"s sa&e3 None of the# belonged to a gang none of the# had an( *aluables to spea& of. The other #an slu#ped ba$& in his $hair shuddered then $losed his e(es lowered his head. ------------------------------------------------Chapter E In the silen$e )*e ga*e -eabod( a signal and responding -eabod( #o*ed to -a$hai.+ +?es. !as this 'ust so#e rando# &illings3+ +Do (ou &now an(one who"d wish the#%an( one of the#%har#3+ +No. The( were turning their li*es around and the three of the# had for#ed a strong bond.+ +?our fian$2e. >ustin turned ashen.+ .-a$hai began to weep and the harsh sobs bore hi# down to the floor where he $o*ered his fa$e with his hands. She was the therapist of re$ord for all three of the#. No one spo&e.+ He loo&ed awa( pressed his fingers to his e(es. +I"# sorr( for (our loss + she began in the $o#fort *oi$e she used so well. At her station the redhead sat *er( still staring at )*e as if she"d spo&en in an an$ient foreign language.+ +?ou ga*e the# per#ission to s7uat in that propert(.+ +In re$o*er( + >ustin said 7ui$&l(. +I 'ust $an"t thin&.+ +The( were addi$ts. 9et #e help (ou up. No I don"t. +9et #e help (ou.+ +. Their own s#all support group. The( were atta$&ed3 In the building on !est Twelfth3+ +?es. +1( /od the( were so (oung so hopeful. If there was so#eone so#ething one of the# #ight ha*e told Arianna. !h( don"t we go o*er here sit down3+ +How $ould%was it%I"# sorr( + >ustin said. Arianna !hitwood. +!as there an(one who the(%again an( one of the#%used to asso$iate with prior to their re$o*er( who #ight ha*e resented the fa$t that the( were getting $lean sta(ing $lean3+ +I don"t &now but if so the( didn"t #ention it to #e.

It was gratif(ing.+ +I guess I"# $urious wh( (ou didn"t float the# the rent. I wor&ed until after two then bun&ed on the sofa in #( offi$e. The three of the# together should ha*e been safe.+ +?es. .+ +?ou for#ed an atta$h#ent to the#3+ +To >en then through her to Cob( and !il. )*en inspiring. . 1a(be ten or ten thirt( before I sent the bo(s ho#e.+ +Did (ou see or spea& with an(one during that ti#e3+ +No. She"d fallen behind before she"d #ade the $o##it#ent to re$o*er(.+ He rubbed at his te#ple again the sa#e two fingers on the sa#e spot in the sa#e $ir$ular #otion.+ +That"s a lot of #idnight oil to burn. . I ne*er i#agined . I sent Ben and -a$hai ho#e about ele*en I thin& it was.+?es. A rebalan$ing we"ll sa(.+ +1edi$ations that basi$all( substitute one $he#i$al for another.+ 1outh tight he glan$ed o*er to where -eabod( #ur#ured to -a$hai. I . . ?ou $ould see her finding her 7uiet. The( $ouldn"t #a&e the rent on >en"s apart#ent. !ith the burial #e#orial3 An(thing3+ . I was here. She was so deter#ined and (ou $ould see the light $o#ing ba$& into her. . /od &nows ea$h one of the# had e0perien$e on the street handling the#sel*es. it would be a roof o*er their heads until the( found a pla$e. . !ell here. . I spo&e with Arianna . .+ +There are #edi$ations for that alread(.+ +!hat I"# wor&ing on it"s%I belie*e%at its tipping point. 1arti left earlier. It will treat the $ra*ing on both a ph(si$al and ps($hologi$al le*el 7uiet the *iolen$e of that need during withdrawal and after. I thought .+ +I wish I had. +!e ha*e a poli$( not to lend #one( to an(one in the progra# but to tr( to find another wa( to help to guide the# to help the#sel*es. I"# atte#pting to wor& with natural ingredients that will trigger the $he#istr( in the brain and the bod( to return to the le*els prior to the addi$tion. +Is there an(thing I%we%$an do for the# now3 Conta$ting fa#il(3 I $an"t re#e#ber the details of that but Arianna will ha*e it. I"# not sure I"d ha*e to $he$& the"lin& log. ?ou $an as& the# or $he$& the log-outs.+ +I ha*e to as& where (ou were between one and four this #orning.+ +!hat are (ou wor&ing on3+ +A seru# to $ountera$t deep and $hroni$ addi$tion and substan$e abuse. -a$hai told #e the( were sleeping on the street.

+It"s o*erused. Ai$ti#. Ca#e into it late (ou $ould sa(. sorr(. She was 'ust so da#n li&able. It"s #ore than lab wor& espe$iall( for >ustin.+ +If (ou"d tell her I want to spea& with her before we lea*e I"d appre$iate it. I hate the 'un& and it too& a long ti#e before I stopped hating the 'un&ie. I"# 'ust . +?eah. >en in parti$ular. I li&ed the#. I want to tell Ari in person fa$e-to-fa$e not o*er the"lin&.+ +!ere (ou $lose to the *i$ti#s3+ +I hate that word.+ +?es.+ She folded her hands together on her lap as if she wanted to &eep the# still. 6irst I"d li&e to spea& with (our other assistants.+ +It is in #( line of wor&. !hitwood and as soon as possible. He #ade #( life #( #other"s #( father"s hell. .ut this3 This $o#es *er( *er( hard. . 1( brother was a 'un&ie fa*ored >a== la$ed with Feus.+ She glan$ed o*er her shoulder. Do (ou get friendl( with a lot of people in the progra#3+ +There"s intera$tion.+!e"ll be notif(ing ne0t of &in.+ +Interns + he $orre$ted auto#ati$all(. Sorr( it hardl( #atters. It"s our whole life and understanding who and what we"re wor&ing for. !hen wor& allows we"re en$ouraged to attend sessions or le$tures. There"s a $o##unal eater( on-site so a lot of ti#es staff"s eating with patients and re$o*erings.+ )*e let hi# go and de$ided to ta&e the redhead first.+ )*e $onne$ted the dots.+ +?ou wor& in the lab. It"s part of it. . It"s a reall( ugl( pi$ture. I"# sorr( to #eet (ou this wa(. Not espe$iall( $lose. +I &now how it wor&s. +?ou got the pi$ture + )*e began. To their addi$tion to the *iolen$e it often generates or the ph(si$al abuse it $auses. +1arti 6ran& and Ben Di$&erson are here on intern s$holarships.+ +Is she in the Center now3+ +?es she should be in session now. I"ll go up tell her.+ +?eah I guess. He fa*ored it a lot right up until he 5D"d. +And -a$hai3+ . I"ll need to tal& to 1s. He died in prison when so#ebod( returned the fa*or. +!ith Ben it was his father. !e lose patients 9ieutenant. ?ou"re going to find out + she added. Started with pres$riptions after a $ar a$$ident es$alated until he"d destro(ed his #arriage did ti#e for s#a$&ing his wife and Ben around ended up on the street where he stabbed so#ebod( to death for twel*e dollars and a wrist unit.

+ She ga*e )*e a narrow loo&. +It was ni$e. +An(wa( fro# what (ou said how the( were &illed3 The three of us would"*e had to go batshit together brea& in to that pla$e and &ill the# li&e a pa$&. I don"t &now. And we hung out.+ +It 'ust doesn"t see# real + he #ur#ured rubbing at his da#p tired e(es.+ +He wants it personal. If (ou thin& of an(thing $onta$t #e or #( partner.+ He s#iled a little. >ustin wants people in*ested who wor& for hi# people who &now all the sides all the la(ers and ha*e a reason to be here. /od. The friend pla(ed around with re$reationals li&ed the# too #u$h until he was fl(ing on @ps and . I #ean I as&ed #( un$le if he $ould gi*e the# a tr(.+ +How well did (ou &now the *i$ti#s3+ +I . . +This happening to >en and the others people who had a real shot at rede#ption who reall( put it all into &i$&ing it3 That"s personal too.+ +That"s a thought isn"t it3 I appre$iate the ti#e.+ Her ga=e tra$&ed up #et )*e"s. I wal&ed ba$& with >en and Cob( one night.oun$e $rashing on Chill. She didn"t get ho#e until si0 this #orning. +1a(be the( ran + he $ontinued in a *oi$e that hit$hed in a battle against tears.+ She loo&ed o*er at -a$hai then down at her folded hands. If (ou &now how it wor&s (ou &now I ha*e to as&. I got ho#e 'ust after #idnight.+ +@nderstood. +Alone and asleep. +I feel li&e I"# going to wa&e up and none of this happened.+Childhood friend. +Did the( #a(be get atta$&ed on the street3+ He wat$hed )*e with horror and hope.+ +?eah and it is. The( were tight li&e brothers. Not li&e -a$h but we hung out a $ouple ti#es. !here were (ou between one and four this #orning3+ +In bed. The restaurant"s $lose to where I li*e so I go in a lot.+ )*e #o*ed on to the last. +Ben Di$&erson + he said.+ . To tal& to. I had a date but it didn"t go an(where. +And the people who atta$&ed the# went at the# when the( got to the building. . 1( un$le ga*e the# so#e food. Then he was 'ust one #ore 5D when -a$hai found hi# dead%two da(s dead. 6or all of us. 1( un$le #anages a Sli$e and I helped >en then Cob( get 'obs there.+ +No. He"s good about gi*ing people a $han$e.+ +Did (ou e*er go to the pla$e the( were sta(ing3+ +5n$e. His fa$e pale and thin showed signs of fatigue. I"*e got a roo##ate but she had a date and it did go so#ewhere.

There are going to be others who &new the# and the setup fro# /et Straight and Sli$e. +He didn"t hesitate to tell #e or that he thought #a(be she felt so#ething ba$&.+ She signaled -eabod( who put her hand on -a$hai"s shoulder before rising. Rando# doesn"t fit. Did I pass3+ . !hen >ustin $a#e ba$& in he loo&ed drained.+ +No.+Did the( own "lin&s3+ He blin&ed in pu==le#ent. +Did (ou get an(thing3+ +He was in lo*e with Darnell + -eabod( said as the( headed down again.+ +.+ +!ill (ou &eep #e%us%infor#ed3+ +I $an do that.+ +Is there an(thing #ore we $an do3+ +Not at this ti#e. +If (ou $ould gi*e Arianna a few #inutes she"ll #eet (ou in the 1editation /arden. No alibi but he gi*es off this gentle &ind of sweet *ibe.+ +Do (ou &now an(one who"d want to hurt the#3+ +I don"t see wh( an(one would. At least two of the#%and I"d add Rosenthall as a third%had been there &new the setup. >en was stud(ing so she $ould do se$retarial wor&. It wasn"t #u$h to as&.+ No )*e thought. Deliberate brea&-in through the ba$& and the other &illers%be$ause I $an"t see it being one gu(%got into the front atta$&ed the# in a fren=ied but s(ste#ati$ #anner.e$ause3+ +5h bo( a 7ui=. This wasn"t rando#. +Sure. -repared pre#editated and target spe$ifi$. The( didn"t ha*e an(thing didn"t hurt an(bod(.+ +All right. !re$&ed the pla$e but as far as we &now too& nothing but their "lin&s%and at least one of the# had the prote$ti*e gear so no blood on his%or their%$lothes. The( were har#less. I $an"t see hi# slaughtering three people.+ +5n the other hand he and e*er(one in that lab &new all three *i$s and where the( were s7uatting. It"s #ost probable the( brought the weapons%a &nife s$alpel and so#e sort of bludgeoning tool%with the#. +Arianna !hitwood down in the gardens + )*e told her. If an(thing o$$urs to (ou an(thing at all let #e &now. That"s not #u$h to as&. She wanted to wor& in an offi$e. )*er(bod( has at least one "lin&. That weighs.

5n a professional and personal le*el I belie*e Cob( and !il would ha*e #ade it. )*er(thing about her said $lassi$ and $lass and re#inded )*e of 1ira. 5ften all three.+ +?es I guess I pi$&ed it up fro# hi#. -eople don"t thin& about that be$ause the( get distra$ted b( the wings. She"d $o#e so far in su$h a short ti#e. Can we sit3+ She did so folded her hands again. The( would ha*e #ade it.utterflies 'ust #a&e (ou happ(.+ )*e too& the path #ar&ed 1editation /arden angled through blosso#s and butterflies. She wore a leaf.+ +That"s true.+ +?ou were the therapist for all three *i$ti#s + )*e began. Her e(es a $olor $aught so#ewhere between green and brown spar&ed with anger.+ +She did so#e ti#e in the s(ste# + )*e put in. +?es. +I wanted to tal& to (ou here. She saw Arianna on one of the stone ben$hes the dia#ond on her left hand on fire in the strea#s of light.ut not (et. I &now >en would ha*e. Bind of Fen. 9oo& butterflies. +Totall( #ag. +Addi$tion is ne*er 7uiet.+ +5ther addi$ts not #a&ing su$h progress #ight resent the# for theirs. . I"d hoped to #eet (ou but not li&e this. She rose. +9ieutenant Dallas. .+ A s#ile bro&e o*er -eabod("s fa$e.+ Arianna laid a hand on her heart. +Not bad at all + )*e said with a loo& around. +>u*ie group ho#es foster ho#es. +. >en was addi$ted to heroin preferred it in the #i0 the( $all Chill on the street. Her hair a ri$h nutt( brown was wound up in so#e $o#pli$ated twist that left her e0$eptional fa$e unfra#ed.+ The( passed through an atriu# on the #ain le*el and into the burgeoning gardens.+ +Dr. Rosenthall used that ter#. It"s *iolent or sl( or sedu$ti*e. I belie*e that.+Not bad. Her #other was the sa#e her father was her #other"s dealer%she thin&s. At their approa$h Arianna turned her head.+ +?ou"re not spoiling #( happ(.+ . The 7uiet.+ +The("*e got that bugg( bod( and those $reep( little antennas. I alwa(s wonder if the( ha*e teeth. -ea$ suit with a foa# of la$e and high ra=or-thin heels of the sa#e $olor that show$ased long legs. She often bartered her bod( for hits.ut >en found her 7uiet and her strength and was helping Cob( and !il find theirs. I"d hoped to find so#e 7uiet here. The( would ha*e told #e if an(one was pressuring the# threatening the#. She"d found the 7uiet. Dete$ti*e -eabod(. The( #ust ha*e tin( sharp little teeth.

>en ran off when she was si0teen and $ontinued that troubled diffi$ult life up until nearl( four #onths ago when she wo&e up after a binge. She got out began to wal&. He"d li*ed with his great-grand#other until she died and she"d ta&en hi# to $hur$h. . The( lo*ed her and their lo*e for her and ea$h other pro*ed stronger than the addi$tion. !il went the #ore spiritual route. Honest( had be$o#e a *ital tool for her in re$o*er( and she trusted #e. Instead of wal&ing on tr(ing for the ne0t s$ore or ending her life she went in. She brought Cob( in. She often said that was the beginning for her.ut neither of the# #o*ed on it. That"s a &ind of #ira$le. .+ Arianna turned her head to #eet )*e"s e(es. She"d lost three da(s and $a#e ba$& to herself $o*ered in $uts bruises filth her own *o#it in so#e base#ent flop with no re$olle$tion of how she"d gotten there. . >ustin and I were there that da(. None of the# had an( fa#il( no one the( were $lose to or had $onta$t with not for a long ti#e. !hat the("d for#ed now was a fa#il( so the( li*ed that wa(. Now he used it to &eep hi#self and his friends stead(. !hen we #et.+ +Did the( tell (ou about an(one who $on$erned the# who ga*e the# an( grief put an( pressure on the# to use again3+ +No. And now . !e en$ourage re$o*erings to se*er ties with people who are part of their addi$tion but she wouldn"t listen. She"d be$o#e desensiti=ed about se0. This ti#e she $hose. The( for#ed friendships asso$iations at the Center and at /et Straight. +!ithdrawal is hard and painful but she ne*er ga*e up. She sa*ed Cob( si#pl( be$ause she wouldn"t gi*e up on hi# either and then !il. She thought of the ne0t s$ore thought of 'ust ending her life and she $a#e to /et Straight. She wal&ed in on her own.+?es.+ Arianna loo&ed awa( again as her *oi$e roughened. 6or >en se0 had been that bartering tool or so#ething to do with another addi$t.+ +!ere the( inti#ate3+ +No not se0uall(. Cob( 'o&ed about it.+ . I thin& she was beginning to feel nor#al and natural urges. She was attra$ted to -a$h% -a$hai /upta%and he to her. >en and Cob( had been if (ou $an $all it inti#a$( when the( were both using. +She"d had three $ourt-assigned rehabilitations and none of the# too&. The("d #ade a *ow%>en Cob( and !ill%to abstain for si0 #onths to fo$us on the#sel*es as indi*iduals. She was read( to be helped and the( helped her.+ +No. He"d used that $har# and wit to sur*i*e on the streets. >en and Cob( went with hi# a few ti#es but #ore for friendship than interest. The( were still in the hone(#oon stage so happ( to be where the( were so happ( to ha*e ea$h other. He"d started to go ba$&. He was funn( sharp. She had a troubled diffi$ult $hildhood.+ +How $an (ou be sure3+ +She would ha*e told #e.+ +This wasn"t her first tr( at rehab.

+ +5&a(. The stipulation was the( had to &eep the pla$e and the#sel*es $lean. The( all put in ti#e at /et Straight attending #eetings ta&ing on $hores %$leaning organi=ing donations%that"s part of the progra#. this #orning3+ He blustered. !here were (ou between one and four a. The("d see a *id now and then but pri#aril( the( wor&ed%sa*ed their #one( toward finding a pla$e to li*e% $on$entrated on the progra# studied. The( attended group there too as well as here.+ Tears shi##ered in her e(es.+ +?ou ga*e the# per#ission to li*e in the building3+ +?es. 9et"s interrogate (ou. .+ +?ou *isited the# there3+ +)ither >ustin or I would drop b( on$e a wee&. +I"# not answering an( of (our insulting 7uestions and neither is Arianna. His e(es a green as sharp as his *oi$e were all for Arianna. +I heard what happened. . Ignoring )*e and -eabod( he grabbed her hands got to his &nees.+ The sharp $all sli$ed through the 7uiet garden.ut (ou $an"t trust the addi$tion. She was ta&ing a business $lass. .illingsl(. The( did.+ +Arianna. +!e trusted the#.+ +It"s hardl( ne$essar( to interrogate Arianna at all and parti$ularl( before she"s had ti#e to pro$ess. 9ieutenant Dallas Dete$ti*e -eabod( #( asso$iate )ton .+ +!here else did the( go routinel( do routinel(3+ +The( li&ed to hang out at the Twelfth Street Diner drin& $offee and tal&. Chelsea . +At a ti#e li&e this3+ +1urder usuall( brings the $ops. >ustin as&ed #e and we thought it would gi*e the# a breather allow the# to li*e on their own sa*e sta( $lose to the Center. A #an tall his dar& hair $ropped $lose to a tanned fa$e hurried toward the#.+ .+ He shot )*e a disgusted loo&. )*e saw her bear down against the#.+!hat $hur$h3+ +Ah .+ +The poli$e. 5r >en did. )*e $ouldn"t thin& of another word for the sounds he #ade or the loo& on his fa$e as he sprang to his feet. !hat $an I do for (ou3+ +)ton.aptist.#. +I was going to tell (ou #(self but I needed to spea& with the poli$e. Spot-$he$& + she said with the first hint of a s#ile.

The pro$ess $an help the# through withdrawal gi*e the# fo$us and $an often help the# bring the root of their addi$tion to the surfa$e.+ He too& her hands again.+ +!hen"s the last ti#e (ou had $onta$t with the#%ea$h of the#3+ +I"d ha*e to $he$& #( boo&. ?our $hoi$e.illingsl( + he snapped at )*e.+ +Do that. I $an hardl( re#e#ber off the top of #( head.+ /entl( but deliberatel( Arianna drew her hands awa(.+ +Nothing"s ob*ious at this point.illingsl(.+ +The("ll hardl( find out here with (ou.+ +)ton. +?ou"re right of $ourse. !h( would I3 Instead of wasting ti#e here (ou should be out on the street loo&ing for the #ania$s who did this.+ +So did (ou do the "(ou"re getting sleep(" with the *i$ti#s3+ )*e as&ed hi#. ?ou"re upset.+ +And3+ +As Arianna $an tell (ou the( were #a&ing e0$ellent e*en e0$eptional progress. +No. +Stop now. The poli$e are tr(ing to find out who hurt >en and the bo(s and wh(.+ +I ha*en"t heard an answer (et 1r.+ Arianna rose.+ +Dr. . It"s ob*iousl( the result of *iolent addi$ts people the( asso$iated with before the( began the progra#.+ +>ustin doesn"t allow an(thing. ?ou"*e been *er( helpful + she said to Arianna. . +?es. He spe$iali=es in h(pnotherap(.+5h (eah (ou are + )*e $orre$ted +here or at Cop Central. I &now how #u$h (ou"d in*ested in these re$o*erings. .ut it"s natural to want to shield (ou fro# this &ind of ordeal. +And at that ti#e of the #orning I was ho#e in bed. +>ustin should ne*er ha*e allowed it.+ +!hat was (our relationship with the *i$ti#s3+ -erhaps due to the fa$t that his fa$e went red Arianna answered for hi#. +)ton is one of our ps($hologists. .+ +Alone3+ +?es. Did (ou e*er *isit the building where the( were li*ing3+ His lips thinned.

+ +I $an onl( hope it"s not the last. )*en as the( stepped out into the air holding the first faint hint of fall )*e"s $o# signaled.+ ------------------------------------------Chapter G The( got little #ore fro# /et Straight but $onfir#ation of e*er(thing the("d heard before and #ore grief.illingsl( began.e$ause he wouldn"t gi*e the# up not without a warrant whi$h (ou"re going to put in the wor&s while we head o*er to /et Straight. !ho &nows what he"s up to with that3+ +!h( didn"t (ou as& for his trans$ripts3+ +. . .illingsl( whi$h is another pisser for hi#. The( $ould help #e. I"ll show (ou the wa( out.+ +Arianna + .+ +!e"*e got it than&s. I bet she ga*e the *i$s a lot #ore of her ti#e attention and affe$tion than she gi*es .et he puts in plent( of g(# ti#e. >ustin and I would li&e to arrange a #e#orial. It"s little enough.+ +That"s a pisser for hi#. +I"ll be in tou$h on$e I ha*e.illingsl(. .+ +Billing the hell out of the# doesn"t $hange that.+ +I"ll ha*e the# sent to (ou this afternoon. +.+ +5h (eah and she doesn"t want hi# for hers. ?ou ha*e trans$ripts of (our sessions with the#.ig fla#ing asshole with a big fla#ing te#per. . 9oo&s li&e he &eeps in good shape. +Asshole + was -eabod("s opinion. Do$tor-patient pri*ilege doesn"t appl( when the patients are dead. She re$ogni=ed the first on s$ene on her s$reen. +)ton please.+ +1a(be but I reall( hate hi# alread(.+ As the( wal&ed awa( )*e glan$ed ba$&.+Can (ou let us &now when . -lus h(pnotherap(.+ +I"# re7uired to infor# the ne0t of &in + )*e told her. )ton had her hands again his head bent toward hers as he tal&ed rapidl(.+ +5ooh that"s going to be another pisser for . !ould be a prett( #ur&( #oti*e. And he wants Arianna !hitwood for his own. !e"d li&e to arrange for their re#ains.

+Her des$ription"s prett( strange but she"s sti$&ing to it and doesn"t stri&e #e as a wha$& 'ob. +A #onster.+ +And laughing sir in what the wit des$ribes as a wild guttural laugh.+ +?es sir. There"s a streetlight and she states she saw hi# $learl( and he was dan$ing.+ +1ale #ediu# build%she thin&s%dar& hair wild and string(. How good a loo&3+ +She $lai#s a good solid one. It $ould be the sub'e$t was wearing a #as& or a disguise.+ +/i*e #e the details.+ )*e hea*ed out a sigh.+ +Sir we dug up a wit $lai#s she saw so#eone near the rear of the $ri#e s$ene and obser*ed hi# stuffing so#ething in the re$($ler where we found the blood( prote$ti*e gear.+ +5ffi$er Slo*i$ are (ou a$tuall( wasting #( ti#e on this3+ +Sir I wouldn"t but she ga*e details she had the ti#e down and she ad#its it sounds $ra=(.+ +Conta$t Dete$ti*e ?an$( at Central and get her to hi#.+ He #ade the throat-$learing sound again. Her apart#ent"s got a good *iew of the area and she was up wal&ing her &id%&id"s teething. !e got her on the $an*ass. +!ill she wor& with an artist3+ +She"s an0ious to. -ossibl( a de#on.+ +!hat did she see3+ He $leared his throat.+ +That"s a brea&.+5ffi$er Slo*i$. +/reenish s&in red bulging e(es $ontorted features and pro#inent teeth wearing a bla$& $ape and $arr(ing a bla$& sat$hel. I belie*e her 9ieutenant I #ean about what she saw. She"s a shortorder $oo& on parental lea*e.+ +And this green red-e(ed #onster was dan$ing in the streetlight.+ +?eah.+ .+ +Sorr(3+ +That"s her state#ent 9ieutenant.+ )*e heard the shrug in his *oi$e.

Sin$e the wit onl( saw one #an and the e*iden$e leans toward one #an%he"d ha*e to be h(ped on so#ething. Target spe$ifi$ pre#editated planned. 1orris wore a gra( suit and a strong red tie. The band twined through his braid of dar& hair #at$hed the tie. Feus not onl( #a&es (ou $ra=( but it deadens (ou to pain pu#ps the adrenaline.She sho*ed the $o# into her po$&et. The $hoi$e $heered her a little. +A green red-e(ed $ape-wearing #onster. She didn"t e0pe$t the sweepers to gift wrap the &iller"s prints for her. ?eah. !e"ll see it through. . He"d bro&en in through the ba$& window )*e thought bringing the s$ene ba$& into her head. 6l(ing on Feus a #an $ould ha$& beat $ho&e%and laugh his ass off while doing it. ?ou $an round it off with the diner the( used as a hang spot. .+ +The #onster did it.fourCse*en. She was sure of it. . I"# going to swing b( the #orgue see what 1orris $an gi*e us. Feus was a good fit she thought but not a perfe$t one.+ +5r possibl( de#on + -eabod( put in and earned a sneer. Through the spea&ers a sa0 wailed out a 'a==( riff. . Still a blend . Need a tool for that in the sat$hel. #a(be. Cli#b in ni$e and 7uiet%so#ething else that didn"t fit the Feus not pure Feus.ut he $ouldn"t plan %$ostu#e sat$hel with weapons and prote$ti*e gear glo*ed or sealed hands. . +I see (ou got #e a triple-header.+ +1a(be. !e"ll hoo& up ba$& at Central.ut not the $al$ulation.+ )*e slid behind the wheel and headed for the #orgue.+ +I"d sure as hell rather go to a pi==a 'oint than the #orgue. . . and so#e enterprising soul was alwa(s $o#ing up with a new and i#pro*ed in the illegals ga#e. 1oti*e was a #ur&( area.athroo# ba$& roo# all neat and tid( so the &iller had #o*ed straight into the front of the shop and the *i$s.+ She $he$&ed the ti#e. +I want (ou to go b( Sli$e tal& to the boss the $owor&ers and do the sa#e at the twent(. !ant #e to bring (ou a sli$e3+ +No . +I"# not sa(ing I belie*e in #onsters and de#ons but so#ebod( h(ped up on Feus sa( $on*in$ed he is one gets in the gear to top it off.+ . 1a(be the( had so#e trouble last night or so#ebod( followed the# ho#e. His long $le*er e(es #et hers o*er the open bod( of >ennifer Darnell. She $onsidered re'e$ted fiddled with *arious theories through downtown traffi$ then let the# si##er as she wal&ed into the white tunnel of the #orgue. His wardrobe rarel( *aried fro# bla$& sin$e the #urder of his lo*er. It fit the *iolen$e the fren=( of it.

+6ro# #( re$onstru$tion whi$h is still preli#inar( (es. Not a hunting or $ar*ing &nife. The( li*ed hard for their short ti#e. There"s internal abuse self-infli$ted fro# (ears of illegals ingestion poor diet. If the("d li*ed and &ept $lean the( should ha*e done well enough. A blow here. +5ne3 ?ou ne*er fail to intrigue.+ +And her. He"d literall( had his brains bashed in.+ 1orris tapped the side of his hand diagonall( o*er his right te#ple.( a bat or pipe so#e three in$hes in dia#eter and e0tre#e for$e. As in (our notes she was stru$& with the sa#e bat as &illed her friend a$ross the &nees shattering her &nee$aps.+ +!ere the( &eeping $lean3+ +Bnowing (ou"d as& I ran and rushed the to0 s$reen first and the( were.+ +Se0ual a$ti*it( $onsensual or for$ed3+ +No. Their last #eal whi$h I assu#e the( shared about #idnight was pi==a a diet $ola for the girl straight $ola for the bo(s. That also ta&es strength and energ(.+ +In$apa$itate both #ales. It"s unli&el( he felt the rest. +The da#age here the strength the sheer energ( it too& to beat the first *i$ was $onsiderable.+ +S#all fa*or. Do (ou &now how #an( are responsible for this3+ +5ne.+Not diffi$ult to belie*e gi*en the $ondition of these (oung people. I"*e sent the# to the lab. 1ore li&el( an ine0pensi*e #eat &nife. The tip bro&e on bone and that"s at the lab as well.+ He loo&ed o*er the bodies again. Ai$ti# one%in order of T5D%suffered #ultiple bro&en bones and ribs so#e of the# post#orte#.+ 1orris"s e(ebrows shot up. Considerable enduran$e. C5D would be a fra$tured s&ull.+ +Head blow first3+ )*e spe$ulated. I found so#e paint fla&es in the wounds.+ +Ai$ti# two #ultiple stab wounds infli$ted with a 'agged-edged blade so#e four in$hes in length.+ +And when he"d finished there he still had enough to #anuall( strangle %$orre$t3+ . +It would ha*e &no$&ed hi# out $old. . He was stabbed first $enter of the $hest two stri&es and on$e in the abdo#en. The ear e(e and tongue were re#o*ed post#orte# and with a s#ooth sharp blade%a s$alpel would be #( opinion. I found signs of re$o*er( and re*ersal. 5n the se$ond the stab wounds are *er( deep *er( for$eful and there are eight(-fi*e holes in that unfortunate bo(. And it was done with pre$ision. Again fro# #( preli# the rest of the wounds $a#e se*eral #inutes later.

+Nadine"s in (our offi$e 9T. She s#elled $oo&ies the #inute she stepped into the bullpen $aught the s$atter of $ru#bs on >en&inson"s shirt wat$hed .ut (ou and I see e*er( da( what one hu#an being is $apable of doing to another. He en'o(ed this. Reine&e"s wal&ing hi# down to lo$&up.+ He brushed at the# hastil( as she turned awa( to stride to her offi$e.+ +?eah and when the( ha*e that #u$h fun the( want to do it again. !here Nadine 6urst reporter e0traordinaire lounged in her *isitor"s $hair nibbling on a $oo&ie and wor&ing on her --C. +I"# not 1ira so that"s si#pl( a dead do$tor"s ta&e.a0ter stuff the re#ains of one in his #outh before he offered her a big s#ile. Sa(ing nothing )*e lifted the lid of the ba&er( bo0 on her des& too& out a fat $ho$olate $hip. +!hat do (ou want3+ . And she wanted a loo& at the wit or at least ?an$("s s&et$h.+?es + 1orris $onfir#ed +he used his own hands.+ +!ith $oo&ie $ru#bs on (our shirt. +!e got one Dallas. -atheti$ that a bun$h of $ops fat-assing at their des&s instead of out ta&ing down bad gu(s $an be bribed with $oo&ies.+ +To #anuall( strangle the third whi$h also ta&es strength.+ >en&inson shot up a hand.illingsl(. He ended it a$$ording to the wit we"re wor&ing with b( dan$ing down the sidewal&. And still after that he had it in hi# to brea& $hairs tables basi$all( wrea& ha*o$. She needed to re*iew her notes write an initial report%harass the sweepers and the lab for theirs%start her #urder board and boo&. .+ +-atheti$. This one en'o(ed hi#self.+ 1orris laid a gentle hand on >ennifer Darnell"s head. So#ewhere in there she wanted to $ar*e out so#e ti#e to do a good solid run on )ton Asshole . I"# doing the fi*es.+ +Then he has a powerful $onstitution probabl( $he#i$all( enhan$ed.+ 888 She headed to Central.

+I heard (ou $aught a #ess( one. Da#n fine $oo&ie.+ +!ell I hope he is be$ause he"s as I said a di$&. +!hat else do (ou want3+ +?ou"re 'ust ba$& fro# $losing a big one in Dallas.+A #an of a#a=ing se0ual prowess great sensiti*it( stupendous abs and the fa$e of an angel.+ Nadine"s s#ile faded.+ )*e bit into the $oo&ie. +Se$ond $hoi$e3+ Nadine fluffed ba$& her strea&( blond hair s#iled her feline s#ile with her $at"s e(es glinting.+ )*e too& another bite of $oo&ie.+ +That"s right.+ Nadine )*e $al$ulated was alwa(s a good sour$e.+ +Is he a suspe$t3+ +Nadine it"s too earl(. Are (ou loo&ing at gang andCor illegals related #urders3+ +I"# loo&ing at e*er(thing e*er(one.+ +In$luding.+ +I &now. Isaa$ 1$Hueen% the se$ond ti#e (ou too& hi# down.+ +I got that #u$h.+ +In$luding the !hitwoods and the *er( drea#( >ustin Rosenthall. I don"t &now #u$h about hi# but I $an find out.+ . Toss in a wi$&ed sense of hu#or and stupendous wealth who adores the *er( ground I wal& on. I don"t ha*e an(thing to gi*e (ou.+ +The *i$ti#s are the stor(. I want (ou to $o#e on Now and tal& about it.+ +I"# wor&ing on it.+ +Three *i$ti#s beaten stabbed and strangled re$o*ering addi$ts with a $onne$tion to the !hitwood /roup%&illed in fa$t on propert( owned b( sa#e. Co#es fro# #one(. +!hat do (ou &now about )ton . He also seriousl( $ourted the lo*el( Arianna who fell head o*er s&irt for Rosenthall %who is not a di$&. It"s a hot stor( Dallas. Not 7uite on the !hitwood le*el but he"s got a fat portfolio. 5h wait (ou alread( ha*e hi#. I ha*en"t put it together (et.illingsl(3+ +He"s a di$&. Hi# $o#ing after (ou abdu$ting one of his for#er *i$ti#s. The !hitwoods are alwa(s a strong stor(. +The( were (oung tr(ing to turn things around.

I li&e to &now who I"# wor&ing with.+ +5&a(. 9ouise Di#atto"s *-#ail left a #essage as&ing for a #eeting. So#e of it in the apart#ent where he &ept 1elinda >ones and the girl so#e in the hotel suite where he $a#e after (ou. No that"s not half-bad. .+ .+ At the door Nadine paused glan$ed ba$&. He did ha*e the fa$e of an angel a fallen one with the wings well-singed but that onl( #ade hi# #ore $o#pelling. 6riendship"s stronger than a stor(.efore she $ould sa( an(thing else Nadine held up a hand. !hen she finished she started her report. She was shuffled dire$tl( to Dr.+ )*e said nothing.+ Alone )*e turned to her "lin& and $onta$ted another friend. +That"s parti$ularl( grueso#e + Roar&e said fro# her doorwa(. He wore one of his sharp business suits but there was no asshole *ibe here as with . .+ Nadine re$rossed her legs.)*e set the $oo&ie aside. 5h she"d left a few things out but all in all. Nadine had been right )*e thought in her su##ar( of hi#.ree and 1elinda >ones + )*e said as Nadine rose. +And I"# not going to press (ou. hurt. +Dallas an(ti#e (ou want to tal& to the friend about an( of it the reporter will step ba$&. ?ou should $onta$t . I had to as&. +An on-lo$ation spe$ial3 That"s not bad.+ +It"s not li&e (ou to gi*e up so eas(.+ And it was.+ +I intended to $onta$t the#. +?ou should go to Dallas where it happened tal& to the# there.illingsl(. I"*e got to go.lass $ase I did a little resear$h.+ Nadine angled her head. Da#n fine or not her appetite dried up. +It"s not eas( getting #u$h ba$&ground on (ou but I &now (ou were found in Dallas when (ou were a $hild and (ou"d been . +A $ouple of (ears ago when (ou and I hoo&ed up o*er the De. +I"# not going to do that. +!hen (ou get so#ething on this new $ase #a(be (ou $an gi*e #e a heads-up.+ +I appre$iate it. The reporter wants an inter*iew Dallas but the friend won"t push. . That and those wildl( blue e(es the sil&( bla$& hair.+ +1a(be I $ould. Rising she progra##ed $offee then began to set up her board. She"d wor& better with the *isuals.

e$ause he"s going to want to e0plain it to #e. And the( both put their ti#e and effort into their parti$ular $ause. +I had business nearb( and too& a $han$e I"d see #( wife.+ She thought of the des$ription. +!hat would the( ha*e to do with this3+ +That"s a 7uestion.+ He ran a hand absentl( o*er )*e"s shoulder as he #o*ed $loser to the board. +!hat are (ou doing here3+ she de#anded.+ She $li$&ed off rose.+ +Is that so3+ He shifted his ga=e ba$& to her.+ +!h( not sin$e it"s unli&el( I $an tal& (ou into a late lun$h or earl( dinner. +This will ha*e to do.+ +I"*e got the s&et$h 9ieutenant + ?an$( told her. +!h( not ha*e it sent to (our $o#p3+ +.+ She did as the( used the glides to get to ?an$("s le*el.This was power su$$ess se0 and danger all rolled into one strea#lined pa$&age with Ireland gilding his *oi$e. +Surfa$e so$iall( $haritable foundation e*ents sort of &nowing.+ +)ton . +1a(be (ou $an elaborate on that later but right now I ha*e to%+ She bro&e off answered her "lin&. Still.+ +/it + Roar&e said using his $hildhood slang in insult. And here she is. I ha*en"t had ti#e to #onitor the poli$e reports + he added as the( wal&ed. +A strong !hitwood-Rosenthall $onne$tion + he $o##ented. Certainl( he wouldn"t . 5h >ustin Rosenthall and Arianna !hitwood sa( hi. +Dallas.+ He flipped open the ba&er( bo0 helped hi#self to a $oo&ie. +I thin& (ou"re going to want to see it.illingsl( in*ol*ed either. +?ou $an tag along.+ +5n #( wa(. How well do (ou &now the#3+ +Not that well. +Caught it this #orning. He"s intense without being prea$h( and she"s dedi$ated without being tireso#e.illingsl(. +Tell #e about the $ase. +As I said I don"t &now the# well but I $an"t see the# in*ol*ed in that. This is new + he said loo&ing at her board again. @nfortunatel( I $an"t see .

+ . 1a(be one or #ore than one of the# gets in too deep. . Hair fell in oil( twists o*er a wide forehead o*er ears with a defined point nearl( to the shoulders of a swirled bla$& $ape. 6er*ent.+ +Than&s for $o#ing in 1s.ut then when the poli$e $a#e and said those three people had been #urdered right a$ross the street . +1orris $onfir#s the a#putations weren"t the wor& of an a#ateur.+ +-eople who wor& with addi$ts da( in da( out so#eti#es end up using the#sel*es.ut I 'ust thought it was so#e $ra=(. +!e appre$iate (our $ooperation and infor#ation. +I &now I sound li&e a nut$ase but I"# not. I onl( wish I"d $onta$ted the poli$e last night when I saw hi#. 9T C(nthia Bopel%and 9ilian. Can I see the s&et$h3+ ?an$( e0$hanged a loo& with the witness and C(nthia sighed. Reputation"s ruined the Center bla$&ened blah blah. !ell I thought%after it s$ared the hell out of #e for a se$ond%'ust so#e weird gu(. Bopel. I got a good loo& be$ause he was dan$ing around in the streetlight li&e it was a spotlight on a stage. . And when ?an$( ga*e it to her loo&ed at the fa$e of a #onster. . The e(es bulged and glea#ed red against s&in of pale si$&l( green. +C(nthia this is 9ieutenant Dallas.+ As she spo&e the bab( su$&ed heroi$all( on one of the plugs parents used to &eep babies fro# s$rea#ing%as far as )*e &new. 5ne of the# finds out threatens to spill it.+ +?eah and I"# going to loo& at all of the#. I didn"t &now about those people until 5ffi$er Slo*i$ &no$&ed on the door toda(. I &now how it loo&s but it"s what I saw.stoop to getting his hands dirt(.+ +I"# happ( to. . +It"s what I saw.+ )*e held out a hand for the printout. --------------------------------------------Chapter I The $roo&ed 'aw a$$ented a twisted #outh with teeth long sharp and pro#inent.+ She #o*ed through ?an$("s di*ision straight to the glass $ube where she saw hi# and a wo#an in her earl( thirties with a bab( on her lap. >ust weird. +I &now how it loo&s + C(nthia repeated boun$ing the bab( on her &nee either out of ner*es or habit. +!hoe*er did it had so#e #edi$al training + she added. ?an$( ga*e )*e a nod. Newl( re$o*erings $an be li&e $on*erts.+ +An( nu#ber of people at the Center and /et Straight would ha*e #edi$al training. A thin nose hoo&ed o*er it.

!ell it #ade the hairs on the ba$& of #( ne$& stand up. +Theatri$s. . The tension in C(nthia"s fa$e eased.+ +?eah I got that.+ She let out a sigh. I started to go wa&e up Reed% 9ilian"s dadd(%but then he%this gu(%left. send #e the file $op( + she said to ?an$(. .+ +I &now how it loo&s too + ?an$( said after he"d wal&ed C(nthia out. +!e"ll start $he$&ing $ostu#e shops theaters. The attitude fits%the laughing dan$ing around the theatri$s. Is this what he wanted her to see3 Adds #ore fear but it"s not as personal if she"s seeing this #as& this disguise and not hi#.ut this was .+ +Here to ser*e.+ She frowned o*er the s&et$h. +5n the inside he"s e0a$tl( how he loo&ed. And that laugh.595 on this fa$e at this ti#e but she saw what she saw.+ She drew the bab( $loser.+ C(nthia shuddered.ut she was solid Dallas. +That he has so#e sort of defor#it( and pla(ed it up. )ar e(es tongue. +He strangled Darnell fa$e-tofa$e.+ . So he dresses up for it adds so#e pun$h. +It was this #ania$al laugh but low and deep%and &ind of raw. There was definite glee in the &illings. +. I felt stupid but then those three people I had to report it on$e I &new. 9i&e he had so#ething stu$& in his throat. +5h (eah. The( &new ea$h other. After he stuffed so#ething in the re$($ler he bent o*er his hands on his &nees laughing and laughing. )*il. He &new all of the#.+ +If it"s #a&eup + ?an$( told her +he"s a pro and an e0pert. .+ +Are (ou $ertain she &new hi#3+ Roar&e as&ed. . Howe*er he loo&ed how $ould he be laughing and dan$ing around after &illing the#3 He is a #onster. !hat did the( hear see3 !hat was he afraid the("d sa(3 So . I don"t thin& we"ll be issuing a . If it"s a #as& of so#e &ind it"s da#n good so it"d $ost large.+1a(be he dressed up for it + )*e $onsidered. The 'aw%if (our witness has it right%it loo&s se*erel( dislo$ated.+ +?eah. And that should help. Strangest s&et$h I"*e e*er done and I"*e done so#e strange.+ +!hen (ou see so#ething li&e this in the #iddle of the night outside (our window it would spoo& (ou + )*e $o##ented. He went up the street %spinning around so the $ape he was wearing twirled. Ni$e 'ob ?an$(. +?ou see all &inds of strange stuff and people in the $it( and half the ti#e (ou barel( noti$e or get a &i$& out of it (ou &now3 .+ +I &now he was $reep(. +I didn"t thin& an(one would belie*e #e.+ +Ha*e (ou $onsidered a $o#bination3+ Roar&e as&ed as the( wal&ed ba$&.

See if (ou $an find an(thing that fits.ut (es. +Not #u$h to add fro# Sli$e or the twent(-fourCse*en or the diner. He"s li&e a #utant.+I"# going to be wor&ing that angle but nobod( I"*e inter*iewed so far has an( &ind of fa$ial defor#it(. +I probabl( did.+ She angled so her "lin& $aptured the #urder board.+ +-art de#on part #onster part hu#an. +I"*e got three D.s. +?ou got the last one + -eabod( told her. I need to wal& this through with 1ira. ?ou $an"t hide so#ething li&e that. +Don"t be late. If it"s a #edi$al $ondition . +Ten #inutes + )*e insisted.+ She went ba$& in her offi$e with Roar&e.+ +I doubt the( thin& of it in 7uite those ter#s + Roar&e $onsidered. Seriousl(3+ +?an$( thin&s the wit"s solid and as I tal&ed to her #(self I agree. 1a(be Dallas will share with (ou. Theaters $ostu#e outlets.+ +He"s li&e so#ebod( in $ostu#e + )*e $orre$ted.+ +Ten #inutes + )*e said again.+ )*e pi$&ed up the ta&eout passed it to Roar&e. I"# waiting for 9ouise to tag #e ba$&. If (ou get an(thing $lose to a hit + she told -eabod( +let #e &now. +-la$es li&e the Center ha*e fundraisers li&e that right3 !here the( #a&e people dress up li&e idiots then s7uee=e the# for donations.+ She sat and began $hipping awa( at the s$ales of the dragon at 1ira"s gates. Costu#e parties + she added. 5r 1ira. +. +/o ahead + she said gesturing at the ta&e-out bo0. +I want to tr( to get a #eet with 1ira. Did (ou see an(bod( li&e this3+ She offered -eabod( the s&et$h.+ She started to dig out #one( for the pi==a.+ +!e"ll loo& at that.+ . He( Roar&e.+ +And Dr.+ +I won"t. +6or this. 1ira has a full s$hedule toda(. 9u$&( I brought ba$& a personal pie. 1a(be she"d ha*e so#e ideas on that. +Start running down this loo&. +!hoa. And let"s see if we $an find an(one $onne$ted to the $enter or /et Straight who"s in*ol*ed in theater or theatri$al #a&eup. I"# writing it up. . . +In thirt( #inutes + the ad#in told her.+ !hen the( stepped ba$& into the bullpen -eabod( hailed her. +1a(be she will.

?ou"*e dis$ounted this being done b( so#eone fro# their past3 An addi$t a dealer. Add to it Darnell"s been out of that for nearl( four #onths and wouldn"t be tough to tra$& down.+ +I $an"t fault (our logi$. +. Did + she $orre$ted. I didn"t reali=e (ou were there. I rarel( $an. He hasn"t been in the progra# as long.+ +!h( don"t (ou and Charles #eet us for drin&s after wor&3 ?ou and )*e $an dis$uss what needs to be dis$ussed. If she"d &nown so#ething that threatened so#eone with this s&ill wouldn"t he ha*e dealt with her before3 6or four #onths she"s been i##ersed in the Center and the progra#. Channels are $hannels for a reason e*en when the("re anno(ing.+ +I"*e got another surger( s$heduled. It"s so#ebod( atta$hed to that.+ 9ouise"s prett( fa$e pruned.+ +Not dis$ounted. +?ou &now (ou $ould $onta$t 1ira dire$tl(.+ +How well do (ou &now Rosenthall and Arianna !hitwood3+ +Aer( well.+ He si#pl( nudged her aside. +He"s an e0$ellent therapist and a $o#plete 'er&. +Hello 9ouise.+ Her "lin& signaled.+ +Dallas I was in surger(.Sa#pling the pi==a Roar&e wandered o*er to her board.+ +)ton . I $an"t 7uite belie*e it.ut the probabilit("s low an( of the# &new so#eone ba$& then who had the s&ill to surgi$all( re#o*e bod( parts. +Here. I"# a$tuall( >en Darnell"s ph(si$ian of re$ord.+ +?eah but it"s not right.+ . It"s #inor but the("re alread( prepping the patient.+ +I suppose.+ 9ouise still in s$rubs #as& dangling $a#e on s$reen. I thin& he was on so#ething when he did%the fren=( the strength and enduran$e then laughing and dan$ing.+ +?es. The( were in Haiti helping to set up a new $lini$ when Charles and I got #arried or the("d ha*e been at the wedding. So e*en fl(ing he had s&ill a stead( hand.+ +Roar&e. I #et !il re$entl(. +I 'ust heard.+ She tried the pi==a herself.illingsl(. And Cob( too in the last few #onths. +I"d see her often when I did a rotation at either the Center or /et Straight. I do her #onthl( e0a#s.+ +I need to tal& to (ou about this. +Dallas.+ +?ou &new the#.+ +Ha*e her and Charles #eet us for drin&s + Roar&e suggested and got a blan& loo& fro# )*e.

+Ta&e $are of #( $op + he told her then left. +Than&s for $learing ti#e for #e.+ +I guess it is. The war# loo&s the prett( fe#inine suits perfe$t blend of $olor and 'ewelr(. 5f $ourse. At fi*e or as $lose as (ou $an #a&e it.+ +There. It should ha*e weirded her out )*e #used sharing pi==a and good-b(e &isses #a&ing dates for drin&s in her offi$e. . +Now (ou $an tal& to 9ouise re*isit (our $ri#e s$ene and ha*e a little ti#e with friends.+ +I"*e got a #eeting shortl( so I"ll see (ou there. 1ira s#iled fro# behind her des&. She ignored the noses that $a#e up sniffing as she passed through the bullpen and $aught a glide to 1ira"s offi$e.+ He s&i##ed a fingertip down the dent in her $hin. ?ou $an go right in. +The("re $ho$olate $hip. 1a(be it was a shrin& thing )*e $onsidered thin&ing of Arianna. +I want to go ba$& o*er it.+ )*e set the bo0 on the des&. !hat the hell. +9ieutenant Dallas is here.+ Roar&e turned awa( fro# the "lin& when he"d finished. Interlude on !est )le*enth between Si0th and Se*enth.+ +Than&s.+ +Then I"# not late. +?ou"re earl(.+ +Are these a than&-(ou or a bribe3+ the ad#in as&ed as )*e #o*ed to the door.+ Stern turned suspi$ious as the wo#an lifted the lid of the bo0 a fra$tion then #ore as she peered in. +Coo&ies3 ?ou brought #e $oo&ies3+ +The("re good. Her ga=e landed on the ba&er( bo0 narrowed. She li&ed 9ouise and Charles but wasn"t sure how she felt about her inter*iew with a sour$e turning into a so$ial hour. +6ind so#ewhere to #eet up near the $ri#e s$ene + )*e said and ga*e Roar&e the address. The ad#in bus( on her $o#p glan$ed up with a stern frown. She said +H### + and pi$&ing it up wal&ed out. +It"s effi$ient.+?es I thin& that would wor&.+ -leased with herself )*e stepped into the $al# of 1ira"s offi$e.+ !hile Roar&e set it up )*e turned ba$& to her board. It did she ad#itted but not as #u$h as e0pe$ted. Is she free now3+ Still e(eing )*e she tapped her earpie$e.+ 9eaning down he brushed his lips o*er hers. I had one.

+ . +!ell. He $an $elebrate %and in the light perhaps hoping he"d be seen.+ +As soon as he $an. @nder the #a&eup or the #as& whate*er it is $ould he ha*e a defor#it(3 The 'aw"s e0tre#e. His *i$ti#s are no longer able to see hear or spea& of hi#. +Now I ha*e to as& how good is (our witness3+ +Again I ha*e to sa( *er(.+I &now (ou don"t ha*e #u$h ti#e.+ )*e too& out the s&et$h offered it. He won"t #a&e friends easil( won"t feel that bond.+ She shifted #et )*e"s e(es with her own 7uiet blue ones. He"s both $ontrolled and out of $ontrol $ann( and re$&less. )nduran$e (es and rage. He had to be on so#ething be$ause &illing three people that dead ta&es enduran$e. Ha*e a seat.J +He en*ied their friendship + 1ira $ontinued. +Theatri$al $onfident organi=ed. The( &new ea$h other. +Their bond and their happiness. He"s better than the( are.+ +Al#ost $ertainl(. I belie*e he"ll &eep these trophies these s(#bols.+ +This fa$e. Two people%perhaps #ore%in one.+ +I agree.+ +He"ll do it again. He"s a series of $ontradi$tions )*e. The a#putations were s&illfull( done. He has a god $o#ple0 battling with low self-estee# a bitter en*( and has found satisfa$tion and personal delight in &illing.+ As )*e too& one of 1ira"s blue s$oop $hairs 1ira $a#e around the des& too& the one fa$ing.ut the( had prior to their deaths. +I loo&ed o*er the data the $ri#e-s$ene photos. Dan$ing laughing so (es he en'o(ed hi#self. Nothing is enough. I figure he geared hi#self up for it added the dra#a. 1( first 7uestion is how sure are (ou there"s onl( one &iller3+ +Aer(. He &new where to brea& in $a#e prepared and was able to &ill with e0tre#e *iolen$e three people alone and in a relati*el( short a#ount of ti#e. And it a#used hi#. "Ta&e out the trash " he wrote in their blood. He"s s&illed. !e ha*e a wit who saw hi# at the rear of the building where he bro&e in. The elaborate disguise tells #e he wants to be noti$ed and doesn"t feel he is not enough. ?ou ha*e a *iolent so$iopath under the influen$e of a strong illegal.+ 1ira tu$&ed a lo$& of sable-$olored hair behind her ear as she $ontinued to stud( the s&et$h. That"s what he #ade the#. He wants what others ha*e%friends fa#il( $o##unit( %and at the sa#e ti#e feels superior to the#. The wit sa(s he dan$ed in the streetlight laughed his ugl( ass off.+ In her pla$id wa( 1ira studied the s&et$h. He #ost li&el( li*es alone feels underappre$iated at his wor&. Spotlighting after his su$$ess. 1( sense of the s$ene is fren=ied glee.+ +. +I agree with (our assess#ent that he has so#e sort of #edi$al training.+ +)nough I hope. She wor&ed with Dete$ti*e ?an$(.

She and her parents ha*e done a great deal not onl( in resear$h and appli$ation on addi$tions and rehabilitation but the( built their Center with the purpose of treating the whole person. -eabod("s running down $ostu#e shops theaters. >ustin"s a do$tor dedi$ated to healing a s$ientist and #an of reason. It see#s to #e%though I don"t see or so$iali=e with the# often%she"s softened that intensit(. The( turned a personal traged( into a great gift.ut again I $an"t thin& of an( reason it wouldn"t be treated.+?es I see that but a defor#it( su$h as this3 He"d be in $onstant pain. Hu#anit( #eans little to hi#.+ +5&a(. !e $ontrol it $hannel it%in so#e $ases #edi$ate it.+ +A god $o#ple03+ . +I don"t thin& I"*e e*er heard (ou $all an(bod( a pain in the ass. All of us are $apable under $ertain $ir$u#stan$es of e0tre#e and *iolent beha*ior.+ +A re$ent in'ur( a$$ident3+ +-ossibl( + 1ira $onsidered. -h(si$all( e#otionall( #entall( spirituall(.illingsl(3+ +A s&illed therapist and an enor#ous pain in the ass. His spee$h would be garbled.+ +It #ust be fa&ed. +Do (ou &now >ustin Rosenthall and Arianna !hitwood3+ +?es. The person who did this re'e$ts reason and hu#anit(. +. And not $apable of #urdering three people li&e this.+ +And Rosenthall3+ +Aer( s&illed re#ar&abl( gifted. Arianna"s an e0$ellent therapist. +?es (ou"re right. How about )ton . He"s rude anno(ing and full of hi#self.efore Arianna he was #u$h #ore of a loner and rarel( stepped awa( fro# his wor&. +!ith her he re#ains s&illed gifted dedi$ated to his wor& but he"s happier.+ +I don"t li&e hi# so it"s hard to be ob'e$ti*e.+ +)*er(one"s $apable + )*e stated.+ )*e had to grin.ut wh( would an(one endure the pain of this the so$ial stig#a3 And it $ontradi$ts again his $onfiden$e his need to be seen as superior. If for so#e reason he refused to ha*e it treated and is dosing hi#self with pain&illers and other drugs it #ight e0plain the fren=( the dualit( in his profile. A bright $o#passionate wo#an. It would be all but i#possible for hi# to eat. . 1ore intense than Arianna I"d sa(. He"s a po#pous snob who sees hi#self as perfe$t. Not unli&e so#eone else + 1ira said with a s#ile. As so#eone with #edi$al training and $onne$tions he would $ertainl( ha*e had this repaired.+ )*e paused a #o#ent $hanged angles. He"s gi*en hi#self a #onster"s fa$e. .

. 1ostl( good though.+ +I"# fine. . ?ou wonder if he"s $apable. If she is li&e (ou then she"s got no part in this. It was .+ +So#ething to thin& about though.+ +That"s to be e0pe$ted with that &ind of in'ur(. How"s (our ar#3+ )*e started to dis#iss it then settled on the truth.illingsl( $ertainl( wants to be noti$ed and rewarded and praised. That"s a prett( big start right3+ +?es it is. I hope he"s $lear. +It"s *er( diffi$ult for #e to en*ision a #an li&e hi# deliberatel( #a&ing hi#self hideous. .1ira"s e(ebrows rose. 1a(be 'ust being ba$& in New ?or&"s enough.+ +!hen and if it"s not (ou"ll tal& to #e3+ +I &now I $an. . She #ade #e thin& of (ou. That doesn"t su$&. And thin&ing that I hope to hell >ustin Rosenthall doesn"t be$ause (ou belie*e she lo*es hi#.+ )*e got up started for the door.+ She studied the s&et$h again.ut .+ +I"ll let (ou &now + )*e said and left. +Is she li&e (ou3+ she as&ed. . At least right now. It"s done and right now I"# o&a( with it. +Not (et. He"s s&illed%he has an 1D and would ha*e done so#e ti#e with a s$alpel before he fo$used on his spe$ialt(. Isaa$ 1$Hueen"s ba$& in a $age where he belongs.+ 1ira let out a 7ui$& e0asperated laugh. +Arianna !hitwood3+ +9i&e #e3+ +That"s the sense I got fro# her. He"s also *ain. +I &now (ou"re suspi$ious of the te$hni7ue but it"s *alid and $an be *er( effe$ti*e. Night#ares3+ +No.+ +?ou ha*en"t been ba$& long.+ +H(pno-*oodoo. I don"t &now a sense. Not 'ust be$ause she"s an attra$ti*e fe#ale shrin&. I don"t &now hi# well enough. I"# not thin&ing about #( #other what happened there + she said before 1ira $ould as&. .+ +So do I. I appre$iate the ti#e.+ +I"# happ( to gi*e it. Tell #e how (ou are. +?es I"d sa(. +A little sore in the #orning and b( the end of the da(. .

He pushed hi#self on his beautiful asso$iate and again one or all of the# saw the in$ident. )0peri#enting. He"d lose an( $han$e with the wo#an he wanted and his li$ense to pra$ti$e. She went into her offi$e got $offee then sat at her des& put her boots up and studied the board.illingsl(. . -ossible. ?ou e0peri#ented.illingsl(%and she intended to listen.ut she"d gi*e a little push on the good do$tor as well. Can"t ha*e her find out he"s be$o#e what he"s supposed to $ure.eautiful ri$h s#art dedi$ated $aring. . That"s what (ou did in a lab.ut there weren"t a lot of Roar&es in the world. Could be Arianna didn"t &now. Couldn"t ha*e the gossip #ills grinding that one. The good daughter and again the good do$tor.illingsl( wanted her%and didn"t bother to Lha-haM disguise it. Instin$t di$tated a push on . 5r onto . 1a(be the three *i$s%or an( one of the#%o*erheard Arianna and the good do$tor going at it o*er her wor& that ti#e and attention again. . Rosenthall"s too. )*er(bod( li&ed RosenthallK nobod( li&ed . 1a(be Arianna had gi*en the# too #u$h ti#e attention #ade too big an in*est#ent.----------------------------------------Chapter < )*e glan$ed o*er at -eabod( as she wal&ed ba$& into the bullpen got a sha&e of the head. That $ould pla(. Now that $o#bined with being found out $ould lead to blood( *i$ious #urder. 1a(be he"d de*eloped a proble# of his own during those e0peri#ents. A #an $ould resent that.illingsl(. Arianna !hitwood. She so#eti#es wondered wh( Roar&e didn"t resent all the ti#e the attention the in*est#ent she put into the 'ob. 1a(be the *i$s or one of the# o*erheard the two do$tors in-lo*e arguing be$ause Rosenthall was sa#pling produ$t. 5r the anno(ing do$tor fooled around with a patient #a(be%h##% #a(be tried a #o*e on Darnell. And no 'ust not enough for that &ind of slaughter. Rosenthall had her. Her patients her in*est#ent her su$$ess%at least so far. . And what did that ha*e to do with the three *i$s3 The( were Arianna"s. So no lu$& (et on #as&s or #a&eup. He( bit$h what about #e3 Shouldn"t I be the $enter of (our world3 1a(be he"d lost his te#per. Didn"t that #a&e an interesting triangle3 . Re'e$ted hu#iliated worried she"d tell Arianna.

Couldn"t so#ething li&e that #a&e a $areer3 How would /upta"s upper-$lass parents feel about hi# pining for a re$o*ering addi$t3 -ossibl( he wanted to &eep that on the down low and possibl( Darnell wanted to go publi$. /upta $a#e fro# so#e wealth and an upper-$lass so$ial strata and she $onsidered the fa$t that his parents also do$tors had wor&ed with Rosenthall (ears before. . Now /upta had the plu# position of the renowned do$tor"s lab assistant on a #a'or pro'e$t. Neither Di$&erson nor 6ran& had gone to /upta when he"d bro&en down.oth had e0$elled in s$hool she noted. He"d graduated high s$hool at si0teen $ollege %again on s$holarships%at nineteen and straight into #edi$al s$hool. Nothing bu==ing there )*e thought but $ontinued as -eabod( had started or $o#pleted a nu#ber of deeper runs on the pla(ers in those arenas.That $ould pla( too.ut none of it pla(ed *er( well. Di$&erson third%a$$elerated path. 1a(be she 'ust needed to fine-tune a little. !or&ing together on the pro'e$t she #used but the("d see#ed *er( separate hadn"t the(3 !ith Rosenthall $enter. And the( were both still on s$holarships she noted in the intern progra# at the Center. . So not friends%not espe$iall(.illingsl( Arianna 1arti 6ran& Ben Di$&erson and -a$hai /upta. 6or now she read o*er -eabod("s notes on her inter*iews at Sli$e and the twent(-fourCse*en the diner hangout. Rising )*e got another $up of $offee then started deeper runs of her own on Rosenthall . Co#petitors3 Didn"t (ou ha*e to ha*e a $o#petiti*e strea& to $o#e in first in (our $lass or in the top tier with a$$eleration3 And was it interesting she wondered or frustrating to learn that all si0 of the# had suffi$ient #edi$al training to ha*e perfor#ed the a#putations3 She"d eli#inate the fe#ales e0$ept one of the# #ight ha*e a$ted in $ollusion. 6ran& top of her $lass in $ollege %on a full s$holarship. Dead low on the list she de$ided but it felt too soon to eli#inate. . She brought the lab setup ba$& into her head.oth 1arti 6ran& and Ben Di$&erson $a#e fro# the ordinar( and in Di$&erson"s $ase the rough with his dead addi$t of an abusi*e father. -ossibl(. .

+I"*e tal&ed to the top $ostu#e shops%and so#e $ostu#e and theatri$al #a&eup designers in the $it(.+ +!hat if he"s so#e &ind of frea&3+ +-eabod(. I"ll wor& that at ho#e. 1iddle of the night. 6ibers on the windowsill footprints in blood.+ +5&a(. +I"# going ba$& to the s$ene. She"d #a&e boo& this had been his debut. She wal&ed out to -eabod(.ut nobod("s got an(thing li&e this. . And wal&ing through the blood that was 'ust stupid.ut the e(es3 )*er( one of the# tells #e if the( used apparatus li&e that%to #a&e the# bulge out or appear to and turn that red%it would ha#per *ision.+ +Cir$us. Ti#e to $ir$le ba$&.+ +It was dar& e*en with the streetlight.+ +Beep at it an(wa( be$ause it is doable as it was done. So he"d onl( sealed his hands or worn glo*es.+ +1a(be. None of the *i$ti#s" "lin&s had been found on s$ene. If the( found the shoes the( had hi#. All of the# &new andCor intera$ted with the *i$s. Sa#e with the 'aw.+ +No (ou &eep at it. Not bad -eabod(. All of the# had a$$ess to drugs and $ould easil( put their hands on the prote$ti*e gear. 6irst &ill she thought. A $ouple of the people I tal&ed to were all 'ui$ed up about it tr(ing to figure out how to #a&e it wor&. She pi$&ed her wa( through the data on ea$h suspe$t added to her notes her board. All sent to the lab. Ta&en the "lin&s she #used but not the #one(. !hen the sweepers" initial report $a#e through she poun$ed. 1ore paint fla&es so#e bla$& fibers fro# the window $asing so#e hairs%no roots.All of the# &new the *i$s" lo$ation. !hat I get is sure the s&in $olor"s no proble#K hair no bigK nose teeth (ou bet. That"s an angle. I"# not getting an(where an(wa(. I"# going to tal& to 9ouise after then wor& fro# ho#e. . He loo&s li&e this%or so#ething li&e this and he 'ust pu#ped it up.+ . I"*e got the# pro#ising to e0peri#ent see what the( $an do. 9i&e a $ir$us frea& (ou &now3 A $ontortionist or a frea& show t(pe. A#ateur hour.+ +I didn"t sa( de#on or #onster. None of the# had alibis for the ti#e in 7uestion.+ +I"# serious about getting nowhere. So he"d ta&en the#. Nothing that would allow the person wearing it to see $learl( spea& or laugh the wa( the wit des$ribed. Not in an( sort of #as& or doable with #a&eup and prostheti$s.+ -eabod( huffed out a breath sho*ed at her hair. 1a(be the wit e0aggerated so#e.

ella"s slobber. +-la(ti#e.+?ou"d &i$& #( ass if I said #onster.+ +5&a(. +He( Dallas. +!h( didn"t (ou tell #e (ou were going to Dallas3+ 1a*is de#anded.+ +Sloo$h. She thought of #a&eup frea&s altered appearan$es as she dro*e%and had a brainstor#. +Coward.+ 1a*is angled her head. S#oo$h. It was%+ +!e"re going to $hit so#e serious $hat about this. +I didn"t ha*e ti#e.+ +!h( don"t (ou 'ust send it to her3+ +. Her hair a $urling #ass of gold-strea&ed red toda( boun$ed.+ +Beep that in #ind if (ou be$o#e te#pted + )*e warned then headed out.+ . . +I"# going to send (ou a s&et$h and I need (ou to get in tou$h with Trina show it to her. +Das. )*e rolled her e(es but $o#plied with a &issing sound.e$ause I"# bus(.+ There was so#e shifting giggling then 1a*is $a#e ba$& on behind the fil# of .ernard.+ +Right. +Conta$t 1a*is 6reestone po$&et "lin&. +?eah hi &id.+ Instantl( the bab("s $hubb( grinning fa$e repla$ed her #other"s.ut later.+ +1a&e the sound Dallas + 1a*is said offs$reen.+ she $ried with absolute 'o( and pressed her wet lips to the s$reen of the po$&et "lin&.+ +5h sorr(.ella s7uealed with (et #ore delight.+ Conta$t initiated. +.+ !ith 1a*is it would be o&a(.+ 1a*is"s prett( happ( fa$e filled the dash s$reen. I need (ou to%$an (ou wipe (our s$reen off3 ?ou loo& li&e (ou"*e been li$&ed b( a Saint . So what"s the up3+ 1a*is as&ed as she whipped out a $loth and polished the s$reen. +Sa( hi to Dallas . Biss &iss.ellora#a.

Not as dar& as it would"*e been she thought. It"s #ag to the nth the( wanted #e to pla( #(self.ella e$hoed happil( in the ba$&ground. He"d #o*ed with purpose with a plan despite the fero$it(.ut there was a streetlight enough for so#e ba$&wash.+ )*e pulled o*er at the $urb in front of the $ri#e s$ene.+ +Co#e on. And the $hi$& pla(ing (ou3 1an the( #ade her a ringer.+ +Than&s. I got wigged when I%Hol( shit on a fla#ing sti$&. So I finished #( gig on the *id + she said as )*e ordered the s&et$h a$$essed and sent. . 5ther angle.+ +I"ll be passing it on%and getting it off #( "lin& 'ust in $ase it has the power to #ateriali=e.a$& in the da( sure. 9et #e &now.+ +/i*e #e the goods. >es%'eepers + she $orre$ted. +5h hell%hello + 1a*is #uttered. +I swore in front of the bab(. He loo&s li&e he"s born to &ill. Alwa(s plent( of #ar&s at a $arn(. . 5r listen to her tell #e I need #( hair $ut or whate*er.+ +. I"ll tag Trina now so I don"t ha*e to wig alone. +!hat *id3+ +Nadine"s *id%(our *id. And stood inside left the lights off. ?ou wouldn"t as& unless it%he%whate*er%&illed so#ebod(.+I"# a bus( $oward.+ +Shit + . She #o*ed straight through to the ba$& opened the window $li#bed out. ?ou did so#e $arn( wor&. I don"t want her gi*ing #e grief be$ause I didn"t rub so#e shit on #( fa$e or in #( hair.+ +)*er see an(thing li&e this3 6rea& show-wise. I"*e got so#ething hot and she #ight be able to help. I"# s$heduling #( night#are right now. She unsealed the door used her #aster. .+ +I saw plent( of #ega weird but nothing li&e this.+ +A pa$t with Satan3+ +!ith #a&eup and prostheti$s and that stuff. Trina &nows that $rap. The I$o*e Agenda. I need to &now what it ta&es to #a&e so#ebod( loo& li&e this. Still he"d had to &now whi$h #attress ea$h *i$ slept on. +I got bu#ps of the goose all o*er.+ +Sorr(.ut hol( (ou &now what this is too totall( s$ar(.

+ He stood where he was loo&ing around. +?ou"re not supposed to pi$& the lo$& on a $ri#e s$ene. And he wal&s right into the front. All of the lab rats li*ed within blo$&s. I &no$&ed li&e a good $i*ilian but (ou didn"t answer. Cli#bs in. He"s the lu$&( one.And (eah the building a$ross the street had a good *iew of the window the sidewal& the re$($ler. A *ehi$le nearb(3 5r a hole to $rawl into. I doubt he e*er wo&e up. She followed the steps easing in sliding down to her feet%left fibers behind. The $ri#e-s$ene re$ords ne*er ha*e 7uite the sa#e i#pa$t.+ +Naturall(.oth of the do$tors and Arianna had *ehi$les. 9eads with the bat.+ +I was out the ba$& window. So he didn"t $are about being seen. Spinning and dan$ing up the street C(nthia had said.+ +?eah. His own pla$e3 If he"d ta&en a $ab the subwa( a bus3 )*en in New ?or& so#ebod( would"*e reported it. )*e turned ba$& to the window.+ Sin$e he was here she"d use hi#. Bnew 'ust how to na*igate and &new where ea$h one slept. Then hissed when Roar&e stepped in. +Da#n it. He 'i##ies it she thought%7uiet now. +Cra$&s Ai0 a$ross the side of the head where he la(. )*e i#agined the &iller dan$ing and spinning in the spot of the streetlight laughing." + She sho*ed it ba$& in the holster.ut he doesn"t wa&e the#. So#e bo0es in here she noted and tid( piles of old #aterials%but he doesn"t bu#p into the#. She had her weapon out trained. No dan$ing and laughing not (et. I get to sa( "Da#n it. . .+ +He"d been in here and ba$& there before. +!hat an unhol( #ess.+ +I"# the one with a stunner ai#ed at #e.+ She swung. +He 'i##ied the window rear 7uietl( stepped around the stuff ba$& there%in the dar& or near dar&. As she did the door started to open. . 5pens the sat$hel for the prote$ti*e $oat. He"s been here before.+ +How else would I get in3 ?our *ehi$le"s outside and the seal"s bro&en. Not #u$h would $o#e through the window %it"s grilled%fro# the streetlight.

!hile that pulse stops and her e(es fi0 and her bod( goes li#p. He"s not done.+ She #i#ed swit$hing hands.+ )*e shifted.+ +That"s how it happened. . It"s fa$e-to-fa$e it"s his hands on her throat so he $an feel her pulse going wild then slowing slowing slowing while her e(es bulge and her bod( beats itself against the floor. )spe$iall( Darnell. Now he #a&es a point. The un7uiet.ut she"s in terrible pain in sho$& in h(steri$s. It"s too funn( and thrilling. >ust better than he"d e*er i#agined. An ear an e(e her tongue. +He sa(s her na#e. I thin& she wo&e up before he"d finished with .i$&ford #ight"*e #ade so#e sound tried to $all out but his lung"s pun$tured. !hat (ou"*e 'ust des$ribed is e*il. He put the prote$ti*e gear on in the ba$& roo# but blood"s on his fa$e. Not dashed off but $learl( printed. Then he uses their blood to lea*e us a #essage.+ +1a(be #a(be e*en to hi#. Hear no see no spea& no. And now it"s her turn. /ot up either tried to run or tried to fight.ash sli$e #o*e#ent.+ +)*il + Roar&e finished.i$&ford with the &nife and stabs and ha$&s.+ +He"s so $le*er a real 'o&er. So that"s the na#e he pi$&ed. Chaos. He doesn"t use the &nife.+ . 5*er eight( ti#es. +She tried to drag herself awa(. I bet he said her na#e and his.i$&ford"s $hest%two blows and another in the gut. +Arianna said so#ething.+ Roar&e studied the wall. The("re a trio aren"t the( li&e the #on&e(s. Dr. . He wanted her to &now hi#. He ta&es a s$alpel out of his sat$hel be$ause he ta&es pride in the wor&. +That"s $lose an(wa(. It feels war# tastes hot. I bet he slapped his &nees o*er it.+ +She"d ha*e wo&en don"t (ou thin&3+ +. +-uts it into . The $haos. . He stages the# against the wall. . He"s laughing now be$ause this is so #u$h fun. That addi$tion steals the 7uiet. 6ast. 9i&es the taste of e*il the s#ell of it.+ Inside she was as $old as the i#ages fi0ed in her head. How the("d found their 7uiet. See the blood"s s#eared on the floor there fro# her &nees fro# her tr(ing to pull herself awa(.i$&ford. +.+ She paused a #inute.+ +Christ >esus )*e.lood"s fl(ing e*er(where bones snapping shattering. +It too& ti#e to do that.ut he went ba$& to Ai0 beat hi# into 'ell(.+ She $ould see it all but s#ell the blood. He lo*es it. He ga*e it so#e thought. He 'ust $an"t get enough so he brea&s the pla$e up what little the( had. He wants #ore so he goes ba$& to .ut he li&es it. Destro(s it. 1a(be she s$rea#ed%nobod( heard%or #a(be she 'ust passed out or went into sho$&. That"s what he brought ba$&. He uses the bat brea&s her &nee$aps. His letters so $arefull( for#ed.Changes to the &nife. . Now it"s ti#e for Darnell.e$ause he is.

A $ouple of gu(s sat at the bar deep in their brews and $on*ersation. !hate*er it was it was re$ent. A $ouple sat at a table%had a first-date drin&-afterwor&-to-see-how-it-goes loo& about the#. +Satisfied3+ +About what3+ +That (ou won"t ha*e to arrest an(one in here. And that has hi# doubled o*er with laughter. Another four had a booth s$arfing down bar $hips while the( held one of those 7ui$& $oded $on*ersations of inti#ate friends. +?ou ne*er &now. I loo&ed at (our board. +Now as we"re a bit earl( tell #e what (ou learned ba$& there. He stuffs the gear in the re$($ler properl( disposing of it li&e he tells us to do with the bodies. Huiet and $o=( with a neighborhood feel she obser*ed.She wal&ed awa( into the ba$&. Then he dan$es awa( high on the un7uiet. She was the pri#ar( #oti*e.+ She s#iled ba$&. Dr. Roar&e too& a booth s#iled at her o*er the table. She was the easiest &ill of the three but he sa*ed her for last be$ause she was the #ost i#portant.+ +Then (ou $an tell #e about it o*er the drin& I find I want *er( #u$h right now. He laughs and he dan$es 'ust so full of the fun of it he $an"t $ontain it.ut ta&ing the bod( parts%the("d seen or heard so#ething he $ouldn"t afford the# to tal& about.+ . A little $lue so we"ll be sure to find it. It was >en. The bartender bright (oung fe#ale 'oined in with the# idl( swiping the bar with a rag as she laughed at so#ething the( said.+ +Did (ou learn an( #ore fro# this re-$reation3+ +1a(be.+ She opted for a beer when the waitress $a#e o*er and Roar&e held up two fingers.+ ----------------------------------------Chapter N )*e loo&ed around the bar as the( went in. Chaos had the ti#e of his life. +He ta&es off the prote$ti*e gear. Then he &illed her with his hands so she $ould see his fa$e and he $ould see hers.+ +It was the girl. He wanted her to see what he did how he &illed the others too& awa( what #attered #ost to her in the $ruelest wa(.+ +He didn"t rape her. ?eah. She bet the( were regulars bet the seats of the stools all but $arried the i#print of their asses. . He wanted her and she said no%or worse didn"t see hi# as a #an. The others didn"t #atter as #u$h e0$ept for their $onne$tion to her. Turns it inside out to &eep the blood off his $lothes and he $li#bs ba$& out shuts the window.+ +It had gone past se0 or rape as power and $ontrol and he got off on the &illing.

+!e"*e still got a #onth till Halloween. He too& their "lin&s be$ause he got that he &new the( $onne$ted that wa( when the( weren"t together and had to $on$lude the("d tal&ed about whate*er the("d seen or heard *ia "lin&. . +9ong da(. .+ +This is who the witness saw outside the $ri#e s$ene.+ . The( tal& all the ti#e hang all the ti#e. +How"s it going 9ieutenant Sugar3+ +I"*e got three bodies and a short list of suspe$ts.+ +?ou loo& tired + Roar&e $o##ented. As Charles for#er li$ensed $o#panion turned se0 therapist slid in beside his wife he grinned at )*e.+ +. !hen the("re not together the( tag ea$h other. -u==led 9ouise leaned $loser. How hu#iliating would it be for a #an li&e that to want an addi$t a s7uatter a nothing and be re'e$ted b( her3+ +That"s a great deal for a se$ond loo& at the $ri#e s$ene.ut the("re not $ouples. +9oo& at the bod( language.+ +Aren"t the(3+ Roar&e said en'o(ing her. +!hat $an I tell (ou about (our short list of suspe$ts3+ )*e drew out the s&et$h laid it on the table. It wasn"t Arianna !hitwood or 1arti 6ran&. -als.+ +He wor&ed alone.lah blah blah. He"s s#ug and a show-off whi$h is wh( I li&e . /ood da( + she added +as I didn"t deal with death. !e both deal with death all too often but at least I $o#e into it when there"s still a $han$e.+ +No. She"s also on his le*el.ut not enough. Here"s 9ouise and Charles. +Insensiti*e. Sorr( + she said to 9ouise.oth she and Charles ordered a glass of the house white. +.ut he still belie*es he $an get her.+ +Arianna said no to hi# + Roar&e pointed out. And the( ne*er run out of $on*ersation.+ +All right. The("re tight but it"s not se0ual. +See that group o*er there.+ . He doesn"t $onne$t he doesn"t ha*e that $loseness with an(one. +Two gu(s two girls.+ Roar&e stood greeting 9ouise with a &iss Charles with a handsha&e. It $ould be worse. So that bu#ps the two fe#ale suspe$ts down the list for #e.She waited until the waitress ser*ed the beers.+ She lifted her $hin toward the booth of four.illingsl( 'ust on prin$iple. The( #a( &now so#ething #a( not &now the( &now it but this one had to ha*e all the fun for hi#self.

I li*e on >ane right off /reenwi$h Street. It rela0es #e. +Do (ou &now an( of Rosenthall"s lab people3+ she as&ed 9ouise.+ +!hi$h wa( was he going3+ +)ast toward )ighth it loo&ed li&e.+ She hit$hed up a hip dug out a $ard. !ow. I don"t &now e0a$tl( but it was probabl( about three fifteen three thirt( or thereabouts when I finished. And the s&in3 I"d diagnose #ultiple organ failure at worst ane#ia at best. !e"re not ha*ing an( lu$& on repli$ating the disguise and 1ira sa(s it"s unli&el( he $ould tolerate the 'aw%bro&en or dislo$ated that wa(. I had it open and I saw this dude here sort of s&ipping down the sidewal& a$ross the street. The pain would be enor#ous. Not 'ust the $olor. +5h. !hat"d he do3+ +)nough so if (ou see hi# again $onta$t the poli$e. +Conta$t #e.+ +He( I saw that gu(. There should be $onsiderable swelling but I don"t see an( in this s&et$h.+It"s a hell of a disguise + Charles $o##ented. !ell this #orning.+ +Now (ou ha*e two do$tors telling (ou that. I guess he wasn"t 'ust a weirdo.+ She put the s&et$h awa( sipped at her beer. +?ou s$ared the hell out of her + Charles said. !ow a lieutenant. ?ou see all &inds (ou &now so I didn"t thin& an(thing of it. +There would be airwa( blo$&age diffi$ult( breathing spea&ing eating. +)0a$tl( what ti#e3 )0a$tl( where3+ )*e drew out her badge laid it ne0t to the s&et$h. +!hen3+ )*e de#anded. I did so#e (oga when I got ho#e. I"d li&e (our na#e and address. +She"d be s#art not to wal& ho#e alone and to &eep her windows $losed. This is e0tre#e. +No.+ The waitress paused as she ser*ed the wine. ?ou don"t forget a fa$e li&e that + she added with a laugh. And the e(es $ertainl( aren"t natural. H(perth(roidis# $an $ause the e(es to bulge but I"*e ne*er seen an(thing that se*ere. He had to fa&e all this. I heard this weird laughing and went to the window.+ . I saw hi# 'u#p up swing on the pole of the streetlight wa*ing this bla$& bag. Sure. I had the late shift last night so I didn"t lea*e until after two. Ho#i$ide. He &illed so#ebod(3+ +?eah.+ +Sure. +!here3+ +9ast night.+ 5n$e she"d gi*en it the waitress hurried awa(. +!h( would an(one want to dress up be that noti$eable when doing #urder3+ +1a(be it added to the thrill. I 'ust thought weirdo shut the window and went to bed.+ 9ouise tapped a finger tipped in pearl( pale pin& on the s&et$h.+ +Sure.

illingsl(3+ +I $an"t sa(. So#ething he &illed to prote$t.+ +Then he"d do a lot to prote$t it. . +That"s a deliberate $hoi$e.+ +She"s in lo*e with hi# and the("re bonded o*er the wor& + 9ouise began. +How about .+ .+ +How"d he rea$t when (ou brushed hi# off3+ +9i&e it was #( loss.+ +I"# going on the theor( the three *i$ti#s &new so#ething about the &iller. She"s the one ba$&ing his resear$h and wor&%or the /roup is.ut s$ientists are easier to find than ba$&ers li&e the !hitwood /roup.+ +He puts the# on e*er( fe#ale he finds attra$ti*e or belie*es $an enhan$e his $areer. Has >ustin e*er sa#pled produ$t3+ +Absolutel( not. . I"d $ertainl( doubt it but I don"t &now hi# well.+ +He put #o*es on (ou.+ +Not this Dallas. Not >ustin. That"s 'ust opinion Dallas. If his wor&"s i#portant to hi#. If she $ut hi# loose it"d be a big loss.+5&a( we"ll set the# aside for now.+ +It doesn"t ta&e that #u$h ti#e.+ 5&a( )*e thought as long as 9ouise spo&e in absolutes the( wouldn"t get an(where on Rosenthall.+ +And if Arianna $ut hi# off%fro# the Center3+ +He has #one( of his own and should ha*e a lot of $onta$ts.+ +)ssential I"d sa(.ut it would be hu#iliating and he wouldn"t ta&e it well. He was with Arianna when we #et then I was with Charles not long after. I ha*e as little to do with hi# as possible. +If so#ething went wrong between the# it would be a blow for both of the# personall( and professionall(.+ 9ouise s#iled a little o*er her wine.+ +.ut Ari"s the gold ring. Did Rosenthall e*er #o*e on (ou3+ +No. He"s rude and de#anding but fro# what I"*e heard *er( good in therap(. He"s in lo*e with Ari and added to that his wor& doesn"t gi*e hi# a lot of ti#e for #o*ing on other wo#en. He has a te#per but I"*e ne*er seen an(thing to indi$ate he"s $apable of #urder or real *iolen$e. Ne*er this.

+I had it pi$&ed up so I $ould dri*e ho#e with #( adoring wife. 9ost so#eone to the# wor&s with the# li*es with the#. ?ou dri*e. Roar&e left her to it until she began to #utter. I don"t ha*e enough on an( of the# to re7uire a drug test. . 5thers ha*e #ore.ut $ertainl( worth a shot.+ +Not #u$h help. If it"s Di$&erson he goes one $rosstown blo$& to ho#e. Nobod( at Sli$e or /et Straight li*es in that dire$tion% and the( don"t fit an(wa( but it"s another negati*e on that group.+ She $hewed on it as the( wal&ed inside where Su##erset and the $at waited in the fo(er. /upta north on )ighth for a blo$& and a half to ho#e. The &iller"s a user%has to be. +?ou did *er( well #anaging nearl( a half an hour on non-wor&-related topi$s after (our inter*iew with 9ouise.+ +And illegals spea& to those dar& pla$es #a&e #ore noise so the( spread.+ She too& out her noteboo& added the new infor#ation new thoughts on the wa( ho#e. +Is an(bod( reall( that good the wa( e*er(bod( des$ribes Rosenthall3+ +So#e people ha*e fewer shadows than others fewer dar& pla$es. That"s prett( good o*er one drin&. .+ +/ood. ?et. -lus a s$ientist should be able to $reate an elaborate disguise.+ +I"ll gi*e it one to#orrow. +.+ +The bar waitress was a stro&e of lu$&. If it"s either of the do$tors he"s probabl( got a *ehi$le near there.ut if I as&ed ea$h of the# and the("re $lean wh( wouldn"t the( $ooperate3+ +/eneral prin$iples + he said as he dro*e through the gates of ho#e.+ !hen the( left Roar&e too& her hand as she wal&ed. ?ou ga*e #e a few #ore details on two of #( suspe$ts and #eeting (ou here ga*e #e another wit who tells #e the &iller went up to >ane before heading toward )ighth. )*er(one on this list $onne$ts to illegals. Heading toward )ighth.+ +I $an tal& about other stuff.+ +?ou $an (es but I &now it"s not eas( when (ou"re steeped in a $ase.+5&a( than&s. !here"s (our $ar3+ she as&ed when the( rea$hed the $ri#e s$ene.+ +?ou $onfir#ed and elaborated on 1ira"s opinion on the &iller"s fa$e.

He rolled up his slee*es as he $rossed to her then started to unhoo& her trousers. +Ho#e together in a ti#el( fashion and unbloodied. .+ +If onl( + )*e #uttered. +1ira does good wor&.ut for now I 'ust want a loo& at that hip. +9et"s deal with that ar#. /et it o*er with she thought and began the stret$hing e0er$ises wor&ing her range of #otion as Roar&e dit$hed his 'a$&et and tie. Applause. +?ou 'ust want to get #( shirt off.+ +It"s o&a(. Tr( to a*oid a$tuall( pun$hing so#eone for a few #ore da(s + he suggested as he got the topi$al $rea# fro# a drawer.+ +?ou"re starting to fa*or it.+ +If he a$tuall( applauded the bones in his s&eletal hands would brea& and $ru#ble to dust.ut before. +It"s $o#ing along. +I"# sho$&ed be(ond spee$h. I"# a 'ealous #an.+ +So I see.+ +It"s 'ust a little sore.+ +!hi$h #eans it"s ti#e for so#e of the ph(si$al therap( and treat#ent. Nearl( healed + he #ur#ured tra$ing a fingertip along the edges where 1$Hueen"s &nife had sli$ed.+ Roar&e 'ust shoo& his head as )*e started upstairs. +And ta&e (our ti#e. It was the worst of the $uts. +I &new it.+ She 'abbed hi# with a finger. Don"t be su$h a bab(.+ +!ith e*er( breath I ta&e. !e"ll get dinner in the lieutenant"s offi$e + Roar&e added to Su##erset.+ +Alwa(s a bonus.+ To #a&e her s#ile he leered. -eel it off 9ieutenant.+ . All (ou thin& about is getting in #( pants. +The two of (ou reall( ha*e to stop this lo*e affair.+ +!e"*e both had worse.+ Roar&e too& her hand again turned her toward the bedroo#. +.+ So o&a( it twinged a little when she too& off her 'a$&et her weapon harness.+A #onu#ental da( + Su##erset announ$ed. Her shoulder ga*e a $ouple of $li$&s as she stret$hed pun$hed out.

+!ell (ou"*e left #e no $hoi$e.+ +A $o$&"s alwa(s read( to $row. +Reall( good.+ And too& his hand laid it on her breast.+ She did as he as&ed thin&ing he needed the tending as #u$h as #a(be #ore than she. So she leaned into hi# a little tou$hed her lips to his.+ +?ou"re not.+ Then she laid her hands on either side of his fa$e. +6eels good + she repeated. +?ou"re not + she said again and opening her e(es turned to hi#.+ +1ira $redits (our $onstitution and (our hard head for the healing pro$ess.+ +I onl( want to gi*e (ou ti#e to heal. +In a bit of a hurr( are we3+ +I"*e got to use (ou and get ba$& to wor& so no dawdling. Tell #e if I hurt (ou.+ +I ha*e it on good authorit( I ha*e an e0$ellent $onstitution. Then his hands %he had #agi$ hands%s#oothed the $rea# o*er the a$he and she $losed her e(es.+ /oing with the instin$t that told her the( didn"t 'ust need the ph(si$al inti#a$( but the fun that $ould go along with it she tossed her leg o*er his lap straddled hi#. In e*er( wa(. Reall( good. A#used aroused he wat$hed her. 9ose the tan& and sit down. . A $ouple #ore da(s (ou"ll li&el( be good as new. I"ll finish (ou up.+ The( hadn"t #ade lo*e sin$e she"d been hurt%and she reali=ed she should ha*e figured wh( he"d been so $areful with her hadn"t tou$hed her that wa( had a*oided being tou$hed b( her. +5&a( #a(be a little dawdling + she said and brought her lips to his again.+ +?ou ain"t seen nothing (et. +?ou won"t.+ +Nearl(. +/et it up pal. 9et"s test it out. +6eels good. +?ou"re *er( de#anding.+ She went to wor& on his trousers.+ +Show #e. +I"# o&a(.+ S#oothing those #agi$ hands down her sides he s#iled.+ He laughed wrapped his ar#s around her.+ She too& his #outh ga*e it a ni$e little bite as she ground against hi#. +There (ou are + she #ur#ured.His e(es lifted to hers held and said a great deal. +Crowing"s not what #ine"s read( for.

I find I li&e it. !e went through it.+ He pressed his lips to her healing shoulder. I want (ou. . 5&a(3+ +?es. Don"t. !hat we went through doesn"t heal as 7ui$&l( as a $ut or a bruise. !ell now that I"# done with (ou I"# going ba$& to wor&. +?es. !ith her brow resting on his she fought to get her breath ba$&. S&in to s&in heart to heart. +?ou ha*e to stop worr(ing. She didn"t want hi# to be $areful but he would ta&e $are of her in'uries at least. +Alwa(s #ore where that $a#e fro# a$e.+ He $ould drown in her he thought e*er( #inute of e*er( da( he $ould lose hi#self in what she was what she ga*e hi# what she too&. 5*er the edge of that drowning pool.+ She rolled her in'ured shoulder nodded in satisfa$tion. I lo*e (ou be(ond the telling of it )*e and what (ou went through%+ +!e.ut I will stop ho*ering whi$h I"*e been doing a bit of. Now with her war# and eager against hi# he $ould drown hi#self lose hi#self and set his worr( for her aside.+ .+ He sat where he was a #o#ent as she got up pulled the tan& ba$& on. He ga*e her the $ontrols too& his pleasure fro# the rise of her passion fro# the sprint of her heartbeat under his lips.+I"# o&a(.+ +5&a(.+ +!or&ing on it though. !hen she too& hi# in she laid her hands on his fa$e again.+ +All right that"s true enough. I want (ou to be with #e. And dro*e her as she dro*e hi#. +I feel so used. +Did (ou reall( ha*e business downtown toda(3+ +?ou"re #( business.+ +That"s ne*er going to happen. +?ou"re holding ba$&. If an(thing twinged or a$hed she didn"t feel it.J So he gripped her hips $areful to a*oid the healing wound. Her e(es loo&ed deep into his.+ She lifted her head loo&ed at hi# again. Don"t hold ba$&.+ She unbuttoned his shirt so she $ould press against hi#. +I want (ou to tou$h #e. All she felt was pea$e.

oth of the# were better now. ?ou $ould use a treat#ent.+ .+ +1a(be one of (our suspe$ts hired the &illings. Not 'ust the se0 but the understanding that $a#e with it%or out of it. I belie*e I"ll $onta$t Trina and ha*e her bring another operati*e. +I"# not thin&ing about it. The wor&s.+ She s$owled at her board. Through the ad'oining door she heard Roar&e tal&ing on the "lin&. An(thing $ould happen. -robabl( dealing with business he"d postponed during the ho*ering #ode. +Insulting #( hair fa$e and bod( won"t get (ou banged again an(ti#e soon. And if that"s it I eli#inate e*er(bod( on #( list. .+ +Traitor. )*er(bod( sa(s it $an"t be done. Not $ostu#ing not ph(si$all(.etter now she de$ided. Could do the red e(es but not so the( loo& li&e red balloons $o#ing out of the so$&ets.+ +?ou &now *er( well I adore (our hair fa$e and bod(. It"s not Saturda( (et.+ +He(. The answer is I $ouldn"t #a&e an(bod( loo& li&e that and I"# the best. I"ll be with the# and bring #( gear. If it"s ph(si$al #a(be it"s long-ter#.---------------------------------------------Chapter O In her offi$e she set up a se$ond #urder board while the $at sat on her sleep $hair and wat$hed her. Could do the s&in hair ears nose teeth no prob. So#ething he"s learned to li*e with. +-isser. +?ou need a treat#ent%hair fa$e bod(. +So.+ She $ir$led around to her des& noti$ed that her #essage light was a$ti*ated.+ She wiped a hand through the air. And the nor#al$( that went hand in hand. Couldn"t do the 'aw not that $roo&ed. . +/ot the ugl( bastard and the 7uestion. !e ha*e to stop her. +Not a da#n thing nor#al there. 1a*is sa(s she and 9eonardo and . ?ou $ould use a #assage a rela0ation treat#ent and so#e downti#e with good friends.+ Though she was an(thing but *ain the $areless $o##ent ga*e her another 'olt. +Nothing nor#al about that + she said as she studied the s&et$h. In fa$t so $ould I.+ She sto#ped to the &it$hen for $offee sto#ped ba$&.+ +Don"t loo& at #e.ut it has to be one or the other. I"ll ha*e a #assage along with (ou. -eabod("s $ir$us frea& angle.ella $an $o#e to (our pla$e for a *isit on Saturda( afternoon. ?ou"*e got (ourself a frea&a=oid Dallas. She $alled up the #essage and a$tuall( 'olted when Trina"s *oi$e spi&ed into the roo#.+ +!h( + Roar&e wondered +do (ou loo& #ore horrified b( that than b( the fa$e on (our board3+ +She"s $o#ing. .

I ran that s&et$h through e*er( progra# we"*e got and didn"t get a single hit. +I don"t belie*e an(one loo&s li&e that + she said.+ +?ou don"t li&e that *er( #u$h. +And if I de$ided to belie*e so#ebod( did I $an"t belie*e he"d sta( off the grid.+ +?ou $an go ba$& with #e o*er a #eal. If he &illed the# for hi#self wh( doesn"t an(one else &now about hi#3 @nless . That it was personal. !hen Roar&e finall( tugged her out of her $hair hours later she was #ore than read( to gi*e it up for the night. #a(be he"s a patient at the Center. Crap. 9et it si##er for a few hours. 1a(be. .+ +1a(be it"s #ore re$ent. )ither the #edi$al e0perts or the $os#eti$C$ostu#e e0perts. 1a(be the *i$s &new hi# fro# before and found out he was there $onfronted the #ad-bad s$ientist or threatened to tell people on the outside. 888 .+ +Crap. It"s so#ething to po&e at. I li&e it better if the $os#eti$s are wrong but I"*e got to wor& it both wa(s. 1a(be he"s a &ind of e0peri#ent the("re &eeping on the down low. Clear her head she de$ided. .+I"# going to run probabilities on that but it rips up the theor(%and it"s #ore than a theor(%that the &iller &new the *i$s.+ +As in bot$hed3+ Roar&e twirled so#e seafood linguine on his for&.+ She too& it wor&ing angles running probabilities refor#ulating 'uggling through the pie$es. If he was a hire how did an(bod( &now about hi#%be$ause he"d ha*e popped if he was a pro e*en se#ipro. I"*e got to go ba$& to the beginning. Crap.+ +The h(po-whate*er the #ultiple organ failure%and wh( isn"t he dead if so%and whate*er trau#a would $ause the lower part of his 'aw to be so dislo$ated it"s nearl( under his right ear3 I don"t thin& so. So#ebod("s wrong.+ +1a(be he 'ust ta&es pleasure in his wor&.ut this ti#e she felt she onl( $ir$led without getting an( $loser to the $enter.+ It usuall( helped to do 'ust that tal& it through with hi# boun$e theories and angles off hi#. +As in #ad s$ien$e3+ +1ad bad. .+ +Not as #u$h as one of the# slapping gun& on their fa$e pu#ping the#sel*es full of a Feus $o$&tail and whaling awa( but it"s another route to ta&e.

illingsl( $alled it nai*ete. At one point he thought he heard a sound fro=e turned to loo& around.+ .Shortl( after #idnight )ton . +!hat the de*il%3+ He whirled then fro=e. He $ontinued until inspired he tried Ari1. >ustin"s ter# for the $ore of addi$tion. He tried *arious na#es as passwords wor&ing patientl(.ut he ba$&ed up as he spo&e with his heart ha##ering in his dr( throat.ut I prefer Chaos.illingsl( $oded hi#self into >ustin Rosenthall"s lab using a $loned &e( $ard and a re$ording he"d #ade of >ustin"s *oi$e. . .::<. +At (our ser*i$e. +So#e #ight $all #e that + the *oi$e ground out li&e ro$&s beneath a boot heel. Dr.+ +!hat &ind of si$& 'o&e is this3+ +1( &ind.illingsl( $on$luded. He went dire$tl( to the #ain $o#p station noted >ustin had lo$&ed it down for the night. It was ti#e%past it%to pro*e to Arianna she was wasting her ti#e and resour$es on >ustin.efore he $ould $all it up so#ething $rashed behind hi#.illingsl( thought as a$$ess was granted.+ . . . Then shoo& his head at his own foolishness. The finan$ial resour$es >ustin wasted had be$o#e intolerable parti$ularl( sin$e the( $ould and should be redire$ted to his own depart#ent.+ The $reature issued a deep $ape-swishing bow.illingsl(3 !ell we"ll 'ust ha*e to ta&e $are of that. The #an was obsessed with this seru# and far too se$reti*e about it in the last wee&s. @NH@I)T.ut in this $ase it si#pl( #ade the 'ob easier.+ +I ha*e e*er( right to . Chaos. . He"d wor&ed with >ustin long enough to &now the #an &ept su$h things si#ple so his assistant and interns $ould a$$ess data when needed. 5n$e Arianna saw the truth she"d rethin& the relationship and this wedding business. . .. +.ut no proble# or *er( little of one. +I"# $onta$ting Se$urit(.e$ause he was getting nowhere . He thought hi#self *er( $le*er. Hui$&l( now he s$anned through file na#es. Senti#ental fool . The date the("d $hosen to be #arried. >ustin $alled it tea#wor&. Sti$&ing (our nose where it doesn"t belong aren"t (ou . 5ne da( one of those underlings would steal data and ta&e $redit for whate*er ad*an$e >ustin #anaged to stu#ble onto.

888 The signal of her $o##uni$ator pulled )*e out of a drea# where she $hased her &iller while he dan$ed down an e#pt( street 'uggling an ear an e(e and a tongue. .esides he had an e(e as good as #ost $ops she &new.+ She sho*ed at her hair saw Roar&e was alread( up getting dressed.illingsl( went down under hi# s$rea#ing. -ossible ho#i$ide.ut before the &nife he used his teeth. +Inside 'ob what did I tell (ou3+ She wat$hed buildings whi= b( on the wa( downtown.+ Dispat$h Dallas 9ieutenant )*e. Strength speed e0$ite#ent poured through hi# as he leaped.+ . And $ontinued long after the s$rea#ing stopped. .illingsl( began to run the $reature let out a delighted laugh. . +I"# on #( wa(. Infor# -eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia. Re7uest that she #eet #e on s$ene as soon as possible. +>ustin Rosenthall"s area. +It"s one thing to brea& into the pla$e on Twelfth but it ta&es a lot #ore to get through the se$urit( the( ha*e at the Center. Has the *i$ti# been ID"d3+ Ai$ti# identifi$ation is not $onfir#ed. That"s ho*ering isn"t it3+ +In this $ase it"s sheer $uriosit(. +A$&nowledged. See building se$urit( and offi$er on the door for a$$ess to 9aborator( Si0.+!anna bet3+ As . Chaos used the &nife.+ Affir#ati*e. Shit.+ It was 7ui$&er not to argue. Report to the !hitwood Center. +Shit. Dallas out. +Dallas. The li&elihood is it"s (our #an and sin$e I"# awa&e now in an( $ase I"d li&e to see for #(self. ?ou don"t ha*e to $o#e. And dro*e faster and better. +/ross + she #u#bled then $alled for the lights at ten per$ent before she answered.

+ +/reen defor#ed fa$e red e(es wearing a $ape3+ +I wouldn"t ha*e belie*ed it if I hadn"t seen it #(self. . It"s #ale but I $ouldn"t tell who it was. Rosenthall"s lab so I &e(ed in and I saw . Shit shit shit. The originals. .+ +I &now the wa( too. He wor&s late a lot. I was doing a standard $a# sweep and I saw . +Be( #e in Tweed then I"# going to want those dis$s. Rosenthall"s lab.+ +?eah.+ +Has Dete$ti*e -eabod( arri*ed3+ +No sir. a figure. The other part figured so#ebod( was pla(ing a 'o&e. .At his non$o##ittal sound she ga*e Roar&e a narrowed stare. !ho found the bod(3+ +I did. .ut we ha*e to $he$& out an( unauthori=ed a$ti*it(.+ +And (ou"*e got hi# on dis$.+ She was out of the $ar the instant Roar&e par&ed flashing her badge at the N?-SD unifor# and the building se$urit( offi$er. +6or #ost people. !re$&ed was a #ild word for it )*e thought as she s$anned the area.( the ti#e I got to that se$tor%along with the other guard I"d alerted%he was gone. . The fa$e it"s well wre$&ed too. He was heading down fro# the se$ond le*el east #o*ing fast in a &ind of%boogie. . And there"s blood e*er(where.+ +Send her in when she gets here. -art of #e was spoo&ed I ad#it. She &nows the wa(.+ She nodded to the unifor# outside the lab doors.+ +And stand b( + she told hi#. Se$urit( 5ffi$er Tweed will ta&e (ou to the s$ene. The pla$e is wre$&ed 9ieutenant and there"s a bod(. I went up saw the lights were on in Dr.+ +I"ll ta&e $are of it.+ +5&a(. +9ieutenant. . 1( $urrent orders are to re#ain on the door. Tweed3+ +This wa(.

lood stained the ha$&ed and ripped $lothes spread o*er the floor left its obs$ene abstra$t art on the sides of a $ounter.+ +?eah #a(be.+ +It sure is.+ +He #ight ha*e been lured here.+ +I doubt he"d feel grateful. 1e#o to4 9t.+ +Then I"ll go hoo& up with Ian. He"s another floor up in the other wing. !h( is he in the building and where"s Rosenthall3 I need to &now who &e(ed in before Se$urit(. Sin$erel( Dr. ?ou"re nos( .+ +How $an (ou be sure3+ +That"s the suit he had on this #orning. !hat does that #ean3 S#ell no e*il3 No that"s 'ust stupid.illingsl(.illingsl(K now (ou"re dead. Another da( another slaughter.+ +His nose is gone. . Nobod( li&ed hi# an(wa(. +!ow.+ She too& a $an of Seal-It out of her &it used it tossed it to Roar&e. Chaos. +It"s .S#ashed $o#ps la( on the floor on a sea of bro&en bea&ers dishes spe$i#en bowls.+ -eabod( eased out a breath.+ +!hat was he doing in here3 He doesn"t stri&e #e as the t(pe who"d $o#e b( for a late-night *isit with Rosenthall and this isn"t his area. And on the top in blood his #essage. ?ou"re wel$o#e. To #e it sa(s nos(. +1$Nab"s with #e. I thought #a(be Roar&e would be here so we"d ha*e two e-#en on it. I had hi# start on Se$urit(.+ +!ould (ou li&e #e to see to that area3+ +?eah that would sa*e ti#e.+ . .ut it"s late wa( after hours. Dallas. The bod( la( fa$eup%what was left of the fa$e.+ She turned as -eabod( $a#e in. +This ta&es hi# off the suspe$t list.

He"s a$$elerating + )*e $on$luded.+ Despite the $ir$u#stan$es )*e s#iled a little.+ . The note"s addressed dire$tl( to (ou this ti#e so he &nows it"s our $ase%and that . 1a(be if Rosenthall as&ed hi# to $o#e in%but I don"t bu( it. It #ight e*en be #ore than .illingsl( wasn"t a popular gu( around here.illingsl( would be here. +I see . +This ti#e blood wasn"t enough. oh 'ee=.+ To help herself do that -eabod( loo&ed awa( fro# the bod(. +>ustin Rosenthall.illingsl("s po$&et.illingsl( won"t be sniffing around an(#ore.+ -ausing she #ade herself loo& at the bod( again.+ 5bser*ing and identif(ing the# now -eabod( swallowed hard.P) + -eabod( $o##ented.+ )*e too& the $loned &e( $ard and re$order out of .illingsl("s off the suspe$t list. +Did the &iller wal& in on the *i$ or the other wa( around3+ +If this is e0tra $redit I want a re*iew of #( earlier grade. +I want A plus. .+ +Teeth . Hit -la(.illingsl( tried a little . This ti#e I want a grade. He"s #issing his nose. 1a(be around Arianna #a(be around so#ething else%so#ething lab related. He"s not going to do his $o#petitor an( fa*ors. It sa(s to #e .+!hat do (ou see3+ )*e as&ed -eabod( when the( were alone. -o&e his nose in. 9et #e thin&.+ +!hat does that sa( to (ou3+ +It"s another 7ui=. He and Rosenthall aren"t pals and this isn"t his area%not onl( se$tor-wise but professionall(.+ +I"d sa( A #inus.oth insult and sul& piped through -eabod("s *oi$e.+ +6or an A plus (ou"d need to obser*e identif( and relate the teeth #ar&s in the *i$"s fa$e and throat. He"d $o#e if Arianna as&ed hi# but that puts her in this and it 'ust doesn"t fit well for #e. +He ate hi#.+ She s$anned again noted the open door on an e#pt( $abinet. . . +And3+ +He"s been stabbed a whole bun$h.+ +>ust here and there. +That"s an A plus.+ +?a(.+ +.i$&ford but it"s hard to tell. He wanted a taste of flesh. . +I $an"t thin& wh( . +If he $a#e here% whi$h o&a( ob*iousl( he did%it was to get so#ething on >ustin or s$rew with so#ething or po&e around loo&ing .+ +A #inus3+ .

+ )*e held up an e*iden$e bag.illingsl(. . +. /et us a warrant for these lo$&ers. +)*er(one in the lab logged out Rosenthall being the last at ele*en twent(-si0. +!e got better. !e"ll get DNA.+ +I need the *entilation la(out.illingsl( entered and T5D. +!e got s&in under the nails. +There"s his a$$ess. The log shows Rosenthall swiping in again at twel*e oh-se*en but the dis$s show .ut for now . +. . He"s po&ing around.+ )*e loo&ed up as Roar&e $a#e ba$& in.+.illingsl( swiping in at that ti#e $learl( entering alone.illingsl( had a $lone swipe and a re$ording of Rosenthall"s *oi$e.+ +Nos( be$o#es *er( apt.+ +That"s a brea&.illingsl( got so#e flesh too.+ +And see if one of our #ain suspe$ts shows so#e re$ent s$rat$hes.+ +!ell he didn"t 'ust #ateriali=e.illingsl(.+ ---------------------------------------Chapter Q )*e put on #i$rogoggles for a better loo& before she bagged the hand. The &iller is alread( here %loo&ing for so#ething doing so#ething waiting for so#ething. .+ +If there are bite #ar&s the( should get so#e sali*a and the i#pressions too + -eabod( began. +1$Nab"s wor&ing with Se$urit( + he told her. +9et"s *erif( ID get T5D.+ +That"s a lot of ti#e between when . .+ 9oo&ing up she studied the open $eiling *ent.illingsl( &e(s in using the du##( $ard and the re$order.illingsl("s lifeless hand. No one e0ited until (our Dr. It"s big enough for a #an to get through. boost #e up.+ )*e opened her field &it again $rou$hed b( the bod(. .+ +9ow te$h + Roar&e $o##ented. +Tinted green flesh so that"s our gu(.illingsl(.+ . Conta$t the sweepers and the 1) + )*e ordered then a*oiding blood and debris did another long stud( of the roo# wal&ed o*er to the brea& roo# area. The &iller $hews on hi# stabs hi# a#putates his nose wre$&s the lab ta&es ti#e to lea*e the #essage then boogies out. +-eabod(.out at ele*en twent(-si0 e0$ept .+ +T5D + -eabod( announ$ed before Roar&e $ould $o##ent +twel*e fift(. No one else entered the lab after the last log.ut $lassi$.+ +6or us not for . Si0 digital lo$&s. Chaos at one fifteen. The("*e got hi# on dis$ so we"ll be able to tra$& his #o*e#ents. It didn"t ta&e that long to &ill hi#.illingsl( sees hi# and that"s the end of .+ )*e lifted .

+-ops out + she $ontinued. +. +She"s all o*er the warrant. !hen the #orgue gets here I want the s&in sent to the lab asap. This gu( wor&s alone. 9o$&ers bathroo#.ut a defense attorne( would #a&e noises so a warrant &eeps it $lean. 9oo& at #e. . +!as he #eeting .( then lea*ing where he"d be $aught on dis$%if he thought of it%'ust added so#e fun.+ She set her hands on her hips turned a slow $ir$le.+ She too& a penlight out of her po$&et shined it in the s&inn( *entilation tunnel. +?eah the grille"s in here. I see so#e s$uff #ar&s.+ -eabod( $a#e to the doorwa(.illingsl( here3 In it together there"s a disagree#ent death ensues. -ops out then %+ +Are (ou going to sol*e the $ase while I"# holding (ou off the floor3+ Roar&e wondered. +I tagged Cher Reo + she said spea&ing of the A-A. .illingsl("s a bonus round. +Tight s7uee=e.+ +/ood thin&ing + )*e told her.illingsl( got nos( then got dead. +1a(be gets into his gear here. So he logs out $o#es ba$& in so#ewhere else. +She was about to $all #e a *er( bad na#e but I showed her the bod(. +H##3 Sorr(. .5bliging Roar&e hoo&ed his fingers together.+ +Sti$&ler + he said and #ade her s#ile. !ith her foot in the ha##o$& of his hands )*e boun$ed up gripped the edge of the open *ent. +6or Di$&head. Through the health $enter area #a(be the *isitor"s lodging prett( #u$h an(where. +I $ould $lai# the("re part of the $ri#e s$ene whi$h the( are so the -A $ould probabl( hold that line. !ould he be stupid enough to lea*e so#ething in a lo$&er3+ +Shall I open the#3+ +!hen we get a warrant. The &iller wasn"t e0pe$ting $o#pan(. .+ +5&a(. I need so#ething for a bribe. S$oots and $rawls along. He $a#e in for the seru# and he got it. I don"t li&e it.+ Chief 9ab Te$h Di$& .erens&i wouldn"t drag hi#self to wor& in the #iddle of the night for less than a first$lass bribe. 1a(be he initiall( planned to go ba$& out this wa(.+ She 'u#ped down. Sweepers $ould find tra$es of the #a&eup. I want that DNA the sa#e wa(.+ +!h( didn"t he go out the wa( he $a#e in3+ +Too h(ped up fro# the &ill to $are + she $on$luded. So#ething reall( good + she told Roar&e.

)*e glan$ed at the e-#an and -eabod("s $ohab. Along with so#e serious prostheti$s. He loo&s real. /lo*ed she noted with long sharp nails sli$ing through the tips.+ She #agnified again to stud( the hands. I"ll start with one let hi# s7uee=e #e for the se$ond ti$&et% whi$h he will. +!arrant"s in.+ 888 . Then went ba$& to the fa$e.+ +Nothing about this gu( loo&s real + she $orre$ted. His s&inn( fra#e *ibrated with $olor fro# the #an( po$&eted baggies in Da(-/lo orange that pi$&ed up the =igs in his shirt. I want that s&in hand-$arried to the lab. +He $ouldn"t ha*e ta&en those bites out of the *i$ wearing that gear. 9et"s open those lo$&ers.+ +The( blind the bad gu(s + he $lai#ed still grinning. It"s al#ost as if his whole bod("s dis'ointed.+Two ti$&ets s&(bo0 first ga#e of the !orld Series with lo$&er-roo# passes. And I want to &now as soon as the warrant $o#es through. I want to see those dis$s.+ +)0$ellent but we"re still in pla(-offs. Nothing"s 7uite right about hi#. -eabod( wait for the #orgue and the sweepers.+ +Ni$e. 5r he $an #anipulate it be$ause the bites had pun$ture #ar&s li&e those pointed in$isors he"s got. She ordered #agnifi$ation ordered free=e repla(. This gu( I #ean. He wore his long blond hair in a tail se$ured with sil*er rings that #at$hed the half do=en hanging fro# his earlobe.+ She loo&ed down at her $o# when it signaled. So he didn"t put it on until after the &ill.+ +It"d be eas( to spot the# on 1ars in the night s&( with the na&ed e(e.+ He grinned. +)as( to find these pants in the dar&. +/otta be a new strain of Feus or so#ething li&e it. +?ou"re wearing that getup and tal&ing frea& show. +An(wa( Dallas it loo&s real. I"ll tag hi# on the wa( to Se$urit(.+ 888 In Se$urit( )*e studied the s$reen the #o*e#ent the fa$e. The =ags were nu$lear blue.+ +!here*er it is%transpo in$luded. !hat is his deal3+ +Totall( frea& show + was 1$Nab"s opinion. +I want (ou to ta&e this in to )DD for a full anal.

1r. Disguise and so#e &ind of powerful drug. -oli$e business #o*ed forward with sweepers and the dead $rew alread( at wor&. +!hat3+ +If his e(es aren"t real if he"s using de*i$es for the si=e the shape how does he blin&3 He loo&ed dire$tl( at the se$urit( $a#era at se*eral points and his e(elids $losed and opened.+ She paused outside the door.+ +?ou"*e got to la( off those old *ids + she $o##ented and led the wa( to the lab. So#ething bot$hed.+?ou"re not going to li&e this + Roar&e said as the( wal&ed ba$&. And we both saw hi# $ontort his bod( in i#possible wa(s and #o*e at $onsiderable speed. !ith Roar&e she headed straight ba$& to the lo$&ers.ut for now we"*e got a &iller on a spree and none of #( suspe$ts pop out as a fu$&ed-up s$ien$e e0peri#ent. +1a(be%#a(be%there"s been so#ething going on in this lab that"s wha$&ed. +If he"s a s$ientist%and he da#n well is%he"s figured out how to de*ise so#ething and he"s ta&ing so#ething that boosts his adrenaline.+ +So#ething I tr( to a*oid.+ +?eah I figure those pants $ould blind so#ebod( if the( stared at the# too long.ut the("re flesh and blood. H(de. And we"re going to sal*age Rosenthall"s re$ords and find out.+ +A$tuall( I was thin&ing of another $lassi$. I also ha*e to agree with hi# that (our &iller doesn"t loo& as if he"s wearing a disguise. +If (ou $an belie*e a s$ientist $an $reate de*i$es and substan$es to disguise hi#self this wa( wh( isn"t it possible for that s$ientist to $reate so#ething that $auses hi# to be this wa(3+ +.+ +How does he blin&3+ That put a hit$h in her stride.e$ause it"s a $o#bination. His 'aw shifted his #outh turned up. He s#iled if (ou $an $all it that.e$ause + she said as the( approa$hed the door +appearing and being are different things.+ +. It"s what"s inside the# that"s twisted.+ +1a(be the #ore hu#an fa$e is the real disguise. +.+ !ith that thought planted in her head she wal&ed into the lab. +. . The("re hu#an 'ust li&e the rest of us. This gu( isn"t so#e 6ran&enstein #onster. 1onsters e0ist + she added. .+ He did ha*e a da#n good e(e she thought.ut I agree with 1$Nab.

Seal it up get the weapon ta&en to the lab for pro$essing. Then 'ust lea*e one of the #urder weapons in (our wor& lo$&er3+ +A fra#e-up3 It #a&es #ore sense to #e + -eabod( said.+ +.+ +He lo*ed her%Darnell. Ta&es $are not to be seen $o#ing in%but does #urder then shows hi#self. As he #o*ed down the line of lo$&ers un$oding the lo$&s she $alled -eabod( in for the sear$h. Bills .#. +6ollowing the bread $ru#bs to /upta. +A fra#e-up if that"s what it is that"s hu#an. +I &now I did the inter*iew and I hate thin&ing I #issed an(thing but a fra#e-up #a&es #ore sense.+ +Reads that wa(. I"# going into the offi$e. .+ +He"s got this in the lo$&er but doesn"t use it. . It didn"t ta&e hi# long. 9o*e and grief all o*er hi#.+ -eabod( shoo& her head.+ +None at all + Roar&e agreed. And he didn"t e*en $lean it thoroughl( + )*e noted. And let"s ha*e all our pla(ers pi$&ed up brought in.+ +Now3 It"s . So"s s$rewing up and lea*ing e*iden$e where it $an be found if that"s what it is. . It shows so#e ni$&s and dents where it hit bone. )*e too& out the sil*er pipe.+ She wal&ed out with Roar&e.ut this is so da#n stupid so $areless. No not $ru#bs.+ She $he$&ed the ti#e as the( stepped outside. +There"s still so#e blood so#e #atter. +It"s sh( of fi*e a. Steal the seru# b( unlo$&ing the $abinet rather than busting it up.+ +If (ou need the $ar I $ould%/uess (ou don"t + she added when a dar& li#o glided s#oothl( to the $urb. +It was all o*er hi# Dallas. He"s unstable and the drug #a&es hi# #ore so but he"s organi=ed. )ither wa( with the weapon the DNA we"ll lo$& it down.+ +He wouldn"t be the first to destro( what he lo*ed.illingsl( and unless he"s reall( stupid &nows we"ll sear$h the lo$&ers &nows we"ll 7uestion the fa$t the seru# $abinet was opened with its lo$& $ode.+ +Should I point out (ou"*e been wor&ing sin$e shortl( after two3 I"ll get #( own 'u#p on the da( and as I"# $urious enough I #a( $o#e down to Central later wat$h (ou lo$& it down.e$ause he wanted us here + -eabod( $on$luded. .ig $hun&( hun&s of bread.She thought of the destru$tion of the lab and the open unbro&en door of the seru# lo$&up. And hit pa( dirt in -a$hai /upta"s.+ +I ha*e e*er( faith. +!eighted it for e0tra pun$h. +No point in busting the# open sin$e (ou"re here. .

+ +That was before.+ +!hat about #( s&in3+ +She goes first. Rather than his usual lab $oat he wore a #ulti$olored floral shirt that would ha*e #ade e*en 1$Nab win$e.+ +Tr( not to pun$h hi#.#. Than&s for the bribe.efore what3+ +. It"s fi*e-fu$&ing-a.+ He shot her a sour loo& and sin$e the last ti#e she"d seen hi# he"d been s$aril( sweet%and in lo*e%she assu#ed there was trouble in paradise.+ +Ne*er a proble#.+ +6ine fine if (ou gi*e #e so#ething I $an use.erens&i"s in& bla$& hair was sli$&ed ba$& o*er his eggshaped head.efore I got here and found Harpo pulling an all-nighter. And I want a bottle of single #alt s$ot$h for the ga#e. +Ta&e $are will (ou3 This one gi*es #e a *er( uneas( feeling.+ She wat$hed hi# dri*e awa( then went ba$& in to tal& to the head sweeper and get -eabod( for the trip to the lab.+ He pla(ed his spider fingers o*er his $o#p. 888 Di$& . I thin& I $an handle so#e #urderous s$ientist.+ +!h( is that #( proble#3+ +She"s on (our hair%first #urder%and (ou"re not going to li&e it.+ +Too #an( old horror *ids and an Irish nature.+ He tou$hed her $hee&. And I want that s$ot$h.+I"# going to hit the lab first gi*e Di$&head a push. A DNA #at$h will sa*e the inno$ent b(standers fro# a round in the bo0.+ . +. +!hat the hell are (ou wearing3+ +Clothes.+ +5h I"ll gi*e (ou so#ething. +She"ll $o#e out here.+ +!e alread( agreed to ter#s. ?ou"ll set the healing on that ar# ba$&. I"# not offi$iall( on (et.

+ +)0$use #e + )*e said brutall( polite.+ Harpo pointed a finger tipped with a #etalli$ purple nail.+ She gestured with the 'u#bo tube in her hand before she too& a gulp. I"# the goddess of hair and fiber and if I $an"t ID it nobod( $an. ?ou want to eli#inate ani#al%li&e a rat or a stra( $at whate*er.+ +?eah (eah o&a(. +Ha*e (ou tried the new bla$& $herr( fla*or3+ -eabod( as&ed her. +?eah but it"s got an aftertaste. That"s solid. I"# prett( well hoo&ed on the 9e#on Fest.+ +!hat do (ou #ean3+ +Sorr( I"*e been at this all night.+ +That"s right.ut it is.erens&i"s. +!hat (ou ha*e here + she said tapping that bright nail to the i#age +is hu#an hair and this+%she split the s$reen with a se$ond i#age %+is ape.ut it"s not e0a$tl( hu#an and not e0a$tl( ani#al. And I $ould%I figured an(wa(%gi*e (ou so#e basi$s. It"s sort of both. ID"d so#e fro# ea$h of (our *i$s no prob.+ +If (ou sa( so.+ +I li&e . So + she said swi*eling to )*e. +5n one hand this is totall( i$ed.+ She glan$ed at .+ +It $an"t be both. +?o + she said to )*e and -eabod( then dropped onto a stool. . +.erens&i. So no DNA for (ou on that but I started a standard anal. +I got hair fro# (our $ri#e s$ene. +I said (ou"d do it. .oost.lue 9agoon. /ot so#e not theirs but no roots.+ +Not what Harpo3+ +It"s not s(ntheti$.Harpo all spi&( red hair and tired e(es wal&ed out fro# her se$tion into . And I $an"t. S(ntheti$ hu#an if it was treated $olor and li&e that. 5n the other it"s #a'orl( fu$&ed.erens&i for per#ission then used one of the $o#ps to $all up her file.+ .+ +!hat is3+ +The hair.ut I $an"t "$ause it"s not. +?ou tell her3+ she as&ed . There"s so#ething about drin&ing blue that feels energi=ing. +This tal& of fla*ors and fa*orites is fas$inating but #a(be we $ould ta&e a #o#ent to dis$uss%oh I don"t &now%e*iden$e3+ +Sure + Harpo said as -eabod( $leared her throat. I"# a little wired on . It"s got a ni$e =ing.

Co#e on Di$&ie gi*e her (ours so she stops loo&ing at #e li&e the( let #e out of the ward too earl(.+ +5&a( Harpo o&a(.+ +S$ien$e doesn"t lie. 5n the ape hair the("re rough %the( li&e protrude. !hat was his ta&e3+ +He"s stu#ped 'ust li&e #e. About two this #orning I ga*e up and tagged #( old #an%+ +?our%+ +1( father"s head of forensi$s at Huanti$o.erens&i folded his ar#s. DNA"s li&e nothing I"*e seen before and I"*e seen it all. I get what Harpo got on the hair. I ran this through e*er(thing I"*e got and did the sa#e with the other strands the sweepers sent #e. +Harpo got what she got and I got what I got. It"s li&e so#ebod( #ated a hu#an with an ape and here"s the hair of the result.+ He sho*ed up sto#ped awa(. It"s green down through the sub$utaneous tissue.+ +I #ean green.ut I"*e got hair%fi*e sa#ples% that sa(s it is.+ +I &now that godda#n it. A $o#bination of hu#an and ape. . It s$rews up so#eti#es but it doesn"t lie. It $learl( shows $hara$teristi$s of both%rough and s#ooth%on one strand. . +It"s red enough but it"s not hu#an. Not all the wa(. See on the hu#an hair the $uti$le s$ales o*erlap s#oothl(.+ +/reen blood3+ )*e as&ed read( to be anno(ed all o*er again.+ +/i*e #e a brea& Harpo.+S$ien$e sa(s. /et it3+ +5&a( (eah. +5&a( this is fro# (our $ri#e s$ene.+ +So (ou"re telling #e I"# loo&ing for an ape-#an3 Seriousl(3+ +I don"t &now what the hell (ou"re loo&ing for is what I"# telling (ou. Not #a&eup not tinted. In fa$t this is the first ti#e e*er be$ause it"s wa( out of orbit and he"s the best there is% an(where. ?ou got green s&in. ?our *i$ got so#e blood along with the flesh and that"s not right either. So3+ +So this%+ Harpo added another i#age. This sort of #utation shouldn"t be possible. I want so#e fu$&ing $offee. It is what it is + he snapped out before )*e $ould protest. Sa#e result. 9oo& Dallas it"s not li&e I go running to Dadd( whene*er I hit a snag. +?ou"*e got so#e #utant frea& running around &illing people. !hat (ou got here Dallas is #utant hair.+ .

She #anaged to be wise until the("d gotten ba$& in the $ar. And Di$&head"s a di$&head but he"s one of the best there is. .+ +)0peri#ents + )*e $ontinued.ut he"s right.ut the fa$e Dallas. And now it"s bro&en out and wrea&ing ha*o$ on the $it(.+ )*e s7uee=ed the bridge of her nose. H(de"s the e*il one. . .+ +All the wa( down3+ +5b*iousl(. !isel( -eabod( &ept her thoughts to herself. +?ou &now Harpo"s solid. Right3+ +>esus + was all )*e $ould thin& of. The("re doing so#e sort of weird e0peri#ents in Rosenthall"s lab. It s$rews up the DNA $auses se*ere ane#ia. .+ +Not when (ou"re on the re$ei*ing end. . >e&(ll. +5h oh Rosenthall $reated the e*il Dr. .ut it shouldn"t be a proble# to find so#e half-ape gu( with green s&in. The( $reated a #onster%a &iller ape-#an #onster.ullshit.+ She wanted to belie*e it was prostheti$s a de*i$e so#e sort of elaborate #as&.ullshit. Rosenthall"s 1r. It"s so da#n girlie.+ +1r.+ +. . No wait Dr.+ +That"s what I"# sa(ing. +He hasn"t said it but we figure. H(de + she #uttered. +The seru#. He $an #at$h it if (ou get hi# the &iller"s. 9ouise said that $ould $ause a green $ast to the s&in. He"s been hell to be around sin$e.+ . 1r. H(de3+ -eabod( s$ooted up and o*er in her seat.ut the("re the sa#e person.+ +Hu#an3 . H(de. And one #ore bullshit. +I don"t &now but we"re going to grill Rosenthall li&e a trout until he $lears this up. So#ething unauthori=ed and twisted.+His girlfriend du#ped hi# a $ouple da(s ago + Harpo said. . !hen I do $an (ou #at$h it to this3+ +Di$&ie"s got DNA fro# the s&in and blood the *i$ s$raped off. +I"# going to get DNA fro# the suspe$ts. . 1( old #an he"d li&e to $onsult on this if (ou gi*e hi# the nod. >e&(ll"s the good part. If the( both $o#e up with the sa#e results and reall( when (ou loo& at the &iller he"s 'ust not . It is what it is. And%+ +Don"t #a&e #e slap (ou. ?ou get hair I $an #at$h it.ut . +1a(be that"s not so far off.

+9ieutenant Dallas please $an (ou tell #e what"s happening3 The poli$e $a#e to #( ho#e this #orning.+ +Thin& about it.+ +/od.+ +. And /upta"s still ahead of hi#.+D #inus and onl( be$ause (ou got the na#es right. The( said )ton"s been #urdered.+ +!h( not &ill -a$hai3+ +5ne of the first three *i$s got wind of so#ething Di$&erson was up to so the( had to go. .+ +So Rosenthall better + she said as she pulled into the garage at Central.a$& to -a$hai. /upta $o#es fro# a fa#il( of do$tors s$ientists and had a leg up sin$e his father &nows Rosenthall.+ -------------------------------------Chapter 1. +!e"ll ta&e hi# first. It"s all his. He destro(ed the lab too& the seru#. He doesn"t want an(one else to ha*e what he"s got. !h( would Rosenthall &ill >ennifer Darnell%in that #anner3 That personal inti#ate #anner3 The &iller wanted her and $ouldn"t ha*e her. /upta"s $aught the e(e of Darnell e*en though Di$&erson went to his un$le and got her wor&%then did her another fa*or and got wor& for Ai0. .ut I don"t . Di$&erson"s still an intern. It is a fra#e-up.+ +That"s $orre$t. It #a&es hi# happ( and #ore he"s found out &illing #a&es hi# e*en happier. Now #a(be he #o*ed she de$ided she wasn"t interested after all. ?ou said he lo*ed her%and wit state#ents indi$ate she was interested.+ .+ +/upta"s Rosenthall"s assistant.+ +It pla(s but it doesn"t e0plain the #utations.ut when3 How3+ +Shortl( before one this #orning in Dr. Di$&erson had to wor& his wa( through push for s$holarships.+ +Ben Di$&erson. . !hat better wa( to destro( /upta than b( &illing the girl he lo*ed and pinning it on hi#3 !hate*er he"s on #a&es hi# feel superior but that was alread( in there. It #a&es hi# feel powerful free.ut who"s the odd #an out in this3 !ho got Darnell and her friend the 'obs at Sli$e3 /ets her and her friend wor& but she"s #ore interested in /upta. As )*e headed down to Ho#i$ide Arianna sprang up fro# a ben$h in the $orridor and rushed toward her. And goll( where do we find one of the #urder weapons3 In /upta"s lo$&er%with blood and brain #atter still on it. . Rosenthall"s lab.+ +In >ustin"s lab3 .

+He was going to wor& late sta( in his offi$e again last night but I as&ed hi# not to. -ro$edure.ut what happened3 1( /od this is a night#are. He"s dead.+ +I understand. After >ustin.+ As long as it ta&es )*e thought as she headed toward the first inter*iew roo#. The &iller #ust ha*e been after >ustin. No.illingsl(.i$&ford $ase nu#ber H. I ha*e to re$ord this. I as&ed hi# to $o#e ho#e with #e sta( with #e.GIOQE and )ton . !e%/od it see#s $ruel now% we"d 'o&e about it so#eti#es. . I"# going to be tal&ing to Dr. He"s not in*ol*ed in >ustin"s wor&. .+ +. !e were together all night. >ustin straightened in his $hair when )*e entered.+ +Do (ou &now wh( Dr. Rosenthall"s lab at that ti#e of night3+ +No. I &now people tal& about )ton being 'ealous of hi#.+ Arianna rubbed a hand between her breasts ba$& and forth. +How $an this be happening3 The( said we needed to $o#e here%>ustin and I. I wanted hi# with #e and I was upset enough that he ga*e in.+ +Did an(one sta( in the lab3+ +I don"t &now. Can I see hi# now3 Do we need a law(er3+ +He"s not under arrest but I need to as& hi# a few 7uestions. I swear it.+ +!as he3+ +?es but >ustin isn"t bothered b( it. The( too& hi# so#ewhere else wouldn"t let #e sta( with hi#. It shouldn"t be long. ?ou $an"t belie*e >ustin had an(thing to do with this.illingsl( $ase nu#ber H-GEOQO.+ +I"# also going to read (ou (our rights.+ As she did >ustin said nothing.+ +I"# sorr( it"s ta&en so long. The( 'ust said I had to wait. +So it"s true + he said +about . If he wants a law(er present he $an ha*e one. >ustin Rosenthall on the #atters of Darnell Ai0 and . Rosenthall shortl(. -eabod( wh( don"t (ou ta&e 1s. >ustin #et #e out front. )ton #urdered and in >ustin"s lab.+ +?es. !hitwood to the lounge3 She $an wait there while we tal& to Dr. Rosenthall. Re$ord on Dallas 9ieutenant )*e in Inter*iew with Dr.illingsl( would ha*e been in Dr.+ +?ou left the Center together3+ +?es about ele*en thirt( I thin&.She $losed her e(es a #o#ent. He shouldn"t ha*e been. It"s been #ore than an hour. I had a fund-raiser and $alled >ustin fro# the $ar when I left.

+Do (ou understand (our rights and obligations3+ +?es. ?ou thin& I &illed the#3+ She let the 7uestion hang a #o#ent. He loo&ed worn-out she noted as Arianna had. +All the *i$ti#s were $onne$ted to (ou and the Center. .illingsl( was #urdered in (our lab.+ +In #( lab3+ +?es. There are 7uestions that ha*e to be as&ed but first I"d li&e a sa#ple of (our DNA.+ +1(%all right but it"s on file.+ +>ust $onsider it a spot $he$&.+ She too& out a swab. !hen it was done she went to the door passed it off to the waiting unifor#. She sat at the table a$ross fro# >ustin. +!hat was .illingsl( doing in (our lab3+ +I ha*e no idea. He shouldn"t ha*e been there. He shouldn"t ha*e been able to get in without #( authori=ation. How did he3+ +He $loned (our swipe $ard and had a re$ording of (our *oi$e.+ >ustin si#pl( stared at her. +He went that far3 He disli&ed #e%that"s not news%but I $an"t belie*e he"d go as far as brea&ing into the lab. And for what3+ +!ould he ha*e business with (our assistant or interns3+ +No none I $an thin& of. And he &new none of us were there. I saw hi# before I left and he $o##ented on the fa$t that I was a$tuall( going ho#e.+ +?ou didn"t get along.+ +Not well.+ >ustin bra$ed his elbows on the table pushed his hands o*er his fa$e ba$& into his hair. +That"s no se$ret as he #ade it *er( $lear he didn"t thin& I was good enough for Ari%and he was.+ +That #ust ha*e pissed (ou off.+ +So#e + he ad#itted. +.ut fran&l( I didn"t gi*e .illingsl( #u$h thought. Arianna lo*es #eK we"re about to be #arried. And #( wor& o$$upies the rest of #( thoughts at this stage.+ +!hat is this stage3+

+!e"re about to begin the ne0t round of testing.+ +1eaning3+ )*e said as -eabod( entered. +-eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia entering Inter*iew. /o on Do$tor.+ +!e"*e in'e$ted a test group of lab rats with spe$ifi$ addi$ti*e substan$es o*er a $ourse of ti#e.+ +?ou"*e #ade addi$ts out of rats3+ +?es. !e obser*e and #onitor $hart re$ord. Now we"ll in'e$t the# with the seru# run the# through tests. 5n$e we%+ +?ou don"t test on hu#an sub'e$ts.+ +No. That"s #onths off #a(be (ears. This isn"t a 7ui$& pro$ess. !e $an"t ris& testing an unpro*en substan$e on a hu#an being.+ +It #ust be te#pting to push it so#e to &i$& up the pa$e.+ +?ou don"t go into resear$h to rush.+ +Do (our assistants e*er get ants(3+ +I"# sorr(3+ +1a(be (our assistants want to ta&e it up a not$h show off so#e i#press (ou.+ +The("re (oung. Sure there"s so#e frustration i#patien$e% $o#petition fro# ti#e to ti#e. .ut we ha*e a *er( stri$t proto$ol a ti#etable pro$edures that #ust be followed not onl( for su$$ess but for safet(.+ +!ho has a$$ess to the seru#3+ +It"s lo$&ed in the lab in an en*iron#entall( $ontrolled $ase. No one but #(self and -a$hai ha*e a$$ess. ?ou don"t thin& .illingsl( tried to%+ +The $ase was open + )*e told hi#. +And e#pt(.+ +)#pt(3+ 9oo&ing stri$&en Rosenthall rubbed at his te#ple. +The seru#"s gone3 /od. /od, !e"re so $lose. A $o#peting lab3 )spionage3 !ould .illingsl( ha*e done that3+ +?our two interns $an"t a$$ess the seru#3+ +No. !ell that"s not $o#pletel( a$$urate. Ben"s wor&ed late with #e se*eral nights and I ga*e hi# the $ode. I $hange it e*er( three da(s. I"d ha*e $hanged it this #orning in fa$t. !e $an re-$reate the seru#. .ut the ti#e lost . . .+ He shoo& his head. +.ut I don"t understand what this has to do with the #urders with >en and the bo(s. I $an"t belie*e the("d be in*ol*ed in so#e plot to steal or sell the wor&.+

+That"s o&a(. I understand. Inter*iew end. If (ou"d 'ust wait here a #inute. -eabod(3+ +?ou"re $utting hi# loose3+ -eabod( as&ed when the( stepped out. +I want (ou to ta&e hi# to the lounge as& hi# and Arianna to wait. I #ight need hi# to tal& to Di$&erson interpret so#e of the s$ien$e stuff when we get to it. Then do a round with /upta. He #a( ha*e so#ething to add here and he &nows (ou now.+ +5&a(. ?ou"re ta&ing Di$&erson alone3+ +I"ll start on hi#. !hen (ou thin& (ou"*e got all (ou $an get fro# /upta ta&e hi# to the lounge then $o#e in to Inter*iew.+ +Che$&.+ +And bring Di$&erson a drin&.+ -eabod( sighed. +.e$ause I"# good $op.+ +So far.+ )*e wal&ed down to the ne0t inter*iew roo# entered. +Dallas 9ieutenant )*e + she began and $o#pleted the do$u#entation. +He( Ben (ou loo& a little wrung out.+ +I"*e been waiting a long ti#e. 9i&e two hours.+ A little sweat( )*e obser*ed. Hollow-e(ed and *er( pale. +These things ta&e ti#e.+ She read hi# his rights wat$hed those hollow e(es widen. +I"# a suspe$t3 !h( are (ou sa(ing all that3+ +6or (our prote$tion Ben. >ust pro$edure. ?ou &now about pro$edure. Do (ou understand (our rights (our obligations3+ +?es but I don"t understand wh(%+ +6our people are dead Ben and (ou &new all of the#.+ +I"# not the onl( one who%+ +!e"re tal&ing to the others. So what did (ou thin& of .illingsl(3+ she $ontinued $on*ersationall(. +An asshole right3+ +I don"t reall( ha*e an opinion. I didn"t &now hi# reall(.+ +Ta&e #( word. Asshole. An(bod( who tries to horn in on another #an"s wo#an espe$iall( when she"s not interested is an asshole.+

She s#iled when she said it wat$hed his e(es s&itter awa(. +I nearl( forgot.+ She too& out a swab. +I need so#e spit. DNA $he$&.+ +I%I don"t ha*e to do that.+ +Seriousl(3 It"s 'ust so#e spit Ben.+ +I don"t ha*e to do that unless (ou ha*e a warrant. That"s #( right.+ +Suit (ourself.+ She shrugged. +Now about assholes.+ +Should I get a law(er3+ +Do (ou want one3 6ine with #e. It"ll ta&e #ore ti#e. -robabl( a $ouple #ore hours.+ She started to rise. +It"s o&a( for now. I 'ust want to get out of here.+ +Can"t bla#e (ou. 9i&e I said (ou loo& wrung out. @p late3+ +I didn"t sleep well. It"s hard with what happened.+ +I bet. ?ou li&ed >en.+ +)*er(bod( li&ed >en.+ +.ut (ou reall( li&ed her. ?ou got her a 'ob.+ +It was no big deal.+ +Co#e on ta&e so#e $redit. An addi$t with barel( a #onth"s re$o*er( under her belt before (ou as&ed (our un$le to gi*e her a brea&. Then (ou do her another solid and help her addi$t friend get a 'ob. She owed (ou.+ +I was 'ust tr(ing to help.+ +Did she pa( (ou ba$&3+ +I don"t &now what (ou #ean.+ +I don"t thin& she did not when she had her e(e on -a$hai%and he had his on her. That #ust"*e stung.+ He s$rat$hed at his ar#s as if so#ething $rawled along his s&in. +She was 'ust a friend.+ +.e$ause that"s the wa( she wanted it. And -a$hai what did he do for her3 He didn"t get her and her addi$t friend 'obs. His un$le didn"t gi*e her food to ta&e ho#e. He $o#es fro# #one( though. Isn"t that

Ha*e a drin& Ben ta&e a little ti#e to thin&. ?ou"re s#arter%I $an tell. ?ou wor&ed harder I bet.+ . !e"re going to find the pipe (ou used to beat Cob( Ai0 to death with.+ )*e sat ba$& wat$hed hi# sweat a few #o#ents until -eabod( $a#e in with a tube of ginger ale.alwa(s the wa(3 /ets to be Rosenthall"s head gu(%o*er (ou. Rosenthall"s so $onser*ati*e su$h a sti$&ler for proto$ol pro$edure.usting (our ass. It"s not right. Real progress is ris&( ta&es ga#bles. !e"re going to get a sear$h warrant for (our apart#ent and we"re going to find (ours.+ +Suit (ourself. No *isible s$rat$hes she thought. Did she $at$h (ou at it or did (ou tell her3 Had to brag about it.+ +!h( is that Ben3+ +I"# not tal&ing an(#ore. Did >en find out (ou were ta&ing one3+ He &ept s$rat$hing swallowing loo&ing an(where but at )*e. -ut in #ore hours. +-eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia entering Inter*iew. .+ +She $a#e in the lab a lot didn"t she3 1a&ing e0$uses to drop in so she $ould see -a$hai. . +?ou"re #a&ing all this up. Did (ou let her in3+ +!e"re not allowed to wor& in the lab off hours unless Dr.ut he too& the tube $ra$&ed it gu==led.+ )*e wa*ed the# awa(. In fa$t she threatened to tell on (ou if (ou didn"t stop. . He $ould use that. . 5ff the boo&s so to spea&. .ut (ou $an show the# (ou"re better s#arter. ?ou had a reall( bad rea$tion to the seru#.+ She leaned forward. Rosenthall"s there. .+ He began to shi*er now as if $old e*en while the sweat dribbled down his te#ples. And Rosenthall"s po&ing along with his (es-#an /upta getting all the attention%and the girl. ?ou"re willing to ta&e so#e ris&s. And when she $a#e ba$& in )*e thought she"d ta&e the tube%and ha*e his DNA. To tell Rosenthall (ou were e0peri#enting with his wor& testing it and not on rats.ut (ou"*e got balls. +Real inno*ation sa(s s$rew the rules. .+ +Rules. +I bet (ou put in lots of (our own ti#e on that pro'e$t. Did she $o#e b( when (ou were wor&ing alone one night3 5ff the boo&s.+ +A# I3 S$ientists &eep re$ords. ?ou"*e got ideas don"t (ou Ben3 Ideas about the seru#. 6lirted with hi# right in front of (ou.ut she still didn"t want (ou. +I don"t &now what (ou"re tal&ing about. Then%+ +?ou $an"t find the pipe at #( pla$e be$ause . The wa( I loo& at it things 'ust got out of hand out of (our $ontrol.ut he"d left his hair down o*er the ba$& of his ne$&. .+ +I"# not sa(ing an(thing else.

I"# about to go in for the se$ond round. 9iterall(. Co#e to wat$h the show3+ +It"s usuall( worth the pri$e of ad#ission.+ +1a(be we should ha*e Rosenthall obser*e the ne0t round. She"d thought little $ould genuinel( surprise her at this stage of her life and $areer but she fro=e in sho$&. Ha*e a seat Do$ and we"ll%+ He turned. He"s either going to $ra$& or law(er up%that $ould go either wa(.+ +That"s Dr. +Inter*iew pause. Dallas 9ieutenant )*e and -eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia e0iting the roo#. !hen she stepped in Di$&erson was standing in the far $orner fa$ing the wall. The #a$hines didn"t alwa(s $ooperate with her. /o get hi# ta&e hi# to an obser*ation roo#.+ +I"ll go find the#.+ He ga*e her a tap on the $hin then strolled off%as at ho#e in the $op shop as she was she thought. It"s got hi# strung out. His shoulders shoo&. And I thin& he dosed hi#self real good two nights in a row. +Dallas 9ieutenant )*e reentering Inter*iew. 9et"s get a sear$h warrant for his apart#ent.+ +/ood idea. I thin& he"s been ta&ing the seru#%or a *ersion of it. +9et #e do that.+ +I"*e got Di$&erson sweating in the bo0.+Thin& about it + )*e suggested. I"# going to gi*e Di$&erson another $ouple #inutes. -eabod("s bringing Rosenthall into 5bser*ation in $ase we need an interpreter for the s$ien$e. 9i&e (ou said if he gets into the s$ien$e Rosenthall $ould tell us what it #eans. Chaos to (ou. !e"*e got enough for that.+ She $ould use a drin& herself )*e thought and ga*e Aending a hard e(e. He"s s$ared too.+ She ar$hed her e(ebrows at the rough sound of his *oi$e. He"s got logs and re$ords.+ Roar&e plugged in $redits ordered her a tube of -epsi. She $ra$&ed the tube too& a long drin& then wal&ed ba$& to the inter*iew roo#. +Now we"re getting so#ewhere. . >esus Ben #an up. That stupid $ape the glo*es the shoes #a(be the &nife and s$alpel.+ +He loo&s sweat( sha&( + -eabod( began outside the door. +Than&s. +He loo&s li&e%+ +An addi$t 'onesing for a fi0.

The wea& and brea&able Di$&erson.+ )*e #uttered the oaths% pra(ers%as she snapped on restraints.lood strea#ing bod( spas#ing Chaos went down.ut (ou $an. +I want hi# sha$&led in a $age before he $o#es to.+ +. !e"re going to $ar*e out (our heart and eat it.illingsl(. Right left right again. Chaos whirled snarled%'ittered fro# the stun strea#s.elie*e #e + her partner responded. +Now. Roar&e rushed in steps ahead of -eabod( and a swar# of $ops. . The door burst open. +Allow #e. )*en if (ou get through #e (ou won"t get out. He $areened off bloodied and ni#ble as a spider. -eabod( &eep (our weapon on hi#. +!hat (ou are is under arrest. +>esus Christ >esus Christ >esus Christ.+ She pulled her weapon. .+ .+ +So I see. ?ou"re an inse$t to #e.+ +Not for #u$h longer.+ She fired again &ept firing.+ 6a$e $old and fier$e Roar&e ra##ed his fists into the twisted fa$e. She had a fra$tion of a se$ond to prepare and used the for$e of his bod( ra##ing hers to go down &i$& up and send hi# fl(ing o*er her and into the wall. Si$&l( green it twisted itself until the 'aw lo$&ed at a grotes7ue angle. . +?ou"re in the #iddle of Cop Central.ut not prett(. It slowed hi# $aused hi# to stu#ble but he $a#e on.+ +I $an"t die. He $ried o*er the girl but he en'o(ed &illing .His fa$e rippled in front of her e(es. All of (ou. +/o down (ou fu$&. ?ou"ll die here. +5ooh it ti$&les.+ He would atta$& again she thought. !ea& and brea&able. Isolation. +And I"# not a #an.+ )*e shouted.+ He leaped at her.+ +He"s still in (ou. +I want leg irons + she $alled out.+ She heard the snap and $ra$& of #igrating bones as his spine see#ed to warp. I"# so #u$h stronger now. ?ou"re s#art. This ti#e when she fired he 'er&ed. She got a strea# off was sure she stru$& #idbod( but he was so fast. 9et"s #o*e. +I"# a god. There was too #u$h ani#al in hi# not to. His teeth sharpenedK his e(es protruded and bulged in their so$&ets and began to glea# red. He"ll en'o( &illing (ou. Then he s#iled.

>ealous a#bitious re$&less.+Are (ou hurt3+ Roar&e gripped her hand as she rose. He 'ust didn"t &now it.ut he wasn"t a #urderer. He was going to i#press the girl his boss the whole fu$&ing world. As the people Rosenthall"s tr(ing to help are to the illegals. Had to hope she"d see how spe$ial he was and want hi# the wa( he wanted her.+ +And that onl( #ade hi# ta&e #ore. +He would ha*e &illed (ou. His *ersion of it. And he( than&s for the assist + she added as she #o*ed aside to let so#e of the #en lift Chaos. He set it aside when she $a#e in and with one loo& at her fa$e went to the AutoChef progra##ed $offee for both of the#.+ +It"s ne*er 'ust about $losed $ases for (ou. To pro*e to her he was better than -a$hai better e*en than Rosenthall. I"*e got to get hi# $ontained.+ +?eah. If he didn"t tell his boss she would be$ause he was #a&ing hi#self si$& she said. Now he"s d(ing be$ause he unleashed so#ething in hi#self that per*erted what he was what he wanted.+ +I"# tr(ing to be sorr( as (ou see# to be. He was so proud had to show off. She was bla$&-and-white on it. Roar&e wat$hed her go then glan$ed down at his raw &nu$&les. He as&ed Darnell to $o#e into the lab. Rosenthall"s with hi# now%prett( #u$h $rushed. And now we"ll ha*e fi*e bodies.+ +He pro#ised he"d do what she said then in$reased the dose. +No. +1ultiple organ failure% 9ouise had that one. He"d i#pro*ed it so he thought. And he"s got a brain tu#or for good #easure.+ +She would ha*e re$ogni=ed the addi$tion + Roar&e $on$luded. Di$&erson"s barel( able to tal& but we got all we need to $lose the $ases. !hat he be$a#e was as addi$ted to &illing as Di$&erson was to the seru#. Di$&erson was dead the first ti#e he too& the seru#. +?eah I"d sa(.+ Roar&e sat on the $orner of her des& fa$ing her.+ )*e dropped down at her des&.+ +He was an idiot%Di$&erson.+ ----------------------------------------)pilogue )*e found hi# waiting in her offi$e settled in her ratt( *isitor"s $hair with his --C. So#ething he $ouldn"t $ontrol.+ +6our people slaughtered. The("re not going to be able to sa*e hi#. I"ll be ba$&. . Instead she disappro*ed told hi# he had to go to Rosenthall had to stop. +He"s d(ing. +Ah well. 5r not until he started ta&ing the seru#.+ .

+ +No + she $onfir#ed.+ +6riendship and be$ause (ou &now she"ll be fair and a$$urate. I"ll ta&e (ou to lun$h% whene*er.+ . ?ou don"t ha*e to wait around. +I need to write it up and I pro#ised Nadine I"d gi*e her a head start. I"ll lea*e (ou to it then find #(self a spot to finish a bit of business. Tag #e when (ou"re done.+ Roar&e started to $orre$t her then shrugged.+ He leaned forward tou$hed his lips to hers.+ +I guess that"s true enough.+ +?ou don"t belie*e that.+ +I"d stunned the shit out of hi# + she began. +I guess it too& a &no$& in there.+ She glan$ed down saw he was right. +Alwa(s.+ +And this $ase is $losed.+ +Sap. +?ou"*e had it $radled sin$e (ou sat down.+ He laughed &issed her again. I"ll wait for (ou. +I don"t. He sa(s he thought the #urders were a drea# a hallu$ination. Di$&erson told us .+ +!ell then (ou"d loosened the lid.+ +)*e.+ +I $an grab so#ething.+ +The green-s&inned #onster. I don"t &now wh(.+ +>ealous( again.+And Chaos was born. !e #issed brea&fast altogether. !e ne*er 7uite see e*er(thing there is do we3 !hat I did see was the delight%the #urderous delight on his fa$e.illingsl( was tr(ing to ha$& into Rosenthall"s $o#puter when he got to the lab. +I"d 'ust stepped into 5bser*ation when he turned around. He 'ust $ouldn"t fa$e it on one side $ouldn"t gi*e it up on the other.+ She finished off her $offee set it and the sadness aside. +!ell in this $ase.+ +/uilt(. +And (eah he #ight"*e gotten a pie$e of #e an(wa(.+ He tou$hed the shagg( tips of her hair. ?ou finished hi# off real ni$e. And when we get ho#e tonight we"ll ta&e $are of that ar#. He &new what he"d done. I saw what he was or what he was be$o#ing.+ +I &now what that #eans. I didn"t &now if I"d get there get to (ou in ti#e.

+ And it did she thought when he"d left her to find his 7uiet spot. . And stood awhile holding *igil for the d(ing.efore the wor& she rose wal&ed to her s&inn( window.+ +Then we"ll ta&e $are of ea$h other.+ +Sounds good. She loo&ed out at New ?or&%safe for the #o#ent fro# one of the #onsters who hunted. . +?ou too.She released it too& his hand to e0a#ine his &nu$&les.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful