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 $ut out her tongue.+ +>esus.+
!ilson . Shattered &nee$aps.ut he doesn"t use it on the others e0$ept for the re#o*al. 5ne for ea$h *i$3+ +1a(be. Chaos.ut (eah it $ould be #ore than one. +She"s wearing a ninet(-da( $hip fro# /et Straight. H## T5D two hundred thirt(. Real funn( gu(. +No bruising bleeding tearing I $an see but the 1) will deter#ine se0ual assault.two. +That"s what this is. She was either alread( dead or un$ons$ious when he too& her tongue and he had a good stead( hand. +There had to be two &illers #a(be three.ut onl( one ta&es $redit3+ As )*e had -eabod( studied the blood( #essage. It $ould be the na#e of a group.+ )*e fit on #i$rogoggles engaged their light to peer into the *i$ti#"s #outh. !ith a nod )*e rose and #o*ed to the #iddle *i$ti#. .+ )*e loo&ed around the roo#. I need ID T5D. Didn"t die first.+ +Cob( Ai0 age twent(-si0 + -eabod( told her.+ )*e lifted the he# of the short nightshirt. +He"s the biggest of the three. +1ostl( I thin& he li&es to 'o&e.+ +So he too& so#e ti#e with Darnell. It"s a lot of wor& for one #an. +Dr. +Ta&ing the bod( parts those parti$ular bod( parts do (ou thin& ritual3+ +-ossibl(.+ +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.+ )*e $onsidered it while she used the gauges. . He did what he wanted too& what he wanted now he"s telling us to $lean up the #ess.+ Struggling to find her own good stead( hand -eabod( opened her &it. T5D on Darnell two hundred thirt(-eight. Dr. The #iddle gu(3 The &iller too& hi# out where he la(.+!or& see-no gu( -eabod(. Dr.+ +Ai0 T5D two hundred twent(.+
.+ +Ai0 has si0t(. He swit$hes to bludgeoning for the other #ale.+ She loo&ed up at the #essage on the wall.+ She sat ba$& on her heels tried to see it. )nough for rape. Chaos #a( 'ust be a do$tor or at least ha*e #edi$al training. The &iller went at hi# first + she $ontinued. +Age twent(. +?eah it $ould.i$&ford + she said when she"d run his prints.+ )*e lifted the $heap thin $hain around Darnell"s bruised ne$&. +Hear-no has thirt(. +Clean $ut neat and tid(. Three distin$t #ethods of &illing.+ +He( bet (our own ass. . @ses a &nife or a s$alpel. Chaos. +I bet (our ass he did.+ -eabod( held up the $hip. That sa#e pre$ision surgi$al re#o*al on the ear.
+ +I thin& that"s an interesting gap of ti#e between T5Ds.ut this doesn"t loo& li&e tea#wor& + )*e said s$anning the roo# again. . Her puff( pale green e(es sta(ed dr( and fo$used on )*e.i$&ford put up a fight. +>en didn"t show up for wor&. 5ne with a $ool head one 'ust batshit $ra=(.ut to )*e"s relief it loo&ed li&e Batrina had $ried herself out. Ta&e it a $ouple wa(s. +Chaos. Di#atto3+
.+Defensi*e wounds hands ar#s.+ She gestured to the #essage on the wall. !e"*e got serious o*er&ill on the two #ales and #anual strangulation%whi$h is personal and inti#ate%on the fe#ale. Could be the tea# 'ust went to town on the pla$e. . . Her throat $li$&ed on e*er( swallow.+ +9ouise Di#atto"s $lini$3+ +?es.ut I"# onl( seeing one t(pe of blood( footprint and it"s too #u$h to swallow the( all wore the sa#e si=e and t(pe of shoe. .ut the #essage is 'o&e( whi$h reads $ontrol and intelle$t. And she and Cob( and !il the( go to the #eeting after. The one off Canal. I wor& at the free $lini$ on Canal. . It $ould be #ore than one. .+ +1issed that + -eabod( #uttered. 5ne stabs one beats one strangles.+ +?ou wor&ed with her3+ +I"# her sponsor.+ +. I want to tal& to the nine-one-one $aller. Tea#wor&.+
Batrina Chu hun$hed in the ba$& of the bla$&-and-white her fa$e white as death her e(es puff( fro# weeping. +9et"s get the# bagged tagged and transported. The destru$tion of the s$ene is o*er the top and that reads rage. 5ne of the unifor#s had gotten her so#e water. I thin& the sa#e hand did the re#o*als an e0perien$ed hand stead(.ut (ou don"t thin& so. Do (ou &now Dr. 5r #a(be the others were #ore $areful. Sa( three &illers one for ea$h *i$. +I need (ou to tell #e what happened + )*e began. She *olunteers on the brea&fast shift at /et Straight. +1a(be there"s #ore and I"*e #issed the#. .+ +?eah. +It loo&s li&e .
Rosenthall said it would be o&a( for a few wee&s. .+ +!hat about people the( asso$iated with when the( were using3+ +I don"t &now. +She was happ(.ut I did thin& it so I $a#e b( on #( wa( to wor& to $he$& on her. Rosenthall3+ +He and Dr. He and Arianna basi$all( fund the organi=ation. !e hit it off. +I"# an aide there. She got Cob( to $o#e in. She"s a therapist.+ A tear lea&ed through after all.+ +!hitwood. The( were going to pool their #one( and rent a pla$e. >en she wanted to get $lean sta( $lean.+ -ressing her lips together she shoo& her head. She ne*er #issed the #orning #eeting. . Neither did Cob( or !il. She didn"t answer her "lin&. 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. Rosenthall. She was happ(.+ +The( $ouldn"t pa( the rent.+ +Dr.+
. She was reall( wor&ing it (ou &now3 Reall( tr(ing hard. 9ast night she told #e the( had nearl( two thousand in the rent &itt( so the( were going to start to loo& for one. Arianna and Dr. I saw. >en ne*er told #e about an( trouble not this &ind.ut she didn"t show up not to ser*e brea&fast not for the #eeting. . She donates her ti#e too.+ +Do (ou &now an(bod( who"d want to hurt her or Cob( or !il3+ +No. >en $a#e into /et Straight a $ouple #onths ago and I offered to be her sponsor. The( were $lean and tr(ing to sta( that wa(.+ The $onne$tion see#ed to stead( her. The( wanted to turn their li*es around. .+ +Arianna. +I &now so#e people thin& on$e a 'un&ie but the( were tr(ing. The("re engaged. I reall( trusted she"d tag #e if she got in a situation. I $ouldn"t see in the window. I &no$&ed. The( started s7uatting here a $ouple wee&s ago. 1a(be three I guess. Cob( got a 'ob there deli*ering and !il was wor&ing as a sto$& bo( at the twent(-fourCse*en a $ouple blo$&s awa(. It happens.+ +I ha*e her li*ing on !est Si0teenth. And she started wor&ing at Sli$e%a pi==a 'oint%about two #onths ago. Nobod( was using the pla$e and she said Dr.+?eah. I"# stud(ing to be a nurse. It"s boarded and grilled but >en ga*e #e a &e( so I opened it and . +I thought #a(be the("d ta&en a slide. I got worried. She was happ(. I didn"t want to thin& it. Di#atto donate ti#e to /et Straight. I went b( Sli$e last night for ta&eout and we tal&ed awhile.
+ +9ieutenant3+ 5ne of the unifor#s stepped in. It"s not dust( or dirt(. +The( were (oung and tr(ing to reboot their li*es. He spe$iali=es in $he#i$al addi$tions%and was gi*en a grant b( the !hitwood /roup for sa#e%$ause rehabilitation.----------------------------------------Chapter : +Run Rosenthall and !hitwood + )*e told -eabod(.+ He held up the $lear prote$ti*e $oat $o*ered with blood li&e the ones she"d seen $ountless do$tors wearing. +!e found this in the re$($ler out ba$&. And when I $he$&ed out the bathroo# I guess it"s an e#plo(ee"s restroo# deal.+ +9et"s go see if the do$tor"s in. He wor&s pri#aril( out of the !hitwood Center a fa$ilit( for the stud( of addi$tion with a health $enter and *isitor"s lodging atta$hed. No $ri#inal. 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&. An(wa( it was $lean. I"# not finding an( Dlin&s. >ustin Rosenthall thirt(-eight. And see so#ebod( repaired and painted this $hair. +>ust one3+ +So far sir. The( had a good $han$e of #a&ing it too. The( &ept the floor $lean. The( weren"t *er( good at it + -eabod( added as she pi$&ed up one of the bro&en legs.ag that for the sweepers.+ +The( probabl( had the#%who doesn"t3%so the &iller probabl( too& the#.+ +Dr. . >ust the &ill.ut the *i$s the( &ept it $lean. +Credits $ash e*en loose $hange. .+ She po&ed through a bit. +.+ )*e wal&ed ba$& into the building. The floor"s $lean. An(thing pop fro# the $an*ass3+ +Not (et.+ +/ood.+ +Alread( on it.+ +It"s sad + -eabod( #ur#ured.ut the( tried. +And get what (ou $an on the Canal Street /et Straight. And the sweepers are on their wa(. Rosenthall -eabod(. The("re on their wa(.+ +Suddenl( I 7uestion (our $leanliness standards.+ +I #ean if (ou o*erloo& the blood and the #ess. The &illers #ust not ha*e used it. He or the( didn"t $are about the #one(. +It"s going to ta&e the# a while to sort through this #ess.+
.+ +Beep $he$&ing.+ +Ta&es the "lin&s but lea*es the s$rat$h.+ +Beep on that too.
She #ade it to twent(-two before she 5D"d. 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. .+He"s *er( studl( + -eabod( added and $ontinued to wor& her handheld as the( wal&ed to the $ar.+ +C(ni$ alert.+ +Do (ou &now wh( the saints are all dead3+ +!h(3+ +.+
5ld ti#e-faded bri$& housed the !hitwood Center. /a*e that up + )*e $o##ented +to wor& with 'un&ies. 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. The !hitwood Center opened three (ears later. oh she had a brother.
. And reall( reall( ri$h. The wedding"s set for ne0t #onth billed as the wedding of the (ear.e$ause dead"s the onl( wa( (ou $an pull it off. 5r the !hitwood /roup%headed b( her parents%is. So#ething $ould snap. He was on tra$& to be$o#ing a topflight $ardia$ surgeon. She"s a loo&er. Saint Studl( of Rosenthall. 5D"d. A studl( saint. He and Arianna are 7uite the ite#. +Has nu#erous awards for ser*i$e and inno*ations in his field.+ +A dirt( little se$ret that has a renowned and studl( do$tor slaughtering three re$o*ering addi$ts3+ +So#ebod( did it. She"s thirt(-four a therapist again spe$iali=ing in addi$tions. Chase died at the age of nineteen.+ +A surgeon. +5h listen to this. Rosenthall had a sister. She was si0teen. If he"s so saintl( wh( didn"t he float the# a $ouple #onths" rent3+ +That"s a good 7uestion. 9i&e his sister li&e his fian$2e"s brother. And . Swit$hed his fo$us after his sister"s death. 6ro# the fluff pie$es I"# s&i##ing it loo&s li&e the( #et four (ears ago and were engaged last fall.+ +It"s one I"# going to as& hi#. That"s wh( we ha*e 'obs.+ -eabod( slid into the $ar as )*e too& the wheel. Donates ti#e to the Canal Street Clini$ /et Straight and others. Da( in and da( out seeing the# listening to the# treating the# hearing bullshit out of the#. 9i*ing"s #ess( and e*er(one li*ing has so#e dirt( little se$ret. Honest Dallas fro# what I"# reading here the gu( sounds li&e a saint. . +I got lots of pops on gossip and so$iet( pages. Not Roar&e ri$h + -eabod( said referring to )*e"s husband +but she"s up there.
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. Rosenthall. +That sa(s "!e"re reall( ri$h philanthropists " + )*e $o##ented.+ +Than&s. 5ne of his interns or his assistant should be able to help (ou.elow through treated glass a $entral fountain gurgled in a fantas( of flowering plants shrubs trees in riotous bloo#. +. !hite stone ben$hes offered seating bri$&ed paths wound in an in*itation to stroll.+ +His offi$es are on the se$ond floor east."+ 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. The( passed people in lab $oats in street wear in sharp suits and in tattered pants. +!e need to spea& with Dr.+ +I see. The( passed a nurse"s station and the waiting area a$ross fro# it.+ As )*e angled left the wo#an $ontinued. Then the( $a#e to the garden bree=ewa(. +The wor& the("*e done on the old building.!ith -eabod( she wal&ed in the front entran$e. +?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. It"s $o#fortable and it doesn"t shout "!e"re reall( ri$h philanthropists.ut in a reall( prett( wa(. )*e noted the se$urit( $a#eras and the $ard slots and pal# plates on so#e of the doors. +Is the do$tor e0pe$ting (ou3+ +I $ouldn"t sa(. Bept its $hara$ter. . 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.+
.+ +Stairs to the left ele*ators to the right. The lobb( area was large and 7uietl( furnished.+ +5&a(. How $an we help (ou toda(3+ )*e approa$hed the $ounter laid her badge on it. +/ood #orning.+ The wo#an didn"t so #u$h as blin& at the badge.+ +It"s ni$e wor& + -eabod( said as the( started up.
+ The wo#an didn"t loo& pleased b( the answer and re#inded )*e of Dr. She tapped her earpie$e again. Rosenthall"s in his lab this #orning.+ )*e held up her badge. ?es. 1o#ents later a side door opened. 1ira"s ad#in. No the( won"t sa(. The dragon at the gates of the N?-SD"s shrin& and top profiler.+ )*e tapped her badge. +!e need to spea& with Dr. The do$tor will see (ou. +Dr. 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.+ +Is there a proble#3+ +There al#ost alwa(s is.+ After another tap she spo&e to )*e. +Aer( well.+ +!here"s his lab3+ +I reall( #ust insist (ou tell #e (our business before I disturb the do$tor. 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. +The do$tor"s lab assistant will $o#e out and ta&e (ou ba$&. 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(.+ The words sounded as sour as the wo#an"s fa$e loo&ed.+ She ai#ed her nose in the air before turning ba$& to her s$reen.+ +I"ll $he$& with the do$tor.+
.+ She waited a #o#ent staring holes through )*e. Then s$owled. Rosenthall two poli$e offi$ers are here and insist on spea&ing with hi#. Rosenthall. Than& (ou. +?es -a$h would (ou tell Dr. +And this has a lot #ore insisten$e than (ou be$ause it $an arrest (ou for interfering with a poli$e in*estigation. +Can I help (ou3+ +9ieutenant Dallas and Dete$ti*e -eabod(.+ +I reall( #ust insist (ou ta&e us to his lab.The( #ade the left into a s#all blue and $rea# re$eption area.
+ +>ustin. @# . 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. 5f $ourse (ou"re Roar&e"s wife.+ At her raised e(ebrows -a$hai flushed shrugged. No of $ourse not. +!hat"s he wor&ing on3+ she as&ed their guide. How is Roar&e3 I ha*en"t seen hi# in . This isn"t a so$ial $all Dr. +An antidote. 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. 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. . +The ti#ing"s $ru$ial.+ +Dallas. His gilded #ane of hair glea#ed under the bright lights.+ +To what3+ +To e*il. Rosenthall. He wore a lab $oat li&e other #en wore a tu0 perfe$tl( fitted and so#ehow elegant. Stea# hissed and $urled. Sorr(. . The lab assistant negotiated the# on flapping gel sandals. )*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#.+ He flashed a *er( white s#ile. 1ore. Another lab $oat diligentl( wor&ed two $o#ps at a long white $ounter. 5nl( then did he step ba$& loo& o*er.+ The se$urit( blin&ed green in a$$eptan$e and the doors slid open into a large lab.+ His s#ile war#ed as he e0tended a hand. He sported a short stub of a pon(tail and ragged s&ids. it"s probabl( been a (ear. How $an I help (ou3+
. +If (ou"ll $o#e this wa(3+ Through the door was a #a=e a rabbit warren of roo#s off angled $orridors.+ +He"s good. )*e heard a low beep.+5h. +It"s ni$e to finall( #eet (ou. . He paused at double steel doors swiped his $ard spo&e his na#e. +Sorr(. . >ustin lifted the bea&er again slid it into a $ontainer sealed it set another gauge. +-a$hai /upta. Through the thin $urtain of it )*e saw his e(es tawn( as a lion"s fi0 intentl( on so#e sort of gauge.+ There was an absent $har# in his s#ile in his #o*e#ents as he $rossed to the#. ?ou"re the poli$e3+ +9ieutenant Dallas Dete$ti*e -eabod( N?-SD. A wo#an with short slee& red hair hun$hed o*er a #i$ros$ope while her foot tapped to 1a*is"s grinding beat.
. +Are the( in trouble3 I $an assure (ou the("*e been wor&ing *er( hard against their addi$tions.+ +Dead3 1urdered3 All3+ +How3+ -a$hai too& )*e"s ar# then 7ui$&l( released it.+ +?es. +Not now 1arti.efore >en and Cob( went to wor& after !il got off.+ His s#ile faded. No. +1usi$ off + he ordered. His e(es were li7uid on(0 swi##ing under in&( lashes.+ +!hen3+ +-a$h + >ustin repeated gentl(.+ +?ou were friends3+ +?es.+?ou &now >ennifer Darnell Cob( Ai0 !ilson . It"s a hard road and there will be stu#bles but%+ +The( were #urdered earl( this #orning. !e%I%I don"t understand.+ +No.i$&ford was stabbed to death Cob( Ai0 was bludgeoned to death and >ennifer Darnell was strangled. !e ha*e $offee al#ost e*er( da(.+ . +)arl( this #orning !ilson . The redhead $alled out a protest when 1a*is stopped wailing.+ +No neither do I + >ustin said.+ >ustin rubbed his te#ple. !e had $offee. The( onl( shi##ered #ore intensel( when >ustin laid a hand on his shoulder.ehind her -a$hai let out a strangled gasp as >ustin 'ust stared at her.i$&ford. I"# sorr( but how $an the( be #urdered3 I saw the# onl( (esterda(. His lips tre#bled and tears $ontinued to swar# those hea*(-lidded e(es. +!hat happened3+ The lab rat with the stubb( pon(tail had turned and li&e the redhead wat$hed. !hen did (ou see the# last3+ she as&ed -a$hai. +-a$h let"s sit down. +. +!hat3 Sorr( what3+ +The( were #urdered between two and two-fort( this #orning in the building where the( were s7uatting. +There"s no #ista&e3+ +No.
If there was so#eone so#ething one of the# #ight ha*e told Arianna.+ +. +9et #e help (ou. +1( /od the( were so (oung so hopeful. +!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 $lean3+ +I don"t &now but if so the( didn"t #ention it to #e. !as this 'ust so#e rando# &illings3+ +Do (ou &now an(one who"d wish the#%an( one of the#%har#3+ +No.+
. The( were turning their li*es around and the three of the# had for#ed a strong bond. Their own s#all support group.-a$hai began to weep and the harsh sobs bore hi# down to the floor where he $o*ered his fa$e with his hands. The( were atta$&ed3 In the building on !est Twelfth3+ +?es. At her station the redhead sat *er( still staring at )*e as if she"d spo&en in an an$ient foreign language.+ +?ou ga*e the# per#ission to s7uat in that propert(.+ +In re$o*er( + >ustin said 7ui$&l(.+ +?es.ut wh( for /od"s sa&e3 None of the# belonged to a gang none of the# had an( *aluables to spea& of.+ +The( were addi$ts. No I don"t. +I 'ust $an"t thin&. +I"# sorr( for (our loss + she began in the $o#fort *oi$e she used so well. 9et #e help (ou up. ------------------------------------------------Chapter E In the silen$e )*e ga*e -eabod( a signal and responding -eabod( #o*ed to -a$hai.+ +?our fian$2e.+ He loo&ed awa( pressed his fingers to his e(es. She was the therapist of re$ord for all three of the#. Arianna !hitwood. !h( don"t we go o*er here sit down3+ +How $ould%was it%I"# sorr( + >ustin said. The other #an slu#ped ba$& in his $hair shuddered then $losed his e(es lowered his head. >ustin turned ashen. No one spo&e.
?ou $an as& the# or $he$& the log-outs. . I ne*er i#agined . I .+?es.+ +I ha*e to as& where (ou were between one and four this #orning. I"# not sure I"d ha*e to $he$& the"lin& log. She was so deter#ined and (ou $ould see the light $o#ing ba$& into her.+ +1edi$ations that basi$all( substitute one $he#i$al for another. The three of the# together should ha*e been safe.+ +I wish I had.+ +That"s a lot of #idnight oil to burn. . . 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. She"d fallen behind before she"d #ade the $o##it#ent to re$o*er(. . /od &nows ea$h one of the# had e0perien$e on the street handling the#sel*es. -a$hai told #e the( were sleeping on the street.+ +There are #edi$ations for that alread(. !ell here.+ He rubbed at his te#ple again the sa#e two fingers on the sa#e spot in the sa#e $ir$ular #otion.+ +I guess I"# $urious wh( (ou didn"t float the# the rent. 1a(be ten or ten thirt( before I sent the bo(s ho#e. I wor&ed until after two then bun&ed on the sofa in #( offi$e. It was gratif(ing. 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. !ith the burial #e#orial3 An(thing3+
.+ +!hat are (ou wor&ing on3+ +A seru# to $ountera$t deep and $hroni$ addi$tion and substan$e abuse. I spo&e with Arianna .+ +?es. I sent Ben and -a$hai ho#e about ele*en I thin& it was. it would be a roof o*er their heads until the( found a pla$e. +!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 was here.+ +Did (ou see or spea& with an(one during that ti#e3+ +No. 1arti left earlier. I thought . ?ou $ould see her finding her 7uiet. +Is there an(thing I%we%$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. . . The( $ouldn"t #a&e the rent on >en"s apart#ent.+ +!hat I"# wor&ing on it"s%I belie*e%at its tipping point.+ +?ou for#ed an atta$h#ent to the#3+ +To >en then through her to Cob( and !il.+ 1outh tight he glan$ed o*er to where -eabod( #ur#ured to -a$hai. A rebalan$ing we"ll sa(. . )*en inspiring. .
To their addi$tion to the *iolen$e it often generates or the ph(si$al abuse it $auses. .+ )*e let hi# go and de$ided to ta&e the redhead first.+ +If (ou"d tell her I want to spea& with her before we lea*e I"d appre$iate it. +?ou got the pi$ture + )*e began. There"s a $o##unal eater( on-site so a lot of ti#es staff"s eating with patients and re$o*erings. +It"s o*erused. I hate the 'un& and it too& a long ti#e before I stopped hating the 'un&ie. It"s a reall( ugl( pi$ture.+ +!ere (ou $lose to the *i$ti#s3+ +I hate that word.+!e"ll be notif(ing ne0t of &in. 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. +And -a$hai3+
. I"# 'ust . She was 'ust so da#n li&able. Do (ou get friendl( with a lot of people in the progra#3+ +There"s intera$tion. I"# sorr( to #eet (ou this wa(. Sorr( it hardl( #atters. It"s part of it. . sorr(. Ai$ti#. !e lose patients 9ieutenant. +!ith Ben it was his father. >en in parti$ular. !hen wor& allows we"re en$ouraged to attend sessions or le$tures.+ +?eah I guess. ?ou"re going to find out + she added. !hitwood and as soon as possible.+ +?es. 6irst I"d li&e to spea& with (our other assistants. He #ade #( life #( #other"s #( father"s hell. I"ll need to tal& to 1s.+ )*e $onne$ted the dots.ut this3 This $o#es *er( *er( hard. I li&ed the#.+ She glan$ed o*er her shoulder. +1arti 6ran& and Ben Di$&erson are here on intern s$holarships. It"s our whole life and understanding who and what we"re wor&ing for. It"s #ore than lab wor& espe$iall( for >ustin. Not espe$iall( $lose.+ +It is in #( line of wor&. I want to tell Ari in person fa$e-to-fa$e not o*er the"lin&. +I &now how it wor&s. He died in prison when so#ebod( returned the fa*or.+ She folded her hands together on her lap as if she wanted to &eep the# still. . 1( brother was a 'un&ie fa*ored >a== la$ed with Feus.+ +Interns + he $orre$ted auto#ati$all(. I"ll go up tell her. He fa*ored it a lot right up until he 5D"d. +?eah.+ +?ou wor& in the lab.+ +Is she in the Center now3+ +?es she should be in session now. Ca#e into it late (ou $ould sa(.
+ +@nderstood. /od. +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. I"*e got a roo##ate but she had a date and it did go so#ewhere. His fa$e pale and thin showed signs of fatigue. +Did the( #a(be get atta$&ed on the street3+ He wat$hed )*e with horror and hope. I #ean I as&ed #( un$le if he $ould gi*e the# a tr(. If (ou thin& of an(thing $onta$t #e or #( partner.+ She ga*e )*e a narrow loo&. +It was ni$e.+ He s#iled a little. 1( un$le ga*e the# so#e food.oun$e $rashing on Chill. +1a(be the( ran + he $ontinued in a *oi$e that hit$hed in a battle against tears. I wal&ed ba$& with >en and Cob( one night.+ +It 'ust doesn"t see# real + he #ur#ured rubbing at his da#p tired e(es. He"s good about gi*ing people a $han$e. And we hung out.+ Her ga=e tra$&ed up #et )*e"s. +Ben Di$&erson + he said. Not li&e -a$h but we hung out a $ouple ti#es.+
. +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 feel li&e I"# going to wa&e up and none of this happened.+ +Did (ou e*er go to the pla$e the( were sta(ing3+ +5n$e. The friend pla(ed around with re$reationals li&ed the# too #u$h until he was fl(ing on @ps and . 6or all of us.+ )*e #o*ed on to the last. The( were tight li&e brothers. >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.+ She loo&ed o*er at -a$hai then down at her folded hands.+Childhood friend.+ +No. Then he was 'ust one #ore 5D when -a$hai found hi# dead%two da(s dead. I got ho#e 'ust after #idnight. . !here were (ou between one and four this #orning3+ +In bed. +And the people who atta$&ed the# went at the# when the( got to the building. The restaurant"s $lose to where I li*e so I go in a lot. If (ou &now how it wor&s (ou &now I ha*e to as&. She didn"t get ho#e until si0 this #orning.+ +?eah and it is.+ +How well did (ou &now the *i$ti#s3+ +I . To tal& to.+ +He wants it personal. 1( un$le #anages a Sli$e and I helped >en then Cob( get 'obs there. +Alone and asleep.+ +That"s a thought isn"t it3 I appre$iate the ti#e. I don"t &now. . I had a date but it didn"t go an(where.
If an(thing o$$urs to (ou an(thing at all let #e &now.+ +5n the other hand he and e*er(one in that lab &new all three *i$s and where the( were s7uatting. It wasn"t #u$h to as&. She wanted to wor& in an offi$e.+ +Do (ou &now an(one who"d want to hurt the#3+ +I don"t see wh( an(one would.+ +!ill (ou &eep #e%us%infor#ed3+ +I $an do that. Deliberate brea&-in through the ba$& 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. No alibi but he gi*es off this gentle &ind of sweet *ibe.+ +All right. +Arianna !hitwood down in the gardens + )*e told her.+ No )*e thought.+ She signaled -eabod( who put her hand on -a$hai"s shoulder before rising. The( were har#less. !hen >ustin $a#e ba$& in he loo&ed drained. That weighs. +He didn"t hesitate to tell #e or that he thought #a(be she felt so#ething ba$&. It"s #ost probable the( brought the weapons%a &nife s$alpel and so#e sort of bludgeoning tool%with the#.+Did the( own "lin&s3+ He blin&ed in pu==le#ent. !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.+ +Is there an(thing #ore we $an do3+ +Not at this ti#e. That"s not #u$h to as&. +Did (ou get an(thing3+ +He was in lo*e with Darnell + -eabod( said as the( headed down again. Did I pass3+
. >en was stud(ing so she $ould do se$retarial wor&. +Sure. )*er(bod( has at least one "lin&. This wasn"t rando#. The( didn"t ha*e an(thing didn"t hurt an(bod(. -repared pre#editated and target spe$ifi$. Rando# doesn"t fit.+ +. There are going to be others who &new the# and the setup fro# /et Straight and Sli$e. I $an"t see hi# slaughtering three people.+ +No. +If (ou $ould gi*e Arianna a few #inutes she"ll #eet (ou in the 1editation /arden.e$ause3+ +5h bo( a 7ui=. At least two of the#%and I"d add Rosenthall as a third%had been there &new the setup.
Can we sit3+ She did so folded her hands again.+ +5ther addi$ts not #a&ing su$h progress #ight resent the# for theirs.+ +She did so#e ti#e in the s(ste# + )*e put in. She often bartered her bod( for hits. I alwa(s wonder if the( ha*e teeth. She saw Arianna on one of the stone ben$hes the dia#ond on her left hand on fire in the strea#s of light. The( would ha*e #ade it.+ +?es I guess I pi$&ed it up fro# hi#. She"d found the 7uiet. 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. 5ften all three.+ +The("*e got that bugg( bod( and those $reep( little antennas. 9oo& butterflies. +9ieutenant Dallas. The( #ust ha*e tin( sharp little teeth. -eople don"t thin& about that be$ause the( get distra$ted b( the wings. Bind of Fen. +Not bad at all + )*e said with a loo& around.utterflies 'ust #a&e (ou happ(.+
. Her #other was the sa#e her father was her #other"s dealer%she thin&s.green suit with a foa# of la$e and high ra=or-thin heels of the sa#e $olor that show$ased long legs. 5n a professional and personal le*el I belie*e Cob( and !il would ha*e #ade it. +I wanted to tal& to (ou here. +Addi$tion is ne*er 7uiet. I"d hoped to #eet (ou but not li&e this. +?es. I belie*e that. The( would ha*e told #e if an(one was pressuring the# threatening the#. . At their approa$h Arianna turned her head. She rose. Rosenthall used that ter#.+ A s#ile bro&e o*er -eabod("s fa$e. The 7uiet. >en was addi$ted to heroin preferred it in the #i0 the( $all Chill on the street.ut not (et. It"s *iolent or sl( or sedu$ti*e.+Not bad.+ +?ou were the therapist for all three *i$ti#s + )*e began. I"d hoped to find so#e 7uiet here. -ea$eful. She wore a leaf.+ )*e too& the path #ar&ed 1editation /arden angled through blosso#s and butterflies.+ +That"s true. She"d $o#e so far in su$h a short ti#e. I &now >en would ha*e. .+ Arianna laid a hand on her heart.ut >en found her 7uiet and her strength and was helping Cob( and !il find theirs.+ The( passed through an atriu# on the #ain le*el and into the burgeoning gardens.+ +?ou"re not spoiling #( happ(. +. Dete$ti*e -eabod(. +>u*ie group ho#es foster ho#es. +Totall( #ag.+ +Dr. Her e(es a $olor $aught so#ewhere between green and brown spar&ed with anger. )*er(thing about her said $lassi$ and $lass and re#inded )*e of 1ira.
And now . +She"d had three $ourt-assigned rehabilitations and none of the# too&. He was funn( sharp. This ti#e she $hose. She"d be$o#e desensiti=ed about se0. She got out began to wal&. She often said that was the beginning for her. I thin& she was beginning to feel nor#al and natural urges. She was attra$ted to -a$h% -a$hai /upta%and he to her. The("d #ade a *ow%>en Cob( and !ill%to abstain for si0 #onths to fo$us on the#sel*es as indi*iduals.+?es. !hen we #et. The( were still in the hone(#oon stage so happ( to be where the( were so happ( to ha*e ea$h other.+ +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. The( lo*ed her and their lo*e for her and ea$h other pro*ed stronger than the addi$tion. Instead of wal&ing on tr(ing for the ne0t s$ore or ending her life she went in. She thought of the ne0t s$ore thought of 'ust ending her life and she $a#e to /et Straight. . >ustin and I were there that da(. She sa*ed Cob( si#pl( be$ause she wouldn"t gi*e up on hi# either and then !il. >en and Cob( had been if (ou $an $all it inti#a$( when the( were both using.+ +No. !il went the #ore spiritual route.+ +!ere the( inti#ate3+ +No not se0uall(. . He"d li*ed with his great-grand#other until she died and she"d ta&en hi# to $hur$h.ut neither of the# #o*ed on it. !e en$ourage re$o*erings to se*er ties with people who are part of their addi$tion but she wouldn"t listen.+ Arianna loo&ed awa( again as her *oi$e roughened. None of the# had an( fa#il( no one the( were $lose to or had $onta$t with not for a long ti#e. She had a troubled diffi$ult $hildhood. !hat the("d for#ed now was a fa#il( so the( li*ed that wa(. . >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 was read( to be helped and the( helped her. 6or >en se0 had been that bartering tool or so#ething to do with another addi$t. He"d used that $har# and wit to sur*i*e on the streets. She wal&ed in on her own. Cob( 'o&ed about it. +!ithdrawal is hard and painful but she ne*er ga*e up. He"d started to go ba$&.+ +This wasn"t her first tr( at rehab. Now he used it to &eep hi#self and his friends stead(.+
.+ Arianna turned her head to #eet )*e"s e(es.+ +How $an (ou be sure3+ +She would ha*e told #e. >en and Cob( went with hi# a few ti#es but #ore for friendship than interest. The( for#ed friendships asso$iations at the Center and at /et Straight. Honest( had be$o#e a *ital tool for her in re$o*er( and she trusted #e. That"s a &ind of #ira$le. She brought Cob( in. 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$tion of how she"d gotten there.
9ieutenant Dallas Dete$ti*e -eabod( #( asso$iate )ton . +At a ti#e li&e this3+ +1urder usuall( brings the $ops. )*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.+ +It"s hardl( ne$essar( to interrogate Arianna at all and parti$ularl( before she"s had ti#e to pro$ess. Ignoring )*e and -eabod( he grabbed her hands got to his &nees. . She was ta&ing a business $lass.+ He shot )*e a disgusted loo&. The( attended group there too as well as here. 5r >en did. The("d see a *id now and then but pri#aril( the( wor&ed%sa*ed their #one( toward finding a pla$e to li*e% $on$entrated on the progra# studied.#. !here were (ou between one and four a. !hat $an I do for (ou3+ +)ton. +!e trusted the#. Chelsea . The stipulation was the( had to &eep the pla$e and the#sel*es $lean. )*e saw her bear down against the#. His e(es a green as sharp as his *oi$e were all for Arianna.+!hat $hur$h3+ +Ah .illingsl(. this #orning3+ He blustered. .+ +?ou *isited the# there3+ +)ither >ustin or I would drop b( on$e a wee&. 9et"s interrogate (ou. 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#.aptist.ut (ou $an"t trust the addi$tion.+ +?ou ga*e the# per#ission to li*e in the building3+ +?es. +I was going to tell (ou #(self but I needed to spea& with the poli$e.+ The sharp $all sli$ed through the 7uiet garden. Spot-$he$& + she said with the first hint of a s#ile.+ +5&a(. >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. +I"# not answering an( of (our insulting 7uestions and neither is Arianna. A #an tall his dar& hair $ropped $lose to a tanned fa$e hurried toward the#. +I heard what happened.+ +The poli$e. . The( did.+ Tears shi##ered in her e(es.+
.+ +Arianna.+ +!here else did the( go routinel( do routinel(3+ +The( li&ed to hang out at the Twelfth Street Diner drin& $offee and tal&.
+No. The pro$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. ?our $hoi$e.+ +>ustin doesn"t allow an(thing. !h( would I3 Instead of wasting ti#e here (ou should be out on the street loo&ing for the #ania$s who did this. I &now how #u$h (ou"d in*ested in these re$o*erings.illingsl( + he snapped at )*e.+ +Do that. ?ou"*e been *er( helpful + she said to Arianna. +Stop now.+ +The("ll hardl( find out here with (ou.illingsl(. I $an hardl( re#e#ber off the top of #( head.
.+5h (eah (ou are + )*e $orre$ted +here or at Cop Central.+ +Dr.+ +)ton. .+ +Nothing"s ob*ious at this point. Did (ou e*er *isit the building where the( were li*ing3+ His lips thinned.+ /entl( but deliberatel( Arianna drew her hands awa(.ut it"s natural to want to shield (ou fro# this &ind of ordeal. ?ou"re upset.+ +Alone3+ +?es.+ He too& her hands again.+ +I ha*en"t heard an answer (et 1r. +>ustin should ne*er ha*e allowed it. The poli$e are tr(ing to find out who hurt >en and the bo(s and wh(.+ +!hen"s the last ti#e (ou had $onta$t with the#%ea$h of the#3+ +I"d ha*e to $he$& #( boo&. +?ou"re right of $ourse. It"s ob*iousl( the result of *iolent addi$ts people the( asso$iated with before the( began the progra#. . He spe$iali=es in h(pnotherap(. +And at that ti#e of the #orning I was ho#e in bed.+ +!hat was (our relationship with the *i$ti#s3+ -erhaps due to the fa$t that his fa$e went red Arianna answered for hi#. +?es. .+ +So did (ou do the "(ou"re getting sleep(" with the *i$ti#s3+ )*e as&ed hi#.+ Arianna rose.+ +And3+ +As Arianna $an tell (ou the( were #a&ing e0$ellent e*en e0$eptional progress. +)ton is one of our ps($hologists.
>ustin and I would li&e to arrange a #e#orial. It"s little enough.+ +Billing the hell out of the# doesn"t $hange that. !ho &nows what he"s up to with that3+ +!h( didn"t (ou as& for his trans$ripts3+ +. +Asshole + was -eabod("s opinion. . .ig fla#ing asshole with a big fla#ing te#per. I bet she ga*e the *i$s a lot #ore of her ti#e attention and affe$tion than she gi*es .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.+ ------------------------------------------Chapter G The( got little #ore fro# /et Straight but $onfir#ation of e*er(thing the("d heard before and #ore grief.+ +I"# re7uired to infor# the ne0t of &in + )*e told her.+Can (ou let us &now when . +I"ll be in tou$h on$e I ha*e. And he wants Arianna !hitwood for his own.+ +5h (eah and she doesn"t want hi# for hers. I"ll show (ou the wa( out. .+ +That"s a pisser for hi#.illingsl( began. Do$tor-patient pri*ilege doesn"t appl( when the patients are dead.+ +I $an onl( hope it"s not the last. !e"d li&e to arrange for their re#ains.+ +!e"*e got it than&s.+ +5ooh that"s going to be another pisser for .+ +Arianna + . )*en as the( stepped out into the air holding the first faint hint of fall )*e"s $o# signaled. +.illingsl( whi$h is another pisser for hi#.
.+ +I"ll ha*e the# sent to (ou this afternoon.+ As the( wal&ed awa( )*e glan$ed ba$&. )ton had her hands again his head bent toward hers as he tal&ed rapidl(.illingsl(. She re$ogni=ed the first on s$ene on her s$reen. 9oo&s li&e he &eeps in good shape. +)ton please.et he puts in plent( of g(# ti#e. !ould be a prett( #ur&( #oti*e.+ +1a(be but I reall( hate hi# alread(. The( $ould help #e. ?ou ha*e trans$ripts of (our sessions with the#. -lus h(pnotherap(.
She"s a shortorder $oo& on parental lea*e.+ +/i*e #e the details.+
.+ +1ale #ediu# build%she thin&s%dar& hair wild and string(. +Her des$ription"s prett( strange but she"s sti$&ing to it and doesn"t stri&e #e as a wha$& 'ob.+ )*e heard the shrug in his *oi$e. I belie*e her 9ieutenant I #ean about what she saw. Her apart#ent"s got a good *iew of the area and she was up wal&ing her &id%&id"s teething. +!ill she wor& with an artist3+ +She"s an0ious to. +/reenish s&in red bulging e(es $ontorted features and pro#inent teeth wearing a bla$& $ape and $arr(ing a bla$& sat$hel.+ +And laughing sir in what the wit des$ribes as a wild guttural laugh.+ +?es sir.+ +!hat did she see3+ He $leared his throat. 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.+ +Sorr(3+ +That"s her state#ent 9ieutenant.+ +Conta$t Dete$ti*e ?an$( at Central and get her to hi#. +A #onster.+ +5ffi$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=(. !e got her on the $an*ass.+ He #ade the throat-$learing sound again.+ +?eah.+ +That"s a brea&.+ )*e hea*ed out a sigh.+ +And this green red-e(ed #onster was dan$ing in the streetlight. -ossibl( a de#on.+5ffi$er Slo*i$.+ +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. There"s a streetlight and she states she saw hi# $learl( and he was dan$ing.
+ +1a(be.+ +5r possibl( de#on + -eabod( put in and earned a sneer.+
.+ +I"d sure as hell rather go to a pi==a 'oint than the #orgue. I"# going to swing b( the #orgue see what 1orris $an gi*e us. ?ou $an round it off with the diner the( used as a hang spot. Feus was a good fit she thought but not a perfe$t one.+ )*e slid behind the wheel and headed for the #orgue. !ant #e to bring (ou a sli$e3+ +No . 1orris wore a gra( suit and a strong red tie. +I want (ou to go b( Sli$e tal& to the boss the $owor&ers and do the sa#e at the twent(.+ +The #onster did it. . She was sure of it.+ She $he$&ed the ti#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. Feus not onl( #a&es (ou $ra=( but it deadens (ou to pain pu#ps the adrenaline. The $hoi$e $heered her a little. +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. and so#e enterprising soul was alwa(s $o#ing up with a new and i#pro*ed in the illegals ga#e.She sho*ed the $o# into her po$&et. Need a tool for that in the sat$hel. She didn"t e0pe$t the sweepers to gift wrap the &iller"s prints for her. . 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. +I see (ou got #e a triple-header. His wardrobe rarel( *aried fro# bla$& sin$e the #urder of his lo*er. It fit the *iolen$e the fren=( of it.ut he $ouldn"t plan %$ostu#e sat$hel with weapons and prote$ti*e gear glo*ed or sealed hands.ut not the $al$ulation. !e"ll see it through. 1a(be the( had so#e trouble last night or so#ebod( followed the# ho#e. #a(be.fourCse*en. Cli#b in ni$e and 7uiet%so#ething else that didn"t fit the Feus not pure Feus. Through the spea&ers a sa0 wailed out a 'a==( riff.athroo# ba$& roo# all neat and tid( so the &iller had #o*ed straight into the front of the shop and the *i$s. . !e"ll hoo& up ba$& at Central. . His long $le*er e(es #et hers o*er the open bod( of >ennifer Darnell. . ?eah. 1oti*e was a #ur&( area. . . The band twined through his braid of dar& hair #at$hed the tie. 6l(ing on Feus a #an $ould ha$& beat $ho&e%and laugh his ass off while doing it. Target spe$ifi$ pre#editated planned. Still a blend . +A green red-e(ed $ape-wearing #onster. He"d bro&en in through the ba$& window )*e thought bringing the s$ene ba$& into her head.
+ +And her. I found signs of re$o*er( and re*ersal. Ai$ti# one%in order of T5D%suffered #ultiple bro&en bones and ribs so#e of the# post#orte#. A blow here. If the("d li*ed and &ept $lean the( should ha*e done well enough. I found so#e paint fla&es in the wounds. Not a hunting or $ar*ing &nife. Considerable enduran$e.+ +Ai$ti# two #ultiple stab wounds infli$ted with a 'agged-edged blade so#e four in$hes in length. +The da#age here the strength the sheer energ( it too& to beat the first *i$ was $onsiderable. The( li*ed hard for their short ti#e. Their last #eal whi$h I assu#e the( shared about #idnight was pi==a a diet $ola for the girl straight $ola for the bo(s. +It would ha*e &no$&ed hi# out $old.+ +And when he"d finished there he still had enough to #anuall( strangle %$orre$t3+
. +6ro# #( re$onstru$tion whi$h is still preli#inar( (es.+ +Se0ual a$ti*it( $onsensual or for$ed3+ +No.+Not diffi$ult to belie*e gi*en the $ondition of these (oung people. I"*e sent the# to the lab.+ +In$apa$itate both #ales. 1ore li&el( an ine0pensi*e #eat &nife. +5ne3 ?ou ne*er fail to intrigue.+ 1orris"s e(ebrows shot up.+ 1orris tapped the side of his hand diagonall( o*er his right te#ple. It"s unli&el( he felt the rest. Do (ou &now how #an( are responsible for this3+ +5ne.( a bat or pipe so#e three in$hes in dia#eter and e0tre#e for$e. He was stabbed first $enter of the $hest two stri&es and on$e in the abdo#en. Again fro# #( preli# the rest of the wounds $a#e se*eral #inutes later. The tip bro&e on bone and that"s at the lab as well.+ He loo&ed o*er the bodies again. The ear e(e and tongue were re#o*ed post#orte# and with a s#ooth sharp blade%a s$alpel would be #( opinion. There"s internal abuse self-infli$ted fro# (ears of illegals ingestion poor diet. 5n the se$ond the stab wounds are *er( deep *er( for$eful and there are eight(-fi*e holes in that unfortunate bo(. As in (our notes she was stru$& 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. .+ +Head blow first3+ )*e spe$ulated. He"d literall( had his brains bashed in.+ +S#all fa*or. And it was done with pre$ision. C5D would be a fra$tured s&ull. That also ta&es strength and energ(.
+ +Then he has a powerful $onstitution probabl( $he#i$all( enhan$ed.+
She headed to Central. And she wanted a loo& at the wit or at least ?an$("s s&et$h.+ +-atheti$. He ended it a$$ording to the wit we"re wor&ing with b( dan$ing down the sidewal&.+ +!ith $oo&ie $ru#bs on (our shirt. .a0ter stuff the re#ains of one in his #outh before he offered her a big s#ile. So#ewhere in there she wanted to $ar*e out so#e ti#e to do a good solid run on )ton Asshole . +Nadine"s in (our offi$e 9T.ut (ou and I see e*er( da( what one hu#an being is $apable of doing to another.+ 1orris laid a gentle hand on >ennifer Darnell"s head. !here Nadine 6urst reporter e0traordinaire lounged in her *isitor"s $hair nibbling on a $oo&ie and wor&ing on her --C. 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$ 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. +!hat do (ou want3+
. +I"# not 1ira so that"s si#pl( a dead do$tor"s ta&e.+?es + 1orris $onfir#ed +he used his own hands.+ +To #anuall( strangle the third whi$h also ta&es strength. 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 . And still after that he had it in hi# to brea& $hairs tables basi$all( wrea& ha*o$.+ He brushed at the# hastil( as she turned awa( to stride to her offi$e.+ >en&inson shot up a hand.illingsl(. Sa(ing nothing )*e lifted the lid of the ba&er( bo0 on her des& too& out a fat $ho$olate $hip.+ +?eah and when the( ha*e that #u$h fun the( want to do it again. +!e got one Dallas. I"# doing the fi*es. He en'o(ed this. This one en'o(ed hi#self. Reine&e"s wal&ing hi# down to lo$&up.
Toss in a wi$&ed sense of hu#or and stupendous wealth who adores the *er( ground I wal& on.+ +In$luding. +The( were (oung tr(ing to turn things around. +!hat do (ou &now about )ton . I don"t &now #u$h about hi# but I $an find out. Co#es fro# #one(.+ +The *i$ti#s are the stor(.+ +I &now. 5h wait (ou alread( ha*e hi#.+ +!ell I hope he is be$ause he"s as I said a di$&. Are (ou loo&ing at gang andCor illegals related #urders3+ +I"# loo&ing at e*er(thing e*er(one. The !hitwoods are alwa(s a strong stor(. +!hat else do (ou want3+ +?ou"re 'ust ba$& fro# $losing a big one in Dallas. Isaa$ 1$Hueen% the se$ond ti#e (ou too& hi# down.+ +I got that #u$h. +I heard (ou $aught a #ess( one.+ +That"s right.+
.+ Nadine )*e $al$ulated was alwa(s a good sour$e.+ +In$luding the !hitwoods and the *er( drea#( >ustin Rosenthall.+A #an of a#a=ing se0ual prowess great sensiti*it( stupendous abs and the fa$e of an angel.+ )*e bit into the $oo&ie. I want (ou to $o#e on Now and tal& about 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. I ha*en"t put it together (et.illingsl(3+ +He"s a di$&. Da#n fine $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.+ +I"# wor&ing on it. Not 7uite on the !hitwood le*el but he"s got a fat portfolio. I don"t ha*e an(thing to gi*e (ou. It"s a hot stor( Dallas.+ +Is he a suspe$t3+ +Nadine it"s too earl(. Hi# $o#ing after (ou abdu$ting one of his for#er *i$ti#s.+ )*e too& another bite of $oo&ie.+ Nadine"s s#ile faded. He also seriousl( $ourted the lo*el( Arianna who fell head o*er s&irt for Rosenthall %who is not a di$&.
+ At the door Nadine paused glan$ed ba$&. Nadine had been right )*e thought in her su##ar( of hi#. ?ou should $onta$t . That and those wildl( blue e(es the sil&( bla$& hair. 9ouise Di#atto"s *-#ail left a #essage as&ing for a #eeting.)*e set the $oo&ie aside.lass $ase I did a little resear$h.+ . +An on-lo$ation spe$ial3 That"s not bad.+ +I intended to $onta$t the#. She was shuffled dire$tl( to Dr. !hen she finished she started her report. I had to as&. 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. . +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 .+ +It"s not li&e (ou to gi*e up so eas(. 5h she"d left a few things out but all in all.efore she $ould sa( an(thing else Nadine held up a hand.illingsl(. Da#n fine or not her appetite dried up. +A $ouple of (ears ago when (ou and I hoo&ed up o*er the De.+ )*e said nothing. He wore one of his sharp business suits but there was no asshole *ibe here as with .+ +1a(be I $ould. Rising she progra##ed $offee then began to set up her board. The reporter wants an inter*iew Dallas but the friend won"t push. hurt. I li&e to &now who I"# wor&ing with. No that"s not half-bad. .+ Nadine re$rossed her legs. 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. She"d wor& better with the *isuals.ree and 1elinda >ones + )*e said as Nadine rose. I"*e got to go.+ +I appre$iate it.+ And it was. +!hen (ou get so#ething on this new $ase #a(be (ou $an gi*e #e a heads-up. +That"s parti$ularl( grueso#e + Roar&e said fro# her doorwa(. +I"# not going to do that. +And I"# not going to press (ou.
. +?ou should go to Dallas where it happened tal& to the# there. +Dallas an(ti#e (ou want to tal& to the friend about an( of it the reporter will step ba$&.+ Nadine angled her head.+ Alone )*e turned to her "lin& and $onta$ted another friend.+ +5&a(. 6riendship"s stronger than a stor(.
+This will ha*e to do. +1a(be (ou $an elaborate on that later but right now I ha*e to%+ She bro&e off answered her "lin&.illingsl( in*ol*ed either. +I thin& (ou"re going to want to see it.+ +)ton . How well do (ou &now the#3+ +Not that well. +Caught it this #orning. +As I said I don"t &now the# well but I $an"t see the# in*ol*ed in that.+ +I"*e got the s&et$h 9ieutenant + ?an$( told her. And the( both put their ti#e and effort into their parti$ular $ause.+ +5n #( wa(. Still. 5h >ustin Rosenthall and Arianna !hitwood sa( hi. He"s intense without being prea$h( and she"s dedi$ated without being tireso#e. +I had business nearb( and too& a $han$e I"d see #( wife. +Surfa$e so$iall( $haritable foundation e*ents sort of &nowing. +!hat are (ou doing here3+ she de#anded.+ She did as the( used the glides to get to ?an$("s le*el. I ha*en"t had ti#e to #onitor the poli$e reports + he added as the( wal&ed.+ +!h( not sin$e it"s unli&el( I $an tal& (ou into a late lun$h or earl( dinner. @nfortunatel( I $an"t see . Certainl( he wouldn"t
. +Dallas.+ He flipped open the ba&er( bo0 helped hi#self to a $oo&ie. +!h( not ha*e it sent to (our $o#p3+ +.+ She $li$&ed off rose.+ +/it + Roar&e said using his $hildhood slang in insult.illingsl(.+ She thought of the des$ription.This was power su$$ess se0 and danger all rolled into one strea#lined pa$&age with Ireland gilding his *oi$e. +?ou $an tag along.+ +Is that so3+ He shifted his ga=e ba$& to her.+ He ran a hand absentl( o*er )*e"s shoulder as he #o*ed $loser to the board. And here she is. This is new + he said loo&ing at her board again. +A strong !hitwood-Rosenthall $onne$tion + he $o##ented. +Tell #e about the $ase. +!hat would the( ha*e to do with this3+ +That"s a 7uestion.e$ause he"s going to want to e0plain it to #e.
--------------------------------------------Chapter I The $roo&ed 'aw a$$ented a twisted #outh with teeth long sharp and pro#inent.ut then when the poli$e $a#e and said those three people had been #urdered right a$ross the street . I didn"t &now about those people until 5ffi$er Slo*i$ &no$&ed on the door toda(. ?an$( ga*e )*e a nod.+ 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. 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. >ust weird.+ +Than&s for $o#ing in 1s. +I &now how it loo&s + C(nthia repeated boun$ing the bab( on her &nee either out of ner*es or habit. Can I see the s&et$h3+ ?an$( e0$hanged a loo& with the witness and C(nthia sighed. +I &now I sound li&e a nut$ase but I"# not. Reputation"s ruined the Center bla$&ened blah blah. . Bopel.+ +An( nu#ber of people at the Center and /et Straight would ha*e #edi$al training. . +!e appre$iate (our $ooperation and infor#ation.+ +?eah and I"# going to loo& at all of the#. +!hoe*er did it had so#e #edi$al training + she added. The e(es bulged and glea#ed red against s&in of pale si$&l( green. . 1a(be one or #ore than one of the# gets in too deep. I onl( wish I"d $onta$ted the poli$e last night when I saw hi#.+ +I"# happ( to. 6er*ent.ut I 'ust thought it was so#e $ra=(. 5ne of the# finds out threatens to spill it. A thin nose hoo&ed o*er it.+ +-eople who wor& with addi$ts da( in da( out so#eti#es end up using the#sel*es. 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.+ )*e held out a hand for the printout. . +C(nthia this is 9ieutenant Dallas. !ell I thought%after it s$ared the hell out of #e for a se$ond%'ust so#e weird gu(. +1orris $onfir#s the a#putations weren"t the wor& of an a#ateur.+ 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.stoop to getting his hands dirt(. I &now how it loo&s but it"s what I saw. +It"s what I saw. 9T C(nthia Bopel%and 9ilian.+
. Newl( re$o*erings $an be li&e $on*erts.
+I didn"t thin& an(one would belie*e #e. Howe*er he loo&ed how $ould he be laughing and dan$ing around after &illing the#3 He is a #onster.+ C(nthia shuddered.+ +Are (ou $ertain she &new hi#3+ Roar&e as&ed. !ell it #ade the hairs on the ba$& of #( ne$& stand up.+ +?eah. And that laugh. +Theatri$s. If it"s a #as& of so#e &ind it"s da#n good so it"d $ost large. . The( &new ea$h other. )*il. The attitude fits%the laughing dan$ing around the theatri$s. +5h (eah.+
. +That he has so#e sort of defor#it( and pla(ed it up. .+ +?eah I got that.+ +I &now how it loo&s too + ?an$( said after he"d wal&ed C(nthia out. Strangest s&et$h I"*e e*er done and I"*e done so#e strange. +He strangled Darnell fa$e-tofa$e. I don"t thin& we"ll be issuing a .+ +!hen (ou see so#ething li&e this in the #iddle of the night outside (our window it would spoo& (ou + )*e $o##ented.ut this was . +?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 .+ +Ha*e (ou $onsidered a $o#bination3+ Roar&e as&ed as the( wal&ed ba$&. And that should help.+ +If it"s #a&eup + ?an$( told her +he"s a pro and an e0pert.+ +Here to ser*e.+1a(be he dressed up for it + )*e $onsidered. 9i&e he had so#ething stu$& in his throat.+ She drew the bab( $loser.+ She let out a sigh.595 on this fa$e at this ti#e but she saw what she saw. . +. . +5n the inside he"s e0a$tl( how he loo&ed.+ She frowned o*er the s&et$h. +It was this #ania$al laugh but low and deep%and &ind of raw. He &new all of the#. +!e"ll start $he$&ing $ostu#e shops theaters. I felt stupid but then those three people I had to report it on$e I &new. )ar e(es tongue. The 'aw%if (our witness has it right%it loo&s se*erel( dislo$ated.ut she was solid Dallas. !hat did the( hear see3 !hat was he afraid the("d sa(3 So . 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#. send #e the file $op( + she said to ?an$(. So he dresses up for it adds so#e pun$h. There was definite glee in the &illings.+ +I &now he was $reep(. Ni$e 'ob ?an$(. After he stuffed so#ething in the re$($ler he bent o*er his hands on his &nees laughing and laughing. I started to go wa&e up Reed% 9ilian"s dadd(%but then he%this gu(%left. He went up the street %spinning around so the $ape he was wearing twirled. The tension in C(nthia"s fa$e eased.
+ +And Dr.ut (es.+ She sat and began $hipping awa( at the s$ales of the dragon at 1ira"s gates. 5r 1ira.+ +I doubt the( thin& of it in 7uite those ter#s + Roar&e $onsidered.+ She angled so her "lin& $aptured the #urder board. Seriousl(3+ +?an$( thin&s the wit"s solid and as I tal&ed to her #(self I agree. +Don"t be late. .+I"# going to be wor&ing that angle but nobod( I"*e inter*iewed so far has an( &ind of fa$ial defor#it(.+ +He"s li&e so#ebod( in $ostu#e + )*e $orre$ted. See if (ou $an find an(thing that fits. +1a(be she will.+ She started to dig out #one( for the pi==a. I"# writing it up.+ )*e pi$&ed up the ta&eout passed it to Roar&e. +In thirt( #inutes + the ad#in told her. +I probabl( did. +-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. +. Theaters $ostu#e outlets. If it"s a #edi$al $ondition . +?ou got the last one + -eabod( told her. 1a(be Dallas will share with (ou. ?ou $an"t hide so#ething li&e that. .+ !hen the( stepped ba$& into the bullpen -eabod( hailed her. +/o ahead + she said gesturing at the ta&e-out bo0. +6or this.+ +!e"ll loo& at that. +!hoa. +Start running down this loo&. He"s li&e a #utant.+ +Ten #inutes + )*e said again. 1ira has a full s$hedule toda(. Did (ou see an(bod( li&e this3+ She offered -eabod( the s&et$h. +Ten #inutes + )*e insisted. Costu#e parties + she added. If (ou get an(thing $lose to a hit + she told -eabod( +let #e &now. +I want to tr( to get a #eet with 1ira.+
. I"# waiting for 9ouise to tag #e ba$&.s. +I"*e got three D. He( Roar&e. 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 need to wal& this through with 1ira. 1a(be she"d ha*e so#e ideas on that.+ +-art de#on part #onster part hu#an. 9u$&( I brought ba$& a personal pie.+ She went ba$& in her offi$e with Roar&e. +Not #u$h to add fro# Sli$e or the twent(-fourCse*en or the diner.+ +I won"t.
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. I do her #onthl( e0a#s. Channels are $hannels for a reason e*en when the("re anno(ing.+ +How well do (ou &now Rosenthall and Arianna !hitwood3+ +Aer( well.+ +!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.+ +Not dis$ounted.+ +I need to tal& to (ou about this.+
. +Dallas.+ He si#pl( nudged her aside.+ 9ouise"s prett( fa$e pruned. ?ou"*e dis$ounted this being done b( so#eone fro# their past3 An addi$t a dealer.illingsl(.+ +I suppose. He hasn"t been in the progra# as long.+ +?ou &new the#. I thin& he was on so#ething when he did%the fren=( the strength and enduran$e then laughing and dan$ing. Add to it Darnell"s been out of that for nearl( four #onths and wouldn"t be tough to tra$& down. So e*en fl(ing he had s&ill a stead( hand. It"s #inor but the("re alread( prepping the patient. +Hello 9ouise. +. +I 'ust heard. I $an"t 7uite belie*e it.+ +I"*e got another surger( s$heduled.+ +Ha*e her and Charles #eet us for drin&s + Roar&e suggested and got a blan& loo& fro# )*e. +?ou &now (ou $ould $onta$t 1ira dire$tl(. I #et !il re$entl(. +Here.+ 9ouise still in s$rubs #as& dangling $a#e on s$reen.+ +)ton .+ She tried the pi==a herself.+ Her "lin& signaled.+ +Dallas I was in surger(. I didn"t reali=e (ou were there.+ +?eah but it"s not right. 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. And Cob( too in the last few #onths.+ +?es. Did + she $orre$ted.+ +Roar&e. 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#. It"s so#ebod( atta$hed to that. I"# a$tuall( >en Darnell"s ph(si$ian of re$ord.+ +I $an"t fault (our logi$. I rarel( $an. +He"s an e0$ellent therapist and a $o#plete 'er&. +I"d see her often when I did a rotation at either the Center or /et Straight.Sa#pling the pi==a Roar&e wandered o*er to her board.
At fi*e or as $lose as (ou $an #a&e it.+ +I"*e got a #eeting shortl( so I"ll see (ou there. Interlude on !est )le*enth between Si0th and Se*enth. +Ta&e $are of #( $op + he told her then left. +Than&s for $learing ti#e for #e.+ -leased with herself )*e stepped into the $al# of 1ira"s offi$e. +9ieutenant Dallas is here. +6ind so#ewhere to #eet up near the $ri#e s$ene + )*e said and ga*e Roar&e the address. 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.+ Roar&e turned awa( fro# the "lin& when he"d finished. The ad#in bus( on her $o#p glan$ed up with a stern frown.+ +Then I"# not late. Is she free now3+ Still e(eing )*e she tapped her earpie$e. +Coo&ies3 ?ou brought #e $oo&ies3+ +The("re good. 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.+ Stern turned suspi$ious as the wo#an lifted the lid of the bo0 a fra$tion then #ore as she peered in. +The("re $ho$olate $hip.+ !hile Roar&e set it up )*e turned ba$& to her board.+ )*e set the bo0 on the des&.
. +Now (ou $an tal& to 9ouise re*isit (our $ri#e s$ene and ha*e a little ti#e with friends. Her ga=e landed on the ba&er( bo0 narrowed. The war# loo&s the prett( fe#inine suits perfe$t blend of $olor and 'ewelr(. I had one. +?ou"re earl(.+ 9eaning down he brushed his lips o*er hers.+ +I guess it is.+ +Are these a than&-(ou or a bribe3+ the ad#in as&ed as )*e #o*ed to the door. 1ira s#iled fro# behind her des&. It did she ad#itted but not as #u$h as e0pe$ted. !hat the hell. She ignored the noses that $a#e up sniffing as she passed through the bullpen and $aught a glide to 1ira"s offi$e.+ +Than&s.+ +There. +I want to go ba$& o*er it.+?es I thin& that would wor&. +It"s effi$ient. She said +H### + and pi$&ing it up wal&ed out.+ He s&i##ed a fingertip down the dent in her $hin. 5f $ourse. 1a(be it was a shrin& thing )*e $onsidered thin&ing of Arianna. ?ou $an go right in.
I figure he geared hi#self up for it added the dra#a. Spotlighting after his su$$ess.+I &now (ou don"t ha*e #u$h ti#e. The elaborate disguise tells #e he wants to be noti$ed and doesn"t feel he is not enough. He"s a series of $ontradi$tions )*e.J +He en*ied their friendship + 1ira $ontinued. He had to be on so#ething be$ause &illing three people that dead ta&es enduran$e. @nder the #a&eup or the #as& whate*er it is $ould he ha*e a defor#it(3 The 'aw"s e0tre#e.+ +. That"s what he #ade the#. He"s both $ontrolled and out of $ontrol $ann( and re$&less. "Ta&e out the trash " he wrote in their blood. +Their bond and their happiness. The a#putations were s&illfull( done. Dan$ing laughing so (es he en'o(ed hi#self.+ +I agree. Two people%perhaps #ore%in one.+ )*e too& out the s&et$h offered it. He"s better than the( are.+ She shifted #et )*e"s e(es with her own 7uiet blue ones. +Theatri$al $onfident organi=ed. He"s s&illed. The wit sa(s he dan$ed in the streetlight laughed his ugl( ass off. His *i$ti#s are no longer able to see hear or spea& of hi#. He won"t #a&e friends easil( won"t feel that bond.+ +Al#ost $ertainl(. He #ost li&el( li*es alone feels underappre$iated at his wor&. He has a god $o#ple0 battling with low self-estee# a bitter en*( and has found satisfa$tion and personal delight in &illing. ?ou ha*e a *iolent so$iopath under the influen$e of a strong illegal. She wor&ed with Dete$ti*e ?an$(.ut the( had prior to their deaths.+ +)nough I hope. )nduran$e (es and rage. I belie*e he"ll &eep these trophies these s(#bols.+ +He"ll do it again. Nothing is enough.+ 1ira tu$&ed a lo$& of sable-$olored hair behind her ear as she $ontinued to stud( the s&et$h. +Now I ha*e to as& how good is (our witness3+ +Again I ha*e to sa( *er(. He $an $elebrate %and in the light perhaps hoping he"d be seen. !e ha*e a wit who saw hi# at the rear of the building where he bro&e in. He wants what others ha*e%friends fa#il( $o##unit( %and at the sa#e ti#e feels superior to the#. Ha*e a seat. 1( sense of the s$ene is fren=ied glee. The( &new ea$h other. +!ell.+ As )*e too& one of 1ira"s blue s$oop $hairs 1ira $a#e around the des& too& the one fa$ing.+ In her pla$id wa( 1ira studied the s&et$h. 1( first 7uestion is how sure are (ou there"s onl( one &iller3+ +Aer(. +I loo&ed o*er the data the $ri#e-s$ene photos.+ +As soon as he $an.+
. 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.+ +This fa$e. And it a#used hi#. +I agree with (our assess#ent that he has so#e sort of #edi$al training.
+?es I see that but a defor#it( su$h as this3 He"d be in $onstant pain. He"s gi*en hi#self a #onster"s fa$e. +I don"t thin& I"*e e*er heard (ou $all an(bod( a pain in the ass. +?es (ou"re right. He"s a po#pous snob who sees hi#self as perfe$t. And not $apable of #urdering three people li&e this. -h(si$all( e#otionall( #entall( spirituall(. How about )ton . It see#s to #e%though I don"t see or so$iali=e with the# often%she"s softened that intensit(. +.+ +It #ust be fa&ed. The person who did this re'e$ts reason and hu#anit(.+ +)*er(one"s $apable + )*e stated. 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.ut again I $an"t thin& of an( reason it wouldn"t be treated. It would be all but i#possible for hi# to eat. Not unli&e so#eone else + 1ira said with a s#ile. 1ore intense than Arianna I"d sa(. Arianna"s an e0$ellent therapist. All of us are $apable under $ertain $ir$u#stan$es of e0tre#e and *iolent beha*ior. +!ith her he re#ains s&illed gifted dedi$ated to his wor& but he"s happier.+ +And Rosenthall3+ +Aer( s&illed re#ar&abl( gifted. His spee$h would be garbled. . >ustin"s a do$tor dedi$ated to healing a s$ientist and #an of reason. He"s rude anno(ing and full of hi#self. +Do (ou &now >ustin Rosenthall and Arianna !hitwood3+ +?es. Hu#anit( #eans little to hi#. She and her parents ha*e done a great deal not onl( in resear$h and appli$ation on addi$tions and rehabilitation but the( built their Center with the purpose of treating the whole person. .+ )*e had to grin.+ +A re$ent in'ur( a$$ident3+ +-ossibl( + 1ira $onsidered.+ +A god $o#ple03+
. As so#eone with #edi$al training and $onne$tions he would $ertainl( ha*e had this repaired.illingsl(3+ +A s&illed therapist and an enor#ous pain in the ass.+ +I don"t li&e hi# so it"s hard to be ob'e$ti*e.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.efore Arianna he was #u$h #ore of a loner and rarel( stepped awa( fro# his wor&.+ )*e paused a #o#ent $hanged angles. !e $ontrol it $hannel it%in so#e $ases #edi$ate it. The( turned a personal traged( into a great gift.+ +5&a(. A bright $o#passionate wo#an. -eabod("s running down $ostu#e shops theaters.
+ )*e got up started for the door.+ +So#ething to thin& about though. It"s done and right now I"# o&a( with it. ?ou wonder if he"s $apable. +Not (et. Isaa$ 1$Hueen"s ba$& in a $age where he belongs.
. Tell #e how (ou are. .+ 1ira let out a 7ui$& e0asperated laugh. Not 'ust be$ause she"s an attra$ti*e fe#ale shrin&. That"s a prett( big start right3+ +?es it is.+ +I"# happ( to gi*e it. +It"s *er( diffi$ult for #e to en*ision a #an li&e hi# deliberatel( #a&ing hi#self hideous. 1a(be 'ust being ba$& in New ?or&"s enough.+ +So do I.+ +That"s to be e0pe$ted with that &ind of in'ur(. +Arianna !hitwood3+ +9i&e #e3+ +That"s the sense I got fro# her. +Is she li&e (ou3+ she as&ed. I don"t &now a sense. He"s also *ain.+ +!hen and if it"s not (ou"ll tal& to #e3+ +I &now I $an.+ +I"# fine. 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#. . I"# not thin&ing about #( #other what happened there + she said before 1ira $ould as&. . +?es I"d sa(. +I &now (ou"re suspi$ious of the te$hni7ue but it"s *alid and $an be *er( effe$ti*e. . At least right now.+ +I"ll let (ou &now + )*e said and left. I don"t &now hi# well enough. +A little sore in the #orning and b( the end of the da(. I appre$iate the ti#e.1ira"s e(ebrows rose. How"s (our ar#3+ )*e started to dis#iss it then settled on the truth. If she is li&e (ou then she"s got no part in this.illingsl( $ertainl( wants to be noti$ed and rewarded and praised. . 1ostl( good though.ut . Night#ares3+ +No. .+ She studied the s&et$h again. She #ade #e thin& of (ou. 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(. I hope he"s $lear.+ +H(pno-*oodoo. It was .+ +?ou ha*en"t been ba$& long.
. Arianna !hitwood.illingsl(.illingsl( wanted her%and didn"t bother to Lha-haM disguise it. That"s what (ou did in a lab. Rosenthall had her. 1a(be he"d de*eloped a proble# of his own during those e0peri#ents. The good daughter and again the good do$tor. Re'e$ted hu#iliated worried she"d tell Arianna. 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. And no 'ust not enough for that &ind of slaughter. .ut there weren"t a lot of Roar&es in the world. Her patients her in*est#ent her su$$ess%at least so far. He pushed hi#self on his beautiful asso$iate and again one or all of the# saw the in$ident. 5r the anno(ing do$tor fooled around with a patient #a(be%h##% #a(be tried a #o*e on Darnell.----------------------------------------Chapter < )*e glan$ed o*er at -eabod( as she wal&ed ba$& into the bullpen got a sha&e of the head. Rosenthall"s too.illingsl(%and she intended to listen. He"d lose an( $han$e with the wo#an he wanted and his li$ense to pra$ti$e. 1a(be Arianna had gi*en the# too #u$h ti#e attention #ade too big an in*est#ent.
.illingsl(. Could be Arianna didn"t &now.eautiful ri$h s#art dedi$ated $aring. -ossible.ut she"d gi*e a little push on the good do$tor as well. 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. She went into her offi$e got $offee then sat at her des& put her boots up and studied the board. Didn"t that #a&e an interesting triangle3 . So no lu$& (et on #as&s or #a&eup. Can"t ha*e her find out he"s be$o#e what he"s supposed to $ure. . ?ou e0peri#ented. And what did that ha*e to do with the three *i$s3 The( were Arianna"s. He( bit$h what about #e3 Shouldn"t I be the $enter of (our world3 1a(be he"d lost his te#per. )*er(bod( li&ed RosenthallK nobod( li&ed . That $ould pla(. Couldn"t ha*e the gossip #ills grinding that one. Instin$t di$tated a push on . 5r onto . A #an $ould resent that. Now that $o#bined with being found out $ould lead to blood( *i$ious #urder. 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. )0peri#enting.
That $ould pla( too. And the( were both still on s$holarships she noted in the intern progra# at the Center. . 6or now she read o*er -eabod("s notes on her inter*iews at Sli$e and the twent(-fourCse*en the diner hangout.oth 1arti 6ran& and Ben Di$&erson $a#e fro# the ordinar( and in Di$&erson"s $ase the rough with his dead addi$t of an abusi*e father. .ut none of it pla(ed *er( well. -ossibl(. Di$&erson third%a$$elerated path. /upta $a#e fro# so#e wealth and an upper-$lass so$ial strata and she $onsidered the fa$t that his parents also do$tors had wor&ed with Rosenthall (ears before. Nothing bu==ing there )*e thought but $ontinued as -eabod( had started or $o#pleted a nu#ber of deeper runs on the pla(ers in those arenas. Couldn"t so#ething li&e that #a&e a $areer3 How would /upta"s upper-$lass parents feel about hi# pining for a re$o*ering addi$t3 -ossibl( he wanted to &eep that on the down low and possibl( Darnell wanted to go publi$. Dead low on the list she de$ided but it felt too soon to eli#inate. 6ran& top of her $lass in $ollege %on a full s$holarship. She brought the lab setup ba$& into her head. Now /upta had the plu# position of the renowned do$tor"s lab assistant on a #a'or pro'e$t. !or&ing together on the pro'e$t she #used but the("d see#ed *er( separate hadn"t the(3 !ith Rosenthall $enter. So not friends%not espe$iall(.
. Neither Di$&erson nor 6ran& had gone to /upta when he"d bro&en down. He"d graduated high s$hool at si0teen $ollege %again on s$holarships%at nineteen and straight into #edi$al s$hool.illingsl( Arianna 1arti 6ran& Ben Di$&erson and -a$hai /upta. Co#petitors3 Didn"t (ou ha*e to ha*e a $o#petiti*e strea& to $o#e in first in (our $lass or in the top tier with a$$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. 1a(be she 'ust needed to fine-tune a little. Rising )*e got another $up of $offee then started deeper runs of her own on Rosenthall .oth had e0$elled in s$hool she noted. .
I"*e got the# pro#ising to e0peri#ent see what the( $an do. 9i&e a $ir$us frea& (ou &now3 A $ontortionist or a frea& show t(pe.+ +Beep at it an(wa( be$ause it is doable as it was done. If the( found the shoes the( had hi#. Ta&en the "lin&s she #used but not the #one(. 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.+ -eabod( huffed out a breath sho*ed at her hair.+ +1a(be. That"s an angle. !hen the sweepers" initial report $a#e through she poun$ed. So he"d ta&en the#. And wal&ing through the blood that was 'ust stupid. He loo&s li&e this%or so#ething li&e this and he 'ust pu#ped it up. So he"d onl( sealed his hands or worn glo*es.+ +Cir$us. Not bad -eabod(. .+ +No (ou &eep at it.+ +I"# serious about getting nowhere.+ +It was dar& e*en with the streetlight. +I"# going ba$& to the s$ene. 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&. I"# going to tal& to 9ouise after then wor& fro# ho#e. . 6ibers on the windowsill footprints in blood. !hat I get is sure the s&in $olor"s no proble#K hair no bigK nose teeth (ou bet. She"d #a&e boo& this had been his debut. Not in an( sort of #as& or doable with #a&eup and prostheti$s. +I"*e tal&ed to the top $ostu#e shops%and so#e $ostu#e and theatri$al #a&eup designers in the $it(.+ +I didn"t sa( de#on or #onster. Sa#e with the 'aw. 1a(be the wit e0aggerated so#e. I"# not getting an(where an(wa(. All of the# &new andCor intera$ted with the *i$s. She wal&ed out to -eabod(. All sent to the lab.+
. She pi$&ed her wa( through the data on ea$h suspe$t added to her notes her board. A#ateur hour.+ +!hat if he"s so#e &ind of frea&3+ +-eabod(. I"ll wor& that at ho#e.+ +5&a(. None of the# had alibis for the ti#e in 7uestion. None of the *i$ti#s" "lin&s had been found on s$ene. All of the# had a$$ess to drugs and $ould easil( put their hands on the prote$ti*e gear. Ti#e to $ir$le ba$&. 6irst &ill she thought.ut nobod("s got an(thing li&e this. Nothing that would allow the person wearing it to see $learl( spea& or laugh the wa( the wit des$ribed.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. 1iddle of the night.
It was%+ +!e"re going to $hit so#e serious $hat about this.+ There was so#e shifting giggling then 1a*is $a#e ba$& on behind the fil# of .+ Instantl( the bab("s $hubb( grinning fa$e repla$ed her #other"s.+ +Beep that in #ind if (ou be$o#e te#pted + )*e warned then headed out. . So what"s the up3+ 1a*is as&ed as she whipped out a $loth and polished the s$reen.ellora#a.e$ause I"# bus(.+ 1a*is"s prett( happ( fa$e filled the dash s$reen.ella"s slobber.+ +1a&e the sound Dallas + 1a*is said offs$reen.ella s7uealed with (et #ore delight.+ Conta$t initiated. +?eah hi &id. +Conta$t 1a*is 6reestone po$&et "lin&. S#oo$h. She thought of #a&eup frea&s altered appearan$es as she dro*e%and had a brainstor#. Her hair a $urling #ass of gold-strea&ed red toda( boun$ed. Biss &iss. +Coward.+ +!h( don"t (ou 'ust send it to her3+ +. +I"# going to send (ou a s&et$h and I need (ou to get in tou$h with Trina show it to her.ut later. +He( Dallas.+?ou"d &i$& #( ass if I said #onster. +Das.+ +5&a(. +Sa( hi to Dallas .+ +5h sorr(. I need (ou to%$an (ou wipe (our s$reen off3 ?ou loo& li&e (ou"*e been li$&ed b( a Saint . )*e rolled her e(es but $o#plied with a &issing sound.+ +Right. +I didn"t ha*e ti#e.+ +Sloo$h.ernard.+
.+ !ith 1a*is it would be o&a(. +-la(ti#e.+ 1a*is angled her head. +. +!h( didn"t (ou tell #e (ou were going to Dallas3+ 1a*is de#anded.+ she $ried with absolute 'o( and pressed her wet lips to the s$reen of the po$&et "lin&.
He"d #o*ed with purpose with a plan despite the fero$it(. I"ll tag Trina now so I don"t ha*e to wig alone.
.ella e$hoed happil( in the ba$&ground. I"*e got so#ething hot and she #ight be able to help. I don"t want her gi*ing #e grief be$ause I didn"t rub so#e shit on #( fa$e or in #( hair.+ +I"ll be passing it on%and getting it off #( "lin& 'ust in $ase it has the power to #ateriali=e. +!hat *id3+ +Nadine"s *id%(our *id.+ +Shit + .+I"# a bus( $oward. 9et #e &now. ?ou did so#e $arn( wor&.+ +I saw plent( of #ega weird but nothing li&e this. I need to &now what it ta&es to #a&e so#ebod( loo& li&e this. 5ther angle. I got wigged when I%Hol( shit on a fla#ing sti$&.+ +Sorr(. +5h hell%hello + 1a*is #uttered. The I$o*e Agenda. She #o*ed straight through to the ba$& opened the window $li#bed out. 5r listen to her tell #e I need #( hair $ut or whate*er. . Trina &nows that $rap.+ +/i*e #e the goods. I"# s$heduling #( night#are right now. +I swore in front of the bab(.+ +Co#e on. Alwa(s plent( of #ar&s at a $arn(.+ +Than&s. Not as dar& as it would"*e been she thought. ?ou wouldn"t as& unless it%he%whate*er%&illed so#ebod(.ut there was a streetlight enough for so#e ba$&wash.ut hol( (ou &now what this is too totall( s$ar(. >es%'eepers + she $orre$ted. She unsealed the door used her #aster. It"s #ag to the nth the( wanted #e to pla( #(self.+ +A pa$t with Satan3+ +!ith #a&eup and prostheti$s and that stuff.a$& in the da( sure. And the $hi$& pla(ing (ou3 1an the( #ade her a ringer. So I finished #( gig on the *id + she said as )*e ordered the s&et$h a$$essed and sent. .+ +)*er see an(thing li&e this3 6rea& show-wise. Still he"d had to &now whi$h #attress ea$h *i$ slept on.+ +. And stood inside left the lights off. He loo&s li&e he"s born to &ill. +I got bu#ps of the goose all o*er.+ )*e pulled o*er at the $urb in front of the $ri#e s$ene.
And (eah the building a$ross the street had a good *iew of the window the sidewal& the re$($ler. She followed the steps easing in sliding down to her feet%left fibers behind. So he didn"t $are about being seen. I doubt he e*er wo&e up. A *ehi$le nearb(3 5r a hole to $rawl into. Spinning and dan$ing up the street C(nthia had said. . Cli#bs in. She had her weapon out trained. . And he wal&s right into the front.+ +How else would I get in3 ?our *ehi$le"s outside and the seal"s bro&en.+ +I was out the ba$& window. +?ou"re not supposed to pi$& the lo$& on a $ri#e s$ene.
. +!hat an unhol( #ess. His own pla$e3 If he"d ta&en a $ab the subwa( a bus3 )*en in New ?or& so#ebod( would"*e reported it. +Cra$&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. He"s been here before.ut he doesn"t wa&e the#. +He 'i##ied the window rear 7uietl( stepped around the stuff ba$& there%in the dar& or near dar&. 5pens the sat$hel for the prote$ti*e $oat. As she did the door started to open. No dan$ing and laughing not (et. )*e turned ba$& to the window.+ He stood where he was loo&ing around.+ +He"d been in here and ba$& there before. So#e bo0es in here she noted and tid( piles of old #aterials%but he doesn"t bu#p into the#. The $ri#e-s$ene re$ords ne*er ha*e 7uite the sa#e i#pa$t." + She sho*ed it ba$& in the holster.+ +Naturall(. 9eads with the bat. +Da#n it. Not #u$h would $o#e through the window %it"s grilled%fro# the streetlight. I &no$&ed li&e a good $i*ilian but (ou didn"t answer. He"s the lu$&( one. All of the lab rats li*ed within blo$&s.+ +I"# the one with a stunner ai#ed at #e.+ +?eah.oth of the do$tors and Arianna had *ehi$les.+ Sin$e he was here she"d use hi#. He 'i##ies it she thought%7uiet now. Bnew 'ust how to na*igate and &new where ea$h one slept.+ She swung. I get to sa( "Da#n it. Then hissed when Roar&e stepped in.
How the("d found their 7uiet. He doesn"t use the &nife. I bet he said her na#e and his. Then he uses their blood to lea*e us a #essage.i$&ford"s $hest%two blows and another in the gut. It"s fa$e-to-fa$e it"s his hands on her throat so he $an feel her pulse going wild then slowing slowing slowing while her e(es bulge and her bod( beats itself against the floor.+ +That"s how it happened. He lo*es it.e$ause he is. He uses the bat brea&s her &nee$aps. I bet he slapped his &nees o*er it. +Arianna said so#ething.+ She $ould see it all but s#ell the blood. . +It too& ti#e to do that. 6ast.+ +1a(be #a(be e*en to hi#.+ +)*il + Roar&e finished.+ +Christ >esus )*e. 5*er eight( ti#es. He wanted her to &now hi#.i$&ford #ight"*e #ade so#e sound tried to $all out but his lung"s pun$tured. Now he #a&es a point.i$&ford with the &nife and stabs and ha$&s. He wants #ore so he goes ba$& to . Hear no see no spea& no. +-uts it into . He stages the# against the wall. He put the prote$ti*e gear on in the ba$& roo# but blood"s on his fa$e. That"s what he brought ba$&. Not dashed off but $learl( printed. .+
. An ear an e(e her tongue. He"s laughing now be$ause this is so #u$h fun.+ )*e shifted. So that"s the na#e he pi$&ed.lood"s fl(ing e*er(where bones snapping shattering.Changes to the &nife. >ust better than he"d e*er i#agined. He ta&es a s$alpel out of his sat$hel be$ause he ta&es pride in the wor&. +She tried to drag herself awa(. 1a(be she s$rea#ed%nobod( heard%or #a(be she 'ust passed out or went into sho$&.+ She #i#ed swit$hing hands. The un7uiet. !hile that pulse stops and her e(es fi0 and her bod( goes li#p.+ Roar&e studied the wall. . I thin& she wo&e up before he"d finished with . See the blood"s s#eared on the floor there fro# her &nees fro# her tr(ing to pull herself awa(. He 'ust $an"t get enough so he brea&s the pla$e up what little the( had.i$&ford.+ Inside she was as $old as the i#ages fi0ed in her head. And now it"s her turn. The("re a trio aren"t the( li&e the #on&e(s. Chaos.+ She paused a #inute. +He sa(s her na#e. +That"s $lose an(wa(. !hat (ou"*e 'ust des$ribed is e*il. He ga*e it so#e thought. His letters so $arefull( for#ed. 9i&es the taste of e*il the s#ell of it. . Dr. . He"s not done.+ +She"d ha*e wo&en don"t (ou thin&3+ +. The $haos. /ot up either tried to run or tried to fight. +.+ +He"s so $le*er a real 'o&er.ut she"s in terrible pain in sho$& in h(steri$s. Destro(s it. )spe$iall( Darnell. It"s too funn( and thrilling. It feels war# tastes hot. Now it"s ti#e for Darnell.ut he li&es it.ut he went ba$& to Ai0 beat hi# into 'ell(. That addi$tion steals the 7uiet.ash sli$e #o*e#ent.
!hate*er it was it was re$ent.ut ta&ing the bod( parts%the("d seen or heard so#ething he $ouldn"t afford the# to tal& about. Dr. +Now as we"re a bit earl( tell #e what (ou learned ba$& there.+
.+ +Then (ou $an tell #e about it o*er the drin& I find I want *er( #u$h right now.+ +It was the girl. He stuffs the gear in the re$($ler properl( disposing of it li&e he tells us to do with the bodies. I loo&ed at (our board. +He ta&es off the prote$ti*e gear. +?ou ne*er &now. Roar&e too& a booth s#iled at her o*er the table.+ +He didn"t rape her. A little $lue so we"ll be sure to find it. She bet the( were regulars bet the seats of the stools all but $arried the i#print of their asses. Chaos had the ti#e of his life. . The others didn"t #atter as #u$h e0$ept for their $onne$tion to her. She was the easiest &ill of the three but he sa*ed her for last be$ause she was the #ost i#portant. 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. He wanted her and she said no%or worse didn"t see hi# as a #an. He wanted her to see what he did how he &illed the others too& awa( what #attered #ost to her in the $ruelest wa(.+ +Did (ou learn an( #ore fro# this re-$reation3+ +1a(be. ?eah. He laughs and he dan$es 'ust so full of the fun of it he $an"t $ontain it.+ She opted for a beer when the waitress $a#e o*er and Roar&e held up two fingers. Then he dan$es awa( high on the un7uiet.She wal&ed awa( into the ba$&. It was >en. Then he &illed her with his hands so she $ould see his fa$e and he $ould see hers.+ She s#iled ba$&. +Satisfied3+ +About what3+ +That (ou won"t ha*e to arrest an(one in here. Another four had a booth s$arfing down bar $hips while the( held one of those 7ui$& $oded $on*ersations of inti#ate friends.+ +It had gone past se0 or rape as power and $ontrol and he got off on the &illing. She was the pri#ar( #oti*e. And that has hi# doubled o*er with laughter. Huiet and $o=( with a neighborhood feel she obser*ed. A $ouple of gu(s sat at the bar deep in their brews and $on*ersation. A $ouple sat at a table%had a first-date drin&-afterwor&-to-see-how-it-goes loo& about the#. Turns it inside out to &eep the blood off his $lothes and he $li#bs ba$& out shuts the window.+ ----------------------------------------Chapter N )*e loo&ed around the bar as the( went in.
. . As Charles for#er li$ensed $o#panion turned se0 therapist slid in beside his wife he grinned at )*e. +. -u==led 9ouise leaned $loser.+ +He wor&ed alone. How hu#iliating would it be for a #an li&e that to want an addi$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. It $ould be worse. The("re tight but it"s not se0ual.+ +No. +!e"*e still got a #onth till Halloween. Here"s 9ouise and Charles.oth she and Charles ordered a glass of the house white.+ She lifted her $hin toward the booth of four. +9oo& at the bod( language. +Two gu(s two girls. She"s also on his le*el. The( tal& all the ti#e hang all the ti#e.+ .ut the("re not $ouples. He doesn"t $onne$t he doesn"t ha*e that $loseness with an(one.+ +. It wasn"t Arianna !hitwood or 1arti 6ran&. +9ong da(. +How"s it going 9ieutenant Sugar3+ +I"*e got three bodies and a short list of suspe$ts.illingsl( 'ust on prin$iple.+ +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. And the( ne*er run out of $on*ersation. +See that group o*er there.ut not enough. !hen the("re not together the( tag ea$h other. +Insensiti*e.+
.+ +All right.+ +Arianna said no to hi# + Roar&e pointed out.lah blah blah. /ood da( + she added +as I didn"t deal with death.+ Roar&e stood greeting 9ouise with a &iss Charles with a handsha&e.+ +This is who the witness saw outside the $ri#e s$ene. -als. Sorr( + she said to 9ouise. 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&. The( #a( &now so#ething #a( not &now the( &now it but this one had to ha*e all the fun for hi#self.+ +?ou loo& tired + Roar&e $o##ented.ut he still belie*es he $an get her.She waited until the waitress ser*ed the beers. So that bu#ps the two fe#ale suspe$ts down the list for #e. He"s s#ug and a show-off whi$h is wh( I li&e . !e both deal with death all too often but at least I $o#e into it when there"s still a $han$e.
+Do (ou &now an( of Rosenthall"s lab people3+ she as&ed 9ouise.+ +Sure. It rela0es #e.+ +Now (ou ha*e two do$tors telling (ou that. I had it open and I saw this dude here sort of s&ipping down the sidewal& a$ross the street.+ +Sure.+It"s a hell of a disguise + Charles $o##ented. Sure. !e"re not ha*ing an( lu$& 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(.+ She hit$hed up a hip dug out a $ard. And the e(es $ertainl( aren"t natural.+ 5n$e she"d gi*en it the waitress hurried awa(. Ho#i$ide. I"d li&e (our na#e and address. +5h. ?ou see all &inds (ou &now so I didn"t thin& an(thing of it. +)0a$tl( what ti#e3 )0a$tl( where3+ )*e drew out her badge laid it ne0t to the s&et$h. Not 'ust the $olor. He &illed so#ebod(3+ +?eah. !hat"d he do3+ +)nough so if (ou see hi# again $onta$t the poli$e. I had the late shift last night so I didn"t lea*e until after two. I don"t &now e0a$tl( but it was probabl( about three fifteen three thirt( or thereabouts when I finished. +!here3+ +9ast night. I li*e on >ane right off /reenwi$h Street.+ 9ouise tapped a finger tipped in pearl( pale pin& on the s&et$h. +There would be airwa( blo$&age diffi$ult( breathing spea&ing eating. +She"d be s#art not to wal& ho#e alone and to &eep her windows $losed. This is e0tre#e.+ The waitress paused as she ser*ed the wine. He had to fa&e all this.+ She put the s&et$h awa( sipped at her beer. H(perth(roidis# $an $ause the e(es to bulge but I"*e ne*er seen an(thing that se*ere. +No. !ow. I guess he wasn"t 'ust a weirdo. I heard this weird laughing and went to the window. !ell this #orning. There should be $onsiderable swelling but I don"t see an( in this s&et$h.+
. +!hen3+ )*e de#anded. +?ou s$ared the hell out of her + Charles said. !ow a lieutenant. I saw hi# 'u#p up swing on the pole of the streetlight wa*ing this bla$& bag.+ +!hi$h wa( was he going3+ +)ast toward )ighth it loo&ed li&e. I did so#e (oga when I got ho#e. +Conta$t #e. +!h( would an(one want to dress up be that noti$eable when doing #urder3+ +1a(be it added to the thrill. ?ou don"t forget a fa$e li&e that + she added with a laugh.+ +He( I saw that gu(. And the s&in3 I"d diagnose #ultiple organ failure at worst ane#ia at best. I 'ust thought weirdo shut the window and went to bed. The pain would be enor#ous.
He was with Arianna when we #et then I was with Charles not long after.+5&a( we"ll set the# aside for now. . If she $ut hi# loose it"d be a big loss. Did Rosenthall e*er #o*e on (ou3+ +No. . Has >ustin e*er sa#pled produ$t3+ +Absolutel( not. +That"s a deliberate $hoi$e.+ +. That"s 'ust opinion Dallas.+ 5&a( )*e thought as long as 9ouise spo&e in absolutes the( wouldn"t get an(where on Rosenthall.+ +It doesn"t ta&e that #u$h ti#e.ut it would be hu#iliating and he wouldn"t ta&e it well.+ +And if Arianna $ut hi# off%fro# the Center3+ +He has #one( of his own and should ha*e a lot of $onta$ts.+ +Then he"d do a lot to prote$t it. If his wor&"s i#portant to hi#. Not >ustin. +If so#ething went wrong between the# it would be a blow for both of the# personall( and professionall(.+
.+ +He puts the# on e*er( fe#ale he finds attra$ti*e or belie*es $an enhan$e his $areer. He"s rude and de#anding but fro# what I"*e heard *er( good in therap(. He"s in lo*e with Ari and added to that his wor& doesn"t gi*e hi# a lot of ti#e for #o*ing on other wo#en.ut s$ientists are easier to find than ba$&ers li&e the !hitwood /roup.+ +How"d he rea$t when (ou brushed hi# off3+ +9i&e it was #( loss. Ne*er this.+ +He put #o*es on (ou. +How about . I ha*e as little to do with hi# as possible.ut Ari"s the gold ring. So#ething he &illed to prote$t.+ +)ssential I"d sa(. I"d $ertainl( doubt it but I don"t &now hi# well.illingsl(3+ +I $an"t sa(. She"s the one ba$&ing his resear$h and wor&%or the /roup is.+ +She"s in lo*e with hi# and the("re bonded o*er the wor& + 9ouise began. He has a te#per but I"*e ne*er seen an(thing to indi$ate he"s $apable of #urder or real *iolen$e.+ 9ouise s#iled a little o*er her wine.+ +I"# going on the theor( the three *i$ti#s &new so#ething about the &iller.+ +Not this Dallas.
+ +/ood. +?ou did *er( well #anaging nearl( a half an hour on non-wor&-related topi$s after (our inter*iew with 9ouise. The &iller"s a user%has to be. +I had it pi$&ed up so I $ould dri*e ho#e with #( adoring wife. !here"s (our $ar3+ she as&ed when the( rea$hed the $ri#e s$ene. /upta north on )ighth for a blo$& and a half to ho#e. ?ou ga*e #e a few #ore details on two of #( suspe$ts and #eeting (ou here ga*e #e another wit who tells #e the &iller went up to >ane before heading toward )ighth. -lus a s$ientist should be able to $reate an elaborate disguise. +Is an(bod( reall( that good the wa( e*er(bod( des$ribes Rosenthall3+ +So#e people ha*e fewer shadows than others fewer dar& pla$es.ut if I as&ed ea$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.ut $ertainl( worth a shot.+ +I $an tal& about other stuff. ?et. Heading toward )ighth. I don"t ha*e enough on an( of the# to re7uire a drug test. )*er(one on this list $onne$ts to illegals.+ +?ou $onfir#ed and elaborated on 1ira"s opinion on the &iller"s fa$e.+ She too& out her noteboo& added the new infor#ation new thoughts on the wa( ho#e. That"s prett( good o*er one drin&.+ +And illegals spea& to those dar& pla$es #a&e #ore noise so the( spread.+ +The bar waitress was a stro&e of lu$&. If it"s Di$&erson he goes one $rosstown blo$& to ho#e. 9ost so#eone to the# wor&s with the# li*es with the#.+5&a( than&s.+ She $hewed on it as the( wal&ed inside where Su##erset and the $at waited in the fo(er. ?ou dri*e.+ +?ou $an (es but I &now it"s not eas( when (ou"re steeped in a $ase. .+ +I"ll gi*e it one to#orrow. Nobod( at Sli$e or /et Straight li*es in that dire$tion% and the( don"t fit an(wa( but it"s another negati*e on that group. Roar&e left her to it until she began to #utter. +.
. If it"s either of the do$tors he"s probabl( got a *ehi$le near there.+ !hen the( left Roar&e too& her hand as she wal&ed.+ +Not #u$h help. 5thers ha*e #ore.
.+ So o&a( it twinged a little when she too& off her 'a$&et her weapon harness. Applause.+ +If he a$tuall( applauded the bones in his s&eletal hands would brea& and $ru#ble to dust.+ +It"s o&a(. Her shoulder ga*e a $ouple of $li$&s as she stret$hed pun$hed out.+ Roar&e too& her hand again turned her toward the bedroo#. +Ho#e together in a ti#el( fashion and unbloodied. +. !e"ll get dinner in the lieutenant"s offi$e + Roar&e added to Su##erset.+ +If onl( + )*e #uttered. +9et"s deal with that ar#.+ +So I see. +The two of (ou reall( ha*e to stop this lo*e affair. /et it o*er with she thought and began the stret$hing e0er$ises wor&ing her range of #otion as Roar&e dit$hed his 'a$&et and tie.+ +It"s 'ust a little sore. +And ta&e (our ti#e. -eel it off 9ieutenant.ut for now I 'ust want a loo& at that hip. Don"t be su$h a bab(.+ +!ith e*er( breath I ta&e. Nearl( healed + he #ur#ured tra$ing a fingertip along the edges where 1$Hueen"s &nife had sli$ed. +I &new it.+ +Alwa(s a bonus. All (ou thin& about is getting in #( pants.+ To #a&e her s#ile he leered.ut before.+ +!hi$h #eans it"s ti#e for so#e of the ph(si$al therap( and treat#ent. +?ou 'ust want to get #( shirt off.+ She 'abbed hi# with a finger.+ Roar&e 'ust shoo& his head as )*e started upstairs. +I"# sho$&ed be(ond spee$h. He rolled up his slee*es as he $rossed to her then started to unhoo& her trousers. I"# a 'ealous #an.+A #onu#ental da( + Su##erset announ$ed. +1ira does good wor&. +It"s $o#ing along.+ +!e"*e both had worse.+
. Tr( to a*oid a$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. It was the worst of the $uts.
+Reall( good. +6eels good + she repeated. A#used aroused he wat$hed her.
.+ 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$hed b( her.+ He laughed wrapped his ar#s around her. Tell #e if I hurt (ou. Reall( good. I"ll finish (ou up. +I"# o&a(. Then his hands %he had #agi$ hands%s#oothed the $rea# o*er the a$he and she $losed her e(es.+ And too& his hand laid it on her breast.+ +I ha*e it on good authorit( I ha*e an e0$ellent $onstitution.+ +?ou"re not. +?ou won"t.+ She did as he as&ed thin&ing he needed the tending as #u$h as #a(be #ore than she.+ She too& his #outh ga*e it a ni$e little bite as she ground against hi#.+ +Show #e.+ +A $o$&"s alwa(s read( to $row. +?ou"re *er( de#anding. In e*er( wa(. 9ose the tan& and sit down.+ +?ou ain"t seen nothing (et.His e(es lifted to hers held and said a great deal. +Crowing"s not what #ine"s read( for. +In a bit of a hurr( are we3+ +I"*e got to use (ou and get ba$& to wor& so no dawdling.+ +I onl( want to gi*e (ou ti#e to heal. +6eels good. +/et it up pal. 9et"s test it out.+ /oing with the instin$t that told her the( didn"t 'ust need the ph(si$al inti#a$( but the fun that $ould go along with it she tossed her leg o*er his lap straddled hi#. So she leaned into hi# a little tou$hed her lips to his. +?ou"re not + she said again and opening her e(es turned to hi#.+ S#oothing those #agi$ hands down her sides he s#iled.+ Then she laid her hands on either side of his fa$e.+ +1ira $redits (our $onstitution and (our hard head for the healing pro$ess. A $ouple #ore da(s (ou"ll li&el( be good as new.+ She went to wor& on his trousers. +!ell (ou"*e left #e no $hoi$e. +There (ou are + she #ur#ured. +5&a( #a(be a little dawdling + she said and brought her lips to his again.+ +Nearl(.
He ga*e her the $ontrols too& his pleasure fro# the rise of her passion fro# the sprint of her heartbeat under his lips. +I want (ou to tou$h #e.+ He pressed his lips to her healing shoulder. +Alwa(s #ore where that $a#e fro# a$e.+ She lifted her head loo&ed at hi# again. +I feel so used.J So he gripped her hips $areful to a*oid the healing wound. I lo*e (ou be(ond the telling of it )*e and what (ou went through%+ +!e. !ell now that I"# done with (ou I"# going ba$& to wor&.+ +That"s ne*er going to happen. Don"t. !e went through it.+ He $ould drown in her he thought e*er( #inute of e*er( da( he $ould lose hi#self in what she was what she ga*e hi# what she too&. If an(thing twinged or a$hed she didn"t feel it. 5*er the edge of that drowning pool. !ith her brow resting on his she fought to get her breath ba$&. +?es. I want (ou.+I"# o&a(. I want (ou to be with #e. !hat we went through doesn"t heal as 7ui$&l( as a $ut or a bruise.ut I will stop ho*ering whi$h I"*e been doing a bit of. Don"t hold ba$&. I find I li&e it. Now with her war# and eager against hi# he $ould drown hi#self lose hi#self and set his worr( for her aside. And dro*e her as she dro*e hi#. !hen she too& hi# in she laid her hands on his fa$e again. +Did (ou reall( ha*e business downtown toda(3+ +?ou"re #( business. All she felt was pea$e. Her e(es loo&ed deep into his.+
. S&in to s&in heart to heart.+ +!or&ing on it though. +?ou"re holding ba$&.+ +All right that"s true enough. +?ou ha*e to stop worr(ing.+ She unbuttoned his shirt so she $ould press against hi#. She didn"t want hi# to be $areful but he would ta&e $are of her in'uries at least.+ He sat where he was a #o#ent as she got up pulled the tan& ba$& on.+ She rolled her in'ured shoulder nodded in satisfa$tion. 5&a(3+ +?es.+ +5&a(. .
etter now she de$ided.+ +Don"t loo& at #e.+ +?ou &now *er( well I adore (our hair fa$e and bod(.+ +Traitor. Not $ostu#ing not ph(si$all(. It"s not Saturda( (et. So#ething he"s learned to li*e with. Through the ad'oining door she heard Roar&e tal&ing on the "lin&.+
.+ Though she was an(thing but *ain the $areless $o##ent ga*e her another 'olt. +Insulting #( hair fa$e and bod( won"t get (ou banged again an(ti#e soon. The answer is I $ouldn"t #a&e an(bod( loo& li&e that and I"# the best. +Not a da#n thing nor#al there.+ She s$owled at her board.---------------------------------------------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.+ +1a(be one of (our suspe$ts hired the &illings. If it"s ph(si$al #a(be it"s long-ter#.+ +!h( + Roar&e wondered +do (ou loo& #ore horrified b( that than b( the fa$e on (our board3+ +She"s $o#ing. I"ll ha*e a #assage along with (ou. And the nor#al$( that went hand in hand. Couldn"t do the 'aw not that $roo&ed.ella $an $o#e to (our pla$e for a *isit on Saturda( afternoon. In fa$t so $ould I. 1a*is sa(s she and 9eonardo and . -robabl( dealing with business he"d postponed during the ho*ering #ode. +So.+ She sto#ped to the &it$hen for $offee sto#ped ba$&. -eabod("s $ir$us frea& angle. I belie*e I"ll $onta$t Trina and ha*e her bring another operati*e.oth of the# were better now. +/ot the ugl( bastard and the 7uestion. ?ou"*e got (ourself a frea&a=oid Dallas. An(thing $ould happen. +I"# not thin&ing about it. I"ll be with the# and bring #( gear. . . )*er(bod( sa(s it $an"t be done.+ She wiped a hand through the air. And if that"s it I eli#inate e*er(bod( on #( list. . ?ou $ould use a #assage a rela0ation treat#ent and so#e downti#e with good friends. ?ou $ould use a treat#ent. +?ou need a treat#ent%hair fa$e bod(. !e ha*e to stop her. The wor&s. She $alled up the #essage and a$tuall( 'olted when Trina"s *oi$e spi&ed into the roo#.ut it has to be one or the other.+ She $ir$led around to her des& noti$ed that her #essage light was a$ti*ated.+ +He(. +-isser. +Nothing nor#al about that + she said as she studied the s&et$h. Could do the s&in hair ears nose teeth no prob. Not 'ust the se0 but the understanding that $a#e with it%or out of it. Could do the red e(es but not so the( loo& li&e red balloons $o#ing out of the so$&ets.
ut this ti#e she felt she onl( $ir$led without getting an( $loser to the $enter. !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. 888
. I li&e it better if the $os#eti$s are wrong but I"*e got to wor& it both wa(s. That it was personal. It"s so#ething to po&e at. 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. +I don"t belie*e an(one loo&s li&e that + she said.+ +As in bot$hed3+ Roar&e twirled so#e seafood linguine on his for&.+ +?ou $an go ba$& with #e o*er a #eal. I ran that s&et$h through e*er( progra# we"*e got and didn"t get a single hit.+ +1a(be he 'ust ta&es pleasure in his wor&.+ +Crap. 1a(be. . . Crap.+ It usuall( helped to do 'ust that tal& it through with hi# boun$e theories and angles off hi#. If he &illed the# for hi#self wh( doesn"t an(one else &now about hi#3 @nless . So#ebod("s wrong. Clear her head she de$ided.+ +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. 9et it si##er for a few hours. +As in #ad s$ien$e3+ +1ad bad.+ +1a(be it"s #ore re$ent. . Crap.+ +Not as #u$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. I"*e got to go ba$& to the beginning.+ +?ou don"t li&e that *er( #u$h. If he was a hire how did an(bod( &now about hi#%be$ause he"d ha*e popped if he was a pro e*en se#ipro. +And if I de$ided to belie*e so#ebod( did I $an"t belie*e he"d sta( off the grid. 1a(be he"s a &ind of e0peri#ent the("re &eeping on the down low.+ She too& it wor&ing angles running probabilities refor#ulating 'uggling through the pie$es. )ither the #edi$al e0perts or the $os#eti$C$ostu#e e0perts. #a(be he"s a patient at the Center.+I"# going to run probabilities on that but it rips up the theor(%and it"s #ore than a theor(%that the &iller &new the *i$s.
>ustin"s ter# for the $ore of addi$tion.ut in this $ase it si#pl( #ade the 'ob easier. Dr. It was ti#e%past it%to pro*e to Arianna she was wasting her ti#e and resour$es on >ustin. >ustin $alled it tea#wor&. +!hat the de*il%3+ He whirled then fro=e.. Sti$&ing (our nose where it doesn"t belong aren"t (ou . +I"# $onta$ting Se$urit(. . He thought hi#self *er( $le*er.e$ause he was getting nowhere . .ut no proble# or *er( little of one. . . 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.Shortl( after #idnight )ton .illingsl( $alled it nai*ete. Chaos.efore he $ould $all it up so#ething $rashed behind hi#.+ +I ha*e e*er( right to . He"d wor&ed with >ustin long enough to &now the #an &ept su$h things si#ple so his assistant and interns $ould a$$ess data when needed. He $ontinued until inspired he tried Ari1.::<.+ The $reature issued a deep $ape-swishing bow. At one point he thought he heard a sound fro=e turned to loo& around.ut I prefer Chaos.+ . The date the("d $hosen to be #arried. +So#e #ight $all #e that + the *oi$e ground out li&e ro$&s beneath a boot heel. Senti#ental fool .illingsl( $on$luded. The #an was obsessed with this seru# and far too se$reti*e about it in the last wee&s. 5n$e Arianna saw the truth she"d rethin& the relationship and this wedding business.ut he ba$&ed up as he spo&e with his heart ha##ering in his dr( throat. .+
. . @NH@I)T. Then shoo& his head at his own foolishness.illingsl(3 !ell we"ll 'ust ha*e to ta&e $are of that. 5ne da( one of those underlings would steal data and ta&e $redit for whate*er ad*an$e >ustin #anaged to stu#ble onto.+ +!hat &ind of si$& 'o&e is this3+ +1( &ind.illingsl( $oded hi#self into >ustin Rosenthall"s lab using a $loned &e( $ard and a re$ording he"d #ade of >ustin"s *oi$e. +. Hui$&l( now he s$anned through file na#es. . He tried *arious na#es as passwords wor&ing patientl(.illingsl( thought as a$$ess was granted. +At (our ser*i$e. He went dire$tl( to the #ain $o#p station noted >ustin had lo$&ed it down for the night.
Chaos used the &nife. -ossible ho#i$ide.
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. Strength speed e0$ite#ent poured through hi# as he leaped. +It"s one thing to brea& into the pla$e on Twelfth but it ta&es a lot #ore to get through the se$urit( the( ha*e at the Center. The li&elihood is it"s (our #an and sin$e I"# awa&e now in an( $ase I"d li&e to see for #(self. +/ross + she #u#bled then $alled for the lights at ten per$ent before she answered. That"s ho*ering isn"t it3+ +In this $ase it"s sheer $uriosit(.+ She sho*ed at her hair saw Roar&e was alread( up getting dressed. +Shit.+ Affir#ati*e.esides he had an e(e as good as #ost $ops she &new. Dallas out.+
.+ Dispat$h Dallas 9ieutenant )*e.+ It was 7ui$&er not to argue.ut before the &nife he used his teeth. ?ou don"t ha*e to $o#e. . +I"# on #( wa(. Infor# -eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia. +Inside 'ob what did I tell (ou3+ She wat$hed buildings whi= b( on the wa( downtown. +Dallas. +>ustin Rosenthall"s area. . And $ontinued long after the s$rea#ing stopped. See building se$urit( and offi$er on the door for a$$ess to 9aborator( Si0. Has the *i$ti# been ID"d3+ Ai$ti# identifi$ation is not $onfir#ed.illingsl( began to run the $reature let out a delighted laugh. .+!anna bet3+ As . +A$&nowledged. Report to the !hitwood Center.illingsl( went down under hi# s$rea#ing. Shit. Re7uest that she #eet #e on s$ene as soon as possible. And dro*e faster and better.
+ 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.At his non$o##ittal sound she ga*e Roar&e a narrowed stare. Shit shit shit.ut we ha*e to $he$& out an( unauthori=ed a$ti*it(. He was heading down fro# the se$ond le*el east #o*ing fast in a &ind of%boogie.+ +Has Dete$ti*e -eabod( arri*ed3+ +No sir. . 1( $urrent orders are to re#ain on the door. Rosenthall"s lab. !ho found the bod(3+ +I did. The fa$e it"s well wre$&ed too. . Se$urit( 5ffi$er Tweed will ta&e (ou to the s$ene.+ +Send her in when she gets here. +Be( #e in Tweed then I"# going to want those dis$s.+ +I"ll ta&e $are of it.+ +And (ou"*e got hi# on dis$. She &nows the wa(.+ +?eah. . . The pla$e is wre$&ed 9ieutenant and there"s a bod(. It"s #ale but I $ouldn"t tell who it was. The other part figured so#ebod( was pla(ing a 'o&e.+ +And stand b( + she told hi#. I went up saw the lights were on in Dr. Rosenthall"s lab so I &e(ed in and I saw . +9ieutenant. Tweed3+ +This wa(.+ She nodded to the unifor# outside the lab doors.
. The originals. -art of #e was spoo&ed I ad#it.+ +/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.+ +5&a(. . He wor&s late a lot. !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. .+ +I &now the wa( too. +6or #ost people. I was doing a standard $a# sweep and I saw . And there"s blood e*er(where. a figure.
!hat does that #ean3 S#ell no e*il3 No that"s 'ust stupid. I had hi# start on Se$urit(. 1e#o to4 9t.+
.+ She too& a $an of Seal-It out of her &it used it tossed it to Roar&e.+ +!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. +!ow.+ +Then I"ll go hoo& up with Ian. Another da( another slaughter. And on the top in blood his #essage.+ +He #ight ha*e been lured here.+ -eabod( eased out a breath. +It"s . Dallas. ?ou"re nos( .S#ashed $o#ps la( on the floor on a sea of bro&en bea&ers dishes spe$i#en bowls.illingsl(.+ +His nose is gone.+ +How $an (ou be sure3+ +That"s the suit he had on this #orning. . The bod( la( fa$eup%what was left of the fa$e. !h( is he in the building and where"s Rosenthall3 I need to &now who &e(ed in before Se$urit(. ?ou"re wel$o#e.ut it"s late wa( after hours. He"s another floor up in the other wing.+ She turned as -eabod( $a#e in. I thought #a(be Roar&e would be here so we"d ha*e two e-#en on it. Nobod( li&ed hi# an(wa(. +This ta&es hi# off the suspe$t list.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.illingsl(K now (ou"re dead. To #e it sa(s nos(.+ +It sure is. .+ +I doubt he"d feel grateful.+ +?eah #a(be. Chaos. +1$Nab"s with #e. Sin$erel( Dr.+ +!ould (ou li&e #e to see to that area3+ +?eah that would sa*e ti#e.
oh 'ee=.i$&ford but it"s hard to tell. . +And3+ +He"s been stabbed a whole bun$h.oth insult and sul& piped through -eabod("s *oi$e.+
.+ +>ust here and there. The note"s addressed dire$tl( to (ou this ti#e so he &nows it"s our $ase%and that .+ +A #inus3+ .+ +I"d sa( A #inus. He"d $o#e if Arianna as&ed hi# but that puts her in this and it 'ust doesn"t fit well for #e. +That"s an A plus.+ +.+ +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. Hit -la(. He"s #issing his nose. He"s not going to do his $o#petitor an( fa*ors. He wanted a taste of flesh.P) + -eabod( $o##ented. +I see . +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 .+ )*e too& the $loned &e( $ard and re$order out of . +This ti#e blood wasn"t enough. 1a(be if Rosenthall as&ed hi# to $o#e in%but I don"t bu( it.illingsl( wasn"t a popular gu( around here. He"s a$$elerating + )*e $on$luded. 9et #e thin&.+ Despite the $ir$u#stan$es )*e s#iled a little.+!hat do (ou see3+ )*e as&ed -eabod( when the( were alone. . .illingsl( would be here. +>ustin Rosenthall.+ She s$anned again noted the open door on an e#pt( $abinet.+ +!hat does that sa( to (ou3+ +It"s another 7ui=.illingsl("s po$&et.illingsl( tried a little . It #ight e*en be #ore than . +Did the &iller wal& in on the *i$ or the other wa( around3+ +If this is e0tra $redit I want a re*iew of #( earlier grade.illingsl("s off the suspe$t list.+ To help herself do that -eabod( loo&ed awa( fro# the bod(. 1a(be around Arianna #a(be around so#ething else%so#ething lab related.illingsl( won"t be sniffing around an(#ore.+ +Teeth . -o&e his nose in. This ti#e I want a grade. . He and Rosenthall aren"t pals and this isn"t his area%not onl( se$tor-wise but professionall(. +I $an"t thin& wh( . It sa(s to #e .+ -ausing she #ade herself loo& at the bod( again. +He ate hi#.+ 5bser*ing and identif(ing the# now -eabod( swallowed hard. +I want A plus.+ +?a(.
It"s big enough for a #an to get through.illingsl( got so#e flesh too.ut $lassi$.illingsl( entered and T5D.illingsl("s lifeless hand. . It didn"t ta&e that long to &ill hi#. The &iller is alread( here %loo&ing for so#ething doing so#ething waiting for so#ething.illingsl( &e(s in using the du##( $ard and the re$order. !e"ll get DNA.illingsl(. +1$Nab"s wor&ing with Se$urit( + he told her. .+ +That"s a lot of ti#e between when .+ +T5D + -eabod( announ$ed before Roar&e $ould $o##ent +twel*e fift(.+ +I need the *entilation la(out.+ )*e loo&ed up as Roar&e $a#e ba$& in.+ +If there are bite #ar&s the( should get so#e sali*a and the i#pressions too + -eabod( began. He"s po&ing around.out at ele*en twent(-si0 e0$ept .+ 9oo&ing up she studied the open $eiling *ent.+ ---------------------------------------Chapter Q )*e put on #i$rogoggles for a better loo& before she bagged the hand.ut for now . . +!e got s&in under the nails.+ +Nos( be$o#es *er( apt.+ +6or us not for . The("*e got hi# on dis$ so we"ll be able to tra$& his #o*e#ents. .+ )*e held up an e*iden$e bag.illingsl(. +. Conta$t the sweepers and the 1) + )*e ordered then a*oiding blood and debris did another long stud( of the roo# wal&ed o*er to the brea& roo# area.illingsl(.+ +And see if one of our #ain suspe$ts shows so#e re$ent s$rat$hes. +9et"s *erif( ID get T5D. No one else entered the lab after the last log. +)*er(one in the lab logged out Rosenthall being the last at ele*en twent(-si0.+ +9ow te$h + Roar&e $o##ented. +There"s his a$$ess. +-eabod(. 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.+ +!ell he didn"t 'ust #ateriali=e. boost #e up. . Si0 digital lo$&s. +!e got better.+ )*e opened her field &it again $rou$hed b( the bod(.+ )*e lifted .illingsl( had a $lone swipe and a re$ording of Rosenthall"s *oi$e.+ +That"s a brea&. +.+
.illingsl( swiping in at that ti#e $learl( entering alone. No one e0ited until (our Dr. Chaos at one fifteen. The log shows Rosenthall swiping in again at twel*e oh-se*en but the dis$s show . /et us a warrant for these lo$&ers.illingsl( sees hi# and that"s the end of . +Tinted green flesh so that"s our gu(.+.
So#ething reall( good + she told Roar&e. I don"t li&e it.+ She 'u#ped down. . I see so#e s$uff #ar&s.+ She too& a penlight out of her po$&et shined it in the s&inn( *entilation tunnel. +H##3 Sorr(. The &iller wasn"t e0pe$ting $o#pan(.ut a defense attorne( would #a&e noises so a warrant &eeps it $lean. +-ops out + she $ontinued. +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.+ +5&a(. .+ +/ood thin&ing + )*e told her.+ -eabod( $a#e to the doorwa(. +Tight s7uee=e.
.illingsl("s a bonus round. !hen the #orgue gets here I want the s&in sent to the lab asap. Sweepers $ould find tra$es of the #a&eup. This gu( wor&s alone. .illingsl( got nos( then got dead. Through the health $enter area #a(be the *isitor"s lodging prett( #u$h an(where.+ +!h( didn"t he go out the wa( he $a#e in3+ +Too h(ped up fro# the &ill to $are + she $on$luded. S$oots and $rawls along.( then lea*ing where he"d be $aught on dis$%if he thought of it%'ust added so#e fun. !ith her foot in the ha##o$& of his hands )*e boun$ed up gripped the edge of the open *ent.erens&i wouldn"t drag hi#self to wor& in the #iddle of the night for less than a first$lass bribe. +She was about to $all #e a *er( bad na#e but I showed her the bod(. I want that DNA the sa#e wa(. He $a#e in for the seru# and he got it. 1a(be he initiall( planned to go ba$& out this wa(. +. So he logs out $o#es ba$& in so#ewhere else. I need so#ething for a bribe. +!as he #eeting .illingsl( here3 In it together there"s a disagree#ent death ensues.+ +Sti$&ler + he said and #ade her s#ile. +She"s all o*er the warrant. 9o$&ers bathroo#. +I tagged Cher Reo + she said spea&ing of the A-A. 9oo& at #e.+ Chief 9ab Te$h Di$& . +6or Di$&head. +?eah the grille"s in here.5bliging Roar&e hoo&ed his fingers together. +1a(be gets into his gear here.+ She set her hands on her hips turned a slow $ir$le. -ops out then %+ +Are (ou going to sol*e the $ase while I"# holding (ou off the floor3+ Roar&e wondered.
+!arrant"s in. She ordered #agnifi$ation ordered free=e repla(.+
. 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"ll tag hi# on the wa( to Se$urit(. -eabod( wait for the #orgue and the sweepers.+ He grinned. +An(wa( Dallas it loo&s real. So he didn"t put it on until after the &ill. And I want to &now as soon as the warrant $o#es through. I"ll start with one let hi# s7uee=e #e for the se$ond ti$&et% whi$h he will. 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.+ +Nothing about this gu( loo&s real + she $orre$ted. /lo*ed she noted with long sharp nails sli$ing through the tips. +?ou"re wearing that getup and tal&ing frea& show. I want to see those dis$s. +/otta be a new strain of Feus or so#ething li&e it. +)as( to find these pants in the dar&.+
In Se$urit( )*e studied the s$reen the #o*e#ent the fa$e.+ +!here*er it is%transpo in$luded.+ +The( blind the bad gu(s + he $lai#ed still grinning. +I want (ou to ta&e this in to )DD for a full anal. He loo&s real. It"s al#ost as if his whole bod("s dis'ointed. !hat is his deal3+ +Totall( frea& show + was 1$Nab"s opinion.+Two ti$&ets s&(bo0 first ga#e of the !orld Series with lo$&er-roo# passes.+ She #agnified again to stud( the hands.+ She loo&ed down at her $o# when it signaled. 9et"s open those lo$&ers.+ +)0$ellent but we"re still in pla(-offs. Along with so#e serious prostheti$s. I want that s&in hand-$arried to the lab. 5r he $an #anipulate it be$ause the bites had pun$ture #ar&s li&e those pointed in$isors he"s got. Nothing"s 7uite right about hi#.+ +Ni$e. )*e glan$ed at the e-#an and -eabod("s $ohab.+ +It"d be eas( to spot the# on 1ars in the night s&( with the na&ed e(e. +He $ouldn"t ha*e ta&en those bites out of the *i$ wearing that gear. Then went ba$& to the fa$e. The =ags were nu$lear blue. This gu( I #ean.
ut the("re flesh and blood. !ith Roar&e she headed straight ba$& to the lo$&ers. .+ She paused outside the door.+ +A$tuall( I was thin&ing of another $lassi$. +. He s#iled if (ou $an $all it that. -oli$e business #o*ed forward with sweepers and the dead $rew alread( at wor&. His 'aw shifted his #outh turned up. +1a(be%#a(be%there"s been so#ething going on in this lab that"s wha$&ed. And we"re going to sal*age Rosenthall"s re$ords and find out.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 the #ore hu#an fa$e is the real 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+ +. I also ha*e to agree with hi# that (our &iller doesn"t loo& as if he"s wearing a disguise.e$ause + she said as the( approa$hed the door +appearing and being are different things.+?ou"re not going to li&e this + Roar&e said as the( wal&ed ba$&. +. +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. The("re hu#an 'ust li&e the rest of us. It"s what"s inside the# that"s twisted.e$ause it"s a $o#bination. Disguise and so#e &ind of powerful drug.+ +How does he blin&3+ That put a hit$h in her stride. So#ething bot$hed.+ +?ou"*e got to la( off those old *ids + she $o##ented and led the wa( to the lab. And we both saw hi# $ontort his bod( in i#possible wa(s and #o*e at $onsiderable speed.+ !ith that thought planted in her head she wal&ed into the lab.ut I agree with 1$Nab. 1onsters e0ist + she added.+ +. H(de.
. This gu( isn"t so#e 6ran&enstein #onster. +!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. 1r.+ +So#ething I tr( to a*oid.+ +?eah I figure those pants $ould blind so#ebod( if the( stared at the# too long.+ He did ha*e a da#n good e(e she thought.
+ +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. So"s s$rewing up and lea*ing e*iden$e where it $an be found if that"s what it is. .#. )ither wa( with the weapon the DNA we"ll lo$& it down. +It"s sh( of fi*e a.+ She wal&ed out with Roar&e. Seal it up get the weapon ta&en to the lab for pro$essing. . +6ollowing the bread $ru#bs to /upta. .+ +Reads that wa(.+ +None at all + Roar&e agreed.+ +I ha*e e*er( faith.+ +He"s got this in the lo$&er but doesn"t use it. Ta&es $are not to be seen $o#ing in%but does #urder then shows hi#self. +It was all o*er hi# Dallas.+ -eabod( shoo& her head.+ +He lo*ed her%Darnell.ig $hun&( hun&s of bread. Bills . +No point in busting the# open sin$e (ou"re here. I"# going into the offi$e.+ +If (ou need the $ar I $ould%/uess (ou don"t + she added when a dar& li#o glided s#oothl( to the $urb.She thought of the destru$tion of the lab and the open unbro&en door of the seru# lo$&up.ut this is so da#n stupid so $areless.e$ause he wanted us here + -eabod( $on$luded. It shows so#e ni$&s and dents where it hit bone. +There"s still so#e blood so#e #atter. +!eighted it for e0tra pun$h. )*e too& out the sil*er pipe. +A fra#e-up if that"s what it is that"s hu#an. .
. As he #o*ed down the line of lo$&ers un$oding the lo$&s she $alled -eabod( in for the sear$h.+ +Now3 It"s .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.+ She $he$&ed the ti#e as the( stepped outside.+ +. It didn"t ta&e hi# long. He"s unstable and the drug #a&es hi# #ore so but he"s organi=ed.+ +He wouldn"t be the first to destro( what he lo*ed. And let"s ha*e all our pla(ers pi$&ed up brought in. No not $ru#bs. Steal the seru# b( unlo$&ing the $abinet rather than busting it up. +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. And hit pa( dirt in -a$hai /upta"s. 9o*e and grief all o*er hi#. 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. And he didn"t e*en $lean it thoroughl( + )*e noted.
Rather than his usual lab $oat he wore a #ulti$olored floral shirt that would ha*e #ade e*en 1$Nab win$e.+ +!h( is that #( proble#3+ +She"s on (our hair%first #urder%and (ou"re not going to li&e it. ?ou"ll set the healing on that ar# ba$&. Than&s for the bribe.+ +5h I"ll gi*e (ou so#ething.+ He tou$hed her $hee&.#. I thin& I $an handle so#e #urderous s$ientist.+ 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.efore I got here and found Harpo pulling an all-nighter.+ +!hat about #( s&in3+ +She goes first.+ He pla(ed his spider fingers o*er his $o#p. +!hat the hell are (ou wearing3+ +Clothes. I"# not offi$iall( on (et. A DNA #at$h will sa*e the inno$ent b(standers fro# a round in the bo0.+
.+I"# going to hit the lab first gi*e Di$&head a push. 888 Di$& .+ +That was before.+ +Tr( not to pun$h hi#. +She"ll $o#e out here. +. And I want that s$ot$h. And I want a bottle of single #alt s$ot$h for the ga#e.+ +Too #an( old horror *ids and an Irish nature. +Ta&e $are will (ou3 This one gi*es #e a *er( uneas( feeling.+ +Ne*er a proble#. 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.erens&i"s in& bla$& hair was sli$&ed ba$& o*er his eggshaped head.efore what3+ +.+ +!e alread( agreed to ter#s.+ +6ine fine if (ou gi*e #e so#ething I $an use.
+I got hair fro# (our $ri#e s$ene. /ot so#e not theirs but no roots. .+ Harpo pointed a finger tipped with a #etalli$ purple nail. +Ha*e (ou tried the new bla$& $herr( fla*or3+ -eabod( as&ed her.ut it"s not e0a$tl( hu#an and not e0a$tl( ani#al.ut I $an"t "$ause it"s not.Harpo all spi&( red hair and tired e(es wal&ed out fro# her se$tion into .+ +!hat do (ou #ean3+ +Sorr( I"*e been at this all night.erens&i"s. I"# prett( well hoo&ed on the 9e#on Fest. +?eah but it"s got an aftertaste. +5n one hand this is totall( i$ed. +.+ +It $an"t be both.+ +That"s right.oost. 5n the other it"s #a'orl( fu$&ed. It"s got a ni$e =ing. And I $ould%I figured an(wa(%gi*e (ou so#e basi$s.+ +I li&e . +?o + she said to )*e and -eabod( then dropped onto a stool. +I said (ou"d do it.+ +)0$use #e + )*e said brutall( polite.+ +If (ou sa( so. There"s so#ething about drin&ing blue that feels energi=ing. So no DNA for (ou on that but I started a standard anal. +!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.+ She glan$ed at .lue 9agoon. And I $an"t. It"s sort of both. ?ou want to eli#inate ani#al%li&e a rat or a stra( $at whate*er. +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.+ +Not what Harpo3+ +It"s not s(ntheti$. I"# the goddess of hair and fiber and if I $an"t ID it nobod( $an.erens&i. .+ She gestured with the 'u#bo tube in her hand before she too& a gulp. I"# a little wired on . So + she said swi*eling to )*e.+
. ID"d so#e fro# ea$h of (our *i$s no prob.+ +?eah (eah o&a(. +?ou tell her3+ she as&ed . That"s solid.ut it is. S(ntheti$ hu#an if it was treated $olor and li&e that.erens&i for per#ission then used one of the $o#ps to $all up her file.+ +!hat is3+ +The hair.
+ +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. DNA"s li&e nothing I"*e seen before and I"*e seen it all. Not all the wa(. ?ou got green s&in. It"s green down through the sub$utaneous tissue. I get what Harpo got on the hair. A $o#bination of hu#an and ape.
. 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(. +It"s red enough but it"s not hu#an.+S$ien$e sa(s. It s$rews up so#eti#es but it doesn"t lie. !hat (ou got here Dallas is #utant hair. 9oo& Dallas it"s not li&e I go running to Dadd( whene*er I hit a snag. 5n the ape hair the("re rough %the( li&e protrude. ?our *i$ got so#e blood along with the flesh and that"s not right either.+ +/i*e #e a brea& Harpo. +5&a( this is fro# (our $ri#e s$ene.ut I"*e got hair%fi*e sa#ples% that sa(s it is.+ . This sort of #utation shouldn"t be possible.+ +I &now that godda#n it.+ He sho*ed up sto#ped awa(. Not #a&eup not tinted.+ +5&a( Harpo o&a(.erens&i folded his ar#s.+ +/reen blood3+ )*e as&ed read( to be anno(ed all o*er again. So3+ +So this%+ Harpo added another i#age. !hat was his ta&e3+ +He"s stu#ped 'ust li&e #e. It"s li&e so#ebod( #ated a hu#an with an ape and here"s the hair of the result. About two this #orning I ga*e up and tagged #( old #an%+ +?our%+ +1( father"s head of forensi$s at Huanti$o. See on the hu#an hair the $uti$le s$ales o*erlap s#oothl(.+ +I #ean green. +?ou"*e got so#e #utant frea& running around &illing people. 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. I ran this through e*er(thing I"*e got and did the sa#e with the other strands the sweepers sent #e. . /et it3+ +5&a( (eah. It is what it is + he snapped out before )*e $ould protest. I want so#e fu$&ing $offee. It $learl( shows $hara$teristi$s of both%rough and s#ooth%on one strand. Sa#e result. +Harpo got what she got and I got what I got.+ +S$ien$e doesn"t lie.
. And one #ore bullshit.ut the("re the sa#e person.+ +Hu#an3 . . H(de + she #uttered. No wait Dr.+ +1r.ut the fa$e Dallas.ut it shouldn"t be a proble# to find so#e half-ape gu( with green s&in. >e&(ll"s the good part. . The( $reated a #onster%a &iller ape-#an #onster. And%+ +Don"t #a&e #e slap (ou. . +?ou &now Harpo"s solid. H(de. 9ouise said that $ould $ause a green $ast to the s&in. .ullshit.+ +That"s what I"# sa(ing.+
.+ +. . !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. So#ething unauthori=ed and twisted. He"s been hell to be around sin$e. 1( old #an he"d li&e to $onsult on this if (ou gi*e hi# the nod. H(de3+ -eabod( s$ooted up and o*er in her seat. It is what it is. He $an #at$h it if (ou get hi# the &iller"s. It"s so da#n girlie. !isel( -eabod( &ept her thoughts to herself. And now it"s bro&en out and wrea&ing ha*o$ on the $it(. +He hasn"t said it but we figure.+ She wanted to belie*e it was prostheti$s a de*i$e so#e sort of elaborate #as&. Right3+ +>esus + was all )*e $ould thin& of. And Di$&head"s a di$&head but he"s one of the best there is. . . +1a(be that"s not so far off. The("re doing so#e sort of weird e0peri#ents in Rosenthall"s lab. +The seru#.+His girlfriend du#ped hi# a $ouple da(s ago + Harpo said.ullshit.+ )*e s7uee=ed the bridge of her nose. +I don"t &now but we"re going to grill Rosenthall li&e a trout until he $lears this up. H(de"s the e*il one.+ +Not when (ou"re on the re$ei*ing end. She #anaged to be wise until the("d gotten ba$& in the $ar. It s$rews up the DNA $auses se*ere ane#ia. >e&(ll. ?ou get hair I $an #at$h it. . If the( both $o#e up with the sa#e results and reall( when (ou loo& at the &iller he"s 'ust not . +5h oh Rosenthall $reated the e*il Dr. 1r.ut he"s right.+ +)0peri#ents + )*e $ontinued.ut .+ +All the wa( down3+ +5b*iousl(. Rosenthall"s 1r. +I"# going to get DNA fro# the suspe$ts.
The( said )ton"s been #urdered.+ +So Rosenthall better + she said as she pulled into the garage at Central. Di$&erson had to wor& his wa( through push for s$holarships. It is a fra#e-up.+ +/od.+ +In >ustin"s lab3 . . . .+ +Ben Di$&erson.+ +.+D #inus and onl( be$ause (ou got the na#es right. He doesn"t want an(one else to ha*e what he"s got. It"s all his. !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.+ +That"s $orre$t. He destro(ed the lab too& the seru#. It #a&es hi# feel powerful free. +!e"ll ta&e hi# first. Di$&erson"s still an intern. /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. It #a&es hi# happ( and #ore he"s found out &illing #a&es hi# e*en happier.+ +!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. .+
.+ +Thin& about it. As )*e headed down to Ho#i$ide Arianna sprang up fro# a ben$h in the $orridor and rushed toward her. And /upta"s still ahead of hi#.+ -------------------------------------Chapter 1. !h( would Rosenthall &ill >ennifer Darnell%in that #anner3 That personal inti#ate #anner3 The &iller wanted her and $ouldn"t ha*e her. Rosenthall"s lab.a$& to -a$hai.ut when3 How3+ +Shortl( before one this #orning in Dr. Now #a(be he #o*ed she de$ided she wasn"t interested after all. /upta $o#es fro# a fa#il( of do$tors s$ientists and had a leg up sin$e his father &nows Rosenthall. And goll( where do we find one of the #urder weapons3 In /upta"s lo$&er%with blood and brain #atter still on it. +9ieutenant Dallas please $an (ou tell #e what"s happening3 The poli$e $a#e to #( ho#e this #orning.+ +It pla(s but it doesn"t e0plain the #utations.+ +/upta"s Rosenthall"s assistant. ?ou said he lo*ed her%and wit state#ents indi$ate she was interested.ut I don"t .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.
After >ustin. No. Re$ord on Dallas 9ieutenant )*e in Inter*iew with Dr. I as&ed hi# to $o#e ho#e with #e sta( with #e. >ustin #et #e out front.illingsl( $ase nu#ber H-GEOQO. I swear it. !hitwood to the lounge3 She $an wait there while we tal& to Dr. 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.+ As long as it ta&es )*e thought as she headed toward the first inter*iew roo#.+ +I"# also going to read (ou (our rights. He"s not in*ol*ed in >ustin"s wor&. The &iller #ust ha*e been after >ustin. )ton #urdered and in >ustin"s lab. I"# going to be tal&ing to Dr.+ +.ut what happened3 1( /od this is a night#are. +He was going to wor& late sta( in his offi$e again last night but I as&ed hi# not to. +So it"s true + he said +about . Rosenthall shortl(.+ +?ou left the Center together3+ +?es about ele*en thirt( I thin&. If he wants a law(er present he $an ha*e one. -eabod( wh( don"t (ou ta&e 1s. I &now people tal& about )ton being 'ealous of hi#. I wanted hi# with #e and I was upset enough that he ga*e in. -ro$edure. He shouldn"t ha*e been.+ +?es. He"s dead. The( 'ust said I had to wait. !e%/od it see#s $ruel now% we"d 'o&e about it so#eti#es. +How $an this be happening3 The( said we needed to $o#e here%>ustin and I. >ustin Rosenthall on the #atters of Darnell Ai0 and .+ +I"# sorr( it"s ta&en so long. . The( too& hi# so#ewhere else wouldn"t let #e sta( with hi#. Rosenthall"s lab at that ti#e of night3+ +No.+ +!as he3+ +?es but >ustin isn"t bothered b( it.+ +Did an(one sta( in the lab3+ +I don"t &now. ?ou $an"t belie*e >ustin had an(thing to do with this. !e were together all night.
. Rosenthall.+ As she did >ustin said nothing.+ +I understand.She $losed her e(es a #o#ent. I ha*e to re$ord this. It shouldn"t be long.+ +Do (ou &now wh( Dr.illingsl( would ha*e been in Dr. >ustin straightened in his $hair when )*e entered.GIOQE and )ton .+ Arianna rubbed a hand between her breasts ba$& and forth.i$&ford $ase nu#ber H.illingsl(. 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
Real progress is ris&( ta&es ga#bles.ut she still didn"t want (ou. ?ou"*e got ideas don"t (ou Ben3 Ideas about the seru#. . .+ )*e sat ba$& wat$hed hi# sweat a few #o#ents until -eabod( $a#e in with a tube of ginger ale. Did she $at$h (ou at it or did (ou tell her3 Had to brag about it. . Did (ou let her in3+ +!e"re not allowed to wor& in the lab off hours unless Dr. ?ou"re s#arter%I $an tell. Rosenthall"s there. +I don"t &now what (ou"re tal&ing about. To tell Rosenthall (ou were e0peri#enting with his wor& testing it and not on rats. And Rosenthall"s po&ing along with his (es-#an /upta getting all the attention%and the girl. !e"re going to get a sear$h warrant for (our apart#ent and we"re going to find (ours. The wa( I loo& at it things 'ust got out of hand out of (our $ontrol.+ +Suit (ourself. No *isible s$rat$hes she thought. . And when she $a#e ba$& in )*e thought she"d ta&e the tube%and ha*e his DNA.+ +She $a#e in the lab a lot didn"t she3 1a&ing e0$uses to drop in so she $ould see -a$hai. . !e"re going to find the pipe (ou used to beat Cob( Ai0 to death with. +Real inno*ation sa(s s$rew the rules.ut (ou $an show the# (ou"re better s#arter.+ . ?ou wor&ed harder I bet. Did she $o#e b( when (ou were wor&ing alone one night3 5ff the boo&s.ut (ou"*e got balls. . ?ou had a reall( bad rea$tion to the seru#. ?ou"re willing to ta&e so#e ris&s. +I bet (ou put in lots of (our own ti#e on that pro'e$t.alwa(s the wa(3 /ets to be Rosenthall"s head gu(%o*er (ou. Did >en find out (ou were ta&ing one3+ He &ept s$rat$hing swallowing loo&ing an(where but at )*e. It"s not right.+ )*e wa*ed the# awa(.
.+ +A# I3 S$ientists &eep re$ords. -ut in #ore hours. +?ou"re #a&ing all this up.+ She leaned forward.+ +Rules. Then%+ +?ou $an"t find the pipe at #( pla$e be$ause . 6lirted with hi# right in front of (ou. He $ould use that.ut he"d left his hair down o*er the ba$& of his ne$&. Rosenthall"s so $onser*ati*e su$h a sti$&ler for proto$ol pro$edure. Ha*e a drin& Ben ta&e a little ti#e to thin&.usting (our ass.+ He began to shi*er now as if $old e*en while the sweat dribbled down his te#ples.+ +I"# not sa(ing an(thing else. +-eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia entering Inter*iew. . 5ff the boo&s so to spea&.+ +!h( is that Ben3+ +I"# not tal&ing an(#ore.ut he too& the tube $ra$&ed it gu==led. In fa$t she threatened to tell on (ou if (ou didn"t stop.
Co#e to wat$h the show3+ +It"s usuall( worth the pri$e of ad#ission. And I thin& he dosed hi#self real good two nights in a row.
. +He loo&s li&e%+ +An addi$t 'onesing for a fi0. -eabod("s bringing Rosenthall into 5bser*ation in $ase we need an interpreter for the s$ien$e. !e"*e got enough for that. +Inter*iew pause.+ +He loo&s sweat( sha&( + -eabod( began outside the door. /o get hi# ta&e hi# to an obser*ation roo#.+ +I"*e got Di$&erson sweating in the bo0. Chaos to (ou. He"s either going to $ra$& or law(er up%that $ould go either wa(. I"# going to gi*e Di$&erson another $ouple #inutes. I"# about to go in for the se$ond round.+Thin& about it + )*e suggested. +Now we"re getting so#ewhere. +Dallas 9ieutenant )*e reentering Inter*iew.+ Roar&e plugged in $redits ordered her a tube of -epsi. His shoulders shoo&. 9iterall(. 9i&e (ou said if he gets into the s$ien$e Rosenthall $ould tell us what it #eans. He"s got logs and re$ords. >esus Ben #an up. !hen she stepped in Di$&erson was standing in the far $orner fa$ing the wall. It"s got hi# strung out. The #a$hines didn"t alwa(s $ooperate with her. Dallas 9ieutenant )*e and -eabod( Dete$ti*e Delia e0iting the roo#. That stupid $ape the glo*es the shoes #a(be the &nife and s$alpel. She"d thought little $ould genuinel( surprise her at this stage of her life and $areer but she fro=e in sho$&.+ She ar$hed her e(ebrows at the rough sound of his *oi$e.+ +That"s Dr. I thin& he"s been ta&ing the seru#%or a *ersion of it. She $ra$&ed the tube too& a long drin& then wal&ed ba$& to the inter*iew roo#. 9et"s get a sear$h warrant for his apart#ent.+ She $ould use a drin& herself )*e thought and ga*e Aending a hard e(e. Ha*e a seat Do$ and we"ll%+ He turned.+ +1a(be we should ha*e Rosenthall obser*e the ne0t round.+ +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. +9et #e do that. +Than&s.+ +/ood idea. He"s s$ared too.
Right left right again.+ She heard the snap and $ra$& of #igrating bones as his spine see#ed to warp. It slowed hi# $aused hi# to stu#ble but he $a#e on.+ 6a$e $old and fier$e Roar&e ra##ed his fists into the twisted fa$e. His teeth sharpenedK his e(es protruded and bulged in their so$&ets and began to glea# red. +And I"# not a #an. I"# so #u$h stronger now. He $ried o*er the girl but he en'o(ed &illing . ?ou"re s#art. 9et"s #o*e. Then he s#iled. -eabod( &eep (our weapon on hi#. +!hat (ou are is under arrest. Roar&e rushed in steps ahead of -eabod( and a swar# of $ops. The wea& and brea&able Di$&erson. +I want leg irons + she $alled out. There was too #u$h ani#al in hi# not to. Chaos whirled snarled%'ittered fro# the stun strea#s. +5ooh it ti$&les.+ He leaped at her. All of (ou. !ea& and brea&able. The door burst open.+ +I $an"t die. +>esus Christ >esus Christ >esus Christ. .+
.+ +Not for #u$h longer.+ She pulled her weapon. 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. +/o down (ou fu$&. Si$&l( green it twisted itself until the 'aw lo$&ed at a grotes7ue angle. .+ )*e shouted. !e"re going to $ar*e out (our heart and eat it. +I want hi# sha$&led in a $age before he $o#es to. This ti#e when she fired he 'er&ed. +Allow #e.+ He would atta$& again she thought.illingsl(.ut (ou $an.ut not prett(. She got a strea# off was sure she stru$& #idbod( but he was so fast. ?ou"re an inse$t to #e. . +?ou"re in the #iddle of Cop Central.+ +He"s still in (ou.+ She fired again &ept firing. +I"# a god. Isolation. He $areened off bloodied and ni#ble as a spider.+ +So I see. )*en if (ou get through #e (ou won"t get out.elie*e #e + her partner responded.+ +.+ )*e #uttered the oaths% pra(ers%as she snapped on restraints. ?ou"ll die here. He"ll en'o( &illing (ou. +Now.His fa$e rippled in front of her e(es.lood strea#ing bod( spas#ing Chaos went down.
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#. She was bla$&-and-white on it.+ ----------------------------------------)pilogue )*e found hi# waiting in her offi$e settled in her ratt( *isitor"s $hair with his --C. And he( than&s for the assist + she added as she #o*ed aside to let so#e of the #en lift Chaos. +Ah well. Rosenthall"s with hi# now%prett( #u$h $rushed.+ +And that onl( #ade hi# ta&e #ore.+ )*e dropped down at her des&.+ +It"s ne*er 'ust about $losed $ases for (ou. So#ething he $ouldn"t $ontrol. +No. And now we"ll ha*e fi*e bodies. Now he"s d(ing be$ause he unleashed so#ething in hi#self that per*erted what he was what he wanted.ut he wasn"t a #urderer.+Are (ou hurt3+ Roar&e gripped her hand as she rose. 5r not until he started ta&ing the seru#.+ Roar&e sat on the $orner of her des& fa$ing her. The("re not going to be able to sa*e hi#.+ +She would ha*e re$ogni=ed the addi$tion + Roar&e $on$luded. Instead she disappro*ed told hi# he had to go to Rosenthall had to stop.+ +6our people slaughtered. +?eah I"d sa(. He 'ust didn"t &now it. Had to hope she"d see how spe$ial he was and want hi# the wa( he wanted her. And he"s got a brain tu#or for good #easure. !hat he be$a#e was as addi$ted to &illing as Di$&erson was to the seru#. He was so proud had to show off. I"ll be ba$&. He"d i#pro*ed it so he thought.+ +?eah.+ +I"# tr(ing to be sorr( as (ou see# to be.+
. Roar&e wat$hed her go then glan$ed down at his raw &nu$&les. . +He"s d(ing. To pro*e to her he was better than -a$hai better e*en than Rosenthall. His *ersion of it. If he didn"t tell his boss she would be$ause he was #a&ing hi#self si$& she said. Di$&erson"s barel( able to tal& but we got all we need to $lose the $ases. +1ultiple organ failure% 9ouise had that one.+ +He was an idiot%Di$&erson. Di$&erson was dead the first ti#e he too& the seru#. >ealous a#bitious re$&less.+ +He pro#ised he"d do what she said then in$reased the dose. He as&ed Darnell to $o#e into the lab. I"*e got to get hi# $ontained. +He would ha*e &illed (ou. 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.
He &new what he"d done. +?ou"*e had it $radled sin$e (ou sat down.+ She glan$ed down saw he was right.+And Chaos was born.+ +Sap. ?ou finished hi# off real ni$e. I"ll ta&e (ou to lun$h% whene*er. I don"t &now wh(. +Alwa(s. He 'ust $ouldn"t fa$e it on one side $ouldn"t gi*e it up on the other. I saw what he was or what he was be$o#ing.+ +I"d stunned the shit out of hi# + she began.+ +I guess that"s true enough. He sa(s he thought the #urders were a drea# a hallu$ination. !e #issed brea&fast altogether.+ He laughed &issed her again.+
. +I guess it too& a &no$& in there.+ +I &now what that #eans.+ She finished off her $offee set it and the sadness aside. +I don"t. +I"d 'ust stepped into 5bser*ation when he turned around.+ +6riendship and be$ause (ou &now she"ll be fair and a$$urate.+ +?ou don"t belie*e that.+ +)*e. !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$e. Di$&erson told us . +And (eah he #ight"*e gotten a pie$e of #e an(wa(. ?ou don"t ha*e to wait around.+ +No + she $onfir#ed.+ Roar&e started to $orre$t her then shrugged.+ +And this $ase is $losed. Tag #e when (ou"re done. And when we get ho#e tonight we"ll ta&e $are of that ar#. I"ll lea*e (ou to it then find #(self a spot to finish a bit of business. I"ll wait for (ou.illingsl( was tr(ing to ha$& into Rosenthall"s $o#puter when he got to the lab.+ +!ell then (ou"d loosened the lid.+ +/uilt(. +I need to write it up and I pro#ised Nadine I"d gi*e her a head start.+ He tou$hed the shagg( tips of her hair.+ +The green-s&inned #onster.+ +I $an grab so#ething.+ +>ealous( again.+ He leaned forward tou$hed his lips to hers. +!ell in this $ase. I didn"t &now if I"d get there get to (ou in ti#e.
.efore the wor& she rose wal&ed to her s&inn( window. +?ou too.+ +Sounds good. And stood awhile holding *igil for the d(ing.+ And it did she thought when he"d left her to find his 7uiet spot. She loo&ed out at New ?or&%safe for the #o#ent fro# one of the #onsters who hunted.+ +Then we"ll ta&e $are of ea$h other.She released it too& his hand to e0a#ine his &nu$&les.