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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:23 am 
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Prologue
923 Beecham Drive

"P-please?” the girl murmured as she looked upwards in to the icy eyes of the Master. He grinned at her—such innocence and intensity in those large blue eyes. The slight tremble in her voice made him shiver with power. He reached down and ran a hand over her dark hair. She closed her eyes tightly, her breath coming in short, rapid bursts. “…please…” she whispered again.

He loved to hear her beg. It made him feel superior in every way. He allowed a finger to trail along her jawline, then down her neck to her breast. He watched as girl squirmed under his touch and the corners of his mouth tugged into a smile. “Not yet…” his voice came heavily. “You’re not ready yet.” He caressed her arm, lifting it above her head and fastening the restraint around her wrist, then did the same with the other hand. “Not yet…” he continually muttered. The girl struggled against the restraints; he grinned. Struggling only made the ending so much more…satisfying. He turned his back to her to fetch one of his many toys, and, to his surprise, found himself falling forward. With a bit of effort, the girl had pulled herself up and planted her feet firmly against his back, pushing him forward. His shelf of toys collapsed and his precious pieces went flying everywhere. His eyes narrowed and rage flew through his veins—but only for the moment. The flash of fire faded to a sneering smirk. He pushed himself to his toes, then stood to his feet in a rather fluid and dexterous motion. He grinned and turned to the pretentious pet. “That…was naughty, my dear. I will have to punish you.” He picked up the flogger and took slow measured steps toward his plaything. Grinning, he leaned down and shoved his face mere centimeters from hers. She swallowed hard and her breaths came more rapidly—as if anticipating the punishment. He grinned wider, cocked his head slightly, then kissed her cheek before spinning the rack around so that her back was to him.

The unearthly screams lasted only a few minutes. Then all was silent.

_________________
Love & Celestial Kisses,

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:24 am 
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Chapter 1

WAHK WAHK WAHK WAHK!

The very annoying sound of a very loud alarm clock startled Detective Casey Marshall from his very amazing dream. “Uhn…” he moaned as his large hand heavily slammed against the snooze button. He looked to his right, then closed his eyes, deflating slightly. Jess wasn’t there. Then he remembered.
She’d been murdered.

He’d taken a vow to protect the citizens of the city and yet, he couldn’t protect the most important one—Jess Marshall, his beloved wife of ten years; Jess Marshall, mother to his unborn son; Jess Marshall, District Attorney. Well, maybe not that last part. She would have been, though, if the diseased sociopath hadn’t gotten to her. He let out a deep sigh and rolled over. “God, I miss you, Jessy.” He picked up the picture frame and stared at their wedding picture. She was so beautiful—vibrant dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, and a smile that illuminated every room into which she entered. She had a contagious personality, full of life and energy. When he found her on the floor of the basement, however, all twisted and bound and bloody, something inside of him died. His love and zest for life disappeared. Nothing was worth doing without her in his life.

So, he did the only thing he could think of to do—he threw himself into his work. He tried to stay out of her case, but he couldn’t. He kept pulling out the crime scene photos and staring at them—and when more victims began surfacing, Marshall knew there was a serial out there in the great, vague direction of the city. The ominous shadow of Death stalked the streets, seeking its next victim. And Marshall was having a heck of a time keeping pace; it always seemed the Death Knight was one step ahead of him. Now, it was 5:00 AM and he had to drag his butt to work to delve into more crime scene photos, more victimology, more puzzle pieces. It was like the serial was daring him.

He finally crawled out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. He was just about to step into his nice, hot shower when his cell phone rang. “Oh, c’mon!” he growled. He looked at the number—it wasn’t one he recognized. “If it’s important, they’ll leave a message,” he muttered as he stepped into the tranquility of the steamy shower. Within a few moments, the phone went off again, signaling a call. Marshall ignored it. If it was work, they knew he was coming; if it was a creditor, they knew the money was on the way; if it was a telemarketer, he didn’t want to talk to them, anyway. Finally, the phone buzzed with the “you have new voicemail” tone. He leaned his forehead against the wall, allowing the hot water to run over his back. He watched it fall and roll toward the drain, then closed his eyes, imagining the horror of the blood bath Jess had to have endured.

He pushed himself off the wall and spun around, turning off the shower. He slid open the door and stepped onto the bath mat, grabbed his towel and began to dry himself. He stared at his phone for a moment, then finally picked it up. He scrolled to the missed call section and checked—sure enough, the same number called twice. He sighed and dialed into his voice mail.

All he heard were blood-curdling screams.

_________________
Love & Celestial Kisses,

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:26 am 
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Chapter 2

Panic set in—and even though he had dried himself off, he found himself completely soaked again. As the screams died away, he heard a familiar voice. His stomach pitted and he felt the rage and anger build. “Hello, Casey—too busy to take my call? Imagine what you could have done if you’d have an—“ he quickly hung up. What a way to start off the morning. He pulled on his clothes, swallowed a donut and grabbed his mug of coffee, keys, badge, gun, and headed out the door.
Once in the car, he dialed his voicemail again and listened—this time, listening for clues. Once he managed to get through the message, he called the station, “Hey, Max, it’s Casey.”

“Hey, Case. Where the hell are you?”

“On my way to a fresh scene,” he glibbed.

“Come again?” Max inquired with confusion.

“What part didn’t you understand, Max?”

“The part where you said you were on your way to a fresh scene. What fresh scene? We didn’t get any phone calls about any fresh sce---“ Max was interrupted by a young deputy. “…really? Okay, Casey, I’ll meet you there.” Max hung up and Casey sighed.

As he pulled his black cruiser into the drive way, he had a rush of déjà vu, like somehow he’d been here before. His keen, blue eyes narrowed as his heavy brow furrowed in deep thought. The corners of his mouth pulled downward until he finally shook out his head and shrugged. With a bold step, he proceeded forward. The forensic team hadn’t arrived just yet and he knew that he shouldn’t disturb the crime scene. He sighed and waited on the sidewalk, staring—wondering.
“Why did he call me?” he wondered aloud. “Why did he take the time to dial my number—not once, but twice? And why leave a message?” He mused over these questions as black SUV’s began to circle into the driveway and surrounding street.

“Detective Marshall,” a female voice crooned, startling him from his thoughts. “Excuse me, Detective?”

“Hmm? Oh, yes? I’m sorry,” he stammered.

The woman chuckled, “I just need to get by, Detective.”

“Of course, of course,” he said, bowing her towards the house. She grinned and chuckled, shaking her head as she walked forward. She was tall and lean, looking more like an actress than a crime scene investigator, but to each his own, Marshall thought. Perhaps someone from Hollywood would end up here and catch a glimpse of her and make some reality show out of her work. The real CSI or something. He watched her walk toward the house, but didn’t catch her glance over her shoulder at him. The brunette just smirked and turned back toward the door.

“Her name is CSI Sam Matthews,” another familiar voice spoke in a mock sultry tone. It made Marshall cringe.

“Guh! Max! Why do you gotta interrupt me when I’m thinkin’?”

“Because you ain’t thinkin’ about the job, man,” Max smirked. “You’re thinkin’ about after hours.”

Marshall rolled his eyes. “Max, I’m married.”

“Yep. To a memory, Case. Let ‘er go. Let Jess go.”

“Can’t,” Marshall glumed. “I just can’t believe she’s gone. You know she was pregnant, right?”

Max sighed. He shouldn’t have brought it up, but he did and now he’d have to listen to his partner relive every moment of their lives together. If the death had been fresh, that would have been one thing—but it had been five years. Through it all, though, Detective Maxwell Brown stayed with him. They were like brothers—had been through a lot together. In fact, they were brothers of a sort. Jess—short for Jessinia—and Araceli, Max’s wife, were sisters. Araceli had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, Casey and Jessinia were there to help them through the dark times. Araceli had been the older of the two sisters. She and Jess cried the day they received the notice and Jess did her best to make sure her big sister was as comfortable as possible. Who knew that Jess would be taken from the world before her sister. Even Max found the whole thing to be unfair. Araceli was a fighter, but the past two years without her had been nothing if not difficult. Still, he had managed to come to terms with it all and let her go. Casey Marshall needed to do the same. “Yeah, Case. I know. Daughter. You were going to name her Marigold or somethin’ like that.”

“Maribel Rose,” Case voiced distantly. “Her maternal grandmother’s name was—“

“Maribel Hernandes. And her paternal grandmother’s name was Rose Cavandaugh. I know, Casey. You’ve got to let it go. Haven’t you been going to the psychiatrist?”

“Yeah,” Marshall sighed. “Yeah, I have. Dr. Morrisson says the same thing.”

“Maybe you should listen.”

They stood in silence for a few moments. Then the future reality star exited the house and gave the all-clear. She gave a compassionate smile to Marshall who returned the smile in a half-hearted manner. The woman retreated into the house as Marshall and Brown headed for the door. “It’s a bloody mess in here, boys,” Matthews called. “Watch your step.”

The two men looked at each other. Max grinned; Marshall quirked an eye brow. They looked back at the house and entered. Once away from the sanity of the outside, the madness of the scene accosted their vision and nearly took their breath away. “Ho. Ly. Sh—“

“Shine a light over here,” Matthews cut off. Obediently out of reflex, Max shined a light where she was pointing. “Thanks. I need two hands to do this and I can’t hold the flashlight in my teeth—I don’t care what the TV says, it doesn’t work that way.”

Max grinned. He looked over at Marshall, but Marshall was transfixed by the sheer amount of gore. “Something’s not right here,” he stated flatly.

“What was your first clue, Einstein?” Max joked. “The blood? Or the body?” He nodded in the direction of the lifeless body, hanging by an ankle.

“More like the lack of anything else in here. No one lived here. This was just…I dunno,” he ran his hand through his dirty blond hair and sighed. “Something’s just not right.” Carefully, he walked toward the body. It was nude and suspended from the ceiling by the right ankle, the other leg splayed open. Pieces of flesh were missing from various portions of the body; long knife marks ran along the arms and legs, rib cage, abdomen, vagina, collar bone, and cheek bones. The girls’ eyes were wide open, frozen with horror and pain. She’d been tortured, BTK style. He stared at the body for a moment, then followed the leg down to the hip. There, carved into the flesh, was a message—a message meant for him: PS I ♥ U. Where the heart was, the flesh had been removed.

Marshall nearly fell backward. “Jesus!”

Max turned to him, as did CSI Matthews. “Everything okay, Casey?” Max asked.

“This guy’s a moth—“ he paused and glanced at CSI Matthews who merely quirked a brow. “Monster.” He tossed a point in the general direction of the girl’s hip and the cryptic message.

“Hmm,” CSI Matthews verbalized. “BTK style, eh? Haven’t seen that in a while.” She took a photo of the letters and symbol, then cut the girl down for dignity’s sake. She glanced at the two detectives, her gaze lingering a bit on Marshall before exiting towards the SUV.

“She likes you,” Max smirked.

“What?” Marshall frowned and looked up. “Who?”

“Sam.”

“Sam?”

“The CSI chick? Ya know, ‘Miss Future Reality Star’?”

“Oh, her…” Marshall finally responded. “Not my type.”

“Really. Not your type. So, you don’t go for Spanish-looking women, huh.”

“No.”

“Really. Jess was just an accident?”

“No…” he paused and stared at the mutilated body. “Jess was perfect. An angel. Sam’s … not her. I’m not interested.”

“Hey, man,” Max stopped him, putting his hand on Marshall’s shoulder. “No one’s gonna be Jess.”

_________________
Love & Celestial Kisses,

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:31 am 
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Chapter 3

“Cause of death, Murph,” Sam interrupted. “I don’t care about the technicalities, I’m on a deadline. So, spare me the lectures and bottom line it.”

Dr. Leonid Murphy looked like a scolded puppy when Sam spoke. He frowned slightly and then looked back at the body. “As I was trying to say, there’s no single cause of death.”

“Great. Stoppage of the heart works for me,” Sam turned on her heels to leave. Dr. Murphy stopped her.

“Wait, wait. If you need something official right now, then my best statement would be exsanguinations.”

Sam gave a cute smile as her eyes sparkled. “Thanks, Murph!” She turned on her heel and bopped out of the morgue. Dr. Murphy sighed. “…in addition to exsanguinations, I would assume the punctured lung and internal bleeding had a bit to do with it, as well as the complete and utter shock she would have gone into…but, I don’t suppose you care too much about that.”

“I do,” Marshall grinned. “I like your thought pattern and wish to subscribe to your newsletter, Doc.”

“Ah, hello Detective Marshall,” Dr. Murphy grimaced. “How can I mystify you today?”

“Always so snarky, Doc,” Marshall grinned. “What did I ever do to you?”

“Not any one thing, Dr. Murphy smirked impishly.

Dr. Murphy and Detective Marshall went back. Way back. To high school. The two were very good friends—in fact, Murphy was a star football player and Marshall had been a bookworm. Marshall craved knowledge and, although he joked with Murphy about not understanding him most of the time, actually knew more about the human anatomy than Murphy. Which was why Murphy was constantly annoyed with him. “Excellent! So, tell me about all this stuff here. What’s that, the spleen?” Marshall pointed towards the liver.

Dr. Murphy gave him a dry look. “The liver. What do you really want?”

“What do I really want, Leo? Let’s see. Peace on Earth, goodwill to men’s a good start. I wanna know, Leo, why this jack-off called me. I wanna know why he carved that message on this poor girl’s leg. I wa—“

“You want to know motive. You don’t want to know who this, as you so eloquently called him, ‘jack-off’ is. You just want to know why he’s doing it.”
“No, I’m pretty certain I wanna know who the bastard is.”

“Do you?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“Leo. I’m positive.”

“Then, Casey, you must have forgotten how to do your job. You come down here and tell me how to do my own, but I have yet to reciprocate. Today, I’m taking that moment.” Marshall looked at him curiously. “Start with the victim. Perhaps you should ask Why this girl, instead of why this message.”
“It’s the guy who killed Jess, I know it is.”

Leo sighed. “Casey. She’s gone. She’s been gone for five years. You need to let her go and let her be gone. This girl is not her.” They both looked down to the victim. She had an olive complexion; almond-shaped eyes; and long, dark hair. In fact, were this girl’s eyes brown instead of blue, she almost could have been Jess’ twin.

Casey sighed again and ran a hand through his hair. “Why this girl?”

“There! You may be on to something…” Dr. Murphy grinned.

Marshall glared side-long at his old friend. “Shut up.” Dr. Murphy merely laughed. Marshall went back to staring at the girl. “Look at her, Leo. She looks almost exactly like Jess. This has to be the same guy.”

“You’ve been chasing that ghost for a while, Marsh,” the effervescent CSI Matthews stated, re-entering autopsy. She looked to Dr. Murphy, “Did you happen to find any trace? I’m looking for something specific from the pictures.”

“He’s not a ghost,” Marshall responded, unheard under her request to the Medical Examiner. He straightened himself and put his hands on his hips, staring at the CSI. She looked from Dr. Murphy to Detective Marshall, then grinned quirkily.

“Right. He’s not a ghost. You’re just a poor detective if you haven’t caught him after five years.”

“Hey!” Marshall was about to counter, but she just shrugged.

“Disagree if you want. You can believe he’s a ghost or you can believe you’re not doing your job. Frankly, I’d rather believe that you’re the best detective on the force and that you’re chasing a ghost than dare to believe you’re incompetent.”

Dr. Murphy blinked.

Detective Marshall blinked.

CSI Matthews grinned. “I knew I could leave you speechless. I’ll make it up to you—how about dinner tomorrow night?”

Dr. Murphy blinked.

Detective Marshall blinked, jaw falling open.

“It’s a date,” Dr. Murphy answered for his friend. “He’ll pick you up at 7pm.”

CSI Matthews smiled. “How about we just leave after our shift tomorrow. Saves having to run all over town. I’ll make the reservations.” She turned on her heel and walked out of the morgue towards the lab—never having gotten any trace.

After a long moment, Detective Marshall looked at Dr. Murphy. “You never gave her any trace.”

“That’s because I’d given it to her when she was down here earlier.”

“So…what was the—“

“Casey,” Dr. Murphy interrupted harshly. “Are you really that dense? Or did you suddenly drop 100 points of IQ?”

Detective Marshall blinked, starring at Dr. Murphy. He then turned to the door, staring at the area through which Samantha Matthews had just disappeared, then quickly looked back to Dr. Murphy, a look of utter surprise on his face. Before he could say anything, Dr. Murphy spoke up, “Yes. You were just asked out by a woman.”

“I…but… I’m …. I can’t…” he stammered.

“You. You are not. You can and you will,” Dr. Murphy stated, putting both hands on Marshall’s shoulders and flashing him a grin. “Or I’ll beat the living shit out of you.”

_________________
Love & Celestial Kisses,

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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onjeleekah & Dhegso | Minecraft: Kryssieness
Twitter: @Kryssieness | Facebook: Angelkins | Skype: crymson_fate | YIM: fair_hero | Steam: Angelcakes
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:32 am 
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Chapter 4

Marshall couldn’t wait for his day to be over—and it was only 8am. The KISS song, “Beth,” began playing in his head—he used to call and sing it to Jess on nights he’d have to stay late. She was such a positive person—she would chuckle and smile and tell him it was okay. She tell him that it was what she expected when she married him. And then she’d tell him she was staying late at the firm, anyway. She was an amazing attorney—not like the sharks out there. Jess worked pro bono most of the time and treated every single client like they were her only one and they were paying her a million bucks. “Who’s going to take care of them? They have rights, too, and just because they can’t afford Shaprio, Cochran, or Geragos doesn’t mean they should a half-ass legal counsel.” Jess was such a passionate person—she gave a voice to those whose voices would not be silenced, to those who traditionally had no voice. In a lot of ways, what they did was very similar. She gave a voice to the surviving victims; he gave a voice to the dead ones.

Except for Jess. He’d never been able to give her a voice. He tried. He tried so very hard. He sat at his desk, staring at her picture. His sharp blue eyes softened for a moment and brimmed with tears. Then, as if someone had opened the floodgate, he lowered his face to his hands and wept bitterly. “God damn it, Jess! Why? Why us?” With a growl of anger, he swept his arms across his desk, knocking pencils, files, and papers everywhere. He sat back down, defeated, and buried his face in his hands once more. “It’s not fair…” he muttered. He was so lost in his grief, he hadn’t noticed CSI Matthews in the doorway. She watched him for a few moments, then softly began picking up papers and files. Marshall didn’t look to see who it was. He just assumed it was Max. “Just leave it, Max. I’ll get it.”

“Sorry to disappoint you,” the feminine voice startled Marshall and he jumped a bit in his seat, turning to look at her, blinking. She just grinned, “…but, as you can see, I’m not Max. Close, though. I’m Sam.”

“You’re hardly close to Max. Trust me. I’d rather look at you than his ugly mug,” he smirked a little.

“I will take that as a compliment, Detective,” she grinned.

“That’s how it was meant. Why wouldn’t you take it as such?”

“It was a little leering, but given your current state of mind…” she smiled softly and put some files back on his desk. “Everything okay, Casey?”

He let out a long sigh, gripping his desk as he did so. “The truth?”

“Always best.”

“No. No, nothin’s fine.”

“Need to talk?” She helped herself to an edge of his desk. He stared at her rear leaning on the edge, then looked up at her eyes.

“I don’t got a choice, do I?”

She wrinkled her nose and smiled, “Not really. Spill it.”

“I spill it to the shrink every week.”

“Yeah, but you’re paying the shrink for advice. I’m just here to listen as a friend.”

Friend. He tried to count how many of those he had left—just Max & Leo. And Max was family. “Not a good idea to be friends with me.”

“Why’s that?”

“Somethin’ bad always happens. I’m surprised nothin’s happened to Max or Leo yet.”

She chuckled, “Well, don’t jinx ‘em, Fatalist.”

He let out a sighing chuckle and dared to smile. “Good point.” He paused a moment. “Did you need something?”

“Just to see you,” she smiled.

“See me? Why?”

She blushed faintly and looked up at the ceiling, “Wow, and I thought I was being obvious.” He looked at her cluelessly. “Max said you’d be hard to get to.”

Marshall took a quick glance around the room. His blinds to the office were closed, the blinds to the outside world were open—but they were on the 7th floor—his door was shut, blinds drawn; she was sitting on his desk within stabbing distance. “Hard to get to?” he offered a query.

She chuckled, “Yes. How obvious do I need to be? Spell it out?” He just stared at her, blankly. She sighed and smiled, then grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. “Fine. Here.” She scrawled something on the paper and handed it to him. “I’ll see you tomorrow night after work for dinner. Don’t forget, okay! I’d be devastated.” She gave him a smile and opened the door, walking toward the lab. He watched her walk away, still wondering exactly what happened.

After a few moments, he realized he was clutching a piece of paper. He swallowed and opened his hand to look at it. His face blanched when he read the note. He looked back at the open doorway, then back at the note, then shoved the note deep within the bowls of his pants pocket. He quickly stood from his chair, grabbed his jacket and headed for the breakroom—which is where he knew he’d find Max. Max was rarely in their shared office.

“What in Dante’s nine hells are you doing?!” He inquired with quiet intensity.

Max spun to face him, eyes wide. That’s when Marshall noticed Shirlie from accounting hiding behind Max. Her blouse was open a little lower than normal and her hair was a little mussed. Marshall narrowed his eyes and looked around the empty breakroom. With confusion mixed with understanding, he looked back at Max. “Shirls, amscray,” Marshall quipped, his eyes focused on a now very sheepish Maxwell Brown. Shirlie quickly buttoned the top few buttons of her blouse and moused out of the room.

Max lifted his hands in protest and defense, “Now, now Case, calm down. We’re both consenting adults.”

Casey narrowed his eyes, “What? Who? Shirlie? I don’t care what or who you do, Max. What I care about is why you’re enabling a stalker!”

Max stared at Casey in utter confusion. “What? Me? Enabling a stalker? You’re going off the deep end, here, Case. Back up and tell me what you’re talking about.”
“I’m talking about this!” He thrust the note Sam penned for him into Max’s face. “This note. This … evidence!” Max snatched the paper out of his hands and read it, then stared at Casey.

“You need to take a break, man. Go see Dr. Morrisson,” his friend said solemnly.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“Casey, what does this say?” Max held the paper in front of Casey’s eyes. His eyes scanned the letters. He stared at the paper, then looked at Max, then back to the paper. “Read it out loud, Case.”

Casey fidgeted. He swallowed and looked up at the ceiling, then back to the paper. “It says…” he began, “…’I like you. Sam.’”

“Right. ‘I like you. Sam.’ Clearly, she had to spell this out for you because you’re too caught up in what you had with a dead woman. I’m going to say this one last time, Casey. Let. Jessinia. Go. Let the case go, let her go. You need to be in the present. There are people here who love you—and one very pretty Spanish Angel who’s willing to wait on you as long as you need. Frankly, I think she’s a fool for that. I wouldn’t wait for you—and I’ve known you longer!”

Casey stared at Max for a long moment. “Spanish Angel?” he asked in confusion.

“Yes. CSI Samantha Matthews is Hispanic. Her mom’s maiden name was Gonzalez. You hadn’t noticed?”

Marshall felt like his world was collapsing around him. Clearly, he’d been awoken too early in the morning to deal with all that had happened in the last 3 hours. “Right. She’d come to my office…something about dinner tomorrow night. Did I agree to dinner?”

“Casey. Go see Dr. Morrisson. Now.”

Marshall stared at Max, looked to the floor, then back at his friend, nodded once, then turned on his heels and headed out the door toward the elevator. He punched the button to call the car and once safely within the box, he punched the button for floor 14—even though he knew it was really floor 13, but superstitions never allowed for a 13th story. The bell dinged and he rode up six stories to Dr. Morrisson’s floor. He wasn’t surprised when the receptionist said the doctor was waiting for him.

_________________
Love & Celestial Kisses,

Image

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onjeleekah & Dhegso | Minecraft: Kryssieness
Twitter: @Kryssieness | Facebook: Angelkins | Skype: crymson_fate | YIM: fair_hero | Steam: Angelcakes
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am 
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Skype: crymson_fate
Twitter: Kryssieness
Chapter 5

An hour later, Detective Marshall walked out of Dr. Morrisson’s office revived. He felt much better—hypnotherapy, the doctor called it. Whatever it was, it was working. He felt calm and relaxed and felt like nothing could interfere with his great mood. He’d seen a movie like that once—Office Space, was it? Yeah, that was it. He identified with Peter, despite the lack of working in a true office environment. He could name everyone in the film with people in his office. He was Peter, Max was Samir, Leo was Michael Bolton—or was Leo actually Melvin? He couldn’t decide.

His recasting of the classic was interrupted by a thunk of paper landing on his desk. He looked up to see the Chief of Police, Dale Castenada, standing next to him—Chief of Police, his own personal Lumburgh. He could almost hear the grating, “Casey! Whaaat’s happ’ning. I’m gonna have to go ahead…and ask you to come in on Sunday…mkay? Thaaanks.” He shuddered.

“Everything alright, Marshall?” the Chief asked, his voice heavy with evidence of his Chicago roots.

“Yeah, boss. We’re good,” Marshall smiled, amused by his own thought process.

“Good. Because we just got another clue,” he tossed a piece of paper on Marshall’s desk.

Marshall’s eyes raced over it. “From the killer?”

“We think so,” Chief Castenada stated. He crossed his arms and just watched Marshall a moment. Marshall grabbed the paper and looked over it. His brow furrowed again and his eyes re-raced over the page. “What do you think?” Castenada queried.

“I think this is one psychotic bastard, Chief.”

The Chief smiled. “Good, then we’re on the same page. See what you can come up with,” and with that, Chief Castenada turned and walked out of Marshall’s office. He’d only been gone a few moments when Sam sauntered in.

“I hear you may have something for me, Casey?” Casey looked up and saw Sam for what seemed like the first time. He stared at her a moment. She smiled and blushed a little. “I…I meant the…paper?” His eyes pierced into her. She shifted a little awkwardly.

Casey grinned, “I know what you meant. How long ya worked here, Sam?” he asked, handing her the paper.

“About six years, sir,” she stammered a little, taking the paper. “Oh, a note! …and….it’s a…love note?” Her final thought was more a question of confusion. Casey just watched her. She read the note out loud:

Quote:
Dearest,
My every thought is of you—your eyes, your hair, your touch, your kiss. I don’t know how I can go on without you here. My heart bleeds for you, my darling. Now. Forever. For always.
Yours.
PS: I love you


“That’s a tad creepy,” Sam stated, shivering a little.

“Just a tad. But, it does give us some clues. Castenada said it was sent to the station. It’s, apparently, already been through trace.”
“Yeah, I processed it earlier. Nothing useful from it.”

Of course not, he thought. If there had been, they’d have caught the guy by now. “Never is,” Casey opted to say. “But, if you’ve already processed it, why do you need it back?”

“I’m papering my walls with love notes I wish were addressed to me,” she stated flatly. Casey stared at her a moment, then she started to grin like a Cheshire cat and laugh. “I’m teasing! There’s a test I didn’t run on it. It’s fairly new, so I didn’t think of it, but maybe I can isolate the letters used in the note to figure out the source. If we know what kind of stuff our purp is reading, we have a better idea of—“

“Where to look. Good thinking, kid.”

Sam frowned slightly. “Toots, babe, sweetheart, or doll I’m okay with. Call me kid and you’ll regret it.”

“Sorry. Babe.” There was a pause, then both of them started into a laugh. “Hey, we’re still on for tomorrow night, right?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Could we make it today, instead?”

“When today?” she was already pulling out her iPhone.

“Now? I need to get outta here.”

“Ooh, a lunch date? I accept!” She smiled widely, then added, “Let me grab my purse.”

He nodded as she left his office. He smiled to himself and looked around his desk. He picked up the picture of Jessinia and ran a finger along her face. “I miss you, baby, but I have to move on. It’s time we both did. I love you and will always love you.” He kissed the photo and stuck it in his desk drawer. Looking up at the doorway, he thought he saw Jess smiling at him, waving. He blinked and she was gone, but a warm, peaceful feeling settled on him.

This was going to be a good lunch.

_________________
Love & Celestial Kisses,

Image

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onjeleekah & Dhegso | Minecraft: Kryssieness
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