The sun moved across the sky, signaling the day was ending. Neon lights replaced those of the solar orb, lighting the city up into pulses of candy colors.
He stood in the shadows, viewing his work, something wasn't right, he stepped forward, always aware of marks he would leave with his shoes. He made the adjustment, then stood back again. A smile came to his face. Yes, now it was perfect, turning he disappeared into the shadows.
‘'God damn it Bruno. Get your butt back here.'' The teenager shoved his hands into his pockets, trying to see into the darkness of the trees ahead for any sign of his German shepherd. He kicked out at the leaves. Knowing if his mother discovered he'd sneaked out of the house again at this hour, he'd be grounded until he was eighteen, hell, probably grounded until fifty.
He exhaled, staring into the darkness again. ‘' I mean it. BRUNO!''
He waited, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness. When he heard the tell tell sound of a bark, he shook his head heading into the woodland. ‘‘If you're after another squirrel, I'm gonna skin ya.''
He followed the sound of his dog. Frowning as he neared. Bruno sounded upset about something. His hand tightened on the lease he carried. He stepped over a fallen log, ducking under the low branches, catching sight of the flash of silver from his dog's collar. ‘'Damn it mutt. What you got cornered now?'' He paused in his step as he watched Bruno stop and whimper. A feeling of uneasiness taking over him as he stepped into the clearing, he reached his dog. Now uneasy, his eyes flickering to the shadows around. He knelt to click the lease to the collar. As he ran his hand through the rough dark tan fur, he was surprised to feel the trembling body beneath. ‘‘Hey? What's up boy?'' he suddenly felt afraid.
Bruno sudden loud bark made him jump out of his skin, when Bruno yanked forward he found himself on his knees. ‘‘Fuck. Cut it out will ya. What the hell's wrong with you?''
Bruno barked again, threshing to get loose.
The teenager's anger went up. ‘'Bruno!''
It was then out of the corner of his eye he caught the flash of something white lying on the ground. Curious he rose, aware that Bruno was pulling him in the same direction. ‘'What you find bo….y?''
His words froze. He backed aware pulling with all his strength on the lease as his brain made sense of the horror he was seeing.
‘‘Oh Jesus....'' he suddenly wanted his mother.
He turned and ran. As he ran, imprinted on his mind, the image of the dead woman laid out under the tall marble statue of the graveyard gate and how for a moment he thought it looked like a fallen angel.
Shannon looked at the cell phone in her hand, sitting on the edge of her bed in almost exhaustion at what she'd just been told. Another one was found.
Steeling herself she rose, moving out of the guestroom, seeing the closed door of the bedroom, not really surprised as it was well after two am. She knocked. When no answer came she knocked a little louder, hearing bud's sniffing from the other side.
Shannon could tell she'd woken her from the gruffness in her voice. ‘‘Jenny. I need to talk to you. Could you come out please.'' She stepped back as the door opened.
Jenny tried to bring her sleepy brain into focus, when she looked up into blue anguished eyes, she knew. ‘'There's been another one.''
Shannon swallowed. ‘‘Sarah Harrison.''
‘‘Oh god. Thirteen letters.'' Jenny fought the urge to throw up.
‘'A teenage boy found the body just after one this morning, outside the gates of Nenven Graveyard. It's on the other side of the city. Forensic is handling the scene now. But, they've found something different already. The Captain wanted you to know. He'll send the evidence over as soon as he can.'' She looked down to her hands.
Jenny waited, suddenly feeling a chill. She pulled her dressing gown tighter.
‘‘It's engraved into the edging of the nickel.'' Shannon held out what she was holding.
Jenny looked down to the piece of paper offered she took it, reading.
I SEE YOU.
Fear was the first thought that hit Jenny, freezing her brain, her breath, her blood. Her shaking hand went back through her hair. ‘'Chris…st.'' The second thing to hit her. The anxiety radiating off of the woman in front of her. Her hand came up and lay gently on Shannon 's. ‘'I need to see the coin.''
Shannon stood stock still, trying to keep her own emotions under control. The touch centered her, she wondered if somehow Jenny was calming her.
‘'I know. As I said the Captain is working on it…. There's something else.'' Shannon turned going to the laptop powering it up, calling up her email, and downloading the attachment. Missing the touch already, but aware that Jenny had moved to stand next to her and was watching.
They both watched as the picture downloaded and opened.
Jenny's breath caught, she blocked out the beautiful young dead woman, and focused on the scene. ‘‘He's changed arms.''
Shannon nodded, the Captain had already told her the left arm now was the one extended above and the right now rested across the body.
Jenny shifted closing, turning the laptop more towards her, studying the new left arm position. ‘‘It's the same distance gap as the last victim.''
Shannon called up the last victim picture to compare. Then drew back. ‘‘Yes. But what the hell does it mean?''
‘'I don't know. I need to study this again, all of it.'' Jenny lifted the laptop moving towards the den.''
Jenny stilled her step, turning to face Shannon , anger in her eyes. ‘‘Yes now!''
Shannon bit back her own anger and followed, unsure if she was going to see Jenny lose it again. She stepped into the den, watching as Jenny stopped only to pin up her hair and turn up the oil lamps. Before starting to pull out all the photographs again.
‘'Jenny?'' Shannon 's voice was soft.
Jenny didn't stop looking at the pictures. ‘‘What?''
‘'Can…. Can he see you? Can he do that?''
Jenny's heart stuttered, finally she looked over to her. ‘' It could mean something else. Not aimed at me at all. His way of claiming his power, that he sees everything.''
That didn't ease Shannon 's anxiety. ‘'I'd believe that a lot more if Marcus didn't think he had some sort of psychic thing.'' She ran her hand back through her hair. ‘' Wouldn't you feel it if he has? Wouldn't you feel him watching you like that?''
Jenny felt her skin crawl. ‘'I don't know. There's always a sense with people who have abilities, but have I come across someone who can use it to see me? No. I haven't. So I very much doubt I'd know.'' She was already sending out small vibes to see if she could sense anything. There was nothing. Nothing except Shannon 's growing fear.
Shannon 's jaw clenched. She looked across to the victim wall. Making her mind up, she straightened. ‘'Will you be okay if I leave for an hour? I need to go to the safe house and arrange something?'' She needed to talk to Marcus.
Jenny gave a small nod.
‘'I won't be long.'' She turned, then paused, looking back. Her blues eyes flashing. ‘‘He won't ever get near you.'' Before Jenny could reply she turned and was gone.
Jenny took a few minutes to calm herself, seeing the determination in Shannon 's eyes gave her a buzz of protection, she used it. Then lifting a pencil, she began to chew its end, as her eyes went from each victim and began reading the emailed report on the new one.
Shannon ran, she ran not because she wanted to get to the safe house quickly, she ran because she felt anger and fear, pumping her adrenaline to its limit. She welcomed the burn in her body as she pushed it, she welcomed the gasping breaths as her lungs tried to draw in enough air. She welcomed all of it, because for the brief time she ran, it blocked out the feeling of helplessness that was beginning to grow.
Jane rolled off the couch, coming up to her knees her now drawn gun aimed at the door as it burst open. Her finger relaxed on the trigger. ‘' Shannon ?''
Shannon gulped in a breath. ‘‘Sorry.''
Jane lowered the gun, raising, taking in her boss's appearance. ‘'What the hell's happened?''
Shannon wiped her sweated brow, moving to fill a glass of water. Drinking it in one. ‘'They've found another victim. This time the basterd left a message…. I see you.''
Jane finally replaced her gun to her hip. ‘'Sees who? Jenny?''
Shannon filled the glass again, drinking this one more slowly. ‘‘Maybe. Who knows with this fucking guy.'' She finished the water, turning. ‘'I need to talk to Marcus.''
Jane motioned to the room to the left.
Shannon moved quickly to the door, hammering on it.
Jane winced. She studied Shannon carefully; she wasn't used to seeing her boss so emotional.
Shannon turned back to her. ‘' I want surveillance picked up. Tell the team to stay within perimeter of the house. I'm calling the Captain tomorrow to arrange offshore protection. I want marksmen on the island by midday.''
Jane didn't hide her surprise. ‘‘You think he's going to come after her?'' She didn't like the fact Shannon was believing that the killer had some sort of spooky power. ‘'Boss. Isn't this going too far? It's one thing to think Jenny's got some sort of talent. But the perp? Come on.''
Shannon stiffened. ‘'I'm not taking the chance that he's bluffing.'' She turned back to the door about to hit it again. The door opened, revealing a very unhappy Marcus.
‘‘Where the fuck is the fire…. ‘' His voice tailed off as she saw it was Shannon . His anger was quickly replaced by concern. ‘'What's wrong? Is Jenny okay?''
‘'She's fine. There's been another victim.''
Marcus relaxed hearing Jenny's wasn't hurt. But his insides twisted at hearing someone else had been murdered. He sagged. ‘‘I need coffee.''
Shannon stepped back, letting him move past. She turned to Jane. ‘'Take care of my orders.''
Jane waited, well aware Shannon wanted her gone so she could talk to Marcus alone. What bugged her was why did she? Then giving a curt nod she left.
Marcus watched, then moved to stand next to Shannon . ‘'What's really going on?''
Shannon placed her hand on his shoulder, gently pushing him to sit.
As he sat, Marcus didn't like the look in her eyes at all.
Jenny sat back, the pencil end tapping against her chin. In frustration she threw it down rising, going to the window, suddenly she felt claustrophobic, she wanted air. With one huge movement she pulled the heavy curtain away, revealing the starry night sky, she opened the window pushing it wide, closing her eyes to the breeze that hit her face. She breathed deeply. She had all her senses on alert, looking for any source that was around her. She couldn't sense him, but the real question was, could he see her? She swallowed.
Her eyes opened, she looked out into the night sky. Questions racing through her brain. Why did he change arms? Why was this body placed in a more secluded place? The second question bugged her most of all right now. He needed an audience, he always needed his audience.
Suddenly an idea came to her she returned to the laptop, calling up the new victim's picture, pulling the zoom out to show the surrounding area. She clicked on two of the other attachments showing the scene. Her finger traced the laptop screen, over the statue of the angel, the statue guarding the gates. She remembered a line from a poem, by whom she didn't know.
‘'Watched over by angels. In silent slumber sleeps….until sunrise larks awake..''
She stopped, sitting back, her face filled with concentration, her brow creasing in thought. Her eyes went to the name of the graveyard. She cleared the photographs, calling up an Internet connection. Inputting the name of the cemetery into the search.
The search finished, exposing the results. She clicked on the link that would take her to the home page of the Cemetery. She read through the home menu, seeing what she wanted. ‘‘Funeral Times.'' She clicked the link.
When it opened she read down the list of funerals that were scheduled for later today. She sat back, a slight smile formed.
‘'That's why you picked it.''
She pressed print; when it was finished she closed the page. Now she had one answer. She rose again, going back to the window. Looking out, seeing the quarter moon high in the sky. She stilled, her breath inhaling in a sharp gasp. For a moment it seemed the air around her buzzed, she turned so quickly, bud jumped.
Back at the laptop, she called up the victim's pictures again, then she opened the research she'd been looking into previously. Jumping from page to page then back to the pictures, she grabbed up her pencil ripping the top sheet off her notepad to get to a clean page, she started sketching.
Shannon watched as Marcus turned at the dock to wave at her, she raised her hand in answer. Hoping she was doing the right thing. She watched as he boarded the coast guard boat she'd called in. Then sure he was on his way she turned heading back to the house.
Jenny flicked back through the notes she'd written, back to sketches she'd drawn, her mind a mass of possibilities. If she was right, she had another view into his psyche, but she also had much more than that.
Her head turned sensing Shannon 's approach, she rose, running towards the front door.
Shannon jumped as Jenny appeared in front of her. Then she found herself being taken by the arm and pulled towards the den. She could feel the air buzzing around her, knowing it was to do with Jenny's excitement. ‘'Jenny?''
Jenny only stopped and released her when they were in the den, she pushed Shannon into a chair. ‘'Sit.''
Shannon sat, looking around to see if she could understand what was going on. Her eyes went to the blonde pacing form.
Jenny pulled her thoughts into focus. Finally she stopped pacing, rubbing her arms for some warm. ‘' I know why he chose the graveyard. He didn't change his M.O. This wasn't meant to be discovered by a teenager. There's a funeral scheduled at the cemetery for sunrise. A local teacher, she was killed in a car accident last week. The whole school were due to be there this morning. That was his audience. '' Jenny took a breath passing over the printed information.
Shannon read it. ‘‘He would have had to have known this in advance. We might be able to trace him.'' Her mind was already going over the ways. The home page. Contact with the cemetery.
Jenny realized she was beginning to love the look that came into Shannon 's eyes when her mind was at work. She pulled her thoughts back. ‘' I also know why, well I think I know why he's changed arm positions.''
Shannon 's eyes snapped up, she nearly jumped out of the chair. ‘'What? Why?''
Jenny motioned with her hands. ‘'Give me a second. I need to explain something.''
Shannon remained silent.
‘'When I first came on this case, I looked into normal possible explanations for someone to use ritual on their victims….'' She paused, only long enough to form her thoughts. It was one thing to know the reason, it was another to try and explain it. ‘'…. Because he lies the victim out this way makes it not only important to him, but necessary to him. Every tiny little detail has to be right. The shroud is his way of honoring the dead. The care he takes is that too. The fact the body isn't mutilated after death says a lot about him and what he believes….‘'
Shannon watched captivated as Jenny started slowly pacing again.
‘'Most serial killers find something that attracts them, something that pulls them. Whether it's a mathematical, numerical, signs, forces. The Calendar killer of the eighties used the months of the year, each victim was chosen because of their birth date. The Zodiac killer used ciphers and astrological signs of the Zodiac. Robert Lepton used the mystic signs of the pyramids…'' Jenny stopped, facing Shannon . ‘‘So, when I started this I went through that reasoning, looking to find why he does things the way he does. I ruled out Calendar killings. None of the victims have a connection of their birth date. Although I did find the connection of thirteen in their names. ‘'
‘' I also ruled out mystic Egyptian signs, even though he uses the shroud. There isn't any other tie to believe he is following a path of Ra or any lesser god. There's nothing linked to pyramids…. There isn't any numerical connection in the victims either or mathematical, except for his obsession with the number thirteen again. So, that left me with the more basic ideas. Satanically?''
Jenny shrugged. ‘'If it were that, there would have to be more elemental clues, fire, water, brimstone…. Sacrifices….Symbols. There wasn't. So, I easily moved away from it. Apart from those things missing, it doesn't fit with him; he would have to believe in Satan, which meant he'd have to believe also in a one god and the teachings of Christianity. Which he doesn't. Which meant I could also move away from any religious connection too.'' She took a breath. ‘' To be honest I was at a loss of why he was staying so strictly to laying out the bodies, especially because of the way he was changing the arm position. I didn't know if it was his subconscious doing it or it was still linked to something else.'' Jenny eyes came up to meet Shannon 's. ‘‘When he changed the arms on the new victim but kept it in the same position as the last one, I realized something.'' She moved quickly to the desk lifting the sketch, holding it up in front of her for Shannon to see.
Shannon lent forward to study it, biting her lip to not laugh out loud at the childish drawing; amused eyes went to Jenny's.
Jenny shifted uncomfortably. ‘'Sue me, I can't draw for shit okay, but you get the idea?''
Shannon 's eyes returned to the sketch, trying to see more. ‘‘The lines are the arms right?''
Jenny smiled. ‘‘Yes. Taking the measurement from the center of the body. The one part that never changed any position.''
Shannon sat back rubbing her chin. ‘‘Okay, so?''
Jenny replaced the sketch, this time she lifted a picture she'd found and printed off earlier. Holding it up.
Shannon 's eyes widened, this time she did rise, going over to the take the picture from Jenny's hands.
Her eyes went to the sketch on the table, she lifted it bringing them side by side. ‘'Jesus. What is this?''
Jenny took a breath, shoving down the giddy feeling she was getting. ‘'It's the Draconic Zodiac, but its more commonly known as the Lunar Zodiac. The main bases for it is that no matter how the earth tilts the distance of the moon's ecliptic never changes. It is always 5.15 degrees plus or minus below. That's the exact measurement of the line of the right arm and now the left. It's the cycle of the moon. Druids followed it, Celts. It's very pagan. Which fits with our guy? Another thing is it can be always seen. Unlike the Solar Zodiac.''
Shannon was really trying to follow this. ‘'You said Zodiac? You mean like Aries, Libra and the others.''
Jenny nodded. ‘'Yes. But, the Lunar one is different and that's why he chose it.''
Something in Jenny's voice made her look up, her frown cleared. Her eyes sparking. ‘'Thirteen. It's to do with Thirteen.''
Jenny almost clapped her hands in glee. ‘‘Yes. Oh yes Shannon . The lunar Zodiac has thirteen not twelve symbols.'' She moved away, lifting the list to read. ‘'All the signs are the same as the Zodiac we use today, except on the lunar, Ophiuchus is the extra one. It's known as the serpent bearer. In ancient times, Greek especially followed the lunar Zodiac. It had to do with the Olympic gods. Although back then they had twenty signs in their Zodiac.
The astral stars of three thousand years ago are a lot different than today.''
She took a breath, calming herself. ‘' But, today…. Today the zodiac is known by thirteen symbols. It's what he's using Shannon .''
Shannon grinned, ‘'holy crap. What the hell does it mean?'' her eyes went down to the picture again. ‘'What are these eight dots…?''
Jenny's took a breath. ‘‘It's star constellation which never leave the ecliptic area. I haven't really had time to research them yet.'' She paused, seeing Shannon 's intent gaze on the photograph. ‘'What?''
Shannon shook her head slightly, her mind was focused on the star points in front of her.
Jenny looked down at the image. ‘'Do you see something?''
Shannon didn't answer, something was there, staring out at her, it was just out of reach of what it was. Then it clicked. She turned going to the victim board. Looking at each of them, she turned again, going to the area map they'd used to plan the trip off the island, rolling it out, looking around.
Jenny took a step forward. ‘' Shannon ?''
Shannon looked at her. ‘' I need tacks!''
Jenny quickly opened the drawer offering them over. Shannon took them, pinning the map to the space on the wall next to the victims.
Jenny watched mesmerized, not having one clue what Shannon was doing.
Now the area map was set up, Shannon quickly read the position of each victim found, scanning over the map until she found the area. She reached across snagging a marker off the desk, putting a large red dot onto the map.
Jenny lent back against the table watching Shannon movements, first to the victim's board then across to make the mark on the map. She tried to figure out what Shannon had seen, then as Shannon placed the fourth large dot, she saw it. She slowly drew away from the table. ‘‘Oh my god.'' Her eyes were locked on the dots, her mouth open.
Shannon placed the last victims dot onto the map, she drew back to look, her eyes dropping to the photograph of the lunar ecliptic, then up again. Each dot of the victims made the same pattern as the one she held in her hand of the eight marks. All but one.
Jenny took a step forward, seeing Shannon 's frown, knowing why it was there. ‘'The sixth victim doesn't count to him, remember. ‘'
Shannon looked at her, exhaling, remember what Jenny had told her. ‘'She was tainted.''
Jenny gave a sad nod.
Shannon looked to the map again. ‘‘If…. If he is going by this,'' she shook the photograph in her hand. ‘'…. It means there are still two victims left.'' She reached across taking a green marker looking at the eight dots on the photograph, then up to six on the map. She stepped forward, placing two large green circles in the area where the missing two from the eight should be next. ‘'He will have to leave the next ones in these areas to finish the pattern?''
Jenny swallowed hard. ‘'Yes.''
‘'Christ.'' She looked to Jenny. She tightened her grip on the marker, feeling her hand shake. ‘'You know what this means? We're one step ahead of him. We can catch him. Stake out these places. Fuck…. We've got the basterd.''
Jenny turned away, shaking her head. ‘'No. It means we know where he is going to dump the next body. We have no timeline Shannon . He could wait months, years to do this. Are you going to stake out these places for that long?… No…We're nowhere on finding him before his next victim. Someone else is going to fucking die.''
Shannon inhaled, her voice soft. ‘'Jenny. I know this isn't finding him. Even if one more person dies it's too many. You know as well as I do, he's need is increasing. Do you really think he's going to wait years to fulfill his need?''
Jenny shook her head sadly, she already knew his need for the power of killing was increasing.
‘'Knowing he is going to leave his victim in these areas gives us an edge to catching him. We might not know where he is, but we know where he is going to be. We can make his next victim his last…. It doesn't mean we stop looking for him. But it means we at least have something.''
Jenny hugged herself. ‘'I know.''
Shannon looked at the map again. ‘'It explains something else.''
Jenny turned. ‘'What?''
‘'Why he had to put the bodies in such public places. He had too. He couldn't do anything else. He committed himself to this.'' She held up the photograph.
Jenny breath stilled, she felt her blood go cold. Knowing that Shannon didn't realize what she was saying. ‘'The only reason he'd have to do that was if he was using a center point. ‘'
Shannon frowned. ‘‘Huh?''
Jenny took the picture from her. ‘‘He could have chosen anywhere as a starting point to fulfill the pattern. Away from public places. The only reason he'd have to follow this so strictly was if he started from a center point and was using the ecliptic. The victims would have to fall within it, like the stars do in this. '' She looked into Shannon's eyes, searching to see if she understood what she was saying. ‘'Shannon. He'd have to have a center.''
Shannon looked to the map, unsure.
Jenny turned the photograph to Shannon, tapping the earth. ‘'This is the center point of the lunar ecliptic.'' She moved to the map, hitting it. ‘'There isn't one on here, just the victims. There is no center point.‘' she looked back at Shannon, waiting.
Shannon paled. ‘‘There has to be a center point?''
Jenny nodded. ‘‘Without one, going on your idea of why he had to place the bodies there. It wouldn't work without one. No ecliptic area for the victims to fall into, therefore no need too. It could be totally random.''
Shannon studied the map, then the photograph. Her jaw tensed. ‘'Okay so there has to be ‘an earth' center point? What the hell would it be? It could be anything…. A landmark. He could have just stuck a pin in the damn map….''
Jenny moved away, half listening, her mind was elsewhere, going over what she knew about the killers psyche. Shannon's idea was sparking something inside her. Chewing her lip, as a thought tried to come together. What was it she said earlier? It was important. She closed her eyes trying to go back. Opening them she went back to the table, everything lay out; the small piece of paper caught her eye.
I see you.
The scene from earlier replayed in her mind. Shannon asking her.
‘'Can…. Can he see you? Can he do that?''
Her words, her reply.
‘' It could mean something else. Not aimed at me at all. His way of claiming his power, that he sees everything.''
She whispered the words in the present. ‘‘He sees everything.'' She lifted the piece of paper, staring at the words again.
I see you.
‘‘Could it be that simple to him?''
Shannon attention left the map going to Jenny, unsure if she'd heard her speak. ‘'Did you say something?''
Jenny calmed her thoughts. ‘'I see you.''
Shannon moved next to her, knowing what she meant. ‘'He means you?''
Jenny shook her head. ‘‘No…'' she turned to face the victims. ‘‘He means them. He sees them, all of them. He's the center point, they all fall in his view.''
Shannon inhaled sharply. ‘‘Jenny do you know what you're saying?''
Jenny's voice now held determination. She knew she was right. ‘‘Yes. We find the center point, we find him.''
Shannon just stared at her, then exhaling she moved away. ‘'That's one hell of long shot.''
Jenny twisted round to face her. ‘‘Is it? Haven't you been listening to me about him? About his ego, about being above god. Is it such a reach to believe that he sees himself as all seeing, that he sees himself as the center of the universe?''
‘‘And if it's random?''
Jenny scoffed. ‘‘Has he done one thing that is random? Everything he does is methodical.''
Shannon went over everything, it didn't make sense to her someone would follow a plan so strictly it led to revealing their location and eventually their capture. It didn't make sense to her at all.
As if reading her thoughts Jenny spoke. ‘'I told you he wanted to be caught, but only when he was ready. He waited to the sixth victim to change arm positions, he could have done it on the second one. Instead he taughted us with it. Only showing us when he was ready.''
Shannon eyes sparked anger. ‘'Why now?''
‘'He's getting ready to finish his work. He has left the clues it's up to the police to figure it out. If they don't he simple will disappear, his work done. However he won't stop forever, the need will rise again in the future and he'll start this all over again. He'll deny responsibility for any killings previously, it wasn't his fault he wasn't stopped. He'd left the information, the clues. ''
Shannon still didn't want to believe. She looked at Jenny, knowing that without her on this case they wouldn't be anywhere near him. None of the clues would have been understood, no link. Maybe she was wrong to believe what Jenny was finding was right, maybe this really was some sicko who just likes killing and doing strange things, that they were random and Jenny was the only one seeing any sort of pattern.
Jenny stayed silent, just looking into the stormy gaze, showing Shannon's torn thoughts. Knowing there was a battle going on. She could feel Shannon's tenseness, it made her own stomach muscles clench.
Shannon wanted to believe, wanted to think that somehow they'd found away to this killer. That the blonde woman in front of her, had been the key to figuring him out. But that would mean she'd have to fully trust in Jenny. She lowered her eyes. She was a cop, she had to go on evidence, on facts. What Jenny was showing her was a maybe, an idea. But still, she was torn. Her gut was telling her Jenny was right. She realized her fists were clenched into a tight ball. ‘'You're sure about this?''
Jenny knew what she was being asked, did she doubt, did she trust. She set her jaw, putting all her feeling into her gaze. ‘'Yes. Yes, I'm sure.''
Shannon felt the jolt between them. Her voice was hoarse when she spoke. ‘'Then how do we find him?''
Jenny nearly stepped back as she felt the connection form between them, the finally wall falling in Shannon, the one that held Shannon back from trusting. It made her giddy, it made her feel humble being giving this gift. She swallowed hard to clear her emotions. ‘'We use his ecliptic. We know his area.''
Shannon managed to break the gaze, looking to the map. ‘'Do it. I need to contact the Captain and fill him in on all of this.''
Jenny began composing herself. ‘'I need Marcus.''
Shannon stiffened. ‘'Marcus?''
‘‘Yes. He's better at map reference and degrees. He's a math freak. Can I use your cell to call him to get him over here?'' Jenny turned away, pulling her evidence into a pile.
‘‘It's after four in the morning.''
‘'He won't mind. He loves working out shit like this.''
Shannon exhaled her head bowing for a moment. ‘'Marcus isn't at the safe house.''
Jenny jerked, turning. ‘'What? Where is he?''
‘'I needed him to do something. He's gone back to the mainland.''
Jenny studied Shannon's face, well aware she wasn't meeting her gaze. ‘'Too do what?''
‘'Shannon? Too do what?''
Exhaling, Shannon faced her. ‘'I sent him back to the crime scenes. I wanted to know if he sensed this guy watching you. I wanted him to follow up on the poppies as well.''
Jenny felt the chill invade the natural warmth between them. ‘'Do you know what you've done?'' She searched Shannon's face.
‘‘Yes.'' Shannon turned away.
Jenny reached forward, pulling at Shannon's arm until she faced her properly. ‘'Do you!''
Shannon flushed. ‘‘Yes! If this guy can sense you, then he can sense Marcus. Yes I know what I've done.''
Jenny's eyes flickered to each of Shannon's eyes trying to see why. Trying to see if she really understood. What she saw, she didn't like, she stepped back. ‘'You're using him as bait!''
Shannon pulled her arm free, filled with the guilt she suddenly felt. Was she?
Jenny took another step back, her face showing disbelief, then it slowly changed, to the cold emotional one Shannon had seen the first day she'd arrived. ‘'You're like all the rest. Anything to get a fucking result. Damn you. I want you out of my house!'' She turned and headed out of the den, trying to contain the shaking of her body.
Not long afterwards the bedroom door slammed shut with a bang.
Shannon sagged backwards until the edge of the table stopped her. Then angry she moved away, pulling her cell free and calling the Captain, focusing on what needed to be done.
Jenny stared at the ceiling, she hadn't slept, it was impossible too. First because of the anger, then the disappointment, but as the hours passed her emotions finally settled on the hurt, and it did hurt. Knowing that Shannon was like all the rest. She knew it was her own fault, for trusting, for letting someone in. Marcus had warned, hell, she'd warned herself.
She twisted over onto her side, staring at the wall, the one she'd stared at a thousand times before, it still gave her silence, still gave its old grained silent stare of nothing. Her eyes slipped finally closed, the held back tears then had no reason not to fall free.
Shannon let her chin rest on her pulled up knees, shifting to wrap her arms around them as she stared out over the ocean. It had taken well over two hours to update the Captain, most of that time had been arguments of ‘was this right?' She'd finally gotten him to understand and believe her. Things were already in motion to set up surveillance at the two remaining possible drop sites. She'd gotten off the phone, mentally and psychically exhausted.
She didn't know how she'd really gotten to the place she was now, and not just in the location of sitting on the beach. She hadn't given it a second thought to send Marcus back to the mainland, it was the right thing to do. Marcus was needed there, his talent was different to Jenny's he needed to touch, to sense. If she was honest with herself she really hadn't thought about him ending up as bait, not until Jenny had thrown it at her. Then she couldn't really deny it, it was exactly what she'd done. What confused her was why hadn't she seen what she was doing? There were a lot of things she didn't understand lately, most of all her emotions around Jenny.
She sighed heavily, looking out now across the dawn filled sky. When had her life become so complicated? She'd felt that jolt between them earlier, so much so it still sent her stomach into butterflies. What was that, more spooky power?
She tilted her head back, closing her eyes. She hurt and she knew the reason why, because she'd hurt Jenny in what she'd done. She swallowed hard, remembering Jenny's words, each one had felt like a god damn cut. She brought her eyes open slowly, staring up at the dome of the sky, the beginning full blue of another day forming. Her head dropped level again, looking out to sea. She didn't want to leave, not just because of the danger to Jenny, but because? There was the rub. Because of what?
Her chin returned to her knees again, her gaze across the sea, but her thoughts were far beyond the horizon.
Jenny gasped as she woke up, sitting straight with a bolt, her eyes showing her disorientation. She looked down feeling a wet lick to her hand.
He licked again, then moved to the door, looking back at her, waiting.
‘'God.'' She ran a shaking hand through her hair. Feeling the tell tell itch of sweat on her skin. She took a breath, steadying her nerves, the disorientation fading as her waking mind took over. Was it a nightmare? She searched her mind. No. There were no signs of fear or images, just a now vanishing feeling of something being wrong.
Bud's whimper, pulled her from her thoughts, her eyes went to him. He pawed at the door, again looking back to her.
Jenny's frowned, there was something wrong, she felt it, but she also saw it in her dog. Throwing the blanket back, she rose, stepping into her slippers, pulling on her robe. She reached across lifting her watch, reading the time of 6.32 as she attached it to her wrist.
Bud wagged his tail gently, waiting for her to approach.
She knelt next to him. ‘'What's up? Was I dreaming?''
He licked briefly at her face, then pulled away, scratching at the door.
Jenny stood, opening the door, following him to see what was going on. She was surprised when he headed to the front door, again waiting for her.
‘'If you've just woken me for a pee? I'm not going to be happy Buddy boy.'' But even as she said the words, she knew it was something more. She lifted her sunglasses, moving to the door and opening it.
Bud moved just outside, stopping to look back at her, waiting for her to follow.
Shaking her head she followed.
He moved slowly making sure to keep his pace to be followed, stopping occasionally to make sure his mistress wasn't far behind.
Jenny was curious as hell, she'd never seen him act this way before. She followed over the sand dunes, well aware they were getting quite away from the house. She suddenly felt self-conscious being in her slippers and robe. ‘'Bud?''
Bud paused for a moment, looking back, imploring her with his eyes to follow.
Sighing Jenny continued in step with her dog.
Bud stopped, sitting, looking back seeing his mistress struggle to climb up the larger dune. When she reached him he looked down to the beach below.
Jenny rubbed the sand off her hands, looking down at him. ‘'Well I'm here now what?''
Bud looked up at her, then looked down to the beach below again.
Jenny followed his gaze, her breath caught, her eyes locked on the lone figure sitting, she felt the pure cascade of sadness, pain, but most of all she felt the well of loneliness. She sucked in a breath to erect a wall. Fully aware the wall didn't keep everything out anymore from this person.
Bud looked up to her sadly. She broke her gaze from the figure, looking down at him. ‘‘You shouldn't have brought me here.''
He held her gaze.
Jenny felt the anger spark from the night before, she felt something else too, a pull to her senses, she turned her head and met the blue gaze leveled on her from below.
Their eyes held.
Jenny watched as Shannon rose, watched as she slowly walked along the beach to the base of the dune, watched as the detective climbed it and only stopped when she was standing in front of her.
Jenny crossed her arms. Her emotions back under control. ‘'For what?''
Shannon looked down. ‘'For…..'' she swallowed. She looked up, hoping to see some sense of Jenny she'd grown to know. What she hoped wasn't there. She took a long breath. ‘'I'm sorry for being like the rest.''
‘'I'd hoped I wasn't. I mean….'' Shannon exhaled noisily, wishing she could find the right words to make this right again. Her eyes fell along with her voice. ‘'I'm sorry.''
Jenny wanted to stay mad, wanted to stay emotionless. ‘'Why?''
Shannon looked up, confused. ‘'Why am I sorry?''
Jenny's anger snapped. ‘'No. Why did you do it? Why use Marcus as bait? Knowing how I felt. Knowing how things had happened with me in the past?''
‘'I didn't, I mean I wasn't.''
Jenny eyes sparked. ‘‘Don't lie to me.''
‘'I'm not lying. I wasn't using him, not like you think okay. I needed his help. This fucking asshole is after you. I needed Marcus to go to the mainland and try and find a sense of something. ''
‘‘Bullshit. You don't believe in Marcus's talent. '' Jenny turned away heading back down the sand dune.
‘‘Hey wait.'' Shannon took off after her, well aware her own anger was pushing to the surface. She grabbed Jenny's arm pulling her roughly around. ‘‘Don't do that. I'm trying here.''
Jenny wrenched her arm free. ‘'Trying to do what? Make up some feeble excuse of why you just used my best friend? ‘'
‘‘It isn't an excuse. I'm trying to explain. I didn't think of him as bait. I thought of him as a way to protect you. He agreed with it.''
Jenny's laugh held no humor. ‘‘Of course he did, he'd do anything to protect me. He's a fool and I love him for it. He'd have gone along with any fucking half hearted plan.''
‘‘Then why are you so angry at me for doing the same?''
Jenny's eyes snapped back to Shannon, her mouth opened to say something she knew she'd regret, she stared at her seeing that Shannon meant it. She closed her mouth on the harsh words. ‘'You had no right too.''
Shannon's anger broke. ‘‘No right! No right. I'm here to protect you, I promised you to keep you safe, that this fucking psycho wasn't going to get near you. I have every right to use any means necessary to see that doesn't happen. I'm a cop, I'm sorry your feelings got hurt I never meant that to happen. But you've got to understand my first priority is to catching this guy.''
Jenny didn't hear what Shannon was saying all she heard was one word. She took a step closer bringing her face level with Shannon's. ‘‘Use?''
Shannon swallowed. ‘‘Yes use. If sending Marcus to the mainland is using him, then yes I'm using him.''
Jenny stepped back, looking Shannon up and down in disgust. ‘'Then I was right, you are like all the fucking rest. You shouldn't change partners Shannon, you and Peter make excellent bedmates. Thank god I found out in time otherwise I'd end up like Cindy.'' To anger to realize what she'd said, she turned and stormed off down the dune.
Shannon inhaled as she felt the wind leave her lungs, her emotions froze. She took in a long haggard breath. Unable to stand anymore she sunk to her knees. Her head bowed. Christ that had hurt. She felt a nudge, glancing sideways she saw bud looking at her with sadness in his eyes. She gave him a weak smile. ‘'Go on. She needs you.''
He rubbed himself along her.
Shannon took another deep breath, pushing the pain away, pushing it back deep to where it belonged, she ran her hand over his fur. ‘'I'm okay. Go. Protect her, she won't let me anymore. Go, I need you too.''
He gave her one last doubtful look, then took off down the beach in pursuit of his mistress.
Jenny threw the front door open so hard, the shelves rattled. Tearing off her sunglasses she tossed them across the table so hard they skipped right off the edge to the floor. The anger was rippling through her, snaking into her thoughts, hissing deep in her veins. She lashed out, knocking the books from the shelf. ‘'Fuck her. I don't need her.''
She paced, wringing her hands together, she turned fast moving to the door to slam it shut. She stopped dead. Bud was standing there, his head tilted, his body shaking. She stared at him, feeling his fear, fear, of her. It stopped her motion, stopped the anger. Her mind cleared of the blackness and into it her harsh words echoed. Her body trembled. ‘'Oh god.'' She felt sick.
Bud whimpered, unsure.
Jenny sank to her knees. ‘‘Oh Bud. She didn't deserve that.'' She buried her face in her hands.
He ran to her, licking at her hands to get to her face, tasting the salt of tears, he hated that taste, it meant his mistress was sad, was hurt. He tried to catch all of them, to wash them away with his touch.
Jane had no clue why she'd suddenly been assigned to Jenny's house. Or if she was honest what the hell was going on. All she knew was the boss had turned up looking like hell. She was then given the new orders of she was to go to Jenny's and take up residence as the psychic's new bodyguard in the guestroom. All questions she asked were met with silence. So here she was on the way to the house. She knocked on the open door, looking around inside for any signs of life. She smiled as bud came into view.
‘'Hey cutie. Your momma home?'' her eyes moved upward as the psychic came into view. Interesting Jane thought. She looked like she'd been crying. Jane gave a smile. ‘‘Hi. It seems I'm your new bodyguard.''
Jenny sipped her tea, keeping her emotions completely in check. ‘'Where's Shannon?''
Jane didn't know whether to move forward or stay where she was. ‘'Well, boss lady is at the safe house. Did her…. Did she tell you there was a change?''
Jenny looked away. She didn't really blame Shannon after what she'd said. ‘'No.''
‘‘Oh.'' Great . ‘'Is this going to be a problem?''
Jenny gave a weak smile. She wasn't stupid enough to send her protection away, not now. ‘‘No.'' She motioned with her head. ‘'The guestroom is back there.''
Jane lifted her bag onto her shoulder, now curious to know what had exactly gone on between these two. ‘'Thanks. I'll dump my stuff, then I'll take Shannon's back over.'' She caught the flash of pain before Jenny looked away.
‘'I have work to do. I'll be in the den. Help yourself to whatever you need.''
Before Jane could question anymore, she watched Jenny leave the room. She felt someone staring at her, turning her head she found bud watching her intently. ‘‘So. Mind telling me what the fuck is going on?''
He barked, then headed into the den after Jenny.
Jane rolled her eyes, adjusting her bag, making her way to the guestroom. ‘'Great. Everyone's sworn to secrecy.''
Shannon fingers idly tapped on the table, her eyes moved from each of the surveillance screens. Each image clicking a refresh every couple of seconds. She watched Jane enter the house and not come back out. That had made her relax, she'd half expected Jenny to argue at the fact Jane was going to stay there. It also made her sad that she was now so easily replaced. She lifted the ringing phone.
‘'Shannon. It's Grieves. We have a problem.''
Jane attention left the book she was reading, going to the psychic as she entered the room, she watched as she went to the kitchen.
Jenny looked over. ‘'You want a drink?''
In answer Jane held up her soda.
Jenny nodded, going back to making herself some tea.
Jane noticed how tired Jenny looked. She'd gotten used to her eyes now and also her uneasiness of being around her. In fact if anything she was curious.
‘'So, um, any luck on what you were working on?''
‘'Anything I can help with?''
‘'No. Thank you.''
Jane shifted slightly uncomfortable to the short answers. ‘'I guess I'll get back to my book then.''
Jenny glanced over, feeling and seeing the nervousness. ‘'I appreciate your offer, but I tend to work better alone.''
Jane gave a relaxed smile. ‘‘Well, I can understand that, besides, I'm not sure how I could help anyway, I saw what you worked out about the body position. I'd have had no clue.''
Jenny gave an embarrassed smile at the praise. ‘'I'm just good at puzzles.''
Jane laughed. ‘'Guess that's the understatement of the year.''
Jenny let herself relax, she liked Jane. There was no pretence or hidden emotion in the woman who was looking at her so openly. ‘‘Have you been a cop long?''
Jane was surprised by the sudden personal question. ‘'Seems like forever. It's nearly twenty years.'' She smiled slyly. ‘' You been a voodoo woman long?''
Jenny barked a laugh. ‘'Seems like forever.''
‘'Hmmm.'' Jane's curiosity peaked.
‘'Must be kinda weird.''
‘That's the understatement of the year.'' Jenny's attention went back to the whistling kettle.
Jane grinned, enjoying the play of words. ‘'Well, I admit I don't disbelieve or belief, I've seen to much strange shit in my time.''
Jenny turned back, leaning back against the sink edge, stirring her tea. ‘‘Probably the best way to be in your line of work. Keeping an open mind.''
Jane chuckled. ‘'No shit. Especially round a full moon, you'd be surprised what goes on then.'' She shrugged, sitting back, her eyes going to bud as he came in from the beach. ‘'I don't understand half the time what goes on in this crazy world.'' Her eyes went back to Jenny's. ‘‘Like for instance, what the hell I'm doing here and why the boss ain't?'' She watched Jenny closely, seeing the brief pause of the stirring of her tea, before it resumed and Jenny turned away. She waited to see what she would do.
Jenny sighed. ‘'Did she tell you anything?''
‘‘Nope. Just to get my butt over here.''
Jenny dumped the teabag into the bin under the sink.
Jane still waited, when she was still met with silence, she took a chance.
‘'All I do know is, she was upset. I've known her for a while now, Shannon doesn't show her emotions easily.''
Jenny closed her eyes to the guilt she felt. ‘'I know.''
Jane sat forward. ‘‘Look, if it's something I can help with I'd like too. Or you can tell me to mind my own damn business. Just know she's a friend and I don't like her being upset.'' Her voice had changed to one of warning.
Jenny heard it, turning to her. ‘‘You're a good friend. Shannon's lucky to have you watching her back.''
‘‘Maybe. I class myself as the lucky one, she's saved my ass more times then I can remember.''
Jenny thought about going back to the den, but something made her move to the kitchen table and sit instead. Maybe it was to understand exactly what she'd done. ‘'I hurt her.''
‘'I get the feeling Shannon's thinking the same thing about you.''
Jenny looked up in question.
‘'Marcus. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see her ordering him to the mainland hurt you in some way.''
Jenny sipped her tea, more composed then she felt. ‘'Who's Cindy?''
Jane almost sat back in shock, wondering where that question had come from. ‘'Why?''
‘‘Is it someone that hurt Shannon?''
Confused Jane answered. ‘‘In a way.'' Something came to her. ‘'Did you see something to do with Cindy in one of your spooky things.''
Jenny shook her head not understanding.
‘‘You know your psychic thing, did you see Cindy?''
‘‘No. Marcus mentioned her.''
Jane clenched her jaw. ‘'Figures, I knew I shouldn't have told him.''
‘‘He didn't tell me anything, just the name and that it had something to do with Shannon's past.''
‘'Then why the hell is it important.''
Jenny looked down into her cup. ‘‘Because I threw her in Shannon's face when I told her I thought she was using Marcus.''
Jane had to swallow her anger. ‘'You did that. Without knowing exactly what happened.''
‘'I was angry I didn't….. I didn't think.''
‘‘Oh man.'' Jane stood, throwing her paperback down. ‘'That was really a shitty thing to do.''
Jenny didn't need Jane telling her how shitty it was. She bristled, having Jane pass judgment on her without knowing all the facts. ‘' I know that.''
‘‘No I don't think you do.'' Jane took a breath. ‘'Cindy was a nineteen year old hooker that was murdered, she was giving information to Shannon on a pimp who was using underage girls.''
Jenny breath caught.
‘'What people don't know and I didn't tell Marcus. Shannon had known Cindy nearly all her life, she wasn't just an informant. When Shannon found out she'd been murdered she blamed herself. If she hadn't gone to Cindy and asked for her help, she would be alive. ''
‘‘Oh god. I really didn't know.'' Her voice showed her full regret.
‘‘Well, Shannon didn't know that.'' Some of Jane's anger depleted seeing how sorry the psychic was. ‘'She probably thought you'd used your voodoo.''
Jenny gasped. ‘'I'd…I'd never use something like that against someone.''
Jane's anger came out full force. ‘‘Yea and how the hell is she supposed to know that? She wouldn't have known Marcus knew about Cindy.''
Seeing the impact her words were having, Jane calmed her anger. ‘‘Look, I don't understand what you do. All I know is if you'd said something like that to me out of the blue and I believed you could see into my past, I'd be feeling pretty violated.'' She didn't mean to be unkind, she just needed Jenny to see exactly what she'd done. She understood now why Shannon had looked so lost, so hurt. Shannon trusted the psychic, she believed in what she could do. But more importantly, Shannon had let someone in and Jane had never seen that happen before.
Jenny bit her lip, fighting the tears, she didn't want to lose it in front of Jane.
Jane felt guilty. ‘'Jenny…. I'm sor… ‘' she cursed as her cell sounded, she pulled it from her back pocket, checking the name then flicking it open. ‘'Boss?''
Jenny looked up.
Jane's eyes went to Jenny's as she heard the words in her ear. ‘'I'll tell her.''
She closed the phone, keeping her gaze locked. ‘'The F.B.I. are on their way here.''
Jenny's whole body went cold, every single wall slammed into place.
Shannon stood at the dock, waiting for the FBIs launch to arrive. She was keeping her temper in check now, although on the phone to the captain she hadn't. She was surprised she still had a job. But, the end result was the same no matter how she argued. The F.B.I. wanted to know who had worked out the clues? Who was working the case? Grieves had no option but to tell them after being ordered by the commissioner. Shannon stood straighter as she saw the launch enter the bay.
Jane was amazed at the sudden change of the woman in front of her. Less than fifteen minutes ago she'd been near tears and upset. Now, Jane had to take a second look to make sure it was the same woman.
Jenny sat cross-legged, fully composed. Her hands folded onto her lap, her eyes staring at the door. Bud, sat by her feet, his eyes going to Jenny and then to Jane in question.
Jane moved to the doorway, looking up the beach. ‘'They're here.''
Bud rose about to move forward, his eyes now alert, his ears peaked.
The command sent him back to sit. Jenny took a cleansing breath, clearing her mind and body of any remaining emotion.
Jane eyes went back to the approaching three. She didn't need to figure out which were the F.B.I. Suits, it always gave them away. Shannon walked in the middle of the two men. Jane could tell her boss was anything but happy right now. She drew back from the doorway as they entered the gate. Moving to stand just off of the left of Jenny.
Jenny let her hand stroke over bud's fur, hearing the growl start deep in his throat. ‘'Quiet.''
Bud's growl tapered off, but his body still paused for attack.
Shannon entered first stopping in the doorway, blocking the F.B.I. from entering. ‘'Is it okay if these two come in?''
‘'Do I have a choice?'' Jenny dropped her gaze to bud.
‘'Yes.'' Shannon ignored the remarks from behind. She brought her arm up fast, slamming her hand into the frame of the doorway, blocking one of the agents as he tried to move past her.
He shot her a look. ‘'Detective Rhimes need I remind you who is in charge here.''
Jane straightened, taking a small step forward.
Shannon ignored the agent next to her as he repeated himself, her eyes were locked on Jenny, waiting. Wishing the psychic would look at her. ‘'Jenny?''
‘'They can come in.''
The agent didn't wait for Shannon to drop her arm, he pushed it down. ‘'Miss Newton. I'm Agent Thomas and this is Agent Ryter. We're two of the special agents assigned to the tooth fairy task force.''
Jenny's eyes went briefly to both of them.
They stood unsure, until finally they took a seat on the sofa.
Shannon stayed at the door, leaning back against the frame, her focus was on Jenny, and she didn't like what she saw.
‘'The main reason I'm here Miss Newton is our superiors are very interested to know how you came by your information?''
Jenny knew Shannon had stiffened. But she still kept her eyes on Bud. ‘'I just worked out the clues he left.''
Thomas gave Ryter a look. ‘'I see.''
Ryter sat forward. ‘'Can you give us detailed information of your movements from the 22 nd of May this year to the present time.''
Shannon took a step forward. ‘'What the fuck is this?''
Thomas moved his eyes to her. ‘‘It's a simple enough question.''
‘'You can't seriously be thinking she has something to do with the killings?'' her eyes flicked to both the agents, seeing that they thought just that.
Ryter returned his gaze to Jenny. ‘'We are just asking about Miss Newton's whereabouts, nothing more.''
Shannon wanted to grab them both by the neck and throw them out. ‘'Miss Newton hadn't left the island until I came here two weeks ago and asked her to help on this case. I was sent by my captain as I'm sure you know.''
Ryter gaze was still locked on Jenny. ‘'Do you have proof that you haven't left the island Miss Newton?''
Jenny finally looked up.
Ryter felt himself jerk at the gaze directed at him, and the eyes.
Jenny let the knowing smile come. ‘'I don't have an alibi, which is what you're really asking. Except of course….'' She dropped her eyes to the dog.
Shannon gritted her teeth.
Thomas finally got over the shock of seeing Newton's eyes. ‘'You understand why we are asking?''
Jenny sat further back in the chair, giving him her full attention. ‘'Of course I do. I've done something your profilers haven't managed to do. I broke his code. So, the F.B.I. doesn't trust that someone else is smarter than them. They immediately assume I must be involved in some way. It's happened before when I've worked on cases with your department. I was innocent of involvement then as I am now and If you don't mind me saying it's rather egotistical to believe the F.B.I. are the only people good at breaking codes.''
Jane just managed to contain her snort.
Shannon felt herself relax a little from the anger. Giving the two agents a smug look, her eyes flickered to Jenny, worried by the tone she was using.
Thomas tensed his eyes hardening. ‘'That isn't the reason. We have to check out any leads, including helpful ones.''
Jenny crossed her arms and shrugged. ‘‘If you say so.''
Ryter had to look down to hide his smile.
Thomas however was finding no amusement in this. ‘'Well, can you expect anything less from us Miss Newton, I mean after D.C.''
Shannon had had enough. ‘'That's it. Get out.''
Thomas head shot around to her. ‘'I think your forgetting Detective Rhimes that you are here on my say so.''
Jenny eyes snapped to him, her voice cold. ‘‘Actually Agent Thomas your wrong, she is here on mine.''
His eyes came back to her. ‘'You're not running this case Miss Newton. As of yet we haven't exactly determined what your involvement is. You don't have any say what so ever. ''
Jenny saw Shannon's movement from the corner of her eye, well aware of what the detective was about to do. ‘'Don't.''
Shannon stopped in mid step, called to the command, she looked over to find Jenny's eyes firmly locked on her.
Jenny shook her head slowly.
Thomas watched the exchange with interest.
Shannon took a calming breath, stepping back.
Jenny returned her eyes to Thomas. ‘'What do you want?''
‘'Simply your cooperation.''
‘‘And if I refuse?''
Thomas smile was a cold one. ‘'I'm afraid we would have to take you back to the mainland for full questioning.''
Ryter looked at his partner in surprise.
Shannon fists clenched. ‘'You've got to be kidding me with this bullshit.''
Thomas eyes snapped to her. ‘'I'm going to advise you for the last time Detective to keep out of this. Unless you want to be punching traffic cards.''
Jane had stood silently watching the whole exchange, seeing how quickly this could really get out of hand, she wasn't at all sure her boss wasn't about to shoot the asshole in the suit. She cleared her throat. ‘‘Um. Excuse me.''
All eyes turned to her except for Jenny's. Her eyes were firmly fixed on bud, hiding the fact she was suddenly very scared.
‘'Who are you?'' It was Thomas who spoke.
‘‘I'm Detective Emerson. I'm working on this case. I just wanted to ask a question.''
Thomas gave her a bored stare.
‘'Right, as far as I know. Miss Newton is being employed by the keys P.D as a profiler to help catch the tooth fairy and she was doing so under certain conditions?''
Ryter saw that his partner wasn't going to answer. He however was curious to know where this was going. ‘‘Yes.''
Jane scratched her chin. ‘'See, that's where I'm confused. Miss Newton's immediate superior is Captain Grieves, and, well, she can't really say or do anything without being given his express permission. No offence to you two, but if Grieves finds out Jenny has disobeyed an order or given information out without his say so, he'll make your negotiation technique seem like laurel and hardy.'' Jane gave a cocky smile. ‘‘And no offence again, I don't think he's going to take threatening her very well either. I'm also pretty sure your breaking about twenty five or so of her civil rights, cos I darn sure didn't hear you read her the Mirada or offer her a lawyer before you questioned her.''
Shannon wanted to hug her. ‘'Detective Emerson is right. You know damn well she isn't involved in this. For the past three murders she has been under full surveillance, no calls coming in or out. When she left the island she was under our full protection myself included. ''
Thomas's jaw tensed.
Ryter looked at Jenny, her first expression of this woman being cold and untouchable was wrong, he could see the tightness in her fingers as she grabbed the dogs fur. See the paleness. ‘'Miss Newton?'' he waited for her eyes to come up to his. ‘'I apologies for my partner.''
Thomas looked at him sharply.
Ryter ignored it. ‘‘You see, we really do need your help in this. We don't understand how you worked out the clues so quickly and we don't have a lot of time left to find him. I think you know that?''
Jenny simply nodded.
‘‘Well you know now why we are here. Why don't you tell us what you want in this?''
Jenny studied him, trying to find some sort of game being played, all she sensed was he was genuine. ‘'I'd already made my requests to Captain Grieves.''
Ryter smiled. ‘'So you'd like us to leave you alone while you do your work.''
‘'Even though we just came in here and tried to strong arm you, and think of you as possibly being involved in the murders?''
Jenny managed a small smile. ‘‘I'm not involved.''
‘‘No. I don't think you are. You don't want any F.B.I. assigned to you either do you?''
‘'I have more than adequate protection thank you.'' Her eyes went briefly to Jane and finally Shannon's before returning to his.
His gaze followed hers, he smiled again. ‘'I'd say much more than adequate.'' He rose. ‘‘However, please understand that we have to be sure that you have no involvement in this what so ever and we will be questioning you again. But, at the moment, I'd rather have your help in this case.''
Thomas rose, following Ryter to the door, not a happy bunny at all, but he kept his silence.
Ryter stopped, looking to Jane. ‘‘And for your information Detective. F.B.I. jurisdiction supersedes any other jurisdiction. Including contracts made with police departments….and a Miranda isn't necessary unless we are arresting her for a suspected crime.'' He grinned. ‘'But, I know you knew that.''
He turned his attention to Shannon. ‘'I'm sure I don't need to tell you all reports now are made to the task force instead of your captain. As well as all or any information and plans being made of leaving the island again. I'll expect a detailed daily report of Miss Newton's whereabouts and work being carried out. Do I make myself clear Detective.''
Shannon answered through gritted teeth, she'd just been hog tied in red tape. ‘'Crystal.''
Ryter nodded. ‘‘Good. Now we'll see ourselves out.'' He nodded to Newton. ‘‘Thank you for your time.''
Thomas gave a curt nod to all before he followed his partner out the door.
‘‘Fucking bastards.'' Shannon slammed the door shut on them.
‘‘They're just doing their job.'' Jenny exhaled heavily, glad they were gone.
Shannon swung around. Her eyes narrowing. ‘‘Nice to see your so forgiving of people you don't know, who do their job.''
Jane winced. Her eyes going to Jenny seeing the stiffening of her shoulders. Her eyes went to her boss again seeing the anger. ‘'Do you think they'll leave us alone, or will they set up on the island?''
Shannon tore her gaze away from Jenny, blinking her anger away. ‘'They'll set someone up here, someone to watch, but undercover.''
Jane agreed. ‘‘Yea. So, what was they're real reason for coming here?''
‘'They're just marking their territory.''
Jane snorted. ‘'Figured as much. How mad was the captain?''
‘'Not as mad as I was.'' The whole time Shannon was answering, her focus had returned to Jenny. The way she sat, the way she avoided her gaze. She looked defeated, but most of all she looked scared.
Jane wasn't sure what to do.
Finally Shannon broke the silence as she opened the door. ‘'I'll be at the safe house, report in every second hour.''
Jane nodded solemnly, her eyes shifting to Jenny to see if she'd respond.
Shannon 's eyes did too, when nothing was forthcoming, she turned away.
Shannon slowly turned to face Jenny, waiting.
Jenny took a long breath as she rose. ‘‘No offence to Jane, but I would really like you back as my bodyguard.'' Jenny's voice trembled. ‘'I…. Need to know your close.'' Jenny's eyes rose, meeting Shannon 's.
Shannon exhaled, the iciness in the orbs staring at her were gone, she could see the swirls of green again, see she wasn't shut out now. She gave a nod.
Jane came out of the guestroom carrying her bag. ‘‘You still want me to check in every second hour boss.''
Shannon smiled. ‘‘No. I'll report as normal. Radio silence unless there are any problems. Update the team that the F.B.I. are more than likely setting up surveillance, I need you to update….'' She paused her eyes going to Jenny's again. ‘'…. Update Marcus.'' Shannon was relieved that Jenny didn't flinch or shut her out again.
‘‘Sure thing. Jenny speak soon okay.''
Jenny nodded, her eyes never leaving Shannon .
Jane gave a brief pat to bud. ‘'Later cutie.'' Then headed out of the house.
Jenny walked slowly until she was stood in front of Shannon , her eyes looking into the swirling blue depths. ‘'I'm sorry.''
‘'I didn't know…. I was angry. I said the first thing in my head. But, I didn't know Shannon . I really didn't know.''
Shannon stared back, her expression totally guarded. ‘‘You didn't….. When you….'' She stopped her words.
Jenny shook her head. ‘‘No. I didn't see it. I didn't see her. I know that's hard to believe right now. But, I swear I never knew anything about her or what happened or what she meant to you.''
Shannon looked briefly to the beach and Jane's now distant figure.
Jenny followed her gaze aware of the question as the blue eye returned to her, slightly angry. ‘‘Yes. She told me. But only afterwards, she wanted me to know exactly what I'd done.''
Shannon 's anger abated a little knowing Jane hadn't broken her trust. Her jaw tensed again, her mind going over everything, wanting to believe Jenny didn't know, hadn't seen her past.
Jenny saw it all, seeing the brief glimpse of hope and at the same time the guarded look, she took another step closer. ‘'I'm so sorry please know I'd never use your past like that.'' Jenny's eyes glisten tears.
Shannon looked down, gulping the lump in her throat. ‘'Did I hurt you that much by sending Marcus away? That you had to hurt me?''
‘‘No! Oh Shannon .'' Jenny's heart broke, at the almost childlike voice she heard. She wondered just how many people had hurt Shannon in her life, that she'd come to expect words as a weapon. She managed to push her own anguish down. ‘' It made me mad yes, it hurt yes. But please believe I'm not like that, I wouldn't use something important to hurt you. If I'd known, really known what Cindy meant to you I'd have never used her name. I said it without thinking, without knowing.'' She took a cleansing breath to still her own now broken voice. ‘'I swear it Shannon ….. I'll never hurt you that way. No matter how angry I was or how hurt, I'd…. I'd never.''
Shannon let the tears flow freely, hearing the promise given. How she so wanted to believe Jenny meant it. She couldn't find her voice to acknowledge what was really being said between them, so she gave a quick nod.
Jenny couldn't take it anymore, not seeing what she'd done, seeing the pain, feeling it. She moved forward and pulled Shannon into a hug, ignoring Shannon 's stiffing body. ‘'I'm so sorry.'' She squeezed tighter, hiding her face in Shannon 's neck. ‘'I'm sorry.''
She felt Shannon arms wrap around her, safe arms, feeling Shannon 's body tremble at the contact. Jenny held on tighter, She felt Shannon shift even closer, melding their bodies, she felt the heat, felt Shannon 's warmth. Then she heard the stuttered breath and finally the shuddering which told her Shannon was crying. She felt the waves of anguish, past and present thread through her very core. Shannon 's tried to get control of her emotions and pull away. Jenny couldn't let her go, couldn't let her suffer on her own, wondering if Shannon had ever let this grief out. She moved closer still, until her head rested just above Shannon 's heart, turning her face to lay over it, hearing the steady beat, knowing the heart inside was bleeding. She was aware of her own tears falling now and then she saw. Her head jerked back, looking up to Shannon .
Shannon eyes were locked on her, her eyes silently giving permission.
Jenny closed her eyes, returning her ear to Shannon 's heart as the images filtered into her. The blood, the dumpster, the broken body and through it all she felt Shannon's screams, her pain, her loss, her rage, her bitterness and the most of all the self loathing. Jenny's tears fell now, matching Shannon 's, she gripped the detective to her tighter. Now knowing exactly what her thrown words had truly done.
‘'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry….'' The words became Jenny's mantra, hoping they would heal the wounds she had unknowingly reopened.
She felt Shannon body tremble again as the sobs grew in strength. Jenny lowered them to the floor, not breaking contact, wrapping herself around Shannon as much as possible, giving her the same warmth and protection the detective had given her when she had been so lost.
Shannon's arms tightened, her breathing coming back under control, her sobs fading as the grief broke and returned her to reality. She shifted now embarrassed. ‘'Sorry.''
Jenny smiled her ear still to Shannon 's heart. ‘'Don't be.''
Shannon sniffed, she felt raw. ‘'I don't know where that came from.''
Jenny looked up through her fringe, seeing and feeling the embarrassment. ‘‘Maybe it was time it was let free.''
‘'Than…k.'' Jenny cleared her throat of emotion. ‘'Thank you for showing me.'' She hugged Shannon tighter, glad that the embrace was returned.
‘'I…. I didn't know if I could. But…'' Shannon sniffed, feeling the rawness again. Not knowing exactly why she'd done that. She didn't know what to say. ‘'Your welcome.''
Jenny knew she'd have to deal with the fact Shannon could show her at a later time. She'd been surprised at the jolt she felt when the image had been directed at her. It hadn't happened before that way. Jenny studied Shannon's face, seeing she was having a hard time showing and giving so much, reluctantly Jenny pulled away, about to rise.
Shannon caught her hand.
Jenny looked across in question.
Shannon lent forward and laid a barely touching kiss on Jenny's knuckles.
Jenny breath stopped.
Shannon held her gaze. ‘'Thank you.''
Jenny blinked. Fully aware of the brief kiss and the fact Shannon still held her hand. ‘'For what?''
‘'For being you.'' Shannon let go of her hand, rising, brushing off her jeans. She looked nervously around. ‘'I…. A…. I need to freshen up.''
Jenny mutely nodded, still kneeling on the floor. She watched as Shannon left. She looked down at her hand, running her thumb over where lips had touched. Taking a shaking breath, she rose. Her gaze searching until she found bud, laying watching, by the table. ‘'I'm in so much trouble.''
His head came up and he ‘'arfted' in agreement.
Marcus was bored, he lifted his drink sipping it, welcoming the honey burn on his throat, his eyes gazed around the bar. He'd ended up here on a hunch of sorts. He'd been to each of the crime scenes again and he had to admit doing it at night scared the shit out of him. But, he'd only gotten one hit, one sense. So here he was in Mike's bar. Just four blocks from the library where the fourth victim had been found. He wasn't sure why the hit had brought him here, but it did. If he stretched his senses he could feel the buzzing in his veins, the same feeling he'd gotten when he touched the library steps. He knew from Jenny that the killer hadn't been there with the victim, which had been lowered by the rope. So, why did he get a distinct sense of ‘poppies' again. He'd turned from the library, walking the open area, until he felt the pull, he'd followed the direction, winding through the back streets, until he lost it, right outside Mike's bar. The hunch was he felt the killer had walked the whole area, even visited the library, and for some reason had visited the bar.
He gave a smile to the bartender, turning his head to give her an appreciative look of her body as she moved towards another customer. He jumped slightly as he felt his cell phone vibrate, looking down at the caller I.D., his smile changed to a genuine one. Flipping it open he raised it to his mouth.
‘'Delectable Jane. What do I owe the honor?'' he sipped his drink, imaging her rolling her eyes.
Jane rolled her eyes, she listened trying to pick out the sounds around him. All she really picked out was how tired he sounded. ‘'Have you slept?''
He chuckled. ‘‘Is that an offer to tuck me in and tell me a bedtime story?''
‘'I don't do stories.''
He laughed. ‘‘Oh I bet you do. Wild ones too.''
Jane inhaled, wondering why the hell this guy made her bristle so much. ‘'Marcus this is serious. Stop screwing around…. '' She paused, hearing something. ‘'Are you in a bar?''
‘'That's a yes.'' His eyes went to the bartender again.
‘'You found a lead in a glass of southern comfort?'' she snorted in disgust.
His eyes jumped to the glass at his lips in surprise. ‘'Do you have me bugged?''
She laughed. ‘‘No, you're the sort to drink that shit.''
He frowned, putting the glass down, pushing it away. ‘‘And in answer to your question, yes I am here on a lead. It's a bar a few blocks from victim number four. I think our guy watched them here.''
‘‘Yes really.'' He wasn't in the mood to go through the whole disbeliever thing. ‘'So, why did you call?''
‘'The F.B.I. are on the case. They visited Jenny earlier. The boss wanted you to know. I don't think they know you're involved, so you shouldn't be under surveillance.''
He tensed, twisting slightly to take in the full view of the bar area. His eye's searching. ‘'How did Jenny handle it? Was she okay?''
Once again Jane found herself surprised by the genuine emotion in his voice. ‘'She was freaked, but the boss made sure she was okay.''
He smiled. ‘'I bet she did.''
Jane wanted to know what that meant, but held her tongue. ‘'Tell me about this bar?''
She scoffed. ‘'That's original.''
He grinned. ‘'Ahuh. Pretty much a standard bar. Most of the drinkers here are from the mall and library area and passing visitors Workers come here for lunch and after work. I'm sure if you check you'll find out the victim did.''
‘'She has a name.'' Her voice was sharp.
He looked down. ‘'I know Jane. I do know. But…. It's easier for me not to get too personal. When I sense something I need to know I'm not confusing it with something I've learnt. I know you don't understand what the hell I mean.'' He rubbed his eye, suddenly feeling tired.
He sighed. ‘'It has three late night events, bands come in. I know the victim didn't work in the area, so I'm guessing the thread I feel is because they came here for another reason.''
She chewed her lip. ‘'Do you really think our guy went there and watched them? Came out into the open that much?''
Marcus reached across taking the last gulp of his drink. ‘‘Yea. He did. What's open about it?'' his eyes went to his own reflection in the bar mirror in front of him. ‘'Tell me Jane. How many men would you notice in a bar, drinking alone. Kept to themselves, didn't look like they were prowling for company. You'd assume they were waiting for someone. In fact you wouldn't give them another look.''
Jane exhaled sharply. ‘‘Good point. Why you so sure it's our prep?''
He smiled. ‘‘Just tell Jenny I found something, I'm not sure what yet. She'll understand if you say ‘poppies'.''
Jane scratched her neck. ‘‘If you say so…. Look, I'll arrange for someone to go down there and show the victims picture and ask some questions again. You going to stay there?''
Marcus shifted to pull his wallet out, tilting his head to trap the phone against his neck. He pulled out a few bills, laying them on the counter. ‘'No. There's nothing else here. I'm going to get some sleep then head out to the crime scenes again tomorrow.'' He rose, walking free from the bar, standing outside, filling his lungs with the fresh air. ‘'I'll call if I find anything.''
‘'Sure…. Um….'' She suddenly got a bad feeling. ‘'Be careful okay. You don't have any back up.''
His grin creased his cheeks. ‘'Why Jane, you sound like you care.''
She rolled her eyes again, annoyed he'd gotten to her so easily. ‘'You wish.''
He laughed, hearing the click of the call ending. Placing the cell back in his pocket his face still showed his amusement. Zipping his jacket up he headed back towards the main street. Suddenly he stopped, the smile falling from his face as he twisted around, feeling the sharp pulse of a thread. He felt his heart rate stutter as he sensed it, sensed something, something close. He fell to one knee, placing his hand flat on the tarmac, running his fingers over it, ignoring the people now staring at him. His fingers paused. He looked up, his eyes drawn to the area just west of him. Quickly he stood, and started jogging towards the nearby alley.
Jenny had been leading against the doorframe for about ten minutes. She knew she was being decadent just watching the detective work, it was a guilty pleasure she found she was becoming addicted too. Shannon was so different when she was unguarded. In the past ten minutes, she'd found out whatever Shannon was working on was something that confused her, annoyed, frustrated. Each and every emotion briefly had flickered across the detectives face. Now, Jenny was intrigued to know what was causing such emotions.
‘'What you working on?''
Shannon jumped, her head whipping around. ‘'Christ. How long you been there?''
Jenny smiled, pushing off from the frame. ‘‘Long enough to know something is pissing the hell out of you.'' She moved to the laptop, her gaze going briefly to the screen. Surprised at what she saw her eyes went to Shannon. ‘'The victims.''
Shannon sat back, rubbing the tension in her neck. ‘'I can't figure out how he gets to them? I mean they all come from good backgrounds, they're not overly outgoing people. Hell, two of them, family members said they wouldn't trust anyone. So, how does he get them to go with him?''
Jenny's eyes read through the report on the screen from victim two. ‘‘Is there still no link to tie them together?''
‘‘Nope. They weren't even from the same area of the keys. We can't tie even a coffee shop to them. None of them moved in the same circles. ‘' she reached over pulling a list she printed. ‘' he took two of them on the way to work. One, while jogging. One, while out at night to a bar. One, on a hike. Two more just disappeared after they left their house to go shopping. ‘'
Jenny sympathized at how frustrating it was. ‘'Shannon. You've got to understand, he hasn't preplanned how he takes them, he looks for an opening that's all.''
Shannon rose. ‘‘Yea I know that. But what makes these people trust him?'' her arm swept out, motioning to the victim board. ‘'What the hell makes a twenty and forty year old man trust another man to go with him.''
‘‘Those two are easy.''
Shannon looked at her in question.
‘‘They didn't see him as a threat. Males rarely see another male as a threat unless they show aggression. Or they look like a danger. He would have appeared meek and mild to them, or needed their help in some way.''
Shannon's eyes went back to the board. ‘‘And the women?''
Jenny sighed. ‘‘Shannon this is pretty standard psyche 101. The F.B.I. profile will tell you the same thing.''
Jenny sighed again. ‘‘He would have been overly charming, he will be handsome. His clothes will be well tailored, comfortable. Women tend not to trust ugly or scruffy men. More than likely appeared to need their help, he would have appeared embarrassed about it: Lost child, lost animal, Car broken down. Directions. They would have trusted him because he was sincere…. The two he took from near their homes were the two who didn't trust and were less likely to help a stranger. He knew any guises wouldn't work with them, so he had to get them hard and fast. They wouldn't have really known what hit them when they were taken.''
Shannon shook her head. ‘‘In today's world I'm surprised anyone trusts or helps anyone anymore.''
Jenny's eyes went to her. ‘'Shannon. Don't let people like him taint what is still good in the world. As human beings we trust, we want to help others. Not everyone is like him, not everyone has a hidden agenda.''
Shannon smiled sadly. ‘‘Says the woman who has hidden away from the world for two years.''
Jenny returned the smile hearing no malice in the words. ‘‘Touché. But I was given a reason not to trust.'' She shrugged her shoulders. ‘'I'm learning I was wrong. It didn't do anything except let the basterd win.'' She swallowed, hugging herself. It was one thing to know the answer it was another to fight the fear of memory.
Shannon met her eyes, seeing the green swirl again, this time it was stronger. ‘'I'm glad you've realized.''
‘‘Me too. You gonna be okay?''
Shannon looked back at the pictures of all the victims. ‘‘Yea, when we catch him.''
‘'Do the F.B.I. have the two possible drop sites covered?''
Jenny studied her face. ‘‘But, you don't think it's enough do you?''
Shannon face-hardened. ‘‘Is it ever enough anything we do? I want him caught before he kills again is that so much to ask.''
‘'Shannon.'' Jenny's voice showed the fact she thought that was impossible in the timeline left. She knew he probably had his next victim all picked out, if not taken already.
‘'I know. Okay. I know no matter how fast we work, how fast we break his clues, he will always put himself ahead in the timeline. He's still playing to his game. The only real chance we have of catching him is when he dumps the body, that's if we're right.''
Jenny wasn't sure what to say. ‘'I still have some leads to work on. Have you finished with the laptop?''
Shannon's eyes were fixed on the photographs. ‘'Go ahead. I have to check in with Jane anyway.'' She finally let her eyes leave the victims, making her way to the door.
‘'Would it break the rules to ask Jane over here later?''
Shannon paused, turning to face her. ‘'Why?''
Jenny sat down at the laptop, calling open the files she'd been working on. ‘'I like the way her mind works, she was helpful yesterday.''
‘‘My mind not good enough now?''
Jenny looked over her shoulder, smiling, hearing the teasing tone. Resisting the urge to tease back and let the detective know she loved her mind and found it sexy as hell. No. That was dangerous territory to go into right now. She looked back to the laptop, containing her blush. ‘‘She doesn't believe I have any magic powers, you however now do. When I ask her a question she answers without thinking. It helped, I'm hoping it will help again. Is it a problem?''
Shannon tried to figure out what exactly Jenny did want with Jane. ‘‘No. Not a problem. I can get another part of the team to watch the surveillance, it just surprised me.''
‘‘I suddenly wanted house guests?'' Jenny hid her amusement.
Shannon looked to the floor, sheepishly. ‘‘Something like that. Anyway I'll arrange it. Eight, okay?''
Jenny looked at the laptop clock; it gave her just over four hours. ‘‘Yes perfect. Thank you.''
Shannon nodded, heading out of the den. Pulling her cell phone free.
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