I Will Find You
I blew my blond hair out of my face and redirected my attention to my boss, Leo Merktem, at the front of the conference room.
“…five girls are missing and more missing person reports seem to be matching this guy’s MO each day.
“So far, we’ve matched; Slenea Jopkins, just turned eighteen, from the Bronx. She went missing on her way to church on Sunday November sixth. Next is Jennifer Kelvin and Francesca Linston, both nineteen, they disappeared on their way home from College in Queens, November thirtieth. Then Kirsten Jones, sixteen, from Manhattan. She didn’t arrive home from school on December tenth. And the latest one that’s matched the search criteria so far is, Gretle Tomptin, twenty-five, from Brooklyn. She vanished on December fifteenth, after she got off the bus, two blocks from her home where her husband was waiting with their three-year-old son. All of you have the files on them with all their details, reports so far, and recent pictures.
“The only reason this has even been brought to our team’s attention is because one of the girls missing is a minor. The detectives in charge of her case ran it through the database and her disappearance started matching others and they panicked. The Feds have been unable to find a lead and since the first victim went missing over three months ago, time is running very short for her.” I watched as the rest of teams faces said they were thinking the same as me, it was very unlikely that the earliest two—or maybe even three—victims were alive, their bodies just hadn’t turned up yet. “Now, Brian”—he glanced at me, probably to make sure I was paying attention—”we have the electronics from all the missing girls on their way here from the different precincts.” He handed me a checklist and looked down at his own folder. “There are five laptops, four iPads, three cell phones, and two Xboxes—”
“And a partridge in a pear treeeee.” I stifled a laugh at Archie’s high pitched musical interruption.
I could see the Leo was working hard not to smile—his bushy moustache was twitching—his dark-skinned face was stern and his voice a low growl. “Archie, this is a serious meeting, kindly keep your juvenile jokes to yourself.”
“Yes, Boss,” Archie muttered slouching down in his seat and trying to look serious. That just caused chuckles to start going around the table. Archie didn’t do serious when he thought a joke could break up the tension. His bright red t-shirt, neon green long shorts and ginger hair, made him stand out from the rest of the team in our varying colored suits. Archie always said the only time he would wear a suit was at a funeral, preferably his own.
I pushed my glasses up my nose as Leo turned his attention back to me. “As I was saying”—a dark glare was shot at Archie—”I need you to work your usual magic and find us any clues you can. The only thing we have found so far is the victims all used the same social media. Facebook and Twitter.” I rolled my eyes at his tone of voice. It was a well-known fact Leo hated technology with a vengeance. I usually spent most of my free time trying to sort out the latest mess he’d made of his computer or cell phone.
I sighed, trawling through social media would be hell, and hit and miss at best, unless they found another lead to pin down what I needed to search for. Luckily Leo had already turned to hand out the rest of the assignments.
“Sophia and Archie go talk to the parents and the husband.” A clown Archie may be, but his laid-back style seemed to relax people. He also had a knack for reassuring family members, without giving any promises the team may not be able to deliver on.
“Sherri, get the victims’ pictures out to the media and make sure the girls faces are everywhere. I want news reports, front pages, posters made up, everything and anything you can think of.
“Terry, use your contacts and get more information from the respective police officers that took the initial reports. I want to know more than what they put in their reports. Impressions, gut feelings, anything.
“Okay people, let’s go find them”.
As everyone filed out the room I turned to the boss. “So, when will I get the electronics?” I had other projects on the go and needed to know what I would need to sideline and for how long.
“Everything should arrive after lunch. A FBI sanctioned courier is going to each station to pick up the evidence. I did offer to send someone to pick it all up but the Feds vetoed the idea. Chain of evidence and such”
I rolled my eyes. The Fed’s and their procedures and red tape. Maybe if they cared a little less about recording every minute detail, they’d find more of the missing persons on their books.
Of course, I know there is a reason for most of the paperwork they do, I just think some of it is duplicated far too much.
I suppose I should introduce myself. I’m Brian Victor Brooner, and I’m the technical analyst and sketch artist for the top missing persons team in New York, Missing/Found. We’re only called in when the police, and/or the FBI, have hit a brick wall—usually at least five times.
Our team isn’t affiliated to any government agency, so we don’t have to worry much about those pesky rules and regulations that police must adhere to. We’ve been in operation for over five years and with Leo as our team leader we quickly became the go to people for finding missing people.
Leo is ex-military and has the ‘It will get done’ attitude needed for pushing through to find the missing.
Sherri is an ex-journalist, she knows who to call and what to say when the press come calling. She also can get our missing people’s picture out to the right people quicker than anyone I’ve ever met.
Terry, is an ex-police lieutenant. He got tired of the afore—frequently—mentioned, and cursed, red tape, regulations, and procedures. So, he quit as soon as Leo offered him a job with us.
Archie and Sophia, are the only ones we recruited straight out of the academy. They were both training to be officers and Leo offered them a deal they couldn’t refuse. They both graduated top of their classes in investigation skills and analyzing evidence.
Lastly is me. I was a technical analyst for the FBI Behavior Analysis Unit. Leo worked with us on a serial killer and like the others he made me an offer. My job is to comb through computer files, emails, and other electronic detritus to find the bastards who think they can take whoever they want, whenever they want, and do whatever they want.
I’m married to the most wonderful man, Charlie from the VICE squad—did I mention I’m gay? No? Well, I am.
He is the best, most perfect, handsomest man in the world. He has the bluest eyes and the creamiest skin. And his muscles? Well…just, yum—yes, I know I’m bias, deal with it.
He’s the one who knows when to pull me away from my work and make me eat and rest. The one that reminds me that there are good, loving people out there, when the cases I work on start to close in on me.
He has this special way of distracting me if I insist I need to get back to work. He gets me on the bed, ties me up and when I’m—sorry someone’s at the door I gotta go…
I opened my office door to see an old friend from the New York PD office. We’d worked together on a case to find a young child taken by a pedophile ring.
“Simon, what can I do for you?” I waved him in and indicated my visitor’s chair.
He let out a long sigh as he sat and dropped his head to his hands.
“I may have done something rather stupid.” I had to lean as far forward as I could without falling out of my seat to hear him, his voice was so quiet and laced with guilt and pain.
I waited and was about to prod him when he continued. “I helped my sixteen-year-old cousin Sara to get plane tickets to visit a friend in France. She said her mom and da were busy and they’d asked her to call me. I usually sort all her parents travel plans for them—they’re useless at doing those sorts of things online—so I didn’t think anything of it. I mean she said her friend’s parents were meeting her at the airport. Except, her parents called me about half an hour ago to say it was great Sara was visiting with me and when would she be coming home. I panicked and said I would get her to call them as soon as she could because she’d gone out with some youngsters her age to the movies.
“What am I going to do? I can’t tell them I’ve sent their only daughter overseas and that she could be anywhere by now. Their minor daughter. She would have only just arrived and I need you to find her. Please.” Tears were sparkling in his eyes and I felt his urgency deep to my bones.
I grabbed my nearest open laptop and started typing in search codes.
“Name? Date of birth? Flight details?” I snapped out the questions in quick succession and as hoped it pulled Simon out of his unhelpful, but totally understandable, self-pitying mood, and concentrated his attention on me.
“Sara Williams. Fourteenth of August year two-thousand. She flew out of New York JFK on the twenty-fourth near to midnight. She had a nearly ten-hour flight to Kiev, then a two-hour layover, before another two-hour flight on to Paris CDG. The flight numbers were PS0453 and PS0243 with Ukraine International Airlines. Um, she was supposed to be picked up in Paris, and then head to Nice by car. I couldn’t get a flight at the time she wanted direct to Nice. She showed me a picture of one of her friends with her parents. I recognized them from one the regular pool parties her family holds. I even remembered speaking to them and that their accent was French. Why didn’t I ring and confirm with her parents? Why didn’t I ring the friend’s parents and check with them that they were expecting her there? What if something has happened to her? What if….”
“Whys and what ifs are useless now.” I kept my tone firm, I didn’t need him dissolving into a mess in my office. I needed him to keep his head and help me.
Using the information I got from him I hacked into a few systems to get an up to date photo of Sara and then hacked into the airport cameras. I ran a facial recognition program for the information on time and flights that Simon had given me and quickly found the wayward teenager.
“Okay she boarded the flight you booked and made the connecting flight according to the flight records.” I tapped a few more buttons. “She also arrived on time in Paris. She stopped by customs and they called her named sponsor. An adult by the name of David Laurens, joined her in the interview and agreed to take full parental responsibility for her. She even had a letter—supposedly signed by her parents—giving him temporary guardianship of her.
“Hang on.” I had a sudden idea and kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner. I moved to a different program. “What’s her cell phone number?”
I entered it as he rattled it off to me, and pushed some of my power into as well….
Okay, I am going to interrupt again here.
I am what some call a psychic. Others would call me a Seer. And still others would call me a freak, but I’ve never told anyone—not even Charlie—so….
Whatever name you give it I have a special power. I can see the past, present and sometimes future of a person. You could give me a name and date of birth and I could ask my power to help. I could see what the person is doing at that moment, or what they were doing in the past at that location, or maybe on a good day where they’re going to be. My future visions are rarely reliable because, of course, the future is always changing.
Now that’s clearer back to Simon and Sara.
My power hummed inside and me and a video started running in one of my eyes with tinny sounds came through one ear. I strained to keep separate where I was and where Sara seemed to be.
She was on a road somewhere. I could hear her begging to go back to Paris and crying that she wanted to go home. She insisted she wouldn’t tell anyone. At least I now knew I was seeing the present and not a trip she’d taken with a parent.
The computer program interrupted my concentration and a flashing red dot on my screen showed that Sara, like any teenager, had her cell phone with her and that she had the GPS turned on. Whoever had her obviously had no criminal sense—luckily for us—and hadn’t searched her before setting off to his destination. Probably some out of the way pay-by-the-hour motel, or a secluded house somewhere.
I kept watching the computer screen with one eye, tapping the keyboard occasionally to keep the flashing light tracking Sara’s progress, while with my free hand I reached for the phone.
“Put me through to the French FBI HQ in Paris, now!” I knew I was barking orders, but I didn’t have time to mess around and I could apologize to the main reception later. I watched as the dot got nearer to the Paris outskirts, when I finally heard call transferring tone.
As soon as someone answered I started speaking. Fortunately, I spoke fluent French. I quickly got through to the person I needed. Pier and I had worked together before and as I explained the situation, I soon heard him barking orders to others in his team. Meanwhile, I linked his computer to mine so he could see the trace I had on Sara’s GPS.
“Patrol units are converging on their position,” I informed Simon and continued to listen to what was happening in Pier’s office. I grinned when, in my still one eyed vision, I saw the flashing lights and heard the sirens approaching Sara’s location. I heard the officers shouting for the driver to pull over and saw Sara crying in relief as they slid to a stop at the curb. The driver turned out to be a middle-aged male who looked like he would be at home in any high-rise office building. He was semi-neatly groomed with short black hair and a five o’clock shadow that made him look charmingly messy. He was wearing the same suit I’d seen him in on the airport camera. Except, now I was seeing him in color I could see it was a deep blue and matched his angry eyes.
A female officer rushed Sara quickly away, and Pier came on the line to tell me what I already knew.
“The young lady is safe. She will be taken to the nearest hospital to be checked out first and then I will personally make sure she is on the next flight to New York.” His speech was rapid and he was obviously still sorting things out in the office too.
“Thank you, my friend. Charge her ticket to me. Make sure she is in first class and has a direct flight back here, no layovers where something could go wrong again. I will make sure I have someone meet her at the airport as soon as you send me the flight information, and she will be taken straight home.”
I gave Pier my card details and thanked him again before hanging up.
I gave a yelp as Simon scooped me up into a tight hug.
“Go on with you.” I slapped his back and ushered him out the door with a promise to send him the flight details as soon as I heard from Pier.
I kept the vision running a while more, this time with both eyes. I watched as the female officer bundled Sara into her car and held as she cried. Slowly the story came out that she’d met a boy on Facebook and he’d talked her into meeting up with him. She’d lied and said she was eighteen and so when he wanted to meet for a romantic time in Paris, she’d had to think up a way of getting a ticket without alerting her parents. My energy was failing and I turned the vision off as soon as she arrived at the hospital safely.
I ran down to a nearby Deli and grabbed a bowl of their daily special pasta to go. Back in my office I had barely taken two bites when another knock on my door interrupted me.
“Evidence for Mr. Brooner!” The courier was a young bored looking uniformed officer, who obviously thought the job of delivery person was beneath him.
“That’s me.” I signed where he said—all five sheets, with carbons, and a sixth that he kept. I took the five boxes off him when he picked them up. Boy, they were heavy. I turned, but before I could even thank him he disappeared. Oh well, I shrugged to myself and shut the door with my hip.
Finding a clear space for the boxes was difficult. My office wasn’t big to start off with. When you added all my computers, scanners, keyboards, and other detritus it was downright pokey. I had my personal laptop, an entire wall covered in screens, three fully decked out desktop computers connected to the screens, and the screens or desktops could also connect to my laptop when needed. I had several different keyboards, add to that the three scanners, two cameras, and various other normal office stationary and furniture. Finally, I just nudged a stack of files until they landed on the floor and dropped the boxes gratefully onto a corner of my main desk.
A glance at the time told me it was getting late and, as wonderful as it had been to help Simon and save Sara, I needed to make a good dent in the current case. More girls were in danger and we needed to find them.
I pulled up one of my custom programs and started with the first file. I filled in timelines and made notes of my own on all the victims. I didn’t push with my power yet, I wanted to get a feel for the case first.
I hacked into Facebook—easier than trying to get the information from their laptops—and pulled up the profiles for all the girls.
Honestly, when would youngsters learn not to put their whole life on the internet for all to see? They all had their posts set to public and had the location indicator turned on. Anyone could see what they were posting and where from. Why would anyone want to know what another person had for lunch, dinner, and supper? Everyday!
My own Facebook profile so secure only people I chose to share it with could even find me.
It didn’t take long to start finding a few similarities between the various profiles on my screens. However, there wasn’t one similarity that was the same for all five girls. There had to be something I was missing, I just didn’t know what.
Finally, I turned to the electronics in the boxes. I set up the two Xboxes and started a program to scan for any chat rooms the girls had used. While that worked, I started up the laptops and iPads. I found chargers and picking an iPad at random I swiped the screen. No password—that surprised me. Then I double checked whose I had picked up. Ah, the sixteen-year-old’s. At a guess then I wouldn’t find anything on it. If her parents didn’t allow a password they must have checked up on her regularly.
God, it had been a long day. I dropped my keys on the table inside the door and propped my laptop bag beside it. Home sweet home. Home sweet empty home.
Charlie was away on an assignment to help train some German VICE officers in some new American methods. Since he was the one to invent the methods his department were now using, he was the one they decided to send. I was proud of him, I really was, but I missed him and wanted him home where he belonged.
Oh well, at least I wouldn’t have to argue with him over what to watch on the TV.
He was probably in bed as it was past midnight where he was.
But first I was hungry and after a brief investigation of the fridge, I found some left over curry and put it the microwave to cook while I went to change.
Twenty minutes later I was vegging out on the couch with my dinner and flipping through the TV channels. It was just my luck, the first time in months I get to watch whatever I want on the TV and there was nothing I on that grabbed my attention.
Giving up on the TV I switched to music and danced round the living room to shake out the stiff muscles I had from sitting at the computers all day. Then our song came on. The song had been number one in the charts the week we met. I swayed to the slow music and the loneliness hit me like a sledge hammer. I missed him and felt like I was missing a part of myself.
My laptop beeping startled me out of my pity party, I’d forgotten I’d turned in on and left it to run updates while I ate.
Tapping a few keys my Skype app flashed onto the screen and I grinned when I saw Charlie’s icon blinking.
Hitting the accept button the screen changed to show the one person in the world I never wanted to let go of.
“Hi, love, what you doing up so late?” I checked my watch, twenty-two-hundred, that meant it had to be getting on for—or even past—two in the morning in Germany.
“You didn’t think I would let you go to bed without speaking to you, did you? Anyway, the bed is empty here, I can’t sleep without my bed warmer.”
I chuckled. Charlie was always cold at night. Even in the middle of the hottest summer he would try and warm his cold feet against my ass at stupid o’clock in the morning.
“As soon as you get home I’ll make sure you’re nice and warm, maybe even hot!”
“You could always help me to warm up now.” The mischievous twinkle in his eyes sent shiver through my body.
“What did you have in mind?” I tried to go for an innocent tone but the look on his face told me I missed the mark.
“Well, you can start by removing those clothes. They’re in the way of my view.”
I rose and moved back so he would get a better view. I then proceeded to do the best strip tease I knew how.
I ran my hands up and down my body as I revealed each piece of skin slowly and—I hoped—sensually.
“Your turn,” I demanded as I panted through my arousal. I was so hard I hurt.
I got even harder as I watched my beautiful husband strip for me. His tanned skin golden, and smooth, his muscles bulging as he moved with the grace of a big, lethal cat.
“Touch yourself Bri.” His voice was low and his breath was coming as fast as mine.
I moaned as I did what he told me. It felt like an age since I’d had anything wrapped round my cock. “I’m so close. I’m going to—”
“No!” Charlies order had me freezing, panting for breath as I tried to pull back from the edge of ecstasy. “Please,” I begged.
“I’m not finished with you yet. Go to our drawer and get the red plug and the lube.”
I jumped up and ran. I was back in record time and kneeling in front of the screen panting for breath. The lube and red dildo plug sat in front of me in all its seven inches of glory.
“Now, on your hands and knees. I want you side on to the screen with the plug in front of you.”
After I’d assumed the position I looked back to see Charlie sitting, legs spread wide, his hard cock standing up ready for me to drool over.
Now, I want to see you finger fucking yourself until you’re gaping wide. And because I know how noisy you can get, while you’re prepping you can suck on that large cock in front of you. You can imagine it’s my cock.”
I whimpered at his words, and leaned forward to suck on the head of the dildo.
Moving down to my elbows I managed to fumble open the lube and slick up one hand, without falling face first on the carpet.
“You’re keeping me waiting here,” came Charlie’s admonishing voice. “If you don’t get on with it you won’t have time to come before I have to sign off. And if that happens, you can be sure you won’t have permission to come until we next speak.”
The threat of not coming was enough to spur me into action. I slid one slick finger inside myself and quickly proceeded to two then three. I thanked my flexibility and moaned around my mouthful of rubber.
“Faster,” my lover commanded. “Get more of that plug in your mouth as well. I want to see it all disappearing in that hungry throat.”
Taking a deep breath through my nose and letting out, I slowly moved down the dildo until my lips met the bottom. It wasn’t as large as my husband’s wonderful cock, and if I could deep throat his eight inches, I could suck this no trouble.
I moved my fingers faster, occasionally grazing my prostate and sending pleasure singing through my entire body. My cock was dripping and swaying with every movement I made.
“Okay, now turn so I can see that lovely ass of yours and slide the plug all the way into your hungry hole.”
I extracted my fingers and spun round so quickly I nearly lost my balance. I scowled over my shoulder at my chuckling husband, then dropped my head as I slid the plug in as he’d instructed.
“Slowly, I want to see you stretching that hole.” His breath was coming in short pants and I was sure he was getting closer to the edge.
I slowed my movements and for a while all I could hear was the slick sound of the dildo entering and exiting my willing body, and both of us panting as our arousal spiked higher and higher. Another sound started to infiltrate my sense and I realized I could hear Charlie beating off, fast and hard.
I moaned loud and long. I was so close.
“Please, love, I need to cum. Please…please…fuck…I can’t hold….” I begged until my voice was hoarse, until finally. “Come now!”
The command ripped through the speakers and I exploded. My vision greyed and I slumped to the damp floor with the dildo still hanging out of my ass. Suddenly I was exhausted.
I came back to myself to see Charlie still sitting there with a satisfied smirk on his face. He own cum covered his belly and the sight made me wish he was here with me so we could snuggle together until both of us were ready for another round. Preferably a round with him pounding me hard and fast into the nearest handy surface.
We both fetched wet cloths to clean up then chatted for over an hour about anything not related to work—I didn’t want to spoil our time together with shop talk. Then I noticed him trying hard to stay awake and I sent him to bed.
I wandered into work tired and out of sorts. Even with our Skype chat—and other activities—I still missed Charlie too much to sleep properly. I made a beeline for the coffee pot in my office and the much-needed caffeine injection it promised.
Two cups later, I proclaimed myself semi-human and mostly awake.
I checked the reports and found transcripts of Archie, and Sophia’s and a note from Terry to say he would see me at lunch in Leo’s office, to discuss what he found out with me and the others who were, apparently, joining us.
Shrugging I opened the report Archie had sent and started reading.
I made notes on a few things that hadn’t been in the police reports, but mostly they were just repeating what they’d told the officers.
The parents hadn’t been very helpful. Like a lot of parents the common refrain was, ‘But, my baby girl/boy wouldn’t do anything like talk to strangers on Facebook. Or arrange to meet up with a stranger they’d only met online.’
I laughed out loud when I got the end of Archie’s report and saw….
These parents know very little about what their kids are up to. They think their little darling girls are asleep in their rooms, when really, they could’ve been shimmying down the drainpipe to make out with the boy next door every night. The first they would know about it is when their girl turns to them in tears, pregnant and single. They aren’t going to change their minds and I don’t think we’ll get much else from them.
Sophia and I will be hitting the list of friends and co-workers tomorrow.
I moved to Sophia’s report and found much the same. She had a few more insights in to the girl’s rooms though and she’d found a stash of printed love notes under Jennifer Kelvin’s bed.
I flipped to the copies at the end of the report. They looked like they were off Facebook messenger.
I turned to the laptop I had left running algorithms through Facebook for me. Bringing up another window I entered in a search for all the messenger accounts of the victims.
Unsurprisingly, I turned up nothing, so I keyed in a few commands and gained access to the deleted files. As long as the files hadn’t been written over I may be able to reconstruct a few on the elements.
An hour later I had three messages to Jennifer and two to Francesca.
They were from different profiles, but after a lot of digging I found the profiles originated form the same IP address. I was just digging in further when someone entering my office broke into my concentration.
“Lunch time,” Archie sang happily and promptly grabbed my arm.
Now, I pride myself on being strong, even though I’m the shortest on the team. But, Archie has a way of catching you by surprise and you find yourself going where he’s leading you before you’ve really had a chance to think.
So, I allowed Archie to drag me out of my office and down the corridor.
When we arrived half the food laid out on a long table against the wall of Leo’s office had been eaten already, it seemed I was the last one to arrive.
“I found him still engrossed in his computers as usual,” Archie said and headed for the food, filling a plate to almost overflowing.
“I was chasing down a lead, if you had bothered to ask before you dragged me out of my office without even a by-your-leave.” I snorted at Archie’s pouting face and checked what they’d left me to eat. The answer was not a lot but someone had thought to leave one of my favorite cakes for me to take.
I grabbed a few random sandwiches and some crisps, then balanced the cream puff on the edge of a plate and joined the others to catch up on the case.
“What happened with the investigating officers?” Leo asked Terry, he’d obviously go the same note I had and wanted to know what was going on as much as I did.
“I got the usual response from most of them. These missing girls weren’t even on their radar until the minor one went missing. The others just got entered into the system and forgotten about. There was no evidence of kidnapping, they aren’t disabled—either mentally or physically—and they are all considered adults. Therefore, they aren’t considered a priority.
“However, one officer, Leon Helm, out of NYPD, was concerned. He’d found two other girls; Kelly Newton, twenty-two from Queens. She went missing after leaving a night club January tenth. And Alison Bluey nineteen from the Bronx, also last seen leaving a local night club. Leon had been planning on contacting us today with the information. I sent a request for reports and evidence, and sent the few details I have to your emails.”
Leo nodded thoughtfully, all I could think was that this brought our total up to seven. How many more would we find before the end?
“I’ve spoken to five of the first victim’s friends,” Archie picked up. “I got the usual lines of ‘she was a wonderful friend,’ and, ‘I miss her terribly and hope you find her soon.’
“I think most of them were sincere but two rang alarm bells. One in particular was Tracey Viters. She grew up with Slenea, but didn’t seem that upset she was missing and told us that she thought that, and I quote, ‘the brat has just run away to get more attention’ end quote. After prodding a bit more it turns out Slenea had used a work computer to set up a dating profile under a false name. Her profile says, she’s looking for love from an older man who knows how to look after a younger girl the way she deserves.”
Archie waved a crust at me. “I’ve sent the details to your email, and contact details for the friend in case you want to ask anything else.”
I nodded. “Thanks. I was tracking the love notes that Sophia found when you dragged me out of my office. I’ve found more, these to Francesca though. They’re from a different Facebook profile, but the same IP address. I should be able to get you an id by the end of the day, or sooner hopefully.”
Leo spoke up next. “The Feds are on our backs to generate leads they can run down. Has anyone got something I can give them that even they can’t mess up”
“They’re not all bad, boss,” Terry stated in his quiet Texas drawl.
“No, not all,” Leo acknowledged. “But, unfortunately the ones we’ve had dealings with recently seem to want us to do the hard work, so they can take all the credit.
The anger was obvious in his voice and he visibly took a deep breath and blew it out as he relaxed.
“Why not give them the new Victims?” Sherri asked. “They may be able to pry more out of the families and Brian can get a head start to work his magic in peace on the dating profile.”
Leo nodded with a grunt and we were all dismissed.
I nabbed a couple more sandwiches on my way out, my head already working out how I was going to get into the dating site, and get the information I needed, fast.
I hacked the site easily enough—I also made a note to send them some flyers about our security services, I’m never one to pass over a business opportunity. I found Slenea’s profile under the screen name Archie gave me, Sexyandneedinglove, and did a double take at the picture. That was not Slenea. A separate search found it was actually of a photo of a lesser known actress.
I pushed my power into the site and a video starting playing in my mind.
I saw Slenea sitting at her computer, in what I presumes was her bedroom, reading the replies to her profile. She seemed excited when she reached a certain response. I read as quickly as I could but only got a few words and the profile name.
…want to see you…Studlylookingtosettle.
Really? I mean where do people come up with these names? And why do others fall for the corny names and lines these idiot use?
I saw her type a response, but the angle of the screen must have changed as I couldn’t see the words at all now. She sat there a while then seemed disappointed and turned off the computer. The video ended and I was looking at my flashing search screen again.
Hmmm, maybe she’d been expecting an instant reply?
I typed in the other profile and had to work hard not to chuckle at what I found. The profile text read like a woman’s magazine list of exactly what a stereotypical woman would want—no, I’m not telling you how I know what woman’s magazines say, don’t ask.
As for the picture attached to the profile, it was so obviously fake it was laughable. The picture was of an oiled down male model, with a well-defined eight pack, and waxed smooth body. He was wearing a very tiny pair of blue shorts that left nothing to the imagination, and a sexy pouting look. I set an image search going and hit my cock to make it behave, because, hey, I’m human not dead.
It didn’t take long to find out the model was a sexy Italian by the name of Mario.
I clicked back to the unknown male’s profile and sent a trickle of power into it. I would need to take a break soon or I would exhaust myself using too much power, too quickly.
Immediately a video started up in my mind and I let out a gasp. The shock nearly had me losing the connection and I had to concentrate to bring it back into full focus.
I saw an older man, at least in his forties, sitting in front of a computer screen split to show various profiles. I checked the bottom bar and saw the date was November first, just five days before Slenea disappeared. Slenea’s profile was in the top right corner and as I watched a ping sounded from his speakers.
“Gottcha, you little bitch,” he rasped, his voice sounded like he had a twenty a day habit, and judging by the state of his clothes, an aversion to showers.
Slenea’s message popped up and this time my viewpoint meant I could read it at my leisure.
I would love to meet up, but I have to have a good reason to get away from my ‘rents. I need to save money living at home so we can live comfortably.
Please be patient and we can be together.
From the tone, I guessed he had been pressing her to meet and she’d been telling him she lived with her parents to save on rent and they would object to her meeting him.
I watched as he read then reread the message. He gave a huff and turned her profile off so another replaced it. Kirsten Jones, victim four. Seemed I was finally on to something, but I needed a way to identify the bastard.
I kept watching, but all he did was flick through messages form desperate girls and shut his computer. I could feel the vision starting to fray as I got tired, but I held on. Then I got my reward; he picked up the phone.
“Yeah, I want a full meat feast ten-inch deep-pan, delivered asap…129 222nd street…No, I’ll pay by card…expiry date is twelve-nineteen, card number five-four-three….”
The vision collapsed and I started cursing. My natural vision was greying round the edges and I fumbled in my desk drawer for the candy bar and can of soda I kept there.
After a few minutes, I felt able to move without falling on my ass and I typed my notes up and emailed them to the team. I included a sketch of what the guy looked like, I kept the explanation of how I found what he looked like vague and hoped for the best.
I had to eat and wished for the umpteenth time Charlie was around to give the hug I sorely needed. Sighing I grabbed my jacket and headed out. There was a takeout place a block away and the fresh air would help clear my head. Then I would get to searching the partial card number and partial address, something should pop.
I sat in a nearby park and ate a chicken salad sub. I had just finished when my phone started playing the theme to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I stifled a laugh, Leo hated that he shared his name with a cartoon character, but it had stuck ever since Archie had teased him about it one day.
“Get your ass back here. They’ve found a body.”
I hung up and legged it back toward the office, dumping the rest of my food in the trash on my way.
“Who?” I demanded as I barreled in to the conference room.
“Slenea,” Terry answered. “I just got word from a contact in the FBI. She was found behind a dumpster in Boston Road, the Bronx, near the World of Birds. Report says it looks like she was pushed out of a car as it was speeding down the road.”
“I’ll get into the traffic cams and keep a search out for the M.E.’s reports going into the system.”
I jumped up and bolted for my office. I had to find this guy.
I brought up the traffic cams and set the search I needed, and the one for the M.E.’s report. Then I went back to the partial address I had and, on a hunch, added in the Bronx. It didn’t take long to get an address and a name. Unfortunately, the name didn’t match the bastard I’d seen. The person who owned the house was Shirley Hinkler; an eighty-seven-year-old, white, female, who was house bound. I dug into her life and found she had children and grandchildren.
I took a chance and pushed some power into the search. I had to be careful or Charlie should kill me when he got back. He was always telling me to slow down and take more time. He didn’t know why I was always so tired after work, but he did worry if I exhausted myself to the point I could hardly walk.
A vision started, the guy was there leaning over Shirley, who was sitting in a comfy armchair.
“There, there Gran, I’ll get your meds and you can take a nice nap in front of the TV.” He was using the singsong voice some people used when talking to the elderly, infirm, or young children. “Now, remember, I’m traveling for work and won’t be here next week.” Come on, give me a day, date, anything, to work with here. “I’ll write it on your calendar. I’ll be back Friday third of March.”
I pulled myself out of the vision and leaned on my desk until I’d regained my equilibrium. Then I grabbed my phone and hit the speed dial, all the while I was tapping in a family search and with images.
The result came through at the same time Leo picked up. “His name is Taylor Smyth, grandson of Shirley Hinker of 129 East 222nd street, the Bronx. He’s traveling for work right now—I’ll get onto his employer and find out where he’s heading—he’s due back there in five days, on the third of March.
“Get me more if you can and I’ll coordinate with the Feds.” Leo’s voice was sharp, but I knew the ‘good job’ was implied.
The next thing to come through was the ME’s report.
The report stated, Slenea’s body had been frozen for an extended amount of time. The estimated time of death was twenty-fifth to the thirtieth of November. Right around the time of the disappearance of the third and fourth victims.
She’d been brutally raped, repeatedly, both vaginally and anally. There was no semen found, and her body had been thoroughly cleaned—including under her nails and even her teeth.
I clenched my jaw as I continued to read. The ME had found numerous contusions, abrasions, burns, and other things I really didn’t want to read about. This bastard was a monster, pure and simple.
Not wanting to, but knowing it may help, I pushed my power into the report and hoped I got something useful.
I saw a concrete room that had no visible windows. The stuff that covered the once plain walls… nope, not going there.
A girl was hanging from the ceiling, chains bound her wrists and linked to another chain round her ankles. Her feet could barely touch the ground, forcing her to stay up on tiptoe. She was swaying as she tried to brace her own weight. As she swayed she also spun and I saw her face just as the vision dropped.
Damn, I would need to rest and eat before I could try that again. I should have kept the rest of my food from earlier to finish.
I called for a delivery and informed the reception to expect it before turning back to my keyboard.
I brought up all the information I could find on Taylor Smyth. He was forty-two, unmarried—not a big surprise—and worked as a traveling drug rep. I hacked his work schedule and matched his movements to all the currently known victims.
I wrote it up and forwarded it to Leo just as my second lunch arrived at reception.
I munched on Chinese noodles and tapped away as fast as I could with one hand on the various keyboards.
I called the drug company that Taylor worked for and threatened them with charges of conspiracy and accessory to get Taylors cell number—I hadn’t been able to find it because his name wasn’t that of the registered user. I quickly plugged it into my system and set an alert to let me know when it was next activated and where. I put an alert out on all his credit and debit cards as well for good measure.
I brought up all properties that had his name associated with them and then extended the search to include his grandmothers name as well, and any combination of the two the computer could come up with. Once compiled, I forwarded the list to the Feds suggesting they get people there to check them out immediately.
I delved into Taylors past and found convictions for trespassing, invasion of privacy, and one case of sexual assault.
A ping interrupted me reaching for my tub of sweet and sour chicken.
I had him. He’d turned his phone on. A few clicks and I tracked his exact position. He was in a seedy motel in downtown Manhattan. The sort that didn’t ask questions, for the right amount of cash.
Within a sort amount of time I was coordinating with Leo and the Feds. I had sent the address where the tracker was still static to Leo’s phone and Leo had taken the company chopper to meet up with the Feds. Together they were now converging on Taylor’s location.
I knew I would most likely regret it later, but I pushed my power out and after I turned off the sound, I split it between the teams raiding the houses on the property lists, and Leo and the Feds moving in on Taylor.
I watched Leo moving slowly with an FBI agent by his side. They were rounding the corner of the badly kept motel Taylor was staying in. I had hacked the motels records and security feeds, so I could keep Leo up to date with Taylor’s movements.
“Taylor checked in an hour ago, and hasn’t been seen leaving,” I relayed as I watched the motel cameras.
Leo acknowledged me and hung up. He spoke to the agent with him and the man signaled behind him. Three figures over took them and as Leo rounded the corner I saw they’d taken up positions on either side of a door leading inside.
The lead agent held up three fingers and dropped them individually. When the last one dropped, the men moved fast to enter the motel room, guns raised.
Leo was slower following, so I switched my attention to see what the search teams had found.
They’d found and cleared what looked like three of ten properties, as I could see people speaking to officers and it didn’t seem like anything urgent was happening. Then I caught frantic movement out the corner of my eye. I turned my attention in that direction, tuning the others out for now, and turned up the sound.
“We’ve found something here, sir,” an officer was calling out. He led the way round the back of a building and indicated a trapdoor that looked like it probably led to a cellar. It was suspicious because the lock on it looked shiny and new against the old battered trapdoor.
Someone called for a sledgehammer and the lock gave way after two good blows.
Two officers pulled the trapdoor open and then recoiled from the opening. “Good God, what is that stench?” they demanded.
Covering their noses with sleeves and jacket collars they slowly entered and I followed, fear of what we’d find was high, but I needed to know.
Fucking hell, it looked like a prison cell corridor from a horror movie. There were six cells within sight and each had a heavy door with only a small barred window near the top. They also had shiny new locks on them, just like the outside had.
“Spread out,” the lead officer commanded. “I want all these cells opened and checked.”
The men spread out, two to a door and the one with the sledgehammer worked his way down each side cutting off the locks.
I heard one call of “clear”, then two, then the call I had dreaded hearing. “Got a dead one here Sarge.”
The Sargent moved toward the voice and I saw the body of Kirsten lying in a pool of blood from what looked like a slit throat. I gagged but kept the vision going, I had to know about the others.
“Two more here,” came another call. Oh, God!
The bodies of Francesca and Jennifer greeted me with vacant eyes staring at the ceiling. When an officer rolled them over, the backs of their heads were…gone…maybe shot? Or maybe bludgeoned to death. I didn’t know, but I knew I wanted to see that bastard Taylor suffer for what he’d done these girls.
I also didn’t know how much more I could take.
Then I heard the best thing. “Got a live one, sir,” a voice called form a cell at the far end.
Hurrying toward the voice I saw three young girls huddled together. Everyone accounted for and alive.
Gretle, Kelly, and Alison were just about recognizable through the grime of tears, blood, and other things covering them.
Collars bound them together by their throats, and manacles round their wrists and ankles further restrained them.
I watched as someone called for blankets and a request went out to see get the fire brigade there to cut the restraints off. They sent for an ambulance and the Sargent started the long process of calling in a report.
I kept the vision going and I watched as the EMT’s put the girls into an ambulance, when another call went up.
“Get another ambulance here, and bring the bolt cutters. We’ve got three more live ones.”
I sent my awareness back into the building and following the running firemen with their cutting equipment we entered another corridor and what I saw made me sick, but I couldn’t look away.
There were three beds in the room and each one had an unidentified girl bound to it. They were all covered in tiny cuts and what looked like cigarette burns. One of them looked at me—not that she could see me of course—the terror in her eyes hit me like a bullet to the heart. No person, man or woman, adult or child, should have that look in their eyes. Ever!
I waited until I was sure they’d found all the victims and the details reported, and logged into the system, before I returned my awareness fully to Leo.
I was getting tired quickly but I concentrated more and found I hadn’t missed much. Only them raiding the room and cuffing Taylor.
The room they were in was filthy. The wallpaper was a sickening shade of green and peeling off in the corners. The furniture looked like a good sneeze would make it fall apart and I didn’t even want to think about what bugs inhabited the place.
“…Do you understand?” an agent was saying to the bound man.
The only answer he got was Taylor spitting in his face.
The man wiped his face and gestured to two nearby agents. “Get him out of here. He’s going away for a long time.”
As agents dragged him toward the door, Taylor started to rant. “You’ve got nothing on me. I’ll get a lawyer and be out by tomorrow. You can’t just arrest innocent citizens.”
I made a quick decision and pulled my phone nearer to me.
I watched as Leo pulled his phone out—still glaring at the yelling jerk—and answered.
“What’s up Brian?”
“They found the girls and more.” I kept my tone as professional as possible.
“Tell me.” The agents manhandling Taylor out the door had paused and everyone seemed to be holding their breath.
“Six alive, and three dead.” My voice broke on the last word.
“I’m putting you on speaker. Who? Where?” Leo demanded.
“They were found in an abandoned warehouse in the Bronx.” I saw Taylor pale and thought, Yeah, you’re going down hard, you bastard. “The dead were Jennifer Kelvin, Francesca Linston, and Kirsten Jones. The ones found in time, and as we speak are on their way to the hospital are, Gretle Tomptin, Kelly Newtom, and Alison Bluey, and three currently unknown females of varying ages.”
As I said each name Taylor got more and more paler. He had the expression of a deer caught in a car’s headlights. He knew he was going to go away for life.
Suddenly he tried to make a run for it. Where he thought he was going in cuffs was beyond me. I followed with Leo and watched as the two burly agents took him down roughly and cuffed his ankles to make sure he stayed put this time.
As agents loaded him into a car he was still cursing and threatening retribution. The agents just shook their heads, making jokes to one another about what happened to rapists in prison and placing bets on how long he would last.
Leo switched his phone off speaker and spoke while keeping one eye on the goings on. “Just me now, I’m going to stay and wrap things up here. Let the team know what’s happened and I’ll bring the chopper back as soon as I can.”
I hung up and swaying slightly I went to find the rest of the team. Leo had given them all tasks to do on other cases and I knew they were unhappy, but our other cases were just as important as this one.
At home I tried to relax. We’d found and stopped him. But, it had been too late for four girls. On that basis alone I couldn’t count it a complete win.
I heard the door open and I was up and running before Charlie had a chance to call out.
“Hmf.” I barreled into my husband and the door slammed as I pushed him into it…hard!
“You’re home early…I missed you…I love you…We need to get to the bedroom…now!” I inter-spaced all my ramblings with kisses, while my hands made short work of his jacket and started on his shirt.
Charlie lifted me until I could wrap my legs around his waist and carried me to the bed room. He dropped me on the bed and I propped myself up in my elbows.
I whimpered when he stood with his arms folded over his chest and just looked at me.
“What’s happened? The bags under your eyes have bags of their own.”
“Nothing,” I insisted. “I just missed you.” I didn’t want to talk about work and definitely didn’t want to think about Taylor—fucking—Smyth when my husband had just got home. All I wanted was Charlie on top me. Inside me. Claiming me. Loving me.
Eying me suspiciously he started to strip and I laid back to enjoy the show. “Why am I the only getting naked here?” His eyebrow rose as I just stared. Did he really expect me to be able to answer coherently when he was standing there in all his bare-chested glory? He must have been working out while he was away, because his chest was rippling with even more muscles than before he left.
Chuckling brought my attention up to his face and I watched mesmerized as he stripped the rest of his clothes off and started working on mine. My t-shirt went first and I resented the few seconds I couldn’t see when my top was covering my eyes. Although, I did stifle a chuckle when it ended up hanging off the bedside lamp.
In one quick move, he pulled my jeans and underwear off, and in a throw worthy of admiring, they were hanging precariously off the bathroom door handle.
Before I could start begging he was on top of me. His skin was scorching where it touched mine. This was what I needed. I didn’t want him to ever move. However, I also wanted to get him inside me—as soon as was physically possible.
I grabbed his hair and pulled his mouth down on to mine. He met me move for move, bite for bite. He moved his mouth to my neck and brought up mark after mark in a long line. I knew I was going to catch shit about it at work, but I didn’t fucking care. My man was home, here in our bed, and I was horny as hell.
“More. Now!” I demanded. All I got in reply was another chuckle. He continued his slow work down my collar bone and to my left nipple.
Bastard. He knew my nipples were sensitive, especially when….
“So, you’ve been playing while I’ve been away,” Charlie whispered against my damp skin making me shiver in need.
“Just fuck me,” I demanded hoarsely. I was so hard it was painful. I needed him in me. I needed to feel him, to reassure myself he was here with me and not just another dream or fantasy.
“Not yet, I want to reacquaint myself with my husband’s body first. Now, just keep still or I may have to find the ropes and that will take even longer.”
“Your wish is my command.” I acquiesced, as mockingly as possible.
Charlie dropped kisses up and down my body. Sucking up random marks here and there. I moaned and begged, and cursed him. Nothing I did made him change his plan or speed up.
I sighed in relief when I heard the lid of the lube snapping open. Finally, about fucking time!
Slick fingers suddenly encircled my cock, my eyes flew open and I tried to shoot up to see what the hell was going on.
“Oh, no, you don’t.” A dry hand to my chest pushed me down before I could see anything and Charlie’s powerful glare pinned me in place. “Close your eyes and stay down,” he commanded as he removed his hand.
I did as he said and strained my hearing to try and figure out just what he was up to. Nothing! I tried to wriggle to get his attention, a stinging slap to my thigh convinced me to stay still.
“Please do something,” I begged, he always liked to hear me beg.
“Patience, this is you’re last warning, I’ll tie you down and gag you, if you don’t behave.” Okay, no begging, and now I was even harder. I hadn’t thought that was possible. Of course, the comment about tying me down hadn’t helped.
I clamped my lips together when his hand disappeared from my cock. He hadn’t prep me yet. I knew he wouldn’t fuck me without. I wanted him in me now. Now! Now! Now!
I felt a touch to my cock and before I could open my mouth to protest, it a perfect slick heat slid down onto me.
Charlie rarely bottomed, and that didn’t bother me. But, this was a wonderful surprise. He was so tight and warm and…and…perfect.
I waited until he’d settled all the way down and had started to move, before setting up a counter rhythm. This earned me another slap, to the other thigh this time.
“Keep still. This time you’re going to take what I give you. You can have your turn after I have you and get a decent shower. And some food.” The last seemed to be an afterthought.
He started slow and it was the sweetest kind of torture. I was right on the edge and the slightest wrong move would send me plummeting into ecstasy. His moves got slowly faster, and before long the only sounds in the room was the slapping or our flesh and our panting, moaning breaths.
A slight shift and his moans got louder. He’d found an angle he liked, as corroborated by the increase in the tightness around my aching cock. I needed him to come first.
Then it happened. He clamped down hard round my cock and yelled one word, “Now!” I erupted with a yell and filled my lover with all I could offer, at the same time I felt his cum land in long ropes across my chest, face, and I’m sure, in my hair as well.
My vision grayed out and Charlie’s heavy weight landed on top of me pushing me deeper into the mattress.
After a few moments to catch my breath I thumped him on the shoulder. “Move you great lump, I need to breathe.”
He huffed a laugh and rolled, pulling me on top of him. I popped out of him and I chuckled at the look on his face that said he could feel my cum running out of him. My super clean husband hated being sticky.
I pushed up and staggered to the bathroom to get a wash cloth.
“Join me in the shower, lover.” I squeaked at Charlie’s voice coming a second before his arms came around my waist.
“Don’t do that!” I slapped the arm that had tightened when I tried to turn and tell him off to his face.
“Yes, dear,” he chucked and let me go to get the shower started.
Soon steam was filling the room and Charlie pulled me into the pounding water.
“So, you going to tell me what happened while I was away?”
I sighed, my husband knew me too well. At least with him being in law enforcement and, of course, me not having so many rules as the police, I could tell him about cases without too many problems.
“We had a bad case. Bastard named Taylor Smyth kidnapped ten girls—that we know about. Killed four, that we’ve found so far, and seriously hurt six more. I’ve never seen anything so brutal, and I’ve seen some pretty horrific crime scenes. I think the worst thing was that he didn’t seem to think he’d done anything wrong. Even as they were leading him away I could hear him cursing and yelling things like ‘they were begging for it’ and ‘they are just whore’s’. The youngest was sixteen, love. She was dead when they found them. He’d slit her throat….” I chocked on a sob and Charlie’s arms came around me. I cried on his shoulder for the young girl who would never get to grow up and experience all the firsts life still had left to offer her. She’d never get to meet that special someone. She’d never get to fall in love.
Charlie held me through the storm, whispering nonsense in my ear until I calmed down. He then washed me tenderly and held still while I returned the favor. It helped me get my balance back and by the time we got out I was feeling ten times better. And hungry.
We called our favorite take out place and curled up together on the couch feeding each other between kisses.
Cleaning up after was quick and we settled on a movie to watch.
Charlie dropped an arm round my shoulders and pulled me closer. “So, other than the case, how have you been? Have you been looking after yourself? What about food, have you been eating properly? I know what you’re like when you get into a case.”
I looked up at him and my heart filled with love and happiness at having him home, to lean on, and give me my rock back.
I smiled and snuggled in to his warmth. “I love you. I was fine—and yes, I ate—but I’m glad you’re home. I missed you.”
That earned me a kiss and everything was perfect with my world once more.