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- Hunted: Prologue
- HUNTED: Chapter One
- HUNTED: Chapter Two
- HUNTED: Chapter Three
- HUNTED: Chapter Four
- HUNTED: Chapter Five
- HUNTED: Chapter Six
- HUNTED: Chapter Seven
- HUNTED: Chapter Eight
Officer Finn Holland:
The room is packed, standing room only. Juliet was either a very popular girl or a lot of kids wanted the get-out-school free card. The most surprising thing to me is that Lennox Rose and Jaxon Hart are nowhere to be found. Cory Watson and Waylon Rossen are sitting in the front row, two empty seats beside them. I saw Jaxon leave the room about ten minutes ago, I am getting concerned because he hasn’t come back yet and because I haven’t seen Lennox yet.
The fact is, Doreen Abernathy will not start her daughter’s funeral without them and I am anxious to get this over with. Not because I am heartless, but because something always reveals itself at the victims funeral and I am dying to uncover it. There are four of us inside and a line up of police vehicles around the building. Avery in the front right corner of the room, Johnson is in the front left, Watson in the back left corner, and I am in the back right corner of the room. My person favorite because I am closest to the doors and I can see everything from where I am standing.
“I am going to find Mr. Hart and Ms. Rose.” I say into my radio.
“Be quick Holland. Watson move to the middle.” Avery snaps back through her radio.
I try not to roll my eyes as I leave the room. That woman can be so frustrating. One would think that she would concern herself with the whereabouts of the vic’s boyfriend and the young woman who was there when Ms. Abernathy died.
My instinct is to check the bathrooms because that seems like the most logical place to hideout. A quick search of the mens room comes up empty so I exit quickly and move towards the woman’s room.
When I open the door I hear Jaxon Hart’s terrified voice, “Lennox? Lenny? Come back to me, come on…come on…come on!” He is on the floor draped over a very blue looking Lennox.
“What happened?” I bark moving towards them and touch Lennox’s neck. She has pulse but she is cold as ice and completely out of it.
Jaxon Hart looks extremely pale and shaken when he says, “ I don’t know…one minute we are talking and the next minute she is on the floor. I managed to catch her so she didn’t smack her head.”
“And you didn’t think to run and get help?” I do my best not to sound frustrated.
“It happened, maybe thirty seconds ago.” He answers defeated.
“She’s ok.” I say and scoop Lennox up in my arms. She is even lighter than the time I helped her into her bed at the hospital. I walk her out of the bathroom and into the grieving room I noticed down the hall. Once in the small space I lay her on the two-cushioned couch.
“She fainted. There are other officers in the main room, go tell them when may need a first add kit.” I tell Jaxon but he just stands there, immobilized, eyes transfixed on Lennox. “Go.” I demand and he runs out of the room.
From what I could tell in the bathroom Lennox’s pulse and breathing were completely normal. I moved her legs up over the arm of the couch trying to get blood flow into her brain. “Lennox, you need to wake up.” I say loudly into her ear before shaking her slightly. When that doesn’t work I repeat my words but this time I slap her cheeks lightly and thankfully that does the trick.
I watch as Lennox’s eyes flutter open. It takes her a minute to fully wake up and when she does she immediately tries to sit up. “Lay back down. You fainted in the bathroom.” I say sternly pushing her back down.
“Ok.” She whispers just as Jaxon enters the room with Watson carrying a first aid kit.
Watson opens the kit, which is the standard kit in a police car, and grabs a water bottle and a protein bar.
I gently ease Lennox into a seated position and she moans.
“Drink this.” Watson says twisting the cap off of the water bottle.
“Thanks Mac.” Lennox says quietly.
“What happened son?” He says too Jaxon. The easy way they all regard each other catches me off guard for minute before I remember that Watson’s son is close friends with them.
“I don’t know…we were talking about…” Jaxon starts but Lennox cuts him off.
“Last July…”She whispers.
I grab her hand and squeeze it, “What?” I don’t miss the way Watson looks at me when my hand made contact with hers. It isn’t exactly appropriate behavior but for some reason I am compelled to comfort her. To touch her.
“Fuck.” Jaxon mumbles while running a hand through is hair.
“Son.” Watson scolds and Jaxon immediately cowers. Watson is well over six feet tall and has muscles stacked on top of muscles. He has jet black hair and eyes just as dark. For a man in his fifties he looks not only intimidating but like age and time don’t phase him at all.
I sigh, “Tell me what is going on.”
“The man who…who..umm…the man who killed Juliet, I’ve seen him before.” Lennox says confidently.
“What?” Jaxon says as his eyebrows raise.
“It was last July when Juliet was in Costa Rica for the summer. We had just finished floating the river and there was this guy…” She starts but her shoulders shake and she immediately ducks her face into my shoulder as she cries. I wrap my arm around her and rub her back slightly. Watson is glaring at me and give him a what-would-you-do look.
“Son, will you please finish the story?” Watson demands.
The funeral is long since over now and I am sitting at my desk waiting anxiously for Avery to return. Watson and I told her about the man and she jumped at the opportunity to talk to the gas station employees. She wanted the security footage as soon as possible. Of course she took Johnson with her and didn’t even acknowledge that I was right. The fact that Lennox and Jaxon both saw a man leering at Lennox when Juliet was out of town only confirms my theory. The man was never after Juliet. The question now was how long has he been watching Lennox? Was that the first time he saw her? These questions plagued my mind and I couldn’t help but think about Lennox and how scared she must be.
The sound of heels snap me out of my thoughts and look up to see Avery scowling down at me. She slams a pile of tapes on my desk, “He are the tapes from last summer. Go through them and see if you can’t find a man matching Lennox’s distribution. Once you do, if you do, we will see if we can’t get an ID. I want it done ASAP, you understand?” She demands sternly.
I let a sigh, “Got it.” Of course she would assign me the grunt work but I didn’t mind. The only thing I did mind was that she said if. Does she not believe that this could be our guy? That I was right about Lennox having some kind of sadistic stocker this whole time?
When I questioned them they said it was sometime after the Fourth of July so I decide to start on July fifth. I figure if I can see them and the instance they were talking about I will at least get the guys face. Once I get the guys face I’ll do my best to ID or, at the very least, put his image out there. After that I will scrub through the rest of the footage and see if he was there anytime before or after that. That will give me a better idea if it was the first time the man laid eyes on her or if he had been watching her for awhile.