Catch up: HUNTED
- 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
- HUNTED: Chapter Nine
- HUNTED: Chapter Ten
- HUNTED: Chapter Eleven
Officer Finn Holland:
I’m not sure which is weirder, the fact the perp looks like the Chief or the fact that he wasn’t a match in our facial recognition software. The little bit of semen CSI found in Juliet Abernathy’s body wasn’t a match to anything we have in our system either. The good news is that once we catch him it’ll be a homer when we run his DNA against the sample that we do have.
I sit back in my chair and let out a huge sigh. I want to confirm with Lennox that this is the man who attacked her before I bring the photo to Avery. There is no doubt in my mind that this man is a Watson, but which Watson is the big question. Most of the Watson men worked in law enforcement here or elsewhere. The man from the gas station, the man from the photo Paige printed is a mystery. A mystery I’m sure the Chief could solve once confronted. However, I wasn’t about to confront him without the confirmation from Lennox, that this is the man that attacked her and murdered her best friend.
“Hey.” A soft voice said from directly behind me knocking me out of my reverie.
My chair makes a loud shriek when I turn around to face the voice, “Lennox.” I answer in a surprised tone wondering what she is doing here.
“I was hoping I would find you.” She says. It’s barely after five am and she is dressed in black sweat pants, a purple hoodie, and black beanie with a Spartan head on it. She is also wearing running shoes and it is obvious to me that she is wearing her track gear for her high school. Her checks had a slight flush too them and her blood red lips were cracked from the cold.
“Should you be out running?” I make a face because she is still recovering from her injuries and she knows that someone out there is possibly targeting her. Lennox merely shrugs and I nod my head in the direction of the seat to the left of my desk.
“You look like you’re running on an empty tank.” She says after taking a seat.
“I could say the same thing about you.” I reply turning in my chair so I am face to face with her.
“Point taken.” She says with a soft barely-there smile.
“Why are you here? It’s still dark outside.”
Tears fog her eyes but she doesn’t let them fall. “I couldn’t sleep.” I watch as Lennox pulls her beanie off and tosses it onto the desk. Her white hair is sticking up in various directions. She runs her fingers through it, which only manages to tame it a little.
“So you thought you’d go on a late night run?” I raise an eyebrow.
“More like an early morning run.” Lennox quips which makes me smile.
“Why are you here?” I repeat.
“Police departments have self defense classes right? Or maybe ya’ll know a why to get into a class? Also, I want to know what it will take to get a permit to carry a gun.”
The words shoot out of her mouth faster than I can hear them, so naturally it takes me a minute to respond. “Why do you want to carry a gun?”
She give me a look that is colder than dry ice, “Juliet would have survived if I had a gun.”
I look at her, “Do you honestly think you could shoot a man? Kill him?”
She looks away from me, “A couple years ago after I got my driver’s license my dad gave me a pocket knife. When he gave it to me I laughed at him, because the idea of me shanking someone was ridiculous. My mom agreed with me. She thought pepper spray would suffice and maybe it would have…” Lennox lets out a laugh that sounds like it’s disconnected from her body. “The point is, I was attacked, Juliet was killed, and all I had was this knife and no skills to use it. If I had training to use a gun maybe things would have been different.”
“Maybe, but you can never know what that outcome would have been. Don’t forget he had a gun too. There is a good chance that if you pulled a gun on him too he would have fired without hesitation. Lennox, you can’t play that ‘what if’ game.”
She goes quiet for a long minute before finally looking me dead in the eye again, “I don’t feel safe. I want to know how to protect myself. Please let me have that.”
Without blinking I return her stare, “I’ll train you.”
“Yes, I’ll teach you self-defense and how to shoot. I’ll even help you get your permit.”
“I could go to a group class, you don’t have to teach me on an individual basis.”
“True, you could, but I have a feeling you’d feel safer in a one on one scenario.”
She swallows, “Ok. Can we start tonight?”
“Yes.” I say still looking at her intensely. I write down my home address on my card and slide it to her, “Be at this address by seven.”
“Ok.” She says taking the card.
Part of me knows I shouldn’t be doing this but another, larger part of me, wants to keep her safe. “Do you want to talk about why you couldn’t sleep?”
She lets out a sigh, “It will sound stupid.”
I shrug and settle back into my chair, placing my ankle of my knee.
“It’s just…I had this nightmare that he was in Jax’s basement with me. It was one of those realistic dreams…you know? Everything about it felt like it was actually happening. The weirdest part was that in the dream it was 3:17am, I know because I looked at the clock, in the dream that is…and when I woke… Well, when Jax forced me awake, it was 3:30am, that’s weird right? So I don’t know, things calmed down and I umm…well — I got distracted for a bit — but when Jax fell back asleep I couldn’t, so I put on my track gear, which I had in the trunk of my dads car — which I am driving until… well anyways — I just needed to run. At first it was soothing but then it was like I couldn’t run fast enough. So I came here hoping to find you, even though it wasn’t likely I would.”
I gave her a nod while I calculated my response. Ever since I met her I’ve noticed that she’s either quiet or rambling on. Never something in-between, she uses a few of her words or all of them at once. When she does this I want to smile at her because I find it cute, but I of course don’t, because that would be inappropriate.
I am surprised to hear that she stayed the night with Jax due to the fact that she buried her best friend yesterday. Though, I have no room to judge considering that I still fuck my ex wife, or soon to be ex wife.
“I agree that is strange. I wonder if you subconsciously saw the time.” I finally reply.
“Yeah, maybe.” Her voice sounds unconvinced as she draws her index finger into her mouth to trace her teeth with her nails.
Suddenly, her face pales which makes her look slightly transparent. I watch as her eyes grow wide in fear, in recognition. Following her eyes to the photograph sitting in front of my keyboard. I purposefully don’t say anything because if she confirms his identity without being prompted that will be so much better.
Lennox reaches a shaking hand towards the photo and picks it up. I lean forward watching her closely, placing my elbows on my knees.
“This is…” She said in a voice so full angst that it was impossible not to feel the hopelessness drift off of her.
“Do you know who that man is?” I ask gently.
Lennox slowly moves her eyes off the image in her hands to look directly at me, “I’m confused Officer Holland.”
“Finn,” I correct, “Confused about what?”
“This man… he killed Juliet. I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt…it’s his eyes…I would know those eyes anywhere. It’s just…seeing this photo…he looks exactly like Cory’s dad, but older. How is that possible?”
“Are you sure that this is the man that took Juliet Abernathy’s life?” I ask seriously.
“Yes.” Lennox replies without hesitation.
“I am doing my best to figure our who this man is. When I know more you will, ok?” I reach out, take her hand and squeeze it.
Lennox looks down at our hands before looking back at me, “Is this why you are here right now? Have you been working on this all night?”
“It’s my job Lennox.” I say as an answer.
We are staring at each when I hear a loud cough behind me. I look up to see Watson behind me with an eyebrow arched. Shit, this looks bad. I slowly let go of her hands and ease back in my chair doing my best to act like I hadn’t just been doing something out-of-line.
“Thank you, I should be going now.” Lennox says with a a forced smile and both of us.
When she is gone Watson leans down and puts his hands on the each arm rest so his face is an inch away from mine, “You better watch yourself Holland.”
“I’m just doing my job, I was assigned to keep her safe by Avery.” I say as calm as I can, giving him no reaction.
Watson grips the chair and pushes it harshly into the desk behind me, “Do. Not. Play. Games. With. Me. Boy.” He spits out, “I am a kind man but she is like a daughter to me and I see the way you are looking at her.” His bite is sharp and I am left stunned. I watch as he walks away without so much as a glance back in my direction.
Start reading another book I wrote published only on this blog: Discovering Wonderland (Chapter One)