The stalker felt his control slipping.
He had calmed down the day before when Naomi had returned two hours after leaving with the police – after some time, admittedly, but today they had come back and picked her up again.
She had sounded comfortable with the tall detective though, and he had definitely become curious about Paul Usher. He looked like her type of man. The stalker balled his fists, but remembered his good intentions. He knew all her gestures, little mannerisms and quirks, which he had lovingly been watching for so many years now: She was interested in the detective. So he had followed him after he had dropped off Naomi in the early evening.
When Paul had parked his car but did not enter his flat, he had taken the time to check Paul’s surroundings. He had learned quite a lot about the man from his belongings and had been extra careful about not leaving any trace of his search.
He called his friend again asking for advice on the situation of Naomi and a policeman, but only got teased for his effort.
“You better look out with your killings then, Marcus, this could get dicey.”
“I’m not a complete imbecile.”
“I hadn’t noticed. Hey, I’ve been thinking about coming to London for a while. Do you think you could introduce me to her then?”
“Are you out of your mind?”
“Why? If you don’t mind her boyfriend or the policeman now, why would you mind your oldest friend?” Giggling like a schoolgirl.
“Philippe!” in a sternly admonishing tone, then a sigh. “You’re in Jamaica again, aren’t you?”
“Right you are, man. How did you guess?” Still highly amused.
“Your manners are sadly wanting, which always happens to be the case whenever you stay in the Caribbean, as I have remarked before.”
“At least one of us knows how to enjoy life. I’ll talk to you soon. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”
Marcus reacted exasperatedly. “That was exactly what I planned on doing. You know that we have very different habits, and I for one plan on remaining a gentleman.”
“Bonne chance!” His friend wished with another giggle and hung up.
Marcus sighed, but could not help the smile that the talk with his friend had brought to his lips. Somehow Philippe always managed to cheer him up just a little.
After he’d gotten back to Kensington later that night though, he had found Naomi crying hard, bent over in convulsive sobs and shaking with grief.
Knowing he could not comfort her and would have to watch her suffer was torture. It took all the strength he had to stay away from her then, and he realised that it was only a question of time when he would snap and ruin all his efforts of the past years. With a new bout of self-loathing he understood that it would probably mean the end of both their lives. He struggled hard to keep his temper in check, then found a way to redirect his anger: Usher had picked her up in the morning, then he had delivered her back later. Now she was miserable. Ok, let him have it. Coolly and methodically he started plotting the murder of Paul Usher, confident of his ability to accomplish this aim.
A very quiet noise attracted his attention at that moment. Someone was trying to open Naomi’s kitchen window. The stalker left his place and went to take a closer look.