I dialled Quinn’s number again and cursed as the call went straight to voice mail. I knew she would have destroyed her phone, she was smart that way.
I looked back at her house, cops everywhere and a perimeter of police tape surrounding the yard. Pinching the bridge of my nose, I squeezed my eyes closed as the image of Quinn’s murdered parents danced around in my head. There was so much blood, too much blood. I would never forget the blank stares on their faces as they lay there, motionless on the lounge room floor.
I knew Quinn had a dark secret, one which I did not know all the details. I knew there was a man, a bad man. I knew his name, I knew he wanted Quinn but I did not know why. I knew he was the reason she ran away six years ago and I knew the only reason she returned recently was because she thought he was dead. Clearly he wasn’t dead and now Quinn’s parents were. It was Quinn’s mother who called her three months ago to tell her that he was dead, why would she say that if it wasn’t true? Was she that desperate for her daughter to return home that she would lie?
I opened my phone and looked at the last text message that I’d received from Quinn only an hour ago.
‘He is alive! I can’t return home. I have a bag packed under my bed. Please go there and get it for me, leave it behind the shrub in front of the old brick wall by Score Street! Please hurry. If mum asks tell her I had no choice. Q xx’
1 hour ago
My face went pale as I read the message from Quinn.
I grabbed my bag and got up from my desk.
“I’m going on break Carol” I called as I walked out the front door of my office, breaking into a sprint as the door closed behind me.
It only took three minutes for me to reach Quinn’s house and I slid to a stop as I saw the front door wide open.
Something wasn’t right.
I walked around the side of the house, not wanting to be seen by whoever was inside. As I neared the lounge room window I tried to listen to see if I could hear anything. Nothing, the house was in complete silence. Maybe Stacey had forgotten to close the door and had popped next door for a coffee.
Standing on the concrete bench at the base of the window, I peered inside.
“Oh my god!” I cried and covered my mouth with my hand. I squeezed my eyes closed but the image felt as though it was burnt into my retinas.
Stacey and Marcus Roberts lay dead on the lounge room floor. There was blood covering the floorboards, the walls, the furniture. It was everywhere. Opening my eyes slowly, I forced myself to take in what I was seeing. Marcus was near the front door, he was laying on his back, his body completely eviscerated. There were intestines and organs strewn all over the carpet next to him.
I gagged back the vomit that threatened to escape my throat as I realised that Marcus’ head wasn’t attached to his body. It lay on the ground about a foot from his neck. His eyes blankly staring at the ceiling.
Stacey was a few metres away from Marcus, as if she had tried to make a run for the kitchen. Both her legs were in unnatural positions and her left arm was completely ripped from its socket. It was clear that her throat had been slashed, I wondered if they had tried to behead her too.
I jumped off the bench and placed my hands on my knees in attempt to steady myself. I’d known Quinn’s parents since I was a baby, they had been closer to me than my own parents. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but something inside me told me to run.
Grabbing my bag, I ran back across the street into the reservation, hiding behind a tree where I could still observe the house. I could hear sirens already, getting louder as they clearly headed in this direction.
Who would have called the police? I thought to myself. There was no one else in the house, no one out in the street.
I wiped the tears from my eyes as I reached with a shaking hand into my bag to retrieve my phone. I scrolled until I got to Quinn’s number.
How was I going to tell my best friend that her parents were dead? This would absolutely destroy her.
Shivering, I wrapped my arms around my trembling body as I watched more detectives enter the house. I had so many memories in that place; magical sleepovers, pancake breakfasts, laughing until my ribs hurt, crying over school ground breakups…but now it was a place of nightmares, a place where I would never return to again. Another choked sob escaped between my lips, it was time for me to go; there was nothing more I could do. The police would probably be looking for Quinn soon and it would only be a matter of time before they would come knocking on my door.
Taking one last look at the house, I set off back to my office. How was I supposed to pretend life was completely normal when I’d just had my world turned upside down?
Man in the shadows POV
I watched from the shadows as Quinn’s friend smoothed her red hair back and walked into the front door of her office, as if she hadn’t just witnessed some of the most beautiful carnage she had ever seen.
I let out a deep growl as I realised the chances of this bitch leading me back to Quinn were extremely minimal. Disappointing really.
It was clear she knew something about Quinn’s situation otherwise she would have run inside the house and would have called police herself. Instead I had to get one of my men to tip the cops off.
I smiled to myself as I remembered how much Marcus had pled with me to spare the life of his wife.
Then how much Stacey screamed when I separated Marcus’s head from his body. It really was a beautiful sight; the blood coating the walls and ceiling like I was some modern day artist - a canvas of organs and entrails. Stunning. I was furious that Quinn hadn’t been there to witness it.
But I’m sure the murders would be all over the news in a matter of time and Quinn would get a fair idea of how horrible her parent’s last moments would have been…all because of her.
As much as I loved a chase this was wearing a bit thin.
I’d been after this slut for nineteen years. I had come close six years ago before she skipped town to get away from me. The only thing that stopped me killing Marcus and Stacey back then was the hope that Quinn would one day return to them.
And that she did.
Quinn had something I wanted, something I needed. Quinn was special and she had no idea...and yet she kept running. I admired her stamina, her courage, but time was running out. On her twentieth birthday she would know just how special she was and I didn’t want her near anyone else when that time came.
Now, no doubt, after Cami’s little phone call, Quinn would be on the run again. She was a hard one to track when she didn’t want to be found.
But rest assured I would find her and she would pay for the years she has kept me waiting. After all, she was mine and I always took responsibility for what was rightfully mine.