“You’re an FBI agent?” I gave him an incredulous look.
“Yes, ma’am.” Ezra said.
I looked at Flint and Scott, trying to see if there was any hidden joke in this but they appeared to be serious.
“Maybe you’re lying to me.” I said.
Ezra reached for the back pocket of his jeans and produced a badge. He let me inspect it for a minute. “Maybe the badge is fake too.”
He chuckled. “Agent Flint and Scott would vouch for me. If that’s not enough, I can try to get in touch with the Bureau head in Virginia which may take some time.”
I stared at him for a good few seconds deciding that my rage had overpowered the relief of being alive and not having to die at the hands of a psychotic murderer. “I would have died of heart-attack; did that possibility ever cross you, Agent Wolfe?”
“I apologize about that.” Ezra said giving me a smile, not having even a twinge of remorse.
“I need answers starting with why you are in WoodVille’s impersonating as Jack?” I asked.
Ezra sighed and touched his gun. He noticed me looking and said. “It’s a service weapon. Don’t worry.”
I didn’t say anything. He pointed towards a vacant chair. “Sit down, Miss. Frazer”
“I said I need answers!”
“I said sit down!” Ezra ground out. The mask of control was slowly slipping.
I sat down despite myself, not because he’d practically ordered me to, but mostly due to exhaustion. The two other Agents, Flint and Scott settled down a few chairs behind me. Ezra hoisted himself up on the table.
“Let me start from the beginning.” He said. “I know Jack didn’t kill our mother, but he’d been accused of it and the murders that followed after. I know my brother is quite capable of killing but he wouldn’t take innocent lives. His methods are wrong; he took the law into his hands.” Ezra said in obvious frustration.
“I was in Quantico when I first heard about a series of murders; almost similar to the three people Jack had killed.”
He continued. “I couldn’t believe at first but it was all being pointed at him as if Jack had finally gone completely mad and went on a killing spree. Agent Flint and his partner were handed the case and I couldn’t help myself. I kept hounding them for answers they didn’t have. Agent Flint believed from the start that it’s Jack who’ was behind everything.”
“Agent Flint is wrong.” I said turning in my chair and saying it loud enough for the two of them to hear it.
“Well, unfortunately he doesn’t share your sentiment or even mine” Ezra retorted, an indirect hit at Flint. “So when I started meddling in the case, there was a meeting at the bureau and the Chief wasn’t happy with what I was doing. He thought I was going to try and hide the evidence in favor of my brother.”
Ezra shook his head. “I wouldn’t dream of doing it. Let’s be clear on this, Miss. Frazer—”
“Call me Riley.” I said.
“Riley, I’m not on Jack’s side. I’m with the law and if Jack happens to the person behind this debacle, I’d be the first person to shoot him dead.” He said it with such conviction that I believed he was telling the truth.
A giggle escaped my lips. “I’m sorry.”
“Nothing, it’s just that Jack said the same thing about you. He phrased it differently.”
“I do not harbor any misconception that Jack might not be behind all of this, and neither should you.” He said. “After mother died, I was in Quantico under training. I had to take up an operation and stage my own death which I did. The operation was involved with a mafia syndicate. Drug lords, human trafficking’s, you know that type of stuff. If they found out I was with the FBI, it would’ve blown my cover. Lives of children and women were at stake. I couldn’t take a risk.”
“So you let your brother assume you were dead.”
I saw the guilt seep into his expressions. “Yes, that’s the price I paid, and I don’t regret it.”
Faith had clearly played a joke with their lives. The brothers were two sides of the same coin. One twin was a powerful man in law enforcement, the other a dangerous fugitive.
“When I’d successfully exposed those people, I came back to find that the damage was done. Jack was accused of murders. I put in a request at the head office and the chief told me I could help them in the Wolfe murder investigation since I was a key element. They knew that I knew my brother more than anyone else and that made things easier for them. That’s when I decided to get caught by the police. I never told them I was Jack, they assumed, I remained quiet.” He grinned. “I took that opportunity to do some investigations in the asylum myself. Keep an eye out.”
“And did you find anything?”
Ezra shook his head. “Unfortunately, not much.”
“Why did you threaten me and chase after me like that? I really thought you were going to kill me.” I said.
“You were a prime suspect. I had to get you to start spilling. I thought if I gave you a bit of a scare, you’d tell me Jack’s current location.”
“I wouldn’t tell you even if I knew.”
“Which is precisely why you are going to do what I’m going to tell you to. You will get in touch with Jack and we’re going to pretend you’re in danger from me.”
“And why would I do that?”
“Because that’s what’s best for him.”
“You will lead him into a trap!” My voice was bordering to a scream now. “Don’t you see? The killer wants to frame Jack! If we bring him here, you’d give the killer a perfect reason to commit another murder. The killer is not an outsider. It’s someone among us.” I concluded.
Ezra folded his arms over his chest, “how do you figure that?”
“I just know it. I’m not sure if the previous killings are linked to the ones that took place in WoodVille’s but the murders that happened in the hospital are done by a person who knows every single hidden exit that only the staff have access to.”
“What about the surveillance cameras there?” Ezra was quick to ask.
“Some of those areas are not covered with the cameras.”
“Dr. Liu is supposed to tell us about this, or at least Dr. Aaron Shaw.” Ezra appeared to be thinking for a minute and then he turned to the agents seated behind me. “Flint, can we have a thorough interrogation with each of the doctors?”
“We’ve already done that, Ezra and we failed to find any valuable information.”
“Do it again. I’ll prepare the questionnaire this time.” He said.
Ezra turned his piercing gaze towards me which kept reminding me of Jack and how jarringly obvious the similarities between them were. “So, Riley, do we have your co-operation?”
“Do I have a choice?”
He smiled. “Actually, you don’t.”
“I don’t have Jack’s number, in case you’re plotting to torture the number out of me.” I made a snide comment.
“We don’t need to use any torture methods on you; we’ve already acquired a means to contact him. Did Jack mention Dr. Mark Bowen by any chance?”
My face was probably as white as a sheet because Ezra grinned. “Jack is smart, I’ll give him that much but he’s also a human being like any one of us and humans are bound to get exhausted when they reach their limits. In Jack’s case, there was a minor slip up. He contacted Bowen in an emergency and the number lit up like a Christmas tree. That’s all we needed.”
Ezra pulled out a phone and punched into a number. “Let’s test Jack’s devotion for you, Nurse Riley.”
He placed the phone on the table between us and put it on speakers. It continued to ring. It hit voice mail and a reordered robot voice said ‘Leave a message’
“Greetings twin brother, I have Riley with me. If you don’t call this number back in one hour, I’ll send you a picture of what little remains of Riley’s scattered brain.”
“Jack! Don’t come here!” I bellowed.
Too late. Ezra had already ended the voice message and his eyes were menacing. “If you blow this, Riley, understand that I won’t be able to help Jack if he really is innocent.”
“You could have just told him the truth! I’m sure he would have understood.” I reasoned.
Ezra shook his head. “He won’t trust me and he definitely won’t show up. My only chance is luring him through you.”
“I really don’t understand what’s the point of—”
“Is it possible that you’re scared?” Flint asked from the seat behind me. I’d almost forgotten he was even in the room.
“Scared of what?”
Flint and Ezra exchanged looks like school boys who had dirty magazines hidden in their bags. “Are you scared that Jack may not show up? The possibility that Jack may put himself before your life? Wouldn’t that shatter your illusion?”
“I trust Jack, no matter what you people say.” I was pretty adamant on it.
As if on cue, the phone started ringing. Ezra chuckled, his gaze snapping to the wall clock. He pressed answer. “How’s life as a fugitive treating you?”
From Ezra’s expressions and his jovial tone, you’d think he was asking his brother about his plans for the weekend.
“Ezra, if you hurt Riley, I swear on our dead mother, I’ll slaughter you.” Jack said in dead-pan voice that made me shudder.
“We’ll see about that. It depends on how fast you make it here. A deep conversation is in order, brother.” Ezra teased.
“Don’t you fucking dare call me that, you imposter! I’m not your brother!” I could hear Jack’s venom from a mile away.
And here I’d thought there would be a family reunion. One twin brother having an emotional moment, tearing up as he listened to the other twin’s voice on the phone, but this wasn’t a soap opera. Ezra had deceived Jack into thinking he was dead for a couple of years. Surely, Ezra wasn’t receiving any bro hugs or birthday cards anytime soon.
“When you come to the location, leave your weapons at the door. Each one of em.” Ezra said. “If I get a single clue that you’re trying to outsmart me, you know what happens to your lady love.”
“Give me a location and I’ll be there.” Jack said.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked Ezra as he told me to get inside an old Honda Civic. “Is this a stolen car?”
“You ask too many questions for someone who is taken as a hostage.” Ezra commented as he raised his hand towards mine, palm up.
Not realizing at first, I placed my hand on his. He grabbed my other wrist and clicked a pair of handcuffs into place.
“What the fuck?!” I hardly cussed which meant Ezra was crossing his limits.
“Trust me. Not going to involve you in anything kinky .” he smirked, pushing the stick shift into drive.
“I told you I would cooperate. There was no need of these.” I jiggled the cuffs.
“It’s for show purposes.” He said pulling the car onto the freeway. “Jack needs to believe that you’re my captive.”
“Where are we going and why aren’t Agents Flint and Scott coming with us?”
“They will follow us and take their positions.” Ezra told me.
“Positions?” I asked. My throat tightened as I realized what was going on. I’d led Jack into his own death-trap. “You’re going to have armed officials there while he walks in defenseless? How’s that fair?”
“Two federal agents.” Ezra said giving me a pointed look. “Three, including me. If Jack acts smart and opens fire, Flint will have to put him down.”
“He’s your brother for gods sake, not some rabid dog!”
I was shaking with anger. Mostly the anger was directed towards myself. I’d let this happen. If I hadn’t helped Josephine, I wouldn’t have been in this situation.
“That’s one reason why I will hesitate to kill him myself should the need arise.”
“You’re heartless.” I said.
“Heard far worse.” Ezra agreed in a monotone. “If you knew all the things I’ve done, all the people I’ve had to kill, I’m sure you would have found a few other glorifying adjectives to add to my description.”
“You’re a hypocrite.” I pointed out. “Jack admitted killing people, and now you say you’ve killed people too, and yet you look down on him.”
Ezra pinned me with a look that could have killed half a dozen. “I killed people in my line of work, because I had to. Jack killed people plain out of revenge, or as the tabloids suggest, purely for pleasure.”
I looked out the window. I’d lost the argument.
Ezra - One
He drove us about an hour away from the city. The roads were covered by trees on both sides. The sky above turning a shade of dark grey as if it was going to rain.
Finally the car stopped in front of an old barn. He parked at a space that did kept the car hidden from view.
“Stay here.” He said unloading a gun.
I rolled my eyes. With the handcuffs around my wrist, how did he think it was possible for me to get out?
There was no sign of Flint or Scott anywhere. Suddenly I heard the sound of a car door getting shut. I looked up to find Jack stepping out of a car. His t-shirt front matted in blood.
What happened? Was he hurt? Or did he....
“If you hurt Riley, I swear on our dead mother, I’ll slaughter you.”
Those were Jack’s words when he’d spoken to Ezra on the phone. He’d sounded ice-cold, not the man who’d said he loved.
Jack had always been cocky, and sarcasm came to him naturally but his temper was on a whole new level. When Jack was truly mad, he went ballistic. He went from an attractive calm man into a raging personality.
An alter-ego perhaps?
What were the chances that Jack had unknowingly committed these crimes? What if his alter-ego was fighting against his true humane personality? When he was with me, he showed me his true self. But when he was alone, he turned devious and a psychotic murderer.
I gasped as I realized the possibilities of that were higher.
What if he attacked Ezra in a rage? Ezra had unloaded his gun which meant, he didn’t plan on shooting Jack at all.
Ezra’s life was in danger. I needed to do something.
A.N: Hey guys! Hope you all enjoyed reading this chapter. Don’t forget to comment your thoughts in the comment section.
Jack in the box will be ending in a few chapters, the end will be followed by some bonus chapters.
Stay Blessed! ❤️