The mornings are when the news channels talk about the gruesome murders from previous nights before. They’ve been warned about giving the killers descriptions that might make them kill more: ruthless, destructive, demonic, soulless, vicious, brutal, and so much more. And as much as these describe the murders and the murderers, it’s not helpful.
For all anyone knows, these killers could get off to being called barbaric for killing with their bare hands.
The TV was on in James’ room but he wasn’t watching, neither was Sorrel. For most of the morning, they’ve been going at it with each other. They couldn’t help it, especially when they had a good night last night. Even James was in a better mood.
His conscience hasn’t showed itself yet. He would prefer to continue riding out the feeling of bliss and pure satisfaction until it does.
Sorrel makes it so hard for James to say no. He practically begged nicely for them to have the morning to themselves, and James doesn’t say no when Sorrel asks nicely.
Over the low volume of the TV, moans could be heard, mostly coming from Sorrel who was more than excited to finally get something from James after a few days. He straddled over James’ lap, moving his hips on his own for now until James felt like he should take over. Sorrel moved his hands in his blond hair, pushing it back from his face as his hips moved slowly, wanting to feel James deeper inside him.
James’ hands were at Sorrel’s waist, his fingers just barely tracing over the warmth of his skin. It reminded him of last night, how he felt the warmth in his hands, up to his arms, and soon all over his body.
He wanted to feel it again.
His hands gripped harder into Sorrel’s waist, keeping him down on his lap so his cock would reach deeper. Sorrel’s thighs were beginning to shake against James’ body; he leaned his head back and moaned loudly, his eyes closing and his hands pressing down on James’ chest so he could hold himself up.
Visions of last night stayed in James’ mind, clouding his thoughts and adding to his lust. He looked up to see Sorrel’s face, how he moaned and breathed, and all James could picture was the blood from the night before.
If only they were covered in blood now.
James couldn’t help but get excited, more excited than he already was. This wasn’t enough for him, the rush wasn’t enough, the feeling wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t the same when there wasn’t a lot of adrenaline pumping through his veins. This could only hold him for the rest of the day, maybe sooner.
Sorrel was always resistant to cumming, he doesn’t want the fun to end so soon, but with the way James was working into him, Sorrel couldn’t last long. He did cum but he didn’t want to stop. He would always have to beg James to keep going, but not this time.
James brought Sorrel down on the bed and moved over him. He was still so eager and Sorrel loved that.
“Are you sure you’re sober?” Sorrel asked, smiling. If he wasn’t sober, Sorrel wouldn’t be surprised; that would explain the behavior.
He couldn’t describe how happy he was to feel James all over him. It’s not like they go a while without being this close to each other. Sorrel was always happy when they got to do something.
His hand moved in James’ hair while he kissed his neck. He closed his eyes when he felt James’ teeth on his neck, biting into his skin, and it wasn’t gentle. But Sorrel still smiled since he loved the pain.
“How vain are you?” Sorrel asked.
“You’re the one that gets hard when anyone calls you crazy.” James said, breathing against his neck.
“Only when it’s you.” Sorrel corrected dreamily as James continued to move inside him. He was just so infatuated that it was amazing; James would never be able to understand why Sorrel was like this.
Sorrel desperately didn’t want this to end. They were lucky that they had the day to themselves. And James was in the mood so it made things better.
So long as the TV was still on, and the news reporters were still talking about the psychotic killers that were in the streets, Sorrel and James were never going to make it out of bed.
It wasn’t till two in the afternoon that they decided to quit and do something normal. Well, James made that decision when he physically pushed Sorrel off of him and right off the bed. He was always that mean to Sorrel but Sorrel would always smile because he didn’t mind.
James had a day off and Sorrel didn’t work till later in the evening. Like usual, Sorrel would ask for breakfast food no matter what time in the day it was. So he sat patiently at the counter while James made pancakes for him.
“Why do you let the dog on the counter?” Sorrel asked, staring at the dog that stared right back.
The dog doesn’t bark a lot. He whines occasionally when James leaves for the day or when he thinks Sorrel might do something he shouldn’t. But other than that, the dog was quiet.
“He likes looking you in the eyes.” James said to Sorrel, not turning around to see what Sorrel looked like.
“What a daring pet.” Sorrel wasn’t a fan, but the dog made James happy so he would let it go. “He reminds me of you, though.” he said.
“An abused animal with a bad leg.” Sorrel pet the small dog softly, though his intentions were malicious. The dog became more twitchy as Sorrel touched him but he didn’t move away.
James didn’t understand what Sorrel said. “Abused?”
“Don’t tell me I don’t mentally fuck with you.” Sorrel snickered.
It wasn’t just that. James wasn’t going to forget the stitches on the palm of his hand. He could take the physical abuse but mentally he was broken.
He felt a throbbing pain in his leg that he hadn’t felt in weeks. The pain was uncomfortable, and it was to the point that he couldn’t put his weight on his leg. That usually happens when he thinks he’s in danger of something happening, when he’s scared, when he remembers what happened to him.
He guessed that he was like the dog.
James turned around to place a plate of pancakes in front of Sorrel. A smile spread on Sorrel’s face as his excitement as he stared at the food. James picked up his dog off the counter mostly to get him away from Sorrel and to put him down on the floor so he could walk around.
“I think we need to talk about what happened a few days ago.” Sorrel started.
“Your friend is bold.” he said. “To think he would actually send a cop after us is...reckless.”
James didn’t say anything. He told himself that he didn’t want to get involved. Whatever problem Sorrel had with him, and it was obvious that he did have a problem, James wanted to stay out of it.
“I mean, if you’re screwing him-”
“What is wrong with you?”
“I was just going to say that I don’t mind.” Sorrel defended himself. “And if you’re just messing around with him, that’s fine, too.”
“I’m not messing around with him.”
“I know what genuine friendship looks like.” Sorrel said. “You literally avoid hurting anyone you like,” he smiled slowly. “I bet you wouldn’t treat him the same.”
James looked away.
He wasn’t like Sorrel. He felt guilty when he did something wrong. He felt empathy, he related with others, he didn’t try to manipulate people for his own personal gain. He knew better.
“I’m not like you.” James said plainly.
“No, you’re not.” Sorrel already knew that. “But you’re close, in your own cute little way.” he was being cheeky.
James rolled his eyes and turned away to leave the kitchen. He had enough to deal with for the day, and his leg was throbbing again. He needed to release his anxiety and find peace again. He sure wasn’t going to find it here.
Elijah attended the funeral for Hank in the afternoon. Everyone was there for the family, grieving just as much as they did. Hank had a wife and four kids, so it definitely filled Elijah will a lot of regret when he realized what he did to this family. It wasn’t worth it when losing a life was involved.
Elijah didn’t want to just sit around and wait for another murder to happen. While he was gone, there were four bodies that dropped.
What does he do now?
It was Thursday. He finally could go back to work. It certainly didn’t make him happy because of what happened days before; he quietly walked into the station, planning to not say for half the day he was going to be here. He had to think. There were a few more deaths he needed to catch up on.
But then he remembered that an FBI agent was supposed to be coming for a few days at most.
The woman had dark hair, pulled back in a slick ponytail. She was tall and slightly muscular. She wore a blue FBI jacket over her uniform. When she turned around, Elijah could see her face. He stopped walking when he made eye contact with her. Her eyes were a deep hazel and sparkly and kind.
Her record said otherwise to her kindness.
She’s worked on a lot of cases. She was part of the SWAT team and the bomb squad and now she’s the head of her investigative unit. She’s dealt with mostly drug crimes, money laundering to the extreme and on more severe cases, terrorist attacks. But that’s not to say she doesn’t have experience with murder cases.
Elijah’s mouth was dry as he stared at her. He wanted to say something first and be nice, but he didn’t get that far. So she started.
“You must be Elijah.” she said, recognizing him immediately.
Elijah was struck. He didn’t even realize that she was holding her hand out to shake his. He cleared his throat a second later and shook her hand.
“I’m Harley.” she smiled. “I’ve heard a lot about you. You recently transferred from Arizona, right? This case must really be hard to crack.” she said.
“I’m not feeling too good about that.” Elijah looked away. He didn’t like failing at the only thing he was good at. It drove him insane. “I’m happy to get all the help I can get.”
“Good. Looking forward to working with you.” she said and put her hands in her jacket pockets. “May was excited to get me over here. She said you practically lose your mind when people make connections.”
“It’s great when I’m not the only one thinking.” he laughed.
“Well May hasn’t showed me anything yet, so let me take a crack at it.” She gestured for him to show her the way.
They sat in the conference room together with all the pictures Elijah had laid out on the table. She stared at all of them, trying to see if there was something she could pick out. Elijah didn’t tell her anything as she thought to herself. Would she get it?
She was here for one reason, but right now, it just seemed like that reason wasn’t here.
“Murder cases aren’t really my favorite.” she laughed to herself and looked at Elijah. “Are we looking at multiple killers?” she asked.
He didn't want to be surprised that she figured it out so quickly, but he had to admit that the only thing she did was look at the pictures. “Yes.” he answered her question.
“I’ve seen these types of murders before.” she picked up the more gruesome photos. They were easy to separate from the others. “Were these people performers?” she asked.
“Not all of them, but the more recent ones were.” he had files on all of the victims. He handed them to her, as well as the backup copy flash drive. She was going to have a long afternoon, especially with all the evidence they have.
“Well, what about the others?” she asked.
“I’m still working on those.” Elijah looked down at the photos. “The second killer isn’t as...poetic as the first.” he struggled to find the right word to describe the murders.
Harley continued to stare at the pictures. She was thinking too deep about something. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to say what she was thinking. So for now, she was going to keep it to herself. There had to be more to look at in terms of evidence before she makes a definite conclusion.
It was like she remembered something.
“I’m going to take all this with me.” She began picking up all the photos and tucking them into the folders. “I’ll come back later.”
Does that mean Elijah should stay late? He wasn’t sure what she wanted from him but he didn’t get the chance to ask because she was gone.
Maybe this was a sign for Elijah to get out of the environment for a little while. Everyone was grieving still, and he was sure he would drown in guilt if he doesn’t step away. He needed time to get himself together.
James was with his dog. The sun was setting and the families were beginning to leave the beach. James’ dog walked slowly beside him, limping, as he tried to keep up. James didn’t keep him on a leash, his dog would get squirmish even with his collar on.
James hadn’t been to the beach yet though he’s been living in the area for a few weeks. He’s still trying to get used to the hot weather. Where he was from got cold when it was the winter. He missed wearing his sweaters and jackets. Now it’s too hot for that.
Maybe he should move again.
Though, it’s not like he could move back up north. Maybe he should leave the country. It would be nice to be in an entirely different environment.
He thought about the different things he could do as he walked down the beach, his dog right beside him.
Elijah met up with him like he said he would earlier. It was good to take breaks. James was the one that told him that. From far away, Elijah could see that James was slightly limping. Just like his dog. He was curious. He’s never noticed the limp before, he was sure James didn’t have the limp.
“Your leg...” Elijah didn’t know what to say about it.
“Oh...” James stopped walking. “I broke my leg a year ago. I’m usually sitting all day so the pain comes and goes.” he looked away.
“How did you break your leg?” Elijah asked.
James was staring blankly into the distance. Was this another mental breakdown? Should Elijah snap him out of it. “It’s a long story.” James wasn’t going to talk about it.
He had enough to deal with in his life, revisiting certain trauma was not good for him.
They walked together. Elijah kept up with James’ slow pace. He hadn’t realized that the dog was just like him until he saw the two of them. The dog was James. They were both twitchy, cautious, and broken.
James had picked up his dog when he started to get tired. The absolute love he had for the dog could not compare to anything else at the moment. He was constantly smiling because of the small animal.
“I heard about the...um, death of the officer.” James wanted to offer his condolences.
“Yeah, everyone is shaken up about it.” Elijah said. Even he was shaken up about it. It’s enough that he’s dealing with all these murders, but when it happens to someone he knows, it gets more dangerous and more personal.
He wasn’t sure if he should be separating himself from the case or invest in it more.
James didn’t know how to ask his question. “Do you think that...Do you think-”
Elijah knew exactly what James wanted to ask. Was Sorrel involved?
“I’m not going to put you in this position, James. I’d let you know if it’s getting to that point.” Elijah told him as a courtesy.
He felt like James would seriously be heart broken if it was really true. It didn’t occur to him that James already knew the truth.
James had no idea what he would do if something happened to Sorrel.
“On a different note though, I have a partner now so I guess that’s okay.” Elijah wasn’t sure how to feel about that. “I mean, I usually work alone but it’s not a bad idea.” he shrugged.
“It’s more help.”
“It’s going to suck if she refutes my theories.” he laughed to himself. “But she’s really nice and...” Elijah didn’t want to be that kind of guy.
“Aren’t you still married?” James laughed when he figured it out.
“I wasn’t going to...colleagues are always off limits okay. I was going to keep my hands to myself.” he made himself clear but James continued to laugh.
It was genuine.
Elijah couldn’t help but feel good about making James laugh. With how lost and sad he is all the time, seeing him smile was always like watching the sun rise. Elijah didn’t know what to say, so he just continued walking with him.
It was only an hour but it seemed to last forever. James always liked having someone to talk to that didn’t manipulate how he thought or what he said. It was just talking and being with someone normal. He needed that and he finally had that. It was with a detective but that didn’t scare him; James tended to gravitate towards those people anyway. For the hour they talked about a lot of things. The pain in James leg went away and the limp was finally gone. He could breathe again.
He was himself again.
For however long it would last didn’t matter. It was the fact that he could hang on that made him feel better.
Elijah went back to work when he got a message from Harley. She had a lot she wanted to say about the cases. She had everything lined up and organized for him to look at the evidence from a different perspective. He didn’t think anyone could be that dedicated, but she was.
“This has a lot of effort put into it.” Elijah was staring at the pictures that were placed by group and date.
“My old partner was sort of...he liked to have things organized a certain way. Made everything clearer.” she smiled to herself as she remembered.
“Huh.” Elijah sat back in his chair and picked up his carton of rice.
They planned to be here for a while so they ordered food. No one that was left bothered them. And if the night stays quiet, there won’t be a murder to check out.
“Here’s what I think.” Harley started as she put her bowl of food down. “We’ve got one psychopath, then we’ve got one who’s about to snap.” she said.
“Depending on the mood of the second murderer, the way he kills gets more gruesome.” Elijah said. “The burn marks aren’t on some of the recent murders but then there’s that one guy who exploded, so...”
Harley looked over the pictures again. She missed the burn marks. She didn’t even know they were there. And if she did see them at first, she didn’t think it was important. The burns weren’t big enough so she overlooked them. However, the guy that exploded, that was a big detail.
“The guy that exploded, the criminal justice lawyer, who did he represent?” Harley asked.
“Just some shady people, really.” Elijah looked through one of the folders. “One guy that stood out was some restaurant owner in Georgia. He just popped in out of nowhere, got arrested for embezzlement, but got away with it.”
“He’s dead right?” Harley asked as she pulled out her laptop and searched for the man.
“Yeah, that was a few months ago. He...”
Elijah didn’t have to finish. When Harley pulled it up, there were a few articles about a man who burned to death. His restaurant burned down too. This man had nothing to his name the second he exploded into flames.
“But that’s...” Elijah saw the connection but it just seemed farfetched.
“Our killer has a temper. I can tell you that.” Harley said.
“But how did you know?”
“The same guy that’s killing all these people now is the same murderer from up north. He just brought someone with him.” Harley got up quickly, packing her stuff. “I have a lot of things to get for you. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” she rushed out of the room.
Elijah wasn’t confused but he looked like he was. Did Harley already know who was doing this? She even knew the second killer, right? She wouldn’t have been in a rush to leave if she didn’t. What was she going to get for him?
She came back, though.
“Uh, did you want to...” she didn’t want to come off as forward but she went for it anyway “...come over? I feel bad for making you buy all this food.” she said and smiled, breathing hard from rushing out.
Elijah could spend all night talking about the case with her, though he had a feeling they wouldn’t be talking much. He knew better. But with how things have been going for these few weeks, he needed more time to get himself together and not have a moment of weakness.
It was just for one night, then it was back to solving the murder case.