Elijah found himself walking into James’ office.
He didn’t have an appointment but he had this sort of gravitation towards James for some reason.
And it’s not like James minded.
When Elijah walked into his office unannounced, he saw a small dog limping around. It’s front leg was bandaged and slightly shorter than the others. The dog continued to walk around anyway. It had white fur with pale tan spots around it’s body. It’s ears were small but it had big brown eyes.
It didn’t bark when it saw Elijah. It just minded it’s own business and continued to walk on it’s own, limping.
Elijah just wanted to know why there was a dog here.
“Um...” Elijah made himself known.
James looked up and put his papers down. “Oh, that’s Rex.” He said and gave the most genuine smile. His ears even wiggled slightly as he showed his happiness. “He likes to walk around.”
A twitchy, limping dog with one broken leg. Of course that reminded James of someone.
“Where did you...?”
“A shelter. They found him on the side of the road. And they actually gave him his shots.” he was even more excited, which doesn’t happen often. Elijah looked to the side. What was significant about a dog getting his shots? “No rabies.” James seemed happy.
Was there something that Elijah missed?
Did James have rabies at some point?
“Well you look better...Please tell me you didn’t have rabies.” Elijah took a seat in a chair by James’ desk. James laughed quietly to himself. He wasn’t going to confirm whether or not he actually had rabies.
Though he hoped that he didn’t.
He was warned before.
At least now he got what he wanted. He finally got a pet that he could have. Rex shouldn’t be in his office, but James couldn’t resist bringing his dog to work.
He was still slightly feverish, but his hallucinations had stopped. Now all he had to worry about were his day dreams and his thoughts. He wasn’t so tired. He wasn’t so pale. James actually did look better. He was still recovering but it was enough that he didn’t look so miserable.
He got up to get Rex from by the door. He picked up the small dog and walked back to his desk. “Did you need something today?”
“Not really, I’m still looking for a divorce lawyer though.” Elijah sat down.
Elijah had a life of his own. He wouldn’t say it was falling apart but its not exactly perfect. His wife was mad enough that she wanted a divorce, and she planned to take everything from him. He knows that it will happen but at least he could fight for his kid.
“Got too consumed in your work?” James asked.
He didn’t know that much about Elijah, but he could guess that he took his work seriously.
“It’s not healthy for a relationship.” Elijah shrugged. He was devoted to what he does. He wanted to help others. He wanted to save them.
But lately it’s getting difficult.
“It’s good to...um, take a break.” James looked down at his dog.
He remembered how many times he’s actually disassociated from his entire life for days at a time because he couldn’t handle what he was dealing with. It happened more often than not if he was being completely honest. So he knew what it meant when he said breaks were good. It’s not healthy to go crazy.
“You’ve had it rough, haven’t you?” Elijah could sense it. Any time he was even close to James, he felt like there was something wrong.
What has James Blair gone through in his life?
“It’s just...I have bad luck.” James sighed and looked away.
He has terrible bad luck. The past few years for him have been awful. He hated what he’s done and the secrets that he’s kept. He shouldn’t have done the things that he’s done. It was a lot on his shoulders. It’s weighing him down.
He had a lot to think about. Maybe it was best to see his psychiatrist but he’s been skipping sessions since he thought he had it under control. In fact, James thought he didn’t need a psychiatrist anymore, but there’s a lot he wants to talk about and most of it isn’t good conversation with people.
He had to keep it to himself.
He suppressed his emotions.
He didn’t talk about it with anyone despite dying to. Was Elijah always here as a savior for him? Could James make a serious cry for help? Or would it not be helpful? Elijah was always over as good company for a few minutes or an hour and James has never appreciated something so simple as that.
He needed someone.
He needed to tell someone.
Elijah felt like James was having an inner struggle. James had suddenly stopped talking and was staring through him, like he was in another world. What could possibly be the issue here? What is he going through?
James straightened up and set his dog on the floor gently. He didn’t like when he began to day dream. He thought about so many things at once that it was frightening. Elijah just didn’t say anything about it. He wanted to change the topic, though it might make Elijah a little worried.
“I wanted to ask you about Sorrel.” Elijah said. James looked towards him. “Is he always hostile towards law enforcement?”
James just looked away again. He had a lot to say about that but he bit his tongue. He kept his other hand in his lab, thumb rubbing against his white bandage. He knew that Sorrel wasn’t hard to understand, he was as clear as day. Do what Sorrel wants and everyone is happy. Don’t owe him favors and don’t let him be manipulative.
James knew exactly where this was going.
“He’s had some issues...” He said plainly.
“And you two are...” Elijah didn’t have to finish the question. James smiled weakly.
Elijah could guess but it would’ve only been a guess. He just never pictured James for the relationships type. Was that a bad thing? It’s like a hunch that Elijah got, maybe James wasn’t happy in all aspects of his life.
What could’ve done this to him?
“Are you free later? I just feel like I always bother you at work and I shouldn’t.” Elijah got up, getting ready to leave since he had to go back to work himself. “We could go out for drinks if you’re interested.”
James didn’t know what to say.
He hasn’t been with another person for months. And he knew that he shouldn’t be out drinking. However, that was the only reason he agreed to go out with Elijah tonight. He needed to drink. He just needed a while to forget.
Did James really make a friend? It’s not like it’s crossed his mind to be manipulative. He wouldn’t hurt Elijah. He’s just one more person that James gets to talk to.
It felt nice.
So James didn’t feel regretful about accepting. He needed something different today and he was going to do what he wanted for once.
Elijah was going to finish what he had planned for the day before he was done. He might’ve liked James, but his other half had a lot of answers. Elijah knew Sorrel was purposefully hostile. He also had the feeling Sorrel was a liar and very cunning. So he needed answers.
Of course he would ask Sorrel more questions about the murders from workers at this hotel. It wasn’t just Sorrel he would ask, but Sorrel gave off the vibe that he knew more about what was going on.
It was bright outside from the sun in the clear sky. All the tables were filled with couples and families. The dancers were performing just one of their many shows for the days. The servers moved weaved through tables with trays of food for the guest. This place was always busy.
When Elijah looked out from the edge of the balcony, he could see the beach. It was enough to smell the salt water but to see the ocean was different. This was definitely a new environment for him. He wasn’t sure if he liked it or not.
He waited for Sorrel. He wasn’t up with the other dancers. He was pulled to the side by the hotel manager who told him an investigator was here to see him. That did not make him happy.
How many times did Elijah bother him?
Elijah waited patiently for Sorrel, though he did seem occupied even when he walked over.
“Give me a minute.” Sorrel was busy on his phone. He texted furiously with someone and with each message, he got more aggravated. “I hate sexting someone and all they care about is work.” he said through his teeth. “What the fuck.” he said when he got another message.
Elijah was going to let that go. He could relate but that wasn’t the point.
At one point, James had warned Elijah that Sorrel was explicit. One day, Elijah will really get to understand what James meant; what Sorrel said before was only a small taste of what could really come out of his mouth.
“Anyway, what do you want from me?” Sorrel got right to it, crossing his arms and looking Elijah dead in the eyes. “I’m two seconds away from getting a restraining order against you.” he threatened.
“What are you doing talking to James?” Sorrel asked, not being subtle about it. Elijah wasn’t sure how to answer that.
Does he lie and say he hasn’t or just come out with the truth?
He didn’t get the chance to lie.
“I’m not stupid.” Sorrel crossed his arms. “Plus he talks about you. Something about having interests in the same thing.” he said and rolled his eyes. Elijah couldn’t believe how blunt Sorrel really was. “Believe me, I’ve asked for the threesome but it’s not going to happen, so get over it.” It sounded like Sorrel was telling himself that.
“I’m not...interested like that.” Elijah didn’t know why he had to say that. “Are you two...?”
“Want to finish that question?” Sorrel waited.
“Why are you like this?-”
“That’s a personal question, don’t you think?”
Elijah was going to get nowhere with Sorrel. It’s always back and forth with these two. Sorrel had half a mind to tell Elijah to stay away from James. However, he didn’t mind playing a few games. After all, he enjoyed messing with people.
“James doesn’t talk about you.” Elijah said, remembering James’ explicit resistance to the topic.
“He thinks I’m the actual devil.” Sorrel was serious. “He’s mean to me, by the way. Just putting that out there.”
“I wonder why that is.” Elijah mumbled under his breath as he looked away. “Listen, I’m only interested in getting information. A few of the victims are coming from this hotel.”
“Ask someone that can help.”
“I’m asking you, Sorrel.” Elijah looked at him, right in the eyes. It was daring.
Elijah knew it wasn’t a good idea to fight Sorrel, it was just this gut feeling he had. But he couldn’t just be walked on. He needed to get answers. Sorrel, however, was not generous.
“The only way I’m answering incriminating questions is if I get something I want in return.” he made himself very clear. That’s how it’s always been. So what does he want? “Good luck figuring it out. I have to get back to work.” he left without another word.
It was difficult to get to Sorrel and he wanted to know why. What did Elijah do? What happened to Sorrel that he would explicitly hate Elijah?
Elijah had to give up.
Maybe another day he would have a better chance, but right now he knew not to waste his time.
He had other things to worry about. And then later he has plans.
Though, James was more worried about those plans than Elijah was.
For some reason, James has this inability to keep his mouth shut when talking about the explicit murder case. He pays attention. That’s all he can say. He knows a lot more than he’s letting on. Of course James isn’t stupid. Elijah wouldn’t be asking him questions if he was. James just gave more than he should’ve.
He felt more guilt and more fear and more anxiety. This was not good for him, especially when he’s just getting over his sickness.
It was like he could feel his fever picking up again.
James had his hands over his face as he tried to think. He was sitting on his bed and he thought deeply about how he was going to fix the mess he made. There were many things he could do but what was the right choice?
Then he thought maybe he should get rid of the source of his problems. He’s thought about killing Sorrel for weeks now. He knows how he wants to do it, too. If only he could gain enough courage.
But he needed Sorrel, too.
Sorrel was the only person that could control him. James would hate himself more if he ran wild without a leash. It’s hard to pull himself back from his dark thoughts.
James sighed again and tried to think of something. Sorrel was standing in front of him, waiting for something to happen. He had walked in while James was having his existential crisis. Usually James can keep his problems to himself, he hides his panic attacks, he doesn’t get frustrated or mad explicitly. He can keep it repressed. He doesn’t show as much as he truly feels. Sorrel was hoping to break that. He looked down at James, seeing him with his hands on his face, and Sorrel wondered how he was going to get James to snap today.
“You’ve been moody lately.” Sorrel said as he walked around a bit.
James didn’t try to look up. “Hm.” He was still having his crisis.
Sorrel mashed his lips together. It was frustrating when James wouldn’t talk to him. “It’s hard to get fucked when you’re being moody-”
“I’m a mess, okay.” James said so Sorrel would shut up. He was clearly aggravated and was trying to make his dark thoughts go away.
Sorrel looked to the side for a second. Then he smiled dearly. “Be my mess.” he said.
James didn’t think it was funny. He was up on his feet, yanking on Sorrel’s tie and bringing him closer, his other hand whipping out a gun that was at his waist and pointing it right at Sorrel’s forehead. “You think this is funny, don’t you?” James was not in the mood.
There was a wild look in his eyes, like he really was about to snap. He was aching to pull the trigger. He has wanted this for so long.
“Shoot me.” Sorrel wasn’t scared.
“Don’t test me!”
“Kill me, go ahead.” Sorrel didn’t stop. “I know you think about it. Shoot me.” he edged James to pull the trigger, and James was close to doing so. It will be an unfortunate day when Sorrel’s blood and brains ends up everywhere.
James couldn’t do it.
He wanted it to be when he was aching for it, when he was pushed over the edge and couldn’t bare it anymore. Now he could bare it. It wouldn’t mean anything if he did it now. Though he would be released from the devil’s grasp.
But the bliss he would get from finally killing the monster that’s forcing him to be wild would be so euphoric. James was sure he wouldn’t be able to control himself if he finally one day did pull the trigger.
He always kept his gun on him. He always had it near him for the very moment.
Sorrel almost didn’t want to smile. He knew how weak James was for things like this. But he knew how easy James fell into temptation. He couldn’t help but smile, exposing his tongue to show a blue piercing.
“Sure you don’t want to direct your anger on something?” Sorrel asked.
James just cocked his gun so Sorrel knew he was serious. Sorrel just wanted James to become vicious. He knew it was in him, he just had to bring it out.
“I’m not angry.” James said through his teeth, still desperately trying to hold down his emotions.
If he let it out, he would lose his mind and set fire to the world.
“That’s cute.” Sorrel teased, kissing James’ cheek.
He didn’t stop there. He continued to kiss James’ face and down his neck, hoping to get James in the mood. It’s not like Sorrel had a lot of patience. His hand reached down to grope James roughly.
“I have to be somewhere.” James wasn’t as interested as Sorrel was.
“To meet your boy toy?” Sorrel asked, not even the slightest bit upset. In fact, he pulled away and smiled as he looked at James’ face. “You think I don’t know you’re fucking around with him?”
“What? Genuinely like him?” Sorrel didn’t believe for a second that James had good intentions.
Sorrel thought James used the whole innocent, puppy dog eyes, broken and hurt demeanor to be manipulative and get what he wants. And he learned well considering that Sorrel taught him. Sorrel knew James wasn’t stupid, yet he continued to play innocent like he wasn’t going to do anything to that detective.
James wasn’t going to engage in the conversation more than he had to. If he tried to fight Sorrel on this, he would lose.
He tucked his gun away behind his belt at the back of his lower waist and then grabbed his jacket.
“I’m not manipulating anyone.” James said as he turned away to leave.
He told himself that he wasn’t like that, that he knew better than to deceive people for his own personal gain. He wasn’t like Sorrel. He couldn’t use people.
“Make sure you leave Rex alone.” James warned him on his way out.
“I’m not responsible for anything that happens to that dog.” Sorrel said loudly, making sure James heard before he left.
If James was going to be happy, his dog needed to be left alone. Sorrel liked it better when James was happy. So it wasn’t hard to figure out that the dog was going to be left alone.
James met up with Elijah at one of the local bars near one of the beaches. It was a popular bar since it was crowded even so early in the evening. Elijah was still trying to find his way around, he was still rather new to the area.
It seemed like James knew his way around. He’s been here for a few months, so he definitely knew where to go.
“Do you drink?” Elijah asked.
“Just a little.” James lied.
The bartender obviously knew him and knew exactly what drink to make him. James wasn’t an alcoholic. He would tell everyone he knew that. Though, he had the strongest drink in the bar, so that said a lot about him.
Elijah noticed that James was a little more comfortable. It didn’t look like James was having the life sucked out of him. The weight was lifted off his shoulders.
“I was thinking about what you said earlier.” Elijah said. “The two killers are more involved than I thought.”
James knew exactly what he meant. He kept the edge of his glass to his lips as he turned to look at Elijah.
What could give the impression that the killers were more involved? James’ thoughts were reeling at the idea. There was something that happened right? He remembered.
“What are you going to do about that?” James asked.
“Well, if we find the weaker link, then we find the other killer.” Elijah said. That didn’t sit well with James. “Clearly, one is more dominant over the other.”
James didn’t know what he wanted to say but he knew he had to say something. His heart was racing. Was it from the drink he just gulped down in one swallow? The heat made it down his throat and into his stomach but it wasn’t enough to calm him.
Elijah wasn’t wrong.
Maybe that’s what made James uncomfortable.
“Did you find anything else?” He asked, curious about what may be left.
“Well, there’s makeup traces.” Elijah sipped his drink. “It wasn’t a lot but we got enough of it to run tests.” He said
“Makeup?” James seemed confused.
“We thought for a second that a woman was doing this, but that was quickly refuted with evidence.” Elijah dismissed the idea.
“The makeup is just to cover something up.” James mumbled.
“What do you think it’s covering up?”
James didn’t say anything for a second as he thought to himself. This wasn’t a puzzle. He already knew everything. But he was curious about how close Elijah was. Maybe it wasn’t as close as he thought.
Would it be wrong to lead him in the right direction?
What would happen if he got too close?
“Marks, scars, anything that could identify them.” James answered.
But it was most certainly bruises.
“It just shows that they can’t walk around with whatever they’re trying to cover up.” James explained.
Elijah didn’t think of it like that.
“It’s an expensive brand.” He said. “One that has little allergens and is waterproof.” He said.
James could easily just say what brand it was but he kept it to himself. He drank quietly when his glass was refilled. He looked around to avoid the conversation now. He thought he knew too much at the moment.
And being told that he was manipulative didn’t sit well with him.
“Why didn’t you go into criminal justice?” Elijah asked.
James had a long story for that and he didn’t want to tell it. All it made him want to do was drink.
“A lot...happened.” James said quietly. “I just...there were things I had to deal with and I knew it wasn’t for me.” He tried to make it sound like it wasn’t a big deal but it was. At least for him it was.
“It’s not too late to pick it up.”
James would never.
“I’m fine with where I am now.” He lied.
He wasn’t fine. He was traumatized. He was scared. He had this burning rage he kept dormant inside him and everyday was a constant struggle to get up. He still has violent nightmares and daydreams. He had dark tendencies that are getting harder to suppress. He was not fine with where he was now.
“Well if you’re ever interested...” Elijah shrugged.
“What makes you think I’m good at this?”
“You make connections pretty quickly.” Elijah said. Someone who doesn’t need a lot of time to come up with drastic information is crucial to the team.
James was smart. But this time was cheating. He knew all the answers.
James had to drink to that, though he would drink to anything. He was manipulative and he just now realized what that meant for him. He told himself he wouldn’t use anyone but that’s exactly what he was doing.
And by the end of the night, he hoped that he wouldn’t remember anything that’s happened.
James was mildly drunk. The alcohol could be smelt on him from a mile away. He just acted like he wasn’t, and he was good at that. He was good at pretending. He walked in his apartment like he wasn’t about to black out though he may have. Sorrel had been waiting but he knew James wouldn’t be back at a reasonable time.
James drinks a lot. That’s what alcoholics do but James was sure he wasn’t an alcoholic.
“Have fun with your boy toy?” Sorrel asked as he got up, standing in front of James so he couldn’t walk any further.
It wasn’t till Sorrel said what he said that James realized how much of a problem he was himself. He was manipulative. He was messing around. It’s not like he enjoyed it, he didn’t know he was doing it. The anger was visible in James’ eyes but he didn’t do anything about it. Even while drunk, he could hold on as best as he could to his emotions.
Sorrel absolutely hated that.
One day James will snap. He has his moments but they don’t last long. Sorrel was waiting for that day where James would completely throw away whatever reserve he had.
Sorrel took a step forward towards James, keeping a plain expression on his face. He could smell the alcohol on his clothes, even on his breath. When Sorrel got too close, James put his hand at his throat, his fingers digging into Sorrel’s skin. It wasn’t quick, like earlier, Sorrel saw it coming. This could mean many things. Maybe James finally had the courage and enough rage to get rid of what causes his nightmares at night. Or maybe he felt a different type of way, enough to throw Sorrel down and abuse him.
But it wasn’t that.
Before Sorrel could get interested, James moved his hand away and showed Sorrel his fingers. There was something that coated his fingertips. He didn’t have to explain himself but he was going to anyway.
“You’re leaving makeup traces.” James said.
It was just a heads-up, nothing more.
James walked by Sorrel without a second glance. All he wanted was to go to bed and be done with the night.