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Double Cross by EmG
This was the third time in three days. A body lay in front of FBI Nathaniel (Nate) Jackson. His eyes scanned the body. It was a female teenager around age 16. She had lovely black hair, which had reached below her shoulders. Nate sighed.
“Harley, does the body have the trademarks of the other two?”
“Yes, Nate. She's pinned on a wall by the palms of her hands, and blood has been drained from her neck. The face is flawless though. Our guy put a lot of care into her makeup.”
Nate scratched his head. “Alright, if we're done collecting evidence, let's go ahead and take her down. We need to speed up, every minute we spend playing around is another minute for keeping the killer free. Harley, do we have an identification?”
“Mm-hmm. Just like the others, he's left a thorough report of who she is, where she's from, and what he did to her. Whoever did this is really sick. Listen. 'This girl is Leona Rose Bradshaw, age 16, from the middle of Kansas. Her mother is Diana Rose Bradshaw, (deceased, cause of death: car accident involving drunk driver) and her father is Jack Dillon Bradshaw.'”
Harley paused to take a breath.
“'Leona was hung by her savior on the east wall, (still alive) and drained of her blood. No mess. Efforts were made to make her beautiful. Her heart stopped beating May 2nd. The day you find her is May 3rd.' This guy is sick, eh, Nate?”
Nate tried to find his voice. “Yeah, he's sick for sure. How does he know when we'll find the body? He does this every time. And who is her savior?”
Harley snorted. “Tricia from the lab will do some tests, but I'm sure her “savior” is our guy. Maybe he's one of those crazy people who think they're sent from God to kill witches or something.”
A few days later, Nate was completely exhausted. The family had identified the body, Tricia had started testing the corpse, and two more bodies had been found in the same condition. Five bodies in five days. Nate was just waiting for a sixth to be found. But the call didn't come. One day passed, as well as two, then three, then four. The FBI department was scuttling around, trying to figure this one out. Matthew Garfield, the head of this case, came to Nate's desk on an inquiry.
“Nathaniel, enlighten me. Why would a killer choose five victims for five days, the suddenly stop? Perhaps he is choosing to play with us! What do you think?”
Nate rubbed his forehead with his fingertips. “In all due respect, Matthew, if I knew, I would not be sitting here, working overtime.” Matthew slowly walked away, obviously irked at Nathaniel for not knowing. Nate turned his computer monitor on, and clicked the internet icon. Quite soon, he was lost in the world of research.
Brriinnnggg! Brriinnnggg! Harley jumped at the sound of an incoming call. She picked up the receiver from it's cradle, and warily spoke. “Hello, this is Harley Bergman.” She waited a moment for a voice to speak. A muffled voice came through, saying, “Hello, Miss Bergman. Don't bother recording this call, this number cannot be traced. You will do as I tell you, as you have previously done. Understand?” Harley sighed. She understood perfectly. All she had to do was send anonymous tips and help the man.
“Yes, sir, I understand. Arrangements will be made, yes?”
“Miss Harley, you know they will be. Here is the address. 1504 West Red Lane. Equipment is already provided. You know what to do. 3:00pm, this afternoon.”
The receiver made a “click” sound, indicating the call had been disconnected. Harley swallowed hard, and looked at the clock in guilt. It was only 10:00am. Plenty of time to plan an alibi, if the need arose for one later. She stood up from her leather office chair, and walked out to the concrete balcony to gaze at the city skyline. Harley turned, for she heard footsteps behind her.
“Hey Harley, what are you doing out here?” Nathaniel asked.
“Just getting some fresh air. I haven't pulled an all-nighter like that since junior year of high school.”
“It was a tough night-and week-for all of us. So, I'm just wondering, that phone call a few minutes ago seemed important, like you had to do something. You're slacking already eh?” Nate joked.
Harley rolled her eyes, and crossed her arms in front of her chest. “It wasn't important, even if it was, no one should be stalking my calls anyhow. Isn't that a crime?”
Nate was puzzled. He had just been joking, but Harley seemed to be serious. “Sure. What was that phone call about, anyway?”
“Just a possible client.”
“A possible tip on someone.”
“The savior killer guy?”
“Stop asking me questions, runt! You have no business poking around like you do.”
“Runt? Where did that one crawl from? And, you have no business sneaking by the agency with side-jobs.”
Harley narrowed her blue eyes at Nathaniel. Did he know about what she was doing?
“What side-jobs?” She innocently asked.
“Don't play that card. You know which ones.”
Harley's heart beat faster. She heard the blood pulsing in her ears. Without thinking, she withdrew her gun and aimed at Nathaniel. “How did you know? Tell me now,” she demanded.
Nathaniel's brow furrowed in confusion and he felt adrenaline running through his veins. “I was snooping one day, okay? I found that you're working for someone. Did some investigating. Accomplices within the FBI never end well and you know my duty now is to-”
Nate's sentence was cut off hard by the sound of Harley's handgun. His form doubled over and fell to the ground. The image of the silver bullet tearing a hole in Nate's chest was burning like acid in Harley's mind. “Harley, what-” Nathaniel had started. But his heart betrayed him as his voice faded out. Nathaniel had crossed the line of death.
Harley bit her lip as she looked about frantically. The sound of the gun had brought the local police force, with their sirens screaming. To save some time, she dragged Nathaniel to the edge of the balcony and awkwardly shoved him off. She grabbed her cell phone from her pocket, and dialed. She heard a “click” on the other end, and she started blabbing in a panic. “William. Just killed Nathaniel. What am I supposed to do?! The police are here, and other agents will soon be out.. they'll imprison me or execute me! I can't go to prison, my work is here and without me your crimes would go and get solved, and you would perhaps get caught, or maybe one of your wing-men. What do I do?!”
She paused only to let William process this.
“You really are stupid. My source warned me about hiring a woman. Too unpredictable and unstable. Really, Harley, hurry up and get outside. I have a man on the way. Back alley, two minutes.” And just like that, he hung up. Harley begun to race to the narrow alleyway. A couple of agents had seen her, and shouted for backup to block her. Harley knew the drill of backup. They'd be there in about a minute or so, and she was 30 seconds away from her destination. A black Mustang swerved in front of her, proving her estimate to be wrong by 20 seconds. Te side-door opened and Harley dove into her seat. “Go. GO!” She screamed at her driver. The man behind the wheel turned around and revealed his face. It was William B. himself. He winked at Harley and started driving off at 60 MPH.
They drove and drove until they had reached an abandoned house. The white paint was peeling, revealing termite-stricken wood. Vines grew up and about, squeezing the life from ancient wood beams that supported the front porch. William knew the place well, because he had checked it out beforehand. The duo went into the house. As they crossed the threshold, Harley heard a muffled voice trying to say something. “That voice belongs to Angelina Martinez,” William answered Harley's unasked question. “Lucky girl,” she remarked. “Is she prepared?” “Quite. All but her face.” He briskly replied.
Harley soon found the girl, who was hog-tied with satin strips. A rag had been shoved in her mouth to prevent her from screaming for help. “Hello sweetie. I see you're in a predicament eh? Well, don't worry. It shall be over soon.” Angelina felt the lump in her stomach grow. The rag was dirty, and had held her for a couple days. No food, mixed with putrid smells of an abandoned house had created the perfect formula for the contents of her stomach to come up. And while Harley had approached the captive, it happened. Angelina heaved and stomach acid spewed from her mouth. Her world grew dark as she passed out. William just entered the room as these events occurred. “She's soiled her dress!!” he shouted. “That little-” he began as a police siren drowned out his voice. William cursed softly while he pulled a gun from his jacket. “Miss Bergman, farewell. I hate to go, but I ain't gonna get caught.” He cocked the gun and BANG!! The gun shot Harley in the stomach before she could speak. Harley fell backwards, shocked. He had just shot her. One of his few accomplices for this spree.
The front door slammed open as a bunch of men wearing bulletproof vests and carrying AK-47s poured in the abandoned house. They scattered like ants. “Medics needed in basement!” One said into his radio. Another seemed to have William pinned to the floor. And a few more were searching the house for any more people or weapons.
Matthew exhaled as he finished the last bit of paperwork. It had been a gruesome case, and now one of his best agents was gone. Matthew picked up his phone as it rang. “Hello dear. How is was your day?”
“Hey baby. My day was fine, what about you? Is that big case finally wrapped up?”
“I'm alright. And yeah, everything is finished. It's been a long one, though. I'm exhausted.”
“Well, c'mon home when your shift is over. I'll have dinner cooked. Spaghetti or steak?”
“Thank you. Steak sounds amazing. I gotta go sweetie, I'll be home around 7:00. Love you.”
“Alright. Love you, too.”
Matthew laid down the phone, and took up his jacket. A wary smile poked its way through his wrinkled face as he thought about the dinner he would soon enjoy with his wife.
A week later, Angelina was still in the hospital recovering. She was doing well. Harley was in the hospital also, but her sharp mind was deteriorating rapidly. And William, he was in prison, awaiting the trial. The entire FBI attended Nathaniel's funeral that had been set on May 14th.