Deadly Fear Page 20

What was that?

The mark below her left shoulder blade. Her scar. This was the first time he’d ever seen it in the light, and it looked wrong. Raised flesh, in perfect circles. Hard to see completely in the steam but—

In a flash, Monica spun around to face him, and the laughter was gone from her eyes. Fear flashed in her blue gaze. Stark and sudden.

What? Why was she—

She reached for him, grabbing his arm and hauling him from the shower. She kissed him. No more tenderness. No more sweet licks.

Hard. Deep. Craving. Lusting.

If this is what she wants…

He’d always give her what she wanted.

His c*ck pushed against her. His arms locked around her, and he lifted her up, carrying her back to the bedroom.

To the condom.

They made it to the bed, barely. She was biting, sucking his lower lip and driving him insane.

She tore open the condom. Slid it over his c*ck with gripping hands and make-me-come touches.

Then she straddled him. “Now.”

Took him.

A swift downward thrust of her hips. Her eyes locked on his. Blind with need. Just as he knew his must be.

No more fear. Fear—why—

Her sex squeezed him. She rose, going up on her knees, and the head of his c*ck thrust against the opening of her sex.

Then down. Fast. Balls-deep in a move that had her muscles rippling around him. So tight. Perfect.

Luke stopped thinking and just felt.

Her. Flesh on flesh. Sweet cream. Warm woman.

Moving fast, the rhythm wild and driving as they fought for release. The mattress squeaked, louder than her moans, and her br**sts rose, bouncing lightly, and he had to have a nipple in his mouth.

His lips closed over her breast just as her cl**ax ripped through her. Her sex contracted, milking his length as she came—

And he came, erupting, within her. “Monica!” A roar that burst from him.

So long. The pleasure wrung through him. Every muscle, every cell. So. Fucking. Good.

Their breaths panted out. His heart pounded like a freaking drum. And he could taste her.

Her sex trembled around him. So good.

But when the waves of release began to slowly ebb, he was left with a memory. Not of wild heat, or of a lust that couldn’t be sated.

One of fear in desperate blue eyes.

“You know, some folks like to sleep at night,” Kenton said, his voice gruff as he held a steaming cup of coffee real close to his face. “I mean, damn, you know—sleep, sometime, right?”

Monica blinked and vaguely remembered a sleepy voice shouting, “Keep that crap down.”

Oh, she was screwed. “Just where’s your motel room located, Kenton?”

One brow rose and he stared back at her. “I’m Room 103.”

And she was 102. Perfect.

He took a quick sip of the coffee. “Freaking rabbits.”

“Don’t.” Luke’s voice. Vibrating with fury. He’d come up silently behind Kenton, and yeah, he’d heard everything. Just like Kenton had last night. “You don’t even want to go there,” Luke warned.

“I did.” Kenton’s gaze cut to her. Monica held perfectly still. She kept her eyes open, and her expression clear. “Lucky bastard.” His lips thinned. “How’s that arm, Davenport? You didn’t… ah, do any more damage to it last night?”

She’d all but forgotten her arm. “It’s fine.” She needed to breathe. How could I have forgotten about him? Those walls were paper-thin. Of course, Kenton had heard them. He’d go back to Hyde and tell him about her and Luke.

She sucked in a deep breath. Didn’t matter. She’d planned to tell Hyde as soon as she got back to D.C. Luke was right; she had a lot of rules in her life. Rule number one—the only one that she always followed—she didn’t keep secrets from Hyde. Never had. Never would. Luke was on his team. Hyde would know.

“Get a different room tonight,” Luke advised him, as a muscle flexed along his jaw.

“Aw, come on, that is just—”

Her cell phone rang. She glanced down, not recognizing the number but immediately identifying the Jasper County area code. Oh, hell. In that instant, Kenton was forgotten. “Hello?”

A whisper of breath. Soft laughter. “Did you really think I’d eaten my gun?”

Same distorted voice. She waved her hand in a cutting motion, and Luke and Kenton shut up. “No, I didn’t think that at all.” It’s him, she mouthed.

Luke immediately pulled out his phone and started dialing. She knew he’d be calling Sam at the SSD and trying to get a lock on the call.

“Good.” A sigh. “I don’t want to be disappointed in you.”

Luke’s gaze scanned the motel parking lot as he murmured into his phone.

“He still doesn’t know yet, does he?”

Monica stiffened.

“Really, after all that f**king, I would think he knew you better.”

“I don’t want to play your stupid games!” she snapped. “Innocent people are dying so you can—”

“Is anyone ever really innocent? Jones wasn’t, but I still offered him a chance. Maybe I’m getting soft.”

What?

Laughter. “Maybe I’m not.”

“Listen, you—”

“I guess you were innocent once though, weren’t you, Davenport? But that was so long ago…”

Bastard. How did he know? How?

“You’re like me, aren’t you? Deep down, underneath the skin?” And she could almost hear pleasure in that grated voice.

“No, I’m not.”

“We’ll see. I’m watching you, Davenport. Learning all about you.” Softer now. “And I think I know—”

“What?” Her fingers were about to break the phone. “What is it that you know?”

“What scares you.”

Click.

Silence a moment, thick and hard. Monica pulled in a slow breath.

“What did he say?” Luke asked her.

He still doesn’t know yet, does he? That bastard’s voice. Playing his game.

She would have to tell Luke sooner or later. Because she wasn’t going to let this freak jerk her around.

You think you know what scares me, a**hole? Come on—let’s find out.

“Is Sam on the line?” she questioned instead.

“She’s gone. Kim’s running the check.”

Monica took the phone and rambled off the number on her cell. Bastard.

The moments ticked by in silence, then Kim’s voice came across the line. “It’s coming up as registered to a Sally Jenkins.” A pause. “That was… she was one of his victims, right?”

Yes. The bastard had taken her cell, just like he’d taken Laura’s, and probably Patty’s, too. Why? Had he really been planning this all along? Planning to call the cops and taunt them? Or planning to call her? Had he known the SSD would get involved when the murders were connected? Her unit had been in the papers so much recently with their other cases.…

“I’m getting the techs to use the satellites to try and track the GPS in the phone now.”

He’d trash the phone. She had no doubt of that. “I want to know every call this number has made.” There’d been no hits on Laura’s cell. The bastard had just called her, no one else.

“They can’t find a link…” Kim’s tight voice. “It’s not online. No echoes, no triangulation… the damn thing is gone.”

And the FBI’s tracking equipment was state of the art. They could use their satellites to track a cell within fifty feet of its location in just moments. She exhaled slowly. Dammit. “Keep trying, and if you find anything, let me know.” She ended the call and glanced down at her watch. Time was running out. “We’ve got to hurry.”

“Why, Monica, what’s happening?” Luke demanded. “What did Sam say?”

“Our killer took some souvenirs from his crimes.” She knew her smile wouldn’t be pretty. “He’s using the vics’ phones to taunt us.” Asshole. But he’d just had to make sure she knew…

He was still hunting.

Samantha Kennedy stepped off the plane. Not the fancy, private one usually reserved for the SSD. Ramirez had taken it because there was a serial r**ist on the hunt in Bloomington, Indiana.

The FBI had pull, though, and she’d gotten a seat on the first flight down to Mississippi. She hadn’t been able to fly in straight to Jasper. She’d had to go via Gulfport, one of the bigger airports in the state. Now she’d have a long drive ahead of her.

She hefted her carry-on over her shoulder, glancing around. Okay, Hyde had woken her up with his order to fly down here. He’d assured her that someone would be there to meet her at the airport. Maybe it would be Monica or that sexy new agent who made her blush way too much and—

“Ms. Kennedy?”

She pushed her glasses back a bit on her nose and turned to the right. A crowd was in her way, folks milling past as they hurried to get their luggage. But behind the bodies, she caught sight of a deputy’s brown uniform with a gleaming silver star. Ah, my ride. She hadn’t seen the guy’s face yet, not with all those people blocking her. If only I had about four more inches. But being short—well, she’d learned to deal with it.

“Samantha Kennedy?” he called again.

Sam hurried toward him. “Yep, that’s me.” She didn’t get out on many field assignments. Hyde liked to keep her chained to her computer. But since Sheriff Davis believed their serial killer had been eliminated, Hyde thought it was safe to send her out. Finally. She’d been trained for this job, and for months, she’d wanted to prove that she could handle herself. She was an FBI agent, just like Monica and Kenton. She could do the job. Time to show her boss that fact.

The deputy bent down, his hat shielding his face, and reached for her bag.

“Aw, thanks, I really appreciate—”

He stumbled against her, apparently tripping on the luggage. “You okay?” His arms wrapped around her. Too tight.

Something pricked her. A sharp jab, right near her neck. Sam blinked and then staggered a bit.

“It’s okay,” he murmured, pulling her close. “I’ve got you.”

She tried to open her sagging eyelids. Tried to see him. “Something… wrong…” The words came out slurred because her tongue was thick and awkward in her mouth.

“No, Samantha.” A whisper in her ear. “Everything’s just fine.”

They were walking. His arms were around her. Heavy and hard. She couldn’t speak. Couldn’t see. Was something wrong with her glasses? No, no, her glasses were gone, and everything seemed too blurry.

“Yeah, baby, I missed you, too…” His voice. Too loud. Why would he say that? What—

Her knees buckled. He lifted her. Put her—what? When had they gotten to the parking lot? Because she could feel a car seat under her legs. A door slammed.

She fumbled, trying to find the door handle. She needed to get out. Something was wrong. She was sick.

He hit her. Actually punched her in the face. “Stay with me, bitch.” And fear bloomed beneath the enveloping fog that had started to numb her mind and body.

She caught the flash of teeth. A big grin. “You’re gonna help me,” he said.

She tried to shake her head. Weapon… she needed to find—

“Poor little Sam.” An engine cranked. No, no, he was taking her away! And her eyes wouldn’t stay open.

“L-let… g-go…” was all she could manage. The words should have been a scream. But her whisper came out as a tangle of words.

He was whistling now. The tune was so clear and loud, echoing in her head.

Then, right before the darkness claimed her, she heard him say, “Tell me, agent, is there anything that scares you?”

You do.

“Davis, you can’t go on the air now!” Monica paced in front of the dead body, her hands clenched. “The serial is still out there! This guy,” she pointed toward the sheet. “He’s another victim.”

The ME’s lair was quickly filling up with victims. And Luke hated coming in there with the dead.

“Jeremy Jones has never been a victim a day in his life.” The sheriff’s foot tapped on the tile. “Not one day.”

What about the day he saw you shoot his father?

“Well, now, Sheriff, hold on…” Dr. Charles Cotton scratched his lower chin. “I did find some bruising around the ankles and wrists that would suggest—”

“He was tied up,” Monica finished. “Our killer tied him up and—”

“And what? Gave him a gun and said, ‘Son, do me a favor and go shoot those two agents for me now, ya hear?’ ”

Luke blinked. Okay, maybe the good sheriff needed to dial things back a bit. Davis was dressed in his finest. Freshly shaved. Obviously the guy was ready for his moment in the sun. A moment that just wasn’t coming.

“Tell me,” Monica’s voice came softly, “if you saw your father get gunned down on the street in front of you, what would you fear?”

Some of the heat faded from Davis’s face. “That was a clean shooting. We told him, over and over, to drop his weapon. He tried to shoot us. He—”

“What would you fear?”

Davis’s jaw worked. “You can’t know for sure.”

“Let me tell you what I think.” She stood near the side of the gurney. “I think our killer took Jeremy Jones. I think he knew all about Jeremy’s past. He held him and he gave him a choice.”

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