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Distractions (Never Really Work Anyway)

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          Jack didn’t actually have a plan when he started stalking Anthony Bates, other than knowing that a simple kill wouldn’t cut it, wouldn’t drive away the suffocating boredom of four years without Sam. But staging a scene with roses and hidden messages was too much trouble to go through for Bates – he wasn’t connected to Samantha (aside from his training as an FBI profiler) and anyway she would never see it, hidden away and with Malone running interference. It’d be a waste of a performance.

            Checking himself into the mental institution was just a way of getting close to Bates. He hadn’t actually expected to find anything interesting, much less a file on a detective with the Cascade police department, a string of successful cases filling up his jacket.

            Going after Ellison wouldn’t be as good as working with Sam again.

            But it could be fun.


            He knew he was playing it a little dangerously by snatching Ellison’s civilian observer but the cop was proving to be such a disappointment, and Sandburg was the closest thing Jack was going to get to a satisfying kill now.

            Sandburg’s yelling when Jack removed the gag almost ruined it – pathetic, pleading yelling, like he actually thought Ellison could hear him – but then the kid’s comments turned on him, ripping into David Lash with barbs that might have actually hurt if Lash weren’t completely made up.

            Jack grinned, anticipation building up again – no roses, no messages, just a pure, clean (messy) kill, Sam wouldn’t see but Ellison would and it was going to be so, so good – only for Ellison to crash into the warehouse before he could even show Sandburg what he was really dealing with.

            So Jack fought his way out and ran.

            And laughed himself sick when he read the reports that ‘David Lash’ had been killed by police. He knew it had been a good idea to set up that blond squatter instead of killing him outright.


            It wasn’t enough, though. They didn’t know it was him.

           So Jack dropped four federal employees around D.C., each with a piece of a message.

            I MISS YOU SAM.

            And Sam came back.