Chapter 1: Prologue
“Another?” Jones called out, as he ducked down under the yellow crime scene tape that was already in place, to make his way over to where David was already kneeling next to the medical examiner.
“Looks like it,” Gold replied for him. “There are ligature marks on the wrists and ankles, which suggest that the victim was bound with cable ties. The same wounds have been inflicted here, here and here…” Gold lifted the simple white sheet covering the body, to indicate the deep cuts that had been made in the torso. They were in almost identical spots to the last two victims Jones had examined. “They seem to suggest that the victim was once again tortured, before she was killed. And of course,” he paused to pick up the young woman’s left hand, which was missing her ring finger. “The same trophy was taken.”
Jones sighed as he dropped down next to the two men, and lifted the sheet that had been placed over the victim to conceal her identity from the flock of reporters who had already descended on the scene. The rumors of a possible American serial killer had them out in droves, eager for the next instalment of the saga to sell to the terrified public.
“Have you checked inside of her mouth yet?” he asked, as he dropped the sheet back down. The young woman looked to be in her early twenties, and had probably been very pretty, before her face was slashed multiple times, to the point of disfigurement. Another signature of what Jones was hoping wouldn’t turn into a hunt for the country’s biggest serial killer.
“We were waiting for you, Agent Jones,” Gold admitted, as he peeled back a corner of the white sheet to gently pry open the victim’s mouth. Sure enough, inside sat a balled up piece of paper that Jones knew would have been stuffed inside post-mortem. He watched as Gold gently wiggled it free with a pair of tweezers, before covering the victim once more, and holding out the slightly soggy paper to the two FBI agents that were gathered around him.
David took it from him with a huff of his own, as he flattened it out to read what had been written on it.
Jones didn’t need to look.
He already knew what that note would say.
They’d found exactly the same one on their last two victims, written in exactly the same handwriting, using exactly the same pen, on exactly the same type of paper.
“Look what you made me do,” David read stoically, as Gold held out an evidence bag for him to slip the page inside of.
Chapter 2: Chapter 1
Thanks for your wonderful response to the prologue.
“So, I am appealing for anyone with any information to come forward, no matter how insignificant you may feel it to be. Thank you.”
Emma shut off the television as the press conference came to an end, and began to pace once more in front of the fire roaring away in her lounge.
“We have to call that number,” she stated.
“Oh no we don’t,” Regina objected. “This could ruin you Emma. I thought you wanted to be known as one of the best in the industry, not someone a serial killer decided to go on a murder spree for?”
“Innocent people are dying,” she protested, whirling on her lawyer. “I can’t just sit here and do nothing.”
“You can and you will if you want to keep your career,” Regina threatened. “I have to go. Some of us have work to do tomorrow. But if you know what’s good for you, you’ll burn that package just like you did the last two.” She stormed from the room before Emma had a chance to object, leaving the younger woman alone with her own thoughts.
Logically, she knew that Regina was right. By coming forward with what she knew, if the authorities leaked the information to the media, her career would be ruined. She’d always be known as the girl who caused a spree of brutal killings in America.
But her conscience wouldn’t allow her to sit on what she knew any longer.
So with Regina gone, Emma reached for her phone and quickly tapped in the number that had been scrolling across the bottom of the screen, as the FBI gave their press conference.
“Hello, FBI tip line,” answered an overly-cheery voice, considering the nature of the calls she fielded. “How may I direct your call today?”
“I um… I need to speak with the lead on the potential serial killer case, please?”
“I’m afraid all of our agents are busy right now,” the overly-cheery voice replied. “But if you leave the information you have with me, it will be assessed by the relevant people, who will be back in touch with you when they have determined its validity.”
Emma didn’t like the idea of passing her information on to a middle-man. The information she held was sensitive, and she knew that the more people who knew her name in relation to it, the greater chance it had of leaking.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that,” she told the call handler. “Can you please just instruct someone to call me back?”
“I’m afraid we can’t do that without more information.” The overly-cheery voice hardened slightly at Emma’s refusal to cooperate, and she sighed as she brought a hand up to massage the headache that was beginning to form.
“I’m sure you already have this number,” she replied instead. “So instruct your lead investigator to call me back. I assume he or she will want to talk to the only other person who knows that this killer has been cutting the ring fingers off their victims.” Emma didn’t bother to wait for a reply. She wasn’t in the mood for more bullshit. Instead, she simply ended the call and tossed her phone down onto her sofa, before making her way over to the small liquor cabinet in the corner of the room, to find the whiskey hidden inside.
Ever since the first package had arrived, she’d been using it to try and drown out the mental images of the pictures she’d been forced to look at. Thankfully, the shrill ringing of her cellphone stopped her before she could down the glass she’d poured for herself. Emma had to admit, she was worried that she was on the verge of becoming an alcoholic with the amount of liquor she had consumed since the parcels had started arriving. But it was the only thing that seemed to help her sleep these days.
“Yes?” she asked, answering it without bothering to check the caller ID.
“This is Special Agent Jones with the FBI. I was asked to call you about some information you had.”
Emma sat down with a heavy sigh as she contemplated how to word what she knew. She didn’t want to sound like a crazy person, but she also didn’t want to just blurt it all out. She knew there was no chance of being believed in either of those situations. And her years of binge-watching crime dramas were yelling at her not to make herself a suspect in this huge mess.
“Is um… is there any way we could do this in person?” she asked eventually. “I think it might be easier to show you what I have.”
“You could come down to the Wilshire Federal Building, and we could speak here,” he suggested.
“I can’t do that,” she replied quickly. The moment the media caught wind of her at the FBI field office, she’d be in the center of a shit show. And that would definitely spell out the end of her career. “Can you come to me?”
“I’d need some kind of assurance that I was not walking into a trap, and that this is not an elaborate prank,” he sighed heavily. Emma knew she was being difficult. She just hoped that he would realize why when they eventually met.
“He blames me,” she whispered into the handset. “He says he’s doing it all to protect me. But he ends all of his letters the same way.” The tears she had been fighting to hold back spilled over as she reached for the package that she hadn’t yet opened.
She hated the thought of innocent people losing their lives because of her.
“What do they say?” Agent Jones interjected softly.
It took Emma a few moments to steady her breathing enough to be able to croak out the words.
“Look what you made me do.”
The gasping sob that followed was all the confirmation Agent Jones needed that he wasn’t being played. “Text me your address. I’m leaving the office now.”
“Thank you,” she sobbed. “Thank you for believing me.” She hung up the phone before she could say anything else, and with trembling hands tapped out her address to send to the number he had called from.
Emma paced in front of her door as she waited for his arrival, using the nervous energy to keep her away from the call of oblivion offered to her by the whiskey. Thankfully, the buzz from her front gate sounded before she could reach for the bottle.
“Yes?” she asked, her voice shaking slightly from the fear and exhaustion caused by the events of the last few weeks.
“It’s Special Agent Jones, with the FBI.”
Emma took a few deep breaths in before she buzzed him through, and then continued her pacing until he rang her doorbell.
She wasn’t sure what she had been expecting, but when she pulled open the door, the man she saw standing on the other side was not it. Instead of a gruff, middle-aged man, she was face-to-face with what was possibly the most beautiful man she’d ever seen in her entire life.
“Emma Swan?” he asked, his brow crinkling in confusion.
“H… How… how did you know my name?” she gasped, as the fear and worry flooding her veins made her tighten her grip on the door.
Chapter 3: Chapter 2
Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments on this story. I'm blown away by the response it has received.
I should point out that I was perhaps a little unclear in the prologue. David is Killian's partner. Gold is the medical examiner. I hope that helps.
Killian seemed to sense the rapidly building panic within Emma, as he quickly raised his hands in submission and explained, “My niece is a big fan of yours. She has your posters on her bedroom walls.”
“Oh, um… thanks,” she told him, as she stepped back to pull the door open wider in invitation. “Come in. I’m sorry. I guess this whole thing has just made me a little jumpy.”
“That’s completely understandable.” Killian took a good look around at the obvious luxury the rather nervous looking Emma Swan lived in. He knew it wasn’t exactly her fault, but in that moment, he couldn’t help but feel a little resentment towards her for it. Emma Swan had probably never worked a full-time job in her life. And yet there she was, living in a house that was far too big for just her, without the worry of how she was going to pay her bills for the rest of the month.
He, on the other hand, had worked hard to get to the position he held with the FBI. He usually put in more hours in the average week than he imagined Emma Swan ever had before, during her busiest working times. And while he was finally in a somewhat comfortable position in life, he’d had to watch as his big brother struggled daily in his own. Liam was a single father, attempting to balance the raising of his daughter with the need to hold down a steady job that would keep them both fed and housed.
“So, what is it that you wanted to show me?” he asked, attempting to shake off the negativity he could feel building within him.
“This.” Emma nodded her head to the package that was sat on her sofa, and Agent Jones quirked a brow in her direction. “I couldn’t bring myself to open it,” she explained.
“So how do you know it’s relevant to the case?”
“It’s the same. Everything’s the same.”
Agent Jones reached into a pocket of his black woolen jacket to pull out a pair of latex gloves, that he quickly slipped on, before he picked up the innocent looking box from the sofa. As he turned it over in his hands, the first thing that caught his attention was the familiar, elegant handwriting that had addressed the package to, My Darling, Emma Swan.
“There’s no address,” he noted, as he continued to examine every inch of the box. “Were the others the same?”
“Um… I can’t remember,” she replied honestly. “I still have them, though.”
“I’d like to see them, please?” Emma nodded her agreement and quickly scampered from the room, as Killian pulled out a pocket knife, sliced easily through the tape on the package, and opened it up.
On top was a letter written in the same handwriting as the notes they had found stuffed inside each victim’s mouth. While the letter was written on bigger stationary, Killian would be willing to bet his car on the fact that the lab would confirm it to be the same type of paper, and the same brand of ink, as those they had taken from inside their victim’s mouths.
My Darling Emma,
I saw you again yesterday.
You still look so sad.
I wish you would smile for me again. You look beautiful when you smile. I miss that.
I hope that my gifts are helping to achieve this. I have another one for you today. I tracked down that stuck-up little bitch who thought she was better than you. She won’t be rambling on to all of her idiotic followers any more.
Now she’s as ugly on the outside, as she is on the inside.
I hope you like my gift.
Why don’t they make you smile, Emma?
I do it all for you. All to make you happy again. I just want to make you happy. Is that really such a bad thing? Why don’t you ever let me know that you’re receiving these? Why won’t you smile for me? Is that really too much to ask for?
I just want to make the woman I love happy again.
Look what you made me do!
“Wow,” he mumbled to himself, as he read the note over again, and then once more. Whoever was behind the attacks was clearly unstable. Their letter had gone from showing their obsessive love for Emma, to blaming her for the crimes they had committed.
“Here,” Emma interrupted, setting two identical packages down next to him on the sofa, before she turned away from them to pace in front of her fire. “My lawyer said I should burn them. But… I couldn’t bring myself to do that.”
“Your lawyer needs to be disbarred,” Agent Jones mumbled, as he pushed the letter aside to pull out the large envelope underneath it. “Oh God.”
The pictures in his hands were perhaps more disturbing than the actual crime scene had been. They flicked from showing a clearly terrified young woman, bound to a steel chair; to showing her horror and pain as the killer inflicted his torture upon her; all the way through to the actual act of strangulation itself, and then, the mutilation to her body that had taken place post-mortem.
Killian was starting to feel less resentful and more sorry for the woman who was clearly suffering in front of him. He’d seen some crazy shit over the years, and some of that still haunted his dreams. But Emma Swan didn’t have the years of training, or the experience behind her that he did, to help her deal with what was currently happening.
He had no idea how she hadn’t yet buckled under the pressure of it all.
In that moment, Killian saw her more as a scared young woman, than he did as an international pop star who didn’t deserve all of the wealth and luxury life had blessed her with.
“What’s this?” he asked, as he fished through the boxes of chocolates, rose petals, and the soft, stuffed bear that had also been placed into the package, to pull out what appeared to be a jewelry box.
Emma turned back to see what he was holding before she turned away again quickly. He didn’t wait for her to answer. Instead, he flicked the catch on the lid, and carefully peeled back the white satin fabric that was inside.
“Jesus Christ,” he blurted out, the moment his eyes landed on the severed finger underneath it all. He slammed the lid down quickly, before placing it, and everything else, back into the cardboard box it had been sent in. “Did the rest of these packages contain the same items?” he asked, his voice hardening as he turned his full attention up to the young woman pacing before him.
“Yes,” she whispered, reaching for the warm glass of whiskey that was still stood on top of her liquor cabinet.
“And you didn’t think to call the police?”
“I was going to, but Regina said that it was just an elaborate prank, and that I didn’t need to get tangled up in that kind of mess for someone with a sick sense of humor. It wasn’t until I saw the news tonight that I realized what was happening.” Her voice trailed off as she realized just how stupid she had been.
“Someone sent you a severed finger and you thought it was a prank?” he asked, his voice ringing with disbelief. “You do know that I could charge you right now for withholding evidence, right? Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t?”
“Because I was scared,” she admitted softly. “I wanted to believe it was prank, because if it’s not, then some whack-job really is out there, murdering people because he thinks it will make me happy. And they have my address! When does he stop killing other people and start killing me?”
Killian swallowed hard as she turned large, watery eyes his way that screamed of her helplessness and fear. “You should have come forward sooner,” he told her forcefully. “We can protect you.”
Emma laughed a little bitterly as she drained what was left in her glass, and moved to pour herself another. “Yeah, I doubt that,” she mumbled. “If this homicidal maniac doesn’t kill me first, I might drink myself to death just to get those fucking images out of my mind.”
Killian took the three steps forward he needed to put himself in reach of the young woman, and pulled the crystal glass from her hand, tipping the contents of it into the nearest potted plant. “We can protect you,” he stated again firmly. “You made a mistake by not coming forward sooner, but now that you have, we can protect you, Miss Swan.”
He wasn’t entirely sure what happened next.
One minute he was looking at Emma Swan as tears ran down her face, smudging her perfect makeup, while her shoulders shook with her fear. The next, he had an armful of the popstar as she cried into his chest.
Chapter 4: Chapter 3
When Killian finally managed to calm Emma down, he gently eased her onto the sofa before telling her, “I’m gonna go and grab you a glass of water. I need to call this in too, okay?”
“No, you can’t,” she begged, her hand shooting out to latch onto his arm once more.
“I have to. It’s procedure,” he explained softly. “This is evidence in three separate homicides, which now proves our theory that they’re linked. I have to follow procedure here, Miss Swan. If I don’t, then when we catch this creepy bastard, he could walk free because of it. Is that something you could live with?”
Emma’s lip trembled softly with a fresh wave of tears. “It’ll ruin my career,” she whispered.
Killian gently pried her hand off his arm to crouch down in front of her. “Well, I’m sorry, but you’re getting no choice in this matter,” he told her firmly. “Three people have died, Miss Swan. I’m sorry that their loss of life might ruin yours, but at least you still have one. They weren’t quite as lucky. Now, I’m gonna go and fetch you a glass of water and call this in, do you understand me?”
“You think I don’t know that?” she shot back. “You think their deaths aren’t constantly on my mind? That I don’t wake up every morning and hate myself for being the reason that they’re dead? Do you honestly think I’ll ever get those fucking images out of my head? I know this is my fault. He makes that pretty fucking obvious with every letter and goddamned finger he sends me. And I know I’ve probably made things worse by trying to convince myself that it was all some kind of sick joke. But I’m just doing my best to protect my career. Because right now, it’s the only thing that’s stopping me from ending my own life.”
Killian’s ire calmed a little at the haunted look in Emma’s eyes. He could see the way her fingers twitched, as her eyes darted over to the liquor cabinet in the corner of the room, before settling back on his face. And he hated himself a little for what he’d said. He didn’t know much about Emma Swan, beyond her choice of career. He would wager that Ellie knew more about her than he did. But in that moment, she looked so much like a lost little girl.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that,” he offered. “This case is just getting under my skin and I shouldn’t have taken that out on you. Or implied that you didn’t care. But I have to call this in. I’ll make sure the department is as discreet as they can be, though. I promised we’d keep you safe. That means concealing your identity too. Okay?”
Emma finally nodded her agreement and Killian offered her arm a gentle squeeze before he stood once more. “Which direction is your kitchen?” he asked. He wouldn’t be surprised if the damned house was like a TARDIS – bigger on the inside than it looked from outside.
“Through there,” she replied tonelessly, as she nodded her head over her shoulder.
Killian smiled softly down at her to show that he’d heard what she’d said, before he set off to find the room. As he did, he pulled out his phone to call in what had happened. It took him as long as the call he’d placed to locate Emma Swan’s kitchen. He passed what appeared to be a music room; along with a bathroom; and another lounge, before he finally stepped into the marble and cherry wood of her kitchen.
“Jesus, how many rooms does one girl need?” he mumbled to himself, before he started pulling open cabinets in his hunt for a glass. He had to admit, she kept the place pretty clean and orderly. Although, he was willing to bet that was more likely a result of her cleaner, or her mother’s actions, rather than her own. Emma Swan didn’t look like the kind of girl who would enjoy getting down on her hands and knees to scrub the floor.
He finally found the crystal glasses that matched the tumbler he’d taken from her earlier that evening, on the other side of the kitchen. The fridge was easy enough to locate, and there were small bottles of water inside of it that he assumed she would prefer over tap water. Emma Swan didn’t look like a tap water kinda girl either. Killian tucked two of them into the crook of his arm, before he made his way out of the room and back through the maze of corridors to find the lounge once more.
Emma was no longer sat on the sofa when he finally made it back. She’d returned to pacing in front of the fire once more, with another glass of amber liquid in her hand.
“Hey,” he declared firmly.
She jumped a little at the sound of his voice, but continued her pacing. Killian sighed as he sat the bottles and glass onto the small coffee table, before he approached her again. “This,” he explained, pulling the glass out of her hand, “doesn’t help.”
“You’re wrong,” she shot back, reaching for the drink he’d taken from her. But before she could touch it, Killian upturned it into the same potted plant as had the last time. He sat the empty glass down on top of the cabinet, while she continued to glare daggers into the side of his head.
“You only think it does,” he countered. “Trust me, the bottom of the bottle isn’t as satisfying as you think it is. I know you’ve been through a lot recently, but this isn’t the answer.”
“And how would you know that?”
“I’ve been doing this job long enough,” was all he told her.
Emma didn’t have time to say anything else, as they were interrupted by a sharp buzz from her front gate, and she jumped a little at the sudden noise.
Killian found himself wondering if she’d been jumping every time someone rang that bell, since the first package had arrived. And like before, he found his anger calming a little at the thought of her being so scared in her own home.
“Wait here,” he told her, as his hand dropped down to cover the gun that was sat on his hip. He assumed that it was the crime scene team that had arrived, ready to collect the evidence. But given what he’d learned that evening, he was taking no chances.
Thankfully, Killian recognized the voice of his own people, and their van, when he saw it on Emma’s security monitor. He also identified the dark SUV following behind it as David’s, so he didn’t hesitate to buzz them through the gate, before making his way into the hall to wait for them by the front door.
“Wow, we are definitely in Hollywood now,” David whistled, as he made his way up the drive and over to the open door his partner was holding for him. “Whose place is this?”
“Do you remember that singer that Ellie loves?” Killian asked softly, casting a look over his shoulder to see if Emma had decided to follow him out. At David’s nod of agreement he added, “Her.”
“Shit! What the hell is she doing caught up in all of this?”
“The killer seems to be some kind of crazed super fan,” Killian whispered. “His letters go from declaring his love for her, to blaming her for making him kill the victims. And he’s targeting people that he believes have hurt her.”
“Shit,” David cursed again, as he slipped through the door. “Nice place, though.”
“Too fucking nice,” Killian snorted. He waited for the crime scene techs to get their stuff together before he guided everyone through the hall and into the lounge once more.
Emma was pacing in front of the fire again. But this time, she was sipping from a bottle of water, instead of a glass of whiskey.
“Miss Swan?” Killian called out softly, in an attempt not to spook her.
It didn’t work.
Emma almost covered herself in the water with the way she jumped.
“It’s okay,” he reassured her. “This is my partner, Special Agent David Nolan. And these are our crime scene techs. They’re gonna take a look at the packages you’ve received, okay?”
“Okay,” she whispered back, before downing the contents of her bottle in one long pull.
Chapter 5: Chapter 4
Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback on this story so far. I'm completely blown away by it all.
The crime scene techs left the house almost two hours after their arrival.
Killian had guided Emma through to the other lounge he’d seen earlier that evening, on his way to the kitchen, to allow their team to go through each of the boxes thoroughly. The techs had taken their time removing every item one-by-one to photograph from each possible angle, before forensically securing them for transportation back to the lab. One of the technicians had been tasked with taking some pictures of the general layout of the ground floor of the house, and in particular, the way in which mail made its way onto the property. Others spent their time dusting for prints at the front gate and around Emma’s doorway, in the vague hopes that something might come up when they run them through the system.
Their final task for the evening had been taking Emma’s own prints, to rule them out of whatever may have been found. Killian had been sure that it would be the breaking point for the young popstar, but he watched as Emma swallowed back her tears just long enough to give them what was needed, before she escaped to the sanctuary of one of the bathrooms in her home.
“Miss Swan,” he called out softly, as his knuckles rapped on the door she’d disappeared behind. “I know this is difficult for you, but my partner and I just need to go over a few more things before we can leave.”
He heard what sounded like someone blowing their nose, followed by the distinct flush of the toilet, before the lock on the door clicked open a few moments later. Emma’s eyes were ringed in red, betraying the tears that had fallen in private, but Killian decided not to mention them unless she chose to bring them up.
“Pardon me?” he asked, a little confused by that one word statement.
“My name. It’s Emma. You don’t have to keep calling me, ‘Miss Swan.’”
“Thank you, Emma. I’ll try and keep that in mind.” Killian smiled softly down at her before letting her lead the way back to the lounge. David was already there waiting for the two of them, and had parked himself in one of the chairs around the small table which stood in the corner of the room.
“I’m sorry about this, Miss Swan,” he offered, standing to gesture for her to take a seat in one of the free chairs. “We just need to be as thorough as we possibly can be. We don’t want to miss anything that could help us catch this guy before he hurts someone else.”
Emma nodded her understanding as she lowered her body to sit stiffly in one of the leather-padded seats. She pulled down on the sleeves on her sweater, almost as if the physical shield of the cotton would help keep her safe. She looked so young and innocent in that moment, that Killian’s heart broke a little for her.
“How old are you, Emma?” he asked, before he could think the question through. David cocked a brow in his direction, but Killian played it off as no big deal by pulling out his own pad and pen, ready to take some notes.
“Twenty-four,” she replied easily. She didn’t even look startled by the oddness of the question, although he assumed that was because she’d never been questioned by the authorities before.
Killian scribbled the number at the top of his page, circling it a few times for added effect, before he dived straight in with the questions he knew he should be asking. “Okay. I’ll need you to start at the beginning for me. Before the first package arrived, had you ever received any other parcels or letters written in a similar hand? Or anything professing the same kind of love for you?”
Emma snorted a laugh and for a brief moment, Killian was worried that she had cracked completely under the stress of recent events. “I get letters like that every day, Agent Jones. As for the handwriting… I don’t know. I don’t tend to spend my time analyzing it, I’m afraid.”
“Anything in particular that struck you as strange?” David pressed.
“Having men twice your age describe to you in a letter exactly how they wanna fuck you is everyone’s definition of strange. I stopped reading a lot of it a long time ago.”
“What happens to all of your fan mail?” Killian wondered. He knew that many celebrities kept the less crazy stuff they received, and he’d kind of assumed that Emma Swan would be the same. At least, he hoped that she was, given that Ellie had written to her favorite popstar a few times over the last couple of years. While she’d always gotten a letter and a signed picture back, Killian knew that his niece would be crushed if she thought her own letters simply ended up in the trash before ever reaching the hands of their intended recipient.
“It’s sorted by the security people that work here, before it comes to me. I only see the good stuff like the pictures kids draw for me, or the letters thanking me for helping them through difficult times.” Emma fidgeted a little more and Killian reached for the second bottle of water he’d brought through to the room with him, to give her something to keep her hands occupied with.
“Do you think your team would have kept the bad?” he asked gently.
“I honestly don’t know,” she sighed. “You can ask them. But I just…. I can’t help you there. I’m sorry.”
“No, no,” David assured her, “You’re already helping us.”
When Emma cocked a brow in disbelief, Killian jumped in to supply an explanation. “You’ve just told us that all of your mail is sorted before you get it. Which means whoever sent those boxes has been watching you long enough to know that. And they also know how to get around the issue too. So that’s something to start with.”
Emma shivered a little at the thought of some stranger knowing the inner workings of her home so well, but once again, Special Agent Jones seemed to know exactly where her thoughts had gone.
“David’s going to place a quick call back to our office,” he told her. He risked a glance over to his partner, who already had his phone out to bring up the number, before turning his full attention back to the scared, young woman sat opposite him. “We’re gonna ask for a protective detail to be put on your home. Hopefully that way, we’ll see whoever it is that’s watching the house.”
Emma nodded her understanding but she didn’t look overly reassured. As David excused himself to call in the request, Killian leaned over the small table to rest his hand comfortingly on her arm. “You’ll be safe here, Emma. We know that at the moment, this person doesn’t want to hurt you. It’s unlikely that they’ll try and get into the house anytime soon. Most of these kinds of perpetrators prefer to watch the object of their affection from a distance. They do these awful things to get your attention, because they’re too shy to confront you about how they feel. They get their kicks from voyeurism, because it seems like some kind of grand romantic gesture to them. The detail outside will be there to watch, but they will also be armed, just in case you need them. Okay?”
“Okay,” she agreed softly. “What um… what about when I need to leave the house? I have a tour starting in less than forty days. I can’t let those fans down.”
“I’m confident that by the time your tour starts, we’ll have this guy in custody and ready to face trial,” he promised. “You coming forward the way you have, has really helped us to connect some dots with this case.”
They sat in a slightly awkward silence for a moment longer, before David made his way back into the room to confirm that the security detail were already on their way, and would be in place by the time the two senior agents left that evening.
Unfortunately, there were still many more questions that needed to be answered before either David or Killian could even think of leaving the luxury home they had been called out to.