Chapter 1: April Showers
Raining. Why was it always raining at crime scenes, Detective Kim Seokjin's brow furrowed at the light pitter-patter of droplets on his car's windshield. Rain was a blessing for everyone, but his department today. Rain meant scrambling. Scrambling in order to place protective coverings over known evidence. Possibly ruining hidden pieces hidden within muddy soil and underfoot. Jin forced himself to take a deep breath before stepping out of his car. Already local police were milling about the scene.
His team had been on this suspect's case for months on end. They knew it was sloppy police work could ruin all their efforts. Still, it was up to Seokjin to take command at least in the diplomatic efforts here. The shined badge on his coat wasn't for show after all.
Still he could feel the gazes of unfamiliar cops on his back as he ducked under the yellow tape crisscrossed over the small area. This was their suspect afterall, it was his MO all over. The body had been found in a wooded area, stabbed numerous times. Like clockwork.
Jin felt his hackles raise as the staring persisted even as he stood before the main crime scene. He fought the urge to bare his teeth at the onlookers. This was nothing new for the Omega, unattached at the moment, drenched in..Omeganess.
Ugh, that thought made him gag.
"Is there anyone here that has at least started a work-up of the damn crime scene or are you just here to gaggle over something pretty"
Jin snapped out as several cops (his temper spiked as he identified most as Alphas) began doing their damn jobs. The rain came to a halt, or at least above him it did as a black umbrella was held over his head. A sheepish expression on the wielder's face as he tried to manage both a flashlight, files and the umbrella. Jin sighed, Jeon Jungkook was eager. It was endearing sometimes.
Other times, his fellow Omega wanted to make him rip his hair out. His status didn't define him, Jin had about pounded that lecture in the junior detective's head at this point. That still didn't stop him from fetching coffee from his coworkers, 'nesting' Jin's desk.
That's what Jin had called it when he had first caught the young man moving all his crap around. Making it neater as he explained in a small voice. Just if that special someone came for a visit. 'Fat chance'.
"Report, Jungkook. Now" Jin ordered as he held his hand out.
The file was heavy in his hand as Jin knew that the department would be adding to it after this investigation. 'The Dark Stag Killer' as the tabloids had dubbed him, all because some idiot had disclosed how the first victim had died. On a damn chandelier of antlers. It was just a fluke, as the killer preferred more commonplace knives over the horns. There was another meaning behind the name as the bodies continued to pile up to a grand total of seven. Now eight, the poor sap in the garden in front of them was eight, Jin reminded himself.
The killer had a sick sense of justice it seemed as each of his victims hadn't been so innocent after all. The first had committed fraud, robbing retirees of their pensions. Rapists, abusers, other killers all these little dark secrets came trickling out of their graves. So a few had taken to the moniker as a 'noble beast of the forest'. Jin gritted his teeth at the thought, no one had the right to judge, jury, executioner. Not to mention it made actual law enforcement like himself look useless.
Not now, he needed to focus now.
Detective Ji-, Park is already going over the crime scene" Jungkook explained hastily as the pair walked closer and closer to the busy taped area.
To untrained eye, it would have been a completely normal sight. A brilliant ring of purple roses all surrounding a dirt mound.
"Detective..Jimin is it now?" Jin teased lowly as Jungkook flushed brightly. Well, that confirmed the rumors of an office romance beginning to happen.
"Please don't tell him I said that" Jungkook said weakly as his cheeks darkened further when Jin just gave a knowing smile.
"Buy your hyung a drink later and I won't mention it for another week or two.."
The two omegas had bonded despite their age difference. It was only natural for them to want to bond. To strengthen 'Pack' bonds although now it was masqueraded as an office
A loud snarl followed by swearing broke the relaxed atmosphere as Jin looked up to see a familiar set of pink locks hunched over, alternating between hissing and breathing deeply.
"Seriously! Seriously! That..he did that!" Jimin hissed out as he barely glanced up at the pair.
Distress was rolling off the alpha in waves as Jungkook and Jin froze at the scent. Natural urges to comfort the man were hastily snuffed out Jin, as he shoved his hands in coat pockets. Damn instincts. Jungkook had less control. Or just didn't care. The youngest patted the alpha's shoulder, gingerly. flinching when Jimin's gaze focused on him. Jin rolled his eyes as he could smell something entirely different waft between the pair.
"What's got you so..riled up. Detective Park." Jin asked softly as Jimin let out a growl.
"Rut." Jimin gritted out as Jin hastily pulled Jungkook away from the alpha, tucking him behind him.
A warning hiss was building up in the elder's throat. How stupid was Park Jimin to come to work about to rut. It wasn't just unprofessional it was outright dangerous.
"Ah. Wait, hyung. He doesn't mean his..rut. He smells completely normal." Jungkook said hastily.
"Of course you would know what Detective Park's scent smells like normally.." Jin snapped out as the younger dared to step out from behind the elder.
Stupid pup invincibility.
"He's right. Jin. It's not my rut. That got me all worked up. Its HIS" Jimin said pointedly as he threw a hand in the direction behind him.
"For your information, Detective Kim, I normally smell like lavender and sugar. Not that your blind nose would smell it.." Jimin scoffed with hint of injury in voice.
Jin's reputation as a frigid Omega was infamous in their field. When courtiers came calling, most ended up with a book thrown in their face or a slammed door. He wasn't interested in a mate. Well. Not one that worked in law enforcement after all.
"I don't give a shit to what you smell like, I want to know WHAT you smelled. Jimin." Jin said impatiently as he stomped past the man.
Moist soil squished under his boots as his steps were careful to not damage the delicate flowers as he made his way up the mound. There were a total of twenty flowers as Jin did a quick count. The flowers were deliberate, everything the killer left at the crime scene was deliberate, it was just a headache to sort out what.
A few technicians had already gotten to work extracting the body from the mound. The victim was male, late 40s, known cause of death was about. Fifteen or so stab wounds to his upper torso. The jagged entrance of the skin indicated that a knife of some kind did the work. It was strange though. The technicians working on the body were utterly calm in comparison to Jimin's reaction. All it took was a simple sniff to confirm.
Betas. The working technicians were betas. Scents meant little to their instincts unless it was from a loved one. However, it was still puzzling to Jin. The corpse wasn't carrying any sort of scent. Dead bodies didn't carry their Status as the living did.
"Sir. Detective Park's..problem..began when he leaned down to open the victim's mouth. It seems like there is something in there” A technician spoke up softly.
Jin nodded and mirrored Jimin's earlier movements. His pants were going to be ruined after kneeling down in the mud. Jin brushed the petty thought aside. Gloved hands gently probed the victim's cheek area. The grayed flesh felt clammy even with the protective gear on. With a bit of effort, Jin managed to open the corpse's mouth. That was an immediate mistake as goosebumps flooded over his skin. His lips clamped shut out of fear of any sort of noise escaping him. Corpses shouldn't smell like this.
It was wrong. The tantalizing scent of rut.
A harsh breath escaped Jin as he made the mistake of breathing in again. It was natural reaction. The scent of rut wrapped around his body like a hot blanket. Jin smelled tea, crisp Fall and something undeniable, but it was spicy. All he wanted to do was douse himself in it.
"Shit. Hurry up and get whatever is there. Bag it and seal it." One of the technicians barked to the other.
Jin could vaguely feel someone's hand on his shoulder as one of the technicians tried to coax him back to the realm of reality. A blanket wrapped around him as he was sat.
Eyes blinked slowly as Jin found himself seated on a fallen log, far away from the mound. His right hand was wrapped tightly in Jungkook's as the younger let out a cry of alarm when Jin looked at him directly. Arms tightly wrapped around him.
"Hyung, you're okay!" Jungkook said.
"What. Happened. I--" Jin began slowly as his tongue felt heavy in his mouth.
Something inside him urged him to go back to the mound. Mindless longing ached in his heart.
"Rut. I told you" Jimin scoffed out as the pink-haired detective stood nearby, taking notes on the file.
"Excuse me." Jin sputtered out as Jimin just gave him a smug smile.
"You got caught up in that bastard's rut scent. You of all people, I should have made a bet with Yoongi after all."
Jimin's pen scratched on the paper, Jin clicked his tongue. Those notes weren't on him right.
"I was caught off guard. You weren't exactly immune either" Jin snapped out as Jungkook's gaze darted between the detectives.
It wouldn't do if the pair started a argument here. But somehow that's where this was headed.
"Because smelling another Alpha's rut is disgusting"
"You still couldn't handle it." Jin deadpanned as his gaze turned to the mound once again.
"But. Is it..his ruts that make him kill? This isn't anything like the other cases.."
Jungkook muttered as his coworker's argument would have to wait. The kid had a point.
"It could have been another fluke. Like you said. This isn't a known pattern. " Jin agreed as finally his mind had cleared from his earlier fit.
"Do we know the Status of the victim?" Jin asked as Jimin was quick to flip through the new notes of the file.
"Won Lee, status:Beta"
"So, it wasn't another Alpha that triggered it. The body would have been shredded into tinier pieces if it was. Alpha vs Alpha bullshit instincts and all that.." Jin muttered, look of realization settled over him.
"He didn't loose too much control. The Rut didn't control him."
"Or someone else was able to pull him out of it.." Jimin spoke up as the trio shared a surprised look together.
A partner? That was completely out of left field. The killer having an accomplice wasn't even a thought on the file. Yet, reality was staring back, it was possible.
"Well, we can eliminate the possible partner's Status as an Alpha. It has to be either an Omega or Beta. Either could have our killer's focus before it went too far." Jungkook stated as Jin's eyes went wide as the purple petals of the flowers weren't so innocent now.
"Were the flowers some sort of gift to his partner? A morbid romantic gesture with the grand present of a corpse.." Jin proposed.
The flowers were too perfectly placed to be native to the area.
"Rip them up." Jin barked at a nearby technician. The man startled from it.
"Hyung. What are you doing?" Jungkook questioned urgently as Jin rose from the log, digging into the damp soil as soon as his feet reached the edge of the mound.
"There! I knew it! Look!" Jin said excited as his hand ripped the freshly planted flower from the soil.
The roots had been perfectly pruned back as something plastic surrounded them. A bag? Jin carefully separated the material from the flower's roots and trembling hands opened the seal. Nothing. It smelled like nothing, he released the breath he was unknowingly holding.
However, there was something inside the bag. A small rolled up piece of paper? Jungkook called for more evidence bags to be brought over. This was beyond strange. A photograph. The item inside the plastic was a rolled up photograph. It was of a woman in her twenties. A stranger.
"Who is she? She doesn't look like any of the killers' other victims." Jimin inquired as his hands posed ready to dial their archivist as soon as the photo appeared.
The archivist had access to a Missing Person's database within seconds.
"Don't call him yet." Jin ordered.
"Why?" Jimin said impatiently.
This could be a victim that their investigation hadn't uncovered yet. Another mistake on their part.
"Dig up the rest of the flowers first. We have more than one victim here." Jin said as fatigue seeped through his body at the thought.
A grand total of twenty photographs were collected and bagged. Jin could hear Jimin in the distance arguing with Yoongi over the phone, dates not matching up.
"What did Yoongi say?" Jin asked as a pissed off Jimin stomped back over, shoving his phone in his pocket.
"That I was, and I quote "A ruthless prick for waking him up after a long shift". Jimin huffed out as the archivist needed his eight hours without fail or else he was miserable to deal with.
"Well you are." Jin teased as Jimin's scowl deepened.
"Fine. Whatever." Jimin grumbled.
"Seriously. What did he say about our possible new victims." Jin pressed onward.
There was something deeper here, he knew it.
"He said that, there were missing person reports. But, they were old. I mean old. Like the first one made was over twenty years ago.." Jimin explained
"That's impossible. We have profiled our killer to be in his mid-twenties. He...couldn't have been active over twenty years ago." Jin muttered as Jungkook gripped his shoulder urgently.
"Hyung. Its' true. Look at the clothes in the photographs. No one wears that anymore"..
"What. So these victims aren't victims from OUR killer. Is that what we are saying?" Jimin said frustrated as this was turning into a complicated web.
This all started off with one body and one killer, now it was twenty victims and something else?
"Yes. It's possible." Jin said.
"So. Our killer..killed our..actual victim..as punishment..for killing?" Jungkook asked aloud as Jin knew that their heads were going to hurt after all of this.
"So was it..his 'justice' or the gift angle to his partner?" Jimin muttered
"We don't know that either.." Jin sighed.
Somehow this investigation was leading to few answers and opening up so many new questions. This little brainteaser would have to be discussed back at the office as the rain's gentle pace had turned into a downpour.
"Where is the flower from the victim's mouth" Jin called.
"Here sir." A technician presented it the evidence bag to him with a touch of hesitation in his stare.
"Will you stop with the look! I am fine. I will roll the windows down when I open it." Jin's fiery snap had sent the technician scurrying. He wouldn't be caught off guard again.
That was a lie as Jin took refuge his car. His body felt like it was melting into the seats as soon as he caught the intoxicating scent of the open bag. Unconsciously, he tilted his neck back further into his head rest. Waiting for the alpha's mark on untouched skin.
"Alpha" Jin trilled out in a slurred tone, the rational part of his mind flooding with shame.
While the irrational part was purring at the scent wrapping around him. His Alpha. Finally after all this time, Alpha would claim him. His knee hitting his car horn broke his facade.
Startled from the noise, Jin took a gasping breath as he rolled down the windows, ignoring the rain now wetting hot skin. For good measure, he turned the air on high. Anything to get the scent away from him.
"DAMN IT JIN FOCUS" Jin scolded himself as his nails bit into his palm.
There was moment of panic as when Jin had startled he had dropped the evidence bag. His scrambling feet had utterly trampled the bag. Swearing under his breath, Jin felt his heart drop as he had completely pulverized the delicate flower petals. Yet, his actions revealed still.
A note. A goddamn note had been concealed in the folds of the flower petals, like another layer of skin. The ink was remarkably dry as if it hadn't been pouring rain, concealed in a damp flower and stomped on by Jin's muddy boots.
Clever. The killer was clever. Jin knew that.
What he read next. Jin didn't know. He shouldn't have known. It was the worst possible thing to know. Still his eyes couldn't help but read as soon as he flickered over the greeting in perfect cursive.
"To my darling Omega." Jin was so screwed as he bit down on his lower lip.
"I hope the weather forecast is wrong about the next few days. I would hate for you to catch a cold. Especially for the worthless sack of flesh you have been asked to uncover. My darling's hands should not be tainted by that monster's skin."
Monster. The victim was a victim.
"Knowing your sense of morality. You just disagreed with my wording of Mr.Won. It's still amusing you see the world in black and white. The law and order vs..well..my..brand..of justice."
"You are a killer.." Jin hissed out as his grip around the letter tightened at the jab.
"Be gentle with the paper, sweet Omega. Its' delicate like the world perceives you to be. Now, it seems we have gone off topic. Or, well I have. You see, I killed Won for the lovely garden he planted over the years. He confessed to me under duress about each special seedling".
The flowers. The new victims. Won's victims if there was any truth to the writing.
"Consider the lovely bouquet as a gift to my Omega. Normally dinner would follow after giving flowers, perhaps I would tell you the stories by candlelight. If things were different."
"Different. Different is putting our situation in the lightest of terms. You mean if I wasn't the damn detective trying to put a damn serial killer with a twisted moral code behind bars. Real romantic story to share with others" Jin growled out, almost crumpling the letter.
"Here is where I leave you, my darling Kim Seokjin. I hope you think of me tonight by the candlelight. I prefer the scent of vanilla. Think of me."
Your Alpha, Kim Namjoon .
"Oh come on!" Jin hissed at himself as he could feel his heart purr at the words 'Your Alpha'.
Fate was a cruel mistress to the detective. It had an extremely twisted sense of humor as Jin carefully tucked the letter away in his coat pocket. He wasn't keeping it for anything other than professional reasons. Then why not return it to evidence bag, his mind hissed.
Still his chest purred even as his car pulled out onto the muddy road. His instincts were singing over the alpha's acknowledgment of him. Him, a lowly Omega, to be tied to such a strong Alpha that had sent another Alpha into a fit from his Rut scent alone. Jin's hands tightened.
"Shut. Up. Shut. Up" Jin hissed as he pressed on the gas petal, bit harder.
Anything to get him to the office faster, to that secret stash of whiskey in his desk drawer to forget the want in his mind. Status was nothing but trouble for the Omega. He never wanted this.
However regardless of how deeply an individual shoved their instincts down in the recesses of their mind. They still lingered, sniffed about when appropriate. Purred when their Mate was thought about. Jin groaned at the mere word. His Mate, his soulmate, his 'The One' was him.
Kim Namjoon. Self-appointed judge, jury and executioner. A serial killer with a body count that bound to climb higher as long as he evaded the law. He was the 'One' for Kim Seokjin. How full was that bottle of whiskey again? It had better be more than half. Jin was needing it.
Jin had come to the crime scene hoping to solve a crime. Fate had given him the middle finger with a kiss on the forehead. He had an answer to who killed his victim and his victim's victims. Yet now the cruel thorns of romance and longing encircled his heart. Whiskey. It is.