All the Lies (Page 20)
I settle back in my seat and stare out my window, letting his words slowly register.
“Why did you tell me all that?”
He pushes his door open. “Katie subdued the real monster by loving the man and accepting all of him. I’m saying I hope our girl has someone doing the same for her, otherwise, she may lose herself to all of this. And it won’t be the ending she deserves.”
I should kick him off this case for admitting that. He wants her to get away with it.
For some reason, I just get out of the car instead, and keep my mouth shut.
Donny approaches, and Leonard stiffens, possibly worried that I’m about to announce the fact he’s compromised and shouldn’t be on this case.
“What do you have?” I ask him.
Leonard relaxes as Donny answers. “Kyle Davenport is one twisted son of a bitch,” Donny says under his breath.
“I’m well aware. I mean, what is the sheriff speaking about?” I ask dryly.
“Wanting to find his son, and reminding the town he owns everything here, so if someone is helping the killer hide, they’re going to regret it. He blatantly threatens the entire town, abusing his authority, and Johnson is letting it go. I can’t even process this.”
“Kyle Davenport really is sick,” Lisa says as she joins us, her eyes finding mine and holding my gaze.
“So are you,” I growl. “Ever try that shit on Lana again, and I’ll make sure they demote you to some bullshit unit that deals mostly in paperwork and isolation.”
Her eyes widen, and everyone around us shifts awkwardly.
“What about Kyle?” I ask Donny, moving my eyes away from Lisa.
Fuck it. I’ll have her ass shipped to another unit regardless.
“You mean other than he vanished into thin air? Well, let’s see, over five women have already told us this morning what he did to them in the Haunted House over the years. The girlfriend met us in private, saying usually he makes a second girl join them on the nights he gets really drunk. She’s broken up with him three times, and has ended up in the ER three times.”
Leonard’s gaze swings to mine, and my lips tense. Something tells me he already knew that.
“So he’s an abusive bastard with a fetish for raping women. We can all agree that he doesn’t deserve to keep breathing clean air. Now I’m asking if there’s any news about him.”
They all shake their heads, and I walk around, wondering if anyone on the team is willing to put this girl behind bars if we manage to find her.
I even question it myself.
But this is a proxy killer. Has to be. No one was personally invested in these people enough to have revenge on a personal level. That makes her twice as dangerous, because she’ll find another target to obsess over, and she’ll eventually kill innocent people for minor infractions.
It really sucks.
But she can’t just walk away from this.
She’ll probably end up in an asylum as opposed to prison, but she sure as hell is too dangerous to leave on the streets, no matter what personal quandaries we’re all suffering over this.
The entire team is compromised by this point, because the victims make it hard to be compassionate. It’s the future I’m most worried about.
“Now get out there and find my damn son, or I swear this town will never sleep again!” the sheriff shouts, his face red as a bloated tomato on the verge of exploding.
“We need to deliver our profile to the psych hospitals in the surrounding areas,” I say as the people listen to the sheriff rant for a few more minutes.
“If our unsub was mentally unstable, they wouldn’t have the control to pull this off,” Leonard argues.
“A partner changes everything. There’s always a dominant in the partnership. This time, however, the dominant figure isn’t the actual killer.”
“Then who is?” Elise asks.
“Send someone back to Jacob Denver’s house. Something was off when we paid him a visit,” I tell them.
“It can’t be him,” Leonard sighs. “This partner would have had to be able to aid in painting these messages and all the other crazy shit. Jacob isn’t physically capable of any of that. You saw the medical records.”
“Our—I mean the killer, wouldn’t have needed Jacob’s help for that. He could have just masterminded all this,” I point out.
Leonard gives me a grim look before shaking his head like he’s disappointed. Then he walks away.
“What’s his deal?” Donny asks, confused.
“He’s having a rough day,” I lie, unsure why I’m even lying.
Just as the crowd is about to disperse on a fruitless trek through the woods to look for Kyle, the church bells blare their song.
My brow furrows, and I tilt my head, wondering why bells would sound at six-fifteen in the morning. Usually they only chime on the hour.
There’s a large, curious looking tarp-like bag hanging from the bell tower of the church.
There’s a suspicious looking rope tied to one of the clock hands on the tower, and I watch as it clicks down to six-sixteen, and something suddenly swings out of the bag.
A collective gasp sounds out seconds before screams break across the park. People heave, spin away from the sight, and several start running like fire is on their heels.
The sheriff staggers, his eyes wide, his skin pale, and his legs weak. He crashes against a deputy who helps steady him. The deputies who aren’t stunned to their spots are racing toward the church, along with Lisa and Donny.
Even my stomach roils as I stare at the tower in complete horror.
I’m not sure if it’s Kyle Davenport I see hanging, considering there’s not a piece of flesh to make him identifiable, but everyone here has the same conclusion.
Even if we can’t identify him, we all know it’s him.
The rope holds his neck, and his naked, fleshless body dangles from the tower as the bells chime on. If she wanted to make a statement that would incite a full-blown panic, she just won that war.
Then again, the mastermind probably planned this.
They knew this park would be crowded down with people at this time, even though the meeting was impromptu. They know the sheriff. They knew what he would do before he even did it.
The castrated corpse sways, crashing against the brick on occasion. And I can’t look away.
Who is capable of something this depraved and dark without being psychotic?
“Still think she should have a happy life?” I ask quietly as Leonard swallows audibly.
“I expected him to be found in the worst condition,” he says on a breath. “He orchestrated it all.”
I shake my head. “This is someone with a psychosis so deep, they feel they have the right to do this, even though they themselves were never wronged personally.”
“And if your sister had ever been subjected to Kyle Davenport, would you feel this was too much?” Leonard asks, a hard edge to his voice.
“I don’t have a sister,” I say before walking toward the chaos.
Elise hobbles up next to me, and I slow down so she doesn’t have to struggle to keep up. “You think this was the endgame?” Elise asks, looking over at the gruesome sight before flicking her gaze back to me.
It seems unlikely this was the end, considering the unsub isn’t displaying the usual signs of devolvement.
“I honestly don’t know.”
Lisa comes jogging up to us, her color curiously puce. She looks like she’s on the verge of being sick.
“Skinned and castrated?” I ask her.
She nods, swallowing hard. “All ten fingers are missing as well.”
That should have been a given.
“There was one new thing besides the complete flaying,” she says, grimacing.
“The eyes were sewn open.”
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
“You can’t hurt Lisa,” Hadley tells me as I throw another knife into the picture of the offending bitch she speaks of.
It hits right between her eyes, and I go to pull it out.
“I’m getting out my anger. Not plotting her murder,” I say dully.
“You’re throwing a knife at her face.”
“Her picture,” I correct.
I feel her glare, but elect to ignore it.
“Do I want to know how you got so good with knives?”
I line up my next shot and take it, landing the knife in Lisa’s throat. Oh, how I wish. Too bad that’s not going to happen. After all, I can’t kill someone for simply pissing me off.
“Come on. Logan doesn’t want you left alone, and apparently I have a crime scene to go investigate,” Hadley says on a long sigh.
“It’s Kyle Davenport, and he was skinned alive before dying. There. Your job just got easier,” I state dryly.
She strangles on a sound, and I turn to face her.
“Need me to recite some of those details of all the horrible things he did to wipe that horror off your face?” I ask.
She shakes her head vigorously. “I can’t stomach hearing anything else that psycho has done. I just… You skinned him alive?”
I nod. “Yep. I was careful to remove the skin piece by piece and only the top layers, so that he didn’t bleed too much during my fun.”