The Risk (Page 15)

“Right. Got it. Anyway, you told me to call if any new leads came in. Hadley finally figured out the type of knife used by the Boogeyman in his kills. I’m forwarding you a picture.”

“Thanks,” I grumble, not feeling as appreciative as I should.

“No worries, Logan. No one expects you to come back in tonight or even tomorrow. You closed a major case and just in time to save a girl’s life. And hell, you pretty much did it on your own today. No one else would have fucking pieced together a da Vinci fixation from finding clay.”

“There were other factors,” I point out.

“Yes. Symmetry,” he says flatly.

“And more.”

“I’ll let you get back to your two days of peace.”

He hangs up just as a text comes through from Lana.

LANA: My GPS says I should be there in thirty minutes. I’m going to see if I can shave a few minutes off that.

A smile spreads as I text her back.

ME: No texting while driving.

LANA: Threatening to arrest me?

Laughing, I put my phone away. Lana is not the girl I first pegged as detached. Lonely, perhaps. But not detached. I’ve come to realize she’s just like me. Solitary but not devoid of possibilities.

After putting all my groceries where they belong, I start removing my shirt, then grimace when I smell the exhaust fumes from the chopper all over me. How did I not realize how bad I reek?

I start to head to the shower, but my phone chimes with a message. Craig has delivered the picture he promised, and the knife is nothing special. But at least we know the model and type to tell the police to search for if the time ever comes.

Not if. When. I will catch this bastard.

Studying the photo of the supposed murder weapon has me restudying the case for so long that I don’t even realize how much time has passed until there’s a knock on my door.

Fuck me.

It’s already been thirty minutes, and I’ve been staring at a case instead of showering off the day’s stench.

I jog to the door, internally cursing myself the whole time. When I swing open the door, a flurry of dark hair is all I glimpse before Lana is on me, her lips crashing against mine.

I sure as hell don’t protest as I drink her in, tasting her, smelling how incredible… Ah hell.

Reluctantly, I break the kiss, and she steps back, grinning at me. I love that smile and how freely she gives it.

“I smell like shit.”

She laughs while shaking her head. “You smell like… I don’t know what that smell is to be honest.”

“Helicopter. I’ll run through the shower, and we will pick this back up where we left off. Make yourself comfortable. I won’t take long.”

“I don’t mind the smell,” she says, biting that damn lower lip that has my cock protesting my hygienic needs.

“Five minutes. That’s all I’ll take.”

She bats those long lashes, her grin spreading as she looks around my house, taking in all the sights. My gun is on top of the living room table, and she sidesteps it like it makes her uncomfortable.

“Safety is on,” I tell her, winking before I jog to my bathroom and hurry through the motions of showering.

I toss on a pair of boxers after I finish drying off, and I head back out to find Lana at the kitchen island, looking over the Boogeyman case.

“This is brutal,” she says, looking up at me with a frown. “Is this the guy you caught?”

“That’s my fault. I shouldn’t have left that out. You’re not supposed to see that.”

She frowns.

“Closed case files aren’t as classified. Or at least that’s what I’ve read.”

“Old closed cases aren’t classified. Recent ones are. But this isn’t even a closed case. It’s an active investigation that I should handle with more care than just leaving haphazardly lying around.”

Her lips tense as she takes a long step away.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I just saw it and…I shouldn’t have just started reading it. Sorry.”

I shrug, pulling her to me by the waist, just needing to touch her. I had no idea how much I needed to touch her until she got here.

“Like I said, that’s my fault. But since you’ve seen it, how about giving me your opinion.”

Her eyebrows go up.

“My opinion? My opinion is that guy is sick. Women being raped and left to bleed out slowly by multiple stab wounds is vicious and… Anyway. That’s my opinion.”

“I meant your opinion about the type of suspect we might be looking for.”

She purses her lips.

“I barely glimpsed it.”

I pull her over to the file, and I spread out the sheets, including the new picture on my phone that I show her.

“You noted that he let them bleed out instead of saying he stabbed them to death. That’s actually important to the profile. Now tell me your opinion.”

“I don’t want to get you into trouble, Logan. Don’t show me things you’re not supposed to, and stop telling me things you shouldn’t.”

She eyes me, scowling a little.

“Right now, there’s not a lot they’d do to me if they found out I was sharing details with my girl. I’m a badass. Just read it and give me your thoughts.”

A smile spreads over her lips for some reason, but she tucks her hair behind her ear and ducks her head before she begins reading over the files.

“That excites you?” I muse, remembering she said this stuff makes her stomach churn.

“You called me your girl,” she says quietly.

My grin spreads as I lean over, brushing a kiss over her bare shoulder since she’s wearing a camisole.

“As far as I’m concerned, you are.”

She clears her throat, and I lean back, enjoying the hell out of the way she blushes.

Her face turns serious as she studies the file, taking in the details, and reading over it pretty damn quickly.

“At first glance, it looks like overkill because of all the stab wounds. But they’re all shallow and not lethal on their own. He most likely does it while he rapes them, pushing the tip of the blade in just enough to draw blood. They get deeper as he goes, because it’s part of the high he gets. Rape is usually about power.”

“It’s almost always about power,” I amend. “Contrary to popular belief, there are very few sexual assault cases that have anything to do with sexual desires.”

She nods absently, but I notice a distant look in her eyes. “He’s a sadist. Relative to the case, he’s most likely unable to orgasm without the life threatening pain he inflicts. Impotence was probably a factor in his psychotic break. Maybe he stumbled upon this feeling of euphoria by mistake, and he’s escalated now to actually killing women. He gets high on the power, and gets off on the pain.”

She blows out a breath as her hands tremble, and I start to apologize. She really can’t handle seeing this shit, and it was stupid of me to even involve a civilian who hasn’t been desensitized to the point of seeing them as dead bodies and facts instead of people and merciless assaults.

But she speaks before I can.

“He’d be unnoticeable to the world. Probably a blue-collared worker who doesn’t draw any outward attention. He’d likely be unsocial, given the struggle he’s had with impotence. It would have left him withdrawn because he’d have felt like he was lacking, emasculated even. Now he enjoys the shadows where he’s dwelled because it allows him to hunt without being noticed.”

Damn, she’s good.

She flips another page. “In the beginning, there was a lot of rage—again, that stems from the impotence. Now there’s a controlled method to his psychosis. He’ll develop an immortal complex where he feels as though he’s untouchable. I’d say a white male between the ages of twenty-five and forty. He’s right handed, and he has the ability to blend in with the unremarkable. Possibly in the custodial field.”

My eyebrows pinch together.

“You were dead on until the custodial field. We guessed someone in law enforcement or security, due to the fact he has been able to gain access to homes with no effort, and the cameras to the apartment buildings have been disabled each time.”

She shakes her head. “He may have an understanding of security measures, but most custodial workers do. They come in after hours, spend long amounts of time talking with night shift guards or behind the scenes issues that no one else sees.”

I narrow my eyes at her, studying her features as she looks up to meet my gaze.

“What makes you so sure you’re right?”

She smirks before sliding a page in front of me. “How he cleaned up after himself. He shined the murder rooms up.”

“Forensic countermeasure,” I point out. “Most seasoned killers always clean up after themselves.”

She nods. “I said how he cleaned up after himself. He didn’t just clean. The room was spotless, and each surface was cleaned with an appropriate cleaner.”

She points to a line. “Window cleaner for windows. No streaks left behind either, whereas it’s noted the rest of the windows were dingy.” She points to another line. “Hardwood floors were cleaned with hardwood cleaner. No streaks.” She points to another line. “The tables were all shined with wood-safe cleanser. No streaks…”