The Risk (Page 20)
My pumps grow lazy until my hips still completely, and she pants while grinning up at me.
“Hi,” she says, laughing lightly.
I laugh too before dropping to her.
Rolling over, I toss the condom into the trashcan beside the bed, then face her again, running my finger along her cheek.
She forces me to move up more comfortably on the bed when she moves, making sure she can lie down.
“Who’s Jake? And why does he have a key?”
Her smile spreads like she’s enjoying a private joke.
I narrow my eyes, and she snickers while tossing a leg over my hip and pillowing her head on my bicep.
“He’s my business partner. He just left a few minutes ago, and I thought he might have forgotten something. He thinks it’s funny to make me jog through the house instead of using his key. He acts like I’m going to confuse him for a robber and accidentally stab him or something.”
I don’t like Jake having a key to her house, especially since I don’t know him.
“What’s his last name?” I ask, fully prepared to do a complete background check on this guy—and see what he looks like.
I really am jealous.
“He’s a silent partner, and it’s in our agreement that I don’t give out his surname. Sorry, but that’s how it is. Our latest business thing took a few days longer than expected, but we decided to be thorough. Besides, we’ve known each other forever. He’s like a brother to me. Don’t worry. I can assure you nothing sexual is going on.”
“Is he gay?” I ask hopefully.
She grins broadly. “He’s bisexual, but he tends to lean toward men more than women.”
“It’d be better if he was gay.”
When she laughs, it’s a cute sound, so carefree again. I swear she seems lighter and happier every time I see her.
I frown when my fingers come back red from the side of her head.
“Are you bleeding?” I ask, worried as I try to inspect her hair. How fucking rough was I?
Her eyes widen as she stares at my fingers. “Um…no. That’s from some painting I was doing with Jake. I guess I missed some.”
I rub the red substance between my fingers. It’s definitely blood.
“Don’t lie to me,” I say, trying to look, but she angles her head away and jumps out of bed.
“Fine. It’s blood,” she groans. “Jake’s blood. Not mine. He cut his finger, and I guess it got on me. I thought I got it all out in the shower.”
She goes to the bathroom, and I follow her in, watching as she starts washing out her hair.
A little stream of red flows out, but to my relief, it stops, which means she’s really not bleeding.
“Why wouldn’t you just say that?”
She shrugs, not looking at me. “You’re all freaked out about Jake. I thought not mentioning him anymore would be a good idea.”
I blow out a breath, and her eyes meet mine in the mirror.
“Sorry. I don’t mean to sound like a jealous ass.”
She gives me a tight smile.
“I have no right to lie to you and make you feel guilty about it. Sorry,” she says, sighing as she looks down at the ground.
Tilting her face up, I bend down, brushing my lips over hers.
“Looks like we’re both still figuring out how to do this thing. It’s a learning experience,” I tell her, smiling when she groans and presses her head into my chest.
“You’re so good,” she says quietly. “I’m afraid I’m going ruin all the best parts about you.”
“Not possible. You’re good too, Lana.”
She tenses against me, and I get worried when her grip tightens around my waist. I’m not sure what happened in the past five minutes, and she’s become impossible to read.
Instead of probing her with questions, I just hold her until she finally sighs against my chest.
“I’ve missed you too,” she finally says after a long spell of silence.
“Then let me take you out on that date.”
She peers up, arching an eyebrow. “Lobster and wine?”
She grins. “Then orgasms.”
I laugh as she skips out of the bathroom, her good mood back. She’s an enigma, and I think that’s half of her appeal.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Dinner? Perfect. Lobster? Loved it. Wine? Amazing. Logan? Too good for me.
I lied to him. Then I lied to recover from my lie because I couldn’t tell him I was wearing my latest two victims’ blood in my hair. The guilt he had on his face made me hate myself.
I realized in that moment how wrong this all is.
Logan is incredible. He’s everything I never even hoped to dream about, because someone so good couldn’t exist.
Yet he’s here.
Well, not at this exact moment. He’s currently at his house getting more clothes. He’s taking a few days off, since their cases have gone cold. Which means they haven’t found my latest bodies yet. Or it could mean that he’s not on that case…
Yesterday was a damn close call. Ten minutes earlier and he’d have found me covered in blood as I tossed all my clothes into the burn pile behind my house. I burned those clothes as soon as he left earlier. My floors are so dark that he didn’t notice the drips of blood on them. I could have lied my way out of that too, but I couldn’t have lied my way around my murder shoes or murder bag.
Fortunately all that was upstairs.
I’ll never let my phone die again. He tried calling me numerous times, but I was finally at the end game with Tyler and Lawrence, and didn’t pause to put my phone on the charger.
The smart thing to do would have been to charge it on my way home, but it was tucked inside my murder bag…that I threw into the closet…and couldn’t find until it finally dawned on me.
Jake spent forever puking in a bucket inside his car during the really gory stuff. It’s not like he could risk puking inside the cellar and leaving behind all that yummy DNA.
Being a monster doesn’t agree with his stomach.
As I sift through the next file on my next victim, looking through the notes of his life, my phone rings. I answer immediately when I see it’s Jake.
“You find him?”
“His name is Gerald Plemmons, at least according to the news. The manhunt is still coming up short. And by the way…Boogeyman? Really?”
I snort out a laugh.
“I hope they come up with something cleverer for you.”
I shudder just thinking about the names they may don me with. Then Logan will only know me by that name if he ever discovers the truth.
He’ll hate the woman he cares for because he’ll see the monster lurking within.
“Have you found him, though? I already knew his name” I go on, refusing to go down that road just yet.
“He’s in DC.”
My heart thumps in my chest.
“Dropped a body a few minutes ago,” he answers. “He’s off grid as far as any paper trails go. However, he made one hell of a statement announcing his current whereabouts. This time, instead of finding the body in an apartment, he hung her out a window for all to see. And instead of it being a low profile girl, he killed a judge’s wife. Raped her brutally, and there was a lot of overkill.”
“Normally overkill means rage,” I say quietly, trying to process it all.
“I think the overkill was more of a statement than rage. I think he wanted to make a fuck-you statement to the FBI. You’re right about him enjoying the attention. He’s going to want more of it, since he’s becoming an exhibitionist.”
“And he’s going to go after Logan.”
“Yes and no.”
“What does that mean?” I ask, moving toward the back of my kitchen to look out the window, paranoid that I’ve just heard a car.
“There’s more. The body he hung out the window was naked. She also had Boogeyman carved into her chest. And one other name…Logan Bennett.”
My chest tries to collapse, and I sink to my chair. I knew he’d do this. I knew he’d target Logan.
“They’re sure it’s him? Not a copycat?”
“Some of the things not released to the public have been verified. This time he even left his DNA behind just to let them know for sure it was him, and now he’s laying claim to his work.”
“And now he’s targeting Logan. We have to find him before he can.”
“That’s the part I’m getting to. He’ll go after your agent, but he’ll use a proxy to do it. He’ll want to taunt and torment Logan. A few more bodies will drop with that calling card before he makes his big move. What would a sexual sadist go after to really hurt a man?”
It takes me a second to catch up to his train of thought, but when I do, a dark smile plays with my lips.
“Exactly. You sure you can handle a guy like this? He’s not like the guys you’ve been going after, Lana. This guy is the real deal with zero mercy. If he—”
“The guys I kill weren’t angels—aren’t angels, Jake. You know that. They’d kill me if they knew I was still alive, or if they got half a chance when I’m there for them. And yeah. I can handle the Boogeyman. Even a monster has nightmares. I’ll be his.”