And off we go… Yes, it’s November. Novel Writing Month and I’m joining in with The Murderer’s Lover. Now the reason why I didn’t put it in the Nanowrimo competition is that I did start writing the first chapter way in advance and then stopped.
I started back up again when I became frustrated by Three Ways To Bliss suspense plot not working out. I’m still working on completing that book, but I’m hoping with all the research I’m doing it’ll get better. Ugh…
So without further ado, I bring you Chapter One, if you haven’t already read it. I added a little oomph here and there, but all in all, it’s there, with some extra.
The decomposing body of Rita Fleet was a horrific sight. Whoever had done this to her, truly had a sick mind, yet there was evidence that she knew her attacker.
Tobias Avery knew instantly this was one of the Grand Boulevard Killer’s victims. The press had started calling him that because all the bodies indicated that the victim did know or had willingly met the attacker and allowed herself to be sexual with him. The victim had gone to extra efforts to meet the killer in her looks – the dress, the makeup and the care of her body. The bodies were then dumped somewhere on the Boulevard.
Rita Fleet was the first victim found on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit, while all the others had been found on the West Side of the street.
Paul Hess, his partner came up beside him. “What do you think this means?”
“How the hell should I know?” Tobias muttered. He had been on this case for three years and things were not getting easier. “He’s mocking us. I know it.”
“Are you sure it’s not a copycat?” Paul questioned.
“No, I’m sure even before Henry confirms it, ten bucks say this girl has something shoved up there and whatever started out like lovemaking ended in sodomy. It was outside too. Look at her knees. She was kneeling on grass. Just like all the others.”
“Do we do the same kind of questioning?” Paul asked.
“Yeah.” He looked down at his notebook. “She was reported missing yesterday morning and her car was still at the club where she said she was going to be. Nobody saw her leave with anyone, though.”
“So you think she willingly snuck out with this guy just like the others and things got too rough so he sliced her up like that?” Paul guessed.
“Same shit, different day,” Tobias confirmed lighting up a cigarette. Although he kept in peak physical performance, this was his one unhealthy vice he’d been fighting since he’d been a teen.
“When’d you start back?” Paul asked a bit bothered Tobias has started smoking again.
“Sheryl left me this morning. I figured it’s about time I did what the hell I wanted to do now that domineering slut is out of my life,” he growled. With his voice being so deep he sounded more angry than what he really sounded, but Paul had been his partner for five years and knew him too well to know he was more pissed off for wasting eight years pussy footing with Sheryl than anything else.
“I’ll question the businesses and security in the neighborhood. Henry wants to hurry up and get in and get out because the rains coming and he doesn’t want anything washed away.” Paul nodded to the camera guy. “Tell poki-man to hurry the hell up with all that damn flashing and the chief wants a statement in ten minutes.”
“There is nothing to say, Paul.” Tobias took a long drag on the cigarette. He’d missed smoking. Sheryl had made him give it up two years ago and although it had made him feel great, he still missed it. She had made him think if he jumped through that hoop for her, she would marry him, but she had made another hoop for him to jump through shortly after.
“You won’t make that into a horrible habit again, will you?” Paul said, jumping back to the smoking habit again.
“I might.” Two more satisfying puffs had him feeling the stress of the morning going away. “I should have something to say to the media in about twenty minutes. After I talk to Henry.”
Paul nodded and walked away.
Tobias looked down at the body of the woman again. Her eyes were still open, staring up into Detroit’s fogged night sky as if something wonderful was coming. He wondered what her last thoughts were. ‘How could this happen to me?’ he imagined her thinking. ‘He said he loved me.’
How did this Casanova manage to do something so horrific and why couldn’t anyone know who he was for three years?
Henry, a forty-ish something city medical examiner, came on the other side of the body. “She looks young.” He knelt down and looked at Rita from head to toe. “Younger than the rest.” He shook his head.
“Not good,” Tobias determined.
Nervously, Henry questioned, “Does this location mean a mistake? He’s never made a mistake before.”
“I don’t think so.”
“He wants something, Tob, and the more he doesn’t get it, the worse this will get.”
“But this is different, isn’t it, Henry?” Tobias knelt down frowning. “Look at her hands. There’s hardly any indications of a fight.”
Henry picked up her hand with a frown on his face, flashing his light. “There’s dye on her hand.”
“Dye?” Tobias took a close look. On the inside of the finger were several streaks of dark brown.
“This might lead to a break,” Henry said excitedly grabbing evidence bags to wrap the hands up with. “Let me hurry and get her down to the office.”
Tobias hoped it would too. He was losing his life to this case.
After the press conference with the Chief of Police to assure the public that they were working diligently on the case and warn women be careful who they pick up, he headed home to his two family flat that he owned. His downstairs tenant, Mrs. Connie Pace was sitting on the patio in the back. She was elderly, but refused to go to a nursing home. Instead, Mrs. Pace had a nurse and loved the comfort of having an officer right above her because she knew her family was just sitting around for her to die and take all her money.
Tobias was cordial enough to say hello to her before heading upstairs.
She smiled delighted to see him. “How were the streets today, Officer?” she asked.
“Same thing, different day.” Tobias had endeared himself to the woman too much to curse in front of her.
“When are you going to marry that lady friend of yours?” she asked.
“Might be longer than you suspected, Mrs. Pace. She decided I worked too hard and couldn’t take me not spending time with her.”
The elderly woman actually looked upset. “You sure that’s it? Or does she really know what she’s missing out on? As long as I’ve known you Tobias, I know you have a tendency to hold yourself back. A nice good black man like you deserves a good lady.”
Tobias wasn’t going to discuss the details on Sheryl leaving him with Mrs. Pace or anyone else for that matter, because he really didn’t understand why he had allowed himself to take so long before she decided it was over.
He mumbled some lame excuse and used the reasons of being tired right now to go into the matter with her, then quickly adjourned to the three-bedroom apartment. Soon as he walked in, he put his badge and gun in the drawer by his bed, and then he laid down lighting another cigarette.
The old full size bed whined from the weight of his heavy large body. His feet hung off the end due to his over six foot height and he knew he needed a new bed, but now the inclination to get one wasn’t in him. No one was going to be sleeping in there he cared about for a while, so why should it matter?
Later he’d go to the precinct and look over what Henry sent him over and compare that to the others.
The phone rung and he checked the caller ID. Sheryl. Why would she be calling him now after that pathetic Dear John letter she left on his dining room table?
Tobias let the answering machine take it and listened intently.
“Hello Tobias, this is Sheryl. I have some of your things over at my place. You can call me at work when you’re ready to come pick up your stuff,” she said quite calmly. “Whether you believe me or not, I did have every intention of marrying you, but I realize that your heart wasn’t into it. I can’t marry someone who believes his work is more important than I am. I need to be the center of a man’s life.”
He took very long drags on the cigarette as she continued.
“I know you made major changes in your life for me, but that’s not all. That’s just not it. That doesn’t mean anything.”
Tobias couldn’t listen anymore and went into another room hoping the machine would shut off soon. Women were nothing but a bunch of talkers. They try to change you, and when they turn your life upside down, they drop you like a bad habit.