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It’s not enough to hunt a serial killer stalking my city, but I have to do it during a hellish heatwave. My name is Dalton, and I’m a Detective. Young women are being murdered in my city and the killer isn’t just a man and this case is anything but normal.
I didn’t believe in the Devil until he kidnapped the only man I ever loved. The love of my life, Daniel. I once told Daniel I loved him so much I would go through Hell and back for him. Now, I have to prove it.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains themes of paranormal elements, danger, adventure, suspense, violence, and explicit scenes. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
*** Currently available exclusively at Amazon ***
It was going to be a very bad night. Dalton looked up at the quarter moon and wondered how something so beautiful could bear witness to a crime so heinous. He pinched the bridge of his nose, more out of habit than to keep out the atrocious odor, and returned his eyes to the murder scene. The photographer was finishing up, the bright flash going off like muzzle flashes in the bushes. Karen had the bright, blonde hair and round, cherubic face of a model. Dalton thought she was a very pretty girl and he certainly heard the other cops talking about her in more lascivious ways, but right now none of that mattered if she could get decent pictures.
The call had come in around ten last night, but Dalton hadn’t been notified until after midnight. It was now closing in on three am and there was still so much to do. The body wouldn’t be out of here for another hour or so, if the coroner ever got there. Then they would wait for the sun to come up and give everything one more close inspection before calling it a day. If he was lucky, Dalton could be back in bed by ten, but Daniel would have already left for work. Normally, the late-night calls didn’t bother Daniel, but they had been arguing a lot lately and Dalton made a nice dinner last night. They were just about to make up when the call came in, so yeah… Daniel was pissed.
It was already humid, the sticky air growing hotter by the minute. There was an incredible heat wave progressing through the city and it seemed like every day just brought higher temperatures and less hope there would be some relief. It had rained twice since the temperatures stuck over the triple digit mark, but even the rain had failed to lower the temperature any. Even now, at three in the morning, it was over ninety degrees. Dalton pulled his shirt away from his sweaty skin and felt it stick back to him when he released it.
Karen came walking out of the bushes, carefully watching where she was walking. She had on a pair of hiking boots that were covered in mud and a pair of khaki pants that hid most of her curves. Dalton wondered if that was by design. She waved to him when she got to the bottom of the hill and began to pack up her equipment. Dalton started down the steep hill carefully, wishing he had the foresight to bring boots too. He looked sadly down at his loafers and shook his head.
“Nice shoes.” Karen zipped up one of her bags and moved over to the other.
“When I heard the address, I figured we’d be in a parking lot,” Dalton replied. “I really need to put a pair of boots in the trunk of my car.”
“I keep a full bag,” Karen said. “Shoes, clothes, coveralls, makeup, soap, and shampoo. I like being prepared.”
“Works well if you’re at some strange house doing the nasty and get called away quickly too, right?” Dalton winked at her and smiled.
“Don’t get catty with me just because you’re about to ruin a three-hundred-dollar pair of shoes.” Karen returned the wink. “But you’re right. I’m too busy to get into a relationship so when the chance for a one nightery comes up, I take it. Fuck it, life is just too short.”
“Something we get reminded of every single day.” Dalton gave her a sad smile and headed off towards the bushes where the body was waiting for him. He studied the ground and picked the safest spots to put his feet, concentrating on the dryer looking patches of ground. Small yellow triangles with black numbers on them were littered around the crime scene, each one noting a possible piece of evidence. Karen would have photographed each of them from numerous different angles and distances.
“Coroner’s here,” someone shouted from on top of the hill.
“Thank, God,” Dalton muttered just as the smell hit him. He had been on sight long enough for the faint stink of decomposition to fade into the background while he was at a distance, but now that he rounded the corner and moved through the bushes the overwhelming stench smacked him in the face. It was the kind of smell you can never really get used to, a greasy kind of stink that moves like angry tentacles and attaches to everything. It gets in your hair and on your clothes. It works its way into your nose and lives there, escaping little by little over the next couple days. It’s a putrid, horrible smell that is ironically undercut by something almost sweet, and that sweetness makes it all the worse.
She was probably a pretty girl once, but now it was impossible to tell. Dalton thought she was probably in her early twenties based more on the way she was dressed and the purple streaks in her otherwise dark hair. Both hands were tied behind her back with wire, but Dalton wouldn’t know if the wires cut into her skin before she died, or if it was just due to the post-mortem swelling and skin slip. The coroner would tell him all of that after an initial examination. She was wearing a blouse and jeans with black high heels, but Dalton was willing to bet the clothes had been put on either right before, or right after, she was murdered. She was laying on her side, her eyeless sockets staring into the bushes as if she had been waiting for help to come. Her throat wasn’t cut as much as her head was nearly decapitated, but even around the decomposition Dalton could tell it was a clean cut, most likely a single, hard slice with an incredibly sharp blade.
Dalton pulled out his notebook and began to jot down some initial notes and observations. He wrote for a solid five minutes before the two guys from the coroner’s office made it through the bushes. One of them was Jed, the hillbilly cousin of the county coroner. He looked dumb as a stump but was a certified genius. He picked up bodies for his cousin as a second job, worked as a carpenter during the day and attended Mensa meetings when he had a minute. For fun, he edited crossword puzzles. An IQ test put him around one hundred and forty.
The other guy was Billy, the one-time gangbanger turned religious zealot. He took finding Jesus to a new level and never failed to annoy everyone around him with his constant bible quotes and condemnation of anything deemed a sin. He immediately frowned when he saw Dalton. Homosexuals were especially hated in Billy’s church and he never ceased to remind Dalton of the fiery depths waiting him and his kind.
“Billy, I swear to God, if you quote a single bible verse I’m going to have you thrown off my crime scene and put a grievance in against you for sexual harassment. Then I’ll tell everyone how I caught you sucking cock at the Thomas Edison rest stop.” Dalton stared the younger man down until Billy lowered his eyes to the ground and nodded his head.
“I’ve been trying to explain that anyone who continually talks about the gay lifestyle as much as Billy is obviously a closeted homosexual,” Jed said with a wink to Dalton. He made air quotes when he said the gay lifestyle and Dalton immediately chuckled. It was the kind of thing Billy continually spouted on about. “I think he would just be happier if he came out to everyone and lived his life free of guilt.”
“He might be happier,” Dalton said. “But none of us sinful gays will be.”
“I’m not a homosexual,” Billy said through clenched teeth. “It’s a sin for a man to lie with anot—”
“Thomas. Edison. Rest. Stop.” Dalton said slowly, annunciating each word clearly.
“Can we just get the body and go?” Billy motioned towards the corpse and yanked the stretcher the last ten feet through the mud while Jed and Dalton laughed at him.
“Yeah,” Dalton said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Karen got all the pictures we need. Just be sure to bag her really good. If you need to cut the binds you can. I told Karen to get some tight shots of her hands before she left so we should be covered.”
“I can put both her hands in one bag and wrap her around the wrists where she’s tied up,” Jed said after a quick inspection. “I’ll do the same thing to her feet and head.”
“Sounds good to me,” Dalton said. “I’ll be up the hill talking to the responding officer, but I’ll send a couple guys down to help you back up the hill.”
“Thanks, Dalton,” Jed said with a wave. Billy said nothing.
Knowing there was nothing else he could do for the night, Dalton returned home. Everything was dark and calm as it should be. He quietly put his keys and badge on the side table by the front door before kicking off his shoes and draping his jacket over the back of a nearby chair. He unclipped his holster and gun and placed them in the desk drawer in the kitchen, pausing only long enough to lock it before moving to the fridge and pulling out a cold piece of fried chicken and a beer. The stink of decomposition hung in his nose but he ignored it as he devoured the quick meal. There was enough beer left to bring it into the bathroom, where he drained it and left it on the counter.
He scrolled through his phone and put on some Elle King. Dalton loved her music and immediately felt the stress of another murder sliding off him. He stripped down leaving his clothes in a messy pile on the floor before turning on the shower and adjusting the temp. Steam quickly rose and warmed the bathroom up considerably. The first whiff of hot water brought another shock of stink. Dalton grimaced and lowered the temp.
“You’re the world’s shittiest ninja,” Daniel said in a sleepy voice as he walked into the bathroom.
“Christ, you scared me.” Dalton spun around quickly and lowered his hands which had turned into involuntary fists. “Don’t sneak up on me. If I had my gun…”
“Where would you put it?” Daniel asked with a cock of his eyebrow. He was a little taller than Dalton at six-foot-two, but much leaner. Daniel’s body was highlighted by thin, wiry muscle where Dalton was more burly.
“You didn’t know I was naked before you came in here,” Dalton said. “Why are you awake?”
“Because you make enough noise to wake the dead,” Daniel said. “And I was horny when you left, which means I’m even hornier now.”
Daniel crossed the floor in two steps and grabbed Dalton’s cock. It quickly grew hard in his hand and after a few gentle tugs it was like flesh covered steel. He brought his lips to Dalton’s neck and kissed him gently, the pressure soft and loving and sexy as hell. Dalton moaned happily as the kisses went south, working down from his neck to his chest, stomach, hips, and then, finally, the heat of Daniel’s mouth found his cock. The immediate thrill of it straightened Dalton’s back and caught a breath in his throat. He grabbed a handful of thick, curly hair and pulled it roughly. Daniel liked a little pain with his pleasure and hair pulling was a perfect appetizer.
“I want you to fuck my mouth, baby,” Daniel practically purred. “Please?”
Without a word, Dalton pushed his dick into his lover’s open mouth. He grabbed his head and began to pump his hips, pushing his cock deep into Daniel. He fucked him violently, pulling his hair and shoving himself deep into his throat. Daniel gagged and choked but grunted and groaned through it all. His lips curled into a lascivious smile, as much as they could.
“Bend over the sink,” Dalton said as he whipped his cock from Daniel’s mouth. “Now.”
“Yes, Daddy,” Daniel said breathlessly.
Dalton responded by smacking him hard on the ass one, twice, three times. Dalton knew by the way Daniel was making the blowjob extra sloppy and wet he wanted to get fucked, and when he got into these kinds of moods he needed it hard and fast, which was exactly how Dalton wanted to give it to him. There was no need for lube. His cock was soaking wet and Daniel was more than ready for it. He lined up the throbbing, purple head and pushed with all his strength. He grabbed Daniel’s hips for extra leverage and shoved himself deep.
His lover grunted as he slammed his entire length into his ass. Dalton savored the initial tightness and let it pull him into the spiritual aspect of their sex. He spanked Daniel on the ass with all his considerable might knocking the lighter man to the side a little. Daniel gasped and chuckled, but quickly grunted as Dalton slid fully out and then slammed back in. They both cooed, gasped and groaned as Dalton found a violent rhythm and punctuated his machinations with harsh slaps.
“You like my hard cock in that tight little ass?” Dalton said between hungry inhalations. “Tell me you love my cock.”
“I love your cock, Daddy,” Daniel said through tightly ground teeth. “I fucking love your cock in my hot little ass, Daddy. Fuck me harder. Fuck me harder. Fuck m…”
Dalton’s hand went instantly numb. He had struck Daniel so hard the jolt ran up his arm, but it had the desired effect. Daniel pushed his ass back into Dalton and kept him fully inside him. He ground his ass into Dalton’s crotch, working the hardness around, pressing it into just the right spot.
“I’m coming, Daddy. I’m coming. Oh, fuck! I’m… I’m… I’m… coming!”
Dalton reached around his lover and gripped his rock-hard cock, stroking it gently with a hard hand until he felt the member quiver and then erupt. He felt the hot cum drip over his fingers and continued milking Daniel until the tremors had left him. Then Dalton brought his cum-covered fingers to his mouth and licked them clean.
“You’re cum is so delicious baby,” Dalton said as he began to pump his hips again. He concentrated on the tightness of Daniel’s ass, the other man loose and limp now that he had come. It didn’t take long before his own orgasm was looming. “I’m going to come in your ass, baby, do you want that? Do you want my cum in your hot little ass?”
“Please!” Daniel begged. He looked over his shoulder at Dalton as he pleaded, “Please, Daddy, cum in my little ass. Fill me up with it. I want it all, Daddy. I need it.”
Dalton worked faster, his eyes closed as he focused on the perfect tightness around his cock. He felt the hot wave crash down from his center and flow like a boiling avalanche down and out through his pulsing dick. He shot his load into Daniel and grunted through gritted teeth, sucking in cold air and expelling fire.
“Yes, Daddy,” Daniel screamed. “Yes, give it to me. Give it all to me.”
Dalton pushed deep and held himself there until the last vestige of the climax receded. Then he pulled out and wrapped Daniel in a hug, kissing his lover gently on the shoulder and chuckling. “You really know how to make a shitty night better.”
“Isn’t that my job, lover?” Daniel turned around and kissed Dalton on the mouth softly. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up and into bed.”
Dalton dreamt of her. He dreamt of every murder victim he had ever seen, but never like this. He expected his mind to work through the facts like it normally did, imprinting the victim’s face into his mind and searing whatever information he had into his grey matter. Normally, it helped Dalton to work through the case, but tonight it was horribly different.
She was still alive. Dalton had never dreamt of the victims before they were killed, but tonight he was. He knew her name was Jennifer. He knew she was twenty-years-old and she liked to drink and party. He knew she liked the attention of men and was quick to get into bed with them. He knew she liked to try drugs and especially loved to get fucked while high on Molly. Dalton had no reason to know these things and yet he did. He knew it as completely as he knew his own past. This girl had reached out from the grave and injected her life’s story directly into his brain.
He could see Jennifer doing shots in some seedy downtown bar. The outside was a chipped and fading green, the paint so thick it looked like lizard skin on the door frames and window sills. Dalton knew the bar but the name eluded him. Music was playing too loud from the shitty speakers and Jennifer had to shout to be heard over the cacophony of thirty competing voices and the thumping music. She took another shot from a man old enough to be her father and downed it. She leaned forward and kissed him on the mouth, her tongue darting between his lips. She smiled and slid a hand down the front of his shirt and into the front of his pants.
“You’re so fucking hot,” Jennifer said. Her voice was heavy with alcohol and her eyes were half closed. “Take me somewhere and fuck me.”
The man smiles and grabs her hand. He leads her through the crowd and they exit the bar.
Dalton follows them like a ghost. He knows this isn’t just some crazy dream. It’s the final moments in Jennifer’s life.
They get into an older Cadillac. It’s from the late nineteen eighties but had either been meticulously restored or has always been well-cared for. The white paint gleams and reflects the yellow glare from the sodium-arc lights. Jennifer gets into the passenger side and comments about the soft leather of the seats. The man gets into the driver’s seat and starts the engine. Before he can pull away from the curb Jennifer’s head dips into his lap as she drunkenly fumbles for his penis. Within seconds she slips it into her mouth.
The Cadillac moves through the early morning fog like a ghost ship, the headlights illuminating little more than the white spectral vapor around them. Still, he moves with purpose and an intimate knowledge of the roads. He knows where he is going and is obviously in a rush to get there. His hands grip the wheel tightly as Jennifer works her skilled mouth over his cock. He grunts a little when he comes. A smile lifts the corner of his mouth and he wipes some sweat off his forehead. Jennifer gets up and leans her head against his shoulder.
“I like your dick,” she says. “It was so fucking hard. I love it when a dick gets real hard like that. I don’t know, it just makes me feel… appreciated, I guess. Does that make me sound crazy?”
“No,” the man says with a slight accent. It’s the first-time Dalton has heard his voice. “It makes you a whore.”
The words have venom in them. The anger pulls the accent out further and Dalton places it as a Louisiana drawl. Dalton doesn’t just hear the hatred in the man’s voice. He can physically feel it like some cancerous growth in his chest, greasy and rotten. The words enter Dalton’s ear and infect him with anger and prejudice and fear. He suddenly hates the girl and sees her as the physical embodiment of everything wrong with the world. Dalton wants to smash her face in. He wants to kill her slowly so she can suffer the same way the good people of this twisted, ruined world suffer every day because of people like her. He wants to rip the life out of her because she doesn’t deserve the gift. The anger fills Dalton until he thinks it might make him insane.
And just when the emotions reach a crescendo, an overwhelming calm washes over him. Dalton takes in a deep breath and steadies himself. He has the girl. He can take his time and do whatever her wants to her. She is going to pay, not just for her sins, but for those of every whore. She’ll pay for every single lascivious thought Dalton has ever had. Every moment he had an impure thought will become a mark on her flesh.
Dalton watches as his hand reaches out in the space between him and the girl. The man with the Louisiana accent is gone and now it’s just Dalton and Jennifer in the car. He grabs her by the hair and begins to laugh. Jennifer tries to pull away but the hand is tangled tightly and clamped shut. He isn’t going to let go and a sudden flash of panic washes over Jennifer’s pretty features. She struggles against the hand and begins to weep. Dalton laughs. He feels powerful.
“The Angel is going to love you,” Dalton says.
He sits up in bed covered in sweat. His heart pounds so angrily Dalton fears for a moment he might be having a heart attack. The tendrils of the dream hold on to him and threaten to drag him back into their horrible reality. He pulls in a couple deep breaths and looks around the familiar darkness of his bedroom. He listens to the calm sounds of his boyfriend sleeping next to him. With each passing second his heartrate slows down and calm is restored. The dream fades a little bit more, but Dalton knows he needs to remember.
He reaches for the notebook he keeps on the bedside table. It’s filled with dozens of pages of ramblings, all of them fragments of dreams. This isn’t the first time Dalton looked through the eyes of a killer. This strange ESP was inherited from his father and was both a gift and a curse. Dalton also knew it was an advantage, one which he intended to use as much as he could. Anything that helped him catch a killer was a tool he would use to his full advantage.
When Dalton was finished scribbling as much as he could remember about the dream he got up and went into the bathroom. He washed his face with cool water and drank from his cupped hands. He looked into the mirror and silently promised Jennifer he would stop her killer from taking another life. He wasn’t sure if she believed him, or if it was enough of a comfort to her just to bring the man to justice. It would have to do.
The bed was still warm when Dalton returned and slipped under the covers. He eased his head back and closed his eyes and listened to the gentle snoring coming from Daniel. He calmed his thoughts, emptied his mind and drifted back to sleep.