The effervescent lights swirled against the sinister sky. Everything about that evening had been massive, and ominous, very ominous… if only he had been mentally present enough to notice that the limo was a vessel traveling with a suspiciously soothing pace, ebbing and flowing with traffic gracefully. Again suspiciously there was an unfamiliar driver and the blacks of his vulture like eyes were startling when he wasn’t smiling, even more upsetting was as he watched Kingsley it was as if he was prepping to swoop in for his meal ticket. Then there were the strange knots in Kingsley’s stomach swirling and twisting – convulsing in a dance that urged him to slow down, urged him to pay attention to something, anything but the tunnel vision which threatened to blackout. The exuberant male had no concept of slowing down though. The smiling brunette and blonde doll-like women urged his recklessness on. Their clothes scantily hung from their frail bodies, and the liquor advocated Kingsley’s bad decisions.
Even as he momentarily let his mind stumble upon where he had found the two extraordinary females he couldn’t recall. He couldn’t place why the blurbs of images before his eyes felt wrong, couldn’t even place that they were wrong. Instead, the limo halted before a building as the engine fully cut. Two wine glasses and a scotch glass were quickly emptied as the predator-like driver approached the door. Each filed out slowly gaining their footing to ensure they didn’t fall. Tightly clinging to Kingsley’s lean body, aside from the females, was a black suit, and tie. The women were clad in heels, bringing them barely to his height. Slowly the golden amber of his eyes drank in the city. This surveying would typically be an assessment of his surroundings, something to ensure he hadn’t been followed, or to guarantee he wasn’t walking into a trap.
Tonight his dark lashes blinked away the facts as he walked forward into the towering building whose black panels reproduced many of the lively colors of the city. Even while walking in, in the reflection of the black panels anyone could still see the shadowed eyes and rigid lines of the limo driver’s face staring angrily towards Kingsley. The door was opened for them, and each of the girls cooed in excitement, before giddily babbled on. Kingsley was lost, a strange numbness taking his mind fully as they finally settled into the booth. The restaurant was one he frequented.
“Can we get a bottle?” the blonde chirped closely to his ear. He nodded, glancing towards her as their eyes connected.
“A bottle Claire!” the blonde yelped as the waiter stood their plain-faced.
“Moscato?” the brunette questioned.
“Ack, fine, and for you K?” she let her hand run down his shoulder, her feet tucked beneath her, even in a short skirt. His eyes eyed the hiked skirt, at the skin it exposed.
Just as he was about to speak a drink from a different bartender arrived for each of them on a tray. Two martini glasses settled on the table before them, and a second glass of scotch and a bottle were placed before Kingsley.
“From an admirer,” the thin women spoke with a smile. The first rigid waiter bowed slightly and promised his return at the sight of his co-worker.
Kingsley’s thick brown brows scrunched inward before furrowing down. Never had he been purchased a drink before, even if it was his ‘co-workers’ they knew better, knew what receiving drinks meant… it meant you were being watched. Kingsley leaned forward his elbows on the table, as his eyes hazily took in the restaurant. The lights were dim, one of the many reasons he liked the place, but it didn’t help when you were partially intoxicated and attempting to look for any watchers. Each of the girls again squealed in excitement as they began sucking down their free liquor, and for the first time that evening Kingsley knew something was drastically bad.
There was a metallic taste in his mouth, even if it was dry, and there was a prominent throb in his head. His vision was tipping and turning as his eyes blearily fluttered open. The process of thinking was more difficult than it should have been. As he tried to recall who had approached them in the familiar restaurant, he pushed his face up from the starchy and stiff carpet. A gooey cranberry colored liquid stained his thick but hardly worn in fingers. A low grunt of pain, and confusion escaped his lips as he shook his head. The chocolate brown hair of his shook in a wave before settling in a mess upon his head. Across his bare chest the same burgundy hue splashed across his lean body as if it were paint. He stood and steadied his balance while he took in his surroundings. It was familiar, all too familiar but memorable from his past. Nothing of Kingsley’s was there, at least nothing of his that he could see. The dingy bed was unmade, and splashes of dried cherry littered the bed… the wall. Horror crossed his face, Kingsley knew he had to move, to get out of there. Even if he had blacked out, he knew this was beyond his capacity. Quickly going to the bathroom he wet a wash cloth, and got off the splatters on his body, before washing the cloth down the toilet. Kingsley left, hailing a cab when he got to a busy enough street, even while shirtless. The good news was that at least his wallet was still in his back pocket, even if he had just seen a crime scene, and been a part of it….
“East fifth please, the faster I get there, the better your tip,” he barked out quickly.
The cab driver nodded, before turning back to the road, and putting his foot down heavily on the pedal. Kingsley patted himself down, located his phone, and began to attempt to piece the puzzle of last night together. Thumbing through his wallet he found that all of his money was present. Even a small businesslike card was tucked in there, it was new to him, and scribbled on it was, 'I sure hope you like surprises.'
No call was required for Pierce, still it came. Arising from his bed he had a small smirk present on his thin lips at the news. Something that only him and the small flecks of red still present on his brow would know why. He had been awake, anticipated when he should make his move. Pierce’s hands had acquired a tainted red color, almost as if he had been playing in Kool-Aid. Still his black suit was ensemble as per usual, laid out in preparation – he wanted to be early to make certain all was right with the scene. Everything was the same except for the five o’clock shadow which had been removed with the flecks. A few nicks rested on his neck, and a small dabbing paper had been placed on them to clot the flow of the coppery liquid. On a normal day, he might had muttered a curse here or there in reply to the sharp pain caused by the blade, but not today. Today he savored the good things. He savored the thought of the girl’s battered and bloodied body, the small card which they would find hidden nearly under the trash can off to the side of the body, the simple number 314 scrawled on the back, and the slick white surface of the bathroom’s floors tainted with the brightness of red.
A loud tune played in the background of his overactive yet tired thoughts. The sirens in his car nearly killed any sound of the music, but his deep sapphire colored eyes were on the road, even if they were really father away. They were replaying the scenes from the evening before, the slick yet simple way there were no strings attached for once. No links between him and the man who would be blamed for this. The anonymity of the internet never ceased to amaze him. Just a he had predicted, he was early, the beginnings of the mob had formed, but nothing compared to what it would be. He nodded to the locals who had quarantined the entrance of the hotel off, and flashed his badge. They knew him, all the people of the area knew his partner, and him. Hell, out of towner’s probably knew who they were as of recent with all the air time they had been witnessing.
“Another huh?” he glanced at the cop, allowing sadness to creep into his features, even if he was relishing every reaction he witnessed.
“Yea, pretty bad one too,” the local cop’s face was rigid, “A kid, in the guys bathroom, left.” The man was being overly helpful.
With that Pierce raised his brows in faux shock, he had gotten good at this faking thing over the past years of working as a detective. Pierce had given up on the rolling eyes in sadness or shock, he wasn’t about over doing it, but simply doing it. Again another cop pointed him in the direction of the scene. Before continuing Pierce approached a group of males, some cops, some workers, and most certainly the founder of the body. A silence fell over the group as he made a spot for himself.
“Varenkov, one of the lead detectives, did you quarantine this all off? Preserve the crime scene I hope?” there was a sense of seniority in his voice.
“Yessir, this is Mitchell Barren, he found the body dis’morning,” the cop Crews quieted as he let the man speak up.
“I just called the cops, that’s all, didn’t see no one, nothing,” Mitchell was shaking, clearly abhorred by what he saw, “You gon’ catch this bastard? Murdered a GOD DAMN kid. A KID!” he raised his voice, and the wideness of his eyes showed how clearly in shock he was.
“We are working on it sir, did someone already take your statement?” Pierce stayed level headed.
“Well, uh, I, uh, yea I think so,” he fumbled now his voice back to a reasonable level. Pierce glanced to Crews who nodded in assurance, “Alright Mr. Barren we may have a few more questions if you don’t mind waiting please, Crews will take you somewhere away from the scene.” Both the men nodded, and with that Pierce couldn’t stay away from his handy work any longer. Slowly approaching he took note of the smudged partial boot prints of blood, the paper, everything he had left behind, still perfectly in place. He wandered a time, taking notes and examining his work but waiting for Wheeler to get there.
A mere ten minutes had felt like an hour, and when she finally did arrive Pierce attempted to put himself back into shock mode. Cops knew things about their partners, and he was hoping that she was either tired enough, or he was good enough at hiding stuff, that she still hadn’t caught onto him. Approaching her, he tapped a pen against a small pad of paper in his hand that had been unpacked from his pocket in the process of examining the scene, and shook his head slightly for the show.
“I think he’s finally screwed up, Wheeler,” Pierce said as he let his tongue slide over his teeth. Nodding his head he began back towards the scene, “C’mon.” The pen and paper had been tucked back into his pocket. “I left it as is, so you could get a good look at it, all of it. And it is certainly a little out of character for him, if you ask me,” he glanced at her for her input, even if she had just arrived.
This scene was worlds different than that last. A child, more spree than calculating and planned – but that was what he had wanted. Something that would explain the slip up, explain why it was suddenly so easy to track it back to somewhere, even if it was for a time a dead end, it would make it easier to bring back down on Kingsley later in the chase. The hotel had a fake name for Kingsley, and there weren’t camera’s in this part of the district. So this would be one of the many stepping stones to the end goal – a ‘killer’.