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All The Lies: Chapter 13


Injustice in the end produces independence.


I’m half asleep when I feel a body sliding over mine and lips strumming my cheek. At first, I just lie there, feeling the warmth of the other person, but then my eyes fly open and my hand shoots out, ready to slam into—

My eyes widen as Lana catches my wrist with a stronger grip than I thought her capable of, and yanks her head back, her eyes widening in shock as she barely dodges my swing.

“Fuck!” I shout, jerking upright as she straddles me. “I’m so sorry! What the hell? I didn’t—”

She starts laughing, confusing the hell out of me.

“I guess that was a stupid way to wake you up when you didn’t go to sleep without me,” she says, smiling now as she drops my wrist and tosses her arms around my neck.

I’m almost shaking with how close I came to nearly hitting her. Thank fuck she has good reflexes.

“Damn it, Lana, I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be,” she says, grinning as she brushes her lips over mine. “At least I don’t have to worry about some other woman seducing you when I’m away.”

I groan, returning her kiss as my body continues to quake. “You’d never have to worry about that anyway. I told you I don’t love easily,” I murmur against her lips.

She kisses me harder, her fingers threading through my hair. Just as she starts grinding against me, my door swings open, and a feminine curse is spewed.

“Sorry!” Lisa’s voice is like a wet blanket over both our libidos.

“I’ll bet,” Lana grumbles, looking over her shoulder as I sigh and hold her to me. She doesn’t even make a move to get off me, which is fine by me.

“What?” I ask Lisa, who has the grace to look embarrassed.

“Really, I’m sorry. I didn’t know Lana was here.”

“So it’s okay for you to walk into my boyfriend’s room without knocking if I’m not here?” Lana asks her with an eerily cold tone.

I frown, looking at Lana’s face. It’s devoid of all emotion, and it’s as though she’s hiding the anger she’s feeling too easily. What the hell?

Lisa draws my attention when she rolls her shoulders back, a smirk coming over her lips.

Ah, hell.

“I guess old habits die hard, considering I used to walk into his room all the time. Sometimes we forget we’re not together anymore.”

Fucking immature bullshit.

I never forget,” I decide to point out, only to keep Lana from thinking otherwise, because she should honestly know I’d never do anything with Lisa.

Lana doesn’t move, her posture never changes, and for some reason, a twisted grin tugs at one corner of her mouth.

“Do you now?” Lana asks quietly. “I suppose I could remind you some time.”

Hadley clears her throat, glaring at Lana as she shoulders by Lisa and walks on into the room. I’m really glad everyone is seeing Lana on my lap while I’m in bed with nothing but a pair of boxers on.

Great professionalism.

“Lisa, you really shouldn’t try to piss her off when you don’t even have any true interest in Logan,” Hadley sighs.

She casts a warning glare at Lana for some reason, then directs her attention to me.

“Sheriff called a town meeting in the park. Said he wants everyone there. They’re about to send every single citizen in town out on a search for Kyle, now that there’s daylight.”

Kyle was taken right after sunset yesterday, and in a vehicle. There’s no chance of us finding him in the woods, but the sheriff refuses to believe a car was involved because nobody says they saw a vehicle.

I think he underestimates this town’s fear.

I also think he overestimates his son’s value to this town.

“In that case, do you think you two could get out of here so I can get some clothes on?”

Lisa snorts. “Like I haven’t seen you in less.”

Lana’s smile only grows, but it’s actually kind of creepy, as though she’s plotting something nefarious for Lisa.

“I’ll get her out of here,” Hadley says to Lana, then points a finger. “Nothing happens.”

Lana shrugs and turns to face me, while Hadley berates Lisa. As their voices fade, Lana gets more comfortable on my lap, and I kiss her before she can say anything.

“I’m sorry,” I murmur against her lips as I break the kiss. “Lisa’s a bitch.”

“She’s just used to women and men letting her say whatever she wants with no consequences. I’ve dealt with the mean girl types before. All bark. No bite. But lots of tears.”

I tilt my head, studying her. She seems…off. As though she’s distanced herself somehow.

“Hey, you okay?” I ask her seriously, searching her eyes.

It’s like they’re colder. Almost eerie.

“Long night,” she says on a sigh, running her finger down my cheek. “But I’m feeling better by the second. It’s like you’re magical or something, reminding me I’m human.”

I have no idea what that means, but it’s obvious she’s hurting and trying to close herself off right now.

“What happened?” I ask, cupping her face.

Her eyes instantly glisten as they warm, and she blinks rapidly like she’s holding back tears.

“Nothing,” she says with a brittle smile. “Just not a lot of sleep. I wanted to get back to you as soon as possible.”

I kiss her again, feeling her slowly relax in my arms, as though she’s shedding whatever wall was weirdly between us for a moment. Her kiss is searching, as though she needs something only I can provide. But before I can deepen it, my phone goes off, reminding me there’s a lot of work today, and I’ve only had about two hours of sleep.

Groaning, I break the kiss, resting my forehead against hers. “As soon as this day is over, we’re going to resume that kiss. Hadley has a lot of forensics to go through in the far cabin today. Stay with her.”

“I love how protective you are,” she says softly.

Her eyes meet mine, and I try again to decipher what’s going on in her head. It’s like she’s waged a war with herself, but she’s not telling why. I almost want to ditch this day and just spend it in bed with her, wishing I could offer her the same escape she’s so often given me.

“Go,” she says on a sigh as she stands, straightening her red shirt. She’s worn red almost every day since we’ve been here. Or maybe it has been every day.

“Why so much red?” I ask her, fingering the hem of her shirt as she stands.

“I just tossed a bunch of clothes in my bag. Apparently I picked stuff from my red section.”

She flashes a smile, rolling her eyes.

“You have a red section?”

“I have a massive closet. Has to be organized somehow.”

She skips out of the room, and I stand, running a hand through my hair. I don’t even have time to take a shower to wake me up, since my phone won’t shut the hell up.

As I leave the cabin, I glance down, catching a glimpse of Lana as she disappears inside our temporary headquarters.

Leonard is waiting for me when I get outside.

“Problems?” he asks, his eyes on the far cabin where Lana and Hadley are inside.


He snorts and gets in, and I start pulling out.

“Lisa looked pleased with herself when she left.”

“She’s a pain in the ass.” Quickly, I also tell him the details of the wonderful fucking morning I’ve already had.

“What’d Lana do?”

“Smiled at her and made a snide remark, but there was no bite to her tone. It was actually sort of weird. There was no aggression. Almost any other woman would have flown off the handle if my ex stalked in and stirred shit like Lisa did. Then again, Lana always surprises me with her reactions.”

“Takes a lot control to not react in the heat of the moment,” Leonard says, though it sounds like he’s saying it more to himself than me. “Can I ask you something?”

I shrug.

“How do you really feel about our killer? If you found out her identity today and heard her out, would you really be able to lock her away, knowing there’d never be any justice without her?”

My brow furrows. “Justice isn’t torturing and killing a bunch of people, Leonard.”

“Pretend you’re not FBI for just a minute. Pretend you’re a person who has witnessed the worst in humanity, and seen good in the monsters.”

“I’m not following,” I tell him as we pull up to the street that is blocked off. Cars are everywhere, so we’re forced to park at the rear.

“My sister’s best friend, Katie, once dated a drug dealer,” he says randomly, and I twist in my seat, arching an eyebrow at him.

He stares me in the eye as he continues. “He never sold to kids, always held his distance from the drug life when he was home, and if any of his guys sold to a kid, their bodies would be found floating in the river, minus their heads, hands, and feet.”

“Awesome choice in men,” I say, confused.

He rolls his eyes. “At first glance, anyone would say that. But not one kid in his city could get their hands on drugs. No outsiders would even sell to a kid from that city for fear of what he’d do to them. But Katie? He never touched her. In fact, he fucking worshiped her, treated her like a queen, and every day he came home to her, swearing she saved him from his demons.”

“Where are you going with this?” I ask, still confused.

“Katie was oblivious to what he did for a living, even though most of the city knew. She was always safe. The cops turned their heads, simply because if you get one dealer behind bars, another one pops up, and this guy wouldn’t deal to kids. Better the devil you know and all that.”

He blows out a heavy breath.

“He eventually got picked up on a misdemeanor, because not all cops believed in the ‘devil you know’ logic. Two weeks after his lock-up, Katie found out the truth. She felt betrayed. She was furious. She broke things off, and a new dealer moved into town. Within three weeks, ten kids between twelve and fifteen had died of an overdose.”

“So you’re saying that it’s better to let one dealer keep doing illegal shit as long as he’s not selling to kids?” I ask, still wondering where any of this is coming from.

“I’m saying, bad shit is in the world. But some of the monsters have morals, where others are pure evil. Katie moved on after a few months, found a guy with a nice normal job and life. He went to work at the accounting firm, but when he came home, he’d beat the hell out of her. She left him twice, and twice he hunted her down and made her pay. She pressed charges, and the cops let it slide, since he had no priors and Katie had been involved with a known drug dealer.”

His lips tense, and I bristle.

“I had to step in when my sister called. I threatened the piece of shit, even used my status as leverage. Didn’t stop him. And the cops didn’t arrest him even after he put her in the hospital with half a dozen broken bones.”

“What happened?” I ask, leaning forward.

“The drug dealer ex got out of jail after a year. He found Katie, and the cops found the abusive accountant. Well, they found his body floating with no head, hands, or feet. They also found the new dealer in the city a few weeks after that—same shape, if you know what I mean. Katie is married to him with three kids, and he still treats her like gold, while running a business that makes most furious. Katie learned that what you do for a living doesn’t determine if you’re a monster. And a killer can sometimes be more gentle than a man who’s never killed before. I guess I’m saying I wouldn’t fault our killer, because she could be worse, and these people, Logan… These people are fucked up. And how do you arrest an entire law enforcement department?”

I settle back in my seat and stare out my window, letting his words slowly register.

“Why did you tell me all that?”

He pushes his door open. “Katie subdued the real monster by loving the man and accepting all of him. I’m saying I hope our girl has someone doing the same for her, otherwise, she may lose herself to all of this. And it won’t be the ending she deserves.”

I should kick him off this case for admitting that. He wants her to get away with it.

For some reason, I just get out of the car instead, and keep my mouth shut.

Donny approaches, and Leonard stiffens, possibly worried that I’m about to announce the fact he’s compromised and shouldn’t be on this case.

“What do you have?” I ask him.

Leonard relaxes as Donny answers. “Kyle Davenport is one twisted son of a bitch,” Donny says under his breath.

“I’m well aware. I mean, what is the sheriff speaking about?” I ask dryly.

“Wanting to find his son, and reminding the town he owns everything here, so if someone is helping the killer hide, they’re going to regret it. He blatantly threatens the entire town, abusing his authority, and Johnson is letting it go. I can’t even process this.”

“Kyle Davenport really is sick,” Lisa says as she joins us, her eyes finding mine and holding my gaze.

“So are you,” I growl. “Ever try that shit on Lana again, and I’ll make sure they demote you to some bullshit unit that deals mostly in paperwork and isolation.”

Her eyes widen, and everyone around us shifts awkwardly.

“What about Kyle?” I ask Donny, moving my eyes away from Lisa.

Fuck it. I’ll have her ass shipped to another unit regardless.

“You mean other than he vanished into thin air? Well, let’s see, over five women have already told us this morning what he did to them in the Haunted House over the years. The girlfriend met us in private, saying usually he makes a second girl join them on the nights he gets really drunk. She’s broken up with him three times, and has ended up in the ER three times.”

Leonard’s gaze swings to mine, and my lips tense. Something tells me he already knew that.

“So he’s an abusive bastard with a fetish for raping women. We can all agree that he doesn’t deserve to keep breathing clean air. Now I’m asking if there’s any news about him.”

They all shake their heads, and I walk around, wondering if anyone on the team is willing to put this girl behind bars if we manage to find her.

I even question it myself.

But this is a proxy killer. Has to be. No one was personally invested in these people enough to have revenge on a personal level. That makes her twice as dangerous, because she’ll find another target to obsess over, and she’ll eventually kill innocent people for minor infractions.

It sucks.

It really sucks.

But she can’t just walk away from this.

She’ll probably end up in an asylum as opposed to prison, but she sure as hell is too dangerous to leave on the streets, no matter what personal quandaries we’re all suffering over this.

The entire team is compromised by this point, because the victims make it hard to be compassionate. It’s the future I’m most worried about.

“Now get out there and find my damn son, or I swear this town will never sleep again!” the sheriff shouts, his face red as a bloated tomato on the verge of exploding.

“We need to deliver our profile to the psych hospitals in the surrounding areas,” I say as the people listen to the sheriff rant for a few more minutes.

“If our unsub was mentally unstable, they wouldn’t have the control to pull this off,” Leonard argues.

“A partner changes everything. There’s always a dominant in the partnership. This time, however, the dominant figure isn’t the actual killer.”

“Then who is?” Elise asks.

“Send someone back to Jacob Denver’s house. Something was off when we paid him a visit,” I tell them.

“It can’t be him,” Leonard sighs. “This partner would have had to be able to aid in painting these messages and all the other crazy shit. Jacob isn’t physically capable of any of that. You saw the medical records.”

“Our—I mean the killer, wouldn’t have needed Jacob’s help for that. He could have just masterminded all this,” I point out.

Leonard gives me a grim look before shaking his head like he’s disappointed. Then he walks away.

“What’s his deal?” Donny asks, confused.

“He’s having a rough day,” I lie, unsure why I’m even lying.

Just as the crowd is about to disperse on a fruitless trek through the woods to look for Kyle, the church bells blare their song.

My brow furrows, and I tilt my head, wondering why bells would sound at six-fifteen in the morning. Usually they only chime on the hour.

There’s a large, curious looking tarp-like bag hanging from the bell tower of the church.

There’s a suspicious looking rope tied to one of the clock hands on the tower, and I watch as it clicks down to six-sixteen, and something suddenly swings out of the bag.

A collective gasp sounds out seconds before screams break across the park. People heave, spin away from the sight, and several start running like fire is on their heels.

The sheriff staggers, his eyes wide, his skin pale, and his legs weak. He crashes against a deputy who helps steady him. The deputies who aren’t stunned to their spots are racing toward the church, along with Lisa and Donny.

Even my stomach roils as I stare at the tower in complete horror.

I’m not sure if it’s Kyle Davenport I see hanging, considering there’s not a piece of flesh to make him identifiable, but everyone here has the same conclusion.

Even if we can’t identify him, we all know it’s him.

The rope holds his neck, and his naked, fleshless body dangles from the tower as the bells chime on. If she wanted to make a statement that would incite a full-blown panic, she just won that war.

Then again, the mastermind probably planned this.

They knew this park would be crowded down with people at this time, even though the meeting was impromptu. They know the sheriff. They knew what he would do before he even did it.

The castrated corpse sways, crashing against the brick on occasion. And I can’t look away.

Who is capable of something this depraved and dark without being psychotic?

“Still think she should have a happy life?” I ask quietly as Leonard swallows audibly.

“I expected him to be found in the worst condition,” he says on a breath. “He orchestrated it all.”

I shake my head. “This is someone with a psychosis so deep, they feel they have the right to do this, even though they themselves were never wronged personally.”

“And if your sister had ever been subjected to Kyle Davenport, would you feel this was too much?” Leonard asks, a hard edge to his voice.

“I don’t have a sister,” I say before walking toward the chaos.

Elise hobbles up next to me, and I slow down so she doesn’t have to struggle to keep up. “You think this was the endgame?” Elise asks, looking over at the gruesome sight before flicking her gaze back to me.

It seems unlikely this was the end, considering the unsub isn’t displaying the usual signs of devolvement.

“I honestly don’t know.”

Lisa comes jogging up to us, her color curiously puce. She looks like she’s on the verge of being sick.

“Skinned and castrated?” I ask her.

She nods, swallowing hard. “All ten fingers are missing as well.”

That should have been a given.

“There was one new thing besides the complete flaying,” she says, grimacing.


“The eyes were sewn open.”


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