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Chicago. James, Special Agent of the F.B.I., investigates with his colleague Sarah on a very complex case. A race against time, where a series of bizarre murders threatens the safety of the community. A journey full of twists, where the characters will find themselves chasing a trail of death that will lead them to a disturbingconclusion. -
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Simone Turri, Daniela Mecca "The Tattooist" ©GDS PUBLISHING
Via G. Matteotti, 23
20069 Vaprio d'Adda (MI)
tel. 02 9094203
Cover illustration by Fotolia "Corpse body morgue, dead, murder, killer" ©LaCozza
Project cover ©Iolanda Massa
All rights reserved.
I believe that humanity is born from conflict. Maybe that's why we all have a dark side. Some choose to support him, others have no choice, the rest of us fights. But in the end, it is as natural as the air we breathe. At one point, we are forced to face the truth, all of us. For me, that day has come.
Special Agent of the F.B.I., James Sunderland, had just returned home after a long day of stakeouts, pending investigations, paperwork to fix. Only wanted to warm up the Chinese food in the microwave, have a beer, watch any program on TV and then go to sleep.
He lived in the two-room apartment furnished, rented for a few hundred dollars a month, ever since, three years ago, his wife Marita died in a car accident while returning home from a meal eaten in solitude, due of the odious work that kept him always very busy.
James has never forgiven the fact that he had a fight with her the same evening of the accident; if only he had been more present Marita probably would not die and they would still be together. In his mind he revolved the images of when had occurred at the accident site: she was locked up inside the car, with the curved upper body forward towards the steering wheel and the skull stuck in the windshield. The blood still dripping on her face hidden by hair besmeared exposing her left eye lifeless. The cause of the accident remained unknown because no evidence was found that would establish the collision with other vehicles. While he thought of those bad times, he was brought back to reality by the ringing of the microwave in which he had put the noodles and the insistent ringing of his cell phone.
Was the venue that requires his presence on the scene of a crime took place on the other side of the city.
Melissa Richardson, forty, white complexion, eyes and brown hair. Administrative employee of a multinational information technology company, divorced, no children. She was found half-naked in his apartment, glued at the dining room table, with a showy written on the belly which read: "LOOK AT ME".
James arrived at the scene in a flash and made her way through the small crowd of onlookers and the police officers who were talking with colleagues at headquarters. Stepped over the yellow safety strips that bounded the area and entered the six story building in a Victorian style.
To intrigue him were two words that his colleague, Sarah Gomez, had told him just before on the phone: glued and tattooed. While the guard officers appeared at every floor, intent on interrogate the tenants, James climbed the last few steps that separated him from the apartment of the victim. As soon as he crossed the threshold glimpsed Sarah and Duncan Harris, F.B.I. medical pathologist, intent on examining the corpse.
The dining room appeared untouched, not a thing out of place. The woman's body was fastened to the wooden table, with her feet and her back glued and legs spread wide to show sex. James walked over to the body and stood for a few moments and fix the words "LOOK AT ME" on Melissa's belly.
Another detail that caught his attention was the face that smiled mockingly, almost amused, that had been made more open by two deep cuts on the sides of the lips who continued on her cheeks, highlighting her tongue hanging held by a row of perfect teeth.
«About time!» Sarah began with a wink.
«Never a moment's peace, eh?» James said «Hello Duncan! Once we should meet in more relaxing circumstances, perhaps for a beer!» She said, smiling, meeting his watchful eye of a bookworm. Duncan remained focused and just grunted, continuing to take samples of tissue and stale blood from the corpse.
«Then, what about James?» Sarah asked, as soon as she was secluded in a corner of the room with him.
«That inscription tattooed do not like it at all; not to mention the chilling smile, with that tongue between her teeth!» he confided fixing her straight in the eye. «We are faced with a sadistic, murderous psychopath.»
«I made sure to gather information from all the tenants of the building, if they had seen or heard something, but we do not have anything yet. I have already prepared a search on relatives and acquaintances of the victim. You'll have a full report by tomorrow evening.»
«Too late, Sarah. We do for tomorrow. We have no time to lose, if it's what I think» James said softly.
«What do you mean?» She asked with a raised eyebrow, anxious to know the answer of the colleague.
«We do not yet know the motive, but I think we will have news from him soon. Always if acting alone!» He said, leaving the room to check in person the rest of the apartment. A spacious and functional kitchen, a bathroom where only the presence of a single woman could make it so flawless, a utility room no bigger than a shower and a bedroom that would be said to belong to a princess of the past, never grew.
«Agent Sunderland! Maybe somebody saw something!» Said a young agent who appeared in the doorway, drenched in sweat, as if he were returning from an obstacle course.
«Who is it?» He asked, noting the name R. Scott on the nameplate of the uniform.
«The lady who lives downstairs. She speaks of a cat and a clown. I do not know how much will be useful, but ... »
James did not give to agent Scott time to finish the sentence that he rushed down the stairs to see themselves that possible track.
Sarah Gomez followed him at wheel, at the risk of tripping over itself and breaking his neck.
The apartment below was to Madleen Moore, octogenarian sympathetic but, at first glance, a tad late with the mind.
«Good evening, Mrs. Moore, I'm FBI Special Agent Gomez and I need to ask you some questions about what happened what happened upstairs» Sarah began trying to establish a relationship of trust to put at ease the old woman.
«All right. Ask as well, if I can be of help ... » Madleen Moore said.
«What's happened? What did you hear?»
«Blackie, my cat, he felt the presence of someone and started to meow nervously looking in the direction of the front door. I immediately approached to look through the peephole and saw a masked figure as a clown, holding a knife that he made slid on his long tongue; then nothing!»
«Do you remember the sounds, smells, maybe?» Sarah continued, casting a knowing look toward James.
«No, I'm sorry. I remember nothing else! Now, if you please, I would like to go to rest.»
«Certainly, Mrs. Moore, I think for the moment is enough» Sara said moving away from the door of the Mrs.
«What do you think?» She asked, turning to her colleague.
«We need to learn more about that clown and the written tattooed. Now I talk to her and we see if I can get something more concrete!» He said as he knocked at the Madleen's door .
«Mrs. Moore, I'm sorry for the trouble, but I need to ask you some more questions.»
«Again?» She said as she opened the door, «It's the third time I repeat this story! I'm retired for ten years and I live in my apartment on the fifth floor, to River Street, with my cat Blackie. It is very smart and quickly realize if there is something wrong.» She said, breaking off to take the air with the small blue fan embroidered of colored beads.
«Go on, please» he urged, as he stared her carefully with his piercing gray eyes.
«I was sitting in front of TV with the cat in her lap when, at some point, he jumped down from my knees and began to meow and blow in the direction of the door. I got up from his chair to go to peek through the peephole, as I always do when I hear noises, and saw a person dressed as a clown climb slowly up the stairs» the woman said stiffened for fear that the remembrance caused her.
«Do not worry Mrs. Moore. Want some water?» Sunderland agent asked politely.
«No thanks, it does not need. The clown must have sensed my presence because he slowly approached the door, tilting the head to one side, as if it were attracted by something.»
«It was dark, with a mocking smile I will never forget. She had purple curls, his eyes were surrounded by blue and a red potato nose. He wore dark clothes that I can not describe due to the poor lighting that was on the landing.»
«Great! What happened next?» James asked to her continuing to take notes on his notebook.
«As I said to his colleague, he was holding a knife that he passed on the tongue, always looking in my direction as if to inform me that he is aware of my presence."
"She does not remember anything else? He can tell me how he was the knife?»
«I only noticed the glint of the blade that reflected the dim light of the landing. I got scared and I retract; after a while I tried to peek again but was whisked away without making any noise.»
«For now we're done, Mrs. Moore. I would ask you not to leave the city for the next few days, but to remain available in case we need to ask you some questions. If you were remind something, do not hesitate to call us; at any time of day or night.» he said, handing her a business card that the woman put in her purse, after having scrutinized carefully.
«Of course, do not worry agent. Goodbye!» She greeted him with her hand as he closed the door.
The two officers returned to headquarters and James, once stayed alone in his office, loosened his tie and stretched his legs under the desk thinking about the freshly harvested statements.
Despite many years of service, within himself still he could not conceive how a human being could enjoy making harm to another.
By now it was late but had no desire to return home and decided to stop at the "Summer Night", the bar on the fifth, where for years he had fled when he needed to escape with the mind. That night his thoughts were not facing Marita, his tragic death, and how much she missed, but reworked the information acquired on the case Richardson. He imagined the horrific violence suffered by woman and the savagery from which he could not break free. The interweaving of the various dowels that made up the intricate puzzle hovered in front of him lining up in a sort of scheme: the detail of the clown mask disturbed him very much, but not like the word tattooed and the absence of blood in the victim's body.
James kept wondering what message he wanted to send the murderess and to whom. There would been a sequel or was merely a settling of scores with someone uncomfortable?
He was so immersed in his conjectures, that he had not realized he had drunk four Margaritas and one Scotch, he had paid the bill, had climbed in the car and that he had returned home unharmed. He noticed it only when he found himself in front of the front door fumbling with the keys in an attempt to open it. Once entered, he took off his clothes, lay down on the bed and turned off the light, ready to face another sleepless night full of restlessness.
Sarah and James worked together from about three years. From the professional point of view they had been in tune from the start; they understood themselves immediately, without even need to talk. They were able to solve many cases and was not a mystery to anyone that she shagged there shamelessly with him, without getting anything more than a simple working relationship between civil colleagues. Sarah was an expert marksman, very precise in his work, excellent support in the field, James, however, was the team's mind: memory for faces and experienced in tracing truly amazing psychological profiles, skilled in interrogation, and with an excellent flair that distinguished him from the crowd.
Short straight hair and graying, piercing gray eyes that combined neatly with a reassuring smile that put everyone at ease and a deep voice, but sharp.
By the disappearance of Marita he had not been with another woman, unable to feel anything more than friendship for a human being of the opposite sex.
It was well aware of the obvious court that Sarah made to him from some time, but would not give in to the situation so as not to risk compromising the wonderful relationship of trust, respect and complicity that had been created.
Sarah was a lovely girl, he admitted this: straight hair that reached down to his shoulders, dark eyes like a true Puerto Rican, beautiful sinuous and graceful body, a persuasive voice from enchantress.
James was not able to sleep that night, still brooding and making assumptions about the case. It was five-fifteen in the morning, and shortly thereafter he should go to the FBI headquarters to take stock of the situation based on the evidence that emerged at the crime scene.
He decided to get up to take a hot shower and then leave the house while the last shadows of the night, they fled to hide itself the presence of the new rising sun in the cold and foggy morning.
He made a brief stop by Smith's to allow himself the usual watered down coffee, served in a paper cup, and went to the FBI headquarters, where he was surprised to find already at work Sarah and Duncan talking animatedly among themselves, listened very interest from Morgan, the supervisor .
James came into the office giving a good morning to everyone with a nod, not to interrupt the debate, but was urged by Morgan, who greeted him on a so visibly upset.
«But where have you been? I've searched you like crazy, to tell you to come here right away!» Sarah said settling a nudge to the forearm when James took his seat beside her.
«I have removed the ringing of the phone last night because I needed to rest and completely isolate myself from the rest of the world. You know very well that I adopt this expedient when I do not know what to do about a case! And then I did not know you were my nanny darling!» He replied ironically giving her a slight pinch in his left side and making her blush instantly.
«Since we're all here now, I would give the floor to Duncan, who has definitely some important news about the case Richardson. Please Duncan, the floor is yours» Morgan added coming down from the small podium with the American intelligence emblem and sitting two chairs after the James's one.
«All right, good morning to all. I regret have you had to wake at night, but the marks found on the body of Richardson, deserved an immediate interest» he said, scratching his bald spot in obvious discomfort. It was the kind of man used to reflect in solitary silence and not to expose conjectures and facts before an audience of agents curious to know. He worked in that team for four years now, but had not yet shaken off that sense of suffocation that he felt every time he had confer in public.
Duncan had just turned forty years, was a reserved person, never behind the times as to clothing, trapped between the sixties and eighties. He wore rimless round glasses and bushy mustache that were used to cover a scar on his upper lip caused by a childhood fall. He still lived with his mother and did not feel right to leave her alone, especially after the death of his father years before because of a fulminating stroke to the left hemisphere of the brain. Duncan was the kind of man who washed only at weekends, so as not to waste too much water otherwise the mother got angry and always put his shirt into his pants combined with the inevitable bow tie. He had never had any approach to the opposite sex and who gave all of himself to the study, reading and science.
«Mrs. Richardson died between eighteen and twenty. The writing was carried out with a pipette tip for tattoos and who has carried out that design is a professional in all respects. The blood on the belly, in reality, is a pigment for creating tattoos, while that little found around the lower part of the bust is due to repeated penetration with a blunt instrument, since they were not found "vital" tracks within the body. The woman's face was manipulated with some tools, I would say, from dental orthodontics and the victim died of bleeding. The culprit has not left any trace on the body of Melissa and, unfortunately, no fingerprints. Not even the clown mask found next to the body can be helpful in deciphering the slightest detail about the murderer. The perpetrator, or perpetrators that they are, is a professional» Duncan concluded visibly shaken by that macabre report, commented with a general silence broken by the agent Sunderland.
«I propose to verify between Melissa's knowledge to know of his movements, of which local attending, practically I want to know everything about that woman» he mused aloud James.
«Because he used a tattoo? What binds him to this world? I shall undertake research in the world of tattoos» he suggested Sarah exposing his intentions without lifting the face from the block on which she was finishing to take notes.
«We need to find out the meaning of the words "LOOK AT ME". Our "Unknown Subject" must refer to someone or something in particular. If we do not act quickly, we might also expect, from here soon, a second victim» Morgan concluded, standing in valedictory nod and then shut himself in his office.
«What intuition, guys! Who would ever think it?» James remarked ironically winking at Sarah, who was limited to admonish him with his eyes, knowing well the disagreements occurred between him and the supervisor. The dispute between the two men lasted for years and concerned, according to James, a cover-up of evidence by Morgan in one of the most difficult cases in which FBI is put itself: the serial killer Madison Harper, better known as "the monk" because of the role of bishop who held in the Newport Cathedral. Morgan, at that time colleague at par of James, had been corrupted by the Roman Curia to conceal the most indiscreet details of the rituals that the monk performed against his victims. In return he obtained to replace the then head of the Bureau, Tom Garrathy, found lifeless in his home, in circumstances never fully clarified, a few weeks after the execution of monk.
At first, James had thought to request a transfer to another office, embittered and disappointed, but had to admit that such a move would have obscured his image inside the organ federal and, what priority, would allow to Morgan to claim victory to have removed him.
James was too valuable and indispensable element for the team and, for sure, would patiently and wisely waited for the best time to destroy him as soon as he would have had the chance.
After reading the detailed report he had drawn up Sarah, they came out together from the office, got into the car and went back to the crime scene.
«Seriously, what do you think about all this?» James asked to her as soon as they had taken Router Street, immersing himself in the city traffic. It was strange that he asked it to her point-blank, with so few elements at their disposal. Usually it was a taciturn and thoughtful, hardly he overbalances himself, especially at the beginning of an investigation.
«Nothing good, we could all be targets of a psychopath with a long tongue. You had also thought about it, is not it?» She asked nervously biting his lower lip, waiting for his classic gesture of assent with his head which arrived promptly.
«It might be far-fetched hypothesis or the right track, who knows. But I think we'll find something that will take us in the right direction. Also because he told us to look at. It depends on what we have to look or who, as long as the invitation is reported to us.»
They came after a quarter of an hour to the Melissa's apartment, they overtake the yellow security tape and entered in the building who appeared silent, spooky and too cold to get confused among the dozens of the city's skyline.
James entered for first in that place that still smelled of violence, sweat and anger. Sarah followed him cautiously, starting to patrol the living room looking for some particular clue that would put them on a possible lead.
Melissa appeared smiling and happy in the framed photographs, placed on display on the sideboard. From browsed books on the shelves, Sarah was able to deduce that it was a romantic and a dreamer woman, attracted by psychology textbooks, probably to make up for the lack of higher education. Surely lived a life rich in friendship, but the loneliness that took possession of her as soon as he crossed the threshold of the house, had become unbearable, like that of Sarah. You could guess it from manic cleaning and perfect order which reigned there. James meanwhile was in the kitchen that noted every detail, with latex-gloved hands he opened shelves, drawers and budge objects from shelves and shelves, but without finding anything useful.
«I try to take a look in the rooms. You continues here in the living room and then take care of the bathroom» James said passing by Sarah who at that time was leafing through a family album.
«Ok. However we should have a chat with ex-husband this afternoon. Maybe he knows something» she said without taking his eyes from the album.
If there was one thing he could not bear about James was his gigantic ego at work, even when it was not necessary. It was well aware of the difference of experience between them, but there was no need that he always treated her like a schoolgirl novice.
Sarah put away the photo album and went into the bathroom. He noticed there too the extreme elegance of the materials chosen for the furnishings, as in the living room she had appreciated the dark oak and briar root that matched with luxurious Persian carpets, so he did for light blue tiles veined of white that covered the toilet. A Jacuzzi was displayed in the far left corner and a dressing table framed pure gold reflected her tired and lacking image of sleep. Most probably the apartment where he lived Melissa was the marital home, she deduced that because a simple employee of the items would not be able to afford certain luxuries, unless they had been wealthy family.
James pried between the drawers of linen, moving clothes, opened lockers and bedside tables. The man was impressed by the multitude of photographs hanging in the living room and in the bedroom that depicting her without his knowledge. Someone loved to photograph her, maybe the person that Melissa was attending at that time, probably just the murderess, judging from the front door, with no signs of forced entry.
Melissa Richardson did not have many jewels at first glance: a few earring of little value, a couple of bracelets and a necklace in white gold with a pendant shaped like a seahorse that had set a shining tiny pebble for eye.
James found in the closet, behind a countless number of shoes, a packet of letters addressed to Melissa, shipped regularly every week from a certain Thobias Pinkler, 565 Jefferson Street, Chicago. He decided to put them in a plastic bag to make them analyze to the operational headquarters. Perhaps this Thobias was her boyfriend, and maybe the necklace a token of love.
Sarah did not have much luck, in fact, in the bathroom there were the classic feminine objects, some ordinary medication and nothing more.
Both went back into the living room to take stock of the situation and they decided that James would pass from headquarters to analyze the letters and chat with Thobias; while Sarah was going to talk to the former husband of Melissa bringing with her the photograph album.
She woke with a start due to a terrifying nightmare: a clown with purple hair began to approach with its long and hungrily tongue. Outside it was raining heavily and the sound of rain pattering outside, increased her melancholy. She thought of the sad moments just passed and those who would come soon. What had she done so severe as to unleash the beast? Why would not go away and that's it? She knew she could not handle her as it was ruthless, cruel, heartless nor soul.
The bed on which she slept for a long time was constructed with wooden planks, arranged in interlocking with each other, so as to form a mattress hard and dry, not convenient. At first it was hard to get used to that type of housing but now she don't put longer attention to the case. Her back was not longer sore and signs that the cold hard wood had left on his body not disturbed her. The room was silent. Knew she was not the only person in that place, she knew that if the door was open, there would be no way out and the beast would materialize instantly.
The rough and shreds walls were not helping to keep heat in the room, while the cold penetrated to the bone. She had nothing to cover or warm herself and the blue cotton knit, together with the washed-out jeans, could barely circulate blood inside her frozen body. A faint and cold neon light was hanging from the ceiling and gave a sense of desolation and sadness. A rusty metal container, placed in a corner, served as a toilet, giving off whiffs continuous smelly.
She could feel upon herself the fetid smell of the beast. She imagined her wandering, morbid and bloodthirsty, beyond the door. Authoritarian, she did not admit mistakes or changes of mind for the simple fact that she was perfect, sublime and elegant in its extreme cruelty and all her will was law. Several times the prey had dared to rebel, calling for help in a loud voice, expressing her beliefs or refusing to do her will, but in vain. The beast could be very convincing because it darkened the mind, entered on the body and took possession of the soul and of any sense. The prey came out exhausted, dazed, bruised, impoverished in the heart and soul raped.
On the floor, a few meters from her feet, there was a bowl of dirty clay and chipped with water in it and beside a plate with a sandwich. The prey quickly stood and squatted to devour it with trembling hands. She could not even get the time to savor the fragrance of bread, ham aroma and flavor of the cheese, which had to swallow all the water in the bowl to quench thirst and prevent death from food choking.
Quickly wiped her mouth with the sleeve of her jersey, she went back on the couch, turning her back to the door and keeping her eyes tightly closed. After a few seconds the metal hinges creaked and the door opened. The bowl and the plate were taken and the door left ajar.
The deal was: never looking back, never talk, never looking but act.
The heart thumping in her chest and the body trembled with fear because she sensed the proximity of the beast. The increasingly rapid breathing made her fall into a deep abyss, dark and decaying, anguish and despondency load.
The prey fainted at the moment when the beast sat down heavily on her.
Thobias Pinkler was a reporter for thirty-eight years of "Chicago Press", one of the newspapers of greatest influence in the country, was able to access it thanks to degree in literature with honors taken ten years earlier.
Lived in a very religious family environment and observant of the rules, the only son of Raymond Pinkler, pastor of the church of St. Paul and Hilary, a nurse at the hospital “Sacred Heart of Mary.” He had been educated to the moral and spiritual discipline, to good manners and service to others. His parents wanted that he followed in the footsteps of one of them, but, recognizing the aptitude for literature, they had not dared to oppose his choices.
At seventeen, while his peers revel while having fun in the premises and knowing girls, he was locked in his room to study each type of matter and take an interest in every newspaper article. He loved the smell of the printed paper, the fragrance of the pages in his hands and the sound that made contact with the fingertips. He loved to read adventure stories, news, stories of serial criminals and documented investigations made public by the FBI.
The advent of the Internet was like a godsend for him, as the ease and speed of communication were far superior to the past. He had discovered the key feature of this innovative system to communicate: socialize with other people was much simpler and the factor that most assured him was the certainty of anonymity. Behind the computer he felt his own master, both at work and in the private. Gradually he became an expert navigator and this pastime began to steal his precious time, distracting him, very often, from his daily activities. He discovered the existence of a new way to communicate with girls from all over the world, fitting into threads call "chat". Each chat room had a particular theme and he unsheathed with these young ladies her sentimental soul, passion and romance, proving a great success. The girls praised him and they literally fell at his feet, until you get to the point of wanting to have a telephone conversation with him and want to meet personally to establish a loving relationship. Thobias never gave his cell phone number nor a meeting because he was afraid to deface in front of certainly very pretty and provocative girls.
He felt ugly, clumsy and awkward in real life, knew he was not wanted by the girls because of its appearance: red hair, brown eyes, freckles, acne youth remained even after adolescence. The curved back because of too bowed study books, thick glasses like bottle bottoms and short stature made him an unpleasant caricature from view. The only advantage was the voice: deep, from the beautiful low notes, from inflections adaptable to any situation and a polished language.
He felt the need to have their own independence and privacy, because her parents, especially the father, continually assailed him with questions that were going to affect the personal and social sphere. If he had no girlfriend was none of their business, what he did each day locked in the room, let alone when it was decided to found his own newspaper and achieve fame and notoriety not for their evaluation.
As soon as he accepted the post to "Chicago Press", with the first paycheck, he managed to take an apartment to rent two blocks from work, so you can save some money by not using his car or means of transport. He lived in a studio apartment fully furnished, on the tenth floor of a residence on River Boulevard, went out in the morning to buy a stack of newspapers at the newsstand across the street; at seven he went to work, where he did not like to socialize with anyone and in the evening came home very soon, he dined with precooked food and he positioned in front of the screen to navigate and have conversations with people.
One evening, after an exhausting working day, spent in preparing an article on the release of a serial killer for good behavior and irritating colleagues that made his life impossible because of his skill and his anti-social, connected himself to his favorite site to relax.
He typed username and password and after peeking list of online pseudonyms, he decided that "Flower blossomed" would be the ideal prey for that evening.
Learned that the real name of "Flower blossomed" was Melissa, forty recently divorced, looking for a serious relationship with a man, maybe her junior. He found she was a sweet woman, affectionate and different from the others who hang out there for a single purpose, to know people to have sex. Thobias was very intrigued and tried to be himself for the first time, noting interest, gentleness and sensitivity in his regards. The conversation lasted all night and neither of them had the courage to disconnect yourself not for fear of not being able to recontact them but simply because neither of them wanted to stop that aura of magic that had been created.
Thobias was very excited, the heart was pounding stronger and he had forgotten dinner into the microwave. Melissa realized about time and wrote that if she had not gone to sleep, he would certainly asleep in the office a few hours later. Thobias took courage and asked her to leave a telephone number, since he intended to maintain contact even outside of that media container. Melissa said that the phone number is given to the third appointment, which was very fascinated by him and she intended to know him better. The most we could do was give him her address to begin to write each other letters, thinking that would please him because of his character.
Thobias felt in seventh heaven and he accepted immediately, enjoying the romantic gesture of Melissa and thinking that as soon as he was released from work commitments, he would immediately started writing to his beloved.
He began a correspondence assiduous conversation in which Melissa felt courted, desired and loved more and more; while Thobias savored the taste of waiting, the genuine charm of the unknown, the thrill of being at last man, sought and desired for what it really has inside.
After several months spent in this kind of virtual flirting, Thobias had become more and more insistent, short-tempered and rude. The job had become for him an optional, perpetually distracted, more apathetic and unkempt than usual. The repeatedly he asked for a live meeting to seal their love. She seemed an attitude rather hasty and in response to his no, he was able to evaluate the reaction of the boy was excessive and dangerous at stretches. She began to answer more and more rarely, remaining vague, never replicate his attacks of jealousy, anger and possessiveness, until he decided to break off the relationship, getting from her part a total closure of communications.
The woman put her heart in peace, hoping not to receive any news, without thinking that the have left him the address, could endanger her own safety.
The letters ceased a month and a half before she died.
James was traveling for almost an hour tapping his fingertips on the steering wheel of his black Dodge, listening distractedly “My Way” by Frank Sinatra on the radio.
Shortly before entering the headquarters, James had left to Duncan Harris the task of reading the correspondence between Melissa and this Mr. Pinkler, begging him to hurry up and warn him immediately if he found any clues useful.
Duncan did not even have time to reply because James was already jetted out the door of his office, he had taken a second twelve caliber gun from the third drawer of his desk and walked out without deigning to listen to him. Duncan was submerged from work for other cases, but was happy to devote himself to the reading of that pack of letters since that case began to thrill him. He was anxious to know what he looked like that criminal madman, and especially to know the motive for unleashing the murder. He loved to study the human mind, ask a thousand questions about why a person came to make deplorable gestures; as a father came to the conclusion to end his life after having done the same with the members of his family; what drove a grandfather or uncle to pay special attention on his underage niece; What started in the mind of a middle-aged housewife to plant the barrel of her husband's rifle in his mouth and fire or understand what dark force crept into the brain of a young mother to throw her own son out the window.
Traffic was flowing and on the radio they have changed significantly atmosphere offering a modern piece by metallic shades like rock hard. The thoughts and assumptions about what kind Thobias was continued to haunt him, so he made send to himself the man's references on his handheld. He decided to make a short stop at a service station to take a coffee break, so he can carefully study it.
He Went to the bar and ordered to the maid, a big blond busty and looking cute woman, a cup of strong black coffee. He sat at a table that overlooked the parking lot and began to refer to the handheld. Moments later, the waitress, Dorothy, as a sign hung signaled on the uniform, served him a cup of steaming coffee that James sipped slowly, averting his eyes from time to time, to observe the coming and going of cars outside. On the display appeared a note which made him completely lose interest in that little break that was granted: there were no traces of blood in the body of Melissa, then where the five or six liters in his body were finished?
A few minutes later, he paid and walked out leaving more than half full cup, got into the car toward the Pinkler home.
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