Home > Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)(3)

Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)(3)
Author: S.T. Abby

I shake my head, gripping his wrists. “Do your job. I’m a big girl. I stopped being scared of the Boogeyman by age five.” I smile to lighten the morbid joke, but he frowns.

“This is serious, Lana. If he got his hands on you—”

“I’ve had self-defense training. I have two guns. I also plan to run out the back door instead of up the stairs. We’re good. I can handle this.”

“If he gets his hands on you, there’s nothing you’ll be able to do.”

I can tell he’s getting nauseated just thinking of such an outcome. Little does he know…

“Okay,” I say, just to appease him. “Someone can stay inside. Someone you trust. I’m sure you’re friends with the local PD.”

The relief that washes over his face makes it worth all the million and one things that can go wrong. He genuinely cares about me. He’s terrified for me right now because a merciless killer might be after me.

The irony isn’t lost on me.

“Not friends, but I know several reputable guys who are definitely trustworthy,” he says on a quiet breath. “I’d never leave anyone inside I didn’t feel I could trust.”

I don’t tell him I’d just castrate them and nail their dicks to the wall if they tried anything. Instead, I let him feel as though I’m weak and need protection. Because right now, that’s how he needs to feel.

The truth is just too dark to overcome.

And I wonder what will happen if the truth ever comes to light.

He kisses me, tugging me to his body as he melts away all the concerns lingering in the back of my mind. For now, this is worth losing it all. It’s almost worth losing my revenge.

But the revenge isn’t just for me. Souls beyond the grave beg for a reckoning as well. Those souls need their peace.

It’s too soon when Logan pulls away, and I hold back the frustrated groan. “Be safe. I’ll be in and out as I can. I’ll need to see you with my own eyes to believe you’re really safe.”

“I won’t object to seeing you, but do your job. Don’t let him hurt someone else because you’re so focused on me. That’s what he wants.”

He thumbs my lower lip, staring at it for a moment. “Have I told you today that you’re perfect?”

I smile against his touch, even though it feels weighted. Perfection. He thinks I’m perfect. It’s so far from the truth, but I’ve told him that before.

“That girl?” I ask, deciding to get some answers before he leaves.

His grin only grows. “We dated a few months. She wanted a commitment. I was married to the job. She transferred to my department, and I broke things off with her because it’s against the rules to date within the department.”

That has me stiffening. Sheesh. When did I turn into a girl?

“But you’d still be together if she hadn’t transferred?”

Even I hear how pathetically clingy I sound.

But Logan, the bastard, grins broader. “No. It was just the easiest way to get the point across that it was over. You’re the first woman to make me wish I could skip work, Lana. You make me question my priorities and if it’s all really worth it.”

My stomach flutters with excitement.

“You know it’s worth it. You stop killers. You’re a hero.”

His smile slips, and he clears his throat. “I don’t always stop them in time. It seems like two spring up every time we take one down. And now this is happening. I put you at risk because of my job. Your life is sure as hell not worth it.”

I pull him down and kiss him again, and he grips me tightly, tugging me even closer. He lifts me with two hands on my ass, and I land on top of my dresser as he steps between my legs, still devouring my mouth.

When I moan, he swallows the sound, and then someone bangs on the door.

“We need to roll if we’re going to meet Elise and Leonard to deliver the adjustments to the profile!” the girl harps.

Definitely cutting her.

Logan doesn’t break the kiss. If anything, he kisses me harder, as though he’s assuring me she doesn’t matter as much as I do. As though nothing matters as much as I do.

It’s me who finally breaks the kiss, and his forehead rests against mine as we both take steadying breaths.

“Be careful,” I tell him softly. “Don’t worry about me. And you do make a difference.”

He groans before brushing his lips against mine again, and he tugs me off the dresser, threading our fingers together. The profiler ex is waiting in my living room when we rejoin them.

“Call Chief Harris and tell him to send one of the guys off my list,” Logan says to the guy profiler, as though he was just waiting for my permission.

The chick just watches us before finally turning and walking out. Logan runs his fingers along my cheek one more time before kissing me quickly and following them out.

The girl gets in the back of the SUV, and the guy gets in the front seat next to Logan, who takes the driver’s side. Not surprising. I’ve noticed he’s sort of a control freak. Not that I mind.

As he backs out, he honks the horn twice, and a stupid grin lights up my face. I remember my neighbor always honking as he pulled out, as though it was one last temporary goodbye to his wife.

Annnnd I’m back to being two steps away from that name tattoo on my ass.

After shutting the door, I groan, realizing I never asked him about his relationship with Hadley. Damn women. How many of them should I have to deal with?

I jog upstairs, head into my secret room, and touch the apple on my desk. It’s a wax apple, brilliantly red, and there are seven nails sticking out of it. Still many more to go.

Glancing around, I question how stupid it is to leave a murder room inside a house with a cop. Logan respects my privacy and would never snoop. But this guy? I don’t know anything about the guy coming to stay in here.

I really hope that hidden door stays hidden. I also hope the metal door with a combination lock is enough to keep a nosy cop out if the door doesn’t stay hidden.

Chapter 4

Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?



“He’s been quiet for two days,” Elise says, still studying the latest reports from the forensics found.

“He’s being cautious. He wants attention, but he doesn’t want me to win, and especially not before he reaches his endgame.”

“What’s his endgame?”

“Lana,” I say, gripping my pen tightly.

“We don’t know that,” Lisa argues.

I ignore her. She’s acting like a jealous girlfriend, after having not acted that way in over a year. I’m not sure what her issue is all of the sudden, but it’s petty and pointless, especially now of all times.

“We have a problem,” Donny says, taking brisk steps on his way to my desk.

“We have a board full of problems,” I remind him, gesturing to all the unsolved cases.

“Two guys from Delaney Grove are missing.”

My skin prickles, and I sit up straighter. “Is it just a coincidence? The unsub has been killing them in their homes.”

“He’s also been targeting single males who live in seclusion. Lawrence Martin lives with a roommate, and is a twenty-nine-year-old ad executive from New York. He went missing sometime in the past ten or eleven days.”

“Holy shit,” Elise says. “All of them have been found no later than four days. It has to be a coincidence, especially since he doesn’t fit all of the victimology.”

“Too coincidental,” I tell her, then focus on Donny. “Why didn’t the roommate report him missing sooner?”

“He wasn’t sure if Lawrence had hooked up with a girl, or if he was staying at the office. I also got the impression he didn’t really care, but rent is due, and he said Lawrence is always there to hand over his half. He never showed up yesterday, he’s been missing at work, and no one has seen him.”

“And the other?” Elise prompts.

“Tyler Shane,” Donny answers. “Twenty-seven-year-old tech analyst from West Virginia. Moved there from Delaney Grove straight out of high school. His girlfriend just reported him missing today.”

“So he has a girlfriend?” I ask, confused. “Our unsub has been targeting single males only.”

“He also has a wife,” Donny says, his eyebrows raising. “Apparently she got pictures and screenshots of messages between Tyler and a Denise Watkins—the girlfriend—from an anonymous tipster. She left that day and hasn’t been back. She didn’t even know he was missing, and I don’t think she cares.”

“Any chance she’s responsible for him missing?” Lisa asks, glaring daggers through me. “After all, crimes of passion are more likely than a serial kill.”

Everyone looks between us, as though they’re asking questions, but I have no clue what her problem is.

“She’s been in L.A. since she left,” Donny says, clearing his throat as he gets back on point. “Her work requires a lot of travel, and she just decided to stay gone this last time and take a couple of days to herself. Across the country is a damn good alibi.”

“Check it out,” I tell him. “Make sure she’s legit. Check into Lawrence Martin’s financials too. See if he made any large withdrawals. Same for Tyler Shane. Also check into the roommate and girlfriend. Our guy hasn’t been taking them from their homes, and has only been targeting single, solitary men.”

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