Home > Scarlet Angel (Mindf*ck #3)(11)

Scarlet Angel (Mindf*ck #3)(11)
Author: S.T. Abby

He screams when the knife slides down, and I taunt him again with the words he once used against me.

“Scream for me, Anthony. Scream loud. No one can hear you. No one cares.”

He does scream. He screams into the vast nothingness of the basement that is completely underground. Really, they make it too easy sometimes.

But I won’t leave him here. No one will ever know I was here at all.

“You’ll burn in hell. What we did was try to destroy the evil in the world. Evil is hard to kill,” he spits out.

“You seriously want to justify what you did as an act of justice? You claim righteousness even after your acts of violence and sin?”

He grins, his mouth a bloody mess. “You can’t sin against the devil. You’re straight from his loins, just like your father. They’ll stop you. Good always triumphs over evil. I’ll be avenged.”

My lips twitch, amused at how delusional he truly is. “This is good triumphing over evil,” I say quietly, watching as his eyes narrow to slits. He hates me considering myself the avenging angel, and I use it to my advantage. “This is your punishment. The act of good prevailing.”

“You and your faggot brother were already going to hell. We just sped things along.”

“If you’re the one in the right, why isn’t there some divine intervention saving you?” I ask him, standing slowly. “I was resurrected from the ashes, surviving against all odds. Yet you’re down here, suffering for the crimes of your past. Not me.”

He opens his mouth, but closes it. “See?” I muse, smirking. “Even the devil can quote Scripture for his own purpose. William Shakespeare, in case you’re wondering. But I’m not the devil, Anthony. I’m the angel who has come to take you all to hell.”

He finally screams louder than he has before when I take away that last bit of power he had, slicing it off at the base, kicking it away like the trash it is.

“You’ll never hurt anyone else,” I whisper darkly, drinking in the sounds of his pain, and ignoring the hollowness I feel for the first time ever.

I won’t stop.

I can’t.

Now to go back to Kentucky.

“I’ll tell the next one you said hello,” I go on, talking over the sounds of his sobs. “Your bestie is next.”

I’m jarred out of the memory by the sound of someone pounding on Jake’s door.

“Shit,” he hisses, glancing at the monitor beside us.

I scramble off his lap, my heart thumping painfully in my chest as I see Logan knock on the door again. This cannot be happening.

“Mr. Denver,” Logan says, looking up at the camera Jake never bothered to hide on his front porch. “If you’re in there, we’d like to speak to you.”

Donny is beside him, looking all MIB with his glasses on. Logan opens his thingy and flashes his credentials to the camera.

“We knew this would happen,” Jake says as I shake with panic.

One man has the power to undo me, and he’s about to link me to everything if he finds me here.

“I’m SSA Logan Bennett,” Logan goes on, his voice for once not having a calming effect on me. Not even a little bit. I’m full blown crazy panicking now.

“Calm down,” Jake says, amused. Freaking amused. This is not amusing at all. “Just stay in here and lock the door. They won’t have a warrant. And it’s all about to be pointless to question me. We’re prepared for this. Remember that.”

I nod, then swallow hard, trying to lasso my logic back to me and swallow a massive chill pill. We’re always careful for me not to be seen when I come over. I park in town, using a rental car, and he picks me up somewhere with no cameras. I ride back in his van—that I call a kidnapper’s van—and he parks inside his garage. No one ever sees me.

They won’t know I’m here.

So why am I panicking?

Calm and collected, Jake puts several of the kill-list things under the false panel of the floor, then moves the lamp back over it, hiding it from sight. He flips a button, and five of the monitors on the walls sink into the walls as the false panel comes down, concealing them from sight as well.

“Stay here,” he repeats, moving out of the room quickly.

Immediately I go and lock the door, and then I listen through the walls like a total creeper. All I need is a glass stuck to my ear.

Nope. I don’t look guilty at all.

Chapter 8

The attempt and not the deed confounds us.

—William Shakespeare


“Think he’s just not home?” Donny asks as I pound on the door again.

My eyes rake over the empty driveway, but there’s a sealed garage. His vehicle could be in there.

“The neighbor said he rarely goes anywhere and never has visitors. She said he left this morning, but came back and has been inside ever since.”

Before I can knock again, the door swings open, and I look down, seeing something I really wasn’t expecting.

Jacob Denver is in a wheelchair.

“Sorry,” he tells us, looking at us with confused eyes. “It sometimes takes me a minute to transfer to my chair. How can I help you guys?”

The blinds are all drawn, but surely someone should have mentioned him in a wheelchair. I hate surprises, and I rarely have to deal with them.

Donny’s eyebrows are at his hairline, just as surprised by this turn of events as I am.

“Um…care if we ask you some questions?” I finally manage to get out.

It’s a whole new line of questioning now.

“Sure. Want to come in? The place is a mess, but it’s not as easy to clean as it used to be.”




“Thanks,” I say, moving by him as he backs his chair out of the way.

My profiling mind gets to work as Donny types something into his phone. I glance toward the kitchen that is off to the right. All the countertops are lower than standard, making it more handicap accessible. I didn’t notice the ramp by the porch as suspicious, but now I realize I should have. His floors are all level and seamless, not even threshold plates over the connections to rooms.

The cabinets on top in the kitchen have no doors, but all that’s there are decorative things. Nothing someone would need to work in a kitchen.

My eyes scan the living room, finding the chair off the side that is at an angle, a remote dangling, as though he had to get help lifting out of it to slide into his wheelchair.

“It’s cheating,” he says, drawing my attention to him as he gestures to the recliner I was just eyeing. “But it makes life easier.”

He’s tone and somewhat fit, but I can’t see his legs too well in the sweatpants. Hate it is as I do, I discreetly kneel, pretending to adjust my shoe, and my eyes scan the bottoms of his shoes to see perfectly clean soles. They never touch the ground.

Well, fuck. He’s really handicapped.

I rise up, and he wheels into the living room.

“What the fuck?” I hiss to Donny.

“Hell if I know. I just texted Alan to find out.”

We break apart when Jake turns to look at us, eyeing us like we’re idiots. We are idiots, apparently. Someone better tell me why we didn’t know this before coming.

“Mind if I asked what happened?” I ask, wondering if this is in any way related to the mystery that is Delaney Grove.

He shrugs. “Motorcycle accident a few years ago. Paralyzed me from the waist down. It’s taken some adjusting, but I’ve managed to move on with my life.”

Definitely not our unsub. And his father has had court cases going on during several of the kill times, alibiing out that way. They were our only hopes, and it seemed so easy. Apparently too easy.

There’s no way a man in a wheelchair managed to overpower these guys, and do all the things that have been done.

“So why is the FBI knocking on my door and asking questions about my old wreck?” he asks, seeming genuinely confused.

“Any chance you watch the news?” Donny asks him, pocketing his phone.

“Not really,” Jacob tells us, shrugging. “It’s pretty fucking depressing, and I’ve had more of that than I care to reflect on.”

He crosses his hands in his lap. Not once has either of his legs twitched.

It’s a habit, when one is faking something like paralysis, to get twitchy, giving one’s self away. He hasn’t scratched his legs or anything.

I know Donny is watching for the same signs I am.

He’s too calm, too disinterested in us.

“So, you came by to ask me if I watch the news?” Jacob asks, looking between us.

He seems to enjoy the off-balance stance we have.

“No,” Donny mumbles.

“Actually, I was wondering if you could shed some light on the Evans family.”

A coldness crosses his gaze, and he looks away.

“You’re welcome to leave at any time.”

I look at Donny, and he looks at me. We stare, both of us confused.

“Mr. Denver, you were friends with them, and we think a serial killer is out trying to avenge their deaths. Even though the reports indicate they died because of a car accident.”

He looks back at us. “Does a car accident usually castrate a man?” he asks incredulously. “Does it leave a girl and boy so broken they drive for towns and towns to seek medical attention?”

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