It was hot and humid the type of humidity that had clothes sticking to skin from sweat that seemed to come out of all your pores. The sun had long ago set bringing out the rowdy party goers walking the streets in search of a good time. She didn't realize she was being watched from the balcony above. Eyes cold and lifeless watched on as she consumed drink after drink dancing wildly in the streets. She couldn't know that this was the end that she'd be just another statistic in a long line of victims.
"Shhh." A voice seem to call out to her as she blearily opened her eyes looking on in confusion up at the wooden boards above her head. She was confused until panic set in and she begun to struggle in her restraints. Her arms and legs were taped down her shirt town open exposing her red lacy bra.
The stranger looked on with a grin waving a knife back and forth menacingly, tauntingly.
"Be quite this will only hurt for a little bit and then you'll be off somewhere much better." The voice called out to her trying to soothe her as she continued to struggle. She couldn't grasp her mind around what was happening to her. She was still drunk and her stomach begun to rumble in agitation.
She tried to talk through the tape trying to reason with her attacker. She wanted to be anywhere else.
"Stop struggling or you're going to make this much worse." The voice turned cold unsympathetic. She stopped struggling, the voice sending a chill through her bones. She closed her eyes a stray tear running down making her mascara run.
"That's a girl." The calm nice voice was back. "Keep your eyes open and try not to make so much noise ok."
With quickness her attacker made the cut deep into her chest carving out her heart. The girl screamed with all her might at the pain but soon she was dead.
"Detective Delray. Delray wake up dammit!" A rough shove to her shoulder caused the detective to blearily open her eyes. "What?" she snapped out rocking back in her seat. She wiped the drool from the side of her cheek glaring at being woken up from her dreams.
"We got another one." Her partner told her with a sympathetic look on his face.
"Dammit." She swore stretching her back as she rose from her seat. "Is it the same like the others?"
"Yeah same everything female in her late twenties blonde hair blue eyed drunk and she was last seen at a party downtown."
"What's forensics telling us?"
"Same thing no prints no id no nothing it's like the killers a ghost but the heart missing just like the other one."
She rubbed her thumb over her lip in thought. "Well let's go then." She grabbed her coat heading towards the door.
"He's bound to slip up eventually." Her partner said trying to comfort her.
"And when he does will bag the son of a bitch till then we got this mess to deal with."
"You look tired maybe you should take a break from the case."
"I'm fine just get me a coffee and I'll be good to go." She said dryly.
It'd been three years since the killings had started that rocked the busy town. Detective Riley Delray's first case as a detective she'd been following the killer all over trying to put the person behind bars but to no avail. All she kept getting was more paperwork and more grieving families. In a whole three years the killer still hadn't given them anything to work on.
"He's a pretty sick fuck." Her partner said staring down at the body. "I mean its messy work to just take that one organ he'd have to be pretty strong."
"Or just know what he is doing." She replied.
"Yeah but I mean all that work just for one part of the body why the heart?"
"Maybe he's a romanticist." She stared on a lifeless look on her face this case had been draining her for a long time now.
"Yeah pretty fucking romantic to take the heart it's really over kill if you…"
"Dan are you going to prattle on again about this or do your job?" she snapped out.
"Sorry it's just you're not the only one affected by this you know?" he said.
"Will get him don't worry."
"Detectives we found something." An officer spoke up holding up a piece of paper. It's for you detective.
Detective Riley Delray,
Oh how I wish I could see your face at this very moment. Your eyes reading this hungrily searching for a clue about me. Have you guessed right yet? You're a smart woman you should know something about me by now. I'm growing weary of our games and decided to make myself known just a bit more to you. I'm sure you'll spend hours upon hours reading my words searching for a clue in the abyss of this scrawled out words. The bloods not my own don't think I'd be such a fool. You and I are much the same dare I say were almost one person. The little evidence that you do find is never enough and I'll keep you wanting more and more. You're as addicted to me as I am to you. I do enjoy our little games me presenting you with another gift and you once again looking on in confusion. I see you Detective for who you really are your just as part of me as I am of you. You'll be seeing more of my art soon enough and it is an art to do what I do. I take the one thing that is so important to these pathetic people's lives. I take love in my own way and I do love them all so very much. I love the way they scream and struggle and beg me with their eyes to stop. But I love their heart the most that beating organ that holds so many different meanings. Do you believe in love Detective or are you just as lost as the rest of us?
"Have the letter tested for anything I want prints or a DNA sample anything." She demanded angrily.
"Did it give you anything?"
"Yeah he's another self-obsessed narcissistic serial killer that gets off on torturing young defenseless woman." She walked away angrily shoving her hands into her coat pockets. The killer was growing bored he wanted to be caught and she was sure as hell going to give him what he wants.
Another six months went by she was so obsessed with the case she was told to take some time off finding herself in her old hometown at a bar trying to relax and enjoy the time off.
"Anyone sitting here?" a kind voice asked she shook her head.
"Have at it." she said gruffly looking down into her drink lost in her thoughts.
"I'm Jessika Bathory." She introduced herself as she sat down ordering a drink.
"Listen I don't want to be rude but could you leave me alone?" Riley asked tapping her hands on the bar in agitation.
"You looked lonely sitting there by yourself and don't most people that frequent bars want to be social isn't that the whole point of being at a bar?"
"I thought it was because no one wants to be labeled an alcoholic." She replied.
Jessika laughed. "Well there's that as well but surely you could pick some mundane topic to talk about with me for a while. There's nobody here but us."
"That's why I picked this place."
"Oh so you're the loner type all broody and dark."
"Yep." She took a sip of her drink.
"So you won't even pretend for a little while to play nice with me?" she asked giving her a smile of all teeth.
Riley glanced over getting a look at the woman. She was athletic as much as she could tell she looked strong. Her blonde hair was wavy in some parts and curled in others she had a wild look to her. Her forest green eyes held a hint of playfulness to them.
"Sure I'll bite how's life?"
Jessika laughed. "Oh I can see were going to have an interesting conversation."
"Hey you're the one that decided you needed to bug me."
"I was bored I wanted some attention you're the only one here to give it to me." she shot back.
"You could try another bar." She reasoned.
"Or you could just talk to me."
"Fine you win." She was growing tired of this woman already.
"Where are you from?" Riley asked trying to show interest but she could clearly careless about this woman.
"I've been all around I like to travel a lot and see the world. Originally I'm from a little town in the Midwest. What about you?"
"South." She took another drink.
Jessika pouted. "Oh you're not going to be any fun at all are you?"
"Hey it least I answered lady."
"You could try sentences I'm sure they won't kill you."
"I'm from Florida happy?"
"Well now were getting somewhere."
Riley smirked. "What brings you here you live around here?"
"No I'm just passing through on my way to bigger things."
Riley fought the urge to roll her eyes. "Be careful with those bigger things they can wind you up in trouble."
Jessika laughed. "I'm not afraid." She challenged.
"You should be there's a lot of crazies out there."
"And how would you know." She grasped her drink downing it quickly motioning for another.
"I'm a cop."
Jessika seem to look intrigued. "Off duty?" she asked motioning towards the drink in Riley's hand.
"Oh well that's exciting but why here?"
"This is my hometown felt like as good a place as any to settle down for a little while till I had to go back to work."
"You have family here?"
"Nope just me here everyone else moved around."
"I see." Jessika looked thoughtfully down at her drink tapping her fingers on the table to a tune in her head. She pulled out of a pack of cigarettes placing it in her mouth delicately letting it hang lazily. "Got a light?"
Riley rolled her eyes producing a zippo from her pocked she cocked it back letting the flame appear lighting up her face in the dark room. She lit the cigarette shutting the lighter with a loud snap.
"Thanks." Jessika took a puff letting the smoke swirl around her. "I can read people you know." She finally said after a few minutes of silence.
Riley looked over with a lazy frown. "So can I."
Jessika laughed. "You're not seeing the bigger picture."
"Keep guessing and you might find it out." Jessika sipped at her next drink idly sitting there lost in her thoughts her gaze periodically going back to Riley's seat.
"You're just another bored woman looking for excitement." she drawled out clearly looking bored and done with this conversation.
"You're wrong I'm a lot more then bored I'm an intriguing person with lots to talk about."
"But you choose me to have this conversation with."
"What do you do in your time off?"
"I collect antiques and restore them keeps my mind and hands busy."
"What does your husband have to say about that?" Jessika looked intrigued with the answers.
"There isn't one there's just me and myself."
"It's not look are you going to start psychoanalyzing my answers now because I get enough of that from…"
Jessika laughed. "Chill out your wind up so tight relax. Do you play?" she motioned with her finger to the empty pool table to their left.
Riley nodded. "I do I like things that keep my hand and mind busy and pools all about strategy."
"Well then come on then I'll buy you a round if you can beat me." She slid out of her seat grabbing her drink the cigarette hanging between her fingertips as she took another drag blowing the smoke to her left.
Riley shrugged weighing her options. She could just sit here alone with her thoughts and get drunk or give the woman some of her time. She didn't seem like she was going away anytime soon.
"Sure rack em up." She pulled out one of her own cigarettes lighting it with careful ease as she followed the blonde to the back room.