Heather Goldey

Heather Goldey

Darkness

It was three a.m. in the morning when the phone started to shrill in her ear. A phone call at three was always a bad sign to her. Groggily she ran her hand over her face pushing back her long shiny black hair as she turned to pick up the phone, "This had better be fucking good or your going to get an earful."

"Tess?" She recognized the voice as belonging to her partner Malone.

""Yeah, its me. Like I said this had better be good."

"God, for a 27 year old you sure have a way with words," she heard him say under his breath, then he cleared his throat and spoke up, "Its not good, there has been another murder. This time it is of a young child. Location is by the old church house, the one that you grew up near." She could hear Malone breathing deeply like he had just gotten woke up from sleep.

"Malone, did you just get up?" She couldn't help but to wonder.

"Yeah, they figured that I would have a better bedside manner then you. I guess that they were right. Meet you down there in twenty? Hopefully by then the photographer will be done."

Tess could feel her body waking up with the thrill of going to another murder sight. Although she felt sorry for the child there was still the thrill of being able to go out to the site. "I'll be there in fifteen. Do you want to carpool?"

As she listened carefully she could hear a woman whisper in the background, "Honey, what's going on? Can't someone else handle this?" With a start Tess realized that he had company.

"Uh, Malone why don't we just meet at the sight." More then a little embarrassed she hanged up the phone. She had never thought her partner to be anything other then a 32-year-old man that was a lean, hard, killing machine. Now that she thought about it she saw another side to him, all man. She could see why he would have someone over he wasn't too bad looking in the mysterious type. Especially with his floppy brown hair, hazel eyes, tall, yeah she could see why. Oh god no, she thought, this so not the time to have a crush on your partner. With a shrug she went to get ready.

Twelve minutes and thirty seconds she thought while smiling looking at her watch as she climbed out of her detective issued car, Malone she noticed was not there yet. Thank god, for small favors. I don't think that I want to confront him about that one. Seeing the chief she patted down her clothing making sure nothing was out of place on her thin frame and double checked her tight bun and walked over to him.

"Sir, what happened?"

An older man in his fifties the Chief still had the look of someone just entering his forties. Even his hair hadn't gone fully gray yet, "Tess, you're here good. Malone is not here yet, so you will have to work on the preliminaries with Ludenski"

Ludenski, also known as Shitface to her, was the one person in the whole department that she couldn't work with. He lived in the dark ages and thought that women still needed to be at home barefoot and pregnant. This was rapidly diminishing her thrill "Serge, please."

He gave her a stern look, "Don't even think about it. I have heard it enough and I'm sick and tired of it. He was first here to answer the call and since your partner isn't here you'll have to work with him. The crime scene needs to be analyzed quickly as possible. It's a messy one and the longer we wait here the longer the trail gets cold."

Vowing to get even with Malone, Tess just gritted her teeth and clipped a tight, "Yes sir." She turned to walk away and almost stumbled into Shitface. "Lets go, if you can handle this"

With a buzz cut and the bright blue eyes Ludenski fit the profile of a regular ole cop. Seeing her, he smirked, "Oh did the little girl not get her way. Poor little one having to sacrifice everything because she has to work with me?"

Tess just smiled and flipped him off. Almost immediately his voice darkened and hatred filled his eyes. "You know with your attitude I should have been promoted before you ever cut your teeth on a murder case. It's the biggest case yet and they give it to you and then top things off I have to help out and do your dirty work. I should be working this case and not you!"

She rolled her eyes, not this conversation again. It always happened when they were together. It would always get brought up. She sucked in her breath and gave her usual speech, "Listen, Shitface, I got promoted and you didn't because I'm damn good at what I do. Personally if it was up to me I would have your ass fired and your badge hanging on the wall as a reminder of how bad cops can fuck up a simple case."

As she spoke she could see the rage building up where there once was hatred in his eyes, ignoring it she took her finger and pointed in his chest. "You fucked up that last time, two years ago. You made a mess out of the crime scene. Threw up on the body, the damn evidence. I didn't and solved the hole thing, even cleaned up the mess that you made while I captured the damn jerk." She poked her finger emphasing each word. Taking a deep breath she went to finish up her speech and added sarcasm, "So I'm sorry if I am younger and better then you." She stood there glaring right up into his eyes. Her black eyes full of anger his full of hate and disgust.

Quietly, so quiet that she almost missed it, "Someday, bitch you are going to pay for that mouth of yours and I will be watching and smiling while everything you hold dear falls apart."

Taking a deep sigh and putting calm into her voice she backed up a step. Seeing that this conversation was going nowhere and that they had work to try she backed down and tried to reason with him. "Look we hate each other and don't like the position we are in. Lets just the basics done and by then hopefully our partners will be back." She figured that the only way to get anything done was to jus have a temporary peace.

"Fine!" he ground out from under his teeth.

As he stomped away she couldn't help but to say under her breath, "sometimes people never change."

The young child looked to be around 7 or 8. It was hard to tell with half her face ripped away. Underneath the child's long black hair there was a pool of blood forming. Tess lifted up the head and found that the back of the girl's neck had been slashed open with a something that wasn't smooth. The ripped skin swayed in the breeze as Tess looked around to see what had caused it. She looked up to see Ludenski looking at the child's stomach where there where words written. "One day…"

"Hey Shitface, what do you make of that?" She asked pointing out the words.

He glared over at her, "Nothing, just two words written in blood."

"There's going to be other bodies," she whispered under her breath as she saw Malone pull up. "This is just a start."

It was in the middle of the day when the call that there was a second body came almost a week later, this time it was of a young 20 year old that looked Asian. Again it was near where Tess had grown up. Even though it took them a half an hour to reach the crime scene Tess and Malone still had to wait on the foresenic expert. Once that was done everyone would be waiting on the detectives to look around before bagging the body.

While they waited Malone went to get some coffee and Tess looked around to get a feel for the sight. The second body just laid there, blood splattered the sidewalk as the copper smell of it tinged the air. As the foresenic photographer finished up his snap shots, Tess looked over at her partner as he raised his steaming coffee to his lips and gave an annoyed sigh. As soon as the photographer shot his photographs she and Malone would be free to poke and prod the body to look for something that might have done this to the young woman.

"John, are you done yet?" She asked looking at the photographer with her black eyes glaring.

He looked up and shrugged his shoulders, "Don't be annoyed at me Tess. I am just doing my job." He said while puffing up his chest trying to look proud.

She looked at his little squeaky frame with the glasses and just got all the more annoyed, "yeah well you can do it faster. The longer that we have to wait on your ass to finish the longer the trail gets cold. Even Shitface knows that."

"Hey Tess," Malcolm said shouting to get her attention, "You better be glade that he isn't here to hear what you just said. All we need is another fight between you two, to get us put back on desk duty. I don't know about you but I don't want to be there."

"Fine," She yelled back at him, then she turned her attention to John, "Just hurry… Please." The please she added as an after thought hoping that the please would make him hurry more.

Five minuets later the photographer stood up, "Ok Tess, you and Malone can mess it up all you want."

"Great," she said smiling as she put on her gloves. "Malone get your ass over here and lets get the job finished." Malone looked up from where he stood and silently walked over to her while putting on the plastic gloves.

Turning her attention to the body she at first circled the scene hoping to get a feel for everything. It was messy, just like the last one had been. She stopped at the head and noticed that a chunk of hair had been torn away, leaving a bright red spot where there should have been hair. Was there a fight? She wondered. The face was extremely wet in the cold weather. As she leaned down to exam the face she didn't notice the blood had touched her shoes. Instead Tess focused on something else. Where the right eye had once stood there was only a hole. White puffy stuff ran down the girl's cheek. With a grimace she reached in and poked her finger in the hole hitting something hard, she pulled it out. An ice chip. "Hey Malone did you get a look at this?"

"No, what is it."

"Its an ice chip, the bastered must have used an icicle and stabbed her through the eye.

"Sick," was all Malone could say. She took a step away from the body and watched as Malone took out a metal pointer pin and lifted some skin near the neck that had been slashed open to see if there was any residue of a murder weapon.

"See anything?" She whispered at him.

Looking up at her, "Nope, why don't you check and see if there is anything under her nails?"

She did without comment and found nothing. An idea came to her as she thought of the last body, "Hey, Malone. Lift up the shirt. I want to see if there is anything on the stomach."

She watched as he leaned over and grabbed the girl's top and lifted it reviling more of a message that just said… bitch, I will. Written in blood, Malone grinned. "There is our link. Lets finish up and get to the lab."

Tess sat down on the bench two hours after the latest murder and tried to think about what the murderer could have been thinking. As she watch from a distance she saw an old woman prattle on and on, Tess could only wonder if the next victim would be and old lady. Talking more to herself then the birds sitting next to her she started to ask questions out loud, "What is the killer thinking? There has to be some motive, something that will tell me why he is doing this. He knows what he is doing, everything has been clean so far. What is the tie to everything? Is his favorite movie the one with John Crusak and does he kill that easily with nothing on his mind? Does he ever wonder if it could be traced to him?"

So engrossed in her musings she didn't notice when her partner came up to her and set down, chasing away the birds that had been listening. "Tess," she started at the sound of another person voice. "Lets get to the lab and see what the latest news will be."

"Malone, you know the test results will be the same. Nothing! Nada! Zip! We just spent two hours there." She looked up from where she had her head bowed and turned her pleading eyes up to him, "There is a tie to all the killings besides just the words. There has to be a motivation some clues. I say we go to the office and try to tie everything in together."

"Fine, last time we did it my way. Now we'll try it your way." Two hours later they were in the office.

They never made it to the office, as they where on their way a call came through saying that another murder had taken place. By the time they negotiated traffic and got to the crime scene two hours had passed and the body had been cold for a long time. Again they were words written on the body this time it was, "get you." After everything was done and they reached the head quarters it was nearing nine in the evening.

"Ok, Malone what do we have?" She asked her partner while she sat her desk and he was leaning against the wall where they had stuck all the information regarding the case on.

"What we have is that all the crimes took place near where you grew up. One was near your old church, the other near you old house, and the last was near a nursing home that was in your neighborhood. All the murder victims where three different ages; young, middle, and old. All I have black hair like yours. I'm beginning to think that's part of the clues to. They are all tying in to you. And last clue we have is the message, One day, bitch I will get you.

With a sinking felling in her stomach Tess got to thinking about the first body and what Ludenski had said to her. "Do you think someone inside could have done this?"

He looked at her, his gaze piercing. "Where are you going with this?"

Tess stood up and started pacing, "At the first body, when you didn't get there right away, Ludenski and I got into it. He said something along those lines. Lets get the chief on the phone and an arrant out on his arrest."

Malone ran his hand through his head, "Tess, what if we are wrong and its just another fight between you two. Lets go over to his house and talk with him, find out what is going on before we make assumptions. This could ruin his career if we are wrong."

Tess threw him a look that said plainly that wouldn't be such a bad idea, she saw him sigh, "It could also ruin our reputation."

That Tess knew would be a bad idea. "Fine, but I drive." The way over to Lundenski's house they set in silence. The house was dark when they walked up to the front porch. Not thinking that there could be a danger they both walked up to the door and rang the doorbell.

Ludenski answered it with a smile that didn't reach his eyes, "Why hello, detectives. What brings you to my humble home? Oh wait before you answer that why don't you two step in." He took a step back away from the door and turned on the indoor light sweeping the door wide open.

Before Malone could say anything Tess stepped up in his face, "It's over Shitface, give yourself up."

Tess watched as an evil grin came across his face. "Ah, I see that you figured out my game." He gave a little sigh like he was disappointed. "Oh, well. Took you long enough to figure out it was me didn't you." He brought his hand out from behind him and smacked Tess full in the face with his gun. Darkness surrounded her as she fell to the ground.

When she came to, she was in the middle of the room on the floor watching as Ludenski tied up her partner. Ludenski looked over at her, "Awe your awake this soon, well at least now you'll get to see what happens to your partner." He took a long knife out of his pocket and slashed Malone's right wrist from the hand up to his elbow. "I'll do the other one later."

She saw black spots dancing before her eyes as she slowly got up from off the flow. I will not throw up, I will not throw up, she told herself when the room didn't stop spinning and how the hell did he get Malone down? When she was finally standing Tess asked him. "Why are you doing this?"

"You the great detective and you never did figure it out. Dad always did like you better, lil' sis."

Shock came over her. He must have seen it by the expression on her face for his grin just got wider. "That's right sis. You and I are brother and sister. Well at least half. While your legit from our Father and his married wife, I was the maid's son.

While he was talking she could see Malone's body laying a few feet away tied and bleeding fast. She noticed that he wasn't awake. Time was pressing in. Malone needed medical attention as quickly as possible and they needed to get out of here.

"Father would never touch anyone else, you lying sack of shit. Damn it Ludenski people have died because of this imaginary world that you live in. Let me go and I see that you get a fair trial." She tried to pacify him, tried to get him to trust her. She put her hands on her hips and felt something hard pressing into her back, with a start she realized it was her gun that she tucked into the back of her waistband. He must not have checked them over.

"No way, you are going to be my final victim. Do you want to hear what I have in mind?" He kept the gun firmly pointed at her chest.

"Not really," she tried to plea with him by using his first name, "Come on Jay, you don't really want to kill me. We're on the same force. Went to the same academy" Tess felt the small gun that was hidden in her leg holster rub against her, temping her.

"First, I'm going to shoot you in the knees so you can't run. Then while you wither on the floor I'm going to take a knife and carve…" It was like he hadn't even heard her. She blocked him out of her mind then she saw his eyes glace over with thoughts.

Not stopping to think she reached behind her, grabbed her gun, and then fired. Without a sound he fell over backwards with a perfect hole between his eyes that leaked blood and bits of brain.

She didn't know that he had fired a round off until she felt a sharp stab of pain in her right side and when she reached down to touch it, her hand came away slick with blood. As darkness pressed in she stumbled over to the phone hoping that the dial tone was still there, it was. Quickly she dialed 911 and as she heard the operator say, "911, State your emergency," darkness claimed her.

Tess awoke to light, and to see Malone sitting in the chair beside her with his arm bandaged up to the elbow, "What happened?" she asked groggily.

"Don't you remember?"

It all came back to her, the murders and then the death of Ludenski. "Yeah, I remember, how long have I been out?

"Just about a day and a half. They had to do surgery to remove the bullet that was lodged in your side.

"What's going to happen?" Now that she was getting fully awake she could feel a dull ache in her side.

"Well we wont have to stand trial for killing Ludenski, but we are on desk duty until your side is healed. Then its back to normal." She looked at him good and noticed the dark shadows under his eyes.

"You look tired,"

"Tess, you had me scared. I blacked out when you where negotiating with Ludenski when I awoke I was here in the emergency room while the doctors where talking about someone being taken in to surgery with a fifty-fifty chance. When I found out that was you, I waited around until you woke up to make sure you were ok."

With a sigh Tess wished she could have made some comeback but the drugs where making her too sleepy. As she drifted off to sleep she felt a kiss on her forehead distantly and watched through a drug induced visual of Malone's face etched in relief.

Tess sat down at the computer to write a quick note to her dad. In it she talked about her current life and what had happened, but didn't ask about Lundenski's claim about being her half brother. She just didn't want to know. When Lundenski's house was search they found out that he was going to kill at least five more times. With that evidence it was easy to blame the murders on him and the case was closed. Malone and her had begun dating and had been inseparable since the last set of murders. No one at the office knew that they where dating, policy forbid it. The phone started to shrill in her ear, as she happened to look over at the clock it read three a.m. It was going to be a long day…