The Body Finder (The Body Finder 1) - Page 23

“Hey,” she said seriously, “since we’re apologizing tonight, I want to say something too.”

He flopped down on the bed, lying right beside her. She waited for the sense of calm that his nearness usually brought to her, but it never came. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was so nervous about, but somehow lying here, with his face only a breath away from hers, she was more uncomfortable than ever, and her uneasiness, and quite possibly the heat of his body against hers, made her hesitate.

Once again, Jay seemed to be reading her mind, and Violet wondered if she were really that transparent. She hoped he couldn’t read everything that was going on up there.

“Go ahead, Vi. You can say anything to me.” His lazy half-smile was mesmerizing, and she found herself staring at his lips for too long. “Anything,” he reassured her gently, and she wondered what those lips would feel like against her own.

It was now or never, she thought wryly, and she blinked to break his mind-numbing spell over her. “I…I’m really sorry…about that day at the lake. I didn’t mean to make you see that….” Now that she was in the middle of it, the words seemed even harder to find, and she wasn’t sure just how to say what she was trying to say. Inside her head she always sounded so confident and sure of herself, but somehow when the words reached her lips they fell out in a stammering mess. “…I shouldn’t have gone there…especially since I was pretty sure there was…you know, something there.”

Jay shook his head and propped himself on his elbow so that he was looking down at her. “You don’t have to apologize for that. I know that what you find is out of your control.” He reached out and brushed a stray piece of hair out of Violet’s face. His words were as gentle and thoughtfully sincere as his touch. “Besides, if you’d have told me ahead of time that you were sensing something there, I would have gone with you anyway. It’s not your fault it happened to be a girl and not some animal in there.

“I just don’t want you to shut me out when you’re feeling something. We’ve been friends for too long, Violet. I want you to tell me if you’re ever sensing anything strange.”

His hand fell away from her face, and Violet had to fight the urge to shudder in the wake of the electric charge she felt from his touch. Where his fingertips had brushed against her flushed cheeks they were still tingling. She decided to keep that strange sensation to herself.

“I know it’s not my fault, but I should have at least warned you.” She wanted him to understand how badly she felt about making him a witness to something he never should have seen. “Anyway,” she continued, “I’m sorry for that.”

“I’m pretty sure you said that already,” he responded, using her earlier words against her.

She smiled, desperately wishing he’d touch her again. She hoped he couldn’t see that in her face too. “I just don’t want anything bad between us,” she offered by way of an explanation.

“I know.” He reached out, capturing her hand in his. He laced his fingers casually through hers.

Violet leaned against him and the calm finally came, settling over her peacefully.

And then he kissed her. Gently. Softly. Not on the lips, as she’d imagined so many times before, but on her forehead.

The gesture was sweet and a little possessive.

Violet hoped, maybe, it was a start.



It was better if no two girls were extracted in exactly the same way. Or from the same area.

But that had become increasingly difficult, as absences from his job became more and more conspicuous. So he’d been forced to hunt closer to home recently, and that meant taking more precautions than he had in the past. It meant being even more diligent. Meticulous.

Not that he’d been sloppy before. He was never sloppy; it went against everything he believed in.

He ran his finger along the razor-smooth edge of his KA-BAR tactical knife. He knew he wouldn’t have to use it; the terrifying effect of the weapon in the presence of the girls was enough to cause total submission. Just stroking the steel blade stimulated him in ways no woman ever had.

He stuffed the military-grade knife in his “briefcase,” a nondescript duffel bag he carried whenever he went out on a hunt, next to the duct tape and the zip ties.

He didn’t mind the extra safety measures he had to take. In fact, for some reason it added to the excitement of it all, the increased risk of searching out girls who lived in such close proximity to where he lived and worked. It was like pissing in his own backyard. Sick and wrong. And he liked it.

He checked himself in the mirror one last time before heading out the door.

The hunt was on.

By a quarter past twelve, he was in a shitty mood.

Nothing had gone well. He hadn’t spotted even one promising prospect out on the streets after dark.

He’d been afraid this might happen. Not so much that he wouldn’t find a girl, but that his choices would be limited, his options less attractive. Literally. He preferred the pretty ones.

He knew that word of the disappearances had spread, and families were watching their daughters a little more closely. But there were exceptions to every rule. The stupid and weak always separated from the herd eventually.

All of the girls he’d seen tonight had either been traveling in groups or weren’t worth his effort.

He was about to call it a night when he spotted her. Crossing the dark street. Alone. And pretty.

Tags: Kimberly Derting The Body Finder
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