Pictures of bloody women, deep cuts caused by a carving knife as well as black bruises cover their bodies. Their wide eyes full of fear stare back at me.
I rub my aching head. The bright lamp is hurting my watering eyes. I’m alone in the building with my thoughts running wild. It’s been two years. Every five months, the killer takes a woman and tortures her to death. Then the murderer would send me pictures of her body. Never the other FBI agents. Only me. I finally decided I couldn’t succeed in closing this case alone.
I know that I am not allowed to share or speak of this case to outsiders. I also know the consequences, if ever I break the rules. I did not trust my co-workers to report back to our boss and take me off the case.
The only other person that can help me is Alaric. The only man I have ever loved.
Alaric was the man that all woman swoon over. He had thick black curly hair, sparkling blue eyes that lit up when he smiled, a strong body. He was every woman’s fantasy. For some reason he picked me and never regretted his decision. Or so he told me.
He was possessive, moody and had a dry sense of humour. He liked barking orders, especially during sex which made him even hotter. He was the handsomest man the world had to offer. He understood me. Understood my needs, my emotions and how my mind worked.
And he was mine at the time and he is still mine in my heart. He will always be the man that has captured my heart and the only man that has ever crushed me. That has taken my heart and broken it to many pieces that it couldn’t be fix at all.
“Do you have to go?” I whispered while clinging to him. I can see the airplane looming afar. The plane that will transport Alaric to his mission. Away from me.
Alaric gives me a sweet smile. “You know I have to go on this tour. The captain has ordered it.”
I sigh. I already knew the answer to that question but I just had to ask again. I had to try to change his mind.
“Will you come back?” I ask him fearfully.
Alaric gives me a sweet gentle kiss on the lips before stating, “I will always come back to you, my love. You are the only woman for me.”
I smile at him. I hug him even tighter.
“I love you,” I say.
“I love you too. So much,” he whispers. He then takes off the chained gold necklace he had around his neck and puts it around mine. I look down at it around my neck then stare questioningly back up at Alaric.
“Know that I will be coming back for this. This is me saying that I will always come back to you.”
I blink back tears. My hands crept into his thick curly black hair to tug him in a kiss. Right when our lips touch, he takes over and gives me a deep powerful kiss that leaves me breathless.
“Five minute’s till boarding!” I hear someone yell.
He lets go of me and whispers that he now has to go.
“Goodbye. Be safe and return to me,” I whispered in a rough voice.
“Always,” he whispers back. He turns his back and walks away.
A tear finally trails down my cheek when I watch him walk away from me, never realizing that it will be the last time I would ever see him.
Coming back from the painful memory, I take a deep breath remembering that I needed his help more than anything and reached for the phone. It still hurt to think that he never once came back. Not even for the gold chain. I had it lock away in a drawer back at home. I tell myself every single day that I should just throw it away but I can’t make myself do it.
With my hands shaking, I press the numbers that I have memorized since he first founded his bodyguard company. After living the Marines.
“Black-Corps Enterprise, Alaric MacCowan speaking,” a deep male voice answers.
A shiver of delight goes through me from hearing his voice.
“Hello?” he says impatiently.
“…Hi… It’s been a while. I don’t have time to tell you the whole story but I need your help.” I whisper down the line.
“Sorcha?” he says in disbelief.
I swallow before responding.
“Yes. I’m on a case where women are being brutally murdered. The killer sends me the pictures of their bodies after each kill. There’s been three women that have been slaughtered so far. With your military background, I thought you could help me.”
There was only breathing on the other end of the line, then “What’s in it for me, my dear?” his voice is hypnotic.
I bit my lip before answering. “Anything you want. I would do anything,” I start to sweat. “Please.”
“Anything, hmm. Ok, I will help you.” There’s a chuckle. I knew he would take the deal. The bastard.
“Thank you,” I mumbled feeling my cheeks heating.
“You remember where my place is, right? Meet me there at eighteen hundred hours’ tomorrow night.” He ends the call.
I put the phone back in its cradle. I sigh. It is done.
The next evening, I knock on his door. The case is safely tucked between my arms.
Alaric opens the door. “Glad to see that you can still follow orders,” he tells me with one of those wicked smiles.
I push pass him, entering the cozy house. I stop and stare. Nothing has changed since the last time I was here.
“I did not touch anything since that time,” he declares from behind me.
I whirl around, too choked up to say anything.
“Leave your stuff in the living room and get to the bedroom,” he instructs.
I march off in the direction of his room with him close behind. Right when I enter his bedroom, he locks the door and tugs me to him. He takes my mouth in a powerful kiss that leaves me hanging on to him.
I brusquely end the kiss. I can’t believe after all those years; the attraction is still there.
“Strip,” his voice is silky smooth when he gives me the order. He has a smirk on his face.
I blinked up at him, breathing hard. I knew I had to do what he just told me. It was in the bargain I made with him for his help in the case.
“I said strip,” he repeats. His arms are now crossed over his chest. The muscles bulging from them catches my attention.
My breathing alters. I open my mouth then close it. I can feel my heart beating loudly in my ears.
“Last warning or the deal is off. Strip,” he says while he regards me with those intense blue eyes.
I know I should stop this, before my heart gets broken into pieces once more but I need his help. My hands start to move on their own accord and seconds later, I find myself naked before him.
“Do you know how stunning you are?” He murmurs.
I don’t say anything. Goosebumps racks my small frame. I can feel my nipples harden and wetness seeping from between my legs.
“Walk to the bed and get on your back so that you’re comfortable,” he directed me. I see him adjust the erection behind his black jeans before following his orders.
Arriving at the bed, I take a deep breath and lie down on my back, staring at Alaric. The silk sheets felt wonderfully soft beneath me.
His stare is burning through me. His blue eyes are becoming darker until they resemble shining stars. He starts walking towards me.
“I have missed you, my dear Sorcha,” he whispers. His hands touch my hair and wanders down to touch my breasts and the rest of my body. I moan. My eyes start to close.
He stops touching me. My eyes fly open to look at his handsome face. He looks to be fighting the attraction between us.
“I will not be making love to you until you ask for it.” He says tightly before leaving the room.
Anger, sorrow and love invades me. I should be happy he stopped but I feel differently.
Staring up at the ceiling, I think of how it used to be in the past. We were happy and in love. What went wrong in our relationship?
I still remember the day I met Alaric. It was the day my life changed dramatically.
It was late evening and I was still at the station. It was way past the time I usually got off my shift. Finalizing paperwork after closing a case is the worse part of being an agent. But knowing that you have caught the perp and that they will rot in jail for their crimes is the best feeling.
I push my red hair away from my face and continue with some of the work. After a couple more minutes of doing the paperwork, I finally decide to head home. I could do the rest tomorrow.
I put away the papers in the upper drawer of my desk than put my jacket on and head towards the hallways.
There were many people coming and going.
I’m looking down while closing my coat. The buttons are sometimes hard to handle.
I’m not paying attention to the people around me. I like being alone. That’s why I work alone on my cases. My boss understands this and leaves me to do the job the way I want to.
I’m almost at the front of the station when I hit something hard.
I grab on to the muscular shoulders of the man I have bumped into. His arms wraps around my waist and tugs me towards his chest before I get the chance to fall.
“I’m so sorry,” I stammer out. I realize I’m still looking downwards. He has a very nice chest.
“It was my fault,” the man spoke. He had a deep sexy voice that instantly made me very aware of him. I still wouldn’t look at him.
“I wasn’t looking where I was going. Really, it was my fault,” I whisper.
The man chuckles. He has a nice laugh. One of his hands travels upwards and gently takes hold of my chin and lift it until I’m looking into his eyes.
I gasp. He was the most handsome man I have ever seen. He looked dangerous with his dark curly black hair and his five-o-clock shadow. And his eyes. His eyes were the deepest blue I have ever seen. They begin to turn darker the longer I stared.
I was fascinated with him. The longer I stared at him, the faster it took me to realize that I was attracted to him. I could see that I was affecting him the same way.
He smiled down at me and then he started talking once more.
“Hi. I’m Alaric.”
“… Sorcha…” I breathed out.
“That is one beautiful name for a stunning woman like yourself,” he murmurs to me. His hand has started caressing my cheek. I lean into his palm.
Someone nearby cleared their throat. My eyes widen and I could feel my cheeks start to burn. I push away from the man named Alaric. He reluctantly let’s go of me.
“You look beautiful while your blushing,” he states.
I blink up at him and say nothing.
“I will see you another time,” Alaric promises before giving me another of his killer smiles.
“No you won’t,” I tell him brusquely than dash as fast as I can out of the station. I could feel his gaze burning through my back the whole way out the door.
A small smile comes out at the memory. I should have known that Alaric was friends with someone high up in the FBI. He knew my boss. I should have also known that he would have found out everything and anything about me.
I get off from his bed and put on the black robe I find hanging from a chair. I leave the room and follow the sound of Alaric’s pacing.
He’s in the living room, muttering to himself. He stops when he sees me.
“What do you want?” He snaps.
I hesitate before I speak. Did he really think he can scare me with his dark mood? He should know better than that.
“Why didn’t you come back home that time?” I ask him in a small voice.
He staggers back in shock. It was not what he expected me to say.
I wait for a response.
“I didn’t deserve you,” he breathes out.
“That’s not true.”
He gives a dry laugh.
“You are a sweet and honest woman. You love with all your heart and you appreciate a good book as well as cooking. Me on the other hand, I’m a fucked up bastard that is demanding and controlling,” he burst out.
I calmly walk towards him and push him on the couch. I then straddle him.
“Did I ever give you any indications that I did not like what you were doing?” I ask him.
“No, never. But-”
I cut him off once more.
“You are wonderful just the way you are. I have always loved you the way you were. I still do.”
He puts his hands on my hip and pulls me closer. Alaric looks directly into my eyes when he says that he has never stopped loving me as well.
For the first time in ages, I smile.
The smell of coffee brings me to the kitchen where I find Alaric sitting at the table, looking over the case.
“Good Morning,” he says, still looking down at the folder.
I murmur a hello and head straight for the coffee pot. I take the time to look at him. His hair is disheveled and hanging to his shoulders. He’s wearing a tight black t-shirt that pronounces the muscles in his back and dark sweatpants.
I swallow hard, then ask, “Have you found anything yet?”
He lifts his head. He swivels in his chair to look at me. His expression is unreadable.
“Have you pissed off anyone in the past two years, my dear Sorcha?”
I pale. I couldn’t have heard him correctly.
All of a sudden it is hard to breathe.
Alaric swears and leaps up from his chair and walks towards me. He sweeps me in his arms and brings me to the big couch in the living room. He leaves and returns with a water bottle.
“Drink,” he orders while handing me the bottle.
I gratefully drink half the bottle before handing it back to him.
He takes my face in his hands and kisses my forehead.
“You’re not alone anymore. Now explain to me why you had such a strong reaction when I asked if you ever made someone angry.”
“It might not be anything,” I whisper.
“Explain,” he demands.
I take a deep breath.
“There was this guy that I dated after you left me,” I softly say.
I could see that he is controlling the rage he is feeling. I can see it in his eyes.
A shiver of fear overtook me. I know he will never hurt me physically but that rage reminded me of Him.
“There’s more to this story. I want to hear it all,” he commands.
This is my chance to trust him again.
I explain how I tried to move on with someone else when he didn’t return from his mission. We were together for a year. I thought that he would be the one that would fix my broken heart. Then, he proposed and I told him no, that I couldn’t. He wanted an explanation. When I told him that I was still in love with Alaric, he lashed out. He threatened to kill me for seducing him.
He got down on one knee in the small living space of my apartment.
I stare down at him. My eyes widen in alarm. He can’t be doing what I think he’s about to do.
“No. Please get back up,” I say in a panic. I try to get him off his knee and back on his feet.
But he isn’t budging. He smiles up at me and pulls out a small black box and opens it. In the box stands a small but unique diamond ring. The band looked to be silver but I could see that it was really the colours of the rainbow when the light reflected on it.
“Sorcha, we have known each other for a year now…”
Oh no. This can’t be happening. He cannot be about to propose. I do not love him the way he probably does. I never did and never will.
I look around the room to find something, anything that can put a stop to this grave mistake.
“Will you marry me?” he asks in a clear strong voice. He stares into my eyes while waiting for an answer.
My ears are ringing. I cannot hear anything else except for what he had just asked.
Will you marry me?
I look down at him with pity and shame. I’m ashamed of myself. I let this go too far. I should have ended this relationship sooner.
“Sorcha?” he questions carefully. He is still on his knee in front of me. He is still waiting for my answer. The longer I stare back at him, he starts to lose his smile and the twinkle he once had in his light green eyes are rapidly fading.
“No. I cannot marry you,” I softly told him.
He angrily shuts the box that still held the ring and stood up. He glared down at me.
“Why not?” he demanded.
“I’m sorry,” I tell him as gently as I could.
“I deserve an explanation damn it!” he shouted this time.
This was the worst thing I have ever done. Not even a grazed bullet wound hurt as much. Explaining to him that I am still in love with somebody else and that he never had a chance to capture my heart.
I swallow hard before telling him why I couldn’t go through with marrying him.
“I am still in love with someone else,” I start but he stops me before I can continue.
“You have got to be fucking kidding me!” he yells furiously. He throws the black box and it hits the wall with a bang before falling to the floor.
I flinch. My arms come to wrap around me to protect myself and I start to back away from him.
He grabs hold of his hair and starts to pull on his strands. He mutters to himself.
I’m almost at the door when he looks up and slowly starts to walk towards me.
“You seduced me. I loved you. Sounds like I never had a fucking chance in the first place! You will regret this,” he promised darkly.
I’m frozen to the spot. When has the situation gone so bad?
He gives me a cold smile and rudely pushes me out of the way. He opens the door to the apartment and walks out of my life.
“Sorcha? Come back to me baby,” Alaric says while gently shaking me.
Hearing Alaric’s worried tone is what brings me back from the bad memory. I blink before my gaze finally focuses on his face.
There was guilt in Alaric’s eyes at the end.
“I’m sorry, darling,” he says before continuing, “Didn’t you notice that the murdered women looked like you?”
“The women all have green eyes with red hair. They are all skinny, are all very pale and have full lips and wear black nail polish. Nail polish that you wear all the time,” he says softly.
“It still doesn’t mean that the murderer is trying to kill me,” I breathe out hard and fast.
“We will find this guy. I promise you that we will find him.”
“Are you sure it’s him?” I ask fearfully.
“If it’s not, I won’t stop until we find the killer,” he vows.
I believed him. Our second chance started now.