Aidan O’Reilly ten years ago before he went into hiding. He has
tortured and murdered fifty women since then and managed to elude
capture. Now, he’s returned once again, and his new hunting ground is
Augusta Resident Agency, to bring this ruthless killer to justice
once and for all. But as each second ticks by, tensions rise and
O’Reilly finds himself in a race against time before the killer slips
O’Reilly against the Carnations Killer, a serial killer who enjoys
playing Cat and Mouse with this formidable agent.”
Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming
up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.
contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of
this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater
The next few days were quiet.
Aidan didn’t receive any messages from The Carnations Killer, and there were no reports of another victim found anywhere in the city.
It was quiet.
He found that unsettling.
Aidan spent his days and nights reviewing the information in the file, willing for vital information to appear.
Shaun and Aidan, along with a few other agents, spent a good deal of their time calling the families of the victims, asking questions they’d already answered in years past. Aidan wasn’t sure about the families Shaun and the others talked to, but the ones he dealt with seemed to want to move on from the nightmare they’d suffered.
A part of them wanted to forget they’d ever lost their loved ones, others pleaded for him to tell them there had been some new development.
Aidan couldn’t decide which was worse: the ones that wanted to give up or the ones holding onto the glimmer of hope justice would finally be given to them.
It was for this reason he couldn’t stand talking to the families. He was never good at it. He was afraid he’d become too emotional, and the families were emotional enough without adding his own feelings.
Aidan stopped by Shaun’s cubical to see if he was getting anywhere. He heard him consoling someone over the phone, promising he was doing everything he could to find the man who took away their loved one. He offered a small smile to the phone, which told Aidan he’d done what he’d set out to do.
After hanging up, he typed something into the computer.
“How do you do it?”
“Do what?” Shaun kept his focus on the screen.
“You talk to the grieving families, but by the time you’ve finished the conversation, it seems they feel better than they did minutes before.”
“I guess people feel like they can confide in me. Most people know the tears and fears don’t help. They just want somebody to understand. They want somebody to listen.”
“I guess that’s my weak point,” Aidan muttered. “I never know what to say to them.”
“You don’t have to say anything. That’s what listening means,” Shaun replied, the corner of his lips turning upward. He looked at Aidan, studied him. “Why did you want to become an agent?”
Aidan widened his eyes at the unexpected question. “What?”
He repeated himself.
“Because I wanted to be in law enforcement.”
Shaun contemplated the statement before responding. Aidan tried to guess what he was thinking, but came empty.
“If you wanted to be in law enforcement,” Shaun replied, “then you could have been a beat cop. It’s less demanding. Instead, you chose to be a federal agent. You investigate serial killings, terrorism, things of that nature.”
“I guess I believed I could do more good as an agent than a regular cop. Or even a detective.”
Shaun nodded. “So basically, you want to help people in a bigger way. Bring down a serial offender who’d been killing for ten years or so.” He put his hands behind his head. “What will happen if you never catch this guy?”
“I’ve got to.” Aidan put his hands on the edge of the desk and leaned over, his voice in a harsh whisper. He squared his jaw. “He’s got to be caught, Shaun. I need to catch him. If I don’t, then—”
“Then what, Aidan? If you don’t catch him, what?”
Aidan’s breath rose and fell in quick motions. He realized the edge of the desk was digging into the palms of his hands. Shaun watched him with curious eyes but remained calm and silent as he waited for an answer.
Aidan found himself wanting to scream that if he didn’t catch this guy, then he’d continue to kill. Aidan wanted to shout that if the offender kept killing, everything he had worked for in his career would be for nothing.
But Aidan didn’t say any of that.
He righted himself and ran a hand through his hair. He calmed his breathing as he realized it was happening: he was becoming obsessive.
Or maybe he already was.
Aidan had promised Cheyenne it wouldn’t happen to him. He promised he wouldn’t lose himself in The Carnations Killer investigation.
Not this time.
Aidan looked at Shaun, who was still watching him. His curious gaze turning into concern.
“I want the families to have justice,” Aidan told him quietly. “That’s all I want.”
“It’s okay to feel close to this,” Shaun replied in kind. “But even the best agents need to take a break. All you’ve ever done is try to catch him. It’s not going to be whether or not you take the job at Quantico that’ll cost your relationship with Cheyenne. If she sees you going off the deep end, that is when she will leave. Because a wild-eyed, obsessive federal agent isn’t any woman’s fantasy.”
Aidan hated to admit it, but he knew Shaun was right. He had lived and breathed the investigation for ten years, and now that he has returned, it was all Aidan thought about. He’d left him messages. He was taunting him. He was hinting at the things he planned on doing. But he was a ghost. He had Aidan pulled in a game of cat and mouse, and Aidan couldn’t tell whether he was the cat chasing the mouse, or if he was the mouse running from the cat.
“You’re right,” Aidan said, finally.
Shaun smiled. “Of course, I am.”
Aidan looked at his wristwatch and said, “You know what? I’m going to take today off. I think it’d do me good.”
Shaun nodded. “I agree.”
Aidan returned to his desk to finish his paperwork, then logged out of the computer and gathered his things.
He left the office to go home to Cheyenne.
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