Violets Are Blue, page 1
Violets Are Blue
By Velvet Vaughn
Copyright © 2015 Velvet Vaughn
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Visit Velvet's website at: www.velvetvaughn.com and her Facebook Fanpage HERE.
This book is dedicated to my two Aunt P's – Paula and Pat. Thank you both for your unwavering support.
Table of Contents
About the Author
Ella Rodriguez closed her eyes and prayed for the sweet release of death.
Her body ached, burned. The pain was too intense. She couldn’t bear it any longer. Silent tears leaked helplessly to the satin pillow cushioning her head. Cold metal bands securing her wrists and ankles bit into her flesh, prohibiting movement. The gag in her mouth restricted the flow of air into her lungs and she fought the urge to hyperventilate.
The man thrust faster and faster, painfully tearing dry tissues. She regretted saving herself for marriage. Why didn’t she give in to Tommy’s pleas? Her first time would have been a happy memory with a man she loved. But this monster stole that from her. Now her first time was a pain-filled blur in the middle of a nightmare.
And she feared it would be her last time, too.
Needing to escape the pain, she longed to embrace the darkness, but every time she did, the man slapped her, rousing her from unconsciousness. Then he hurt her.
She prayed he would be finished soon. Bony fingers violently groped her breasts, overriding the intense burn on her stomach and the pain between her legs. As he increased the tempo, his hands moved to her throat. Two thumbs pressed on either side of her windpipe. Her eyes flew open in terror. He screamed a name as the climax ripped through him and her last thought was that her name was not Violet.
The latex glove skidded along Ella’s skin as the man traced the letters imprinted on her belly. He hated the smell of burning flesh worse than the stench of death; it brought the memories flooding back to him. But the look of sheer agony on her face when iron-hot brand met silky flesh hardened him like nothing else. It was the perfect foreplay.
Withdrawing a key, he removed the shackles, noting the angry red scratches the steel had carved on her delicate wrists. He shook his head. If she had just listened to him and not struggled against the bonds, she wouldn’t have been cut. But she didn’t listen—they never listened. They all tried to fight him and always ended up bruising their beautiful skin. A tear slipped down his smooth cheek. He swiped at it ruthlessly and grabbed his head as a sharp pain pierced his skull. He wanted to scream as the throbbing intensified but knew if he did someone might hear him. He inhaled deeply and composed himself, knowing he had to hurry. As quickly as it came, the ache fled.
Glancing at the glowing red numbers of the digital clock on the nightstand, he noted the time as he stood and peeled off the two condoms—one could never be too careful. He placed them inside a plastic bag and zipped the lock shut. Jamming the bag inside the duffle, he removed a black sweatshirt and pants. Careful not to dislodge the knit hat covering his hair, he eased the shirt over his head and fitted his arms through the sleeves. His head was the only place left where he had any hair, besides brows and lashes. His skin was baby smooth, thanks to monthly waxing at a spa he found halfway between Montreal and Quebec City. The drive took about three hours one way, but was well worth it. The cute French-speaking girl who knew him as "Andy" looked at him funny the first time he put in his request but as soon as he dropped his pants, she couldn’t resist him. Women never could resist him.
Stuffing his feet into a pair of black boots, he reached for his bag, settling it next to Ella on the blue silk spread. He had slit her neck immediately after he strangled her, learning from Denise’s death that he couldn’t waste time. Once the heart stopped, blood ceased to flow. His research told him that in order to maximize the amount, he needed to cut her right away. Oh, Denise had bled enough for his purposes, but he preferred not taking any chances.
He extracted a sketch pad and Kolinsky paintbrush made from a species of mink only found in Siberia and northeastern China. It was perfect for his needs: it had a sharp tip; elasticity that allowed it to recover its original shape after each stroke; and he could accurately control the flow.
Dipping the bristles into the pool of still-warm blood beneath her head, he began his latest masterpiece. The brush flew across the page, letters forming, words taking shape. Once he was satisfied with his object d'art, he wrapped aluminum foil around the bristles and dropped the brush into a plastic bag until later when he could clean it thoroughly.
Next he withdrew a red silk bra that matched the gag. Pulling the damp panties from her mouth, he carefully arranged the undergarments on Ella and then snapped several pictures, pausing to pose her between shots.
The man threw back his head and roared with laughter. The police would never catch him. He was too smart. He had managed to elude them for over twenty years, ever since Kim, his first victim.
After arranging his poem on the girl’s torso, he positioned her just so and snapped one final picture before stuffing the camera in his bag. Padding to her dresser, he rummaged around, searching for the perfect pair of undergarments. Hmm. Apparently Ella Rodriguez has—oops, scratch that—had a slutty side. Racy lingerie in various colors filled the drawer. He selected a sheer black set and stuffed them in his bag as he shoved the drawer closed.
With one last look, he blew Ella a kiss before stepping quietly outside and blending into the darkness of the night.
Roses are blue
Violets are red
In case you are wondering
Ella is truly dead
Her end came swiftly
Oh how she bled
Her death's a riddle
Have you discovered the thread?
COBRA Securities agent Jake Kincaid reread the note even though the verse had already imprinted in his memory. It was similar to a poem found at one other murder scene and the perpetrator used the same modus operandi: rape, strangulation, branding, lingerie-clad body arranged with a poem written in blood. The victim’s blood.
They were dealing with a serial killer.
And the bastard was taunting them.
He could have turned the job down, but Detective Nicholas Turner requested him personally. The two met a few years ago when Jake spoke at a law enforcement conference. Then he and his former partner Ben Colton worked with Turner in Boston a couple of years later to solve a kidnapping ring and they found a mutual respect for each other. Turner was competent and capable and Jake appreciated his insight and skill. He also appreciated the fact that Turner realized what he was dealing with after the first murder and had enough sense to not waste time. He immediately called the FBI and requested Jake personally. Many local authorities resented the Bureau coming in and taking over a case. That had never been Jake’s MO. He preferred to work with the locals on an even playing field. However, if they caused him problems or blocked him, he had no problem asserting his authority.
But Jake was no longer a Bureau man. He'd been with COBRA Securities for just over six months now, following after his old partner Ben, whose older brother Luke was co-owner of the booming private securities company. When he signed on, he'd negotiated the vacation and then counted down the days to a tropical retreat with lots of sun, sand and surf. Instead of a beach, tropical drinks with straws, and bikini-clad babes, he was using those days to catch a serial killer.
When Turner found out Jake was no longer with the FBI, he'd called and asked for his assistance. Even with the lure of the ocean calling his name, he didn't even consider turning him down. Thankfully he'd left the FBI on good terms so they agreed that he could serve as a liaison and they would provide any assistance necessary. He'd been fully prepared to use his vacation days but Luke Colton and his partner, Logan Bradley, wouldn't hear of it. They insisted that this would be a COBRA-sanctioned operation with full support.
A bulb flashed repeatedly as a young man dressed in camouflage fatigues documented the corpse from every angle. Once finished, he disassembled his bulky camera and stowed it into a bag before withdrawing a smaller digital one. He thoroughly catalogued the crime scene with pictures while Turner, the lead detective, sketched it into a notebook. A man was dusting a fine white powder—fingerprint dust—over the doorknob looking for prints, while a woman did the same thing to several surfaces inside the apartment using black dust. Jake stood next to Turner as the coroner went to work.
The victim had been a beautiful woman with a mane of glossy black hair but now her body bore the imprints of a brutal death. Eyes frozen wide in horror stared sightlessly at the cracked beige ceiling. Red streaks marred the white area surrounding dark green irises from petechial hemorrhaging, a common occurrence in manually strangulated victims. Her facial muscles and fingers were stiff from rigor mortis but it had not yet affected her larger muscle groups, meaning she had probably been dead about two hours. A straight red line stretched from one side of her delicate neck to the other, splitting the round bruises bracketing her trachea in two. A dark pool of blood soaked the comforter under her head. Her wrists and ankles were bruised from her struggles, most likely from metal bindings. Bruises peeked from beneath the red satin bra and disappeared underneath panties, traces of vicious fingers.
The killer took time to redress his victims when finished.
Though technicians combed her body for any traces of evidence, he doubted they would find any. The last victim had been closely examined for any remnants adhering to her body such as blood, hairs, fibers or skin scrapings under the fingernails in case the victim had been able to scratch her assailant. Nothing. The body was clean. Likewise, vaginal specimens indicated no trace of semen, meaning the unsub, or unknown subject, wore at least one condom, possibly two. Spermicide samples taken from the last victim would be matched with this one, but it wouldn’t be much help. All it would really prove was that the same brand of condom was used.
Bright lights flooded the area, harshly illuminating every detail of a violent death as the coroner spoke softly into a small black recorder, cataloguing the external damage.
"We're dealing with one sick bastard," Turner said, twirling a toothpick in his mouth with his fingers.
"That we are." Jake nodded towards the victim. "Same pose as last time."
"Yeah," Turner confirmed. "Arms crossed over her chest like a burial pose."
"That's a classic sign of remorse," Jake informed him. "He feels bad after he kills her and this is his way of offering her some peace."
"Bastard," Turner muttered under his breath. One of the crime scene techs moved closer to work on the body. "If it’s the same as the other, they won’t find anything."
Jake nodded, having studied information Turner emailed to him on the previous case on the plane.
"Felix Pena has been the county coroner for thirty years," Turner told him as they watched the man work. Balding and overweight, Pena methodically examined the corpse. Lines fanned out from his eyes, suggesting he was quick to laugh. This was definitely no laughing matter.
"Never seen a case like this in all my thirty years," Pena remarked over his shoulder in response to Turner’s comment. He withdrew two clear baggies and scribbled on the front of each one with a black sharpie. Carefully he moved her arms to the sides and then he extracted a pair of scissors from his crime scene kit and sliced off the bra. "This doesn’t belong to the victim."
"How can you tell?"
"Too big. Check her underwear drawer and tell me what size you find."
Turner grabbed latex gloves from a box and stepped around a tech dusting for prints as he padded to the solid oak dresser. Snapping the gloves on, he tugged the top drawer open. "Socks," he said, pushing it closed and moving to the next drawer. "Interesting." He checked the bottom drawer. "Come take a look at this, Kincaid."
Jake walked over and peered inside. "Here’s her lingerie," he said, indicating the middle drawer. Bras and panties were scattered inside in a tangled heap. "Now look at this." Turner opened the top drawer, where socks and stockings were stacked in neat rows and organized by color. He then opened the bottom one exposing sleepwear again arranged in neat piles.
"The perp rifled through her underwear," Jake said, voicing Turner’s conclusion.
Turner called the photographer over and had him snap shots of all the drawers. Then he lifted a bra from the drawer and read the tag. "34A."
"This one is 36D," Pena said. "Definitely did not belong to the victim."
"So running with the theory that he dressed Ms. Rodriguez with undergarments from the first victim, Denise Tennison, where do you think he got the lingerie he left on Ms. Tennison?"
"Past victim, personal stash?" Jake guessed.
Jake and Turner watched as Pena slid the scissors beneath the lace edge of her panties and sliced them off. Pena moved back so the photographer could get clear shots of the body.
Jake had learned to look at the scene objectively, almost separating the loss of life from the job he had to do. He still said a prayer for the victim each time and he could never quite shake that feeling of sympathy and regret he felt when he saw a scene such as this: a beautiful young woman, battered and naked, exposed to the eyes of people wandering around the room as they poked, prodded and photographed her. The ultimate humiliation, he thought. Those same photographs would be passed around the homicide department, the prosecution and defense attorney’s offices and then to a judge and jury if, God-willing, they were able to locate a suspect.
It had been said that there is no dignity in death, and how true that statement usually proved to be. But the inspection, the scrutiny, the analysis, they were all necessary if the authorities were able to hold someone responsible for the heinous crime.
Pena finished his examination and flipped off the recorder. He motioned Jake and
"That’s quite a bit of blood, more than the last victim," Turner noted.
"This guy is smart," Pena said. "He learned from his last kill and cut her right away this time. The carotid arteries and veins in the neck transport a great deal of blood. If they are sliced open perimortem, or around the time of death, they will spill their contents even though the heart has stopped pumping. The longer you wait, the less blood there will be."
But then, the killer didn’t need much to dip his brush in and wax poetic.
The men stepped aside as two attendants dressed in white uniforms wheeled in a gurney. They watched as the victim disappeared inside a black body bag.
"Hopefully we will get lucky this time and pick up a hair, fiber, something to nail this bastard," Pena said, gathering up his equipment. Jake doubted it but said nothing.
While the crime scene techs continued their investigation, Jake and Turner made a thorough sweep of the apartment. Numbered placards were spaced out around the room, marking potential clues. Jake reached a gloved hand inside a bin beneath a small desk and withdrew an empty hamburger wrapper. Then he lifted a cup plastered with logos of a local fast food restaurant from a coaster and jiggled the contents. "Still has a couple cubes of ice," he noted. "Looks like it was dinner for one."
"Notes are spread on the desk, the cap off the highlighter," Turner observed. "I’m thinking she was in for an evening of studying, so she probably wasn’t expecting company."
"No sign of forced entry," Jake said.
"Whomever the sicko is, she must have known him enough to open the door to him. Windows are all locked, too. She either knew her murderer or he managed to talk his way inside."
Other author's books:
- Last Dance (COBRA Securities Book 14)Say Goodbye to MelodyTotal SurrenderViolets Are BlueHuntedTough as Nails (COBRA Securities Book 10)Total Surrender (COBRA Securities Book 11)Kidnapped (COBRA Securities)
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