Jessa Meets Her Match
Chapter 9: Shots Fired
I couldn’t see her, but I knew she was there. Cathers and I were in the family SUV, flying up the Post Road. I glanced at the junkyard as we shot by. But my mind wasn’t on all that had happened there. It was firmly on what lay ahead.
The town of Hammonton was bigger than I expected. I didn’t know where to go. I pulled into a gas station and rolled down the window. The second person I asked was in the know and gave me directions.
A couple of minutes later, I saw flashing lights, the police barrier dead ahead. I parked well back from the action. There was quite a crowd, and the media was there in full force – TV station vans with satellite dishes on the roof.
Forcing my way to the front, I could see police cars in the street a half block past the barrier. Looking closely, I could even make out police officers; they were down on the ground behind their vehicles. I couldn’t see Nick, but one of them had to be him. I needed to get to him. I’d promised my parents and Catherine that I’d stay back, but this was my case. I belonged there. Just then, a volley of gunfire split the morning air, causing me and everyone around me to crouch down – fifteen or twenty rounds – too fast to count.
Once the shooting had ceased, I backed away. Standing and turning, I walked back and went around a block. I needed to get past the police barrier. Hopefully, I’d be able to find my way to a spot with a view of the action – with a little luck, just across the street.
The next street over was completely empty, eerie even. The houses were ordinary, but the lots were huge. I heard another burst of gunfire and froze in my tracks. A few seconds after it was over, I continued on.
I got to the point in the street where I could see flashing lights between two of the houses. This was where I needed to cross back over. It felt odd, walking past a house and entering into someone’s backyard, but I was just passing through.
I scaled a tall wooden fence as if it wasn’t there. My legs were bare, but fortunately I’d put on a pair of sturdy denim shorts that morning. The second backyard was just as empty as the first.
Peeking around the corner of the house, I got a better look at the standoff than I’d gotten from the police barrier. I was also able to get my first real glimpse of the house they had surrounded. It was dingy white – as ordinary looking as any house in Vermont. Because I was still in the backyard, I could only see two police cars, one with its lights flashing, the other looking as if its light bar had been shot away. Two police officers were visible. They were down on the ground. One had a rifle, the other, a pistol.
My heart pounding like crazy in my chest, I crawled slowly forward into the area between the two houses. Fortunately, the side yard was choked with shrubbery – plenty to hide behind. When I reached the front corner of the house I was next to, two more police cars came into view. I was also able to get a better look across the street – at the house where the ‘alleged’ serial killer was holed up. At that very moment, gunshots again rang out. Because I was such a bundle of nerves, my arms gave way and I fell down prone into the weeds.
Forcing myself to look up, I saw him. His head and entire torso were visible above the sill of a window. Using what had to be a semiautomatic rifle, he fired shot after shot into the vehicles that the officers were behind. They were all hunkered down, crouching or lying flat on the ground, none of them attempting to return fire.
After twenty or more shots, the man stepped back, disappearing from the window. Thinking that was my moment, I gathered my nerves. Hopping up, I sprinted for the closest police car, landing down on my butt behind it, my back against one of the doors.
There was a black police officer next to me. He startled when he saw me. “What the hell! You can’t be here. You’ll get yourself killed.”
“I know,” I said. “But Nick … I mean, Officer Harris. Where is he?”
“How the hell should I know?”
“A Stonefield Police Officer. Officer Harris.”
I saw him looking me up and down. “You shouldn’t be here. But now … you can’t leave,” he replied, his tone transitioning from surprise to anger.
I was trying to decide what to do just as the gunfire resumed. Only this time something was different.
“He’s not shooting at us?” I asked.
The officer glared at me for a moment, but waited. It was too loud to talk. Once the gunfire stopped, he replied, “He seems to pick a different window each time. That time, he was shooting out one of the side windows. Or maybe from the back of the house.”
I lifted up to look. “Goddamn it,” he hollered, grabbing my shirt and yanking me down on top of him. “What are you, stupid or something?”
“How long do the breaks last?” I asked, but right then the gunfire resumed. This time there were only six shots – slow enough to count.
“He has multiple weapons, each with a different size magazine,” the cop explained. “Sometimes there are long gaps. Other times just seconds.”
Seeing a radio on the ground, I asked, “Can you use your radio and find out where Officer Harris is?”
“I’m sure your Officer Harris can take care of himself. Forget about him. Keep your butt right where it is. Focus on staying alive.”
I grabbed his radio. Mashing down the button, I yelled, “Nick, are you here? Can you hear me? It’s Jessa.”
There was a long pause. “Jessa? Shit!” came the reply. “I told you not to… Oh, Holy crap!”
The officer grabbed at the radio, but I shifted, keeping it away from him. “Nick, where are you? I’m behind one of the cars in front. I mean, in the street in front of the house.”
“Stop, just stop,” he replied sternly. “Wherever you are, stay there!”
“See,” said the officer, finally wrestling his radio away from me. “At least one of you has some sense.”
Right then, the gunfire resumed, but it wasn’t coming our way. Deciding that I probably had a moment, I sprinted to the next car to the left, doing my best to stay low. A policeman was there, but it wasn’t Nick. I stopped for half a second, our eyes meeting. But then I kept going.
Nick was behind the third car. It just so happened to be the one closest to the barrier I’d been at earlier. I dove down next to him, ending up with my back against the car.
“Jessa. What the hell!” he yelled. I’d never seen him so mad.
“What’s the plan?” I asked, attempting a calm voice so that he’d talk to me.
He shook his head, glaring angrily at me.
“Get over it, Nick. Tell me what’s going on.”
In that moment, the gunfire again rang out. This time, it was directed right at us. Glass rained down on the two of us from above. A short time later, it was over.
“We’re just waiting.”
“Waiting for what?” I asked.
“Waiting,” he repeated, acting as if no further explanation were required.
“Here, put this on,” he added after a long pause. Looking over, I saw that he was unfastening his bulletproof vest.
I hesitated. “Nick, no. Keep that on,” I said with a dismissive wave of the hand. “Now, tell me what’s going on.”
“We keep our heads down. He runs out of ammo … hopefully soon,” he said, continuing to work at unstrapping his vest.
I swatted at his hands, grabbing one of them and holding on to it.
“And then?” I asked, picturing the gunman pretending to run out of ammunition so that he could shoot some police officers.
“Bad, Jessa!” he spat, trying to pull his hand free. “You shouldn’t be here.”
He was mad, but I was madder. “Hell if I shouldn’t! My case … my fucking case … from the very start. Now for fuck’s sake, fill me in!”
“A law enforcement matter. This is not for you!”
“Do you want to fight me, Nick?” I asked. He was still trying to get his arm free, but there was no way I was letting go. I didn’t want his vest.
“Of course not, Jessa,” he said, glaring at me. I glared back. My hackles were up, way up.
Eventually, realizing that I wasn’t backing down, he sighed. “Okay, here’s the deal. The Captain had him on the phone a while ago. He’s our guy. He as much as admitted to killing women. Sounded like a lot of women. Certainly more than three. He also said that we’re not taking him in alive. That he’s taking a few of us with him.”
“What a fuckin’ low-life! He deserves to die.”
“But … not just yet. Certainly not by his own hand. And today’s rules of engagement … shoot only as a last resort … and not to kill. You’ve surely seen him standing in the window. He’s begging for a sniper’s bullet. We’re not giving it to him. Since there must be more bodies … somewhere … there are more families needing closure. More missing persons cases eating up law enforcement resources.”
I nodded. The pieces were starting to fit. I reached up to my blouse and popped a button. Moments later, I had it all the way off. Looking toward the police barrier, I unhooked my bra and slid it down my arms. I hated that there were cameras there, but that was the least of my worries. Noticing that I was undressing, I saw a look of comprehension appear in Nick’s eyes.
Considering my shoes, I looked at the glass on the pavement. Fortunately, it wasn’t shards, but rather small square pieces – automotive safety glass. I spread out my shirt and leaned back onto it as I unbuttoned my shorts. Because I was in a hurry, I slid my panties and my shorts off as one, my legs up in the air. I then sat up, tossing everything aside. As I’d hoped, Catherine was there.
“Jessa, those are news crews,” Nick said, pointing down the street. “Expensive cameras, big lenses.”
I looked. Trembling, I shifted my knees together. “I don’t feel like I have a choice. You guys need me. I mean … you need us.”
“Tell Nick, he’s not running out of ammo,” Catherine said. “Boxes and boxes and boxes. And there are explosives. I’m not positive, but that’s what I think I was looking at.”
“You were in there?” It wasn’t really a question. Somehow I knew she would have already been inside.
“Yep, I did a little exploring. I can’t imagine he’s the guy. But I never got a very good look at him that night. It was dark. This guy, he’s so old. But Dirk’s old, so I guess it could be him.”
“What’s she saying?” Nick asked.
“That he’s got ammunition, boxes and boxes of it. Sounds like he’ll never run out. And that there are explosives. Correction. She saw what she thinks are explosives. She’s not sure.”
I saw a look of consternation in Nick’s eyes. He shook his head. “We’ll be here for days, except that they’re bringing in a BearCat. Which is great, but that doesn’t get him into custody alive. If there are explosives, we can’t send men in … even after he kills himself … too dangerous.”
“He’s not killing himself. I won’t allow it,” I said slowly, squinting to show Nick my resolve.
“No way to prevent it … if he’s made up his mind. And he’s had decades to think about it.”
“Nick, listen to me. Focus. He’s not fucking killing himself. Not happening! The cowardly way out … not for this bastard. Put me in charge. I’ll do this. Catherine and I. We’ll do this. She and I … we’re a goddamn team.”
I saw a look of confusion on his face, but then there was chatter on the radio – someone named Captain Evers was talking. While Nick listened to what was being said, Catherine and I were conferring with one another. She had the beginnings of a plan in mind. As she saw it, there were several options. I told her, she was going to have to make the decision – she’d seen the lay of the land. I let her know that I trusted her, that this was her mission. As Nick was wrapping up the radio conversation, she slipped away. A minute later, I heard her voice from the house. She was in position.
“Okay, let’s go,” I said, standing up.
“Jessa, goddamn it. Get down!”
“It’s okay. Cathers … she’s got eyes on him.”
“So,” he said, his frustration clearly growing.
“What do you mean, ‘so’? Goddamn it, Nick! Do you believe there’s a Cathers or not?”
“Get down!” he shouted adamantly. “We can talk about this. Not while you’re standing up.”
“I’m safe, Nick. Trust me,” I paused, listening to what Catherine was hollering. I could see her leaning out an upstairs window. “Get on your radio. Tell everyone that he’s about to unload on the backyard.” He picked it up, but hesitated. A few seconds later, the shots rang out. “Believe me now? Rock, paper, fucking scissors!”
Nick pushed the button. “Captain Evers, Officer Harris here,” he said. Gathering his confidence, he continued, “Officer Nick Harris of the Stonefield Police Department.”
A male voice replied. “Captain Evers speaking.”
“I’m going in the front door.”
There was a long pause. “No, you’re not.”
Nick shook his head. “I didn’t ask. With all due respect, I’m going in the front door. I’ll have a young woman with me. She’s … she’s … umm. She’s naked.”
“I don’t know what you’re smoking, Officer Harris. But stay the fuck where you are. That’s an order. And keep this channel open.”
Shaking his head, Nick pursed his lips. “Heaven help us, Jessa.”
“Heaven is helping us, Nick. We’ve got Catherine,” I said quietly. His eyes met mine. “Think on that,” I added, watching him carefully. He just sat there, but I knew he needed a minute.
At long last, Nick lifted his radio. “Officer Bixler. Bix, are you there?” he said into it.
“Shit! Officer Harris. Stand down!” Captain Evers’ voice barked.
But then there was another voice. “Nick, I’m here. I mean, Officer Harris. This is Officer Bixler.”
“Ok, Bix. Listen carefully. I’m going in the front door … with Jessa. She’s naked, like that night. You don’t have to. Evers will tell you not to. But come with us.”
I sat down next to Nick, sliding down low. “Gunfire coming. This time, right at us.”
“Okay, everyone down,” Nick said into his radio. “This time, out the front.”
A split second later, the predicted gunfire arrived. I tried to count, but it was too fast. “He’s got a bump stock,” Nick explained. I had no idea what that was.
Once the volley ended, Nick was back on the radio. “Bix, there’s risk, but much less than you imagine. You and I, we’re taking this asshole in. We’re taking the fucker in alive.”
“Officer Harris, stand down! I’m in charge here,” Evers barked.
“Again, with all due respect, Sir, I’m going in. Bix, if you trust me, meet us at the front door. Wear your vest, bring your gun. Fully loaded. Safety on. When I say ‘go’ we’ll have a window of opportunity, but a short one. So, if you’re coming, don’t delay.” There was no response.
I nodded at Nick. I was proud of him. “Okay … we wait. Cathers will let me know when the coast is clear.”
He stared into my eyes, squinting as if deep in thought. A second later, he was checking his pistol, verifying something. “I wish you could wear a vest,” he grumbled, speaking to the gun in his hand.
My adrenaline was pumping. “I wish I could, too,” I lamented, doing my best to not think about my state of dress. I was wearing the candy necklace that I’d put on that morning, but that was all. What we were about to attempt transcended all other concerns.
I heard Catherine’s voice. I stood up, waving at her. I wanted to tell her what the plan was – about Bixler. I couldn’t. I’d have to yell. The gunman might hear.
“Okay, now!” I said to Nick. “We might only have twenty seconds.” I started hurriedly tiptoeing through the glass. Fortunately, nothing felt particularly sharp.
Nick yelled into his radio. “Bix, now. We’re going.”
I took off – charging across the front lawn, Nick to my side, but a stride or two behind. It was unnerving – the gunfire had resumed, just not on our side of the house. Glancing over, I saw Officer Bixler, the nasty, middle-aged cop who had a thing for my ass. He had his head down, his arms pumping furiously. His path would converge with ours at the front door.
Once there, the three of us hugged the building. I was breathing heavily, facing out, my back in contact with the front door, the surface rough against my bare skin.
“Officer Harris, you’ll never work in law enforcement again,” Nick’s radio barked. He reached down and switched it off.
Officer Bixler looked into Nick’s eyes. “You better fucking know what you’re doing, Nick.”
I saw Nick nod. Turning, I tried the knob. It turned, but the door wouldn’t open. “It’s the deadbolt,” I said. “Locked.”
“Now what?” Officer Bixler asked.
“We wait,” Nick replied. “Both of you, turn around. Cover your eyes.”
Glancing down as I turned, I saw something on Nick’s chest, on top of his vest. Looking over, I saw that Bixler had one as well. “Body cam?” I asked.
Nick shrugged. I looked away. I hadn’t noticed it before, but it was too late to rethink what we were doing.
When the next volley of gunfire came, Nick fired three shots into the door. Slamming against it with his shoulder, he forced it open. Seeing Catherine just inside, I stepped quickly through the doorway. She and I were momentarily alone. I thought about mentioning the body cam, but it was too loud to talk and she might not know what it was.
A moment later, Nick and Bixler had joined us in the small dimly-lit front hall, Nick pushing the door closed behind them.
Catherine lifted a finger to her lips as the gunfire came to a stop. Getting Nick’s and Bixler’s attention, I did the same.
“If you guys only move while he’s firing, he won’t hear you coming,” Catherine said.
At a whisper, I repeated her words to the two men. Conscious that what I was saying was probably being recorded, I tried to make it sound as if the thought I was expressing was my own.
“Okay, what would be a good plan?” I asked quietly, looking directly at Catherine, but trying to act as if I were thinking out loud.
“What do you mean, ‘what would be a good plan?’” Bixler asked. “Nick … what the hell? Don’t tell me we don’t have a plan.”
Holding his fingers up to his lips, Nick shushed him. “No time to explain. Just trust me … trust us,” Nick said. “This is Jessa’s operation. We do what she says, and we take the guy alive. Right, Jessa?”
“Right,” I said, trying to appear confident, my voice barely audible.
“Heaven help us,” I heard Bixler mumble. Glancing over, I saw a smile cross Nick’s lips.
Catherine had started up the stairway. “He’s upstairs,” she explained, looking down at me. “He’s firing out four different windows. But he always returns to what must have been the master bedroom … to reload or grab different guns. He’s got a lot of them, preloaded magazines too. So not every time he shoots. If, while he’s firing, Nick and the other guy take up positions just inside the bedroom door, they can tackle him when he comes in.”
I reached up and pulled the guys’ faces close to mine. I then repeated the plan in a quiet voice, doing my best to make it sound as if it was my plan and not Catherine’s. Nick knew, but I needed to keep that from Bixler – and the body cams.
Catherine continued, “I’ll go and see where he is. When I say ‘go,’ come upstairs … quickly. Go straight into the bathroom that’s right across the hall. The light’s off. Hide behind the door. If possible, be in position before he’s done shooting. And then keep still.”
“Okay guys, when I say ‘go’ follow me up the stairs. Try and stay close. I’ll be moving fast,” I told them. I wanted to tell them all that Catherine had said, but I didn’t want to sound clairvoyant.
The three of us moved to the bottom of the stairway. We waited.
About three minutes later, after two more series of gunfire, I heard Catherine yelling from somewhere deep in the house. “Jessa, this time. As soon as he starts shooting. He has his rifle, so maybe thirty rounds this time.”
I turned to Nick and Bix. “We’re going the next time he starts shooting, guys. I’ll pick a room, and then we hide.” I decided that they didn’t really need to know that it would be a bathroom and that I knew exactly where it was.
As the volley began, I heard Catherine yelling, “Now! Go, go, go!” We were already racing up the stairs. We piled into the small bathroom. I pulled them to me and into the small space behind the door. We were huddling tightly together as the gunfire ceased.
I tried to hold my breath, but I couldn’t. My heart was pounding. I was completely naked, but even though the three of us were together like sardines, that was the furthest thing from my mind. I felt hot breath on my forehead, Nick’s or Bixler’s, I couldn’t be sure. It was dark. I was glad about that.
A moment later, Catherine was in the room with us. “Wait. Again, wait,” she said. Her voice sounded so loud. I had to again remind myself that I was the only one that could hear her.
“We’re just waiting … until …” I said in a soft whisper, my face between Nick’s and Bixler’s.
We heard heavy steps coming down the hallway. I gripped Nick’s upper arm in both my hands, squeezing it into my chest. I felt the steel of his pistol touching my skin near my hip. It was warm from recent use.
The footsteps in the hall turned.
“Okay, as soon as he starts firing, follow me to the bedroom,” Catherine said.
I repeated what she’d said, leaving out the ‘bedroom’ part.
“How does she know where to go?”’ Bixler asked.
“Shh … we trust her,” Nick whispered.
I thought Bixler might say something more, but he didn’t.
As the next series began, the three of us, four counting Catherine, tumbled out of the bathroom. She turned left and hurried down the hall, the deafening sound of gunfire echoing throughout the house. I did my best to stay right on her heels, not bothering to look back.
Just inside the bedroom I saw the ‘boxes and boxes and boxes’ of ammunition Catherine had mentioned. There was also what looked to be a work table. It was stacked with magazines. Next to it was a rack of guns. There were more guns under the table.
The two guys stopped and stared. Half the room seemed to be ammo – stacked to the ceiling. “No time for that,” I said, shoving them into position, one on each side of the door according to what Catherine was telling me to do. “He’ll be through any moment.” I said, repeating what Catherine was saying. “At least, I think he will,” I added for Bixler’s benefit as the barrage ceased.
I stood behind Nick – far enough away to not impair his movement, but close enough to have my hands on his waist. I saw the two men lock eyes and nod to one another. Nick had something that looked like a club in his hands – up over his head. Officer Bixler was also in position, a similar weapon at the ready down near his waist.
I tried to focus, but I was glad that I was only there as an observer at that point. My heart was pounding in my ears, so loud that I thought that the gunman might hear it. Various thoughts started flashing through my head as the seconds dragged on.
In my mind’s eye, I saw a police officer confronting a suspect, gun drawn. ‘Hands up,’ he’d say. That clearly wouldn’t work here. This man had said that he wasn’t going to be taken alive. If our guy had ammo, he’d start firing. Yes, this seemed like the only option. Nick and Bixler had to take him down before he knew what hit him.
Still waiting, I leaned over. The body cam on Bixler’s chest was pointed right at me. Doing my best to ignore it, I shifted my eyes up, meeting his. I studied him as he looked at me. My opinion of him had done a one-eighty. Maybe he was a lecherous man who leered at women’s butts, but he was also a loyal partner. Captain Evers, whoever that was, had told Nick to ‘stand down.’ That he’d ‘never work in law enforcement again.’ But Officer Bixler, ‘Bix’ as Nick called him, had trusted him. Here he was, backing Nick up, as Nick undertook what on the face of it had to seem like a fool’s mission.
Nick would have attempted to do this alone, that had been clear. As a matter of fact, he’d raced for the front door not knowing if Bixler would appear. But Bixler had come! I felt so much better about what was about to go down given that it would be two against one.
And then I heard Catherine shout from somewhere down the hall, “Five seconds, Jessa.”
I started to repeat her words, but stopped myself. Even a whisper might be too loud in the now quiet house. But then I heard the approaching footsteps. My hands still on his waist, I felt Nick stiffen.
A man, tall, grey hair, came through the door. Nick, using everything he had, brought his club down, crashing it into the man’s skull. Simultaneously, Bixler hit him – hard – straight into his gut.
I saw surprise and pain on the man’s face as he pitched forward onto his knees. From there, he fell face down, hitting the floor with a heavy thud. But then, after just a split second, he rolled to the side. There was a pistol in his hand. I watched in horror as he lifted it, aiming it back in the direction of Nick and Bixler.
My adrenaline pumping, I took a giant step forward and stomped – with all my might – both feet – mashing his forearm into the floor. I heard the weapon discharge, but, looking down, I saw it fall from his hand.
He looked up at me. Before he could get his bearings for a counterattack, I stomped his face. Using just one foot, I stomped. Over and over, I drove my heel into him, pounding his head into the floor.
And then Nick was there. He grabbed the man’s shoulder, flipping him over. With his knees in the guy’s back, he cuffed one wrist and then the other. “Check on Bixler,” he said without looking up.
I glanced back. Bixler was down, his butt on the floor, his back against the door jamb. There was blood.
I knelt down next to him. “Oh, God. You’re shot.” The blood was soaking into one of his pant legs – up high – his thigh.
He didn’t respond, his face contorted in a grimace. As I watched, he turned over his hand. I saw him looking at his bloody fingers. “Fucker shot me,” he mumbled.
I moved closer, placing a hand on his shoulder. “I’m so sorry,” I said, suddenly overcome with emotion.
Bixler raised his head. It was as if he had finally noticed me. Our eyes met. He attempted a smile. “Fucker shot me,” he repeated. “But it’s just a flesh wound … thanks to you.” Pain still evident in his eyes. “Before you jumped, his gun was pointed at my head.”
Behind me, Nick spoke. “Catherine, check the house. Every room. Make sure there’s no one else here. Report back.”
I looked at Bixler, wondering how he’d react to hearing another name.
“There isn’t, but I’ll double check,” Cathers called out, disappearing through the door.
“She’s on it,” I told Nick. He needed to know even though our words were being recorded.
Nick nodded. “Bix, your cuffs,” he said.
Bixler pulled them from his belt. I took them from him, tossing them to Nick. He connected one end to one of the man’s wrists. Then, yanking the man’s arms up at what had to be an uncomfortable angle, he connected the other end of the second pair of handcuffs to a steel bed frame.
“That should hold him,” Nick said, beginning a search of the man’s pockets.
After throwing the suspect’s firearms well out of his reach, Nick crawled over to Bixler. Producing a nasty looking knife with a serrated blade, he started cutting away the cloth around Bixler’s wound.
Bixler looked up at Nick. “She saved my life. Were it not for her, that bullet would have gone in between my eyes.”
“She saved his life, too,” Nick said, momentarily glancing over at the man cuffed to the bed frame. He looked up at me. “Now’s your chance,” he continued. “Spit on him to your heart’s content.”
I got up and went over to the man in cuffs. He looked so helpless, scared even, his eyes shifting from my eyes to my pussy and back again. I made no attempt to cover up. I wanted him to see who had beaten him. “I’m good,” I said, glancing back at Nick.
Leaning over the man, I studied the damage I’d done to his face. Reaching down, I slapped his cheek softly. “He’s never going to forget the woman that did this to him,” I taunted. His nose was bloody and misshapen. It had to be broken.
I watched as his eyes traced along my body, again coming to rest on my face. His skin took on an ashen pallor. As our eyes met, he spoke. “Wait. Do I know you?”
I nodded. “How does it feel to be captured by the ghost of one of your victims?”
I was taken aback. Was he one of the serial killers that kept a scrapbook of his victims? “Yup. Catherine Marshall,” I replied, glad that I’d had my hair done to match hers. In the next instant, I was regretting that she wasn’t in the room. “I’m glad you remember me. It’s been so long. And you probably remember slamming my fingers in the trunk lid, don’t you?” I held them in front of his face, flexing them to show him that they were fine. I wondered if it made sense that they weren’t broken, but Catherine’s didn’t seem to be.
As his eyes grew wide, I glanced back. Bixler was staring at me, looking right at my ass. Realizing what kind of a view I was giving him, I stood up and turned slightly. Even though my respect for the guy was way up, it was embarrassing. Even injured, he didn’t need to be looking between my legs.
Just then Catherine returned. Looking back down at the guy cuffed to the bedframe, I returned to what I had been saying, “I begged for my life. You left me in that trunk … to die … welded it shut. Just as naked then as I am now. Naked for all eternity … thanks to you, you bastard! But you’ll pay. You’ll pay in this life. And then, in the next. Boy, are you going to pay!”
I again turned to listen to what Catherine had to say. “There’s no one else in the house … not alive, anyway. There appear to be two bodies downstairs. In a small locked room off the basement. They’re wrapped in plastic.”
I turned to Nick. “There’s no one else in the house. But you’ll find a small room off the basement. It’s locked. Two bodies inside. Wrapped in plastic.”
I looked back at the man lying uncomfortably on the floor. “So you don’t believe in ghosts?” I asked him. I laughed. I couldn’t help it. It had been such a tense, scary situation, but suddenly no one else was going to die – not at the hands of this deranged psycho. The expression on his face was very telling. He was obviously terrified. I was glad about that. He needed to be.
Nick turned his radio back on and started reporting the situation in the house. A minute later, there were six to eight officers in the room with us, a few more in the hall. I was again kneeling next to Bixler, but the new people were distracting. It was as if they’d never seen so much ammo. They’d look away whenever I glanced their way, but I could also tell from their expressions that my nudity was quite distracting.
Doing my best to ignore them, I focused instead on Bixler. I’d found a pillow to put behind his back. There wasn’t much I could do to make him comfortable, but the paramedics were on their way. There was both an entry and an exit hole. It looked ugly, but at least the bullet wasn’t inside. Using his own hands, Bix was applying pressure to the wound.
To Be Continued…
Author’s note: If you are reading and enjoying Jessa Meets Her Match, I would love to hear from you! You may comment here on the storyboard (as ‘anonymous’ or register and give yourself a name). Alternately, feel free to send me an email: BPClavel@gmail.com
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Blair P. Clavel
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