Long Road To Ruin

He kills them all without remorse, but very much with reason.

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3. Autopsy

He was looking down at the young girl, her brown hair caked with dried blood, and her eyes open, staring blankly at him. She looked as though she were covered in a thick, brown, slime that started at the jaw line and went all the way down to her thighs. This fucker really had done a number on her.

“Jesus Christ,” Justine whispered. “What the fuck did he do to her?”

“Tried to carve her like a fucking pumpkin,” Jasper said with disgust. “Look at how deep the wound goes. Right down to the fucking bone.” His eyes held Justine’s for a few moments before he stared back at the dead girl. “Is there anymore concrete evidence that this Hastings is the guy?”

“I think his blood-covered face is evidence enough,” said a smug voice.

Jasper’s eyes narrowed as he turned around. “Can I help you, Detective Hale?”

Samuel Hale stood in the doorway of the autopsy room, his brown eyes watching Justine carefully. She shifted her glance from his face to Jasper’s.

“I just watched to check how things were going,” said Samuel.

“And check out Justine,” said Jasper under his breath. Instinctively, he pulled his partner behind him and stepped toward the other man. “What business do you have here? You’re not part of this case.”

Samuel smirked. “Actually, Delaney, I am now. Could I have a word with Justine, since you’re clearly busy?”

Justine blinked, pushed her red hair out of her eyes, and walked forward. Jasper gripped her elbow firmly. He turned her around to face him. “I don’t like the way he’s looking at you.”

“He’s harmless,” she said quietly. “Don’t you trust me?”

“Of course I do!” Jasper hissed softly. “I just don’t trust him.”

“This really isn’t-”

“I know it’s not the best time.”

Justine smiled and pressed a finger to his lips. He kissed it lightly, staring down at her. “What I mean to say was this really isn’t a good place to discuss this. We’re supposed to be working the case, not being insecure about an innocent talk, Detective.”

He scowled. He hated when she called him by his rank name. Sure, he was a Detective, but he was also Jasper, and he had done a lot for her, all feelings aside. It just pissed him off that someone else could make her smile like she did when she was with him. He thought that gesture was reserved for him alone.

He dropped his hand and nodded solemnly. “Just be careful.”

She grinned at him as she walked passed Samuel, whose eyes caught Jasper’s, before he smirked before exiting the room.

Jasper ran a hand down his face, his blood was boiling. He stared down at the girl, at Vivian Harris, his eyes softening slightly as he reached a gloved hand to touch her cheek. “We’ll fine who did this, sweetheart, I promise.”

He exited the room after shutting off the light. He headed back to his office when he saw Justine sitting on the floor in front of his locked door. He had barely acknowledged her as he unlocked his door and stepped inside. He stood in the middle of the room, staring at the ceiling, before he heard her clear her throat.

“He asked me out for drinks,” Justine mumbled.

“Are you going to go?” came his chipped response.

“You can’t possibly think I would. She touched his shoulders and he stiffened. She flinched. “I told him I was busy.”

“Did he buy your excuse?” Jasper wondered.

“He wasn’t happy about it but I think so,” she said. She felt him relax underneath her touch, and she wrapped her arms around him, snuggling closer. He groaned.

He turned and kissed her, wrapped his arms around her waist and pulling her close. “I think our shift is over,” he muttered, his tongue sliding to caress her lower lip.

She nodded and began to pull him out of the office.

 

**


When her back hit the wall, he gripped her legs, to wrap them around his waist. She obliged graciously, of course, and titled her head back so that he could brush his lips against her throat gently. She lifted her hands to cradle his hand, and Jasper nearly lost his balance and dropped her; Justine let out a giggle as he placed her on her feet.

“I almost dropped you,” he said, pushing her hair from her eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she said, smiling. “I don’t think the wall is the best place for that kind of thing.”

He nodded and grabbed her hands, squeezing them lightly. “I’m sorry about this morning, Justine.”

Her eyes widened slightly and she smiled softly, leaning her head against his chest, trying to hear his heartbeat. When she felt his hand slid against her shoulders, she sighed.

“It’s okay. You were only doing what you thought you had to.”

“Sam likes you, though, and I don’t want to stand in the way if-”

“If what?” She asked, her eyes narrowed suddenly. “If I like Samuel? Damn it, Jasper, why do you always do this?”

“Do what?” He asked.

Justine was halfway down the hall of the house before she whirled around. “You’re always making me out to be the bad guy and I’m sick of it. You’re a guy and I never complain about you going off with someone else.”

Jasper reached her and grabbed both of her wrists, his eyes soft. “Because I’m not in love with anyone else, Justine, I’m in love with you, and I have been for a very long time.”

Her eyes widened slightly.

“You had to have known.” Jasper muttered. 

It was true that Jasper wasn’t much for commitment, but with her, things were different. That had been different for the last three years. They had kept their outside lives a secret from the others, and maybe, he thought, it was time to let them know.

All Justine could do know was hug him, because she loved him too, she just had a hard time saying it.

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