Long Road To Ruin

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

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He raised his hands to the sides of his head, and rubbed his temples tiredly, very much aware of the mountain of paperwork that filled his desk even before he had taken a step into his office. Since he had been away, he had received several letters from most of his co-workers, urging him to end his vacation early and come back.

“It’s nice to see you back, Detective,” said a silky voice.

Jasper turned slightly and pushed a hand through his dark brown hair, his blue eyes glittering as his eyes fell on the woman in front of him. She was standing only a few feet from his office, her hazel eyes watching him curiously. She brushed a hand through her mid-shoulder length red hair, and smiled.

“Good Morning,” he said. “Have you been holding up the fort while I’ve been gone?”

“There’s been some problems,” his partner muttered. She was holding a stack of files which she handed him. When their fingers brushed briefly, Jasper pulled back. “But I think we handled them nicely.”

“So, what was all the fuss of my needing to come back? You know, I was enjoying my vacation.”

Justine bit her lip, a gesture she did out of nervousness, and looked seriously into Jasper’s face. “A girl was attacked last night, badly. Stabbed in the throat. By the time the paramedics came, she was gone.”

He sighed and ran both of his hands through his hair. Without speaking, he walked into his office and sat down at his desk, placing his head into his hands. “How old was she?”

He wasn’t sure that Justine was standing near him until he heard her say, “Sixteen.”

“Do we have any leads?” He asked, lifting his head to stare at her.

“The bartender at Jake’s over on Ocean says that a man came in around eighty-twenty, covered in blood, and asking for a drink. Steve says the man mentioned the murder and told him to call the cops.”

“Well, that’s unusual,” Jasper said, frowning.

“That’s not all,” Justine said darkly. She leaned closer to him as she spoke. “Steve also says the man was very calm about what he was saying. Don’t you find that suspicious?”

Jasper nodded. “What was the girl’s name?”

“Vivian Harris.” Justine shook her head. “No one has reported her missing or come forward. Her face is all over the news. Shouldn’t someone have claimed her by now?”

“Not necessarily if they don’t realize she’s missing,” Jasper said. “She’s sixteen, she could have been staying over a friend’s house for all her parents knew, a safe place.”

“She was sixteen, Jas.”

“Of course.” Jasper sighed and looked over at Justine. “What about the man at the bar?”

“What about him?” Justine asked. She had been looking at things on the wall of his office.

“Do we have a name?”

Justine looked surprised, and after rummaging through a file she was holding, pulled out a piece of paper and slid it across his desk. Jasper looked at it and his eyes widened.

“Jus, have you looked closely at this?”

She came around his desk and peered at the paper. “What did I miss?”

Jasper looked up at her worriedly. “Unless this record is an old one, it seems that our guy, William Hastings, has been dead for the last two years. How did you get this?”

“Steve asked him for ID,” Justine said, smirking. “He apparently, and I don’t know how, didn’t leave any trace of himself on our girl, and Steve had accidentally washed the glass Hastings used.”

“Well, I’ll talk to some people about this.”

Justine smiled. She glanced behind her at the closed door and she turned back to Jasper, her eyes warm. She stepped closer to him and ran her fingers through his hair. He groaned.

“Justine…” he warned softly.

“Yes, Jasper?” She muttered, bending her head to nip his ear.

He closed his eyes as her hands slipped underneath his shirt, gently stroking his chest, and he let out another groan when she straddled him. Justine was nothing if not persistent; she had missed him greatly, and was eager to show him just how much. He could feel her fingers loosening his tie, and he heard the soft flutter as it fell onto the desk. When he felt a single brush of her lips against his, Jasper tangled his hands in her hair and pulled her closer.

“You should know better,” he moaned as her lips found his neck. “We could lose our jobs.”

The only response he got was a slight pinch of her teeth against his skin, her fingers locked in his beautiful brown hair, her eyes clouded as she looked at him.

“Then take me to lunch,” she suggested. “I want to welcome you home properly.”

“It’s not even eleven yet,” Jasper commented.

“Tell them I’m sick and you’re taking me home,” Justine whispered, sliding her knee up his leg, amused at his reaction when she found the spot she wanted.

“You have a car,” he reminded her as he sucked in a moan.

“Oh, but I’m far too sick to drive,” she said. She grinned wickedly and grasped one of his hands, placing it on her thigh, inching upward.

He stilled his hand on her thigh and stared at her, realization dawning on her face, and he frowned. “You little witch, you planned this, didn’t you?”

A smile flitted across Justine’s gorgeous face and she said, “All right, you’ve caught me. What’s my punishment?”

Jasper smiled, grabbed a hold her arms, and pulled her forward so that their noses touched. He let his lips hover before brushing them against hers, slowly nipping at her bottom lip. He held her tightly and brushed his lips against her neck, collarbone, and above her breasts, his eyes lustful as he stared at her. She looked pretty when she was like this.

Gently, his lips brushed her ear and he whispered, “Get back to work, Detective Collins.”

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