Lemon Jam Chapter 12
I will have you, yes I will have you
I will find a way and I will have you
Like a butterfly, a wild butterfly
I will collect you and capture you
My fantasy has turned to madness
All my goodness has turned to badness
My need to possess you has consumed my soul
My life is trembling, I have no control.
“Sarge! Over here!” The crime scene tech called out.
Parker, Sam and Spike stood around awkwardly while the crime techs scurried around the outside of Jules’ house and covered the inside and outside of Sam’s truck. When the tech called out excitedly, they all three looked at each other and out at the trees where Sam had told them about “feeling” someone watching them and slowly headed that way.
“Sir, we found some bodily fluids,” the tech said cautiously, looking at Sam. The first time ‘bodily fluids’ had been found the techs had been excited until Sam had admitted that they were his and Jules. Everyone’s eyebrows had shot up as these were found on the hood of his truck. Sam didn’t elaborate and no one asked any questions, although there were loads of unspoken ones and probably more than a few jokes to go with them.
“Whatever it is, it isn’t ours.”
The tech visibly sighed and started with his description of the secretions while letting it fluoresce under the UV light. The bushy undergrowth showed a splatter of fluid, “…too much to be saliva, and definitely not blood…likely semen…” the tech continued.
All Sam could hear was roaring in his ears as his stomach churned suddenly and the coffee he had drunk threatened to come back up. He backed away from the scene, turning sharply and walked several feet away his hand rubbing his lips harshly.
Parker nodded sharply at the tech, telling him to collect all the evidence and learning that there had been nothing else found nearby. He then followed Sam and Spike across the yard near the fence.
Sam swallowed hard as he leaned his head between his knees, “He jerked off in our yard! He was watching us and….” Sam’s voice faded away as he gagged and tried not to vomit. He thought of Jules waiting inside with Natalie. This was her home, their home, and they had been violated. They weren’t safe here any longer.
Parker’s hand on Sam’s shoulder helped him focused and he rose up to his full height. “Jules.”
Parker nodded and gave him a sad smile. “We need to get you two packed and out of here. Let’s let the techs do their work and we’ll figure out next steps.”
The man sat in the shadows of the darkened bar, his eyes piercing the cigarette smoke to watch the couple sitting at the bar. He had been prowling for days, waiting for just the right pair to temporarily exorcise his demons. And now he had. Finally.
Forcing himself to be slow and casual, he rose from his corner table and walked towards the blonde short-haired man and the long-haired brunette.
He motioned to the bartender for another beer for him and a round for the couple as he took a seat beside them. The blonde man lifted the fresh beer with a salute and a smile, putting his hand out to the newcomer.
“Michael Buckingham,” he said, shaking his hand. Turning to the woman, “Elizabeth James, my girlfriend. Thank you for the beers.”
”Name’s Sam Braddock,” he snickered internally. “Nice to meet you. Where you all from?”
“Oh, we’re just traveling ‘round… sort of backpacking our way through Canada. We’re from the States.”
“Really, what part of the States?”
“We’re from New York City,” the woman spoke up. “We love the quiet we’ve found here hiking through Canada. It’s so beautiful.”
‘Sam’ approved of their story. Backpacking alone through Canada could be so dangerous. And from NYC, well… it was more of an anonymous city than anywhere else in the world. They were turning to be better candidates than he had even hoped.
A few beers later and a lot of conversation, ‘Sam’ had convinced the couple to join him for dinner at a neighborhood grill. They never made it.
Two days later Parker and two detectives from homicide knocked on the door to Sam’s apartment.
“Hey, Sarge,” Sam greeted him and then drew back, curious about the detectives. He knew who they were of course, but their reason for being there couldn’t bode well. “C’mon in.”
Jules peaked around the corner of the kitchen where she was putting away groceries. She took one look at Parker’s face, closed her eyes briefly bracing for bad news, and came to join Sam on the couch.
“So what’s happened?” she softly asked.
The detectives sat forward, prepared to start asking questions, but Parker motioned them back. “Jules, Sam… this guy, your,” he paused, looking for the right word, “stalker. He’s escalated. And we’re about to have to ask you both to look at and hear some really horrible things. You have to help us think of anyone who might want to do this to you. This is about both of you, not just one of you, but both of you, together.”
Sam wrapped his arms around Jules and pulled her as close to him as he could before answering, “Yeah, ok, whatever.” Parker watched as Jules evened her breathing as she had been taught and let go of everything else. Sam did the same. Their training would serve them well in the next few minutes. Their love for each other would serve them in the next few days and weeks.
One detective sat forward pulling two photographs out of a folder and laying them on the table in front of Sam and Jules. “Have either of you ever seen either of these two people before?”
Sam leaned forward, picking up the pictures and bringing them closer for him and Jules to look at. Their faces stayed professionally neutral. Jules shook her head and looked away while Sam put the pictures back on the table. “No.”
“Nothing at all looks familiar to you?”
Sam shook his head again, “No! Why you think they should?”
Parker put up his hand to quiet Sam again. “They look a lot like you and Jules. Short blonde hair, long brunette hair, approximately the same height and weight as each of you.”
Jules took hold of Sam’s hand, “What else? That can’t be all that would bring you back to us, thinking he’s escalated. What else?”
The detectives and Parker looked at each other and back at the couple on the sofa, concern replacing professionalism in their eyes.
“What?” Sam demanded.
Two larger pictures were placed on the table top. Jules gasped and Parker saw Sam swallow hard as he picked up the stark black and white photos. The man and woman were spread naked in each photograph and the bodies had probably been posed in the leaf strewn woodsy area where they were found. The words ‘Braddock’ and ‘Jules’ were carved on the male and female bodies along with ‘Mine’ on both. The head of each victim wore the navy baseball cap of the SRU.
Jules felt bile rising in her throat and rose quickly from the couch, hurrying to the bathroom, locking the door behind her. She vomited what little was in her stomach and then lay on the cool tile floor of the bathroom crying silently. Those poor unknown people. They had died for an obsession that had nothing to do with them, and died in a horrible, brutal way. Jules’ mind kept trying to think of a man, who hated her and Sam so much as to kill them, but clearly this wasn’t about hate, it truly was obsession and sickness. And when she went back out there, she would learn just how horrible it was.
She stood quietly, washed her face and brushed her teeth, looking at her haggard appearance in the mirror. She was so tired, they were so tired. She slowly left the bathroom and went to the kitchen to fix a cup of ginger tea, catching snippets of conversation.
Jules returned to the couch and sat on the far end, away from everyone, including Sam, and curled her legs under her.
“So they were tortured for days,” she stated.
“And it was sexual torture.”
Again he nodded, while the other men squirmed. Without taking her eyes off of Parker, “Tell me what I need to know.”
The balding detective cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his neck nervously, “They were both raped repeatedly by a foreign object. From the damage they sustained and the marks left on their wrists and ankles we believe they were restrained on some sort of sexual device, something that allowed for automatic and repetitive sexual intercourse over long periods of time.”
The other detective spoke up, looking at both Sam and Jules, “This guy is a monster. He tortured them for days, revived them and continued until internal injuries killed them. There is DNA on both that matches to both of them, but there is a third that doesn’t and we are running it against the semen sample we found at your house. He seems to have made them have sex with each other as well as him. It really is quite horrible.”
Jules felt her stomach turn again and her hand shook as she lifted the cup of tea to her lips. It was cold now, cold like the blood curdling in her veins. Who in the world was this guy and why them?