Read Payback Online

Authors: T. S. Worthington

Payback

PAYBACK

 

 

By T.S. Worthington

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 by Make Profits Easy LLC

[email protected]

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1: The Cycle Begins

Chapter 2: Welcome to Paradise

Chapter 3: The Past Returns

Chapter 4: The Darkness Revealed

Chapter 5: Convenient Lies

Chapter 6: The Tables Turn

Chapter 7: Truth and Consequences

Chapter 8: The Darkness Consumes

Chapter 9: Trapping the Game

Chapter 10: Misplaced Trust

Chapter 11: Picking up the Pieces

Chapter 12: Final Countdown

Chapter 13: All Ends…Well?

 

 

Chapter 1: The Cycle Begins

 

Brian Graff turned off the television and threw the remote across the room where it bounced against the couch a few times, before falling to the floor. His little Pug, Bixby attacked the remote, growling and snarling at it for a few seconds before carrying it off to his bed in the corner of the living room. Brian watched this with amusement, but he didn’t feel like ripping the remote from the dog’s clutches just yet this morning.

He finished eating the last bits of his toast and downed the rest of his third cup of coffee. He hated Mondays. The damn day always left him with a huge hole in the pit of his stomach that would not really be filled until at least Wednesday. He wondered if everyone felt this way as he got up from the chair and tried to ignore the pain in his knees and back. He was getting too old to spend his day chasing dirt bags.

Brian grabbed his sports jacket and his badge off the kitchen table and went upstairs to quickly say goodbye to his wife, who was still fast asleep. She hated Mondays as well, but lucky for her she was a stay at home mom---part of a dying breed he knew—who could afford to catch up on some beauty rest before starting her day which would consist of keeping the house spotless, his clothes clean and pressed, and the fridge fully stocked. Take into account the fact that they had two kids Ryan-eight, and Katie-twelve, and she had at least two full time jobs without even being employed.

He had somehow married Wonder Woman and he had no idea how he had even begun to get that lucky. He crept into the bedroom where his wife was still asleep and kissed her gently on the head. She moaned softly, but did not dare to stir quite yet. His wife was the deepest sleeper he had ever met, unless there was something that could be a real emergency going on around her. Then she had eyes in the back of her head. It was like somehow she just knew that it was him and that he needed no attention paid. He was quite alright with that, just like he had been quite alright with making his own breakfast for once and getting himself out the door on a blistering hot Arizona Monday.

He kissed his wife Amber sweetly on the forehead and then walked slowly out the door, carefully shutting it behind him. The ironic thing he thought to himself was that if he had been a jerk and insisted that she wake up she would have yelled at him and probably still been pissed when he came home that night—the woman needed her ten hours—but she was going to wake up in an hour or so and text him how sorry she was that she didn’t wake up to fix him breakfast and see him off today.

He loved that woman.

Brian locked the door behind him, got into his ten year old Ford Taurus that a career of chasing dirt bags and scum off the street had paid for, and drove off towards downtown. He hated Monday morning traffic, but usually he was able to get out the door in plenty of time to avoid most of it. Of course if he was ever really in a pinch he would just put the siren on the top of his car and let it rip. He hated to admit he had abused this power on more than one occasion.

As he drove along that news story kept bugging him. He had broken his deal of watching news before breakfast that morning because he had been eating alone and he hated that. Usually his wife was up and doing everything that needed done in the morning or at least his kids were up and getting ready for school, but school had ended for the Summer a few weeks ago so neither one of his kids were awake before ten or eleven. He hardly saw his kids at all in the summer. They slept half the morning and then when he got home at night they were usually out and about at friends’ houses in the neighborhood. He hated to admit how much he missed them but he sure as hell didn’t want to be the kind of dad that smothered his kids and forced them to spend time with him.

Adam Singer. That was the man who was on his mind this morning. The news article had just divulged that Adam had been killed after returning home that morning about five, just after sunset, and that his murder was very ritualistic. It reminded Brian exactly of The Meat Carver murders that had rocked the community about ten years before. That was the darkest summer of his entire life and Brian was damned sure not looking forward to some other deranged lunatic attempting to recreate what The Carver had done.

But it was just the one murder. There was no reason to even remotely think that someone was actually going to try to recreate the murders of The Carver. That was idiotic. The real Carver had been locked behind bars for the past ten years. Brian had been the man who had put him there. He would never forget the day when he had almost lost his life apprehending the suspect.

He loved to take credit for using his superior police skills to apprehend The Carver but truthfully he had been damn lucky. He had been a blue boy back then, not yet detective, and he had responded to a domestic disturbance on Elmwood Street on the other edge of town. When he showed up he found that the domestic disturbance had been not much more than a wife who was tired of her moronic husband cheating on her.

After taking the husband into custody because he had smacked the woman in a drunken stupor, he escorted the man to the back of his police cruiser where he locked him in. Brian was just getting ready to leave when he spotted a car across the street that struck a chord with him.

The car had just pulled into the driveway of the house across the street and was pulling into the garage when something caught his eye. Out of the bottom of the trunk was a piece of fabric that was waving in the breeze, almost glowing under the bright street lamps that lit up the road. There was a street lamp almost right outside of this person’s house and Brian remembered remarking to himself about how annoying that had to be to live there. He could just think that you would have to paint your windows black if God forbid the light shone into your bedroom at night. People should think about things like that when they bought a house, but not many people really looked at a house they wanted to buy at night.

The fabric had caught his eye so much because of the designs that were on it. It was a pink piece of cloth with frogs all over it. That struck Brian as strange, but he didn’t think anything of it right away. As he was getting into his car to drive away towards the precinct so that he could write up the paperwork and book Mr. Daniels in the seat behind him for spousal abuse the image of that cloth with the frogs on it flashed in his mind. But it was not from what he had just seen; it was from what he had been shown at the station earlier that day.

The Carver’s newest victim was last seen wearing that shirt. The bastard had become emboldened by his success and he had abducted a woman from a parking garage, where the camera had caught a description of his car and the victim’s shirt. Brian remembered how odd it was for a grown woman to be wearing a blousy over shirt that looked like that.

That was the shirt. And that was the exact kind of car. He was sure of it. Brian radioed for back up and he forgot all about Mr. Daniels., who had been so drunk he had passed out by that time anyway. It had been a wonderful day and he had been the hero of the department and been made detective practically on the spot.

Brian had proven himself to be a great detective in recent years, so no one could ever take that away from him, but everyone knew that he had got his shield simply because had been in the right place at the right time. He had never forgotten that and occasionally he would notice the way other cops looked at him or treated him that never let him forget that either. And it bothered him. It shouldn’t have bothered him, but it did.

The woman that Brian had rescued had turned out ok, but she still had a counseling session at least once a week to this day. He knew this because the woman he rescued on that night had been his wife of nine years. Amber had been saved by something as silly as her penchant for wearing goofy shirts. That was one of the things that he loved most about her now. He couldn’t imagine what would have happened if The Carver had not been so careless and in a hurry that day.

Brian could not believe how well his wife had recovered from the abduction and the knowledge that she had been in the clutches of the most evil man to ever walk the streets of Phoenix. The Carver had been connected to eleven abductions and murders over a three year span. He was cool and meticulous; he did not make mistakes. Brian had never been able to understand or wrap his head around how the man had done something so out of character and so stupid that it had landed him behind bars almost immediately.

And he had kept Amber in the car for several hours while he ran errands and did other things. She was screaming for help the entire time and it was a miracle that no one heard her during that time. It was completely out of character for an offender as organized as he was.

The Carver’s name was Ian Jeffries. He was a welder and a family man who lived on the outskirts of town. He had never talked to the police or delved too much into what he did or why he did it. He would occasionally profess his innocence and claim he was set up, but when pressed for more information that would help his case about this claim he would clam up and not say another word. The guy was a dirt bag and he belonged behind bars.

Brian arrived to the station about ten minutes late, but that was perfectly acceptable for detectives. He grabbed a few donuts off the front desk. He was not sure who had brought them today, but they were chocolate cake and glazed which were his favorites. That was the only good thing about Mondays, he thought—free donuts. Free donuts could make any day liven up in a damn hurry.

He said hello to a few of the other cops and detectives around the office and hurried to his own office. He had graduated from a desk to an actual office about a year before. Usually offices were reserved for Lieutenants, and Sergeants, but he had been on the force long enough and had the street cred of bringing down the Carver that when the office became free because Williams had been killed tragically in the line of duty it became his. He felt really strange about taking it, but he knew that it would offend the Chief if he turned it down and that was the last thing he wanted to do.

Chief Jim Arnold had been Brian’s father’s best friend. Brian had known the man all of his life and he was probably the one biggest reason that Brian had become a cop in the first place. Jim had been grooming him for the job since he was in diapers, buying him cop toys and always watching detective shows with him on TV when his parents went out to dinner and left Brian at the Arnold’ house.

Brian’s best friend John, Jim’s son, was a cop as well. The two of them had been planning on being Starsky and Hutch ever since they were kids in diapers. So Brian had little choice in the matter of what he was going to do with his life. But he could not imagine ever doing anything else. He had been born for it, despite his old man’s leanings that he go to college to become an attorney. It had been his dad’s dream that he become a great prosecutor and clean up the town from that end, but Brian decided after college to forego Law School and run another route. After graduating with honors and a degree in Criminology he had decided that the time was right for him to become a cop. He could always go to Law School later, but at the age of twenty-two Brian had decided to take the plunge and go to the police academy.

He often sat and thought about the years gone by and the choices he had made that had brought him here. Was it everything that he had hoped for? No, but no one could have the absolutely perfect life and Brian had to admit when he really thought about it that his life was pretty damned close.

But the job was getting old. He had just turned forty two months ago and he had begun to take stock of his life. He supposed that was the thing you did when you neared the middle years. He had not yet decided what his midlife crisis should be but he was starting to feel that maybe it was being decided for him. He never really understood if people choose their own midlife crises or not.

He had become disillusioned with the grind and lately had just been feeling like there had to be something else. There had to be a bigger goal in his life for him to go after. Brian was bored as a detective. He was tired of pushing papers around all day and calling it police work, but he damned sure did not want to go out there and run the streets, dodging bullets all day wondering if he was going to make it home to his wife and family that night. Brian decided that this was not the life for him a long time ago. In fact when he really thought about it he had to admit that if he had not been so lucky and been promoted to detective when he had then he would have quit the force.

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