Adel von Gideon was awakened by the loud ringing of the telephone. 'Not again,' she muttered, groaning at the noise. Reaching out her hand, she ran a hand through her hair, noting that she felt so tired despite retiring early to bed last night. It felt like she was up all night! Probably the stress of the whole murder, she thought to herself.
'Hello?' she said blearily, answering the phone.
'Miss von Gideon--'
'Adel, please.' She yawned. 'I'm too tired to respond to formalities. Adel is fine.'
There was a pregnant pause. 'Okay, Adel. This is Detective Mercer.' Another pause. 'We've just found another body.'
'Another one?' Now Adel was awake. She rubbed her eyes. 'So soon? Where? Who was it?' And most importantly, what makes you think it was related to the Carly Davidson case?
Mercer gave a long sigh. 'You better come and see for yourself.'
Adel almost threw up at the sight of the crushed body. 'Have-have you figured out who the victim is?' she asked weakly, trying not to regurgitate her quick breakfast (croissant and coffee).
Greene opened a pink purse with his gloved hands. 'Found this on the vic,' he explained. 'Let's see. ID, ID, where are you?' he murmured to himself as his fingers expertly flipped through the purse's many compartments. He stopped and look up. 'Jackpot.'
Pulling on a pair of rubber gloves, Mercer took the plastic card. 'It's a library card. Valerie Munday,' he read. The next sentence forced him to exchange looks with Adel and Greene. 'Harlan Academy.'
'One of ours again?' Adel felt sick to her stomach. 'Who is this--this psycho?' she finally burst out after a while. 'Why is he targeting college students? For money? For revenge?' It was obvious that she was getting hysterical.
Greene waited until she calmed down before he spoke quietly. 'It's possibly it's a serial killer. That's what we're trying to find out,' he said. 'But we need your help. Student records, medical records, stuff like that. Can you get them from the academy?'
Adel nodded. 'Yes, yes of course. Anything else?'
'Yeah,' Mercer eyed her. 'You can start by coming with us to the coroner.' He glimsped the way she paled. 'Look, by seeing the brutality of the murders up close you might be able to get some clue which you can use to make a profile. You know,' he shrugged. 'Like Criminal Minds.'
'Or Mindhunters,' Greene quipped. 'Especially the part where Will Kemp's character was drugged through his need for coffee, where he was decapitated and drained of blood while unconsciously. When everyone woke up, they were like, "AHHHHH!"' He gave a soft chuckle.
It was obvious by the hard slaps on the back of Greene's head that neither Mercer nor Adel appreciated the comment.
No one notice the pair of eyes watching them from the opposite building.
It was silent in the fencing studio, silent except for the soft chink of coins as they made contact with each other. The only occupant in the room was a young girl in her late teens to early twenties. Her auburnish hair glowed red in the sunlight, and by her body language, she was tense, looking out of the window.
She was sitting on the windowseat, staring out, her right hand making thumb flips every other second as she pondered on what she'd saw earlier. Flip. Not another sound was heard, only gentle breathing. Flip. Flip.
The door to her dormitory opened, and a man walked in. He was tall, with dark hair and a sharp nose. Softly, as if afraid he might disturb her, he entered, sitting down on the end of the window seat as he glanced briefly at the coins in her hand.
'You heard about Valerie Munday?' he asked gently. Now she turned to face him, her strong square jaw and perfect features bearing an air of puzzlement. 'Why do you ask questions to which you already know the answer?'
He gave an exasperated sigh. 'Do you have to answer my question with another question?'
Her eyes, cool, impersonal and blue, flashed sharply at him, as though in reprimand. 'Do you?' But the amused look in her eyes showed no hard feelings, and she placed the coins into her pocket as she gave him her full attention. 'Have you heard from him, Arkady?' she spoke in Russian, a language she was totally fluent in.
Arkady Kovic looked at Juliette Keynes. 'Nyet,' he replied. 'No answer yet.' Another sigh. 'Something funny's going on around here. First, Carly Davidson. Now Valerie Munday. They'll figure it out sooner or later. They'll trace it back to us. It's so obvious. So simple.'
Juliette smiled reassuringly at her friend. 'No, they won't.' She raised an eyebrow. 'The thing about people in general, Arkady, is that they tend to over-complicate things. They tend to disregard the obvious. If something is laid out in front of them in a simple manner, no matter how true it is, they will find the most complicating explanation they can think of.'
She stood up, stretching her legs. 'Even the police think that way. The clues are out there. All they have to do is find it.' She scoffed. 'A task they'll probably fail at.' It was evident there was no love lost between her and the law enforcement. For a moment, Arkady detected a hint of her bitter past. He decided to ignore it. 'But they are the police, Jules. They have juristriction. We don't. Even if they've got the shrink with them, it'll take them ages to figure out who did it. By then UNSUB will be out of the country.'
Jules eyed Arkady with a smile. 'Not, if we get UNSUB first.'