Broken Justice First Chapter!
Fractured Minds Series
“We passed five coffee shops on the way to this one. What makes it so special?” Ford asked, sitting across from me. He was my boyfriend. Finally, we were on the same page. It had only taken the death of my last boyfriend to help put things in perspective.
Ford tugged at his cuff links. His designer white dress shirt was pressed to perfection. His suits were like his armor against the world, and I was slowly prying it off of him.
He’d left his jacket at home. Or maybe I’d accidentally spilled my tea on it on purpose. I’ll never tell. It’s the same difference, right?
Even though he was dressed like a relaxed CEO on Wall Street, he and I fit like a two-piece puzzle, and one day, not long from now, my thief would be wearing jeans.
“Be glad you aren’t stuck in the undercover van parked out on the street.” Sam answered for me.
Sam was the baby brother I never had. He was one of the blood bond connections in my head. One of those bonds needed to be severed. I was as sure of it as I was of the headaches that strike out of nowhere and put me down for the count. But it wouldn’t be the connection I have with Sam. He was safe.
I’d once been naive enough to believe all I needed was my sister, and I’d kept everyone else at arm’s length. Boy, was I wrong. I would have missed out on so much more had I closed all of those doors. “I love that you guys always assume I have some devious plan.”
“You do, don’t you?” Ford asked as his lips twitched at the corners. He and I were the most alike. Laws and rules were gray areas and sometimes meant to be broken if it was a means to an end.
“Well, at least she’s not trying to act like a lone wolf avenger anymore,” Sam said as he stared down at his phone screen like most of the others in the café.
Unlike them, I paid attention to my surroundings. Too many people wanted me dead not to be vigilant.
“Sebastian Elliot is a creature of habit,” I said as if that should answer the reason I’d chosen this spot. I’d watched him for the last three months, and I hadn’t even had to leave the house. I’d just simply closed my eyes and used our blood connection to look in on him. “He doesn’t drink coffee. He prefers tea.”
“Then what are we doing here?” Ford asked.
“The eagle is outside,” Sam said, looking up from his phone.
“Who is the eagle?” Ford asked.
“Sam’s watching the street cams,” I answered, slowly rising from my spot with my gaze out the window.
“With just your phone?” Ford asked.
“Well…yeah,” Sam answered.
I turned my attention away from the window and smiled down at my boyfriend. “Sam has mad skills. I thought you’d figure that out by now.”
I leaned down and kissed Ford on his lips, taking my time to linger.
“Is now really the time for all that?” Sam asked.
“Always,” Ford answered as a smile splayed on his lips during the kiss.
I straightened and grabbed the flyers on the table. “It’s showtime. I’ll meet you guys at home. If we’re lucky, he’ll follow.”
“Lucy, this is a bad idea,” Ford said as if something had flipped in his mind and he was now worried.
I wasn’t worried, and he didn’t need to be either. “Normally we have a dead body and have to backtrack to find the killer. Everything about this is different, Ford. We need the body to make a case against him, and he’s the only one that knows where it is. So, until then…I have to poke the bear.” I rested my hand on his cheeks. “Don’t worry. Sam will be watching me, and so will the others in the van.”
“I’ll be watching your every movement. We all will,” Sam said, returning his attention to his phone again.
The rest of the team was somewhere nearby. Only they were the ones that had drawn the short straw and got stuck in a stuffy van. I was toying with a serial killer, and I wasn’t doing it without backup. I’d learned my lesson the first time, and if all went well, the team in the van would be following the killer, following me.
I didn’t wait for an argument; instead, I tossed the strap of the shoulder bag over my head, resting it across my body. I pulled out the industrial-sized tape and a handful of flyers as I pushed out the door. I jogged across the street to where Sebastian Elliot Town Car and his driver were parked in a Town Car. Neither one of them had bothered to get out.
I slid a flyer under the window with the face of the missing woman turned inward for the driver to see. A familiar face that even the driver wouldn’t be able to ignore. It was part of my well-calculated plan. The man behind the wheel lifted a brow.
I moved to the next car and did the same as Sebastian Elliot and his driver got out behind me. I was taping a flyer to the light pole when I heard the footsteps approaching.
The vibrant woman on the flyer was no longer alive, and the killer was in the back of that Town Car. I hated to admit it, but Sebastian Elliot might just be the smartest bad person I’d ever come across, and that said a lot considering the scum I’d dealt with.
Sebastian was one of my blood donors, but not by choice, just sheer bad luck. And just like the rest of the connections, he was invading my headspace with visions I couldn’t unsee.
These blood connections weren’t by choice, but they’d saved my life. Now it was time for me to stop Sebastian in his twisted games and end his life. He was crafty. No one was even aware of his dirty deeds. Well, no one but me.
I’d witnessed Sebastian’s hand in the death of the woman who was on my flyer. I’d seen her hanging from handcuffs in first a cage and then a shed. I’d watched as he released her and told her to run while he shoved bullets into the shotgun’s chamber.
He’d hunted her for sport, and it was time I turned the tables and he got a taste of what that felt like.
I held the missing person flyer to the pole as I taped it in place. When I was done, I didn’t bother to glance back over my shoulder. I knew he’d be following. Curiosity or consciousness would take over.
“I’m on the move,” I whispered into the strap of my dress and continued up the street to the next car and shoved a flyer under the windshield wiper. I stopped a couple walking hand in hand on the sidewalk and offered a flyer to them, asking if they’d seen Dorothy.
They shook their heads and continued past.
“He’s following. He has the flyer,” Sam whispered.
Dorothy was listed on the flyer as a missing woman, but I knew better, and so did the man following me.
“Excuse me, miss.” The familiar voice from my visions called out to me.
I ignored the voice and put another flyer on a windshield.
“Miss.” The man called out again, only now he was beside me, holding the flyer.
“Yes?” I asked, turning to face him.
His gaze slid over my face and down my body. I was wearing an identical white dress and scarf to what Dorothy had been wearing the night he killed her.
And it appeared she would continue to wear them in the afterlife. Her ghostly apparition was standing behind him. Her gaze narrowed, and she looked ready to kill. She caught me looking, and her eyes widened, no longer narrowed at Sebastian. “You can see me.”
I ignored her and swallowed around the lump in my throat.
Sebastian’s square jaw ticked as if he’d been surprised by my choice of clothing.
“You’re dressed like me,” Dorothy said as if just realizing it. “Does that mean you’ve found my body?”
I wanted to answer. I wanted to tell her that finding her was my top priority, but I couldn’t, not yet. Not with him standing in front of me. I didn’t need to slip into his headspace to know what this guy was feeling. His blood was coursing through my veins. I could feel his energy. He wanted to kill me too.
“How do you know this woman?” His question was more like a demand as he clutched the flyer, crinkling it as he shook it in his hand.
I tilted my head and clutched the flyers to my chest. “The question you should be asking is if I know where you hid her body.”
His brows dipped, and he took a step back as if I’d physically slapped him. “Be careful with your accusations, miss.”
“You do know I’m dead,” the woman said with vindication. “Do you know he’s going to do it again?. He already has the woman picked out.”
“I’m going to find her. I can promise you that,” I whispered.
He grabbed my arm. His big beefy fingertips dug deep into my skin.
“Who the hell are you?” he growled.
“I suggest you release me,” I said, glancing around. “People might mistake me for a woman in distress. I’d hate for the police to show up.”
He shoved my arm from his grip and ran his hand through his hair. “You’re delusional, lady.”
I finally let the smile hit my lips. “I’ll be seeing you, Mr. Elliot. You can count on that.”
Sebastian pulled at the hem of his suit jacket and scowled.
“Enjoy your freedom, Counselor.” I spun on my heels and headed down the street, placing more flyers as I went and refusing to look back to see if he was still watching. I knew he was.
“Did he take the bait?” I asked into the wire hidden by my dress strap.
“We’ll know soon enough,” Ford answered.
I taped up the last flyer, tucked the tape dispenser into my bag, and headed toward my car. If there was ever a time for Sebastian Elliot to need to follow me, that time was now. I knew too much, even though it wasn’t nearly enough. I was probably the one person still alive on the planet that didn’t underestimate that man.
The forming headache pricked at my brain like a thousand needles in a pincushion. I rubbed at my temples, trying to ease the intensity. It was getting stronger. I swayed, reaching for my door handle, and had to lean against the door to stop myself from falling over.
“Lucy, are you all right?” Ford asked in my ear.
“Headache,” I answered, knowing he’d understand. At one time, I could control them and met them head-on, but now with so many people in my mind, they were an unimaginable pain.
“Your meds are in your bag. Get in the car and lock the door,” he said.
My vision blurred as I hit the key fob. My breath was labored, and sweat beaded my brow just as I slid inside. I reached for the door handle to close it and almost fell out. Anyone looking at me would think I was drunk.
The stabbing pain had my muscles tightening when the world started to blur. I used every bit of energy I could to shut the door behind me and hit the lock button.
Sebastian’s face appeared in my window.
“It hurts,” I whispered, reaching for my meds. It was the only thing that was working of late to stop the headaches in their tracks by knocking me out.
We were so close and now this. I leaned back in my seat and closed my eyes before I spoke. “Follow him to see where he goes.”