“Well, not found found him,” Trip confessed. “But I know who he is now.”
Rick sighed. He thought they’d finally nailed this sick, twisted unsub. An id was a step in the right direction. He leaned over the desk and read the various streams of files Trip had dug through.
“Kent Percy,” Jenna said as she read the profile. “Why does that name ring a bell?”
Trip pointed to a picture of a young man standing in an art gallery. “He is a world-renown artist, or at least he was until he fell off the grid two years ago.”
Rayne stared at the picture for a long moment with her mouth agape. “I remember him. Wasn’t he obsessed with ballerinas?”
“More than obsessed,” Trip said as he pulled up more photos. “He painted them, sculpted them and even photographed them. His sister, Melissa, who was severely burnt in that house fire, had always wanted to be one.”
Jenna studied the photographs. He was good, damn good. “Why did he fall off the grid?”
“As far as I can tell, he came back to Fairfax from New York City in early 2014 because his sister was dying. Kent had been adopted into a wealthy family, but Melissa had been put in a special care center here in Fairfax. The fire did a lot of damage to her lungs as well as her body. The records from the center show that from 2000 until 2014, he’d visited her over 150 times. After her death, he never returned to New York.”
“He’s certainly wealthy enough to live off the grid,” Rick said.
Trip shook his head. “That’s the thing though. He hasn’t touched any of his bank accounts, never used a single credit card, or even used his Mercedes. They found it in an airport lot. His adopted parents had written him off – suicide or homicide? He’s still a missing person.”
Rick raised an eyebrow. “So, his sister’s death was probably the stressor that triggered his killing rampage.”
“Yes, but that still doesn’t explain why he changed M.O.,” Jenna declared.
Trip moved to another laptop and pulled up more photographs. “No, but this does.” He turned the laptop around. The photographs were all a beautiful, white Samoyed in various poses – sleeping, running, playing catch.
“Guess what her name is?” Trip asked.
Rick, Jenna, and Rayne all chimed in at the same time, “Bethany.”
“You all get a gold star.”
Rayne covered her face and began to weep. She saw Bethany caged while a shadowy Kent worked on one of the sculptures he would later put one of the eight girls in. Sparks flew from his welding gun. He’d been careless. He’d also worked on the van in that room and oil had leaked onto the cement floor. A spark ignited the oil which ran under the cage. He’d tried to keep her safe. To keep her away from his welding projects. Instead, Bethany began to burn. He ran to the cage, desperate to get it unlocked, re-burning his hands in the process. Bethany died and Kent’s hands, which still bore scars from his childhood, became horribly disfigure. Rayne sank into a chair, shaking her head to clear away the vision.
“Rayne? What did you see?” Jenna asked as she knelt beside the chair.
“Bethany, burnt alive, just like his dog had when he was a kid.”
“And there is the second stressor.”
Rick paced around the room, thinking aloud. “We now know what caused both stressors. Why he went from holing up those girls inside sculptures to holding the last two in cages, but where the hell is he?”
“He’s no longer using that garage,” Rayne whispered.
Rick cocked his head at her. “How do you know?”
She shrugged her shoulder. “Bad memories, I guess.”
“It’s what I sense.”
“That’s better. For a minute, I thought you’d lost your senses,” Rick said with a wink and a half-grin.
Jenna laughed, but she too was worried that their lead had dried up. “That just leaves the house he’s in now. The one Rayne saw in her visions.”
“That long stretch of housing along the metro line,” Trip said.
Rick sighed. “I guess we are going to have to do this the long, hard way. Canvassing.”
Trip sat at his laptop typing away. After a long moment, he looked up. “I just sent Troy all the details. He’s on his way back from D.C. and should be here in two hours.”
Rick plopped down in a chair. He knew Troy well enough that if they were going to coordinate a canvassing, his boss would be in the lead. They had two hours to kill. “So, burgers, pizza or Chinese?”
# # #
By the time Troy joined the team back in Fairfax, they’d devoured Chinese food and left the evidence on the conference table. Rick had cleared the white board and pinned a last-know photo of Kent Percy on a board alongside photos of Gina and Sally. A map of the targeted area had also been pinned up. Captain Jakes had rounded up every available officer from his county patrol, as well as from the city of Fairfax. Thirty men and women of uniform stood in the conference room along with the FBI team awaiting instructions. Rayne sat in a faraway corner with her knees up to her chest, looking pensive.
Troy turned from staring at the white board and faced the officers. “We’ll break up into teams of three. Agent Harris, Captain Jakes and I will each lead a team. You do nothing without coordinating with your team leader, is that understood?”
The officers all nodded and shouted, “Yes, sir.”
“I cannot stress enough how urgent this is. We’ve got two endangered little girls out there and only about five hours of daylight. This is a ‘knock and question’ effort. If anyone agrees to let us search their home, go ahead and do it. If they disagrees, thank them, and move on. If you get a name, write it down after you’ve left the premises. If you get no answer, we will target them again tomorrow. Keep a note of house numbers. And finally, we go in low-key. No sirens, no radio chatter and definitely no arguing with the residents. We don’t want to alert the suspect.”
Troy stepped aside and nodded at Captain Jakes to take over.
“Tiggs is handing out packets that contain the photo of the suspect, as well as photos of the two missing girls. Remember, the suspect has severely burnt hands and could be wearing gloves,” Captain Jakes informed them. “This is a mile-long search, officers. Let’s get out there and find this lunatic and bring those little girls home safely.”
The officers took their packets and cordoned off with their assigned leaders. Jenna wandered over to Rayne and sat down beside her.
“I’ll be staying here with you,” she said softly.
“Don’t you want to be in the field where all the action is?”
“Honestly, I should take Rick’s place. He is far too emotional right now, but he’s got rank and he’s a better shot even under duress.” Jenna winked at Rayne, showing her humorous side.
Rayne laughed lightly. “I feel more comfortable with you here anyway. I don’t think I could take Rick’s pacing.”
They both chuckled and Rick looked over at them. He smiled and threw up his hand, clueless to their chiding of him. Jenna and Rayne huddled their heads together and snickered again. Troy shot them an icy glare that told them both how inappropriate their behavior was. It was true. This was no time for laughter, but after all they’d just been through, a bit of levity was needed and welcomed, especially for Rayne.
“Okay, ladies and gentlemen, everyone know where you are going and with whom?” Troy asked.
They all nodded.
“Let’s get to it then.”
The men and women in blue piled out of the conference room, following each of their team leaders. When the last one exited and closed the conference room door, Rayne felt relieved. She knew it was ridiculous to still feel animosity toward the police, but some wounds just wouldn’t heal and that was one of them.
Jenna stood up and began clearing the containers, plates, and cups off the table. She watched Rayne as she tidied up. She still sat in the chair with her knees up to her chin, her head resting on her knee caps and her long auburn hair cascading down to her feet. Her features had also softened in the last few minutes. Jenna normally hated this kind of detail. She did prefer to be among the action, but if she could keep Rayne safe until Kent Percy was in custody, she didn’t mind staying behind this time. She’d grown quite fond of the strange young woman with extraordinary abilities. She just wouldn’t admit that to Rick, ever. She finished cleaning the table and walked back over to Rayne and sat down again. She took one of her hands into her own and squeezed it. Like Rick had told her a million times, waiting was the hardest part of their job.
Seeing You (a working title) is the story of Rayne Fallon, a witch with the power to see into the past and future, although not always accurately. She gets tangled up with FBI’s SA Rick Harris and SA Jenna Styles as they search for an 8 year old missing girl, thought to have been kidnapped by a Serial Killer.
Seeing You ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.
In case you missed a part, click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21
or jump ahead to Part 23
I am participating in NaNoWriMo. Each day I will try to write at least 1667 words for a total of 50,000 by the end of November. Today’s total: 1525 words. Total words so far: 36,927