Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Murder at the Olin Part 4 - Stakeout

*****WARNING*****This blog post contains graphic sexual content and sexual violence. Reader discretion is advised.

Darcy approaches Sam Wright's desk and stands tall in front of it, not quite at attention but near it "Officer Wright. We've been given a new assignment."

Sam signs off on a report just as Darcy Lynch appears beside his desk. He puts it on the basket and looks at her curiously. "Sure thing. Where are we going?" he wonders, although he figures they are on the murder. Small town; small force.

Darcy chuckles and eases into a more casual stance "To spend a night in the Olin, room 7. Don't get too excited... it's a stakeout." Darcy has shown that she jokes with co-workers but stays entirely formal around the chief. She adds on "You need to be in casual clothes. I'll meet you back here shortly after I make the switch."

Sam winces. "How'd I know that was coming?" he asks no one in particular. "Alright .... " he stands and looks at her. "Let's go home and change. I'll get the car and pick you up." he pauses. "Where do you live, anyway?" he pulls out his phone and sends a text for a friends car.

Darcy smiles "That would be great. I live in that tall apartment buildings over the pizza place and Sprouts."

Sam nods. "The Carter .. gotcha. I'll go pack a few things and meet you there in ... half an hour?" he has to let Alex know and make sure he had everything as well as pack some books ... this might be a good excuse to study all shift.

Darcy nods "Ok, meet me at the Sprouts place then. I was going to grab some take out since they don't have kitchens in the Olin." She heads off to fast walk home and grab her own supplies. Darcy will bring one change of clothes, a yoga mat, an iPad which also serves as her e-reader, some herbal tea and dry snacks such as apples, almonds and nori sheets as well as her own reusable water bottle and travel mug. She chooses a pair of faded black army style cargo pants and a grey mid sleeve waffle henley with socks and sneakers, suited to both sitting and waiting as well as offering an easy range of motion if she should need to step up for a physical confrontation with the man they're waiting for. It dawns on her that Kevlar might be wise, since it was a shooting, so she makes a mental note to mention that to Sam.

Although Sam didn't say anything at the time, he made a mental note of someone willingly going to Sprouts. He headed home himself and found a civilian car parked out front. Peering through the window, he noted the keys were already in the ignition. Life on Alexandra Island. He went into the house and tossed two large law books into his duffel. Then he showered and changed into a sweat suit and practical running shoes, in case it went that way. Going back down to the kitchen he told Alex what was going on and that he expected to be home at the usual time, if nothing happened and making no promises if the guy showed and he had to question him. The car was still out front and untouched when he left the house and he got in and drove straight to Sprouts ... literally. He parked between a red Mercedes and the Sprouts golf cart. He hopped out and went inside.

Rain March looked up from the counter when the door opened. Seeing Sam she moved forward to greet him. Unlike most in town, she did not stop a save distance to feel his aura. She'd felt it many times before. Now she hugged him long and hard, beaming.

Darcy came into Sprouts to place her take out order and happened upon Rain hugging Sam like he was a long lost relative. She meekly hung back and smiled. Clearly the two were acquainted. Rain was always over friendly in a way that was both wonderful and intimidating. Darcy liked the woman but was slow to get close to people in general and always responded with reserved polite replies. And she definitely enjoyed the food.

Sam chuckled as he was hugged. Hey Rain. Always good to see you." he let her go and a few seconds later, she let him go. He moved to the counter. "Let me have a cheeseburger and the sweet potato fries. Plus a large one of your lemonades. I'll need a receipt this time."

Rain saw Darcy come in and waved as she went back to the counter to help Sam. "Cheeseburger and the sweet potato fries." she repeated. "You aren't fasting with Alex?" she knew she shouldn't be frowning, but in his way Sam was quite lax on his diet. "Just a second Darcy." she always called the woman Darcy in civilian clothes and Officer when she was in uniform. Just seemed respectful to her.

Darcy nodded, looking patient and smiling a little before aligning beside Sam "Seems like you're a regular here Wright." She casually watched Rain work and waited her turn.

Sam turns and smiles to see Darcy behind him. "Oh.. well ... this is as close to kosher as it gets around here, really. And my brother had some ... dietary issues ... so ... yea. Rain takes care of our every need." he grins. "You ... vegan?" he wonders, casually.

Rain moves to the back and prepares Sam's order.

Darcy shrugs "Not strictly vegan but if I want my body to run well, I need to fuel it properly. Are you vegan because of Judaism? The whole meat milk thing?" She noted the mention of the brother.

Sam shakes his head while he shrugs. "I'm Jewish and on an island where Kosher is an unknown concept .... it's that, cook for myself, go to the mainland or break Kosher. I DO break kosher more than I like to admit to my mother, but ...." he motions around the place. "I take it where I can get it. Oh thanks Rain..." he takes his bag, pays, gets his receipt and motions for Darcy to go ahead.

Rain smiles as she rings Sam up. Then she turns to Darcy, looking expectant.

Darcy listened to Sam's challenges with food and religion and then saw Rain looking at her and stepped forward to place her order "I'm kind of packing up for two meals on a long shift so I'll have a black beans and avocado burrito and a walnut burger. Could I get a juice too? Carrot apple ginger please?"

Sam listens to the order and offers. "They do deliver you know. And the food still shows up hot raced in golf carts." he chuckles, not mentioning that was his plan for later.

Rain nods at the order and then conforms Sam's words. "The food will keep till supper, but you can always order it then. The fresher the better." she seems to coax.

Darcy thinks and then shakes her head. The less attention they draw to the room the better on the first day. "I'll take it all now. Let's keep it simple." She had staked out war lords in dumpsters, camel stalls and cold wet ditches with nothing but odorless protein bars and a water canteen. THIS was luxury.

Sam shrugged, even though he understood the point. He'd see. They had a shift change at midnight, so he wasn't too concerned. "Suit yourself. Catch you later." the little bit of secrecy they could use, he wanted to use. And as Rain didn't know, he didn't want her thinking anything. He left the eatery and sat in the car.

Rain waves to Sam as he leaves. "Be a couple minutes is all." her eatery was never crowded, but she wasn't in the business to make a profit. It was about giving options to people like her brother Coyote and her friend Alex Wright.

Darcy nodded to Sam "Later Wright." and turned her head back to Rain "No problem, thanks." She absently studied the menu as Rain cooked going over the fact she knew in her head about Room 9. It pained her to think of the woman suffering next door, waiting for a potentially violent partner to return.

Rain went into the back room and spent about ten minutes getting the order complete. Then she bagged it and brought it out, giving the price with a smile and simply awaiting her payment.

Darcy pulls out her bank card and inserts it in the card reader and then starts tapping on the pin pad. She adds a 15% tip to the total and smiles as the pinpad says it's approved. She removes the card and smiles politely at Rain "Thanks again."

Rain watches the transaction and winces slightly. "Oh ... " but she isn't fast enough. "I don't accept tips here." she tells the woman. "I should probably put up a sign. My workers ... well when I have some ... will be paid a fair wage so as not to need tips. It's just ... tipping is too unfair and antiquated." then she smiles. "Have a nice day and come on back."

Darcy nods "I'll respect your wishes on that and just tell you how much I appreciate what you put into this wonderful food. But take it this one time since I didn't know the etiquette here. You have a good day too."

Rain beams even brighter than usual. "That's better than money!" she proclaims. "Thank you." and she waves her out of the shop.

In the car, Sam looks behind him wondering if Rain is tying Darcy up with her chatter.

Darcy dashes to the car and tosses her old army pack into the backseat before settling into the front with her food "Sorry, ready now,: She clicks her seat belt in and balances the food on her lap like it's too precious to put in the back. She's holding the juice and takes a sip and then looks pleased with it.

Sam has tossed his own food bag in the back with his own duffel. "No problem. I've known Rain since she came to town and she will talk to you until you beg her to talk. Who knew you could overdose on positive personality." he laughs and throws the car in gear, being already buckled up. He drives the long way around all of the townhouses, past the school then past the Chief's house and turns on second at Sigh. "She's my brothers ... best friend." it seems he sought a word and settled on 'best'.

Darcy doesn't blink at this as many of her best friends from years of military service are and have been men. Sure there are women who serve but the ratio of men to women soldiers is still predominantly male. Even before her military training and career she was easily one of the guys, being more comfortable playing hockey at the local outdoor rink after school than hanging with the clique of girls her sister tried to drag her into. As they drove she casually asked "So you and your brother are close then? What's his name again?" Being a homebody, she hadn't really gotten to know the towns folk well and Alex was a bit of one too.

Sam passes the cop shop and then onto water. "We were for a while until my parents split up. Then Mom took me to New York, Dad kept Alex ... my brother." he blows out a breath. "Not ideal. Then my Dad took off and ... I came here to take care of Alex .. he's barely legal. Twenty-one."

Darcy looks confused as to why a 21 year old would need care but then compassionate "Is he...OK...your brother? It sounds complicated. My sister needs saving from herself but that's not the same as care." she chuckles a bit.

Sam drive down into the Bottoms and into the parking lot of the Olin. "Hold that thought." he gets out of the car to get their room key, coming back with it a minute later and grabbing his bag. He is silent until they get in Room 7.

Darcy follows Sam's lead, trudging silently behind him. Her senses engage. She smells the take out she carries, a hint of a cigarette, an ammonia based cleaning product and the scent of old wood and wall paper mixed with musty carpet. She hears a television on tuned into some sort of sports match, boxing or wrestling. Another TV from downstairs blasts a news station.The walkway to the rooms is slanted from wood rot in the beams and the shift of time. The railings are rickety and the one at the far end by room 8 is hanging off kilter like it's ready to fall with not much effort. A car door shuts on an old beater of a car further down the parking lot and a grey bearded man gets out wearing a baseball cap and worn out baggy clothes. He's rail thin and looks spaced out. The man lights up a joint as he steps under where she and Sam are walking. He coughs as he enters one of the lower rooms. A waft of pot smoke reaches her nostrils before the door closes. His name was Floyd Langer and they'd already interviewed him, too eternally stoned to know about anything that happened upstairs, also completely harmless. They reach their door and she waits for Sam with the key. Once they're in she looks around, taking in the whole room.

Sam opens the door and steps in. The room is dark and a little moldy. Not condemn-able, but not a five star place ... more like two stars given generously and half a star given by someone honest. He sighs and sets his book bag down, followed by his food. "Every now and again, I hate this job." he murmurs and goes into the bathroom to turn on a light. He blinks and sighs again. Not dirty, but far from spotless. "My brother....." he turns from the door and realizes there is only one bed, but they aren't spending the night. "Is very sensitive. Allergies and sensitivities. Dust, mold, pollen, foods .. you name it. My parents I think did their best but I think it broke them up. He got picked on in school ... and I stepped in to protect my brother. But when my parents broke up and split us kids down the middle ... he was on his own." he sighs again. "I mean . this room would kill Alex ... and I know it. Maybe with this nose ... I can sniff out things better. Anyway ... Rain coming to town has been a lifesaver. Now he has someone else who doesn't think he's just insane." he pulls out his books .. thick law books .. one covering criminal law and one covering environmental law, as if he is studying to become BOTH kinds of lawyer.

Darcy listens, tossing her pack on the only chair in the room "That sounds pretty intense. Can he work? I mean I can't imagine being so limited. The poor guy." She chuckles a bit about his comment on his nose. She'd noticed of course but never would have mentioned it. Her straw gurgles as she sucks back the last of her juice. She finds a small garbage can in the room that was clearly not emptied from the previous guests and awkwardly sets it down on the heap inside. Afterwards, she shrugs - she's seen worse. At least there's a toilet in range. She sits down on the end of the bed and unwraps her burrito, noticing Sam's books "Law student?" she half asks half comments.

Sam opens his bag and pulls out a fry. After eating it, he nods. "Oh yea .. he repairs bikes. Now, if this was Vancouver he wouldn't have much business, but here ... he t do it AND I think he is working on learning to repair the electric scooters ... of which the town has like three times as many .. mostly thanks to Rain and a little because of me." he demurs. "The town was always big on solar energy, mostly because some winters the island can get cut off." he nods at the books. "Well ... I am a little torn on what I want to do. Because of Alex, I am very interested in environmental issues. But I could probably be a decent prosecutor for Alexandra." he shrugs. "My mother is ... well she's a New York Jew ... so she wants me in criminal law for the money and prestige ... a defense attorney, of course." he blows out a breath. "But this is Alexandra ... I might get away with both."

Darcy eats a quarter of her burrito as she nods along and then swallows and replies "That Justice of the Peace guy lives in my building, next door. He doesn't know my name but I've seen his picture in the news. We've nodded but not really conversed. He's a pretty quiet neighbour. So I know about the local court. Be nice to stay here after you finish the degree for Alex right?"

Sam snorts. "Lucius." he sighs. "He's ... good. But I think he's crooked. I know he seems to spend a lot of time off island, and his car doesn't fit his job." he narrows his eyes and pulls out his burger. "Then again, he tried to prosecute me a couple of times as a kid, so I'm probably biased." he admits.

Darcy gestures with her burrito "The Mercedes right? I wondered about that." She chews another bite and swallows and then teases Sam "What were you some kinda bad kid or something?"

 Sam nods and takes a bite of his burger and swallows. "Yup. Rich car. But nothing in Alexandra is really rich and he has to live here to have his position." he grins. "I told you, I used to stand up for my baby brother. Got into several fights. A couple of the older kids sort of kept me from .. well probably getting myself killed." he grins. "Chief Brate was one of them."

Darcy finishes her burrito and watches him as he talks and then says "Wow. That's an interesting history there."

Sam laughs and drinks deeply. "Well, it's a small town. The natives all know each other. The Chief is five years older than me, but all that means is he probably remembers when I started school. Well a lot of the kids probably do. I was kosher .. Jewish ... so there were certain things I couldn't eat ... and then there were certain things Alex couldn't eat because of his allergies and whatnot. We ... were the school freaks in the normal part of the school. In other words .. non musical. The musical kids were special."

A little light of recognition seems to go off in Darcy's head and then she says "Oh yeah your school here as all about the music eh? That's high pressure if you're not that way inclined. I grew up in small town military base Canadiana. It was all about sports and lucky for me I played. My sister was pretty bored a lot of the time until she got a bit older and bored became looking for trouble."

Sam shrugs. "Well not ALL about music, but it is music that pays the bills in the tuition for those students. Island kids, like me and Brate, we got a regular education. Some sports. Brate was track. I can barely run a tab." he grins. "Anyway ... ours is an interesting town. I'm guessing Brate filled you in on the history of this hotel?" he sighs, finishing his burger and settling in over his fries. "Hardly American Horror Story ... no vampires or anything like that but ... hell this whole island is strange." he bites a fry, chews and swallows. "But its still ... parts of Alexandra are good." it's hard to say if he means more is bad, or if he's trying not to scare her.

Darcy can't help but laugh "Well it's not horrible here because I've seen horrible but yeah the history of this hotel is pretty The Shining. I have to be honest, I'm not sure I believe it."

Sam looks at her mildly. "If I had seen war, open and brash .. I'd probably think the same." he shrugs. "It is hard to believe. But we need to have this conversation in a year or so. When you've been here a year and see how peaceful it is ten months out of the year." he finishes his fries and slurps the last of his drink. "It's like ... I don't know ... I live here and have been away in New York and come back. I forgot what autumn was like here." he shrugs. "At least it doesn't snow, right?" he smiles and looks at the door tot he 'suite' as if hoping it will open with their quarry.

"Fair enough." Darcy concedes and then follows his gaze "Do you think the girlfriend is even home? I don't hear anything at all next door yet."

Sam turns from the door to the wall. "Faint television." he murmurs. "I'm going to check room 9. Make up some story about the neighbor keeping me and my beautiful girlfriend awake." he motions to the door. "Cover me?" he means it to sound like a statement, but it comes out more as a question.

Darcy snorts "Gee thanks." and follows him out the door and down the exterior balcony hall to room 9.

Sam chuckles and shrugs. He passes Room 8 and stops at the door to Room 9, where he can hear the television clearly. He knocks three times.

Tom looks up from the nook of Heather's neck where he had been nuzzling her after their collapse. They had only just finished making love a few minutes ago. He was still wearing a full condom that was starting to become shriveled and feel unpleasant as things shrank back into a relaxed state. As the third knock came he cringed and muttered "Cover up...I'll go check..." intending to only open the door a crack with the chain on. Tom peered carefully through the curtains once his boxers were on, exhaling when it wasn't Ken but what looked like a man and a woman. Once he opened the door slightly he said "Sorry man I was sleeping...can I help you?"

Heather covered herself, her heart in her throat. She knew in her soul it was Ken and he was going to kill them both. Part of her is glad it will be over and her last moments were comforted by Tom. Despite herself, she begins to cry. Tom didn't deserve what that man got in the bathroom next door.

Sam begins with "Sorry to bother you, man but ..." and then he hears the crying and moves his head. In the shadows he sees a feminine shape and realizes he may have interrupted something. But he is thinking of something Kitty said about her new friend and the guy in the room next door, which she found incredibly romantic ... "Shit. Heather? I'm a friend of Kitty Carmichael's. One of her boyfriends." he doesn't want to introduce himself as a police officer and hopes the woman, who is crying a bit, calms.

Darcy stood slightly behind Sam and listened, her badge in her hand but not flashing it. When she heard the crying she frowned but then when Sam introduced himself as one of Kitty Carmichael's boyfriends she stared at the back of his head like he suddenly had three of them.

Tom saw past Sam to Officer Lynch, recognizing her, but then gave Sam the same look from the front before cracking a little grin. "A'righ get in but give us a sec b'y. We're a bit indisposed." He pushes the door closed to remove the chain and then opens it quickly "In...we can't be leavin this open now." Tom grabs two of his t-shirts and hands one to Heather "It's Ok it's not...." He looks at the two who he figures both to be police with relief. Tom has a high level of trust in the law.

Sam nods and enters when possible, immediately turning back to the door. "Please dress Heather." he says, softly.

Heather blinks away tears. "Kitty? Kitty's cop? Oh .. thank God." and for a few seconds she sobs in relief. "She told me about you. Its okay, Tom." she begins to dress quickly. And then she freezes. "What's wrong? Oh God, is he here already? I thought I had another hour at least." she knew she was cutting it closer than close. Her fear is in her voice.

Darcy politely doesn't watch Heather dress but looks at the far wall of the room "We haven't seen him yet..." Darcy wondered to herself if everyone had two or more in this town. Her sister would love it here. She backtracks after and apologizes, unsure of the full story "Sorry, none of my business. But the man from room 8, we need to ask him questions. You could be out....instead of here...if that feels safer Heather."

Tom puts his arms around Heather protectively as she gets upset again "It's Ok, you're safe." At Darcy's words he nods "Just go out. Go to Kitty's or Megan's.... stay out of Ken's way."

Sam sighs. and then turns his attention to Tom and Heather. "We are only here to question him, Heather." he tells her. "But if he has hit you, or harmed you in any way, we can arrest him for Domestic Violence. Put him away. But it HAS to come from YOU, Heather. You're the only one who can press charges." he prays she will not do what he thinks she will do ... lie outright ... but he's spoken to too many cops who have heard the lie and seen abusers go free.

Heather blinks and looks at Tom as Sam speaks. She finishes dressing in what she arrived in and clears her throat. "I .. better get back." she whispers. "Grab a shower before Ken gets back." she stands and heads for the door, not touching Tom. Maneuvering around all of them. "He ... doesn't .. beat me. It's ... not like that...." she reaches the door and opens it ... and she flees .. running only one door down, entering and slamming the door behind her and heading straight for the shower.

Darcy sighs into the space Heather just vanished from "If he does anything to her tonight we'll be on him. Maybe we should leave someone on watch after we talk to him for awhile."

Tom reached for Heather but too slow to catch her. The look on his face was agony as she left. He turned on the cops "If I've seen bruises on her, can I report him? But you have to promise to protect her first. She can’t leave him. She’s too scared of what he’ll do."

Sam looks at Darcy and sighs himself. "We have no reason." his voice is resigned anger. "He doesn't beat her. Her words." he turns to Tom. "Unfortunately, no." he sighs. "Bruises can come from anywhere .. a woman slipping in a shower can leave the same bruise as a fist. I'm sorry. She would ultimately have to testify." he turns to the door. "Stay inside and don't some out ... until we're gone or you have to go to work, please." he opens the door and scans the street. Now would be a BAD time for this ass to show up. "Let's go back. Hopefully he'll be back in the hour." he heads back, saving his next comment for when the door to their room is closed. "Call me a bad cop, but I hope he makes us kill him. Some lawyer I'll be, eh?" he sighs and sits on the bed, listening tot he sound of a movie and a shower in the room that Heather is in. "Listen .... about me and Kitty and ... her other boyfriends ...." he offers.

Darcy gave Tom a sympathetic look before nodding and following Sam. Tom shut the door after them and then leaned against trying to control his breathing. Once in the room Darcy agreed "It's Ok, I hope so too... The look on her face..." She smiled a bit at Sam's words about Kitty "Listen you're consenting adults... You don't have to explain..."

Sam sighs. "If you ever blame Kitty ... blame ME first. I actually turned her into the free creature she is now." he laughs and expects she may too to look at him .. short and a nose the size of Vancouver. "Ask Kitty. She'll be glad to spill." he winks and sighs as the sound of the shower stops. Then he sighs. "My parents hated each other in the end I think. But he never hit her. She was maybe the worst ... calling him unstable. But in the end ... she took me and left Alex. Women? For all of it, I think she knew Alex wouldn't survive a week in New York." he was quiet for a moment. "She's lying for him. Tom, I mean."

Darcy laughed a bit about Kitty and then narrowed her eyes suspiciously "Don't you mean Ken? I feel like Tom's her support odd as it all is."

Sam shrugs. "No, I mean Tom. I bet Heather thinks Ken will kill any man she is with that isn't him." he hears a hair dryer fire up. "This Ken guy may not be our man, but he's one of those ass holes ... I know that is unprofessional, but .."

Darcy nods "I agree. But we have to wait him out. A guy like that is bound to slip up in some way. Maybe even a big way if he's our guy."

Ken has been tipped off that the cops were at the Olin earlier in the week. He didn't know about right now though but he was being extra cautious. His normal drop off happened a few blocks away and he walked in from behind the Olin, stopping at the laundromat first. He looked around carefully as he entered and stashed a duffel bag under a pile of random abandoned clothes in a machine with an out of order sign on it. It was his usual work bag containing a black ski mask and clothing, an assault rifle a switchblade and a handgun. Then he walked towards the staircase, his boots making their usual clank against the metal stairs as he ascended them.

Sam nods. "I just hope he isn't slipping with Heather. I hear she's really a nice lady ... caught up in a bad relationship." he heads for the bathroom for a pee.

Heather checks herself in the mirror. She looks a little tired, but to her eye she looks as she always has. Ever since ... that night ... she has tried to look near perfect for Ken out of pure unadulterated fear of him. Inhaling deeply she moves into the main room and sits on the bed to watch the mindless television.

Darcy sighs sadly "Yeah I know..." She starts to pull her iPad out of her pack when she hears footsteps on the stairs that then start to move down the exterior hallway. "Wright!" she hisses in a loud whisper and bolts to flank the window so she can look through it discreetly sideways.

Ken pulls his room key out of his pocket at room 6 and jingles it in gait with his step and then it slips from his hand and hits the floor "Fuck...." he mutters and kicks at some leaves and trash looking for it, his boot scuffing on the wood. He's in easy view of Darcy now.

Sam is finishing up when he hears Darcy call out. He flushes and tucks in, but opens the door before he washes his hands. He sees a shadow move by as he dries them, he looks at Darcy curiously as if to ask is that our boy?

Heather hears the keys and closes her eyes, taking in a deep breath, as a nervous actress may before going onstage. In a way, she is just that.

Darcy sees Sam come out and nods at him and then head gestures to the door before bursting through it to get to Ken. She puts on a fake polite smile and says "Oh excuse me there Mister. Are you one of the occupants of room 8?"

Ken stiffens up and turns, key in hand and then looks Darcy up and down with a bit of a sly grin "Well...depends why you're asking."

Sam sees the silent gestures and moves to the door. He notes that Darcy steps out and away from the door before she speaks to Ken and he braces himself in case he needs to run after him.

Heather hears the key and then the voice of Darcy, the female cop and her heart stops and then crawls up into her throat.

Darcy keeps smiling and pulls her badge from her pocket "I know this thing can be a conversation changer but I'm here on an official capacity. Alexandra PD. I just have a few questions're the only name we haven't gotten in this place." She knows his name is Ken but doesn't want Heather to face any more hardships by using it.

Ken looks at the badge and back up to Heather's face licking his lips and then biting them "Attractive cops in this town then. Am I being questioned for something Officer? I'm just getting home from work out of town so I might not have a lot to tell you. Oh and it's Ken Hall. I didn't catch your name, unless I was just too distracted by those beautiful blue eyes you've got." His voice is loud enough for both Heather and Sam to hear it all.

Sam remains standing in the doorway of their room, silent but ready to move if he needs to. He hears the guy, who sounds like a charmer ... but in a way ... that's no surprise.

Heather can hardly breathe as Darcy announces that she is a cop. She turns her eyes to the television and stares, not seeing a thing.

Vincent DiAntoni crosses the street from Perkatory to the laundromat, pulling a red wagon behind him. It's always been easier than hauling all those clothes on a bike, which he doesn't own anyway. He gets his clothes out of the dryer and shoves them in their baskets. Opening another, he realizes it isn't his or his father's clothes. But he spots something. He pulls out a bag and, curious as all fourteen year old boys are, unzips it and looks inside. "Holy SHIT!" he exclaims softly at the contents. He looks around, as if expecting to see someone and sets the bag on top of the laundry baskets, uses the bungee cords he has with him to secure it all and, much faster than he normally would, takes it all back home. He can decide what to do later, but he can't leave the bag just laying there.

Tom had noticed activity outside at the key dropping and swearing and silently opened his window. He had clicked off his TV after the cops left and was now squatting under the open window with his head tilted up listening intently. His hands balled into fists when he heard Ken flirting with the lady officer like a slimey asshat.

Darcy drops her smile and deadpans "My name is Officer. Officer Lynch. Everyone in the area is being asked the same questions." She pulls a small police photo from her back pocket of a balding middle aged man with a ruddy face and dark hair "Have you seen this man before?"

Ken chuckles at Darcy's apparent rejection of his compliment and then looks at the photo with an absolute poker face "No, can't say I have. What did he do?"

Darcy keeps holding the photo between them, a tactic for humanizing the victim "I wish I could ask him. We found his body in the woods, clean as anything except for two shots right through him. His name was Roy Carver. Still not ringing any bells? He might have been shot in this area even."

Ken's composure is perfect. He even looks saddened by the news "I'm sorry to hear that.....Officer. I have heard this can be a rough neighbourhood that way. I'm out of town a lot though with my work."

Sam is deeply annoyed at this cool cucumber. But he sets his own poker face and steps out as well. "What work might that be, Mr. Hall?" he asks, casually, bringing out his own badge. "Officer Wright." he doesn't try and make himself bigger. He knows a tough guy act only makes guys his size look insecure, and he is anything but.

Tom quietly shifts from a squat to a kneel, still listening. He too was curious what Ken would say he did for a living, given what Heather had alluded to.

Darcy steps to the side to give Sam room to step right in and folds her arms, waiting for Ken's answer to Sam's question.

Ken looks almost amused by the shorter man's appearance and glances into room 7 "How many cops are stashed in there? It's like a clown car...." He eyes Officer Wright's build and quips "I guess they need you to bring the donuts eh?" He runs a hand through his hair and gives the female officer an almost preening look, answering her to the male's question as if he doesn't exist now "I work for ProForm Construction. It's contract work, mostly on the mainland. I'm a welder."

Sam has no reaction whatsoever to Ken's taunts. He got better in school. He pulls a notebook and pen out of his pocket and writes the information down. "So, you were welding between ten and midnight the night before we ran our canvass?" he forms it as a question, but he knows that sometimes construction happened late at night.

Heather is trying desperately not to hear, but she can. Eyebrows raised, she mouths 'welder' at the television in disbelief.

Tom smiles now thinking "Try and talk your way out of that one ye bastard."

Darcy exhales derisively and then looks over at Sam in solidarity with his new question.

Ken doesn't even falter and and moves his hand from the back of his hair down around the front of his neck and lets it rest over his heart earnestly "Well I suspect you coppers keep some pretty crazy hours too. My sympathies. When I'm on a job at 6 am in North Van, I tend to check in somewhere local for the night so I'm bright eyed. Last week I got lucky and a buddy I was working with put me up. I really do hope you find the culprit though."

Sam nods and makes a couple more notes. "It would be alright to check this out with your buddy, of course. I just need his name and phone number." again is is hardly a legitimate question ... more an order. "Shouldn't take us more than the rest of the day to check your whereabouts." he even puts a touch of apology for even suspecting that a good law abiding welder would need to be double checked. "Now ... why Alexandra?" he goes on, sounding genuinely curious. "I mean I think it's a great place, but I'm a biased native here. I never understood why people would want to live on our little island."

Heather stares at the television, her hands clasped under her chin, almost unaware that she is praying her name doesn't come up and that she isn't questioned ... again.

 Tom glared through the wall now in the direction of Ken's voice. How could anyone be so good at lying? He had to get Heather away from this asshole.

Darcy was skeptical as Ken spoke but kept her face impassive enough that it didn't show.

Ken was still smooth as silk and smiled "Sure. I have nothing to hide. Carter Pearson. 1632 Chesterfield Avenue, Suite 4. 604-539-4964. Great guy Carter but not always fast at returning his calls." Ken laughs like he's joking with old friends "Know what I mean. We've all got that buddy." He pointedly winks at the female officer despite her absolute disinterest in his charms.

Sam nods while writing the information down. "Yea ... but when you need them, they're always there for ya." he agrees. He makes mental note that his question about why Alexandra was not answered, but ignores it for now. It was really just small talk. Looking over his notes, he looks up at Ken. "Well, that's about all I have Mr Hall." he says. "Do you have anything else, Officer Lynch?"

Heather breathes a sigh of relief when Sam ends his questioning.

Tom closes his eyes and curses to himself. Ken had done well, too well. They were going to leave. They were going to leave Heather alone with this horrible violent man.

Darcy shakes her head "No I'm finished. Thank you for your cooperation Mr. Hall. We'll just be next door compiling our report if you think of anything you may have forgotten." Her statement is a bait as well as a way to let him know the walls have ears, at least until the end of their shift.

Ken grins "I'll definitely keep that in mind Officer Lynch." He practically leers at her as he adds "Even though you're almost too pretty to be a cop." Darcy remains still and calm as if waiting out a pesky wasp and doesn't give him the satisfaction of reacting in any way.

Sam nods his farewell and goes back in the room, immediately sitting on the bed and pulling out his laptop. Grumbling to himself in Yiddish, he boots it up and immediately runs Ken's name. As the info pulls up, he sets his pad on the bed. "Wanna call the best friend ever?" he says, in a semi low voice, as he isn't up for professionalism. He feels like he needs a shower and can only imagine how Darcy feels.

Heather knows what is coming and turns, knowing Ken will expect to see her smiling as if she is Mrs Cleaver waiting on Ward to come home.

Tom takes some comfort from the officers staying in room 7. He knows they can't stop everything though if it doesn't sound like Heather is in trouble and he's heard enough to know what she does to play along and stay alive. Tom clicks the TV back on and turns it up in anticipation. His window is still open so it's really blaring.

Darcy doesn't say any kind of goodbye to Ken and just turns and walks back into room 7. She is vaguely aware of what Sam is doing and saying but heads for the bathroom, splashing cold water on her face and then holding a towel to it for a moment.

Ken steps into room 8 with a smile that doesn't meet his cold eyes "Hey Baby. I hope those cops didn't give you a hard time. I think I sweet talked them outta here once they're done writing." He pulls Heather to her feet a little roughly but to an untrained eye it could be playful "Did you miss me?"

Sam runs Ken's record and groans to himself. He glances at the bathroom door, but says nothing to her, but his eyes move to the wall separating their room from Kens and sighs.

Heather was going to stand before she was pulled up. "No." she says in a voice slightly louder than her normal. It's not shaking. She smiles at him. "You know I did, baby." she looks up at him, noting the coldness in his eyes. "Always." she is hoping he will only let her go. Maybe his trip was long and he is bound to be tired. But they cops have probably started his ego and fear ... which means ... he's going to want things she doesn't ever want to give him again.

Tom watches the match on and roots for a boxer he likes without cheering. There's no cheer in it. However he does picture Ken's face taking every punch the guy doles out.

Darcy hangs the towel neatly and steps out from the bathroom trying to ignore the wall and the room next door somewhat and focus on reports. She's pretty sure Sam is running Ken's name for a record so she sits down near him and asks quietly "Anything?"

Ken had noticed the loud TV but didn't bang or yell today. Instead he just laughs "Jesus that guy next door really needs to get laid eh?" He grabs Heather around the waist now and kisses her roughly on the mouth before murmuring "Not like us..." in her ear. He steers her to the wall between 8 and 7 and presses her against it starting to kiss her neck, more affection that he usually offers.

Sam looks at the screen. "Breaking and entering .. assault. He did six months. Arrested for sexual assault a couple times, but in both cases the charges were dropped. The victims refused to testify. Ex-girlfriend in Ontario has a restraining order against him." he sighs deeply. "In other words, nothing. Old charges. For all we know, he's turned over a new leaf and is in this dump to save money while he houses the homeless someplace." he snorts and then glances up at a slight bump on the wall between their room and Ken's.

Heather is actually rather happy that at least he hasn't put her on the bed. She also knew that was because, this time, he wasn't putting on a show for Tom. This was for the cops next door. "Not like us." she agrees with a smile she hopes is not a grimace. She wraps a leg around him, her short dress riding up. "Oh!" she makes herself giggle. "Someone missed ME." she knows how thin the walls are but hopes the cops understand why she is acting the way she is acting. But ... after watching Ken kill a man ... how could they understand. To the cops in the room, she is probably nothing but a slut.

Tom hears a giggle and winces. He goes to the little fridge and grabs a beer, cracking it and downing half in one sip.

Darcy sighs at the record "He probably just got better at covering his tracks." She keeps her eyes on the screen even though she's aware of the bump. She hears the giggle too but doesn't acknowledge it, pretending to reread what she already knows.

Ken eats up Heather's act, getting instantly hard and grinding against her with an enthusiastic moan. He bumps her into the wall a little harder and says not quietly "I'm going to give it to you baby....I'm going to give it to you nice and hard...." His hand slides up her thigh under her little dress and goes right under the leg of her panties and grips her bare ass.

Sam nods. "Try that number he gave us." he taps his notepad. He hears Ken speaking and bites his lip, but seems to be listening to the goings on in the next room.

Heather feels him and presses against him. "Yea, baby." she feels his hand on her ass and knows what is coming for her. Three hours ago she was wet as spring. Now she doesn't dare think of Tom, lest she make a crucial mis-speak. "Give it to me." she isn't a talker ... not that Ken knows that. Usually she is very quiet. Her banter is straight out of porn movies.

Tom hears talking but can't make out the words over the TV. He knows the deal though and turns it up a bit more, downing his beer and heading for another. Without thinking he slams the fridge shut loudly.

Darcy rolls her eyes and mutters "For fucks sakes..." and writes down the number, taking her work cell to the far corner of the room to call.

Ken steps back and looks at Heather with absolute lust. He walks to the bedside table and grabs the condoms and lube, vaguely hearing a slam from next door. He undoes his jeans and lets them drop, stepping out of them, and the briefs that follow. He yanks off his shirt and throws it aside and puts on a condom and starts lubing it up. "Take off your clothes." He demands. A little louder he says "I want to bend you over and fuck your from behind."

Sam pulls himself onto the bed and leans against the wall, listening with arched eyebrows.

Heather watches Ken, but when he tells her to take off her clothes, the dress is already half off. She shimmies out of her panties all sexy like and smiles at him before she turns to face the wall. The smile vanishes instantly as she bends over, her legs spread, giving him a nice view of what he thinks is his. "Oh, yea, baby!" she tries to sound eager, as she grips the desk and waits.

Tom goes through his second beer as fast as the first and grabs at a third bottle. He plans to drown it all out. He can't actually hear as much of it but his imagination races with the worst possible scenarios and he's barely fighting the urge to just storm in and beat the living shit out of Ken for even touching Heather at all.

Darcy listens to the  very generic message on the number Ken gave them and doesn't bother leaving one herself and then turns around and sees Sam and looks at him with absolute horror, her jaw dropping a bit. Was he into this?

Ken doesn't waste a minute before he's slamming into Heather and moaning and grunting. At one point he says in a low and quiet voice "Tell me how good my cock feels in you.....nice and loud baby..."

Sam folds his arms and continues to listen. He barely spares Darcy a glance, taking a stab in the dark as to her thoughts. But he isn't aroused himself and while he hopes she isn't noticing that much, he is also hoping she IS noticing.

Heather cries out as the lube covered cock enters her. She holds onto the desk for dear life, glad he can't see her face. She fights tears, knowing Tom may be able to hear her. But she knows she can't ignore Ken, and doesn't dare disobey him. "Oh, baby ... yes .. feels so fucking good." she cries out loudly, but she isn't screaming. "Give it to me, baby. Oh fuck yea!"

Tom hears Heather's voice and rips through the last of beer number three. He hasn't eaten much today and he stumbles as he reaches for number 4, his eyes welling with tears. Why couldn’t they just be together? Why this horrible situation she had to be trapped in? He'd do anything to get her out, anything at all. Beer 4 was sliding down his throat now, dulling the pain ever so slightly as awareness started to shift away from reality.

Darcy shudders at what she hears through the wall with absolute disgust and then walks up to Sam and gives him a little smack upside the head. She just can't help herself. Afterwards she mouths "What the hell?"

Ken has as little stamina as he does real charm and starts to feel himself close to the edge "Tell me you're there baby....I'm gonna cum...." And with that he grips her hard enough to bruise her and thrusts hard enough to crash the desk into the wall that she's holding onto crying out loudly in what sounds like a cross between pleasure and rage.

Sam flinches and his hand goes to the area of his head that she smacked. "She's faking." he whispers. And holds up five fingers like he will explain in five minutes.

Heather begins to moan and groan, more glad than ever before that Ken was so quick on the trigger. "Oh baby, I'm cumming!" she holds the last word and bucks against him, about as close to orgasm as Canada is to Pluto. It's almost over and she's survived.

Tom finally drowns at beer 5 and a half and is slowly passing out on the floor, TV still blaring beside him. As the room dims for him his face is wet with tears and he mumbles "Heather I'm sorry...I love you...." and then drifts out cold.

Darcy looks at the wall and gives a conceding nod but then screws up her face like she's just eaten something vile and sour. God the poor girl.

Ken pulls out of her unceremoniously and slaps her on the ass "We still got it baby." He walks to the bathroom to dispose of the condom. When he looks in the mirror he sees the circles under his eyes and their redness. The work he's been doing has not gone well lately. Too many mistakes, the body in the woods found, and now the cops. Sex can hardly even take the edge off the stress anymore.

Sam clenches his jaw at the finale and shakes his head, his fists clenching at his sides.

Heather takes a moment, panting ... getting her breath back and trying to NOT cry. She gets herself under control and stands, turning to the bed and reaching for her dress. "Yea, baby. You’re always great." she lies and wishes she had the guts to kill him herself. Or at least scream for the cops in the next room.

Darcy sits down and exhales quietly, relieved it's over for both the girlfriend and she and Sam listening. She just sits quietly, unsure what to say after that and stares at a random stain on the carpet.

Ken runs the shower and steps into it, letting the warm water just wash over him for a long time.

Sam hears the shower and gets up, moving to the television and turning it on at a medium high volume. He moves to Darcy. "You, OK Lynch?" he asks her softly. "I wanted to hear if she was really into it or faking. She's faking .... probably to keep Prince Charming from doing anything ... painful." he clenches his jaw again.

Heather dresses and sits on the bed, going back to her program. She sighs and thinks again ... maybe she could leave him .. maybe he wouldn't care. But she is too afraid he will. She is more property than girlfriend now.

Darcy looks deeply disturbed by it and shakes her head slowly saying "’s just messed up. I've met warlords and terrorists and that guy has issues by my standards. We can't make her ask us for help or much as we'd like. But she's clearly a kept woman living in her own hell. I guess at least she has the other guy...but that's almost worse." Her voice is quiet enough and the TV is covering them anyway.

Sam nods. "It's not aggravated rape. But it's rape, in my book." he sighs and reaches for the criminal textbook. "She is right next door to a man who clearly adores her. Cath ... Kitty ... she says it's a mess. Now I know what she meant. But Ken has no warrants ... and no major things on his record. I'm not saying he isn't the shooter but ... right now we have nothing on him. Did you get in touch with his alibi?"

Heather keeps watching the show .. it is totally mindless and she wants nothing more than to be able to shower again. She feels filthy. She lays back and closes her eyes and falls asleep without wanting to.

Darcy sighs "I got a machine but I dunno even know if it's the real deal. We'll have to send someone out to check the address later."

Hours later Ken shakes Heather awake with a panicked look on his face "Get up. I need you to relocate something for me. In the laundromat there's a machine that's been out of order the whole time we've been here. Someone abandoned their stuff in it. Dig through the clothes and you'll find my duffel bag. I need you to take it to a better hiding spot....there's a little groove in the wall at the back of that nightclub. There's some old piping in front of it. Stuff it in the groove. Do it now. The cops just left. I've been listening..."

Heather was groggy when she was shaken awake. Blinking she got up and rubbed her eyes. The panic in Ken's voice told her this bag probably held trouble, as opposed to welding .. stuff. "Sure ..." she agrees, as if she had a choice. She tossed on jeans and a t-shirt and sneakers without socks and left the room, down the stairs and around to the laundromat. She found the dryer and opened it. There were dry clothes in it, just as Ken said there would be, but no bag. She felt under the clothes, glad they were dry at least, but still nothing. She began to feel her own kind of panic and went through a third time, even taking out several of the items of clothing, then putting them back. She took a deep breath and wanted more than anything to stop at Perkatory for a soothing chocolate drink. But she went straight back to the hotel, and, once the door was closed, she faced Ken, who would surely see her empty hands. "I couldn't find it." and part of her braced for fury.

Ken looked like he was going to charge at Heather as soon as she explained but then his eyes darted to the wall between their room and 7. His expression changed from fury to terror. "They're fuckin playing me...those cops already had it.....I need to get out of here Heather. Stay here. I'll come back for you. I promise." Ken grabbed another backpack and started shoving clothes into it. He walked to the bathroom and grabbed a few toiletries and stuffed them on top. The sun was just about to start coming up and the first ferry would leave within the hour. Ken was edgy and didn't offer Heather a proper good bye, He pulled his phone from his pocket and started dialing as he left room 8, like he feared it was bugged.

Once he was out on the balcony he walked towards room 9 talking on the phone "Carter, we fucked man. I've been made....they have my gear man. I duuno man...the god damn cops. They've been all over this I gave them the other number....don't worry....... How the fuck can I do the job with you tomorrow? I don't have any fuckin gear..........Colin....Colin has a piece for me....better be good......yeah yeah I can get the rest. No no we need to hit them all in reverse. I can't be here next week after this..........k we'll do here last....then I'll grab Heather and blow this fuckin shithole. Meet me at the car park......bring the piece...."

Tom was slowly coming to on the floor of his room to the sound of Ken's voice in his head. Fuck, the guy was in his dreams he was at the window...talking on his phone. Tom listened for a moment and then tuned into the nature of the conversation and had an idea. He crawled silently across the floor and carefully picked his own phone off the bedside table. He crawled to the window and set his phone to record, holding it out just below eye level. The channel the fights were on had gone to static so there was a slight hum. Tom hoped it would still catch enough to have something to offer the police.

Ken seemed to be wrapping up and saying goodbye. He clicked the phone and then his boots could be heard as his footfalls got farther down the hall and hit the staircase. Tom slid down the wall clutching his phone to his chest. Finally, he had something on Ken. He just hoped it was enough to save Heather so they could be free of Ken Hall forever.

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