Kiss of the Succubus
Chapter 1: Virgin Blood

Copyright© 2015 by Totzman

Horror Sex Story: Chapter 1: Virgin Blood - A serial killer who targets beautiful young women leaves their bodies naked and drained of their blood. Detective Grace Harker suspects the culprit may be a sinister but charismatic vampire named Lukas Balko. As she tracks Balko down, a seductive succubus lures Harker's husband and other hapless men to thier demise.

Caution: This Horror Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Rape   Coercion   Hypnosis   Heterosexual   Fiction   Horror   Mystery   Crime   Paranormal   Vampires   Cheating   Rough   Humiliation   Sadistic   Torture   Oral Sex   Anal Sex   Pregnancy   Voyeurism   Slow   Violent   Prostitution  

"I'll do it."

"You sure?"

Detective Joe Pratt looked at his partner skeptically. Grace had been anxious about this case since the beginning, and this latest development did not exactly improve her state of mind. She clutched her file folders to her side nervously as she and Joe stepped into the elevator of the Havenswood Psychiatric Facility.

"I'm sure," Grace said, pushing the button marked "4." The elevator doors closed. "He should hear it from me, anyway."

Joe said nothing as the elevator ascended, leaving only the creaking sound of the metal gears turning to fill the silence. He let his eyes wander down Grace's backside, and took a sneak peek at her butt. She looked great in her work slacks; her round firm ass filled them out perfectly.

It was too bad Grace was married. She'd transferred to the Homicide department just four years earlier and was married soon after. Joe regretted never having slept with her, although he counted himself lucky that he'd gotten to see her naked just once.

Grace stepped off the elevator at the fourth floor and Joe followed. The screams, howls, and laughter of the patients rattled Grace even further, but she did not hesitate to approach the nurse seated at the front desk.

"San Amaury County Homicide," Grace said, showing the nurse her badge. Joe showed his as well. The nurse recognized them immediately.

"The patient is refusing to leave his room," the nurse said. "We had to sedate him earlier after he got belligerent with the staff."

"Can he be questioned?" Joe asked. The nurse nodded.

"I'll take you to his room."

The attractive blonde nurse buzzed the detectives in, and led them down a long hallway. Their presence drew the attention of the patients, who leered at them through the windows of their rooms.

"Hey baby, let me see that ass!" a balding patient shouted, leering at Grace's behind as she passed.

"Back to your room, baldy!" Joe shouted back at him, fury in his eyes. The bald patient slunk away.

"Thank you," Grace whispered quietly. Joe nodded but said nothing.

More patients continued screaming and wailing as the detectives passed.

"Get this thing off me! Get this damn thing off me!" a patient shouted. Curious, Joe peeked into the patient's room. He wore a restraining device strapped around his genitals that he was struggling to remove.

"What the hell is he wearing?" Joe asked.

"We had to equip Mr. Friedman with a chastity device. It was the only way to curb his sex addiction," the nurse said.

Joe shook his head sympathetically.

"No wonder he lost his mind. Guy can't even rub one out when he needs," Joe mused.

"It was either that or have him masturbating on every nurse who comes into his room," she said, nonchalantly. She continued down the hall. The detectives followed.

"This isn't like most hospitals, is it?" Grace asked.

The nurse shrugged. "Our methods may be a bit unconventional. But we have to be creative here. We have the worst of the worst in this facility."

The nurse stopped at the third door on the left side of the hall and removed a set of keys from her pocket.

"Well I can assure you, there are far worse men in the world than the one we're here to see," Grace said, defensively. She turned to Joe. "Can you wait outside?"

Joe nodded.

The nurse unlocked the door and let Grace inside. Despite how long it had been, Grace immediately recognized the 46-year-old male patient seated on the cold tiled floor of the small room, with his knees pulled to his chest. His full beard had not been trimmed in weeks, nor had the hair on his head, which now looked greasy and matted. He stared up at the barred window mournfully, doing nothing to acknowledge the detective's arrival. The nurse closed the door behind her. Grace cleared her throat.

"Mr. Becket?" she greeted.

Daniel Becket turned his attention to his new visitor. He didn't show any emotion, but it was clear in his eyes that he remembered her.

"I'm Detective Grace Harker. I'm sure you remember me. I was a student of yours at Kennedy High School many years ago."

Daniel gave Grace the slightest of nods. Grace smiled and took a seat on the bed next to him.

"I need to talk to you about something important. It's your children. Your son, Dylan, and your daughter, Jaclyn, are missing. They were last seen Friday night- Halloween."

Daniel's face sank.

"We found out your son hired a private investigator to track down your wife's killer, just like you did. The P.I. he hired was found dead the day before your children went missing. Blood drained, throat punctured. And DNA on her body. Lukas Balko's DNA."

Daniel trembled at the mention of his wife's killer. His hands shook and he scooted across the floor away from Grace.

"I'm so sorry, Mr. Becket. I hope Dylan and Jaclyn are okay, but I'm worried that Balko found them. I just want you to know I'm going to do everything I can to find out what happened to them. And I promise you, I will find Lukas Balko. Whatever it takes. You have my word."

Her words didn't seem to be enough, so she added, "you did save my life, after all."

"You can't," Daniel said.

"What?" Grace asked, shocked.

"He's a spawn of the Devil."

Grace didn't respond. She felt a chill, and suddenly, the room felt very cold and empty.

"I saw a gateway to Hell in my own house. My wife is his slave now!" Daniel muttered.

Grace shook her head.

"No, Mr. Becket, that's not true. Your wife is dead. Lukas Balko is a very dangerous man, but he can be stopped, I swear to you."

"You can't stop shit!" Daniel screamed. "He killed my children, and you know it! He'll come after you and your family next! He'll find you and drag you to Hell with him!"

Daniel leaped to his feet. Grace backed away, terrified.

"Don't you get it? You can't kill a man who's already dead!" Daniel screamed. "He's coming for you Grace! He'll fuck you up worse than your father did! If you go after him he'll devour your soul! You can't escape him! You can't-"

The door burst open, and four orderlies were immediately in the room restraining Daniel Becket. Three of them held him down onto the bed while a fourth gave him a sedative. Joe grabbed Grace's arm, and pulled her from the room.

Grace burst into tears.

"It's okay! It's okay!" Joe repeated, holding his partner tightly. "Daniel Becket is a very sick man and I shouldn't have let you go in there with him alone. You did what you came to do, now let's go."

Trying to hold back her tears, Grace hurried back down the hall to the elevator with Joe at her side. Joe pressed the button marked "L," and as soon as the doors closed, Joe gave Grace a tight squeeze.

Dusk had set in by the time Grace pulled her car into the driveway of her one story, three-bedroom home on Dunlap Street. She'd had plenty of time to cool her nerves getting work done at the station, and was much calmer now that she was once again home with her family.

The house was completely dark when Grace walked in the front door. Reaching for a light switch, Grace spotted a shape in the darkness. It crouched on the floor, hiding behind the sofa. She felt a wave of panic as the shape rose to its feet, and moved towards her. Grace flipped on the light switch only to reveal a green-faced goblin lunging towards her.

"Boo!" the goblin shouted. Grace screamed.

The goblin burst into laughter. It removed its green mask, revealing the grinning face of her husband.

"Halloween's over, Ted!" Grace hissed, slapping him on the arm.

"Which mean's Halloween gear is half-off!" Ted quipped. "Got this one for only five-fifty!"

Ted laughed.

"Look, I had a shitty day, can you knock it off?" Grace grumbled.

"Sorry, babe," Ted said, tossing the goblin mask onto the sofa. He followed Grace into the bedroom, where she unbuckled her holster and placed it, along with her badge, on her dresser. Ted approached her from behind and wrapped his arms around her torso. She rested her head on his shoulder.

"You want to talk about your day?" Ted asked, rocking her gently.

"Not really," Grace said. "What's the little one up to?"

"I got her off to bed about a half hour ago."

Grace smiled.

"Well, I better check on her."

Grace crept into the adjacent bedroom, where her three-year-old daughter Kayla slept soundly. As usual, Bernie had made his way to the floor. Kayla almost always pushed the small brown teddy bear off her bed in her sleep, only to wake up in tears to find him gone. Grace picked up the stuffed bear from the floor and tucked him under Kayla's arm.

She planted a kiss on her daughter's cheek and tiptoed out of the room, leaving the pink painted door decorated with Disney princesses open just a crack behind her.

Grace made her way back to the master bedroom, only to find Ted wearing nothing but his underwear and her holster wrapped around his waist.

"Pardon me ma'am, but I'm afraid I have to place you under arrest," he said, holding up her badge authoritatively.

Grace burst into laughter. Ted maintained a straight and serious face as he strutted towards his giggling wife sternly.

"What seems to be the problem, officer?" Grace asked, innocently.

"Ma'am, it seems you have exceeded the legal limit of sexiness in this state, and are under suspicion of being in possession of two deadly weapons," Ted said. "I'm going to have ask you to lift your shirt for inspection."

"Whatever you say, officer," Grace giggled. She lifted her shirt above her head and tossed it ceremoniously aside. She wore a white lacy bra, which was wrapped, tightly around her two large, firm breasts.

Ted approached her, and very methodically pulled her bra cups down, bringing both of her breasts into view. Her round pink nipples swelled with excitement as Grace awaited her husband's next command.

Ted didn't speak, he simply squeezed the bare breasts and rolled them about between his fingers. Grace felt her excitement grow as she enjoyed the touch of her husband's hands upon her body.

"Ma'am, I'm afraid these particular weapons are illegal in this state without a permit. I'm going to have to subject you to a complete strip search to find what else you may be carrying."

"Gosh, officer, I hope I'm not in trouble!" Grace said, swaying her hips in faux-nervousness.

She unzipped her pants and dropped them to her ankles, leaving a pair of white panties to conceal the remainder of her body that had not yet been exposed by her salacious husband.

"I'm afraid you are, ma'am," Ted said. "Would you please turn around, and place your hands behind your back?"

Grace obeyed, and Ted promptly slapped a pair of handcuffs around Grace's wrists and closed them tightly. Grace felt a tingle of excitement rush up her spine.

"Bend over," Ted said.

Grace obeyed, and Ted pulled her panties halfway down her thighs. He pulled down his own underwear as well, allowing his erect penis to extend to its full length.

Ted grabbed his wife's butt cheeks, and spread them apart with his hands. He could see her anus, small and delicate, peeking out between her twin mounds. How he wanted to penetrate her there, but he knew she would refuse, just as she had every other time he'd asked her.

Ted pressed the head of his penis to the small of her back, and sensually ran it down the crack of her butt. The softness of her skin made him throb uncontrollably, but he paced himself, letting his penis gently ease its way between her cheeks. He ran his penis back up her crack, and back down, stopping it just outside her anus. He held it there.

"Ted, no," Grace said sharply, breaking character.

Disappointed, Ted ran his penis further down, until the head passed across Grace's juicy labia. He quickly eased inside her, and allowed his throbbing hard member to be absorbed by the familiar warmth and wetness of his wife's cunt.

They both sighed. Ted grabbed her hips, and aggressively pumped his penis back and forth inside her. He grabbed her buttocks with his palms, and squeezed her firm and sensuous mounds.

Grace moaned as she felt her husband's throbbing cock slide in and out of her dripping wet pussy. The sense of helplessness, of being bent over, with her hands cuffed behind her back, sent a wave of elation throughout her body. Even the threat she felt of having her husband enter her most forbidden of spots amplified her arousal. The sense of danger, the fear, all of it stimulated her deepest desires.

Ted watched his reflection in the mirror, admiring his wife's large bouncing breasts jiggle about in rhythm with his thrusts. He loved the way his wife's beautiful tits looked when they gyrated about. But it was her tightly closed eyes and open mouth, along with her high pitched squeals that truly made him feel like a man.

Ted wasn't particularly proud of being a stay-at-home dad. In fact he was secretly somewhat embarrassed by it, but it was this moment, with his wife in locked in handcuffs and bent over his bed, and with his erect penis firmly inside her, that Ted truly felt redeemed his masculinity.

It had been over a year since Ted had been laid off from his sales job. He'd been one of the top salesmen at Warrener's, a local furniture chain, before they filed for bankruptcy and closed all ten of their locations. Ever since then, sex with his wife had become his medicine. As long as he got to fuck Grace at least twice a week, Ted found he was adequately comfortable with his station in life.

Grace's moaning got louder, and the wetness of her pussy was spreading to Ted's scrotum. He pounded her harder and harder, and gritted his teeth with determination. The pressure overwhelmed him to the point he could no longer withstand her, and he released a heavy load of cum.

He let his dick drain all of the white goo it had to offer, and he withdrew, causing a significant droplet to spill from her lips and dribble down her thigh.

Ted grabbed the keys and unlocked the handcuffs, freeing his well-fucked wife. Grace rubbed her wrists and grabbed a tissue to clean around her pussy and thighs. She pulled her panties back up as Ted placed her holster back on the dresser and dressed himself.

Grace looked at her husband and blushed.

"Thanks, I really needed that," she said.

"Me too," Ted replied.

Detectives Harker and Pratt pulled in front of 1228 Claymore street, otherwise known as the Becket home. Grace looked at the house apprehensively before stepping out of the car.

"Arrived at the Becket home. Nothing changed on the outside," Joe said into a tape recorder. He and Grace walked up the front steps, where Joe used a key provided to him by the station to unlock the front door.

"So this is where the Becket kids lived? All by themselves?" Joe asked, as they each put on a pair of rubber gloves.

"For the past three years," Grace said. "Dylan spent his eighteenth birthday having his father committed. He took custody of his sister after Daniel got locked away."

"Must have been rough on that kid," Joe said.

Grace made sure Joe wasn't looking when she rolled her eyes. As much as she liked her partner, his habit of stating the obvious got on her nerves from time to time.

Grace and Joe entered the house, and shut the door behind them. Grace turned on a light switch, but somehow even in the light the house still felt gloomy and uncomfortably quiet.

"House is undisturbed. No signs of any recent activity here," Joe said into the recorder.

A wooden cross was nailed to the wall across from the front door. Grace stepped past it into the living room. She spotted another wooden cross nailed to the wall there as well. A photo album rested on the coffee table in front of the sofa. Grace glanced at the album briefly before scanning the rest of the room.

"So these kids go missing five years to the day after their mother's murder. Uncanny, huh?" Joe asked.

Grace pondered the likelihood that it was just a coincidence. She hoped that it was.

Joe made his way into the den, and found a cross nailed to the wall in there as well. As Grace examined the living room, she noticed several scorch marks on the carpet in front of the fireplace.

"There's a cross on every wall in this house," Joe remarked. "Either these are some hardcore Christians, or Daniel Becket was serious about his wife being killed by a vampire."

Grace picked one of the wooden crosses from the hook on which it was mounted, and looked at the wall behind it.

"These crosses were put up recently. No tan lines on the wall. Sawdust on the floor," Grace said.

Joe walked to Grace's side.

"So the kids put up these crosses then?" Joe asked, incredulously.

"And the holy water," Grace added, nodding towards the glass of water resting on the windowsill. Joe shook his head, disbelievingly.

Grace continued through the house, stepping into the kitchen. As she did, she found herself recalling the last time she'd been in this house. Years earlier, when she was only seventeen.

"Grace, I'd like you to meet my wife," Daniel said. Gabby Becket extended her hand.

"Nice to meet you, Grace," Gabby said.

Grace extended her hand, taking care to ensure her sleeve concealed the slash marks on her wrist.

"Thank you for having me here, Mrs. Becket," Grace said, shaking hands. "I've never had a home-cooked meal before."

Gabby frowned sadly.

"Dan told me about your situation. I'm so sorry to hear about how things are going for you."

Grace swallowed, and peered around the room awkwardly.

"Please, have a seat, Grace," Daniel said.

Grace sat down at the kitchen table. Jaclyn, only three years old, sat in a booster seat across from her. Grace looked at the squirming toddler and wondered if she would ever have children of her own.

"Dylan, time for dinner!" Gabby shouted. Dylan came charging into the kitchen, clutching a Buzz Lightyear action figure. He looked at Grace.

"Who are YOU?" Dylan asked.

"This is Grace, she's one of my students," Daniel said. "She'll be joining us for dinner tonight."

Dylan dropped the action figure on the floor beside him and took a seat next to Grace. Unsure of what to say to the Becket children, Grace kept awkwardly silent as she awaited the meal her teacher promised her.

Gabby served a dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. Grace made small talk with the family as she ate the food, marveling at how the dinner was so civil and pleasant. It was the best meal she'd ever had in her life, and she didn't even say thank you. She was too overwhelmed to even say thank you. That bothered her to this day.

"Did you find anything?" Joe asked.

His words brought her memory to a halt, and Grace looked up at her partner. As she sat at the kitchen table in the same spot as she had at that dinner fifteen years earlier, Grace noticed a manila envelope resting on the table in front of her.

"Just this," Grace said, nodding to the envelope.

"There's a broken window in one of the bedrooms. It's been taped over with saran wrap. Other than that, nothing unusual," Joe said.

Grace turned the manila envelope over in her hands. It was addressed to Dylan.

"Looks like Dylan got himself a package. Return address is Riley Pierson," Grace said.

"The P.I. we found dead last week?" Joe asked.

"The one. Let's see what she dug up for our boy."

She emptied the contents of the envelope onto the kitchen table. Joe sat down by her side and sorted the photos and documents inside.

"It's about Lukas Balko," Grace said. "Pierson tracked down where he's been over the last sixty years!"

"This chick's got some serious connections to get this kind of info. Wish we had someone like her working for Homicide."

"Something tells me Miss Pierson may have been operating outside the boundaries of the law," Grace remarked. "Otherwise I'd agree with you."

The detectives flipped through the documents, before Joe stopped to examine a black and white photo dated 1956.

"Whoa, who the hell is this babe?" Joe asked.

He showed the photo to Grace. The photo depicted a young woman with jet black hair down to her shoulders, standing in a cemetery. She wore an expensive looking jacket and skirt suit, and she stood alone in the picture frame, surrounded only by gravestones.

What Grace found most unsettling was the smug smile on the woman's face. She had the most disdainful look in her eye, as if she were looking down at the viewer, and she was somehow pleased about every unfortunate thing that had ever happened to anyone. Grace let go of the photo, but found she could not stop looking at it. She flipped the photograph around to read the back.

"This is Catherine Balko," Grace said. "Lukas Balko's sister."

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The Blessed Hills Community Church girls choir group performed every Friday night. All in the community were welcome to attend; to enjoy the singing as well as the light refreshments in the Fellowship Hall afterwards. The choir group proved to be popular, with even non-churchgoers frequently stopping by.

At the front of the choir, leading the others, was Sarah Wainwright. Eighteen years old, Sarah had sung in the choir for nearly ten years. Her good looks and beautiful singing quickly launched her to the head of the choir, and her popularity among the church members and community in general grew over the years.

In addition to leading the choir, Sarah was also the president of the church's abstinence club, vowing to remain celibate until marriage. In spite of her beauty, Sarah didn't date much, choosing instead to devote the majority of her time to her schoolwork and her activities with the church.

On this particular night, the choir was singing especially vibrantly, and among the audience members was none other than Catherine Balko. She sat near the back, wearing an overcoat, hat, and sunglasses. To her right sat a young red-haired woman named Rose, who quietly watched the choir unflinchingly.

To Catherine's left sat no one. Catherine and Rose had the entire pew to themselves despite the relatively large audience in the church that night. Catherine set her eyes upon the singing Sarah, watching her intently.

"She's lovely," Catherine whispered.

"I thought you'd like her," Rose replied.

That was actually an understatement. In truth, Rose prayed Catherine would take a fancy to the beautiful choir girl. She breathed a sigh of relief as she and her wealthy employer continued watching.

"How long do you think it will take you?" Catherine asked.

"A few days should do it," Rose said.

"You have until tonight," Catherine said, not looking at Rose. Rose swallowed.

"It will be done tonight," Rose said, reassuringly. She could see a streak of gray running through Catherine's long black hair that hadn't been there a month earlier. It seemed to gradually grow over the past weeks, much like the knot in Rose's stomach that tightened every time she noticed it.

"And there will be no mistakes," Rose added, and immediately wondered if that was necessary to say. Catherine did not respond.

When the performance concluded, guests were invited to the Fellowship Hall for refreshments and socializing. Rose and Catherine walked in step into the hall, before Catherine whispered into Rose's ear.

"Get to it," Catherine said. That was all Rose needed to hear.

Rose grabbed a cup of coffee from the refreshments table, and casually made her way to where Sarah was mingling. She was still in her choir robe, and was talking and laughing with two other choir girls and a middle aged woman who was complimenting Sarah's performance.

"Nine and a half years," Sarah said. "I just love it. I've made so many friends here. You should definitely tell your daughter to join."

"Thank you, I will!" the woman said.

Rose smiled, and approached the group.

"Hi, Sarah?" Rose asked.

"Hi!" Sarah smiled, happily engaging the approaching guest.

"Hi, I'm Rose. I was just wondering, how would I go about joining the choir?" Rose squeezed her coffee cup nervously.

"Well, we have rehearsals every Wednesday at six," Sarah said. "Just come to one of them, and we'll work you into the group!"

Sarah and the other two choir girls smiled.

"Really?" Rose said. "That's awesome. I just loved your singing, and I've always wanted to be in a choir!"

"Well, you've come to the right place!" Sarah said cheerfully. It wasn't difficult for her to make friends anywhere she went.

Sarah's two friends scampered off, and the middle aged woman turned to speak with Mrs. Gregorich, the choir director. Seeing as she had Sarah's undivided attention for the moment, Rose edged her way closer to her.

"There's something else," Rose said, quietly. Sarah looked on with interest. "I heard you're also president of the abstinence club. I was also interested in joining that, too."

Sarah nodded.

"Yeah, we meet Mondays at five," Sarah said discreetly. "But we don't meet here. We usually meet at somebody's house."

Rose took a sip of her coffee.

"Could you tell me where? I'm excited about joining this club," Rose said.

Sarah paused.

"Well- it's at Kailey Truman's house next week. I don't know her address offhand-"

"Could you get it for me? Please?" Rose asked. Sarah cocked her head and smiled, dumbstruck at Rose's enthusiasm.

"Sure. Meet me in the dressing room after fellowship. Down that hall, last room on the left."

"Thanks so much!" Rose said.

The girls talked for several minutes before Sarah excused herself to mingle with other guests. Rose made her way back to Catherine to give her an update.

"She invited me into her dressing room," Rose whispered. "I'll get what I need there."

"I'll be in the car," Catherine said, coldly.

Rose gulped. She was not going to disappoint Catherine tonight. Rose would go to the choir girls' dressing room, and accomplish two things, and not leave until she had. She tossed her empty coffee cup in the trash and twisted the ring on her right hand apprehensively.

At the conclusion of fellowship, Rose reported to the dressing room as promised. She knocked on the door, and Sarah let her inside.

There were about twenty girls in the choir, and the dressing room was just big enough to accommodate them. A row of lockers lined the wall opposite a set of mirrors. An adjacent room looked to be a shower facility, which several girls looked to be preparing to use as they stripped out of their robes.

"So this is our dressing room, which is pretty rad," Sarah said. "The church really went all out for us. I can go to school, come here, shower, and get changed for choir without having to stop by at home. It's a real time-saver."

"I love it," Rose said, as she watched three naked girls make their way into the shower room.

Sarah removed her choir robe, and Rose was surprised to see she was wearing only underwear underneath. Rose admired Sarah's shapely body as she took a seat in front of the mirrors.

"Okay, I've got the address in here somewhere," Sarah said, digging her iPhone out of her purse. She flipped through the contents of her phone and read the address out to Rose.

"Thanks," Rose said, typing the address into her own phone. "Oh, and one other thing-"

Rose stepped towards Sarah closely.

"Do you HAVE to be a virgin to be in the abstinence club?" Rose asked quietly.

Sarah smiled, and shook her head.

"No. A lot of our members are secondhand virgins. What you've done in the past is in the past," Sarah said assuringly. "You just have to make a vow for the future."

Rose faked a sigh of relief.

"Good, because I have to admit, I'm not a virgin by any means," Rose chuckled quietly.

"That's totally fine!" Sarah said. "No one at the club will judge you. We just want to help you make your vow and we all encourage each other to keep ours."

"Well, that's good," Rose said. "But I have to ask, are you- a secondhand virgin too by any chance?"

Sarah blushed.

"No, I'm the real thing actually," Sarah said, lowering her gaze. "Never even kissed a guy."

"Really?" Rose said, astonished. She took a peek at Sarah's beautiful scantily-clad body, amazed that to date it had gone untouched by a man.

"Yeah, my parents brought me up to be a good girl," Sarah said, blushing.

"Okay, nothing wrong with that," Rose said.

"Well, I have to get in the shower now," Sarah said. "I'll see you Monday?"

"You can count on it!" Rose said with a grin.

"Great!" Sarah said. "It's really nice to meet you, Rose!"

Sarah wrapped her arms around Rose and hugged her tightly. Rose returned the hug, enjoying the feel of Sarah's mostly bare body. She certainly had an excellent figure. Sarah's breasts felt delightfully firm pressed against hers. Rose released Sarah's embrace.

"Well, see ya!" Rose said.

Rose turned to the door as Sarah unclasped her bra and set it aside. Rose looked on with interest as Sarah slid off her panties, and set both undergarments onto the stool in front of the mirror.

Seeing her exposed, Rose found herself enamored with Sarah's naked body. Beautiful round breasts, that had never felt the squeeze of a man's hands. Light brown nipples, that had never been pinched or sucked. Smooth vaginal lips, that had never had a throbbing dick pass between them. There was something Rose had to admire about that purity, in spite of the pity Rose secretly felt for her.

Rose waited for Sarah to make her way into the shower room before she made her move.

With the dressing room empty except for Rose, she quietly peeked into Sarah's purse. She snatched out Sarah's keys, and stuffed them into her own coat pocket. Rose hurried out of the dressing room, satisfied that she'd accomplished both of her objectives: steal Sarah's keys, and confirm her virginity.

It was very important that Sarah was in fact a true virgin. The black magic taught to Catherine by her brother Lukas required a virgin if she wished to maintain her youth and beauty- or so Catherine said. As far as Rose was concerned, confirming Sarah's virginity was just for a paycheck. At least, it was until recently.

Given the rapidly enlarging gray streak in her hair, and the crows feet forming across her face, Catherine was in no mood to delay her bathing ritual any longer. She intended to murder Sarah tonight, just as she had Jaclyn Becket, and thirty-seven other young women over the past sixty years. It was up to Rose to make sure this happened. She could not afford another failure.

Rose hurried out to the black Bentley parked in the church parking lot. Catherine sat in the backseat, patiently waiting. Rose climbed into the driver's seat.

"I got them," Rose said, holding up Sarah's keys. "Now we wait."

Rose turned to her twin brother, Kristof, who sat in the front passenger seat playing on a 1990s era game boy.

"Hey Bucko, you all done with your Yoo-Hoo?" Rose asked.

Kristof looked up from his game and smiled.

"Yeah, it was good!" Kristof said.

"Want another one?" Rose asked.

"Yeah, can I?"

"You can, but I need you to do something first, okay?" Rose asked.


"It's what we talked about before. Now get back to your game for now, and I'll let you know when it's time."

Rose waited quietly, while Kristof played on his game boy. Twenty minutes passed before Sarah came out of the church, and made her way to her car. Rose watched as Sarah fished through her purse looking confused. Rose took this as her cue to exit. She hurried towards the confounded choir girl.

"Sarah? Everything okay?" Rose asked.

"I- can't find my keys!" Sarah said. She fished through her purse again, as if they might show up if she checked again.

"Do you need a ride?" Rose asked, her eyes twinkling in the moonlight.

Sarah looked up at Rose, uneasily. She took a step backwards.

"No, that's okay. I'll get Mrs. Gregorich to drive me home."

Sarah gave Rose an odd look, and hurried back into the church. Rose returned to the Bentley.

"She knows something's up," Rose said.

"Handle this, Rose," Catherine said.

Rose looked at Catherine's reflection in the rear view mirror. The cold, penetrating stare in the wealthy woman's eyes compelled Rose to exit the car immediately.

Rose hurried across the parking lot, just as Sarah and Mrs. Gregorich exited the church.

"Did you drop them anywhere?" Mrs. Gregorich asked.

"I don't think so," Sarah said. "I'm sure I left them in my purse. They were there the whole time!"

"Maybe you left them in the dressing room," Mrs. Gregorich said. "Let's check and if they're not there, I'll drive you home."

Rose watched as the singer and director returned to the church. The parking lot was nearly emptied now, as the other choir girls and audience members had made their way home. The only remaining vehicle besides Sarah's car and Catherine's Bentley was a blue Ford Fusion parked right next to the entrance. Rose surmised this to be Mrs. Gregorich's car.

Rose dropped to her belly and squirmed under the car. Using the limited knowledge of cars she had, Rose located the gas line. Drawing a blade from her belt, Rose cut a small incision in the gas line, causing a small amount of gasoline to come piddling out onto the pavement. She cut the hole to ensure a slow but steady leak, and put her knife away. Quickly, she crawled back out from under the car and scurried back to the Bentley.

It took ten minutes, but Sarah and Mrs. Gregorich finally reappeared. They entered Mrs. Gregorich's car, neither of them noticing Rose watching from afar. Rose tapped her index fingers on the steering wheel impatiently.

When Mrs. Gregorich started up her car, Rose turned the key in the ignition, and carefully followed the choir director out of the parking lot. She maintained a steady distance from her target as she continued following them down the dark road.

Mrs. Gregorich immediately pulled into a side street, prompting Rose to worry that Sarah lived too close to the church for her plan to work. Rose's concerns were laid to rest when it appeared Mrs. Gregorich was simply taking a short cut and she pulled back onto a main road.

Rose followed the Fusion another block, afraid to take her eyes off the choir director's car for a second. She clutched the steering wheel with both fists as a police car passed them by.

No sooner did the cruiser pass that Mrs. Gregorich pulled in front of a house just off the main road. Sarah promptly stepped out of the car.

"Shit!" Rose cursed.

She casually drove past the Fusion, thinking desperately how she was going to fix this. She did have Sarah's keys. It would be easy to enter her house, but then she would have Sarah's parents and older brothers to contend with.

She watched from the rear view mirror as Mrs. Gregorich flipped on her emergency lights and exited the car as well. She could see Sarah still remained by the side of the car, not moving towards the house, the house that Rose now noted had a "for sale" sign on the lawn.

"We're in business," Rose said. She pulled over to the side of the road and turned to Kristof. "Okay, Bucko. You ready?"

Kristof nodded.

"It's time," Rose said.

Rose exited the car and made her way down the shoulder where Mrs. Gregorich was parked.

"Sarah?" Rose asked. "I just passed you by and saw you stuck here. You need any help?"

Sarah laughed with frustration.

"This has been a crazy night. First I lose my keys, and now we run out of gas."

"I don't know what happened," Mrs. Gregorich said. "I filled up just yesterday, I should-"

Kristof grabbed Mrs. Gregorich by her hair and swiftly jammed his pocket knife into her neck. Sarah screamed as Kristof twisted the knife and pulled it out, sending a spray of blood across the car's hood.

"Oh my God!" Sarah screamed. She backed away from the vehicle.

Mrs. Gregorich collapsed to the ground. Kristof then lunged for Sarah, who swung her purse at him as hard as she could.

Kristof overpowered the young woman, grabbing her arms and holding the knife to her throat. Rose grabbed Sarah's legs, and together, she and her brother carried the struggling choir girl back to the Bentley.

"What are you doing? Don't kill me! Please!"

Rose popped the trunk, and Kristof stuffed the screaming Sarah inside. Rose drew a syringe from her coat pocket, and lifting Sarah's skirt, Rose injected the contents of the syringe into the back of Sarah's thigh. It only took a few seconds for Sarah's shrieking and struggling to cease, and she lay perfectly still.

"That was fun," Kristof said, hopping up and down excitedly. "Is she sleeping?"

"Yes, she's sleeping," Rose said. "Now we have to get her back home before she wakes up, okay?"

Rose shut the trunk and she and Kristof quickly reentered the car. She sped off down the road, leaving the bleeding Mrs. Gregorich lying in the street sputtering and gasping.

Grace Dwyer sat in her bedroom, listening to a Counting Crows CD, when she heard a pounding on her bedroom door.

"Why haven't you started dinner, Grace?"

"I already ate dinner, Dad!" Grace shouted.

"Oh, of course. Little Miss Pretty Panties eats dinner with her handsome teacher and not her own family! Real classy babe you are!"

Ed Dwyer twisted the doorknob, and found it was locked. Grace looked to her sister, Nora, who sat on the bed next to hers. It was obvious Nora was as frightened as she.

"Why's this door locked? Open the damn door, bitch!"

Grace backed away from the door. She knew he would get in one way or another, but she would prolong the inevitable as long as possible. Nora hopped off her bed and crouched on the floor.


Ed kicked the door open, splintering the lock. With a beer bottle in one hand, he grabbed Grace's hair by the other and pulled her to her feet.

"Who the hell you think you are, huh? I'm your god damn father, you understand that?"

Crying, Grace nodded.

"Now get in the kitchen."

Grace hurried down the hallway into the kitchen, and looked through the cabinets for something to prepare. The pantry was mostly empty, but she found a package of noodles that she promptly began to boil. She could hear her father screaming at her sister as she stirred the boiling pasta.

A loud knocking at the front door broke her concentration. Grace jumped, and realized to her relief that whoever it was, it was not her father, being as he was already in the apartment. Grace peeked out the eye hole to see a policeman standing on the other side.

"Who the hell is that?" Ed demanded.

Grace turned to her father.

"A cop."

Ed's eyes went wide with rage.

"What the fuck! You get rid of him. You don't tell him a word about me!"

Grace dropped the wooden spoon on the counter.

"Why?" she asked defiantly.

Ed cracked his palm across Grace's face. He smashed his beer bottle on the counter and held the broken shards towards her.

"You want to know why? Here's why."

Ed stormed out of the kitchen, leaving Grace shaking and trembling. Ed returned moments later holding Nora by the arm. He held the broken glass bottle to Nora's throat.

"Cause if you don't, this little bitch, that your cheatin' whore of a mother is making me raise, is gonna pay for it. If I'm going down, she's going down, you hear me?"

The policeman rapped at the front door again.

"Yeah," Grace said.

Taking one last glance at her sobbing sister, Grace walked to the apartment door and opened it. She looked the policeman in the eye.

"Hello, officer," Grace said, calmly.

"Young lady, are your parents home?" the policeman asked.

Grace shook her head.

"Well, we've got a noise complaint from your neighbors. Lot of shouting and banging on the walls. Is there a problem here?"

"No, sir, it was just the TV," Grace said. She didn't break eye contact with the policeman.

"The TV?" the officer said, skeptically.

"Yes sir. I'll try to keep it down from now on."

The policeman eyed her suspiciously. Noticing he was looking at the cuts on Grace's wrist, she pulled her sleeve down to cover them.

"Is there anything else?" Grace asked.

"No Miss, just please watch the volume."

The officer walked away. Grace shut the door, and rested her head on the door frame. She'd done as she was asked, the policeman was gone. Yet Grace couldn't help but feel abandoned by the officer of the law. How could he have just walked away? She'd given him every reason to be suspicious, and he took her at her word.

Grace found herself contemplating who was truly at fault. Had she done something to deserve this miserable life? Was the policeman a cold, apathetic imitation of a true public servant, looking only to put in his nine to five before going home to whatever passed for his home? Or was her father simply a deplorable cancer to society, and Grace was unlucky enough to be his unloved daughter?

Those were the questions that raced through Grace's mind after the policeman walked away, and her father dragged her, kicking and screaming, back to her bedroom where he raped her.

It was one a.m. and Grace was still awake. Ted was sound asleep but Grace had too much on her mind. Her investigation into Catherine Balko had turned up exactly nothing, and Lukas might as well have been a ghost.

Grace questioned her abilities as a law enforcement official when she couldn't track down a 98-year-old serial killer who left his DNA on all of his victims, and managed to live in a nursing home for five years under an assumed name- without being discovered until he killed again.

Now Daniel Becket's son and daughter were likely dead, and Grace hadn't a clue how to stop Balko from killing again. Her various leads raced through her mind. Grace was considering all of her possible means to trace Balko's trail, when her phone rang. Grace leaped out of bed to answer.


Ted stirred, and rolled over to face his wife. In the darkness he could see she was nude, which excited him quite a bit.

"Where?" Grace asked. She grabbed a pair of pants and attempted to put them on with one hand while holding her phone with her other. She had to struggle a bit to get the waist up and over the curve of her butt.

"Just make sure the paramedics do what they can. I won't be long." Grace shut her phone.

"Another late night?" Ted asked.

"Homicide. I'll be back in the morning." Grace scurried around looking for a shirt.

She grabbed a shirt from her closet and slipped it on without a bra. Grabbing her badge and holster, Grace was out the door before Ted could blink. He sighed, rolled over, and tried to get back to sleep.

Less than ten minutes later Grace pulled onto the shoulder of the road. An ambulance stood by, however, the victim was declared dead ten minutes before.

Grace ducked under the police tape and approached Detective Pratt, who along with several officers examined the empty blue Ford parked on the shoulder, with its emergency lights blinking.

"What was it? Robbery?" Grace asked.

"Doesn't look like it. Nothing was taken," Joe said.


"Ellen Gregorich," Joe said, showing the ID to Grace. "She' s the wife of a Reverend at a local church. Looks like she ran out of gas when she was attacked from behind. Knife wound to the neck. Killer was quick, strong, but inexperienced."

"Jesus," Grace said. "Some kind of gang initiation?"

"That's our best bet. One of the Bones, maybe?"

A cold chill went up Grace's spine. The Bones were a now-defunct gang that required its new members to attack an innocent person and cut off a body part to bring back as proof. They were the reason for Grace's worst day on the job. The day she reported to the attack on Melanie Trevarrow.

Melanie was a ballet instructor who stopped at a gas station one night. One of the Bones hid underneath her car while she paid for her gas, and slashed her ankle when she attempted to reenter her car. As she lay on the ground screaming, her attacker used a serrated blade to cut off Melanie's leg- her entire leg, sawing through the very top of her thigh along her bikini line.

Rumor had it the larger the body part the recruit took from his victim, the greater his status in the gang would be, and this particular recruit was the ambitious type. He hacked off Melanie's leg and ran off with it; still wrapped in a pink stocking, leaving Melanie to bleed to death.

Grace arrested a Bones member named Neil Corliss, whom she strongly suspected was Melanie's attacker. The lack of evidence led to Corliss being set free after five months with only minor B and E charges on his record.

Grace doubted Ellen Gregorich's killer was Neil Corliss, or any former Bones member for that matter, but she was troubled by the situation all the same. She stepped around the puddle of Ellen's blood and examined the nearby homes, the nearest being a foreclosed property for sale. Across the street was a strip mall, including a 24 hour supermarket equipped with security cameras.

"Joe," Grace said.

Joe walked to Grace's side.

"You think those cameras might have spotted anything?" she asked.

"I'll find out."

The manager of the E-Z Mart was very cooperative, and wasted little time bringing up a video feed at the time of Gregorich's attack. Joe and Grace studied the screen, praying that at least one of the market's three cameras saw something that could help them.

"There," Joe said, pointing at an object in the distance at the very top of the screen. Grace squinted, and could just barely make out the image of Ellen pulling her car to a stop on the side of the road.

"There was someone else in the car with her," Grace said, watching as a young blonde girl exited the passenger side of the car.

"I'll be damned," Joe said.

The detectives watched with baited breath as a dark figure of a woman approached the stopped car. Grace felt her blood go cold as a second figure attacked Ellen Gregorich, and then both figures dragged the young woman off screen.

Joe Pratt took out his radio.

"Nelson," Joe said into then mouthpiece. "Tell the Captain we've got a kidnapping on our hands."

Sarah Wainwright awoke in a place she didn't recognize. It appeared to be a dark, dingy basement. She lay on a wooden table, staring up at two blurry figures in front of her.

"I think she's awake," Kristof said.

Sarah blinked, and the two figures came into focus.

"Hi Sarah," Rose said. She held a pair of shears and was smiling cheerfully.

Sarah was suddenly aware she was not fully dressed. She was wearing only her bra and panties, and she could see the tattered remains of her blouse and skirt lying on the floor in the corner.

"What is this?" Sarah moaned, and found her throat was dry and scratchy.

"This is your last great adventure, Sarah," Rose said. "Kristof, take off her panties. Don't rip them, Miss Catherine wants them in one piece."

"Okay," Kristof said, delightedly. He grabbed Sarah's panties by the waistband, and Sarah found she was too weak to resist. Kristof peeled the undergarment off and pulled it down her legs.

Rose proceeded to clip the straps of Sarah's bra with her shears, and ripped it away, leaving Sarah completely naked.

"Rose? What are you doing?" Sarah cried. She realized she had a splitting headache, and she had little control over her arms and legs.

"Now check her pussy," Rose said.

Kristof grabbed Sarah's thighs and attempted to pull them apart, but Sarah mustered just enough strength to jerk them out of Kristof's grasp. She squeezed her thighs shut and looked at Kristof in terror.

"Sarah, Sarah, Sarah," Rose said. "I know you promised me you were a virgin, but I can't afford to make a mistake. Now open your legs for me."

Rose grabbed one of Sarah's thighs, and Kristof grabbed the other. The siblings pulled her legs apart. From there Rose placed her index and middle fingers into Sarah's labia, and spread her lips apart. She could see a hymen covering the opening to Sarah's vagina, and she nodded in satisfaction. Rose and Kristof released their grip on Sarah's legs.

"I'm so sorry about that," Rose said. "I had to be certain. The last girl we had in here, well, I was pretty sure she was a virgin too. You see, my partner at the time, Violet, was in charge of making sure, but she didn't think it was necessary to check. Well, Violet is no longer with us, and I don't want to end up like her."

Sarah gasped and cried. She hoped this was a prank, but couldn't imagine anyone going to these lengths just to scare her.

"What do you want with me?" Sarah sobbed.

Rose leaned close to Sarah's ear.

"Ms. Balko needs a virgin so she can stay young and beautiful. The last girl messed everything up. It's up to you to set things right again."

Kristof wrapped a metal chain around Sarah's ankles, and bound them together.

"Nice and tight, Bucko," Rose said. She flipped Sarah onto her belly and tied her hands behind her back with rope. "All right, hoist her up!"

Kristof grabbed the handle of a crank, and turned it about. As he twisted it around, the chain lifted Sarah by her ankles into the air. With a few rotations of the crank, Sarah was completely off the table and hanging upside down.

"Let me go!" Sarah cried, thrashing about. "What do you want from me? Let me go! I'll do anything!"

Rose sauntered over towards Sarah and wrapped a cloth gag around her mouth.

"You don't have to do anything, Sarah," Rose said, tightening the cloth. "Just be a good girl and wait for Ms. Balko to get here."

Sarah whimpered and struggled, but found she was powerless to escape her predicament.

"Wht you gnng do to me?" Sarah mumbled through her cloth gag.

Rose ran her fingers through Sarah's long blonde hair, and rested her hand on the side of Sarah's face. She leaned forward and whispered into her ear.

"Don't worry. You'll feel a little pain and then it will all be over," Rose said, running her fingertips across Sarah's cheek. "We're just going to put some nice cuts in your pretty skin, and Ms. Balko is going to bathe in your blood."


Grace dropped the file folder on her desk, and winced as she looked at the deep cut in her finger. Blood trickled down the back of her hand. She searched around for a Band-Aid when Joe approached her.

"Sarah Wainwright," Joe said.

"Who?" Grace asked, fishing through her desk drawer with one hand. She'd been in such a hurry to get from the supermarket back to the station she'd carelessly cut herself on the folder. Grace grabbed a bandage from her drawer and looked up at Joe.

"She's one of Ellen Gregorich's choir girls, and she matches the description of the girl in the surveillance video," Joe said. "I just talked to her parents. She didn't come home tonight. Our unis spotted her car still in the church parking lot."

"Well, she's probably our girl," Grace said, opening the bandage.

"I think so too. Anyway, here's short list of some former Bones members. I thought we could pay a few of them a visit and see what they know."

"That might not be necessary. Take a look at this," Grace said, as she wrapped the bandage around her finger. She brought up the surveillance footage on her computer screen and rewound the footage.

"Look, the kidnappers drag her to the left. Presumably to a car. Maybe that car was on camera earlier," Grace said. She rewound the footage further, and played it.

Joe watched as a police cruiser passed by, and shortly afterwards, a black Bentley passed in the opposite direction.

"See that? A black Bentley! That's probably the one," Grace said.

Joe shook his head skeptically.

"Doesn't look like it. The Bentley didn't slow down. Look, it actually speeds up as it passes the Ford."

Grace played the tape again. She paused.

"You're right. But it's still the only car here," Grace said, baffled.

"But there's a side street right down the road. It could be parked there," Joe said.

Grace was silent. Something about this Bentley. The kidnappers would have been following Mrs. Gregorich's car, not lying in wait as if they knew exactly where she would stop. Grace played the tape again.

"Catherine Balko owns a Bentley," Grace said nonchalantly.

Joe tsked.

"I think you've been on that case too long. Why would she kidnap a choir girl? It's her brother we're after."

Grace looked at the Bentley again. It was too dark to see in the car windows.

"Look, Grace, we should go talk to these Bones members before Sarah gets gang raped. I'll be in the car."

"You go on ahead. I'll take my own car," Grace said, not taking her eyes off the screen. Joe shook his head and walked away.

Grace watched the footage again, studying the forms of the kidnappers on the screen. Who the hell were they?

Sarah could feel herself moving. As Kristof turned a crank, a dolly carried Sarah along a track mounted on the ceiling. Creakily, foot-by-foot, she drifted across the room.

She could see a vanity mirror mounted upon the back wall, with a sink in front of it. In the center of the room she could see a large washtub.

Her body gently swayed about like a pendulum as the dolly carried her across the room. She looked down at the dirty brick floor below, until she arrived directly over the bloodstained tub.

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Sarah struggled with the ropes binding her hands behind her back, and the chains around her feet. Neither would give. The blood rushing to her head was giving her an intense headache. Sarah blinked her eyes uncomfortably and looked down at the empty bathtub beneath her. She thought of Mrs. Gregorich. How she bled out all over the hood of her car, and onto the road. Sarah surmised this was what they had planned for her as well. She wondered how they intended to make her bleed.

And then she spotted the scythe leaning against the wall. A sturdy wooden shaft, with a long metal blade. Sarah felt a cold sweat form across her back. The blade was at least an inch thick; the edge razor sharp. Sarah's breathing escalated as she tried feverishly to think of a way to escape.

"Okay Bucko, time to shake the sausage!" Rose said. She handed Kristof a small open clam shell, which he promptly set upon the sink. He stared up at Sarah and smiled.

"Yes, she's awfully pretty, isn't she?" Rose said. "Tight little ass. Firm titties. What a body."

Kristof nodded in agreement.

"Okay, I'll give you some privacy. You spank your salami and let me know when you're all done, okay?"

Kristof smiled happily. Rose skipped out of the room as Kristof unzipped his pants. He stared up at Sarah's quivering naked body and gently rubbed his penis.

Sarah shut her eyes, trying to block out the horrifying sight of the young man pleasuring himself to her situation. She could hear him stroking away and breathing heavily as admired her bare breasts, belly, and legs. He had seen very few naked girls in real life before, and was enjoying the sight quite immensely.

Curious, he edged forward, and stepped into the tub so he was at eye level with Sarah. With one hand, he softly caressed her breast, while squeezing his penis with his other.

"Soppp!" Sarah squealed, shaking her head. Kristof looked at her, sadly.

"Dnnt do thsss!" she said.

"What's wrong?" Kristof asked. Sarah looked back at the man in front of her, and she realized he did not comprehend what he was doing.

"Tkk my ggg out!" Sarah said.

Kristof pulled the cloth from her mouth.

"Hey, Bucko," Sarah said, hoping he didn't mind her calling him that.

"What?" Kristof asked. He looked around nervously, and then back at Sarah.

"Get me down from here. Please," Sarah begged. Kristof shook his head.

"I'm not supposed to," Kristof said, taking a step back.

"If you do-" Sarah started, and hesitated. "I'll have sex with you."

Kristof's eyes lit up.

"Really?" he asked.

Sarah nodded.

"Really. Just get me down. I'll do anything you want!"

Kristof eyed her suspiciously.

"Prove it," Kristof said.

He leaned towards Sarah closely. Bracing herself, Sarah closed her eyes, and pressed her lips against Kristof's. She kissed him softly, and as he slipped his tongue into her mouth, she responded with her own into his. Neither of them had ever kissed this way before. Excited, Kristof grabbed both of Sarah's breasts and squeezed them between his fingers. He wanted to suck them, but he couldn't get his mouth that high. Instead he simply rubbed them all around, enjoying their softness and delicate shape. After several seconds of boob-fondling, Kristof lowered his hands.

"Now let me down. Please. And we'll have sex," Sarah pleaded.

Kristof hurried towards the crank, and with all of his might, he twisted it backwards, carrying Sarah back to the table where she'd been lifted. No sooner was she halfway there that the washroom door opened, and Rose entered.

"Kristof! What are you doing?" Rose demanded.

Sarah's heart sank. Kristof looked at Rose with guilt in his eyes.

"She said she'd have sex with me," Kristof said in a shame-filled voice. Rose walked directly towards him and smacked him across his face.

"You can NOT have sex with her!" Rose said. She walked over to Sarah and placed the gag back over her mouth. "Now put her back and finish jerking so Ms. Balko can take her bath!"

Kristof lowered his eyes and obeyed. Sarah sobbed quietly as Kristof cranked her back in place over the bathtub. Once there, Kristof proceeded to masturbate into the clam shell under Rose's watchful eye.

The humiliation of being hung upside down, naked, while being masturbated to reduced Sarah into a bawling mess. Disheartened by Sarah's emotional state, Kristof found he could no longer maintain his erection.

"Oh for God's sake, Kristof! Do I have to do everything for you?" Rose said, disgusted.

She dropped to her knees, took Kristof's penis in her mouth, and sucked it firmly and sensually. Kristof sighed, and closed his eyes. The touch of Rose's tongue, up and down his shaft, helped him block out the sounds of Sarah's whimpers. She sucked him faster, and when he was ready, Rose removed his cock from her mouth and squirted his man gravy into the clam shell.

Satisfied with her work, Rose placed the spooge-filled shell onto the sink and took her brother by the arm out of the washroom. Kristof shot one last glance back at Sarah before Rose shut the door behind them.

With her head in agonizing pain, Sarah quietly cried to herself. She'd abandoned all home of rescue, that was for certain. Nothing remained now but for her to await her imminent demise. She said a soft prayer to herself, and hoped that God would see to it she was shown mercy.

She waited for a reply, a sign, anything at all, but heard nothing. She'd either been forsaken, or this was the plan the Lord had in store for her. Sarah cried out for her mother, father, and brothers, but none of them answered.

She remained where she was, shackled and alone.

When the washroom door opened again, Sarah could hear a pair of footsteps enter. They were soon followed by a second pair, and the door closed. Neither of the new arrivals said a word, and Sarah suspected neither of them was Rose or Kristof.

Sarah watched as a tall, dark haired woman took a seat at the sink in front of the vanity mirror. She proceeded to place her fingers in the open clam shell full of Kristof's semen, and smear the gooey substance on her face.

Sarah looked to the room's other occupant, a frail old man. He hobbled towards the wall, drew the scythe, and approached her. Sarah looked the man in the face, and he stared back at her with vacant, empty eyes. Sarah screamed.

The woman didn't react. When her entire face was covered with the white sticky substance, she rose from her stool and approached the washtub. Sarah didn't have to guess that this was none other than Ms. Balko.

Catherine removed her long black robe, and stood at the edge of the washtub fully nude. She climbed into the tub and lay on her back, looking up at the quivering Sarah. She smiled.

Sarah shook her head and squealed. The man raised the scythe, and pressed the blade tip against her hip. Sarah shrieked upon feeling the metal scratch her skin.

"Bleed this one heavy, Morris," Catherine said. "I'm going to need every drop."

"As you wish, ma'am," the old man said. He ran the scythe up and down Sarah's skin, only scratching, not breaking the skin. Sarah whimpered and cried. Catherine chuckled as Morris teased Sarah with the scythe. He placed the blade to her throat and held it there. Sarah squealed in terror, and Morris took the blade away.

Catherine laughed, and the old man showed a subtle smile.

As Sarah sighed in relief, Morris slashed the backs of her knees. First the left, then the right. Sarah screamed as she felt her blood dribble down her thighs and across her buttocks. In agony, she struggled even harder with the ropes around her wrists, but they would not loosen.

As Sarah's blood sprinkled down, she could see it settle upon Catherine's body. Catherine sighed as she rubbed the specks of blood onto her skin.

Morris swung the scythe swiftly across the backs of Sarah's thighs, inciting a squeal of pain as the metal cut into her skin. Her blood went flying and Catherine moaned as it sprayed her skin.

Morris immediately swung again, this time slicing the small of her back. Sarah could feel her warm blood trickle down her back and drip from her shoulders. Her open wounds burned with pain, and Sarah clenched her eyes closed to block out the agony.

Morris slashed Sarah's upper and lower back viciously, putting long, deep cuts throughout her flesh. Sarah thrashed about, and wailed through the gag in her mouth.

"Sopp! Sopp!" Sarah cried, but neither Catherine nor Morris were moved by her pleas.

She opened her eyes, only to see Catherine basking in her blood. Catherine rubbed the warm liquid all over her body, and appeared to be in ecstasy as she wriggled her body around and about in the bloodfall.

Sarah cringed as the scythe sliced her again, this time across her belly. Morris then cut her several more times on the bottoms of her breasts.

"Pleath! Pleath!" Sarah screamed, but her wailing only seemed to excite Catherine more. She grinned wickedly as she watched Sarah's breasts jiggle after each cut the scythe made in them.

Catherine was drenched in Sarah's blood, and Morris only cut her more. Sarah felt herself grow weaker as she felt the life drain from her body and onto the wicked woman below her. She prayed for death soon, feeling overwhelmed with intolerable agony.

"More," Catherine moaned, and Morris was all too eager to comply. He slashed Sarah across her face, across her chest, and up her sides, cutting deeper with each slash.

"NOOOO!!! STOP! STOP!" Sarah practically declared, as loudly as she could. Catherine chuckled.

"All right. Finish her, Morris."

Sarah felt her pulse race, causing her to bleed faster, and she realized with panic she likely had only seconds to live. Morris raised the scythe, and pressed the bloody blade to Sarah's throat...

Grace rubbed her neck uncomfortably as she sped down the road. The sun peeked up over the horizon, surprising Grace with the realization of how long she'd been working. Joe was probably already at Neil Corliss' residence, and she didn't want her partner confronting a former gang member alone.

The image of Sarah Wainwright's kidnapping played in her mind over and over again. Was Joe right? Did the Bentley speed up as it passed the Ford? Why would it do that if the driver intended to pull over?

Because Sarah got out of the car first. The kidnapper thought she was at her house.

"Shit!" Grace said aloud. She pulled a U-turn and sped off in the opposite direction.

The realization that the Fusion's emergency lights didn't come on until after the Bentley passed was everything Grace needed to know. The Bentley was the kidnappers' vehicle, of that Grace had no doubt. She knew Catherine was not the only person in the city with a Bentley, but she also knew gang activity was very rare in this part of town.

Catherine Balko lived only a few miles away. Deciding Joe could handle Neil Corliss on his own, Grace raced off to 2000 Blackwater road to have a word with Lady Balko.

It only took her seven minutes. The gate was locked, so Grace stepped out of the car and pressed the intercom button. She waited for a response.

"Hello?" a male voice responded.

"This is Detective Harker of San Amaury County Homicide," Grace said. "I need to speak with Catherine Balko."

The voice paused.

"She can't talk right now," the voice said tensely.

Something in the voice made Grace suspicious. Not just the fact that it was the voice of a young man, and Grace had previously encountered only two people on her last visit here, Catherine's blind and elderly butler Morris, and Catherine herself. It was also the voice's tone, clearly fearful and defensive. Grace decided to press him.

"Sir, I'm with the police, it is very important that I have a word with Ms. Balko right now. May I come through the gate please?"

There was a brief pause.

"Okay, but she can't talk to you," the voice said.

The response surprised Grace as much as the fact that the gate opened soon afterwards. Grace hurried up the slope towards the elegant home, feeling a compulsion to wipe her feet before she stepped foot upon the nicely varnished porch. Grace crept up the steps and knocked on the front door.

She waited a few seconds, and checked the time on her phone. Soon after, the door opened. Kristof peeked out of the door frame, glancing at Grace hesitantly.

"Hello, officer," Kristof said, meekly.

Grace eyed the young man suspiciously. He let the door open just wide enough to leave his head visible in the open frame.

"I'm Detective Harker of San Amaury Homicide," Grace said, holding up her badge for Kristof to see. "I need to speak with Catherine Balko."

Kristof looked at the badge and he visibly trembled.

"She's in the bath right now. She can't talk."

"That's fine, I'll wait until she's out. May I come in?" Grace asked. As she did, her phone chimed. She checked it, to find she had a text message from Joe that read "at Corliss place where are you?"

Grace almost considered turning around. Joe was waiting for her, while she was here chasing after a suspect from an unrelated case, but something in Kristof's demeanor told her she should stay.

Grace was about to type out a reply to Joe, when Kristof opened the door fully.

"Okay," Kristof said, stepping aside. Grace lowered her phone and entered the house.

The nicely furnished old-fashioned home looked the same as it did weeks earlier when Grace questioned Catherine Balko in the disappearance of Dylan and Jaclyn Becket. However, Grace did not recognize the young man standing before her.

She could hear the blare of the television in the den, but otherwise the house sounded empty. Kristof shut the door as Grace made her way through the foyer. He stared at Grace's figure as she walked.

"Will you have sex with me?" Kristof asked.

Grace looked at Kristof, confounded.

"I beg your pardon?"

Kristof lowered his head.

"My sister wouldn't let me have sex with the other girl, so I thought maybe we could, you know..."

"What other girl?" Grace asked.

Before Kristof could answer, a pair of feet descended the stairs.

"Kristof, who are you talking to?" Rose said, hurrying down the stairway. She was dressed in a green bikini with a pair of tanning goggles around her neck. An iPod was tucked into her bikini bottoms with the ear buds dangling at her knees. Rose stopped midway down the stairway and looked at Grace.

"Who are you?" Rose asked.

Grace held up her badge.

"Detective Harker, Homicide. I need to speak with Catherine Balko."

"She's not here right now," Rose said, smiling.

"This young man here said she was in the bath," Grace said.

Rose laughed.

"Of course. Catherine is in the bath. At the spa. Kristof, don't mislead the poor detective."

Rose stepped down the remaining stairs and stood face to face with the detective.

"She'll be back in a few hours," Rose said. "Try back maybe one, two, o'clock?"

Grace folded her arms.

"I'm actually in kind of a hurry," Grace said. "Could you tell me where this spa is?"

Rose turned her head and bit her lip.

"You know, I haven't actually been there, so I don't know," Rose said.

Grace faked a smile.

"Then I'll just have to wait here then," Grace said. Rose's face sank as she realized Grace had no intention of leaving anytime soon. Grace looked around the foyer of Catherine's home, and back at Rose.

"So, tell me, who are you two?" Grace asked. Rose answered quickly before Kristof could respond.

"I'm Rose, this is my brother Kristof," Rose said. "We're Catherine's personal assistants. Her butler is getting up there in years so she thought it might be good to get some young blood in this house; to keep things running smoothly."

"Are things running smoothly?" Grace asked.

Rose's answer was cut off by the sound of a muffled scream.

"What was that?" Grace asked, looking around.

"Must have been the TV," Rose said. "Kristof likes to leave the sets on all over the house, so who knows?"

Grace stepped into the den, grabbed the remote, and shut off the TV. Rose quickly followed her, with Kristof trailing behind.

"Detective Harker, is something wrong?" Rose asked innocently. Another muffled scream emanated from the basement. Grace drew her sidearm.

"Both of you, take a seat on the couch," Grace said.


"NOW!" Grace shouted. Rose quickly planted her bikini-clad butt on the sofa, and Kristof took a seat beside her. Rose watched Grace warily as the detective made her way through the den and into the dining room.

An open door, just beyond the dining room, led to a set of stairs leading down. Grace hurried down the stairs as the shrieks became increasingly louder. Grace took out her phone and made a call to dispatch.

"Detective Harker, requesting backup at 2000 Blackwater road. Hurry."

At the bottom of the stairs Grace found herself in a wine cellar. The room contained four wooden shelves stocked with expensive wines, and nothing more. She searched the room again, frantically searching for a door, a passage she missed, but the room contained nothing but wooden shelves and old booze.

She heard another scream, and it seemed to come from beyond the wall. A second basement? Accessible from some other place in the house? It seemed unlikely to Grace. She peered at the shelf against the wall, and noticed a sliver of light peeking between the top shelf and the brick wall. A secret passage.

With all of her might, Grace pushed against the shelf, and found it rotated to its side, revealing the hidden compartment. The compartment looked to be bigger than the wine cellar itself, as Grace discovered a hallway with several doors on the other side of the shelf.

A light bulb dangling from the ceiling lit the dank corridor dimly. Grace could see five doors, two on each side of the corridor, and one large metal door at the end of the hall. The first room to her right had no door, so Grace cautiously peeked inside.

A nearly empty room, lit solely by candlelight, contained a number of metal hooks mounted on the wall. Hanging from each hook was a pair of panties. Well over two dozen pairs of women's underwear, all hanging in a row. Given the candlelit setting and the way the panties were displayed, Grace surmised this was not Catherine's laundry room. This was a shrine.

"Stop right there."

Grace turned to the doorway, to find Rose standing there, holding a .38 Special. She aimed it directly at Grace.

"Put down your gun," Rose commanded. Kristof appeared behind her, brandishing a pocket knife. The screams from the nearby room continued, and Grace could hear a woman's laughter as well.

"I've already called for backup, you pull that trigger you're in jail for the rest of your life," Grace said.

"I'm already a prisoner," Rose said. "I have something much bigger to fear. Now put the gun down, or I swear you'll never leave this room alive."

Grace squeezed the handle of her Glock. Something in Rose's words told her this was not a bluff. Rose was terrified, and not of her. If that was the case, Grace was dead either way.

"Kristof, would you kindly relieve Detective Harker of her weapon?" Rose asked. Kristof nodded, and moved towards Grace.

"Kristof, don't," Grace commanded. He stopped.

"Kristof, if you get that gun away from your sister, I'll have sex with you," Grace said.

"Really?" Kristof said, perkily.

"Don't listen to her, Bucko!" Rose snapped. "Now get her gun from her!"

The screaming in the next room led to howling. Grace could made out a few words.

"Pleath! Pleath" the voice cried. It sounded as though it was muffled by a gag of some kind.

"Bucko, get her gun," Grace said sweetly. "And I can be yours."

Grace rubbed her hands over her shirt, and cupped her breasts with her palms. Kristof's jaw dropped.

"You can't have sex with her, Bucko, now do as I say!" Rose demanded. Kristof looked over at Rose, confused.

"Kristof," Grace said, "if you do what she says, your sister will never let you have sex with anyone. Ever."

Kristof looked at Rose angrily.

"She's right!" Kristof said. "You're always bossing me around! Why can't I do what I want?"

"I am going to count to three, Detective, and whether my brother listens to me or not, if your gun is not on the ground you're a corpse! One!"

"Kristof, please," Grace pleaded.

"Two!" Rose shouted.

Grace lifted her shirt, baring her belly for Kristof. He stared at her body hungrily. Grace was glad she was not wearing a bra, so she could flash him a bit of underboob. She briefly considered showing her nipples, but decided teasing him was her best bet.

"Do it, Kristof. For me," Grace said, and puckered her lips.

"Three!" Rose shouted. Kristof plunged his pocket knife into Rose's back, and she let out a loud wail. Her scream was drowned out by the wailing in the next room, leaving Grace to wonder just how awful a fate the poor girl in that room had befallen.

Grace ran to the door and pulled the .38 from Rose's grasp, as the redhead toppled to the floor in agony. Grace gasped when she saw that Kristof had driven the blade directly through Rose's spine in the small of her back.

Rose rolled to her side and gasped. Blood trickled from her open wound and onto the floor.

"Help her! Don't let her die!" Grace shouted, as she fled from the room. Kristof stared at Grace, confused, and looked down at his bleeding sister.

The blood-curdling screaming in the next room continued as Grace raced towards the metal door at the end of the hall.

"NOOOO!!! STOP! STOP!" the frantic female voice shouted. Grace sprinted to the door, with her sidearm at the ready. She heard a woman's voice reply to the screams.

"All right. Finish her, Morris."

Grace struggled with the handle on the door. She twisted the handle, pulled the door open, and her eyes went wide with shock.

Hanging from the ceiling, upside down and naked, was a bleeding young woman. Next to her was Catherine's butler, Morris, holding a scythe to the woman's throat. Beneath the hanging woman was a bathtub filled with blood. It looked as though someone was lying in the tub, but all Grace could see was the back of a head, with blood soaked hair.

"Don't move!" Grace shouted, aiming her sidearm at Morris. "Put down the- oh God, what the hell is that?"

Morris lowered his scythe, turned towards Grace, and his blind empty eyes stared through her. The head in the tub turned around to face her, and Grace recognized it as the blood-soaked visage of Catherine Balko. She stared at Grace with a scowl.

"Finish her Morris, finish her now!" Catherine demanded.

Morris raised the scythe to the hanging woman's throat, and without hesitating, Grace fired. The bullet hit Morris square in the chest. He froze, and Grace fired again. The second shot knocked him on his back, and he dropped the bloody scythe to the floor as he fell.

Grace hurried to Morris' side, and looked up at the hanging woman. Seeing the woman's body up close, sliced and bloody, summoned the contents of Grace's stomach up and onto the floor beside the bleeding butler.

Grace gagged, and summoned all of her strength to raise her head and look the bleeding girl in the eye.

"Sarah?" Grace asked, panting. "Sarah Wainwright?"

The girl nodded.

"Help me!" Sarah cried. "Pleath, help me!"

Grace pulled the gag from Sarah's mouth.

"Help is on the way, Sarah," Grace said, praying it wouldn't be too late.

She looked down at the blood-drenched body of Catherine Balko, who cowered in the bathtub.

"You-" Grace hissed, aiming her gun at Catherine. "You don't even move."

Eleven squad cars were on Catherine Balko's front lawn within twenty minutes. The ambulances arrived shortly afterward.

Joe Pratt hurried down the stairs into the basement until he was at Grace's side.

"Grace! Grace!" Joe shouted. He wasn't sure whether to hug her or spank her for going into Catherine's house without backup, but was relieved to find her alive either way.

"I'm okay, I'm okay," Grace said, still heaving. Joe stared into the bloody bathtub, and found himself retching at the sight. The EMTs had unchained Sarah and were dressing her with gauze while she lay on a stretcher nearby.

"Is she alive?" Joe asked, incredulously.

"For now. They'll rush her to Cloughmont. God, I hope she makes it," Grace said, wiping her brow with a towel.

Joe looked around the dank washroom, now swarming with police officers. Through the dense crowd of busy lawmen, Joe could see four officers guarding Catherine Balko in the corner. She was still wearing nothing but Sarah's blood, and stood with her hands against the wall. One of the officers approached Grace.

"Detective, Ms. Balko is asking if she can get washed and dressed before we cuff her and take her in," the officer said.

Grace shook her head.

"So she can wash off all that evidence? Absolutely not," Grace said. "Put a raincoat on her and get her down to county."

"Yes, ma'am," the officer said, seemingly delighted at Grace's reply.

Joe and Grace walked with the EMTs as they carried Sarah's stretcher out to one of ambulances.

"Hang in there, Sarah, these boys are going to take good care of you," Grace said as they walked up the stairway. Sarah reached out with one hand and clutched Grace's. Grace gave her an assuring squeeze.

The first ambulance, which carried Rose, sped out through the open gate as the EMTs carried Sarah out the front door and into the second. As soon as they loaded her in, the second ambulance disappeared in a cloud of dust as well.

Grace looked to the doorway to see Kristof being led out in handcuffs. He looked at Grace, with disappointment and anger burning in his eyes.

"You lied to me! You lied to me, you bitch!"

The officer shoved Kristof into one of the cruisers, where he continued to curse at Grace while the officer drove him away.

"Boy, they come in all types, huh?" Joe asked.

Grace said nothing. She hadn't yet mentioned to anyone how she'd coerced Kristof into helping her, and she wasn't looking forward to that part of her statement.

An officer handed Grace and Joe cups of coffee, which they graciously accepted.

"Sorry I didn't listen to you before," Joe said. He breathed in the early morning air, taking in the sights of the busy crime scene. For him, this was home.

"No sweat," Grace said, holding the cup to her lips. "It was a wild hunch, anyway."

"But it was the right one."

Grace looked back to the doorway, where Catherine Balko appeared. She was covered in black garbage bags, one around her torso and two duct taped to her legs. Her face was still drenched with blood and semen. She looked directly at Grace, with the same smug disdainful smile she had in the old photo Grace saw in Dylan Becket's file.

The arresting officers led Catherine into the back of a police car, where she shot one last defiant stare at Grace. The officer shut the door and drove her off to the station.

"We should get back," Joe said, looking at Grace. "The captain wants to have a word with you."

The mutilated corpse of Jaclyn Becket lay in the washtub, soaked in its own blood. Rose and Violet stood at the tub's edge, looking down at the messy task that awaited them.

"I hate this part," Rose said with a sigh.

"Don't be such a baby," Violet said, giving Rose a playful shove. Rose scoffed.

"Like you didn't throw up the first time we did this," Rose said, rolling her eyes.

"Let's just get this over with. Faster we're done, faster we get paid."

Violet removed the white terrycloth robe she was wearing and let it fall to the floor. Rose smiled at Violet's naked body and removed her robe as well.

The two naked girls each grabbed themselves a long serrated hunting blade and climbed into the bloody bathtub.

They made quick work of their task, beheading and dismembering the body and stuffing the amputated body parts into the black trash bags they'd set at the tub's edge. They'd found it was easier to simply tune out what they were doing, engage each other in conversation, and the unpleasantness of the task did not overwhelm them.

Violet sang along to the cheerful melody of the Tokyo Police Club that played on the radio as she vigorously hacked off Jaclyn's limbs.

" ... and I wonder what you're doing tonight..."

Rose joined her for the chorus.

"I burn the house down and I leave it behind / I didn't need the money but the money was nice /
I need a countdown when the fire is high / sitting on the curb and it's hot tonight."

Somehow it made it easier. Rose made sure not to look Jaclyn in the face after she'd removed her head. She made that mistake twice before and not only lost her lunch but had nightmares for weeks.

Instead she simply grabbed the head by the hair and tossed it into the very bottom of the bag, and made sure never to look inside the bag again.

"If there was ever a reason not to stay a virgin, this is it," Violet mused.

She looked at the nails on Jaclyn's hands and compared them to her own. She liked the style, and made a mental note to look for that shade of polish as she tossed Jaclyn's forearms into the trash bag.

"You checked her, right?" Rose asked, as she tied the first trash bag closed. "Made sure?"

Violet shrugged.

"Luke said she was. He saw her cunt what, a day ago?"

"Well it's just-" Rose started, and paused. Jaclyn's torso was all of her that remained in the tub. Rose knelt beside the dismembered torso and examined it closely.

"What?" Violet asked.

Rose spread apart Jaclyn's labia, and saw a very much broken hymen inside. Violet tsked.

"That's nothing. The hymen can break over anything. Luke said she was-"

No sooner were the words out of her mouth when a glob of semen dribbled from Jaclyn's vulva. Rose looked up at Violet in shock.

"Oh, shit," Violet said.

On her way back from Captain Pillar's office, Grace stopped outside of the holding room where Catherine Balko was meeting with her lawyer.

"Fifty bucks says she pleads insanity," Joe said, rounding the corner. He had a file folder tucked under his arm and his usual sarcastic grin.

"Judge Getty would buy it, that's for sure," Grace mumbled. She stared dejectedly at the closed holding room door before making her way back to her desk. "So what do you got for me?"

"Rubena Selimaj," Joe said, handing the file folder to Grace. "That's the girl who tried to shoot you back in the bitch's basement. Originally from Ukraine, she emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1999. Then she, and another girl, Jolan Demachi, came to the U.S. in 2012, both to live with and work for, one Catherine Balko."

Joe tapped his finger on the folder for emphasis. Grace took a seat at her desk and looked over the file.

"Any clue where this other girl might be?" Grace asked.

"Alpert is questioning Kristof as we speak. He says the kid seems a few aces short of a deck. It sounds like he had no idea what he was into."

Grace looked over the file intently.

"Rubena and Jolan both attended college here. We need to question their professors, schoolmates, everyone who knew them. Maybe somebody can point us in the right direction."

"Couldn't agree more," Joe said, crushing a Styrofoam coffee cup in his fist. He tossed the wadded up cup into the trash can. "Three points!"

Grace yawned and stretched her arms over her head. She would have loved to curl up next to her husband back in bed, but knew that sleep was a luxury she would not enjoy for some time after the events of today.

"And the panty shrine?" Grace asked. "Anything with that?"

"Forensics is looking into it."

Forensics did. Of the thirty-nine pairs of panties hanging in Catherine's basement, one was personally identified by Sarah Wainwright as belonging to her. After several blood transfusions and extensive surgery, Sarah's doctors were confident she would pull through, although she would bear extensive scars across her body for the rest of her life.

Through DNA evidence, forensics matched another one of the thirty nine panty trophies to Jaclyn Becket, strengthening Grace's suspicions that Catherine, not Lukas, was responsible for the disappearance of Jaclyn and likely her brother Dylan as well.

Grace's attempts to question Catherine were put to a standstill by Catherine's lawyers, but after she was out of surgery, Grace received permission to question Rubena Selimaj.

Rose was handcuffed to the hospital gurney, in spite of her doctor's estimation that she would never walk again. She lay helpless, filled with needles, IVs, and a breathing tube in her nose. She jerked upright when she saw Grace and Joe enter her hospital room.

"Hello, Rubena," Joe said as they entered. "Can I call you that?"

"I really couldn't care less," Rose muttered.

Grace took a seat by Rose's side, while Joe paced at the foot of the bed. Grace grabbed a tray of uneaten food from the bedside, and slid it away out of Rose's reach.

"Rose then," Grace said. "Rose, can you tell me anything about Dylan and Jaclyn Becket?"

Rose stared at Grace contemptibly.

"They've both been missing for weeks, and we'd like to find them. It might help your case if you cooperated with us," Grace said.

"It would really help my case if I didn't," Rose said.

Grace looked at Joe. He peered at Rose suspiciously.

"Is someone threatening you?" Grace asked. Rose did not reply but instead looked Grace in the eye.

"We can protect you," Grace said. "All we want is information. Dylan, Jaclyn, and Catherine's brother, Lukas. Can you tell us anything that might help us find them?"

Rose laughed, then cringed painfully. Her heart monitor spiked, and she clutched her belly. She looked up at Grace with a mad grin.

"Let's be honest with each other. In all likelihood, I'm going to be dead very soon," Rose said. "How merciful my death is, depends on how quiet I keep."

Rose breathed slowly, and she held onto her belly tightly until her heart monitor gradually returned to normal.

"Listen honey, you help us find the bastard that raped and killed three women that we know about and we got you witness protection guaranteed," Joe snapped. "You want to play hardball, we'll leave you in this hospital to rot, now what's it gonna be?"

Rose broke into a painful laugh. Joe stared out the window angrily.

"You CAN'T stop him! He will kill ALL of you, don't you get it?" Rose grunted. "You back off now, maybe he crawls back under whatever rock he came from, but if you go after him, he goes after you, you got it?"

Rose broke into a coughing fit. Grace waited for her coughing to subside before she continued.

"What about Jolan Demachi?" Grace asked. "Can you tell me about her?"

Rose looked at Grace sadly.

"Violet," she said, softly. Her eyes followed the length of the catheter that fed its life-saving fluids into her veins.

"Was that what you called her? Violet?" Grace asked. "What happened to her?"

"She fucked up," Rose said. "I guess I did too. But you won't find her either. I made sure of it."

Grace sighed. She looked at Joe, who only shook his head.

"Tell me something, Rose," Grace said. "If Lukas is so dangerous, why are you here? Where was he when you were being stabbed and Catherine arrested?"

Rose shrugged sheepishly.

"He only comes out at night."

Violet didn't tell Catherine about her find, and neither did Rose. When Jaclyn's body was disposed of, Catherine paid them in cash and the college sophomores were on their way.

They spent their weekend shopping and getting high. It was their way of lying low. It wasn't long before Detectives Harker and Pratt showed up on Catherine's doorstep, and when they did, Rose and Violet were glad they were not present during the visit.

The very next day, Catherine invited the girls to dinner. Wary about being seen near Catherine while she was under investigation, the girls parked down the road and sneaked in through the back gate.

For dinner, Morris served a meal of Okroshka soup and baked veal.

"So, what's the occasion?" Violet asked, as Morris placed a glass of red wine in front of her.

"I'm buying a new house for Lukas," Catherine said. "He won't be staying with us much longer."

Rose and Violet exchanged glances.

"Well ... that's good," Rose said.

She took a sip of her wine and continued her meal. The three ladies ate in silence while Morris washed the dishes in the next room. Rose glanced at Violet, who shot her a bemused expression at the curiously low-key celebratory dinner they were enjoying. Violet sipped her wine and looked at Catherine, who calmly ate her meal without uttering a word.

Finally Catherine broke the silence.

"So who's job was it to ensure Jaclyn was a virgin?"

Rose and Violet looked at each other in panic. Finally, the purpose of the occasion revealed itself.

"Ma'am, it was both our responsibilities," Rose said. "Your brother said Jaclyn was a virgin two days before; we both assumed nothing had changed!"

Catherine laughed.

"Ah!" she said in sarcastic understanding. "You 'assumed'! Well, that's perfectly fine then! You know, I'm glad it was both of your responsibilities, because just one of you is going to pay dearly for your assumption, and I don't know who it will be."

Rose stopped chewing and placed her fork onto the table slowly. Catherine removed a small vial of liquid from her brassiere and placed it onto the table.

"Do you know what this is?" Catherine asked. She looked to Rose, and then Violet. "This is an elixir I purchased from a witch doctor in El Salvador. He didn't tell me exactly what it does, but I instructed Morris to pour some in one of your wine glasses, and serve it to one of the two of you at random."

Rose swallowed and gagged momentarily. Both girls' faces went pale.

"Ma'am, we are SO sorry!" Violet pleaded. "PLEASE let us make this right!"

Catherine stared into Violet's eyes coldly.

"Oh Violet. You ARE making this right!"

"Ms. Balko, please!" Rose shouted. "Please give us a chance! I know a girl who-"

Rose's words were cut short when Violet clutched her throat and gasped for air. Catherine grinned wickedly as Violet rose from her seat, and promptly lost her balance. She clutched the dining room table with both hands, keeping her from toppling to the floor.

"What's happening to her? Ms. Balko, help her please!" Rose pleaded.

Violet gagged violently, before vomiting blood onto the white satin tablecloth. Rose looked on in horror as Violet emptied the contents of her stomach, along with pint after pint of blood, onto the table and carpet.

Her eyes glazed over, and the color of her bright healthy brunette hair faded into a sickly yellow before Rose's eyes. Deep boils formed on the side of her face and forearms, prompting Violet to scratch viciously at her skin.

"Get them off me! Get them off me!" Violet screamed, and tore her clothes off, revealing bright red pustules forming all over her naked body. As her boils grew in both size and numbers, Violet savagely clawed at her skin, tearing off long strands of epidermis with her newly painted fingernails.

"Ms. Balko please!" Rose cried. "I can get you a new virgin! I'll get her tonight! But I need Violet's help! I can't do it without her! Help her!"

Violet collapsed to the floor. Black tar-like mucus gushed from her eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears as her body thrashed about on the floor. Rose was on the verge of a nervous breakdown herself as she looked at Violet's writhing body and up at Catherine, who sipped another spoonful of her Okroshka slowly, savoring the flavor.

Almost as an afterthought, Catherine glanced at Violet thoughtfully, and up at the sobbing Rose.

"If you want her suffering to stop, there's only one way to do it," Catherine said, and plunged her spoon back into her soup bowl.

Pausing to comprehend her employer's words, Rose rushed into the kitchen, grabbed a butcher knife, and returned to the dining room, where she squatted over Violet's thrashing body. Violet's eyes had sunk into her skull, leaving empty black pits in their place, and her skin had faded into a coarse gray, leaving the stark outline of her skeleton visible through it. She let out a pitiful wail, while flailing her stick-like arms in the air at some unseen foe.

Not wanting her friend to endure another moment of agony, Rose plunged the butcher knife into Violet's chest, sinking the blade in all the way to the handle. Black blood gushed from the wound. Violet gagged, and her body went still.

Rose let out a terrified cry as she released her grip on the knife handle. Violet lay motionless, her body nothing more than a gray skin-covered skeleton with black mucus slowly draining from every orifice.

Rose looked up at Catherine, who remained seated at the table. Catherine paid no mind to Rose or Violet, and instead helped herself to another delicious spoonful of Okroshka and calmly finished her meal.

Judge Getty accepted Catherine's insanity plea.

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