Face of a Killer
Cast of Characters
Homicide Detective Amanda Knight
Homicide Detective Xavier Riviera - Olivier Martinez
Detective Jacob Fergus (Police Sketch Artist) - Matthew Gray Gubler
Amanda scratched at her scalp with both hands. It felt good to let her hair down after a long, grueling day testifying in court. She had come home and bee-lined for the bathroom of her spacious two bedroom apartment. Now, she was currently standing in the shower, letting the hot water pound away the tension in her shoulders. A glass of Pinot Noir rested on the wide lip of the tub. She would have preferred to take a bath, but she didn’t have enough time.
After a few minutes of indulging in a scalp massage, she tilted her head back beneath the spray of water to rinse out the patchouli scented shampoo. When she resurfaced, her phone was ringing. Cursing softly, she turned off the shower and grabbed the towel off of the top of the toilet and dried her hands before daring to reach for the Samsung smart phone. She answered it with a swipe of her thumb.
“Riviera, can‘t a girl come home and grab a shower to get the stench of lawyers off within you calling to harass her?” She asked in lieu of a greeting to her partner. Like her, Xavier Riviera was a detective for the Salemtown homicide division.
“The Captain asked me to call you. He arranged an emergency briefing to discuss forming a task force to catch this son of a bitch. The voice on the other end was undoubtedly male with a noticeable, sexy French accent. It made everything he said sound more erotic than it was supposed to. Amanda knew that he had the dangerous looks to match that voice. Long dark brown hair that was just short enough that it couldnt be pulled back. Impossibly blue eyes that could make any woman beg for attention. A neatly trimmed goatee framed a full, sinful mouth that was more often than not, set into a serious scowl. He preferred to wear jeans that clung to hips hips and back side to a rather distracting advantage, long sleeved shirts that hugged a lean muscular torso and his favored worn leather jacket that perpetually smelled like his expensive cologne.
The son of a bitch that her partner had mentioned was their current case, or rather cases. A serial killer was removing the faces of his female and male victims. Apparently, he was keeping those faces as trophies. No one was certain what the killer kept those faces for.
“Are they bringing Fergus in? I know the Captain was talking about having him look over the crime scene photos to see if we could get a physical description of the victims since they cant be IDed. She expertly wrapped her long dark hair in a towel as she set the call on speaker phone. She dried off her body with another towel before propping a leg up on the lip of the tub to smear patchouli scented lotion on her freshly shaved legs.
The killer was not only taking their faces, but their teeth and prints as well. They had taken DNA samples, but it would take months to get the results. Police sketch artist, Detective Jacob Fergus was their best shot at IDing their bodies. He specialized in not just sketching, but the state of the art 3D programs as well, and he could piece together any puzzle better than most Forensic Artists.
“Thats the plan, though Fergus isnt exactly easy to talk to. He sort of gives me the creeps.
Amanda’s brow frowned. She could almost hear the sneer in Riviera’s voice.
“Fergus is brilliant.
“Dont even say it, Riviera. She interrupted, her voice nearly as cold as ice. Hes not dim witted. Hes Autistic. Its a behavorial issue, not a mental deformity.
“Easy, Knight. I wasn’t even going to make that comment.”
“Just making sure. Most people dont understand the difference.
“Youre awfully defensive of him. Why is that?
She gave a soft sigh, shifting to smear lotion on her other leg.
“My brother had Autism.
“Has? He asked, sounding curious. Though they had been partners for nearly three years, he knew next to nothing about her. Amanda Knight was very private about her past, especially her family.
“He died when I was little. Came her simple answer. What time is the briefing?
The change in subject didnt go unnoticed by him, but he knew enough not to push.
“Youre got about an hour.
“Ill see you in about half that. She disconnected the call before her partner could say anything further. Though she had known him for a while, she wasnt comfortable sharing her past, especially about her brothers suicide. Jack Knight had been bullied for his Autism by other kids. So much in fact, that he had taken their fathers pistol to his mouth and blew his brains out.How he got a hold of the gun, no one knew. When he wasnt on duty, their father had kept his piece locked safely away. Thomas Knight blamed himself for his sons death, turning to the numbing comfort of alcohol. Her mother, Rebecca, well, she hadnt faired so well at all and ended up in a mental hospital for five years. During that time, Amanda had practically raised herself.
When the mental hospital closed due to funding cuts, Amanda had put aside her schooling in order to take care of her mother until she too had passed away a year later. Now it was only her. Her father had died a couple of years before she had made detective.
With a heavy sigh, Amanda unwound her hair from the towel. Long, damp spirals tumbled down her back to stop just short of touching the backs of her thighs. Padding barefoot and naked into her bedroom, she rummaged through the top drawer of her dresser and pulled out her underwear. She slid the boy cut short panties up her legs and settled them into place. She couldnt stand the lacy scraps that most women wore that were declared to be underwear. The point of it was to cover your bits. She snorted faintly to herself as she hooked on a black lace bra behind her back and slid the straps up her arms. She situated the girls more securely before turning to her closet. The plastic hangers clacked against one another as she moved some of her wardrobe aside. She found the pants she had been looking for and pulled them from the hanger. She slid the black denim on, fastening the button fly with expert flicks of her fingers. The shirt she pulled on was a plain, long sleeved dark grey tee. They probably had one of the most casual attires she had ever seen or heard of in any cop division. The way their Captain saw it, yes they were public servants, but they could be wearing their clothes for twenty four or more hours. They were better off doing their jobs in comfort.
Amanda tugged on her worn black work boots and called her wardrobe done. She hardly ever wore makeup, not liking the weighed down feeling. She slid her holster off of the head board of the bed and looped her arms through it. She fastened it securely, looping her belt through the bottom of the holster. Her badge she had on a beaded chain around her neck. She grabbed her keys off of the kitchen table, along with her jacket, locked the front door and left. She had more than enough time to get to the station.
The new black Ford F150 Raptor pulled into the lot of the Salemtown PD, rumbling past a few cruisers that were sitting idle awaiting their drivers. The Flomaster exhaust made the truck almost purr with a deep rumble. Amanda pulled the Beast, as she called it, into an empty spot before killing the throaty engine and dropping down from the cab. Being only five foot two, she could barely see into the drivers window of her truck. Pocketing the keys into the back of her jeans, she nodded a hello to one of the boys in blue as he drive by in his cruiser. He gave a nod back and left.
It was just barely 4pm and the station was bustling with life. A drunk and disorderly incoherently babbling to an empty wall as a rowdy thug attempted to struggle in the officers grasp as they escorted him to a holding cell. One of the charming individuals cuffed to the bench started waggling his tongue crudely at her as she passed by.
“If you want to keep that tongue in tact to use it another day, I suggest you put it back in your mouth where it belongs.” She said to him, without so much as a glance in his direction. She was buzzed through the doors by Lucy who worked dispatch and was surpressing a giggle. Apparently, she had heard Amanda’s comment. She moved along the short hall and into the bullpen that was Homicide. Her second home. She probably spent more time here than anywhere else.
She glanced towards the sound of her name and noticed Riviera perched on the edge of her desk, looking dangerously sexy as he held out a small Styrofoam cup of steaming black coffee. She took a sip of the brew waiting inside once she took it from him and sighed. Heaven.
“I dont know how you can drink that shit black.
“Im sweet enough so I dont need the massive amounts of sugar that you obviously need.
“Fuck you, Knight.
“Only in your dreams, Riviera.
She was rewarded when her partner nearly snorted overly sweet coffee out his nose.
His expression turned serious.
“What are you doing later tonight?
She glanced at the clock behind his head.
“Its already 4pm. Its already night.
“Im being serious, Knight.
She arched a brow.
“Um, nothing that I know of. Why?
“Want to go to dinner with me?
“Are you asking me out on a date, Riviera?
He grinned charmingly.
“What happened with Whats Her Name from Records?
“Nicole. She wanted to move in with me after a week.
“Jesus, Riviera. What do you have, a golden-
“Riviera! Knight! Conference room C. The Captain bellowed from his office and she was saved from having to give her partner an answer. They gathered their files and moved into the conference room. For nearly a year now, Riviera had been attempting to get her to go out with him, and every time he asked, she refused. He wasnt a bad guy. She liked him, but there was always something holding her back from simply saying yes, and that something walked into the conference room.
Her eyes immediately fixated on his face. Long, light brown hair hung down to his shoulders, just barely touching the collar of his black leather jacket. Stubble dotted his chin and above his lip, giving him a scruffy look. His lower lip was fuller than the top, giving him a sexy perpetual pout. Around his neck, he wore a thick silver chain with a small pad lock resting at the hollow of his throat. She had never understood the significance of wearing a pad lock, but she wasnt paying much attention to it. His brown eyes had captivated her as they did every time she saw him, even if it was only in passing. They robbed the breath from her lungs and stilled her heart. It would seem that she had caught his attention as well, because he stood, framed in the doorway, staring at her which was something he never really did to anyone. Was it because she had her hair down for once and not scooped back into a tight bun? Had he never really noticed her before?
Amanda knew she wasnt gorgeous, but she wasnt exactly Plain Jane either. Her long, dark brown hair was full, thick and now that it was dry, pin straight. Her dark brows were perfectly black arches over bedroom shaped, chocolate brown eyes. Her lips were full and constantly drawn into a genuine, infectious smile.
“Its good to see you again, Detective Fergus. She said, finally breaking the spell he had over her.