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Detective Zeke Henderson pulled up to the scene and killed the siren, letting the red light on the dashboard continue to pulse. He climbed out of his car and shivered, shoving his hands into his jacket pockets. It wasn't the coldest April night he'd ever had to come down for a murder, but it felt damp and he only had his suit jacket to keep him warm.
The yellow tape roped off the alley, uniforms keeping the gawkers at bay. He'd have thought it was too damned late to have this many onlookers, but murders brought folks out of the woodwork.
The grislier the better, it seemed. There was just something about human nature that drew people to violence. He'd leave the wheres and whys of it to the head shrinkers--his job was to clean up the mess and find out what had happened.
He flashed his badge at a uniform so fresh the guy was still wet behind the ears, and the young cop quickly pulled up the yellow tape for him.
"It's pretty bad, sir."
"They all are. What's your name?"
"Call me Henderson, everyone else does, Benders. You keep the crowd back--they don't need to see this."
Christ, they were either getting younger or he was getting a hell of a lot older.
He patted his pockets down for his cigarettes before he remembered he'd quit; he only missed it when he was on a scene. With a sigh, he dug his gum out of his pocket and put the stick of Big Red in his mouth as he slowly made his way deeper into the alley.
The Medical Examiner was already on scene, taking their pictures and examining the remains.
Jesus. There was blood splashed shoulder-high on the bricks, the two bodies split from crotch to throat. Twowomen--scantily dressed, one without even a pair of shoes. Shit, 'pretty bad' didn't even begin to describe this. He had to give the kid at the tape props for not being greener at the gills than he was.
Zeke pursed his lips. You had to be pretty damned angry to do something like this to someone.
"Hey, Roger, looks like you've got the scene well in hand. There any witnesses I can talk to?" Not that he was squeamish, but Christ, he wouldn't be upset if he didn't have to keep looking at those women's insides.
"There's a stoner in the squad car. Completely zonked. Won't say a fucking word, but he's covered in gore."
"Zonked, huh?" Tweaked out on PCBs or even PCP, yeah, Zeke could see someone hopped up on something doing something like this and not even knowing it. But a stoner? Not very likely.
Still, covered in gore obviously put him at the scene of the crime. A scene Zeke was more than happy to leave to Roger. "I'll go talk to him."
"Good luck. Doc says it looks like Basic." Shit. That stuff just made a person flat, through and through. No emotions. No appetite. No hungers. Nothing.
"Thanks, Roger. I'll catch you back at the house." He headed back toward where the squad car was parked, breathing in the cold night air, clearing his head. He got rid of the gum in a trashcan on the way and climbed into the front seat of the car.
"Can I go?" The words were flat, unafraid.
The guy was in the shadows, but he got the impression of a slight figure with dark hair and clothes. Or that could have just been the gore; he wasn't looking too closely just yet. He took out his notebook and flipped it to a new page. "You got a name?"
"In theory. Which one do you want?"