In anticipation of the release of Divergent Lives, I would like to share with you the complete first chapter. I hope you enjoy it!
“One must feel sorry for those who have strange tastes, but never insult them. Their wrong is Nature’s too; they are no more responsible for having come into the world with tendencies unlike ours than are we for being born bandy-legged or well-proportioned.”
Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), “Dialogue the Fifth” Philosophy in the Bedroom (1795)
Adina: March 21, 2002
Adina: March 21, 2002
Adina Rosario Cruz’s meeting went longer than expected. She picked up her phone again and again to check the time. She really disliked Friday afternoon meetings. Looking out the window and merely glancing at the suits around her, she wasn’t hearing anything but white noise. Suddenly, everyone was standing.
She gathered her papers and stood, making polite good-byes to those next to her.
Then she was off, locking her office door, down the hall and taking long strides to the elevator. Doors open. Her heels clicked along the granite lobby, and with only a few more strides, a powerful rush of trench coat, purse, wind and hair, she emerged from the glass revolving doors onto the sidewalk. She lifted her face into the cool, spring air for a moment and glanced down to notice the sky’s beautiful orange glow enveloping her arm.
She signaled a cab that was letting passengers out at the curb. It wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Her office building was at a busy intersection and she rarely had to wait for a ride home. She hopped in as soon as the previous passengers exited the car.
“Hi. 1212 Delafield Avenue in Riverdale, please. You should take the Henry Hudson Parkway to exit twenty-one. I’ll direct you from there,” she instructed the cab driver and settled into the back seat.
His gaze lingered a moment in the rearview mirror.
She clenched her jaw at him in response. He looked away.
Rummaging through her pocketbook, she pulled out her smartphone and turned it off.
Adina was anxious to arrive home to Tommy. It was their anniversary and it would be a game-changing evening for the two of them. He rang her earlier that day and asked her to please be home at a decent hour. She promised to do so.
She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
Adina Cruz and Tomas Ortiz met two years ago. She often saw him at the gym of their newly built condominium complex. Prior to their official meeting, he had discreetly watched her as she worked out. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever imagine that she would now want a long-term relationship with him.
Though very attractive, she didn’t see herself in the same light others did. Of average height – five foot four inches tall – she was curvaceous and had big brown eyes. Very thick, wavy, shoulder length dark hair which was just starting to go salt and pepper topped it all off. Her voice had a sultry tinge to it with an almost untraceable “NuYorican” accent, which only became apparent when she was excited or upset.
Tommy, as he liked to be called, was six foot two, with a head full of medium length thick dark hair that was also beginning to grey at the temples. Like Adina, he had classic big, brown eyes with full lashes. Adina loved him very much, especially with his solid build, and she was brutally attracted to him. Here is where things started to deviate for them.
She wanted more from this relationship than either of them thought Tommy was capable of giving. Adina’s desires were unconventional, dark even. She wanted more than just run-of-the-mill sex. Vanilla, some would call it. She was curious about different sexual activities. She especially enjoyed games that included inflicting pain, role-playing, and bondage. She liked to experiment with toys that she thought enhanced the sexual experience, like blindfolds and riding crops, and she wanted Tommy to join her in these activities.
Adina was sexually curious and open-minded where Tommy wasn’t. He was very conservative in almost everything he did, but even more so when it came to the bedroom.
The one thing they did have in common was that they both came from loving homes, though tragedy struck early in Tommy’s life. She often wondered if this affected his ability to allow himself to be uninhibited. His parents died when he was young, and his best friend’s family took him in after the tragedy.
Now in his early forties, he desperately wanted to start a family of his own. He knew he would be a good, loving father but when the subject of children came up between them, the conversation usually became very heated. He couldn’t understand why she wanted to do the things she did. They talked about her sexual interests often, and he still couldn’t understand it. Ultimately, the last tête-à-tête came almost a year into their relationship, culminating in an agreement.
At that time, Tommy offered Adina the space she needed, to do whatever was necessary to satisfy her curiosities. He grudgingly agreed to wait for her to decide about the future of their relationship. Tonight, the night of their second anniversary would be the night the year-old agreement would come to an end.
However, unbeknownst to Tommy, Adina had already made up her mind. After a solid year of meeting and going out on dates with men she met at various work-related events, she realized that it was indeed Tommy who made her the happiest. So what if he wasn’t into the experimentation? She knew he was solid as a rock. She knew he loved her. Why else would he allow her the room to explore this part of herself? She decided to really make an effort to focus more on their relationship. She would just have to learn to adjust. The last guy she met at one of those functions didn’t measure up anyway, and she hadn’t been with anyone else since then.
“Ma’am, I’m approaching your exit. Which way do I go?”
The cabbie abruptly brought her back to reality. Shaking off her thoughts, she gave the cab driver directions. She was home within five minutes.
Adina and Tommy lay in the afterglow of their passion. The light of the full moon brightly shone down upon them through her bare bedroom window; casting a somber light over the two of them.
"Please stay the night, Tommy. I want to wake up and see your face first thing in the morning."
Tommy chuckled and turned his face towards her, smirking mischievously, with one hand behind his head, the other on his chest.
Determined to get her way, Adina continued:
“We’re going to get married, aren’t we? Shouldn’t I be allowed a taste of what it would be like every day for the rest of my life? I mean, seriously; think about it for a moment. When a girl buys a pair of shoes, she tries them on, doesn’t she?”
Tommy could not be happier than he was right at that moment.
Who would’ve believed that just a few hours earlier, as he cooked his special meal for the love of his life, he was mentally preparing himself for the end of their relationship? Though he loved her with all his heart, and always would, he had no choice when he gave her a free pass to explore. He knew there was a possibility he could lose her in the process, but he just couldn’t do it anymore.
Who was he kidding? He couldn’t do it a week into the agreement, but he did agree and he was a man of his word. As hard as the last year had been for him, the idea that she was out with those other men was slowly killing him. He couldn’t stand the thought, so he poured himself into his work at the precinct because it would help keep his imagination from working overtime during that period of their relationship. He hated the images he had of her in bed with these men. He thought he would go insane.
Now, a year later and hoping for the best, he left work early, picked up groceries then headed straight to Adina’s apartment. He didn’t live with her, but he kept a set of keys that she had given him in case of an emergency. He let himself into her place. Contemplative, he began preparing for their evening together.
To his surprise, Adina arrived when she said she would. She appeared noticeably different to him. There was a new brightness in her eyes. No, this wasn’t the Adina he had been expecting. The woman he just had dinner with seemed so happy it made him happy. It wasn’t long before he knew why.
During dinner, Adina announced she was no longer interested in seeing other men. She promised Tommy she would make a renewed effort to solidify their relationship because she realized how much she loved and needed him. She admitted she no longer wanted to take any chances with their future or her health. She said she was fully aware this process of hers, this search for what most people would consider unconventional, also put her at risk of losing him forever.
Hearing her say those words, to have her finally commit to the relationship, made him delirious with love for her. He impulsively surprised her with an unexpected wedding proposal right on the spot. To his amazement Adina said yes, putting the cherry on top, so to speak.
“You’ve never asked me to stay the night. Do you really want me to?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I’ll have to go home and get a change of clothes for work tomorrow.”
“Then you should go now and come right back. I’ll run a bath while you’re gone and I’ll eagerly await your return.”
He leaned in and gave her a long, passionate kiss.
“I’ll be back before you get done with your bath, I promise.”
She nodded as they gazed in each other’s eyes. He caressed her face with his fingertips, then got out of bed, dressed and left.
Adina leaned back into her pillow, stretched her arms over her head and stared at the ceiling, smiling. She was extremely excited knowing that she was now embarking on this new journey with Tommy at her side.
In an empty apartment still under construction across the small courtyard, a man stood watching Adina with a full, unobstructed view through a large window, his form hidden in shadow. He held in the crook of one arm a large bouquet of purple and white orchids, arranged in a heavy crystal vase. Becoming angrier by the moment, he stood riveted as he watched Adina and Tommy writhe and tangle on the bed. Unblinking, nostrils flaring, and consumed by the heat of jealous rage, the stranger continued to watch as Tommy rose and left the room. Soon after, he heard Adina’s front door slam shut. He turned his attention back to Adina as she lay in her bed. Both were woozy; Adina from the lovemaking; the stranger with barely controlled anger.
Walking away from the window, he headed toward the back door of the empty apartment and stepped through it. He furtively glanced around the courtyard, pulled the door closed behind him then turned toward Adina’s apartment. He leaned in quietly as he approached and tried the knob. It wasn’t locked. He stepped softly, deliberately into the foyer and closed the door behind him. He evened his breathing, reined in his anger. His intended was nearby.
He stood, just listening and watching for a full minute. Then a sudden rustle of sheets and mattress springs as Adina alit from her bed. He heard air whistling through pipes with the rush of water as it flowed into the tub.
She must be preparing a bath, he thought.
He continued to listen intently. Then, he heard the soft sound of her bare feet on the wood floors as she walked in his direction.
He stood frozen in place. He stopped breathing.
Not only was he hiding in the shadows of the foyer in Adina’s apartment, but he was also hiding in the dark, evil place in his head as well, and he underwent an imperceptible change within.
Not bothering to get dressed, Adina got out of bed and went into the bathroom. She opened the hot water spigot, adjusting the temperature to her liking as it whistled. A thin film of steam quickly covered the bathroom mirror. Satisfied the water was hot enough, she turned and headed to the kitchen. She wanted a glass of wine to sip while she soaked and thought about Tommy.
Guided by the bathroom light, she headed toward the front of the apartment.
I didn’t hear Tommy lock the door, she thought.
Suddenly, she stopped. There in the semi-dark hallway, she felt a presence near the foyer, just around the bend from the hall.
“Wow! That was quick,” she whispered.
A big, beautiful smile spread across her face.
Thrilled Tommy was back already, she waited for him to announce his return. But he didn’t. The foyer remained dark and silent. She took a step forward then stopped.
“Tommy? Is that you?”
Her eyes became large as saucers, trying to focus on the form in the darkness.
There was only silence.
Her throat constricted with fear and she squeaked: “C’mon, Tommy! Stop playing!”
Loud thumping in her chest. But none of that stopped her from taking one tentative step forward followed by another. The wood flooring suddenly felt cold under her bare feet, and chills rose up her spine.
Reaching the end of the hallway, she groped for the light and turned to face the front door. She stood motionless as her eyes tried to focus on the shape in the shadows. Standing in the foyer, a figure lurked in darkness. The way he stood, as though he were ready to pounce, kept her frozen there like a deer in headlights.
She was so stunned that she couldn’t even try to be modest. Coming to her senses, she reflexively crossed her legs. One arm moved to cover her breasts, the other to her crotch.
“What the hell are you doing here? Get out of my house right now or I will call the police!”
She screamed, loud and indignant, her voice cracking.
Strangely calm, this figure growled.
“You will do nothing of the sort. You betrayed me.”
Terrified and realizing her vulnerability, Adina turned and ran back to her room, locking herself in. She leaned on the door, her bare ass against it. Yet feeling numb, she shook uncontrollably. Now her tears slid over her grimace and down her chin.
“Where’s my fucking phone? Fucking phone, goddamn it!”
She fumbled and reached for it on her dresser without moving from the door. She could hear her own voice chirping and gasping somewhere outside of her.
WHAM …Vibrations rocked her body. Bursting into tears, her body jittered as the intruder’s body hit the door from the other side.
Frantic and wheezing, she fumbled for the phone’s power switch nearly dropping it, remembering she had turned it off for the night.
Desperately scared now, she glanced over at the bed with the rumpled sheets – the bed where she and Tommy had just made love. The air in the room was still thick with the scent of musk. The severity of the situation hit her as she continued to press her body against the door. She was struck by the reality that if she didn’t get help, she would not live to see Tommy again.
Adina shook the phone and prayed for a signal before he could get in so she could call for help. But this madman continued slamming himself against the door. With each body slam against the only barrier between her and insanity, Adina bounced against it, unable to keep it shut.
She screamed then moaned in despair. She shook the phone in her sweaty hand again as if that would make it magically find a signal and finally become operable. Then, like a car roaring to life on a cold winter morning, the phone was alive.
She wouldn’t get her chance to call for help.
His grunt, a heave and she was knocked forward. He was in the room with her.
Adina screamed as she slid across the newly shellacked and slippery floor.
“Help! Somebody, please help me! Help!”
Her heart raced and beat so hard it felt as though it would burst from her chest. The sound of her blood coursing through her body pounded in her ears. Alternately crying and gasping, she desperately tried to catch her breath. Unable to control her bladder, it emptied onto the floor.
“What do you want?? What do you WANT FROM ME!?”
Her voice cracked again in her attempt to sound more angry than scared.
It was then that she realized that she knew this man! She knew him! No time to ponder this. She looked around the room for something she could defend herself with.
Finding nothing, she cursed herself for living such a Spartan existence.
She glanced toward the window and considered thrusting herself through it in order to escape the madman about to overcome her. But all the windows in the complex were double- paneled storm windows.
I’ll probably kill myself before I could even crack it, she rationalized.
But she tried anyway, not thinking to just open it and jump out.
The crazy intruder lunged across the bed at her, just missing her. At this point, her common sense mobilized by adrenaline kicked into high gear, and Adina finally tried to open the window, but it wouldn’t budge! It was stuck!
“Fuck!” she cursed just as he threw himself at her once again, this time reaching her and grabbing a handful of hair.
He swung her around to face him and as he did, she tried to grab on to the dresser for leverage. All of her perfume bottles, her hairbrush, jewelry and other knick-knacks went flying when she was unable to find purchase. Everything that was on the dresser hit the hard floor with a scattered crash.
The intruder smacked her in the face with an open hand, making her head swing violently to the right. Her cheek grew hot.
Her ears were ringing.
That first blow was immediately followed by a second; this time served with the back of his hand, causing her head to swing around to the left. Tears stung her eyes as the force of the two blows caused her to bite down on her tongue. Pain and blood exploded in her mouth.
This time she saw stars.
Her neck hurt.
She became dizzy.
She spit at him. Blood mixed with saliva slid down her chin. He began yelling something at her but she couldn’t put his words together. She heard nothing but buzzing and her own frenzied breathing. She watched his lips move and made out the word “whore.”
Before she could make sense of what was happening, he was at her again.
Grabbing her by the shoulders, he threw her up against the wall. The back of her head rebounded from it – hard.
Bright lights shot before her eyes as she struggled to maintain consciousness. Slowly sliding down the cool, hard surface, she finally crumbled in a heap and shook her head.
When she looked up at her attacker, he didn’t seem that big to her.
I just have to out-maneuver him, she strategized.
She tried to get back up, but he was standing over her and reaching for her once again, snarling down at her. She felt drops of his saliva molest her cheek. In utter horror, she punched outward.
The maniac grabbed a hold of her neck with both hands and brought her to her feet as he squeezed and shook her violently, lifting her a few inches off the ground. Her legs dangled.
Gasping for air and quickly beginning to lose the will to fight, Adina had little energy left within her. But, she reached up with one hand to stick her thumb into his eye. She tried to balance herself on his arm with her other hand. He tried to peel her hand away from his face with his right hand, and as he did, he continued to press his left thumb to the base of her throat. Adina tightened her core and swung her leg back with a grunt, then quickly and forcefully kicked him in the groin as hard as she could with the ball of her foot.
Mercifully, the madman released her and brought his hands together to cup his crotch. She was amazed she landed on her feet when he let her go. Coughing and fighting for air, she was extremely shaken. In that split second, his head swung low as he gasped from the impact of Adina’s blow, giving her a window of opportunity. Taking a chance, she head-butted him as hard as she could. She was amped up and fighting back now, propelled by the need to survive – it was clear his intent was to destroy her. The skin on her forehead broke upon impact and a knot quickly rose over her brow bone where she made contact with him. The pain cut a wide swath through her body.
He growled through gritted teeth as he stumbled backward toward the bed, coughing and still holding his crotch. He spat words about killing her. Adina gasped for air and the scratchiness in her throat became worse. She still struggled with the dizziness that threatened to overcome her.
Unable to focus and her legs like rubber, she held her hand to her forehead. It was bleeding and it hurt like hell too, but she knew she would not have another opportunity to get away from him if she didn’t get out of the house fast. She absolutely had to find a way to escape his clutches. It was now or never because if she had to continue fighting him, she knew she would lose.
Finally, with every last ounce of strength she had, she ran out of the room and just as she reached the front door, he was upon her once again. She was trapped.
He body-slammed her against the door.
Her face smacked into it.
Blood flowed from her broken nose.
Lightheaded and weak, Adina desperately continued fighting to get away.
Frustrated at how close he came to losing her, he grabbed hold of the heavy crystal vase he had placed on the floor when he initially entered the apartment. He swung it over her. Water and flowers spilled everywhere before he slammed it hard into the back of her head. Her skull instantly cracked open like an egg over a hot frying pan. She slid against his body and he stepped backward, letting her fall face up at his feet with a soft thump.
As he looked down at her body, Adina’s killer slowly came back to his senses. He couldn’t believe what just happened! Desperate, he grabbed at his hair, alternately running his fingers through it and pulling on it. Tears had begun to well up in his eyes as he whimpered. Deep in his chest, there was a rumbling and he began to pace. He looked everywhere but down. Finally, he threw his head back and growled.
He dropped to his knees, drew his face into his hands and began to cry. Then, abruptly, he stopped. He rose to his feet, seemingly transformed, and looked down at Adina’s inert body.
His face softened.
“What have I done? What have I done?” he asked out loud to Adina’s still body.
He actually loved Adina. She was the only woman he thought understood him. She never seemed to judge him. She made him happy and he felt like a human being worthy of love when he was near her.
In the past, he had tried to get her to see how much he cared for her. That was why he had the flowers. They were to be a gift for her. The only reason he was there at all that night was to declare his love for her in person before she did something stupid like marry her boyfriend. He really just wanted to talk.
But, recently he had begun to regret ever telling her that she should work things out with the boyfriend. He hated that he wasn’t persistent enough when he told her he didn’t think she should be going out with all those other men. He really just wanted her for himself. But he was shy and he was afraid of rejection. All he wanted was to tell her that he loved her and now she lay dead at his feet.
Crouching down beside her, he leaned down and gently kissed her on the tip of her shattered nose, the way one would a child. He pulled some of her hair over her burst skin and oozing wounds. A dark, raised bruise was now prominent on her forehead and he wanted to cover it. He didn’t like to see her hurt like that.
“Half a second …” he murmured.
His eyes were red rimmed and tears threatened to flow.
“If you had gotten the door open just half a second sooner, you might have survived; you might have gotten away.
“You know me. You’re the only one who knows me,” he whispered to her as he reached out and caressed her face.
He brought her eyelids down tenderly.
“But you failed and because you failed, you were dead before you hit the ground.”
The intruder looked around. Telltale gray matter – Adina’s brain – spilled out through the hole in the back of her head, which lay atop the beautiful orchids and pink baby’s breath originally intended as a gift for her. Regret filled him.
“I’m sorry! I am so sorry, Adina! Please forgive me!” he cried.
He apologized over and over, but seeing her lying there, vulnerable like that also aroused him.
Having these feelings at a moment like this wasn’t anything strange for him. He was always aroused when he fought to get what he wanted. He could feel his desire for her reach a feverish, uncontrollable level.
He reached down to touch himself in search of relief. He took a step back then slipped his hand down his loose fitting pants and began to massage his member. He rubbed himself for a short while before he felt the sticky liquid of pre-ejaculation fluid in his palm.
But he knew release would not come for him. It never does. Frustrated, he wiped his hand on his leg and stepped over Adina’s naked body. He looked down at her, at the flowers that were strewn everywhere, then back at her again.
“Please forgive me,” he whispered.
A single tear slid down his cheek.
Appearing outwardly calm, he put out the light in the foyer, turned the doorknob and walked out. Scarlet gel mixed with her brain matter contrasted sharply against the blond wood parquet flooring.
Twenty minutes after having left Adina, Tommy exited his apartment, which was two buildings over on the north side of the complex. As he walked to his fiancée’s place, he blissfully relived his evening with her in his head. He wondered about the kind of diamond she might like on her engagement ring. What shape diamond would she like? What about size? Did size matter to her? He decided she would probably want quality over size. Then he wondered if she would even want an engagement ring. He realized he didn’t know the answer to that question and resolved to ask her when he got in.
As he walked through the large courtyard, he finalized plans for their upcoming wedding in his head, even though they hadn’t chosen a date yet.
Did she want a big wedding or would she prefer to just go to City Hall? he wondered.
Maybe we could just have a civil ceremony and spend the money we would have otherwise spent on a wedding reception on a honeymoon instead.
Where would she most enjoy going if she chose a more lavish honeymoon?
He was practically giddy.
Tommy was really struck by the fact that he didn’t know these things about her. Well, he figured he would just have to fix that as soon as possible.
As Tommy approached Adina’s front door, he suddenly remembered that he had not locked it when he left earlier and chided himself. He hoped that she did when she got up to prepare her bath. There were a lot of strangers in the area because of all the construction going on in and around the complex.
He and Adina were one of the first shareholders in this brand new community and many of the units had still not yet been sold due to the recession. Then there were the ones that had been sold and were currently being remodeled by construction contractors hired by the new owners.
When he reached the door, he turned the knob. It was unlocked.
Damn, he said to himself.
He entered and reached for the switch to turn on the light. His foot slipped on something in the entranceway, causing his body to tense. Distracted, he pulled his hand away from the light switch and put his hand out to the wall for balance.
“What the hell is that?” he exclaimed.
Probably just the new shellac, he thought, but his heart raced a bit. Then he brushed the thought away thinking that working with the police for so long had rubbed off on him.
Adina was so neat he teased her all the time, even saying that she was anal about housecleaning. He once suggested in jest that she see someone about her problem because he thought she had a bad case of what he called “housekeeping OCD.”
Shaking off the feeling, he chuckled softly. Still, with skittering, incomplete thoughts he hit the light switch and looked down at his feet. The surreal vision before him would only allow him to collapse to his knees.
His eyes focused on what he saw.
Naked and laying in a pool of blood amid broken purple and white orchids was his beloved Adina.
Mason’s phone began to vibrate against his hip, startling him. He saw it was his boyhood friend.
“Hey, Tommy! What’s up?”
“Mase –! Something … ta-terrible has happened!” His breath caught on every syllable.
Tommy was almost incoherent.
“Whoa! Whoa! What’s wrong? Calm down!”
“It’s Adina! Someone’s broken into her place! She’s hurt! She’s hurt and it doesn’t look good!”
“What? What’s going on? What happened?”
“She’s not moving! There’s blood all over the place!”
“Ok. Listen to me. Hang up and call 9-1-1! Don’t move and don’t touch anything! Do you hear me! Don’t move a muscle! I’m on my way!”
“Ok. Hurry! GOD!” Tommy nearly moaned with despair into the phone.
Tearing out of his seat, Mason gave Adina’s address to the desk sergeant and asked him to send a car over there right away. He busted through the precinct doors to his car, jumped in and tore away. He was at his destination in ten minutes flat.
Upon arriving at Adina’s home, Mason flashed tin at the patrolman standing in the doorway and asked where the witness was. The patrolman nodded toward a police car where Tommy sat staring wide-eyed straight ahead, rocking back and forth in the back seat.
“Who’s the responding Sergeant?”
“Sergeant D’Avanzo, sir.”
Mason nodded and turned to look in Tommy’s direction once more, then turned away and stepped over the threshold. He didn’t have to go far to see that the place was swarming with police and forensic personnel. Just beyond the entrance, he saw the body – presumably Adina – lying on the ground in the foyer under a yellow tarp. This did not look good.
“Sergeant Jones! I understand you know the vic?” Sergeant D’Avanzo called out in greeting as he approached.
“Yes. What do we have?”
“One big mess. It was a while before we noticed the tub had overflowed.
“In any case, the witness, one Tomas Ortiz, states he and the victim, identified as Adina Cruz, were in an intimate relationship. They had dinner, had sex ...”
“Made love,” interrupted Mason as he put on cloth booties.
“Er, made love. Sorry. I’m sorry. I understand you know them; my condolences, sir.”
“Yes, I do. Go on.”
Mason was annoyed by Sergeant D’Avanzo’s flippant remark.
“Well, the witness, Tomas Ortiz, says that he too owns an apartment in the complex. Apparently, they had dinner, he proposed, she said yes and they … were intimate. Afterward, she asked him to spend the night. He stated that he had never spent the night with her, but he agreed and left to pick up some clothes at his apartment.
“He stated he was only gone for twenty minutes. When he returned, he found her like this.
”I’m declaring it a homicide and I’m bringing him in for questioning.”
“He didn’t do this.”
“We need to follow procedure, Sergeant. I know they’re your friends, but the evidence, as it stands right now, points to the fiancé. We both know that when something like this happens, the perpetrator is usually someone the victim knows. We always start with the person closest to the victim.
“I promise you, Sergeant. I will make sure the investigation proceeds within guidelines.”
“I have to talk with him.”
“Sergeant, you’ll have to do that at the precinct. I’m sorry. I’ve got to go now. I’ll keep you in the loop. Hang in there.”
“Thank you. I would appreciate anything you can do to expedite uncovering what happened here.”
Mason looked over at Adina’s body. He wondered what the hell happened. A technician who had been working on her was putting away his equipment nearby. Mason approached and asked him to lift the tarp. He had to see for himself what condition Adina was in.
His heart broke when the technician did as he was asked. It took all of his will not to look away. She looked like she put up a fierce fight. He knelt to take a closer look.
There were marks on her neck; bruises on her cheeks. Her lower lip was busted.
She must’ve hit her head on something in the struggle, he concluded.
And I hope it was the bastard who did this. His lip sneered as the thought caught him by surprise.
He scanned her body. She was naked and he blushed.
Adina was his best friend’s fiancée. He should never see her like this.
His eyes travelled to her hands. They had been bagged.
“Good. There may be some DNA under her nails,” he said aloud to the technician who stood silently next to him.
Turning his head upward toward the technician, he asked, “Rape kit?”
“No, sir. The coroner will do that.”
“Make sure she is aware that I want to see the results as soon as possible.”
Mason returned his gaze toward Adina then nodded to the technician to cover her again. He rose to his feet.
He looked around him. There were forensic technicians dusting for fingerprints; police officers gathering evidence from every nook and cranny of Adina’s home. The place was in a shambles.
“Adina, what have you gotten yourself into?” he asked aloud.
Copyright © 2012 by Minnie Lahongrais