Lillandra and Jennifer


The rain beat steady against the windshield as the wipers did their best to keep the view clear as Officer Danielle Pritchart drove home. She slowed down as she pulled into the corner convenience store near her house, parked close to the side, got out of the car and ran indoors.

Danielle grabbed a carton of milk out of the cooler and then examined a row of sandwiches, picking out the one that was the least amount of days past the expiration date. She paid, opened the door, and made a dash for the car.

She caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and turned just in time to take a fist to the face. The milk and sandwich fell to the ground as strong hands pulled her limp body to the side of the building.

The man leaned forwards and whispered in her ear; "Do you know what the secret to "hush" is?…it's when you shut up where no one can hear you scream,"



It was all she felt and saw.

Then, as suddenly there was darkness, there was light.

She saw a woman running down a long street of buildings away from someone. She felt the fear in the woman, knew someone was after her. The woman continued to run for what seemed like forever until she saw the police station ahead. Turning a corner she began to scream out…

As she passed and alley, a hand shot out, covered her mouth, and dragged her into the darkness.

"No, please…" the woman whimpered as she was forced against the wall.

The man brought out a knife, and the woman could hear the click as it was opened. "Do you know what the secret to "hush" is, Jennifer?…it's when you shut up where no one can hear you scream," he growled into her ear before lifting up the knife.

"No…no daddy no!" the woman screamed as the knife was brought down onto her flesh.

"No…no daddy no!" Jennifer Hendricks screamed out as her body thrashed about on her bed. The covers had long since been thrown off and her clothes clinged onto her as cold sweat ran down her face and body.

"No," she screamed once more before her eyelids flew open and she bolted up right in bed, thrashing her hands out at air. It took Jenny only a second to realize where she was before she closed her eyes and let out a shaky sigh of relief. "No…not again…" she whispered.

Opening her eyes, Jenny slipped out of the bed, headed into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.


Tiffany Chamber took a sip of her coffee, grimaced, then set it down as she put her feet up on her desk. She leaned back, checked her watch, and mumbled in annoyance at the time.

"Where's your partner?" Detective Richard Ryan asked as he motioned to Jenny's desk.

Tiffany looked, surprised. "She was here a minute ago, Dick. She musta just stepped out."

"She better not be late again," Ryan warned before he turned away.

Tiffany sighed, picked up the phone and made a call. She waited until Jenny's machine finished its greeting before she spoke. " there? Jenny...if you are there, pick up the phone!!! Jesus, Jenny, you're late...again...I can't hold Dick off all there??"

"I'm right here," Jenny said as she came into the office. She was holding a bag with two bagels and two hot cups of coffees.

Tiffany put the phone down, reached out, and took the coffee. She took a sip, ", where the hell were you?"

"I slept in, I'm sorry Tiff..." she said as she put her coffee down and took out her blueberry bagel with cream cheese and took a small bite. She grabbed a paper off her desk, and scanned over the day’s reports, pausing when she saw a report about women being attacked and left for dead. She shivered lightly as she read that three out of the five attacked had indeed died. The other two had not even seen the attacker.

Ryan walked up, gave Jenny a dirty look, and tossed a file folder down in front of Tiffany. "You show up late, you get the crap assignments."

Tiffany snorted softly, took a bite from her cinnamon bagel, and opened the file. She read for a few minutes, then looked at Jenny.

"Gee, thanks Jenny," she joked. "We get to check on recent parolee's whereabouts...and the first one's a doozy."

"You're welcome," Jenny replied taking another bite then swallowing another sip of coffee.

"Listen to this," Tiffany said as she took another bite from her bagel. She started to read the file, "51 yr. old male, served 15 years of a life sentence, paroled because of good behavior," she paused, took a sip of her coffee, then continued.

"Sent to jail after repeated abuse of two of his children, and wife...wife is now missing....wanna take bets on what happened there." She paused to take another drink, but stopped mid sip. "Hey...this is....This is that guy.....the one who they tried to link to those serial killings about 18 years ago....." She glanced up at Jenny, and stopped.

"Jen?" she asked "Jenny! You okay?"

"W-what...what is his name?" she asked as she tried to keep her voice and body from shaking.

"Uhh...hold on," Tiffany said as she rummaged through the papers. "Richard Hen..." she stopped, looked at Jenny, and finished in a whisper, "Hendricks."

Jenny's eyes slipped shut as a shaky breath escaped her mouth. She opened her eyes, got up and took the picture from Tiffany. Her hands began to shake as she looked at the picture, letting it drop from her hands as she took a step backwards.

Tiffany walked to Jenny's side of the desks, took her arm, and led her out of the room. She guided her outside, and sat her on a bench. "Jen...breathe, k," Tiffany said as she took out her phone and made a call.

"Yeah, its Tiff...I need a huge favor." she listened for a few minutes. "Look, Trent...ditch Carly, and meet me at Butch's in 20....because I asked you too....for fuck sakes Trent, I....good...see you there."

"Oh God," she let out a sob. "They let him out!"

She looked at Jenny. "Father, brother....?"

"H-he's my father..."

Tiffany closed her eyes briefly as the words from the report came back to her. "Come on," she said. "We're gonna find out why he's out.”


The convenience store clerk sighed to himself as he carried a bag of garbage out of the store. I hate rainy nights! Not one customer since midnight! He nodded to the other clerk just coming on shift, then went around the building to the dumpster.

He slowed his pace, staring when he saw a leg sticking out from the other side of the dumpster. He went to it, expecting to see yet another drunk passed out. This is getting to be their favorite spot.

“All right, you! Get your drunk ass out…” he stopped in shock at the sight of the beaten body.


Carlos walked into Butch's from upstairs and went toward the bar where Butch was serving. "Hey ya Butch..."

"Hey Carlos," Butch said as he passed him a coffee.

"How's it going down here? Have you seen Trent?" he asked.

"No, I...wait...yeah, he was here a few minutes ago with Carly," Butch said. "Got a phone call, then left."

"Dammit, Kim needed that report 10 minutes ago," Carlos replied then stopped as he saw Trent come back inside the bar. He was surprised to not seeing Carly hanging off his arm. "Hey buddy...where's your girlfriend?"

Trent gave Carlos a tired look. "She's not here." He walked to the bar and plopped down on a stool. "Speaking of girlfriends," he said as he turned to face Carlos, "want to tell your not to swear at me."

"Tiff? She called you?"

"Yes," Trent replied with a nod. "Told me she needed a huge favor...then to dump Carly...then she swore at me."

"That doesn't sound like Tiffany," Butch said.

"It doesn't...not unless it means something dangerous has come up, and it has," Jenny said from behind Carlos and Trent. Her voice was filled with fear and her face was red from crying.

Trent turned, took one look at his ex-lovers face, and was at her side instantly. "Jenny?" he said softly, "what's wrong?"

Tiffany frowned at him, but covered when he looked at her.

"Oh nothing except for my psycho-father is out of prison," she said sarcastically, but her voice cracked at the end.

"What?!" Trent asked. "Pardon?" He looked at Tiffany. "What?"

Tiffany sighed. "Let's sit...this is going to be long."

Carlos looked at Butch who had told Tony to take over the bar and the two of them followed Jenny, Trent, and Tiffany and sat down in a booth. "Tell us what's going on...who's Jenny's father?"

Tiffany told them what she had read in the files, but Jenny sat silently through the description.

"And he's out on good behavior?" Butch asked. "Amazing."

"How can we help?" Trent asked as he took Jenny's hand and held it briefly.

"Find out all you can about the serial killings," Tiffany said. "We're going to find out if he's where he's suppose to be." She paused. "Trent, could I talk to private?"

Trent squeezed Jenny's hand in assurance, then got up and followed Tiffany to the other side of the bar. "What?"

Tiffany ran her hands over her face. "Trent..." she stopped. "Look, this is really freaking Jenny out, and the last thing she needs is to be confused over you."

Trent looked at her, confused. "What...?"

"You're acting like her lover, not her friend," Tiffany pointed out.

Carly was sitting at the bar when she heard that and looked up. "Her LOVER?!" she yelled enough for the bar to quiet down and for Jenny to hear.

"Fuck," Tiffany whispered as Trent spun around to face his current girlfriend. She looked at Jenny, closed her eyes, then faced Carly again.

"Carly," Trent began. "That's not what she only heard part of the conversation."

She started laughing, "I heard everything, Trent. I'm not stupid. I even heard about the bitch's father," she then turned and sauntered over to Jenny with a condescending laugh.

"What do you want, Carly," Jenny said in a strangely calm voice.

"Oh I just wanted to let you know that's probably why Trent broke off with you. You were born to a psycho maniac and your whole family must be like him." she leaned forward. "I wonder if your mother is like that."

"Carly," Trent stopped as every mean thing Carly had done surface in his brain. "I think it would be better go now…I’ll talk to you later." He turned and walked back to the table.

"What?!" Carly shrieked.

"Carly," Tiffany said. "I think it's time you left."

Carly walked up to her, and stood about four inches from her face. "You don't tell me what to do."

"Carly," Tiffany said. "Two things...first, use mouthwash, k? And are a bitch...but, lady, I'm an even bigger bitch, so get the hell outta my face, and the hell outta this bar."

Carly glared at her, then turned her glare to Jenny. "You haven't seen the last of me, you psycho's daughter." And with that, she walked out of the bar.

Tiffany sighed, and went back to the table.

As Jenny watched Carly walk out of the bar she watched as the woman pushed a man who had been standing at the door out of the way and walked out. "M-Michael?" she whispered.

The man looked around the bar, stopping when he spotted Jenny. He rushed to her, hugged her, and held her tight. "You always told me that if I ever needed help, to come here." He let go of her, and stepped back. "Well, little sister, I need help...we both do."

She let out a sob, "I know."

Michael looked at the others with her. "Do they...know?"

She nodded. "Tiffany got the file from Detective Ryan today...oh God Michael where are the others?" she suddenly asked.

"Everyone's fine," Michael assured her. "I called each one as soon as I found out. I couldn't get you on the phone, so I decided to drive in and see if you were okay." He paused. "Colleen is taking the kids to her mother-in-law's in Phoenix for a few weeks."

She nodded. "He doesn't know she has kids...what about Collin? Is he going to take little Jenny with Colleen?"

"Collin thinks that he's safe," Michael said. "But, he might think about it if you called him." He ran his hands over his face. "But then again, he wasn't the one who testified against...Richard." He smiled sadly at his sister. "You and I are targets."

"He won't stop until we're all dead, you know that don't you?" she said.

Tiffany put a hand up. "Excuse me for interrupting, but what are you talking about?"

Michael faced her. "Jenny and I testified against him after mom...disappeared. We were the only two home at the time, and..." he broke off, not wanting to complete the sentence.

"He...sexually molested us..." Jenny looked down. "We were the only ones...our sisters and brother got out before us...they're the lucky ones..."

Silence came from the others at the table, each one unsure of what to say.

Tiffany finally broke the silence. "What the hell is he doing out on parole?" she wondered aloud. She inhaled suddenly, and grabbed her cell phone off of the table. "Be right back."







******** Jennifer’s face was set with grim lines as she listened to the clerk’s account of the previous night’s events.

“She left…around…I don’t know…around ten.”

Jenny nodded her thanks and walked over to her car, watching the ambulance as it sped away. Tiffany joined her. “APB is out on Dani’s car,” she said as she took a drag of her cigarette.

“How’s Dani?” Jenny asked.

Tiffany tossed the cigarette to the ground and stepped on it. She looked out over the parking lot as frustration built inside her. “I don’t know,” she sighed as she got in the car.


Detective Anthony Cortez pulled away from the curb, turned at the next corner, and drove towards the freeway onramp. He sighed as he tried to concentrate, but his attention kept going back to thoughts of Dani. How could someone do something like this?!

“You want me to drive?” his partner, Detective Tina Collins asked.

“Naw, I’m fine,” Anthony replied as he merged with the freeway traffic. “I’m just thinking about…” He trailed off as a vehicle caught his attention. He threw the police light onto the dash, then executed a U-turn.

“What?!” Tina asked as she grabbed the radio, ready to call in whatever had his attention.

“That’s Dani’s car!” Anthony pointed at the blue Rabbit convertible weaving in and out of traffic ahead. He swerved around a large truck as he heard Tina call it in. “Damn it! Get the hell outta my way!” he yelled at the traffic.

“Back up is on the way,” Tina said. She grabbed the pursuit light and put in on the roof of the car. “He’s taking the off ramp!”

“I see it,” Anthony said. He pulled in between two cars, then over to the exit lane, following the small car off of the freeway. He smiled grimly as he saw two patrol cars coming from the opposite direction. The smile disappeared as Dani’s car sped around a corner, lost control, and slammed into a light post. The driver’s door flew open and a man stumbled out, then ran down an alleyway.

Anthony slammed on the brakes and hopped out. He drew his gun, and cautiously looked down the alley. He entered, made a quick search, then came out the other side. He caught a glimpse of a man running through a park on the other side of the street. He grabbed his radio. “It’s Cortez…he’s heading west through the park.”


Jenny looked up as a shadow fell over her. “Trent,” she sighed as she stood and hugged him.

“Hi,” Trent whispered into her hair. “How’s Dani?”

“Still in surgery,” Jenny said as she let him go. “Someone hurt her real bad.” She looked around.

“Carlos with you?”

Trent nodded. “He’s out in the smoking area with Tiffany.”

Jenny sighed again as she sat down asTrent’s took the chair beside her.


Carlos watched as Tiffany paced. “Will you stop it,” he said in a soft voice.

Tiffany looked at him as she butted her cigarette in the large ashtray. “Stop what?”

“Pacing…blaming yourself,” Carlos took her hands in his. “It is not your fault that Dani was attacked.”

“I know that!” She pulled her hands out of his and started to pace again. “Damn it, Carlos…she’s a cop…she should have been able to take care of herself.” She looked at him. “I mean, Dani beats me like, eight times outta ten on the mats…”

“She got taken by surprise,” Carlos said gently. He sighed as she lit another cigarette.

“If she got taken by surprise,” Tiffany shot back, “then what happens if I get taken by surprise?!”

“You can handle yourself,” Carlos said, not really liking this vulnerable side of her. He was use to seeing a Tiffany that was sure of herself, sure of her abilities.

“Carlos…” She stopped and stubbed out the barely touched cigarette. “I have been kidnapped, shot, beaten up…and that’s just been in the past seven months!” She looked at her boyfriend, who crossed his arms and stared at her. “What?”

“Why don’t you tell me what’s really wrong.”

Tiffany clenched her eyes tight and put her closed fists against them. “I'm just tired,” she whispered. "I'm fine."


They find Richard Hendricks finger prints in Dani’s car…..etc and so on,……Jenny goers to visit brother, finds him dead, gets tossed out he wuindow, and ends upin hospital Already Written section

Trent paused as his hand landed on the doorknob. What if she didn't want to see him? He sighed to himself, turned away, and walked down the hallway.


Jenny tossed and turned on the bed, he breath coming in labored gasps. Her eyes flew open and she sat up. She moaned in annoyance, lay back down, and tried to fall back to sleep. A shadow under the door caught her attention, then it moved away. Fear plucked at her. Please let it be a doctor she thought. She glanced around the room, taking comfort in the sight of Carlos sleeping in a chair. I wish Trent would come.


Trent stepped back as he rounded a corner and nearly walked in to someone. He smiled slightly. "Hey."

"Hey yerself," Tiffany said. "You here to see Jenny?"

Trent shrugged lightly. "I...I was going to, but..." he trailed off, not knowing what to say.

Tiffany took his arm and gently turned him back in the direction of Jenny's hospital room. "Trent..." she paused with a sigh. "Honest is the best policy?"

Trent nodded. It had been a friendship agreement between the two of them. Whenever one had something that the other might not want to hear, they always asked that question first.

Tiffany took a deep breath before she continued. "You're acting like a jackass."

"I love you, too," Trent stopped and looked at her. "Is there a point to this, or did you just feel like insulting me."

"Oh, I have a point," Tiffany stated. "And this time you're gonna stay and listen to me."


Jenny pulled the blankets closer to her as she sat on the edge of the bed. She had tried to sleep, but wound up staring at the ceiling instead. She heard a soft sound, and smiled when she realized that it was Carlos snoring.

Oh, how lucky Tiffany is to have Carlos. Jenny stood and silently walked to the window. She looked out at the dark hospital grounds. It's so nothing in the world could.... She stopped, and stared as a small light appeared behind a tree. Just someone out for a smoke she said to herself....but somehow she didn't believe it.

She inhaled as the light illuminated a face, and she stared at the man who had ruined her childhood.

Carlos' eyes snapped open at the sound, and he was standing by her at the widow before he was even fully awake. "What is it?"

"He's down there," Jenny whispered, her eyes never leaving the window. "Behind that tree."

Carlos took her arm. "Come on," he headed for the door. "I'll check it out, but you're not staying here alone. I'll leave you with the nurses at their station."


"She's ruining your life."

Trent's lips pressed together in an attempt to stay calm. "Carly is my girlfriend."

"Carly is a self-serving, annoying bitch." Tiffany paused, and decided to try saying it another way. "Since you've been with her, you've been moody, aggravating, and basically,'ve been a prick."

"Well, gee, thanks." The words dripped with sarcasm. "Dear Abby, you ain't."

"Trent...Gaaaaa!!!" Tiffany put her hands on the side of her head in aggravation. "What I mean, is that it isn't like you. You're a nice person. You're kind, honest, and...well, damn near perfect in my book."

Trent looked at her as the meaning sunk in. "Uhhhh..."

Tiffany pointed in the general direction of Jenny's room. "Down there is a woman who cares for you...really cares. What she needs is for you to be there for her...even as a friend."

"'re right." He smiled at her. "Thanks for..."

"What are you doing here?" A voice asked.

Both looked as Carly approached. She glared at Tiffany. "I might have known that you would be involved in this." She turned to Trent. "What are you doing here? Visiting that slut?"

"Carly..." Trent paused as she frowned at him. "I think it would be best if we didn't see each other any more." He turned and walked away from her.

YES!!! Tiffany smiled at his back as he rounded the corner. She looked at Carly, feeling a little sympathy at the expression on her face. The feeling soon faded.

"You!" Carly spat. "You did this! You turned him against me!"

"You turned him yourself." Tiffany turned to leave.

"Don't you turn your back on me!" Carly shrieked as she grabbed her by the shoulder, and spun her around.

Tiffany reacted without thinking, and soon had Carly pinned against the wall with her arm on the other woman's throat. "Don't you ever touch me again," she warned in a low voice.

"Let go of me, you bitch!" Carly yelled.

"Hey! This is a hospital, be quiet." Tiffany let go of Carly and stepped back. "I'll let you go with a warning this time, but you touch me again, and I'll have your ass in booking so fast..."

"You don't scare me!" Carly snarled. "I'll get you for this!"

Tiffany sighed. "Carly...I have a gun, and I'm licensed to use don't threaten me."




"Night, Carlos."

Carlos waved a goodbye as Kim Sutter walked out the door. He went back to his telephone conversation. "Yeah...uh-huh...well, when was that?...yeah..." He grabbed a pen and jotted a few things down. "Yes...the 15th?...what year?"

He smiled as he leaned back in his chair. "Yes, that sounds like the woman I'm looking for...That's right, Thunder Investigations in Dallas....Thanks."

"Another case solved by yours truly," he said to the empty office loft as he hung up the phone. He stood as the door started to open.

"Hey," he said with a grin. "ready for dinner?" He sat on the corner of the desk, puzzled, as Tiffany turned her back to him, and locked the door. She turned to face him and approached.

"Hello," she purred.

"Hello yourself," Carlos answered.

She put a finger on his lip and pouted. "Tell me...would you be disappointed if I said 'let's just skip dinner, and go to my place and...fuck.'"

"I'd be disappointed if you didn't."

Tiffany let a small smile play across her mouth as she brought her body closer to Carlos. He responded by hooking his hands behind the small of her back and pulling her closer. "Why don't you sit on my lap," Carlos said, "and we'll discuss the first thing that 'pops' up."

"Ohhhh...sounds like a grand idea," Tiffany replied as she put one leg on either side of his hips, and straddled him. "Would this be what you had in mind?"

"More like...this!" Carlos pulled her up higher on his lap.

Tiffany smiled. "Why that your gun in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?"

"I'm very happy to see you."

"So I noticed."




Jennifer looked up at the source of the voice. "What?"

Trent started to smile, but stopped. Something in her face set off a silent alarm. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Trent." Jenny went back to the crossword puzzle she was doing. "Was there something you wanted?"

"To talk."

"Fine." Jenny motioned to the chair across from her. "About what?"



Trent sighed. "Could you please look at me?"

Jenny put the pencil down and looked at him. "Yes?"

"Look...I know you're upset with me," Trent began. "But, I've had...I've done a lot..." He stood and started to pace the floor. "Damn it, Jenny...I was a completed jerk to you, and I'm sorry."

Jenny smiled at his back. "Yes, you were."

Trent turned to face her. "That's it? 'Yes, you were'?"

"You would prefer it if I yelled at you?" She smiled as Trent nodded. "Well, I'm not going to."

"Why not?" Trent sat in the seat across from her. "I mean, I deserve it."

"Yeah, you do deserve it. You also deserve to be told how much you hurt me, and how much I hated you at certain times." Jenny paused as old feelings started to surface. "But I'm not going to...wanna know why?"

"I'm...not...really sure," Trent said hesitantly. He didn't like the tone that was creeping into her voice.

"Well, I'm gonna tell you why." Jenny leaned back in her chair, the look of perfect calm on her face. "It's because that's what you want me to do."


"You want me to yell at you, curse you out...and get all upset...just so you know that your male ego is still intact." She smiled bitterly. "Well, too bad, so sad. Two weeks ago I would have done that, but not now. My whole existence is hanging on by a thread, and I have no time to make you feel better about yourself in some childish male attempt to show me the sacrifices you made for me."

Trent leaned back as she stood and put her hands on the table. "You're wrong."

Jenny leaned over the table until she was mere inches from his face. "Am I?" She straightened up, turned, and walked out of the room.


Carlos looked up as Jenny walked in to the kitchen. "Morning."

"Where's Tiff?"

"Out back," Carlos said, and watched as she went through the door into the back yard. He turned as the kitchen door swung open again, and Trent appeared. "Morning."

"Where's Jenny?"

"Out back," Carlos said, and watched as he went through the door into the back yard. He breathed on the back of his hand, and sniffed it. "Nope, not my breath."


"Jenny," Trent said. "Hold on." Jenny stopped walking, but didn't face him. "Come on, talk to me."

Jenny turned. "Look, Trent...I don't want to talk with you right now. I don't want to say something that I would regret."

Trent's shoulders sagged slightly. "Fine. Shut yourself off from me." He turned and walked back into the house.


Carlos answered the door on the third knock. "Yeah?"

A deliveryman glanced at a delivery notice. "Tiffany Chambers?"

"I'll sign for it." Carlos took the receipt, signed on the line, and took the small package from the man.

"Women!" Trent exclaimed as he walked into the room. He plopped his body into an over stuffed easy chair.

"What about 'em?" Carlos asked as he closed the door and put the package on the coffee table.

"I can't understand her!"

"Oh, that." Carlos sat on the arm of the couch. "Let me see if I got this right." He cleared his throat. "You break up with Jenny, and start dating Carly. You parade Carly around in front of Jenny, then break up with Carly, and wonder why Jenny's pissed at you."

Trent put his head in his hands. "Oh, man! You make it sound like I'm the bad guy here."

Carlos arched an eyebrow at his childhood friend. "Just stating facts."

"Jenny thinks I'm a prick...Tiffany thinks I'm a prick...hell, even you think I'm one."

"No, I don't." Carlos stood. "You're my best bud...and all I think is that you made a few bad choices. And you're well on your way to fixing them."

"Thanks," Trent muttered.

"And Tiffany doesn't think you're a prick," Carlos continued.


"I think 'dumb ass' was the term she used."

Trent looked at him blankly.

"Then again, now that I think about were right...she said prick."


"He is so aggravating!"

Tiffany sighed as she sat in the lawn chair. "Jen. You've spent the past two months pining over the guy, and then when he comes to you, you kick him in the cajones."

"I know," Jenny sighed. "I was all set to forgive him, but when I spoke, that's not what came out."

"Do you really want to forgive him? Or," a mischievous glint sparkled in her eyes, "do you want to make him suffer a bit for going out with Carly?"

Jenny was silent as she considered. "Oh, suffer...definately suffer."

"Amen to that, sister!" She looked up as a shadow fell over her. "Yes??"

Carlos smiled. "This was delivered for you a few minutes ago." He passed her the small box.

"Thenk yew," Tiffany took it and looked at the package.

"How about a tip?"

"Don't eat yellow snow." Tiffany offered as she slipped a finger under the tape, and opened the package. Inside was a small slip of paper. She took it out and started to read.

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep." She looked up at Carlos with a shrug, then glanced at Jenny.

Tiffany sat up straighter. "Jen? You okay?"

Jenny looked at her in frightened confusion. "It's the prayer he used to say to me." She placed a hand over her mouth. "I'm gonna be sick."


(Two Days Later)

"No, daddy! Don't! Please, I'll be good." The little girl tried not to cry as the closet door closed on her. She sniffed to herself and sat on the rolled up sleeping bag. She could hear sounds of her parents arguing in another room.

"She didn't mean anything, Richard," her mother said. "She's just a child."

"She meant it," her father shot back. "And don't cover for her."

"I'm not..." The words were cut off by a cry of pain.

"You bitches all stick together."

The little girl cowered in the closet as the voices her parents moved into another room, and she could no longer hear the voices. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

She jumped as the door was suddenly ripped open, and her father dragged her out by her arm.

"Get yourself dressed, and get to school," was all he said.

The girl blinked at her father's retreating back.

Tiffany put her elbow on the table, and her face on to her hand. "You spent the entire night in there?"

Jenny nodded softly. "I spent a lot of nights in that closet. After a while, I started to leave my dolls in there so that I would have something to play with."

"How the hell have you been able to live with this?" Tiffany asked as she leaned back.

"I honestly don't know," Jenny admitted. She jumped as the phone on the table beside her rang.

Tiffany grabbed it. "Hello?" She listened for a few seconds. "K...thanks." She hung up and looked at Jenny. "That was Trent. UPS says the parcel was mailed in Fort Worth on Friday...." She was cut off as the phone rang again.

"Hello?" She sat up straight in her seat. "Come again?" She glanced at Jenny. "How did you get this number?"

Jenny felt her throat tighten, and black spots appeared in her vision. "It's him, isn't it."

Tiffany nodded slightly. "Richard, why don't you make it easier on yourself, and give up. Just tell me where you are, and I'll have someone meet you." She listened for a few more moments. "Look, bud, you can quote that to me all night long, but it isn't gonna change facts." Her eyes narrowed at something the other man said. "I'm gonna nail your ass to the wall...dead, or alive. And right now, I'd prefer dead." She slammed down the receiver, then picked it up quickly and dialed *57 to trace the call.

"What did he said," Jenny demanded in a low voice.

Tiffany held up her hand, then grabbed her cellular phone and made a call. "Cortez? It's Tiffany. I need a trace on my line, and I want a tap." She listened. "I need it, Anthony...immediately, if not sooner...If Dick wants to bitch about it, you tell him to contact me....Thanks." She hung up, and grabbed the other phone. "Damn it! The call wasn't traced!" She slammed the receiver down.

"Tiffany?" Jenny asked. "What did he say?"

"Nothing." Tiffany ran a hand over her face. "He just kept repeating the same thing. Uh.....something about the secret of hush..."

Jenny's face went pale. "You know the secret to Hush? It's when you shut up where no one can hear you scream."

"Yes. How did you know?" Tiffany wasn't sure if she wanted to know the answer to that question.

When Jenny spoke next, it came out as a whisper. "It's what my father used to say to each victim."


"Nothing doing!" Carlos said loudly as he put a large dufflebag on the coffee table. "I'm staying, and that's final." He glared at Tiffany, defying her to argue.


"No arguments," he said in a softer voice. "I'm not gonna take off, and let this sicko at you."

"I'm trying to draw him out into the open," Tiffany tried to explain.

"The hell you are!" Carlos yelled. "Are you trying to get yourself killed?!"

"Calm the fuck..." she stopped. "Calm down. I don't want to have a yelling match over this."

"Do you still want to be alone here tonight?"


"Then we're damn well gonna have a yelling match over this!"


Trent stared at Jenny as she sat on the other side of the table from him. "Why?" he finally asked.

"Why, what?" Jenny sighed.

"Why did I ever let someone like you go?" He smiled shyly at her.

"Give it a rest, Trent," Jenny said...hoping that he couldn't see the slight blush that appeared. "I'm not ready for this."

"I'm not going to give up." His head turned to the kitchen door as he heard Carlos yell 'the hell you are'. Trent sighed. "I knew it wasn't going to work."

"Hell, I could have told you that." She took a sip of her coffee, trying not to let her hands shake. "It doesn't matter though. He won't care how many people are around."


She looked at him evenly. "Meaning that he'll kill her...and anyone else who gets in the way."


"Carlos Sandoval!" Tiffany yelled. "Shut the fuck up!"

Carlos glared at her. "Shut the fuck up? Dios, woman, what has gotten into you?!" He put his hands on her arms. "Why are you setting yourself up to be killed?!"

Tiffany stared past his head and tried to think. Being that close to him had always had an affect on her. "I'm not! I'm just trying to lure..."

"Just trying to lure him in," Carlos said with a nod. "Yeah, I know...cut the bullshit Chambers, and tell me the truth."


"The truth," he insisted. "Please."

Tiffany closed her eyes. "Why can't you just do what I ask?"

"Tiffany...Roxanne...Chambers," Carlos said slowly. "I want the complete truth, and I want it now!"

"It's..." Tiffany closed her eyes and leaned her head against his chest. "He said that he would get his next victim, and kill anyone that got in his way."


Trent stood and changed seats at the table. He looked at Jenny, who was now beside him. "Jenny...I'm sorry that this has come back into your life..."

Jenny shrugged softly. "I knew this day would come eventually. When he traded the locations of the bodies for a life sentence, I knew." She sighed. "Why wasn't I notified?" Jenny asked, then snorted. "I must have asked that question fifty times since he got out."

Trent took her hand in his and squeezed it. "We'll find out," he assured her. "And, we'll stop him."

"From your lips, to God's ears," Jenny whispered.


> Carlos stared at the top of Tiffany's head. "He said what?"

"You heard me."

Carlos closed his eyes. "Yeah," he whispered. "He's playing a mind game with you." He gave her a brief hug, and pulled back so her could see her face. "Remember when I told you the reason I left the force?" He waited for her to nod. "It's hard when some sicko calls and taunts you...he's trying to push you into making a make you so angry that you'll fuck up, and then he's got you right where he wants you."

Tiffany frowned at the far away look in his eyes, and was unsure if he was talking about himself, or her.

Carlos blinked as his mind clicked back to the present. "Don't let him get to you," he demanded softly.


Detective Richard Ryan looked up from his papers, and scanned the room. "Cortez!"

"Yeah?" the answer came from the other side.

"Get over here!" Ryan bellowed. "Now!"

Detective Anthony Cortez sighed as he walked up to the desk. "You bellowed?"

Ryan held up a piece of paper. "What the hell is this?"

"Uh...looks like a sheet of paper," Cortez replied. "Is that all you wanted?"

"Cut the stupid act, Peanut," Ryan said. "What's on the paper...and if you say 'words', I will make your life a living hell."

Too late Cortez glanced at the paper. "That would be a request for a phone tap." And stop calling me Peanut!!! "It's for..." he squinted so that he could read the paper. "187 East..."

"I know where it's for," Ryan snapped. "What I want to know is why!"

Cortez shrugged. "I really don't know. Detective Chambers requested it, and I just typed it up." He paused. "She said, and I quote 'If Dick wants to bitch about it, you tell him to contact me', end quote." He smiled, and walked back to his desk.

Ryan grabbed at his phone and punched at the numbers.


Tiffany jumped as the phone rang. She looked as the door to the kitchen opened, and Trent and Jenny appeared.

"Want me to get it?" Carlos asked as he reached for it.

"No." Tiffany picked up the receiver. "Yes?" Her body sagged in slight relief. "Believe it or not, Dick, I'm glad to hear your voice." She smiled slightly. "Sure I am. Now, to what do I owe the honor of the call?...Uh, yeah, I did request a phone tap for my line...Aw, come on, Ryan...push it through for me...Actually, it is for a case I'm working on....yeah, the loose psycho..." She sighed and moved away from the others as she tried to convince Detective Richard Ryan into signing for a phone tap.

Jenny sighed. "That man has gotten impossible since he was named interim 'Captain'. I hope they name our new Captain soon...or else D.P.D. might have a mutiny on their hands."

"You know," Trent began. "You really don't have to go through the police to put in a phone tap. I mean, we could do it."

"I dunno," Jenny said. "Wouldn't it be a conflict of interest?"

"Not if Tiff didn't know it was there," Carlos said as he rummaged through his dufflebag. He pulled out a small case. "One phone tap, at your service."

"We'll put it in if Ryan vetoes her request," Jenny paused. "What am I saying? When Ryan vetoes her request." She took the case from Carlos. "You keep her...uh...occupied while we put in the bug."

"Think you can do that?" Trent asked.

"With one arm tied behind my back," Carlos replied.

"Whoa!" Trent held up a hand. "I don't need to know the details of your sex life."

"Huh?" Carlos frowned in confusion.

"Grrrrr," Tiffany growled as she set the phone down. "No tap...not enough evidence to warrant one."

"Thought so," Carlos said as he picked up his dufflebag. "Come on."

"Come on where?"

"I'm gonna put this bag back in your room." Carlos started to walk down the hallway. "If you want to bitch about it some more, then you'll have to come with me."


"How long do you think they'll be?" Jenny asked as she set out the equipment.

Trent glanced down the hallway. "Dunno. If Carlos starts an argument with her, then they could be in there for hours." He pulled his attention back to Jenny. "Want me to do this? That way you won't be involved."

"Yeah, you do it. I don't want him to get off on an 'illegal wiretap' technicality." She moved up to the couch and sat behind her former lover.

"How are you holding up?"

"Oh, fine," Jenny answered. "Not doing to bad for someone whose father is a serial killer, is out on parole, killed my brother and framed me for it, and is now trying to kill my friend and partner." She smiled bitterly. "Other than those things, I'm fine."

"Sorry," Trent said as he put a 'bug' in Tiffany's phone. "I guess it was a stupid question to ask."

Jenny reached out to touch his hair, but pulled her hand back. "Yes, it was." She was finding it increasingly difficult to fight the urge to touch him.

Trent put the phone back into the cradle and turned to her with a smile. "There, all done." He turned back, put the equipment away, and then sat beside her. "Can I get you anything?"

You, naked, on a waterbed. "Uh, no, I'm fine." She stood quickly, and rushed into the kitchen.


Richard Hendricks crouched low in the rose bushes as he watched through the window. "Good, she's alone," he whispered to himself. He made his way out the bushes, and around the house to the front. Brushing himself off, he walked up the steps, and rang the doorbell.

He waited two seconds, rang it again, then ran down the steps and hurried to the back of the house. He paused as he listened for the front door to open, then he pried at the lock on the back door, and quietly opened it. He walked into the house and made his way through the kitchen.

Richard grabbed the elderly woman as she entered the kitchen, and pushed her against the wall. Her eyes went wide with fear as she screamed into his hand. "You know the secret to Hush?" he asked in an eerie voice. "It's when you shut up where no one can hear you scream."


(The next day)

Tiffany turned away from the body on the floor. "Damn it," she whispered, then turned to a uniformed officer. "Whatta ya got?"

"Suzanne Johnston, age 76," the officer said as he consulted his notepad. "Perp popped the lock on the back door...grabbed her as she entered the sign of a struggle."

"I doubt she could have put up much of a fight," Tiffany responded as she once again looked at the mutilated body on the floor. She sighed deeply. "Anything else?"

"Besides the fact that her tongue has been cut out and is missing?"

"I'll be outside...I need a smoke."


"Detective Chambers?"

Tiffany looked up from her work. "That would be me."

"Sign here, please," the deliveryman asked as he held out a form.

Tiffany stood. "Show me the package first." She held out a hand. "Hold it. Did you pick up this up, or was it mailed?"

"Mailed from..." he looked at the package, "Fort Worth."

Tiffany signed for the package, motioned for Anthony Cortez as she put on a pair of latex gloves, then opened it in front of him. Inside was a small, white plastic container.

"What's in it?" Cortez asked.

"No idea," she replied as she slowly opened the top. "Oh, God!"

"Gross!" Cortez exclaimed as he stared at a bloody human tongue.


"He likes to get the knife just under the rib cage," Ryan read aloud. "it usually gets a lung, and they're basically helpless as he methodically dismembers them....he cuts out the tongue, and takes it." He looked up at the police surrounding him. "This man is crazy, and I want him stopped." He tapped a pile of papers on a desk. "Everyone is to take one...I want a word with you, Detective Chambers."

"Yes, sir," Tiffany said as she shoved the last of a donut into her mouth, and grabbed one of the description sheets off of the desk.

Ryan studied her for a few moments. "You've got your phone tap."

"Thanks." Tiffany waited for him to say more, but instead watched as he turned and walked back to the office he was using as interim captain.

"Hey, Tiff?"

Tiffany turned to the voice. "Yeah?"

"Where's Jenny?" Officer Danielle Pritchart asked.

"Her brother died last week," Tiffany explained. "So she's taking some personal leave."


"Stop it!"

Trent jumped slightly. "Stop what?"

Jenny glared at him. "Stop staring at me!"

"Was I?"

"Yeah, you were," Carlos offered from the other chair in the room. He cringed as Trent gave him a dirty look. "I'm just saying...that's all."

Trent turned back to Jenny with a smile. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize that I was staring." He repositioned himself in his chair.

Carlos went to take a drink of his coffee, and stopped. Damn, empty. "Anyone want another coffee?" he asked as he stood.

"Brew a fresh pot," Trent said and looked at him. He widened his eyes slightly, hoping that Carlos would get the 'message'.

"Of course," Carlos said. "In fact, I'll make it fresh ground." He walked through the kitchen door and chuckled to himself. "Poor guy," he said softly. "Finally realized what a mistake he made with Karen."

A movement outside the window caught his attention, but he ignored it as he ground the coffee beans, and put them into the filter in the machine. He went back to the door and walked through.

Trent looked at him. "I though you..."

"Someone's in the bushes," Carlos interrupted. "Caucasian male, brown hair, 25 -30 years," he explained as he checked his gun.

"Trent, go around the front way," Carlos ordered. "I'll herd him to you." He looked at Jenny. "You stay here."

Jenny saw for the first time the way Carlos must have looked as a police detective. The no nonsense look in his eyes told her that he was all business. "Yeah."


(Much later..near the end).............


Her eyes went wide as the knife entered just below her ribcage, and wondered why there wasn't any real pain. Dani put a hand to her ribs, and then stared at the blood on her fingers. "Oh, man," she whispered. She looked up at Richard with a serene expression, then collapsed into a heap on the floor.


Detective Ryan stormed across the lawn. "Where is he!" he yelled at Tiffany.

"In the house." She turned back to the blueprints that were spread out on the hood of the car. "Now, if we go in through here," she told the others as she pointed to the map, "there should be..."

"Detective Chambers!"

Tiffany turned to Ryan once again. "What?!?!?!"

"It is regulation that you keep me apprised of the situation."

Tiffany closed her eyes briefly. one, two,, the hell with it Her eyes popped open. "Here's the situation, Detective....He says the house is wired with enough explosives to take out this whole block...Bomb Squad is on the way, but won't be here for another hour....SWAT should be here in ten minutes..." She paused to take a breath. "Dani hasn't been heard from in over ten minutes..."


*************** ************** **************

Tiffany held her breath as she stood behind the door. Please please please please please! She forced herself not to exhale as Richard closed the door and walked away. Now to get the hell outta here! She headed for the window, and was half way across the floor when the door swung open again.

Tiffany spun to face her worst nightmare. "Fuck!"

"Exactly," Richard Hendricks said as he held a sharp knife out in front of him.

Tiffany started to back up slowly, with Richard matching her step for step. She kept an eye on the knife in his hand, silently wishing for her gun. Her foot caught on something, and she tumbled to the floor. She rolled, and stopped as she saw what she had tripped on. She stared into the lifeless eyes of Officer Danielle Pritchart.

Tiffany caught a movement out of the corner of her eye at the same exact time she noticed Dani's service revolver. She grabbed for it, rolled away, and came to her knees. She pointed in the general direction of the approaching Richard, and fired.


Trent slowly picked himself up from the rubble. "Ahhhh," he moaned, then remembered. "Jenny?!"

"Over here," came the muffled response.

Trent sighed in relief as he made his way across the fallen boards. "Hold on...I'm coming." He pulled a few boards away, and helped Jenny out.

They jumped, surprised, as six shots filled the house. "This way," Jenny said as she scurried out of the basement, and made it to the living room. She put out am arm, catching Trent before he could pass her. "The steps are wired."

Trent squinted in the half-light. Sure enough, he could see multiple wires snaking their way along the steps. "Damn."


Tiffany sat on the floor and put her elbows on her raised knees. She sat there for a few moments, then dropped the now empty gun onto the carpeting. Her gaze went back to the body of Dani. "Be good to her, God," she whispered.

Her head came up as she heard something, and looked up in time to see Richard as he swung at her. She pushed herself back, but was not fast enough. The knife cut through her skin, and into her side, knocking all the air out of her. She thought it strange that she could not scream as the immense pain hit.

"Kevlar, a wonderful product," was all she heard the killer say before everything around her went black.




"Drop the gun, or she dies." The knife pressed harder against Tiffany's neck, producing a small drop of blood.

Carlos tightened his grip on the gun as the memory of the rooftop played through his mind. "Not this time," he said. "Let her go, or I will shoot you."

"Drop your gun first."


Carlos watched, helpless as a small droplet of blood made it’s way down Tiffany’s neck. He couldn’t get a clear enough shot at Richard, and moved slightly. He stopped when Richard pressed the knife harder against Tiffany’s neck.

“Let her go,” a hard voice said from behind Carlos.

Richard smiled at the person. “SO nice of you to join us, Jennifer.”

Jenny walked in and stood beside Carlos. “You want me, you got me. Let her go and walk away from her.”

“What are you doing?” Carlos whispered to her.

“Trust me,” Jenny whispered back. “Let her go!” she demanded of her father.


“Fine,” Jenny said, as she turned away. “Then you lost the one thing you have been hunting for since you got out…me.”

“Jennifer,” Richard said. “You want your friend, you got your friend.” He pushed Tiffany away, slashing at her back as she fell to the floor. Blood immediately started seeping through her shirt from a long cut running across her ribs.

Carlos yelled out in shock as he started towards her. Jenny stared momentarily as something snapped within her. She launched herself at her father with a bloodcurdling scream.