3:06 PM; TRENTON, NEW JERSEY, TRENTON-MERCER AIRPORT, LOBBY
Jensen smiled, his phone pressed to his ear. “Hey, babe. We just made it to the airport.”
“Good. Are you guys going out for lunch?” Bo asked.
“I think we’re heading out to the prison first and then grabbing supper before we head back to Clinstone,” Jensen said. He glanced down at his watch before glancing up at one of the many clocks in the airport. His watch was set an hour behind Eastern time, but he was used to that. Whenever he was in Los Angeles, his watch was set two hours ahead. No matter where he was, Clinstone’s time was the one he kept track of.
Jensen cleared his throat, crossing his arm over his chest as he leaned back against the wall. “How far?” he asked.
Bo let out a soft laugh. “One thousand, one hundred and twenty-six-point-one-four miles,” he said.
Jensen smiled. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“How’s Cas? Still need to be held?”
“I have yet to put him down today. Jake and I had lunch in his office so that Cas and Grayson could both be with us.”
Jensen chuckled before sighing. “I shoulda stayed home with you.”
“Hey, enjoy yourself. Question the guy, eat some good food, maybe even see a couple sights, and then come home. Have fun, Jens. I’ll be here,” Bo said softly.
“I’ll see you guys tonight, okay?”
“All right, Jens. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Jensen pulled his phone away from his ear, tapping the back button several times before locking his screen and shoving the device into his pocket. He pushed away from the wall and headed over to where Thomas, Chris, and Ryan were standing.
“All good?” Thomas questioned.
“All good,” Jensen echoed.
“Good. Let’s go question our equivocator,” Thomas said quietly.
Jensen and Ryan hung back for a moment before following the FBI agents through the lobby. “I don’t know what that means?” Ryan questioned in a hushed tone.
“Me, neither,” Jensen whispered back. “Hold on.” He grabbed his phone, unlocking his screen and quickly pulling up his text thread with Bo.
Bo: I think you mean equivocator, love
Bo: It’s a liar.
Jensen tilted his phone toward Ryan. “Liar,” he whispered.
Ryan chuckled. “Awesome. Your husband’s a dictionary.”
“One of the many reasons I fucking love him,” Jensen agreed. Ryan smiled, shaking his head as he patted Jensen on the back.
Bo: Mmhmm. That’s what I’m here for, Jens. Text me if Tom uses any more big words.
Jensen: Will do
“The hell you two whispering about back there?” Chris asked, looking back at Jensen.
Chris rolled his eyes. “I’m sure.” The four men walking through the revolving doors and out to the sidewalk.
“There’s a car rental a block down,” Thomas said. “We’ll walk there, get the car, go to the prison. Okay?”
“Works for me, Tom,” Jensen assured.
3:52 PM; TRENTON, NEW JERSEY STATE PRISON, PRISONER PHONES
“Hey, Andrew,” Chris greeted.
Andrew Walker smiled faintly. “Hi, Agent.” He cocked his head to the side. “What can I do for you?”
“You aren’t the Casanova,” Chris said.
“I think I’d know if I wasn’t,” Andrew said.
Chris pressed a picture to the plexiglass between them. “This look familiar to you?”
“Sure looks like my style.”
“Right. She was killed on the fourteenth,” Chris said.
“You’ve got a copycat, Agent. I’m honored.”
“The Casanova’s business card was found in her jeans. Word for word. That was never released to the media, Andrew. A copycat wouldn’t know that information.”
“Could be a cop from the case,” Andrew said. “Could be you or one of your squad dorks back there. Could be anyone, Agent,” he said.
“Same knifework as before. Same weapon used. Same M.O.,” Chris said.
“If that’s too difficult for you to follow, Andrew, it means it isn’t a copycat,” Jensen clarified.
“Why are you in prison for a crime you didn’t commit, Andrew?” Thomas asked.
“Why do you think I’m in prison for a crime you think I didn’t commit?” Andrew countered. Thomas lifted his gaze to Jensen’s face.
The younger man cleared his throat. “We think that you had a close friend or family member that was killing women. You found out, either by accident or some… drunken coincidence, but you weren’t going to turn them in for it. You loved them far too much for that,” he said. “So when the FBI started to close in on this friend or family member, you turned yourself in to save them. A sacrificial offering, if you will. You took the blame to save someone you loved.”
Andrew stared at Jensen for several seconds before pushing himself to his feet. “I’m afraid I’m done with your bullshit for the day.”
“A little brother? Cousin?” Jensen asked.
Andrew laid his hands on the thin piece of wood that served as a table, leaning forward. “Let me drill this through your thick fucking skulls,” he whispered coldly. “I made it my goal to watch and kill those women. Observing them in the bars while they were entirely oblivious to my eyes? It’s thrilling. It makes your heart pound in your chest. It sends your blood two places, one for thinking, one for doing. It’s the kind of excitement you don’t get from anything else. Watching innocent women, charming them, buying them drinks. They fall into the trap, never aware of what’s to come the next evening. No idea that I was going to slice away at their flesh like some wild animal. “A slash to the left, to the right. Watch them fight, watch them try to cling to life as adrenaline courses through them. Watching the fight slowly dissipate as their blood seeps from their wounds, dripping, dripping onto the hard floor beneath them.” Andrew tilted his head to the side. “Wrapping your hand around their throats, choking them just one last time before you cut open an artery. They go so quickly once you slash one of those. The life leaves their eyes. The soul leaves their body. It’s beautiful,” he whispered. He pushed himself away from the table. “So, like I said, I’m done with your bullshit for the day. Good day, gentlemen.”
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