12:07 PM; CLINSTONE, LITTLE DELIGHTS DINER
“Thanks, Ruth,” Bo said softly as Ruth set another plate on the table.
Ruth Collins smiled faintly. “No problem, Bo.”
“So, what’d you guys find out?” Jacob asked.
“A few things,” Bo said slowly. He sat near the window, Castor on his lap. “Her name’s Hanna Davidson.”
“I called her mom, but she’s in Wisconsin. She’ll be coming down later today,” Jensen said quietly, wrapping an arm around Pollux. “I didn’t tell her that her daughter was dead. I just said it was about her daughter.”
“Good. It’s better to tell them in person,” Jacob said. “It seems unfair, but it’s the way to do it.”
Jensen nodded. “Yeah, I figured,” he said quietly.
“What else did you get? I know that’s not all of it,” Jacob said.
“Really?” Bo questioned.
“Blondie, just because I can’t read you doesn’t mean I can’t read your husband. He always looks uncomfortable as hell when he’s hiding something.”
Bo nodded his agreement. “There is that,” he murmured. He scooped up a small spoonful of mashed banana and held it out to Castor. “It’s your favorite, Cas. Just a bit of ‘nana,” he said softly. Castor accepted the bite without complaint. One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted before he looked back up at Jacob. “Well, you know the basics. She was bruised and cut. She has offensive and defensive wounds, so she definitely put up a bite against the guy. Outside of that,” Bo cleared his throat, “I found a business card in the pocket of her jeans.”
“So we have a lead. Who’s it belong to?” Jacob asked.
“The Casanova,” Jensen muttered.
“I’m confused. Is that some bar I don’t know about?” Jacob questioned. “Like, a… like a gay bar, maybe?”
Jensen snorted. “Yeah, Jake. I spend all my free time at a gay bar.” He rolled his eyes. “It’s the killer’s calling card.”
“What’s it say?” Bo unlocked his phone and slid it over to Jacob. “Seems pretty damn cocky for a first time killer,” Jacob said, looking back up at the blonde. “Oh. You don’t think he’s a first timer.”
Bo shook his head. “There was a case about a killer calling himself The Casanova back in the 2000s. They caught him in 2005. Or… they thought they caught him.”
“But you don’t think they did?”
“The words on this card were never released to the media. Unless this killer is a cop from the original case, I don’t think it’s possible for it to be someone different,” Bo said.
“He’d be, what, in his fifties or sixties, now?”
“That depends on how old he was back when he first started,” Bo said. “It was theorized that he was probably in his mid-thirties.” He fed another spoonful of banana to Castor before shrugging. “But what if he was in his early twenties? Young, cute guy walks up to a woman a decade older than him and makes her feel beyond beautiful. She goes home with him, they sleep together, he kills her. Twenty-two years later, he’s in his forties, still handsome, and still charming the pants off of women,” he explained.
“Think that’s plausible?” Jacob said.
“I think anything’s plausible if you try hard enough,” Bo said. “Especially when it’s a serial killer. They can start out young. People just don’t like to think about that.”
“So… what’s the plan?” Jacob questioned.
“Well, I called Tom and asked if he could get ahold of the Casanova case files. He’ll be here tonight with them,” Bo said.
“And what’s your big plan for them?”
“I’ll compare the photos of the injuries with the injuries on Hanna Davidson.”
“How similar do you think they’ll be?” Jacob asked, his voice quiet as he finally looked down at his plate, aimlessly swirling a fry through his ketchup.
“That depends. How honest of an answer do you want?”
“Let’s shoot for a full hundred percent.”
Bo shrugged. “Besides maybe a bit of an increase in precision? I presume nearly identical injuries. It might even be the same type of knife,” he said. “Gwen already took measurements of the wounds, but I’ll be doing that again for reassurance before I go home tonight. It’ll give me a lot to go off of.”
Jacob nodded slightly. “Sure. Sounds good.” He cleared his throat. “Nothing came of the, uh, the killer having sex with her?”
“Nah,” Jensen said plainly. “No DNA evidence. Condom and spermicide.”
Jacob grunted his response.
“If this is the same guy, I think it’d be wise to bring the FBI in. They’ll offer resources, quite obviously, and they know more about the case than I do or ever will,” Bo said. “Not to mention that we have an innocent man sitting in a prison cell. He needs out of there if it isn’t him.”
“Wouldn’t be easy,” Jacob said quietly. “Not unless you make Jamal pull some strings, I mean. No offense to innocent people in prison, but the only way I am working my ass to get someone out of jail ever again is if it’s someone I consider family.”
“I know. I don’t blame you,” Bo said softly. He had spent more than enough time with Jacob Mason to know that the last thing he wanted was a repeat of Angelo Sullivan—a guilty man masquerading as an ill, innocent man purely to prove how much smarter he was than the average American. “But, again, none of this means I’m right. All of this just means that I have a little hunch. I’ve been wrong before, Jake.”
“Depending on how easily troublemaker one and two here go to sleep tonight, I might skim through the file before bed, but… I don’t see that being incredibly likely. I probably won’t get to anything solid until tomorrow at the station,” Bo said.
Jacob smiled faintly. “But you’ll keep me updated either way?”
4:47 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FOYER
“Hey, Tom,” Bo greeted as he pulled open the front door. He held Castor on his right hip, the baby’s hand wrapped around the collar of his flannel.
The right corner of Thomas’s mouth lifted. “Hey, kiddo.” He stepped into the foyer, closing the door behind him. “And how’re you, sassafrass Cas?” Castor giggled, holding his hands out toward Thomas. “Trade ya?”
Bo nodded, grabbing the folders from Thomas before handing over Castor. “Thanks for this, Tom. Again.”
“My pleasure, Bo.” Thomas smiled at Castor before shifting his blue eyes back to Bo’s face. “What’s the game plan?”
“For tonight? Help the girls with homework, make supper, finish my report on the victim, get the boys to bed, get the girls to bed, shower, and… and probably go to sleep. I don’t see myself looking at these until morning,” Bo said.
Thomas chuckled. “Yeah, parenthood will do that to you,” he said softly. “Where’s Jensen?”
“The gym. He hasn’t gone in a while, and he’d like to get back into the groove of things,” Bo said.
Thomas nodded. “How about you?”
“I go three times a week, usually. Cardio, boxing, weight lifting. I’m more… productive, I suppose, at night, so I haven’t been going quite as much since we had Cas and Grayson, but…” Bo lifted his shoulders. “But it’s worth it.”
“Always is,” Thomas agreed. “Come on. I’ll help you with homework time, get you through the night just a little faster.”
7:01 PM; CHESTERWICK, THE HOURGLASS
He walked up to the bar, a drink in hand. He moved to stand beside a woman sitting at the bar, his eyes on the television rather than her. He’d been watching her for the last half hour, watching the way her eyes hungrily scanned the bar. Whoever she had been with the day before hadn’t been enough for her, and she was looking for someone more, someone better.
“Hi, there,” she greeted.
He turned toward her, smiling faintly. “Hello, sweetheart.”
“Ellen,” she said.
“Hmm.” She looked down at her drink, picking up the straw to aimlessly stir it. Her nails were long and painted hot pink. He knew he’d have to cut those after he killed her. Women with long nails always dug the hell out of his back. He wouldn’t have his DNA left behind at a crime scene, not for something as predictable as that. “You have anyone to go home to, Matty?” she questioned.
He caught the brief glance down at his hand, her eyes in search of a ring. Truthfully, she almost looked disappointed that there wasn’t one. He decided to run with it. “Just the wife and my kids,” he said plainly. If he had been wrong, if she wasn’t in search of a married man, he’d cut his losses and find another woman to bed and kill before the end of the night. It never took much effort, anyway.
“Do you… have to go home to the wife and kids?” she questioned.
“Well, I’m supposed to.” He smiled as she laid a hand over his. Right where he wanted her.
“What if you tell her you have to work late tonight?”
“I suppose a little white lie couldn’t hurt much,” he said, shooting her a wink. “I’ll give her a call. Order me another beer?”
“Sure thing, Matty.”
He pushed himself away from the bar, skimming a hand over her lower back as he walked away from her. Good looks had always served him well, and his years of observing people, reading people, had taught him to pay attention to the little things, figure out what each woman liked in a man. Ellen liked married men, and for the next few hours, he could pretend he was that man.
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