Careful little eyes an a.., p.21
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       Careful little eyes: An addictive, horrifying serial killer thriller (7th Street Crew Book 4), p.21

           Willow Rose
 
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  Joey sighs. “What are you talking about, Mary?”

  “We think he is on the run.”

  “And he’s not? This is kind of confusing, Mary.”

  “No. It’s been his plan all along. He didn’t get seen by mistake by that camera. He led us to New Orleans. To get us out of town, so he can get access. He kept me busy looking for The Axeman by sending the email and posting on my Facebook page. He has been leading me all along. Making sure I stayed here even after he had to abandon Salter because he was sick. He made us believe he was on the run. He’s not running anywhere. He knows exactly where he is going and he knows he’ll get there way before we do.”

  “You think Blake is on his way to Cocoa Beach?” Joey asks, surprised. “What on earth for?”

  “Think about it,” Mary says. “He’s done with fulfilling Melissa’s wishes, revenging her and her daughter’s deaths. There’s only one thing left for him to do. One thing he has dreamt of accomplishing.” Mary looks around. She grabs a suitcase and lifts it up. “We have to go. We have to go fast.”

  Chapter Eighty-Seven

  July 2016

  He drives up to the house and parks the bike outside the gate. He presses the buttons, going through a few of his dad’s favorite codes, until one of them works and the gate pulls open.

  I know you too well, old fool.

  Blake pulls the bike into the driveway and parks it by the wall, while the gate closes behind him. He walks up to the house, then stands in front of the front door. He rings the doorbell, and waits.

  While waiting, he spots a camera placed above him. He smiles and waves at it, hoping his father will see and fear what is coming. When the door isn’t opened, Blake kicks it. Several times, but it doesn’t budge. He looks at the window next to it, then grabs a pot with a plant in it and throws it through the glass. It shatters. Then he climbs inside. The first to greet him is Snowflake. The stupid dog is wagging its tail and jumps him out of happiness.

  “Daaad? I’m home!” he yells, then laughs.

  Where are you, Daddy dear?

  Blake knows his father is aware he is in the house by now. Of course he is. He is just hiding, trying to avoid having to face Blake. The feeling of having ultimate power thrills Blake more than anything.

  After all those years of having to obey his every order, finally I’m in charge! Finally, you’re the one fearing my wrath!

  Blake laughs, then walks into the living room. He finds his father sitting on the couch, overlooking the ocean. Blake stops with a gasp. He has imagined this moment for so long, it’s hard to believe it has finally arrived. This is it. This is what he has been preparing for. So what if he screwed up with Peggy Dixon? This will make him feel great again. He hates that he had to change his plans. He was supposed to kill Peggy Dixon and then finish with Jamie in New Orleans, and had been looking forward to that part, but because of Salter's illness he had to get out of there faster than expected.

  “Hello, Blake,” his dad says.

  Is there any sound of fear in his voice? Any shiver? Any anxiety at all?

  “Daddy dear,” he says and approaches him.

  Blake walks in front of him to make sure his dad can see him properly, seize him and know to be afraid. A set of crutches is leaning on the couch next to him. He looks so small and weak, very weak. It pleases Blake to see.

  You can snap him like a switch. This is going to be so easy.

  Blake’s dad sighs as he sees him. “Where did I go wrong with you?” he asks. His voice sounds disappointed and sad; it annoys Blake and angers him further.

  “Enlighten me, because I simply don’t understand. I gave you everything. I loved you. You were my favorite. You were my second chance at getting things right. Your sister, I can understand. She went through hell in her childhood, but you…you had everything you asked for. I gave you…everything, Blake. And this is how you repay me? Really? So many people, so many families…affected, ruined by what you have done. What you have become. What is wrong with you?”

  Blake stares at his father. Their eyes are locked. Anger rises in him rapidly and he clenches his fist. He never expected his dad to applaud him for what he has done, but somehow he at least expected him to fear him, to be afraid. He is too calm and scolding him like he used to when he was a child. Of course, this is how they’re used to facing each other. This is what he remembers from his childhood. Those were some of the only times he ever spoke to Blake when growing up.

  “You still don’t get it, do you?” Blake asks. He feels the blade of the chisel between his fingers inside the pocket of his leather jacket. He is warm in the jacket, but keeps it on anyway.

  “Get what, Blake? What is it exactly you want me to get? What is this all about? Me? Your mom? Your sister? You want my attention? Well, you have it. I want to hear you out. What do you have to say for yourself?”

  Chapter Eighty-Eight

  July 2016

  I have never driven this fast in my life. I am racing through New Orleans, then out on the highway, and soon we’re leaving Louisiana, going through Mississippi and Alabama.

  Joey and Salter are sitting in the back seat, shrieking and sometimes screaming as I rush through traffic, making sudden movements to avoid the other cars.

  “Careful, Mary!!” Joey yells as a car pulls out in front of us.

  I growl and hit the brakes, then go around him, speeding aggressively as I pass him.

  “Mom. Please, don’t kill us,” Salter says.

  “I won’t, baby. Trust me,” I say. I am on the phone constantly, trying to reach people in Cocoa Beach. I have tried my dad what must be a hundred times, but he is not answering his phone. I leave a ton of messages telling him he needs to go somewhere safe, that Blake is on his way.

  For the third time, I try to call Chloe. She still doesn’t pick up. I don’t understand it. She always answers except when she’s asleep. But she can’t be asleep now, can she? I just spoke with her earlier.

  Why isn’t she picking up?

  I find Cocoa Beach Detective Chris Fisher in my phone and call him next. He tells me they’re occupied with a major crash right now on 520 and won’t have any available patrols out for the next several hours.

  Then I find Danny’s number in my phone and call him. No one picks up. Then I try his landline. Still, no one. Then I remember he was going away with Junior and Tara to the mountains for a week. They’ve probably not come home yet.

  “Crap,” I mumble, pass a truck and speed up, then find Sandra’s number in my phone.

  I really don’t want to have to call her, but this is an emergency. I don’t know if she is home at all. I know she has been getting some modeling jobs again, since that magazine bought her story, and the demand is back for her even with her scarred face.

  It goes straight to her answering machine and I hang up, relieved. I don’t want her to have to face Blake once again. It is somehow a little too cruel. Alex doesn’t pick up either, so I call Jack, my dad’s physical therapist.

  First one to pick up.

  “Jack. I think my dad is in trouble. My brother is heading down there and I think he might try and hurt him.”

  “Easy there,” Jack says. “I was just there. Your dad is fine.”

  I look at my watch. It’s late in the afternoon. It will be dark soon. “When were you there? How long ago?” I ask.

  “Maybe two hours ago?”

  “A lot can happen in two hours. Could I get you to go over there once again? Just check on him, make sure he’s all right? I’m scared. He’s all alone.”

  Jack sighs. “I have a date.”

  “Please?”

  “All right. I guess I can stop by quickly on my way and check on him. But I have to be at Pompano’s at eight.”

  “Of course. That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Jack!”

  “Mary? You do see that they’re stopping up in front of us?” Joey asks and leans forward between the seats.

  “We’ll be there in about eight hours,” I co
ntinue, ignoring Joey.

  “Mom?” Salter says.

  “Mary?”

  “I should go. Thanks again, Jack.”

  “You’re welcome.”

  Just as I hang up, I see the back of the truck coming closer. I hit the brakes, hard. The tires screech. Salter and Joey both scream and cover their heads. The back of the truck comes closer and closer, until…until the car finally comes to a full stop, inches away from hitting the back of the truck. Even I feel a little sweat on my forehead, but I don’t let them know. Instead, I growl in anger. A traffic jam is the last thing we need right now. I have this urgent feeling, this growing anxiety inside that I can’t escape.

  What if we’re too late?

  Chapter Eighty-Nine

  July 2016

  “What is it you want from me, Blake?”

  Blake stares at his dad. He has thought of this moment so many times, run it over and over again in his mind, but now that he is actually standing there, it doesn’t feel as good as he thought it would. Why? Because the old man isn’t terrified; he is not pleading with him for his life.

  “Damn it, Blake,” he yells and slams his fist onto the end table next to the couch. “Tell me what it is you want!”

  I want you to shiver in fear. I want you to sob and plead for me to spare your life. I want you to dread what I’ll do to you. That’s what I want. The same way I feared you for my entire childhood.

  “Say it God-dammit,” his dad says, grabbing his crutches and pulling himself up to a standing position. His voice scares Blake slightly, like it used to when he would scold him as a child.

  “You’ve been wanting to face me for a very long time, haven’t you?”

  Blake’s dad is up now, leaning on his crutches. He looks angry, he is yelling, and it is making Blake forget all the things he had planned to tell him before he killed him. He is confusing Blake, making him feel like a child again.

  His dad lifts a crutch and pounds it on the ground. “Say it, Blake. What do you want?!”

  Everything is boiling inside of Blake now. Every vein is pumping, gushing blood around in his body, making him sweat and his pulse rise to extremes. He wants to talk, but no words leave his lips. This is nothing like what he had planned. Nothing.

  His mouth gets dry, his tongue swollen as his dad approaches him, his crutches clicking for every step.

  “Come on, Blake. Lay it on me. Give me what you’ve always wanted to. Give it to me. Come on, you wuss. What are you so afraid of? What is it that you’re so mad at me about, huh?”

  Lacking the proper words, Blake screams instead, then kicks the crutches out from underneath his dad, causing him to fall flat on his face onto the floor. His dad screams in pain, but Blake isn’t done. He lifts his leg once again and kicks him in the face, hitting him with the toe of his cowboy boots that he bought in Alabama on his way there. He screams and kicks him over and over again, finally letting all the anger and frustration out.

  “How about the time when I was supposed to receive an award in school, huh? It was my first award, ever. You told me you’d come, but you never did. I waited and waited for you, and then when my name was called, I looked to see if you were there, but you weren’t. There was nothing but an empty seat. When I got home, Laura told me you didn’t want to come because an award in art wasn’t a real award. Then she took my certificate and lit it on fire. Or how about when I had that exhibition at the mall? When I won a prize for my painting in high school? You weren’t there then either. Only Laura, who told me over and over again that being an artist wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t a real thing; it was something anyone could do, and it was a mercy prize. That you wanted me to get a real prize for something real. How about that? How about the fact that you were never there? Never. I was always alone with her. You only spoke to me when I had gotten myself in trouble, to yell at me. You were never there. You didn’t see when she beat the crap out of me with that fire poker, did you? No, because you weren’t home. You didn’t see it when she locked me inside my room for two days without anything to drink or eat. You didn’t see it when she humiliated me in front of my friends by telling them I had a small dick, then pulling my pants down outside of the school so everyone could see. You didn’t see it and you didn’t do anything, Dad. You were gone. You left me with her. Just like my idiot sister. You both left me.”

  Blake’s dad looks up at him from the floor. He is bleeding from his mouth, his right eye is swollen. “I…I didn’t know all that, Blake.”

  “No, you didn’t. Because you weren’t there, Dad. You weren’t there and you never asked. You never talked to me.”

  “I…I’m so sorry, Blake. I didn’t know. How…how could I have been so…? I’m so sorry, Blake.”

  Blake sniffles. “Well, it’s a little late for all that now,” he says, as he lifts his boot and kicks his father in the face again and again.

  “You weak man. You feeble excuse for a man. You were never a father. You were never anything to me,” he yells and kicks till his father stops screaming, till he isn’t even moving anymore. Blake then pulls out the chisel and bends over his lifeless father lying in his own blood.

  “You wonder how I became what I did? Well, you made me what I am, Dad. You think I am a monster? You created it.”

  He places the chisel on his father’s forehead and grabs the hammer from his pocket. So many times, he has thought about how the old man should go. Of all the ways Blake has killed people, this is what he chose. Because it is the most cruel. Because when he kills people this way, they stay alive just long enough for him to look into their eyes and make sure he is the last person they see. Blake thinks about it and smiles, when he hears a sound coming from behind him. He turns and looks into the barrel of a gun.

  Chapter Ninety

  July 2016

  “Step away from him, Blake. Step away!”

  Blake looks at Chloe. The gun is shaking between her hands, but she seems steady behind it. He smiles when their eyes meet.

  “Chloe!” he says.

  “Put the knife down, Blake. Put it on the floor and kick it over here. I will shoot; I promise you I will.”

  “I’m sure you will,” he says with a chuckle. “You always were feisty. That’s what I like about you. Well, that’s part of it.”

  “Don’t try anything now, Blake. I’m done with your tricks. You fooled me once; it won’t happen again.”

  “Fooled you? But, Chloe? I cared about you. I still do. I love you. I really do.” Blake takes a couple of steps closer to her while he speaks.

  “Stop it,” she says, recoiling a few steps. “Don’t come any closer. I’m warning you, Blake.”

  “All right, all right,” he says and throws the knife on the ground, then kicks it to her. He then throws his hands in the air. He can’t stop smiling. He has missed her. Chloe is the only woman since Melissa who has been able to keep his interest. Heck, it’s more than that. She is the only one since Melissa that he has fallen in love with. The rest were just a means to an end. Especially Olivia. She was fun, yes, but dull. Melissa and Chloe have a lot in common. They’re both fighters. If you kick them, they kick back. That’s what he loved so much about Melissa. Her thirst for revenge against those that had hurt her, who had been involved with her daughter and caused her death. She was obsessed with it and nothing pleased Blake more than to promise her that he would finish her work, that he would kill all those people for her, so she could die in peace. The thirst for revenge made her sexier than any woman Blake had ever seen. Yet, he was never allowed to even touch her.

  Chloe is different in the way that she uses her fighting skills to find pedophiles online, but it’s still very similar to what he saw in Melissa.

  “I’m not lying, though,” he says. “I do love you and always have.”

  “Cut the crap, Blake,” she yells. “I’m sick of your games. I’m sick of your crap! So just shut up. Just shut up. I saw you on your dad’s monitor. I’ve been watching his house through his camera since M
ary left. I’ve already called the police and they’ll get here soon. Until then, just keep that mouth of yours shut, okay?”

  Blake chuckles again. “Okay. Mind if I sit down while we wait? It’s been a long ride. I’m kind of tired.”

  She looks at the chair next to him, then nods her head. “I guess there is no harm in that. Just keep your hands where I can see them at all times.”

  “You’re sounding more and more like a cop,” he says and sits in the recliner. He puts his hands behind his head and leans back with an exhale. He can tell his relaxed attitude is freaking her out. That’s what it is supposed to do. He stretches his arms above his head, then moves his neck from side to side with a crack of his joints.

  “So, tell me, Chloe, what have you been up to lately?”

  “Don’t chitchat now. You know perfectly well what I’ve been doing. I’ve been chasing you, my friend.”

  “Aren’t you proud of me and how far I’ve come with all you taught me?” he says.

  Chloe answers with a growl. “Just keep quiet, will you?”

  “I bet you wonder how I managed to make it look like I was in that house, Peggy Dixon’s house?”

  “Not really,” she says. “I knew what you did.”

  He can tell she is lying, but that’s okay. It’s never fun when the student becomes the master.

  “Not even a little bit curious?”

  “No.”

  “Well. Your loss, then. How’s Mommy doing? Still having cancer?”

  “You leave my mother out of this,” Chloe yells and walks towards him, pointing the gun at him. She doesn’t know that it is exactly what he wanted her to do. He wanted her to get provoked so she would let her guard down.

  With one quick movement, he jumps her, grabs the gun in her hand, and lands on top of her, wrestling the gun out of her hand. Seconds later, he is standing above her, pointing the gun at her.

 
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