Chapter Nineteen ~
"The next morning Jude went downstairs and hurried to the kitchen. No one was there so he grabbed a piece of toast from the table and ran back upstairs to Jackson’s office. Everyone was sitting in the darkened room, talking about the killer.
"We know the guy’s real name isn't Max Sanders, but that's about all we do know," Scott said.
"Unless he's never been caught in any crimes, he's either had plastic surgery himself, or he's wearing a mask. His picture didn't get any hits from any of the alphabetic agencies," Jude said. He ran his hand through his still-wet blonde hair and groaned in frustration.
"Did you try international databases too?" Amy asked.
"Yes, we tried them all. This guy is smart. Since he went to the great lengths of having the women undergo plastic surgery, it's a good bet he did, too. Who knows, maybe he did it himself. He could be a plastic surgeon," Jude guessed, warming to his own idea.
"That's a possibility, but it's still unusual for someone not to have made their way onto any databases by this time in their life. He's at least our age, or a few years either way," Jackson surmised as he went to a cabinet in the corner and pulled out a bunch of file folders. He handed one to each person, took his, and returned to his seat.
"This is the working profile we have on the guy as of right now. Obviously it's incomplete, but any help you guys could add to it would be great," Jackson said as they opened their files. A few minutes were spent in silence while they looked over the description of their serial killer.
The file was as comprehensive as they were going to be able to manage for the time being. Wow, we don’t have much of a profile on this guy. He’s a sly one, Jude thought. He continued to look over the profile, agreeing the killer had psychopathic tendencies, though he wasn't a true psychopath. Psychopaths didn't have normal emotions. This guy's whole reign of terror was due to something Jude himself had done to wrong him; at least what he perceived was a wrong. Vengeance wasn't really a true factor in serial killings. True, many of them used that as the excuse, but the main cause was they were just plain, downright evil. They liked the control they held over other people and they enjoyed watching them suffer. The more sadistic they thought, the more sadistic they killed. This one was an awful man, but still not the worst Jude had ever dealt with. The 'Music Man' was the worst he'd ever encountered and he'd suffered from nightmares about him for a long time. God had finally been merciful to him and the nightmares had stopped.
"Jude, are you okay?" Jackson asked worriedly. He knew what Jude was thinking about because he’d shared the horror with him right after their adventure last summer.
Jude shook his head to rid it of the awful memories and asked, "Did you say something?"
"I asked you several times for your opinion on the killer, but you didn't answer. Are you thinking about the past again?"
"I was just thinking he isn't a true psychopath, though his crime scenes are particularly gruesome. The fact he uses glitter could be a sign he's either artistic, or at the very least, interested in art. It would make sense if he was a plastic surgeon."
"I think that's the consensus with all of us," Jackson said. Everyone shook their heads.
"He's most likely someone Jude went to school with. Just because he believes Jude made fun of him doesn't necessarily make it so. When we're younger we tend to feel people have wronged us when in reality they haven't. Maybe he wanted to be your friend and you scorned him. Maybe you took a girl he was interested in...It could be so many different things."
Jude was thinking as hard as he could. The only person he'd ever turned down an offer of friendship from was that weirdo, Kenny Wilson. He’d always given Jude the creeps, and when he'd dissected frogs in Biology class the look on his face had been pure enjoyment. "I just thought of someone. His name was Kenny Wilson. He wanted to be my friend back in high school but I turned him down. He gave me the willies."
Jude pulled the lid open on his laptop and logged into the FBI database. He typed in the name Kenny Wilson and came up with twelve candidates. He narrowed them down to two who’d gone to school with him. From there, he tried typing in plastic surgeon, and he got a hit. A picture of a scary-looking man with black hair and almost jet black eyes stared back at him. His smile was almost demonic-looking, and Jude resisted the urge to shudder. Maybe he was a true psychopath. "I have a hit. This guy went to the same school I did and he's a plastic surgeon. He even looks scary. He unplugged the cord to his laptop and turned it around so everyone standing in the room could see. The guy looked vaguely familiar…”Hey, I remember him now; he was one of the crime scene cleaners. He might be the Kenny I went to school with, it’s hard to tell after all this time.”
"I've seen him, too." Amy screeched. I paid him to clean the pool."
"That's a scary thought. Does anyone else recognize him?" Jackson asked. "We need to find out if this is the Kenny Wilson you went to school with."
"Maybe he's using more than one disguise. He's thumbing his nose at you, making you look like fools in his own eyes," Isaiah said.
"I think you’re right Isaiah, good catch," Shepherd said with a smile.
Jude was frustrated, but happy they'd gotten a new lead. They knew who he was now, and the noose was tightening, but they needed to catch him before he killed someone else. He examined the picture closely again, and underneath the older face and obvious make-up, those cold, dark eyes were the same, and so were the cruel lips. "It is Kenny Wilson from my biology class. I would know those evil-looking eyes anywhere," Jude said, looking at his friends.
"We need to pray for guidance. Ultimately, God is in control of everything, and it's His will we must strive to do," Isaiah said with a smile. They prayed, asking for God's guidance and enablement to catch this evil killer.
Excitement and dread filled Jude, and he couldn’t wait to get back on this guy’s trail. He rushed back to his suite, laptop in hand. He needed to find an address for his old nemesis. Tomorrow they would go after him, and they wouldn’t stop until he was behind bars.
A few minutes after he’d cozied into his sofa to search the net; there was a knock on the door. “Who is it?”
“It’s Justy, can I come in?”
Jude’s heart thumped in his chest. Should he allow it? It was dangerous to be alone with her, at least for him. “Is there something wrong?”
“No, would you open the door?”
He heard the frustration in her voice and hopped up and opened the door before his brain could process the movement. “Hello.” His heart thudded even louder as he moved aside to allow her in.
“You have a lovely room, too,” She said awkwardly.
She sounded uncomfortable and he wondered what she wanted.
“I know I shouldn’t come to your room, but I couldn’t stay away.” She moved up against his chest and her hands snaked around his neck. “Kiss me Jude.”
He was afraid to open his mouth in reply; scared his heart might jump from his throat where it had lodged. He took a steadying breath and whispered, “Justy, we shouldn’t…”
She stood on tip-toes and pressed her warm, moist lips against his and he groaned loudly. He pulled her to him and kissed her, tasting her lips, knowing he shouldn’t be alone with her in his room. His hands disappeared in her long hair as his lips moved against hers. She was kissing him just as fervently, until he groaned and pushed her gently away. “Okay,” His breaths were ragged gasps. “We have to stop, Justy.” He heard the pleading in his own voice as he backed away, putting several feet between them.
“I love you, Jude,” Justy said, tears sparkling in her huge eyes. “I know this isn’t the right time, but I needed you to know.”
“I love you, too,” He returned. He’d never had such trouble trying to breathe. What is it about her? He backed-up a few more feet, and she turned and ran out of the room, leaving him to stare after her in confusion.
“What was that all about?” He asked out loud as he headed for the shower and some nice could water.