A shattered door lay off its hinges and on the cream colored shag carpet of the apartment. Shards of splintered wood from the door frame had been thrown out in the hallway. Jacob turned just in time to see Kelsey step through the door, her hair was wet and dripping at the ends. It must have started raining harder, he thought. She wore her signature jeans and loose low cut blouse, but her blouse sat half tucked into one side of her jeans. Her hair pulled back in her normal ponytail but it didn’t set in middle like usual, it sat a little to the left.
“Detective Kelsey Lawson. I’m on the scene, requesting backup. Suspect are in the residence. At least one appears to be armed.” Kelsey said into her two way radio.
“Backup in route, Detective.” he heard the dispatcher squawk back.
Kelsey stepped further into the room and leveled her gun with her right hand. “Freeze, Police!” she yelled as she glided toward them.
Roger sat on the couch, and slouched into it about as far as one could get as Jacob remained on the sofa that ran next to it creating an L shape in front of the black metal and glass coffee table. There where couch pillows and cushions all over the floor as if a scuffle had taken place. Her eyes went to Jacob’s lap where his Glock sat, perched like a threat.
“Throw the gun over here Mr. Collins!”
Jacob threw his hands up and leaned back into the couch, he tried to seem relaxed. He didn’t move.
“I said throw the gun.”
“You also said freeze, Kelsey.”
“Throw me the fucking gun, then don’t move.”
Slowly moved to the gun and picked it up by the butt with his index finger and thumb and tossed it gently toward Kelsey. It landed about two foot in front of her on a couch pillow.
“I told you not to leave Blue’s today, didn’t I?”
“I told you had stuff I had to do, I waited but you never came back.”
Kelsey slid her gun into her holster on the belt of her blue jeans and picked up Jacob’s gun. “You got a license to carry this gun in the state of Missouri?”
“Yep,” Jacob said it without hesitating.
“You mind showing me?”
“It’s in my other pants, but it wasn’t concealed.”
“Bet it is. Is it registered?”
“Not in Pine Bluff, I’m guessing.”
“Just got to town. Kinda forgot.”
Kelsey put the gun in her waist band behind her back. “I’ll be taking this with me.” His forehead crinkled in anger, Damn.
“Mr. Ericsson, everything okay here?”
Looking toward Jacob it almost seemed as if he were asking for permission to speak, Jacob gave him a comforting nod.
“Yes, everything is fine. Just a misunderstanding Detective. He came by to ask a few questions and heard screaming from in here. He busted in to help.”
Kelsey looked around the room and pulled her sidearm out again. “Is there someone else here?”
“No ma’am.” Roger said looking at the floor.
“I came by to ask a few questions and saw him bring in a girl that looked to be underage, came up the steps and heard screaming. I busted in the door after there was no response to knocking.”
“Mr. Collins you aren’t the police anymore, and you never where police here. You had no right busting down a door. That is what they make telephones for.” Kelsey holstered her weapon again. “Where is this underage girl now, Mr. Ericsson?”
“She wasn’t underage nor was she in any danger. She was a consenting adult who was having pleasure.” He smirked and it went through Jacob again, he restrained from punching the jerk in the face.
“Can I go now, Detective?” Jacob asked.
“You go wait in the hallway, Mr. Collins, I have a few more questions for you.”
Jacob stood slowly and made his way to the hallway.
Kelsey keyed her two way radio and said, “Detective Kelsey Lawson, canceling backup.”
“Backup standing down.” the dispatcher squawked back again.
Jacob glided into the hallway, glancing at Kelsey as he walked past her. She was beautiful, in dangerous kind of way. In the hallway he didn’t stop, he walked to the stairs and out the door into the cold rain.
As he pulled back out onto the street he knew it probably wasn’t a good idea to give Kelsey the slip again but he didn’t see any other option.
The long hallway of the hotel lay barren of people, and the low humming of electric was the only sound that Jacob heard when he got closer to his room. The dimly lit hallway allowed light to seep under the doors of the rooms, however the only room that appeared to have light in it came from his. And more disturbing was the fact that his door seemed to be ajar. If it wasn’t after eleven he would have thought that it was the little Mexican cleaning lady that had been coming and cleaning his room everyday. He reached for his gun in his holster on his back. Shit! Kelsey took it. He reached into his front pocket and pulled out a small pocket knife and opened it up. Its three inch blade wouldn’t do much damage but it would hurt like hell and make any burglar regret his decision.
Suddenly a small shadow appeared under the door like someone walking by, blocking the light from making its way under the door. Just then the door flew open and out stepped a tiny bald man with a gun, he wasn’t balding so much as shaved by design. The first thing that Jacob noticed was the mans tattoo. A swastika sat on his neck just below a scar that ran the length of his face. The man had a slight under bite. Something about this man looked familiar. He dropped his shoulder and hit Jacob square in the chest, knocking him backward onto the green thin-barely-there carpet of the hotel hallway.
The knife flew from Jacob’s hand and landed across the hall next to the fire exit door. His back cracked as it smacked hard against the concrete floor. The man stepped over Jacob as he tried to get away, making his way for the fire exit. Reaching for the intruders leg Jacobs felt the sting of his boot as it crashed hard against his palm, smashing his hand between the mud covered boot and the hard concrete of the floor. He winced in pain as he tried to pull it free, but the man twisted in defiance.
“Get outta town. There are people who don’t want you here.” He said, pointing the gun at Jacob’s head.
“There are people who want me here.” He probably shouldn’t push his luck but at this point in time he really didn’t care.
“Next time I have to tell you I won’t be so friendly.” The man ran away empty handed.
In the room Jacob held his hand and stared at the ransacked room. The mattress lay out of the box upside down near the tiny table that
Jacob used to do research. His laptop sat open with a list of web history pulled up. The drawers from the chest of drawers lay strewn across the room and his clothes littered the floor like feathers from a broken pillow. He glanced at the large air vent that sat the wall separating the sleeping area from the bathroom. Behind the vent was an air filter and Jacob knew what was behind it.
Inside the vent behind the air filter Jacob’s hand patted around until he found what he was looking for, the large manila envelop where he had put the photocopied journal. The only thing he could think that anyone would want was this journal, which probably held the identity of the killer or they wanted money, but after Jacob found his wallet and realized that under bite Nazi hadn’t tried hacking any information from his computer then he figured it must be the journal.
Now he knew the answer had to be in here. He was back at the beginning. All the names in the journal told him nothing. At least not that he had seen so far. And the better question was how did anyone know he had the journal.