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Fanfiction: Prime Suspect - Part II

For disclaimers and author's note see Part I.


Part 3

Hawke landed the chopper and exchanged a surprised look with Caitlin at the fancy limo lined up outside the Santini Air hangar. He took off his headset and gestured at the vehicle.

‘Were we expecting company this morning?’ He asked.

Caitlin shook her head. ‘There was nothing in the diary.’ She frowned. ‘I guess we should get inside and see what this is about.’

They climbed out of the helicopter and headed for the office. Hawke gave a short rap on the door before he pushed it open.

‘String! Caitlin!’ Dom greeted them enthusiastically. ‘Come and meet…’

‘Kyle Hardy.’ Hawke completed as his blue eyes landed on the singer.

Kyle stood up and shook Hawke’s hand. ‘It’s a pleasure.’ His green eyes were already sliding away to Caitlin.

Caitlin’s eyes narrowed suspiciously as Hardy took her hand in a warm handshake. ‘This is quite a coincidence.’

Hawke slipped an arm around his tense wife reclaiming her from the other man. ‘I take it this isn’t a coincidence at all?’

Kyle held his hands up. ‘I confess. I tracked your wife down. She may not have told ya but…’

‘She saved your life yesterday.’ Hawke said.

‘Ah, I guess ya did tell him.’ Kyle said smiling at Caitlin.

‘How did you even find me?’ Caitlin asked.

‘I remembered your husband’s name.’ Kyle said. ‘The rest was easy for my manager, Frank, here to find out,’ he motioned at the other man sitting in the office.

It was the mature man Caitlin had seen arguing with the unfortunate Toby at the music store, she realised and had to pull her attention back to Kyle with difficulty. ‘Mr Hardy…’ Caitlin began.

‘Call me Kyle.’

‘Mr Hardy,’ she repeated, ‘exactly why are you here?’

‘Firstly, to say thank you.’ Kyle reached behind him and picked up an enormous bouquet of flowers on the desk. ‘These are for you.’ His green eyes darted to Hawke. ‘I hope you don’t mind my giving your wife some flowers.’

Hawke shrugged as Caitlin took the bouquet with some bemusement. Her eyes met Hawke’s over the colourful blooms. ‘Well, thank you.’ She said to Kyle. ‘But as I said yesterday there was really no need.’

‘It was a nice thought.’ Dom added, his dark eyes admonishing her gently for her ungrateful tone.

Hawke squeezed her gently in reassurance. He didn’t know what it was but something about the singer was definitely pressing alarm bells for Caitlin and he was beginning to get the same vibe.

‘And secondly,’ Kyle was adding, ‘we came to hire y’all.’

Caitlin froze. ‘Hire?’

Dom grinned and rubbed his hands together. ‘They want to film the concert they’re performing here in LA.’

‘You folks did shoot a lot of the film for Roxy’s goodbye concert last year, am I right?’ Kyle said.

‘We did.’ Dom confirmed before either Hawke or Caitlin could say anything.

‘It was an impressive piece of work.’ Kyle grinned. ‘We’re doing a promotional film to accompany the album. It’d make my day to have you folks on board.’

‘We’re on board.’ Dom said again before either of the younger pilots could comment. ‘Here’s the contract, all signed.’ He handed the sheets of paper to Hardy’s manager. ‘We’ll come out and take a look at the set up this afternoon and discuss the shots you want.’

Frank took the contract and placed it in a briefcase. He stood up and placed his hat back on his head. ‘Come on, Kyle. We’d better get back. We have that press briefing at the hotel.’

Kyle smiled. ‘The fun never stops.’ He tipped his hat at Dom. ‘It’s been real nice meeting you, Mr Santini.’ His green eyes slid to Hawke and then to Caitlin. ‘Hope I’ll be seeing more of you folks.’

Frank hustled Hardy out before anything more could be said and Dom half-followed them out of the door. He waited until the limo screeched away from the hangar before he whirled back to Caitlin and Hawke. His dark eyes were lit up with a happy avarice.

‘You should see the deal I’ve made,’ Dom said gleefully. He practically danced back to his seat.

Caitlin dumped the flowers back on the desk. ‘I don’t know about this, Dom.’

Hawke slumped into a chair as she took the seat opposite Dom.

‘What’s to know?’ Dom asked dismissively.

Hawke rubbed his chin and regarded his wife thoughtfully. ‘Exactly what happened at the music store yesterday?’

Caitlin sighed. ‘Hardy was signing autographs. I got the album, joined the queue and eventually got to the table. He commented how unusual your name was,’ she crossed her arms, ‘and made some comment about it being a shame I was married.’

‘He hit on you?’ Dom asked as Hawke glowered.

Caitlin’s eyes flew to the older pilot. ‘You needn’t sound so surprised.’

‘So he hit on you and then…’ Hawke quickly moved the conversation on.

‘And then I moved away from the table.’ Caitlin said. ‘I’d taken maybe a couple of steps and I heard someone scream behind me. When I turned around this guy, Toby I think he was called, was there pointing a gun at Hardy.’ She frowned. ‘Hardy recognised him; they exchanged words. It looked like the guy was going to shoot so I kicked the gun out of his hand and knocked him to the ground.’

‘Saving Hardy’s life.’ Hawke murmured.

‘Maybe.’ Caitlin shrugged. ‘Who knows? Maybe the guy wasn’t going to shoot.’ She gestured. ‘I used the confusion to make my escape and Hardy followed me to the car.’

‘He followed you?’ Hawke frowned.

‘He said it was to thank me but he did kinda hit on me again.’ Caitlin admitted. ‘I just wanted to leave before any of the press managed to get hold of me so I brushed him off and came back here.’

‘And today he’s tracked you down.’ Hawke scowled. ‘I don’t like it.’

‘Me either.’ Caitlin agreed. ‘I don’t know what it is but he creeps me out.’

‘Ah!’ Dom threw his hands up. ‘You’re both overreacting.’ He gestured at Caitlin. ‘Maybe the guy’s used to women falling at his feet and maybe you’ve intrigued him because….because you haven’t and that’s why he’s being persistent about saying thank you.’ His dark eyes went to Hawke. ‘And maybe you’re just having a case of the green-eyed monster.’

Hawke’s blue eyes narrowed dangerously. ‘And maybe all you’re seeing is dollar signs.’ He retorted sharply.

‘Hey,’ Dom admitted, ‘one of us has to worry about paying the bills around here.’ He waved the contract at Hawke. ‘And they’re paying us enough for this little job to keep us going for a couple of months. Maybe even pay for an overhaul on the Jet Ranger.’

‘Hawke.’ Caitlin laid a hand on his arm. ‘Maybe Dom’s right; maybe I am overreacting. Really the guy’s done nothing more than try to thank me and suggest my being married doesn’t bother him in the slightest if I wanted to…to get together with him which I don’t.’

Hawke frowned; he didn’t think Caitlin’s instincts were too far off the mark – Hardy had seemed like a creep to him too. He gestured at the contract. ‘I still don’t like this.’

‘I thought you would be thrilled at seeing this guy in concert.’ Dom said.

Hawke shrugged. ‘Sure but that was before he started hitting on my wife.’

‘Well,’ Dom suggested, ‘you and Cait can stay with the chopper. I’ll deal with Hardy and his manager.’

‘Sounds like a plan.’ Caitlin said.

‘OK.’ Hawke agreed. ‘But Hardy puts one foot out of place…’

‘Hey, we’ll be out of there so fast they won’t see us for dust.’ Dom laughed.

‘You know what was weird about yesterday?’ Caitlin mused.

‘What?’ Hawke asked.

‘I’m sure I saw Hardy’s manager arguing with the young guy who tried to shoot him just before it happened.’ Caitlin said.

‘Now that is weird.’ Dom admitted.

‘Are you sure it was him?’ Hawke asked.

‘Definitely sure.’ Caitlin sighed. ‘I have no idea what it means though.’

‘I guess we should watch our backs.’ Hawke said. ‘Our last experience of doing one of these shoots wasn’t exactly plain sailing.’

They all took a moment to remember how the shoot for Roxy’s concert had ended up with them foiling a kidnapping and murder attempt.

‘Ah, show business.’ Dom said grinning at the contract again. ‘Don’t you just love it?’

Hawke and Caitlin rolled their eyes.

The morning passed quickly and only Dom set off for the concert site with any enthusiasm; Hawke and Caitlin were simply resigned to doing the job. The concert was taking place in one of the LA parks and they could see the stage was already built, an enormous number of cables ran underneath it to various technical equipment. Trailers were lined up at the back of the stage for the band and for Kyle Hardy. They landed behind them on a patch of grass.

‘OK, kids.’ Dom said. ‘I’ll go and discuss the shoot. You get the camera ready and we’ll do some initial background shots when I get back.’ He climbed out and put his red baseball cap as he marched away.

Hawke and Caitlin began to set up the equipment. The camera was being fixed to a mounted stand on the side of the chopper. The plan was for Dom to direct whilst Caitlin operated the camera and Hawke flew the chopper. It was a system they’d used in the past and it worked for them.

Caitlin tightened the fixtures for the harness she would wear. It would keep her safely inside the chopper as they dipped and dived. She tightened the bolt securely before Hawke tested it and gave it another tightening. He dipped his head and dropped a kiss on her lips.

‘I don’t want you falling out.’ He said with a smile.

‘Me either.’ She agreed laughing.

‘Hi y’all.’ Hardy’s drawl had them both swivelling to look at him. ‘I hope I’m not interrupting.’

Hawke and Caitlin exchanged a quick look.

‘Dom went up to the office to discuss the film.’ Hawke commented trying to get rid of the singer.

Kyle shrugged and grinned revealing a perfect set of white teeth. ‘I leave all that to Frank.’ He gestured at the chopper. ‘Great bird. Always wanted to learn how to fly. I don’t suppose either of you’d be up to teaching me whilst you’re on the shoot?’

Hawke leaned a shoulder on the chopper. ‘I don’t think we’ll have time.’

‘Pity.’ Kyle patted the machine and his eyes drifted to Caitlin. ‘I heard you’re a top teacher.’

Caitlin’s eyes narrowed on him. ‘You checked me out?’

‘Frank wouldn’t let me just hire anybody,’ Kyle laughed, ‘even to say thank you for saving my life.’

‘Well, my husband Hawke says,’ Caitlin instinctively moved closer to Hawke, ‘it’s unlikely we’ll get time to teach you.’

‘Like I said it’s a pity.’ Kyle smiled at her.

‘By the way,’ Caitlin said looking for a diversion, ‘what happened to the guy who tried to shoot you yesterday?’

Kyle seemed taken aback by the question. ‘Oh, Frank dealt with it but they let him go, I think.’

‘They let him go?’ Caitlin frowned. ‘But he tried to kill you.’

‘Nah!’ Kyle tipped his hat back on his head. ‘Toby’s a good kid. He was just upset and wanted my attention.’

‘Hell of a way to get it.’ Hawke commented.

Kyle shrugged. ‘Frank said the gun wasn’t even loaded.’

‘So I guess you guys all know each other.’ Caitlin leaned against her husband as her blue-green eyes interrogated the singer.

Kyle shifted uncomfortably under her scrutiny. ‘Sure. We’re all from the same little town in South Texas. I wanted people I knew around me when I hit the big time. Toby’s kinda like a second cousin.’

‘I saw him and Frank arguing yesterday.’ Caitlin said.

‘Did ya?’ Kyle took his hat off and ran his hand through the blond curls. ‘Can’t say it surprises me. The two of them are always going at each other.’ He smiled again a little guarded. ‘Life on the road tends to blow things out of all proportion.’ He took a step away and gestured at his trailer. ‘I’d better go get ready for the sound check. Good to see y’all.’

They watched him stride away until he was out of sight.

‘You know something doesn’t add up.’ Caitlin said crossing her arms.

‘Yeah.’ Hawke agreed.

Caitlin bit her lip.

‘I know that look.’ Hawke commented as he turned back to the camera.

‘Huh?’ Caitlin looked at him quizzically.

‘You’re thinking about digging around.’ Hawke said.

‘I am not.’ She denied.

Hawke’s blue eyes held hers.

‘OK, maybe a little.’ Caitlin admitted. ‘I’m curious.’

‘We should stay out of it.’ Hawke said.

‘Yeah.’ Caitlin sighed. ‘I agree.’

‘Good.’ Hawke glanced over her shoulder. ‘Here’s Dom now.’

The older man rejoined them and took them over the plans he’d drawn up with Hardy’s manager. A few minutes later they were in the air and practising the shots the manager wanted.

‘I tell ya,’ Dom said into his headset, ‘this is the easiest gig we’ve had in a long time.’

‘I’m not saying you’re wrong, Dom.’ Hawke muttered his attention on the delicate balance of the chopper.

‘And nobody’s shooting at us for a change.’ Dom said with a delighted laugh. ‘You know we’ve all had a hard time of late and we’ve definitely been spending way too much time in the hospital.’

‘Hawke, can you take me in a little lower?’ Caitlin asked checking the position through the camera. ‘I can’t get this shot.’

Hawke adjusted their position and Caitlin sighed as the camera swung out of position and focused on the back of the park.

‘It’s nice to have just an ordinary job with no surprises.’ Dom said with satisfaction.

‘Oh God.’ Caitlin swallowed hard at the sight in the lens.

‘What?’ Hawke asked picking up on the shock in her voice.

‘There’s somebody on the ground back here.’ Caitlin said quickly. ‘I don’t think they’re moving.’

Hawke followed her directions and took the chopper down. He and Dom climbed out whilst Caitlin disentangled herself from the harness. By the time she ran over, Hawke was crouched by the still form as Dom waited impatiently to the side.

Hawke stood up and took a step back. His arm slipped around Caitlin’s waist as he met Dom’s questioning gaze. Hawke shook his head. ‘We’d better call the police; he’s dead.’

Dom sighed heavily and started to make his way back to the chopper.

Caitlin’s eyes travelled up the body and settled on the face. She gave a gasp and her shocked eyes met Hawke’s. ‘That’s the guy from the music store.’ She said. ‘That’s the guy who tried to shoot Hardy.’

Part 4

‘So, let me get this straight,’ the detective scowled at Caitlin, ‘you rescued Hardy from this guy,’ he pointed at the body, ‘and then you find the body when you’re swooping around the sky pointing a camera at the ground.’

Caitlin blinked at the harsh tone.

‘Hey.’ Hawke stepped up to the Latino detective and stabbed a finger at him. ‘She told you what happened.’

‘Buddy…’ The detective made to take a step forward.

‘Hey, guys.’ Caitlin waved tiredly in the detective’s face. ‘Look, my husband’s right. I’ve told you what happened, Detective Marin.’ She hugged herself briefly. ‘Believe me, I know how it sounds but that’s really what happened.’

‘We’ll be checking out your story.’ Marin said sharply, his dark eyes fixed on hers. ‘You have the film from the camera.’

Dom handed him the tape. ‘Here.’

‘Don’t leave town.’ Marin said before he stalked off.

Caitlin sighed and Hawke put his arm around her shoulder to give her a hug.

‘What a jerk.’ She commented.

‘You got that right.’ Dom said.

She sighed. ‘And here comes another one.’

‘Hey,’ Kyle Hardy walked over to them, his hat in his hand. ‘I just heard the news. Are y’all alright?’

‘We’re fine.’ Hawke answered. ‘Just about to head home.’

‘Do they know who the body was?’ Kyle asked seemingly oblivious to Hawke’s tone or the hint the other man had dropped.

‘Hasn’t anyone told you?’ Caitlin asked surprised.

‘Told me what?’ Kyle asked.

Caitlin hesitated. The police would want to see Hardy’s reaction for themselves and as much as she would love to spoil Marin’s day, she hadn’t forgotten her past loyalty to the police force entirely. ‘I think you should talk to the detective.’ She pointed in the direction Marin had disappeared.

‘You tell me.’ Kyle said. ‘You’re beginning to worry me.’

‘She’s not allowed.’ Hawke said moving the singer’s attention from his wife. ‘You’ll have to talk to the cops.’

Kyle made to argue but stopped at a glance at Hawke’s hard blue stare. He nodded slowly and moved away.

‘It’s a shame I can’t tell him,’ Caitlin said as they climbed back into the chopper, ‘I would have loved to have seen his reaction.’

‘We’re keeping out of this.’ Hawke reminded her sharply.

‘Yes, I know.’ Caitlin secured her belt and pulled on the headset. She looked over at him. ‘Don’t worry. I’m staying out of it.’

Hawke turned his attention to the flight.

‘So who do you think killed the kid?’ Dom asked from his position in the back of the cockpit when they were some distance back to Van Nuys.

‘Dom.’ Hawke protested exasperated.

‘I know who the detective thinks did it.’ Caitlin muttered. ‘I could tell by the way he was looking at me, he thinks I’m guilty.’

‘Ah, he was just covering his bases.’ Dom said. ‘He can’t seriously suspect you especially not after what you told him about Hardy and the…the guy who died.’

‘I don’t know, Dom.’ Caitlin replied. ‘I kinda think he thought I was making it up.’

‘But you hadn’t even seen the guy until yesterday.’ Dom said. ‘He’ll check everything out and you’ll be in the clear, you’ll see.’

‘I hope you’re right.’ Caitlin said worriedly. She’d seen the look in Marin’s eye and it was one she’d seen before on cops who thought they were looking at their prime suspect.

‘Hey, I hope they don’t cancel the concert.’ Dom said suddenly.

‘I hope they do.’ Hawke said.

‘Me too.’ Caitlin said.

Dom gestured. ‘You’re making too much of it. There’s probably a reasonable explanation for everything.’

‘You just don’t want to miss out on the cash.’ Hawke said.

‘You’re right; I don’t.’ Dom agreed laughing.

The couple dropped Dom at the hangar before they headed back up to the cabin. Tet was waiting for them on the pier and he obligingly moved to accommodate their landing. They headed inside for a quiet evening and an early night; they’d agreed to pick Dom up the next morning at dawn to get a quick start on the day and recover the time they had lost after finding the body.

It was the middle of the night when Hawke woke suddenly; his eyes snapping open and fixing on the shifting shadows on the ceiling caused by the flames in the hearth. He took a deep breath and wondered at what had disturbed him. He rolled over and reached for Caitlin…she wasn’t there. He sat up. The bedroom door was open and he could hear the sound of her moving around downstairs. He got up and pulled on a pair of jeans before heading down.

Caitlin was sat on a cushion in front of the living room fire. She was wearing one of his shirts and the sleeves dangled past her wrists. She was staring into the flames and drinking a mug of something. Tet was guarding her. Hawke padded over and sat down beside her.


‘Hey.’ She leaned into the kiss he gave her. ‘I’m sorry.’ She brushed her fingers through his hair. ‘I didn’t mean to wake you.’

‘Nightmare?’ He asked as they shifted so they were both sat on the cushion, cuddling each other. He reached for the mug she was holding and took a sip; it was hot chocolate.

‘No,’ Caitlin smiled sadly, ‘I couldn’t even get to sleep. Everything was just turning over in my head.’

Hawke stroked her hair and she snuggled into his side. ‘This thing with Hardy has you upset, huh?’

‘Yeah.’ Caitlin sighed. ‘I know it’s silly but I just can’t help thinking about how Frank was arguing with that guy, Toby. How Hardy seemed to know why he had a gun pointed at him. How he ended up dead.’

‘This isn’t your fault.’ Hawke murmured.

Caitlin sighed. ‘The detective doesn’t think so.’

‘The detective’s an idiot.’ Hawke said.

‘I can’t help wondering why they were arguing in the music store. Why did Toby point that gun at Hardy? Why was he so mad at him?’ Caitlin took the hot chocolate back. ‘I can’t help looking back and thinking he was mostly scared when he was holding the gun.’

Hawke sighed and shifted to look at her. ‘You want to know the answers, huh?’

‘I know you don’t want us,’ she smiled, ‘me, to get involved but…it’s driving me crazy.’

Hawke cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand. ‘As much as I hate to admit it, I think we already are involved.’

Caitlin breathed a sigh of relief as she registered the acceptance in his eyes.

He stood up and offered her a hand. ‘Let’s get some sleep. We can start figuring out what went on tomorrow.’

They were tired in the morning but they landed at Santini Air right on schedule to pick Dom up.

‘Where are we headed?’ The older man asked as he realised they were flying in the opposite direction to the park.

‘We’re going to the Lair.’ Hawke said.

‘What for?’ Dom asked. ‘Did we get a mission?’

‘Kinda.’ Hawke glanced over at the older pilot. ‘We thought we’d have a look into why that kid at the park got killed.’

‘Oh.’ Dom glared at him. ‘Did you not tell me we were going to stay out of it huh?’

‘It’s my fault, Dom.’ Caitlin said quickly from the back of the cockpit. ‘I just can’t help wondering what’s going on with Hardy and his manager. How that kid Toby was involved with it all.’

‘Besides,’ Hawke said, ‘it would be good to know if we’re working for a killer.’

Dom sighed but he was silent. ‘So why are we heading to the Lair?’

‘We figured we’d start with some basic background checks.’ Caitlin said.

‘And those fancy computers Michael installed in the Lair must be good for something.’ Hawke said. He had never liked the stainless steel platform Michael had put into the cave with its array of computers and technological gadgets but it had its uses.

They were soon at the Lair and Caitlin pulled a chair up to the computer console. Hawke glanced over at Airwolf whilst she worked. The world’s most technologically advanced helicopter was sat awash in the early morning sunlight. She looked beautiful and deadly, her black armour glinting.

‘I’ve got something.’ Caitlin said grabbing his attention.

‘Well, don’t keep us in suspense.’ Dom gestured at her. He was leaning up against the bright yellow railing that separated the platform from the rest of the Lair.

‘This is an FBI file on Kyle Hardy.’ Caitlin said.

‘There’s an FBI file?’ Hawke asked surprised.

‘Yeah.’ Caitlin read through the information on the screen. ‘It seems that they’ve been watching Hardy and his band for a while because…because of a series of attacks on women in the towns where the band has visited. They think somebody in the group is a serial rapist.’

‘You’re kidding.’ Dom’s brow lowered. Rapists were the worse kind of scum imaginable.

‘Nope.’ Caitlin read on. ‘They’ve narrowed the suspects to Hardy, his manager Frank Muldrow and a guy called Geoff Harness.’

‘He plays bass for them.’ Hawke said. ‘He’s a great guitar player.’

‘Well, according to this, the FBI has managed to eliminate all others, including the guy who was killed last night, from their enquiries but these three.’ Caitlin frowned. ‘There’s an ongoing surveillance.’

‘Marin’s going to be lucky to retain the investigation.’ Hawke noted. ‘The Feds are likely going to want to take over.’

‘You think there’s a connection?’ Dom asked.

‘Makes sense to me,’ Caitlin said, ‘Toby saw something maybe.’

‘Maybe.’ Hawke rubbed his chin and pointed at the screen. ‘Anything else?’

Caitlin searched the rest of the file. ‘Here’s something interesting. The last town Hardy and his band played was Ferlindo down the coast. A woman turned up two days ago on the beach. She’d been raped and strangled.’ She swallowed. ‘The FBI thinks the rapist has escalated.’

‘Escalated?’ Dom inquired.

‘A lot of serial killers start off as common garden rapists, Dom.’ Caitlin explained. ‘But after a while the thrill they get from the rape isn’t enough for them. They have to have more.’

‘Like a drug addict.’ Hawke commented. ‘Soft drugs don’t provide enough of a rush so they move onto the hard stuff.’

‘Yeah.’ Caitlin tapped the screen. ‘Or in this case from rape to murder.’

‘Great. This is great.’ Dom said. ‘So are you telling me we could be working for someone who is a serial killer?’

‘Well, at the moment, he’s only killed one woman.’ Caitlin murmured.

Dom whipped his red cap off his head and threw his hands up. ‘Just once,’ he said plaintively, ‘just once I’d like to get a normal job which pays great and we do nothing but fly choppers. Is that too much to ask?’

‘Are you done, Dom?’ Hawke asked.

‘Yeah,’ Dom replaced the cap, ‘I’m done. Just had to get it off my chest.’

Caitlin tapped more instructions into the computer. ‘Their dossier on Hardy is impressive.’

Hawke raised an eyebrow as he read over her shoulder. ‘Is that right?’

‘Is what right?’ Dom asked moving to stand behind Caitlin.

Hawke gestured at the screen. ‘They’ve got a list of all the women Hardy’s been with for the last eight months.’

Dom took a look and whistled. ‘He’s been busy.’ He frowned. ‘But if he’s got women offering it to him on a plate why would they think he’s the rapist?’

‘He fits their profile.’ Caitlin said. ‘Male, early thirties, poor childhood, no positive mother image.’

‘Hardy’s mother walked out on him and his old man.’ Hawke explained when Dom shot him a questioning look.

‘Oh.’ Dom said. ‘But he’s obviously getting…I mean…he’s not exactly…that is to say…’ The older man stumbled over his words in front of an amused Caitlin.

‘You mean he’s not desperate for sex.’ Hawke supplied.

‘Rape isn’t about that.’ Caitlin said. ‘Rape is an act of control and subjugation. The perpetrator wants to feel powerful so he rapes someone to confirm that he has power and control over another.’

‘I don’t understand.’ Dom said.

‘I think that’s a good thing, Dom,’ commented Caitlin. ‘But Hardy’s lifestyle could be why he feels the need to rape. If women are constantly providing him with sex, there’s no challenge to it. He needs someone to say no to him to give him that challenge.’

‘It could explain why he’s been so persistent at pursuing you, knowing you have a husband.’ Hawke murmured unhappily.

Caitlin nodded and shivered. ‘Perhaps but he isn’t the only suspect.’

‘What about the manager?’ Dom said.

‘Frank Muldrow.’ Caitlin pulled up the details. ‘He has two convictions for assaults against women in his early twenties but then nothing.’


‘He beat them. No mention of rape.’ Caitlin said. ‘He put one woman, his first wife, into the hospital when she was pregnant.’

Dom shook his head and slumped into a spare chair. ‘I don’t understand how somebody can do that either.’

‘Me either, Dom.’ Hawke said. ‘What about the third guy? The guitarist?’

Caitlin brought up the details. ‘No prior record but he fits the profile.’

‘Great.’ Dom said. ‘So which one of them is it?’

‘I think Toby thought it was Hardy.’ Caitlin said leaning back in her chair and swivelling to look at the guys. ‘In the music store, he said to Hardy something like, ‘I told you to stop.’’

‘And maybe Frank was trying to convince him to let it go and that’s why they were arguing.’ Dom’s voice rose with excitement.

‘I don’t know.’ Caitlin sighed. ‘Hardy’s definitely a creep but a rapist?’ She shook her head in disbelief.

‘Either way, you’re not being left alone with any of them.’ Hawke stated firmly.

‘Agreed.’ Dom said.

Caitlin nodded. She wasn’t keen to be alone with someone the FBI suspected had just turned into a serial killer.

‘Can you access the police files?’ Hawke asked.

‘Sure.’ Caitlin moved back to the console. ‘What are you looking for?’

‘I’m not sure.’ Hawke admitted. ‘I’d like more information on how that kid died.’

Caitlin accessed the police database and searched for the autopsy report. ‘Cause of death was a single stab wound to the heart.’ She bit her lip. ‘The murder weapon is believed to be a serrated hunting knife. It wasn’t found at the scene.’ She zipped back to the FBI file. ‘The woman who was murdered had a single knife wound to the heart.’

‘It looks like you were right; the poor kid must have found something out.’ Dom said.

‘But what?’ Caitlin sighed. ‘I should have let him shoot Hardy.’

‘You weren’t to know what was going on,’ Hawke massaged her shoulders, ‘we still don’t.’

‘Well, we’re not going to find out anything else sitting here.’ Caitlin pointed out. ‘We need to get back to the park.’

‘I think poking our noses in is a bad idea.’ Dom said. ‘This guy has already killed once.’

‘We’re not going to poke our noses in.’ Hawke denied. ‘We’re going to continue doing the job you got us hired to do and keep our eyes peeled. If we see anything, we’ll hand the information straight over to the authorities.’

‘If we don’t go back, Dom,’ Caitlin added, ‘it’ll look suspicious.’

‘I guess you’re right.’ Dom said slapping his cap back over his grey curls. ‘But I don’t like it.’

‘I don’t think any of us do.’ Hawke said.

They travelled back to the park in silence and began their work as normal. The morning was spent doing the practice aerial shots they’d had to suspend the previous day and it was lunchtime when they landed for a break.

Hawke nodded at the approaching figures of Detective Marin and his partner. ‘Somebody doesn’t look happy.’

They pushed open the cockpit doors and Hawke helped Caitlin out of the harness. They were just finished when Marin reached them. His brown eyes went straight to Caitlin.

‘You didn’t tell me you come from Texas.’ Marin said gruffly.

‘It didn’t seem relevant.’ Caitlin said.

‘Why don’t you let me decide on what’s relevant?’ Marin flipped open his notebook. ‘Hardy told us you said to him that you’d taken on Toby because you were an ex-cop and had acted on instinct.’

‘Yeah.’ Caitlin shrugged. ‘I probably did say that.’

‘And you used to be in the Texas Highway Patrol, is that right?’ Marin continued.

Caitlin nodded. ‘You got a point to all these questions, Detective?’

Marin ignored her question. ‘When I asked if you’d ever met the deceased, you said no?’

‘Exactly what are you getting at?’ Hawke asked.

‘Yeah,’ Dom gestured, ‘I don’t think I like what you’re implying.’

‘Caitlin Hawke, I’m arresting you for the murder of Toby Knightly.’ Marin nodded at his partner who drew out a pair of cuffs.

Caitlin looked at them in astonishment. ‘Now wait a minute…’

‘You have the right to be silent…’ Marin intoned.

‘You can’t be serious.’ Hawke said even as they handcuffed Caitlin’s hands behind her back.

‘I’m sorry, Mr Hawke, but I’m going to have to ask you to step back.’ Marin said as they began to march Caitlin to the waiting police car.

‘I’ll follow you to the police station.’ Hawke called after his wife. The look she threw over her shoulder had his breath catching in his throat; he could see the fear through the bravado.

‘She’ll be OK, String.’ Dom said quietly beside him.

‘Let’s go.’ Hawke ordered. ‘We’ll call Michael from the police station.’

Dom nodded. ‘Good idea, kid.’

Continued in Part III.





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