By Beth ©
FBI Files (Ezra, Seven)
Notes: Please read the other FBI stories before this one, those will help explain a bit about the guys’ pasts. This isn’t meant to be a light read; it does deal with a very sensitive subject and should be read as such. It is estimated that a woman is raped/sexually abused every 2 minutes in the United States alone. Know your rights, your surroundings, and follow your gut instincts!
Please send comments and suggestions to email@example.com
Special thanks: To Yolande, for catching those errors and asking those fantastic questions!
“Our perp’s got money,” Nathan said, tossing the plastic bag containing a pillowcase onto the table.
Buck and Ezra looked up.
“300 count silk sheets. Only one store in town carries them, $250 for a queen set. I only had the four cases we had samples of sent to Quantico and they came back the same. I found three different hair samples on the latest pillowcase...only one matched our victim.”
“We got a lead,” Buck said, with his first smile in days.
“We got more than that,” Nathan replied. “We got probable cause to search his home, car, office...even his summer cabin on Lake I’mtoofuckin’richforyou.”
“You are a beautiful man, Nathan,” Buck said, getting to his feet.
“I’m a married man, Buck...and I’m straight,” he slapped Buck on the shoulder. “I’m going to have them push those hair samples and get them back to me ASAP.” He looked at Ezra and shook his head. “This may not mean anything, but...Cindy Rhymes was pregnant at the time of her death...from what I could gather,” he paused and looked at Buck, “...I think our perp tried to abort the baby.”
Ezra nodded in understanding, he wasn’t surprised. “He knew her.”
“The suspect from last night,” Nathan started, “our boy that thought a pair of handcuffs would be a nice touch…” he smiled, “John Myers…left his identification card in the front pocket of the shirt he used on Janice Haggar. The police are picking him up now for attempted rape.”
Buck smiled, feeling somewhat justified.
“I’ve sent some blood samples down for a DNA match on the hair samples...it’s only a matter of time now…but I don’t think it’ll match with Myers.” He looked at both men. “You want me to help with anything?”
“Are you any good with anagrams?”
“Some,” Nathan took a seat and looked at the name they were looking at. “Mark Raven?” He sighed. “That the suspect mentioned by the Taylors?”
“Yeah,” Buck replied, still looking through the phonebook. “Here’s a Mark Ravine.”
Ezra typed the name into his computer and waited for the results. “Not him,” he answered, seeing the lack of military service.
Searching the names was easy, gathering a possible suspect was difficult. They used three different phonebooks, and searched every page. A few names spelled similarly to Raven were picked up and searched, but nothing out of the ordinary was found, and Ezra was convinced the suspect would stick out like a sore thumb.
“Have you guys checked the unlisted numbers in the area?” Nathan asked, tossing the book he’d been using aside.
Ezra and Buck looked at each other. “No,” they both answered in unison.
Nathan rolled his eyes. “You guys need to get some rest—you’re not thinkin’ clearly. I’ll go get the list.” He stood up and headed out the door. “Do you want anything while I’m out?”
“Coffee,” both men answered in unison.
“Yeah,” Nathan shook his head, “just what you need.”
It was three in the morning before Nathan came back with a file full of unlisted numbers—mostly of women who didn’t want their numbers available to the general public. One name, however, had stuck out at Nathan. Markus and Rachel Nave. He tossed the file onto the table after entering the office, finding several Styrofoam cups scattered around the table and an empty bag of cheese puffs.
The boys were getting desperate.
“You are both going to fall over from exhaustion or gas...and if it’s gas, I don’t want to be here when you go down,” Nathan said, causing Buck to jump up from the sofa.
“Damn, Nate, can’t you make a subtle entrance!” Buck replied, rubbing his eyes with his hands. He retook his seat and leaned back, taking a deep breath. “And what’s with the gas?” he sounded offended.
Nathan shook his head. “You could supply energy to the city of New York with one trip to Taco Bell, Buck...don’t even start. You nearly caused my wonderful, precious Raine to lose her lunch when you blow a silent bomb.”
“Hey,” Buck snapped, “if they’re loud, they don’t mean anything.”
“If what’s loud?” Ezra asked, stepping back into the room. His shirtsleeves had been rolled up to his elbows, and his collar unbuttoned and pulled away from his neck.
“Buck’s farts,” Nathan replied, with a hint of disgust.
“Vin and JD are tough competitors,” Buck added, and then quickly changed the subject. “Did you find anythin’?”
“There’s a Markus and Rachel Nave, living outside of town,” Nathan responded.
Ezra sat at his computer and typed in the names. He paused for a few minutes as Buck and Nathan got settled. “Mark Nave served 11 years with the Army...he was dishonorably discharged 6 years ago for...failure to obey a direct order.” He furrowed his brow, wondering what kind of an order would get a man discharged from his military service. Ezra punched in a few more keys and waited.
Nathan’s cell phone rang and he jumped unconsciously, not having expected it. “Hello,” he said, turning to not bother Ezra or Buck while they looked over the phone records. “I’ll be right there,” he said softly, and then closed the phone and slipped it back into his pocket. “I’ve got to get back to the lab,” he said, turning back toward the table. “Get back to the hotel and get some sleep—you’re never going to find this guy if you’re both the walking dead.” He slipped out of the room.
“He’s right you know,” Buck said, feeling his lack of sleep.
“In case you haven’t noticed,” Ezra looked up from his computer, “Nathan’s always right—at least when it comes to us running ourselves into the ground.” He couldn’t hide his smile. “But, I’ve always been slow to taking other’s advice.”
“You know you’re an asshole, right?”
Ezra nodded in acknowledgement. “Mark Nave served 11 years with the Army as a military police officer...he tried to get into the Special Forces, but was denied due to his failure to pass his psychological exam. He scored above normal on his SATs, and attended New York University for 3 and a half years...”
“Why would he drop out after havin’ gone so far?”
“He may have been asked to leave,” Ezra replied. “I want to talk to this guy.” He turned in his seat and looked at Buck.
“We can’t go now...it’s only four in the morning.”
“We can sit on him until it is appropriate.”
“Do you think Officer Daniels will approve it?” Buck asked, knowing how the politics of law enforcement worked. “Just because he’s a friend of Hopper’s doesn’t mean he will.”
“Depends on how bad he wants that promotion,” Ezra replied confidently.
“That’s money out of their budget, Ezra...and if this Nave guy is a dead end—he may not let you do it.”
“He’s not a dead end, Buck,” Ezra said with a shake of his head. “I can feel it.”
Buck nodded, not in understanding or belief in Ezra’s gut instincts, but because it was all he had at the moment. “I’ll go talk to Daniels, see if I can get him to put someone on him until we get read to pounce.” He looked up. “You goin’ to talk to Chris?”
“Guess I’ll have to.”
“Good luck,” Buck muttered, before grabbing is coat and heading out.
Ezra watched him go, knowing his work was cut out for him.
Ezra kicked the blanket off his legs and lay in bed while staring up at the ceiling. Slowly, he lifted his left arm and looked at his watch, eleven thirty in the morning. He sighed, feeling as though he could sleep another four hours...maybe even five. He sat up and ran his fingers through is hair before rubbing life back into his face.
He slipped into a pair of dark blue slacks and headed toward the sink, needing to refresh himself before the long day ahead. The more he thought about the case, the more he believed his first impressions. Mark Nave was a smooth talker, someone with character, someone who thrived on knowing he was dangerous. Ezra spit and rinsed his mouth before heading to answer the door.
“Get some sleep?” Chris asked, stepping inside the room. He took a seat on the edge of the unmade bed and looked critically at his agent. “I understand from Nathan you and Buck were up ‘til four or so this morning?” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Come up with anything?”
“Mark Nave,” Ezra answered, slipping into a crisp white shirt. “He fits the profile better than I could wish for.”
“You sure about this?”
Ezra looked up. “Yeah, I’m sure.”
“What are your plans?”
“I think Buck should go with me,” Ezra said, sitting on a chair next to the window and slipped on his shoes. “I want to see the Naves in their residence...get a feel for who they are inside their home.”
“I can’t tell you until I talk to them.”
Chris stood up and walked toward the door. He turned and pulled the curtain back to take a peak outside. “Be careful.”
Ezra smiled and nodded. “I will.”
Chris nodded once and quickly left the room.
It was a good neighborhood. Not a lot of traffic up and down the streets, a park nearby so the children could play, and a freeway entrance not more than a mile from the house. Rachel knew she had the perfect life. Her four-year-old son played in the living room, and her belly continued to grow with the baby girl she’d deliver in less than eight weeks. Her husband had a wonderful job and together they’d built the most beautiful home.
She shook the spices onto the chicken and covered the saucepan with the lid again. Mark liked it when his dinner was ready by the time he was home, and she’d do anything to please him. She jumped when she heard the doorbell ring, and her son came rushing into the kitchen to let her know someone was at the door. She patted his shoulder and told him to return to his games.
Rachel swept her hair back away from her brow and checked her face in the small mirror hanging above the console table. “Yes,” she said, opening the door.
“Is Markus Nave home?” Ezra asked first, not wanting to cause her anymore worry than necessary.
“No,” she answered with a gentle voice. “He won’t be home for a little while.” She watched the man standing behind the shorter one...noticing how anxious he seemed. “Can I help you with something?”
Ezra pulled out his badge and introduced Buck and himself. “Can we ask you a few questions?”
“Of course,” she said, opening the door so they could step inside. “Mark should be home shortly—I’m just finishing up dinner for him now.”
“Does he usually come home on time?” Ezra asked, following her into the kitchen.
“No, actually,” she chuckled and checked her chicken. She noticed her son peaking around the corner of the kitchen door. “Go back to your games, Bobby.” He disappeared like magic. “My husband’s job is very demanding—he’s gone a lot. There are times he won’t get home until 2 or 3 in the morning.” She turned and leaned against the island.
“What happened to your eye?” Ezra asked flatly.
Rachel reached up to hide the bluish bruise. She smiled and shook her head. “I tripped over my son’s toys this morning while I was cleaning out the bathtub. Stupid really,” he commented, looking at herself in the reflection of a silver pan that hung from a rack above the island. “I tried to cover it up—didn’t want Mark to see it.”
“Are you familiar with the death of Abigail Jorden—”
“At the blind school?” she finished the question. “Yes, my older sister went there for three years. She just graduated a few months ago.”
“You name wasn’t on the guest list?” Ezra asked, feeling as though they were getting somewhere.
“It wouldn’t be. Before I got married I was an accountant and didn’t change my maiden name until a few months ago when Mark got on me about it. There really wasn’t a need for me to keep it, now that I’m no longer working.” She heard the front door open. “That would be Mark now.” She moved out of the kitchen.
Ezra slipped his hand inside his jacket and flipped the safety from his weapon so he’d have quick access. Buck did the same.
It didn’t seem to faze him, Mark Nave, as he entered the kitchen with a smile on his face and his arm wrapped around his wife’s shoulders. He reached out and willingly shook both federal agents’ hands as though it didn’t mean anything to him.
“What can I do for you?” Mark asked, grabbing a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.
“We’re here about the two murders that happened in Dayton,” Buck answered bitterly. He clenched his jaw and poked the skin of his finger with the nail on his thumb.
“I heard about that,” Mark replied. “I’m thankful my family lives here in Pines Bluff.”
“Have you ever been to Dayton?” Buck jumped in and asked.
“I work there,” Mark replied. “I do the electrical wiring and inspections—making sure the wiring is up to code, in surrounding homes and businesses.”
“Good money?” Ezra asked, trying to lighten the moment.
“More than what either one of you will bring home this year.”
“Have you ever been out to the blind school?” Ezra pushed, needing answers and hoping for a slip.
“Only while Rachel’s sister was attending.” He placed his bottle of water on the counter and ran his fingers through his blonde hair. “Am I a suspect for something?” He leaned onto the counter top so he could see both agents under the hanging rack.
“No,” Ezra quickly replied. “We’re just trying to get an accurate picture of those who would have had the opportunity to,” he shrugged, “be out later than, let’s say, an appropriate hour for a married man.” His sting, stung, and Mark Nave stood up quickly and turned toward the sink.
“I’m out late at night—most of the time because inspection reports have a deadline date...otherwise the state will send another company in to do my job...and frankly, I like making the money I make.”
“Have you ever partaken in violent sex?”
Mark turned violently. “Get out of my house!” he said with a threatening tone. “Unless I’m under arrest for some false allegation you can both get your asses out of my home.”
Ezra nodded and turned toward the door.
“Did you know Abigail Jorden?” Buck asked, refusing to move.
“Did you know Cindy Rhymes?” Buck pushed, unwilling to leave without answers.
“No!” Mark yelled, causing his son to rush into the room. “Bobby, get out of here now! And the both of you can leave before I call the police!” He stood up to his full height. “You may be Feds but you don’t have the right coming in here and making accusations!” He reached for the phone to dial 911.
Rachel grabbed her son up and rushed him from the room.
“Buck,” Ezra said in a steady voice. “Let’s go.” He waited until Buck hesitantly headed for the door, knowing they had to exit the property or suffer the consequences. “Sorry about the inconvenience,” he said to Mark, before heading out to the car.
“Don’t bother coming back here without a warrant!” He followed them toward the door and slammed it shut as soon as they were out.
“What in the hell was that, Ezra?!” Buck snapped, yanking the car door open and getting in.
Ezra ignored Buck and dialed his cell phone. He proceeded to order a 24-hour surveillance team on the Nave house and on Mark himself. Ezra knew Mark was their man...he knew by his looks, the way he spoke, and the direct smell of smoke coming from his breath...though it wasn’t as strong as he had anticipated—it was definitely there. Ezra also knew that despite Rachel’s outward appearance of her ‘loving’ husband, there were some questions she needed to ask...and even more that she wanted to ask.
“If you know it’s him, why in the hell didn’t you arrest him?!” Buck snapped, sitting in the car across the street from the Nave home. He slapped his hand on the steering wheel and waited for his answer.
“Because you need more than circumstantial evidence, Buck.”
Again, Buck slapped the steering wheel and then gripped it tight, causing his knuckles to turn white. He saw the undercover vehicle drive down the road and park within sight of the Nave home. Buck started the engine and drove past the car and waved, letting the officers know their time was on. “I don’t know what the hell you think you’re doin’, Ezra, but I’m tired of your bullshit.” He took the exit into Dayton.
Chris jumped when he heard the office door swing open and slam against the wall. Windows shook and metal blinds swung and banged until they came to a rest. Buck stood in the doorway with a coffee in hand and a look of immense hatred on his face.
“I want Mark Nave now, or I’ll go down there and get him myself,” Buck’s words came out slow and deliberate. “He fits the profile and he smells like a box of Camels.”
“What do you think?” Chris asked Ezra, who stepped into the office and retook his seat at the computer.
“It’s him, but I don’t think we have enough to hold him for any amount of time.”
“This is bullshit,” Buck snapped, slamming the coffee cup onto the table, causing the hot fluid to shoot up over the sides. “He’s out there, he’s pissed off, and he’s got anger issues...what’s the problem? We bring him in, push him ‘til he talks and arrest the mother for killing two girls and raping 13 others!”
“Buck!” Chris snapped, “You know better than this!”
“Just because Ezra’s gettin’ off thinkin’ like this son-of-a-bitch doesn’t mean I am—”
The words hit Ezra in the face like a sledgehammer and he visibly winced. Memories of Mason rushed his mind.
“—I want this fucker before he kills again!”
“I think we can,” JD said, entering the room. He held up a handful of papers with a smile on his face. “Credit card statements, four at the store here in town that carry those fancy silk sheets and pillowcases, and—” his smile grew in size, “...Internet orders for bondage equipment...all with his credit card. He isn’t as smart as you think.”
“I have silk sheets, Mr. Dunne, and it’s not a crime to order equipment off the Internet.” Ezra stood and gathered his notes and files. “If you bring him in...make sure you know what you’re going to ask him and why...otherwise...he’ll walk.” He left the room.
Chris weighed the evidence and looked toward Nathan and Josiah who had been sitting in the corner looking over medical reports. “What do you two think?”
Buck looked to his right, not having realized either man had been there.
“I’m still waiting on the hair samples,” Nathan said, closing the file he’d been looking through. “I think we should wait on those...if one of the samples is a match to someone in the system, and if it is Mark Nave...we’ll have the solid evidence we need in order to make a solid arrest...otherwise—”
“He’ll walk,” Josiah finished. “But if we don’t bring him in now...he could back-track his whereabouts and find out what he did wrong—enough time to get him out of trouble.”
“What about his wife?” Buck asked, having settled down.
“She can’t be forced to testify against her husband,” Vin added, leaning up against the wall. “We need Ezra.”
“What’d you find out?” Chris asked the sharpshooter, having sent him to Nave’s place of employment.
“He’s usually in by eight and he stays later than anyone.”
“Did you find anything we could use?” Chris pushed, knowing Vin didn’t follow all the rules.
“He was at the blind school four days before Abigail Jorden was killed. Due to a contract dispute before Nave’s employment at First Electrical, the blind school had some work done on the bells that ring outside every student’s door. The bells notify the attendant and someone goes to the room for whatever reason.”
“Why weren’t they listed as an employer at the school?” Josiah asked.
“The contract was a lifetime guarantee, so Nave had to fix the problem without charging them service fees which canceled out any receipts given to him by the school. No records...no evidence.”
“But First Electrical has the information?” Chris pushed.
“Just a work order and it was filled out by Nave.”
“JD,” Chris said, getting the kid’s attention. “Get your ass down to the school and check the system, make sure Abigail Jorden’s bell was in working order, if it’s not—”
“This bastard could fry,” JD smiled, heading out of the room.
“Nathan,” Chris started again, “get on the horn and find out about those hair samples.”
“Josiah, you and I are going to make an arrest, and Vin...” Chris turned to look at him.
“I’ll find Ezra.”
The whiskey burned its way down his throat, and for the first time in a long time, he was thankful. Ezra sat alone at the booth in the Liars at Eight Saloon. Strange name, he thought, lazily flipping through his pages and pages of notes. He took another sip and followed it with a beer chaser.
Maybe they were right. Maybe he was just like those he hunted. Maybe Mason had been right.
It had been easy dealing with Mason and his accusations of Ezra being just like him...but, it wasn’t Mason now...it was Buck...and possibly the rest of them. It had always been easy...reading people, learning who they were by their actions, words, and the look in their eyes. Sometimes it was a gut feeling that paid off, other times it was the way a man held a hammer, a bottle of water, or even the color of his teeth.
They were all capable of murder. If given the right opportunity, maybe the right setting...and without a doubt, the right reasons...it could be done.
“That helpin’?” Vin asked, slipping onto the seat across from Ezra.
“I’m still waiting,” came the bitter reply. Ezra continued to look through his files, searching for that one piece of information he’d missed. Avoiding Vin’s eyes.
“Nave was at the blind school four days before the girl was killed.”
Ezra looked up.
“The contract Nave was workin’ under was in place long before he went to work at the electrical company so there weren’t any contracts or receipts done at the school, but I found a work order at Nave’s place of employment.” Vin sighed and leaned back. “We think Nave cut the bell in Abigail’s room.”
“He knew her...he knew who he was going after before he went after them,” Ezra said, looking up. “Did he work on any of the other victim’s homes?”
“Chris’ll get a warrant to search his records—but I’d bet he had.” Vin argued. “None of the girls mentioned him as a suspect.”
“They wouldn’t have to,” Ezra replied, getting to his feet. He swayed a moment before quickly retaking his seat on the edge of the booth cushion.
“When was the last time you ate?” Vin asked, pushing Ezra back so he wouldn’t fall over. Vin squatted in front of the profiler and rested his elbows on his knees. “I’ll spoon feed you if I have to.”
Ezra rubbed his face and waited for his head to quit spinning. “I don’t remember the last time I ate,” he replied softly, furrowing his brow as he tried pulling up the memory.
“Yeah well, we’re stoppin’ at the burger joint for a bite...no bitchin’ about it.” He helped Ezra get to his feet and gathered the files. “You’d better sober up quick—you’ve got to nail Nave to the wall with your questions.”
Mark Nave was beautiful, looking like a Hollywood movie star. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and features that looked to have been chiseled out of marble; he stood over six feet tall and looked to have spent many years in the gym. He was what women loved to look at, and what men hated to see.
He entered the police station with his hands cuffed behind his back and Chris pushing him toward room number one—the interviewing room. Nave smiled at the female officers, showing off his confidence and prowess. Chris didn’t have the patience for it and caused Nave to trip over a garbage can.
“Watch where you’re goin’,” Chris muttered, disguising his smile with a superficial grimace.
Josiah entered next, and Rachel Nave holding her son’s hand followed, unsure about all the commotion. Josiah took her to the next room...not wanting her to be seated with her husband.
Officer Daniels stood with Ezra, Vin, and Buck between the two rooms, watching through the two-way mirrors. Rachel sat at the long table with her son; she was quickly pulling a box of crayons from her purse and allowing young Bobby to color in her small notebook. She looked at the mirror, but quickly focused her attention on her son.
Mark Naves was different. He sat with his fingers folded together and stared at the mirror...watching...waiting. He knew the reason he was there...but he wasn’t about to say anything to anyone.
“This is a well respected family in this community,” Daniels said, shuffling his feet nervously.
Ezra ignored the words. “I’ll talk to Mrs. Nave first...send someone in to remove her son.” He looked at Vin and then quickly left.
Vin watched him go. “If Ezra said he did it...you can bet your life he’s right.”
“Right or wrong, Agent Tanner...this is a huge blow to a small community and because of it, we’ll all feel the effects of it.” He turned quickly and started to leave. “I’ll have Officer McMichael take care of the child.”
Chris and Josiah both entered the room after Daniels left.
“Nathan got the results back... One hair matched that of a case from 6 years ago. The suspect was never found, but he did leave an ample supply of semen and hair samples at the scene. The woman was a Harmony Johnston...First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.” Josiah closed the file he’d been reading. “She never saw the man.... Marcus Nave was dishonorably discharged 6 months later from the same military base.” Josiah looked into the room with Rachel Nave and her son. “JD said the bell in Abigail Jorden’s room wasn’t working, but he can’t prove it was intentional. He’s looking to see how many of Nave’s victims had needed his assistance for electrical problems prior to their rapes.”
“Why don’t you go help him, Josiah,” Chris said, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
Josiah nodded. “Keep an eye on him,” he said, speaking of Ezra, “he’s pushing himself way too hard.”
The female officer stepped into the room and escorted the young child out, promising him games and an ice-cream cone. His mother watched worriedly as he left, and for reasons she didn’t understand she suddenly felt naked.
“Mrs. Nave,” Ezra said, entering the room. He smiled and removed his jacket and then slipped it over the back of his seat before offering her a cup of coffee.
“Can you please tell me why I’m here?” she asked, rubbing her hands together nervously.
Ezra nodded and took a seat at the table. “Did your husband come in late last night?”
“He had some extra paperwork at the office...he didn’t get home until...” she paused, thinking about the time, “...it must have been around 3:30 or so.” She looked up and met his eyes. “You think my husband killed those two girls—and raped all those women?”
“I didn’t say—”
“My husband’s a good man. He’s never beaten me, or forced me to do anything. We both volunteer at our church fund raisers; we have birthday parties for the children in our neighborhood.” She leaned back in her chair and looked at the two-way mirror. “My husband’s a good man—with a good heart.”
Ezra nodded and picked up the plastic bag Nathan had brought from the lab. “Does this look familiar?” He tossed the bag onto the table and let her look at the silk pillowcase.
“No,” she lied.
“If you continue to lie to me, Mrs. Naves, you’ll lose custody of your child and serve time in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. Do you understand that charge?”
“I was home,” she replied quickly. “I don’t know where he was when he was out.”
“Did you ever call him and he didn’t answer the phone?”
“He said he was with a client,” she blurted out.
“At two in the morning?”
“He always had an excuse,” she sighed, looking away. “I’m not a dumb woman, Agent Standish. I have a degree from the University of Kansas and I graduated at the top of my class. I worked for 9 years in my office and when Mark came along I was swept off my feet. He’s a good man.” There was hesitance in her voice.
“When did it start, Mrs. Nave?” Ezra lowered his voice, sounding compassionate and understanding.
She looked at him with one thought on her mind...saving her son. “When we first got married...everything was perfect—at least it seemed that way.” She sighed, thinking about her husband and the life they’d lived. “I noticed he would distance himself from me on occasion...I really didn’t understand why, until I’d met his mother. She was...very controlling, almost domineering—so I tried to be the opposite, never asking anything from him he couldn’t possibly deliver, or demanding that he do things...I never wanted that.” She looked up and sighed. “I found the silk sheets in a closet in the shed...I made the bed up with them...even laid down on them—I thought they were for another woman.” She forced a smile, but tears flooded her eyes. “I can handle another woman, Agent Standish...I don’t know if I can handle having lived with...” she wiped her eyes, “...with a monster... He’s my son’s father—what do I tell him when the time comes?”
“You mentioned his mother in past tense...?”
“She passed away three and a half years ago,” she answered flatly.
“Would you submit to letting us take a hair sample?”
Rachel nodded. “Of course.” She looked up as a black man entered the room wearing gloves and a white coat. Though he looked kind, he still had the essence of a cop. “Mark smokes Camel shorts...I never let him smoke in the house...I didn’t want Bobby around it. He also hums during sex.”
“What tune?” Ezra asked, watching as Nathan quickly took a couple of hair samples and then quietly left the room.
“Hush...by Deep Purple, it’s always been his favorite song.”
“How did you know about the humming?”
“The beauty parlor,” Rachel smiled. “Irene was in getting her hair done and she was telling Joyce about what had happened...then she hummed the tune for her.”
“Did you know then?”
“No,” Rachel shook her head. “I don’t think I wanted to.”
“Buck, you and Vin contact Judge Taggert and get him to sign a search warrant for the Nave residence and send CSI inside and tell them we need anything that can tag Nave to one of his victims...I want to get him on more than just the one.” Chris watched as Ezra exited the first room and headed into the second.
“Think it’s worth sending Ezra in there?” Vin asked, before slipping out.
“He won’t be alone,” Chris replied, adjusting his grip on his notepad and following Vin out the door. He watched as the former sniper slapped Buck on the back of his shoulder and left the police station. He turned and headed into the interview room, and then took a seat adjacent to Ezra. Mark Nave sat directly in front of the profiler.
Mark remained quiet, as though he didn’t have a care in the world. He’d rested his hands on the top of the table and stared at Ezra...never averting his eyes.
“How long have you been married?” Ezra asked, leaning back in his chair, hoping to confuse Nave with meaningless questions.
Nave smiled, looking almost sinister. “Does it matter?” he asked, cocking his head slightly to the left. “You don’t have anything on me.”
“We’ve got DNA samples from the crime scene you left for us. DNA samples that match with a rape that occurred 6 years ago.” Chris rubbed his jaw.
“You still can’t prove anything,” Nave replied confidently. “There’s a statute of limitations on rape.”
“Not anymore,” Chris replied with a smile.
“So what am I falsely being accused of?” his snide comment went without a chuckle from those sitting across from him. He didn’t seem to mind as he cocked his head and looked at Chris...pushing the right buttons.
“You’re not being falsely accused of anything...but the charges against you are murder and rape,” Chris answered flatly.
“Was it your child Cindy Rhymes was carrying?” Ezra asked, wanting Nave to come to that breaking point. “The DNA match will only take another day...maybe two...if it was your child—”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nave said flatly, looking menacingly at Ezra.
Ezra nodded. “If you confess, Mr. Nave, a judge will be lenient.”
“You’ll have to convict me first.”
Ezra leaned back and looked hard at Nave. “How did you feel...about the death of your mother?”
“What was she like?”
“She was a bitch.” His answers were flat, emotionless, and typical of a psychopath.
“Mr. Nave, whether or not you agree to speak openly about the crimes you’ve committed, you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Even as you sit here, evidence is piling up,” Ezra tried to reason. “Your rampage has ended.”
“It was never a rampage,” Nave said coldly. “I was forced to do what I did in order to escape.”
Nave smiled and shook his head. “I slept with my mother until I was ten years old...she didn’t want another man around, she only wanted me.” A serine looked appeared on his face, like a child facing his demons for the first time. “I’m very good at what I do...and I’m even better at what I like to do.”
“Does that include killing?” Chris asked.
“Credulity is the man’s weakness, but the child’s strength...Charles Lamb wrote that in an essay he wrote entitled, Witches and other Night Fears.” Nave looked at his hands, the way his fingernails disappeared beneath his skin, the small amounts of dirt that had gathered in the rough cracks of his skin. “I’m going to be famous.”
Ezra nodded and gathered up his notes, replacing them in his file. He knew where the conversation would go, and he understood Nave’s reasoning behind it. Nave wasn’t insane, not in the way most students of criminal pathology would think. His reasoning was warped, and his actions were a direct result of those inner thoughts and ideas he couldn’t contain. Most of what would come from Nave’s mouth would be lies, and it was up to science, history, and facts to prove him guilty. Ezra stood up and was about to follow Chris out of the room.
“Did you write a profile on me?” Nave asked, with a smile on his face—a prize to be won.
“Yes,” Ezra answered.
“Can I read it?”
Ezra nodded and pulled the 12-page report from the file and placed it in front of Nave.
Nave took the report and flipped through it. “You’ve got my identical twin here.” He looked up and met Ezra’s eyes. “But you forgot something.”
Ezra raised his eyebrows and waited, knowing what it was—he’d heard it a hundred times.
Chris stood in the doorway, holding off the officers that would take Nave to lockup while he waited for his attorney.
“You forgot to mention this guy’s knack for revenge,” he tossed the profile onto the floor. “He’ll be there one day, Agent Standish...just waiting for you—when you least expect it. Count on it.”
Ezra reached down and picked up the report. “I’ll see you at your trial,” he responded calmly.
Chris motioned for the officers to move into the room and take the suspect to lockup.
Nave was cuffed and pushed forward. “Did you get off on it, Special Agent Standish? The things that happened to those women!” he yelled as he was led down the narrow corridor. “Enjoy it while it lasts!”
Chris slapped Ezra’s shoulder and headed into the office. “Let’s finish this up.”
Buck sat at his desk, thankful to be back in Washington. He’d thought that finding Abigail’s killer would have, in some way, brought an end to his failure as a law officer. But it hadn’t. Not like he’d wanted it to. He knew the doubts of his ability would be forever branded into his consciousness...a failed reminder of that young woman he’d failed to protect.
It was odd, being a part of the law enforcement community that had caught Markus Nave. The congratulations, however, wasn’t worth the cost of a life...any life.
Buck looked around the room, finding Ezra carefully searching through the scrapbooks that had been found at Nave’s residence...books that had been filled with newspaper articles and handwritten notes...all containing information about his victims. Buck shook his head, unable to watch. JD sat at his computer, finishing his final report about the case. The kid’s ingenious ideas had more than proved Naves contact with his victims before their attack. Vin toyed with a pencil; avoiding his work...he always seemed to get more done three minutes before it was due. It was strange working with him...he had a wise way of looking at things...and thank God for his lack of morals when it came to illegal searches. Nathan was gone, once again at the lab working with what he did best...human stuff; dealing with bodies, cells, and blood types.
Buck ran his hand over his face, wishing the black mood he was in would vanish. He knew it would take time, it always took time to recover from a case—particularly a bad one. He watched as Josiah and Chris discussed a few minor details while they prepared for the press statement.
“Want to go get a beer?” JD asked, looking over his desk.
“No,” Buck replied, switching off his computer. He stood up and grabbed his jacket. “I’ll be back early in the morning to finish the report.”
“Buck,” Chris called, stopping his agent before he could enter the elevator. “You all right?”
“Just need to get home and get some sleep,” he replied, waving before he disappeared behind the heavy sliding doors.
Ezra looked up and watched, knowing what Buck was going through and understanding completely how devastating a case like Nave’s could be. It was difficult trying to balance a life in normality...particularly when an FBI agent’s life was anything but. They lived hell day in and day out, seeing the evils mankind were capable of...and watching the perpetrators enjoy it was dehumanizing.
“He goin’ to be all right?” Vin asked, pulling his shoulders back in a much-needed stretch.
“Eventually,” Chris supplied. “I want those reports!” He slipped into his dark blue jacket and placed his badge in the front pocket.
“You look fine,” Josiah said, handing Chris a slip of paper. “Just remember to bite back.”
“You think I won’t?” Chris replied, grinding his teeth in anticipation of talking to reporters in front of too many cameras. “I hate this part of the job.”
“At least it’s you, and not him,” Josiah replied, pointing toward Vin who held a bag of cheese puffs to his mouth—collecting those last few crumbs.
Ezra stepped forward and handed Chris a heavy file. “My report and the completed profile.” He slipped his jacket on.
“Get some rest, Ezra,” Chris said, placing the items in his briefcase. “Where are you headed to next?”
“Milwaukee,” Ezra answered, heading toward the elevator. “I’ll see you all in a few days.”
“Ciao,” JD called, waving from his desk.
Chris took a deep breath. “I’ll want those reports by morning.” He grabbed his briefcase and headed out.
“Knock ‘em dead,” Vin said, not bothering to hide his smile.
“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean; who is neither tarnished nor afraid.”
“Quote or not, Josiah,” Vin said with a grin, “you still have to write a report.” He ducked as a paper cup was thrown at him.
Reporters clamored toward the stand containing thirty microphones that had been taped together. Chris stood back while Officer Daniels answered a few questions. For some reason, it didn’t seem as relevant as it used to. Chris understood the public’s desire to know about the case, but he never understood the bloodthirsty details reporters wanted to know.
Even in death, Abigail and Cindy deserved respect and some peace.
“Agent Larabee?” a reporter called, “is it true an FBI agent was a suspect in this case?”
Chris stepped up to the platform and smiled. “Marcus Nave was arrested yesterday afternoon for the murders of Abigail Jorden and Cindy Rhymes. The FBI and local police departments have worked together and spent many long hours in securing the evidence needed in order to make a comfortable arrest. We have no other suspects.”
Ezra smiled, stick it to them Chris, he thought, heading toward his vehicle hearing Chris’ statements over the loudspeakers. He took a deep breath and thanked God the case was over. He looked out toward the crowd of reporters, cameramen, and producers. It never seemed to end…they were closely related to bloodthirsty wolves on the hunt for a wounded animal…
Chris wasn’t wounded, and if they tried to bite…he’d bite back.
Ezra slipped inside his car, feeling comfortable in the old leather seats, and smiled, grasping the steering wheel. He’d go home, shower, and then he’d go visit Buck…maybe get him to open up a little…maybe exorcize his own demons as well.
FBI Files Index