Through the Eyes of Madness—Part Fourteen
By: David K. Montoya

Betty stood in silence while she allowed her abductor to remove her clothing. She felt the warmth of his breath on her neck as he removed her bra and then, in one motion grabbed both sides of Betty's panties and pulled them down to her ankles.

The man's rough and cold hands caressed her curves and settled at her breasts where he fondled them. Betty felt the man's naked body as it pressed up against hers, he placed his left hand over her heart and mocked it as it raced.

"Bump. Bump. Bump. Are you nervous or excited Miss Betty," the man asked in a soft voice.

"I… I don't know," Betty answered. It was truthful. What the young woman did know was that as she stood there naked and cold, and felt as helpless as she had ever felt in her life.

"Don’t be scared. Not yet anyway, the fun is about to start," the man said and then removed her blindfold.

#

Leah Anne Withers' footsteps echoed as she strolled from the kitchen to the study where her husband dug through several paper filled folders. Placing a glass of red wine next him, Leah Anne softly said, "It's passed midnight, Billy, how much longer?"

Billy looked passed his glasses up at this wife, he noticed that she wore her silk gown. That normally was an indicator that he was not paying enough attention to her.

"I'll tell you what," Billy said and glanced down at his wrist watch. I'm almost finished with the folder right here."

"Uh huh," Leah Anne said and took a sip of her own glass of red wine.

"Let me finish this bit of paperwork and I will give you my complete attention after that," Billy said. "I know it's the weekend, but I really need to have all these motions filed to move forward with the O'Neil case."

"Isn't that the old priest case that you took," Leah Anne asked and picked up one of the folders. Billy hated when she would go through his paperwork, but knew to keep the peace.

"Yeah," Billy said while he watched her thumb through the papers inside the folder. "It's a fascinating case, really."

Without looking away from the papers inside the folders, Leah Anne said, "After all these years, why decide to find your kid now?"

"I think it has a lot to do with who the children's mother was. They are still a rich family, even to this day," Billy explained to his wife. "I imagine, it was fear of what they could do to him."

"That and what it would do to his parish, if they were to find out he had a bastard offspring floating around all these years," Leah Anne mused.

"Believe it or not, I don't think Father O'Neil really cares all that much about his parish or the faith to be honest about it."

"How do you figure?" Leah Anne asked.

"Well, he was forced into priesthood by his girl's parents, not to mention his own mom and dad," Billy said and another sip that followed. "He had no choice but to join the Church."

"Wait. So he had no reservations about becoming a Priest?"

"Nope. From what he told me on the first day we met was that he was a normal teenager," Billy continued. "He called himself a grease monkey. His really passion was in mechanics."

"Poor old man, but why now?"

"Well, he said that this is the final year before he retires," Billy explained and grabbed up another folder. "He had been promised a Bishop status for the last fifteen years."

"Let me guess, and nothing ever happened?"

"Yep, and now, the Church is saying that he may be too old for that position," Billy said, and took the folder from his wife placing it atop the others. "All right, enough for tonight."

"It's just so sad," Leah Anne said, as she took both wine glasses from the table.

As Billy stood from the table, he said, "And for so damn long, the emotional games that have been played on him is heartbreaking."

"Something like that could drive a man to kill," Leah Anne said.

#

The weather appeared to be unhappy that it was a Monday morning, as thunder cracked across the dark and cloudy sky. As Grayson pulled into his favorite parking space, he noticed how hard the giant raindrops crashed against the top of his car.

The young detective snatched up his briefcase and an unread newspaper, flung open his driver's side door and made a run for the entryway into his police station. That was one of the biggest things that he hated about the city, the constant rain—nine out of ten days were rainy.

Once he was inside the safety of the police station, Grayson Copeland quickly noticed the stares. Everyone watched him in silence as he moved from the entryway to his desk. No one said a single word although the young detective knew there was plenty to be said.

Finally, annoyed, he dropped his jacket over his chair and looked out at the others and asked, "What?"

Everyone remained silent, even the people being booked stared as if they knew something was going on without the Detective's knowledge. "C'mon, someone say something?"

It was in that moment, Detective Dean Tidwell walked up from behind his young partner. Copeland noted that everyone looked away once Tidwell was on the scene.

"What's going on," Grayson said in an authoritative tone.

"Well, Gray."

"Yeah?"

"All right. Everyone is being a lookie–loo." Tidwell said in a dry voice.

"What am I missing?"

"Just follow me, we need to talk," Tidwell said and turned away from Grayson. "We'll chat in private."

The two walked across the station, and the onlookers silently watched them as they moved toward the back of the building, where the holding cells were located. Grayson knew something was terribly wrong when his partner turned and looked him in the eyes, "Okay, now, what?"

Grayson's stomach knotted. His eyes widened as he asked again, "What partner? Just tell me, what the fuck is going on?"

Tidwell heaved a heavy sigh and then placed a hand on Grayson's shoulder.

"What happened," Grayson said in a strained voice.

"Gray. Betty was a no show this morning." Tidwell finally said.

"What? What? Why tel—"

Tidwell, interrupted.

"Grayson, we all know that you're sleeping with her." Tidwell said bluntly. "So, cut the shit."

Grayson stared at Tidwell with his mouth gaped open, unable to speak.

"This is serious, Gray."

"Fine," Grayson said as he lowered his head in shame. "I'm having an affair with Betty."

"No one is judging you, kiddo, especially not me."

"That's good to hear, Partner," Grayson said with a weak smile.

"But, we know you were most likely the last person to see her." He said. "When was the last time you saw Betty, partner?"

"Wait am I an interest?" Grayson asked.

"No. No. At this point it's "Saturday morning. We… ugh… met up." Grayson answered. "Did anyone send a black and white to her place to see if… If she was, you know?"

"I called it in myself, Gray. They went to her apartment and found the door hanging wide open." Tidwell explained.

"Any sign of—"

Tidwell interrupted, again.

"No. No signs of forced entry," Tidwell said softly. "Do you know anyone who would have any problem with her."

"Not off hand," Grayson said, then silence fell for a moment while he thought about Tidwell's question. "She kept to her self for the most part, she always said that being around a lot of people was awkward for her."

"I guess that's why she worked with the dead," Tidwell said. He placed his other hand on Grayson's other shoulder. "I don't want to ask this as much as you don't wanna hear it, but what about Lisa?"

Grayson's eyes widened in surprise.

"No. No. I took extra precautions for her not to find out."

"Fair enough, partner," Tidwell said and lowered his hands from Grayson's shoulders. "We'll find her. You know that."

Grayson lowered his chin to his chest and closed his eyes.

"What, Gray?"

"This is somehow my fault," Grayson said without looking up at his partner.

"Do you think it might be someone trying to seek revenge on the cop you killed?"

Grayson's head shot up with a stunned expression and said, "You. You know about that?"

"Of course. You don't think the Captain would assign me a new partner without telling me he shot and killed his last one," Tidwell said with a chuckle.

"And, you agreed anyway?"

"I figured lightning couldn't strike twice and if it did, I couldn't be so damned lucky," Tidwell answered with more of a laugh this time.

The two men stopped their conversation and looked back over their shoulders when they heard a voice from behind them: "Detectives!"

A man ran up to them, he was a short, middle aged, overweight and wore a pair of thick glasses taped together at the bridge. He was out of breath, and struggled to speak once he reached the two detectives.

"What Rufus," Tidwell asked with aggravation to his words.

It took a few more moments before Rufus could speak.

"Well?" Grayson asked.

"We got something," Rufus finally forced out. He bent over and tried to control his breathing more. "The traffic camera that was across the street from Betty's place."

"Yeah?" Grayson said.

"And?" Tidwell asked.

"It caught a man walking Betty out of the building, she was blindfolded." Rufus said without stopping.

"Did we get a good look at the perp, Rufus," Tidwell said while he patted him on the back. "We spent all that taxpayer's money to put in high definition cameras. Tell me it was put to good use."

Finally, Rufus straightened up and had control over his respirations.

"We have a crystal clear picture, Detective. We are running it through the national registry as we speak."

#

"Please," Betty cried. She felt him, he was ready to go again. He grabbed her by the hair and worked himself into her. Betty tried to fight back, but the man was much stronger than he appeared. Although the predator ignored her, she continuously screamed out, "No," while he had his way with her.

To be continued…

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