Infected Universe Short – Little Knives, Part 2

Now, the conclusion of the story.

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Little Knives, Part 2

“You’re ridiculous, you know that?” Trevor said. “I said the last time I saw him was at the motel, and that was it. This isn’t fucking Law and Order. If the guy has gone off, it has nothing to do with me.”

“That was my hope, you know?” Chai said. “Despite it all. His roommate was adamant Danny wouldn’t just flake out on him. He liked his job, he wouldn’t abandon his cat, and I have to admit, it’s adorable. But people can still do these kind of things, right? Especially nowadays. It feels like the world’s ending, and nothing means anything anymore. No one’s in charge and no one cares. It’s a depressing time to be alive. But there’s enough circumstantial evidence to indicate the Twilight Motel was the last place he was seen by anyone. Which brings us back to you.”

Trevor ran a hand through his dun brown hair, barely ruffling it. “Yeah. Well, unless you get a court order, I think you can leave now.”

“Did you know two other guys, matching Danny’s general description, have gone missing within the last year? They never came back from hook ups or Grindr hits. Men in their early twenties, twinkish, darker hued … you’d hope the cops would make a bigger deal of it, but the cops seem to be more interested in hurting minorities than helping them. So what do you do? Listen to the whisper network, try and put together who might have been the last to see the men, try and get a description of a suspect. Who looks vaguely familiar in all cases.” Chai stared at Trevor, trying to will him into giving up his guilty conscience. It would be so much easier for him if he did.

He chuckled mirthlessly. “Are you implying I’m a serial killer now?”

“Are you?”

Trevor scoffed. “If I was, it would be stupid to visit me alone, wouldn’t it?”

Chai smiled faintly, and saw a small glimmer of uncertainty in Trevor’s eyes. Was he finally catching on to the fact that Chai never actually said he’d come alone? “Was that a confession?”

“No. I’m just pointing out how flawed your logic is.”

“Only if I’m afraid of you, and I’m not. I actually know – well, kind of know – a former cop, and I asked him about serial killers. He doesn’t know a lot, those weren’t his cases, but he did tell me that slasher movies and procedural television shows have all done us a disservice. Serial killers aren’t particularly clever, and most of their killings have a sexual fetish aspect to them, so they don’t like to kill out of a proscribed set of personal rituals. Hell of vocabulary he has there, huh? Basically, it means I’m fucking up your game. You’re not controlling the encounter.You probably don’t want to kill me now, ‘cause it’s not as much fun.”

Trevor’s glare was ice cold, which was fair enough, but honestly, he’d always seemed dead from the eyes up, but now that was really apparent. He wasn’t pretending to be an average person anymore. Roan had forced Chai to admit he did have some sense of intuition – he’d stayed alive and relatively unscathed despite years working as a sex worker, right? Chai didn’t tell him his main impulse was to hide behind Fox, but still, that was an extremely good instinct. And his instinct was telling him something was off about Trevor.

Big shock, right? He had a bad feeling before he came in the door. But people did have a kind of energy, and what he was getting from Trevor was telling him, if he approached him back in his hustler days, Chai would have turned him down. Some people gave you the feeling that maybe being alone with them wasn’t the greatest idea, and he was one of those. It didn’t really mean anything; your instinct could be wrong. You could be reacting to something subconsciously, or maybe something about the guy turned you off so completely there was no way you could fake it. All valid, all possible. You could be responding to some kind of internal bias.

But, Chai didn’t think so, for whatever that was worth. It was creeping him out how Trevor looked at him, like Chai was furniture, something in the room but not important or worthy of notice.

“I think I told you to go,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest.

Chai sighed, and used the cane to help him stand, playing it up so he’d think he was pathetic. “You know how I said I catfished you? I should have said my picture was used to catfish you. Knowing what we suspected you of doing, there was no way I could fake flirt with you, it creeped me out too much. So my partner did it. He’s always been great at compartmentalizing. He actually likes flirting with creeps, because, as he said, it’s laying a trap. You pull them into your orbit, they lower their guard, and then you’ve got them. Of course, he didn’t need to seduce you, but I think he likes the hunt. So, for the last time, where did you dump Daniel Hernandez?”

Trevor glared at him, an unsettling anger in his eyes. “Go fuck yourself. If you actually had anything on me, you wouldn’t be here.”

Now that Chai was up and walking out of the living room, he turned back to see Trevor watching him, and beyond him, a door opened slightly, not making any noise at all, and Chai could see a dark, broad shouldered figured waiting there. Since the room was behind Trevor, he didn’t see it.

Holden said he’d be coming in through the back, by either door or window, whatever was available. How he planned to get in Chai had no idea, but he didn’t ask, because Holden had always been very adept at getting in places where people didn’t want him to be. Whether it was getting into an exclusive club or opening a locked hotel door, he seemed to have a gift for it. Chai had no idea if it was related to his pickpocketing abilities, but he wouldn’t be surprised.

Chai gave Trevor a pitying look. “If you just played ball, I would have called the cops, and everything could have ended smoothly. But, nope, asshole to the end. Fine. Your choice.”

Chai started back towards the front door, and Trevor must have finally grasped how much this situation was sliding out from underneath him, because he said, “Wait – what are you implying?”

“Absolutely nothing,” Chai replied, opening the front door. “It’s just time to meet your real date.”

Before he was completely out the door, Chai heard a surprised yelp from Trevor, as well as a noise that sounded like a body crashing into something hard. A coffee table, maybe. Chai didn’t look to see, just shut the door and walked away. He gave Trevor a chance, and he didn’t take it.

At the end of the walk, Chai put in one of his ear buds, and started walking back to the car. Yep, really quiet neighborhood. Quiet as a grave.

**

The End

**

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