Crouched in the closet, he waited for the sounds of her arrival. Sweat pooled beneath the black gloves, but his face and neck were cool. The red light on the bedside clock read 11:47. She was never earlier than 11:36 and never later than 12:04. She would arrive momentarily. Anticipation ran like a blade across his skin, arousing each part of his anatomy.
From his pocket, he found the patch of pink satin he had cut from the first one's panties, and rubbed it across his lips. Nearly three months had passed since that first time. Almost five years since his mother and sister, but he didn't count them with the others.
For nearly five years, he'd been content, working in the morgue. Late at night, when he was there alone, he would do a bit of dissection, practice his skills. He was always sure to work on a victim who was headed out to a closed-casket funeral or to the crematorium so no one would wonder about his handiwork. It had been a satisfying experience.
And then the idiot manager had caught him with one of the cadavers, a young woman, and had fired him. He'd felt himself explode at that moment, the trigger firing. He'd gotten into his car and driven it so fast, he'd gone right off the road. It had been a momentary release, to be free and flying.
The doctors had told him that he was fortunate to be alive, but he knew it was more than that. He was chosen. Once he had healed, with a new face thanks to the accident, he'd found himself hunting for another patient.
That was three months ago. He could still see the first one's body writhing for him, with him, against him. The satin caressed his neck, then his chest. He felt himself grow harder at the thought of her.
Lucy, she had called herself. Lucy was a whore just like his mother. "Lucy," he whispered, pressing the cloth against himself.
He smelled the satin, the scent of his own sweat and her blood and tears. The small triangle was the only thing he had allowed himself to keep. Soon, he would need to be rid of it, too. He gathered himself and returned the satin to his pocket.
He let his body cool, using his mind to control its fierce desire, concentrating on his next work. For the one he'd just finished, he had fixated on the face, the center of pain. She had been a model. The face had seemed appropriate for her.
As long as he could remember, he had dreamt of pulling the body apart, of cutting the skin from the organs, of seeing the body in pieces. Originally, he had also dreamed of putting it back together.
But fixing was his sister Karen's job. You're not good enough—not smart enough, not motivated, not clever. He'd heard that often from their mother—the man-hating bitch. Not clever—he had shown them who was the most clever.
Being a doctor was just like being an artist, and he had shown he was a wonderful artist. It took skill, and practice. And each time, he only got better. Soon, he would make the perfect doctor. They wouldn't deny him again.
The metal tink of the key in the lock renewed his arousal. His fingers tingled with the closeness of her. FBI Agent Casey McKinley. No victim would be more enticing than she.
Cincinnati rarely captured such high-profile visitors. She had come because of him. His art had drawn her. How he had longed to share his next work with her. Now he would.
FBI Profiler Casey McKinley would be the next piece, perhaps his first masterpiece.
Excerpt from Savage Art by Danielle Girard
No Longer Available
Do No Harm