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This part of her ritual was different. There was something about it that made her excited but set her off. She felt agitated as she sat there waiting for the guy to come out. She could practically feel how wrong this was in her bones. She ached. Her muscles were tense. She felt like she wanted to scream. She smiled to herself, in a way it was right and yet so very wrong. She was wearing a long sleeved shirt to cover all the henna tattoos. She was wearing soft makeup, her mascara running down her face from the fake tears she had been crying. Her normally disheveled and short hair covered in a blonde wig that went past her shoulders in soft curls. She sat on the bench in front of Gregory James' building. It wasn't long, he always stayed after everyone else to screw his secretary. She had waited until after the secretary left before she came and sat down to wait for him. He always stayed up there afterward to smoke a cigar and drink a glass of scotch. Elizabeth smirked as he hit the door exactly when she expected. She quickly wiped it off her face as she began to sob louder to catch his attention. Routines... They all had them. Some were better then others. Some were to keep a schedule. Some to keep sanity. Some, like for Gregory James, were t keep to some form of a perverse life of perfection and superiority. Tonight his routine would change. The man approached looked around for a moment before his eyes settled on her. She didn't see it because her face was buried in her hands but he smirked at her. She continued to sob even as the the man's shoes came to where she could see it. "What's the matter doll face?" he asked her, it sadly almost sounded sincere. Elizabeth sniffled as she looked up to him. "I," her chin quivered, "I just..." she sobbed again as she saw Dexter silently move in behind him. "My fiance just got killed in a car accident and... and..." Dexter's hand went around his shoulders as he stabbed his plunger into his neck and depressed it. The man made a small attempt at a struggle before he fell to the ground. "And that was awesome. Is that how you do it?" as she looked from the man on the ground to the predator in front of her. "Yes," he said bending down to grab the rather lithe man. He reminded her of a young Christian Bale... dark hair, fit but thin with a round face. Strong chin. He would have struggled more had she been alone. He would have been very difficult to subdue. Her side burned more at the thought. "So much cleaner then me," she said as she watched him pick the man up and lift him over his shoulder. Elizabeth picked up the briefcase. "In more ways then one," he said to her which caused her to frown at him, her brow furrowing again in confusion. "What do you mean?" "My body disposal is cleaner as well." "How do you dispose of them then?" "The ocean," he said. Elizabeth gasped. "You're not!" she said breathlessly. "Not what?" he looked over his shoulder at her, his own confusion written on his face. "The butcher," she said conspiratorially low. "I hated that name," his voice was etched with annoyance. "But I thought that the butcher was dead..." "Someone is dead." "That's obvious." How exactly did they get in the car? It didn't matter they were going to the kill room. It wasn't exactly right. It was covered in plastic, just like the man himself. Where were the cleaning products? She had to be calm, what she wanted was there. What she needed was there. The tools of her trade. The things to make him scream... But Dexter put something in his mouth. He couldn't cry for help. If he did someone would hear him. She knew that. This was going too fast. How did they get to the kill room already. Elizabeth's mind was whirling with the strangeness of this all. Was it because it was so wrong that nothing was working out correctly? That nothing was the way it was supposed to be that she didn't notice the details? That had to be it. Everything wasn't as right as she needed it to be. There were her tools. There was the man. There was her. Her hair was in her face. She was sweating. When had she started sweating? What did she do to start sweating? It was the room, the room was hot. So many bodies, too much body heat for the small room. "I..." she said breathlessly again as the room started to spin. This all felt wrong. So wrong. Her side started to ache but not the burning throb of a stab wound but the dull throb like someone kicked her hard in the side. The room started to get obscenely bright as she stared at Dexter. Was he grinning? That image took her breath away as she heard his voice but it was far away, not from the man in front of her. He was above her, like the light. Elizabeth blinked again. What was happening? "Good..."
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Elizabeth's eyes snapped open as the familiar annoying buzz of her alarm clock rang out reminding her that it was time to rise, three hours before work, so that she could get prepared to go there. She didn't mind the tedium, it was her break from her real passion. She sat up a smirk on her face, the fresh kill still on her mind. Elizabeth tilted her head from one side to the other to hear the familiar popping sounds of her neck cracking. The release felt great as she pushed herself off of the bed to saunter into her adjoining bathroom. She pulled the hair tie out of her messy pony tail to let her short brown hair tumble around her round face. “I am a sexy devil aren't I?” Elizabeth said to herself in the mirror as she posed in front of the mirror, tilting her body from one side to the other to see her nude form from every angle. “You are a beast Elizabeth!” she told herself again with a loud cracking slap to her bottom before she turned to her shower and turned it on. She didn't even wait the few minutes it took for the shower to warm up, stepping into the clear box immediately she set to cleaning herself off from the past day's rest and preparing herself for the day ahead of her. Had Elizabeth not been singing loudly and off key she probably would have heard the pounding at her door before she shut off the water in the shower and climbed out to get dried off. Once she heard the knock at the door her singing faded into a frown. “I'll be there in a minute,” she shouted moving to her bedroom as she hastily dried off her body. The knocking sounded again, followed by a “Miss Thory it's Miami DADE police we need to ask you a few questions please.” Well that put a kink in her morning. She hadn't gotten any more then her underwear on but if they were insistent then she'd be fine to oblige them. Elizabeth walked out of her bedroom and into her living room, “Fine, fine. I'm coming,” she called to them. She opened the door, “I don't know why you have to be so impatient, I was taking a shower,” she said to them with a frown looking curiously at the two people in front of her door. They both looked away from her mostly naked body the scrawny brunette covering her mouth as she muttered a 'holy fuck'. She looked at them incredulously, “Please don't tell me that you were so impatient to get me to the door that this bothers you? I told you to wait a minute,” she informed them both. “What is it that you need at this hour? I have to get ready for work.” “Hello Miss Thory. I'm Detective Morgan and this is Detective Batista. We're sorry about bothering you at the early hour but we were wondering if you could answer some questions for us about your next door neighbor. A Piper Adams?” Elizabeth looked from one to the other, both looking her in the face to avoid looking at the rest of her. Elizabeth smiled and raised her eyebrows to signify that she was waiting. She didn't verbally answer either of them expecting that the questions would come eventually. Obviously, if they couldn't wait they weren't wondering if she could they wanted her to answer questions or to ask for them to get a warrant or bring her in. “Yes, well, first thing is, did you hear anything strange in her apartment that last week?” the man, Detective Batista asked. Elizabeth shook her head. “It would depend on what you mean by strange. My next door neighbors are all conservatives and so you normally don't hear much except the things that leak through the thin walls. If you mean screaming, yelling, fighting and all that? I think she was fighting with someone about two days ago. It was something about a TV that she pawned off or something like that.” The detectives respectively looked at one another before back to Elizabeth. “You seem to remember that pretty well, do you remember any other fights that she had with anyone?” Elizabeth frowned and moved away from the door inviting them in, “I told you I have to get ready for work so if you're going to ask me questions you'll have to do it while I get ready for work. Yes. I have a good memory. No. I do not catalog and record every fight my neighbors have. No. I don't get into their business and I almost always keep to myself unless I'm outside and see someone. I am a normal hermit just like everyone else in this city,” she said closing the door behind them walking down the hall back into her bedroom the detectives following to just outside of her door. “What all do you know about Miss Adams, Miss Thory?” the female detective, identified as Detective Morgan, asked. “I know that she liked take out. I never see her in the morning when I leave for work. I occasionally see her when I take out my trash and we smile, wave and make idle chit-chat when we run into one another. Can you tell me what happened so I might be of better use to you? She wasn't really my closest acquaintance but if you're here about stolen items and need to know more about her character and whatnot I can vouch for her or whatever. She's a good mum to her son,” Elizabeth rambled on as she pulled on a pair of jogging capris, a sports bra and a runners jacket. She came out of the room moving to her laundry room, right past the detectives who were looking to one another and talking in hushed whispers for the moment. “I'm sorry to inform you of this Miss Thory, Miss Adams is dead,” said Detective Batista. Elizabeth paused in mid turn. This fact didn't surprise her or scare her at all. In fact the screams in her dreams the night previous might have very well been her next door neighbors as she was being killed. She had to react to this appropriately though. What was appropriate for this? Shock? Maybe some tears? Yes, that would probably be right. Elizabeth's jaw had went slack as she though about it. The thoughts dawning over her as her right hand slowly came up to her mouth a gasp of surprise escaping her lips. “You're sure it was her?” Now she had to force the waterworks. She quavered her chin and thought about the saddest thing she could, which wasn't much, but she was able to get some semblance of looking sad as the male detective spoke. “Are you alright Miss Thory?” “I think so,” Elizabeth said, her voice quavering with fake remorse. “I think I need to sit down, I feel like I'm going to be sick.” She moved past both detectives very quickly to hide her smile as she stalked down the hall into her living room to sit on the couch. “How? When? Where?” she asked them looking to them, the desperation in her voice. “We do not have all of the details yet but we are looking into it, so any information that you can give us would be greatly appreciated.” Elizabeth swallowed hard to keep from laughing but it appeared like she was swallowing a lump in her throat. “Well I really didn't know her well. She was my next door neighbor I didn't really think much of it. Am I in danger?” she asked them as they stood over her shaky looking body. “We don't think so but we do suggest that you lock your doors, don't let anyone unfamiliar in your home and see about being escorted by a friend to your door,” said Detective Batista. “Is her son alright?” “We don't know yet but we'll see about keeping you updated.” Great. More time to keep up with a stupid charade. “Do you have more questions for me?” The detectives looked to one another and shook their heads. “But it would be nice if you made yourself available in case we need to ask you more questions.” “Certainly,” Elizabeth said dropping her socks to the floor as she stood up to cross to the kitchen bar. She grabbed a piece of paper and a pen writing down her name and phone number. “That's my cell you can catch me there or leave a message. I have to be at work in a few hours and I don't always hear it over the music.” “Oh! Are you a dancer?” Detective Morgan asked. “No,” Elizabeth said with a shake of her head, “I'm an aerobics instructor.” The detective nodded her head and began toward the door. “Well thank you for your help Miss Thory we'll get a hold of you if we need anything else.” “You're welcome. Please call me Liz. I don't like Miss Thory.” “Alright Liz. Have a good day,” Detective Batista said with a tip of his hat before he began to walk away. Elizabeth disappeared behind her door closing it securely. This could potentially be bad for her. It shouldn't be, she didn't kill the woman next door but this put noses up her butt that she didn't want there and that made her uncomfortable. With a frown Elizabeth crossed the room to her socks and put them on her feet followed by her sneakers. She was officially in her work uniform. Now it was time for breakfast. She stood up and crossed the living room into the kitchen. At first the breakfast started out for just her but slowly it grew from her normal 2 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon and toast into a large omelet, two packages of bacon, a loaf of bread for toast and pancakes. She had done it intentionally, she wanted to make it seem like the quirky neighbor isn't really someone to look at. The only thing was that giving them the food would probably seem weirder then just disposing of it in her garbage disposal. Elizabeth made quick decision and decided to just leave it there until she got home. She looked at the clock and she was already 20 minutes late for her pre-aerobics run which meant that she was skipping that this morning and going straight to her walk to work. Elizabeth picked up her gym bag and her keys as she headed out of the front door, locking it behind her and throwing the keys into her bag she began toward the stairs to get to ground level. It appeared that it was going to prove more difficult to keep a frowning face then she originally deemed it. As she came closer to the stairs they brought the gurney with the black bag atop it. She wanted to look inside but she wasn't allowed, she'd never be allowed and if she was she be exposed to the world for what she was, a sadistic serial killer. She couldn't have that. Elizabeth's face went blank and lifeless as the gurney made it's way down the stairs and a man made his way up the stairs. He looked relatively normal outwardly and he held a case in his hand, looking to be making his way to the crime scene. “Excuse me,” she called to him putting her chin up. “Am I allowed to go down this way?” she asked, knowing very well that she wasn't since the yellow tape was guarding it off. The only problem was that the only other set of stairs to the ground level was on the other side of the tape as well. The man came back over toward her looking dreadfully confused as to why she was asking since it should have been obvious. “I'm sorry Miss? This is a crime scene,” the man said. Elizabeth quickly scanned for a badge but found nothing but an ID card. Dexter Morgan? Wasn't the woman she met earlier a Morgan as well? “I don't mean to be rude or anything but it's either these steps here or the ones over there,” she indicated to the steps further away from the crime scene's door but the only other set of stairs. “Um hold on a second,” he said about to turn from her. “Wait,” Elizabeth said and he turned to look at her. “What is it?” Elizabeth stared at him for a moment. “You look dreadfully familiar,” she said to him with a tilt of her head. “Have we met before?” “I don't think so and I'm pretty sure I'd remember a woman as pretty as you.” “If you say so,” Elizabeth responded not sure why she recognized him. “Um, I have to get into this crime scene before they fire me. Can I trust you not to touch the banisters on your way down?” Elizabeth gave him a nod as he lifted the tape for her. She bent to go under and turned to quickly descend the steps. Once she was at the bottom she turned to look up at the man. Dexter Morgan. Why did he look so familiar? Elizabeth didn't have time to figure it out right then, her morning already ruined byt the appearance of the detectives. The movement which seemed to have slowed, sped back up as she turned away from the man and started on her way to work.
It was all there. All familiar. All necessary. It was like a checklist in her mind as she went about the tasks of her job. As each thing was completed she was able to tick off the box and continue to the next. If something wasn't completed it messed with her balance, it made her irritable and it just became messy. She wasn't messy. She ticked off the box in her mind of preparation. The tools of her trade were neatly laid out on the table beside her, a shimmering display of silver on a mat black tray. Each glimmering item had a story, each one had a use but they weren't always used. Her job didn't always require the use of each of them even if she wished that it did. Another box in her mind ticked off as the man began to breath rapidly and wriggle in his confinements. She quietly hushed him like a mother would a screaming child, cooing softly and running her fingers over his half bald head. “Hush, it will all be over soon. Once I have what I need then you will be free to go. It's an easy trade. The faster you give it to me, the faster your able to leave,” she smiled, her white teeth shining down at him. She always thought that it gave a false sense of security. Made them think good things, making her job easier. What she didn't know was that her sweaty face and exposed part of her body, the smeared dark lines around her eyes, the scraggly hair around her face made her bared teeth made her appear more like an alligator. “What am I doing here? Let me go you stupid bitch! Let me out of here! Do you know who I am?” the man yelled at her angrily. She hummed quietly as she frowned. She checked off the initial anger in her mind. Even if she didn't like it she knew that it was necessary. Without it, or despair, then the entire thing didn't work. She just happened to prefer the despair over the anger. Gently she tapped the top of his head as she stood up straight and moved outside of the man's peripheral vision. He began to thrash more violently. “I already told you how I would let you go, are you ready to give me what I want?” she asked him calmly, the clinking metal of her tools causing the man to pause in his thrashing to attempt to discern what she was doing. She looked over her shoulder at him, his head pushing against the restraints in attempt to peer over at her, “Wha-what do you want?” he asked gulping hard. Probably his pride, he had asked her if she knew who he was. She did, it was one of her check marks. It was required before continuing through her course of actions. She smiled to herself as she lifted a needle and an object that looked similar to a melon baller. “What do I want?” she echoed after a few moments delay. She tinked the objects together before she turned to face the man again. “I think you'll be able to accommodate me without much effort,” she explained as she walked back over to the side of the table where he was strapped, the ominous click of her heels echoing in the otherwise empty room. She leaned over the man, the sweet, alligator-like, smile still on her face. “What I want from you is your voice and your life,” she explained to him as his trashing started again, more violent then before. “You're the one.... the one from the news! The Bay Harbor Butcher...” She tilted her head back and laughed. It wasn't a light laugh. No. It was more of the type of laugh that you hear out of a truly amused person, the deep guttural chuckle of someone truly entertained. Her laugh came to an abrupt halt as she slammed her hands on the table beside him, her earlier sweet smile turned into a true snarl of rage. “Don't insult me with your media trash. I'm ten times the serial killer then the Butcher was. I leave a legacy of death in my wake. You should feel honored to be a victim of mine,” she said the rage falling off of her face almost as quickly as it came. She pushed herself gently away from the table where the man lay, her head tilting from side to side as she mulled over a thought in her mind. “If you must know who I am then I will tell you. I'm Elizabeth. I'm not in the news, and intend to stay that way,” she explained as she lifted the tools in her hand to eye level. “Elizabeth what?” the man asked, his voice quavering with the fear and understanding he lacked moments ago. “Elizabeth will do,” she informed him noncommittally as she discreetly leaned over the table and lifted the slender needle up. “Now it's time for that voice that you promised me,” she said to him as the needle's point sank into the soft flesh of the eye. The screaming echoed in the small room as Elizabeth marked another box off in her mind. She set the other tool down, leaving the needle in the man's eye. She retrieved another item from the tray, the man's whimpering intensified as it heard the rattling around. Elizabeth grabbed a scalpel and with a deft movement it was sank deeply into the man's flesh. She pushed hard, wiggling the instrument to get a louder sound from the man.......