The End of Pain

Continuation of Polygamy from last month.  This was also written as my answer to the Hint Fiction for this month.

**

Elsewhere, perhaps hundreds of miles away or, perhaps much less than that, Seth was barely clinging to life.  Seth’s energy paths are blocked to his spleen and stomach and large intestine. The acupuncturist places the needles in his tiny body. Seth sees Jesus.

His body wasn’t found until the next day.  Chris got the call almost the moment he stepped into his office.  He heaved a sigh as he stepped over to his desk.  “Larabee,” he said, his voice soft.  He pinched the bridge of his nose as the caller explained the situation.  He nodded, glancing towards Ezra, as he said, “We’ll be right there.”

Ezra was already on his feet and getting his bag ready.  “Good morning, Mr. Larabee,” he said, as he shouldered his bag.  “Where are we off to?”

“Same park as where the other bodies were found,” he said.  He pointed back towards the elevator as Vin and Buck rounded the corner.  “We’ve got another body,” he announced.

“Is it a good idea to bring the bookworm?” Buck asked, casting a quick glance at Ezra.  “He gets a bit spacey away from his computer.”

“That’s the training,” Vin said, shrugging.

Nodding, Ezra hurried ahead of them down the corridor.  “I’m not going to become accustomed to being surrounded by patterns by hiding in the office, Buck,” he said.  He pressed the elevator button and then turned to Chris.  “The others?”

“Nathan’s in the lab, seeing what he can dig up,” Chris said, shaking his head.  As the elevator chimed and the doors opened, he added, “JD’s looking at Ms. Carter’s computer and Josiah is having a chat with Mr. Carter.”

“Is it safe to leave him alone with that creeper?” Vin asked, stepping onto the elevator.  “I mean… I know that I’m mighty glad that y’all were in the other room while I was interrogating him.  His eyes kept going vacant.”

“He was watching me,” Ezra said, shrugging.

Buck rolled his eyes.  “There’s no way he could even see you, Ez,” he said, shaking his head.  “The one-way glass looks like a mirror, so long as the other side is dark.”

“You weren’t there, Buck,” Chris said, he shook his head.  “He watched Ezra the whole time, until I told him to keep his eyes forward.”  He looked over at Vin and added, “As for Josiah: he can handle himself.  Don’t worry about that.”  He cast a glance towards Ezra and then shrugged at Vin.

“I’m perfectly capable of looking after my own self as well,” Ezra said, rolling his eyes.  As they reached the basement, the group headed for the car.  They needed to get to the crime scene to confirm whether or not it was actually connected to their case.

 

Upstairs, Josiah was sitting in the interrogation room, staring at Carter.  Josiah hadn’t said more than two words since Carter arrived.  After inviting Carter to sit, he hadn’t spoken.  He’d only stared.  Finally, when Carter was nearly at the end of his patience, Josiah said, “How did you now that Ezra was here?”

Carter smiled and then shrugged.  “I’ve kept my eyes on the boy,” he said, his voice low.  “He’s the first one to make me a grandfather.  I wonder how Maude feels about being a grandmother.”  He chuckled and shook his head.  “She’d argue that she’s not old enough.”

“You aren’t a grandfather, Mr. Carter,” Josiah pointed out.  He shook his head.  “Maude Standish was with you for just six months.  She never married you.”

When Carter started to speak, Josiah stood and moved towards the door.  “Someone is killing your wives and their children,” he said.  He glanced back at Carter, meeting his gaze steadily.  “I think you know who that someone is.”  Carter scowled, then and Josiah added, “Unless you’d like to lose the chance to ever be a grandfather, I would tell me.”

Carter continued to glare at Josiah without speaking.  Josiah nodded slightly, then he opened the door.  “I’ll leave you consider the matter, Mr. Carter,” he said.  He strode out of the room, closing the door quite deliberately.  He’d come back when Carter was feeling more talkative.

He headed to the laboratory where he wasn’t very surprised to find Nathan bent over his work.  “Why is this our case?” he asked, his voice soft.  “Is it because of Carter’s connection to Ezra?”

“You ask me that like you think I know why the judge does anything he does,” Nathan said.  He looked back over his shoulder at Josiah and shook his head.  “I don’t.  It could be that.  It might have something to do with Ezra’s father.”

“Montgomery?”

Nathan nodded.  “Someone from one of those families wouldn’t just… adopt the child of their new wife,” he said.  He shook his head.  “There’s a reason he let Ezra use his name.  He’s got to be a member of one of the families.”

Josiah frowned at Nathan for a few moments.  “He knows how Montgomery died,” he said, his voice soft.  “He’s never shared any of the details with me, but… he knows.  The thought of it terrifies him.”

“They’d terrify any sane person,” Nathan said.  He frowned slightly and looked down at the papers that were spread out in front of him.  “Maybe that’s why Carter is so creepy.  Maybe he’s from one of the families too.”

“Odd coincidence, Maude ending up with two different men from the families,” Josiah said, scowling.  When Nathan shook his head, he arched an eyebrow.  “Not odd at all?”

“They tend to attract each other,” Nathan said, his voice soft.  He stood.  “We need to talk to Carter about this.  It may just be enough to finally rattle his cage and get him talking.”

“This isn’t their work,” Josiah said, as he followed Nathan out of the room.  He shook his head.  “Ezra would have said something about that.  He didn’t.”  However, he had to wonder if the case wasn’t related somehow to the whole mess.

“Carter knows more than he’s said,” Nathan countered.  “Whether this is the Singers or not, mentioning them will get him to talk.”

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