Author: Meisha Nicole PM
He considers him the one that got away and Jon has spent most of his life running because of that. When he makes a stupid mistake and stays too long in one place, he finds him but the end result isn't death. It's a new beginning and one Jon doesn't want.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Angst - Words: 5,810 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3061509
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One body, two bodies, three bodies, four… five bodies, six bodies, seven bodies, moore.
His spoon dropped out of his hand and fell into the bowl containing his half eaten cereal. It made a loud clanging sound that echoed through the room as the morning news anchor displayed the new poem the station had received.
Reading it over and over again in his head, he pushed the bowl away from him and ran to the bathroom. He was quick to sink to his knees and everything he had eaten for breakfast came up.
"Jon, are you all right?"
"Fine" he answered shakily as he got to his feet. Flushing the toilet, he rinsed out his mouth and managed to stumble out of the bathroom as he tried hard to ignore the trembling in his body.
"Did you get sick?"
"I'm fine, Geo. I swear."
Walking back into the living room, he quickly turned the television off and lifted a brow when the other man gave him a look. "What?"
"I was watching that. I wanted to hear about the new poem the Shakespeare killer sent out. The media is going crazy over it but do you know the strangest part?"
"What?" he ground out as his stomach clenched in fear.
"There was a typo. Instead of spelling more with one "o", he used two. It's strange for a man who is always so obsessed with every last detail in his poems."
"Geo, I don't want to talk about this. You know it upsets me."
He sighed. "I'm sorry. I don't understand it but I won't bring it up again."
The Shakespeare killer had been terrorizing the country for six years now. He had a total of seven victims and had come to get his nickname because of the pieces of writing he'd sent to law enforcement over the years. They were elaborate poems and beautifully crafted which was why the latest one had made the police wary but the signature was his. There was no doubt about that.
"So are you up to going out tonight? I'll pay."
Smiling weakly at his roommate, Jon shook his head and he could tell that Geo had expected him to politely decline. He always did when he asked him to go out. But he never felt like going out. Jon felt safer inside. With four walls around him he was protected. Outside he was fair game.
"You always say no. Would it kill you to have fun?"
Geo snorted. "Is what you did before you moved here a year ago? If it is, I can see why they kicked you out of town."
"I was never kicked out of town, Geo."
"You're no fun!"
Jon smiled faintly and shook his head. His roommate would get over it. He'd only said yes once and that had ended up with him leaving early because the darker it became, the more frightened he became.
"Just come out with me this one time and I promise you I'll leave you alone about it."
Jon refused and stayed inside. Looking out the window to his apartment that night, any sound he heard made him jump and he double checked that all the locks on the doors were on their properly.
There would be no stopping it though because he was coming for him. The double "o" wasn't a typo It was a message that he was coming for him and that he wouldn't stop until he was number eight. Before he changed his name and ran, his last name had been Moore. With this poem coming to light he knew he had to run but after five years he was getting so sick of it all.
Jon would never understand why he waited so long to come after him. Back when he had stumbled upon him five years ago, he'd had two victims under his belt. He had bided his time but maybe that was the point. Luring him into a false sense of security and letting him think he was safe might've been the point of all this.
Packing the last of his things, he closed his suitcase and then flung it over his shoulder. He had to get out of here because it would only be a matter of time before he found him because now he was making the effort and he was more cunning. Five years could change a person and he was sure he'd become more clever than before.
"Time to go," he muttered underneath his breath as he threw his bag over his shoulder and hurried out of the apartment. He had left a note with the next two months' rent in an envelope for Geo. It had been brief and all he had told him was that he needed to go. There was no explanation and it was better that way.
Walking outside, he looked over his shoulder and tensed a bit when he saw a few cars in the parking lot. Any one of them could be him but they all looked familiar. He had made sure to memorize the cars that belonged to the residents of the small apartment complex and nothing seemed out of place. Getting into his car, he threw his bag in the passengers seat and pulled out of the parking lot.
The sooner he got out of here the more distance he could put between the two of them. Jon had to be on his way but knowing that bastard he was sitting around and laughing as he made him panic. It caused his stomach to twist into knots and he quickly pulled onto the highway. Every few minutes he was looking in the mirror to make sure there was no one following him and as far as he could tell there wasn't.
He let himself breathe a sigh of relief, but it wasn't over. The thought of starting again made him clench the steering wheel tightly.
Jon really didn't know how much longer he could do this.
Tilting his head to the side, he stared at the apartment building and knew he had left. His lovely poem had to of made him panic and as soon as he saw it he was sure to go running. Smiling a bit, he realized that while he had felt disgusted while writing that horrible rhyme, it was necessary to get his point across.
For five years he'd bided his time and occupied himself with his other finds. They were all so lovely. But the sweetest one of all would be Moore. When the man first disappeared, he had been furious and become more obsessed. When he couldn't find him, he realized he could bide time.
Waiting was difficult but he knew the rewards would be great in the end. Slowly, he pushed Moore out of the forefront of his mind but he kept a memory of him. He would wait and the longer he waited, the more comfortable Moore would get. People always got sloppy eventually and that boy was no exception. Eventually, he would make a mistake or stay too long in one place. It was then he would find him.
When he finally found him, it was the most wonderful feeling. Sure enough he'd made a mistake and stayed too long in one place. But before going after him, he decided he would sent out a poem. If he warned him then he would panic and start running again. The chase, he had come to find out, was the best part of it all.
He had been watching when he came out of the apartment and his breath caught in is throat. Five years had done him well and he had matured in so many ways. It was a tantalizing sight and he could only imagine what he could do to that body. The panicked expression on his face only helped matters and he had to take a deep breath and close his eyes before opening them again.
When he opened them he discovered he was in his car and starting to pull out of the driveway. Lifting a brow, he put the binoculars down and then started to walk to his own car. It wasn't parked in the parking lot because he didn't want to alert Moore about what was awaiting him. If he was scared but not terrified it would make it better. A person who was terrified might go to great lengths to protect themselves. He knew Moore was one of those people who went great lengths. He'd seen it before.
Climbing into his car, he waited. He might lose him on the highway but that was all right. With a lovely little device he was able to track him and tell exactly what direction he was going in. He did love the chance of the game but there was only so much patience one man had. Waiting so many years, he had just about used his up.
Chuckling to himself, he pulled onto the highway and no longer saw his car but he would find him quickly.
"Shakespeare is coming Moore."
He was on the highway when he phone rang. Picking it up automatically, he didn't know what he was thinking and went to hang it up quickly but he stopped when he heard who was on the other end.
"Where the hell are you? How could you just take off without a goodbye?"
"Geo, I needed to leave. There's really no other way to explain this and don't try to call me back. I'm getting rid of this phone."
"Jon, what's going on? Are you in trouble?"
"Bye, Geo. This year with you was pretty good."
He threw the phone out of the car after that and then sped up. A part of him regretted that because he had grown close to Geo over the past few months but it would be easy enough for him to put the man behind him. He was going to have to if he wanted to keep surviving.
What had he been thinking? Staying there for a year had been stupid and he knew Geo was part of the reason. The man had made him feel something he hadn't felt in a long time and then he got sloppy which would give Shakespeare the perfect chance.
Tightening his grip on the steering wheel, he glanced in his rearview mirror and breathed a sigh of relief when he didn't find any car following him. He kept checking because he couldn't be sure now.
Jon drove for hours and he didn't stop until morning stared to come. Then he pulled over in a small town and decided to stop at a motel for the day. There he would rest for a while, get something to eat, and then go back on the road.
He wasn't sure where he was going to stop this time but he would figure it out. Walking into the hotel room, he lay on the bed and thought briefly about his family. It had been so long since he'd seen them but it was self-preservation. He wasn't ready to give up. He refused to which was maybe why this cat and mouse game had continued.
Closing his eyes, he tensed when he heard knocking but realized that it was coming from next door. Breathing out a sigh of relief, he relaxed and laid on top of the blankets. He didn't really care at this point because he was exhausted and all he wanted to do was sleep before he had to go back on the road.
Suddenly, however, he got up and poked his head out the curtains. Seeing nothing, he closed the curtains and headed for the door. He felt tense all over and swallowed as he looked outside. Again he found nothing and he tried to tell himself that he was just being pathetic and paranoid.
Lying down again, he muttered a mantra to himself that he was going to be all right but it didn't help matters. Still, despite all this, he managed to fall asleep, and when he woke up he was ready to move on and get out of this town.
He was so sick of living like this but he saw no other options and if he had known at eighteen that such a stupid act would put him in this situation, he never would've done it.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Jon!"
Waving goodbye to his coworker, he settled into the chair and glanced at the doors. When it was this late practically no one came into the store. He almost wished for a customer because it was an hour until closing time and some nights he didn't think he could take the boredom.
Turning up the television, he propped his chin in his hand and his nose wrinkled when the news came on and again they were talking about the most recent killing by the man dubbed Shakespeare.
The most recent victim had been Andrew Wallace. He was a twenty-something man who disappeared after leaving a pub. He'd been found in a clearing a day later, completely clothed with no evidence of any assault. Upon further inspection it was clear he'd died of asphyxiation but other than that there were no wounds. Only later was it revealed the victim had been given a slow-acting poison that caused his suffocation. The bottom line was: he had suffered.
A year before the victim had been a teenager named Alice Manns. She'd been the first and had been died of asphyxiation and been found in a park. The similarities between the deaths were not what led the police to link them. It was the fact that there were two typed out notes placed on their chests. They were mocking but also intricate and beautifully crafted poems which led to him being dubbed "the Shakespeare killer" and after the name got out, he started signing his poems to the police with the name.
"Creepy," he muttered as he quickly turned the television off.
The most recent killing had only been over two weeks ago and no one knew why he had waited so long before he killed again. It was all they seemed to talk about on the news and Jon wanted no part in it because it made him paranoid.
Breathing a sigh of relief when the clock struck nine, he gathered his things and then locked the store behind him. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he made his way out of the parking lot and then into the park directly across from where he worked.
It was the quickest way to the bus stop and it was a route he had walked numerous times. He didn't feel there was any sort of danger when walking this way so you can imagine his surprise when someone came up behind him when he was about to cut through the small, woodsy path and pressed a knife to his back.
"Listen if you don't give me your money I'll gut you right here, I swear!"
Swallowing, he closed his eyes and took a breath. "Fine, it's in my left pocket. Take it all, I don't care."
Wincing as the knife grazed his neck, he felt the man shove his hands into his pockets and then reach for his wallet. He didn't care what he took and all it mattered was that he got out of this with everything intact. Stumbling forward when he was shoved, he winced as he hit the ground and rolled onto his side to see the man running out of the park.
"Are you all right?"
Looking up, he blinked when he found a hand extended towards him and he only hesitated momentarily before taking the hand that was being held out towards him. "Thank you," he said with a nervous smile, still shaking from the encounter.
The man seemed harmless enough. He was taller and older than him and slim as well as clean cut. When he smiled, it seemed genuine and Jon didn't feel a need to fear him. "Do you need a ride to the police station? I don't mind driving you."
"That would be great actually."
He was still shaking from the mugging and he was grateful nothing had happened. Something worse could've taken place and he didn't think to ask what this man was doing here or why. All he saw was an apparently nice man trying to help out someone who had been attacked by some lowlife.
Letting the man lead him to his car, he was hesitant before he climbed into the front seat but did so after he realized he was being silly. This man was offering to help him and he was sure he was still being paranoid because of his very recent mugging which made him frown. He hoped they could find the man because he had run off with his wallet but it wasn't like he could get much. Jon never carried much money on him.
"Thanks a lot. I really appreciate this," he said with a soft smile as he saw the police station up ahead. The closer they got the more relieved he became but when he drove past the police station, he swallowed.
"It's no problem. I don't mind helping out someone in need."
"You drove past the police station," he pointed out slowly.
The man then turned to him and smiled. "I know."
Eyes widening, he reached for the door handle but it didn't budge. "Who are you?"
"I'm just a man who enjoys poetry and the company of strangers."
Squeezing his eyes shut, he opened them and went to reach for the steering wheel but before he could, something was pressed against his head.
"I don't want to shoot you. It would be a pity to end this so quickly and in such a messy way so please stop struggling."
Swallowing, he closed his eyes again and then glanced over at the man. "Who are you?"
"I think you have an inkling of who I am but if you're still in denial, feel free to stay there for as long as you need. I understand it's hard to accept such a reality."
Shaking his head slightly, he took a deep breath and mulled over his words. The conclusion came quickly and he felt the color draining from his face.
"Shakespeare…" he breathed out, pressing himself up against the door. This was unreal. He wasn't in the car with a budding serial killer. But this had to be him. He could just feel it.
"The expression on your face is priceless," he chuckled. "I never intended to act tonight but after I saw your mugging I knew I had to play the part of a caring stranger. Then after I dropped the bomb, this look of hopelessness appears. You lived up to my expectations."
"Please let me go. I won't say anything. Just let me go."
"Now you know I can't go and do that. I've said too much"
"You're sick," Jon spat.
"I am. And you are?"
He turned away but he was wearing a name tag and one quick look at his shirt told the man his name.
"Jon is a dreadfully boring name. Is your last name any more interesting?"
He stayed silent.
"That's all right. There's plenty of time for that."
Jon didn't know what to do. There was a gun pressed to his head but with the knowledge of who this was, he knew a gunshot would be the least of his problems. He would never put him out of his misery so easily. The only way to get out of this was to wait and bide his time. There had to be a moment to get away. There just had to be.
"It won't be so bad, Jon. You are taking it better than most however."
When the car started to turn the corner, Jon tensed because he didn't know if he was going to make it out of here alive. He didn't want to die.
"Are you going to tell me your last name?"
"I may not shoot you but it doesn't mean I won't hurt you."
He gritted his teeth. "It's Moore."
"I like that. It has character."
Closing his eyes, he flinched when the barrel of the gun moved. Quickly, he opened his eyes again and then they turned up a dirt road which made his heart sink. Then he parked the car and this was a road rarely used and he only had a vague idea of where they were.
Watching as the man climbed out of the driver's seat, he knew that there wasn't much time left and if he was going to do something he had to do it fast. This man had killed other people so it wouldn't be easy to get away but he was determined to try even when the car door was pulled open and he was yanked out.
"Walk with me."
Scoffing, he wanted to say something but he kept quiet as he started pulling him away from the path and into the wooded area. The gun was kept to his head but the man was acting as if this were some stroll.
"Don't you enjoy walking at night? It always clears my mind."
They walked for a long time or at least it seemed like a long time for him. When they stopped, he saw a bag along with a shovel lying on the ground.
"I put this here two days ago. I wasn't intending to come here for at least a week."
Jon paled. "You've been stalking me."
"Yes, for nearly three weeks. But I just had to strike tonight when that lovely opportunity presented itself."
"You knew my name."
"It was so much better to hear it from your lips."
This man had been intending to kill him all along. Tonight had just been a fluke. But the information didn't scare him. It only made him more determined to get away.
"You're a very interesting person, Moore."
Lips tightening, he walked slowly forward and the closer they got to the shovel, the more an insistent idea nagged at the back of his mind.
"Ah!" he shouted when he was close enough. Tripping over his own two feet, he went flying towards the ground and winced when he impacted with it.
Looking up, he realized he had fallen near the shovel and was at a perfect angle. Swallowing as Shakespeare knelt down, presumably to pull him up, he was quick to reach for the shovel and once it was in his hands, he swung it. It connected with the man's head and he went flying backwards.
Listening to him groan, he was quick to scramble to his feet and start running. If it had been safe he would've gone for the gun or his car keys but he could shoot him and then all of this would be for nothing.
He ran until he came to a house. Shouting, he banged on the door but there was no answer. The next house was a good distance away and while there was a light on, no one came when he knocked at the door.
"Please help me! I've been attacked!"
There was no answer so he banged harder.
"Please! He could be after me!"
"Stay there! We will call the police."
It seemed to take forever for the police to show up but when they did, he told them everything and he tried hard to suppress his trembling. When they brought him back to the station, he told his story for the fourth time and it was then h started to get the feeling that they weren't believing him.
"Did you find his car?" he asked when one of the officers came in.
The officer sighed. "We found nothing at the supposed crime scene. No footprints, car tracks. There was nothing."
"He left then!"
"Listen, Mr. Moore…"
"You don't believe me do you?"
"You were mugged earlier. Maybe that messed up some of your thinking or you hit your head when you went down."
"It was Shakespeare! I know it was!"
He left that morning with the realization that they didn't believe him After he had run off, the man must've cleaned up in a panic because going after him would have been pointless and now Jon looked like the crazy one.
The only thing he could do now was run. If the police wouldn't believe him then he would have to make sure he disappeared and the man was ever able to find him because he would be back. He had gotten away and Shakespeare seemed like the type of person to not take that lightly.
Within hours, he was on the road and driving to the next state. He never looked back and kept running for five years but you couldn't run forever.
Jon was on the road quickly. He ditched his car, opting for a rental, before he headed to the next city. He was still chastising himself for becoming so attached to Geo and staying so long but there was nothing he could do about that now because what was done was done. All he could do now was leave and hope to put as much distance as he could between him and Shakespeare.
He was exhausted by the time he stopped driving. It was night time and he pulled over into another motel. There were no cars following him and he made sure to check. Any stupid move could end up with him being killed.
Before he'd run, his life hadn't been easy. Most of his life was spent as a foster kid in and out of many homes for about ten years. His parents had been junkies and life hadn't gotten easier once he was out of the home. It was why that when he left it had been so easier for him. There wasn't anyone to ask questions or miss him. Still, it was also bad for him because if he went missing no one would really notice.
Shakespeare didn't seem to target victims who didn't have family. Anyone who seemed to trigger his interest was who he went after and all seven victims had been placed out in the open or with clues leading to the discovery of their body. Getting attention was one thing he didn't mind and maybe, over time, he had come to crave it.
Lying down on the bed, he closed his eyes after making sure the placed was secure. The windows were locked and the door as well. He'd pushed the desk against it as a sort of barricade and he found that it was difficult to fall asleep. All he could think about was how much time he had wasted. He was twenty three and most people his age would be graduating college. The thing was he had a high sense of self-preservation so he would never stop fighting. If he ever did catch up to him, he'd try with all his might. He would be damned if Shakespeare was going to get him because he hadn't spent all these years running away for nothing.
It was a few days before he felt satisfied. He'd settled in an average town where no one seemed to ask questions and most kept to themselves.
He had only been there two days when something happened that unnerved him. It was the feeling of being watched but there was no one strange around. Lately, he'd been getting more paranoid and it was only getting worse as the days dragged on. He almost wanted to give up but the thought of that bastard made him tense. The fight wasn't out of him yet.
After nothing happened for two weeks, he grew at ease but he left again. It was all to get him off the trail. During one of his nightly drives, his car was rear ended. It came out of nowhere and he nearly went off the road but he managed to get control of the car. The second time he didn't and went right off the road. The sound of a car stopping and a door opening had him panicking.
"Moore, you always insist on fighting me so much but you were clever this time. All the changing cars and cities in the past few weeks were smart. But of course I've been watching you the whole time, only two or three cities behind you. Finally, you stayed too long in one place. I'm glad you did though because I was able to find you again."
"Finishing what you started?" he spat as he managed to pry open the door. Stumbling out of the car, he pushed himself to his feet and took off running.
"Don't be that way, Jon! This can be so much easier if you accept it!"
The voice caused him to falter. "Geo?" he asked and this was when he was tackled to the ground. Stunned, he fought but then there was something placed over his nose. It was a cloth and on instinct he breathed in which was a mistake.
"I don't understand…" Jon coughed out, his vision going blurry as he heard footsteps around him. "Geo… why are you here?"
There was no answer and he felt himself fading. It was so confusing and there had to be a reason why the man who he had started to consider a good friend was with Shakespeare. Looking up, he saw the man watching him and he got a good look at him. He appeared happy and looked the same as he had five years ago. It made him sick to his stomach.
"Sleep, Moore. You'll understand everything when you wake up. I promise you."
Letting out a frustrated scream, he fought the feeling that was coming over him but eventually he succumbed to the feeling taking over his body. Chloroform was what it had to be but what he couldn't understand was why the man was doing this to him. He should want to kill him. It was why he had spent the past five years running all across the United States.
What purpose would there be for keeping him alive? He couldn't understand it and as he faded out into unconsciousness, he let out one more scream because to show that he wasn't going to accept whatever he was doing.
"Good, you're finally coming too."
Violently he jerked but naturally his arms were tied and the same went for his legs. Blinking in order to clear his vision, he shook and closed his eyes as fear washed over him. "Where am I?"
"We're in my temporary home for the moment. I've been preparing for this for a long time, Moore and don't think you'll get away."
"Why am I not dead?"
Shakespeare chuckled. "It stopped being about killing you a long time ago. You're the only one who beat me. I have over-taken many, more than you know, but not you, Moore because your self-preservation is too high."
Closing his eyes, Jon let his words wash over him. He understood but the gist of what he was saying scared him. He couldn't mean he planned to keep him. "This isn't you. You're a murderer."
"We all deviate from our expected reactions at one point and you're my one deviation, Moore."
"Geo…" he croaked. "What did you do to him? Why is he with you?"
He laughed. "It was all an accident really. I never would've gotten so close to you if it hadn't been for him."
"I don't know if you're aware but Geo is a big fan of mine and being the less than humble person I am, when I stumbled upon the fansite he created in my honor I grew interested. Over time I contacted him, once I was sure it was in my best interest. And it was. He's proven to be a great help and imagine my luck when I found out he was rooming with you. It was like Christmas."
Jon couldn't believe this. It had to be some sick joke. There was no way this was true. "You're full of shit."
"My dear, Moore I asked Geo to help me because we all have a weakness and yours was, as I guessed, loneliness. His friendship with you was actually genuine, if you're wondering. He was even reluctant to help me at first. But I convinced him in the end. He has a bad case of hero worship."
"You found me by a fluke."
"Yes, and I took advantage of it as quick as I could. A professional such as myself must always be ready when an opportunity presents itself. It's almost like when we first met."
Jon tugged on his wrists and swallowed a scream. "What are you planning to do to me?"
Tensing when the serial killer drew closer, he felt lips brush against his own and he froze. Then he snapped out of it and moved to bash his head against Shakespeare's but the killer moved before he could.
"I don't want to kill you." He said in a low voice. "I want to utterly possess you and in time you'll come to accept it."
"You're sick and no matter how long you keep me here, I won't accept it!"
"We'll see. I know you, sometimes better than you know yourself. I know what kind of person you are, deep down." He leaned in. "I know what you're really capable of. And I know how to change your mind."
In time Jon would come around to his way of thinking because his self-preservation was high and if he wanted to stay alive, he would have to. Though in a way, him fighting back did make him feel alive.