9:43 AM

Okay, Matthew, calm down, now you really are just being crazy. Dickinson's voice told him. He barely even registered what it said.

"Marilyn- This is- Marilyn! We've got it!" He jumped into the air a little bit and grabbed his friend by her shoulders. "This- With this we can-!" He couldn't even form a full sentence anymore, but who cared?

Marilyn took the cigarette out of her mouth and blew into Dickinson's face, she knew that would get him to shut up. He backed up and coughed. "Calm down, Matthew, just take a nice deep breath and tell me what you're talking about."

The man coughed again and shook his head to put his thoughts in order. "Alright, alright. You said he was killed with a Bowie knife, right?" His voice rose a bit at the end.

"Yes ... Please, please don't say another insane theory of yours."

"They are not all insane!" Yes they are. "So he was killed with a Bowie knife, those aren't exactly common, you know."

"Yes they are, plenty of people own them, they can be used for decoration or hunting or even for-"

Dickinson completely ignored her. "I've only met sixteen people in my life that expressed an interest and knowledge in different types of knives. Of those sixteen, only seven owned Bowie knives. And of those seven, the most recent that I met was-" He was cut off.

"Matthew, just stop. Right now, just shut up. I know exactly where you're going with this, and if you go in this direction again, you're going to get fired. And if you're lucky, you'll only get fired." In the pause after she finished talking, Dickinson tried to speak up again, but she cut him off completely. "No, I don't want to hear any excuses from you. I'm your friend, and I'm friends with Alex as well, and I am not about to let you accuse him of murder with as little evidence as you have."

Dickinson was taken aback. He knew that Marilyn and Hughes were friendly, but he thought that they were just aquantinces, if that. To hear that she was friends with him ... "I don't see how anyone could be friends with that jackass."

The woman stubbed out her cigarette in an ashtray, picked up the paper work that she had set down, and continued with it. "He's surprisingly nice when you don't piss him off by bringing up his dead brother and treating it like it's a legitimate motive for killing seven people."

His tounge involuntarily went to the spot where one of his front teeth had been knocked out. "Well come on, his twin brother Ian dies a month before other sets of twins start getting killed? That's more than a little suspicious, don't you think?"

Marilyn decided that trying to argue this point would be like kicking water up hill, so she just ignored him. After a few seconds, Dickinson got the hint and walked out of the lab sulkily.

She's too trusting. Everyone here is way too trusting just because he's a fellow cop. They don't get it, he's got to have something to do with all of this. The Gemini Killer, Elijah, Yori ... How can I just not suspect something?

His voice answered. Suspecting isn't wrong on its own, it's acting on that suspicion that people hate.

Shut up. The voice actually shut up for once. Dickinson went from the lab into the parking lot and drove off. I have to do this, I can't let anyone stop me. He got on his phone and dialed a number that he had needed to look up.

"Peter? Yes, it's me, Detective Dickinson. I need your help with something."

10:04 AM

It had been more than an hour and a half since Amber had found Hughes in his car. And she had not shut up about it the entire time.

"Do you not understand anything that I'm saying?!" The woman inquired angrily. "Things are only going to get worse and worse from here, you need to get help for this!"

Hughes answered back. "You've known me for a day, I don't want to hear anything from you! You don't kow anything about me, about my life, shut the fuck up." At first, he had just sat down and taken the salvo directed at him, but after the first forty minutes it began to wear down on him.

"Wht-! Grr-! Fuc-!" Amber stuttered and took a deep breath. "Alex, I know exactly what you're going through. Something traumatic happened to you, it might have been a single event or a continuous string of smaller things. It's really not important. What's important is that you talk about it. So tell me," she moved from the spot where she had been standing and sat down on the couch next to Hughes, "what happened to you?"

Hughes snickered. What a generic way of tellig me she justs wants to help. "You sound just like every shrink in history. Every shrink, every priest and pastor, every teacher, they all talk the same way."

The woman nodded. "So this isn't just a recent problem?"

"It is not a problem!" He knew full well that was a lie. "And I'm not talking from personal experience, I've just seen more than a few people with various issues throughout my life." He sighed and put his head in his hands. "Can we just forget this until the current ... Predicament is over?" Looking up hopefully, he was met with dissappointment.

Amber was shaking her head slowly. "No. I'm sorry, but the longer you post pone this, the harder it's going to be for you to work on it." She stood back up, and even though her standing height wasn't much more than Hughes' sitting height, she seemed to tower over the man. "The first step is going to be pretty simple, we're going to get rid of any and all liquor i the house. Show me where it all is."

Alex Hughes slowly stood up, keeping his gaze on the floor. "I got rid of all of it before you arrived. I wanted to make sure that you didn't relapse, so I poured it down the drain and threw out the bottles. There wasn't as much as you might think."

"You're a really bad liar, Alex. Now where is it?" Somehow, her tone turned the hardened veteran police officer back into a child.

"Okay, okay. I left some hidden in my room." He pointed down the hallway.

Feeling shocked, Amber smiled ad nodded. "You admitted it, that's a good first step. To think that I slept there last night without noticing it too, alright, you wait here, and I'll go get it."

She left the room. Alex got a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

10:12 AM

Dickinson tapped his fingers on the steering wheel of his car impatiently. He should have been here by now, it's been ten minues since I got here.

Oh, stop being in such a hurry. Patience is a virtue.

Yeah, but why can't 'Hurry the fuck up' be a virtue? It's only a matter of time before Hughes looks out a window.

His internal argument was interrupted by the sound of an engine approaching behind him. Turning around, he saw a police cruiser with one person in the driver's seat. He got out of his own car just as the other one was being turned off. Peter stepped out as well.

"Are you sure about this sir-, I mean, Dickinson?" The young man said as a way of greeting. Not a "hello" or a "how are you?" just "Are you sure about this?"

The older detective nodded. "I have got to get evidence so I can get Amber away from him, and I can't do it by myself. I figured I could trust you to keep quiet. Was I wrong?" He subtly brushed his fingers against the handgun on his hip. It was a great way to intimidate people, even if you didn't do it on purpose.

Peter held up his hands. "Hey, calm down. I heard about what happened to Detective Williams, and thinking Hughes is involved is ... Somewhat reasonable, but thinking that he's going to kill someone that he promised to protect ... Thinking that he did all of those other horrible things ... Isn't it a little ludicrous?" Peter's face looked nervous, but the rest of him looked very confident and stubborn. Like he was a tree in the wind, but only the top branches were swaying.

Well, at least he didn't say that it was crazy. I'm not crazy.

Yeah, says the man who argues with the voice in his head.

Dickinson pretended that he hadn't heard that, he didn't want to have another lengthy argument. "Look, there's a Bowie knife in a display case above his bed, you know what a Bowie knife is, right?"

Peter nodded quickly.

"I need you to get that knife so we can run tests on it. I'll distract Hughes, I'll tell him that I found a lead or something, it's not important. What's important is that you get that knife without being caught."

Peter narrowed his eyes in confusion, then raised his hand as though he was in a classroom. "Yes, I have a question. How are we going to admit any of this as evidence if we don't have a search warrant?"

The other man smirked. "If he let's us inside, then anything we find is free reign. Just relax and act natural. Do you think you can do that?" Peter nodded. "Good. Let's go."

The two men made their way up the walk to the front door. Dickinson rang the bell and stood back, his heart pounding against his ribs. I just need to act casually. The door opened, Hughes had answered it.

"Can I help you two? Is Cook doing okay? Did something happen?"

The others held up their hands simultaneously, an action that amused everyone present. "No, Hughes," Dickinson answered, "we've found some information on the murder in the police station last night. Can we come in?"

Hughes' eyes got very wide and he stepped over to admit the others. As soon as his feet crossed the threshold, Dickinson smiled. We're almost there. Peter just has to be cool.

"Umm, Hughes?" Asked Peter.

The larger man turned around. "What is it?"

"Err, could I use your bathroom?"

"Sure, it's just down the hall there." He pointed and Peter left. Turning to Dickinson, he continued his inquiry. "So what's this info you found?"

"Well, it's-" He stopped and looked around. "Hey, where's Amber?" He asked.

"She went into her room for a moment. Althought that was about ten minutes ago ..." He scratched his head. A male yelp came from down the hall.

Oh no. Dickinson thought, drawing his weapon from its holster. The two detectives ran down the hall, towards the source of the yelp, and into the bedroom. There was a display case that seemed to be made for a knife, but it was empty.

Instead of being in the display case, the knife was jammed into Amber's neck.

End of Part one