Authors Note: - I rewrote the first chapter, and I may rewrite later ones. I don't know. I ended up cutting out a lot of words but I like this take much better.

BTW This story started out as nothing more than the image of a dead body in my mind. Freakish eh?

Update: I'm beefing the story up now and... Jim now has an appearance!!! Weeee!

Darkness

The last bit of weak sun light waned on the edge of the horizon. The trees were resplendent with color, the dark green foliage tinted red and orange. Cicadas buzzed in the stillness, the only sound for miles around. No birds sang and the air was thick with serenity so ubiquitous it felt like a heavy blanket lay across the woods, suffocating it. A black, cracked and dirt strewn road cut through the dense forest.

Beside the aged highway sat a collection of cars. People milled about the scene speaking to each other in hushed tones, as if afraid to be the first to break the repose. The car sitting closest to the asphalt was a dark blue 85 Monte Carlo SS. Both its doors were open wide and it was empty save a woman in the back seat. Standing beside the car, looking in through the window was a talk black clad man. A cigarette hung from the corer of his mouth, forgotten and turned mostly to ash. He stared at her with a deadpan face from behind a pair of dark sunglasses. With a graceful, long fingered hand he plucked the dieing cigarette from his mouth and dropped it carelessly to the ground. He then withdrew another from his coat and lit it with the plain black Zippo lighter that he'd been playing with in his free hand and firmly stepped on the butt.

His eyes traced over her frame, her slender built, gentle hips and small breasts. Her petite form was clad in a light pink empire waist sun dress. On her feet she wore matching open toed sandals that showed off her delicate feet and pink toe-nails. One small hand was resting under her cheek, acting as a pillow as she lay on her side on the back seat. Her other hand, with matching pink finger-nails rested on her thigh. She looked dainty and as fragile as a porcelain doll. Her hair was the color of corn silk and carefully styled in lightly curled waves. Undisturbed despite her position, as if it had been styled after she had lain down.

To the right of the man and the car containing the young woman was a small group of police men. They stood together in a tight circle, speaking so quietly they almost whispered. Occasionally one would glance warily towards the tall man, as if expecting him to do something unpleasant.

Elwyn glanced towards them and looked back to the young, very dead woman. Out of the corner of his eye he caught movement. One of the police men, a young handsome man, who must only recently become lieutenant, was approaching him. His hair was a dark black and his skin was obviously tanned from working hard under the sun, but it was also apparent he didn't spent countless hours outside. He was well built and looked like he could handle himself in a fight, but also wasn't nearly muscular enough to be intimidating. The most startling feature he possessed that kept him from looking too much like an all American small town boy was his eyes; they were a light green, almost the color of a leaf with the sun filtering through it. Elwyn guessed he couldn't possibly be much younger than thirty, only in such a small town could he have become too high ranking at such a young age. Chances are his father had been a cop as well. He turned to face him as he arrived at his side and let out a puff of smoke into the man's face.

The lieutenant sputtered and coughed, caught off guard by the smoke and even more surprised by its smell. It seemed more like incense than cigarette smoke; the aroma even left him feeling light-headed.

"What the fuck are you smoking?!" He exclaimed waving his hand in front of his face in a vain attempt to dissipate the haze.

"You should watch your language Lt. Lawrence." The dark man admonished him in a deadened voice.

The lieutenant gritted his teeth and resisted the urge to do something violent. He didn't like this man; something about him put him on edge. Every instinct screamed that he was dangerous.

"Fine... what are you smoking?" He asked very carefully.

"An herbal blend, if you want you can have one." He reached into his coat and withdrew a silver cigarette case and opened it. "I assure you that they are legal though."

He didn't like the man's smug tone but shrugged it off and went back to business.

"No thanks, I'm just here to ask you a few questions." He pulled out a notepad and pen from his shirt pocket and looked up at Elwyn. "So tell me again what happened, from the start."

"Alright..." He turned away from the officer and looked back into the car.

"I was driving down this road." He made a motion to the old highway.

"There hadn't been any other cars for miles around so I was a little surprised and concerned when I saw a car parked on the side of the road. I figured that they were having car trouble so I pulled over to check it out." He paused and discarded his cigarette, lighting another one in a quick smooth well seasoned motion.

The lieutenant didn't really believe he was the type of man to be overly concerned with people and had a hard time buying that part of his story.

"I saw her right away, laying there just as she is now. I knew right away she was dead..."

"How?" Lt. Lawrence interjected.

"Simple. For one she wasn't breathing and two... no one is ever that still, that peaceful looking. So I opened up the car, it wasn't locked and climbed in to check her pulse. Just to be sure..."

Before he could go on the Lieutenant spoke up. "Did you move her at all when you climbed in?"

The taller man shook his head. "No. I was very careful. I knelt on the floor. Didn't want to disturb her unnecessarily."

The Lieutenant raised an eyebrow at that odd comment but didn't say anything. Elwyn went on.

"The instant I touched her I knew for sure she was dead, her skin was cold..." His voice trailed off for a moment.

Right then Lt. Lawrence would have given anything to see the man's eyes. Was there sadness in them? Horror? Fear? Anything at all? The man quickly continued after taking another drag of his cigarette.

"So I got out and called you guys. Nothing else happened in between the time I called and you got here." He shrugged and took a long drag of his cigarette, savoring it.

"So, you didn't do anything-else after you got out of the car? Just called us right away?" The man nodded in answer to the Lieutenant's question.

"What were you doing driving down an abandoned road?" The lieutenant asked, keeping his voice level and non-accusatory.

"I'm not from around here, how was I to know it's abandoned?" Elwyn shrugged casually.

"I assume you're from New York." He motioned to the man's car, a sleek black two door with no identifying make and model.

"The license place does say that." He stated staring at the cop darkly.

The lieutenant frowned in irritation and took down a few notes, nothing new unfortunately. His story hadn't changed a bit since they'd gotten there. It was either well rehearsed, or the truth. Lt. Lawrence looked Elwyn over. He was betting it was the truth. Something about the man suggested he was an honest person, if a bit of an asshole.

"Thanks, that's all for now." He turned and walked away shaking his head.

They'd already run his license and found nothing, not so much as a parking violation. Again his instincts were telling him that it was doubtful such a man was very law-abiding. He exuded too much danger and violence but carefully contained. It reminded him of a caged tiger. Moving slowly and arrogantly but still full of explosive sudden brutality and ready to lash out at any perceived danger.

Elwyn watched the cop return to his collective and went back to staring at the young woman. She couldn't be much older than twenty one, which made her as young as his own children. Seeing her laying there dead stirred emotions deep inside him, a kind of rage he hadn't felt in ages. A biting pain in his left hand pulled his attention away from the dead girl. He glanced down and saw that he had partially crushed his lighter and his hand was now covered in lighter fluid and blood from where the sharp metal had cut into his skin. With a sigh he removed a handkerchief from his coat and cleaned his hand off and wrapped it around the now ruined lighter.

Just as Lt. Lawrence arrived back at his squad car the coroner's van drove up. Two men climbed out and opened the back of the van, withdrawing a stretcher with a black body bag on it. They moved in tandem to the car and Elwyn stepped out of their way. It took them a bit of maneuvering to get the girl into the body bag while she was still in the car then remove it. Once strapped to the stretcher they loaded her into the van and one approached Lt. Lawrence.

Elwyn watched the two men talk with a frown; he didn't like that lieutenant very much. The man seemed too unnerved and if he wasn't careful the cop might decide to try something stupid like search him. That wouldn't be good. In California the gun control laws were very strict. After finding more than a few guns on his person and in his car they'd have him in jail as quick as they could manage. For some reason a six foot five man dressed in black slacks, black dress shirt with a matching tie and black leather trench coat from New York seemed like the perfect murder suspect.

Trust Hollywood to make it look like all the bad guy's wore black and came from New York.

He walked way from the car and assortment of police, eager to get out of there. It was late, he was hungry and the humans were getting on his nerves. Before entering his car he paused and looked over at the group.

"You have my cell phone number in case you have anymore questions. Can I go now?" He called out to the cop.

The lieutenant stared at him carefully a few moments, reluctant to let him go.

"Fine, just don't skip town just yet. I'm not done with you." He started to walk back to his car when Elwyn casually said.

"Is that an order or a suggestion Lieutenant?" An emotion had finally entered his voice, biting sarcasm; if one could consider that an emotion.

The lieutenant said nothing simply stared at him darkly. Elwyn smirked at him and stepped inside the car, closed the door and quickly drove away.

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