Home > Paint It All Red (Mindf*ck #5)(9)

Paint It All Red (Mindf*ck #5)(9)
Author: S.T. Abby

He stops moving, dying almost instantly, and I face the judge again as he spills his own stomach contents in a different sort of way.

As he retches, I come up behind him, finding his lack of fight anti-climatic. These are the men who I feared for so long? One who beats his child and wife, but couldn’t land a single punch on me? One who cries on the floor in the fetal position, praying I’ll disappear like a bad dream, instead of fighting for his life?

Instead of drawing it out, I slice the knife against his throat, finding no excitement with these kills. The blood sprays across the room, and gurgles of agony are all that escape his lips, as all other sounds struggle to make it past the gash in his throat.

I leave him there in his fancy suit, allowing it to be stained red, along with the carpeted floor of his chambers. After cleaning off my knife, I tuck it back into my boot, but I leave my other one stuck into the picture of the judge.

Then I pull out the paintbrush I brought, and I dip it into the blood. Instead of painting a wall this time, I leave a message.

A message for the man who broke my heart.

A message for the man I never should have loved.

It’s completely juvenile, but I can’t help myself.

By the time I leave, the blood has mostly drained out of them, and I walk out, stained in their shades of red, but no one notices. At least I put on the horribly huge boots, though I don’t know why I bothered.

Eventually Logan will out me.

I drive back to the house, finding myself in desperate need of a shower. There’s a silver sedan in our driveway, and my brow furrows. Hadley drives the FBI issued SUV. Maybe she got another car to keep them from looking at her GPS history or something.

Wary, I pull out a knife as I slowly open the door. All the lights are off, and none of the monitors are on.

With silence, I step into the house, stealthily close the door, and gingerly make my way through the eerie quiet. A garbled sound comes from the back room, something sounding like pain as a loud grunt follows.

Without hesitation, I kick open the door to Jake’s room, flipping on the light immediately, raise the knife in the air, and…freeze.

Jake curses, Hadley squeals while covering her bare breasts with her hands, and my mouth opens and closes a few times in complete shock.

“What the hell?” Jake asks, as though I’m the one who has lost my fucking mind.

“What the hell?” I shoot back.

I rarely get surprised. Usually I hate surprises. This time…I’m not really sure how I feel about this little nugget of unexpectedness.

Hadley groans while dropping her head to Jake’s chest, and he grips her hips, rolling her under him. “Close the door,” he says over his shoulder.

And holy shit. His hips start moving.

He can’t even wait until I pick my jaw up off the floor to finish?

I slam the door, stumbling backwards as I head toward my temporary room. I’ve dripped blood everywhere now. I have to look like Carrie after the prom, yet neither of them felt compelled to stop fucking on my behalf.

My first thought is to call Logan.

My second thought is how stupid that is, considering I can never speak to him again.

My third thought is…I really need a drink.

I step into the shower, clothes and all, and start stripping under the cold spray. I don’t even flinch against the chill, but I melt into the warmth when it finally comes. My clothes lie in a puddle at my feet as I wash away the blood and death, refreshing and cleansing myself of the madness.

I’m almost done when I hear the door to the bathroom opening.

“Any reason you kicked down my door armed and ready to kill?” Jake asks from the other side of the shower curtain.

“I should have killed someone in the shower,” I state randomly. “Like in the horror movies when the murderer always sneaks up and slices the knife through the curtain. The water runs red then.”

“Nice. And yeah, I’ve seen all the same movies, Lana. It was something you tortured me and Marcus with, because we hated them, and you refused to watch them alone.”

“I was scared,” I state quietly. “I can watch them alone now.”

He blows out a breath. “Answer my question please. What happened back there?”

I roll my eyes and stick my head out of the shower to glare at him. “I heard noises that didn’t sound like pleasure—which really should say something about your skills—so I barged in to save your life. From a lesbian who had your dick captive in her vagina. What the hell, Jake?”

His lips twitch. “You said to play nice.”

“I didn’t say those words. And how does ‘play nice’ translate to fuck her raw?”

He shrugs. “She’s cool. Hacker like me, only not as good as me because she got caught.”

“I was a kid!” I hear Hadley yell, admitting her eavesdropping.

I try not to smile. “And you’re not a lesbian?” I ask.

She walks into the bathroom, her hair a red disarray of wildness. Her clothes are not exactly on right, as though she hurriedly got dressed.

“I told you I wasn’t. I like women, but I’ve been put off by men for a long time. Since you killed Ferguson…some of the unease has lifted. Tonight I met Jake, already knew he was the same as me, and…well, you know what happened in the end.”

“Can we discuss this when I’m finished washing off the judge and deputy?” I ask dryly.

Jake grimaces, his eyes flicking warily to Hadley, but she just shrugs. “You’ve seen what I’m working with. It’s only fair I see what you have.”

I’d laugh under normal circumstances, but I haven’t thawed enough for that yet.

Jake, however, snickers under his breath, seeming to relax at her casual reaction.

“Later. What’s up? Why’d you track us down? And more importantly, how’d you find us?”

She flicks her gaze to Jake. “He’s not as good as he thinks he is.”

She smiles sweetly at him, her double entendre clear, and he arches a challenging eyebrow at her.

“Alright then. Jake, make sure no one else can find us the same way she did.”

Hadley bats her hand. “I’m way better than Alan, and he’s the only one who would be tracking you. No way will he find you the way I did.”

Her phone goes off, and she checks it. Her frown forms immediately.

“What?” Jake asks her, peering over at her phone.

I expect her to shield it from him, but she hands it to him instead. “Guess I need to borrow a brush,” she says to me. “And some clothes. Thor over there ripped my pants open, and now the zipper is gone. My shirt has something on it too. I’ll spare you the guessing game as to what.”

I groan while waving my hand in her general direction. “Take what you need. But I hope you look good in red.”

She curses before flicking her red hair. “Red is the one color I can’t pull off. Every shade clashes with this. I thought you had a black hoodie or something.”

“My black hoodies are kill shirts, and probably have traces of blood on them. Not a good idea to wear them.”

She spins and walks out, plucking her phone back out of Jake’s hand on her way. I look at him questioningly.

“They already found the judge and the deputy.”

A smile curves my lips. “Good. Now the real fun begins.”

Chapter 5

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

—William Shakespeare


“What do we know?” I ask Leonard, peeling the glove off.

“You mean besides the fact the sheriff is trying to get us the hell out of here? Not much.”

Johnson eyes me from across the room, pure hatred in his glare. I ignore him.

He knows I’m close to digging up hard evidence against him. It’s just a matter of time.

“I think that message was meant for you,” Leonard whispers as my eyes lift from the gory remains of Deputy Murdock.

My eyes flit up to the message he’s pointing out.

They stole. They lied. They brokered peace with the devil in exchange for the souls of an innocent family. Yet you call me the monster.

Fuck you. <3

The little heart on the end is definitely a signature Lana used to leave for me. Apparently she’s going to personalize these kills now, even address them to me without using my name.

“I silenced her, so now she’s getting her words in,” I say quietly.

Leonard looks around, making sure no one is close enough to overhear.

“This is quite literally a ‘fuck you’ message. It’s not rage or even a threat to us. She’s just basically sounding like a true ex. People might do the math.”

“No one here knows Lana and I broke up. I told the others she went back home because I convinced her it wasn’t safe.”

“What happens when people see her in town?”

I lean back, surveying the damage to the neck of Judge Thomas. I doubt it’s a coincidence his son came back to town today, and Lana decided to kill the father tonight.

“She won’t be seen,” I say absently. “Dev Thomas was there that night, and he seemed certain he’d been spared when he talked to us earlier. I think she paid him a visit when he arrived in town today.”


“To see why he was here.”

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