17// Derek & Tori

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Sitting in my and Jack's office, staring at the massive cold case board in front of me. I have gone over this board a hundred times and still, there's nothing that can help us.

I know that this is linked to Tori, but I don't have any evidence to back it up, yet my gut is telling me that it is.

My working theory is that Tori is his true obsession. That years ago, he saw her, wanted her but then she was just gone, so every year on the anniversary on the day -in his eyes, Tori left him.

He takes young girls who look a lot like Tori to try and replace his true obsession, which makes him extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

How can I get answers for the families of the missing girls? And how do I protect Tori when I don't know how to find this guy, who is more than likely living right under our noses.

"If you keep staring at that board so hard, your head might fall off" I heard a voice say, pulling out of my thoughts and moved my eyes away from the board, following the sound of the voice, just as my eyes reach Tori standing by the door.

"Hey...what are you doing here alone?" I asked her, a little annoyed that she's going around the main street by herself when there could be a potential killer after her.

She smiles a little and takes a few steps into the room until she was fully in.

"Relax. Don't get your boxers in a twist, detective. I drove with Deacon, he's outside-;" She started to say as her eyes flick over the board, but quickly enough she flickers her eyes back to me.

"Apparently there's this self-defense class he teaches. And I must take it, especially with my gloomy situation, his words not mine. Even though I keep telling him I know how to defend myself have since I was ten"

"In the short time he's known you, he's come to care about you and wants to protect you...We both have...we both do..." I broke off. Feeling my face flush as my own words echo in my head.

"So, did you speak to Mia?" Tori asks changing the subject, which I'm grateful for. Before answering her, I watched as she walks around the desk, and then gently stands next to me.

"I did. And as you requested, I left your name out of it"

"Thank you for that..." She trailed off, just as I keep my eyes on her.

Tori told me what happened with her cousin or at least why she won't talk to her. I mean I don't know the whole story; not sure I want to either.

From what I gathered two people, were meant to be her family. Who was supposed to love her, betrayed her in a way that is unforgivable.

So, I understand why Tori doesn't want to speak to her cousin again.

"If you want the full story, I trust you enough to tell it to you," She says, looking back up to her and locked my lingering stare on hers.

Shaking my head, it's her story, and as much as I love hearing that she trusts me. I don't want her to think that she has to tell me, one day we will learn what we need to about each other when this whole ordeal is over with and if she stays in town afterward for a little while.

"If you still want to, you can tell me when this is all over..." I replied,

She nods her head and then stands up straight, before looking at me once more.

"I better go, before Deacon gets his boxers in a twist too" She laughed,

Letting out of my own laugher because she's probably right Deacon takes his classes very seriously.

"That you should, he's a hard-ass when it comes to being on time".

"Bye Derek," Tori said and smiles before heading out, not giving me a chance to reply.

Watching as she disappears from my view, then moved my eyes back to the board. I need to solve this just not for the missing victims, but to make sure that she is safe, I won't stop until she is safe.


MY GOD! Deacon is brutal, I mean my joints and muscles hurt beyond what I thought was possible. Don't get me wrong the man can fight, and he can teach self-defense like a pro, but damn I'm going to be feeling that workout for days.

"You okay their sunshine" I heard Deacon laugh from behind me, as we make our way to his jeep.

Stopping on my heels and turned around to face him, with a scowl.

"I hate you...so much you know, that right?" I snipped at him, which only makes him laugh harder, Deacon walks closer to me and wraps one arm around my shoulders.

"You love me, I'm like the brother you've always wanted but never got-;" He breaks off when he notices that I've stopped listening to him, because my focus is now on a piece of paper, tucked under the wiper of Deacon's car.

"There's a note on your car" I announced, stepping away from him and towards the Jeep.

Reaching out and grabbed the paper, an unsettled feeling of nausea in the pit of my stomach.

Letting my eyes run over the words written down, staring at me.

She's mine...Goodbye.

"Wait. Do you hear that-;" I barely hear Deacon's voice say from behind me,

"TORI GET BACK" Deacon screams, feeling the pull of his hands from behind me, just as a massive bang ripples through the street.

And we're thrown backwards , it's taking me a moment to understand what is happening and then I feel the heat of the flames before I even see them.

Feeling the impact of my body hitting the road with a force, just as my eyes catch sight of Deacon's car on fire and I hear the echoes of someone screaming my name.

Loving Derek (River-Cove Series: Book 1) ✓Where stories live. Discover now