"Do you mind? We're at a crime scene. Show some respect," Jax reminded him, glancing at his phone once more.

"Still hasn't called you back? No text either?" Roberto chuckled. "She probably thinks you're desperate...calling her at this hour."

Jax scoffed, "Desperate? Me?" He gestured toward himself and gave a cocky smile, his blue eyes twinkling, "Have you still not realized how handsome women find me? Just the other day some woman compared me to Thor. He's like a God. I tell you being this good-looking is a gift and a curse."

"Are you sure she didn't compare you to a thorn? Like a thorn in her side for being such a narcissist?" Roberto asked.

Jax frowned after checking his phone.

"Maybe she doesn't think you're desperate. Maybe she thinks you're being clingy and that's worse."

"C-clingy?" Jax sputtered, running a hand through his short blonde hair. "I'm not being clingy. I'm just checking up on her. She has trouble sleeping. She's still not over what happened with the Maestro. Wouldn't you be scared if a serial killer broke into your home? She needs me to check up on her. I'm not clingy."

"Whoa...aren't you being a little defensive there partner? What's the matter? Did I hit a nerve? It is four in the morning. Some people like to sleep."

Jax snorted, "It's 3:45."

Jax couldn't explain to his partner that Dani was always awake by 3:15. Her nightmares guaranteed that. He gestured his head towards Lisa, the medical examiner, who was coming towards them and Roberto immediately straightened up.

"What do we have Lisa?" Roberto asked.

The red-haired doctor looked at her notes, "Female. Late twenties. She was struck from behind but that's not what killed her."

"Was it the fall down this slope? It's pretty steep from the highway," Jax said.

"No. The victim was already dead when her killer dumped her body. You two just got here but once you look at the body, you'll see what I mean. She bled to death," Lisa took a step back so the two detectives could understand what the medical examiner was referring to.

The victim was dressed in a flowery blue dress that was now twisted around her waist. It was still dark outside but the forensics team had set up lamps until daylight broke. Her thighs were bloody as were her hands.

Lisa nodded, "I won't know for sure until I get her back to the morgue but it definitely looks like she bled to death."

"What exactly are we dealing with? Was she assaulted?" Roberto asked.

Lisa shook her head, "It's still early to make the call but it appears she was pregnant and somebody was trying to give her an at-home abortion."

========

The ride to King's Diner was quiet. Jax and Roberto were still trying to process the crime scene they had just been to.

"You think maybe she did it herself?" Roberto asked.

"Then who tossed her body down the highway? Even if she wanted the abortion, someone was helping her," Jax said.

"Maybe not. Maybe someone found her and panicked."

Jax nodded, "Or maybe her boyfriend did it. Maybe he didn't want that baby."

Roberto sighed, "It could be anyone."

Jax agreed, "Once we get an ID on the victim, we'll find out what happened. We always do."

As they drove into the parking lot at King's Diner, Roberto grinned, "Are you sure you're up for some pancakes right now?"

"I just want coffee."

"And Dani," Roberto whispered, earning him a light punch in the shoulder.

As they entered the diner, they were greeted by Tammy, a waitress who was eight months pregnant. Seeing her, caused both men to think about their murder victim.

"Hi you two. Are you here to see Dani?" she asked, a hand on her protruding stomach.

"Not me," Roberto smiled. "I came for the pancakes."

"Is Dani not working today?" Jax asked, looking around the diner.

"She'll be here any minute to relieve me," Tammy shared. "If my sleep patterns weren't so off, she'd have kept the overnight shift."

As if on cue, the diner's entrance jingled as Dani Deleon came hurrying through the door, only to be stopped by Tammy grabbing her bare hands.

Dani quickly pulled her hands away, "I'm sorry I'm late Tammy. I forgot today was Thursday so it's trash day. I had to hurry to gather the trash and take it out and then some lady stopped me on my way here. I swear I have some kind of brain fog today."

"No worries. Pregnancy gives me brain fog," Tammy laughed, "You came just in time. I should get going so I can shower and change before class starts. My professor doesn't take excuses and likes to deduct points from our final grade for late students."

Tammy quickly grabbed her purse and left the diner. It had only been two months since she started working at King's Diner. The tips were decent and the place was always busy since the Maestro had been killed.

The Maestro was a serial killer that had frequented King's Diner, making the small establishment popular overnight. He had also been the uncle to Tammy's unborn child. As a single mother-to-be, Tammy struggled with the idea of how she would raise her child alone. It wasn't a position she ever imagined herself being in or even wanted. She was walking to the bus stop when a car pulled up behind her. A sliver of fear made its way through her as she took a few steps back.

"Excuse me. I was hoping you could help me. I'm a little lost," the driver of the vehicle said to Tammy.

Directions? Tammy immediately relaxed. "Where are you headed?"

"I'm looking for Magestic Waters. Have you heard of it?" the driver asked.

Tammy shook her head, "No, I'm sorry. I can't say that I have."

"It's a beautiful place. They specialize in working with pregnant women. You look ready to pop. Why don't you join me? I'm sure you'll like it."

Tammy frowned as the feeling of apprehension returned, "No thanks. I have to get home. Good luck finding your way." She was about to leave when she heard the driver getting out of the car. Tammy swallowed her fear as she slowly turned around. The driver had a gun aimed straight at her.

"Let me rephrase that. I need you to get in the car with me. This isn't a request."

Tammy knew she couldn't outrun a bullet, "W-hy are you doing this? W-what d-do you want?"

"You in my car."

Tammy placed both of her hands on her stomach, knowing she didn't have a choice. Once she was in the car, her hands and feet were bound. She was too scared to scream. Instead she asked in a quavering voice, "Why are you doing this?"

The driver reached over and patted her stomach, "My family's precious baby was lost...and now I need a replacement."

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