{three}

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Dylan heard the edge in her voice and stayed quiet. Alessandra narrowed her eyes at him and went back to work.

He folded his arms. Such attitude. It was something he'd grown to like about her. That along with her eyes, her mouth, and her...

Damn! Thinking like that had to stop. He finally said,

"Had a profiling seminar. After that, I got my orders so here I am." He held his hands up.

"Why? Because we worked so well together last time?" she asked.

Dylan allowed himself a small laugh. "Ain't like I had a say in the matter."

Not entirely accurate. Glenn asked, and Dylan said yes. Seeing her again had been a small part of the reason. Okay, more like most of the reason. She'd been a good partner too. Their racially mixed backgrounds and love of sports made him feel like they had something in common outside of work. But he couldn't tell her that.

"You couldn't come up with something to avoid being around me?" Alessandra asked while still maintaining her rhythm of collecting.

He watched her slam a tool into her kit. So she was mad.

"But you can be out in the field now. You must've missed working with me," Dylan said.

"Sure I did," she answered with false cheerfulness, "about as much as I love collecting maggots."

He watched while she collected more dirt next to the victim's right arm.

Okay then. "You're mad. Fine. I don't see how being all over my ass is gonna help any."

Dylan knew he had her when she stayed silent. Damn right. The wind swirled cold and damp around them while Alessandra promptly went back to placing bags into a box. Out of curiosity, he moved closer to look more carefully at the scene.

No jewelry. The victim was wearing a beige dress that stopped above her knees. No jacket either—odd considering the current temp was in the high thirties. It wasn't quite October, but the cold had arrived.

Alessandra continued putting away her evidence bags in silence. Looked like she was done talking. Worked for him.

Ten minutes later Dylan was still busying himself checking e-mails. Standing here saying nothing was ridiculous. They were adults. So they could have a conversation.

Best to try this again.

"There was another set of killings with a similar victimology out in Norfolk." Dylan put away his phone.

"Virginia?"

"Give the lady a prize." He nodded. "They could be connected."

The dark hair was pretty much all they had in common. Not enough to make a definitive link. Thunder rumbled in the distance, the smell of rain got stronger, and the wind whistled louder in his ears. Dylan pulled the collar of his jacket closer and pulled out his tablet. Before he could say anything Alessandra started talking.

"You already know the vic's a female."

"Obviously."

"Early to mid-twenties. There are ligature marks on her wrists. I've already collected everything around her: rocks, duct tape, a hair tie, and." She pulled out a magnifying glass and light. "I'm trying to find evidence on her clothing while I still can."

"Was she killed here?"

"You see any blood?" Alessandra snapped before she added another bag to the box and sighed. "Most likely dumped." He followed her hand to a spot next to the body. "There's a small amount of blood, and it's not pooled.

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