“What is today, Baby?” She asked.
“Why, Sara, Baby,” Dom began, surprised at her question, “it’s the day before Mardi Gras. Day after tomorrow will be our anniversary.”
She smiled sadly. Tomorrow would show whether he would remain. Something about Mardi Gras always had an effect upon her men. They tended to leave the next day. She didn’t know why.
Was it her? Or did they just use her for the sex? Would Dom grow tired of her? Her fears had returned. The sense of being followed returned.
God! Why was this all happening? Why was there always that day? Was she always doomed to be parted from those she loved? And why was Mardi Gras so familiar to her? What had actually happened on that date that it was all she could remember?
Dom wrapped his arms around her. She could feel his love, but couldn’t shake the feeling that he would be gone by the end of the night tomorrow. Tomorrow.
She buried her face in his shoulder and breathed in the scent of his cologne. He smelled so good. She raised her eyes to meet his. And those ice-blue eyes! How she got lost in them!
He had helped her with so much. What, she still couldn’t remember. But the past year had been paradise. She could remember that much. There had been no worries. No fears. No loneliness.
She decided she would live for today. Let tomorrow worry about itself for now. She would face it when it came. Right now, she still had Dom. She would cherish him while she still could.
Dom looked down at his beloved Sara. She had acted strange when he mentioned Mardi Gras. Had something happened to her on that day? Was that why she was so affected by the mention of it?
He didn’t know. Perhaps he would never know. All that mattered was that he loved her more than anything. Even his own life. Such a wonderful love was hard to find.
He kissed her on the top of her head. He loved the smell of her. The feel of her in his arms. She had become his world.
Sure he had to go to work every day, but he couldn’t wait to come back home to her. He couldn’t get enough of her. She was his sweet addiction, but he didn’t care. He could die in her arms and never care. She was his little piece of heaven.
Mardi Gras was just a day away. Michael dreaded each and every Mardi Gras now. Since the arrival of Nelson in the guise of Petty, there had been a horrible scene in some alley, tucked far from the view of the revelers. Even Nelson’s disappearance had not quelled that feeling, in the pit of his stomach, that they would be greeted by something unusual. A murder, maybe. Or a rape. Or–he had to quit doing this to himself. conjecturing only made things worse.
Marcel could see it in his eyes. “Mon ami, you need to quit thinkin’ so hard. Don’ make cases or crimes before dey are done. It don’ serve any purpose except to form ulcers.”
He smiled. “I know, Justin. This is just a strange time of the year. You realize that it was on this very date that we found his last victim three years ago? It was also on this date, well, the day after, that she called from his house to report his disappearance. And when she released his other intended victims. And we found the evidence that tied him to the cases we had been trying so hard to solve.”
“Oui,” came the Cajun’s answer, “An’ I know dat it has been three years dat we have not been able to fin’ hide nor hair o’ him. so what? His spree has ended. We won’t have no more of those.”
Michael looked at his friend. The Cajun was right. “But what if his disappearance is only the first of many?”
Marcel shook his head. “Mon ami, let us face one t’ing at a time, non?”
Michael nodded. “You’re right. Maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hill.”
Marcel smiled. “As far as we know, Nelson is dead. At leas’ dat is what de sheets and blankets we found in dat freezer in his garage suggested. Or he lost a lot o’ blood. Either way, he is no threat to anyone now. We jus’ lack a body.”
Michael smiled. “Yes. Can’t have a murder without a body. And whoever took him out made damn sure we had nothing to catch them with. No weapon. Only a scene with few clues.”
“C’est vrais, mon ami,” The Cajun smiled back.
“So what is on for tonight?” Michael asked.
“I say we have a night o’ poker, Mikey,” Marcel chuckled.
“I second,” Reilly replied appearing at the desk.
“And I third,” Danforth chimed in, not far behind Reilly.
“Then we’ll give the wives the night off from cooking and cleaning,” Michael replied, “order pizza or Chinese and drink lots of beer.”
“Sound like a plan to me,” Marcel stated.
The phone rang, interrupting their jovial conversation. Michael picked it up. “Hello?”
He nearly dropped the receiver as he listened to the man on the other end. “Detective,” the man was saying, “This is Pasquale at the city dump, I think you will want to see this.”
“Can you at least give me a clue as to what–?” Michael began.
“Three years ago, we picked up a freezer outside the Petty residence. It had been slated to be picked up a week before, so we thought nothing of it,” Pasquale was saying, “It has been in a cool storage awaiting scrapping. Though I thought it strange that it had been taped to keep it closed, I didn’t really take action.
“Well, this morning, one of the scrappers broke the seal and the whole storage was flooded with a horrible odor. When we lifted the lid, we found out why. Sir, there was a body inside. A male body.”