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“Maybe we should wait for backup?”

“There’s no time.”

Nancy glanced at the front door with concern.

“It’s open,” she said, turning to Dan.

As Don slowly shoved the door wide open, he could hear noise coming from down the hall. After a few moments he realized it was a television coming from down the hall. Dan pulled out his gun. He motioned for Nancy to stay behind him.

“Maria, Senator,” Dan yelled and then hesitated for a moment. “Anyone home?” he asked and then listened for a moment.

Dan entered the foyer and slowly walked down the hall to an open room to the right but saw nothing. He glanced around the room. The television set seemed to be coming from a room at the end of the hall.

Dan peeked around the corner and then glanced into the room. He reached for the television set that sat on the edge of the counter and turned it off. It was then he looked across the room beyond the butcher-block island near the patio doors that he saw the pool of blood on the floor. As he walked around the butcher-block island he could see Maria lying on the floor in one of her scantily clad outfits staring blankly at the ceiling. Her throat had been slit from ear to ear. The bruises on her face and arm contested to the fact she did not go down without a fight.

Nancy rushed over to Maria while Dan winched in pain as he stood hanging onto the counter.

“Even she didn’t deserve that.” Dan said looking away.

No matter how many dead bodies he saw in the line of his work, it still bothered him the senseless way people killed their fellow man.

Dan wished now he had taken a Vicadin before they left, but didn’t dare ask Nancy for something for the pain.

* * *

Dan slowly maneuvered into the Senator’s study. He held the gun ready to fire at a moments notice. Dan heard something and then stopped. Nancy was close behind him and stopped also.

“What is it,” Nancy whispered.

Dan motioned to Nancy to be silent. He glanced around the room and the whimper could be heard again. Dan pointed to the closet door. Slowly Dan edged his way over to the door. He reached for the knob and opened the door slowly. There on the floor Jeffrey sat bound and gagged. Jeffrey’s eyes widened when he saw Dan in the doorway. Nancy quickly bent down and took the gag from Jeffrey’s mouth.

“Where’s the Senator?” Dan asked, hanging onto the doorsill.

“I don’t know. I came out last night and overheard him and his wife arguing. He killed her,” Jeffrey sobbed for a moment as if trying not to think about it. “I tried to leave but he caught me before I could get to my pickup.”

Dan looked down at Nancy. “You take care of Jeffrey. I’m going out to the barn to check things out,” he said and then turned back to Jeffrey.

“Why did you come out here?”

“I found Richie’s journal and I wanted to let the Senator know I dropped a copy off at the newspaper office. The world has to know what a pervert he is.”

“Why did he kill Maria?” Dan asked.

“They were arguing about him killing Junior. I think she wanted money to keep quiet.”

Dan bent over in pain but then recovered himself. Nancy grabbed his arm and helped steady him.

“You aren’t strong enough to go after the Senator,” she said.

“I have no choice.” Dan looked down at Jeffrey and shook his head. “It ends here,” was all he mustered up to say.

Dan knew what he had to do. He only wished Jeffrey would have come to him instead of trying to confront the Senator on his own. It only made matters worse.

* * *

Dan walked slowly through the barn with gun in hand. The sun streaked in through the open side windows. It caused shadows to dance across the floor. Dan walked around a corner and saw Jack Finnegan lying on the barn floor in a pool of blood. He suddenly heard movement from behind. Dan turned quickly.

“You killed my boy?” the Senator snarled.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Dan said.

“Alan is dead because of you.” The Senator’s jaw muscles tensed as he aimed the gun at Dan.

“It didn’t make sense why he stopped at the tall pines until now. Your property butts up to Murphy’s just beyond the woods. He was trying to lose me in there. Were you going to take him out of the country?”

“Don’t matter now,” the Senator snapped.

“You were going to let him take the blame for all of this,”

“He was weak, he always was.”

“Drop your gun.”

Dan hesitated a moment before tossing his gun. He raised his hands and then continued.

“You’re sick” Dan said. “Why did you kill Maria?”

“She caught on. Bitch was going to turn me in and take everything,” the Senator snapped.

“That, and screwing the help didn’t set well with you, did it?”

This angered the Senator. He had been to busy with his own sick ways, he hadn’t even realized his wife was sleeping with anyone who would bed down with her. He only married her to give the illusion of normality.

“I made her respectable and how does she repay me?”

“What about the others?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“You’re right. Nothing you’ve done makes any sense to me. Including killing Kay.”

The Senator’s anger was clearly visible on his face and then he snapped. “She was digging into things. She was getting too close. Nosy bitch got what was coming to her.”

“You’re sick, and I’m going to see to it that you pay for your crimes.”

“My old man taught me well. You take what you want in this world because no one will give it to you willingly.”

“That includes killing young boys.”

“They all had it coming to them. Flaunting their innocent youth. They all taunted me, as if they were better than me, me a Senator and all.”

“I’m taking you in,” Dan snapped.

“You don’t have it in you. You’re just a small town cop, besides, you don’t have proof.”

“I’ve got Jeffrey. And I’ve got Richie’s journal. Maybe I can’t get you for all those other boys you’ve killed but Maria and Junior’s death will be enough to put you away for life.”

“They made me do it,” the Senator whispered, while rubbing his temple as if to ease the pain. “The voices told me to kill them.”

Dan laughed mockingly. “You working on an insanity plea now?” he said and then paused a moment. “Put the gun down and I’ll get help for you.”

“Help!” the Senator yelled. “I don’t need help. People look up to me. I’m a respected leader.”

Dan laughed to himself, thinking about how people looked up to the man in front of him. He slowly moved closer to where the gun lay on the ground.

“Dan, where are you?” Nancy yelled from behind.

As the Senator was distracted by Nancy’s voice, Dan dove for the gun on the ground. It was then the Senator fired off a few rounds. Dan quickly rolled onto the floor while he grabbed for the gun narrowly avoiding being hit by ricocheting bullets. Dan quickly aimed and fired off a few rounds, hitting the Senator in the chest with two of his shots. The Senator collapsed onto the floor.

Nancy rushed over to Dan as he struggled to get up. They stood there in each other’s arms. In the distance, sirens could be heard coming closer.

“It’s over with,” Dan said. “It’s finally over.”

The End

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