Josh’s body ached and the chill from the concrete floor was seeping into his bones. He was laying on his back, his arms and legs staked out spread-eagled, Lance had stripped him naked and displayed him crudely so that even in death he would have no dignity.
He blinked repeatedly to clear the milky film that had formed over his eyes and then whimpered in dread as he focused on the blond profiler sitting on a chair watching him.
“Hi,” Lance said kindly. “Are you thirsty?”
Josh was scared. He remembered what Lance said he had done to Jessica and he shook his head even though his mouth was dry.
Lance knelt beside him and opened a bottle. “It’s only water Josh.” He took a long gulp to prove what he said was true then held it to Josh’s lips.
Josh gulped down the icy cold fluid gratefully.
“It won’t be long now,” Lance said reassuringly. He stroked the side of Josh’s face. “We’ll just give Justin ten more minutes to try to figure out where you are and then we can end this.”
Josh sobbed. “Please … please Lance let me go.”
“Ten more minutes,” Lance said winking.
Lance checked his watch. “I think we have given him enough time.” He walked over to where he had left his bag and took out a bottle of red liquid.
He saw Josh watching him, terror in his eyes. “Don’t be scared,” Lance said . “It’s only pig’s blood.” Lance unscrewed the top and squatted next to his helpless victim. “I’m going to leave you soon and I don’t want you to be lonely. This will attract a few friends to play with you.” he poured the blood over Josh’s body .
“This building is infested with rats. The smell of the blood will draw them to you. I did consider cutting your wrists or slashing you but if I did that you might bleed to death and that’s not the death I have planned for you.”
“Don’t Lance …don’t leave me,” Josh begged.
“That didn’t take long,” Lance observed as the distinct sound of scampering claws could be heard. “They must be really hungry.”
Lance rubbed Josh’s hair and then stood up and walked away.
“For the love of god Lance … please don’t do this to me.” Josh was hysterical, screaming for his tormentor to have mercy.
The profiler carried on walking away, ignoring the panicked cries of his victim. He had other things on his mind now. Justin would work out where they were sooner or later and when he did he would be waiting.
Justin screeched into the disused mill’s parking lot and skidded to a halt. The place was massive and it was dark. He paced before his car not knowing where to start and tearing at his hair. His radio crackled to life and Joey's voice floated across the airwaves.
“Justin … Justin ,don’t do anything rash. Wait for back up.”
Justin snatched up the radio. I’m not waiting. He’s in there and he’s could be dying.”
“Justin wait for back up.”
Justin dropped the radio and turned it off. “No,” he breathed. “I can’t.”
He checked his gun was loaded and placed it in his shoulder holster. He looked up at the dark mill and took in a breath to steady his nerves before striding towards the entrance.
It was pitch black inside and Justin stood in silence letting his eyes adjust to the darkness. He jumped as he heard a piercing scream.
“Josh!” he cried.
The screaming intensified and Justin ran wildly though the old warehouse dodging the abandoned machinery.
“Josh, “he shouted. “Josh where are you?”
“Justin.” Josh’s voice was filled with terror. “Justin help me.”
Justin stopped running and spun around . “Josh. Josh where are you?”
“Please Justin … help me.” Josh cried out in obvious pain and Justin twisted towards the sound.
He started in the direction that the cries were emanating from and found his way blocked.
“You took your time.”
Justin staggered back as Lance’s fist caught him in the face.
“Josh has been crying out for you to save him for nearly half an hour now. He’s quite badly bitten but I don’t think they have touched his face yet.”
Justin lunged at his former colleague. Throwing a punch that Lance neatly sidestepped.
“You can do better than that Justin.”
Lance was spun backwards by a well landed blow to his jaw. Justin leaped on top of him hitting him over and over until Lance stopped moving.
Panting with exhaustion Justin staggered to his feet and headed towards Josh’s screams. He ripped rats from Josh’s body, throwing them across the room. “I’m here baby. It’s over.”
Josh cried out in warning as Lance loomed over them both.
The police officer rolled to the side narrowly missing being clubbed by an iron bar swung at his head.
“You spoilt everything. He spoilt everything. This case was meant to bring us together and it would have if he hadn’t stolen you away.” Lance advanced on Justin the metal bar still in his hands. “He’s no different to the other whores. I seen him coming on to you, seducing you. He has to die if we are going to be together.”
Josh whimpered as some brave rats started to approach him again. “Justin,” he begged. “They’re coming back.”
“It has to stop Lance.” Justin faced his former friend trying to remain clam. “You have to be stopped. You need help. I can get you help.”
Lance started to laugh. “You want to help me? I don’t need your help. You are weak Justin. Just like your pretty boyfriend but you are right about one thing. This does have to end.”
With a howl Lance raised the iron bar and ran at Justin.
Justin was vaguely aware of a barked command and then two shots rang out and Lance fell forward, dead.
Justin scrambled back to his helpless boyfriend, scattering the rats that had started to re-congregate over him. Joey bent next to Lance’s body and checked his pulse. “What part of wait for back up didn’t you understand?” he snapped as Justin tore at the ropes that held Josh down.
Justin loosened them enough to get his lover’s arms free and gathered him into his arms and smothered him with kisses.
“I knew you would come, I knew you would come,” Josh sobbed over and over. “He said you wouldn’t but I knew you would come.”
“Let the paramedics get to him,”
Justin hugged his lover fiercely and shook his head.
Joey rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “He needs medical attention Justin. Don’t deny him that.”
Justin took Josh’s face in his hands and kissed him on his mouth, softly to start then more passionately. “I love you,” he whispered. “I thought I’d lost you.”