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Friends With (Unwanted) Benefits


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Title: Friends With (Unwanted) Benefits

Type of Fic: Short/Medium Fiction

Main Characters: Mason, Evie, Tori, Brody

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Dark Comedy

BTTB Rating:  A

Does it contain spoilers: Not exactly… well, sort of, but only for UK viewers

Warnings: VERY ADULT THEMES!!! (no bad language, but seriously creepy... you've been warned.)

Summary: Mason has threatened to kill anyone that Evie gets close to. It may just have been a joke, or a throwaway line, but what if it wasn’t?! What if it was a foreshadowing of things to come? What if Mason wasn’t the sweet kid brother that the Morgans all seem to think he is? What then?

(Okay, so this is a very weird one. It came out of a discussion I had with KittCatt about how creepy Mason is with this whole Evie obsession. So, thanks for the inspiration, KittCatt! :wink: I know I should be writing the next chapter of Driftwood but this just came to me today and I wanted to get it out there before the show does something similar, lol!)


Friends With (Unwanted) Benefits


"Oh my god! Evie!" Exclaimed Mason, rushing to her side and hunkering down beside the wheelchair that she was being pushed in. "Evie, are you okay?!" he asked, giving her his best 'I'm just so concerned about you' head tilt and hoping that she might notice his bicep as he flexed it at her, "What happened?!"

"I... I... he just..." she stammered, looking up into his eyes in a lost and frightened sort of way. They’d wrapped her in a blanket and strapped her into the chair but she was clearly in a state of undress underneath. "I don't know, Mason!... I don't know what happened!" she sobbed quietly, with a hoarse and cracked voice, “I’m just so scared!”

He glanced up at the paramedics, and then at the two uniformed policemen following behind. "C'mon then, we'll get you sorted" he said gently, getting to his feet again and motioning with his head for the paramedics to follow him towards a private treatment room. He spotted Tori at the nurse's station, as they passed by, and he nodded for her to join them too.

“Okay, Evie… Let’s get you up here” he coaxed, putting his arm around her back and helping her get up onto the bed. “That’s it…” he said, standing beside her bed and giving her what he hoped looked like sympathetic little smiles. He just never seemed to get them right though. He mostly just came across as creepy… mainly because he was. “I’m sure Tori’ll be here soon” he said, shrugging at the paramedics.

The paramedics glanced at each other a little uneasily, wondering why the young med student kept looking at the victim as though he was a dog looking at its dinner. He might as well have been licking his lips.

Suddenly Tori blustered in with an empty chart, ready to take the patient history, and began firing questions at the paramedics. Evie had been found unconscious in one of the holiday apartments down near the beach. The maid had called an ambulance when she’d come to service the rooms. She’d been shocked to find two seemingly lifeless forms in the bed, lying naked side by side. Evie had just been unconscious but still breathing, but the young man’s body had been cold and already showing signs of rigor mortis. They’d clearly been drinking and the paramedics had found evidence of drug-taking too. Morphine by the looks of it! Tori told the paramedics that they could leave, and then asked the police to also leave the room so that she could examine her. They reluctantly agreed but said that they needed to speak to Evie quite urgently and asked that Tori give them a call as soon as she felt up to being interviewed.

“Okay, Evie… How are you feeling?” asked Tori, slipping a blood pressure cuff around Evie’s arm, “Do you remember what happened?”

Evie looked up at Tori in a bleary-eyed sort of way and shook her head as she started to cry. “I don’t… I don’t remember anything!” she cried, still slurring her speech a little. “Did they say I’d been taking drugs?!” she asked, staring at her arms in a confused sort of way as though she was checking for trackmarks. “I don’t think…. I mean…” she stammered, furrowing her brow and sobbing, “I don’t remember… I wouldn’t… I don’t think I would…”

“We’ll run some bloods” said Tori, giving her a sympathetic little head tilt, “And that’ll give us some idea of what you’ve taken…”

Evie just nodded and hugged the blankets around herself a little closer. “I just don’t understand” she said, wiping at her tears and shaking badly, “I don’t know how I got here.”

Tori looked at her with pity, and took in her dishevelled appearance and the fact that she was naked underneath the blanket. Slowly cogs began to turn in her mind. What if this wasn’t casual sex and recreational drug taking gone wrong? What if she’d been drugged and perhaps even sexually assaulted?! It wasn’t going to be easy but she was going to have to broach the subject with her. If she really couldn’t remember what had happened, then they’d have to treat this as a possible case of date rape, and probably do a rape kit. They were also going to have to get her dressed in some hospital gowns, and she really didn’t think that her kid brother should be here for that. His previous relationship with Evie made his involvement in this case shady at best. She would have to ask him to distance himself, from a professional point of view, especially if this did turn out to be a case of sexual assault. “Mason?” she said, turning to look at him and thinking that he looked a little strange. The smile on his face seemed thoroughly inappropriate given the circumstances. “Could you give Evie and I a few moments, please?” she asked, motioning with her head for him to leave, “And send one of the nurses in?”

“Why can’t I stay?” he asked, sounding more than a little annoyed. He might as well have stuck his lower lip out and stamped his feet like an angry toddler. “I’m supposed to be shadowing, aren’t I?!” he whined.

“I think it’s inappropriate” replied Tori, taking the cuff back off Evie’s arm and making some notes on her chart, “Given the… em… ‘relationship’ that you and Evie had not so long ago… It wouldn’t be… professional.” She turned to look at him and raised her eyebrows in a way that said ‘I mean it!’

He frowned back at her, and then his face took on a disappointed and defeated kind of look. It was like that of a small child who’s just been told that he can’t have any more birthday cake and then had to watch it being packed away.  Short of chucking himself on the ground and throwing a temper tantrum, he figured that there was probably little that he could do. “Fine” he grumbled, seeing that Tori wasn’t going to budge on this. “I’ll go…” he said, taking Evie’s hand in his for a moment and grinning at her like a maniac, “but I’ll be back to see you again soon, Evie.”

Evie just nodded at him in a dazed and distant kind of way and stared back down at her blankets as soon as he turned to go.

He went outside and got one of the nurses to go in, just like Tori had asked. As he stood out there in the hallway, and imagined Evie in there in all her naked glory, he couldn’t help smiling. She’d been beautiful last night. That green dress that she’d worn out to the party at the university had fitted her like a glove and he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her shapely bottom all night. It had left very little to the imagination. If you looked really hard you could just about make out the lines of her underwear. If you looked really hard. Watching her from a distance had been exciting in some ways. Almost more exciting than actually being there with her. He’d enjoyed the cat and mouse game that they’d played together. There was a thrill in following someone about like that and hiding in plain sight. Seeing how close he could get to her without her noticing. Dodging each time that she looked in his direction, and hiding his face, or standing behind someone else so that she wouldn’t see. He’d gotten close enough to smell her hair at one point! She just hadn’t seen him! He’d actually danced with her out there on the dancefloor, silently mirroring her moves from behind, and keeping himself just inches from her body. He’d felt like a ghost just one step away from possessing her. His heart had been racing with the excitement of it all. She would only have had to turn around and the game would have been up, but she didn’t. Part of him wanted to believe that she’d known exactly what she was doing. She’d known that he was there all along, but she’d been enjoying the game as much as he was, and that was why she’d been moving in such a seductive way. Taunting him and teasing him, and leading him on… At the end of the day, he knew that she wanted him. She might have kept telling him otherwise but surely that was all just part of the game?! She wanted him. He was sure of that! How could she not?! How could anyone not want to be with him?! His curly hair, his muscly body, his boyish good looks… any girl would have been lucky to have him. One look at his biceps and they’d be putty in his hands… wouldn’t they?! But he didn’t want just any girl. He wanted Evie… and he was going to have her… one way or another!

He looked in through the small glass window and gave a sigh of disappointment when he saw that Tori had pulled the curtain around the bed. He couldn’t see anything but he knew that they’d be examining her for signs of forced sexual contact. He knew the procedure. He also knew that they wouldn’t find anything. He’d been careful. Very careful. All they would find was the residual alcohol and morphine in her system, and he was pretty sure that she’d been too out of it to remember anything else. He’d made sure of that.

As though he would have let her just sleep with someone else! The thought of it made his blood boil! She’d made him do it. He’d given her fair warning, but she just hadn’t listened! She’d forced his hand! Now that other guy was dead and it was all her fault. ‘I mean, what else was I supposed to do?’ he asked himself, ‘Evie belongs to me and the sooner she sees that the better!’ He’d told her that he’d kill anyone that she got close to! He’d told her in no uncertain terms! He’d seen her laugh it off as a joke, but he’d meant it. He wasn’t about to let some other man put his hands all over his woman. Not while there was still breath in his body. If he couldn’t have her then no-one would! Making love to Evie with that other guy beside them in the bed, had been very strange at first, but something about the rasping sound of his laboured breathing had been a real turn on. Ignoring him as he slowly slipped away had given him such a rush. He had literally gotten off on the power that he held in that moment. He was a med student. He could have done something to save him, anything, but instead he chose to let him die. Right there beside him. He’d given him just the right amount of morphine to put him into respiratory failure, but not enough for anyone to question its recreational use. It couldn’t look like a murder. All those years of med school were finally paying off!

He turned and whistled his way down the corridor and headed for the men’s bathrooms. He wanted to have a look at himself in the mirror more than anything else. He hadn’t put so much time and effort into building these muscles so other people could have all the pleasure of seeing them. He swung the door open like Billy the Kid entering a saloon bar and swaggered his way in. There was no-one else there, much to his disappointment. He would have liked an audience for an entrance as confident as that. He turned sideways to admire himself from his best angle and smiled to himself inanely in the mirror. He loved his muscles, and his pearly white smile, but he loved his hair more. “Hot stuff” he said, out loud, flashing himself a grin that he was sure was beyond sexy, “Look at those guns!” He flexed his bicep in front of the mirror and thought to himself, ‘If I wasn’t me, I’d be having sex with me right now’

After going and getting himself a coffee and pain au chocolat, because he felt that he deserved a treat this morning, he sauntered back up the hallway towards Evie’s room. He was going to swoop in there right now and play the hero. He’d hold her hand and tell her that everything was going to be alright. He’d be her shoulder to cry on if she needed him to. He’d do the sappy boyfriend thing. She’d be vulnerable now, and he could use her fear and insecurity against her, and make her think that she was in danger. He’d frighten her half to death if he needed to. It wouldn’t take much. She’d want him there to protect her then though. She’d need him then, wouldn’t she?! This was going to be his ticket back in!

He stopped in his tracks when he realised that the door was open and there was someone in there with Evie now. There was a young man with a beard sitting on her bed and he was holding her hand! He clenched his fists in anger and he picked up the pace to see who it was.

“Seriously, Evie” said Brody, giving her hand a little squeeze and tilting his head at her sympathetically. They’d become quite good friends of late, and really been enjoying working on their veggie patch together. He kind of thought of her as a little sister. He’d just come in for a check-up on his knee and Tori had told him that Evie was there.  “I’m here if you need anything…” he said, giving her a gentle little smile, “…Anything at all… Just pick up the phone.”

“Thanks, Brody” sniffled Evie, giving him a sad little smile as tears began to stream down her cheeks, “This is all my fault…” she sobbed, shaking and trembling with the shock of it all, “I shouldn’t have gone home with that guy… I don’t know what I was thinking!”

“Hey, hey” said Brody, moving up to sit beside her as he put his arm gently around her shoulder. “This is not your fault!” he assured her. He put his hand gently under her chin and turned her face to look up at him. “It’s gonna be okay” he said, giving her a comforting little hug, “I’m here now… You’re safe.”

Mason stood in the doorway, unseen by the two inside on the bed, and silently seethed inside. His own brother was trying to steal his girl, again! How had he been so stupid?! They’d obviously lied to him that time before! There was something going on after all! Brother or not, he was gonna have to pay! He seemed to remember Brody having a very serious allergy to penicillin… ‘Looks like I’m gonna have to raid the drug supply cupboard again’ he thought to himself as he stared at his brother with narrowed eyes, ‘If I can’t have her, no-one will!’

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if this is a wise decision or not, but I decided to continue this... :blink:  It'll probably be a 4 or maybe 5-parter now, I think... It is very dark though so you've been warned.




Chapter 2



Mason sauntered through the front door of the house feeling pretty pleased with himself. He was fairly sure that everyone else would still be in bed, and he knew that he should be feeling tired after being up all night for three days in a row, but somehow he felt like he was walking on air. There was no way that he’d be able to sleep now with all this adrenalin rushing around his bloodstream. He’d done it again and he’d gotten away with it this time too! It had been far too easy though. Tonight’s events had left him feeling invigorated, and more than a little proud of himself, but they’d lacked the element of danger that he’d had the previous night. He needed more of a challenge if he was going to keep himself entertained. He didn’t like to be bored. Boredom was not something that he dealt with very well.

He decided to go into the kitchen and get himself a glass of orange juice while he thought about what to do next. Buddy raised his head from his dog basket and watched him a little warily as he made his way to the fridge. “Hey Buds!” he said, grinning at the dog while pouring himself a cool and refreshing glass of orange juice. “Wanna play a game?” he asked, smiling in the dog’s direction in a sinister sort of way. Buddy whimpered softly and buried his head in his basket again in the hope that the youngest of the siblings would go away and leave him alone. Mason’s ‘games’ were never very fun. Mason downed his glass of orange juice before turning his attention back to his furry companion. “Oh come on!” coaxed Mason, hunkering down to look at him as he cowered in his basket, “Don’t be like that Buddy!” He patted his thighs in the way that people do when they want a dog to come to them.  “C’mere boy! C’mere!” he called. He was using a sickeningly sweet voice, and tilting his head at him in that cloying sort of way, but Buddy knew better than to fall for it. He knew only too well! The last ‘game’ that Mason had played with him had resulted in him having diarrhoea for nearly three days and having to be taken to the vet. And he really didn’t want that! He’d learnt the hard way not to take treats from the youngest of the humans in the house. They invariably made him sick. Where was Justin when he needed him?! When Buddy didn’t come to him, Mason approached the dog bed on his knees and narrowed his eyes at the dog when he heard him faintly growling. “Not playing, huh?” he asked in a much colder tone. With a cruel little grin slowly creeping across his face, he began eyeing the cupboard that stored the harsh chemicals under the sink, and an idea began to take shape. Maybe they could have some fun anyway…

“What are you doing up?” asked Tori, walking into the kitchen and wiping the sleep from her eyes, “I didn’t think you were on until the evening?”

“I’m not” he replied, winking at the dog before getting back to his feet. The fun and games that he had planned for Buddy would just have to wait. “I didn’t think you were on till tonight either?” he asked.

She yawned and shook her head at him, looking thoroughly exhausted. “I wasn’t meant to be but someone called in sick so we had to move things around a bit, and now I have to cover.” She clicked the kettle on and then turned to look at him properly with a little smirk slowly appearing on her face. “Aren’t those the same clothes that you were wearing yesterday?” she asked.

He looked down at his clothes and gave a cheeky little smile. “I guess they are… yeah…”

“You dirty little stop out!” she teased, pouring out water into two mugs to make them each a cup of tea. “So… who is she?!” she asked, before plonking herself down at the breakfast table, “Oooh! …Is it that pretty little blonde nurse that I saw you talking to the other day… the one who’s been giving you the eye since you started?”

He shrugged and picked up the mug of tea that she’d made him. He put a teaspoon of sugar in the cup and stirred it round, enjoying the fact that Tori was becoming more and more impatient as she waited for him to answer. “Maybe” he said, smirking to himself, as he took the seat across from her, “Maybe not”

“Oh, no fair!” she complained, shaking her head at him and laughing, “You have to tell me! Those are the rules! …You know about both of mine!”

He’d been staring at his upside down reflection in the teaspoon because he just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to admire his own good looks. Throwing it down on the table, he said, “Hey… a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell!” He couldn’t help sniggering a little when he thought about what he’d gotten up to last night. It had been a lot of fun, though there hadn’t been anything very ‘gentlemanly’ about it!

“Okay…” groaned Tori, looking noticeably disappointed, “But you know I’ll find out!”

“Maybe” he shrugged again, with a knowing little smile, “Maybe not”.

She rolled her eyes at him and gave a little snort. She knew that he’d tell her eventually. “So, you going to bed then?” she asked, thinking how bright and alert he seemed for someone who’d gotten so little sleep over the last few days, “Are you not exhausted?!”

“Not really” he said, giving her a strange little smile, “I don’t really know why, but I’m not really tired.”

“Wait till you’re my age” she groaned, running her hand through her hair and thinking how much she would like to just get back into bed. “Well… what have you got planned for today then?” she asked, envisaging a day of lying about the house, doing nothing and watching TV. She really envied him that. Her feet were already hurting her just at the thought of having to pull another 12-hour shift. It was going to be gruelling!

“I thought I might offer to help Brody and Evie up at the farm” he said, taking a sip of his tea and giving her his warmest most sincere smile. At least, that’s what he hoped he was doing. His face never seemed to convey what he meant it to. “I kinda feel like being outside and doing some physical work…” he continued, “And I thought she could do with some support and a friendly face… y’know… after…”

“That’s a nice thought” said Tori, glancing at the self-satisfied smirk on her brother’s face with a little bit of concern, “But you might want to take it easy… Evie might be a little fragile at the moment and she might not want company”.

“I know” he said, trying his best to put on a ‘caring friend’ face but he knew that he was probably failing miserably because he just couldn’t stop grinning about last night, “All I can do is offer…” he said, giving a little shrug, “…and I do want to call in and see that she’s okay… y’know… as a friend.”

“Yeah, just… y’know… be careful” she said, studying the grin on his face and trying to make sense of it. She couldn’t help thinking that he did behave a little strangely sometimes. It was as though his facial expressions had no connection to the words that were spilling out of his mouth. He’d sometimes have no facial expression at all when a smile or a frown was called for, and then sometimes he’d have this strange, slightly sinister smile, in the most inappropriate of circumstances. He’d actually told a patient that they were dying with a maniacal grin on his face. He just didn’t seem to have that self-awareness that most people have. She worried about him sometimes and wondered if it might actually be some kind of undiagnosed condition. It was certainly something that they were going to have to work on if he was ever going to make a good doctor.




Phoebe and Billie watched with concern as Evie dragged herself into the kitchen and slumped down into one of the chairs at the kitchen table. With great effort, she lifted her elbow onto the table top, and then rested her head on her hand.  She seemed unnaturally pale and looked as though she could barely keep her eyes open.

“Uhhh… are you okay, Evie?” asked Phoebe, exchanging glances with Billie in a worried way, “You look a bit out of it?”

Billie poured her a cup of tea and set it in front of her with a sympathetic little head tilt. “Here” she said, taking Evie’s free hand and making her take the cup.

“I really don’t feel good” mumbled Evie, as she took a tentative sip of tea and made a little grimace, “I feel really sick… I feel like I’ve got the worst hangover in the world… but it’s not even like a normal hangover… and I wasn’t even drinking last night...”

“Do you think maybe it’s the morphine from the other night?” asked Billie, gently stroking the hair back from Evie’s face in a motherly sort of way, “Like a delayed reaction… or it’s still leaving your system?” She couldn’t help being worried about her after hearing what had happened. There was a distinct possibility that she’d been drugged and assaulted. The hospital hadn’t been able to find any signs of forced sexual contact but they’d said that it was still possible given the level of drugs in her system and the possibility that he’d worn a condom. Evie had been more than a little shaken up by the whole thing, especially because the guy had died, and she genuinely couldn’t remember a thing. She hadn’t been able to stop crying for hours. The girls in the house had all sat up watching girly movies with her until quite late last night, and they’d really only managed to calm her down and get her to bed about midnight. She certainly hadn’t been drinking so it didn’t really make much sense that she’d be feeling so ill.

“I don’t know… maybe?” said Evie, starting to tear up a little. “I just don’t know why I’d do something like that… I can’t remember doing it!”

“Maybe you didn’t” said Phoebe, remembering the very close-call that she’d had with that guy hired by Nieve. “It’s easier than you think for someone to drug you” she said.

“I guess” sniffled Evie, nodding and giving the two girls a little smile. “Maybe I just got a chill?  I woke up with my window open this morning but I don’t even remember opening it.” She gave a little sigh and put her head in her hands, “Maybe I just need to eat something?”

“I can make you something if you like?” said Billie, getting to her feet. “Toast, cereal? What do you want? What do you think you can stomach?”

She opened her mouth to answer but she suddenly jumped a mile high when she saw a figure standing in the doorway. “Mason?!” she exclaimed, looking at him in shock, “You scared me!” Somehow he’d let himself in and just wandered into the kitchen. She wondered what he was doing there and why he was looking at her in the way that he was. “When did you get here?!” she asked, still sitting with her hand on her heart. It was racing now.

“Oh, just a minute or two ago…” he said, giving them all a little smile before coming and sitting down at the table with them uninvited, “Sorry if I scared you, I just didn’t want to interrupt” He reached for Evie’s hand and gave her the ‘I’m so concerned about you’ head tilt that he’d been practicing in the mirror. “I just wanted to see how you are” he said, glancing down at the flimsy fabric of her nightdress and trying to picture what was underneath.

“Um… thanks” said Evie, pulling her dressing gown around her a bit tighter and blushing a little red. Something about his gaze this morning was making her feel a little uncomfortable. She didn’t really know why though. He’d never been anything but supportive, and it wasn’t like he hadn’t seen her naked on numerous occasions, but for some reason today she wanted to cover up.

“Oh, hey Mason” said Phoebe, glancing up at Billie who was standing beside the table with a ‘he’s such a little weirdo’ roll of the eyes. They couldn’t help noticing the lustful way that Mason was looking at Evie, although it wasn’t anything new really. He had become increasingly obsessed with her of late, and anyone that knew him at all was fairly aware of that. ‘Dude! Can you not take a hint?’ she thought to herself, ‘She’s just not that into you!”. Much as she liked the other Morgan boys, she couldn’t help finding Mason a little creepy. “Can I get you anything, Mason?” she joked, “Tea, coffee… Some fava beans and a nice chianti?”

“Yeah, that’d be nice” said Mason, staring at Evie so intently that he wasn’t paying attention to Phoebe at all and completely missed her joke.

“Okay then!” laughed Phoebe, as she cleared her things from the table and motioned with her head for Billie to leave them to it.

“Mason” said Evie, retrieving her hand from his with a little difficulty, “I really just want to be on my own today… I mean… I’m a bit…”

“I know you’re freaked out, Evie” he said, nodding at her and making an effort to give her a sympathetic little smile, “…and I’m not here to make you feel uncomfortable or anything… I just wanted to see how you are.”

“I don’t know how I am” said Evie, biting her bottom lip as her eyes filled with tears, “Do you have any idea what it’s like to not even know what happened to you?! What someone maybe did to you?! I don’t remember anything… but I feel like something maybe happened… I’m just so confused… So, if you don’t mind… I just want to be on my own, okay?!”

“Okay, Evie” he said, nodding and looking down at the ground to stop himself from laughing. She couldn’t half be melodramatic about things, could she?! “I thought maybe” he said, giving her a little smile again, “I thought I could help Brody out in the veggie garden today… do some of the digging? I thought that might help?”

“You?! Gardening?!” she said, laughing for the first time since the incident had happened. She wrinkled up her nose at him and said, “Are you sure that’s… wise?!”

“What are you trying to say?!” he asked, feigning outrage.

“You just don’t strike me as very… outdoorsy” she said, “More of a gym bunny than a grafter.”

“I can get my hands dirty like anyone else” he said, secretly dreading the thought of mud getting under his perfect manicured fingernails. He didn’t really intend doing much to help outside, unless it involved digging a very large hole and then filling it back in. That he might do.

“Hey, Evie!” called Brody, as he walked into the kitchen, “I hope you don’t mind… Phoebe let me in.”

 “Oh! Hi Brodes!” she said, trying her best to give him a big smile but it turned very quickly to tears.

“Hey, hey, hey” he said, approaching her and gently putting his arms around her, “What are all these tears?!”

“I’m just so scared” said Evie, getting up and melting into his hug. She leaned her head in against his chest and hugged him tightly. “I’m really scared, Brody!” she said again. She really wasn’t sure why she felt so much more comfortable with Brody than Mason, but it was probably because Brody spoke to her like an actual person with feelings and a brain, and didn’t spend all his time trying to get into her pants.

Brody failed to see the look of pure hatred on his brother’s face and continued to hold Evie in his arms. He couldn’t help feeling sorry for the poor kid. She just seemed so lost at the moment. He looked down at her and gave her a reassuring little smile. “Evie” he said, gently stroking the hair back from her face, “It’s gonna be okay…”

Neither of them were looking at Mason. If they had been, they’d have seen that he was staring at Brody with an unparalleled fury in his eyes. If he could have blasted Brody out of existence with only a look, then he would have.

“Stay with me?” she pleaded, hugging her arms tighter around Brody’s chest and looking up at him with big scared eyes, “Just stay and keep me company… Watch some rubbish TV with me? Please?!”

“I thought we were supposed to be rotavating today?” he asked, tilting his head at her in pity. He actually thought that it might do her some good to get outside and do a bit of work in the garden. It often helped him to take his mind off things. “You know we wanted to plant in the couple of days… It kinda needs done… Why don’t you come and help? It might help you to focus on something else?”

“I don’t feel very well” she said, shaking her head at him and frowning, “I really just need to veg out on the couch and watch some trashy TV” She glanced at Mason who managed to change his facial expression in a split second, from a look of murderous rage, to one of passive disinterest. “Mason said he wanted to do some work on the veggie patch for us today” she said, smiling down at him in an innocent sort of way, “You don’t mind doing some rotavating if Brody shows you how, do you?”

“Uhh” said Mason, trying to picture what a rotavator looked like and remembering that it had blade type teeth that bit into the ground and spun around. “No, of course not” he said, smiling cheerfully at his brother as a plan began to take shape, “If Brody’s happy to show me how it works?”

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Okay... so this is pretty dark... (You've been warned!) :blink: Hope you like it anyway...




Chapter 3



"Oh God!" shouted Mason, doing his very best impression of a concerned sibling, "I'm so sorry Brody! I'm so sorry, mate!"

Brody wasn't answering. He was clearly drifting in and out of consciousness, and was so out of it on morphine that he could hardly focus his eyes. He wasn't looking too good, that was for sure. He'd lost a lot of blood and he'd passed out a couple of times already on the way here in the ambulance. Strangely enough, Mason really hadn't done a very good job of stemming the bleeding, and that was despite all his first aid and medical training. If anything he'd just made matters much worse by pulling Brody free of the dreaded contraption that he was trapped in, and opening his wounds even further. He hadn't even applied a tourniquet! Still, the paramedics had said that he should try not to feel bad. After all, even the most experienced doctors had been known to panic when dealing with a family member, and everyone made mistakes from time to time. He couldn't help laughing a little. It was very sweet of them to think that he was upset. 'Other people are a sentimental lot, aren't they?!' he thought to himself.

He ran beside the gurney as they wheeled his brother through the corridor of the hospital, and silently cursed the paramedics for having Sat Nav and turning up so quickly at the farm. Surely they could have dilly dallied a little longer, he thought to himself. Maybe just long enough for Brody to have bled out? "Just hold on!" he cried, thinking that he deserved an Oscar for this performance, and quietly running his acceptance speech over in his head, “Don’t die on me, Brody! Hold on bro! We’re gonna get you help!” he pleaded, trotting out those lines that he’d heard so often from concerned relatives on TV shows and movies, and more recently in his shifts here at the hospital. Just a quick glance at the faces of the paramedics said that they’d fallen for his act, hook line and sinker. Top class acting skills, he thought. To be fair though, he was finding it hard not to start smiling, especially when he thought of himself up on that stage. ‘I’d like to thank the Academy…’ he rehearsed, thinking that he'd look pretty striking in a tux, with his good looks, amazing physique, and of course, his head of luscious curly hair. He’d have all ladies falling at his feet!

Just then Brody gave a loud howl as he regained consciousness and realised how much pain he was in. “You’ll be okay, mate!” said Mason, putting his hand on his brother’s shoulder and giving him his most sincere ‘I’m so worried about you’ look. Brody nodded at him with scared and tear-filled eyes, and then just clenched his teeth and clamped his eyes shut. “Just hold on” repeated Mason, taking hold of his brother’s hand as they rushed him towards the Emergency Department, “Hold on!” The paramedics had radioed ahead and there was a crash team ready and waiting to rush him into surgery. More’s the pity, thought Mason.

Crashing through the entrance doors of the ED, he glanced around him for the two young nurses that he knew would be on duty today. He was secretly hoping that they would be watching his grand entrance like he was some dreamy doctor in one of those American high action medical dramas. The ones where they shout orders at each other and look impossibly attractive as they go about the business of saving lives in the most dramatic way possible. ‘Find what’s bleeding, and shut it down!’ That kind of thing! He fancied that he cut quite a dashing figure in his singlet, all sprayed with Brody’s blood like some sort of action hero, and he was confident that he was showing just enough of his rippling muscles to make the ladies swoon. Maybe even some of the men. He knew that they wanted him. Everyone did! He’d seen them all looking and who could really blame them?! He spotted the two young nurses standing by the nurses' station, and seeing that they were clearly watching as Brody was being wheeled past, he flexed his biceps at them as best he could. Yeah, he could tell that they were impressed! ‘How could they not be?!’ he thought to himself with a self-satisfied little smile.

Suddenly a swarm of doctors and nurses had surrounded the gurney and he found himself being pushed away. One particularly insistent older nurse had pulled him away from his brother, and was now talking in his face in a sickeningly sympathetic way. “You need to let us work on your brother now” she was saying, with her head tilted in that way that they were all taught to speak to worried relatives, “You can’t go in there with him…”

‘But I wanted a front row seat’ he thought to himself as the disappointment took hold, ‘I wanted to see them do the amputation… I wanted to see it.’


“Oh my God, Brody!” yelled Tori, charging through the door and straight towards the gurney that Brody was being wheeled on. “What happened?!” she wailed when she saw the extent of the injuries to both of Brody’s legs and the amount of blood on his clothes and all over Mason, “Oh God, Brody! Oh God! What happened?!” She gently stroked the side of his face and stared down at him in horror.

“It was an accident!” said Mason, doing his best to look contrite, “I didn’t mean to… the thing… the machine… it just ran away from me… and… and… I couldn’t stop it!” He began to blink furiously, trying to force a few tears to make the whole thing more convincing. “I’m so sorry!” he cried, again congratulating himself on his own stellar acting skills. He really did deserve an award if he got away with this, he thought.

Tori glanced at him for a moment, thinking that she’d caught something a little odd in his facial expression, but she quickly dismissed it again as sheer paranoia. She knew from what she could see that they had to get Brody into surgery immediately or he was going to lose his legs. “Brody!” she called out, as they wheeled him towards theatre, “I’ll be waiting for you here. Nate’s gonna take good care of you… I love you!” As he disappeared through the doors to the operating theatre, she turned to give Mason a hug and burst into tears.

“He’ll be okay” said Mason, pulling her in close for a hug, “He’ll be okay, won’t he?! He will, won’t he, Tori?!”

“Yeah, course” said Tori, glancing at the doors as they swung closed again, “He’ll be okay”.  If she was honest with herself though, she wasn’t so sure…




“I just don’t understand how something like this could have happened” said Evie, taking Mason’s hand in hers and staring at the floor in a dazed and vacant kind of way. “I mean… how… how… how did it happen, Mason?” she asked, turning to look at him with red and puffy eyes, “Tell me again… because I just need to get my head around it.”

“I told you” said Mason, getting a little bit tetchy that this was the fourth time that she’d asked him to explain what had happened in the garden today, and that she wasn’t showing any interest in having a bit of ‘how’s your father?’ in the store cupboard. She’d taken his suggestion as a misguided joke, and a simple attempt to make her smile, and then just laughed it off without even the slightest consideration. What was the point, he wondered, of having a ‘friend with benefits’, if he rarely got to enjoy any of those ‘benefits’?

“I know, Mason” she said, tilting her head at him apologetically, “But I just need you to tell me again… because it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

“Okay” he groaned, rubbing his face in both hands and then turning to face Evie with as worried an expression as he could manage to pull off. It was pretty hard because all he really wanted to do was laugh. Brody had looked pretty funny sprawled on the ground there in the garden, and that rotavator had been a deadlier machine than he could ever have envisaged. The screams had been deafening, and a little bloodcurdling… He’d certainly managed to cure his boredom, if nothing else! “We were both outside” he began, wondering if his face was doing that ‘I’m so sorry for what I did’ facial expression that he’d been working on so hard of late, or if the self-satisfaction that he was feeling was shining through unintentionally. He hoped the former. “And Brody was showing me how to use the rotavator…” he continued, trying to sound suitably shaken up, “…but it got stuck so I pushed it… and it wouldn’t budge… I think maybe there was a stone or something…” He looked up at Evie as she listened to his version of events, and couldn’t help wondering if she was buying this story or not. He tried to look upset and managed to squeeze out a few salty tears, wiping at them with the back of his hand. “So I pushed it really hard…” he said, “…and suddenly it just took off and… and it hit Brody and… and it like… it just knocked him over… He was walking away… back to the house… and then suddenly he was on the ground and that… that machine… that rotavator thing… It was on top of him… and… and I tried to drag it off him!” He covered his face and began to laugh. He just couldn’t help it. It had all gotten too much for him all of a sudden but he hoped that she might mistake his laughter for sobs and he might still get away with this.

“Hey” said Evie, putting her arms around him and pulling him in close for a little hug, “It’s okay, Mason… It… It doesn’t sound like it was your fault…. And I’m sure Brody’s gonna be okay.”

“He’s never gonna forgive me for this” he ‘sobbed’, “And what if he doesn’t make it?!”

“Don’t even think that!” exclaimed Evie, pulling back from the hug and taking his face in both her hands, “Don’t say that!”

He nodded and looked down at the ground as he tried to overcome the urge to laugh. She just looked so serious and sincere, and something about that struck him as incredibly funny. “Thanks Evie” he said, “I don’t know what I’d do without you here.”

Evie glanced out at the worried faces of Mason’s two other siblings out in the hallway, and wondered if Tori had heard anything yet. “I’m not going anywhere” she said, turning back to him and giving him a little smile, “Brody means a lot to me… so I won’t be going anywhere until I know that he’s okay.”

Mason pulled her in for another little hug and squeezed her tight. He held her in a vice like embrace and did his best to hurt her ribs in a sort of bear hug. He’d punish her for that little comment. Didn’t she understand that she was his, and his alone?! She’d get used to that idea some day… very soon!

“Mason!” she cried out, pulling away from the hug and looking at him a little accusingly, “That hurt!”

“Sorry” he said, doing his best to look a little sheepish. He flexed his bicep at her in a way that made it impossible for her not to look, and said, “I didn’t mean to hurt you… Sometimes I just don’t know my own strength.”




‘Don’t stop me now! I’m having such a good time! I’m having a ball! Don’t Stop me now…’ Mason sang to himself, as he made his way along the corridor of the hospital towards the family room, with a couple of sandwiches and a selection of fizzy drinks. He’d left Evie curled up in one of the armchairs, with a coat draped over her, and he’d promised to come back as quickly as possible with the most edible food options that the hospital had to offer. He was on cloud nine! Brody was still in surgery as far as he knew, and in a critical condition, but whether he lived or died now was fairly irrelevant. He was going to be out of commission for quite some time. The only thing that really mattered to Mason now was that he’d found his way back in. Evie could hardly dump a guy who’d nearly lost his brother in a freak gardening accident and who was falling to pieces about it emotionally. How cruel would that be?! She’d have to continue sleeping with him now! Whether she liked it or not.

As he turned the corner, he saw Tori and Justin standing with Nate and one of the other surgeons in the hallway. It didn’t look like good news. He watched both Nate and the other doctor turn to leave, and Tori threw her arms around Justin and began to cry hysterically. Justin seemed to be crying quietly too. His heart gave a little leap as he approached them and he couldn’t help feeling a rush of excitement. Maybe he was dead. Maybe he hadn’t made it! “Is he?” he asked, trying very hard to look upset and scared, rather than excited. “Is he?!” he asked with his voice trembling.

“They had to amputate” said Justin, collapsing in a fit of tears and hugging his arms around his own legs as he crouched on the floor. “Both legs… they amputated both his legs!” Tori crouched down beside him and put her arms around him. The two of them sat there crying in each other’s arms.

Mason was genuinely shocked and for once his face reacted appropriately. He stood there staring at them with his mouth hanging open as though he was suddenly lost for words. He knew that he’d done a lot of damage of course, but both legs?! Wow! That was pretty impressive! Still, Brody was obviously made of tougher stuff than he’d have given him credit for! He was still alive… He’d have to see about that.

He turned slowly, still wearing a shocked expression on his face, and hoping to find ‘comfort’ in Evie’s arms. He wanted to pretend that he was inconsolably upset by Brody’s sad news and hoped that he could use it to get into Evie’s pants tonight. He wasn’t above a bit of ‘sympathy sex’ and he figured that it would take a pretty cold and heartless girl to refuse him on a day like today. Besides, if she refused, he could always just resort to a bit of pharmaceutical persuasion again. That had worked pretty nicely the last couple of times, but he would have preferred that she’d been a little more interactive, and a little less of a drooling corpse. Maybe tonight would be his lucky night?! As he peered in through the open doorway to the family room, his face took on a more murderous expression when he saw that he’d been ousted once again, and that Evie was in the warm embrace of yet another man! His arms around her pretty little body, his hands touching her flesh, a little kiss on the top of the head! How dare he?! The anger flooded through him and he felt like he could burst into flames right there on the spot. How dare he?! He was indignant! He glared at the other man, and immediately began to make new plans. Maybe Brody would have to wait. He had a new rival that needed taken care of pretty sharpish! If he couldn’t have Evie, then no-one would!

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Thanks everyone for the lovely comments!!! :P I really appreciate it! Hope you like this one! 




Chapter 4


“Hey, hey” said Justin, jumping out of his seat and putting his hand gently on Brody’s forehead, “You’ll be okay, mate… It’s okay!” He stroked his hair softly and gave him a reassuring little smile.

“No” sobbed Brody, hyperventilating and gripping at the bedsheets, “No… it’s not true! Please, Justin… tell me it’s not true!”

“It’s okay” repeated Justin, starting to tear up as he took his little brother’s hand, “We’ll get you through this… and you’ll learn how to… you’ll be okay…”

“Oh God!” cried Brody, looking down at the box type structure that was holding the bedsheets off his stumps. They’d explained to him yesterday about the double amputation but he’d been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past few days. He’d been having all sorts of feverish dreams and hallucinations so he’d been hoping with all his heart that it just wasn’t true.  Surely he hadn’t really lost both his legs?!  “Oh God… What am I gonna do, Justin?!” he cried, “What am I gonna do?!”

Justin sat down on the side of his bed and tilted his head at him sympathetically. “You’re gonna get through this, Mate… and we’re gonna be with you… every ste… every stage… We’re all gonna be there with you to help… me, Tori, Mason…”

“Where is he?!” gasped Brody, staring around him in a wide-eyed and startled sort of way. The mere mention of Mason’s name had made him jump and the sudden movement had caused him intense pain. He grimaced and clamped his eyes closed as a shockwave passed up through his body.  “Mason?! He isn’t here, is he?!” he asked through gritted teeth.

“No… He’s gone to get some food” said Justin, looking at Brody in a confused sort of way, “Do you want me to go get him?”

“No!” shouted Brody, clamping his hand around Justin’s wrist and looking at him pleadingly, “I don’t want him in here! You can’t leave him alone with me!”  He pulled himself up into a sitting position with an enormous amount of difficulty and held tightly onto Justin’s arm. He was clearly in a huge amount of pain, with his face a dark purple colour and veins bulging visibly in his neck. “Please, Justin…” he begged, his eyes wide with fear, “Don’t let him in here!”

“Uh… oh-kay?” answered Justin, gently stroking the back of his brother’s head, “You know it was an accident, right?”

“No, it wasn’t!” sobbed Brody, shaking his head adamantly, “He did it deliberately! He ran that thing over me like he wanted to kill me…” He gripped Justin’s wrist and nodded at him in an insistent sort of way, “He tried to kill me, I swear to you, Justin! He was smiling the whole time… I heard him laughing!”

“He what?!” exclaimed Justin, looking at him in shock, “Are you sure you’ve got this right, Brodes?! …I mean… You’re on a lot of pain relief so… you might be a bit confused… that stuff can really mess with your head.”

He shook his head and collapsed back against his pillows with an exhausted sigh. “I’m telling you… This wasn’t an accident!”

Justin looked at him in concern as he lay back against the cushions breathing heavily and sweating. He was shaking and trembling with pain despite the heavy doses of morphine that he was on, and he seemed a little out of it. Surely all this Mason nonsense was just the drugs talking?! “Mate, I think maybe… maybe you’re a little confused.”

Brody opened his eyes and gave Justin that pleading look again. He was scared. “He did it on purpose” he stated firmly, frowning and giving a decisive little nod, “He knew exactly what he was doing… and….” He let his eyes drift towards the doorway and nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Mason standing there with a sinister grin on his face. “Mrrhhhm!” he cried out, reeling from the pain of having moved too violently and pulled at the drains in his wounds.

“Hey Brodes!” exclaimed Mason, giving him a huge smile and standing in the doorway with a bag full of junk food. He had a bunch of ‘Get Well Soon’ balloons with him too and a ridiculous cuddly toy that you’d give to a small child. “I brought you some of those potato chips that you like and I picked up some decent food from the diner too… I know how bad the hospital food is, believe me!”

Brody glanced sideways at Justin in a frightened sort of way and then gave Mason a half-hearted little smile. “That… That was really… It was really thoughtful of you” he stammered, trying his best to look grateful, “Thanks, Mason.”

“That’s okay!” smiled Mason, making his way towards the bed with a bounce in his step, “No big deal…” He was still in a good mood from the evening before and he just couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Things obviously hadn’t gone exactly to plan with Brody, but in some ways, this was nearly better. He wouldn’t be going near Evie again for some time to come! He sat down on the side of Brody’s bed a little too heavily and had to fight the urge to laugh when Brody cried out in pain. “Oh, sorry!” said Mason, trying to look as though he was actually sorry as he jumped back up again. He took the seat beside the bed and said, “I’ll uh… I’ll just sit here.”

“That’s okay” groaned Brody, throwing Justin another pleading glance before looking back at Mason. “It’s not your fault.” he assured him.

Mason gave him a sly little smile. He’d heard the two of them talking before he’d come in, but he figured that if Brody wanted to play this little game then he was more than willing to go along with it. It wasn’t like he could prove anything anyway, and telling people that his little brother had tried to kill him would just make him sound like a nutcase. Everyone had seen how upset and concerned he’d been. Why would they ever think that he’d done it deliberately?! What possible motive would he have?! Besides, he was so strikingly good looking that people would surely find it difficult to believe that he’d ever done anything so ghastly. ‘What, me?! Angelic little me?!’ He didn’t exactly look like an axe murderer, now did he? “So?” he asked, starting to pull box after box of tasty diner food out of the large paper bag that he’d brought with him, “What are you in the mood for? …I’ve got some of that amazing mud cake that they do… and I got you a burger… and there’s some…”

“You know what, Mace?” said Brody, giving him a weak little smile as he eyed the food nervously, “I’m still not very hungry…” He made a face like the thought of food might make him sick and shook his head, “It’s the meds… and the pain… I just don’t think I can eat.”

“Oh” said Mason, looking a little disappointed, “Oh okay… well… I can put these in the staff fridge and…”

“I’ll have the mud cake if it’s going begging” said Justin, reaching for the Styrofoam box on the table by Brody’s bed, “I love that stuff!”

“No!” exclaimed Mason, snatching it away from him, “That’s for Brody!”

“He can have it” said Brody, trying to look disinterested but viewing him with suspicion, “I really don’t mind”

“Well I do!” said Mason, stuffing it back inside the paper back, “I didn’t buy all this stuff so Justin could just stuff his greedy face with it… He’s not the one in the hospital bed!”

“Oh-kay?” said Brody, throwing Justin a meaningful look and indicating the bags of food with a flick of his eyes, “Maybe you could leave a few things… You never know… I might get hungry later?”

Mason hesitated for a moment before giving a strange little smile and continuing to put the boxes away. “Nah, it’ll all be stale by then” he said, shaking his head at him, “No-one wants a cold burger… I’ll just get you something later… Maybe you could text me?”

“Uh… yeah” said Brody, widening his eyes at Justin again. Surely he could see how weird Mason was behaving?! Surely the penny was beginning to drop for him too?! “Thanks Mason” he said, with a pained little smile, “I really appreciate that.”




“Ooooh! You do not look good!” exclaimed Phoebe, grimacing a little when she caught sight of Evie, “Are you okay?!”

Evie sat down on the couch and pulled her feet up onto the cushions so that she could put her arms around her knees. She had dark circles around her eyes and her skin had become frighteningly pale. She ran her fingers through her hair and gave a loud groan. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me!” she moaned, “I just don’t feel good.”

“Late night?” asked Phoebe, raising her eyebrows and smiling at her in a mischievous sort of way. She’d heard her ‘entertaining’ until the early hours of the morning so she wasn’t all that surprised that she looked so tired. She hadn’t got much sleep herself! It had to be the third night this week that Evie had had someone stay over, and whoever it was hadn’t been very quiet!

Evie looked up at her with a slightly confused expression. “What?! …No… I don’t think… I didn’t…” she stammered, trying with all her might to remember what had happened last night. “I don’t remember!” she said, looking thoroughly miserable. It was all a blank for some reason. She vaguely remembered inviting Mason over to tell him that she wouldn’t be sleeping with him again, and that their ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement was permanently and irrevocably at an end. She just wanted him to give her some space so she could sort her head out. For some reason, she’d slept with again twice over the last couple of days, although for the life of her she couldn’t figure out why. Maybe it had been because she felt sorry for him, or maybe it was because Brody’s accident had upset her so much, but whatever the case, she’d ended up in bed with him. She certainly hadn’t planned it. She’d just found herself in bed with him with very little explanation, and her memory had been playing tricks on her. She knew that he’d come to see her yesterday evening. She kind of remembered him arriving, and she had a foggy memory of him pouring her a glass of wine, but there was a sea of blackness after that. Why did she keep forgetting?! Was she blacking out or something?! What on earth was wrong with her?!

“It sounded to me like you had a pretty good night!” laughed Phoebe, taking a sip from her mug of coffee and smirking at her a little, “You don’t have to be embarrassed! You’re young, you’re single… So… I take it things went well with Matt?”

“Matt?!” asked Evie, frowning in confusion, “I don’t think he came over… I don’t remember him coming…” She picked up her phone and checked for any messages from him. The last one said that he’d be there in ten minutes and that he was bringing a movie. She tried to remember, but she was simply drawing a blank. “Maybe he did?” she said, sounding very unsure of herself, “I mean… I don’t remember… but maybe…”

“You don’t remember sleeping with Matt?” asked Phoebe, looking a bit concerned now, “That’s a little worrying, isn’t it?!”

She nodded to herself as she stared at the floor. Flashes of memories began to flood through her mind. She had had sex last night! She could remember the feel of his flesh against hers. Brown curly hair in her face maybe. Had it been Matt?! How had that happened?! Was she someone that just went around sleeping with anyone who offered?! “Oh God!” she gasped, looking at Phoebe in shock, “I think I did! I think I slept with Matt! How can I have slept with Matt last night and not remember it?! …I mean …Was it that rubbish?! …You heard us, so it must have happened?!”

“Mmm-hmm” agreed Phoebe, furrowing her brow, “You really don’t remember?! Evie, seriously?! How much did you have to drink?!”

“I wasn’t drinking” said Evie, shaking her head, “No wait… I was… I had some wine…but …I don’t think… I don’t think I drank that much… Or maybe we had more…” She pulled at her hair in a frustrated sort of way and gave a loud groan, “I don’t remember, Pheebs! What is wrong with me?!”

“I think we need to call Nate” said Phoebe, picking up her phone and scrolling to Nate’s number. She was sure that he wouldn’t mind making a house call. After all, it wasn’t like he had an actual job at the hospital and might be busy, y’know, doing that.

“No stop!” said Evie, shaking her head and putting her hand out to stop Phoebe. “I don’t want the doctors to think that I’m some sort of alcoholic!” she said, rubbing her face in both hands, “It’s bad enough all the stuff with the morphine… Just… Just… Maybe I just drank too much? …I mean …This whole thing with that guy at the party… and Brody getting hurt… I’m just a bit shaken up… Maybe I just overdid it?”

“Hmmm” said Phoebe, reluctantly agreeing, “I’m gonna be keeping a close eye on you though. I’m getting worried about you!”

“Thanks… I’ll be okay” said Evie, giving her a half-hearted little smile. With a heavy sigh, she picked up her phone again and scrolled to Matt’s name in her contact list. She got up and walked out to the kitchen to make the call. Much to her disappointment, it just rang out, and went straight to voicemail. “Matt” she said, feeling her voice tremble a little but trying to hide it, “I’m scared, Matt! I don’t know what happened last night… I need you to call me back… I need to talk to you… Please, just call me back!”

She came back into the living-room and flopped back down on the couch with an exasperated sigh. “He didn’t answer” she said to Phoebe, looking a little teary-eyed.

“I’m sure he’ll call back” said Phoebe, giving her a sympathetic little head tilt. She gazed out the window and spotted Mason out in the garden. “Oh, by the way…” she said, rolling her eyes a little, “Mason’s been here since God knows when this morning… He’s digging up the whole garden… Said he felt he owed it to Brody to get the garden beaten into shape for him for when he feels up to coming up here.”

Evie stared down at the floor looking very sad. “I don’t know how interested Brody will be in the veggie patch now… but that’s nice of him.”




Mason stood brushing the mud off his clothes and put the phone back in his pocket. He’d listened to the voicemail that she’d left, and while he’d tried to stay cool and collected, he couldn’t help shaking with anger. How dare she?! She’d called Matt instead of him. Here he was digging up the veggie patch for her, working his fingers to the bone, and there she was pouring her heart out to Matt! When was she going to learn?!

He raked the soil back into place and stood with his hands on his lower back. ‘Not bad at all’ he said to himself, with a self-satisfied little smile. He glanced back at the farmhouse and snorted when he thought of the conversation that he’d had with Evie about his lack of prowess in the garden. He’d proved her wrong, that was for sure! Just a pity that he couldn’t really show her that.

He looked down at the huge area of land that he’d dug up, and rotavated, and couldn’t help feeling quite proud of himself. He’d done a good job! He couldn’t help imagining himself in a sort of montage like the Diet Coke ad, complete with an upbeat 80s pop song, and slow motion shots of his rock-hard muscles. He pulled his singlet up to wipe the sweat from his face, picturing the swoons of all the young women watching when they caught sight of his abs. How could any woman not want a piece of this?!

“Oh, hey Evie!” he called out as he saw her making her way towards him from the house. He shielded his eyes from the bright sunshine and gave her a huge smile, “It’s looking good, isn’t it?!”

“Yeah” said Evie, frowning and hugging her arms around her chest, “It looks great.”

“You don’t sound very excited” said Mason, looking around at the work that he’d done, “I thought you’d be pleased?”

She looked up at him and gave him a little shrug. “No, it’s great… It’s just… I don’t think Brody will be able to… I don’t know if he’ll want to anymore… Not here anyway…”

“Yeah, I guess” he said, “I suppose it might bring up bad memories.” He couldn’t help smiling to himself as he began to create a slightly different montage in his head where he replayed the highlights of Brody’s injury. Everything in life seemed more entertaining when it was heavily edited and set to inspirational music. That’s why people were able to watch movies about things as boring as baseball!

“I guess we could still… we could plant it out the way Brody wanted” said Evie, shrugging her shoulders and looking around a little sadly, “At least he could have some good healthy veg while he’s recovering.”

Mason smiled from ear to ear. He’d get back into her pants yet! Once they’d spent a few hours working side by side in the garden she wouldn’t be able to refuse him. How could she look at this body and not want some?! “Good idea” he said, nodding in agreement, “I reckon it’ll grow some really good veg… I added in a little extra… ‘fertilizer’.




“How are you doing, Brody?” asked Kat, tilting her head in a sympathetic way that came across as a little patronising, “They said that you wanted to talk to me?”

“I need you to do something for me” said Brody, cutting straight to the chase and glancing out to the hallway to make sure that he wasn’t being watched. He pulled himself painfully up the bed so that he was in more of a sitting position.

“What’s that?” asked Kat, taking the seat beside Brody’s bed and looking decidedly pleased with herself. She loved being privy to more information than the average person and getting to stick her nose in other people’s business whether they liked it or not. Being a cop was just the best job ever, she thought to herself. She got to be a self-righteous, meddling, busybody and an insufferable know-it-all and she got paid for it! Was there anything better?!

He slipped her a piece of paper and motioned with his head for her to put it in her pocket. “I need you to check out those addresses… I think there might be some unexplained deaths…”

“Oh-kay?” she said with a questioning tone, “And what are these addresses?” She ran her eye down the list and tried to make sense of them. “Highview Crescent, Walkabout Creek, Porpoise Spit… Hartley High School in Sydney? What are these places?”

“They’re places we’ve lived over the years…” he whispered, staring out into the hallway for fear of someone coming back, “All the places we’ve been moved to. I think… I think things… things might have happened in those places, maybe just before we left them…”

“Okay, what aren’t you telling me?” she asked, narrowing her eyes at him.

“If you find something, I’ll tell you” he said, leaning back against his pillows with an exhausted sigh, “Maybe I’m wrong but… I started thinking and… Can you just check them out?” He gave her a pleading look with eyes so blue that they could melt anyone’s heart, “Please, Kat?!”

Kat nodded. This was the kind of stuff that she loved! She wasn’t even going to tell her bosses! That way, she’d get to feel like she was extra special in some way and a better cop than all the other bozos that she worked with. Whatever about official police procedure! How boring was that?! I mean, if she couldn’t abuse her position, and her access to confidential police records, to help out some ‘not quite’ friends from time to time, then what was the point?! This was going to be fun!

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Okay... so it's all getting very creepy now (You've been warned!) Hope it's not too dark :ph34r::unsure: It's also become a much longer story than I intended...Hope you enjoy it.




Chapter 5


“Brody, you have to eat!” said Mason, sitting down beside him on the bed and looking at him in feigned concern. “You lost a lot of blood…” he said, picturing the spray from Brody’s legs when he’d chopped his way through them. He had to fight the urge to smile when he thought of the blood fountain that he’d created. It had been pretty spectacular really! Like something from a horror movie! “You really need to build up your strength!” he said, “…We’re all really worried about you.”

Brody stared down at the plate of hospital food on the tray in front of him and gave a nervous little swallow. There was no way that he was going to eat that! How stupid did Mason think he was?! “I’m not hungry” he said, pushing the wheeled table away from him and lying back against his pillows with a pained expression on his face. “I don’t want it.” he said, gripping at the sheets on his bed and clenching his teeth. He’d been refusing pain relief for the last few days for fear of what Mason might do to him. He was convinced that he’d take the opportunity to poison him given half the chance, and he didn’t want to risk being so out of it on drugs that he wouldn’t be able to defend himself. He needed to keep his wits about him, even if that meant being in agony. He wasn’t going to eat anything if he could avoid it either. He was sure that Mason could get access to his food if he really wanted to and slip something into it. He wasn’t even drinking the water! He’d made Justin bring him a few bottles last night, making sure that the seals weren’t broken, and got him to drink out of one of them himself just to be sure. They were hidden under his pillow now. He just couldn’t take any risks. He knew that Justin thought he’d gone crazy, but what was he supposed to do?!

“Ah c’mon, Brodes?!” said Mason, giving him a mischievous little smile. He picked up a forkful of mashed potato and gravy, and swooped it towards his mouth. “Neeeeee” he giggled, making the sound of an airplane, “Open up!”

Brody pursed his lips and pulled away from him, staring at him in fear as he pressed the fork forcefully against his mouth. The grin on Mason’s face right now was incredibly unsettling and he felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck. Had Mason always been like this, he wondered?!  How had he never seen it before?! “Mrrrrm” he moaned, shaking his head at him and pushing his hand away.

“No?!” asked Mason, plonking the fork back onto the plate. “You don’t want any of this tasty, tasty mashed potato?! …It’s really yummy?!”

“Just leave me alone” sighed Brody, beginning to tear up a little as he eyed the plate with suspicion again. What had Mason put in those mashed potatoes, he wondered?! Was he trying to poison him?! Why was he doing this?!

“Okay!” laughed Mason, shaking his head at him as though he was dealing with an obstinate child, “I know you probably feel a bit sick” he said, placing his hand on Brody’s shoulder and ignoring the fact that he’d flinched pretty violently. “Pain will do that…” he said, eyeing the IV stand beside Brody’s bed and tracing the line of tubing back to the cannula in his hand. “Antibiotics can make you feel really sick too… I get that… But we really need you to eat something… Anything! …I mean, tell me what you want me to get you and I’ll go get it!”

“I don’t want to eat right now” said Brody, hugging his arms across his chest defensively, “I’ll eat later, okay?!”

“The nurses said you haven’t eaten anything since you woke up from surgery!” said Mason, trying to make his face look concerned but fighting the urge to start laughing. Brody was so obviously terrified! The look of fear in his eyes was heartbreakingly funny and he just didn’t think that he could hold his giggles in for much longer. He watched as Brody’s eyes darted all over the place, smiling to himself a little, as he watched him try his best to play along and pretend that everything between them was still okay. Their eyes met for a moment and he gave a little smirk. He and Brody both knew what had happened that day in the veggie patch. They both knew it, but Brody was trying to play happy families, as though he didn’t know that he knew.  It was highly amusing! He was enjoying this little pantomime no end. “That’s more than 48 hours!” he scolded, “…If you don’t eat, we might have to put a feeding tube in… and you really don’t want that!”

“I’ll eat later” said Brody, starting to sweat as he imagined Mason standing over him as they forced a tube down his throat, “Please, Mason?! …I just need to sleep now… I promise, I’ll eat something later.”

“Okay” said Mason, getting to his feet and lifting the fork from Brody’s plate again. “Mmmm!” he said, stuffing a forkful of the mashed potato in his own mouth, “You’re missing out, mate! Seriously, this is really good!” He was finding it really hard not to laugh at the look of pure shock on Brody’s face. He knew that he must be weak with hunger at this stage, his stomach crying out for food, like pure torture. He was enjoying taunting him much more than he could ever have imagined. It was hilarious! Now that Brody had seen that the food was safe, he could see how much he wanted it. He was eyeing the plate now in total desperation and practically licking his lips. It wasn’t poisoned. None of the food had ever been poisoned! As though he would do something as traceable and easy to prove as that. What kind of idiot did he think he was?! Still, it was a lot of fun to keep him guessing! Two whole days with hardly any food or water, and in absolute agony, because he was so scared of him! There was something incredibly satisfying about having this much power over someone.

A nurse came in with a new IV bag and gave Mason a little smile. “I just need to change Brody’s IV” she said, making her way over to the side of his bed, “You keeping your big brother company?”

“Yeah” he said, flashing her a smile that he was sure was like ‘sex on legs’. “I’m just checking in on him”

“That’s really nice” she said, smiling down at Brody, “It must be nice having both your brother and your sister here? …So they can look in on you during the day?” She hooked up the bag and rolled the little wheel to adjust the flow.

“Yeah… it is” he said, sounding less than enthusiastic and wincing a little as he shifted nervously in the bed.

“How’s the pain?” she asked, picking up his chart to make a few notes, “It’s really not good for you to be in too much pain. It’ll hamper your recovery in the long run… Are you sure you don’t want me to get a doctor for you?”

“No, I’m fine” he sighed, “I don’t need it… I don’t want it.”

“Okay, well…” she said, rolling her eyes at Mason in a way that said ‘patients, eh?’, “You have a morphine driver in your hand here… so all you have to do is push that little button right there.”

“Yeah, Brody” said Mason, giving him a little wink and smirking at him mockingly, “All you have to do is push that little button… and then no more pain.”

Brody glanced at the cannula in his hand in a startled sort of way. He hadn’t thought of Mason actually tampering with his medication! He’d been refusing pain relief so he could keep his wits about him, but he’d never imagined him being bold enough to poison his morphine. His heart began to race at the thought of what could have happened. He looked up at Mason with fear-filled eyes. “I’ll be okay without it” he muttered quietly, wondering how he was going to get through this.

“I don’t know” sighed Mason, shaking his head at the nurse in a mock disapproving way. He could see her eyeing him up in that way that all women did, and he knew that she found him attractive. Yeah, she wanted to jump his bones! She’d climb on top of him right now if he were just to give her the nod. Who could blame her?! He’d sleep with himself if he could. Some days it was hard to leave the house because all he wanted to do was spend the day staring at himself in the mirror. Life could be tough when you were this good looking! “Some people just don’t want to help themselves!” he said to her, running his hand through his luscious curly hair and putting his elbow on his knee so she’d have a better view of his flexed bicep. “You just can’t reason with them!”

She laughed a little and nodded in agreement. “Okay, that’s you done, Brody” said the young nurse, putting the empty IV bag in the medical waste bin and glancing at the tray of mushed up food with a little sigh. She picked up the tray and said, “I’ll get this out of your way then.”

Mason watched her leave the room and turned to give Brody a cheeky little smile. “I’d better go” he said, patting Brody on the leg and making him jump with the pain. He grinned at him, glancing at the cannula in his hand, and then climbed to his feet. “I have a date tonight…” he said, raising his eyebrows twice at him in a mischievous way, “…but don’t worry! I’ll be thinking about you.”

Brody shuddered as he watched Mason go. He leaned back against his pillows and rubbed at his face with both hands as he started to cry. His heart was beating like a hammer in his chest and he felt like he couldn’t breathe. Is this a panic attack, he asked himself?  Am I having a panic attack? His throat felt strange and tight as he tried to take in a full breath. “Calm down” he told himself, “He’s gone! You’re okay… Calm down…”




Kat frowned at her computer screen as she brought up one of the addresses on the list again. It looked like Brody was right! Each of the addresses seemed to link up with unexplained disappearances and deaths. The dates and places matched exactly with the details that Brody had given her. Three people had disappeared in Walkabout Creek, four people in Porpoise Spit… There were two deaths at Hartley High School that seemed to have gone unexplained too. Highview Crescent was certainly of interest. It was a small development of shoddily built houses right on the edge of an airport runway and had been the subject of a high-profile court case involving a compulsory purchase order. The local residents seemed a plucky bunch though, and had actually managed to win their case against the government! It was a close-knit community as a result and newcomers had certainly drawn attention. It seemed that a family known as the ‘Stephens’ had moved there in or around 2014, and lived there for some time. Three brothers known as James, Bryan, and Milton, and a sister called Tanya. They’d kept to themselves for the most part, and hadn’t really stayed long enough to get to know people that well. Funny thing was though, that during the time they’d been there, there’d been a number of unexplained disappearances. In particular, a teenage boy called Darryl Murphy, had gone missing in October 2014, and his body had never been found! There’d also been some minor complaints made about the youngest brother in the Stephens’ family. It seemed that a number of girls in Milton’s school, including the Murphy boy’s girlfriend, had made allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ against him. Nothing had ever really come of it though, because the family had simply disappeared overnight. She printed off the official police records and then moved on to the next address.

The more she read about the trail of destruction left behind by the Morgans over the last thirteen years, the more convinced she became that the blame lay with Mason, or Milton, or Melvin...or whatever he called himself at the time. That cherubic little muscle-head that she saw sauntering around the place, and admiring himself in every shiny surface that he passed, might actually be a serial killer! He might be responsible for the deaths of twelve people and counting… It certainly explained why Brody had been so frightened and put a very different slant on the gardening ‘accident’ that had robbed him of his legs! Maybe Mason had tried to kill Brody?! If it was true, then he needed to be stopped before he hurt anyone else!

Suddenly her phone gave a beep and she smiled to herself knowing that it was a booty call. Anyone who knew her at all had to know that she had a very high sex drive, and that she was as horny as a dog in heat most of the time. Having to sneak around like this was quite the turn on! She picked up her phone with a self-satisfied grin on her face and looked at Ash’s name on the screen. Ash would do for now, she supposed. At the end of the day, she didn’t really care who it was, but Ash had a good enough body, and he wasn’t really bright enough to see that she was just using him. He’d shown how little self-esteem he actually had by coming back to her when she’d treated him like something that she’d just scraped off her shoe. He was a bit pathetic really, she thought, but she kind of liked the level of submissiveness that he brought to the equation. He was obviously just grateful that he was getting his leg over with someone as hot as her, so he didn’t seem to mind her treating him badly. That worked for her. Or maybe it was that he thought he didn’t deserve any better? Whatever the case, he’d do for now, until she found something better. Besides, maybe she could introduce a bit of BDSM if she played her cards right with him? She did have access to a set of handcuffs after all, and a truncheon… “I’ll be there in 10” she wrote, and set the phone down again.

She knew that she really should inform McCarthy about what was happening, but that would mean not getting her end away this evening, and she’d had her heart set on it. She figured that Mason probably wouldn’t kill anyone else tonight and that he could probably wait until tomorrow. Surely he could wait long enough for her to have a bit of the old 'in and out'?! Surely she didn’t have to forgo her own sexual pleasure for the advancement of her career?! Besides, she wanted all of the glory for herself, and she really wasn’t willing to share it. Collaring a serial killer single-handed would certainly win back the respect of McCarthy and the rest of her colleagues! They’d see what a great cop she was then! They’d know then!

Right now though, she was gonna go get herself some gormless ‘man-bun’ action, and she wasn’t one bit sorry about that! She’d see about tracking Mason down tomorrow…




“You’re so beautiful!” whispered Mason, as he gazed down at Evie under the moonlight. It was shining in from her bedroom window and the blue light was making her skin seem even paler than normal with an almost pearlescent quality. It was true that her eyes were rolling back in her head so he couldn’t see how bright and blue they were, and her mouth was hanging open in a very undignified way, but he still thought that she was absolutely stunning. He would have liked her to be a little more into it, that was true, but he wasn’t fussy and in some ways this was easier. He smiled when he heard her moan a little and leaned down to kiss her. She didn’t kiss him back but he didn’t really care about that. He knew how she felt about him. She might have kept trying to push him away, and telling him that she didn’t want to be with him anymore, but he knew deep down that she was in love with him. He knew how to read between the lines. How could anyone not want to be with him?! She’d stop lying to herself eventually… and he’d be waiting.

He climaxed and rolled over onto his side. “Wow!” he said, panting and smiling from ear to ear, “That was great!” He rolled towards her again, pulling in close beside her and laying his head on her chest. “I love you… You know that, right? …I mean… I know you’re scared of being close with someone again so you’re denying your feelings for me… But…” He propped himself up on one elbow and ran his hand over her tummy, tracing his fingertips around her bellybutton, “But… I know you, Evie… I know that you love me… so… it’s okay…” He gave a little laugh, picking up her hand, and giving it a little kiss, “It’s okay… You don’t have to say it.”

He leaned over her and picked her mobile phone up off the bedside table. He scrolled to her messages and started reading through them.

“Matt, please call me! I really need to talk to you! E x”

“Matt, Why aren’t you answering me? Have I done something to upset you?”

“Oh my god, seriously, Matt! You’re really starting to freak me out! Roo said you’ve gone to the city to see Maddy. I just need to know that you’re okay. Call me! x”

“Please Matt, I don’t know what I’ve done wrong?! You’re scaring me!”

He smiled to himself and took a phone out of his pocket. He glanced at her and grinned as he began to type out a message to her.

“Sorry Evie. Lost my phone. Only got my numbers back today. I’m gonna stay in the city for a few weeks and catch up with Maddy. She says hi by the way and she’s doing really well. I’ll be in touch again soon. X”

Beep! The message came through on her phone and he left it unread. He scrolled down through Evie’s other messages and opened the ones from Leah. He chuckled a little to himself as he scanned through the messages. He could almost hear her shrill and screechy voice as he read them.

“Still no word from Zac. I know we’ve had our problems recently but this doesn’t seem like him. I’m really worried! Can you let me know if he gets in touch? Leah xxx”

 “Now he’s not answering my calls! Can you try calling him? Maybe he’ll answer to you?”

“It’s been two days! I don’t know what’s going on! I’m really worried!”

“He text to say that he has some seminar in Perth that he had to go to. For a week! Why would he just leave without talking to me about it?! I don’t understand him sometimes! L  Sorry for worrying you. Leah xxx”

He figured that it was pretty believable that Zac would want to get away for a day or two, even if it was just to a seminar. He’d only known Zac and Leah for a short while, but even from an outsider’s perspective, it was fairly clear that they were having relationship problems. Listening to her nag and nag at him continually, when he was visiting Evie at the house, he thought it little wonder that they hadn’t been getting on. He wouldn’t want to listen to that either! It wouldn’t be a problem for him now though, he thought to himself. Maybe he’d done him a favour?

He locked Evie’s phone and set it back down on her bedside table. “I love you, Evie” he said, giving a little sigh and resting his head on her chest again, “You know I’m just looking after you, right? …I mean… I can’t have other guys touching you and hugging all over you… No matter who they are! I can’t! …I can’t let them do that to you!” He lifted her hand and slipped a ring on her finger. “You’re mine, Evie… The sooner you realise that, the better!”

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Thanks everybody for the kind comments and encouragement. Hope you enjoy this chapter! x




Chapter 6



“Tori!” wheezed Brody, pulling the oxygen mask away from his face and staring up at her in fear, “It …was… him” He was having trouble catching his breath, even after the shot of adrenalin they’d given him to counteract the allergic reaction, “He… did… this!”

“Who?!” asked Tori, sitting on the side of his bed and giving him a look of real concern, “What are you talking about, Brody?! It was an accident! A mistake!” She tried to put the oxygen mask back over his mouth and nose, but he pulled it away again, shaking his head at her.

“No!” he coughed, trying to drag in a laboured breath of air through his swollen airways, “Mason… did this…”

“Brody! He’s not even here!” she reasoned with him, shaking her head at him in a pitying sort of way. She knew that patients sometimes developed delusions in reaction to pain and trauma, and with him refusing pain relief over the last couple of days, she was worried that he was really losing it. He’d been saying some very strange things about their little brother! Mason could be a little weird and creepy, but she didn’t think he was a serial killer! She and Justin had had quite the laugh about it. Poor Brody really needed to start taking his pain meds.

“It was him!” he wheezed, shaking his head at her decisively, “I know it.”

“It was Nate” she sighed, giving him a sympathetic little head tilt, “He was the one that wrote up your meds and he missed your allergy to penicillin.” She knew that Nate had been incredibly upset about it when she’d phoned to tell him. He really couldn’t understand how he’d made such a stupid mistake, but it had been a very long shift, so he’d put it down to tiredness. “He’s very sorry” she said, patting him softly on the hand.

He shook his head at her in despair. “He did… this” he said, motioning to what was left of his legs, and a few tears rolled down his cheeks, “He did this… deliberately… But none of you… will believe me!”

“I just think you’re a bit confused, Brodes!” she said, tilting her head at him sympathetically, “Mason said it was an accident and he feels really bad about it! He’s really sorry!” She took his hand in both of hers and gave him a worried little smile. “It was a really traumatic thing… People miss-remember things sometimes… Your head can play tricks on you!”

He shook his head adamantly and pursed his lips in anger. “Check the…” spluttered Brody, placing the oxygen mask back over his mouth and taking a deep breath, “Check the signatures… check with Nate.”

She furrowed her brows at him and nodded slowly. Nate would be back in for another shift in the morning so she’d be able to check with him then. “Okay, Brodes… I will…” she said, holding his hand and squeezing it reassuringly, “But you have to drop this whole thing with Mason if it turns out that it was Nate that ordered it… You can’t keep accusing him of things he hasn’t done!”

He nodded and closed his eyes trying to concentrate on his breathing. “Kat… will prove… it to… you” he slurred, as his eyes started to roll a little, “You’ll see… You’ll all… see.” She’d snuck some pain relief and sedatives into his cannula, along with the rest of his fluids, so he was clearly drifting off. After a moment, his head slumped to one side and his mouth hung open.

She frowned at him, as he lay there wheezing in his sleep, and wondered what he had meant about Kat. What could she possibly have to do with all of this? Surely he hadn’t tried to press charges against Mason for what was obviously an accident?!





Kat woke with a start and sat bolt upright in the bed. She was nearly sure that there had been a bright light, like a flash of lightening, or someone taking a photo. The room was jet black and she couldn’t see anything now. She gazed around her darkened room and listened for sounds of movement. All she could hear was the soft snoring of the blonde idiot in the bed beside her. She turned to look at the window and waited, wondering if she would hear the accompanying rumble of thunder. Surely she would have heard it by now though?! How far away had it struck?! After a moment, when there was nothing, she gave a little sigh and lay back down again. “Ugggh! Move over!” she moaned, shoving at the heavy and naked body as he slumbered on her side of the mattress. He’d pushed her nearly to the edge. “Ash! Seriously!” she grunted, pushing at him as hard as she could, “Get over on your own side!”

“That’s not very nice, is it?!” said a voice that she didn’t recognise, “All I really wanted was a cuddle!”

She gave a gasp of horror as she realised that the man beside her in the bed wasn’t Ash. In a flash, she was out of the bed and had managed to make it to the other side of the room. She flicked on the light and grabbed for her gun hanging in the holster on the back of a chair. “Mason?!” she exclaimed, staring at him in disgust as she fumbled with the holster, “What are you doing?!”

He sat back in the bed, wearing nothing but his tight jockey shorts, and smiled at her in a smug sort of way. He was sure that he’d caught a hint of admiration in her face when she’d looked at him. ‘Who could blame her really?!’ he thought to himself, ‘She hadn’t bargained on having such a good looking guy in her bed tonight, had she?!… She’d been making do with that other chump when she could have had someone like him instead… She must be struggling to keep her hands to herself!’ He looked her up and down as she finally got the gun out of the holster, and took in her long lean limbs and tanned naked flesh. “You have a pretty good body… You know that?” he asked, admiring her nakedness from head to toe, “I mean… mine’s better, obviously… and so is Evie’s… but yours isn’t bad…”

She shuddered under his unfaltering gaze and frantically reached for a silk dressing gown that was lying on the chair beside the door. She wrapped it around herself while trying to keep the gun trained on him and not take her eyes off him. “Dirty little pervert!” she snarled at him, “I’ll be pressing charges… You can count on that!”

“Oh… I don’t think so” said Mason, shaking his head at her in a scolding sort of way. “I think you’re going to put that gun down” he said, as he patted the mattress beside him with a creepy little smile, “and come have chat with your old friend Mason here?”

She gave a snort of disgust and shook her head at him. That was when she saw it! The body lying on the floor next to the bed. “Is he?!” she gasped, wondering how Mason had gotten into the room and killed Ash without her hearing him, “Is he… is he dead?!”

He laughed a sarcastic little laugh and shook his head. “Not yet, no… He’s just sleeping” he said, patting the bed again, “But that can be arranged if you don’t do what I say.”

“You think I’m gonna climb back into bed with you, you little freak?!” she growled at him. She eyed her work trousers that were lying on the floor near the bed. Her phone was in one of the pockets. She just needed to get to it. Why was she so scared?! She had a gun in her hand so she should have felt like she was the one in control but somehow the sinister look on his face was making her doubt herself.  He’d killed twelve people so far! What else was he capable of?!

“C’mon, Kat” he coaxed, patting the mattress and giving her a ‘come hither’ sort of look. He knew that she wanted him…

“Why on earth would I do that?!” she asked, staring at him in fear, “Do you think I’m crazy?!”

“No… but I think you want to keep your job… and not go to prison…” he said, throwing her a little wink, “I mean, you go on and on to anyone who’ll listen about how much you care about your job…” He gave her a knowing little smile, and laughed a little. “Unless of course…” he teased, “…some hunky blonde mechanic gives you a better offer.” He raised his eyebrows in a mocking sort of way and began to laugh. “My brother tells you I’m some sort of serial killer and that I tried to kill him… and you go off doing your little cop act, digging around and finding all sorts of links to my…” he said, making inverted comma signs with his fingers, “…’victims’ …and what do you do? What do you do, Senior Constable Chapman?!”

Her mouth fell open and she shook her head at him in shock. “You know about that?!”

“I was interested to see what you’d do…” he said, nodding at her with a bemused smile, “I wanted to see this ‘Supercop’ in action!” He threw her a little wink. “So… what did ‘Supercop’ do? Huh?! ...Did she rush out to try to collar this monster?! Did she call in reinforcements and get everyone out there to arrest him?! I mean… here he is… in her house… screwing her housemate! Not hard to track down!”

“I’m going to arrest you now!” she said, making a move to get her phone from the floor, “You won’t be laughing then!”

“Oh, I think I will!” he giggled, “Senior Constable Chapman chose to get herself some rumpy pumpy instead of doing her duty! Didn’t she?!” He patted the little camera that was sitting in his lap and said, “You two have been a little bit careless the last couple of days… You really can’t get enough of this brainless beefcake, can you?! And in some pretty public places too! …Dirty!” He shook his head at her in an incredulous way. “You do like making a mess for yourself, don’t you, Supercop?!” he laughed, turning on the camera and flicking through some of the photos. “I mean…” he continued, “You got away with all that stuff with Josh, covering for him, lying about it…”

Her eyes widened at him as she wondered how he knew about that. “But… but…” she stammered.

“Oh” he laughed, giving her a little wink, “I read Evie’s diary… She does go on and on and on… and on about how dreamy that guy Josh was… and oh God, she can be so boring! …But there were some interesting things in there too… I know you’re pretty easy to blackmail for instance…  And you’ve made it so easy for me! So easy! Now you’re actually sleeping with the one guy who’s off limits?! You really don’t like rules, do you?! …Or is it just that you don’t think they apply to you?”

An ice chill ran down her back as she looked at the self-satisfied grin on his face. How had she never seen him for what he was?! Why hadn’t she called McCarthy last night when she’d had the chance?! What had she been thinking?! Had her date with Ash really been worth all of this?! She glanced at Ash lying blue-faced on the floor, and then at the camera in Mason’s lap. She really didn’t know what to do.

“Nothing to say for yourself?” he asked, grinning at her in that maniacal way that seemed to freak people out so much. “How about you come sit down and we can have a little picture show?” He patted the mattress beside him again and raised his eyebrows at her suggestively.

She glared at him and stood there shaking. She could hardly hold the gun steady in her hands, but as she stared at it now, she toyed with the idea of shooting him. Could she pass it off as a shooting in self-defence, she wondered? That hadn’t gone very well for Josh, but she was a cop, and cops usually protected their own. They were sometimes allowed to shoot people under extreme circumstances. She’d probably get away with it, she thought to herself. She could wipe what was on that camera, and maybe wait for Ash to come round, so that she could convince him to back her up? He’d say whatever she told him to after all! She knew that! But maybe Mason’s photos had been uploaded to the Cloud?! Maybe they’d find them anyway?! This had become more than a simple case of dismissal. More than misconduct even. If McCarthy found out about all the stuff with Josh, then she’d probably be facing criminal charges, and any suggestion of self-defence would probably be blown out of the water. She looked at her phone poking out of the pocket of her trousers. She could still call McCarthy. She could come clean. Hope that he showed mercy?! But… dammit! She was a good cop! She wasn’t going to lie down without a fight! She could still get the upper hand. One way or another…

She gave a heavy sigh and walked towards the bed. ‘What are you doing?!’ she asked herself, quaking with every step, ‘You’re a cop! What on earth do you think you’re doing?! This is how people end up in a shallow grave!’ She sat down on the edge of the bed beside him, hugging her arms around herself, and glancing at him in a fearful way.

“Well, isn’t this cosy?!” said Mason, putting his arm around her shoulder and starting to flick through the photos on his camera with a look of glee on his face. “I particularly like this one!” he said, zooming in on a raunchy shot in the back of one the cars being serviced at the garage, “What’s that position called? …Oh yeah, ‘reverse cowgirl’ I think… right?!”

She glared at him and clenched her jaw. “What do you want?!” she snarled at him with narrowed eyes.

“Well… a bit of a fumble would be nice” he said, gently tucking her hair behind her ear, “I mean… I’m willing if it’s what you really want.”

“You’re insane” she said, flinching her shoulder away from his arm, “I wouldn’t sleep with you if you were last man on the face of the planet.”

“That’s what they all say” he laughed, shaking his head in a disbelieving way, “But I know you’re all just playing silly little games… playing hard to get…”

“No!” she stated firmly, “Read my lips, Mason! I don’t want you!”

“You’ll come round!” he said, gently caressing the side of her face, and smirking to himself, “But in the meantime… ‘Supercop’ is going to do something for me…”




“Hey!” grinned Phoebe, walking through the door to Brody’s hospital room, “How’s the Brodester?!”

“Have you got it?!” he asked, choosing to ignore the ridiculous nickname and a question that he really didn’t have the time or the inclination to answer. He eyed the backpack that she was carrying and put his hand out for it a little desperately. “Gimme!” he said.

“Well, that’s nice, Brody!” she said, swinging the bag up and into his hand. “Thanks, Pheebs! I really appreciate you getting out of your bed and driving all the way to a McDonald’s drive thru… and then coming the whole way here just to bring me breakfast!” she teased. She sat down on the side of his bed and watched with a bemused smile as he frantically unzipped the backpack and retrieved the paper bag of burgers and french-fries from inside. He began stuffing the food in his mouth in a panicked and frenzied sort of way, hardly chewing it, and swallowing it down as fast as possible. He nodded to the door and mumbled through a burger filled mouth, “Close it!”

She furrowed her brow at him and glanced towards the door. “You want me to close the door?” she asked, getting up and walking over to it. “Okay?” she said, seeing him nod, and shrugging in puzzlement as she pushed the door closed.

Brody continued to choke down the four burger meals that she’d brought with her and reached for one of the bottles of water under his pillow. She watched as he carefully inspected the bottle top, turning it round and round to make sure that the seal wasn’t broken. He turned it upside down and waited for any water to leak out. Once he was satisfied that it hadn’t been tampered with, he opened it and drank the entire bottle down in three gulps.

“Uh… Brodes?” asked Phoebe, wondering at the rabid animal that he seemed to have become. “Are you okay?” she asked him, grimacing a little when she turned her attention to his shortened limbs, “…I mean …other than the obvious?”

He nodded slowly and looked at her with slightly teary eyes. “I need” he said, forcefully swallowing the last of his burger, “I need your help, Pheebs…” He reached out and took her hand in his, “I need the biggest favour that anyone has ever asked for… like in the history of favours…” He looked down at the backpack that she’d brought him and gave her a grateful little smile. “You brought them?” he said, pulling the clothes that he’d asked for out of the bag. “Have I told you that I love you?” he asked her, with a huge smile on his face.

“Okay…” said Phoebe, laughing a little nervously, “What’s this favour then?”




Kat stood in the hospital corridor, leaning her back against the wall outside Brody’s room, and smoothing her hair back as she thought about what she was going to say. She was about to do a truly terrible thing. Something that would probably haunt her for the rest of her life, or at least for a few weeks anyway... ‘I mean, I’ve been such a good cop’ she thought to herself, ‘Up until this point I’ve been a ‘by the book’, totally straight cop… Well, unless you count breaking and entering, tampering with evidence, covering for a possible murderer, lying, falsifying evidence... Other than ‘that’… I’ve been as straight as they come!’ This was that fork in the road that people talked about. The point at which she could turn back, but if she didn’t, she’d have officially crossed the line. She’d be a bent cop. She thought about those photos on Mason’s camera and gave a little shudder. She didn’t have a choice!

“Knock knock!” she said, rapping on the doorframe as she opened the door and walked in, “How are you feeling, Brody?” she asked.

“Okay” he said, nervously shifting in the bed and giving her a hopeful look, “Did you find out anything?” He glanced at Phoebe for a moment and gave her an anxious little smile. This was the moment of truth!

Kat pulled up a seat beside his bed and gave him a sympathetic little head tilt. “I came to talk to you… I thought I should come and tell you in person.” She glanced at Phoebe, who was sitting in a wheelchair beside Brody’s bed, and wheeling herself back and forth in it. “Um… Pheebs?” she asked, giving a little cough, “Do you think you could give us a minute?”

“She can stay” said Brody, shaking his head at Kat, “She knows all about it.”

“Uhhh… okay” said Kat, looking a little unsure of herself, “Well… I did some digging and… well… I didn’t find anything… There don’t seem to be any disappearances… or anything like that.” She swallowed hard, trying to hide her nerves, “I checked all the addresses that you gave me… but I honestly couldn’t find anything… I’m sorry, Brody… I know that’s not what you wanted to hear.”

Brody frowned and looked down at his bedsheets in a confused sort of way. He’d been sure that Mason had been responsible for some strange events in those places, so either he’d got it wrong, or Mason had somehow gotten to Kat.

“I want to press charges against Mason” he said, waving his hand to indicate his legs, “I want him charged with attempted murder! He tried to kill me!”

“I can take your statement” said Kat, trying to hide the rising wave of panic that was building inside her, “But it’ll be difficult to make anything stick… It’ll just be your word against his… and the paramedics were fairly adamant that he was trying to help.”

“He did this deliberately, Kat!” he shouted at her, “He tried to kill me! I’m telling you!”

“I think you might be a bit confused” she said, looking at him in a pitying way, “Tori said you might be imagining things because of the trauma.”

“Mate!” said Justin, appearing in the doorway and giving him a scolding look, “Not this again! Seriously?!”

“Just shut up!” growled Brody, glaring back and forth between Kat and Justin, “Shut up and get out!”

“C’mon, mate?!” sighed Justin, “You’re being ridiculous! Surely you can see that?! …Mason wouldn’t hurt you deliberately!”

Kat glanced at Justin and bit her bottom lip. ‘If only he knew!’ she thought to herself, ‘He’s even filmed Justin and Phoebe having sex, the sick little creep!’


“Get out!” roared Brody, pulling himself up into a sitting position and pointing at the door, “Out! Both of you!”

Kat and Justin shrugged at each other and nodded before walking out the door. Phoebe began to follow them, but Brody called out to her, “Not you, Pheebs! Please?! I need you!”

“Plan B?” she asked, looking incredibly nervous.

“Plan B” he said, nodding and throwing back the covers.

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Thanks again everyone for the kind comments and feedback! ...Okay, so... this chapter is really dark so I’ve put a big RED warning! Wonder what that means?! Haha! Hope you enjoy it!





Chapter 7



Brody clenched his teeth and gripped the armrests on his wheelchair as Phoebe manoeuvred it through the door as best she could. “Okay… just stop by the bed” he grunted through gritted teeth, “Please?! Just stop!”

She pushed the chair across the room and brought it to a stop just as he’d asked. “God, Brody!” she said, crouching down in front of him and tilting her head at him in pity, “I don’t know how you talked me into this! I don’t think this was such a good idea…” He was in so much pain, and getting him out of the hospital, and all the way to this motel, certainly hadn’t been without its hurdles. Getting a man with double amputations in and out of a car, when the wounds were still fresh, had turned out to be more difficult than either of them had thought. He still had drains stitched in, for goodness sake! She shook her head at him sadly as she watched him shaking violently in the chair. The motel was only 6 miles away but she’d had to drive so slowly that it had taken nearly an hour to get him there! She reached out and put her hand on his forehead. “Brodes… you’re sweating and… you really don’t look good!”

“I’m okay” he said, breathing heavily and grimacing at her, “Just… just give me a minute… please?!” He closed his eyes, letting out a moan of discomfort, and rested his head on his hand. “I’ll be okay” he said again, as though he was trying to convince himself more than her, “I’ll be okay.”

“Brodes…” she sighed, moving to sit on the side of the bed, “I think I should take you back to the hospital…”

“No!” he snapped, looking at her with fear-filled eyes, “I can’t go back!”

“I know, I know…” she said, rolling her eyes at him a little sarcastically, “Because Mason’s trying to kill you… You told me!”

“Great!” he sighed, letting out a little hiss of pain and staring up at the ceiling, “So you don’t believe me either?!”

“I’m not saying that” said Phoebe, shaking her head at him and giving him a pitying little smile, “I’m willing to consider that you might be right…”

“I am right” he grunted, shifting a little in the chair and wincing from the pain, “I’m telling you… He’s a murderer!” 

“Which is why I brought you here…” she said, nodding her head at him, “I have to admit… that brother of yours is a pretty strange little guy so it’s not like it’s completely unbelievable… but you have been on some pretty strong pain meds… so I’m gonna reserve judgement for now.”

He looked at her and nodded slowly. “It doesn’t matter” he said, glancing at the bed and blowing out a big breath, “You don’t need to believe me… You got me out of there and… and that’s enough…”  He grimaced at the thought of having to move again, but he was exhausted, and desperately needed to lie down. Sitting in the wheelchair like this was intensely uncomfortable because he needed to keep his wounds elevated to take the pressure off the severed arteries and nerves. All the sneaking around, and getting in and out of the chair, had taken its toll and he was in agony. The worst thing was the intense throbbing, that he could feel just below the amputation sites. It was right where his calf muscles would have been, but there was nothing that he could do to relieve it. ‘Phantom limb pain…’ he thought to himself, ‘This is unbearable!’

“So…” she said, leaning back on the bed and giving him a quizzical little head tilt, “What now?”

“Now” he said, removing the arm rest from the side of the chair, “Now, I need to sleep…” He motioned with his head for her to come help him. “Can you…?” he asked, looking at her pleadingly, “I just need to lie down…”

“Okay” she said, putting her hands under his arms to help drag him onto the bed, “C’mon then…”

“Mmmrrrrrrhhhhhhhmmm” screamed Brody, as Phoebe started to pull him out of the chair and onto the bed, “Stop, stop, stop, stop!” He was half out of the chair and hanging off the side of the bed when she stopped pulling at him. “Just…” he panted, gripping at the bedsheets with both hands “…Just give me a minute?!”

“Brodes” she pleaded, “Please let me take you back… or call you an ambulance?”

“Nooo!” he roared at her, turning red in the face and forcing the veins in his neck to stand out with the strain, “I’m not going back! I told you!”

“Okay… so you think you’re gonna be able to stop him from going on this… this… this murder spree…” she asked, looking at him with pity, “…from a bed in a motel room? …With no legs… and no pain relief?!”

He turned to look at her and started to cry. “I can’t go back Pheebs… If I do, I’m a dead man… He’s tried to kill me twice already… He won’t stop now!”

“But Brodes…” she started to say, but he interrupted her.

“No!” he shouted, putting his hands on his head and pulling at his own hair in frustration, “You can’t make me go back there!”

“Okay, okay!” she said, putting her hands up in front of her in mock surrender and laughing a little out of nerves, “That’s me told!”

“Just…” he said again, giving her an apologetic look, “…Just help me!” He took a deep breath and nodded for her to start dragging him again. “Mrrrrrhhhm!” he cried, as she pulled him into the middle of the bed. He was able to move himself up the bed from there, and laid his head back against the pillows with an exhausted sigh. “Can you stay?” he asked, looking at her pleadingly, “Please?!” 

“What… like… in the bed with you?” she asked, beginning to blush a little. Surely he was in no fit state for a sleepover of that sort?! And what if she moved and touched his wounds or something?!

He gave a little sigh and hung his head in a shamefaced way, “I just… I need someone here with me” he said, reaching for her hand and giving her his best puppy-dog look, “Someone I can trust…?” He wiped at the tears that had started to stream down his face, and said “I’m scared, Pheebs! Please?! Can you just… can you just lie with me?”

She looked at him for a moment and wondered how much of this story with Mason was true, and how much was just pain-induced delusion? He seemed pretty lucid right now, even if what he was saying was pretty out there, so maybe Mason really was a creepy little serial killer?! He’d always seemed a little odd to her, always lurking, and looking at her strangely, and checking himself out in the mirror.  He gave her the creeps! Maybe it was true?! Maybe he really was Hannibal Lecter?! She tilted her head in pity at the mangled form in the bed in front of her. So hurt and scared and vulnerable…. All she really wanted to do was give him a hug and tell him that everything was going to be alright. Besides, how could she refuse him when he was looking at her with such sad eyes?! ‘Dammit!’ she thought, ‘Those twinkly blue eyes are simply impossible to resist!’ “Okay Brodes” she sighed, climbing carefully onto the bed beside him and putting her arm around him so he could lean his head on her chest. “But don’t go getting any ideas!” she teased, looking down at him in an affectionate way.

“I won’t” he said, sounding sleepy, “I just need to close my eyes for a bit… and then…” He slumped a little and his voice drifted off as he was talking, “Then… we’ll… we’ll call… ‘whatshisname’… that guy…”

“McCarthy?” questioned Phoebe, wondering if he’d be any more help than Kat had been. Something hadn’t seemed right to her though. Kat had been very quick to dismiss Brody’s claims and that didn’t seem like the know-it-all, busybody cop that she knew and loved. Maybe something was up? Maybe he was right to go to her superiors? They’d see what happened later this evening... She looked at him as he softly snoozed, with his head resting on her breast, and she gave a little smile. “Brodes?” she asked, checking that he really was asleep before whispering in his ear, “You know there were a lot easier ways of getting me into bed?!”




"Mason?!" shouted Kat, as she walked down the hall towards her bedroom. He'd said that he'd be waiting there for her, and that once she'd done what he'd asked, he'd leave her and Ash in peace. That way, she could have her way with his drugged and passive body. She'd pretended to be disgusted at the suggestion but part of her had started eyeing that drawer of sex toys beside the bed, and wondering if this wasn't the way to broach that awkward 'I'm into S&M' chat that she'd been meaning to have with him. "Mason, are you still here?!" she shouted again, wondering at the strange noises that were emanating from her bedroom. She opened the door to her room a little tentatively, and peered inside, but nothing could have prepared her for what she saw.

Mason looked round at her when she came in and flashed her a massive grin, smiling from ear to ear. "I was... wondering when ...you'd get here!" he said, waving at her to come on in and close the door, "Why don't... you join in? ...The more the merrier... eh, Ash?!"

"This is... this is rape!" stammered Kat, taking in the scene of her trussed up 'boyfriend' in a compromising position with that strange little curly-haired psycho. "I... I..." she stammered, staring as Mason continued unfazed, "I can't let you do this!"

"What do you have... all this stuff for then?" asked Mason, giving her a little wink. "I mean... you can't tell me... this isn't... one of your fantasies?!"

She looked at Ash, who still didn't seem to have regained consciousness, and reached for her gun out of instinct. It wasn't there! Neither was her holster! Mason had made her give it to him before she left for the hospital and he was wearing it now. It was all he was wearing! How was she going to get out of this now, she wondered?! How could she ever explain this to McCarthy, or to the force?! How would she get back to being a 'really good cop' when she'd already compromised so much of her integrity?! She watched as Mason finished up, and grimaced a little when she saw him pat Ash on the top of the head, and razzle his blonde hair, like you would a golden retriever.

"Good boy!" said Mason, giving a little sigh, and lying down on the bed with one hand behind his head. "I can go again in a minute, if you're interested?" he offered, patting the small space not occupied by Ash on the bed beside him. "Or, if you want, you could have a rummage in this fun little drawer of yours and you can still have your way with Ash here? …I’m sure he wouldn’t mind…"

She shook her head at him and took a step backwards. "I didn't think you were gay..." she started to say, glancing at Ash in concern because he'd made a loud choking noise, “Why would you...?”

"I'm not gay" shrugged Mason, adjusting his surgical gloves in a nonchalant kind of way, "I just got a bit bored, and, well... I don’t deal well with boredom… and Ash was here... so..."

"So you thought you'd tie him up and rape him?!" she exclaimed, still dithering by the door. There had to be some way for her to squirm her way out of this and still come up smelling of roses. That's how things usually worked for her, right?! She just couldn't figure it out right now. "I can't do this" said Kat, taking her phone out of her pocket and toying with the idea of calling McCarthy, "I can't just let you get away with this stuff!"

"Oh come on!" he laughed, glancing at Ash when he gave another loud cough, "You can't pretend it’s not your thing..." He put his hand in the drawer and pulled out a black rubber object looking at it quizzically, "I have to admit though, I was pleasantly surprised when I found this little treasure trove... We're kindred spirits, you and I!"

"No, we are not!" she growled at him, glancing at Ash in pity. He'd turned a worrying shade of grey and his eyes were rolling back in his head. She wondered if he was aware at all of what had just happened or if he was still completely out of it. "I would never do something this... this...” she said, wrinkling her nose at him in disgust, “…this depraved! ...You're sick!"

"I just have the guts to do what most people don't" he said, shaking his head at her and smiling that strange self-satisfied smile of his. "Other people are bound by society's rules... I just do what I want, when I want... and so far, no-one has stopped me... It feels pretty good..." He dropped the black object back in the drawer and picked up something pink and sparkly, "You should try it sometime!" He held the object out to her and raised his eyebrows at her in a suggestive way. "C'Mon Kat, give in to it! You know you want to!"

She stood for a moment staring at him in disgust as he lay on her bed. He was smiling at her in a 'come hither' kind of way, and he was completely naked apart from her leather gun holster and the latex gloves. He looked like one of those little Roman cherubs, with his ridiculous head of curls, and obscenely muscly little boy's body. He was watching her with pride as she ran her eyes over his torso and groin, and she wondered at the arrogance of the little freak. He actually thought that she fancied him! Maybe she could use that, she thought to herself? Maybe she could still get the upper hand?! She tilted her head at him and gave him a little smile. "Do you like the uniform?" she asked, in a flirty tone of voice, "Maybe all you really need is a little bit of discipline?"

"That's more like it!" he said, flashing her an excited grin and raising his eyebrows in interest, "What did you have in mind?!"

"Well" she said, moving over to stand beside him and leaning down to just beside his ear. "I think... you've been a very naughty boy!" she whispered as seductively as she could manage, “And I think you need to be taught a lesson.”

"And what do you plan to do?" he asked, looking up at her with a sly little smile, "Spank me?"

“I think that could be arranged” she said, forcing a flirtatious smile, “You’d have to turn over though”

“Make me!” he said, crossing his arms across his chest and giving her a defiant look. He was enjoying this sudden turnaround in attitude. He’d been right! She did want him! They all did!

“Okay” she smiled, reaching across him slowly and locking eyes with him, “I’m going to enjoy this!” Suddenly she grabbed for the gun and tried to pull it out of the holster. She got it half-way out before he grabbed her hand and tried to wrestle it back from her. They struggled for a moment, growling at each other, before a shot rang out and they both looked at each other in shock.

“What have you done?!” she gasped, as she turned to look at Ash. His head was slumped forward and blood was pouring out through a wound in the middle of his forehead.

“Ohhhh! This is too funny!” laughed Mason, shaking his head at her in wonder, “Too funny for words!”

She scrambled forward, trying desperately to cover the wound with her hand and stop the bleeding, only to discover the much larger exit wound on the back of his head. “You’ve killed him!” she screamed.

“I think you’ll find that you killed him” said Mason, crossing his legs at his ankles and leaning back in a relaxed way, “You’re the one that pulled the trigger… Your fingerprints are on the gun.” He held one hand up to show her the latex surgical gloves that he was wearing, and gave a little smile. “So… seems to me that you have a choice to make…”

“I need to call an ambulance” she said, looking back towards Ash’s lifeless body in a dazed way, “He’s gonna be okay, he’ll be okay…”

“I think we both know that’s not true” he chuckled, “I mean… I know Ash wasn’t exactly the brightest… Some might say he was a little ‘brainless’… but this is taking things a little too literally!”

“That’s not funny!” she growled at him, “I loved him!”

“Hoo hoo! And I think we both know that isn’t true either!” he said, shaking his head at her and laughing in a mocking way, “He was… ‘useful’, let’s put it that way”

She blushed a little red and looked away. He was right, but she did feel a little guilty about it. She’d never really loved Ash, and she had just used him for his body… and now he was dead because of her! What was she going to do with herself now, she wondered? Maybe Justin was looking for a bit of fun? She hadn’t slept with him yet and he did have a nice body…

“So… Like I said…” he continued, “You have a choice… Call McCarthy and fess up… Tell him you covered for Josh and you let him swan about the place for weeks when he’d already confessed to you… Tell him that Evie blackmailed you… That you let me blackmail you into covering for me… That you tampered with evidence… Tell him everything… and see how well you fare… I mean, you did just kill your boyfriend, and… well, you’re a cop… You know how that’s going to look… Crime of passion and all that!” He smiled at her and shook his head in a pitying sort of way. “I mean… look at him!” he said, motioning to Ash’s lifeless form on the bed, and started to laugh, “All tied up in your bondage gear… in your bedroom… on your bed! And your fingerprints are on the gun! Doesn’t take a genius to see what happened here… which is lucky really, when you think about it… because Summer Bay certainly doesn’t have the brightest cops, does it?!”

She sat staring at Ash’s blood as it congealed on her hands and pondered what Mason had said. He was right. She’d been well and truly set up and she could see how this whole thing would look to her colleagues. How it would have looked to her! Those sex toys were hers! There was no way to deny that. Once they saw the contents of that drawer they’d jump to all sorts of conclusions, and they’d add two and two together and get five! The photos would just be the icing on the cake. She glanced at him, as he smiled at her in that unnerving way of his, and she gave a little shudder. “What’s the other option?” she asked quietly, slumping a little and hanging her head in defeat.

“That’s my girl!” laughed Mason, patting her on the head in a patronising sort of way, “I knew you wouldn’t let me down!”




“Where is he?!” asked Tori, wringing her hands in an anxious sort of way, “He needs to be in hospital! I don’t understand how this happened!” She looked at Justin with eyes filled with fear and asked for the umpteenth time, “Do you think maybe this was the Syndicate?!”  

“Urrrrhhhh! I don’t know!” groaned Justin, putting his hands behind his head as he paced back and forth across Brody’s room, “I don’t know any more than you do!”

“Sorry!” she muttered, staring at her phone and willing it to ring, “I’m just worried! You don’t know how much danger he’s in with those legs! …He could die, Justin!”

“That serious?!” he asked, sitting down on the edge of Brody’s bed with a heavy sigh. He looked up at Tori and shook his head in wonder, “I mean… What was he thinking?!”

“I don’t think he’s thinking rationally” said Tori, sitting down beside him on the mattress and putting her hand on his knee, “He’s been through so much… and he’s got this whole Mason thing in his head… I think he’s a bit…”

“Crazy?” asked Justin, turning to look at her in a worried way, “You think he’s lost it?!”

She nodded a little sadly and stared down at the floor. “It happens” she said, blinking back a few tears, “Trauma, pain, sometimes the pain meds themselves… He probably doesn’t know what he’s saying!” She ran her fingers through her hair to try to smooth it back into place and gave a heavy sigh. “I think it might be some sort of… some sort of post-traumatic psychotic episode?”

“Great” sighed Justin, rubbing his face in his hands, “Is that something… Can you fix him? Or do we just have a loon for a brother now?!”

She rolled her eyes at him and gave a little snort. “Anti-psychotic medication” she said, shaking her head at him a little mockingly, “and counselling… He’ll need that no matter what… He has just lost both his legs…”

“I still can’t believe this is real” said Justin, blowing out a big breath and shaking his head at her again, “I mean… all those years we spent running from the Syndicate… scared that they were gonna kill us… and Brody goes and nearly gets himself killed in a… in a gardening accident! …I mean… How ridiculous is that?!”

“I know” sighed Tori, “I know… It’d be funny if it wasn’t so tragic…”

Justin turned to look at her for a moment and their eyes met with a mischievous little spark. “It’s not funny!” said Justin, biting his bottom lip and trying to stifle his giggles.

“No!” exclaimed Tori, as she started to laugh too, “It’s really not!”

Suddenly they were both laughing and shaking their heads at each other in a scolding sort of way. The nerves had just gotten the better of them.

“Uh? Okay?” asked Nate, as he stepped in through the door of Brody’s room and looked in a confused way at the two of them rolling around the place in fits of laughter, “Do you want me to come back?”

“No!” exclaimed Tori, trying to regain her composure and wiping at the tears that were running down her cheeks, “Sorry, Nate… It’s just nerves!”

He gave them both a withering look and carried two charts over to her to show her. “I wanted to show you this” he said, giving her a look of disapproval when she continued to giggle. “I can come back if you want?” he said, sounding less than impressed.

“No, sorry, Nate” she said, shaking her head and trying to make her face more serious, “What is it that you wanted to show me?”

“These charts” he said, showing them side by side. He pointed to the signature ‘Nate Cooper’ on one of them, and then to the signature ‘N. Cooper’ on the other. “That’s not my signature” he said, frowning down at her, “I didn’t order Brody’s meds… Someone forged my signature!”

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Thanks everyone for the kind comments and I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. It's turned out a lot longer than I ever intended but hey!... Hope you like this one! :wink:





Chapter 8



“Ah mate, you’re hopeless!” exclaimed Brody, turning to grin at Mason as he claimed victory in the video game that they’d been playing. “How many times is that?!” he teased, setting down the controller and taking a big gulp of beer, “What?! Six?! Seven?! …This is getting embarrassing!”

“Buddy distracted me” whined Mason, throwing the controller across the coffee table in a childish sort of way and crossing his arms across his chest. He pouted at his brother and then narrowed his eyes in resentment at the dog that was sleeping on the floor. “That dog is such a nuisance!” he moaned, “He doesn’t like me!”

“Poor Budds! Taking all the blame?!” teased Brody, shaking his head at Mason in mock disapproval, “That’s not fair Mason! … Poor Budds has just been lying there minding his own business! …Haven’t you Buddy?!” He patted his thighs to call the dog to him and gave a little laugh. “C’mere, Buddy!” he called, as the dog raised its head, “C’mere, boy!” Buddy jumped up excitedly and stood on his hind legs to lick Brody in the face. “That’s right! He’s a good boy! Yes, he is! He’s a good boy!” giggled Brody, using that voice that everyone does when they’re talking to dogs, and razzling the dog’s ears. He kissed Buddy on his muzzle and turned to look at Mason. “You can’t blame the dog for you being rubbish at video games!” he laughed, “I mean… how does that even work?!”

“He got in the way!” exclaimed Mason, “He walked right in front of me and blocked my view! He knew what he was doing too!”

“Riiiiggght?! You do know he’s just a dog, don’t you?!” asked Brody, looking at the pouty expression on his youngest brother’s face and wondering why he always had to be such a sore loser? Was he that much of a spoilt brat?! He took another gulp of his beer and gave a little chuckle as he patted the couch for Buddy to climb up beside him. He took Buddy’s face in both hands again and said, “We could have put you outside, couldn’t we Buds?! Yes, we could…. Yes, we could! …We could, couldn’t we?!”

“I have an idea” said Mason, interrupting the love fest between Brody and the dog and staring at him with a strange smile on his face. “Why don’t you play with Buddy instead of me?” he asked.

Brody gave a little shrug and reached for the dog’s leash that was sitting on the arm of the couch. “That’s not a bad idea” he said, starting to get up, “I’ll take him out for a walk!”

“Uhhh… Brodes?” said Mason, smiling at him in a sadistic kind of way as he nodded down at Brody’s legs, “Haven’t you forgotten something?!”

Brody looked down and saw that both his legs had been cut off just below the knee. The bones were sticking out through open wounds on both legs and blood was slowly seeping out into the fabric of the couch that he was sitting on. There was blood everywhere, thick and sticky and warm… “Ohhh God!” he cried, looking in horror at the butchered mess that his legs were now, “Oh God!” A shockwave of pain passed up through his body and he gave an anguished cry. “Nooooo!” he cried in a loud and broken voice, “Noooo!”

“It’s okay!” said Mason, reaching for his hand in a comforting sort of way. He looked into Brody’s tear-filled eyes and gave him a sympathetic little head tilt. “Maybe you can’t take him for a walk anymore…” he said, taking hold of Brody’s arm at the elbow and slowly twisting it until it made a click sound, “But you can always play fetch!”

“No… don’t!” stammered Brody, watching his own arm being disconnected from his body in one swift movement. “Please don’t!” he pleaded, feeling paralysed by fear and unable to stop him. Suddenly his arm flew across the room and hit the wall. Mason had thrown it! He looked at the empty shoulder socket where his arm should have been and saw that here too was a blood-filled cavity. All muscles and bones and exposed blood vessels. Severed nerves pulsing right there in plain view! Just looking at it made him wince. He peered back across the room, unable to even begin to process what was happening, or put together a sentence. He seemed to have lost the power of speech! He watched in horror as Buddy seized the lifeless limb in his doggy jaws and came trotting back towards the couch. As the dog approached him, he reached out for it in a dazed sort of way, and began to beckon with his one remaining limb for the dog to bring it back to him. “Good boy” he managed to say, feeling his throat dry with fear, “Bring it here…”

“I don’t think he wants to” said Mason, chuckling as little as he saw the dog change course and head for another corner of the room. “I think he’s found himself something pretty tasty… Haven’t you Budds?!”

Brody watched in shock as Buddy settled down on the floor and began to chew on his severed arm. The dog eyed him from across the room with deep suspicion, giving low growls of warning, as he pulled chunks of sinewy flesh off in his mouth. He watched as the flesh was ripped from what had once been his forearm and felt a wave of nausea crash over him. This was too much to take!

“Why are you doing this?” he demanded, turning to look at Mason with hurt-filled eyes, “What is wrong with you?! …I mean… You already took my legs! …Wasn’t that enough for you?!”

Mason got up from where he was sitting and crouched down in front of him with a cold sort of smile on his face. “Not nearly enough!” he said, gripping Brody’s other arm in his hands…

“Brodes! Brodes!” cried Phoebe, gently shaking him by the shoulder, “It’s okay, Brody… You’re just dreaming! It was just a nightmare!”

“Noooo!” he cried out, holding both arms out in front of him and looking at them with confusion. His heart was beating a mile a minute and he was soaked in sweat. It took him a moment to understand that it had been a dream.

“It’s okay, Brody!” Phoebe assured him, kneeling in the bed beside him and looking at him in concern. He’d been screaming and flailing about in his sleep and she’d been worried that he’d burst his stitches. She gently caressed his face and wiped at the tears that were streaming down his face. “It’s okay” she said, gazing into his tear-filled eyes, “I’m here”

He sat for a moment, staring down at the bandages on his stumps and the little balloons of body fluid taped to his thighs, and tried to calm his breathing. It felt like his heart was going to burst. “He did this” he sobbed, hugging his arms around his chest and shuddering as he looked up at her again, “He did this to me… and he’s not even sorry! …He’s my brother, Pheebs… My own flesh and blood!”

She put her arm around his shoulder and pulled him towards her for a hug. “I’m so sorry this happened, Brodes…” she said, “It’s really not fair!”

He looked at her and wiped angrily at his tears. “I’m not gonna let him get away with this!” he said, flushing red in the face and setting his jaw in anger, “I’m gonna stop him!”

“Okay!” said Phoebe, laughing a little nervously and giving him a nod, “So… what now?”

“Can I use your phone?” he asked, “I think it’s time I spoke to McCarthy!”



“Yes, sir!” said Kat, giving Mason a worried sort of look as she finished her phone call, “I’ll be there… Tomorrow, 7am.” She hung up the phone and slipped it back in her pocket.

“That sounded interesting!” said Mason, lounging on a deck chair and enjoying his cold beer. He was enjoying watching her rhythmic movements as she bent over repeatedly to shovel the soil on top of her now deceased lover. Her obvious resentment was only making it more enjoyable and he couldn’t help laughing a little every time she stood up to glare at him. This was just too funny! “What did the ‘boss man’ want?” he asked, raising his eyebrows in interest.

“He wouldn’t say…” muttered Kat as she went back to shovelling earth, “He just said everyone had to report to the station tomorrow morning at 7am for a debriefing.”

“A ‘debriefing’?” smiled Mason, “I always think that sounds kinda kinky… y’know… cause underwear is sometimes called ‘briefs’?” He began giggling and shook his head in wonder at his own comic genius. “A ‘debriefing’… that’s funny!”

She rolled her eyes at him and turned her attention back to the displaced soil that she was shovelling back into place. It was hard work and Mason wasn’t being very gentlemanly about it all! He’d said that Ash had been her kill, so it was only right that she do the burying. She glared at him as he sat there looking at porn websites on Matt’s mobile phone. He was perving over videos of some poor young girl while she did all the heavy labour. She could see by his expression that he was enjoying all of this a little too much and her blood boiled with resentment. He’d gotten her into this mess, the least he could have done was help her to dig the grave! Not just sit there touching himself and watching her break her back to cover his tracks! She glanced towards the house and hoped that no-one had seen what she and Mason had been doing tonight. Explaining her sudden interest in night-time gardening would certainly take some doing… as would her sudden urge to hang out with Mason! She looked at her watch and gave a little sigh. Phoebe wouldn’t be home for at least another hour! That would give her just enough time to finish up here and grab a shower. Evie was drugged up and out for the count so she didn’t need to worry about her!

Her mind drifted as she shovelled the soil back into place and she found herself wondering why McCarthy wanted everyone there in the morning. Was it something to do with a police raid again?! Had they received new information about Josh and Andy?! Maybe she’d get to arrest someone tomorrow?! That would be great! She loved her job sometimes. It gave her such a buzz to know that she was keeping the community safe and protecting people. Criminals couldn’t just be allowed to walk the street. If a society didn’t have laws and justice, then it had nothing!

She shovelled the last of the soil and stood back with her hands on her lower back. Once it had been raked, and they’d sown some vegetable seeds, no-one would ever know! “All done!” she exclaimed, with a little sigh as she wiped the sweat from her brow, “I really need a shower!”

“I’ll keep you company” he said, climbing out of the deckchair to walk beside her back to the house, “I could really do with washing that boyfriend of yours off me… He smelt a bit… ‘mechanic-y’”

“No… That’s okay” she said, grimacing at him a little as she sped up to get back to the house a bit faster. He was really giving her the creeps! “You can have the shower first.” she said, “I’ll go after.”

“Oh, I think we can share” he said, raising his eyebrows at her in a suggestive way, “I’m all for conserving water… and…it’s fun… and” He grabbed her wrist and gave her a sadistic sort of smile, “and I wasn’t giving you a choice!”




Evie woke with a start. Her heart was pounding loudly in her ears and she felt like her head might burst from the pressure. She’d never felt this ill! What day was it, she wondered? Where was she?! She tried to sit up but her body felt weak and as though someone had superglued her to the mattress. Why did she feel so sick?! With a huge amount of effort, she managed to roll over to the edge of the bed and throw her legs over the side to bring herself into a sitting position. Her vision was blurry and she felt like she hadn’t brushed her teeth in days. She sat for a moment with her head hanging down and told herself that she needed to go to the doctor first thing in the morning This wasn’t normal! Something was definitely wrong!

She glanced towards the window and saw that it was dark outside. “What day is it?” she asked herself under her breath, “How long have I been asleep?!” She tried to remember the last time that she’d spoken to someone or even been to Uni. She was drawing a blank! “What is wrong with me?!” she whispered, as she shakily dragged herself to her feet. She was shivering uncontrollably as she made her way with wobbly steps towards her bedroom door. She paused for a moment and lifted a hoodie from the chair just beside the door. She threw it on with shaking hands and just about managed to zip it up. “Water” she said quietly, as she walked out into the hallway. She didn’t think she’d ever been this thirsty in her life!

She slowly made her way out to the kitchen. There was no-one up. It was dark in the house, and it felt like it was probably in the early hours of the morning, but she couldn’t be sure. As she entered the kitchen she flicked on the light and shielded her eyes when she realised how much the bright light hurt her eyes. Gradually she adjusted and she took her hand away. She squinted up at the clock on the wall and saw that it was just after 2am. “Water” she whispered to herself again, making her way quietly to the sink and filling a glass. She drank the whole thing back in a couple of gulps and then refilled it two more times. “What day is it?” she asked herself again, wondering why she had no idea what day of the week it was, or even what month! Her head was a mess! She looked around the kitchen table, trying to see if her mobile phone was there. She hadn’t seen it anywhere in her room either!

Just then she heard a noise down the hallway. It had come from Kat’s room. “Oh, maybe Kat’s up?” she said to herself, slowly making her way out of the kitchen and down the hall towards the furthest bedroom. She was hoping that Kat might be able to shed some light on why she was feeling this way and what had been going on over the last few days. She’d at least be able to tell her what day it was, and maybe she’d know where her phone was too.

As she approached the door, she heard raised voices inside so she stood outside and pressed her ear up to the door. She couldn’t help being curious because there was definitely a male voice in there!

“You got what you wanted!” shouted Kat, in a voice shaking with emotion, “You sick little freak! I let you… I let you… Oh my God! …If you ever touch me again, I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” laughed a male voice, using a very mocking tone of voice, “You know you enjoyed it as much as I did… Don’t try to pretend that you didn’t!”

“You’re disgusting!” she hissed at him, clearly moving towards the door, “I’ll kill you!” Evie jumped a little when she heard the sound of something suddenly smashing against the wall on the far side of the room.

“Ah come on, Kat!” said the male voice that was strangely familiar to her, “You know you’ve been wanting to jump my bones since you first saw me!  I just put the option on the table!”

“The option?!” she snarled at him, “The option?!” Kat made a sort of grunt like a female tennis player, and then something made of glass shattered off the wall again. “You forced me! …Every single thing that I’ve done over the last few days has been because you’re blackmailing me! I don’t have a choice in anything anymore!”

“Well, doesn’t that make life easier?” he laughed again, “If I make all the decisions for you… Stress free life for Supercop?! …It’s a win win, isn’t it?!”

“Oh my God!” she roared at him, “I’m gonna kill you with my bare hands!”

“Kinky!” he teased, dodging another breakable as it smashed off the wall. “You’re feisty! I like feisty… although… I should tell you… I have had better!”

As Evie listened to the muffled voices through the door she began to think that she knew the man in this relationship. If she didn’t know any better, she might have thought that it was Mason. But that would be ridiculous! Why on earth would Mason be in there with Kat?! Why would he be talking to her in this way?!

Kat let out a scream of frustration and there was a thud as something hit the floor. “I can’t do this!” cried Kat, “I just can’t”. From the sound of her voice, Evie thought that she might now be sitting on the floor in front of the door. “You’ve made me a murderer, and a liar, and a total fraud…” she said, sniffling and letting out little sobs, “I let you get away with mutilating your own brother! Your own brother, Mason?! How could you do that?!”

Evie’s mouth hung open as she stood there outside the door. It was Mason in there with her! What was going on?! Had she just called herself a murderer?! Was she saying that Mason had hurt Brody deliberately?!

“I let you hurt Ash” she continued, “You raped him, you twisted little creep! …And now he’s dead! And I had to bury him!” She was crying inconsolably now and obviously feeling very sorry for herself.

“Oh boo hoo!” giggled Mason, taking great pleasure in teasing her, “Isn’t what you’re doing the very definition of crocodile tears?! … Stop lying to yourself, Kat! You don’t care about anyone but yourself and how you’re going to claw your way out of this mess you’ve made for yourself!” There was a squeaking noise as he sat down on the bed. “All of this, because you wanted to get your leg over, eh Kat?! Hardly seems worth it now, does it?!”

There was a long silence and Evie wondered what was happening in there. They’d both just suddenly stopped talking. The silence was making her nervous and she wondered if they’d realised that she was standing outside the door. Her heart was racing so fast, and thumping so loudly in her own ears now, that she wondered if they could hear it too.

“Is that all you’re gonna do?” he asked, sounding a little bored, “Just sit there and cry?”

“Screw you!” she screamed at him, and yet another object smashed off a distant wall, “Just… screw you!”

“Nah” said Mason, getting up off the bed with a loud squeak of the springs, “That’s what I keep Evie for! Drugged up and willing!”

Her stomach gave a terrible lurch as the reality of those words hit home. What kind of sicko had she got herself involved with?! Hadn’t Tank been bad enough?! She began to panic as she heard him begin to move towards the door. She was still so groggy and her whole body felt heavy despite the adrenalin that was now rushing through her bloodstream. She was going to have to try to run! She knew instinctively that she had to get away! She couldn’t let him know that she’d heard them talking! And she definitely couldn’t go back to her room! She needed to hide! She needed time to think! She needed to figure things out! She needed to make a plan! She took off as fast as she could, moving as quietly as possible down the hallway, and managed to slip outside just before the door to Kat’s room opened. She ran as fast as she could to one of the outbuildings and closed herself inside. ‘That’s why I keep Evie’? she thought to herself, ‘Drugged up and willing?!’ That’s what he’d said! He’d been drugging her and raping her! How long had it been going on for?! She’d been feeling sick for weeks now! It explained so much but it was the stuff of nightmares! The conversation with Kat ran through her head and she found herself sweating out of fear. He was a murderer, and a rapist, and an incredibly scary individual! And Kat wasn’t much better from the sounds of things! She hugged her arms around her knees and sat there shaking. What if he followed her out here?! What if he found her?! What then?!

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Thanks everyone for the very kind comments :P I really hope you enjoy this chapter. All getting very dark!




Chapter 9



“You sure you want to do this now?” asked Phoebe, sitting beside Brody on the bed in their motel room. “I mean, you’re still so weak… and you’ve hardly slept or eaten” she said, cocking her head to one side and looking at him in concern, “I don’t think I’ve seen you drink anything for hours either!”

“I’m okay” said Brody, holding his hand to his own forehead and wondering if she might have a point. He felt incredibly hot and shivery. He hadn’t had anything to drink since she’d come to visit him first thing this morning. He glanced at the backpack that they’d thrown together at the hospital and remembered that he’d got her to throw his water bottles in there. “Um… over there” he said to her, pointing at the bag on the floor, “There are some bottles in there, I think?”

She got up and went over to pick it up for him. She brought it to him and placed it gently on the bed beside him. “Here you go!” she said, taking the opportunity to feel his forehead herself. “You really are burning up, y’know?” she said, frowning at him in a worried way, “Maybe you have an infection or something?”

“Maybe I do” he said, unzipping the bag and retrieving 2 bottles of water, “And maybe I don’t… but I can’t go back to the hospital” He opened the bottle and threw the contents back in a couple of gulps. “McCarthy said to wait here” he sighed, opening another. He fished inside the bag and pulled out a third bottle which he handed to Phoebe. “You know he said that he’d send someone for us… To keep us safe…” he said, before drinking down the second bottle with great urgency, “We just have to wait…”




“You had me really worried!” said Mason as he knelt down in front of Evie. “Hey?” he said, in a soft and soothing voice, as he put his hand under her chin to tilt her head up towards him, “Whatcha doing out here in the middle of the night?”

Evie stared up at him with seemingly vacant eyes and began to mumble. “I needed to go to the toilet” she slurred at him in a dazed and distant sounding voice, “I can’t find the toilet paper…”

He began to giggle a little when he saw the little puddle at her feet. For a moment there, he’d thought that she’d come round and that she was running away from him or something. He wouldn’t have been pleased with her at all, and he might have had to come up with some little punishment to keep her in line. He’d kind of been looking forward to that, if he was honest! As it was, it seemed that she’d simply been sleepwalking, and he couldn’t really punish her for that now, could he?! It was actually quite surprising that she hadn’t done it before, considering the cocktail of drugs currently running through her bloodstream, and the fact that he’d been keeping her sedated for weeks on end. He tucked Kat’s gun back into the holster slung around his hip and threw her a little wink. “Cmon then…” he coaxed, getting to his feet and pulling her up after him, “Let’s get you back to bed for a cuddle, eh? You must be cold!”

She tried not to flinch when he put his arm around her and began to guide her back towards the house. She could feel the gun on his hip digging into her side, and for one fleeting moment she wondered if she’d be able to make a grab for it. What if she wasn’t fast enough?! What if he got there first?! What if he shot her?! They passed the mounds of earth in the veggie patch and she realised that the whole thing had been dug up again recently. What had he been burying?! Was this where he and Kat had buried Ash?! If she tried to get the gun, would she end up here too?! She’d heard him coming for her as she’d sat there cowering in that outhouse. He’d been calling her name and shouting ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ in a cruel and mocking tone, like some sort of exaggerated cartoon villain. She couldn’t have run. She knew that. There’d been no way out! Playing the zombie had seemed like the only way to pacify him, and buy herself some time to think, but letting him touch her like this now was nearly more than she could cope with. A large part of her wanted to vomit. She allowed him to guide her back towards the house, staggering along in a wobbly sort of way because she genuinely couldn’t walk straight. Her legs had turned to jelly at the thought of what lay ahead. ‘Back to bed for a cuddle?!’ she thought with a shudder, ‘What am I going to do now?!’ 

“C’mon then, silly billy!” he giggled as he led her back in the door of her bedroom and began to take her hoodie off her to put her to bed. She allowed him to undress her, and stood there like a child as he removed her underwear and pulled a clean nightdress on over her head. The humiliation was beyond anything that she’d ever experienced before, but she was absolutely terrified, and she couldn’t see any other way of making it through all of this alive. “Let’s get you back into bed, and then…” he said, brushing her hair back gently from her face and giving her a kiss on the forehead, “I’ll go get you a nice glass of water… I bet you’re really thirsty!”

She lay back on the bed where he’d positioned her and felt her heart thudding in her chest at an alarming rate. Could she make it through tonight? How could she get out of this?!

“Okay, let’s get you some nice cold water” he said, skipping back into the room with a glass he’d filled and sitting down on the bed beside her. He put his hand behind her neck to bring her up into more of a sitting position and put the glass to her lips. “C’mon now” he coaxed, “Just a few sips… It’ll make you feel better”

She continued to stare vacantly, as though she was a million miles away, and did her best to remain completely passive.  Maybe he’d think she was out for the count again and leave her alone? She could see the gun in the holster that he was wearing, and wondered if she could get hold of it. Could she reach for it fast enough to get it away from him?!

“C’mon, Evie?!” he tried again, forcing the edge of the glass between her lips and holding her nose to make her open her mouth. She choked a little as the first of the liquid poured down her throat. “I don’t like doing this…" he said, "...but it’s for your own good!”

Suddenly she spat out what she could, and made a lurch for the gun, but he grabbed her wrist and twisted it pretty savagely. “No” he said, in the way that you would scold a small puppy that’s just peed on the floor, “I don’t think so!”

She glared at him and reluctantly let go of the gun. “I’m not drinking that stuff!” she said, flushing bright red in anger and shaking her head, “You can’t keep me here like this!”

“I think you’ll find that I’ve been doing it for weeks…” he said, taking the gun out of the holster and giving her a rather unnerving smile, “Weeks and weeks of blissful love-making …and I haven’t heard you complaining!”

“I haven’t been awake!” she snapped at him, “You’ve been raping me, Mason! …That’s what this is! Not ‘love-making’… Rape!”

He shrugged and wrinkled his nose in an indifferent sort of way. “Whatever” he said, with a little giggle, “I know you’ve been enjoying it too!”

“You’re insane!” she said, shaking her head in fear and wonder, “You’re completely insane!”

“Probably” said Mason, smiling to himself, “But what fun would it be to be ‘normal’ like everyone else? Boring little lives, doing all the things you’re supposed to do?” He reached into the drawer of her bedside table and pulled out her diary. “I read this” he said, flicking through the pages with one hand, as he rested the gun on his thigh, and kept it pointed at Evie. “It’s certainly an interesting read” he said with a raise of his eyebrows, “Quite the page turner!”

She pursed her lips and shook her head at him. “You… you had no right!”

“If I was gonna write about some of the things you have…” he said, with a smirk on his face, “I don’t think I’d just leave this lying around the place!” He flicked to a page towards the middle and flashed her a huge smile, “When I saw all that stuff about you blackmailing Kat… That’s when I knew! That’s when I knew you were the only woman for me!”

Evie hung her head and frowned down at the bedsheets. “I’m not proud of that” she muttered, “I just didn’t know what else to do.”

“You found your inner badass!” he said, giving her a little wink, “You shouldn’t be ashamed of that! Blackmailing cops, covering for that boyfriend of yours… because you ‘just loved him so much!’… Honestly, Evie, you’re a pretty resourceful girl… and I like that! …Then there’s all this stuff about some guy called ‘Tank’?” he said, giving her a questioning sort of look, “Have to say I was a bit disappointed when I heard that he’d left town… Think he and I might have gotten on… Similar tastes… Sounds like a fun guy…” He flicked on through the pages, keeping a watchful eye on her at the same time, and laughed every time that she eyed the gun in his hand. “Pity for him that he’s on my list now…” he said, giving her a sadistic little smile, “I’ll track him down eventually though... Don’t worry!”

“What is wrong with you?!” she exclaimed, as tears began to stream down her cheeks and her whole body gave in to her fear and started shuddering, “I don’t understand why you’re doing this!”

“Because you’re mine” he said, tilting his head at her in a sympathetic sort of way, “I’m just not willing to share you” He flicked through the diary and pulled out a shiny happy looking photo of Josh and Evie together. He looked at it with a wistful sort of smile and turned it around so that she could see it. “That’s why I had to track him and that brother of his down.”

“What?!” she cried, covering her mouth with her hand and looking at him wide-eyed in fear, “What did you do?!”

“I took care of them” he said, giving her a little shrug, “I couldn’t let them get away… knowing that both of them had had their dirty little paws all over my woman!” He waggled the diary at her and shook his head in a scolding way, …I was surprised when I saw that in here… I mean, Andy?! Really?! What were you thinking?!... and what kind of guy just lets his brother treat his woman that way?! Josh didn’t deserve you!”

“What did you do to them?!” asked Evie, staring down at the bedsheets in a defeated sort of way. She was starting to feel woozy from the small amount of ‘water’ that she’d swallowed. Not only that but she felt sick! It was like he’d just ripped her heart out of her body and kicked her in the stomach. Josh was dead! “Where are they?” she asked, glancing out the window towards the veggie patch.

He followed her gaze and began to laugh. “Out there?!” he asked, pointing towards the window, “You think I buried them out there?!”

“Did you?” she asked, hugging her arms around her stomach as she fought the urge to vomit. Her head was spinning now.

“No… your precious Josh and that brother of his aren’t in your garden, Evie!” he laughed, wiping at a few tears that were rolling down his cheeks. This was all too funny. “They’re in the basement of that old house where they were staying! I was sure the police would find them… but Summer Bay’s finest strike again! ...Couldn’t catch a cold, that lot!”

“But… but…” she stammered, looking at him in horror, “But… I was there… I mean… I was there…”

“You saw it then?!” he laughed, “You saw what they were living in? …So you know I did them a favour then yeah?! …I mean, sitting around in piles of manure and eating pot noodles… Not exactly a life worth living, huh?”

“How?!” she asked, glancing up at him with tear-filled eyes, “How did you do it? …How did you find them?!” Just looking at the gleeful expression on Mason’s face, she wasn’t sure that she really wanted an answer to that question.

“’Joshie’ dearest sent you a birthday card” he said, rolling his eyes, “None too subtle that guy, was he?! Hiding out 20 minutes away from home and sneaking back to hand deliver a birthday card?! Wasn’t exactly bursting with brains!” He took a phone out of his pocket and flashed an excited smile at her. “I don’t think you really want to know how it ended” he said, chuckling and shaking his head at himself in wonder, “Let’s just say, it always amazes me how much blood there is in the human body…”

“Oh my God!” she gasped, covering her face in both hands as she began to sob. Josh had tried to get in touch with her after all, and this psycho had killed him for his trouble! How did she keep falling for these men?! Tank had kidnapped her, scared her half to death, and almost killed Josh, and now it turned out that Mason could give Ted Bundy a run for his money! Even Josh had accidentally killed someone and kept it a secret for months on end! Was it her?! Was she attracting them?!

“Oh come on, Evie!” he laughed, unlocking the phone in his hand and scrolling to a photo on the screen, “You didn’t think you were ever going to see him again… It’ll be nice for you to have a more recent photo of him!” He held out the phone for her to see, and gave a little snort. “Bit of a makeover, eh?!” he giggled, “Not quite so pretty!”

“Oh my God!” screamed Evie, seeing only a red bloody blur through her hazy drugged up vision and pushing it away from her. “Get that away from me!” she cried. She started to retch and put her hand over her mouth to stop herself from throwing up. “You’re… you’re…” she stammered, unable to find the right word to describe him, “I’m gonna be sick!”

“Really?!” he teased, flicking through a few more photos, “I took them especially for you… That Josh of yours seemed to think it was very important that you knew he loved you… Not sure what the point of that was when he was going to be dead so soon… Little bit cruel really… Inconsiderate…”

“Stop it!” sobbed Evie, slurring her words and finding it hard to support her head, “Stop it!”

He tilted his head at her in a sympathetic sort of way and gave a little sigh. Reaching forward, he took her chin and tilted her face up to look at him. She was obviously finding it hard to focus her eyes now “Evie?!” he said, in a soft and soothing tone like you’d use with a small child, “At least now you’re free to be with me… No more ties… You can move on!“ He leaned forward, keeping a tight grip of her chin, and pressed a kiss to her lips. She winced and screwed her face up in disgust but she could see that he was still pointing the gun at her so she let him kiss her. “My beautiful Evie!” he said, smiling at her sweetly, “Mine forever!”

She let out a high pitched little sob, and tears streamed down her face in rivulets, but it was clear that the fight had just gone out of her. She was too woozy, too weak, too tired to fight anymore… She’d suddenly spotted the phone that was lying beside him on the bed. It was Matt’s! That sudden realisation hit her like a ton of bricks. Matt was dead too! She had no-one left. No-one left to fight for… 

“Now” he said, lifting the glass again from the bedside table and holding it to her lips, “Why don’t we try this again?” He gave her a little smile and held the gun to the side of her head. “That’s it” he said, smiling from ear to ear as she tearfully swallowed some more of the ‘water’, “That’s a good girl…”




Kat walked through the door of the police station and couldn’t help feeling surprised to see every single one of her colleagues already gathered and waiting for the briefing. She checked her watch. She was fifteen minutes early! Why was everyone else already there?!

“Sarge?” she said, nodding at McCarthy as he stood with two of her female colleagues, “Did I get the time wrong? I thought you said 7am?”

“I did” he replied, giving her a curt little nod, “7am… You’re bang on time.” He turned and went to his office to get something.

The two female officers that McCarthy had been talking to, turned to look at her, and raised their eyebrows at her in a scathing kind of way. ‘Okay, so I didn’t get here as early as you!’ she thought to herself, ‘But you know I’m a better cop than both of you… and better looking! Get over it, Grumpy and Frumpy!’ She looked at them standing there with their greasy hair tied back, and their makeup-less faces, and thought, ‘Haters gonna hate!’ There wasn’t much she could do about that! Sometimes it was hard being this incredibly good looking! She threw, Constable Riggins, the less attractive of the two, a very forced smile and said, “What’s this all about?”

“We’ll soon find out” replied Riggins, looking Kat up and down in disapproval, “Must be something big if he’s brought everyone in though!”

Kat looked around at all the faces of her colleagues and wondered at the subdued atmosphere. Was it just because it was so early morning?!

“Right, everyone!” shouted McCarthy, walking back over to the gathered crowd, “Gather round! Everyone!” After a moment, all the other officers formed a circle and waited for him to start speaking. “Okay… so” he began, “Sad news, I’m afraid… As some of you already know, the bodies of Brody Morgan and Phoebe Nicholson were recovered late last night from the Sunflower Motel on the road to Mangrove River. Time of death estimated around 11pm. The cause of death hasn’t been conclusively determined yet, but initial findings suggest poisoning. We’ll have to wait for the official coroner’s report. From this point on though, we will be treating this as a murder investigation…”

Kat gave a little gasp. She hadn’t expected Mason to continue his killing spree or to extend it to someone that she vaguely cared about, like Phoebe. “Oh my God!” she exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hand, “Are you sure it’s them?!”

McCarthy nodded and gave her a sympathetic little head tilt. “I know this is probably a shock for a lot of you” he said, giving a heavy sigh and looking directly at Kat, “So if anyone needs to take some personal time, or remove themselves from the investigation, please come and speak to me.” He saw her shake her head, so he continued. “Brody Morgan’s siblings, Tori and Justin, have been informed of his death, but the whereabouts of their younger brother Mason is still unknown. Brody Morgan before his death, and his siblings Tori and Justin Morgan, have made some alarming claims about their brother. They claim that he attempted to kill Brody with the rotavator, and that the horrific injuries that he sustained a last week were in fact intentional. They believe that he may have made a second attempt on his brother’s life while he was convalescing in the hospital, and they believe that he is most likely responsible for both Brody and Miss Nicholson’s deaths… He may also be responsible for a number of unexplained disappearances in some of their previous residences…” He blew out a big breath and shook his head. “At the moment, he is our main suspect in the case, and I’m issuing a warrant for his immediate arrest.”

“The little med student?!” asked one of the other officers, shaking his head in disbelief, “That little guy with the curly hair?”

“Yeah, that’s him” said another one of their colleagues, giving a sarcastic little laugh, “Looks like a twelve year old who’s been eating roids for breakfast…”

“So… um” asked Kat, interrupting and wondering if they could see how much she was sweating, “What’s the um… what’s the plan?”

McCarthy turned to look at her and narrowed his eyes a little. “Well” he began, “First port of call is the Morgan residence… Tori and Justin Morgan haven’t been home for a while so they don’t know if he’s there. The other possibility is the Farmhouse… Your house, Chapman… So we’ll be leading two separate raids.” He held up the clipboard that he’d gone to get from his office and set it down on one of the desks. “I’ve made up a list of who’s on which squad.” He left the officers to read their names on the list and approached Kat directly. “You’re with me today, Chapman… I know it’ll be tough for you…”

“Phoebe was my friend” she said, tearing up a little and wiping at her eyes, “So I want to make sure we get this guy!”

“I’m sure you do” he said, giving her shoulder a little squeeze, “That’s why I need you by my side today.”

“Okay… I appreciate that, sir” she said, giving him a nervous little smile, “I need to go to the bathroom before we move out though.”

He watched her go and shook his head to himself a little sadly. He really hoped that he was wrong but his gut was telling him that he wasn’t. The search history on her computer alone told him that he wasn’t.

Kat walked into the bathroom and leaned for a moment with her hands on the sink to steady her nerves. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she was feeling very short of breath. “C’mon, Kat!” she said to herself, “Get it together!” She looked at herself in the mirror and wondered what had become of the ‘Supercop’ that she’d always been. She wasn’t proud of what she was about to do, but it had to be done. She couldn’t let Mason get caught! If he went down, then she was sure that he was going to take her with him. It had gone too far now! She looked around to make sure that there was no-one else in there. A quick glance under the cubicle doors told her that the place was empty. She took out her phone and gave a heavy sigh as she typed Mason’s name in and pressed call. It began to ring. “Mason?!” she said, as soon as he answered, “I need to…”

Suddenly the phone was ripped from her hand and she watched as her female colleague cancelled the call.  “Sarge!” shouted Constable Riggins, glaring at her in the most accusing way, “Get in here!”

McCarthy appeared with another two officers in tow and gave Kat a look of pure disappointment.

“Look at this!” said Riggins, holding out the phone for him to see, “She was calling Mason Morgan! She was tipping off her little partner in crime! Just like you thought she would!”

“Chapman” he said, shaking his head at her in a despairing sort of way, “I really wanted to be wrong!”

“I’m sorry, sir” said Kat, hanging her head and staring at the ground. She really wasn’t sure how she was going to wriggle out of this now. How would she get back to being the ‘really good cop’ that she’d always known she was?! How could she bend the rules in her favour this time?!

“Katarina Chapman” began Riggins, smirking a little as she cuffed Kat’s hands behind her back, “I am arresting you on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. You are not obliged to say or do anything unless you wish to do so, but whatever you say or do may be used in evidence. Do you understand?”

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Thanks everybody for all the encouragement! Really hope you like this penultimate chapter! 




Chapter 10



Every breath you take and every move you make


Every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you…”


Evie’s eyes began to flutter open. There was music playing and she could see someone, a shape, moving around in front of her. They were singing along with the music and dancing.

Oh, can't you see… You belong to me!


How my poor heart aches with every step you take


Every move you make, every vow you break


Every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I'll be watching you…”


“Mmmm” she moaned, as she tried to sit up and bring her eyes into focus. Her whole body felt strange and heavy, with pins and needles in her hands and feet, and as though she was weighed down by invisible weights. Her neck hurt because her head was hanging to one side at an awkward angle but she didn’t have the energy to lift it. Where was she, she wondered…

“Hey, sleepy head!” said Mason, turning to grin at her from the kitchen stove, “I was wondering if you were gonna wake up in time for breakfast! …You nodded off again!” He cocked his head to one side, and narrowed his eyes at her, in a questioning sort of way. “How you feeling?” he asked.

“Mmmmm” groaned Evie again, looking down for a moment in confusion at the blur of a green dress that she was wearing and wondering what was going on. Why was she so dressed up? “What… wwwhere?” she slurred at him with her head still hanging over to one side, “Wwwhat’s happpppening?”  She couldn’t see very well because she couldn’t get her eyes to focus, and her head felt too heavy to raise by herself. Why did she feel so strange, she wondered?

“I’m making pancakes!” exclaimed Mason, lifting the pan and turning around with it to show her, “I found some bacon in the fridge, so I figured I’d steal some… I doubt your housemates will mind.” He turned back to the stove and continued whistling ‘Every Breath You Take’.

She nodded slowly, furrowing her brow, as she watched him flitting about by the stove. She just couldn’t make sense of things. She didn’t know why her head was such a mess, or why she couldn’t remember anything. It was all a blank. Everything a fuzzy blur! She couldn’t even think what day it was, or what she’d been doing yesterday, or even the day before that. It was morning time, by the looks of things, and she was alone in her house with Mason Morgan. She had no idea why. Had he stayed the night? Had she slept with him again?! Why would she have done that?! She looked again at the green dress that she was wearing, a dress that she normally only wore for special occasions, and wondered if they were meant to be going somewhere special today. A wedding? A christening? Something? …But if that was the case, then why did she feel so sick?! Had she been drinking again?! Why had she been sleeping in a chair in the kitchen, and why wasn’t Mason worried about her loss of consciousness? Surely passing out at breakfast was a cause for concern? “I don’t… I don’t feel so good” she said, trying in vain to sit up a little bit straighter, “My head… it…. It’s spinning!”

He glanced over his shoulder at her and gave her a little smile. “Don’t worry” he said, “You’ll feel better when you have something in your stomach.” With that he plonked two pancakes on a plate and carried them over to the table for her. “Pancakes with bacon and eggs!” he announced with a self-satisfied little smile, “Betcha didn’t know I could cook?”

She stared down at the greasy food on the plate and felt a wave of nausea rise in her stomach. “Oh God!” she exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hand, “I think I’m gonna be sick!”

“That’s a little ungrateful!” he said, tilting his head to one side and frowning at her in a disappointed sort of way, “I spent ages making that for you!” He sat for a moment looking at her with what she thought was a very strange expression on his face, and finally pushed the plate away from her across the table. “Did you have fun last night?” he asked, giving her his best ‘aren’t I just a sweetie?’ head tilt.

She looked up at him in confusion and tried to shrug. “I… I… I… don’t remember?” she stammered, trying her best to recall what had happened, “What’s wrong with me?!”  She had a strange gnawing feeling in her stomach like something was very very wrong, but she didn’t know what. It was like she felt nervous or guilty about something… But she couldn’t remember! It was like someone had just erased about the last month of her life! There was nothing there! “What… what did I do?” she asked, looking worried and starting to tear up a little, “Did I do something wrong?!” She looked at the green dress and started to wonder if this is what she’d been wearing last night. Maybe he was teasing her about getting really drunk and doing something really awful that she should be ashamed of? Had she done something really embarrassing?! It would certainly explain why she felt so sick, and why he was trying to get her to eat when she didn’t feel well.

“No” he said, taking her chin in his hand to raise her head for her, “No, no, sweetie…. You were just perfect! Beautiful as always!” He seemed to be looking at her strangely and she couldn’t figure out why.

“Did I drink too much?” she asked, looking a little embarrassed, “I feel so sick… Like the worst hangover ever! …Did I make a fool of myself or something?!”

He narrowed his eyes at her as though he was trying to decide if she was lying or not. She didn’t know why he was looking at her that way. “I… I… really can’t remember!” she said, starting to cry again, “I think there’s something wrong with me, Mason! …I keep… I keep… losing time!” She looked at him with big fear-filled eyes and put her hand on his arm. “You’re gonna be a doctor… Do you think maybe I’m sick… Like maybe a brain tumour or something?!”

He stared at her for a moment in a way that felt like he was sizing her up. She felt uncomfortable under his gaze. Why was he looking at her so strangely this morning? What on earth had she done?!

“Evie!” he scolded in a mocking tone, “I think you’ve just been overdoing it a bit… Drinking too much! …It’s probably nothing to worry about.” He gave her a strange smile and patted her softly on the head in a patronising sort of way. “I’ll get you some coffee, yeah?” he asked, motioning with his head to the coffee pot on the counter, “Might make you feel a little better?”

She nodded and hugged her arms around herself. She felt cold. Maybe a nice cup of coffee would make her feel better? It wouldn’t hurt to try. She watched as he poured out the coffee. He glanced at her over his shoulder and then blocked her view for a moment as he added something white that she took to be sugar.

“Here you go” he said, carrying two cups of coffee over to her at the table. “Milk and two sugars!” he said, taking the seat closest to her and taking a sip from his cup, “How cute is it that we take our coffee the same way?!”

She smiled and then eyed the cup of coffee with distaste. Her stomach was doing somersaults and just the thought of eating or drinking anything was making her feel ill. “I don’t know if I can” she sighed, resting her head on her hand and massaging her scalp with her fingers, “My stomach just feels so sick! I must have really overdone it last night! …Where were we?!”

He gave her a sympathetic little smile and nudged the cup towards her a bit. “It will make you feel better” he coaxed, “Trust me.”

She nodded and picked up the cup trying her best not to breathe in the heady scent of the coffee. Her stomach was crying out at her to stop. ‘Don’t do it!’ it seemed to scream, ‘You’ll regret it!’ She glanced at the plate of cooked food on the table and the expectant look on Mason’s face, and gave him an apologetic little smile. “I will drink it… You just have to give me a minute!”

Just then a phone began to ring, and Mason rolled his eyes, and gave a loud exasperated sigh. “That’ll be Tori!” he said, shaking his head as he pulled two mobile phones out of his pocket. He set one down on the table and pressed cancel on the other.  “She just wants to know why I’m not in work!” he said to Evie, with a little huff of frustration, “She’s always on my case!”

Evie stared at the phone on the table. Small beads of sweat began to form on her forehead and her whole body began to tremble. She glanced nervously at Mason, hoping that he hadn’t noticed, and tried her best to steady her shaking hands. “Yeah…” she said, forcing a strained little smile, “Like, everyone needs a day off every now and then!”

A voicemail beeped through and he rolled his eyes again. “I’d better see what she wants” he said, dialling through to his voicemail.

“Mason!” cried Tori, “Brody’s dead! He’s dead!”

His eyes widened and he jumped a little as he listened to Tori’s anguished cries on the other end. He got to his feet and walked away a little, biting his bottom lip in a desperate attempt to stifle his laughter. This was certainly a turn up for the books!

Evie could hear all the sobbing on the other end of the line, and Tori screaming at him in an anguished way, but she couldn’t make out what she was saying. She was trying her best to hide her fear as she wondered what was going on. She raised her eyebrows at Mason in a questioning way, as though she was just taking a casual interest, but he turned his back on her for a moment.

“Last night!” sobbed Tori, “They don’t know what happened! They think maybe an infection… It looks like necrotizing fasciitis! …He should have been in the hospital, Mason! He should have been here where we could look after him… He should have… Oh God! He’s dead!”

He turned back towards Evie and rolled his eyes at her as though Tori was simply talking the ear off him. He made a gesture with his hand to indicate that she was a chatter-mouth.

“Oh God!” continued Tori, “Mason!  …He …” There was a clattering sort of noise, and then Tori’s crying suddenly sounded a lot more distant. He wondered if she’d dropped the phone. After a moment, there was a scuffling noise and then came Justin’s voice instead. “Mason!” he said, in a voice that sounded monotone and distant, “Just come down to the hospital… We need to be together… We need you here.”

Mason cancelled the call and took a few deep breaths to compose himself. This was just too funny! Brody had died of necrotizing fasciitis! Flesh eating bacteria! There weren’t many more painful ways to die! His only regret was that he hadn’t been there to see it. Now, that might have been entertaining to watch! He would have enjoyed drawing black line after black line on his brother’s flesh and watching the infection spread in real time! He’d seen videos of it but seeing it in real life would probably have been a once in a lifetime thing… Not something that you got to see every day! ‘Oh well!’ he thought to himself, ‘I’ll just have to put these acting chops back into use and go down to that hospital playing the grieving brother! I bet some of those little nurses will be only too eager to offer up some ‘sorry your brother just died’ sympathy sex!” He hoped that that little red head would be on duty. “Don’t mind if I do!’ he thought. He sat down opposite Evie again and gave her a bright little smile. “Well?” he said, nodding at her undrunk coffee in her hands, “Still not in the mood for that coffee?”

She looked at him and then nodded at the phone. “Is there something wrong?” she asked, trying to keep her voice steady, “Tori sounded upset?”

“She’s okay” said Mason, giving a little shrug and picking up his own cup of coffee, “She’s just upset about something that happened at work today… She’s always a bit over emotional.”

She nodded and gave a little sigh. She saw him eyeing her cup of coffee so she rolled her eyes at him in an exaggerated way and took a gulp. “Happy now?!” she asked, shaking her head at him, “I said I’d drink it!” She grimaced as she forced the rest of the cup down and then set it back on the table with a sigh. “I just feel so sick… I really don’t get it”

“You just need to lay off the alcohol for a while” he said, giving a disapproving little head shake, “And maybe you should go to bed for a bit? …Y’know, we partied pretty hard last night! You’ve only had a few hours’ sleep!”

She nodded, giving him a tired little smile and tried to stand up, but as soon as she got to her feet she started to stagger. “Ohhhh!” she moaned, putting her hand out to steady herself and grabbing onto the back of her chair, “I feeeeel reaaaally dizzzzy…”

“It’s okay!” said Mason, jumping to his feet and putting his arm around her to stop her from falling. “Why don’t I just put you to bed, eh?” He put his arm around her back and then lifted her legs off the floor to carry her down the hallway to her room. “Don’t worry” he said to her, as her head hung limply and her eyes began to roll, “You’ll feel better when you’ve had a bit of a sleep…” He glanced at his watch as he carried her and wondered if he’d have enough time for a bit of post-breakfast hanky panky before he had to go to the hospital. As he crossed the floor of Evie’s bedroom he suddenly stumbled, losing his footing for one brief moment, and shaking his head as though that might help to steady him. “Woah!” he exclaimed, as his head suddenly started to spin, “Whhhhat’s going on?” He tried to take another step but the room suddenly seemed to tilt on its axis and he hit the ground with enormous force. His legs had just gone out from under him. He shook his head again and again, as he tried to bring his eyes into focus. “I feel strange” he said, sitting slumped against the side of Evie’s bed.

“I bet you do!” exclaimed Evie, sitting up and wriggling out of his arms, “You sick bastard!” She jumped to her feet and stood above him staring at him with her fists clenched. She drew back and kicked him as hard as she could in the face. “I hate you!” she screamed at the top of her lungs, kicking him over and over again, “I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!”




“Do you realise that you’re probably the first person ever to go into witness protection, while already in witness protection?!” laughed Phoebe, as she sat with one leg flung over the arm of the armchair in Brody’s hospital room and flicked through a magazine, “I mean, that has to be a first?! …Pretty cool, huh?!”

Brody glanced up at her for a moment wondering how she could possibly think that anything about this was ‘cool’. He rolled his eyes at her and shook his head before looking away again. “Yeah… really ‘cool’” he muttered, frowning down at the crisp white bedsheets on his hospital bed, “So much fun.” He gave a heavy sigh and leaned back against his pillows in an exhausted sort of way, “I just feel bad about Justin and Tori”

“I know” sighed Phoebe, “…but you know what McCarthy said… It had to seem real. They really had to think you were dead. That’s the only way they could flush him out.” She came over and sat down on his bed, making sure to avoid touching his legs. “They’ll find out when everything’s over...” she said, taking his hand in hers.

“Flush him out?!” he repeated, rolling his eyes at her again and giving a little snort, “You do know this isn’t some TV show… an episode of CSI or something?! This is my life, Pheebs! This!” He clenched his jaw and breathed out heavily, “…And, so far?! … It really sucks!”

“Oh come on, Brodes! …It’s not all bad” she said, tentatively leaning in and planting a kiss on his lips. “I mean… I’m here.” she whispered in a seductive tone.

He looked at her in surprise and pulled back from her. “Uh, Pheebs?!” he exclaimed, holding her at arms’ length and shaking his head in frustration and bewilderment, “I’m not really… I mean… What part of this whole situation did you think was romantic?!”

She gave a nervous laugh and pulled back from him with a hurt little frown. “Oh, I… I guess I just…”

“I mean…” he continued, looking down at what was left of his legs with a flush of anger, “Was it the amputations?! Blood and bandages really does it for you, does it?! You like stitches?! What?!”

She looked at him and narrowed her eyes at him. “I thought… I thought there was something between us” she stammered, “I thought that’s why you asked for my help!”

“Yeah… that’s why, Pheebs!” he snapped at her sarcastically, “That’s exactly what I was hoping for! Nothing puts you more in the mood for sex than a bit of major surgery!”

“You don’t need to be so mean” she said, looking noticeably wounded, “I just… I got my wires crossed, okay?! …I guess… I was hoping…”

“Do you think everything is about sex?!” he asked her, shaking his head at her in disgust, “You don’t think I might have just needed a friend right now?! Or that it might have more to do with the fact that I’m being hunted down by my psycho of a little brother? That I needed help?!” He was starting to turn bright red with anger. “Or is that the kind of thing that turns you on too?! Danger?! The possibility of death?! What?! ...’Cos I’m just a prize is that’s the case!”

“Okay, Brody!” she shouted back at him, “I get that you’re angry about everything that’s going on, but you don’t have to take it out on me!”

“Angry?!” he yelled at her, with his voice breaking a little with emotion, “Damn right I’m angry! I lost my legs, Phoebe! …Look at me! Look! …What am I supposed to do with my life now?!” His eyes began to fill up with tears and he put his hands up to pull at his own hair. “How am I gonna run Salt now?! How am I gonna work?! …What am I gonna do?!”

She shrugged at him and gave him a sympathetic little smile. “You’ll get prosthetics” she said, reaching for one of his hands again and giving it a little squeeze, “They have really good ones now… Look at all the Paralympians… They can run faster than people with real legs! …You’ll figure things out.”

He shook his head and wiped angrily at his tears. “Do you have any idea how long a chef spends on their feet?! Even if I learn to walk on prosthetics, I wouldn’t be able to manage…”

“You’ll work it out” she said, giving him a sad little smile, “It’s gonna be okay.”

He nodded and stared down at his stumps again. “I’m angry” he sighed, “Not just with Mason either.” He glanced up at her and clenched his jaw a little.  “I mean… how could Tori and Justin doubt me like that?! …I’m sitting there with stumps for legs and I tell them that Mason did it deliberately… and they refuse to even consider that I might not be making it up?! That it might be true?!”

“I guess, it just seemed a bit far-fetched?” she said, “They didn’t want to believe that he’d do something like that? I don’t think they meant to hurt you.”

A few tears rolled down his cheek and he wiped at them with the heel of his hand. “If Justin said that Tori had come at him with a hatchet, I’d be pretty surprised… but… If he was sitting there with hatchet wounds, I think I’d be willing to consider the possibility that he was telling the truth!”

She laughed a little nervously. “I know” she said, “But… I believed you”

“I know” he said, looking up at her with big sad eyes, “Thank you… I do appreciate it… Really.”

“That’s okay” she said, holding up her hands to show that she came in peace, and leaning in to give him a soft little kiss on the cheek.

He blushed a little and started picking nervously at the bandage that held his cannula in place. It was such a relief to have some pain medication at last and, although he certainly wasn’t pain free by any means, he was beginning to feel a little less feverish. “I do feel bad though…” he sighed, rubbing his face in his hands. “After everything with mum and dad…” he said, “For them to think that I’m dead too…”

“Yeah…” she said, moving up to lie in beside him on the bed and leaning her head on his shoulder, “But it’ll be over today… and then you can all be together again… the three of you.”

Brody suddenly looked a little startled as he glanced at her sideways. It was as though he’d only just realised that things had changed forever. “It was always the four of us!” he said, beginning to cry again, “The four of us against the world! …And now…”

“I know” she said, turning to look at him with a sympathetic little shrug, “I’m so sorry, Brodes…” She gazed into his beautiful blue eyes, all wet and full of tears, and gave him a little smile. He returned her gaze for a moment, lingering in that ‘we have a connection’ kind of way, and she slowly began to move towards him again to reattempt a kiss.

“No!” he sighed, shaking his head at her and turning away, “Not now, Pheebs, seriously! …Just… not now… Please?”




“Sarge? What do you want to do?” asked Constable Riggins as she viewed the farmhouse through binoculars, “Do we move in?”

McCarthy looked at his watch. They’d been waiting over an hour now but there’d been no movement at all. The house was surrounded and they’d set up road blocks to stop him once he started to head to the hospital. Drawing him out of the house seemed like an easier option than staging a raid because there was always the possibility of creating a siege situation and they had reason to believe that Evelyn Maguire was possibly being held hostage inside. Tori and Justin had continued to leave voicemails for Mason so they’d been able to triangulate and locate his phone signal. Based on that they were fairly sure that he was inside. It was all quite complicated though. Tori and Justin Morgan had been led to believe that Brody and Phoebe had died through poisoning at the hands of Mason Morgan. Hence the real anguish and emotion on the phone. However, in order to draw Mason out, and not alarm him too much, they’d been leaving scripted messages to say that Brody had died of an infection. That way, he wouldn’t think that he was in the frame, and he’d be more willing to present himself at the hospital to survey the damage that he’d done. It was a risky gamble but they’d decided to take it.

He glanced at the eager young officer standing at his side and gave a little sigh. It should have been Chapman, he thought to himself! This one, with her greasy hair and monobrow, certainly wasn’t a looker. He would never have admitted it to anyone but he had quite the hard-on for Chapman, fantasising about her all the time, and it was the only reason that he’d let her get away with as much as he had. She’d always been a pretty useless cop, and definitely wasn’t the brightest, but she’d been easy on the eye at least. Not like the rest of the squad! Those photos had eventually been recovered from Simmo’s laptop. He wasn’t a total idiot, even if Chapman and Ashford thought that he was! They’d been in the recycle bin and very easily recovered for that matter. He’d toyed with the idea of confronting her about them and maybe pressuring her to do him a few ‘favours’ in return, but in the end, he’d just printed them off and taken them home for his own personal gratification. Sure, a good few of the photos featured that idiot Martin Ashford, but there were also a few shower shots, and a few raunchy photos where you couldn’t see who the man was. He’d had a good few ‘intimate evenings’ with Katarina Chapman himself since he’d found those! ‘What a waste!’ he thought to himself, ‘What a terrible waste!’ Still, maybe he could use this current mess that she’d gotten herself into to his advantage? Maybe they could ‘negotiate’ a little? After all, cops always looked after their own!

“Sarge?” asked Riggins again, sounding a little impatient and interrupting his daydreaming, “What do you want to do?”

“Okay” he said, motioning to the team who were awaiting his orders, “Move out!”

Everyone began to close in on the house, suited and booted in riot gear, with automatic rifles at the ready.

"Police!” yelled the first officer to enter the property once the door was broken down, “Police!”

They entered the property from both the front and back doors and made their way through the house. “Clear!” shouted each of the officers at they made their way through vacant rooms. They made their way down the hallway and Constable Riggins paused outside the door to Evie’s room with her back against the wall and her handgun held in her hands, primed and ready to fire.

She gave a nod to her team that they were to follow her inside. “Police! Freeze!” she shouted as she kicked the door open, “Don’t move!”

There was a body on the bed. A motionless body handcuffed to the bedframe. Riggins and another officer approached the bed slowly scanning the room for possible assailants.

“Evelyn?” asked Riggins, tentatively touching the young woman on the shoulder to give her a little shake, “Evelyn, can you hear me?!” She was relieved to feel that her body was warm and that she hadn’t discovered a cadaver. “Evelyn?!” she called, giving her a more violent shake. When she got no response, she put her fingers on Evie’s neck and nodded to her colleagues that she was still alive. There was a slow but steady pulse. She spoke into her walkie talkie and said, “We’re going to need the paramedics… and some bolt cutters… Young female, unconscious at the scene… handcuffed to the bedframe.”

Suddenly there was a shout from another of their colleagues, “Sarge?! In here!” Another team had entered one of the other bedrooms, and on entry, they’d made a rather grisly discovery. “We need a second ambulance!” shouted one of the junior officers, “I think it’s Mason Morgan! We have a pulse!”

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