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Friends With (Unwanted) Benefits


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Okay, so I did say this was going to be the last chapter but I realised once I started writing that I had too much to fit in, so now it's going to be two chapters. Who ends a story on an uneven number of chapters anyway?! That's crazy talk! :blink: Anyway, I really hope you like this chapter x



Chapter 11


"I told you... I don't know!" whined Evie, hugging her arms around her knees in the hospital bed and staring out the window, "I don't know what happened!”

"I understand this is difficult" said McCarthy, giving her a sympathetic little tilt of the head and glancing at Riggins for her support, "But we need to understand what happened on Monday morning. Anything you can remember about that day would be helpful"

“I’m not trying to be difficult!” snapped Evie, turning to look at him with a sudden flash of anger, “He kept me drugged up for weeks! I don’t know what he did to me, or what he made me do…" She glanced at Leah who was sitting on the bed beside her and grimaced as she tried not to cry. "He did things to me... He did what he wanted... without me knowing...”

Leah gave Evie a weak little smile and squeezed her hand in an attempt to be supportive. They'd already been through all of this with two female officers, and repeated the same details over and over and over again. Evie had done her best to explain how Mason had drugged and raped her over a number of weeks, forcing himself on her without her knowledge, and how he’d admitted it to her when she’d awoken in the early hours of Monday morning. She’d told of hearing Mason and Kat arguing in Kat’s room and how she’d overheard them discussing the murder of Martin Ashford. She’d panicked and she’d tried to make an escape, but Mason had found her and forced her to come back to the house. He’d bragged to her about raping her, and about the number of people that he’d killed.  He’d even forced her to look at extremely disturbing photos of Josh and Andy Barrett’s mutilated bodies. He’d held her at gunpoint, and forced her to ingest another cocktail of narcotics, and she had no memory of anything after that. The last thing that she remembered was Kat standing in the doorway of her room, watching her being drugged, and asking how long it would take to take effect. The next thing she knew she was in the hospital after being unconscious for a number of days. Surely it wasn’t necessary to keep questioning her like this? To keep making her relive the horror of it?!

“Do you have any idea how that feels?!” she asked, with tears streaming down her cheeks, “To know that someone just… used you like that?!" She began to really sob, shaking and shuddering and finding it hard to get the words out between breaths. "He kept me ...unconscious..." she sobbed, "...like some kind of... some kind of sex slave!"

“It’s okay, sweetie!” said Leah, throwing her arms around her and giving McCarthy a look of reproach. “She’s been through a lot… This is too much!” she said, frowning up at McCarthy as she cradled Evie in her arms.  “We’re all just…” she said, with her voice breaking a little as she began to cry too, “We’re all just trying to cope.” Leah still hadn’t fully registered the fact that she’d lost yet another husband. She hadn’t really been allowing herself to grieve. Somehow, having to deal with Evie, and helping her through this terrible ordeal, had overshadowed the fact that Mason had murdered Zac and buried him in the veggie patch. Although, they were still trying to positively identify the bodies because Mason had made creative use of the woodchipper at the farm, and piecing all the badly decomposed body fragments back together was taking some time. On some level though, she was still holding out hope that there’d been some mistake, and that he really was at a fortnight-long teachers’ conference in Perth, with no phone signal. Stranger things had happened!

"I don't remember much of what happened" said Evie, glancing up at McCarthy apologetically and wiping at her tears, "I got up sometime in the early hours... I guess it was probably Monday, but I really don’t know, because I think he’d been keeping me out of it for days…  I felt so sick...” She bit her bottom lip and stared down at the bedsheets for a moment or two before continuing.  “My head was like mush!” she said, looking up at him again with big teary eyes, “I overheard Mason and Kat talking in her room... Something about her killing Ash and burying him... Something about blackmail... I got the impression they were sleeping together…" She looked down again and stared as her hands shook violently. She looked at Leah and grimaced a little as she tried to stop crying. “I was so scared! I ran outside… I wanted to get away, but I was too dizzy and… too weak… so I tried to hide… But he found me! …And he made me! …He told me all the horrible things that he did! He told me he’d killed Josh… and Andy… and he made me look!”

McCarthy nodded. He’d seen the photos and videos on Mason’s phone, many of them featuring an unconscious and completely passive Evelyn Maguire, and others involving the dismemberment of a number of his victims. The Barrett brothers, Matt Page, and Zac Maguire had met exceptionally unpleasant ends. Not that the lead up to Martin Ashford’s death had looked particularly pleasant either, but at least he’d been unconscious for most of it! He’d also seen the video of Chapman digging a grave for Ashford’s body so there was little doubt that she’d been involved in at least the cover up.

“He made me drink more of that… that stuff… I don’t know what was in it… but” she said, furrowing her brow and wiping at her tears again, “I don’t know what happened after that! … I’m sorry, but I really don’t… If I could help you, I would!”

"I think that's enough!" said Leah, giving McCarthy a disapproving look, "You can see how traumatised she is! …You can’t keep making her go over and over it!"

"We're just trying to piece things together" said Riggins, eyeing Evie with a little bit of suspicion, “Trying to put together a chain of events.”

“That’s okay” said McCarthy, getting up to leave, “I think we have enough for now.” He gave Evie a sympathetic little smile and put his cap back on. “We’ll leave you in peace now” he said, nodding at Riggins to go ahead of him. He turned and looked at Evie as she huddled tearfully in the bed and wiped at her tears. He couldn’t help feeling sorry for the girl. Looking at her there, with her big blue eyes, and the utter anguish on her face, he couldn’t see how Chapman’s allegations made any sense. Kat had admitted the accidental killing of Martin Ashford, and reluctantly admitted burying the body under duress, but she was insisting now that she hadn't inflicted Mason's extensive and horrific injuries. She claimed that the assault on him must have happened after she'd left for the station in the morning. Unless he’d inflicted the injuries himself, and somehow managed to tie himself up, then Evie seemed like the most likely suspect. Kat was insisting on it! It seemed like clutching at straws to him though, and he just wasn't convinced. Apart from the fact that Mason Morgan himself had accused Kat of causing his injuries, there was just too much evidence stacked against her. The bondage gear used to tie Mason up had belonged to Kat after all. A fact that had certainly excited McCarthy when it had been brought to his attention. As had the contents of the drawer beside her bed! He’d always thought that she might be a little bit kinky but this was beyond his wildest dreams. Just a pity that she’d turned out to be a murderer too… If the BDSM stuff hadn’t been bad enough, there was the fact that Mason had been found in her room, and that his severed appendage had been found in a jar of honey in the drawer, alongside all of her sex toys. Evie, on the other hand, had been found handcuffed to a bed in another room with near lethal doses of morphine and medical grade Rohypnol in her system.  There was also a huge amount of photographic and videographic evidence to support her claims of rape and forced drugging. It just seemed highly unlikely that she'd drugged herself and handcuffed herself to the bed! A lawyer would be hard-pushed to convince a jury of something so far-fetched.

He gave Evie and Leah a little nod and turned to leave. “Oh!” he exclaimed, as he met Brody wheeling towards the doorway, “Brody? How are you feeling today?”

Brody looked up and him and gave a pained little half-smile as he tried to manoeuvre the chair through the door. “I’m… okay” he answered, in a strained voice, as he struggled to turn the wheels in a coordinated way to squeeze through the doorframe, “I’m… getting there.” Riggins, who’d been waiting for McCarthy in the hallway, came forward and began to push Brody’s chair from behind, but he turned to glare at her. “I can manage!” he growled through gritted teeth.

“Okay, okay!” laughed Riggins, smirking a little as she stood back and watched as he bashed the chair into the doorframe again, “Go ahead! No worries!”

After a few initial misjudgements, he managed to get the chair straight again and wheeled himself through. “Hi Evie” he said, looking up at her with big sad eyes, “I just wanted to come say hello… Is that… um… is that okay?”

“Well” said McCarthy, nodding to Riggins to go on, “We’ll be off then… You two take care.”

“I uh…” said Leah, sensing that Evie and Brody might want a private chat, “I might grab a coffee…” She got up and patted Brody on the shoulder as she walked out past him.

“You don’t mind me being here?” he asked Evie, looking pretty nervous.

“No course not!” she replied, giving a little shrug. She looked down at him sitting in his chair and gave him a little smile. She couldn’t help wincing a little as she looked at the bandaged stumps that were sticking out of the ends of his shorts. It just looked so painful! She tilted her head to one side and began to cry. “I’m so sorry, Brody!”

“You’re sorry?!” he exclaimed, wheeling the chair over to the side of her bed, “I’m the one who should be saying sorry! He’s my brother!” He tentatively took her hand in his and shook his head at her in a sad and sorry way, “I heard what… I heard what he…. I’m so sorry, Evie! I really am!”

She looked at him for a moment, gazing into his big blue eyes, so full of pain and sorrow, and she was suddenly unsure of what to say. “What Mason did…” she began, staring down at the bedsheets and flushing a little red with shame, “What he did… That’s not… What I’m trying to say is… You’re not him! You can’t take responsibility for what your brother did!” She looked at his legs again and cocked her head to one side in pity. “I mean… Look what he did to you!” she said, tearing up and grimacing as she began to cry again, “Your poor legs, Brody! … Are you… are you in a lot of pain?!”

He smiled at her. She was so honest and straight to the point with him. He liked that. Phoebe always seemed to be trying to get him into bed. Everything she said sounded like a pickup line, whereas Evie talked to him like she was actually interested in what he had to say. “Yeah… it hurts… A lot” he said, looking down at his stumps as he spoke, “It’s getting easier… but… It’s just weird sometimes… I can still feel my toes… like I have a cramp in my foot… like my toes are all bunched up and I need to stretch them out.”

“Weird” she said, furrowing her brows at him, “I wish there was something I could do”.

They sat for a moment just looking at each other. Neither of them were too sure of what to say. They were the only two surviving victims of Mason’s killing spree so they had that much in common. Neither of them were probably going to be doing much gardening anytime soon though.

“So…” asked Evie, biting her bottom lip a little anxiously, “Have you been to see him?”




Justin and Tori stood just down the hall from Mason's hospital room, trying to pluck up the courage to go inside, and looking at each other in a lost sort of way. They were both nervous. What were they going to say to him?! What do you say to your brother when you find out that he's a serial killer? That he's left a trail of destruction behind him, taking innocent people away from their families, and destroying lives? That he killed people in incredibly cruel and brutal ways? That he raped people?! That he kept photos and videos of his victims and little mementoes to remember them by? What do you say to someone when you realise that you never really knew them at all? That you didn't know what was going on in their head or what sick and twisted things they were getting up to in their spare time? That you failed to see what should have been plainly obvious... That he was a monster? What do you say to a monster? Do you yell at him? Ask him why he did it? …What would be the point? He was obviously ill. A psychopath in the true sense of the word. It wasn't like they could change that.

"I don't know if I can do this…" sighed Justin, shaking his head and glancing at the police officer standing guard outside the door. "I don't know if I can face it..." he said, grimacing in disgust, "Not after... not when I know what..."

"He's ill" said Tori, leaning her back against the wall and letting out a heavy sigh, "He needs help, Justin..."

"He needs put down!" said Justin, staring sadly at the floor, "He's an animal Tori! ...Look what he did to Brody... His own brother!" He rubbed his face with both hands and let out a loud groan. "Imagine what he did to all the others! I mean... they're still finding bodies!"

"Yeah, I know... 'The Summer Bay Ripper' they're calling him..." said Tori, looking at him with big sad eyes, "We're related to the worst serial killer Australia has ever seen... How do we face people? How can we stay here now?"

"I don't know" said Justin, joining her to lean against the wall, "I mean... we might not have to worry about that for too long though... If anything was gonna blow our cover, having a brother arrested for serial killing is probably it... I doubt witness protection will want to help us now... and I reckon the Syndicate are already on their way... We're probably dead meat."

“Yeah” said Tori, nodding as she gazed a little vacantly at the floor, "Mason will probably be safe though, I guess..."

“Unless the Syndicate have someone in lock up” said Justin, giving a little shrug, “They might get him in there”.

“I don’t think he’s going to any normal kind of prison” said Tori, “I think he’s gonna spend the rest of his life in a padded cell!”

Justin nodded along with her. He couldn’t really argue with that. Mason was clearly crazy so it was more likely that he’d be going to a psychiatric hospital than a prison. They both leaned back against the wall and stood there in silent contemplation for a moment. Everything was such a mess.

“Do you think Brody’s ever gonna forgive us?” asked Justin, glancing at Tori in a shamefaced kind of way, “I don’t think I would, if I was him!”

“He’s gonna need us” sighed Tori, “I know he’s angry right now… but he’s gonna need so much help to get back on his… well, to get mobile again… and to sort his life out…”

“Yeah… I guess” agreed Justin, glancing back towards the lifts and wondering whether Brody would agree to let them visit him if they tried again later. He’d been refusing to see them for days now! He couldn’t blame Brody for being angry. After all, they’d ignored his pleas for help and basically let Mason try to kill him a second time! If only they’d listened to him when he’d tried to warn them, then maybe he wouldn’t have had to pretend to be dead! He and Tori were both still reeling a little from the shock of losing Brody one moment, only to find out that he was alive the next. It was just frustrating that he wouldn’t agree to hear them out.

“We might just need to give him some time” said Tori, leaning her head on Justin’s shoulder, “He’ll come round… Brody’s a pretty forgiving guy… you know that.”

Justin gave her a sad little smile and their eyes met for a moment as they both thought the same thing. Did anyone really know anyone else? They’d thought that they knew Mason! They’d shared their lives with him for over twenty years, and yet he’d turned out to be a total raving lunatic, who went around killing anyone who got in his path! Neither of them had seen it!

Justin put his arm around Tori’s shoulder and pulled her in towards him. She continued to rest her head on his shoulder and they stood there side by side for a moment. “This is a nightmare” muttered Justin, “I just keep thinking that I’m gonna wake up… that it can’t be real… It’s just too weird…”

"I know…" said Tori, glancing up at Justin in a nervous sort of way, " I was talking to Nate… and he says Mason doesn't even seem upset... about... well… y'know?"

"About what Kat did to him?" asked Justin, grimacing a little at the thought of it and crossing his legs out of instinct.

"Yeah..." said Tori, widening her eyes and staring down at the floor, “…the castration.” She still found it hard to say out loud even if she was a doctor. "I mean...” she said, “You'd think he'd be angry... inconsolable... depressed...?"

"And he's not?!" asked Justin, turning to look at her in a surprised sort of way, "Is he... is he… still in shock or something?!"

"Maybe" she shrugged, "But... Mason isn't 'normal'... I mean… he’s really not! …I think we have to realise that! …So maybe… maybe it genuinely doesn't bother him?"

"It doesn't bother him that Kat cut his...?" he exclaimed, wincing involuntarily. He couldn't bring himself to say the words. "...That Kat did... that she did that to him?!" he continued. That was something that he still couldn’t quite get his head around either. How had this highly respected member of the police force become embroiled in Mason’s killing spree, and why had she turned on him so savagely in the end?! To do something like that, to mutilate someone like that, took a particularly sick mind! He would never have thought her capable of something so cruel.

Tori blew out a big breath and shook her head in wonder. "Nate says he's... says he's kind of weirdly upbeat... smiling and laughing... and flirting with all the nurses."

Justin groaned and rubbed his face in both hands again. "I just can't get my head around this" he sighed, "I mean... how did we not see it?!"

"I don't know" said Tori, flushing a little red with guilt. The truth was that she had noticed some unusual things about Mason, especially over the last couple of years, but she'd always chosen to turn a blind eye to them. Maybe this was her fault?! Maybe she could have prevented some of this if she’d only tried to get him some help?!

They stood in silence again. Neither of them really wanted to make a move towards that doorway but they were each waiting for the other to lead the way. Finally, Justin turned to look at Tori and put his hand out for her to take. “C’mon…” he said, pushing off from the wall with one foot, “Guess we have to do this sooner or later.”

Tori put her hand in his and gave him a grateful little smile. If it had been up to her, they might have still been standing there the same time tomorrow. She was dreading it!

They gave the police officer outside the door a little nod and showed him their passes. “You ready?” asked Justin, as he reached out for the door handle and gave Tori a nervous little half-smile.

She nodded and let him lead her inside. She gave a gasp when she saw how swollen and disfigured Mason’s face was. He was barely recognisable! His eyes were nearly completely swollen shut, and his nose had obviously been broken, but he was grinning at them in a strange maniacal way despite his wired-up jaw.

“mhHey mhguys!” he exclaimed, in a mumbly sort of way because his teeth were wired together, “Ith tho mghood to thee you!”

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Thanks everyone for the continued support and very kind words :P You guys are great!

Soooo... We’re finally here! Dun dun dun... The last chapter! Lol! We’ve come a very long way from a One Shot, haven't we?! haha!  :lol: Really hope you like this chapter!




Chapter 12



Evie walked up the corridor towards Mason’s room. She really wasn’t sure if this was something that she could do, or even if she should be doing it. Would seeing him help her to move on or would it just end up making things even worse?! She supposed it was worth a try. She’d been having nightmares pretty much ever since she’d gone home. She’d wake up convinced that he was on top of her, doing it again, and suffocating her. She’d wake up flailing about the place, trying to get out from under a rapist who didn’t exist, and screaming the house down. She’d tried to stay at the farmhouse, but the memories were still too raw, and she couldn’t bring herself to sleep in that room where it had all happened. Leah had let her come home where she might feel a little safer. The truth was, she didn’t feel safe anywhere. Not while Mason was still alive. What if he came for her again? She stood for a moment dithering in the hallway and wondering whether to turn on her heel and go home again. Did she really want to see him again? That creepy smug self-satisfied grin? His face was the stuff of her nightmares! She saw it every time she closed her eyes…. Maybe she should just go home and curl up on the couch? Maybe she should try to forget that he’d ever existed? She turned around, and began to walk away again, with her head slung low in defeat. She was just too scared. Suddenly, his face flashed into her mind and she saw him smile from ear to ear in that way that made her want to punch him. ‘Too chicken to face me?’ she imagined him saying, in that cruel taunting voice as he laughed at her, ‘Buck buck buck…!’ She spun around again, clenching her fists in anger and picked up the pace back towards his room. She was going to do this! She was going to do this even if it killed her!

“I have a visitor’s pass” she said to the police officer standing outside the door, “I want to see him!”

“There’s someone in there with him” said Riggins, giving Evie a look of interest but motioning with her head for her to take a seat on the one of the fold down chairs, “You’ll have to wait.”

Just then, the door opened to the sound of cackling laughter, and she saw Brody struggling to pull the door past his chair and get out through the doorway at the same time. He looked very red faced and angry and it was clear that he’d been crying. From the sounds of it, Mason was clearly enjoying his distress.

“Brody?!” she exclaimed, taking a step back to let him get through, “Are you okay?!”

“Can you just move?!” he growled at her, frantically wheeling the chair past her and clumsily turning the chair to face down the corridor. He was obviously desperate to get away.

“Do you need some help?” asked Evie, beginning to follow him, “Brody?!”

“No!” he snarled over his shoulder as he wheeled himself away from her, “Just… leave me alone, okay?!”

She watched as he disappeared down the corridor and turned back towards the room where the door was now lying open. Mason was sitting up in the bed with both wrists handcuffed to the bedframe. The grin on his face was unnerving to say the least and she gave an involuntary little shudder just looking at him. No-one had ever made her skin crawl more.

“Evie!” exclaimed Mason, smiling from ear to ear as he saw her standing there, “I wasn’t expecting to see you!” Two weeks had passed since the two of them had been admitted to hospital and they’d removed the wires from his broken jaw yesterday. He could finally speak properly again. “Two visitors in one day! This is exciting!”

She stepped inside the room, and fixed him with an icy stare for a moment, before turning around to click the door closed behind her. Riggins turned for a moment to peer in the window at her and smirked a little before turning away again.

She walked over to him, and crossed her arms across her chest, observing him with a certain cold disdain. She hoped that he couldn’t tell how fast her heart was beating or how frightened she really was. She glanced at the handcuffs on both his wrists and then at then let her eyes drift to his groin for a moment. Shaking her head and standing up a little straighter, she gave a little snort. There was no way that he could hurt her now, or anyone else for that matter! What was she so frightened of?! “How are you feeling?” she asked, narrowing her eyes at him as he smiled at her.

“Oh… I’m pretty good” he replied, shifting a little uncomfortably, “It’s so nice of you to ask that, Evie!” He cocked his head to one side and gave her a mischievous little smile. “What about you? Missing me? That bed of yours must seem pretty empty without me?”

She winced a little and shook her head at him in despair. She didn’t know what she’d been expecting but somewhere deep down she’d thought that maybe he’d be feeling a little sorry for himself, or maybe he might even have an apology for her. Not this! He wasn’t sorry for anything that he’d done. He didn’t even seem particularly upset that Kat had castrated him. All he wanted to do was gloat!

“This was a mistake” she said, speaking more to herself than to him and turning to leave again, “I don’t know why I even came here…”

“Don’t be like that, Evie!” he laughed, clinking his handcuffs off the bed to get her attention, “I figured you’d turn up sooner or later so you could get a better look at your handiwork… I can understand that! …I’d be the same… I mean, I’d give you a round of applause if I wasn’t so tied up!”

She turned to look at him again with a confused expression on her face. “What… what do you mean?” she asked.

“Oh, come on, Evie!” he laughed, “Did you really think I’d forgotten?! That I didn’t know who really did this to me?!”

“But… but… I…” stammered Evie, staring at his crotch again as flashes of blood-filled scenes flooded through her head, “I didn’t… it was Kat…”

“Really?!” he laughed, looking at her in surprise, “You really don’t remember?!” He pointed as best he could with his restrained hands and nodded down at his own groin, “You don’t remember doing this?!”

Evie’s eyes widened and her face blanched bright white as the whole scene played out in front of her eyes. She genuinely hadn’t remembered doing it! Kicking him over and over in the face until he lost consciousness… Dragging him with great difficulty from her own room to Kat’s and pulling him up onto the bed… She didn’t know where she’d found the strength but her whole body had been filled with such fury that she’d simply lugged and pulled with everything that she had. She’d stripped him naked, and tied him up, and gagged him too. This was insane! It was like watching a scene in a movie where you’re seeing things from the protagonist’s point of view. It hadn’t really been her, had it?! It felt so alien to her, like an out of body experience. Had she really done this terrible thing?! Were those really her bloody hands that she could see in her mind’s eye?! She could actually see the knife in her trembling hands as though it was happening right now! She saw that terrible moment play out in front of her in flashes. That moment when she brought the knife down in one slashing motion and separated Mason’s most prized possession from his body forever. She could see it hanging limply in her hand too! Like some pathetic pork sausage and a couple of giblets from inside a turkey. She could see herself opening Kat’s jar of manuka honey and stuffing the severed parts inside!

“I… I…. don’t know what you’re talking about” said Evie, shaking her head at him and feigning confusion. She wondered if he could see the sweat that was forming on her forehead as she spoke to him now. “I was handcuffed to the bed in my room…” she said, “Kat must have done it… She must have come back and done it?”

“You and I both know that isn’t true” he said, tutting and raising his eyebrows at her in a mocking way, “I have to give it to you though, Evie… You’ve really impressed me… Nice touch, by the way… The honey jar… I mean… How did you know Kat’s fingerprints would be on it?”

She stared at him for a moment wondering what he was playing at. If he knew that she was responsible, why was he telling the cops that it was Kat that had done it? Was this some kind of trap?! Was she being recorded? Would the police burst in to arrest her as soon as she admitted the awful truth?

“I didn’t… I didn’t do it” she insisted, shaking her head and backing away from the bed instinctively, “You can’t prove anything…”

“Evie!” he exclaimed, pretending to scold her, “I’m not gonna tell anyone it was you… I told you when I read that diary that you were the only woman for me! …I knew you were feisty… I knew you had some fight in you! …A darker side hiding behind those big blue eyes!” He began to really laugh as he grinned at her in a maniacal kind of way, “I mean, look at you! You’re like a Disney princess! Those big blue eyes shining like stars… There should be bluebirds singing and flying round your head… like butter wouldn’t melt” He shook his head at her in wonder. “And then… then you go and do something like this!” He motioned with his eyes again at his crotch with a huge smile stretched from one side of his face to the other. “You do this!” he giggled, “I’ve never been so turned on in my life! You have to be the sexiest woman on the face of the planet!”

“You’re insane” she said quietly, shivering a little as she looked into the eyes of what was clearly a total madman, “Completely insane!”

“True” he said, nodding with a little smirk, “But you have to admit… We two were made for each other! …A woman who could do something like this… Oh man!” He put his hand out for her to take, pulling at the cuff around his wrist. “You’ll wait for me, won’t you?” he asked, giving her a little wink, “I mean… I’ll be a good boy in the hospital… and I’ll make them think that I’m cured… and I’ll get out…”

“Mason!” she growled at him, “I don’t ever want to see you, not ever again! Why can’t you…”

“And then we’ll be together” he interrupted, smiling at her sweetly and waggling the hand that she still hadn’t agreed to hold. “I’ll come back for you…” he promised, nodding down at his crotch again and giving a little shrug, “and we’ll figure things out.”

She gave a little snort and looked at him with a mixture of pity and fear. He really couldn’t see that the two of them being together was never going to happen.




“What does that mean?” asked Phoebe, leaning over the back of the bench seat to ask Tori about the verdict, “They think he’s crazy?”

“Yeah, they’re sending him to the Forensic Hospital.” she said, glancing back at Phoebe and then turning to give Brody a sympathetic little smile. “They’re accepting a plea of insanity so he’s going for treatment instead of prison...”

“So, he’s getting away with it?!” exclaimed Phoebe, raising her eyebrows at Evie who was sitting looking very nervous beside her, “The sneaky little…”

“He’s sick, Phoebe!” said Tori, shaking her head at her disapprovingly, “It means he’ll get the help he needs now…”

“The help?!” growled Brody, staring down at his brother as he sat in the dock, “The help he needs?!” He was angry that Mason was being treated as a mental patient and not being locked up in prison where he felt he belonged. He just couldn’t find it within himself to feel sympathy for someone who had done so many awful things. “He’s not some wilting little flower, Tori! He’s killed 23 people! …He even bragged to me about it! …He wants to be a celebrity!”

“23 people” Evie repeated, shaking her head at Brody as he looked round at her for moral support. “He’s a monster!”

“I know, I know he’s done some terrible things…” said Tori, beginning to tear up a little, “I know that…”

“Some terrible things?!” exclaimed Justin, “He’s a murderer and a rapist, Tori! …We can’t forgive that… He’s an animal!”

“No! He’s sick!” argued Tori, looking down at Mason and wondering how things could have gone so wrong. She still remembered him as a toddler. “He needs help…” she sighed,”…not a prison cell!”

“He needs an electric chair” snapped Brody, shifting a little in his wheelchair and wincing with the pain, “The sooner they put him somewhere where he can’t hurt anyone else… the better!”

“He’s still our brother” sighed Tori, turning to look at Brody and Justin with a sad little shrug, “There’s nothing we can do to change that.”

“He stopped being my brother when he decided to chop me to bits with garden equipment!”  he replied. He ran his fingers through his hair and blew out a big breath. This was too much to deal with right now. “I need to get out of here” he said, looking at Justin for help, “I can’t sit here looking at him anymore.”

Mason turned to look up at them as the guards prepared to take him down. As the guards secured his handcuffs and the restraints around his ankles, he scanned the faces of his family and friends and began to smile. It was nice that they’d come to see him off like this. ‘They certainly are a sentimental bunch, aren’t they?!’ he thought to himself. He could see Evie up in the gallery and couldn’t help smiling at her. There she was, his doe-eyed butcher! The woman he admired more than anyone on this earth. He’d come back for her someday soon and then they’d be together forever! Then he saw Brody, staring down at him with pure unbridled hatred as Justin helped him with his chair, and he threw him a little wink. The guards took hold of both his arms and began to move him towards the stairs to lead him down to the holding cells. He waved at Tori, with a huge smile stretching from ear to ear, as he disappeared down the stairs.

“I don’t know about you” said Justin, beginning to wheel Brody out of the courthouse, “But I could really do with a drink!”

“I don’t know” said Brody, glancing up at him and giving a tired sigh as he rested his head on his hand, “I’m not feeling very sociable.”

“C’mon Brodes?!” coaxed Phoebe, trotting along beside the chair as Justin pushed him along, “Why don’t we all go and get legless?!”

He glared up at her, grabbing hold of the wheels on his chair to bring it to an abrupt stop. “You think that’s funny?!” he asked, frowning at her angrily, “You think you’re funny?!”

“Oh God, Brody!” she gasped, covering her mouth as she realised what she’d just said, “I’m sorry!” She looked at his red-faced indignation and found herself starting to giggle nervously. “Too soon?!” she asked, biting her bottom lip in an attempt to stifle her laughter.

He stared at her for moment, feeling a little lost for words. How insensitive could she possibly be?! He glanced sideways at Evie who was obviously fighting the urge to laugh too, and then at Justin whose shoulders were bobbing up and down. Maybe it was funny? Maybe he was being too serious? He rolled his eyes and shook his head as he began to laugh a little too. “Okay… okay!” he sighed, “Let’s go to Salt then!”




Justin went behind the bar to make up a table of drinks for everyone. They’d closed the restaurant and now it was just their own little group from the courthouse. Not that they’d exactly been queued out the door! Somehow, having a mass murderer in the family, made a ‘family run’ restaurant that little bit less appealing. He wondered how long it would take for this whole thing to blow over, and whether people would decide that their need for pizza and hipster style food was greater than their dislike of serial killers? Hopefully not too long! Brody was going to need an income while he was going through rehab.

He gazed across at the table of family and friends and gave a sad little sigh. How had it come to this?!

“Right!” he said, trying to sound upbeat as he carried the tray of drinks back to the table, “Beer for Brodes, wine for the girls…”

Evie gave Brody a nervous little smile across the table and lifted her glass of wine. “When do you go to the city?” she asked, tilting her head at him in a sympathetic sort of way, “Do you know how long it’s gonna take?”

He gave her a little smile and reached under the table to move Phoebe’s hand away from his thigh. She just wasn’t getting the message. “Uh…” he said, picking up his beer, “I uh… Tomorrow… I guess it’ll take as long as it takes… three months… maybe more?”

“Can you have visitors?” she asked, doing her best to look innocent and ignoring the daggers that Phoebe was throwing her from across the table.

“Yeah… I guess” said Brody, “I think people can come… I can’t see why not.”

“Uh… Pheebs?” said Justin, motioning with his head for her to come have a chat with him in private, “Can I have a word?”

They watched as the two of them walked away to the other side of the restaurant and began whispering in a heated sort of way. Brody glanced at Justin and guessed that he must finally have noticed the tension between him and Phoebe. From the gestures and the whispered shouting, he figured that he’d seen her groping his thigh, and wasn’t too happy about it! Looking at the anger on his face now he couldn’t help starting to sweat. What if Justin went crazy too?! What if he came after him out of jealousy like Mason had?! He couldn’t afford to lose any more body parts!

“Uh… Evie?” he asked, nodding at his chair, “Can you give me a hand? ...I just really need to get some air…”

Evie started to get up but she was suddenly a little distracted by the fact that McCarthy had appeared in the doorway. “Uh… Brody?” she said, pointing for him to look towards the door.

“I need to speak to you all” said McCarthy, taking off his cap and pulling up a chair beside the booth they were sitting at. “It’s not good news, I’m afraid.”

Justin and Phoebe walked back over and took their seats again. They both looked quite worried. “What is it?” asked Justin, thinking that maybe it had something to do with the Syndicate. Maybe he’d got a tip-off that they were on the way?!

McCarthy checked that everyone was gathered round and gave a nervous little cough to clear his throat. “Well…. It’s not easy to say this” he began, “but it seems that Mason never made it to the hospital… the psychiatric facility I mean…”

“What happened?!” asked Tori, looking at him with big worried eyes, “Is he okay?!”

Brody glared at her. How could she be worried about him after what he’d done?! He was more worried that he’d escaped somehow and that he was out there somewhere right now, getting ready to inflict more pain and suffering. “Where is he?!” he asked.

“The transport van was run off the road” he said, giving Brody a sympathetic sort of look, “It never made it as far as the hospital… The guards have both been shot in the head.” He gave a bit of a sigh and rubbed his face in a weary way. “Right now, it looks like Constable Riggins… It pains me to say this… that Riggins may have struck up a… a ‘relationship’ with your brother… It was her car at the scene.”

“She ran them off the road?!” exclaimed Justin, looking a little confused, “Why?! You think they’re together?!”

“We’re not sure” he replied, “…but it does look like she and Mason have made their escape together …We don’t know where they are.”

“You don’t know much, do you?!” snapped Brody, “Are all of the police in Summer Bay bent?! First Kat, now this Riggins woman…. Do you do any background checks or can just any old psycho be a police officer?!”

McCarthy nodded a little sadly. It was surprising to find that two of his team had had their heads turned by some poodle-headed little serial killer and involved themselves in his killing spree. Maybe he needed to take a closer look at the rest of his squad and see if any of them were doing anything they shouldn’t. Come to think of it, maybe he should get rid of those treasured photos of naked Kat just in case the station came under investigation on the back of this. Those photos would be hard to explain, and might raise some difficult questions with the force, not to mention his wife!

“I know this must be difficult for you especially” he said to Brody, giving him an apologetic look, “But we will keep you informed as and when we have any information… Just be careful and keep the doors locked… and obviously if you hear from him I’d ask that you let us know immediately.”

Brody snorted and threw back Justin’s unattended glass of whiskey. “What’s the point? For all I know, you’re in on it too!”

“I can assure you” he said, getting up to leave, “I’m as surprised as you are… I thought Riggins was as straight as they come.” He pulled his cap on again and looked around the worried faces one last time. “I am sorry… but we will find him.”

They watched him leave and then Brody motioned to Justin to get him another glass of whiskey.

“So… Mason’s just out there then?” he said, grimacing at Evie, “Just out there somewhere… having ‘fun’?!”

“We don’t know what he’s doing…” said Evie, staring down at the table in a worried way, “Or where he is… He could be here right now… just waiting…” Their eyes met in a fearful sort of way and Brody reached for her hand and gave it a little squeeze. Mason’s words were still ringing in her ears. ‘I’ll come back for you and we’ll be together forever!’

“Bring the bottle!” he shouted to Justin as he saw him begin to pour out a couple of glasses up at the bar, “And glasses for everyone!” He reached for the bottle when Justin reappeared with it and poured out a number of glasses. “Come on then, everyone!” he said, laughing in a sad and bitter sort of way, before raising a glass for a toast, “Might as well get legless!”




Mason opened his eyes and looked around him. It was dark in here but he could just about make out the outline of the furniture and the small barred window up near the ceiling. This was a basement. “Mrrrhmmm” he moaned, wincing with pain as he tried to sit up. It felt like someone was sitting on his chest and crushing his ribs. Where was he?! What was going on?! He lifted his head and peered into the darkness across the room. The bed creaked a little with his movement.

“Oh!” said an excited sounding voice, “You’re awake! I was worried you might not wake up! I didn’t mean you to get such a bash on the head!”

“Who are you?” asked Mason, wondering at this interesting development and feeling a little excited, “Is this… is this the hospital?”

“Oh no, not that place…” said the voice, as it seemed to move slowly towards him, “I couldn’t let them send you there… I’d have missed you!”

His hearing was a little warbled so he was having difficulty recognising her voice. “Who are you?” he asked again, trying to sit up and groaning with pain as he realised that he was belted down. He gazed down at his chest and saw that there were two thick leather straps pulled tight and holding him down on the bed. He tried to lift his hands and felt the straps around his wrists too. “What the…?” he asked, glancing at the dark form now standing a short distance from the bed.

“Oh… don’t worry” said the female voice, in a sickly sweet tone, “Those are for your own protection… You don’t want to move around too much or you’ll get really hurt.”

“What are you talking about?!” he asked, starting to feel a little panicked. He liked bondage play as much as the next guy but this was taking things to extremes. His whole body felt like it had been bruised and battered, or like he’d been put through a blender. What was it that this dark form wanted from him?!

Slowly Riggins appeared out of the shadows with a sledge hammer thrown over her shoulder, as though she was carrying an umbrella. “I knew you were the one!” she said, smiling in an intense and demented sort of way as she glanced at his crotch, “I saw how you reacted to your… well, to your unfortunate change in circumstances… and I knew that you and I would get on like a house on fire! You like your women to make you suffer… and well, that works pretty well for me!” She sat down on the bed beside him and gave him a little wink. “Let’s have a look?” she said, plucking at the waistband of his trousers and peeking inside. “Ooh… she did quite the job on you, didn’t she? That Evie seemed so sweet too!”

“You knew it wasn’t Kat?!” he asked, unable to hide the fact that he was actually quite impressed, “Why didn’t you say anything?!”

“And let that self-absorbed stuck-up bitch get away with everything again?!” she laughed, “I don’t think so… I wanted to kiss you when I realised what you were doing!”

He smiled at her. Maybe she was right! Maybe they would get on well?! She wasn’t the best looking girl in the world but there was something quite attractive about a strong woman who went out and got what she wanted. He liked her ruthlessness too. Maybe this could be the start of a beautiful friendship?! He wouldn’t say no to a fumble either, even if he had to take a slightly different role in things now, and be the ‘taker’ rather than the ‘giver’. They’d figure it out!

“So… what did you have in mind for me then?” he asked, straining a little against the leather straps, “We can’t get up to much with me tied down like this!”

She caressed the side of his face and ran her fingers through his hair. “Awww… you think I want sex?!” she teased, “That is so sweet!” She placed her hand on his crotch and he winced a little. “You don’t have much to offer in that department!” she said, shaking her head at him in a mocking way. “Remember?!” she laughed, making a scissors gesture with two fingers and a noise to indicate the cutting.

He was a little conflicted now. He was both turned on and a little bit scared. He wondered if that’s how he’d made his victims feel? Had Josh Barrett felt this way about him before he’d killed him? Probably!

She got to her feet and took the sledgehammer in her hands. “Have you ever seen the movie ‘Misery’?” she asked, nodding for him to look at his legs, “You’re probably too young? …It’s a great movie… Kathy Bates, James Caan… Brilliant!”

He raised his head as best he could and peered down at his legs with his heart thumping in his chest. There was a wooden block between his ankles!

“I loved that movie growing up!” she continued, “I was probably too young to watch it, but my mum never really kept too much of an eye on what we were doing… I guess I developed pretty adult tastes pretty early on… but I’ve never stopped thinking about that movie…”

“What are you gonna do?!” he asked, pulling at the straps again and wondering if there was any way to talk his way out of this.

“Fulfilling a lifelong dream!” she said, smiling down at him again as she raised the sledgehammer in her hands. “I’m gonna enjoy this so much!” she said, as she brought the hammer down...

THE END :ph34r:





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