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Our Solemn Hour [Closed]

By Lovely_Poison



For two months Cassandra Montgomery lived with the "Clearwater Killer," unaware that it was her fiance who was murdering the young women of the small town. He had lived a double life, keeping his sadistic thoughts and actions hidden under a kind smile and a seemingly loving heart.


It wasn't until the night that he tried to murder her that he told her the truth, revealing all of the horrible details that the police hadn't even released to the public. Had it not been for the cutting board in her hand, which she'd hit him in the face with, she would have ended up as another lifeless victim.


Once he was caught, and her name was on the news with him, people blamed her. After all, who could live with such an evil man and not know? But she truly hadn't known, and no amount of apologies could make up for the horrible things he had done.


Three years later, she's moved away from Clearwater to the city of Ashhaven, with a new name, a new job as a nurse, and a new life. She's done everything she can to keep the past from haunting her.


Until notes start showing up at her apartment, vaguely threatening. At first, she thinks that someone's figured out who she is. And then the first body appears, and her worst fears come to life as she realizes that her ex might be on the loose.


Enter ______, a detective running from their own broken past. One that threatens to drown them just as much as Cassandra's.


Desperate and scared, she goes to the police, unable to get much help from any of them except for _______. The two strike a deal not long after she tells her story: she'll help them catch the man in exchange for protection.


The question remains, though: is it really her ex, come back to finish what he started? Or is it a copycat who wants to see her punished for the lives she could've saved?


And what about the past that haunts _____? What does one do when it reers its ugly head?




What I'm looking for:


I'm looking for a semi-literate to literate writer to fill in the role of the detective. I've left them genderless for a reason. They are YOUR character. You are free to do with them as you please. Just please take this seriously.


18+ please. I am in my twenties and don't feel comfortable writing with a minor.


This is a mature roleplay. Mentions of violence, possible drugs, and intimacy will most likely be mentioned. If you're not ok with any mature subjects then this thread is not for you.


ES rules still apply. While romance is not the forefront of this rp, it's ok if it happens. However, any scenes that go against site rules will be timeskipped or taken offsite.


No controlling each others characters unless asking first. That includes killing.


Real pictures are preferred. Doubling may also be a possibility, so I need you to be okay with that. We can always add new characters.


Communication. I'm not the best at this. I've ended up leaving unexpectedly due to being ill or losing my account info. However, I'm trying to be better about talking to my writing partner, so I would hope to get the same thing in return. If you're not feeling it, just tell me! I promise I'm understanding.


Good grammar. I'm not great with this all the time. I constantly make mistakes, but I really don't want to try and decipher a reply.


Most importantly, have fun! This is a story I want to write together and we can have a blast doing it!


If you're interested, please PM me with the subject as "Damaged," along with the skelly below inside, that way I know you read the rules. If you don't, I will not consider you for this thread. I know that sounds harsh, but I don't want to explain things that are already in the description.


If you have any questions that can't be answered here then feel free to ask! I promise I will answer, especially if I didn't specify here.


Picture:
Do not fully link


Puppetmaster:
Do not fully link your profile.


Name:


Nickname/Alias:


Age:


Likes:
At least 3


Dislikes:
At least 3


Personality:


History:
Mostly what their childhood was like.


Secret:
Whats the thing that keeps them up at night?


Extra:
Anything else I should know?




Characters:




Puppetmaster:


Name:
Cassandra Montgomery.


Nickname/alias:
Cass/Natalie Barlow


Age:
26


Likes:
Reading, iced coffee, cold weather, her job.


Dislikes:
Bugs, thunderstorms, big crowds, loud noises


Personality:
Cassandra is very much closed off, despite being outgoing with her coworkers and patients. She doesn't trust easily, can be a bit standoffish, and snaps when she gets overwhelmed.


History:
Cassandra grew up as the only child in a single parent household. Her father did everything he could to raise her, never veered away from a conversation about her mother, who left them when she was two, and constantly encouraged her to chase her dreams.


When she brought home Alex, her father was very supportive, claiming he liked the man. When it came out what happened, though, he was the one to suggest she move away, hating the suffering she dealt with from the other townspeople.


They still keep in close contact to this day, with a phone call almost every night.


Secret:
She's using a fake name and her fiance was, well, the Clearwater Killer.


Extra:
Cassandra always wears a thick choker around her neck to hide the scars from where her fiance tried to kill her.




Puppetmaster:
https://roleplay.cloud/u.php?u=83804 KevinKat


Name:
Clarence Costello


Nickname/Alias:
Costello, Kay (To co-workers and friends), Birdy (Potential pet name for partners)


Age:
28


Likes:
Classic books, animals (bees are a favorite), good wine, the smell of the beach, he swims on his off days, sketching (mostly what he sees)


Dislikes:
Loud noises, entitled or rude people, loud noises/ too much noise at one time, distractions while working on a case


Personality:
Clarence is kind and quiet, keeping mostly to himself. When it comes to his job, he is determined and can even be ruthless. He does his best to play by the rules but will bend them if necessary. He is blunt and doesn't read social cues very well but mostly means well.


He is analytical and can notice the small things which makes him good at his job as a detective.


He is extremely protective over those he cares for and is prone to doing reckless and self-destructive things in order to keep them safe.
He is very selfless and pulls all-nighters when he is particularly engrossed in a case. He does not think about himself often.


History:
Clarence Costello was born on April 2nd. His father Jason Costello was a detective, their mother, Annabelle, worked in a retail store.


Jason was a strict father, he loved his kids and asked that Clarence would watch over his sister, Josie, and protect her. He would walk her home from school, take her to theater rehearsals, anywhere she needs to go.


Clarence’s father wanted him to go to the police academy and train to become a detective like his father. He didn't mind this. He looked up to his father and wanted to be just like him when he was younger. A strong man able to provide for and protect his family.


When Clarence got into high school, his father got harder on him. His father expected great grades, but that was normal since he could remember. He had a strict curfew for Clarence and his sister. Home by 8:30 at night. If they couldn’t manage this, it was usually Clarence who got a stern talking to and a swat with his fathers belt.


“You’re the oldest, it's your job to set an example and keep your sister safe.” His mother would gently remind him whenever he asked why father was harder on him.
One day, when his sister was a senior in high school, she wanted to sneak out and meet her boyfriend for a date. She asked Clarence to cover for her and he agreed.


Whenever their father would go to check on Josie, Clarence would tell him she was studying and didn’t want to be bothered, in the shower, or sleeping.


Josie never came home that night… She wasn’t at school that morning or theater rehearsals. She never did make it home and they could never find her.


Clarence blames himself for letting her go out in the first place. He got the feeling their father blamed him too for covering for her.


He pushed himself harder in school and in the academy so he could become a detective as fast as possible. He worked under his father until his father had to retire due to a knee injury he received on a foot chase.


Clarence works to be half the man his father was and to be sure no one has to lose a child the way he lost his sister. He works hard to find criminals, and bring them to justice.


Secret:
All the “what ifs?” he has gathered through the years. “What if” he stopped his sister from leaving that night? “What if” he went after the thief instead of his father? “What if” he got to a crime scene sooner?
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[center [b [i "Hey, Barlow, I need you to run these tests to the lab for me. Can you do that?"]]]


[center Cassasndra looked up from her computer screen, her fingers freezing over the keys as she looked at the doctor. [b "Yes, ma'am,"] she said, reaching out to grab the manilla folder. [b "Blood?"]]


[center [b [i "Yes. Page me as soon as they get the results back."]] With a nod, Dr. Wilson was gone, heading down the hall for another patient. Cassandra didn't waste time standing, putting her own work on pause for the time being, before she moved out from behind the desk, making her way for the elevator.]


[center She almost hadn't reacted when her name had been called. She was still getting used to the name "Natalie Barlow." She liked the name, she really did, but it felt weird using a different name. Like she was wearing someone else's skin. Leaning against the elevator wall, she sighed. [i Because that practically [i is] what you're doing.] Had it not been for her father helping her out, she would've been stuck with the name Cassandra and all of the awful things that came with it.]


[center It was a good thing that her picture had never been shared with the media. Not much, anyway, otherwise, she would've never gotten this job.]


[center It didn't take her long to take care of the task at hand, delivering the folder and making her way back up to the surgical floor. Checking the watch on her left wrist, she let out a sigh. One more hour and she would be home, safe in the comfort of her own bed.]


[center [pic https://imgur.com/6Opfdjb.jpg]]


[center An hour after she'd gotten off and she was sitting at the police station, bouncing a leg up and down as she sat in a waiting chair. She watched all of the uniformed officers move past her, some seeming in a hurry, and some just leisurely making their way by. She was beginning to grow impatient. Whoever it was she was supposed to speak to was taking their dear sweet time.]


[center Damn it, she needed a cigarette. Her nerves were shot to hell and back now and her stomach was turning. Leaning her head back against the wall, she closed her eyes, thinking back to the moment she had turned on the tv.]


[center When winding down, Cassandra liked to watch the news. Not only did she like to keep up with current events, but she wanted to keep an eye out to make sure that Christopher hadn't somehow gotten out of prison. She'd thought it not likely, that he would stay behind bars for the rest of his life.]


[center Then the news anchor started talking about a body being found. Whatever Cas had been doing at that moment was forgotten as she moved closer to the television, feeling her blood run cold. She'd thought the notes had been a sick joke. That maybe someone she knew had found out where she'd moved to and had decided to taunt her. The townspeople of Clearwater had done that enough before she'd left. It wouldn't have surprised her in the least if someone had decided to continue the little game.]


[center At first, she tried to tell herself that he hadn't escaped. That it didn't matter that the victim had matched his preference. He was locked away and she was safe.]


[center Her anxiety, however, wouldn't let her push it out of her mind. It was too much of a coincidence.]


[center Now here she sat, jumping at every unexpected sound, each ring of the telephone, afraid that she would see that same tanned face. See those bright blue eyes that had held so much anger and hate in them. What if he was back? She'd protected herself before, but could she do it again? Would she have to move again?]


[center She really didn't want to. She actually liked it here in Ashhaven. It wouldn't be fair if she had to uproot everything again because of him.]


[center [b [i "Miss Barlow? Detective Costello will see you now."]]]


[center [i Finally,] she thought to herself. Grabbing the folder containing the notes, she stood, stretching her arms over her head, before she followed the older woman down a hall.]
KevinKatClarence Costello   110d ago

The detective was going over files for potential suspects. He stood over his desk and paced around his office trying to find any connection that could be there. 
  So far no leads as to who the killer was but he didn’t really expect any so soon. 
He squared away papers he didn’t need anymore when he heard a knock on his office door. 
  “Come in.” He called to whoever was out there. An older woman poked her head in.
  “Detective, Miss Barlow is here to see you.”
  “Bring her in.” He replied. He knew someone was coming by the station to see him. It was like lay about the current case. 
  He settled back in his chair, ran a hand through his messy black hair and waited for the woman to come back with Miss Barlow.
He had not heard of this girl before. He can’t recall seeing her around town either. He certainly was curious to see what she wanted to talk about.
‘Perhaps she can give me a lead.’ He mused to himself. That could be wishful thinking but there was always potential. These things are never predictable. Years of experience with his father had taught him this.
His father was the head detective in this department before his injury forced him into retirement. It was up to Clarence to fill his place. It was large shoes to fill but he could do it. He had to.

[center Cassandra seemed a little hesitant as she stepped into the office, looking the man up and down for a quick once over. For some reason, he intimidated her, and it made her wonder if she should just turn around and leave. The other officers hadn't really listened to her. Why would this man?]


[center Shaking her head, she moved over to an empty chair in front of the desk, holding a hand out to him as she sat down. [b "Cassandra Montgomery,"] she said softly. No point in lying to this man if she was gonna tell him how she knew what she knew. [b "A pleasure to meet you. Sorry it has to be under these circumstances though."]]


[center Running a hand through her hair, she sighed. She needed that cigarette, and soon...]


[center [b "I believe I have some information that help with the woman that was found murdered."] She took a deep, shaky breath, her mind already swimming as memories swirled around. Images that made her want to run away and hide. She tugged the collar of her shirt higher up on her neck. [b "I'm positive I know who your killer is."] A bold statement, but she couldn't shake this feeling of dread.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   107d ago

Clarence’s eyebrows raised at this. He had been looking tirelessly and no leads. Now, this mystery woman comes in with the killer’s identity? This he had to look into. It was his first lead in the case, after all. 
  “You do? Who?” He asked deciding he would bite. Why not ask? Maybe she had proof to show him to back this statement up as well. He hoped she did. Who just waltzes into a police station saying she knows who murdered a recently found victim. 
  Someone who was likely involved with the crime…
   This meant a few things. Either she saw the crime take place, she knows the killer on a personal level, she’s an accomplice or she is the killer herself. 
 He doubted the later. What kind of killer does that? However, he was determined to find the truth without scaring her off.

[center Cassandra could already feel the panic rising inside of her, threatening to choke her if she tried to speak. She had to do this. It was too late to turn around now. It didn't matter how much she didn't want to bring up the past. How much she didn't want to relive it. Doing this was the only way to guarantee that more women wouldn't die. That [i she] wouldn't die.]


[center She took a deep, shaky breath, balling her hands up into fists in her lap. [b "I'm almost positive it's a man by the name of Adam Sarasota."] Surely he knew who she was talking about. His name had been plastered all over the news for so long that she couldn't watch TV for months after the arrest.]


[center Just in case, though... [b "He murdered all of those women in Clearwater... and attempted to murder me,"] she said, pulling down the collar of her shirt. She still had marks around her throat, scars from where the wire had cut into her skin. They were harsh reminders of the screwed-up past she would never be able to run from.]


[center [b "If I'm honest, I could be wrong. He's supposed to be locked up, but the way that woman was killed... What I got to see was the same. It's either him or a copycat..."] [i Or you're just paranoid,] she thought to herself. She offered him a weak smile.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   104d ago

Clarence thought for a moment. He was going over what she had just said to him. Weighing the possibility of whether or not she was lying to him. He doubted that. All of this took only a moment before he spoke again.
  “Do you know where he could be? If he isn’t locked up anymore?” He asks the woman. His blue eyes scanned over her. He noted how on edge she had seemed. The scars on her neck… it all seemed very real to him but he had to be sure.
  “If you are worried about him harming you, we do offer protection here.” He says

[center All Cassandra could do was shake her head. God, she wished she knew where he was. She had tried to call the prison he had been sent away to, but they had only told her he'd been transferred. Unfortunately, because of her connection to him and the case, they wouldn't tell her where. For all she knew, he'd escaped during the transfer.]


[center She took a deep breath. [b "That's what I was hoping you would say. I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can, but I won't lie, I'm afraid that if he is out, he's going to finish the job."] She sighed. [b "Though, for all I know, this could be a copycat or something completely unrelated and I'm just wasting your time."]]


[center It was so much easier to believe that was the case. That she was just somehow wasting this poor detective's time and her ex was still locked away, never to be seen again.]


[center However, despite the logical part of her brain telling her so, she couldn't take the chance. Hopefully, this man would understand.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   101d ago

Clarence raised his eyebrows again.
  “We do have to take all possibilities into account here. However, yes, I will do my best to assist you in anyway needed. That’s why I offered protection here, should you deem it necessary. We’re open anytime and I practically live here.” He said with a shrug.
  “I can assure you we are on it. Is there anything else you would like to bring to our attention?” He asked. That was a rather interesting heads up to give. Why would she feel the need to make him aware about this now? He tucked that in the back of his mind for later. He can’t look at all of the little details right now. He was in the middle of talking to a potential lead in his case that’s been keeping him at the station for as long as possible. With cases like this, he couldn’t afford to rest. This leads to openings for their killer to go free and claim other victims. He can’t allow that to be a possibility

[center Cassandra didn't feel like she had any other choice but to accept the offer. It was better to be safe than sorry. With her luck, if she changed her mind and declined, then her ex really would be the one behind the gruesome murder and he'd finish her off without issue. The thought made a knot form in her stomach. [b "Then the protection would be welcome,"] she said after a moment. She needed it. Plus, it would keep her close enough that she could offer help if it was warranted.]


[center She quickly shook her head. [b "I wish I had more to offer but I don't. I just thought it best that I bring it to your attention. Better to have a small lead than on lead at all, right?"] She tried to offer a reassuring smile, though she wasn't sure it would do anything. For all she knew, he was waiting to cuff her with the assumption that she had something to do with it.]


[center She wouldn't be surprised if that happened. Three years prior, she'd been arrested because of that exact assumption. It wasn't until she was in the interrogation room that she was able to prove her innocence. Apparently, the phone call and bruises on her neck hadn't been enough to convince them right away.]


[center Without thought, she reached up and rubbed at her neck. She could still feel his hands wrapped around her throat sometimes...]


[center Quickly dragging herself out of the rabbit hole that she was about to fall down, she stood, holding a hand out to him again. [b "I hope I was able to be of some help."]]
The_PriestClarence Costello   97d ago

Clarence gave a smile and shook her hand. He noticed she was anxious and rightfully so if all she said was true. Having a person who tried to kill you loose and killing again must have been extremely stressful for the woman.
He was trying to make her as comfortable as possible. After all, his fist job was to help people and make them feel safe.
  “Thank you for telling us. You’re right, a small lead is certainly better than none.” He said giving a chuckle. She was right, he had no leads to go by before she came. Now, he had someone to go to for questioning.
  “Now, concerning your protective custody, you can stay here at the station or I can take you to my place. I have a spare room in my apartment and it might be more comfortable than our cells here but the choice is still yours.” He said trying to leave her choices as open to her as possible. He didn’t want to sound like he was forcing her into something. Those weren’t his intentions. He was just trying to offer any help he could.

[center Under normal circumstances, the detectives offer would've come off as forward. Now, admittedly, it [i was] a little unexpected. Sleeping at the department made sense, that was for sure, but not his home. [i He must be single,] she thought to herself. Nobody in a relationship would offer that so easily.]


[center She thought about it for a moment before she shrugged. [b "It doesn't sound like a terrible idea...I appreciate the offer."] A sigh escaped her lips. [b "I suppose I'd have to head home and get some clothes first, though..."] Not exactly how she thought her night would go, but she wouldn't complain.]


[center [i I'll have to call dad...] She knew he'd freak out but better to know she was alive and safe than just out and about somewhere.]


[center [b "I hope I can lend more help going forward,"] she said softly.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   97d ago

Clarence nodded. Sticking his hands in his coat pocket.
  “Of course. Would you like to meet me back here or should I pick you up at your place?” He asked, mentally kicking himself. Now he just sounded like some high school kid. He was only doing this to be nice. He wasn’t trying to get any sort of relationship. He simply wanted to offer as much safety and comfort to this woman as he could. He hoped he wasn’t giving this girl the wrong idea. 
  He shifted awkwardly a bit. He was already overthinking this

[center It was obvious by his expression that something was bothering him, but she didn't bother asking what. It wasn't any of her business, after all. [b "You can pick me up here,"] she said, reaching onto his desk and grabbing a notepad. She should've asked to use it, but the question just didn't cross her mind until the pen was already in her hand and the ink was on the paper.]


[center She quickly scribbled the address for her apartment before she slid it back over to him, placing the pen back into its holder. [b "Will the next hour be okay? Or do I need to wait longer?"] A frown before she grabbed the pad and pen again, soon writing a number onto it as well. [b "On second thought, you can just reach me here and let me know whenever you get there. I'll be ready without issue."]]


[center That was a partial lie. It would be an issue. She was having to pick up her life and put it on pause again. Would she be able to go back to work? Or would she have to take some vacation time? She couldn't tell her boss what was going on or she might end up jobless. If that happened, she'd be wrecked. It wouldn't be fair if this ruined her life here as well...]
The_PriestClarence Costello   96d ago

He watched her grab his notepad from his desk not really caring if she used it. He wasn’t using it right now anyway. She wrote her address and number for him.
  “That’s perfect. I have to finish putting away a few things here. I’ll see you then.” He said, making a mental note to add her number to his phone soon. 
  “Drive safe.” He added moving to sit back in his chair. He gave a smile trying to add a level of comfort here. That wasn’t his forte as he tended to be a bit on the awkward side outside of work.

[center Cassandra nodded and gave him a small smile before she made her way for the door. Before leaving his office, however, she turned to face him. [b "One last thing... when other people are around, please stick with calling me Natalie or Miss Barlow. No one but you right now knows my real name and I'd like to keep it that way for time being."] With a quick thank you, she finally left, taking a deep breath as she walked away.]


[center If she were lucky, and if Detective Costello kept his word, she'd be able to rest just a little easier that night. Walking to her car, she could only hope he would. All she could think about at the moment was the possibility that it was too late. That her ex had already found her and was waiting for her at her apartment.]


[center It was a relief, then, when she did finally get back home and found that everything was still the same. The TV was still running, just as she had intended, the curtains were all still closed, and the light in her room was on. She didn't usually leave them on like that when she was away, but she'd done it this time on the off chance that someone [i would] think she was home. At least that way she'd know if something was out of place.]


[center With a sigh, she set her purse down on her bed, falling down into the chair in the corner of the room and burying her face in her hands. It was a nightmare all over again, only this time, she was getting a head start. [i Yeah, right,] she thought to herself. If he really wanted to, he would find her. She knew it.]


[center It wasn't long before she finally stood back up, walking over to her closet and pulling out different articles of clothing. The suitcase sitting on the floor in the corner wasn't too big, but it would fit a good bit of clothes and necessities for the time being. Maybe this would all blow over before she had to make a trip back for more things.]


[center With everything soon pack, she lay across the bed, her phone sitting beside her as she placed her arms over her eyes, taking a moment to just breathe. [i And now we play the waiting game...] A game she did [i not] like to play.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   94d ago

“Our course Miss Barlow. I can understand that considering your circumstances.” He says with a nod making a mental note of that as well. He truely didn’t blame her for that. He would use a different name too if someone was hunting him. 
  When she left, he added her number to his phone under NB, took a few more notes on what was discussed so he wouldn’t forget. He then crammed his notes in his desk, locked it and made a quick drive to his apartment to make sure everything was tidy. It usually was but it never hurt to check. He peeked in the door and when everything appeared to be as in order as it was when he left, he closed it, locking it back. 
  Once that was finished, he drove over to the address Miss Barlow had given him. Once parked, he texted her that he was there and waited for her.

[center She hadn't done it on purpose, having not realized how exhausted she truly was, but Cassandra was so close to dozing off that when her phone buzzed, it didn't register right away. It took a moment or two before she groaned and pulled her arm away from her face, blinking to adjust to the sudden light. Grabbing the device, she unlocked it, shooting up the moment she saw the message. [i Crap!] She could only hope that she hadn't kept him waiting long. That would [i so] nice of her, wouldn't it?]


[center Standing up, she quickly stretched her arms over her head before grabbing the bag she had packed and making her way out the door. Double checking that she had locked her door properly, she hurried down the apartment stairs, quickly searching for his vehicle before she finally spotted it. She hesitated once she reached it, unsure if she should put her stuff in the front with her or in the back. Deciding that she'd have more leg room if she kept it behind her, she opened up the back door, setting the suitcase as gently as she could before moving to the front. [b "I...appreciate the help, detective,"] she said softly as she buckled herself in.]


[center Everything suddenly felt strange. She hated that she was having to do this. Hated that she was having to change so much right now. It was bullshit and she knew it. [b "I honestly don't know what I would've done had you not believed me."] That was her biggest concern when she'd first gone to the station.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   94d ago

Clarence was a patient man. He didn’t mind waiting a few minutes for Miss Barlow. 
  Once she was buckled in, he pulled out of the parking lot.
  “It’s no trouble, really. I believe everyone that comes to my office unless given a good reason not to. Besides, I don’t think bruises lie.” He said glancing over to her. He pulled into his apartment complex and got out. 
 “Okay, sorry if it’s messy or anything. I just peeked in before coming to get you.” He said as he unlocked the door. 
  Inside was a neat home. It was barley lived in by the looks of it. Likely due to all the all-nighters the detective pulls.
  “Okay, this in front is the living area. The kitchen is to your left. The fridge should have something in it. If not I can take you to grab some things tomorrow. There’s a stove and microwave as well as a sink and pantry. Basic kitchen stuff. Um, bathrooms are down the hall and at the very end to the right is the guest room. It has a lock on the door and the windows and my room is right across.” He says hanging his coat by the door gesturing to the direction of the rooms he was talking about. It was a pretty spacious apartment but it was obvious just the detective stayed there.

[center It took all the strength Cassandra had not to pull the collar of her shirt up to cover her neck. She was so damn self-conscious of the scars. They were just a constant reminder of the horror she had lived. They were also a good reminder that she had lived, while others in her place had died trying to survive. It didn't seem fair when she really got to think about it. [b "Thank you,"] she said softly, watching the streetlights as they passed by them.]


[center Once they'd arrived at his home, she'd grabbed her suitcase and followed him inside fairly quickly. She raised a brow as she look around, a little confused about his comment. The house didn't seem messy at all. She didn't say anything, however, as she took everything in. She was relieved that it seemed like he did in fact live alone. She really didn't want to have to explain to someone else why she was staying at the home of a man she hardly knew.]


[center The tour didn't last very long, which was fine with her. She didn't want to take too much of his time that night, already feeling a bit guilty for staying in the first place. [b "I'll go set my stuff inside the room, then,"] she said with a smile. She didn't take very long to set the suitcase against the wall and slide her shoes off, setting them right next to it. It was going to be strange trying to get accustomed to a new sleeping place. [i Think of it like a hotel.] Yeah, that sounded like a plan.]


[center  Heading back to the living room, she looked at the detective, leaning against the wall and wrapping her arms around herself. [b "This is going to sound a bit forward, but would you like me to cook something for you? As a thank you?"] She didn't feel that just saying the words was enough.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   93d ago

The detective looked surprised at the offer.
  “Oh! Um, it’s okay, really. I don’t think I have much to cook with anyway.” He said, offering a nervous chuckle, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. 
  “Like I said, I can go to the store tomorrow and pick some things up.” He offers dropping his hand back to his side.
 “You can make yourself at home if you want to. I understand these circumstances are stressful so don’t worry about paying me back or thanking me. I wouldn’t have offered this if I did want to.” He says with a small smile.
  An interesting thing tho note is the photos on the shelf. Of him and his father, his family, and a young girl in her teens. It’s an old photo taken years ago.

[center A faint blush painted Cassandra's cheeks, more in embarrassment than anything. Perhaps she was pushing some kind of boundary? She really was just trying to be nice, but now she worried that maybe it was coming off the wrong way. She waved a dismissive hand as she watched him. [b "You don't have to do that, really."] She'd hate for him to go out of his way, more than he was already doing.]


[center Nodding, she slowly made her way to the couch and sat down, stretching her arms over her head before she turned her attention to the photo. She studied it for a moment before motioning over to it. [b "Your family, I presume?"] Not that it was her business to ask, but her curiosity was getting the better of her. She didn't think it would hurt to try and get to know the man that was helping her.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   89d ago

Clarence turned his attention to the photo. He had a ghost of a smile drift into his lips.
  “Yes, my father, my mother and…” his words trail off. Almost like it’s hard for him to say who the girl was. Something happened. Something he tried to keep hurried. Something that he swore never to allow to happen to another human being in his town should he be able to help it.
 “…and my sister.” He finishes after his pause. It felt like an hour for him but was likely only a few seconds in real time. 
  He cleared his throat feeling awkward after that knowing that must have looked strange at the very least
   “Sorry, she’s been a hard subject for years.” He offered as his explanation for his pause.

[center Guilt stabbed at Cassandra for a moment. Maybe she shouldn't have asked. It wasn't like it was any of her business, to begin with. It was obvious by the look on his face that it was painful for him to talk about. She could only assume what may have happened to the young woman. Perhaps she had passed or they had grown apart? She wanted to believe the latter but she could tell she would be wrong with that assumption.]


[center She quickly shook her head before she looked down at the ground. [b "No, no, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have pried."] [i Smooth, dumbass.] Was that really the best way to repay the guy who was helping her with her own situation?]
The_PriestClarence Costello   82d ago

“It’s alright, really. It was a while ago and you are going to be staying here so you should be able to ask about these things.” He shrugged, playing it off like t was something more trivial. He felt a bit f guilt on his own for making her feel bad for asking. He cleared his throat.
  “We’ll, it’s rather late. I’m going to go get ready for bed. You can do what you want to. I’ll make breakfast in the morning.” He says, drumming his hands on his knees briefly before heading to his bedroom

[center The way he shrugged it off did nothing to ease her guilt. Even with what he said, she didn't feel like it was okay. She'd pried into a place she had no right to pry. Then again, she hadn't exactly been expecting his answer, but that shouldn't have mattered. She'd still asked when it wasn't her business.]


[center A sigh escaped her lips before she nodded, forcing a smile. [b "Goodnight,"] she said softly, running her hands over her knees before she stood herself. She felt tired anyway, so maybe the awkward end to that conversation was a good thing.]


[center Stretching her arms over her head, she made her way to the room he had her staying in, changing fairly quickly before she buried herself beneath the covers. It felt odd sleeping in a bed that wasn't hers, but with the stress of the current situation, it didn't take her long to pass out.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   81d ago

The next morning, Clarence woke up at 8:00AM. He dressed and made his way out of his room to start breakfast. 
  He opened his fridge and dug out eggs some cheese and bacon. He figured this could work for an omelet of some sort. It wasn’t like he had an incredible amount of options. 
  He set the food items on the counter as he put coffee on and got out a pan. He kept it as quiet as he could not wanting to disturb his guest.
  He set the small kitchen table up for two people after he finished cooking and poured himself some coffee. He mainly took his black with his morning paper

[center When Cassandra woke the next morning, it took her a few seconds to remember that she hadn’t stayed home the night before. It definitely reminded her of the reason for it, as well. Groaning, she rolled and buried her face into the pillow, closing her eyes tightly. This was a bunch of bullshit and she knew it. Why couldn’t the past just stay buried?]

[center Knowing that she couldn’t stay in the bed all day, she let out a sigh before forcing herself to sit up, stretching her arms over her head and yawning before she slipped out from under the covers, shivering as the cold floor hit her feet. She donned an oversized jersey, one her father had given her years before, and a pair of shorts that she’d snagged the night before. Her hair was a bit of a tousled mess on her head, though she ran her fingers through it to smooth it down just a little, before she slowly made her way from the room.]

[center The first thing she did was stop by the bathroom to splash some water on her face to wake herself up. She hadn’t exactly slept well the night before, too worried about the nightmares that threatened to torture her when she closed her eyes, though she’d been lucky enough to have a dreamless sleep once she’d finally drifted off.]

[center That didn’t mean it hadn’t been hell, however.]

[center Stifling another yawn, she dried her face and made her way to the kitchen, her stomach growling a little as the smell of breakfast finally hit her. [b “That smells amazing,”] she said softly, smiling up at the detective. [b “Good morning,”] she said, leaning against the counter for just a moment. It was kind of him to make breakfast, that was for sure. She was grateful.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   76d ago

Clarence offered a small smile to the woman. When he saw she was next to him. 
  “Good morning and thank you. I hope this will be fine. I think it’s an omelette with bacon and cheese.” He said with a small chuckle, sliding the meal onto two plates he had set out a few minutes prior.
  “Did you sleep alright?” He asked, trying to make conversation. He slept fine once he physically got into the bed. Most of the time he would finally crash on his desk. At least, that had been the case lately. He did find his bed to be more comfortable though.

[center Cassandra raised a brow as she placed a hand over her mouth, another yawn making its way through her before she rubbed at her eyes. [b “You [i think] it’s an omelet? That’s a little scary there, detective,”] she said with a teasing grin. It should’ve been awkward, this whole exchange. They were two strangers who didn’t know one another, sleeping under the same roof, and dealing with a pretty serious situation. Yet, at that moment, Cass could pretend that they were friends, messing with each other for the hell of it. It was easier than letting things be tense.]

[center Moving to the table, she sat down and nodded. [b “I slept fairly well,”] she said with a smile. It wasn’t a complete lie. She’d gotten a decent amount of sleep, it had just been interrupted a few times by her waking up in cold sweats. Nightmares were truly a bitch. [b “How about you? Hopefully, it wasn’t too bad with a stranger under your roof,”] she said, leaning back in the chair for just a moment.]

[center She wanted to poke some fun at the situation. It wasn’t anything funny or amusing, but it was a way for her to cope with it. She hoped he would play along, at least a little.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   69d ago

“Heh! Well, im afraid my cooking skills are not as great as my detective work. I usually skip breakfast and order take out. Sometimes coworkers feel bad and give me food despite me telling them not to.” He chuckles a bit awkward. He likely sounded lazy or sad to this woman but there wasn’t much to do about it now.
 “I’m glad you slept okay though. I was fine. You’re not as bad of a roommate as you made yourself out to be.” He teased with a small smirk. He would poke some fun too as long as it made the woman more comfortable.

[center Cass couldn’t help but chuckle at his words before she shook her head. [b “I’m not at all worried about it. I’m sure it will taste just fine,”] she said with a reassuring smile, though it was a bit concerning to hear that he usually skipped breakfast. Wasn’t it the “most important meal of the day?” She couldn’t imagine skipping it. It was her favorite part of her morning, though he didn’t have to know that.]

[center She blushed slightly before she shrugged, looking away from him for just a moment. [b “I apparently talk in my sleep. Sometimes I’ve been known to scream, so I’m grateful that didn’t happen.”] A sigh escaped her lips before she glanced at him again. [b “I do apologize if it does, though. I can’t control the nightmares no matter how hard I try.”] She’d gone to therapy and seen a few psychiatrists, but none of them had really helped. It had all felt like money down the drain.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   67d ago

Costello gave a shrug at this and he slid the meal on two plates and nudged one to his guest as he picked up his and walked to the table.
  “Okay, I may knock to check on you, just in case. If you scream, that is. I’ve learned you can never be too careful. I promise I won’t judge you for them though.” He said setting his plate on the table before turning to get his coffee from the counter.
“After all, I have my fair share of troubling dreams from time to time.” He shrugged. His were mainly his sister returning from the grave and berating him for not saving her. He chalked this up to a guilty conscious. He tried to use it as further motivation to do a better job. So she could be at peace and he could sleep well again.

[center Cassandra slowly reached over and took the plate, giving him a small thank you before she sat back for a moment, hoping her stomach would unknot itself so she could eat. She hated to talk about the toll that her nightmares could take on her and those around her, but if he was going to be kind enough to let her stay in his home, she had to at least warn him. [b "I appreciate that,"] she said a moment later. She prayed he meant it when it came to judging her. She hated that she had to deal with it and didn't think it was fair that others might have to as well.]


[center [b "Well then, if the same thing happens to you, I promise to check on you, too."] Perhaps it sounded strange for her to say it, but it only felt fair if he was willing to do it for her.]


[center With that said, she quickly dug into her breakfast, knowing that she had to eat, regardless of how she was feeling.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   65d ago

He offered a kind, but genuine smile to the woman. He was grateful for this.
  “I would appreciate that. I wouldn’t worry too much about me though. You have plenty on your plate.” He shrugged. He didn’t want her to feel obligated to return the favor. He did this because he wanted too and felt partially responsible for this girl. She was staying in his home after all. He promised safety and it was his duty to give her this. He didn’t want her feeling guilty for it. He chose to get involved
 He flipped the paper open as he set his coffee mug down hoping there were more leads about this killer in the paper

[center Cassandra felt like shrugging in return, but was able to keep herself from doing so. Yeah, she had a lot going on, more so than the normal person, but she still felt like offering him the same courtesy in return was one of the few things she could do. No one deserved to suffer alone, especially when their head was the worst place they could be. Being alone only made one fall deeper into their mind.]

[center She let the silence settle over them for the time being, focusing on eating instead. It was really a good thing since she didn’t know what else to say. The last time she had shared a breakfast like this with anyone had been quite upsetting. It felt strange to sit across from someone again. She would glance up occasionally at the paper in his hands, catching a glimpse of a word here and there, but she didn’t pay enough attention to actually see anything.]

[center [b “Is there anything interesting this morning?”] she finally asked, unable to stand the silence.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   49d ago

Clarence was about to answer but stopped, his eyes grew wide. He saw something. 
  “..dammit.” He mumbles setting it back down on the table. In big bold letters ‘KILLER STRIKES AGAIN’ is printed in the top of the page. 
  The detective stood grabbing his coat off his hanger by the door. 
  “I have to go check this out. You can stay here if you’d like.” He offers pulling his long, tan coat over his shoulders.
  He was going to rush to the crime scene and see if there were any leads there. Anything that could give him a motive of clue on the identity of this killer

[center Cassandra paused and looked up at him, tilting her head. [b “Are you okay?”] Glancing at the paper, her eyes widened a little. [i No…] Was it her fault, or was it all just one big coincidence? The thought made her stomach knot up.]

[center She hesitated for just a moment before she stood, her breakfast now forgotten. [b “May I come with you? I don’t know if that’s allowed, since I’m a civilian and all, but I might be able to offer some insight. I am familiar with the details, after all.”]]

[center If she were honest, she had no idea if it would even be a good idea. She’d seen the horror firsthand before of what her ex had been doing. She knew it would be hard to relive that pain. At the same time, however, if she could help the detective catch whoever was killing these women, would it really be so bad?]

[center She didn’t know if she could handle it but she knew she was at least willing to try if he allowed her to.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   41d ago

Clarence looked at the woman for a moment debating if he should allow this… he knew it was highly unprofessional and risky to allow this but…
  “You can come just..try to stay close and out of trouble.” He says sliding his tan trench coat over his shoulders and heading out to his car. 
  He sped through and made it to the crime scene in record time and paused, taking in a deep breath.
  “Ready? I’m not sure what’s going to be out there. This is the last chance to back down.” He warns the woman beside him. He told himself the warning was more for her and not the inner voice in him screaming this was an awful idea.

[center Cassandra slowly nodded before she stood, breakfast forgotten about now. It didn’t take her long to change and throw on her shoes. She was out the door in about five or six minutes, not wanting to make him late. [b “Thank you for this,”] she said softly. She had no idea what she was getting herself into, but she was willing to push through if it meant finding whoever was doing this. Is it [i was] her ex, there would be a level of satisfaction knowing she put him back behind bars.]

[center The ride over was quiet and tense, something she didn’t really like, but she was willing to deal with it. Making small talk seemed like it would be in bad taste at the moment.]

[center When they finally arrived, the knot in her stomach had doubled. Taking a deep breath, she quickly nodded. [b “I’ve seen my fair share of horrors. I can handle it.”] She was trying to reassure herself more than anything. It wasn’t working very well, but she’d made it this far. She wouldn’t back out now.]
The_PriestClarence Costello   33d ago

“You deserve closure and answers. I’ll help you find them if I can.” The detective said with a determined sincerity.

Clarence nodded and exited the car. He made his way over to a deputy.
  “Deputy Hanson, can you tell me what happened here?” He asks. The young deputy turns to answer but stops
  “Detective, we can’t have civilians here.”
  “She’s a special case. She can help me find who did this.” Clarence answered. The deputy glances between him and Cassandra before shrugging
  “Alright, well it’s another young female. Her throat was cut and there’s evidence of a struggle. We have a photograph from a security camera nearby of a man leaving with her an hour before the estimated time of death.” The deputy informs handing a photograph showing a man and the young girl laying dead on the sidewalk.
  “Thank you, deputy. Excuse us.” Clarence said walking off to the side with Cassandra.
  “Does he look familiar?” Clarence asks Cassandra showing her the photo.

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