They’d had to do some very complex verbal footwork to both not lie to the team and not use the word magic – or other words Derek didn’t even want to think about right now, like fae or, worse yet, Ellehemaei – but they’d managed to convey the information they needed:
They’d found the killer’s journal.
Reid the genius had figured out a translation algorithm.
It detailed all the kills buried below.
Except the male body, which was probably the killer.
Now they needed to find out who’d killed him.
Once they had all that conveyed, it was really a matter of just going forward with a hunt. It was probably a would-be-victim, from the location of the body. They had his types, they had his hunting locations, and they were just a few inches from excavating the body.
“Got it!” The corpse digger sounded far, far too pleased about it. “Okay, looks like a white male, mid-thirties, long brown hair – very long – very decapitated, that’s a decently clean cut… three cuts, I think. They didn’t hesitate, it’s just a rough thing to get through. There’s the weapon, I bet. They wanted this guy good and dead.”
“If he had started in on her, I can imagine why.” Derek studied the man. He looked human – but they usually did. If you squinted, though, you could see where the Changes might have been, before someone ended his life. “Not too long gone, either, less than a month?”
“It’s going to be really hard to tell, encased in rock like this. But yeah, looks like he hadn’t been gone long at all.”
“Right.” Derek took a few pictures. No way they were going to be able to show this photo around, though. “Baby girl? I need you to do some magic with this picture. Or find a sketch artist.”
“Urgh.” Garcia’s response came seconds later. “There is no way I can make that guy look good. But I might be able to make him look alive.”
“You do magic with your fingers, doll. I can’t thank you enough. And I need one more favor.”
“Of course you do, Derek Morgan. What is it?”
“I need a composite picture, hold on, these qualifiers.” Brown hair, white girl, pointed chin. There were things their dead killer had looked for in every victim he’d grabbed. Certain age, certain feel. Feel was harder to get in a composite photo – but he had faith in Garcia’s skills.
“Thanks again, Baby Girl.”
“You owe me chocolate.”
“Honey, if we wrap this up, I’ll bring you the chocolate factory.”
And never mind how that sounded. They had a killer-killer to catch.
And departed gods help him if that one turned out to be fae, too.
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