Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 January 2016
It was an unexpected find, the photo albums hidden in the wall of Ross Turner’s walk in robe. Detectives Anderson Greene and Julia Poole had wrangled search warrants for Turner’s apartment, and his family home hoping to find anything that might pertain to any sort of relationship with Holly Quartermaine, or explain where she might be. Through sheer luck when searching through his walk in wardrobe, Poole came upon the small, concealed hidey-hole, and the pile of photo albums stacked inside. It was safe enough for her to flick through the albums, after all, they might contain photographs of Turner and Holly.
‘Jesus Christ,’ she shouted, her face a mask of terror.
‘What?’ asked Greene.
‘You’ve gotta see these. I think Holly’s in real danger, Greene. Turner’s a sick fuck.’ She shoved the albums across the bed where she’d been sitting so that Greene could see what she’d just looked at. He flicked through the album that Poole had been looking through, then grabbed for another. Its contents were similar in nature. Another album, similar photographs.
‘Not a sick fuck, Poole. He’s a fucking murderer. A serial killer . . . fuck! We have to find Holly. If there’s any chance that she’s with him, we have to find her before he does this to her.’ He gestured to the open albums and their gruesome images.
Greene called a forensics officer into the room, and told him to bag the albums as evidence, and examine the room for any sign that Holly Quartermaine had been there.
‘Make that the whole apartment, please. I want to know if Holly Quartermaine has been here, and I want to know if she’s been at his other house. Get a team over there immediately. I want evidence, I want forensics, I want to nail this Ross Turner’s ass to the wall for all of these killings.’
Poole watched as the forensics team scurried around the room like ants. ‘We should get back to the office, Greene. We need to get Holly’s parents in. We need to know everything about Holly’s interactions with Turner, and we need a profile of him.’
* * * * *
The handcuffs and restraints Holly could deal with. It was what excited Ross. She’d been scared at first, and in truth, she still was a little worried every time he told her he wanted to cuff her, but she was sure that it was something that she could cope with to keep him happy. It was, however, a great relief that they were spending a few nights at the trailer park, and that Ross had checked them in as a father and daughter travelling team. It meant that he couldn’t make her do all of the things that aroused him. In fact, he couldn’t do anything other than treat her as if she were his kid. She knew it wouldn’t last for long, just until they moved on to some other place. Ross had planned several stops in national parks and camping grounds, and chances were he’d make her perform for him there.
She contemplated calling her mother to let her know where she was. There was no way Susan Quartermaine would let her only child traverse the country or leave its shores with Turner. He was old enough to be Holly’s father. It was practically impossible for Holly to break away from Ross for any length of time, and with no privacy, phoning her mother was a far away idea. Still, she felt she had to do something, had to try to make contact. With every passing day, Ross was beginning to scare her more and more. His urges and demands of her became more violent the further they got away from her home, and his expectations of her role in this cross-country journey became more like that of a slave.
And then there was his phone. She saw him leering at the screen on occasions when he thought she was distracted by some chore he’d created for her, or when he thought she was sleeping. It was unclear to her what exactly he was looking at, but the change in him from gentle lover to aggressive animal frightened her to death. She looked over at him soundly sleeping, and tried to quell the resentment that was growing inside of her, but the ache in her shoulders from being handcuffed with her arms over her head made it difficult to think of him as anything other than a bastard.
It concerned her that he’d handcuffed her this night. They didn’t do anything, but he wanted her restrained, and what Ross wanted, Ross got. There would be little sleep for Holly tonight. Her shoulder joints screamed in pain, and because of that, she could not shut off and sleep. She kicked out at Ross to wake him. He groaned and rolled on to his left side, away from Holly. She kicked out again, harder this time, and connected squarely with his kidneys.
A stab of pain had Turner sitting up, and wide awake. He turned on Holly, grabbing her roughly by the throat.
‘What the fuck do you want, you whore?’
She gasped as he squeezed her throat. ‘Can’t . . . breathe . . . can’t . . . breathe.’
Ross relaxed his grip a little.
‘Handcuffs. Take them off,’ she gasped. ‘My shoulders hurt. Undo them.’
It was the terror in Holly’s eyes that snapped him back to the role he needed to play to get her to do exactly what he wanted.
‘Holly?’ He pretended to sound unsure. ‘What . . . what’s going on? Dear God, what am I doing? I – I must have reacted in my sleep.’
His act wasn’t particularly going the way he’d hoped. Holly’s terror shifted slightly to become confusion. She didn’t seem to understand the idea that some people did things in their sleep, completely oblivious to it in their waking hours. He’d have to come up with some kind of backstory and feed it to her as they continued their trip. He also considered in that moment, that he’d need to maintain the idea that there were things he did in his sleep that he wasn’t cognisant of whilst awake.
‘I – I – I’m sorry, sweetheart. Here, let me get them off.’ He sat up on the edge of the bed, reached for his pants, and fumbled around in the pockets, finally pulling out the handcuff keys. In a matter of seconds, the cuffs were removed from Holly’s wrists.
He knew he’d lost some of her trust and would have to work on rebuilding it. He’d have to begin immediately. It was going to be a long night for Ross Turner.
. . . To be continued . . .