“Baby.” Her head comes up and tears fill her eyes as she stares at me. “Ash.” Standing abruptly, she rushes toward me, throwing herself violently against my chest as the stool she was sitting on crashes to the ground behind her. Stunned from the impact, I think she’s trying to hurt me, then realize she’s clawing at me like she wants me to absorb her into my skin. “What’s going on?” I ask, feeling her body shake as I wrap my arms around her and hold her against me.
“Sir,” one of the suit-wearing men says, and I look at him. “I’m Special Agent Torres, and this is Special Agent Kace. We’re with the FBI.” He motions to the man standing like a pit bull next to him, and I lift my chin in acknowledgment. “We need to speak with you, but I think it would be better if you and Mrs. Keck got comfortable,” he tells me gently as his eyes soften on Ashlyn, who is silently crying against my chest.
Without a word, I scoop her up into my arms and carry her out of the kitchen and down the hall to the library, somewhere I always find her when we’re home together and she’s disappeared. Taking a seat on the large sectional in the middle of the room, I adjust her on my lap, feeling anger swell inside of me as her tears wet my neck. Looking around the library, I watch Lilly and Cash take a seat on the loveseat across from us, and then watch the two agents place themselves on the chairs next to the couch.
“Does someone want to tell me what the fuck is going on, and why the fuck my wife is crying?” I ask through my teeth, trying to control the fury I feel building with every single one of her tears.
“As you may know, two weeks ago, a woman was found murdered in Oaks Park,” he begins, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. “During the police department’s investigation, they found evidence that led them to Mrs. Keck.”
“She didn’t fucking murder anyone,” I bite out, cutting him off, and his face softens.
“No, she didn’t,” he agrees then sits forward, resting his elbows to his knees, and asks, “Do you know the website Dominate Me?”
What the fuck?
“No,” I deny truthfully, rubbing my hand down Ashlyn’s back when she buries her face farther into my neck.
“It’s a fetish website where men and women create profiles with their fantasies, and someone looking for the same thing will get in contact with them through the site to—”
“What does this have to do with my wife and the women murdered?” I cut him off again, while wrapping one hand around the base of Ashlyn’s neck and the other around her back, holding her as close to me as I can, needing the contact as much as she does.
“The police found information leading them to the site last night, after one of the victim’s friends was questioned and explained that her friend was meeting up with a man she met off the website.”
“Jesus.” My body tenses in preparation. I know what’s coming, and I know I’m not going to like it.
“During the investigation into the site, we found Mrs. Keck also has a profile on that site, and the same man that we believe met with the murdered women was corresponding with who he believed was your wife.”
“Tell me this is a fucking joke,” I hiss, and he shakes his head, rubbing his hands together.
“I wish I could tell you this is all a misunderstanding, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Over the last two months, there have been four murdered women found in the Nashville area. The detectives working the cases believed they were somehow linked together, but until last night, they didn’t know how.”
“So this guy is a serial killer,” I bite out, and he looks at the agent sitting next to him, gaining his nod before returning his eyes to mine.
“Yes, we believe so, which is why the FBI is now involved.”
“Who put up the profile for my wife on the website?” I grit out, feeling my teeth grind together at the thought of her information being on a site like that.
“We do not know at this time. The person used a disposable e-mail and only explained what their fantasy was before shutting off contact with the assailant.”
“What was the fantasy?” I ask without thinking, feeling my nostrils flare and Ashlyn tense.
“The request was to be stalked and raped,” he says quietly, and Ashlyn’s body bucks against mine as I hear her mom’s muffled scream. Fighting myself from going ballistic, I hold Ashlyn tighter against me and attempt to soothe her.
“Please tell me you know who the fuck you’re looking for?”