Without a word, I break into a full-on run down the hallway, dashing past Victor and Niklas and heading toward the elevator. But then as I approach it, I take a sharp left and go for the stairs instead because I think I can run faster to the fifth floor than the elevator can take me there.

In under a minute, I’m pushing my way through the surveillance room, around a rolling chair and to the television screens on the tables.

Victor, Niklas and James join me shortly after.

“Where’s the volume on this thing?” I ask anxiously, running my hands along several different buttons and then the computers. I know where it is, have even used it myself before, but my mind is so scattered right now by the turn of events that I’m not thinking straight.

Calm down, Izabel…this is the worst time to lose your head.

Victor steps up next to me and clicks a computer mouse a few times until Nora’s voice gradually fills the surveillance room.

Fredrik says nothing.

Calmly and methodically, he opens his black briefcase on the table pushed against the wall. A shiver moves up my spine and an uncomfortable chill settles in the pit of my stomach when I see his ‘tools’ and syringes and the stuff of nightmares, all fixed perfectly inside the case, each piece placed in its spot with fine precision.

“Izabel,” Victor says beside me, “you shouldn’t get your hopes up on this.”

I glance over. “Why? Because even if Fredrik breaks her—or confesses—you’re going to be the one who gets Dina killed?” I look back at the screen, not knowing if my accusation cut him or not.

I love Victor—I love that man so fucking much—but right now, I can’t even look at him.

And the only faces I see, or want to see, are Nora and Fredrik’s.

Leaning on the table with my palms pressed against it, I stare into the middle screen, consumed by what’s going on in that room, but afraid to watch just the same. I feel like I’m in a movie theatre, watching a horror film, knowing that at some point I’m going to have to cover my eyes and watch through the slits in my fingers. I’ve never been able to stomach seeing the things that Fredrik does to people during an interrogation. And I never will. I may be a killer, I may have seen and experienced many horrific things, but some things you just never can get used to.

“What shall I call you?” Nora says from her chair with a deep smile in her voice and equally on her lips. “The Specialist? Interrogator? Or perhaps,”—she narrows her eyes and looks at him in a sidelong manner, preparing to push a button—“The Jackal?”

Fredrik doesn’t flinch. Just watching him as he moves certain tools from the briefcase to the table with absolutely no emotion, tells me that he isn’t even flinching on the inside, either.

“How about a first name basis then?” Nora offers with a restricted shrug. “Since you’re about to get very personal with me, I think it’s only fair.”

No answer. Not even the skirting of an eye.

Fredrik very casually removes his suit jacket and lays it neatly across the table about a foot away from the briefcase. Then he breaks apart the buttons on the cuffs of his dress shirt, very slowly, as if he were just coming home from a day at the office and is preparing to shower. He rolls his sleeves past his elbows. Still, he doesn’t look back at her, or say a word, or even remotely show a sign that he hears anything she’s saying.

But Nora doesn’t seem to be discouraged—her smile just gets brighter, her eyes seem to fill with intrigue and playfulness.

If I were the one in the chair, I would’ve pissed myself already.

“What, no conversation?” Nora taunts. “No dinner and a movie before our first kiss? I happen to like the foreplay, Fredrik, so maybe you could give in a little.”

He snaps a pair of white latex gloves onto his hands.

Then he approaches her casually with a pair of pliers.

Oh god…not the teeth.

He always pulls the teeth. I can’t imagine what he went through as a child to make him take so much pleasure in pulling his victim’s teeth.

Nora’s eyes skirt the pliers as he walks up, and I expect to see even the smallest inkling of fear in her face, but I don’t.

Her mouth turns up on one corner.

Without a word, Fredrik takes Nora by the chin, digging his long fingers into her jaw and forcing her head back on her neck. Her mouth opens as he squeezes, but Nora doesn’t scream or cry or beg. She does nothing. Only when he clamps the pliers around one of her back teeth does Nora begin to show signs of discomfort. She gags as the pliers hit the back of her tongue, and then she cries out a little in response to the pain as he wrenches the pliers back and forth, side to side, until he gets the tooth out.

“Goddamn!” Nora shouts; laughter mixed with pain. Blood drips down her chin. “Not one word? Talk about playing hard to get.”

Fredrik walks casually back over to the table where he drops the tooth.

“You have thirty-one more of these,” Fredrik says impassively, approaching her again. “Now tell me, where are the people you abducted?”

Nora smiles and doesn’t answer.

He gags her again and removes another back tooth.

Two more teeth later, he begins to change his questions.

“Where did you get your information on Dorian Flynn?”


“Where did you get your information on Victor Faust?”


“Where did you get your information on Niklas Fleischer?”


He takes out another tooth.

“Fuuuck you!” she growls. Her breathing is rapid and unsteady. Blood pours down her chin and from the corners of her mouth.

He finally has her attention.

“Where did you get your information on James Woodard?”

Still nothing when he finally gets around to naming me.

Nora spits blood at him, and he pulls away from her with a blood-flecked white dress shirt.

Seeing that Nora may need something more intense than the pulling of her teeth, I step away from the screen and put my back to it when I watch him retrieve a vial of needles from his briefcase.

I can never watch this. Just the thought of needles being shoved underneath anyone’s fingernails, makes me shake.

A minute later, Nora’s screams are so blood-curdling that I have to cover my ears, pressing both hands firmly over them.

Suddenly, the surveillance room door swings open and I’m outside in the hall. James joins me.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” he says, trembling underneath his plaid shirt with sweat at the armpits, “I just can’t watch that.”

Tags: J.A. Redmerski In the Company of Killers Book Series
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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