Silence: The Faces of Evil Christmas Prequel
tightened her grip on her pencil.
    “I’m a nursing student. I don’t have time for the news or anything else. But Claudia had heard of him and all those women he killed.” Melaney’s voice quaked on the last.
    Not just women . Jess didn’t bother correcting her. Eric Spears had murdered a federal agent who’d graduated from the Bureau’s training academy with her. The truth was, there were likely far more victims than they suspected. They might never know just how many lives Eric Spears had taken… or would take before he was stopped.
    Just let me close one more time .
    “A few more questions, Miss Lands.” Jess resigned herself to the fact that she’d gotten all she was going to at this time. “Do you remember how the place where you were held smelled? If there were any windows? Any other furniture? Could you hear any noises from the outside?”
    Melaney shook her head in answer to each question.
    Okay, go back to the beginning . “Do you recall anything different or strange that happened in school or at home in the week or so before you were abducted? Besides the phone call about the weekend getaway you’d supposedly won?” Jess qualified.
    The young woman stared at Jess as if she were completely overwhelmed and totally lost. Finally, she shook her head yet again, more tears shining in her eyes as renewed defeat clouded her face.
    Enough . Jess stood and moved to the side of her bed. She placed a business card on the tray table. She wasn’t usually the touchy-feely type but she gave Melaney’s hand a gentle squeeze just the same. “Anything you remember or need, no matter when it is, day or night, tomorrow or weeks from now, you call me. Don’t hesitate.”
    A jerky nod was her answer.
    “Thank you, Melaney.”
    Jess turned and started for the door. She was thankful these two women were safe and unharmed for the most part. As grateful as she was, she wished something—anything—one or the other remembered could help them find Rory Stinnett.
    How much time did they have before Stinnett became a statistic in the massive case file on the Player?
    “Wait.” Melaney’s tinny voice resonated against the sterile white walls of the room.
    Jess stopped, turned, and waited. Adrenaline pumped through her. There was something different in the other woman’s tone now… a new kind of fear or desperation crammed into that one word.
    Melaney visibly struggled as if she feared her words would somehow change what happened next. She toyed with the card Jess had left for her. “I wasn’t going to mention it.” She made an aching sound in her throat. “The drug was sucking me into the darkness, and I wasn’t sure if I really heard what I thought I heard. Claudia said she didn’t remember anyone saying anything. I figured maybe I imagined it.”
    Jess’s thoughts, the very blood flowing through her veins, hushed.
    Melaney moistened her chapped lips. “But, when you came in here and introduced yourself, I knew I hadn’t imagined it.”
    A chill crept into Jess’s bones. “You may have seen me or heard my name on the news.” Her own voice sounded strained. Her chest seemed to be rising and falling too rapidly, yet she couldn’t draw enough air into her lungs.
    Melaney shook her head. “Told you I don’t watch the news.”
    Jess moved closer to the foot of her bed. “All right. What do you think you heard?”
    “He whispered… or maybe it was the drug that made his voice seem so low and quiet.”
    Holding her breath, Jess waited for the rest.
    “He said, tell Jess this is all for her .”
    Somehow, Jess managed a stiff nod. “Thank you, Melaney.”
    When she would have turned away, Melaney’s voice stopped her again. “Are you the reason he did this to us?”
    Jess would’ve given just about anything to be able to say no…
    Want to start the Faces of Evil from the beginning? Read the blockbuster debut of the Faces of Evil. Get OBSESSION now!
    About the Author
    DEBRA WEBB, born in Alabama,

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