A/N: Okies, this is my BIG fic...the one with lots of romance. However, since this is only the prologue, it will just be a short chapter to ease into everything. Please read "Gloating" before reading this since this fic features references made in that prequel.
Rating: PG-13 for mature themes, violence and sexual references
Summary: A fatal attraction. And a tragic accident. The romance between Devan Maguire and Woody Hoyt is blooming, but just how long will it last? With one of them covering up a shocking past and the other trying to overcome what wasn't, problems soon arise for the pair. When will the relationship reach breaking point, and when it does, who will survive the fall? Deception is rising in us all...
A piercing scream in the night could not penetrate even the most sensitive of ears if it was silent. The dead of night chilled the air as its one victim fell prey to the hands of a killer. But this victim was not alone in its quiet suffering, for there was a small child being sacrificed as well. The deaths of the two innocent victims would not go unpunished, though it would be a struggle to accuse just one killer without the most important of all evidence available: the bodies.
A park, though normally silent, was now a scene of panic and curiosity, as a sealed area had been taped off around a fell of shrubbery and large trees. Police squads and detectives swarmed the chaotic scene as prying onlookers were blocked out one by one by security. One detective in particular was trying desperately to understand just what had taken place the night before, as he waited impatiently for the Medical Examiners to arrive.
The impatient man turned around to face one of his co-workers, another detective who had been called to work on the case. Detective Adrian Lenning.
"Yeah," Woody answered with perked eyebrows, awaiting an answer.
The younger, blonde detective hesitated a moment before continuing. "What, exactly, are we looking for, here?"
Woody shrugged in contempt. "Anything that gives us evidence a murder occurred here last night."
Detective Lenning placed his hands on his hips and took another vague look at the taped off area. "Well, so far we have the blood."
Sure enough, there was a large pool of blood gathered neatly underneath an equally large tree, right in the center of the restricted area. In contrast to the green grass beneath it, the blood looked startlingly fresh, though it was in fact several hours old. The pool spanned at least ten feet in diameter, and was slightly spilled to one side, where the slender decline of land was. An odd place indeed to kill someone.
Detective Hoyt looked once again behind him to find a familiar face. "Devan, hi."
Devan Maguire looked beyond Woody in an attempt to steal a look at the actual crime scene, though all she could see was the tip of the pool of blood. "Hey. I was called in for a murder…"
"Yeah," Woody interrupted skilfully. "About that…well, there's a slight problem."
Devan tilted her head. "And that would be…?"
Inclining his head slightly towards the left, Woody took a deep breath. "We don't actually have the body."
Devan raised her eyebrows and stared at the detective in front of her. "What?" Not even waiting for an answer, she continued angrily. "Woody, I was called down here for a murder investigation, not a phantom one."
Woody stretched his hands out in front of him to place upon Devan's shoulders, but she shook them off. "Listen, Devan…"
"Woody, you just-"
"At least," Woody curled his arm around the examiner's waist and steered her towards the enclosed area, "take a look at the crime scene."
Reluctantly agreeing, Devan gave Woody a scathing look before ducking under the tape. "Fine."
She began searching her eyes through the pool of blood and lifted a sample up with her gloved finger. Skimming down towards the lower end of the puddle, she came across a displaced substance and knew immediately what it was.
Lifting her chin to face Woody, she dug her eyebrows in a deep frown. "Well, judging from the temperature, we have about an eight-hour old blood sample and traces of semen, so I'm guessing our perp was male."
Woody nodded. "And our victim female."
Standing off her haunches, Devan looked closer at the blood from a further distance. "Now all we have to do is find out who the samples belong to."
Turning his head to one side, Woody noticed something strange. "The blood," he said pointing to a particular area, "is two different colours."
Devan looked down once again and this time the sun streamed down on the area Woody was pointing to, illuminating the shades of blood. "One area's darker. A lot darker."
Woody smirked at her. "And so the plot thickens."