TITLE: Developments

GENRE: Mystery/Suspense/AU (slightly)

TIME: Between the first (Dual) and second (Daycare) story of volume #5.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Leon, D, T-Chan, Q-Chan, and Ten-Chan

SUMMARY: Murder victims are showing signs that a serial killer is in the city. The victims have three days to live from the time they're abducted by their killer. This turns the case into a race against time, because there could be a chance that a life may be hanging by a thread—right now. If that weren't bad enough, Leon's instincts are sending him and sending him messages that are driving him to a point he may not be able to handle (by himself). A lot of new things are about the 'dear detective' come to light to a special few…

The chief had introduced the distinguished (and handsome) FBI profile expert to Detective Freshney as Agent Celestine of Florida.

He had almost the same height and build as Leon, but was practically opposite in his other (chisled) features. His almost black hair was cut and styled with a very professional look, and his skin was medium tan. There was a distinct accent to his speech that hinted of his Peruvian heritage. On top of that, he was almost as polite as Count D.

Jill had almost been relieved that Leon was at Count D's home so that his ego didn't ruin the moment with any displays of jealousy.

Agent Celestine had arrived from the airport only a few minutes before Jill clocked on, and she took the opportunity to look up the visitor on the police database while the chief debriefed him in his office.

Nothing seemed unusual, unless the lack of ego fueled arrogance for someone with such an impressive record counted.

Yep. Leon was going to hate him, she concluded.

The chief, ever aware that they might be racing the clock to save another victim made his time with Agent Celestine rather short. He escorted the man back out to where Freshney was and gave her instructions to take him to the four victim's homes and the last places that they'd been seen.

After apologizing and letting Jill know that he was ready to leave, the FBI agent followed her to the garage where he surprised her by waiting for her to get seated in the driver's side before closing her door for her and going around to the passenger's side to get in.

His refreshingly courteous behavior lightened her spirits, despite the burden of worry she carried.

Even with a warrant, even though this was part of her job, and even though the former tenant was no longer alive, Jill felt a wave of reluctance wash over her. She stepped, feeling like an invader, into the apartment after the manager unlocked the door. "Here we are," she said, trying to sound cheerful.

Her newest co-worker looked at her with obvious curiosity in his hypnotic brown eyes, and seemed to decide on talking about something other than what he was actually thinking about. "This is the first victim's residence?"

Jill flinched, imperceptibly (she hoped), and was grateful that her new co-worker was looking away from her as he scanned the room.

It was irritating and thrilling at the same time to be affected the way she was by this man's voice.

The sound of it seemed like a cross between the low notes of a full sized harp, the throng of some sort of tribal ceremonial drum, and one of those Asian bowl-shaped gongs that seemed to resonate forever.

It was an odd combination of sounds for her to imagine, but it was odder still, for her to be driven to think about it this much.

She tore herself out of her musings, resolved to pay attention and try to learn a few things to look for in the future from the Profiling agent that had been sent to her precinct to help with this case.

"Yes," Jill forced a smile and tried to shove down the memory of having joked that she thought Leon had moved into the place.

As if the barely audible drop in her voice was as loud as a shout, the agent turned to look at her with a frown of concern. The dark brown eyes no longer seemed 'hypnotic', but spilling over with a compassion that seemed to touch her physically and make her feel steadier. "You must not blame yourself for not seeing any similarities in the previous victims. From the reports, they were kept alive only three days, and all four had perished days before you began your investigation," he told her softly.

Jill stared up at him in disbelief. It was almost as though he had read her mind after knowing her inside of a full hour. "Thank, you, Agent Celestine," she said, trying to smile bravely.

"Please," he smiled back in a way that again reminded her of Count D, "call me Angelo."

"Angelo," she obliged, with a strange reluctance. She felt like she had too much at risk to be squandering time 'making friends' with this stranger, at the same time, she was determined to grab every ounce of ammunition she could use to protect the one person she feared was endanger, "please, call me Jill." Her chin lifted, and the fierceness of her resolve burned in her eyes. "It's takes less time to say," she said pointedly.

Angelo nodded with nothing other than sincere agreement, "Understood."

A/N: Thank you for all of your reviews for my last (incredibly short chapter)! You have no idea how powerful it is to know that this story is so loved! Please let me know if you don't mind or even want 'spoilers', and I'll PM you some glimpses into what is going to happen.