Chapter 3

In the hotel room, Dexter was trying to map out his plan. He had no interest in romancing a teenager but he needed to gain her trust so he could find out what she was planning. He was hoping it would only be a matter of time before she slipped up again and then he could take action.

Haley poked her head into the room from the kitchen. "Water?"

"Uh, yes please." he nodded, completely forgetting it was his room and he should have been the one to offer.

She stepped forward to hand him the bottle but then quickly retracted. "Oh, wait a minute." she popped out and then back in after pouring the water into a glass.

"Thanks." Dexter took a few sips and watched her take a seat across from him. "So you never answered my question..."

"Where am I from?" she gave a sharp exhale and leaned in close to him "That's so boring. What do you really want to know about me?"

How long have you been a serial killer?

He gave a sly smile and leaned in towards her "Whatever you want me to know."

She smiled back and her hand made it's way onto his knee, sliding slowly up his thigh. "I was hoping you'd say that." Suddenly, she planted herself on the arm of his chair. Her legs dangled loosely across his lap and her shoulders turned in to face him. She drew nearer and he felt her quickening breath on his neck.

Dexter shifted slightly away from her. He needed to do something to stop this from going any further, but for some reason he couldn't bring himself to stop her. Wait, did he want this? He shook his head. No, it felt wrong. So then why wasn't he doing anything? He tried to speak but the words wouldn't come out. The room suddenly went dim and he couldn't seem to focus. What the fuck was happening? Wait...

Then, just as the sickening realization struck him, he felt himself go limp before everything went black.

Haley heaved herself off the chair in one, swift motion. "Sorry Mr. Perv, you're just going to have to wait until I finish my school work." she scoffed under her breath while slipping out of the room.

***Sometime later...***

Dexter awoke groggy and confused. Even though he'd never been on the receiving end of animal tranquilizer, he had enough knowledge of them to know that was exactly what knocked him out. He had a massive headache creeping up under his eyes and the overpowering urge to drink every drop of liquid in sight. He dashed to the washroom and stuck his head under the sink. The cool water felt heavenly as it ran over his lips and down his neck.

He toweled himself off, trying to ignore the surge of frustration boiling up in his chest. How could he fall for that? He was better than her, smarter and more cunning, he had taken down sickos twice her size without breaking a sweat, dammit! With a loud sigh, he threw the towel into the nearby sink. Such an amateur mistake. You know better than that Dex, never underestimate a target. His father's voice echoed in his mind.

"Hey! You're awake! Oh thank God, I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance or CSI or something." Haley dashed into the doorway from the living room. "Do you have a history of passing out? Because that was seriously scary."

Dexter tried not to laugh. She was good, alright. He almost believed she was genuinely concerned.

"Ugh, no. I don't usually...must have been heat stroke or something I ate..." he muttered

Or drank...

"Well, um can you maybe give me a little notice next time you feel like you're gonna drop? I had no idea what to do. I mean, I would have called for help and then I would that look, yah know? Me, alone... in your room. I didn't really know..." she faked a coy glace at him.

"No, it's okay. I know what you mean." he exhaled. "How long was I out?"

"About 45 minutes."

Fuck me.

"Alright, I told your Principal I'd be checking in every hour, I'm just gonna go call him now." Dexter left the room and grabbed the cell out of his pants pocket. "Hi, Principal Clarke, it's Dexter Morgan... Yup... Uh huh, she's right here... Oh yeah, doing a lot better now... Okay... Okay, we'll see you then... Buh bye."

He slapped his phone shut and ran his hand through his hair. The only way he was going to make any headway was to let her underestimate him. As far as she was concerned, he was just a chauffeur that was a tad too...friendly. Dexter cringed to himself. He needed to proceed very carefully.

"Alright, well I'm gonna head back to my room and grab a shower before dinner. I swear, I've sweat through two shirts already." Haley interrupted his thoughts as she made her way for the door. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but said nothing. Haley cocked an eyebrow at him " need to 'chauffeur' that, too." she mocked. "Make sure I don't fall or something?"

"Ha ha." he scoffed. "You're a smart girl, I'm sure you can handle it." Their eyes met as she lingered in the doorway. It was a long stare. Long and silent, and quickly becoming uncomfortable. He finally broke the gaze to look at the ground, she rubbed the back of her neck.

"K. See you downstairs."

Haley slipped back into her room, pealed off her clothing and stepped into the shower. As the water fell onto her skin, she let her shoulders roll back and breathed in the steam. She was pleased with the work she had done today. She tingled with anticipation to watch how the evening would play out. Maybe now people will open their eyes to what's going on in this God-forsaken school, she thought. She just had to keep an eye on that sleazy chauffeur.

There was something different about him, she couldn't put her finger on it but something was telling her to be careful. A sense of...danger creeping just under the surface.

But she knew she couldn't stay away for long. After all, he was a prime target and bringing him down would be so satisfying. The thought of showing the world what a creep he was, what all these perverted assholes did to young girls, it made her salivate. She knew it was wrong yet she couldn't ignore the pulsing desire that compelled her to do it. Maybe it started out as a sickness when she was killing animals and harming herself but now there was a purpose for it all; something good that could come out of everything horrible that happened to her. It was a way to balance everything out, and that was all she had in the world.

Suddenly, the clicking of the room key sliding in the door and the sound of voices filled the air. The students had returned from their cruise and were getting ready for super. She smiled wickedly and finished getting dressed. It was going to be a very eventful night.

The dining hall was a breathtaking sight. Massive chandeliers hung majestically and accentuated the rich, burgundy walls. Elegant, gold centerpieces sat proudly at the center of each table while flickering candlelight traced the intricate designs carved in every wooden doorway and mantel. Suits and gowns filed in through the main doors and took the seats which held their name. Some had attempted to rearrange the cards placed at each table to sit with their friends but the school staff were keeping a close watch to ensure everyone stay put.

Dexter entered and saw Haley already seated at the table with the rest of their group. He took in her appearance from the doorway; a simple, knee-length gown with an empire waist, although he noticed a slight shimmery look to the material. The pale skin of her shoulders was a shining contrast against the solid black of her strapless dress. Her periwinkle eyes were engulfed in a smokey haze of dark eyeshadow and long, thick lashes, and her once pale lips were painted crimson red. Oddly enough, they were a perfect match, with Dexter himself in a solid black suit, tie and shirt.

She looked up at him, as if sensing his presence, and shot him a sly grin while patting the empty chair next to her's. He glanced around the room and cautiously took his seat.. There was tense silence between them and he wouldn't dare make eye contact with her. All he wanted to do was sit back and wait for her to make a move, any sign that would give him something to go on.

Haley was too distracted by her own thoughts to pay Dexter any mind. She took a sharp breath and focused her attention to the front of the room.

After a few moments, the principal finally took the stage near the back of the room and all eyes began to focus in his direction. Everyone fell silent as the crackling of the microphone echoed throughout the vast hall. "Alright, uh, I'm not one for words, you all know that. We just want to start out by thanking all the teachers and chauffeurs who volunteered for this trip, they're the ones who made it all possible by being out here today." The sentence was followed by a round of applause. "And secondly, a big thanks to the folks at Delano and Royal Caribbean for...basically putting up with all of us!" A low wave of laughter rippled through the room for a few moments before the speaker continued. "Now, before we eat, we have a few announcements from the vice principal, Mr Marley, about some of the exciting events coming up this semester." The room buzzed with anticipation as the velvet curtains pulled apart.

But suddenly there were screams and shrieks when everyone saw what laid ahead on stage. There, displayed so gruesomely against a black backdrop, was (what Dexter assumed) the vice principal hanging from the rafters in a noose. Blood pooled around his pale, lifeless frame as the air-conditioning made his body sway ever-so-slightly from side to side.

The room was a panicked frenzy, teachers and students fled into the lobby screaming for help, some remained seated in utter shock and a few were even throwing up. The principal nearly fell off the stage and pushed himself back frantically, his face twisted in horror.

Dexter shot up instantly and turned toward Haley but she was gone. He quickly scanned the room, making sure to check all the exits. All he found was the black corsage she left on her chair.

The sirens in the distance and screaming panic seemed to fade away as he fell back weakly in his seat.

Oops, too late. Came Harry's voice.