Hi friends! This is a new story been swimming around my computer for a couple of months. So I'm going to spoil you and give you chapter 1 and 2 together. Let me know if you would like me to continue with it?

NCIS LA is not mine (disclaimer)

HANDS OF GUILT

CHAPTER 1

He slowly ambled in and out the aisles in the small crowded souvenir shop in Los Angeles, glancing occasionally at the tacky assortment of memorabilia that filled the shelves. Ben Carting wasn't here to gift shop he was here to stake out a target. The overwhelming guilt he was feeling seemed as if lead weights were strapped to his body, threatening to drag his soul to the depths of hell. The daily fight never ceased between the torturous voice deep in his conscience that what he was doing was wrong and the helpless desire to satisfy his wants.

Ben Carting was no ordinary man, although in many ways he was. Six foot high with light brown cropped hair and blue eyes, he was originally from Nebraska. Having a slight drawl to his speech, anybody who met him would imagine him to be a country boy just landed in the big city off the back of a horse, but Ben was very much a city guy. Growing up in a hard family had taught him to be resilient, trusting no one except himself. The son of a torturous father who came home every night to enact his foul temper on the youngster for the simplest of reasons changed his life for the better or worse, he couldn't yet decide. The night his pissed off father grabbed the large kitchen knife from the bench meant he would no longer live like every other kid with his family. That night his father was angry at Ben's abilities at a task he had ordered on his son earlier, so after beating Ben black and blue he came back to the house threatening both his mother and his son. Ten year old Ben remembered his mother sobbing, trying to reason with the familiar shouts from a man she no longer recognised as the husband she married. The instant the knife slashed through her tiny torso, he knew. Knew it was over, the blood seeping from his mother was the sign of the end. Neighbours called the police over where they arrested his father and the ambulance took his mother away on the gurney, but she was never to come home again. The subsequent trial landed his tormentor eight years for the abuse of he and his mother and a further manslaughter charge that was later upgraded to murder meant life imprisonment.

Authorities later took Ben away, dragging the youngster to various foster homes well away from his father and cruel memories. Finally settling into Los Angeles, his new family home is where he learnt his craft. This new habit became ingrained in him so badly he didn't know how to get rid of it, let alone if he wanted to. He had honed his craft so well nobody knew what his demon was. The fact he was a highly skilled detective in the police force only added to the shame of his secret. Anyone was his target and the exciting rush of fulfilling his desires always seemed to wash away the guilt and today in this shop was no different. He had his target chosen and was ready to make his move. Ben didn't realise his nasty habit of pickpocketing would be the biggest mistake he would make.