Hi guys! I just wanted to start off by saying thank you for all the messages of support. I'm so thrilled you guys are excited for this story because I am as well. Just as many of you said you were, I'm obsessed with all of those Criminal Minds-type shows so getting to write something involved with that is really exciting for me. I wanted to answer a few of your questions (at least the ones that won't be spoiler-y if answered) Caroline is a single mom and she's Stefan and Damon's little sister. Hayley is part of the fic, but she's not the brunette Klaus slept with in the prologue. I've never read a Karen Slaughter book, but I'm going to look into it now that it's been suggested to me. Anyway, feel free to shoot me more questions, either on here or tumblr (ohjackieboy). I hope you all enjoy the chapter.
Chapter One – All The Right Moves
They've got all the right friends in all the right places,
So yeah, we're going down.
They've got all the right moves in all the right faces
So yeah, we're going down.
12:37 PM JUNE 1ST, WASHINGTON, D.C.: SOUTHBOUND 16TH STREET
"What happened?" Stefan asked as Klaus flicked the switch to turn the lights and sirens on turning past several cars in traffic as he weaved to get through the traffic.
"They didn't say much. The police were called to the World News building forty-five minutes ago. Something happened in your sister's office. Whatever it was triggered an FBI inquiry and Silas came up immediately," Klaus spoke as he spun the wheel as he turned onto K Street and speed his way towards the next intersection.
"But is she okay? Mason? Is he okay?" Stefan demanded, unable to relax in his seat as he watched the building come into view.
"They didn't say, but I would assume the phone call I received would have been quite different if anyone else was dead or missing," Klaus spoke as the tires screeched to a halt in front of the World News sign. Stefan was out of the car before it had fully stopped, pushing his way through the crowds that had gathered to gawk at the increased police presence. Klaus locked the car, following after him. He managed to stop to flash his badge to one of the local officers, something Stefan had not bothered to do, before proceeding into the building. It wasn't often that he approached a situation more rationally than Stefan did, but family was always different. Klaus was painfully aware of that. The floor Caroline worked on was swarming with nosy budding journalists and interns, each hoping to find out what was going on and hoping it was enough to make their careers and each being shooed away and stopped before they could get close enough to see what was happening. By the time Klaus pushed through the crowd to get to the area in question, Stefan had his arms wrapped tightly around a tiny blonde he had come to recognize as the youngest Salvatore.
Klaus sidestepped the distraught woman to locate the officer in charge of the scene. He was still skeptical about Silas's involvement, but the pieces were beginning to fall into place. He nodded towards the men standing near the officer, flashing his badge to dismiss them as he approached, "Agent Mikaelson," he introduced himself briefly, not giving the man time to do the same before he began, "What are we dealing with?"
The officer motioned for Klaus to follow him into Caroline's office before beginning to explain. "This package was delivered to Ms. Salvatore this morning, the package contained a letter and a small zip drive. Just like the Silas murders."
"That information was released to the press, it's not a guarantee that it's him. Anything is possible, but it is his method. I'm guessing the letter identified Caroline Salvatore as his media contact and informed the police that he would only correspond with her?" he asked as the officer nodded. It was the same every time, but it didn't seem to get any easier as time went on. "What else do we know?"
"The mail was delivered sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 this morning, but the mail room swears up and down that this package was not among the delivery to Ms. Salvatore's office. She wasn't in her office until just before 11:00 am. Her secretary said she was at her desk all morning, only leaving once to get coffee around 10:30. Whoever dropped off the package must have slipped in during that time. He would have had to wait and watch."
"If, and this is not verbal confirmation, it was Silas, chances are he snuck into the building sometime after dumping the bodies in Upshur Park this morning. He would have had plenty of time. The building doesn't exactly have top notch security. It wouldn't have been difficult for him to slip inside with the earliest workers. He's slipped past secret service before. This is nothing." Klaus shook his head as he weighed the possibilities, "What about the zip drive?"
"There were no prints, not that we expected any, and it tested negative for substances during the field test. We tried to open the files, but it's just a series of binary code and other numbers. No one could make heads or tails of it. It along with the letter and the security footage of the floor and lobby have been sent ahead to your office in DC."
"Very good. Anything else I need to know?"
"She's pretty upset, but I can understand why. Everyone knows Silas's pattern. She knows exactly what she's in for," the officer finished speaking and Klaus issued him a small nod before stepping away from him. He didn't enjoy engaging in speculation. Especially not where this case was concerned. Stepping over the threshold and out of Caroline's corner office he made his was over to the siblings, both of whom seemed to have calmed down considerably compared to a few moments before.
"Stefan, can I see you for a moment?" Klaus asked, raising his eyebrows as he looked down at the two of them.
Stefan nodded turning to Caroline, "Everything is going to be fine, Care. I already checked the school, Mason is in class and fine. One of these officers is going to take you home and stay posted there until we sort this out. I'll call you later," he assured her before nodding towards one of the officers to come get her. He stepped away from the small bay of chairs and followed Klaus towards an empty hallway that had been roped off for the investigation. He looked at him expectantly, waiting for the details of the case.
"The package was hand delivered. It contained a letter and a zip drive, in line with the Silas case. No prints, nothing identifiable. It's been sent to the home office for further investigation along with the security footage."
"And if this is anything like the others, it will be blank," Stefan added.
"That's the assumption I've come to as well."
"Are you beginning to believe this might be Silas?" Stefan asked, looking up at him.
"Copy-cat or not. That's the assumption we have to work with if we are going to solve this before another ten people end up dead."
Stefan visibly stiffened at the notion. "What are the chances he picked Caroline at random?"
Klaus looked down at the younger man. It was clear Stefan was searching for an answer he already knew. It would have been kind to lie to him, tell him what he wanted to hear, but they weren't in the business of lying to each other, "I don't think Silas does anything at random." He shook his head, taking one last look around before reaching in his pocket for his car keys. "We need to head back to the office and go over the evidence, brief the team. The moment we begin to throw Silas around the city is going to be in an up roar, the least we can do is make sure we know what we're talking about before the five o'clock news."
2:15 PM JUNE 1ST, WASHINGTON, D.C.: CAROLINE SALVATORE RESIDENCE
"No," Caroline said, her eyes going wide as she looked at the screen of her Macbook. "No, no, no," she spoke, shaking her head.
"Is there a problem, Ms. Salvatore?" the officer stationed at the door asked after hearing her vocal displeasure.
"Yes," she said firmly before backing down, "Well, no. Yes, there's a problem, no, my life is not in danger. Someone else's may be if I don't fix this though." The officer gave her a look before returning to his post in the front room of Caroline's Woodley Park townhouse. She typed furiously at the keyboard, blowing a blond curl out of her eyes before she fired off a series of scathing emails questioning the sanity of the intern who had informed her of a health initiative that four other news outlets had covered the morning before. Not that her own story about the initiative was going to see print with everything else going on right now. She was trying with much difficulty not to think about what had happened only hours before. If she kept things normal, she wouldn't panic. Pretending it was just an ordinary day. Thinking meant implications and concerns and as long as Mason was safe at school then she didn't need to be concerned. Not yet anyway. Not until Stefan told her the threat was real.
A loud bang and some muffled grumbling pulled her out of her thoughts. Her heart rose to her throat as she left from her seat, stopping in the doorway once she reached it. Her nerves were frazzled as it was, but that didn't stop her from stifling a laugh as she saw Officer Warren pressing Damon into the floor, his arms pressed behind his back. The two of them looked up at her, clearly looking for some kind of response. "It's okay. He's my brother." The officer released Damon and he began to stand up, brushing the non-existent dirt from his clothes before shooting Giddings a disdainful look. "What are you doing here?" she asked, looking over at him.
"Stefan called me, not to mention it's all over the news. I'm supposed to check in on you because he's stuck at HQ, but it doesn't seem like you need much checking on with Officer Biceps over there," he said, taking a seat in one of the overstuffed chairs in Caroline's den. "He seemed more concerned that you are. What's going on?"
"Nothing. I mean, yes, it's terrifying, but Stefan seemed pretty convinced that it was just a copycat or a hoax. Mason is safe, there's no reason to freak out until I have a concrete reason to. That and I just found out the AP undercut my story by twelve hours and no one thought to tell me until just now. The reason I have three assistants and twenty interns is so stuff like this doesn't happen. How am I supposed to relax at my son's baseball game if every time I take a night off no one is capable of catching me up the next morning?" She sighed, shaking her head as she slipped back into the desk chair. She tucked her legs underneath herself, looking over at him.
"I would think that would be the least of your problems right now," Damon gave her a look.
"Well, none of it matters. This pseudo-Silas murder is going to dominate the news cycle for at least the best two days. If not more, I really should go into the office. There's tons to do and I shouldn't be sitting here doing nothing." She shook her head.
Damon rolled his eyes, "You're staying put. The only thing you can do at the office that you can't do here is yell at people, though I'm sure you can figure out a way to do that too." He leaned back into the chair, looking her over. The false bravado didn't fool him for a moment. He wasn't about to leave her alone until they knew what was what "I'm not leaving anyway. Not until Stefan says it's nothing. Mas will be home soon. The kid barely gets to spend enough time with me as it is. How is he supposed to learn from my example if I'm never around?"
"Fine, but there's no reason to freak out until Stefan confirms it," she said firmly. She was doing a fantastic job distracting herself before Damon walked in and now she was wondering if it was all for nothing. Her heart pounded in her chest at the thought of what was to come if these murders were the real deal. She'd written stories on Silas early on in her career. She knew his pattern, not at well as Stefan did, but she knew enough to be afraid. Shaking away the thoughts, she scoffed at Damon's comments. "I think Mason has enough male influence in his life between you, Stef, and Tyler. I would just prefer that I was the only female influence."
"Not getting along with Tyler's skank of the week?" Damon reclined in his seat, his hands curling around the arms of the chair as he looked over at his younger sister.
"They have been dating for a year now. She lives with him, I don't think I can call her a skank of the week anymore," Caroline shook her head, drumming her fingers against the desk in front of her laptop. "Hayley and I just don't see eye to eye on a lot of parenting methods and Tyler lets her get away with it. She thinks it's perfectly okay for Mason to stay up until eleven watching trashy reality TV because he's a kid and he should be allowed to live a little." She rolled her eyes, "And don't even get me started on all of the processed foods. I understand that she can't cook, but my child doesn't need to eat McDonalds for every meal at their house. Then I look like the bad guy when I try to feed him vegetables."
"You're his mom, you are always going to be his mom. No matter how many times Tyler's girlfriend lets him stay up too late or watch shows you don't approve of."
"I know that. I would just prefer someone more responsible watch him when I'm not around." She shook her head, brushing her fingers though her hair and pushing it off her forehead. "You really don't have to babysit me you know? Don't you have work to do?"
"I do actually, because the second I leave, you are going to convince the man in black out there that you need to go back to the office and Stefan said you shouldn't be anywhere near that place until they figure out how he got into your office in the first place." Damon reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. "And yes, I do have work do to. I'm doing it now." He help up his phone, moving it to get her attention. "I know you Stefan, and Mom don't think I do anything during the day, but I'm networking."
Caroline looked up once again when she heard the door click open and a familiar voice flood the home, "If you touch me, I will shove your badge so far up your arse that you will taste metal." Caroline and Damon both smirked, turning their attention to the doorway as their sister-in-law waddled into the room. Rebekah took one look at the two of them before sighing, placing one hand on her hip. "Is one of you going to help me sit down or am I going to stand here all day?" Caroline pushed herself up from her chair and walked over to help Rebekah into one of the second armchair.
"Not that I don't enjoy having you around, Bekah, but what are you doing here?" Caroline asked as she settled back into her office chair. She closed her laptop before turning towards the two of them. It was quite obvious she wasn't getting any more work done today and she didn't feel like looking guiltily at the screen every time she turned in that direction.
"I was about to ask you the same question." Rebekah leaned back into the chair, her hands resting on the large bump underneath her dress. "Stefan called me a fifteen minutes ago and told me to come over here as soon as possible. He said he and Nik would be around shortly, but he wouldn't tell me what was going on. I was hoping you would have some kind of explanation." Damon and Caroline looked at each other, both wearing a similar expression. "Well?" Rebekah asked once again.
"I need to go get Mason," Caroline said, trying to stand up before Damon stopped her.
"I'll go. You and Rebekah stay put with the Officer," Damon said.
"That won't be necessary, Ms. Salvatore. Agent Salvatore already sent an officer over to Aidan Montessori School. He's going to be brought back here as soon as possible. I've been told the officer is already there with him and he's safe and unaware of the situation," Officer Warren spoke up having over heard the conversation. "He hasn't been pulled from class yet. Your brother wanted to speak to you all privately before he was brought here so he wouldn't be alarmed. Unless you'd like him pulled out now? I can put in the call."
"No, that won't be necessary. Not until we know," Caroline shook her head, not wanting to scare her son. Though she was sure that Mason would find being pulled from class by a policeman more exciting than scary.
"Would someone tell me what the bloody hell is going on before I murder someone?" Rebekah demanded.
"That was a very unfortunate choice of words, Rebekah," Klaus spoke as he walked through the front door, quickly followed by Stefan.
"Silas is killing again."