Sweet Brutality
Author: Haven Stiel

Chapter 3

“And everything is done!” Aaron cheered as he typed the last period of his report. Dani chuckled at his happiness and checked on her brother’s work. Her lips formed a straight line as she caught sight of the small yellow circle chasing after a blue and white blinking ghost. Growling, Danielle smacked the back of her brothers head and hit the escape button on his keyboard before he could react.

“Really!? Playing Pac-Man while your partner is actually going work? Damien Kensington, I know that you were taught better than that!”

“Sorry mom! Besides, I’m already done with my paperwork! Aaron just likes to take his time and go into the tiny details.”

“There’s no way you’re already done.” Danielle attempted to pull up the tabs on his computer, but her brother pulled the mouse away at the last second and locked his computer.

“Lazy brat!”

“I am not lazy.”

“And I’m the freaking Queen Of England.” Danielle growled in annoyance. Sometimes she seriously wondered who was the most mature between her and her brothers. Where is Eric when you need him?

“Don’t you have a case to work on?” Damien asked as he swatted at his sisters hand, “Go watch over your dead bodies and leave me alone!”

“They aren’t going anywhere. You seem to be the biggest issue in the room right now anyways.”

“I regret inviting you!”

“Michael would have sent me anyways. You would have been stuck with me either—”

“Attention on deck!” Everyone suddenly shot from their chairs, snapping to attention the moment they were standing straight. Confused, Danielle did a quick look around and found everyone all standing motionless.

A light chuckle snapped Danielle’s head to the other side. An older man stood tall, his aging beige colored face filled with stress wrinkles that disappeared into his thick, black mustache. Danielle’s grin was unstoppable as she shot from her chair.

The commissioner pulled Danielle into the tightest hug he could manage. It had been too long since he’d seen her. “Carry on everyone.” He barked before turning his attention back towards Danielle, “A Little bird told me that Daniel’s youngest was in town...I had to see it for myself.”

“It’s been way too long Uncle John. You look amazing.”

“As do you my dear. You look as beautiful as your mother.” Danielle blushed at his comment and took a step back right as her brother made his way over.

Damien held out his hand and shook the commissioners’ with a proud smile, “I hope you had an easy drive Commissioner.”

“These streets are my home Detective, it’s always an easy drive.”

“Here for a visit sir?”

“Actually, I was starting to get a little hungry and thought this would be the perfect time to catch up with Danielle. Would you like to join us?”

“It would be an honor. Please, just give me a moment to check out with the captain.” Damien walked away with a steady step and a straight back. Danielle chuckled softly at her brothers superficial attitude and turned back towards her father’s best friend.

“So where are we eating?”

“How do you feel about Mexican?”

“I do love quesadillas.”

“So much like your father…”

“I get that a lot.” She smiled softly, with an underlining of sadness. Even with two years already gone by, the thought of her father pulled at strings that she always swore were gone.

“Alright,” Damien’s appearance kept John from saying anything more to Danielle, “Who’s driving”

“We can take my car,” The Commissioner said as the three of them walked out of the precinct, “Are you okay with Mexican, Damien?”

“I’ll eat about anything.” Danielle and her brother slid into the back of their uncles black suv, sitting side by side while the Commissioner sat in the passenger seat next to the driver.

As the car pulled away, Danielle noticed that the stiffness in her brothers shoulders began to dwindle until he was sitting comfortably next to her. She caught on quickly and chuckled, drawing everyone’s attention to her.

“What?” Damien asked as he dropped his gaze onto his sister.

She smiled innocently, “That was cute Damien.”

“What was?”

“You...acting all…superficial with Uncle John in front of all your police and detective friends. Does he always do that Uncle?” She asked ignoring her brothers change of expression.

“He’s being professional Danielle. There is nothing wrong with that.”

“It’s still funny. He was hardly professional around father…” Dani teased.

“That’s because father was unprofessional!” Her brother growled.  “Give him any criminal and he was the scariest person in the world, but the moment he saw one of us and I swear the man didn’t even see the uniform!”

“He loved you Damien...he just wanted to keep you safe.”

“Making sure my weapon was in the right condition every time he walked into the precinct was not keeping me safe! He was being annoying!”

“I thought it was pretty funny.” Danielle laughed, remembering all the times her father had embarrassed Damien when he first joined the force, “I’m sure uncle John did to! Right?”

The commissioner eyed the two in the back before he shrugged and dragged his gaze back to the road, “Sorry to say son, but you weren’t the best at hiding your embarrassment when you were younger.”

“Why does everyone always agree with the demon spawn!?”

“Oh Damien...you should be grateful for a sister like Danielle. She looks up to you and has become so successful in her life. You should look more for the positive side and less towards the negative. One of these days the three of you are going to have to work together on some case, and if you keep fighting like this, it will be the most epic failure ever.”

“Three?” Danielle questions as the car started moving towards the curb, “There’s four of us John…”

“I don’t include Eric when it comes to you guys.”

“Because he’s in Cali?”

“Actually,” he smiled, “It’s because I like him the most.” John slipped from the car before either Damien or Danielle could conjure up a response.

Stunned from his response, the two stayed sitting calmly in the back, their jaws practically hanging from the hinges. It wasn’t until the driver cleared his throat that the siblings managed to remove themselves from the vehicle and into the restaurant.

The Commissioner had already picked a table, sitting down in the center of the left booth seat looking at his menu as if he hadn’t just admitted that Eric was his favorite. Damien and Danielle took their seats silently, Dani sliding in first followed by her brother. The waitress came by and collected their drink and food orders and left them to deal with what had been said earlier.

At first no one said anything; John was lost in his own world and Damien was still slightly stunned that he had so openly admitted the truth about how he felt when it came to the Kensington siblings. Danielle was the only one who physically trying to speak, opening and closing her mouth trying to speak but failing at the last moment as her words escaped her.

It wasn’t that she didn’t know what to say, it was just that she was trying to figure out how to start it. She didn’t want to cause a scene for her Uncle with one of her outbursts. What he had said was certainly shocking. No one who was close with the whole family ever admitted who was their favorite, they were all too competitive. Being chosen over the rest would only cause problems, but combine his truth with her already awful day, and Danielle felt like she was about to burst.

A slight snicker suddenly pulled Danielle’s attention away from her thoughts and when she looked up she found her uncle with a twinkle in his eye. He was watching them both; a detectable twitch of the corners of his lips as he fought against the evil smirk that was attempting to form. There was a pause in the air, and then he started laughing, “Y—you two are so gullible.” John held a hand to his chest as he slowly started to compose himself back to normal, “I don’t think the two of you have ever been so quiet.”

“W—what?” Damien asked trying to figure out what he was trying to say.

The commissioner shook his head with a smile, “Do you really think Eric would be my favorite? He’s just as bad as you guys. I admit that Danielle is probably the worst out of all of you, but you guys all have the same kind of attitude. In all honesty, if I really had to choose a favorite...it would be your cousin Lauren. She definitely took after that sweet mother of hers.”

“That was a compliment towards me...right?” Danielle asked not knowing whether he was complimenting her for being the worst or if he was saying that she was just that bad.

“Out of everything he said...that was all you got out of it?” Damien asked his sister almost shocked that she skipped over the fact that he admitted to having another favorite.

“Well yeah...besides, we all know Lauren is the favorite in the family. She may be straying away from the family path, but she is a sweetheart. Well I mean...she is much more of a sweetheart then any of us. I don’t think it is possible for any Kensington to fully be a sweetheart. Crazy and rage make up like eighty percent of our essence.”

“You know he’s right...you are the worst out of all of us.”

“And I get that! But...is that in a good way or a bad way? That is all I want to know!”

“Alright you two,” John stepped in, seeing the sparks beginning to fly between the two Kensington siblings, “The food is almost here. Let’s calm down before you two get us kicked out of another restaurant.”

“Can you please just explain to me if it is a good thing or a bad thing?”

“Of course I can sweetie,” he smiled, “I meant it in a kind of good way. You are the worst out of all your siblings...you blow up easier and have a pretty bad mouth on you. Your anger doesn’t help either, but with all that being said...it also means that you are just like your father. He was the same exact way. So yes you are the worst, but you are also the most like your father. So I guess you could say that it is a good thing.”

“I’ll take it!” Dani grinned.

Damien tried to say something smart towards his sister, but was stopped with a swift kick to the shin from the other side of the table as the waitress rounded the corner with their food.

The rest of the lunch went by smoothly. Damien and Danielle managed to keep their attitudes to themselves while eating. A few sentences were passed around, but everyone mainly just kept to themselves, enjoying the food that was in front of them.

As the silence carried on Danielle found herself being drawn into her thoughts, the two bodies from earlier floating to the surface of her mind from the dark depths that she had pushed them into earlier. His victims had always been in the Maryland area. Usually just outside of the D.C city limits, but a few had been found farther away. This was new for him. Is he expanding his victim zone? Thinking that he could be reaching out farther for more victims made Danielle sick to her stomach. Suddenly, Mexican didn’t seem like the best idea. Nothing felt like a good idea any more.

A darker thought then popped into Danielle’s mind, could there be a copycat? Just the thought of a second killer made Danielle want to throw up. One was bad enough, she didn’t know if they would be able to handle a second one. The whole case was starting to take its toll on her. She didn’t want there to be any more victims...she didn’t want to have to see the pain that he inflicted on women and children anymore.  

Her heart bleeded for those victims, but what worried her the most, was when this was going to hit close to home. Danielle had too many people she cared for back in Washington, and the thought of one of them ending up on their autopsy table made her want to crawl into a corner and never open her eyes again.

Damien paused in his bite as the fork in his sister’s hand clattered against her plate. He looked over, raising an eyebrow as he noticed the far look in her hazel eyes. Across the table the Commissioner shared the same look, turning his attention towards her brother with his question bright in his old blue eyes.

Damien shrugged it off, answering quietly, “It’s her case,” before he stopped a passing waiter and requested a box for his sister’s food.



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