Jax stared into his fireplace for a long while after Tressa left, mulling over the things she had said. Their relationship was fairly new, but he'd been optimistic. Tonight changed things. Now he had to be cautious.
"Well, my brother and I bonded over true-crime," she'd said. "We're addicted to reading about it, listening to podcasts, and then we get together and rehash what's going on and what we think really happened."
Fine. Normal. Jax was not a known criminal. People died all the time, and he was good enough at his job that no deaths had ever been attributed to him.
"I used to have that kind of passion about gaming," he'd confessed in return. "Not as much time to follow it, now, but I still love it. I think I understand where you're coming from."
He was trying to connect with her. Tressa was always so open about everyone, any interests, any beliefs, she never shut anyone down and that made her even more attractive to him. He'd even thought that one day he might be able to tell her what he really did. But after tonight...
"My brother's been digging into all kinds of deaths. There were a few cases he'd read about that were attributed to natural causes or suicide, but didn't ring true for him. So he's been reading past obits and medical cases. You think I'm obsessed? He's insane over this." She had Jax's attention, for sure. "We think some of these might be mercy killings, or even unsolved murders. Isn't that cool?"
"Cool? Uh, yeah, mercy killings. Cool." He made a point to show his sarcasm. No one could approve of murder, right?
Tressa laughed at him. "Not the killings - cool, but that we're the ones to find out! I mean, at least three of these happened right here at Mercy Hospital down the road! If we've actually found anything, someone local is doing it." Jax tensed and his smile tightened. "I'm not as convinced as my brother is. Yet."
"But you're looking into it." This could be bad.
"I will be. He's compiling everything into a document and I'll see if I can connect the dots. It seems pretty random so far."
"Huh. Well, good luck with that." Bad luck for him.
They'd eaten and the conversation moved on as Jax rewound the tapes in his head, wondering if there was anything at all that might lead her to him. If there was, he was in danger. Now that she was gone, Jax was arriving at a hard conclusion. He set down his empty glass and told the crackling fire, "I may have to kill my girlfriend."
It's FICTION FRIDAY!
Every Friday I write a new flash fiction piece. If you have a writing prompt you'd like to see turned into a story, just leave it in a comment.